Friday, July 24, 2009

Cool New Science Show On PBS

Have you checked out the new PBS series, hosted by none other than the Hayden Planetarium's own astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson?
It's called Nova Science Now, and presents science in a fun and interesting way that just may light the fire of curiosity in minds young and old.
My husband and I are definitely fans!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Giving Thanks

Cultivating An Attitude Of Gratitude
Every day I try to remember everything for which I should feel grateful.
I am so blessed in so many ways.
What do you have to be thankful for and who in your life could use some appreciative words from you?
Try to start each and every day with an 'attitude of gratitude'!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Jimmy Carter, You Rock!

Losing My Religion For Equality
by Jimmy Carter
July 15, 2009

Women and girls have been discriminated against for too long in a twisted interpretation of the word of God.

I HAVE been a practising Christian all my life and a deacon and Bible teacher for many years. My faith is a source of strength and comfort to me, as religious beliefs are to hundreds of millions of people around the world. So my decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult. It was, however, an unavoidable decision when the convention's leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be "subservient" to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service.

This view that women are somehow inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths. Nor, tragically, does its influence stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue or temple. This discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a Higher Authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women's equal rights across the world for centuries.

At its most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities.

The impact of these religious beliefs touches every aspect of our lives. They help explain why in many countries boys are educated before girls; why girls are told when and whom they must marry; and why many face enormous and unacceptable risks in pregnancy and childbirth because their basic health needs are not met.

In some Islamic nations, women are restricted in their movements, punished for permitting the exposure of an arm or ankle, deprived of education, prohibited from driving a car or competing with men for a job. If a woman is raped, she is often most severely punished as the guilty party in the crime.

The same discriminatory thinking lies behind the continuing gender gap in pay and why there are still so few women in office in the West. The root of this prejudice lies deep in our histories, but its impact is felt every day. It is not women and girls alone who suffer. It damages all of us. The evidence shows that investing in women and girls delivers major benefits for society. An educated woman has healthier children. She is more likely to send them to school. She earns more and invests what she earns in her family.

It is simply self-defeating for any community to discriminate against half its population. We need to challenge these self-serving and outdated attitudes and practices - as we are seeing in Iran where women are at the forefront of the battle for democracy and freedom.

I understand, however, why many political leaders can be reluctant about stepping into this minefield. Religion, and tradition, are powerful and sensitive areas to challenge. But my fellow Elders and I, who come from many faiths and backgrounds, no longer need to worry about winning votes or avoiding controversy - and we are deeply committed to challenging injustice wherever we see it.

The Elders are an independent group of eminent global leaders, brought together by former South African president Nelson Mandela, who offer their influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity. We have decided to draw particular attention to the responsibility of religious and traditional leaders in ensuring equality and human rights and have recently published a statement that declares: "The justification of discrimination against women and girls on grounds of religion or tradition, as if it were prescribed by a Higher Authority, is unacceptable."

We are calling on all leaders to challenge and change the harmful teachings and practices, no matter how ingrained, which justify discrimination against women. We ask, in particular, that leaders of all religions have the courage to acknowledge and emphasise the positive messages of dignity and equality that all the world's major faiths share.

The carefully selected verses found in the Holy Scriptures to justify the superiority of men owe more to time and place - and the determination of male leaders to hold onto their influence - than eternal truths. Similar biblical excerpts could be found to support the approval of slavery and the timid acquiescence to oppressive rulers.

I am also familiar with vivid descriptions in the same Scriptures in which women are revered as pre-eminent leaders. During the years of the early Christian church women served as deacons, priests, bishops, apostles, teachers and prophets. It wasn't until the fourth century that dominant Christian leaders, all men, twisted and distorted Holy Scriptures to perpetuate their ascendant positions within the religious hierarchy.

The truth is that male religious leaders have had - and still have - an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions - all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


"There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle"

-Albert Einstein

Friday, July 17, 2009

Almost 40 years...

...since Woodstock. Boy, how time flies! Of course, I was only 4 at the time but the music lives on and is just classic! I would have LOVED to have gone to see Joe Cocker or Janis Joplin or the Dead while Jerry was in his heyday!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Amazing Little Hummingbirds!

We've always admired the beauty and fortitude of the tiny little hummingbird.
Here's a great link at Youtube about one man's dedication to thousands of the migrating birds:

Monday, July 13, 2009

I Love This Poem

Name of Horses by Donald Hall

All winter your brute shoulders strained against collars, padding
and steerhide over the ash hames, to haul
sledges of cordwood for drying through spring and summer,
for the Glenwood stove next winter, and for the simmering range.

In April you pulled cartloads of manure to spread on the fields,
dark manure of Holsteins, and knobs of your own clustered with oats.
All summer you mowed the grass in meadow and hayfield, the mowing machine
clacketing beside you, while the sun walked high in the morning;

and after noon's heat, you pulled a clawed rake through the same acres,
gathering stacks, and dragged the wagon from stack to stack,
and the built hayrack back, uphill to the chaffy barn,
three loads of hay a day from standing grass in the morning.

Sundays you trotted the two miles to church with the light load
a leather quartertop buggy, and grazed in the sound of hymns.
Generation on generation, your neck rubbed the windowsill
of the stall, smoothing the wood as the sea smooths glass.

When you were old and lame, when your shoulders hurt bending to graze,
one October the man, who fed you and kept you, and harnessed you every morning,
led you through corn stubble to sandy ground above Eagle Pond,
and dug a hole beside you where you stood shuddering in your skin,

and lay the shotgun's muzzle in the boneless hollow behind your ear,
and fired the slug into your brain, and felled you into your grave,
shoveling sand to cover you, setting goldenrod upright above you,
where by next summer a dent in the ground made your monument.

For a hundred and fifty years, in the Pasture of dead horses,
roots of pine trees pushed through the pale curves of your ribs,
yellow blossoms flourished above you in autumn, and in winter
frost heaved your bones in the ground - old toilers, soil makers:

O Roger, Mackerel, Riley, Ned, Nellie, Chester, Lady Ghost.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Good News!

I had my followup with my new cardiologist this morning, and he said that the narrowing in my coronary arteries is negligible!. He also said that if I keep doing what I'm doing, I should be fine! He was one of the nicest guys I've ever met, and so friendly and personable. He took his time answering ever single question I had and did not rush me. I left that office feeling like a million bucks!

So, here's advice for all of us to love our hearts and keep our hearts healthy and strong!

1} Exercise as often as humanly possible! Just make sure you clear it with your Doctor first. My husband, Ian and I walk with our little Jack Russell, Buddy, most days of the week for at least 2 to 3 miles up and down lots of hills. Ian rides his bike alot and we also do lots of barn/horse type chores, and I ride when I can. {I also want to get back into doing yoga!}
2} Eat a heart friendly diet! Ian and I have been vegetarians for almost 6 years now,and since my hospital scare a few weeks ago, I am just about vegan now. You have to choose what's best for you. I'm not trying to preach. But PLEASE eats lots of fruits and veggies and whole grains. Stay away from saturated fats. Eat walnuts and flaxseed because they are rich in omega 3 fatty acids that are wonderful for your blood vessels. And remember, what keeps your heart and blood vessels healthy also keeps strokes and Alzheimer's and cancers at bay. Oh, and stay away from simple sugars/things high in sugar.
3} PLEASE don't smoke or really consider quitting. It's THE single greatest thing you can do for your heart! When I was a dumb teenager who knew everything, I smoked for about 3 years. But that was over 26 years ago. I'm so glad I quit one day, cold turkey. No b.s., I just stopped. It's called loving yourself enough to do the right thing for your health. I know it's hard to quit, but isn't your life worth sticking around for? Aren't your loved ones worth it? Just do it! Your heart will thank you!
4} Learn to relax and manage your stress.Take time to smell the proverbial roses. Learn to meditate. We are all so caught up in our hectic lives that we forget about what really matters. We all need time to have time and space to ourselves to reflect upon who we really are and what we are meant to do with our fleeting time here on this planet. Are you doing what you really want? If not, why not? How can you start getting there?
5} Make sure you have a good Doctor, one who you can talk to and who listens to you. Have your yearly physical exams. Don't skip them! They are vital for catching health concerns early, before they can wreak havoc on your health. Also, learn to be your best advocate. Speak up for yourself, and voice your healthcare concerns, no matter how silly they seem.
6} Know your numbers and what they mean. Don't just take your Doc's word for it!
The most important numbers you should know include:
-Your blood pressure. Normal is less than 140/90 but ideally it's better for it to be down around 120/70 or so. If it's consistently high you may need medication to lower it. Make sure you discuss this with your Doctor. Uncontrolled BP has very serious consequences for your heart.
-Your lipid panel/profile, includes your cholesterol. Ideally, your total cholesterol should be less than 200, your LDL {the bad cholesterol} should be ideally less than 100, triglycerides less than 150, and your good cholesterol, HDL, should be greater than 40 for men, and 50 for women.
-Your weight. Yes, let's face it-it's so easy to put on weight as we age. But we are doing our hearts no favors by ignoring the scale. Ideally, your BMI or body mass index should be between 18.5 and 24.9 to be a healthy weight. Here's a great link to check your BMI. Just put in your height and weight and it tells you:
-have your blood sugar checked. A normal fasting blood sugar is around 70 to 110 or so. When you have your yearly checkup, make sure you have lab work done like a metabolic panel, CBC, thyroid function. The metabolic panel will include a blood sugar level. Knowing early that you have developed Type II diabetes is something you can then manage. Diabetes at any age is very hard on your organs, but especially your heart, kidneys and eyes.

It's up to us to be proactive in keeping ourselves healthy! And remember, whether you are young or not, heart disease in the family or not...any chest pain or pressure accompanied by shortness of breath/dizziness/nausea/vomiting/sweating ALWAYS warrants attention. Get yourself checked immediatley. What's the worst find out your heart's okay and you live?!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Great South Bay Music Festival

Our son Travis has volunteered to help out at this year's Great South Bay Music Festival July 10, 11 and 12th at Shorefront Park in Patchogue. Last year was great and we had a blast! Got to see original Grateful Dead members Mickey Hart, Donna Jean Godchaux, and lots of other cool musicians.
Here's this year's lineup:

Monday, July 6, 2009

Great NatGeo Link

Check out this link at National Geographic. There's a cool video of equine photographer Mark Harvey and how he is so successful at capturing beautiful pictures of our favorite creatures!

Here's a link to his website:

Going For A Walk With My Bud!

I'm about to head out the door for a walk with my best walking companion, Buddy.
He tries to drag me the whole way, and I'm convinced he wants to be part of the first ever all Jack Russell Iditarod sled dog team! As long as there are no squirrels along the trail to distract them Russells, they might even win. Or you might find our sled stuck up a tree. Either one. It's anyone's guess when JRT's are involved!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Some More Random Fjord Cuteness!

Here's our boy just hanging out in the paddock with his buddy, Orion.