Sunday, November 24th, 2103

Grab Bag Good Tips:

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The heat of a hair dryer loosens stubborn stickers

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WD-40 takes crayon off the wall

Grab Bag M….ohmmmmment:

Deepak Chopra and Oprah (love saying these names together… wish they got married!) have teamed up for another (I know they’ve done this at least once before) free, 21 Day Meditation challenge.

Deepak offers a different guided meditation each day. There’s still a week left… I have done a few of these and if you’re anything like me, you might benefit from this structure that gets you into a quiet place for 15 minutes while Deepak lulls you into lala land. It feels great.

Give it an ohhmmmm and see how you feel 🙂

Chopra Meditation

Grab Bag Food Faux Pas:

7 Foods Even the Experts Won’t Eat

About a year ago Prevention magazine published this list, with background information (full article here).

Read, weep, then shop and eat smart/clean/organic:

We decided to take a fresh look at food through the eyes of the people who spend their lives uncovering what’s safe–or not–to eat. We asked them a simple question: “What foods do you avoid?”:

1. The Endocrinologist Won’t Eat: Canned Tomatoes

tomatoesNote from LK: Acidity of tomatoes is quite high. For the cans not to degrade in the presence of that acidity, cans must be lined…. with a plastic liner containing the nasty endocrine-disruptor chemical, BPA. Unfortunately the acidity also helps release that BPA into the contents of the can. This isn’t conjecture. It’s measurable.

Get tomatoes in glass jars or Tetra Pak boxes.

2. The Farmer Won’t Eat: Corn-Fed Beef

Buy grass-fed beef.

3. The Toxicologist Won’t Eat: Microwave Popcorn


Note from LK: Those bags have gross chemical liners. Pop your kernels (be sure to buy certified organic, which by definition will be non-GMO) the old fashioned way.

4. The Farm Director Won’t Eat: Nonorganic Potatoes


Note from LK: Have you noticed that old potatoes these days don’t grow “eyes”? Wonder why? Root vegetables absorb more pesticides than veggies above ground. Potatoes are.  Buy organic.

5. The Fisheries Expert Won’t Eat: Farmed Salmon


All farmed salmon is lower in vitamin D and higher in contaminants, including carcinogens, PCBs, brominated flame retardants, and pesticides such as dioxin and DDT.

If it is Atlantic salmon, it is farmed. Buy wild Alaskan salmon. Save $$...Most canned salmon is wild Alaskan, and affordable.

6. The Cancer Researcher Won’t Drink: Milk Produced With Artificial Hormones


Commercial dairies practice a domino-effect list of hormones and antibiotics. The artificial growth hormone is banned in most industrialized countries.

Shop organic milk.

7. The Organic-Foods Expert Won’t Eat: Conventional Apples


Because apples are carefully grafted and bred to retain specific characteristics, they have a low resistance to disease and pests. LOTS of pesticides are used to avoid losing large amounts of the harvest. The photo above also shows how much larger a conventional apple may grow opposed to organic. It’s just not natural!

Buy organic.

Grab Bag Stocking Stuff:

Just some ideas….

Nostalgia… the chewing gum of yesteryear


Great to tuck in the car or purse for those messy moments…


What a great little compact toothbrush/toothpaste package on the go…


Love these balsa wood planes…Glider

Who wouldn’t love a YoYo?


This keeps Mrs. Claus’ cleavage covered …. say that fast three times 😉


Just a little portable portion to let your loved one know they’re always HOT…


Grab Bag Brain Game:

Balance… always a good thing

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Grab Bag Funny Stuff:

Cats Stealing Dog Beds

Thanks to Pat M. for sending this to me!

Sunday, November 17th, 2013

Grab Bag Learning Curve:

Wow. This is 15 minutes of amazing stuff.

We’re probably all familiar with the “Blue eye/Brown eye” segregation exercise used to teach aspects of racism and prejudice, but Jane Elliott kicks this up 10,000 notches, in my opinion.

Warning: I found myself thinking early on in this video that she wasn’t a good teacher because  she seemed so unwilling to listen to the student who wanted to communicate her thoughts… until I realized she was staying in character for the benefit of the lesson. By the end I found myself suddenly in tears.

Jane Elliott

Grab Bag Cookie Academy:

Now THIS also brought me to tears, but for entirely different reasons.

Listen carefully.





Thanks to Becky P., (my spawn from another mom), I was just introduced to this absolutely INCREDIBLE chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Is it quick and simple?


Should it be?

Lord, no. Michael Pollan, guru of real, nutritious food, suggests that we can have junk food, if we are willing to make it ourselves. OK… that eliminates a lot. But it won’t keep me from these. So let the flour fly, my friends, for these are SO worth it.

Suitably named, “The Only Chocolate Chip Cookie I Will Ever Need to Know How to Make for the Rest of My Life”,

this recipe and the process of chilling and baking yields a cookie that, I am fairly certain, will make everyone sit up and take notice.

So….. Happy Holidays 🙂

Choc Chip Cookie


Grab Bag Saving Face:

I have changed my daily skin routine and am beyond happy with the results. My latest super star team member came from an unlikely source. A few months ago I profiled a new, chem-free sunblock by Avasol. Since that post, Avasol has emerged with tinted versions of both their sun cream and their sun sticks. 

                             stick-L-med stick-L-dark

So…. willing to strike out and experiment, I took the Dark and the Tan “Surfer’s barrier sticks” and used them as an everyday base, FIRST spritzing my face and hands with water and using a few drops of oil or a little dab of Egyptian magic rubbed on my palms and smoothed on to moisturize.

Forgetting the lip line, brows, and neck contouring on this picture below, this shows where I put the Dark and Tan Avasol surfer sticks (the white areas are the Tan stick, the brown are the Dark stick):

Avasol Surfer Stick Contour Base

With my face marked up like this, with this really good, protective sunblock, I then make a mix in my palms of another dab of Egyptian Magic mixed with a lightweight tinted sunblock/moisturizer, and spread/pat it all over my face, then use fingertips to lightly blend that with the sunstick base until it looks seamless. I then top it off with yet ANOTHER form of sunblockJane Iredale Pure Pressed Mineral Base, again in 2 colors (a lighter and darker, used as the photo above would indicate).

Although the color of the surfer sticks may not appear to match your skin tone all that well, it does seem to color correct quite a bit once on the skin, and the tinted moisturizer and Pressed Base powder correct the rest. I’ve seen this method work on a few different skin tones so far. Would love to hear from you when you try it.

But wait….why jump through all these hoops? Honestly, my skin feels and looks better than ever since I started using the sticks as a base, and the protection I get from this seems to last longer…. and that’s the point, really… it allows me to have really good sun protection and yet feel like I have just a light make up on my skin.

So there’s my skin schtick… I encourage you to give it a try.

Grab Bag Gut Feeling:

A recent report on DailyScience.com provides further evidence that healthy gut bacteria plays a huge part in immune response as well as psychological well being

Our gut bacteria is a fascinating reflection of our personal habits… everyone is different. The customization begins at birthgut bacteria differs according to vaginal or Caesarian delivery. Early maternal separation also changes gut bacteria. Really? Yes… so you can imagine what else affects this “soup of life” that we are discovering may determine our emotions, our resistance to illness and disease, our digestion… and the list can, and will, go on. 


As an aside, I listened to a recent lecture on red meat and it’s relationship to heart disease from research at the Cleveland Clinic. It has been newly discovered that a main culprit in heart disease risk appears to be high blood levels of TMAO (trimethylamine N-oxide)… and gut bacteria plays a huge role in the production of TMAO. Get this… regular meat eaters show high levels of TMAO shortly after consuming red meat. Vegans (who were willing to participate in the experiment!) showed virtually NO rise in TMAO after eating red meat. So our gut bacteria is a product of our habits, not merely a response to immediate stimuli. 

Back to the recent researchdepression seems to be associated with certain profiles of gut bacteria, and shows relief with probiotic therapy. They are calling these “psychobiotics”, as they seem to have such a significant role in depression.

The authors of a new review article in Biological Psychiatry,Timothy Dinan and his colleagues from University College Cork in Ireland, define a psychobiotic as “a live organism that, when ingested in adequate amounts, produces a health benefit in patients suffering from psychiatric illness.”

They review the evidence that these bacteria, when ingested in adequate amounts, offer enormous potential for the treatment of depression and other stress-related disorders.

For now… bottom linewatch your intake of meat…. and eat a lot of yogurt. Enough said. Keep it simple.

Grab Bag Brain Game:

  • How good is your memory?
  • Once you’ve clicked START, the system will show you a random face that you have to remember.
  • When you’ve memorised the face, click DONE.
  • Try to rebuild the face by clicking the ten face parts.
  • Each part has three different possibilities.
  • Once you’re happy that you’ve matched the face, click OKAY.
  • The system will count how many you’ve remembered correctly.
  • You can click SEE ORIGINAL and SEE YOURS to go between your answer and the correct answer.

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Grab Bag Funny Stuff:

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Sunday, October 27th, 2013

Grab Bag Wonder Wipes:

Just discovered these through my #3 spawn… and they are GOOD. The ONLY towelette wipes made with essential oils on the planet. No chemicals, no fake “fragrance”, just pure, real stuff… and they leave your hands clean, smelling great, no sticky residue, no fake, gross scent.

Herban Essentials uses the highest quality, 100% pure, therapeutic grade, steam distilled or cold pressed essential oils. We make a constant effort to obtain organic, wild-grown oils from American farmers whenever possible. Our products are made in the USA, are cruelty free and are never tested on animals.

A bag of 20, individually wrapped towelettes, in any scent (if you can’t decide, there’s a mixed bag, too) will set you back $16. They’re not cheap, but… well…. are you? Love, love, love. Click on the image to order from them or find retailers near you.


Grab Bag Boo Bits:

Lots of creative carving ideas on this Pinterest page, along with this smart way to gain safer access to your candle inside:


So creative….


Pull out the drill and create a wallpaper pumpkin:


How To make Your Pumpkin Last for WEEKS: “After you scoop out and carve your pumpkin, dip it in a large container of bleach and water (use a 1 tsp:1 gal mix). The bleach will kill bacteria and help your pumpkin stay fresh longer. Once completely dry, (drain upside down), add 2 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to a quart of water. Brush this solution onto your pumpkin to keep it looking fresh for weeks.”


Grab Bag Fantastic Fall:

Between the yummy towelettes and the pumpkin tips, I’m hankering for fall… and good smells. I vow to do this soon:

Orange scent

If you want your house to smell heavenly, boil some orange peels with a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon on Medium heat. ~ Do this come Fall and everyone will love it – an old Southern trick.

Grab Bag Compassion Fashion:




Actually, change that. Easier to smile first, THEN breathe.

I came across Susan Piver’s website recently and felt an introduction to her was worthwhile. Susan is a Buddhist, and her website is chock full of Buddhist perspective on everyday existence.

Here I share with you an excerpt of what she wrote on December 14th, 2012.

The day of the Sandy Hook tragedy.


I chose this entry because it is one of those events that nearly everyone struggles with, in some fashion, for a very, very long time. I liked Susan’s acknowledgement of our gut reactions and desires, and her tempering of those to a more beneficial response.

Beyond processing the events in Connecticut, let Susan’s take inspire a new perspective for us all to strive for when faced with any difficult circumstance:

I’m afraid that there is not much we can do other than to be absolutely, irredeemably heartbroken. It turns out that this is helpful. Weep, sob, rage. Weep, sob, rage. Every time your mind tries to tell you, “this is because of poor gun control,” or “this world is rotten, terrible and I have to ignore it in order to survive,” and/or “if mental healthcare was better, we could help people before they explode into violence,” please ask it to wait. I’m not saying we shouldn’t act. WE SHOULD. But before we act, we should feel. Allow your heart to break. Let down your guard. There is strange redemption in heartbreak.

Then, in your own way, you could open your heart to the suffering of all who have been directly involved.

Relax your mind and then think:

For all of you children who lost your lives and may now be wandering terrified and confused, I share your suffering with you. In return, I offer you my peace. 

Breathe in their suffering. Breathe out your peace.

For all of you parents who lost your children, I share your unspeakable suffering. May I take even the tiniest bit of your sorrow and rage into my own heart to relieve you of it. In return, I send you my strength. 

Breathe in their suffering. Breathe out your strength.

For all of of you children who lived through this horrific day, I share your suffering with you. May I take in your fear and your nightmares. In return, I send you my bravery. 

Breathe in their suffering. Breathe out your bravery.

For the officials of the state of Connecticut and of this country who have born witness and now must act, I share your suffering with you. May I take in your shock and confusion. In return, I send you my confidence and open heartedness. 

Breathe in their suffering. Breathe out your confidence and open heartedness.

Then, as best you can, relax your mind and sit quietly for a few minutes or a few lifetimes.

We can’t leave out that someone committed this crime. We might hate the horrible monster who did so. We might condemn and excoriate him. I’m not saying don’t do that. It’s not useful (especially to you), but it is human. The only thing we cannot do under any circumstance is think that we are any different than he is.

It would take a very big person to offer compassion to the perpetrator and I for one am not capable of it today. But while I cannot feel kindhearted, nor will I permit myself to imagine that if I lived his life, I would not be just like him.

In the meantime, tonight I will wrap my arms around those I love and, recognizing the extraordinary fragility of our lives, give thanks for the preciousness of our time together. Truly, the only solace is in the dharmas of love, compassion,and fierce warriorship.

Grab Bag ‘Scope Dope:

25 Things You Never Needed to See Under an Electron Microscope

Scope Stuff

Grab Bag Life Hacks:

Stain Removal Advice for Dozens of Tough Stains


Crayon Candle

Remove rust from tools: Solution of 50 percent regular bleach, 50 percent white vinegar. Let set, rinse off.


When you are sick – rubber band an empty tissue box to a full one – use empty box for used tissues.


It is said that chalk will remove grease stains from clothes. Simply rub the stain with chalk, then toss in the wash as normal. Would love to know if anyone has had success with this? 


Grab Bag Brain Game:

OK… kind of an addicting word game… that made me feel 12…

Spiderman Word Game

Grab Bag Funny Stuff:


Another episode of Bad Lip Reading:

Bad Lip Reading

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

Grab Bag Midway Message:

Feeling a little overwhelmed, sick and frustrated by this. 

Beautifully done, ugly story. 

3 minutes 52 seconds… you can take it.

Go full screen. 

Here are actions we can all take on a personal level to be a part of the solution rather than part of the problem, from BayNature.org:

What You Can Do

When Shopping

Bring your own:

  • durable reusable bags, baskets, and containers for shopping at all stores
  • reusable lightweight cloth bags for produce
  • mug or cup for take-out coffee, tea, smoothies, etc.
  • reusable storage containers from home for restaurant meal leftovers
  • food from home in place of buying takeout

Avoid plastic packaging.

Avoid buying bottled water; the caps are not recyclable and their size and shape increase the likelihood they will end up in the ocean.

Buy products with minimal or truly recyclable packaging:

  • beverages and foods in glass containers with metal lids (and reuse the glass containers)
  • berries in paper pulp baskets
  • meat from the butcher counter and cheese from the deli counter–and ask that they be wrapped in butcher paper or waxed paper
  • cream cheese packaged in foil rather than plastic tubs
  • margarine in paper-wrapped cubes rather than plastic tubs
  • powdered laundry detergent in paper boxes rather than liquid in plastic bottles (but watch out for plastic bags inside the boxes)
  • toilet paper packaged in paper
  • bar soap instead of liquid soap in plastic bottles
  • wine in glass bottles with natural cork rather than plastic stoppers
  • pet food and cat litter in paper bags or boxes
  • nursery plants in pressed paper rather than plastic pots

Buy in bulk:

  • Buy foods like grains, seeds, nuts, beans, flour, pasta, cereal, crackers, cookies, tea, coffee, olives, etc., in bulk, and bring them home in your own containers or durable reusable bags.
  • Buy personal care products like shampoo and body lotion in bulk by refilling your own containers (some stores with large bulk sections carry personal care products in bulk).
  • Avoid buying individually wrapped or single-serving foods like cheese slices, pudding, juice in boxes, etc.

If you can’t buy in bulk, buy items in larger quantities to reduce packaging.

Avoid buying disposable plastic products like razors, pens, lighters, diapers, etc.

Buy used items when possible.

At Home

Fill your own stainless steel water bottle with tap water instead of buying bottled water.

Make foods from scratch if they usually come packaged in plastic (salsa, applesauce, yogurt, etc.).

Use non-plastic utensils and picnicware:

  • glass or paper drinking straws
  • metal utensils, plates, and cups for picnics

Use cloth rags and napkins instead of paper towels and paper napkins, which are packaged in plastic.

Store sustainably:

  • put leftovers in glass canning jars or other durable, reusable containers
  • dry items in waxed paper bags and aluminum foil instead of plastic bags and plastic wrap
  • cheeses in an airtight container rather than plastic wrap
  • lettuce in a dry, airtight container in the refrigerator
  • hardy greens like collards and kale in an airtight container with a damp cloth inside in the refrigerator or in a vase or jar of water on the counter for up to a week
  • spinach in an airtight container in the coldest part of the refrigerator
  • ripe fruits (including berries) in airtight containers in the refrigerator
  • fresh basil in either a vase of water or an airtight container on the counter for a week or more

Use paper bags or no bags at all for garbage disposal. If you must use a plastic garbage bag, choose one with recycled content.

For dish washing and household cleaning, use cloth rags, natural cellulose sponges, and loofa scrubbers instead of paper towels (which are packaged in plastic), synthetic sponges, and plastic scrubbers. (Note from LK: I buy a apck of 1-2 dozen washclothes at Costco and use these almost exclusively in the kitchen, reducing paper towel consumption dramatically.)

Dispose of dog and cat feces in 100 percent biodegradable bags or wrap them in old newspaper.

When a plastic item breaks, try to repair it instead of buying a new one.

In the Office

Replace plastic products with more sustainable ones:

  • paper tape instead of plastic tape
  • refillable tape dispensers
  • fountain pen (refill with bottled ink)
  • printer paper in paper-wrapped reams
  • Refill toner cartridges instead of buying new ones.

Upgrade your computer instead of replacing it. And when you must replace it, take the old computer, monitor, keyboard, printer, etc., to an e-waste disposal facility. Plastic computer housings collected in this manner are more often recycled.

In Your Community

Give away rather than throw away plastic items you no longer use.

Pick up plastic litter when you see it in streets and waterways.

Contact retailers and ask them to stock products packaged in non-plastic recyclable and compostable materials.

Contact manufacturers and ask them to use compostable non-plastic packaging or truly recyclable packaging like glass.

Write to your legislators and support bills aimed to reduce plastic in the environment:

  • AB 1358: Bans single use, take-out polystyrene (Styrofoam) containers
  • AB 925: Requires that single-use beverage caps be integrally attached to the container and made of recyclable material
  • AB 283: Gives producers an incentive to create sustainable products by requiring them to share responsibility for their products’ packaging
  • Local plastic bag bans and plastic packaging ordinances
  • More stringent recycling laws (some types of plastic are not currently recyclable and most plastic is not recycled unless the price of oil used for producing virgin plastic is very high)

Grab Bag Limitless :

“I don’t listen to people too much when they tell me I can’t do something”.

– Richie Parker

Richie Parker

Grab Bag Can I Get a Fitness?:

Hopefully I am chipping away at the myriad of excuses people have for deferring exercise.

Here’s the crow bar for the “I can’t get to the gym” boulder in your path…. it’s free, it’s fun, it’s a great workout, and it’s right in your own home:

It’s a site called FitnessBlender.com, created by a husband and wife team with really good priorities:

We started Fitness Blender because we believe that fitness should be accessible to everyone, regardless of their income. We also felt like there was a lack of reliable health and fitness information on the web, and too many people in the industry were more focused on appearance than they were on good health.

Fitness Blender is funded by ad revenue and the generosity of donations made by our users. Donations help keep Fitness Blender free and go directly towards funding expansions of Fitness Blender’s features and services.

Love this concept. You can get a ton of fun and well-constructed workouts for FREE… like this one I did and really liked:

Fitness Blender

Grab Bag Sweet Stuff:


Grab Bag MacGyver Moment:

I figured out how to make a couple of slides have links to videos… so feel free to click on them when they come up.

Grab Bag Brain Game:

Tetravex is an interesting game where you must drag and place  the blocks in such a way so that all sides that contact another block have the same color. 

Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 8.07.20 PM

Grab Bag Funny Stuff:


Sunday, October 6th, 2013

One post, one concept, multitude of benefits.

This one post includes brain games and funny stuff and how-to’s and health tips, all wrapped into one.


Grab Bag Wonder Work:

Maybe once in a lifetime, if we’re lucky and our eyes are open (and are those two really different from each other?), we discover a life-changing concept and all things have the potential to be new.

This just might be our lucky day.

Maybe you are reading this because it will be good for you. Maybe it will be good for someone you tell about it. I know it can be good for anyone who is willing to answer the questions.

Waiver: If you NEVER suffer disappointment,

frustration or anger as a result of life’s events…

then skip this week’s post.


That would be you, the Dalai Lama, and Byron Katie.


For the rest of us, let’s open up our very human hearts for remodeling. And Byron Katie just may be offering the overhaul we need.

Byron Katie

Byron Katie: Formerly Obese/Suicidal/Agorophobic. Awoke one morning with a new mind. Now, student, teacher, philosopher.  An incredible back story (come back and read it later).

Truth Moment: I have been reading and watching and feeling “The Work” of Byron Katie for a few weeks now. I am TRULY FLOORED by the near-immediate relief of negative/stressful feelings this has brought to me. I hope that intrigues you.

But I can’t say that The Work is a panacea, or that Byron Katie deserves the adoration of the masses, anointed as a guru of the peaceful mind. Quite honestly, my take is that that kind of personal abdication defeats the very purpose of the freedom we all seek.

For me, this really isn’t about this woman, Byron Katie, or her unusual story, nor do I see The Work as the sole key to peace on earth.

While it might be a really good start, I see The Work the same way I see my discovery that vinegar is really the best cleaning agent around:

• It works on A LOT of things •

• What was once cloudy becomes clear •

• It’s cheap (the essentials of The Work are free!) •

• The risk:reward ratio is really advantageous •

So…. it works, it’s cheap, and it’s low risk.

Now let me share with you

a little vinegar for the mind….

First, a nice intro to read is this article on Oprah.com by Caitlin Flanigan , a young mom who, struggling with the fear and misery of Stage IV metastatic cancer, decided to meet with Byron Katie to REALLY face down the supposed magic of Katie’s “Work” and see if it could trump what she held in her very scary hand.

I hesitate to share how deceptively simple this is, for fear it will be passed over as just another interesting self-help article I read while waiting for a teeth-cleaning appointment.


I have been giddy with the exploration this simplistic approach has opened to me and to the thousands of others I have read about and observed.

Simple? Yes. Shallow? Hardly.

I will jump ahead and offer you the very simple outline of “The Work”.

At the end I give you a numbered list of steps to take to do The Work.

Why not try it?

All you have to lose….. is the burden.

All the suffering that goes on inside our minds is not reality, says Byron Katie. It’s just a story we torture ourselves with. She has a simple, completely replicable system for freeing ourselves of the thoughts that make us suffer. “All war begins on paper,” she explains. You write down your stressful thoughts, and then ask yourself the following four questions:

Question 1: Is it true?
This question can change your life. Be still and ask yourself if the thought you wrote down is true.

Question 2: Can you absolutely know it’s true?
This is another opportunity to open your mind and to go deeper into the unknown, to find the answers that live beneath what we think we know.

Question 3: How do you react—what happens—when you believe that thought?
With this question, you begin to notice internal cause and effect. You can see that when you believe the thought, there is a disturbance that can range from mild discomfort to fear or panic. What do you feel? How do you treat the person (or the situation) you’ve written about, how do you treat yourself, when you believe that thought? Make a list, and be specific.

Question 4: Who would you be without the thought?
Imagine yourself in the presence of that person (or in that situation), without believing the thought. How would your life be different if you didn’t have the ability to even think the stressful thought? How would you feel? Which do you prefer—life with or without the thought? Which feels kinder, more peaceful?

Turn the thought around:
The “turnaround” gives you an opportunity to experience the opposite of what you believe. Once you have found one or more turnarounds to your original statement, you are invited to find at least three specific, genuine examples of how each turnaround is true in your life.


Wanna see this in action? I suggest you do. There are dozens and dozens of videos (in many categories of issues: Health & Body, World & Politics, The Work, Money & Career, Relationship & Family, Mental Health & Depression) and written recounts of people from all walks of life, with issues great and petty, applying their thoughts to The Work. Here is just one of those videos of people addressing “The Work” with Katie:

My son is selfish

And if you think that you or someone you know might be living with a situation that is beyond the scope of The Work, and you are brave enough to prod the depths of unthinkable heartache, please share in the experience of being Hannah’s mother:


When you’re interest is peaked from the videos, give it a go for yourself….

1. Perhaps the best written, short overview to whet one’s appetite for a life lived with less stress is this free, downloadable booklet, “The Little Book”, linked to the image below, which will give you a true and tasty flavor of what The Work is and what it can be for you (I also encourage you to get your hands on her book, “Loving What Is”).


2. Print these Instructions for Doing The Work.

3. Print a copy(ies) of the Judge Your Neighbor Worksheet.

4. Watch the video here if you wish assistance in filling out the J-Y-N Worksheet.

5. Use the Facilitation Guide to help you put The Work’s 4 questions to each of the six thoughts on the J-Y-N Worksheet.

6. Many feel they do better working with a real human. If that is you, there are facilitators who donate their time to be available, free of charge, on the phone or on Skype, to assist you through The Work. Find one here.

I cannot tell you how profound this can be for you.

I only know what I have seen, heard and felt.

Can be a life-changer.



Sunday, September 29th, 2013

Next week…. one single post that just may change your life.


Until then…

Grab Bag Perception Workshop:

Two weeks ago I profiled my friend Holley Jacobs and her book “Silver Linings“. Holley has a great website and Facebook page, honed by her experience with breast cancer, but truly expanded to be filled with inspiration for all. And so I discovered this great video on The Silver Pen Facebook page….

I have always tried to remind myself that

perception IS reality.

This brilliant commencement speech, set to a fantastic video, sets that observation so beautifully. This is 9 minute workshop in the power of perception to change your world.

This is Water

Thanks for sharing, Holley 🙂

Grab Bag Say Cheese:

Maybe I’m really late to this party, but it was only about a year ago that my sister served up some

Cambazola cheese

one day, and my cheesy world has been in a new orbit ever since.

I will be honest when I say I don’t eat a ton of cheese… it’s in the “treat” category. So when I do, I want the best cheese possible.

Cambazola, as the name would imply, is the love-child of a creamy Camembert with the blue bite of a Gorgonzola. The result is a cheese that is really flavorful while not dominating your palate.

If I’m gonna eat cheese, this crazy-good stuff is at the top of the list. 

It comes in two versions:Classic” and “Black Label“. Here is what a cheese-head-expert website, Cheese Feed, says about the differences:

‘The Black Label  is aged longer than the Classic Cambozola and in cold cellars. This process and extra aging yields a richer cheese with a very creamy texture. The distinctive gray rind has a more pungent scent and adds a slightly more pungent “blue” flavor. Classic Cambozola is a good choice for those that typically shy away from blues. It’s mild flavor will spark the curiosity of novice blue-cheese tasters, while the Cambozola Black Label will entice those with more adventurous palettes.


Grab Bag Start With an A:

A Collage

From edutopia.com (website of The George Lucas Educational Foundation – definitely worth a look), this excerpt of Matt Levinson’s article is written about school and how starting the year right by establishing positive forward-thinking can lead to great outcomes.

But I also found it so resonating for those of us well beyond lockers and lunch boxes, and immediately wanted to ingrain it as a philosophy when approaching any new complex and long-term project or goal.

You can read Matt’s article in it’s entirety here.

Benjamin Zander, the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic, has a wonderful talk on how to give an A to students. On the first day of class, he tells all of his students that they will receive an A, and all they have to do for it is write him a letter — from the perspective of the end of the year, looking back — explaining what they did to earn that A. He marvels at the insights students share in these letters and the way that they fall in love with the person they have become. He also shares that, by putting the A up front, he has taken steps to build relationships with his students. For Benjamin Zander, it’s all about how he views his students, starting from a place of asset and not deficit. He starts with the A.

The beginning of every school year brings optimism. We have hopes and dreams for our children, and we enter into the school year with the belief in a child’s capacity to grow, prosper and excel. We start with the A.

Many thanks to JoAnn N. for sharing her many valuable resources with me 🙂

Grab Bag Skin Sense:

First, let’s get one thing straight: “Anti-aging” is not about looking forever young. It’s about protecting ourselves against environmental elements that contribute to damage and the resulting pre-mature aging of our skin.


Here is an All-Star Top Twelve list of elements to look for in products we use for our skin, courtesy of Marie Veronique Skincare. Check your products to see if your best skin defense includes these all-star skin savers:

Top 12 Must-Have, Anti-Aging, Skincare Ingredients

1. Non-nano zinc oxide
Why: • Zinc oxide prevents free radical damage by reflecting UV rays.
• Better yet, non-nano zinc oxide provides the most stable and safe form of UVA and UVB broad-spectrum protection.

2. Vitamin A
Best sources: Stabilized Retinol or natural sources, like beta carotene
AKA: Antioxidant
Why: • Reverses signs of photoaging, you know, things like age spots and uneven darkening of the skin
• Promotes collagen production—your natural sag and wrinkle fighter
• Prevents moisture loss by strengthening your skin barrier
Note: One important thing about retinol: • Too much of it can overwhelm the system. The body converts retinol as needed so a 1% concentration is simply more than you’ll ever use. And 2% is mere grandstanding.

3. Vitamin C
Best sources: l-ascorbic acid AKA: Antioxidant
Why: • Prevents free radicals from aging your skin
• Promotes collagen production—your natural sag and wrinkle fighter
• Lightens skin
• Maintains capillary integrity
Note: 3 things are required for Vitamin C to be effective at repairing damage and producing collagen:
• It must be the water-soluble form of Vitamin C—ascorbic acid—as it’s the only form that neutralizes the most prolific and damaging free radicals.
• It must be fresh, that is, not in liquid form.
• It must be in concentrations of 10% or more.

4. Vitamin E
Best sources: sunflower oil, broccoli seed oil, papaya seed oil, avocado oil, kiwi seed oil
AKA: Antioxidant
Why: • Prevents free radicals from aging your skin
• Smoothes and hydrates skin by reducing epidermal moisture loss
• Promotes wound healing and protects cell membranes

5. Noni
AKA: Antioxidant (more like a super-antioxidant)
Why: • Stimulates cell growth in the epidermis (the outer layer of skin) so it becomes thicker, less wrinkled, smoother and fuller
• Promotes wound healing

6. SOD (Super Oxide Dismutase)
AKA: Antioxidant
Why: • Neutralizes the most damaging of the free radicals, the super oxide anion

7. Resveratrol
AKA: Antioxidant
Why: • Addresses causes of aging at the source by protecting processes related to cell development and function

8. Astaxanthin
AKA: Antioxidant
Why: • Decreases wrinkle formation
• Reduces visible signs of UV-aging

9. Omega-3s
Best sources: flax seed oil, chia seed oil, krill oil, emu oil AKA: Essential fatty acids
Why: • Play an important role in keeping skin young and healthy
• Mitigate UV damage
• Help control inflammation
Note: It’s important to have a good balance of Omega-3s to Omega-6s. Omega-6s are easier to come by, and while they are important to maintaining good barrier function, Omega-3s offer the most anti-aging benefits.

10. Ceramides
AKA: Lipids
Why: • Keep moisture in and pollutants and bacteria out
• Minimize dryness, maximize suppleness
Note: Ceramides are one of the most important constituents of the top layer of skin, the stratum corneum—where they comprise 50% of the lipids present. As we age, we start to produce less, so we need to supplement topically.

11. Peptides
AKA: Synthetic peptides
Why: • Boost collagen production and inhibits collagen breakdown to strengthen your skin
• Encourage cell growth in the epidermis (the outer layer of skin), improving your skin’s overall appearance
• Inhibit melanin production, decreasing pigmentation and blotchiness

12. Biopeptides
AKA: Natural peptides from biological sources, like the sea
Why: • Give your skin a proverbial “kick in the butt”
• Rejuvenate your skin by stimulating the skin’s regenerative processes, helping the skin to function as it did at a younger age
• Get more Skin Care 101 and learn about the science behind aging skin and how sun exposure ages your skin.

Grab Bag Sweet Stuff:

I had seen photos of this unlikely couple before, but this video is new to me…. and a real smile-sparker.


Many thanks to mi madre for sending this to me 🙂

Grab Bag Brain Game:

Can you answer these questions correctly? Answers can be found in Comments, below.

1. Johnny’s mother had three children. The first child was named April. The second child was named May. What was the third child’s name?

2. A clerk at a butcher shop stands five feet ten inches tall and wears size 13 sneakers. What does he weigh?

3. Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world?

4. How much dirt is there in a hole that measures two feet by three feet by four feet?

5. What word in the English language is always spelled incorrectly?

6. Billie was born on December 28th, yet her birthday always falls in the summer. How is this possible?

7. In British Columbia you cannot take a picture of a man with a wooden leg. Why not?

8. If you were running a race and you passed the person in 2nd place, what place would you be in now?

9. Which is correct to say, “The yolk of the egg is white” or “The yolk of the egg are white?”

10. A farmer has five haystacks in one field and four haystacks in another. How many haystacks would he have if he combined them all in one field?

Grab Bag Funny Stuff:

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

Grab Bag Silver Lining:


For those who do not know her, let me introduce you to a really incredible woman named Hollye Jacobs. I met Hollye a couple of years ago through our mutual friend, Roxie. I was pretty sure I would love her from everything I already knew about her: She was an R.N., so we could talk medical stuff. She was a mother, so we could talk mom stuff, and she was funny and fun-loving, and, well, so am I :-).

But there was a great deal more I would come to learn about this woman, and just how her walk through life could benefit us all.


Here are the details:

Hollye is a Pediatric and Adult Palliative Care Nurse and Social Worker with graduate degrees in Bioethics and Child Development. She has made it her specialty to help deliver tough news in the best possible way. This would prove to be ironic.

Hollye is the mother of 4; 3 adult men and a lovely young girl, now about 8.

In 2010, Hollye VERY SUDDENLY (mere months after an exam that had no abnormal findings) developed multiple, aggressive tumors in both breasts.

The steps she took, the documentation she has registered and posted, and the perspective she shares is nothing short of miraculous inspiration. It is a story well worth digesting, because one hopes that by doing so, we might all share in the flavor of her wise and lusty spirit.

And the funny and fun-loving? They come into this story, too. As in GANGBUSTERS.

Hollye’s latest major accomplishment is the release of her new book, 


Click on the image above to order Hollye’s book.

And whether you’re colliding with cancer or healthy as a hobbit, do yourself a favor and read her story here at TheSilverPen.com.

Grab Bag Garden Gasp:

Here’s a little eye candy of garden art in China… throw one of these in the front yard and make your neighbors up their game 🙂

Go full screen for sure…

Grab Bag Life Hacks:

Grab Bag Skinny Rules:

I’m not too stoked with this title, as it connotes that SKINNY should perhaps be the goal.

I disagree.

Skinny could be one of many side effects resulting from a healthy lifestyle. 

But these rules are, indeed, a comprehensive list of a healthy habits, and can benefit us all. The side effects will be positive, noticeable and life-giving. If skinny is among them, so be it.


Grab Bag Rakin’ in the S’mores:

Total genius… as long as the rake is clean… and metal.


Grab Bag Brain Game:

As in the last few weeks, this is more of a brain exercise, found on Gethighnow.com

Fraser Spiral

View a fullscreen version.

Try the follow the spiral by tracing just above it with a pen or the tip of your finger. You can’t. Why? Because what you’ll be seeing is not a spiral but a set of circles. Yes, really. Check it out.

Fraser Spiral

How It Works

This illusion was created by British psychologist James Fraser, who first published it in 1908. When you look at the Fraser Spiral it appears a single line is twisting its way into the center, spiraling into a funnel. Your eyes, Judas-like, are deceiving you. The Fraser Spiral works by guiding the eye through a sequence of counter-angles. The eye and brain are not accustomed to processing images this geometrically complicated, and thus try to normalize the circles by imagining them as a single line, a phantom spiral corkscrewing its way to the center.

Grab Bag Funny Stuff:

Then and now… inspiring me to want to recreate iconic images from my past…

Go full screen to enjoy all the subtle nuances :-)

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