My Journey To Health Weekend Survival

lady-Violet-What-is-a-weekendOne of the greatest words in the English language is “weekend.”  These are the two days of the week most of us look forward to.  We plan things to do.  We decide to work on personal projects or possibly do chores around our home that have been neglected.  The choice, however, is ours to make.  There is no one giving us instructions or ordering our day.  The weekend can be the best time of the week and for some the worst.

These past five days have been difficult, problem after problem arose.  You may read about some of my adventures in the last installment of this series.  There were few bright spots, if any at all, and by the weekend I had become very depressed.

I see a physician’s assistant instead of a doctor.  His name is Jim and he is the best medical practitioner that ever existed.  I saw him on Friday.  This was a follow up appointment.  He had suggested the week before that my blood sugar had gone too high and I might have to go on medication.  I take 15 doses of meds a day.  I was in no mood to start another one, and suggested we wait a few days and do another blood sugar.  He agreed, and I stayed away from bad foods as best as possible.  As I saw him the first time on New Year’s Eve, I knew I was planning to change my diet the next day.

This past Friday I saw him again, and I am happy to report that the blood sugar had gone down and no further treatment was necessary.  But it was a scare for the whole week, and even though the news was positive it didn’t help where I was emotionally and I sank deeper in depression.

The good news is that in the depression I did not seek out a lot of extra stuff to eat.  I did cheat a little.  But it was not that much and though the food I chose was not the best for me, it was not sugar based.  So it was a win lose situation.

Chronic depression is not something anyone likes to talk about.  I know this from experience.  There are some good people out there that will listen, but most people are really not that interested or they are a little uncomfortable with emotional illness.  This makes things difficult.  You have to wisely choose who you tell and try to explain what you need or may need.

It’s great to have therapists, but therapists are not part of our daily existence, we need to build a network of friends to help us along.  This should never be one sided.  You may need help with depression but they have needs too.  In fact true friends have each other’s backs so in receiving you should also be giving.

That brings up one other point.  Chemical depression does not just go away, but it can be relived a little.  When things begin to go wrong, when our emotions seem out of control, when we find ourselves in a dark place, look to help someone else.  It does not take the feelings away, but it does make the load a little easier to bear as we focus on someone else instead of ourselves.  Whenever we help another person we truly help ourselves.

Depression is not to be taken lightly.  If you find yourself in serious depression go to the hospital, It is imperative that you get the treatment you need.  If you don’t want to go but someone is strongly suggesting you go, do what they say.  If you are having thoughts of hurting yourself or hutting others go to the hospital.  We have lost too many people to suicide.  Good people, who just didn’t ask for help.  People that kept their pain inside until it broke them.

If you would like some encouragement I  suggest the web site, Rebuilding Love.  It is a good place to start. this sight has stories and blogs of real people that are going through depression and made good choices.  The site is in its infancy so the stories are real and fresh.  You will find one of mine there.

If you know someone who has chronic depression help as you can.  Studies have shown that a 15 second hug actually raises your emotions to higher level.  You can help by holding on to someone for 15 seconds.  We can all spare 15 seconds.  Not only that but it raises both participants levels, so you walk away feeling better too.

Weekend can be deadly for some people.  Those who trying to stay healthy, and are changing their habits, will find the weekends the hardest part of the week to keep to their chosen program.  Those who struggle emotionally may find weekends hard to deal with in general.  We can all make it.  That’s the point.  The resources are there if we choose to use them.  Every day has potential for good.

The post My Journey To Health Weekend Survival also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Son Tells His Mother He Will Sell His Kidney On Ebay If She Refuses To Accept It For Transplant


(PCM) Imran Najeeb’s mother,Zainab Begum, was in need of a kidney transplant, however she did not want to accept her sons offer to donate one of his, as she did not want to place her son at any risk.  In order, to get Begum to accept his offer for his kidney he had to create an elaborate lie and threaten to sell his kidney on Ebay to finally get her to accept his offer.

His plan worked, as Begum finally agreed to accept Najeeb’s kidney, as she was curious why he would want to sell his kidney to complete stranger when he could donate it to her. Najeeb had continuously been in contact with the hospital about his offer to donate his kidney to his mother, however he was told unless she agreed he would have been unable to donate.

When Begum first found out she desperately needed a kidney transplant she initially agreed to take her sons kidney however she later changed her mind, as she felt she would never forgive herself if something were to happen to him during the procedure. Over time Begum’s condition began to deteriorate rather quickly and she was forced to be on dialysis. When Najeeb overheard his mother talking to another relative who was living in Pakistan about the possibility of purchasing a kidney and having the procedure done overseas he decided it was time to take action.

Najeeb tricked his mother into believing that he had put up his kidney for sale on Ebay for the price of $10,000 and that a man in China was willing to make the purchase. Because his mother could not read or write in English he was able to pull up the image of a kidney through a Google search and trick her into believing that it was his for sale.

He continued the trick every time that he mother tried to pull back out of the procedure after agreeing to take the organ and just kept telling her that if she didn’t take it, he would relist it on Ebay for another patient. Both Najeeb and his mother made a successful recovery and both continuing to enjoy life each with one kidney a piece!

The post Son Tells His Mother He Will Sell His Kidney On Ebay If She Refuses To Accept It For Transplant also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Making Changes In The New Year

vulcan_sunrise_by_americanpsycho-d65zz9iNew Year’s Day.  We celebrated the night before.  Maybe we opened champagne and kissed the person we love and wished all in our circle a Happy New Year.  Maybe we spent the evening alone and quietly brought the New Year in with some soft music and a glass of wine or eggnog with a little brandy in it.  Maybe we went to sleep early getting rested for a long weekend ahead.

Whatever happened on New Year’s Eve, it is now over and the New Year has started.  This is the time we decide if we are going to make some changes on the outside of us or the inside.  Many people feel that this is a day of new beginnings and it should be taken advantage of.  People decide to lose weight, to exercise, to be more social, to get out of debt, and many other good ideas.

The problem with most of these ‘resolutions” is we find that we give them up about the 14th  of January.  The schedule gets to busy and so exercise goes out the window.  The car breaks down and getting out of debt turns into getting in to more debt.  A co-worker brings in a couple dozen donuts and the diet goes out the window (especially if they are jelly).

Why is this the case?  Literally thousands of people get gym memberships the first week of January and never use them.  We can assume Weight Watchers and Slim Fast do a booming business too.  In the first week of January many store put diet and exercise supplements and equipment items in front of the store as you go in or make sure these items are on sale.

Part of the reason most people fail at their goals at the beginning of the year is that the goal isn’t reached fast enough or it becomes too hard.  We live in a society where most of our lives are easy.  The time it takes to do things that used to take hours’ in the past, take minutes now.  You can have dinner ready in a few minutes if you use a microwave.  If you use a credit card you can almost anything you want when you want it and to be honest most people do not think of the consequences of these actions.

Ladies and Gentlemen, change takes time.  It takes three weeks to establish a new habit.  So if you start to exercise it will take three weeks to get used to going to the gym.  If you start a diet it will take three weeks to get used to eating less and to eating the right things.  If you are getting out of debt you must come up with a plan and stick to it no matter what.  There are many organizations out there that will help you eliminate your debt.  Saving money also has to become a habit.

Many banks charge a monthly fee if you don’t open a savings account with a certain amount of money.  One bank allows you to start with a $25.00 dollar deposit but the agreement is that has to be up to $200.00 in four months or they will start to charge a fee.

Recently a chart was found on Face book.  The chart showed that if you put aside one dollar the first week of the year, two dollars the second week of the year and so on.  On the last week of the year you will add $52.00.  In the end you will have saved over a thousand dollars in that year.  It’s a good plan and easy to follow.

Exercise can be done the same way.  On the first day of the year walk around your block once on the second day, two blocks and keep going until you get to the third week.  After that the habit will be formed and you will feel better.

Plato said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”  We need to look at our inside too.  Do we hold a grudge against someone?  Are we less kind then we should be?  Could we spend more time with our families than we do?  Do we get angry quickly and hurt others in out anger?  Do we love well?  Not romantic love, to be honest that’s pretty easy.  But do we love in such a way that we keep going when the going gets tough, when someone get under our skin, or simply has a different opinion than ours.

The Greeks have four words for love as opposed to our insufficient one.  Eros refers to sexual attraction, storge which is love for family, plillia which is the type of love when we help others. And the last is agape which is a love that is between friends.  So these are the four types of love that we need to master if we want to become a different person this year.  These are also the areas of our lives to be examined if we want to make healthy changes on the inside of ourselves.

Whatever you decide to do in the coming year remember to stick with it no matter how hard it gets.  Remember that you are more than you think you are and you have what it takes to be the person you want to be.

The post Making Changes In The New Year also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Mother Teresa Will Be Named A Saint By The Roman Catholic Church


(PCM) Saints are created by the Catholic Church as a way to provide role models for it’s followers and the Vatican has recently revealed that they will now be naming Mother Teresa a saint in the coming months.

Pope Francis has been creating new saints at an almost rapid pace, however the actual process for declaring an individual to sainthood is still very much cloaked in secrecy and looks at their performance of miracles, political ideology, as well as, large amounts of money passing hands.

In more recent years under the watch and ruling of Pope Francis it is now easier than ever to obtain sainthood as he done away with the miracle requirement that was previously needed to obtain sainthood.

You may be wondering about just how a saint is created, and as we have stated earlier, much of the details remain veiled in mystery, however the basics are as follows:

  1. A postulator obtains documentation and testimony and then present the case to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
  2. The Congregation for the Cause of Saints come to an agreement that the individual has lived a virtuous life and forward the case directly to the Pope.
  3. The Pope then signs a decree attesting to the individuals heroic virtues
  4. If the individual discovered by the postulator has mysteriously healed another individual through prayer and their cure can not be medically explained than the individual’s case is presented for beatification.
  5. A panel of doctors, theologians, bishops and cardinals must then agree that the cure was instantaneous and complete and they will then send the case to the Pope
  6. The Pope then signs a decree that says the individuals can be beatified.
  7. The individual must then have a second miracle to be considered for canonization, after which they will become a saint

In the case of Mother Teresa, she is covered as far as miracles are concerned. She was beatified back in 2003 after an Indian woman by the name of Monica Besra claimed that Mother Teresa’s divine intervention cured her of a tumor.  Pope John Paul II waived the normal five-year waiting period for Mother Teresa’s beatification process to begin and launched it a year after her 1997 death.

Pope Benedict XVI then waived the five-year waiting period for John Paul in launching his beatification process in just a few weeks after his death in 2005. John Paul beat out Mother Teresa’s quick beatification by just a few days when he was beatified May 1, 2011.


The post Mother Teresa Will Be Named A Saint By The Roman Catholic Church appeared first on The World Of Pop Culture.

Dick Van Dyke Turns 90 December 13, 2015. A Tribute

Dick-90Dick Van Dyke is probably one of Hollywood’s most illustrious personalities.  I won’t use the word famous.  He is not sought out for interviews and neither do you see his name in the rag sheets that you see at the supermarket while in line.  Dick Van Dyke is illustrious for exactly the opposite.  He has led a good quality life while giving us good quality entertainment.

Van Dyke was born December 13, 1925.  It was a Sunday, which is interesting in the fact that he would eventually teach Sunday school and write a book about the experience.  But I think it means more than that.  Dick Van Dyke opted to make movies he could bring his family to see.  So Sunday values were part of his career.

This article is not a short biography.  If you want that you can easily look that up on Wikipedia.  This is meant more as tribute to a man who has affected my life in a very positive way and I believe he still affects me and others to this day.

My first recollection of Dick Van Dyke would have been the film version of Bye Bye Birdie.  Bye Bye Birdie was a musical farce that was based on the real story of Elvis Presley being drafted into the army. Van Dyke had the lead role, which was the song writer for Birdie, he also played the role in the Broadway production.  What I remember most was his singing of a song that has become a standard called “Put On A Happy Face”.  It was duet he sang with Janet Leigh of Psycho fame.  The song had some great special effects in the film, but also was upbeat and yes happy.  It is a song I can still turn to when I feel sad or depressed.

My next recollection only comes in pieces.  Van Dyke played Rob Petrie in a sit com called The Dick Van Dyke Show.  The ongoing story was a comedy about a man who had to balance both work and home.  Van Dyke loved to do physical comedy and was a big fan of Stan Laurel of Laurel and Hardy fame.  You can see much of Laurel in the physical comedy that Van Dyke did in his show.  I was pre-school when this show was on so I did not see much of it then.  But in re-runs I’ve probably seen each episode about 50 times.  The show is timeless and so the comedy holds up today as well as it did when it was first aired in the early 1960s.

Drum roll please!  My biggest early recollection of Dick Van Dyke is probably the same of almost everyone that is reading this story.  Dick Van Dyke left his mark on all of us when he played Burt, the chimney sweep, in Walt Disney’s Mary Poppins.  I would not call many movies perfect.  Mary Poppins is one of the perfect films.  It had it all, music, comedy, drama, and a story with a moral that both adults and children can relate too.  In that film Dick Van Dyke made an impression that is still being felt by both young and old alike.  In fact he also has the lines at the end that makes the point of the entire film.

Next comes Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the story of the magic flying car that every kid loved to see.  Van Dyke played Characticus Potts a poor inventor who buys a beat up old car and turns it into a magnificent machine that can float fly and guide itself to its destination.  The film had some great songs and was fun to watch.  The story line had the same main emphasis though, the idea of how large a the role of the father plays in the growth of children.

Van Dyke went on to do more comedies for Disney as well as other studios.  I remember them vaguely but not with as much gratitude and joy that I feel as I have with the work mentioned above.

Dick Van Dyke today is still an inspiration to me.  When he was younger he overcame an issue with alcohol which in itself is amazing.  In the last few years he has been in all three of The Night At The Museum movie series with Adam Sandler.

When Mary Poppins, the Broadway stage show made it to Los Angelas he took a small part in the show.  Recently he has worked with some young men who call themselves Dick Van Dyke and the Vantastix.  They record as well as do live performances.  This group also performed live at the San Diego Comic Con this year.  They were on the floor of the convention center, not on a pay to see stage venue.  This year he danced in a music video by Dustbowl Revival in a song called Never Had To Go.  You can catch the video on YouTube.

Dick Van Dyke will have spent his Birthday Party at Disneyland.  At 12:45 his singing group performs.  At around two o’clock a birthday parade, at 4:45 a Let’s Go Fly A Kite sing along, at 8:45 he is honored in the Paint the Night Parade as well as the fireworks display at 9:30.  Mr Van Dyke is not relaxing on his Birthday.

I feel a debt of gratitude and honor toward Mr. Dick Van Dyke.  He makes me happy.  He has put family values first.  He has shown us that old age can be a magnificent time of life, and he has given me and many others a life time of memories.  Happy Birthday Dick May God Bless You.

The post Dick Van Dyke Turns 90 December 13, 2015. A Tribute also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.



Snowflake shaped Gingerbread cookies stacked and tied with a red ribbon.

(PCM) Whoever invented the holiday cookie exchange was either a sadist or a genius – maybe both.

On the one hand, participating in a cookie exchange means you’ve got to stop and bake something (something pretty enough to share, no less) right in the middle of gift-shopping, house decorating, holiday concerting, family visiting, nervous breakdown-ing, and whatever else you’ve got on your chaotic December schedule.

On the other hand, participating in a cookie exchange means you get to leave the house with one kind of cookie and come home with way more than one kind of cookie. That’s sheer brilliance right there – and, for many of us, incentive enough.

So if you said “yes” to the siren call of cookie exchange at your office/church/AA meetup/block party/PTA/ what-have-you, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your swap:

The first rule of cookie club is… follow the rules of cookie club (assuming there are rules of cookie club. There usually are.) If you agreed to make something from scratch, something holiday-themed, something allergy-friendly or something three-quarter-inch-thick (no more, no less) then do that. Nobody wants to spend hours in their kitchen meeting exacting cookie guidelines only to take home your half-hearted, rebel-without-a-clue confections. Don’t be that guy.

Plan Ahead. Nothing kills the joy of cookie creation quite like a last-minute rush. Once you’ve figured out what you’re going to make, mark your calendar, check your recipe, and write your shopping list. Get your ingredients several days in advance and do your baking a night or two before, or more! Some cookies can even be frozen for weeks ahead of time. For those of us with a tendency to forget crucial components until we’re up to our elbows in cookie prep, that extra time for contingencies (like emergency shopping runs) is an absolute must.

Not sure what to make? Chocolate chip cookies are America’s favorite, hands-down. Other classics include ginger men or ginger ladies (ginger gender-neutrals?), sugar cookies (you can make them round or in fun seasonal shapes like trees or stars. The sky’s the limit – Darth Vader cookies? Why not!) and cookies of the peanut butter or oatmeal persuasion.

But be true to your abilities. Classic crowd-pleasers are not always the easiest to make (oh, the humanity of all those lost cookie-person heads and limbs.) If baking is not your strongest skill, go for something basic, or consider a nice no-bake recipe. If you’re a cookie pro, though, why not try something unusual? A plate of all chocolate chip and blah drop cookies is no fun – how about wowing us with fancy double nut bars or sparkling candy bark! With great power comes great responsibility, and cookies are no exception.

Indeed, a well-balanced plate of cookie love can do wonders for the weary soul. Imagine if there were more cookies, better cookies, to go around. In other words, if you’re going to do a cookie exchange, do it right. Maybe, just maybe, it could change the world.

The post COOKIE EXCHANGE TIPS also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

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