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Grab Bag Silver Lining:

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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.

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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, 

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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.

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Grab Bag Rakin’ in the S’mores:

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

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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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May 15th

Anne Boleyn began her trial for treason and adultery on this day.


She was framed.

Grab Bag Too Much of a Good Thing:

A published study in Molecular Cancer Research Journal last October found that cancer cells (in vitro) that had been “wounded” by radiation actually survived BECAUSE OF increased levels of a protein called Hsp-27… and one of the main stimuli for Hsp-27 in the body is intense exercise. 

Oops. This small study flies in the face of other research that shows exercise is beneficial for cancer treatment.

Suggestions are offered that it may be a good idea to keep exercise quite moderate a few days before, during and after radiation cancer treatments. Seems reasonable. More research is certain to follow.

Grab Bag Minute Help:

Online Volunteering

Is that minute, as in 60 seconds, or minute, as in tiny? Well, it’s both.

We all know that big accomplishments are just a culmination of a lot of small efforts. The brilliant folks at Sparked have found a way to tap into the extra minutes we all have that could be harnessed into something bigger, and for good causes. Putting a few minutes into something important can be part of a big success:

Sparked helps us donate our time to worthy causes, even when all we have is a few spare moments. They match your skills with needs from non-profit to create small tasks you can do right from your desk.

They call it “microvolunteering.” It’s the idea that while you might not be able to donate an entire afternoon, you could totally use a few minutes of your “Late Afternoon Facebook Time” to help others.

You can lend a hand with everything from design to web development to tweeting. Breaking down the needs of non-profits into smaller tasks lets entire projects be crowdsourced to microvolunteers like Team Netted.

Everything you do brings us a tiny step closer to solving huge problems.

Grab Bag Salmon Quandary:

Recently listed in Sunset magazine’s Top 100 Cultural Trends Shaping the West:

#28: Eat salmon without the guilt

For many of us Westerners, dinner doesn’t get any better than a buttery side of rich pink salmon. Plus, it’s our heritage fish, a centuries-old food for all who have lived along the Pacific. But order it from a waiter or at a fish counter these days, and the person next to you might hiss. That’s because stocks in certain areas of the Pacific are crashing, and farm-raised salmon are tagged as polluting and disease-spreading. What’s a salmon lover to do?

At risk of getting the fish-eye ourselves, we’re here to tell you that you can eat salmon without fear of social ruin. For a start, always go with wild over farmed: All salmon fisheries off the West Coast are responsibly managed, so any salmon from these waters is sustainably caught. Wild salmon stocks from Alaska are particularly healthy and strong, and Oregon salmon from north of Cape Falcon (on the coast roughly west of Portland) are doing well too. So are salmon fished off of Washington.

Take one of these wild fish home, grill it until it’s crispy on the edges, and savor it with a good glass of Pinot—and a clear conscience. Because the West doesn’t taste any better than this.

… And don’t forget… market price will drive availability. Wild salmon will always be more expensive…. and may get prohibitively so should stocks begin to drop dangerously low. That’s our economic version of “natural selection” 🙂

Photo by Joel Sartore for National Gepgraphic

Grab Bag Shoe Savior:

Awhile back I posted about the potential damage done to knees by high heels. I think we can safely assume that feet, ankles, hips and back are included in that concern.

But there’s a side to many women that isn’t ready to wave the white flag on fashionable footwear.  Can comfortable feet and healthy spines co-exist with good looking shoes? 

That’s what Scarpasa aims to do. Their website is all about mid to low heels and flats… and searching the globe for just that. Here’s what they say about themselves:

At Scarpasa we do the work for you, scouring the world for quality flats and low and mid-heeled shoes. We curate an international collection of the hottest wearable footwear from independent designers so you can look good and feel good while doing what you do best.

I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by many of their offerings when I looked at their site. They also make it easy to narrow down just what you’re looking for:

So here’s hoping you can look like Manolo but feel like Nike, and rescue your gorgeous musculoskeletal structure in the process 🙂

Grab Bag Listing Agent:

Never used Craigslist? You don’t know what you’re missing. This king of internet want ad sites can help you buy, sell, rent, or give away anything you want.

BUT, Craigslist is not fancy. Noooo…. it’s not even very good at making it easy to find what you want. It’s just HUGE and somewhat organized. Definitely could be improved.

So along comes Craiggers, tidying up what the original lacks. Just go to Craiggers.com and search for the item, the category and the location, and Craiggers provides a MUCH better interface.

After you enter your search, a list of your items, in your specified neighborhood, pops up. When you see something of interest, click on it and an additional column pulls out on the right, showing the description and any picture attached.  

Thanks to the smart kids at Craiggers…. a vast improvement on the original.

Grab Bag Brain Game:

Typing random letters… a good deal more difficult than real words… sharpens observation and coordination.


Grab Bag Funny Stuff:

This one has spread over the internet like wildfire, but in case you haven’t seen it….

You like food? Huh? Yes?



And…. a fine compilation of years of feline faux paws 🙂

Have something to say? Love to hear it. Click the word “Comment” below and leave yours 🙂

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