The Search for Peace

PEACE – A simple five-lettered word that has stymied people essentially since time began. I dare suggest that people have searched to the ends of the earth and looked into remote galaxies in a quest to find it.

What country can you think of that hasn’t had war as part of its history? Yes, even though Switzerland escaped being an active participant in World War I & II, it has had its share of conflict. The idioms “make peace with” and “keep the peace” are easier said than done. Diplomats can attest to the fact that even when peace accords/treaties have been instituted, there is a big chance that the hatred and violence will continue and even escalate (take Angola and Rwanda for examples).

The Hippie generation used a peace sign as their symbol. The victory designation with two fingers up was a way to state “peace” without even having to say it. Both Arabic and Hebrew use “peace” as a form of greeting.

I think the real question is, can peace really be something manufactured? Can we bestow peace by a decree or a greeting? When we go to a funeral and someone consoles the mourners with “At least they are at peace now”, do they really know that? Even in life, we can go around with a plastered on smile and fool others into believing that we have “peace of mind”, when in reality we may be plagued by inner turmoil. Continue reading

Five Reasons Not to Get a Bunny for Easter

Hello,

I am publishing a little shorter blog post today.  I have another post that will be released on Friday that has a Good Friday/Easter message.  However, I also wanted to keep to my regular Tuesday writing.  So, I decided to release a message about something that I feel strongly about – the problems with getting a rabbit (especially for children) for Easter.

For many, the Easter holidays have become a time to celebrate a large meal, an egg hunt, chocolate candies, and ducks, chicks, and bunnies.  I have a problem with what this godly holiday has morphed into, but focusing on that isn’t my intent with this posting.  My aim is to give you reasons to NOT buy a live animal (in particular a rabbit) for a child at this time.

author with Giszelle

For seven years I was a rabbit owner and a member of the Michigan Rabbit Rescue organization.  During this time I was able to foster many rabbits in my home and it gave me the chance to witness various rabbit personalities.  I also learned a lot of information that I was totally unaware of previously.  As you read through the cautions below, you may know of exceptions to these statements.  There are always exceptions to general truths – take for example someone you know who lived into their nineties, even though they were an avid smoker.  Just know that these bunny facts are shown true with many, many rabbits. Continue reading

Walking Smart with Walking Poles

Good Morning!

Tomorrow, April 5, is National Walking Day.  We all have heard that walking is one of the best and most inexpensive ways to put exercise into our daily lives.  Today I’m going to tell you one way you can raise your calorie burning potential by as much as 48% plus maintain good posture and balance while walking in your neighborhood.  Make sure you read to the end of this post to see an offer created just for my readers!  Disclaimer:  I was provided a free product in return for my honest review.  All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.

Last fall my husband and I were taking a walk in a local park.  As we were enjoying the beauty, we noticed a man going in the opposite direction who was walking with some walking poles.  We looked curiously at him and at the poles, wondering exactly what he was doing.  Seeing our interest, he stopped and explained that he was walking regularly with these poles in preparation to walk the Appalachian Trail. Continue reading

man with diabetes sign

The Silent Dangers of Diabetes

Today, March 28th, is American Diabetes Alert Day.  I am dedicating this blog post to alerting people to the facts of this disease, especially to Type 2 Diabetes.

I confess that when I was younger I knew little to nothing about the disease called diabetes.  My awareness really began because a friend of mine discovered she had it.  Besides being a friend, this lady was also a dental patient who I took care of.  In observing this woman, I would have never suspected that she’d be diagnosed with diabetes.  The biggest misconception I had was that all diabetics are overweight.  My friend was a slim, older lady.  If anything, she needed to put on a few pounds!  However, from a dental perspective, I knew that something was wrong.  As I continued to see her for dental cleanings, her periodontal (gum) condition steadily deteriorated.  That, plus the fact that she had a really high rate of decay, made me suspect she was in a different category from my other patients.  At first I thought the problem was poor nutrition.  She admitted to eating a limited variety of foods and not taking vitamins.  I figured that possibly she was really suffering from a lack of vitamin C and recommended she both add citrus fruits to her diet and start taking a good multivitamin.  I also stressed that she really needed to step up her oral hygiene and I scheduled more frequent cleanings at our office for her. Continue reading

crocuses

Hello Spring…and a free gift!

Oh, how I love spring!  

Along with the other new beginnings that I’ve mentioned enjoying in previous blog posts (New Year’s Day, mornings), spring is a fresh start.  Here are just a few things I love about this time of year:

  • Fringy leaves on trees.  Fully developed leaves in the summer are nice for shade, but there spring treesis something about the delicate nature of leaves when they are just starting to pop.  This is an advantage to living in the Midwest and being rewarded for enduring the bare winters.  The new leaves give a fresh appreciation of God’s creation.
  • New flowers to discover.  I have planted a number of flowers in our flower beds throughout the years we’ve been at this house.  I don’t claim to have a green thumb and there are definitely plants that haven’t fared too well, despite my efforts.  However, I love the excitement of seeing the various colors emerge, so I keep planting more.   Squirrels have a plan of their own and I’ve caught the little rascals in the process of redistributing what I have planted.   One year, I bought a bunch of mail-order bulbs to plant in the fall.  Since none of my crocuses have stayed where I put them, I questioned whether I should even bother to plant any other bulbs.  A friend told me that I should cover the bulbs with screen to keep the squirrels away.  Smiling to myself, as I imagined thwarting my garden thieves, I went off to buy some screen.  The screen I bought at the local hardware store was in a large piece, but not large enough to cover my whole bed.  So I cut it into about 12″ sections and plunked a piece of screen on top of each bulb in the hole and then refilled the hole with dirt.  Well, the squirrels (not to mention the neighbors) must have been laughing in the spring.  Instead of tulips emerging, I was growing screen!  As each bulb sprouted, the tulip pushed the screen right out in front of it, so that there were little hillocks of screens all over!  Oh, I wish I had a picture to show you!!!
  • Returning birds.  I took an ornithology class in 8th grade in an attempt to avoid chemistry and other difficult classes.  Although I’m still convinced that my teacher was crazy (he cut off a chicken’s head and invited us to watch what happened – I declined), I learned more from this class than from almost any other middle school class…and most of my high school classes!  I enjoy watching the birds.  My favorite birds are Sandhill Cranes.  I have seen some recently in a nearby community, so I know it is just a matter of time until they come to visit my neighborhood.
  • Warmer temperatures.  It is so refreshing to be able to walk outside rather than on our treadmill in our dreary basement.  The earthy smell of spring that replaces the musty smell of our lower level definitely adds to my walking enjoyment.
  • Thunderstorms.  I really miss thunderstorms in the winter.  I have been known to pull back the drapes that we’ve closed in the evening just to see the light display.  I enjoy the flash and then trying to guess when the rumble will come.  The only time I don’t enjoy thunderstorms is when I’m caught outside when they start up.

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birthday cake and candles

Having a Happy Birthday

Today is my birthday.  I feel a little funny about broadcasting that fact.  It smacks with self-exultation and attempts to solicit well wishing from others.  That is not me.  I have always felt an embarrassment creep over me when the candles on the cake are lit and everyone starts into “Happy Birthday to YOU!”.  The stares I received as a child were only compounded when I got married and found that some of my husband’s family added to the verses, making me want to melt into the cake along with the dripping wax.  The reason I decided to reveal this fact is that I wanted to write about our perceptions of birthdays as we grow older.  Continue reading

When all seems dark

Hello, thought I’d jump in with a surprise post.  I wasn’t planning on sending one out until Tuesday, however I thought I’d tell you about something that happened this last week.  Since I already have my posting for Tuesday written, I figured I’d just share a message of encouragement now.

This past Tuesday and Wednesday we had extreme winds in our area.  The winds gusted to over 60 mph and they just lasted and lasted.  I’d sit in my house listening to the constant wail and wonder if that is what the moors sound like that I’ve only read about it books.  It was an eerie sound.

On Wednesday afternoon our electricity went out.  We later learned that before it was over, this wind storm took out the power at a record 800,000 homes.  I wasn’t too worried.  I had been feeling tired anyway and I just took a nap.  Besides, we had a gas fireplace, a gas portable generator, and the temperatures had been warmer than usual.

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It can’t be morning already!

You hear that dreadful noise coming through your dream.  That constant and annoying sound that just keeps going on and on.  You struggle to make sense of the repetition and slowly your mind sharpens to the point that you can make out that the irritation is your alarm clock going off.  You reach an arm out from under your warm cocoon and are startled by the frigid air.  Fumbling around, you finally locate the snooze button and quickly draw your hand back under the protection of the warm covers.  You snuggle back down into your comfortably warm cloud and float back into the world of tranquility.  You are just getting back to your pleasant dream when the peace is broken by that blaring noise again.  You repeat this process for the next thirty minutes in nine minute intervals before you finally  yield to the electronic pest.

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This May Be Your Closest Library

During the last year I made a new discovery that I think many other people may not be aware of – Little Free Libraries.  If this term has you scratching your head, this blog post will hopefully provide some information about them.

Blue little free library box

What are Little Free Libraries?

Little Free Libraries(LFL) were created in 2009 to allow people to exchange books in an informal setting.  Typically, the “library” is a enclosed box on a post (see pictures below), but some people have come up with quite creative designs for the libraries they put up. 

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army boots

Survival Training for Your Children

If you dropped dead tomorrow, would you children/grandchildren have any idea how to take care of regular duties?

This is a sobering question and one that many of us may think is unnecessary.  “I’m in good health”, you might say.  “Let my children be children while they’re young.  They don’t need to be saddled with adult concerns.  Isn’t schoolwork enough?”  That was at least my mode of thinking while my children were growing up.  They had a few chores, but most of the housework was done by me.  Like magic their laundry would appear washed and folded, the bathrooms they used would be cleaned, and the food that they consumed would be purchased, cooked, and on the table.

Then one day we received a call – a call I will never forget.  My brother-in-law called to say that his wife (my husband’s beloved sister) had collapsed in a restaurant and was taken to a hospital.  It was the last day of school and my daughter was on a field trip to Cedar Pointe, but my husband and I hurried to the hospital.  There we learned that his sister was in a coma.  She had suffered either a brain aneurysm or a cerebral stroke.  We were all in shock.  Sixteen years earlier the doctors had found an aneurysm near her optic nerve and she’d had surgery by a highly qualified neurosurgeon.  She had a long recovery, but with time she was able to return to her normal routine.  It was all a thing of the past.  Or so we thought.

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