Thursday, May 31, 2012

Awards Day

Nathaniel had his Eighth Grade Awards Ceremony this morning, before their class picnic (This is why everyone including teachers are dressed casually.). We didn't know what awards he'd be getting before we went, but were pleasantly surprised since my son is so unassuming when it comes to grades. He got awards in : English, Science, Music, Social Studies (95% and higher), another Social Studies, and Tech Ed. This was a hard year in Algebra... he's in the higher math class but just couldn't get above a B average, even though it was always his best subject. Ah well. That's life. I'm really proud of him! The only thing I don't understand is why my own kids never get the Art Award! I think it's because their teacher isn't very good and they know what good art teaching is! ;)



His friend Harrison (they are on the soccer team together too!) and Nathaniel
Proud parents!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day


This is how I spent my morning... it was beautiful out there! Though this afternoon it reached 90 degree temps. It was supposed to be warmer here than in Florida today. (I'm definitely moving North!)

I wanted to tell you one thing:  Remember that I told you our vet wanted to put Elle under anesthesia to clean the tartar off of her teeth? Well, for a couple bucks I did it in about two hours! I bought a beef bone from my farmers and Elle just chewed on it. It took away all the black on her teeth naturally! That's how dogs in the wild keep their teeth clean (no brushing). And she's getting her calcium from that bone too. A total win!

I'm thankful today for those people who died in the service of freedom, in all countries. And also my Grandma and Grandpa.

Hope you're having a good weekend!

Friday, May 25, 2012

this and that


It's funny-- the more I'm focused on my studies for school, the more creative I want to be. I posted a cell diagram I did the other day for a lesson. It's not great or anything, but I had fun doing it. Plus, I figured out how to use Photoshop better to color it in. I'm not supposed to go overboard on the drawing parts of my schoolwork, but how do I not at least try to make it sort of visually appealing? That's just me. I guess we'll see when I turn everything in!

I found out that my state of Pennsylvania rates #1 for Thyroid cancer. This study says it has to do with the nuclear reactors that are about an hour from my home. Considering my mom had issues with her thyroid, I'm not taking any chances... I'm moving as soon as possible! Thyroid cancer has been rapidly on the rise-- they link it to radiation. And also to fracking which is being done now in this state too. Throw into the fact list that this area also has terrible air polution due to the fact that we're upwind from Baltimore, D.C. and Philadelphia... ugh!!!

Caroline is going through her first week of High School finals! No... this is not fun!

My friend Caroline's oldest daughter is graduating from High School this week!!! Can she really be that old? Can WE really be that old?! I'm very excited for her and I'm looking forward to what she does next. I'm just not ready for the "next phase" yet!!!

I put Elle (the dog) on an all raw food diet. She LOVES it! I think it's a winner!

You know that schedule of my day I posted earlier? Well, that's changed! My days are so crazy I barely get to read the paper... I even forgot to eat lunch today. Though I was able to write my Congressman to tell him to vote yes to an amendment that would prevent the FDA from arresting farmers without a warrant and from doing it at gunpoint! Unfortunately that bill didn't pass anyways but at least Pennsylvania voted the right way!

This is a three day weekend: Yay for sleeping in later for 3 days! Boo for the fact that the kids will be studying for finals and end of the year exams. I'm skipping a great cook-out too to stay home with them (I have trouble going to those anymore... never know if I'm eating gluten or not! Plus it's over an hour away.). So Craig will go have fun by himself. (Seems he does that a lot... must schedule more fun for me too!).

Again this week it was proven to me that good friends are the joy in life! I love my friends (you know who you are!!!).  I really would not be able to get through life without them! xo

Have a great weekend!!!





Sunday, May 20, 2012

w.i.p.



I think I may have mentioned that I started over on this cross-stitch because I accidentally ripped the linen, right in the front!  It's coming along so much better the second time around. I'm over halfway through... two more rows to go!  That makes me sad, though, because I am really enjoying it. Cross-stitching is relaxing and the soft linen and beautiful dyed threads make it a joy to do.

We are having beautiful weather this weekend. The windows are all open and the breeze smells good. It's these simple things in life that make me happy. Craig and I went to the Symphony last evening and it was beautiful. They played a piece by Roussel, Debussy, and Ravel, and then ended it with "An American in Paris" by George Gershwin. The theme was An American in Paris and of course I thought of my friend Olivia! ;) They play at our Fulton Theater downtown which is small but just beautiful. I didn't get a really good photo of the theater. I don't even think I should have taken this one, but it was before the conductor came out, so I think it was okay. The second to last piece included a chorus, so that's why there are a bunch of empty chairs along the back. Netanel Draiblate was also the Concert Master which we hadn't realized! If you remember, I posted about him before and he actually sent an email to thank me! We sound like groupies now. I wonder if Concert Masters have groupies?

The Lancaster Symphony Orchestra warming up.

Lastly, the news for the week includes me throwing out my back AGAIN! I am getting so tired of this happening. SO... you know me. I researched and ended up finding information from The Healthy Back Institute about muscle imbalances. Depending on if your pelvis tilts forward too much or backwards too much, if your hips are uneven, and/or if your head and shoulders also jut forward, then you will probably suffer from back pain. We have pairs of muscles in our bodies and if you stretch and strengthen the right ones, then you can bring your posture back into balance and take the stress off of your back. People have avoided unnecessary back surgery by doing this! (You can get their book free for the cost of shipping. The actual program costs less than a doctor's office visit!!) They also list other things to naturally relieve pain and help to heal the back in conjunction with the exercises. So I'm very optimistic that I can beat this thing! Then, I'm getting very serious about getting in shape. I thought I was before, but this time I really want to see what I can do. Especially if I can avoid back pain. I'm 45 so I feel like it's now or never. I'm tired of being tired. I just heard this quote, "There are excuses and reasons-- if you focus on one then you won't be doing the other." No more excuses!!!  ;)



Thursday, May 17, 2012

vicarious living

My friend Gina just got back on Saturday from Marrakesh, Morocco where she taught Pilates for a week long retreat. She said it was very hot there but she absolutely loved it! She shared all of her photos with me and now I would love to visit too. There are lots of handcrafts and vibrant colors... I tried to pick out a few photos to show you but it was hard to decide!

A jewelry souk in Marrakech

Gina on the camel ride

She took lots of photos of pharmacies for me! She said everything in them was natural and herbal based. I would have loved it!

Men dying yarns.

Lots of vibrant colors!

Old door

Rug souk

The hotel where she stayed... they always ate outdoors!

 The resident donkey

A view of Marrakesh


The snow-covered Atlas Mountains in the distance.

Mountain goats
Shoe Souk

Shops and cafes in the Medina

Baking bread to sell.

Marketplace entrance

Lanterns (Terrain sells similar ones for hundreds of dollars!)

Dried fruits at Market

Upscale restaurant


These are just some of the photos! I feel like I've been there. It seems I live vicariously through many of my friends! ;)
For more information about going on an adventure like this yourself see: Escape to Shape

Monday, May 14, 2012

The disinformation myths against homeopathy by Dana Ullman

(NaturalNews) Homeopathic medicine is at present one of the leading alternative therapies practiced by physicians in Europe (particularly France, Germany, UK, and Italy) and Asia (especially on the Indian subcontinent)(EU Commission, 1997; Prasad, 2007). Since homeopathy's development as a medical specialty in the early 1800s, it has been a leading alternative to orthodox medicine internationally, and it has posed an ongoing threat to the scientific, philosophical, and economics of conventional medical care.

The homeopathic approach to healing maintains a deep respect for symptoms of illness as important defenses of a person's immune and defense system. While conventional medicine often tends to assume that symptoms are something "wrong" with the person that need to be treated, inhibited, suppressed, or biochemically manipulated, homeopaths tend to assume that symptoms are important defenses of the organism that are most effectively resolved when treatments nurture, nourish, or mimic the symptoms in order to initiate a healing process. Ultimately, these two different approaches to healing people have led to various conflicts.

It is common, for instance, for homeopaths to question the alleged "scientific" studies that conventional drugs are "effective" as treatments because of concern that many of these treatments tend to suppress symptoms or disrupt the complex inner ecology of the body and create much more serious illness. Just as opiate drugs of the 19th century gave the guise of healing, homeopaths contend that many modern-day drugs provide blessed short-term relief but create immune dysfunction, mental illness, and other chronic disease processes in its wake. Further, the fact that most people today are prescribed multiple drugs concurrently, despite the fact that clinical research is rarely conducted showing the safety or efficacy of such practices, forces us all to question how scientific modern medicine truly is.

Homeopaths contend that increased rates of cancer, heart disease, chronic fatigue, and various chronic diseases for increasingly younger people may result from conventional medicine's suppression of symptoms and disease processes.It is therefore no surprise that conventional physicians and Big Pharma have a long and dark history of working together to attack homeopathy and homeopaths.

The antagonism against homeopathy began when the highly respected Saxon physician Samuel Hahnemann, MD, first developed the system in the early 1800s. Hahnemann was a translator of leading medical and pharmacology texts and the author of the leading textbook used by pharmacists of his day.

Despite Hahnemann's high stature in medicine, pharmacology, and chemistry, his strong critique of conventional medicine led to personal attacks against him by orthodox physicians as well as by the apothecaries (the drug makers of that time) who were philosophically and economically threatened by Hahnemann's work. When homeopathy arrived in America in 1825, it grew rapidly due to its widely recognized success in treating infectious disease epidemics that raged in the early and mid-1800s. Then, when the American Institute of Homeopathy became the first national medical organization in 1844, a rival organization developed that proposed to stop the growth of homeopathy (Rothstein, 1985, p. 232). That organization called itself the American Medical Association.

Paul Starr's Pulitzer Prize-winning book,The Social Transformation of American Medicine, acknowledged the stature that homeopathy achieved in America in the mid-and later 19th century:"Because homeopathy was simultaneously philosophical and experimental, it seemed to many people to be more rather than less scientific than orthodox medicine"(p. 97).

U.S. President William McKinley even dedicated a special monument to Dr. Hahnemann in Washington, DC, in 1900, which still stands today as the only monument in America's capital to the deeds of a physician.

However, because of the economic, philosophical, and scientific threat that the paradigm and practice of homeopathy represents, the vitriol and antagonism still exists. It is therefore enlightening to expose the disinformation that is spread about homeopathy and then understand WHO is leading this disinformation campaign (the second-part of this article will name names and discuss two individuals, one from the USA and one from the UK, who are presently leaders in the campaign against homeopathy).

The Myths Spread about Homeopathy

Like other propagandists, the homeopathy deniers seek to create disinformation by using three straightforward techniques. First, the homeopathy deniers make a simple false accusation, a lie, and repeat it constantly and consistently in an attempt to make it a new "truth". Second, this repetition is then done within the context of some legitimizing element. In the case of the homeopathy deniers, that element is a corruption of normal science, an analysis of scientific evidence that creates reasons (excuses) to exclude high quality studies that show positive results (even those studies that have been published in leading conventional medical journals), and a mis-use of the concept of skepticism. The homeopathy deniers ignore or downplay the substantial body of evidence from basic science and clinical research, from outcome studies, from cost-effectiveness studies, and from epidemiological evidence, and only quote from those studies that verify their own point of view, rather than reviewing the entire body of evidence.

The third component of the technique is to sell the lie to a vulnerable population in an attempt to have repetition from that group. In the case of the homeopathy deniers, the vulnerable groups are often young students of science, who are enamored with the language and elitism of their newly learned craft, but who lack the deep understanding and experience to realize that they are being "used" by the deniers. The homeopathy deniers also play on the fears of those older and established scientists and physicians and who are led to believe that "if homeopathy is true, then everything about modern medicine and science is false." This over-simplification of reality is commonly repeated. However, just as quantum physics does not "disprove" all of physics, but rather, itextendsour capability to understand and predict events on extremely small and extremely large systems. Likewise, homeopathy does not disprove all of modern pharmacology butextendsour understanding of the use of extremely small doses of medicinal agents to elicit healing responses.

History is replete with orthodox medicine and science being steadfastly resistant to different systems of medicine and paradigms of healing. Although , the average physician and scientist tends to be threatened by new ideas, a common attribute of leading physicians and scientists is a certain openness and humility due to the common and even expected evolution of knowledge.

It should be acknowledged upfront that homeopathic practitioners, patients, and users of these natural medicines are often surprised and amazed at the results they experience in the treatment of themselves, children, infants, animals, and even plants. In my observations over the past 40 years, most people are skeptical about homeopathy until they try it and see for themselves...and there are then good reasons that tens of millions of people all over the world use and rely upon these natural medicines for a wide range of acute and chronic ailments. That said, the challenge is not just trying homeopathy, but first learning something about it so that you can use it correctly and effectively.

Sadly, however, the homeopathy deniers tend to spread disinformation about homeopathy, including the following myths:

Myth #1: "There is no research that shows that homeopathic medicines work."

Such statements are a creative use of statistics, or what might be called "lies, damn lies, and statistics." Actually, most clinical research studies conducted with homeopathic medicines show a positive outcome. However, if "creative statisticians" evaluate only the smaller number of large studies, a positive result is less likely, not because homeopathy doesn't work, but because these larger studies tend to dispense only ONE homeopathic medicine for everyone in the study, without any degree of individualized treatment that is typical of the homeopathic method.[1] To claim that homeopathic medicines do not work using only these studies is as illogical as to say that antibiotics are ineffective just because they do not cure for every viral, fungal, or bacterial infection.

Myth #2: "The research studies showing that homeopathic medicines work are 'poorly conducted studies'."

Wrong! Studies showing the efficacy of homeopathic medicines have been published in the Lancet, the British Medical Journal, Pediatrics, Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, Cochrane Reports, Chest (the publication of the British Society of Rheumatology), Cancer (the journal of the American Cancer Society), Journal of Clinical Oncology (journal of the Society of Clinical Oncology), Human Toxicology, European Journal of Pediatrics, Archives in Facial Plastic Surgery, Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery, Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, and many more.[2] ALL of these studies were randomized, double-blind, and placebo controlled. Further, because of bias against homeopathy, these studies have been scrutinized rigorously, perhaps even more rigorously than is usual.

The weak response from the homeopathy deniers is that the above studies are "cherry-picked." Well, it seems that there are a lot of "cherries" (clinical studies that verify the efficacy of homeopathic medicines). Also, numerous of the above leading medical journals have published meta-analyzes of clinical trials on specific diseases and have shown that homeopathic medicines have significantly more benefits than does a placebo. And further, the deniers erroneously equate the "negative" studies evidence that the whole system of homeopathy does not work, when, in fact, these studies are usually of a preliminary nature that explored the use of one or a small handful of remedies for a specific condition.

Ironically, the one review of research that the homeopathic deniers most commonly assert as strong evidence that there's no difference between homeopathic medicines and placebo (Shang et al, 2005) has been shown to be bad or certainly inadequate science (Walach, et al, 2005; Fisher, 2006; Rutten, 2009, Rutten and Stolper, 2008; Ludtke and Rutten, 2008).

Myth #3: "12C is like one drop in the entire Atlantic Ocean."

Pure fantasy (and fuzzy math)! In fact, the 12C dose requires 12 test tubes, and 1% of the solution is drawn from each of the 12 test tubes. It is also very typical for the "deniers" of homeopathy to assert with a straight face that the making of a single homeopathic medicine requires more water than exists on the planet. It seems that the skeptics are so fundamentalist in their point of view that they consciously or unconsciously mis-assume that the dilutions used in homeopathy grow proportionately with each dilution; they assume that each dilution requires 10 or 100 times more water with each dilution -- which they don't, and even the most elementary articles and books on homeopathy affirm this fact. Sadly (and strangely), most of the skeptics of homeopathy seem to read each other's misinformation on homeopathy and have a propensity to spin the reality of what homeopathy is in ways that misconstrue it.

Myth #4: "There is nothing in a homeopathic medicine. It is just water."

Ignorance and direct disinformation. First, a large number of homeopathic medicines that are sold in health food stores and pharmacies are what are called "low potencies," that is, small or very small doses of medicines, most of which are in a similar dose to which certain powerful hormones and immune cells circulate in our body. Second, using samples of six different medicines made from minerals, scientists at the Department of Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology have consistently confirmed that the starting substance is still present in the form of nanoparticles of the starting minerals even when the medicine has undergone hundreds of serial dilutions--with vigorous shaking in-between each dilution, as per the homeopathic method (Chikramane, Suresh, Bellare, 2010).[3] Further, leading chemistry and physics journals have published other research to confirm that there are differences between water and "homeopathic water" (Elia and Niccoli, 1999; Elia, Napoli, Niccoli, et al, 2008; Rey, 2003)

Myth #5: "If we do not presently understand how homeopathic medicines work, then, they cannot work. It's witchcraft."

Lame on face value. How many more times in history do scientists and others need before they realize that we do not understand a lot of nature's mysteries, but our lack of understanding does not mean that the mysteries are not real. Calling homeopathy "witchcraft" clearly is someone's fear of what they do not know or understand, and a common observation from history is that whenever one goes on a witchhunt, a witch is found (one way or another). The fact that there is a small but significant body of basic sciences research that has shown physical and biological effects from homeopathic medicines tends to be ignored (Endler, Thieves, Reich, et al 2010; Witt, Bluth, Albrecht, et al, 2007). To publish in peer-reviewed scientific journals is not a common practice from witches (or warlocks).

Dr. Karol Sikora is a respected oncologist and dean of the University of Buckingham medical school (in England). Sikora has expressed serious concern about the "Stalinist repression" that certain skeptics of homeopathic and alternative medicines engage (Sikora, 2009). Sikora has harshly criticized "armchair physicians" and others who seem to have little or no experience in using these treatments with real patients.

One other critical piece of evidence to show and even prove the unscientific attitude of the homeopathy deniers is that they now wish to close off all discussion of the efficacy of homeopathic medicines (Baum and Ernst, 2009). These medical fundamentalist actually discourage keeping an open mind about homeopathy. One must question this unscientific attitude that select antagonists to homeopathy embody...and one must even wonder why they maintain such a position.

The second part of this article will provide further specific evidence of the unscientific attitude and actions from those individuals and organizations who are leading the campaign against homeopathy. A leading antagonist to homeopathy from the US and another from the UK will discussed in order to shed light on this important debate in health care. Stay tuned to find out who they are and why they maintain their point of view.

REFERENCES:>

Baum M, Ernst E. Should we maintain an open mind about homeopathy? American Journal of Medicine. 122,11:November 2009. doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2009/03.038.http://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343(09)00533-6/fulltext

Chikramane PS, Suresh AK, Bellare JR, and Govind S. Extreme homeopathic dilutions retain starting materials: A nanoparticulate perspective. Homeopathy. Volume 99, Issue 4, October 2010, 231-242.http://www.homeopathy.org/files/HomeopathyandNanoparticle.pdf

Elia V, and Niccoli M. Thermodynamics of Extremely Diluted Aqueous Solutions, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 879, 1999:241-248.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10415834/

Elia V, Napoli E, Niccoli M, Marchettini N, Tiezzi E(2008). New Physico-Chemical Properties of Extremely Dilute Solutions. A Conductivity Study at 25?°C in Relation to Ageing. Journal of Solution Chemistry, 37:85-96.http://www.springerlink.com/content/v27884306836g251/

Endler PC, Thieves K, Reich C, Matthiessen P, Bonamin L, Scherr C, Baumgartner S. Repetitions of fundamental research models for homeopathically prepared dilutions beyond 10-23: a bibliometric study. Homeopathy, 2010; 99: 25-36.http://www.similima.com/homeopathyresearch/thesis108.pdf

EU Commission report evaluating implementation of Homeopathy Directives 92/73 EEC and 92/74/EEC, 1997.

Fisher P, 2006. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2006 March; 3(1): 145-147. Published online 2006 January 26. doi: 10.1093/ecam/nek007http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1375230/

Ludtke R, Rutten ALB. The conclusions on the effectiveness of homeopathy highly depend on the set of analysed trials. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. October 2008. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2008.06/015.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18834714

Prasad R. Homoeopathy booming in India. Lancet, 370:November 17, 2007,1679-80.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18035598

Rey L. Thermoluminescence of Ultra-High Dilutions of Lithium Chloride and Sodium Chloride. Physica A, 323(2003)67-74.http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378437103000475

Rothstein WG. American Physicians in the 19th Century. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 1985.

Rutten L, 2009.http://www.dokterrutten.nl/collega/Liga09.pdf

Rutten ALB, Stolper CF, The 2005 meta-analysis of homeopathy: The importance of post-publication data. Homeopathy. October 2008, doi:10.1016/j.homp.2008.09/008.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19371564

Shang A, Huwiler-Muntener K, Nartey L, Juni P, Dorig S, Sterne JA, Pewsner D, Egger M. Are the clinical effects of homoeopathy placebo effects? Comparative study of placebo-controlled trials of homoeopathy and allopathy. The Lancet. 366,9487, 27 August 2005:726-732.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16125589

Sikora K. Complementary medicine does help patients. Times Online, February 3rd 2009. Online document at:http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/court_and_social/arti...

Starr P. The Social Transformation of American Medicine. New York: Basic, 1982.

Vickers A, Smith C. Homoeopathic Oscillococcinum for preventing and treating influenza and influenza-like syndromes. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2006, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD001957. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001957.pub3.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14973976

Walach H, Jonas W, Lewith G. Are the clinical effects of homoeopathy placebo effects? Lancet. 2005 Dec 17;366(9503):2081; author reply 2083-6.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16360778

Witt CM, Bluth M, Albrecht H, Weisshuhn TE, Baumgartner S, Willich SN. The in vitro evidence for an effect of high homeopathic potencies--a systematic review of the literature. Complement Ther Med. 2007 Jun;15(2):128-38. Epub 2007 Mar 28. From 75 publications, 67 experiments (1/3 of them replications) were evaluated. Nearly 3/4 of them found a high potency effect, and nearly 3/4 of all replications were positive.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?db=pubmed&uid=17544864&cmd=s...

FOOTNOTES

[1] Although individualization of treatment is one of the hallmarks of the homeopathic method, there are exceptions to this common rule. For instance, there have been four large randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled studies that have shown that homeopathic Oscillococcinum is effective in treating people with influenza or influenza-like syndrome (Vickers and Smith, 2006).

[2] References to these and other studies can be found in the following article: The Case FOR Homeopathic Medicine: Historical and Scientific Evidence --http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dana-ullman/the-case-for-homeopathic_b_...

[3] Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), electron diffraction by Selected Area Electron Diffraction (SAED), and chemical analysis by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectroscopy.



About the author:
America's leading advocate for homeopathic medicine and author ofThe Homeopathic Revolution: Why Famous People and Cultural Heroes Choose Homeopathy(Foreword by Dr. Peter Fisher, Physician to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II). Learn more about homeopathy and Dana's work athttp://www.Homeopathic.comor watch Dana's videos athttp://naturalnews.tv/Browse.asp?memberid=6958

Dana has authored 9 other books, includingHomeopathy A-Z,Homeopathic Medicines for Children and Infants,Discovering Homeopathy, and (the best-selling)Everybody's Guide to Homeopathic Medicines (with Stephen Cummings, MD).

Learn more:http://www.naturalnews.com/034097_homeopathy_myths.html#ixzz1uslpfxSS

Friday, May 11, 2012

our vet visit



I just got back home from taking Elle to her yearly vet visit for vaccinations and a check-up, and I'm all upset about it! (She's still there being groomed.) Right after the 5 (!) shots, she started salivating heavily and was very nervous. She does that every time I give her heartworm medicine once a month. I thought "what the heck am I doing to her?!!". The only reason she gets their flu shot is so that she can stay there at the kennel when she needs to. She's not even going there this summer, but coming with us on vacation. I don't even give my children or Craig and I flu shots! I'm against that. Every vaccination weakens the vital force or health of any living thing and I know that. Why introduce a small bit of exactly what you are trying to avoid in the first place?? There are much healthier, safe ways of protecting yourself from viruses.  Then of course the vet asked what kind of food we feed her. We switched to a grain-free Natural Choice dog food and I give her a little egg or a little meat with it. She doesn't even eat much at all... she's pretty balanced like that. Of course that was "bad" because after I said we believed that dogs ate meat in the wild, she said, "no, they eat the intestines which has grains in it". After I left, I realized that they eat herbivores and therefore their intestines are mostly full of vegetation, not grains! Elle has gained weight over the winter but unlike the vet thinks, it was from a lack of walking due to the fields being closed off to us and we couldn't always drive to go walk. We're not worried... Elle is truly not overweight! Then the biggie-- Elle has tartar on her teeth and red gums (I unfortunately gave her a piece of dried chicken to chew on before the appointment which is the only reason her gums were red.) I am a bad pet owner for not brushing her teeth! So, now I will, I guess. But that wasn't what upset me... now the trend at vets is dental care. And that means anesthesia... which means the procedure costs $280.00! So I opened my big mouth and said that I don't believe anesthesia is safe to give anyone or anything unless it's an emergency situation because it weakens the health. I would never do an elective surgery under anesthesia again. Well, that sort of sealed the fact that my vet thinks I'm a nut and I have "my own views" on things. Of course I do! It's called health views lady! Seriously?!! I didn't even mention what I know about tooth decay, which is that most of it comes from the inside of the tooth being weakened and there are ways to strengthen and remineralize them (read Cure Tooth Decay by Ramiel Nagel). I have been doing it to myself with homeopathy and Cod Liver Oil! Not to mention the fact that many dogs have lived long lives without ever brushing their teeth. And dogs and people in past centuries never brushed their teeth and never had tooth decay... they had strong, straight healthy teeth from good traditional foods diets! Orthodontia was not even necessary at all in the past! So why do I have to brush my dog's teeth??? And maybe that's from the regular dog food... 
Well, needless to say, I'm now searching for alternative veterinarians. I don't think there are any around me. What I really wish is that my kids would be interested in this and pick it as a field. We need WAY more homeopathic doctors and vets! So.... back to my anatomy/physiology book!
Thanks for letting me get this off of my chest :D
HAVE A GOOD WEEKEND!!!

*****************************************************
Just found Darwin's Natural Pet Products through a homeopathic vet and ordered some... raw meat and fruit/vegetable products delivered right to your doorstep! They have an introductory offer so you can try them out. (Cat food too!)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

An outline of my typical day

I. Wake up (way too early) at 6:40 am when I hear the kids get up. Run downstairs to make French Toast!
     a. Empty and refill dishwasher, give Elle some scrambled eggs, drink decaf coffee if Craig made it because I'm too lazy to make it myself!

II. Depending on Craig's schedule, drive them to school. Dodge teen drivers... always life-threatening maneuvers in the high school parking lot.

III. Eat breakfast while reading the paper... must do the Wonderword Puzzle!!! (that's mine!) Glance at the horoscope and wonder how they can always be so wrong most of the time.  Quickly read emails and sometimes check blog posts.

IV. Look at the clock and realize that time flies! (Especially after sending personal emails to the writers on the editorial page of the paper if they make me upset!) Run upstairs to take a shower after doing my five Pilates exercises (or thinking about them... back has been sore). On a really good day, do the 30 minute Insanity workout... but really, who am I kidding? That only happened for two weeks! ;)

V. Collect all dirty laundry from bedrooms and start a load. Wonder how Nathaniel can go through so much clothing each day?! Fold the load that I forgot about in the dryer from the previous day and put away.

VI. Run to the grocery/or Lemon Street Market/ or Central Market. Wonder again how only four people go through so much food that I'm constantly running to get more!

VII. Eat lunch from any leftovers I can find... this usually occurs later than I'd like.

VIII. Take Elle for a walk. Sometimes this is only a walk to the front yard to throw the frisbee so she will poop! But I do love taking her for walks because I need one just as badly! This usually requires getting into the car and driving somewhere because there's still school construction going on behind our house in our old walking trails!

IX. Start reading my school work! (Or clean the bathrooms or vacuum and dust... depends on what's happening and how much I want to breathe clean air!!!)  Change loads of laundry all afternoon in between chapters. This should be three hours but it is usually only one.

X. The kids walk in from school at 3:00 pm and then I listen to the news of their day. Some days we run off to riding lessons or the orthodontist or any other appointment. Some days I get to do a bit more reading.

XI. At 5:00 pm I begin dinner. Sometimes this starts at 3:00 or 4:00 pm if I have a roast to do. I don't care what any recipe says, it ALWAYS takes at least an hour to make dinner!!!

XII. Clean up dishes, take out trash and try to remember that last load of laundry to fold and put away.

XIII. Make sure everyone is finished with their homework. Occasionally I help quiz or proofread, but this doesn't occur all too often anymore.

XIV. Collapse on the coach with the family and read a book, do my cross-stitch and/or watch one of the shows we taped: Colbert Report, HGTV, American Choppers, Masterpiece Classics (if they'll let me) or I watch "Dancing with the Stars" which is my #1 favorite right now. Don't ask me... I just love it!

XV. Start the dishwasher at 9:30 pm, tell everyone goodnight and say bedtime prayers with them, then get ready for bed myself and snuggle in. Wonder how each day goes by so quickly and I only accomplish a handful of things! Get ready to do it all again the next day!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Sister Weekend in NYC

There are times when you get to do something that you'll remember for the rest of your life and last weekend was one of mine! My sister Jane flew in from Florida and spent a few days here with me. I took her to the Brandywine River Museum and Terrain for lunch on Friday. Then on Saturday morning we caught the Amtrak train to NYC and spent the day running around the city. It's not often that I have such a free schedule and we ate a three hour dinner that night and walked back to the hotel through Times Square. We were there until Sunday afternoon and the weather was beautiful. It went too quickly, so we'll have to make this a regular thing! I also spent yesterday with my friend Erinn in West Chester, PA which I just fell in love with too. Lots of places to go back to visit!! :)

On the train, headed to New York City 
Ate brunch in Soho

Shopped at The French Connection, Soho

At the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Jane at the Met

One of my favorites by John Singer Sargent

Maine

John Singer Sargent

Ahhh... Monet... Made me breathless!

By the pond in Central Park... this is why I never modeled-- so awkward!!!

Our view from our room at the New Yorker Hotel