Tag Archives: Healthy Living

Enough is Abundance

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Enough is Abundance Snail Photo

“Enough is abundance to the wise.”
 Euripides

Click here to see more of these beautiful inspirational quotes that I like to create.

Rent a Tree House~! Or Build Your Own….

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This made me smile.  (And I love to smile~!) You can rent a treehouse at this resort near Seattle. But these guys also will design and build a treehouse for you. Here are some wonderful pictures of charming tree houses. I want to LIVE in one of these; they are SO cool~!

upper-pond-sh-2burl-sh-2trillium-sh-3bonbibi-sh-4pond-room-sh-1temple-sh-1bonbibi-sh-3brew-house-sh-2brew-house-sh-3irish-cottage-sh-1irish-cottage-sh-4jacks-treehouse-sh-1jacks-treehouse-sh-2TreeHouse Point…. rent a treehouse link.

Nelson Treehouse and Supply… build a treehouse link.

The Value of Placebo Pills – Funny and True

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What is the Value of Placebo Pills?

Some say NOTHING WORKS BETTER !

I have just had so much fun reading about the quirky and fascinating placebo effect. “The Placebo Effect is one of the strangest and least understood phenomenons found in human physiology and psychology. Most of us know a thing or two about it, namely that we can essentially cure ourselves of maladies simply because we believe we are being cured of them. In other words we trick ourselves back into health, proving that the brain is an extremely powerful entity“(1). Here are some of the funny and informational things I read:

***Placebos help you play golf better, do more push ups, and even take away your cough.

***A placebo doesn’t require manipulation to work. In a recent Harvard study, a bottle with pills labeled PLACEBO worked just as well as the best medication.

***”Approximately half the drugs that fail in late stage trials fail because they simply can’t out-perform placebos”.

***People can get “placebo drunk” on non-alcoholic beer, complete with lower IQ and impaired judgement. There is a youtube video showing a frat party that served up an alcohol free keg. I didn’t watch it. You can link to it from the listverse link below.

***Another placebo effect is called “Nocebo”. This is funny~! People can also get the “side effects” of the thing that is being “placeboed”….. like irritable bowels or erectile dysfunction.

**Placebo effect also occurs with dogs, and other animals like lab mice.

***Some high profile studies are showing that placebos can be as effective as anti-depressants (probably more effective since anxiety is a side-effect of some anti-depressants).

***Placebo pill color matters: “Researchers have learned that yellow placebo pills are the most effective at treating depression while red pills cause the patient to be more alert and awake. Green pills help ease anxiety while white pills soothe stomach issues such as ulcers.”

***”Fake surgeries can be just as effective as the real thing, taking the placebo effect to the next level.”

***”The more placebo pills taken the better, with those taken four times a day more effective than those taken twice daily. Pills that have a “brand name” stamped on them also work better than pills that have nothing written on them. It appears that we humans are superficial even when it comes to the fake drugs we ingest.”

***We can’t (typically) will our way toward recovery, but need to take a pill. In essence, we need some sort of “external influence” to initiate the sequence of events that lead to the placebo effect.

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FUN & FASCINATING Resources:

Placebo pills are for sale by the pound on amazon.com (hilarious reviews!). Knowing that they are available makes me feel so much better~!  No more headaches, sore throats, flu, etc….. the whole family will now be healthy forever~! Another source of placebo pills, and more in depth placebo stats and facts: click here to go to placebo.com. These guys are goofing off, and making some money having a good laugh. Their motto: NOTHING WORKS BETTER ! I get a chuckle that they are going for it, packaging and selling placebos in a bottle labelled placebo~! Why not~!?

(1) Listverse.com (quoted above) has more crazy-fun in-depth placebo information. I like to keep my blog posts short because people are more apt to read short blog posts~! Link to listverse.com placebo list: 10 Crazy Facts About the Placebo Effect.

“There is a website, Placeboeffect.com, which holds itself up as ‘The Official Placebo Effect Resource‘ (whatever ‘official’ means in the world of placebos!) Here you can access classes, essays, an ebook and other resources on the phenomenon, though not placebos themselves.” (Roughly quoted from placebo.com.)

Feel free to re-blog or share this on facebook and other social media, as it is informational and funny~! Please do~!

God’s Voice vs. Satan’s Voice

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God's Voice Satan's Voice

God’s Voice vs. Satan’s Voice

Which one are you hearing?

How do you feel?

Which will you follow?

How can you tell the difference?

Study the list.

Think about it.

Pray about it, and listen to God.

You’ll feel better every time you do~!

He really is SO GOOD~!

Have a Great Week~!

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Well, here it is Monday…

again….

bellyflop

Dive In~!

Go For It~!

And Have a GREAT Week~!

Dog Bellyflop Photo by Seth Casteel.

Click here to see his pet photography website.

10 O’Clock Hog Spot

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Reflective Groundhog

My husband and I do this thing we call “playing games”.

It is kind of goofy, but it makes life a bit more fun.

So, the basic idea is, we turn almost any slice of normal life into a game. Over 20 years of hanging out together, we’ve accumulated quite a number of games. Some of them he came with, like s.p.e.l.l.i.n.g. words in mid-sentence. (I think his Mom started that when he was young.) Some of them are more recent. The fastest gardener; the biggest weed. Dish washing competition. Inventing vocabulary words is classic fun (ex: optomatopoeia – kinda like a word picture). We also make up new words to songs, and sing a lot while doing daily tasks.

Cycling is our preferred form of exercise. (Seriously, it is the kindest form of exercise I’ve found; one can even coast sometimes~!) All forms of exercise can become mundane, even riding a bike. We try to vary our routes. But, if we’re only going on a short ride on our lunch break, there is only so much variation we can access. To add intrigue, we play games on our bikes, too. We spot things. We look around and observe. Thankfully, in Pennsylvania the landscape changes frequently. We get to see the farmland go through the seasons. The flowers and trees have seasons, too. The most fun is glimpsing the wildlife. A chipmunk standing tall on a log. A storky-crane in a new puddle left by the most recent rain storm. The snapping turtle floating on a log in Green Pond. Today I saw 2 baby deer in a corn field. Cute!

BUT…. the favorite spot, the one we keep count of is…… groundhogs. We’ll each shout out so the other can share in the victorious hog spotting. If the ground hog is toward my front right, I’ll shout, “HOG, 2 O’CLOCK”.  Then Brook knows right where to look. Last Saturday we saw 3 groundhogs at our front left. We called that the 10 o’clock hog ride. He who spots the most hogs gets honored recognition for having “hog eyes”, or better yet “serious hog eyes”.  We also like to come up with expressions to describe the magnificence of the hogs. Fast and stealthy is the running ground hog. Strong and majestic is the one who holds his ground. The groundhog in this photo is obviously soulful and reflective… and SO handsome~!

Yes, I might have just shared a blog that reveals how quirky we can be. OR… or…… maybe this is a reminder to some, or an invitation to others to play more games and see the mundane tasks in life (like exercise & housework) get a bit more interesting. It really is about mindset, and “playing games” lightens life.

Happiness tip: be playful~!

“Anything one does every day is important and imposing and anywhere one lives is interesting and beautiful.”  Gertrude Stein

Perhaps I will share a few more of our games over time (like “well maybe…”, and “6-Kississippi). But, how about you? Do you dance when you dust? What games do you play to keep life happier? Add a comment so we can play your games, too~!

Doing 3 Things at Once

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Sunset Sky

Happiness Tips

If you are anything like me, you may find yourself trying to multi-task quite often.

I walk up the stairs, and try to group several things that need to be done up there. When I run errands, the same. I’m so busy all the time. Can I have a conversation with my husband while I am cooking? Sometimes he needs strong eye contact. It doesn’t always work to multi-task. BUT…. I have found this healthy triple-combo, sure to make people feel great.

1- Looking at the sky should inspire awe. Look up and be amazed. I like looking into trees, too~!
2- While looking up, take a deep deep breath. Inhale slowly, exhale slowly. Do this a few times.
3- While taking the deep breaths and looking at the sky, put your arms ALL THE WAY out to the side and stretch yourself. Lift you arms over you head and stretch. Breath deep and keep looking at the sky.
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Three beneficial things all at once~!

It only takes a few minutes, but makes you feel great.

Sky Under Locust Tree
Once you have mastered that, you can add to it…. Check it out…
4- Think of something that has gone well today, or maybe a few things.
5- Laughing would take it to the next level~!

Did you just do 5 things at once?~!

WOW… you are SO GOOD at this~!

How do you feel?
Leave a comment~!

To You and Through You

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Andromeda New GrowthWalking out to the mailbox I see this (the 1st photo)~! Wow~! Andy Warhol has taught me to look for things that are unexpected, like 1 red shoot on an otherwise green shrub. But, I can’t really give Andy the full credit. Actually, I am wired that way. As I pray each day, I have noticed that I almost invariably start by thanking God for the beautiful tree across the street, or the flowers, or the birds in the bird bath. I find myself thanking God for His creation. Then I can’t help but recognize that I am also a creative person. See, God has made mankind (male AND female) in His image. So, we are supposed to be a reflection of His nature. But, God isn’t as simple as that. I find that I connect with those aspects of God that are in my specific wiring. To me, God is Creator; I am creative. God is good and merciful; I am called to be good and merciful. Now, ask yourself, who is God to you?  There is a connection: who God is TO you, He would like to be THROUGH you. These are hints as to your strengths and destiny. I’d like to encourage you to rise up to your purpose, otherwise we’re ALL missing out~! We need you to actually be who you were created to be. Don’t worry. God will help~!

(A helpful Bible Quote from “The Message” translation (I find this translation makes some Bible verses clearer, like the writings of Paul): 2 Timothy 1:11-12  – This is the Message I’ve been set apart to proclaim as preacher, emissary, and teacher. It’s also the cause of all this trouble I’m in. But I have no regrets. I couldn’t be more sure of my ground—the One I’ve trusted in can take care of what he’s trusted me to do right to the end.)

Andromeda - 3 stagesThis second photograph is of the same shrub 1 month ago. This picture shows me that it is possible to be in several seasons of your life simultaneously. We can be blooming in one part of our lives, sending up new shoots in another part, and all the while something else might be dying off. Give yourself the grace to grow and bloom into new things as you shuck off the old stuff.

Better Roots, Better Fruit

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This flower means that our 1st cucumber is on the way.

My husband Brook and I have been growing perennials since 1996. But, this year we decided we should eat more organic fruit and vegetables. After checking out of the grocery store and paying for all the food, we decided we might dedicate some effort into growing some of these veggies. It has not gone perfectly. We knew to get good soil, but we didn’t know much about the pots. I want to make it a “container garden” because I can get lazy with gardening. With the containers, I can have the pots near the hose, and I am hoping this will mean less weeding, too. Well, we didn’t get the right pots. Ours were a bit too small, and they didn’t drain properly. We ordered new pots last week, and spent some time over the weekend re-potting our plants. The thing we learned is this:

BETTER ROOTS -> BETTER FRUIT

Once we said it out loud, repeating the motto of the potting company we bought from, we recognized the spiritual truth in this statement. We need to feed our spiritual roots and take good care of them so that we will have good spiritual fruit in our lives. So, what does that look like? Well…

1-  Spend time with God in prayer, and

2-  Giving thanks is a big one.

3-  Brook and I also make sure to read the Bible together each day and search for nuggets of truth to apply to our lives.

4-  It also means proper drainage…. let go of anger, suspicion, fear, and other negative emotions, trusting that God is good and He has our best interests at heart in the long term plan.

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I went out with 2 friends last night. We had Kenyan food. It was new to all of us. So we all ordered something we’d never eaten before, and each tried everyone else’s flavors. It was fun to learn something new. (This is a happiness tip~!) While we ate, we talked about all kinds of this & that.

I was expressing how much I would like to do a mere 15, or so, minutes of stretching and core strengthening exercises each day. I do ride my bike 2 to 4 times per week, fairly long rides (today was 22 miles). Seriously, it is the most humane form of exercise, and is often quite fun. But, I am not doing much of anything for my core or my arms.

One of these friends is very into yoga (& has the body to prove it), so of course she had valid suggestions. The other does a good assortment of exercises. That 2nd friend recommended the Arms/Abs/Buns of Steel workouts. She said they are 15 minutes each, and she rotates them. That seems reasonable.

I’m not sure what I’ll end up doing yet, and how I’ll squeeze this into my daily routine, but I really DO need to get the middle of my body stronger. It is not fair to my back and spine, and ultimately to myself to let this get a tiny bit worse each year.  WELL….  good news. I looked around youtube.com today and found hundreds upon hundreds of exercise videos waiting for me. I admit, I was amused to sit and watch exercise videos, and fast forward through them, too. But, I’d like to find my own perfect custom mix of stretches & core strengtheners. I thought you’d like to know that youtube can be a great resource for adding new or varied exercises to your daily routine…  for FREE~! 

For starters, I liked this one:  Lance Armstrong’s Three-Phase Program – Base Training: Core

Here’s a glimpse of the: Arms of Steel Youtube Sample Video  …. looks pretty good~!

Here’s a Link to Mayo Clinic’s: Slide show of Exercises to improve your core strength