Monthly Archives: October 2013

Facebook Contest

Hello Friends,

I have bad news. If you saw the contest on Facebook that I posted on Tuesday, you may be wondering when I plan to post the winner.

Alzheimer's Awareness Bracelet to be given away Thursday. You must only  "like" my page here, and then share the link on facebook. www.msopenmic.com GOOD LUCK! Winner will be chosen Thursday around 5pm.

Alzheimer’s Awareness Bracelet to be given away Thursday. You must only “like” my page here, and then share the link on facebook. http://www.msopenmic.com
GOOD LUCK! Winner will be chosen Thursday around 5pm.

I originally said Thursday around 5 P.M. Problem is, the contest for a bracelet for Alzheimer’s Awareness continued to disappear. The first time, I thought I hadn’t posted it…so I re posted. When it disappeared AGAIN, I GOT it. Facebook has changed it’s contest rules:( Rule 3. Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook. Personal Timelines must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries” is not permitted).
So…what am I to do? I must figure something out. I have this stuff to give away because I really do want to spread awareness. For Alzheimers and of course, for MS, as well as other illnesses I advocate for. Annd yes, it does drive traffic to my blog, www.msopenmic.com, NOT because I am selling anything but, because I honestly believe the information here will help others in someway.Ugh! I’ll figure it out and return 🙂

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Alzheimer’s Awareness: “Life alone, and trapped inside.”

The best part of my BFF weekend came on Sunday when Michele put me on her Alzheimer’s Walkathon Team!

Alzheimer's Awareness Bracelet to be given away Thursday. You must only  "like" my page here, and then share the link on facebook. www.msopenmic.com GOOD LUCK! Winner will be chosen Thursday around 5pm.

Alzheimer’s Awareness Bracelet to be given away Thursday. You must only “follow” my page here, and then share the link on facebook. http://www.msopenmic.com
GOOD LUCK! Winner will be chosen Thursday around 5pm.

I got a matching T-Shirt and everything ( a little too nippy for me to WEAR). I’m better these days at knowing my limits.  Even though we came prepared with a really cool walker, that has a seat for me to rest on when needed, I opted to let it hold my super heavy camera bag so that I could push IT around.  I didn’t  walk, but I did get some  shots while THEY walked.

Alzheimer's Awareness Walkathon, 10/13

Alzheimer’s Awareness Walkathon, 10/13

It was a beautiful fall day. The walkers were excited and the air was steeped with love. I’d say everyone there, was or is, very close to someone suffering from this dreadful disease. They walked for their Mothers and Fathers, Husbands and Wives, Grandmas and Grandpas, Sisters, Brothers, neighbors, and for their CHILDREN. Finding a cure for Alzheimers now, guarantees that their children will never have to suffer this loss of freedom at the end of their journey. It is much like being alone, trapped inside one’s own head.

Of course I met lots of people, but, the couple I was most drawn to was Bob and Tanya.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHis father died from Alzheimers and her brother is suffering now, with Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. I understand better than some, the need to find a cure. I don’t think for one minute that Alzheimers, MS, Parkinsons, Autism, and a myriad of other diseases that mysteriously affect the brain, are NOT related. To unlock the mystery of one is to shed light on the others with a domino effect.

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Often times Alzheimers is misunderstood, and thought to simply be a loss of memory. Please view the video below to see a more firsthand account of life alone, and trapped inside.

A bit of awareness, knowledge and understanding, puts us all in a position to be more compassionate.

COMMENTS: Who have you had in your circle stricken with Alzheimers and what was your experience like? What advice might you have for others about to give care to a loved one with this disease?

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MS: White Sangrias, Girlfriend’s and Great Conversation

How could something so outside of my comfort zone, bring me so much comfort?

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First, I drove 4 hours to Germantown, Maryland…BY MYSELF, to visit my BFF. It was just what the doctor ordered. She sent out a social media message and ten…yep TEN girlfriends (Soror’s) met us at Rosa Mexicano, a really nice Mexican Restaurant in the The National Harbor, Fort Washington, MD. I wouldn’t let her send the message early because too many times I’ve wanted to gather and then at the last minute, couldn’t make it. All the moon’s had to be aligned.

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We drank White Sangrias, ate dinner and talked for hours. How could something so outside of my comfort zone, be so comforting?

I’ve known these women for at EAST 30 years and some even longer! We were all “girls” together, and I am so proud that we’ve grown into such an amazing group of woman. They each caught me up on what’s been going on in their lives, jobs, kids, school, races they’ve run, races they plan to run, trips taken, trips planned, and changes they want to make in the world.

What I enjoyed most was, not talking about me, being sick! I filled them in on, what I plan to do in the future. It was a refreshing reminder of what good health looks like, and it looks like us! Okay, I did talk about MS a little. It was nice to get intelligent questions from friends who really want to understand, without the pity. All they seemed to see was the “me” they used to know. Sometimes, that’s enough.

How could something so outside of my comfort zone, bring me so much comfort?

COMMENTS: What have you done outside of your comfort zone this week?

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Cure for the big “C”! That would be constipation Dear!

This is not my sexiest post, but it may be one of the most important. I have found the cure for the big “C”! That would be constipation!

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Let me just get to the point. Honestly, I got this from my Uro-gynocologist, but since I’m posting it, I feel like I can take ALL of the credit. So what if she’s a doctor, if she wants to make a REAL difference…she should be a blogger.

In case you didn’t know: Infrequent passage of hard stool or no bowel movement for more than 1 day past your normal movement pattern may mean you are constipation.

Possible Causes:

  1. Lack of or too little exercise throughout the day. (I finally joined the gym again. Rode the stationary bike this morning for 40 minutes. SUCCESS! There’s even a really cool exercise bike that will move your legs, even if you can’t)
  2. Lack of or too little fluid intake. (Ugh! Going to get a glass of water now. This is easier said than done if you are also monitoring your bladder…gotta do it anyway)
  3. Not enough leafy greens, whole grains or fiber in your diet. (I’m a Vegan for goodness sake. If I eat any more grass I’ll be a cow)
  4. A side effect of pelvic muscle or pelvic floor problems in women. (Hubby thinks this means more sex :/ Silly man)
  5. And last but not least, MS can cause constipation for another whole set of neurological reasons. Check out my post from August 1013 AFTER you finish this one.

How do I prevent Constipation?

1. Increase your activity. Now THIS means more sex. (Gym 5 days out of 7)

2. Drink at least 8 glasses of non-caffeine drinks every day. (Ditching the caffeine REALLY helps with insomnia too. I thought a little bit wouldn’t hurt. Think again. Helps with menopausal night sweats as well. Night sweats…not sexy)

3. Increase fiber, fruits, and veggies. Unless you have a condition where you have been told not to eat this type of food.  (That condition must only exist on Mars)

4. Ask your doctor about taking a stool softener or laxative if you have not had a normal bowel movement for more than 1 day past your normal pattern. (Hmmmm, natural is always better for me. EVERY medicine has a side effect. I want my body to retain as much natural balance as possible.)

5. Tell your doctor or health care team if you are having problems with constipation. (Or read my blog for the following AWESOME recipe! You may even decide to share it with your Doc.)

FIBER CUBES Mix together the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup of applesauce
  • 1 cup of oat bran or unprocessed wheat bran (Gluten Free)
  • ¾ cup of prune juice

Begin with 1 to 2 tablespoons each evening mixed with 6 to 8 ounces of water or juice. This should help to soften and regulate your bowel movements within 2 weeks. If there is no change, slowly increase serving to 3 to 4 tablespoons.

You should plan on making this part of your daily routine for the rest of your life.

Store in refrigerator or your freezer. One to two tablespoons may be placed in a sectional ice cube tray and thawed as needed.

HAPPY TRAILS

Comments: Try it for 2 weeks and tell me how it works? What remedies have you found to help?

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Meet me outside my comfort zone: “At the Falls”

After my Photo shoot with Abby, I am feeling quite cocky, maybe a little too cocky. I announce that I am going to Bushkill Falls, PA, by myself. To be comfortable outside of one’s comfort zone, you’ve got to go there daily. Eventually, what’s uncomfortable becomes comfortable again. That’s what I tell myself.

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I’ve been there many times, hiked the whole thing with my camera and tripod, and taken beautiful shots. So, I know full well the challenge I am about to undertake.  There is no way I can do the hike. I won’t be able to do more than walk in and make it to the first lookout. It’s not far at all from the entrance and I’ll see the first fall from there. I’m sure it is there for old people to enjoy while their family hikes on. Genius! I’ll go THERE! I’ll take my real camera and carry my tripod over my shoulder. This could be a balance catastrophe. If it comes down to me, or my camera, I’m going down!

I make the hour drive high up into the Pocono Mountains. I arrive. Note to my local friends: the flashing light where you turn left is no longer there.

I prepare to get out. Two pound camera around my neck and five pound tripod over my shoulder, and off I go.

I am worried as hell. But I… “look so good”.

High in the Poconos, stream fed waters empty into the Main Fall which is a 100 foot drop, then travels though a 75 foot long gorge and empties into the Delaware River. It’s called “The Niagara of Pennsylvania”.

Gingerly, I make it to the first lookout which is my destination. SUCCESS! But, the shots I get there are lame. It’s just the top of the Main Fall. ANTI-CLIMATIC to say the least. Did I really just lug my camera and tripod here for this?? If I go home now, this will be a TOTAL waste of time.

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I had hiked the entire two mile trail and seen all SEVEN Falls, up close and personal. But…not today. I know my limits.

BAH HUM BUG! I’m going down! Which means going down more than 100 steps (I stop counting at 80) and walking additional trail to get to the bottom of the Main Fall and the top of the Gorge?

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Now THIS is beautiful, and there are six more falls over a two mile hike. Hmmm…maybe not.

The park closes for the season in November and the foliage will be AH-mazing. That does it, I’ll be back. I’ll make it to the second Fall and go home happy.

Push yourself. Go outside of your comfort zone. You’ll discover you can recover some of the old you, or if you’re lucky, you’ll discover something even better…a new you.

Comments: What are you doing outside of your comfort zone?

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“The Science of Happiness”: An experiment in gratitude.

Who is the person in your life, that you are most grateful for?

THIS is happiness!

THIS is happiness!
Father, Architect-Burt Pinnock and son-Staff Sargent Jason Griffith Eaves

I like, “Kid for President” but he is NOT who I’m trying to share today. If you get the kid, please click on the link below for “The Science of Happiness: An experiment in Gratitude”. I hope it works!

The Science of Happiness. An Experiment in Gratitude.

Who would you write your letter to, and what would it say?

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Meet me at the Photo-shoot: Going outside of your comfort zone.

 

To be comfortable outside of one’s comfort zone, you’ve got to go there daily. Eventually, what’s uncomfortable becomes comfortable again. That’s what I tell myself.

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Abby met us at the door. She was glowing, not because it was hot, and it was, but because she is a new mom giving birth in about 4 weeks. She’s one of my “Young Barista’s”. A group of young people who have worked in my favorite cafe’ over the past few years. They had taken very good care of me in my hours there, writing. They have also at one point or another, modeled for me, and I’ve told them all, “when you have your first baby, call me. I will do a photo-shoot for you.” So, I wasn’t surprised to answer my phone and hear Abby say, “Estizer, remember when you said…”

I’ve since learned to never tell anyone what I will do in the future. This could not have come at a worse time. I haven’t taken my “real camera” out in about 2 years, and was honestly just not strong enough to do it now. But…how could I tell her, no.

I mentioned this to a dear friend, Karen T., who has helped me before on photo-shoots.  She said, “you can do it with help though, right? I’ll be your “photo-go-fer”, for a day. I was overjoyed, this meant I could tell her, YES!

The day of the shoot came, and it was extremely hot. The heat was taking it’s toll on me but, my first concern was my pregnant Mom. Did she have water? Was she in the shade? Was she relaxed? While I was watching Abby, Karen was watching me. Do you have any water? Can you come into the shade? What else do you need?

I only had to “think”, I need the camera over here and Abby over there; Karen and “Dad”were on it. In this heat, it was tough for me to think everything through. The technical stuff, F-stops and shutter speeds, filters and sunlight. Ultimately, I had to let the thinking go.The technical stuff was overwhelming. I took a deep breath, relaxed, and let my inner photographer go free. I kept an eye on my watch because I was mindful of my pregnant mom. I wanted to finish and be out the door in under two hours. 1 hour and 45 minutes…SUCCESS!

Karen and I went to dinner. I was so exhausted that I cried in the parking, lot out of sheer gratitude and overwhelming fatigue.

I can push myself through the eye of a needle, but, the cost can be quite high. In this case, so was the pay off.

Push yourself. Go outside of your comfort zone. You’ll discover you can recover some of the old you, or if you’re lucky, you’ll discover something even better…a new you.

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What takes you outside of your Comfort Zone? What things have you changed to make that happen?

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