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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
Feedlot-Cattle

Buy grass-fed beef.

3. The Toxicologist Won’t Eat: Microwave Popcorn

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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

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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

salmon_farming

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

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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

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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

Gums

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

tide-to-go-pen

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

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Love these balsa wood planes…Glider

Who wouldn’t love a YoYo?

Yoyo

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

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

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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!

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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.

Herban

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:

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So creative….

Pumpkin-Monster

Pull out the drill and create a wallpaper pumpkin:

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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.”

freshpumpkinnew

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:

Sigh.

Breathe.

Smile.

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.

Compassion

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

Stains

Crayon Candle

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

Rusty

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

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? 

Chalk

Grab Bag Brain Game:

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

Spiderman Word Game

Grab Bag Funny Stuff:

Monica

Another episode of Bad Lip Reading:

Bad Lip Reading

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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:

Pandas

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. 

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Grab Bag Funny Stuff:

 

Read Full Post »

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

truth

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.

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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.

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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.

Friends

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:

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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.

The_Skinny_Rules_1

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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Grab Bag Kid Rocks:

19 year-old Taylor Wilson just may change our world…..

Taylor Wilson

Sorry for the 30 second ad… couldn’t find a way around it… but this is worth the wait

Many thanks to Barbara S. (Mom!) for sending this in

Grab Bag Plumber Hacks:

Wait…. don’t go… listen. These are some great tips from a great site called FamilyHandyman.com. You just might not need to call a plumber, or you might be able to fix things that have been bugging you forever…. like the sink sprayer thingy….

Grab Bag Battery Bar:

A very simple way to test any alkaline battery to see if it’s still good:

Battery Check

Thanks to Pat M. for sending this to me.

Grab Bag Acne Smack:

Acne

A friend recently asked if I might do a post on acne treatments for a family member of hers who was struggling with finding remedies that worked. 

Acne is often a combination of triggers all converging at the wrong moment, so it is best to keep in mind that one remedy may not resolve the issues. But if one remedy is found to be helpful, then trying to individually and systematically add additional remedies would be best to discover what the right mix might be.

I won’t offer here all the possibilities that would be available through a dermatologist’s office, or what you can see advertised online or available in drugstores. 

What I will offer is a few suggestions that:

1) Make sense

2) Are easy and relatively inexpensive to try

3) carry virtually no risk of side effects, with the potential for improvement (risk-to-reward ratio is good).

These first tips are the toughest…. they are dietary.

None of those are easy by any means, but MANY acne-prone people have done those and swear by them.

To me, this is no different than someone who is overweight and longs to lose the extra pounds. It’s not about if you wish the weight or the acne was gone – I think 100% of people who suffer because of acne or excess weight have that desire. What it’s really about is how motivated you truly are to make the needed changes. 

No one wants to change the way they eat. And patience is required, because one day of dietary sacrifice does not a remedy make! Do some research as to how long you might give these before judging if they are working or not:

1. Remove dairy … this seems to be the number one dietary criminal in the minds of the acne-laden.

In fact, a 2010 paper in Clinics in Dermatology makes it clear that you could use all the best pimple-clearing products available (and the worst ones like Accutane) and still not keep breakouts at bay—unless you dispense with dairy.Well+Good

2. Remove sugar… a very close second to the dairy.

3. Remove wheat… a very close third.

On to external things:

1. When I ran across this tip it just resonated with good sense:

Change your pillow case EVERY DAY.

Acne-prone skin is very susceptible to all irritants, and rubbing your face back and forth on a pillowcase that has oils, skin cells, bacteria and dirt from previous nights is asking for trouble. 

2. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV). Some dab it on their skin with a cotton ball. Some dilute it and splash it on as a toner. Some make a dilution of 1:7 parts ACV to warm water and a little honey and drink it. It might work for you, as it has for many. It also MAY MAKE YOUR ACNE WORSE, as it has for many. Fair warning.

3. Castor Oil. Massage in at night, wash off in the morning. Some mix 50% castor oil with 50% olive oil. If you don’t like the smell, put a tiny drop of peppermint or spearmint essential oil in the mix.

4. Milk of Magnesia (!) Some say paint it on at night with a paint brush, wash off in the morning, others also add a thin layer (thin enough so it is not crusty white) in the morning to leave on all day.

Sites to check:

Acne.org

besthomeremediesacne.wordpress.com

Grab Bag Say Cheese:

I guess if you’re convinced you have a “best angle” in photos, you pretty much stick to it?

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Grab Bag Legacy Left:

Every house has a story to tell. So why not leave yours behind for some future resident to enjoy? Summarize your highlights (in tiny font to squeeze most of it in!) and print it on a label, and fix to the back of a light switch cover plate.

Brilliant!

Light Switch Time Capsuule

Credit: Sean Michael Ragan for Makezine.com

Grab Bag Brain Game:

Similar to a couple of weeks ago… here are two versions of the same image, with the pieces merely reassembled. 

Observe the triangle on the bottom. It consists of 4 coloured pieces, and a missing square. In the image on top, the same colored pieces have just been shifted to a new location. Three pieces move to another place, the overall shape seems the same, but the square is no longer missing. How did this occur?

triangle puzzle

Grab Bag Funny Stuff:

It’s Back-to-School time, so here’s a little college humor…

college-life-13 college-life bad-student what-bored-russians-do college-essentials

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Grab Bag Sleeping to the Top:

Arianna Huffington shares her recent and uncomfortable discovery of what it takes to be successful… her brief presentation may surprise you.

Grab Bag Tip Trip:

Just some random “Grab Bag” tips:

• Never put citrus fruits or tomatoes in the fridge. The low temperatures degrade the aroma and flavor of these persnickety fruits.

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• To clean cast iron cookwear, don’t use detergents. Just scrub them with salt and a clean, dry paper towel.

salt1

• To clean an electric kettle with calcium buildup on the heating element, boil a mixture of half white vinegar and half water, then empty.

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(This happens to be my kettle of choice for all my green tea making – made by Capresso. They also now make a variable temp kettle.)

• To banish ants from the kitchen, find out where they are coming in and cover the hole with petroleum jelly. Ants won’t trek through the jelly. If they are coming under a door, draw a line on the floor with chalk. The little bugs also won’t cross a line of chalk.

antinfestation-kitchen petroleumjellyuses

Grab Bag Memory Minders:

Hit the full-screen icon to read these more easily.

Grab Bag Juice Zeus:

I just discovered Kris Carr (thank you, Jennifer K.)…  Kris is living with a slow-growing, rare and incurable cancer.

That’s right… incurable. But Kris makes you realize that life itself is incurable for us all, isn’t it? And boy, is she LIVING! She has written 5 books and a movie, appeared on Dr. Oz and Oprah, and, and, and… you get it.

…… and…. she is 67 ways of adorable. Love, love, love this funny video where she explains her juicing e-book you can buy ($20, immediately downloadable here).

While I haven’t covered juicing/blending much here, it is certainly a health-biz trend. My take is that, if the portions of fruits are low and the veggies are high, it can be incredibly healthful.

I’m thinking I might need to jump onto this veggie-train 🙂

Kris Carr

Grab Bag Mind Blower 1:

Wow. Hold on to your hats, kids. This 6-minute video is a clip from a truly amazing documentary called Samsara.

If there was ever a reason to go vegan, fire up your blender and buy Kris Carr’s juicing book, this clip is it.

You must ABSOLUTELY go full screen on this, as the player embedded is quite small.

Grab Bag Mind Blower 2:

BUT, WAIT! Beyond what see above, Samsara is an incredibly rich documentary, shot entirely on 70mm film, taking 5 years to film in 25 countries.

samsara600

“SAMSARA explores the wonders of our world from the mundane to the miraculous, looking into the unfathomable reaches of man’s spirituality and the human experience.”

I just purchased it in HD at iTunes and watched it through Apple TV on my TV yesterday. It is absolutely spectacular. I highly recommend this 102 minutes of sensory awe.

Mind. Blown.

You can:

1. Buy the DVD here

2. Rent or buy the download at:

  • AT&T U-verse
  • Verzion Fios.
  • Comcast
  • Cox
  • Time Warner
  • DirecTV
  • Dish Network
  • iN DEMAND
  • Avail-TVN

Grab Bag Brain Game:

Look at the image and count how many people are in the picture. After the image shifts, count again how many individuals are there. Where did the extra person come from?

Notes: Even though there is nothing added to the image or taken from it, there seems to be an extra additional person. Try to find some clues.

mysterious_illusion

Grab Bag Funny Stuff:

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