Friday, November 28, 2008

Just say NO to the flu shot!

Of course, me, running gal, would not endorse something like the flu shot. First one has to ask themselves, like my good daddy does, when was the last time I even got the flu??? Truly, it's around every year, but most of us have strong enough immune systems to avoid it. If by chance, you get it, then it's a good cleanse to the body - rest, high temps, etc. all do a good job of cleansing.

The real way to avoid getting sick is to take good care of yourself by eating whole foods, eating as organically and clean as you can, drinking lots of water, eating a lot of veggies and fruit, exercising, and getting enough sunshine. We have never gotten this shot and in the many years that this vaccine has been available, we have also never gotten the flu.

Enormous amounts of marketing money goes into this vaccine each year because if they can convince millions of people that this is something they need, "they" get millions and millions of our money.

Do You Know What the Risks of this vaccine are?

There is emerging evidence that flu shots cause Alzheimer’s disease, most likely as a result of combining mercury with aluminum and formaldehyde. Mercury in vaccines has also been shown to be a contributing factor in autism.

Other serious, and potentially deadly, adverse reactions to the flu vaccine include joint inflammation and arthritis, anaphylactic shock (and other life-threatening allergic reactions), and Guillain-Barré syndrome, a paralytic autoimmune disease.

And, in the case of Tamiflu, thousands of cases of abnormal behavior, neuropsychiatric problems like convulsions, delirium or delusions, and brain infections, have been reported.
(Tamiflu is approved for treatment of uncomplicated influenza A and B in children 1 year of age or older. It is also approved for prevention of influenza in people 13 years or older.)
More Scientific Research Backing Up Recommendation to Avoid Flu Vaccines Like the Plague
For those of you who are still unconvinced, there’s plenty of scientific evidence available to back up the recommendation to avoid flu vaccines – if not for their potentially serious or deadly side effects, then for the simple reason that they don’t work, and don’t offer any real benefit to offset their potential health risks.

A sampling of these studies include:

  • A recent study published in the October 2008 issue of the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine found that vaccinating young children against the flu had no impact on flu-related hospitalizations or doctor visits during two recent flu seasons. The researchers concluded that "significant influenza vaccine effectiveness could not be demonstrated for any season, age, or setting" examined.
  • A study published in the Lancet just two months ago found that influenza vaccination was NOT associated with a reduced risk of pneumonia in older people. Vaccination coverage among the elderly increased from 15 percent in 1980 to 65 percent now, yet there has been no decrease in deaths from influenza or pneumonia.
  • That Lancet study supports a similar study done five years ago, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, which concluded that vaccination against pneumonia does not reduce your risk of contracting the disease.
  • Research published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine last month also confirms that there has been no decrease in deaths from influenza and pneumonia, despite the fact that vaccination coverage among the elderly has increased from 15 percent in 1980 to 65 percent now.
  • Last year, researchers with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the National Institutes of Health published this conclusion in the Lancet Infectious Diseases: “We conclude that frailty selection bias and use of non-specific endpoints such as all-cause mortality have led cohort studies to greatly exaggerate vaccine benefits.”
  • A large-scale, systematic review of 51 studies, published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in 2006, found no evidence that the flu vaccine is any more effective than a placebo in children. The studies involved 260,000 children, age 6 to 23 months.

New Theory May Explain the True Nature of the Flu, and Why Vaccines Don’t Work

I take between 2,000 and 4,000 mg of Vitamin D each day in a supplement.

  • One credible hypothesis that explains the seasonal nature of flu is that influenza is a vitamin D deficiency disease.
  • Vitamin D, “the sunshine vitamin,” may very well be one of the most beneficial vitamins there is for disease prevention. Unfortunately it’s also one of the vitamins that a vast majority of people across the world are deficient in due to lack of regular exposure to sunshine.
  • This hypothesis was presented by Dr. John Cannell and colleagues in the journal Epidemiology and Infection in 2006, and again, more recently, in the Virology Journal.
  • This explanation actually makes perfect sense.
  • The vitamin D formed when your skin is exposed to sunlight regulates the expression of more than 2,000 genes throughout your body, including ones that influence your immune system to attack and destroy bacteria and viruses. Hence, being overwhelmed by the “flu bug” could signal that your vitamin D levels are too low, allowing the flu virus to overtake your immune system.

For most people, the flu shot does not prevent illness, but actually does the polar opposite--it weakens your immune system and makes you more predisposed to the illness.

This is a quick 1 minute phone call to a rep from a main distributor of the flu vaccine. See what she has to say about the preservatives, mercury, and other things in this shot and whether or not she gets the shot:

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Martha Stewart is not coming to our Thanksgiving

Martha Stewart will not be dining with us this Thanksgiving. I'm telling you in advance, so don't act surprised. Since Ms. Stewart won't be coming, I've made a few small changes
Our sidewalk will not be lined with homemade, paper bag luminaries.After a trial run, it was decided that no matter how cleverly done, rows of flaming lunch sacks do not have the desired welcoming effect.

Once inside, our guests will note that the entry hall is not decorated with the swags of Indian corn and fall foliage I had planned to make.Instead... I've gotten the kids involved in the decorating by having them track in colorful autumn leaves from the front yard. The mud was their idea.

The dining table will not be covered with expensive linens, fancy china orcrystal goblets. If possible, we will use dishes that match and everyone will get a fork. Since this IS Thanksgiving, we will refrain from using the plastic Peter Rabbit plate and the Santa napkins from lastChristmas.

Our centerpiece will not be the tower of fresh fruit and flowers that was promised. Instead, we will be displaying a hedgehog-like decoration hand-crafted from the finest construction paper.

The artist assures me it is a turkey

We will be dining fashionably late. The children will entertain you while you wait. I'm sure they will be happy to share every choice comment I have made regardingThanksgiving, pilgrims and the turkey hotline. Please remember that most of these comments were made at 5:00 a.m., upon discovering that the turkey was still hard enough to cut diamonds. As accompaniment to the children's recital, I will play a recording oftribal drumming. If the children should mention that I don't own a recordingof tribal drumming, or that tribal drumming sounds suspiciously like afrozen turkey in a clothes dryer, ignore them. They are lying.

We toyed with the idea of ringing a dainty silver bell to announce the start of our feast. In the end, we chose to keep our traditional method. We've also decided against a formal seating arrangement. When the smoke alarm sounds, please gather around the table and sit where you like.In the spirit of harmony, we will ask the children to sit at a separate table. In a separate room. Next door.

Now, I know you have all seen pictures of one person carving a turkey in front of a crowd of appreciative onlookers. This will not be happening at our dinner. For safety reasons, the turkey will be carved in a private ceremony. I stress "private," meaning: Do not, under any circumstances, enter the kitchen to laugh at me. Do not send small, unsuspecting children to check on my progress. I have an electric knife. The turkey is unarmed. It stands to reason that I will eventually win. When I do, we will eat.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind my young diners that the "passing the rolls" is not a football play. Nor is it a request to bean your sister in the head with warm tasty bread. . Before I forget, there is one last change. Instead of offering a choice between 12 different scrumptious desserts, we will be serving the traditional pumpkin pie, garnished with whipped cream and small fingerprints. You will still have a choice; take it or leave it.

Martha Stewart will not be dining with us this Thanksgiving. She probably won't come next year either. I am thankful

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sacrifices, oh the sacrifices

I laid myself on the sacrificial alter of experimenting with my body all for the sake of you, my faithful blog readers. As is my usual way, today I tried something new, and jumped in with both feet. No testing the waters with a few toes here. No sir. Both feet, no bars held. Here we go.

As I sat on the couch this afternoon, cuddling our new Human Society Pooch and doing some afternoon homeschooling with my princess sprout, I remember thinking, "this is one of those afternoons I hope to never forget. This, THIS is what it's all about, right here, right now...sounding out sounds while we learn to read, learning geometric shapes, learning about being a good citizen, and coloring scenes remembered from this last 4th of July."

But as I sat there, I couldn't continue to ignore the apparent unsettling development brewing in my stomach. I don't tend to ever get stomach issues, so I figured it would pass...but it didn't. It kept brewing, gurgling, and most disturbing, Growing.

I finally had to look my sweet girl in the eyes and pull out of our special alone time. I was barely able to catch my breath at this point as it hurt so intensely. She came into my room and checked on me after I had endured excruciating pain for 45 min. I laid in bed while she held my hand and decided to lay hands on my stomach and pray. Her prayers were so confident, "Mommy, I am going to pray, and God will fix you."

Truth is, by the time she was done with her 2nd prayer, it did start to improve.

So what happened? Oh, I simply made my own version of a recommended drink I posted a few posts ago. I grew my broccoli sprouts, bought my frozen berry mix, and pulled out my Vita-Mix for what I thought would be a tasty healthy little smoothie. Princess sprout and I threw the berries in, rice milk, agave nectar, and a banana and then I decided, oh, if 1/4 cup of broccoli sprouts will work, then 3 cups will be even better!

Ever eat too much raw broccoli? Yeah, no fun....try concentrated broccoli, in the form of sprouts, and you'll be eating something like, oh, I don't know, 50 pounds of raw broccoli...the lovely chemical explosions inside made me wonder if my time had come. I was blowing up like a fast growing helium balloon.

And all this, jumpin in at top speed as I sacrificed my body for the good of the cause, brings me to my new conclusion on this yummy smoothie idea:

either A. don't make this smoothie ever or B. maybe try to not use 3 cups of these potent sprouts, but oh, maybe a teaspoon instead...and increase it as you can.

Take it from me! Go slow with the 'ole broccoli sprouts, but know this, I will not be beaten down by the Broccoli sprout monster. I will prevail! I'll just go slower next time. Broccoli sprouts are worth it.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Another yummy dessert - Almond Mousse with berry topping

My kiddos loved this.

First I took 2 cups of raw almonds and soaked it overnight. THis allows it to sprout a bit and amazingly helps to release enzymes to make it much easier to digest.

Then I dehydrated them at low temps for a day...oven at 150 degrees or use a dehydrator like I did.

You then put them in a food processor and grind them up. To this crumbly mix, add:
  • 2 teaspoons of gelatin (not jello!! Gelatin!) dissolved in 1/2 c warm water
  • 1/4 Cup of dehydrated cane juice (not white sugar!! You can get this for a good price at Costco) or use raw honey
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

Mix that together until smooth and fluffy.

Fold whipped cream into almond mixture and chill well. Whipped cream is made by:

  • Beat 2 C of qualtiy heavey cream, preferably raw, but definitely NOT ultrapasteurized, in a bowl with a whisk or an electric beater. When cream makes soft folds, beat in:
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • pinch of stevia powder

Meanwhile, puree 10 oz of a package of frozen berries with 1/2 C of water and 1/4 of maple syrup (make sure it doesn't contain corn syrup, that it's pure maple syrup). Chill.

To serve, spoon almond mixture into serving dishes and top with a generous spoonful of pureed berries.

Super yummy - full of antioxidants and calcium to name a few benefits.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Gourmet fully raw treat

It is so hard to limit the amount of sugar that we eat during this time of year. And it takes it's toll for sure - people all around us are sick, sick, sick and tired. StudHusband claims it's the worst year yet at his high school where students in his class are constantly battling something, sneezing directly on him as they battle a fever amidst their school day. He did a pole, not one student in his classes (over 160 of them) have not had at least one bought of something so far this year, and most have had multiple sicknesses. In the 10 years we have been teaching, we have seen a sharp decline in the health of students. More kids miss more school each year than the year before. They eat things like 36 oz sugar ladened coffees and a bag of oreos for breakfast, or 2 liters of Mountain Dew and a box of Mike n Ikes candies and call that a breakfast. How could their systems have a chance? Well, they don't.

It wasn't like that when I was in school. I don't remember hardly ever getting sick, and I know I rarely missed school. But then again, we weren't constantly drinking coffee, pop, and eating McDonalds and bags of Oreos for lunch either. It wasn't even on our campus. We had real food for hot lunches with milk and juice.

So, here's a fun Raw brownie to make. Why Raw? Well, the theory is that Raw food, since it's not cooked, has not lost it's enzymes through high heat, making it healthier. I am not so sure about all of that, but I do contend that we all eat way too much cooked food, and not enough, non-processed, raw food like nuts/seeds, fruits and veggies.

A fun gourmet way to satisfy the sweet tooth and avoid the irrefutable immune system KILLER- Sugar! I often like to make a raw-dessert for family gatherings - family likes it and it gives my kids a healthy option that they deem a yummy treat. They think they've gotten dessert, but I know that all the ingredients in it are sure to strengthen their bodies, and not deplete it. It helps us avoid the holiday sicknesses which leaves us free to just enjoy it in full health and vigor.

Chocolate Frosted Brownies
3 cups raw walnuts, soaked and dehydrated
1 3/4 cups dried, unsweetened & shredded coconut
3/4 cup dark (or amber) Raw agave nectar (yummy sweetener, but you could use raw honey)
1 tablespoon Raw (virgin) coconut oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon coconut extract (I am going to skip this - to save money)
pinch Himalayan crystal salt (or any good sea salt you might have)

Take 1 cup of the walnuts and chop them. Set them in a large bowl. Add the coconut to the chopped nuts and toss briefly to mix. Take the remaining 2 cups of walnuts and grind them in a food processor, fitted with the "S" blade, until coarsely ground. Add the agave, coconut oil, vanilla and coconut extracts, and salt to the food processor and process until creamy. Transfer the mixture from the food processor to the large bowl with chopped nuts and coconut. Stir together by hand. Set aside while you make the brownies.

1/4 cup raw oats
2 1/4 cups Raw pecans, soaked and dehydrated
2/3 cup raw cacao powder
q3 tablespoons Raw (virgin) coconut oil
dash Himalayan crystal salt
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon coconut extract (again, skipable if you want to keep it cheaper)
13 dates, pitted
1/4 cup raisins

Grind the oats to a powder with a coffee grinder or blender. Transfer them to your food processor, fitted with the "S" blade. Add the pecans and process until coarsely ground. Add the chocolate powder, coconut oil, salt, vanilla and coconut extracts. Process until well incorporated. Add the dates and raisins and process until the mixture begins to stick together when pressed between your fingers. Press into an 8x8 glass-baking dish. Top the brownies with the frosting.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

THe Choice: Bitter or Better?

I love seniors! It's my favorite crowd to hang out with. I figure out ways to wriggle into their lives - cleaning their house, weeding their yard, just coming over to have tea...whatever I can do to get to bask in their years of Wisdom.

Doesn't this face say it all? Years of ups and downs, years of learning, wisdom gained. I could sit at his feet for hours and just listen. This is Smokey. One of the dearest men to StudHusband. Worked with literally thousand of young men in a Californian boys camp that targets tougher inner city LA boys and challenges them to make the right choices. StudHusband worked at this camp for 10 years. Smokey was a Living Legend. He went home to meet His God this last October.

Now, some older folk are just plain grumpy. But many seem to me to be as kind and full of Grace as Jesus Himself. Seriously. Years of seeking God Has made them closer to His likeness than any of us young-ins could be.

So, what makes for this major gap between grumpy old men and gentle-spirited old men?

In talking with these folks I have learned that grumpy does not equate with the hardest life and sweet does not mean life was a bed of roses. In fact, some of the grumpiest had much less to complain about then some of the sweetest.

Through saints that have passed on like my grandma Ruth or Smokey, I have learned this most profound truth:

Life is hard. But every time there is a challenging season, we have 2 choices. We can choose to be Bitter or we can choose to be Better. To allow our hard circumstances to grow us closer to God and make us better as we Hold HIS hand in these moments is what is ultimately going to shape us into men and women of grace. Every one of these elderly folk endured hard times, it was how they chose to endure them as each obstacle presented itself that all added up to either a gentle spirit or an ornery spirit.

You can tell from Smokey's face what he always chose when hard times surrounded him: He chose the High Road to a Grace filled Life.

Monday, November 17, 2008

From Ashes to Beauty

God can truly turn bad situations into good - and have a purpose in it all. It's usually rare that I get to see a glimpse of the why, but when I do, it's amazing. Here is such a moment.

Somehow, this puppy of ours grew up in what seems to have been a Puppy Mill - living her entire 7 months in a cage with little human contact. And then, these abusive people dumped her and her sister and brother out on the streets. I can't imagine.

But this horrid act was the beginning of a Divine Encounter that God was setting up.

Flash forward to the sidelines of a 2nd grade soccer game. In our excitement of getting to get our Humane Society Beauty, we were overheard talking by one of our fellow teammate's dad of our Pooch to Be and her not-yet adopted black lab sister. After the game, we were surprised to see this father and his son at the Humane Society. We had never met the dad, but knew the son so it instantly caused us to start talking.

They ended up adopting the sister. Bad start.
Happy ending.

We all then went off to the end-of-the-year soccer party and due to the brief meeting at the Humane Society, found each other in the crowd and began talking.

As it turns out, this dad was needing to talk. He was nearly in tears as he shared how this dog was going to be a part of his healing as he was just served divorce papers while sitting at his mom's bedside in her last days.

It instantly began an hour long discussion where I listened and shared what I hoped were encouraging words while the soccer party happened around us. We talked about God and His Healing Hand on broken hearts.

As all this unfolded, I realized that if it weren't for that senseless act 2 weeks earlier of a dog breeder dumping 3 puppies, StudHusband and I would have merrily attended the Soccer Party and been oblivious to this hurting man.

And now we have our boys and our dogs to get together for play dates to hopefully continue an encouraging relationship for this family that is currently being torn apart.

God is good.

All the time.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

A blog pause to say Happy birthday Dad!

funniest b-day card I have read in a long time came from our Wildman Sprout:

Dear Grandpa,
Happy birthday to you. You are 68 and you were 67 two days ago. And because you are older, you can kick harder, and because you can kick harder, you and I can have more fun together.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Overcoming Heartburn or acid reflux

Oh the exciting topics on this blog just never stop.

Like I have said many times, we have learned so much and want to share so that others can benefit too. Our oldest sprout has had reflux issues since he was a baby. By 3, his voice was totally hoarse from the acid burning his vocal cords.

Docs suggested what all good docs suggest - drugs. Prevacid to be exact. And they said he'd be fine to be on this for the rest of his life.


The insert that comes with the drug that only a few nutballs like me ever even read said they'd only tested it on 66 kids for 6 weeks...and even they had quite a few reactions, from mild to severe.

But what about the thing that I come back to over and over again: is this counter to the bodily systems that God brilliantly put into action? Like the fact that we NEED our acid in our stomach to assimilate things like our vitamin Bs? Without the acid, our bodies don't absorb much vitamin B at all? And vitamin B is quite necessary - so is it at all possible that Prevacid, that neutralizes the stomach acid, would not cause any effects at all on a person who took it from the age of 3????

How's the liver gonna like to deal with a strong drug like this for all these years?

And on and on.

So I started researching and determined that many food sensitivities can trigger acid reflux. So, first thing we did was eliminate dairy...and greatly reduce wheat.

As well, we learned of fascinating techniques done by physical therapists that know how to do it that literally work on the smooth tissue of the stomach and other surrounding muscles to help reduce and eliminate reflux.

Our sprout probably had a hiatus hernia which means that the stomach was pooching up through the hiatus hole created from the esophagus going through the diaphragm to the stomach. So, in effect, the PT literally pulled the stomach back into place, like pulling a cork out of wine bottle.

We also had our pastor pray over little sprout because the docs were threatening surgery.

As well, we had little sprout take Deglyccerized Licorice (DGL) 20 min before any meal, probiotics, and sometimes aloe-vera. DGL is an incredible supplement for stomach ailments such as ulcers and reflux. Here's some of what it does:
· Licorice flavonoids help inhibit acid secretion*
· Increases blood flow to gastric mucosal cells*
· Promotes secretion of the protective mucosa*
· Promotes growth and activity of mucosal cells*

The combo has literally cured him. His voice is slowly healing and is less hoarse all the time, he does not complain of stomach aches and tingly juice, and he is NOT on Prevacid.

No dairy and an extremely low amount of wheat is a critical component to this. 80% of Americans have a varying degree of Wheat intolerance. It's what keeps the over the counter meds specific to digestion issues (i.e. constipation, heartburn, gas, etc.) flying off the shelf. A simple reduction to elimination of wheat and often dairy too can solve a ton of health issues - from psoriasis to ear infections, to catching a lot of colds, to even heartburn and acid reflux issues. I even notice a reduction in headaches since I nearly eliminated wheat from my life.

What has your experience been?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Are you down? Try this!

I just ran across a 20 page typed paper I wrote my senior year in honors Anatomy and Physiology in high school - it talked about the power of positive thinking on healing the body. This did not exclude the power of God to do His miraculous healing but I showed in this paper, tons of research that showed how physiologically the body produced more Killer T cells, for instance, to attack cancer tumors when people's attitudes were positive, and when they simply, laughed more. Many other physiological and biochemical changes occur during times of grief or times of laughing or times of stress. It's truly amazing. The immune system is intricately connected to our emotions. No doubt about that.

For almost 2 years I was in an Epstein Barr, Chronic Fatigue induced slump. I felt crummy so my face reflected that - it stopped smiling, which in turn, made me feel crummier. I am truly convinced this negative cycle was happening. I'd wake up almost worried each morning about how bad I was probably going to feel that day, vs waking up positive about a new day. My face was serious.

Our evening ritual during that bad year was to watch the most amazing BBC productions of James Herriot. THese are the most delightful shows based on his true tales of being a country vet in the 20s and 30s in the Dales of England. On one show, it opened with his wife waking up and turning around in bed to smile at her husband and say, "Good morning, darling.".

GEEZ!! Good morning darling was so far from what my first words of the day were that it seriously intrigued me to start an experiment. What if I started my day so cheerful? What if I simply started each morning believing that it was going to be a great day, smiled, and said something that seemed so ridiculous coming out of my mouth," Good morning, darling!"???

I tried it. It was quite forced. But I willed my face into smiling before thinking about how I felt (which was crummy).

And you know what?? It worked! It seriously did. Day after day, week after week, month after month, I simply started to do one simple thing that I had neglected for a long time: I smiled. It's not going to turn me into a morning person, but, it is setting the stage for a happier day.

Most of us have assumed that the face is a billboard that tells the world what our emotions are, that emotions start somewhere internal and get expressed externally. That is true, but researchers Paul Eckman and John Friesen were shocked to learn that it also goes the other way. They'd do extensive research experiments forcing certain expressions, such as anger or happiness, and track the autonomic nervous system. They'd generate an anger expression and note that heartbeat went up 10 to 12 beats and hands got hot. (Blink, Michael Gladwell).

Emotion can start on the face. I have found it is possible to reduce the stress of a situation by not so intently focusing on it all day (resulting in a long scowl) but to engage in this simple experiment: smile!! Science proves that physiologically the body changes when we smile, laugh, and think positively. So, why not give it a shot?

I try this alot now - when I am getting down, I consciously work on smiling more that day, and by the end, I am not wallowing in a pit but instead dancing on the grass. When I succomb to the downer feelings creeping in and let myself be serious in gaze, at the end of the day, I feel exactly how my face triggered my body to feel - down.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My new highly functional, most reliable, Cleaner swifter Picker-upper

My floors have never looked so clean!!
Align Left

Cascade II

aka Cassey, Cass, Cassidy

A precious find at the Humane Society - gentle, sweet, mellow, and all puppy. She hardly ever barks, never jumps up on people, and is most content to simply be our shadow.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Summer all Winter Long!

Putting up summer fruit is fun and the easiest way to keep healthy and local organic options available all winter long:

Pictured - organic apple chips (with my little sprout helper!), organic peach, nectarine, and pear leathers, organic peach, nectarine, and pear chips. Our sprouts love these treats.

Just a few of the frozen peaches and nectarines in our freezer.

140 pounds of fruit!
Fruit leather recipe:
Blend up the fruit of your choice...mix and match for fun. Use peaches, nectarines, strawberries, any berry, plums, grapes, bananas.....

Add honey if you want, but not necessary.

Spread on the Teflex sheets in your dehydrater. Dehydrate at 110 degrees or less to maintain the raw enzymes

Eat and be merry!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

For my fellow Oregonians

A man decided to write a book about famous churches around the world so he bought a plane ticket and took a trip to
Orlando, thinking that he would start by working his way across the USA from South to North. On his first day he was inside a church taking photographs when he noticed a golden telephone mounted on the wall with a sign that read, "$10,000 per call."

The man, being intrigued, asked a priest who was strolling by, what the telephone was used for. The priest replied that it was a direct line to heaven and that for $10,000. you could talk to God. The man thanked the priest and went along his way.

Next stop was in Atlanta. There, at a very large cathedral, he saw the same golden telephone with the same sign under it. He wondered if this was the same kind of telephone he saw in Orlando and he asked a nearby nun what its purpose was. She told him that it was a direct line to heaven and that for $10,000 he could talk to God. "O.K, thank you," said the man.

He then traveled to Indianapolis, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Boston, and New York. In every church he saw the same golden telephone with the same "$10,000 per call" sign under it.

The man upon leaving New York decided to travel out west to see if western states had the same telephone service. He arrived in Oregon, and again, in the first church he entered, there was the same golden telephone, but this time the sign under it read, "$.40 per call." The man was surprised so he asked the priest about the sign. "Father, I've traveled all over America and I've seen this same golden telephone in many churches. I'm told that it is a direct line to Heaven, but in the East and South the price was $10,000 per call. Why is it so cheap here?"

The priest smiled and answered, "You're in Oregon now, son. It's a local call."

Monday, November 3, 2008

Not-running girl

I have to confess...I have been injured. My first injury since 1991 and it's downright depressing. I did just what I was told to do and knew to do, I went to the gym and did my "run" on an eliptical machine. Indoors is just not where it's at. I stared out the window at the beautiful orange leafed-trees and dreamed of breathing in the fresh outdoor air as I remained in the sterile indoor world of the gym.

Thankfully, the front desk girl is also a runner and completely agreed that nothing gives the satisfaction of a good, hard run.

Anyway, I am not exactly sure why or how I am injured or even what it is at this point - I know that I did an unthinkable - I didn't get new shoes on time (like 500 miles too late, you know, save some pennies) and I crashed pretty good on my new Specialized Stumpjumper Expert mountain bike - putting a nice ding across the word "Expert". I suspect a strained calf muscle from either shin splints or the crash pulling my ankle and straining the leg muscles.

Tonight as I whined to StudHusband that when running gets taken from me I will just completely shut down ( I was laughing at myself as I said this...but I feel desperate at this moment!)...he calmly said to me, "Oh no you won't. You'll find something else to do."

To that I quipped, "but I'd have to shut my blog down!!"

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Book Review: blink by Malcolm Gladwell

blink by Malcolm Gladwell

ISBN: 0-316-17232-4

General Runninggal rating: 3 1/2 stars (on 5 star scale)

I read tons. I think I have read at least 20 books since June 1st. I thought it would be fun to review some of them.

blink is a powerful look at the thoughts we make in an instant - a blink of an eye - and how learning to refine our skills at flash thinking could ultimately make us better decision makers.

He explores many brilliant decisions made in these instant moments and then some that tragically went wrong to help uncover how our brain is functioning in those split seconds of rapid cognition. His investigations lead us all to reevaluate our prejudices, even ones that we swear don't exist, but maybe, if we are honest, are there...especially in those first split seconds - the Blink of a moment.

We all do it. We ascertain a lot about a person the first time we meet, often within the first 2 seconds, and he explores how accurate or not this first impression may be.

He explores through this journey what makes a marriage work or not work, what makes a Dr less likely to get sued, skills to acquire to be faster thinking to be a better fireman, politician, or teacher and the roots of prejudism and working them out of your unconscious mind.

blink redefines great decision making as not necessarily done by processing the most information or spending the most time deliberatin, but instead it's done by perfecting the art of "thin slicing" a situation. This requires learning how to filter the very few factors that matter from an overwhelming number of variables.

Gladwell is a staff writer for The New Yorker and draws un cutting-edge neuroscience and psychology to help us all better understand humanity.

If this description scares you off, I must assert here that it's an easy read, very entertaining, and often satirically funny.

Malcolm's Author Bio Pic

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