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Unacceptable Levels examines the results of the chemical revolution of the 1940s through the eyes of affable filmmaker Ed Brown, a father seeking to understand the world in which he and his wife are raising their children. To create this debut documentary, one man and his camera traveled extensively to find and interview top minds in the fields of science, advocacy, and law. Weaving their testimonies into a compelling narrative, Brown presents us with the story of how the chemical revolution brought us to where we are, and of where, if we’re not vigilant, it may take us.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
October is one of my favorite months, but lately I'm wondering why. You see, the problem with October is it wreaks havoc on my body. The change in barometric pressure triggers pains in places I'd forgotten could hurt. My fibromyalgia and Epstein Barr Virus Syndrome flair and I'd much rather be in bed than sitting at my desk working. Except when even lying in bed causes pain on whatever body part touches the mattress. Let me tell you, fibro is no fun. Anyone else in the community suffering from it? Does it get worse in the fall and winter?
Another thing that's been happening lately, is my allergies are acting up -- sneezing, sore throat, itchy eyes.
That's why I'm happy to face autumn with Hyland's. There are two products, in particular, that have won my heart this month. One is their Arnica, melt in your mouth, tabs. They truly equal relief.
Here's what their website says about Hyland's Arnica 30x:
Our new pain relief formula speeds your recovery from injuries and trauma. You can even take it before activity to minimize pain later. Arnica 30x relieves pain from joint & muscle soreness, bruising, swelling, stiffness, back ache, fatigue and inflammation.
Oh yeah. While my pain is not injury-related, I still find relief from my daily pain when I put one or two of these tablets under my tongue. They can be taken every 4 hours to help provide longer periods of reduced pain.
Then there's the problem with the allergies. At the first sign of itchy eyes, I reach for another new "friend" -- my Hyland's Seasonal Allergy Relief tablets. Perhaps more people need these in the spring, but since I can remember, my allergies always seemed to bother me more as fall drew near. As soon as the yellow jackets started swarming in late August, my nose would start running.
With the decline in all sorts of bees, I haven't noticed the end of summer allergies too much, so I'm not sure if it was just all the pollen the bees brought with them or what it was that caused the reaction. I just know it's not as bad anymore. But as we progressed through October, with the leaves on the ground and the drier air, I've needed daily doses of the Allergy Relief tabs. Again, I just pop them under my tongue and within minutes, I'm good to go.
What did I do before I discovered Hyland's? I don't know, but I'm sure glad I don't have to suffer without it anymore!
Hyland's has a fun fall/Halloween photo contest going on over on their FB page from now through Nov. 6, 2013. Three lucky winners will receive a basket of Hyland's products AND a $50 VISA Gift Card!! Value of prize is over $130! Check it out here.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
In honor of National Cat Day, I thought I'd share some pics of some of the cats who were/are members of our family throughout the years.
|Vincent Van Gogh|
|Bella Notte, Vincent Van Gogh, and Theo Van Gogh|
|Vincent Van Gogh|
|Theo Van Gogh|
Monday, October 28, 2013
"Where are the trains, Pap Pap? Let's go see the trains!"
So the family descended into the basement to the bomb shelter (yes, we have an authentic bomb shelter in our house) to see Bill's train display. Rather than just telling you about it, I thought I'd just share it with you this morning, since we all need a little Christmas, right this very minute...
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Friday, October 25, 2013
How many of you take apple cider vinegar daily for your health?
I do, but I must admit, I don't like it. If you're like me, you'd love to find a tastier method of consuming your ACV. Here's a Facebook post I received yesterday from Danielle. While I've not tried it yet, it just might be what you and I have been looking for:
|Photo by George Hodan|
Someone recommended to me a more palatable way of drinking acv and I thought of you. She drinks cold water with a splash of acv, and a few drops of liquid stevia. I added a squeeze of lemon juice as well, and it was really, really good! She said she drinks a few glasses a day instead of taking 1 horrible gulp in the morning. Hopefully this can help you, too.
If you're new to the world of Apple Cider Vinegar, please check out some of my other posts about the hows and whys of taking ACV.
Sore Throat, Acid Reflux, Constipation, Hemorrhoids, IBS, Colds, Congestion, Cough, Earache, Flu
Weight Loss and Detoxification
Angina, Anxiety, Depression, Insomnia, Hot Flashes, Night Sweats
Weight Loss and Dr. Oz
Pregancy-related Anemia, Heartburn and Constipation
Heartburn and Acid Reflux
I hope something in one of the above posts helps you reach your own health-related goals. Let me know if there's a tip you'd like to add.
Keeping it healthy with vinegar,
Disclaimer: All the above statements relating to ACV and health or weight loss are based on my own, or someone else's experiences. They are not based on medical fact. If you suffer from any of the above conditions, it is advisable that you seek medical help from a professional.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
|Photo by Peter Griffin|
Are you concerned about lead in your home, work, school, or playground? Do you think your kids could be at risk of lead poisoning? Most parents don't think it will happen to their children, but the sad fact is that more than 22,000,000 children under the age of 18 in the U.S. have had an unsafe level of lead in their blood at some point in their lives. Yes, you read that correctly -- 22 Million! Now do you think your kids could be at risk of lead poisoning?
As it says on the Lead Safe America Foundation's website: Lead poisoning does not discriminate.
According to Medicine.net, lead poisoning is an acute or chronic poisoning caused by the absorption of lead or any of its salts into the body. Lead poisoning is an environmental hazard that is capable of causing mental retardation, behavioral disturbance, and brain damage.
Since lead, even at minute amounts, is a potent neuro-toxin, experts agree there is no "safe" level in a child's blood. If a child is exposed, there is a chance for permanent damage. Levels as low as a blood lead level of 2.0 have adversely affected the health of children. Dangers exist to preborn children as well, when their mothers have been exposed during pregnancy.
The younger a child is when he or she is poisoned, the risks of more extensive damage increases.
Due to some chemical similarities, when lead is present it is absorbed by the body and brain in the place of calcium. When a young child is poisoned and the neurons in their brain are at a stage of rapid growth and development, the damage to the brain can be especially significant, resulting in brain damage that leads to lifelong challenges -- including behavioral disorders, learning disorders, ADD/ADHD, Autism Spectrum symptoms and more. ~ www.leadsafeamerica.org
The Mayo Clinic lists the following as symptoms of lead poisoning in children:
|Photo by George Hodan|
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Sluggishness and fatigue
- Abdominal pain
- Learning difficulties
In infants exposed before birth, the signs of poisoning include slowed growth and learning difficulties. And in adults, the signs and symptoms include:
- High blood pressure
- Declines in mental functioning
- Pain, numbness or tingling of the extremities
- Muscular weakness
- Abdominal pain
- Memory loss
- Mood disorders
- Reduced sperm count, abnormal sperm
- Miscarriage or premature birth in pregnant women
Lead Safe America Foundation recommends having children tested before they start to crawl, and then again 6 to 8 months later. Dependent on the findings, regular follow-up testing during annual well-visit check ups is advised. The hope is, by testing early, that the lead will be detected before a child is actually poisoned by it.
When a child tests positive for lead, it is essential that the parent finds the source and immediately removes the child from that environment. Often, the source comes from dust created from opening and closing the original windows and doors in a pre-1980s building (lead-based paint was banned for residential use in 1978 here in the U.S.).
While your children should be tested, so should you (and me). Additionally, our homes, schools, daycare centers, playgrounds, etc. should be tested as well.
Monday, October 21, 2013
Lately, I've drifted away from my commitment to rest on the Sabbath. I've had a lot of excuses, including many that could have applied yesterday. But I decided to throw the excuses aside and I relished my Sabbath.
The day started the way it usually does with Sunday School, worship, and lunch with the kids and grandkids. I love the current sermon series on blessing our neighbors being presented by our minister, Tom Fodi. It's challenging me to act, which is always a good thing.
After we got home, my husband headed to the hospital to visit a dear friend who is in really shape. I napped. When he returned, Bill found me in front of the television watching a Hallmark movie. Of course, since Hallmark movies are his favorite, he joined me. Aside from making something to eat, we did little else other than watching TV, something we rarely do. At 9:00, I turned on a movie I'd never heard of called, AN UNFINISHED LIFE.
Before I watched the movie, I sat and pondered the title -- an unfinished life. Wow. That's something that fits so many I've known who have died unexpectedly, leaving behind incomplete projects and unpaid bills, cluttered closets and unspoken apologies, unreached dreams and I'll-get-around-to-it-someday relationship repairs. Unfinished lives. It happens all the time.
Not only did I love the title (I mean, really -- isn't that a great title?), but I was drawn to the cast which included, Robert Redford, Morgan Freeman, Jennifer Lopez, Camryn Manheim, and Becca Gardner.
Let me tell you, I was not disappointed. I loved this movie. The chemistry between Redford and Freeman was fantastic and Lopez put in another amazing performance. With maybe one exception, I simply love Lopez as an actress. And my love of Redford goes back to the 70s. And then there's Freeman -- is he not an amazing actor? The movie scored 2 stars according to the description on Comcast. I couldn't help wondering who rated it. It received a solid 5 stars from me, and aside from some language I didn't appreciate, I found this movie to be exactly what I needed last night. It's a story of imperfect people struggling through this life of disappointments, bad choices, and grudges, catching a glimpse of grace and beauty and friendship along the way. In the end, it's a story of forgiveness and redemption.
I went to bed last night feeling satisfied with my day . . . a Sabbath day intended for rest and renewal. But in the back of my mind, I was still pondering an unfinished life.
Monday -- bring it on. I'm ready for you.
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Friday, October 18, 2013
|My ACV of choice|
For those of you who have been following my health saga, you know I had a kidney stone. Well, according to the latest round of x-rays, it's gone. Did I pass it? I don't think so, and from I hear, I'd know it if I had. So where is it?
When I first posted on Facebook that I had a kidney stone, Danielle, a friend, a community member, and a guest blogger here on GG, wrote and said her husband had stones twice and he dissolved them with apple cider vinegar.
At the time, I was so sick from my kidney infection that I wasn't eating much of anything, so the thought of trying to take my daily dose of ACV did not appeal to me in the slightest. However, once I started feeling better, I resumed my tablespoon a day of organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar. I didn't increase the dose or take it more than once each day like Danielle's husband did, but it looks like it performed its magic anyway. No more kidney stone. It's gone. Vanished. Yippee.
I must admit, I was dreading the movement and elimination of the stone and, thanks to good ol' vinegar, my fears were unnecessary (as most fear and worry is).
So, that's my VF tip for today -- dealing with kidney stones? Break out the ACV. I can't guarantee it will work, but I'm guessing that's what did it for me. Of course, as I often say, I'm not a medical professional. Do not take my advice as well-researched fact. It's just my experience. When in doubt, consult your doctor or homeopathic professional.
Keeping it green and healthy with vinegar,
For more natural and eco-friendly tips, check out my book, VINEGAR FRIDAYS available here.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
October 17, 2008 was a momentous day. I labored through it with my daughter, Jessica, as she struggled through hours and hours until we heard that miraculous first cry -- my first grandchild was born. Let me tell you, I was exhausted! And sore. You see, every time my daughter pushed, I held on to her hand and right foot and I pushed along with her. I seriously think I did some internal damage that day!
As a mother, I just wanted to take away some of the pain. I'm not sure what her husband was feeling as he coached her across the bed from me, but I imagine he wanted to take on some of the pain as well.
I must admit, I didn't become an "instant grandmother" in my heart. Watching my daughter go through labor was one of the worst things I've experienced. I hurt for her and holding that newborn baby didn't take away the pain for me.
I felt like a freak. Every other grandma I knew instantly bonded with their grandbabies; especially those who were present for their births. And then there was my husband who fell in love with this child the second he received her into his arms.
Since my daughter had to return to work after six weeks to keep her benefits, I had the privilege of taking care of my granddaughter three to four days a week for the first year. During that time, the love grew between Laura and me that there is no longer any question of my ability to bond with her as a grandmother. She and I are tight.
So today, on her fifth birthday, I celebrate this precious child. She is a gift to our family and she is the reason Green Grandma exists. Five years ago today, the seeds were planted for this blog to sprout, blossom, and grow right alongside the lovely little Lady Laura, who is becoming more and more beautiful with each passing year.
Happy birthday, Laura! I love you more than the color orange.
Monday, October 14, 2013
|Photo by Charles Rondeau|
Here on the blog, I address issues related to common sense greener and healthier living. So why . . . gasp . . . am I writing about income tax returns? The answer is simple. It has to do with health. You see, when we procrastinate, we create unnecessary stress which often translates into issues with our health.
Back in April, after I did a preliminary work up with my taxes and mailed in my checks to the federal and state governments, I packed away my receipts, worksheets, 1099s, etc. and forgot about it. As August flew by (don't all months seem to do that?), I started thinking about it again. I'll do it in September, I thought. By mid-September, I was sick in bed for over a week with a kidney infection that is still causing problems for me. I simply do not feel well.
The IRS does not care. The government may be shut down, but they're not about to give me a break.
I had planned to dedicate last week to getting this done, but the opportunity for a large voice-over project which included working with my husband presented itself and I couldn't turn it down. It took up a lot of my time.
The weekend rolled around and I finally started tackling the dauntless task many of us, who are self-employed, dread. Yes, I could go to a CPA, but I'd still have to put together all my business expenses which, for me, is the most time-consuming and difficult of tasks. Maybe one of these years, I'll be more organized and hand the job over to someone else. Maybe. But that doesn't help me right now.
I'm 75% done at this point, which is a good thing. I just have to work out the home office deduction and add up and enter all my business expenses (hotels, meals, supplies, equipment, etc.). It will be done and sent by tomorrow's due date, so I'm not really stressed at this point. I'm simply looking back over the last couple of months and thinking, Why didn't I do this before now?
You see, procrastination is something that eats away at your peace of mind. Whether it's about taxes, making appointments, school or work projects, paying bills, getting the house ready for company, meeting deadlines, etc., it has the same effect. And the effect is not healthy.
So today I'm confessing this character flaw to you. For those of you who are not procrastinators, I applaud you, admire you, and envy you. I want to be you someday. But for now, I have to get back to the task at hand.
Enjoy your Monday. Somehow, I'm going to try to enjoy mine.
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Friday, October 11, 2013
While many of you are thrilled that Friday is finally here, I must admit this week went by a bit too quickly for me. You see, back in April, I sent in an extension for my 2012 taxes. Guess what? October 15th is the new deadline and I haven't finished them yet. I was going to dedicate this entire week to doing taxes, but then a big voice-over project landed in my inbox and it sucked up most of my time. Now it's Friday and I still haven't pulled out the paperwork I started in April. Yikes.
But the real problem arose when I became so darn sick about a month ago. Honestly, I was never so sick in my entire life. It was diagnosed as a kidney infection at the time, and I hope they were right. But it was an infection that was resistant to antibiotics, so I ended up on three different rounds of them -- 5 days, 7 days, and 14 days. And I HATE being on antibiotics! But I was too sick to resist. I just wanted to be well.
While I no longer have the high fever, chills, shaking, headache, lack of appetite, and extreme fatigue, I must admit that I still feel pretty lousy, especially at night. I do pretty well throughout the day, but when 8:00 rolls around, I start going downhill pretty darned fast. I've come to dread nighttime. Sleeping isn't a respite from it, either, as I'm not sleeping well at all. I wake up three to four times each night to go to the bathroom.
So I was surprised yesterday when I went back to the urologist for a follow-up appointment and she told me my urine was clear of any infection. I thought for sure I was going to be treated to a fourth round of antibiotics. And the x-ray showed that the kidney stone I had three weeks ago is no longer there. Phew. It either dissolved or I passed it without any knowledge of it.
But then, why do I still feel so lousy? She didn't have an answer for me. Instead, she referred me to a gastroenterologist. Great. More tests. More doctors. Her main concern was my elevated liver enzymes. I must admit, that has me concerned. So I went home and Googled all things related to liver problems. While some things were worthy of concern, I'm leaning more toward the conclusion that all that blasted medication raised my numbers and that I just need to cleanse my liver of all the toxins. Of course, I want a quick solution because I happen to love wine and alcohol is obviously a no-no right now.
Maybe I'm still feeling lousy because the antibiotics simply did a number on my digestive system and it will take awhile for me to rebound. What do you think?
I'm going to skip seeing another specialist right now and I'm going to try something I should have tried before now. I'm going to try to cleanse my liver of toxins by taking more raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar. You wouldn't believe how many sites recommend this. Here I am, having written a book about vinegar, and I didn't think to do this!
Truth be told, I hate taking ACV. I hate the taste of it and I really have to force myself to do it. So I skip a day or two here and there. And then I skip three days. Or four. When my ulcer pain starts flaring, I go back to taking it again so I don't have to go back on Nexium. But when I was so sick and not eating, the last thing I wanted was yucky-tasting ACV, so I didn't take any for a couple of weeks. All that changes today. Now that I've read what I've read about how apple cider vinegar detoxifies the liver, I'd be a fool not to try it.
Eventually, I'll go back to the doctor and have my blood work repeated. And then I'll let you know what my enzyme levels are. I'm counting on the ACV to bring them back to normal. And that, my friends, is what this particular Vinegar Friday is all about.
Here's to our health -- yours and mine,
Thursday, October 10, 2013
What are your plans for this coming Saturday? Why not join millions of concerned people from around the world who will be marching against Monsanto and calling for the permanent boycott of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and other harmful agro-chemicals? There will be marches in at least six continents, in 52 countries, with events in over 400 cities! In the US, solidarity marches are planned in 47 states.
Inspired to start the movement to protect her two daughters, Tami Monroe Canal founded March Against Monsanto (MAM). "Monsanto's predatory business and corporate agricultural practices threatens their generation's health, fertility and longevity," she explains. "MAM supports a sustainable food production system. We must act now to stop GMOs and harmful pesticides."
There were no long term, independent, peer reviewed studies conducted before GMOs were introduced for human or animal consumption and they are not adequately monitored to ensure public safety. In the US, the revolving door between Monsanto employees, government positions, and regulatory authorities has led to key Monsanto figures occupying positions of power at the FDA and EPA. The company has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to obstruct all labeling attempts, including funding a campaign against I-522, the current initiative for labeling in Washington state. Monsanto suppresses any research containing results not in their favor. The scientifically established health risks include, but are in no way limited to: organ damage, sterility, infant mortality, birth defects, auto-immune conditions, allergies and increased cancer risks.
GMOs have been partially banned by Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, Madeira, New Zealand, Peru, South America, Russia, France, Switzerland, and Costa Rico, and are currently labelled in 62 countries. Despite this, factory farm animals throughout the world are still fed GMOs.
Roberta Gogos, organizer for the march in Athens, Greece, addressed the importance of the marches in austerity-impacted Europe. "Monsanto is working very hard to overturn EU [European Union] regulation on obligatory labeling where enforcement is already lax. Greece is in a precarious position right now, and Greece's farmers are positioned to follow the same perilous fate as farmers in countries such as Colombia and Mexico."
In Quito, Ecuiador, march organizer, Josh Castro states, "Ecuador is such a beautiful place, with the richest biodiversity in the world. We will not allow this Garden of Eden to be compormised by the destructive practices of multinational corporations like Monsanto. Biotechnology is not the solution to world hunger. Agroecology is. Monsanto's harmful practices are causing soil infertility, mono-cropping, loss of biodiversity, habitat destruction, and contributing to beehive collapse. GMO crops cross pollinate with traditional crops, risking peasant farmers' livelihood."
The devastation can be seen in India, where more than 250,000 farmers have committed suicide after Monsanto's Bt cotton seeds did not perform as promised. Left in desperate poverty, these farmers opted to free their families of debt by drinking Monsanto pesticide.
In other countries, many farmers are also stripped of their livelihood as a result of false promises, seed patenting and meticulous legal action on the part of Monsanto and other big-ag interests. In many parts of Africa, farmers and their communities are left to choose between starving or eating GMOs.
Over 800 scientists from 84 countries detailed concern regarding GMOs and asked for an immediate suspension of GMO crops in order to conduct "a comprehensive public enquiry of agriculture and food security for all," in an "Open Letter from World Scientist to All Governments Concerning Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)." Click here to read the letter and see the list of scientists who demanded action.
For more information, please visit the following sites:
The World According to Monsanto Video
Total Disinformation Awareness: Monsanto Suppresses Research on GMO Crops
Anniversary of a Whistleblowing Hero
GMO Scandal: The Long Term Effects of Genetically Modified Food on Humans
Data Pool of MAM
We need to stay informed and we need to get involved. We're fighting a giant, but I'm counting on there being a David amongst us who will be able to slay this Goliath.
Click here to visit the MAM Facebook page and find out where the marches will be taking place on Saturday, October 12, 2013. And if you're able, join in and take a stand. Our kids and grandkids are counting on us!