Celebrating Good


Here’s a video that’ll make you smile. It’s a tribute to Art Linkletter for his birthday in 1995. Bill Cosby is the host.

I never saw the show—I was a kid. I still waver on the idea of asking a child questions, and having a huge audience laugh at their answer. Not stellar for building confidence or compassion. But, this video has helped me change my mind a bit, be more open to the idea of this show. The end to this video wowed Art Linkletter, and me, too! What a great way to have honored this man. Obviously, these people felt no harm done for their past experience on the show.

The human spirit loves to celebrate good. Do you remember this show? Did you like watching the T.V. show?

Is fresh better than flash frozen vegetables?


5 servings

Some people think fresh produce is the only way to get healthy produce. Not true. Sometimes, frozen or canned vegetables hold just as much—or more nutrients than fresh. They can also be lower is cost and easier to prepare. When I was going through chemo, my idea of preparing a meal was opening a can of white or black beans, a can of tomatoes, a can of corn, and adding pre-chopped celery and onion (thank you friends and family), and maybe spices like cumin or basil. When I was real low on energy, I’d ask someone else to open the cans. They loved this simple request! “Is that all you want me to do?” And depending on my energy level, my response was either, “Yes.” or “I’ll starve if you don’t.”

Vegetables retain their nutrients by how they’re processed or prepared. With flash freezing, vegetables hold their nutrients because soon after picking them, they’re boiled, then moved to ice water and drained before being frozen. Fruits are washed, slices and frozen. Canning uses heat treatment to destroy microorganisms that cause spoilage.

Both flash freezing and canning are done within 24 hours of produce being picked. This is known as “minimal processing.” Foods that are highly processed, including fruits and vegetables prepared with a lot of salt, sugar, or fat are known as “highly processed” foods. Examples are vegetables with cheese sauce, or canned fruit pie filling. If you can, add your own cheese to vegetables, and make your own pie filling. Look for frozen fruit without syrup and canned fruit packed in water or its own juice. Buy no-salt added versions of canned vegetables, or drain out the liquid from the regular kind, and rise a few times. Store brand canned or frozen items are often lower in price and same quality as name-brand.

However you get ‘em – Get ‘em! Five servings a day of fruits and vegetables will help keep you healthy and lower the risk of cancer.

Pick a number and save


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image credit: Google

Let’s say at the end of the month you have an extra $267 after expenses and your regular saving. If you spend it all, you may wish you didn’t after the fact. If you save it all, you may feel saving is punishment, and that you never get to have any fun. If you don’t have a regular savings plan, this could get you used to the idea, and hopefully edge you closer to making it part of your life. This is a start, but should not replace the idea of regular savings.

Every paycheck, pick a round number and put that into savings. Let’s say you decide to put $200 of the $267 as additional savings this month. The $67 is to spend any way you decide. Next month, you may have $302 left over. You may decide to save $100, and spend the left over $202. Remember, the $100 is in addition to your regular savings—it’s “extra” so don’t beat yourself up for having fun with the rest.

I have several savings accounts. One for a car, one for travel, etc. When I have “extra” money, I may chose one of these accounts, or my financial freedom account—which eventually ends up in an IRA as the amount grows.

The key is to save first, spend second.

Yoga in School


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Image credit: Good Search

Yoga. It’s common now days, right? I mean, there aren’t many jokes anymore about it—getting blissed-out while connecting thumb and middle finger, saying “Om” or “Namaste” or bending bodies into pretzel shapes. There may not be jokes about it, but there are some who fear yoga—even in Southern California.

My mouth dropped when I heard the news for the first time. Not only in Southern California, but in a town next to mine, and at the same school district where I’ve taught some continuing adult education classes and workshops, and been a part-time teacher’s aide for special education in the middle school. The yoga classes are thirty minutes, twice a week.

Parents sued the district for having yoga classes? Wow. Why did they sue? Because the parents felt Ashtanga yoga infringed on their religious beliefs. “If you research yoga and Hinduism, most people would say Hinduism is yoga and yoga is Hinduism,” Dean Broyles, an attorney representing the family, told ABC News. “It’s a situation where the state is endorsing religious beliefs and practices, which is forbidden under California and federal law.” He goes on to say that the poses and positions are forms of worship and prayers to Hindu deities.

The school Superintendent, Timothy Baird, said the yoga classes are a “typical P.E. class” that have been a successful and positive component to the district’s health and wellness program without any religious implications. . . . Yoga is a physical activity that’s completely mainstream,” Baird told ABC News. “It’s done in universities and churches around the world. I understand it has a cultural heritage coming from India, and there are people that use yoga in their religious practices … We are creating lesson plans in kid-friendly language that is really redesigning the program. We are not using cultural references. We are not using Sanskrit. We’ve changed the names to gorilla pose, and mountain pose.”

The ruling came in last week, and The judge said that the opponents of the yoga class were relying on information culled from the Internet and other unreliable sources. The judge in this case said the school district stripped classes of all cultural references including the Sanskrit language. He noted that the lotus position was renamed the “crisscross applesauce” pose.

Related Article

abc news. Yoga lawsuit

Arizona Hotshots Baptism of Fire


The Yarnell  fire is 100% contained now*. The nineteen firemen who recently lost their lives in the Yarnell, AZ have been in my thoughts. I’m not a news junkie. In the world of 24/7 news coverage—where we hear the same reports in various sensationalized ways, I manage to hear sound bites, and follow up if I choose to learn more. This story shocked me, as it has shocked so many others.

Some twenty plus years ago, my brother (now retired) was a hotshot wildland fireman in California. Like most hotshots, he loved his job. He continued to promote in job title, but his favorite days where as a hotshot. Like many hotshot crews, his crew was flown all over the US and sometimes other countries.

Hotshots are recognized as an elite crew of firefighters mostly male, and extremely physically fit. While they are young, they have their heads on straight. Not only their lives, but their buddies’ lives depend on it. They basically live with their coworkers for half the year.

During breaks between fires, I remember my brother bringing home some new hotshot friends he’d met while jointly fighting a raging forest fire somewhere. It was after a fire in Idaho I’d learned about “shake and bake.” It looks like a “moon blanket”, a thin foil sleeping bag that is only used as an absolute last resort. The firemen shake it out—then bake it out while they wait for the fire to pass over them. As the fireman in the video say, “Everyone sees God when they’re in a shake and bake tent.” If the wind shifts, it can flip these tents open and the firefighter will burn to death.

For me, it is unfathomable that nineteen hotshots died on the same day in the same location. The only way I can make sense of it is to believe the wind shifted something fierce. I bless the families and the Prescott community, as well as the comradeship of hotshots worldwide. I believe these nineteen souls move on the wings of love.

If you pray, please do for this community feeling the loss. Lift them up with your thoughts. Hold them in the Light of healing consciousness. Trust that they will find peace in their own way with this fire’s legacy.

Knowing that Native American roots are deep in Arizona, I believe these individuals were escorted into their transition by Native American ancestors. The earth is sacred, and these individuals were caretakers of the earth, releasing their life face down to the earth. Hearing only the wind and fire. Now, they beat the drums their families hear as heartbeats of newly born children.

*P.S. Four days ago I heard the fire was 90 percent contained, and today people were allowed to return home. But I haven’t heard an update on the fire. If it isn’t fully contained, sorry for misinformation. Thanks to all who’ve worked  at fire containment, and saving lives.

Fill your plate!


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Photo Credit: Claudia Mulcahy

Are you tired of offering your holiday guests healthy choices, only to have a platter full of veggies to put away after the party? This Fourth of July, offer a veggie platter as a feast for the eyes. Skip the plate with segments that separate the vegetables. Offer a serving spoon or fork so if someone hates mushrooms, they can push them off to the side and get to the carrots. (Or, they may say, “honey, want my mushroom?” and it will get eaten, and not tossed out.)

By using a serving fork or spoon, you’re helping everyone’s immune system, especially those in, or recently out of cancer treatment. If you can, have serving utensils for everything, or give someone with a low immune system first dibs on things like peanuts, pretzels — things that others will touch with their hands.

Back to the veggie platter: Use a variety of color, shapes and textures. If you’re offering the vegetables raw, have a variety of dip tastes on the side. Go beyond ranch or hummus. Make some spicy kidney bean dip (the reddish color is a change from the same  ol’ white or brown dips), or make the oh so simple Greek tzatziki.

To make spicy bean dip:

Drat! I can’t find the recipe I grew up with, and don’t like the ones I see online. This is sort of close, try it out, get creative, or find one you like better: Red kidney beans (wash and drain them), chop an onion, mayonnaise or plain yogurt, dry mustard, worcestershire sauce, horseradish, salt, pepper. Blend in a blender. (The only part I remember is the kidney beans, worcestershire, and the blender.) Sorry.

To make tzatziki dip: Greek yogurt, cut fresh dill, squeeze fresh lemon. Taste. Adjust amounts of ingredients if needed.

Or, consider broiling or barbecuing your vegetables and leave them out for snacking. Yumm!

Now, what flavor ice cream?

Building Confidence


I’ve been working with at a middle school with a boy who has special needs. Next year he’ll be in high school. Not just any high school, but a fast-pace one without the student support he’s used to. One day, during our five minute walk/break, I asked him if he was excited about going to high school. There was hesitation. Then I interjected, “—Or are you a bit nervous?” He answered, “Nervous.” After school, I went home and compiled a list of songs he could hear and watch on You Tube. The songs all have positive messages and are ones my mom would refer to at certain times in my life. On the day of promotion, I gave him the list.I hope you share these with anyone who may be facing some fear, big or small in your eyes. The videos I chose were geared toward what I thought this particular student would like. You may find the same song with different artists.