live with physical challenges.
I am NOT a DOCTOR!!! I don't even play one on TV!!! It is my goal to live a more healthy lifestyle. Living well and being happy is what this blog is all about.

"Nothing,' wrote Tolstoy, 'can make our life, or the lives of other people, more
beautiful than perpetual kindness."

- Gretchen Rubin

I write about my own experiences and what works (or does not) for me. Nothing I write is to be taken as medical advice.

Only your health care provider, personal physician,Disclaimer:
I am not a doctor - I don't even play one on TV! This
or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Taxes and Death - in that Order we Hope

Ding...  Ding...  Ding...  today is the day - T-day!!!!!!!!!  If you have not payed your taxes, you'd better file an extension - quick!  Yes, it's that time of year once again...  it's TAX DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

The only things certain in life are death and taxes.  - Benjamin Franklin

We obey the law - we pay the tax and then we pray we did it right!  Some people do their own taxes but I won't.  I do not want that responsibility on my shoulders.  I'll just pay somebody else to do it and get all the information to them, thank you!  It's well worth the cost to have that peace of mind. 

"Everybody should pay their taxes with a smile", said Bob.  "I tried it, but they wanted cash!"  - Bob

It's so funny to walk into the CPA's office because you know right away everyone is there for the same reason.  We all have that same blank look on our faces.  We know what it is, but we just don't know exactly what it is.  Will it be good news - a refund?  Or will it be bad news - gotta pay in?  Flip the coin and hope the deductions outweigh and you get money back.

The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax. 
- attributed to Albert Einstein

It's a little like being in Vegas, actually.  Everyone has that look like - "Come on lucky refund...  come on, baby - roll the dice and win the pot!"  No, tax day is not my very favorite day, but I'm determined to make the best of it.  I think it's funny to see the expression on people's faces as they walk out of the office.  Some look overjoyed while some look like they have just received news that their pet sea monkey died.  I am a people watcher - and people crack me up!

If Patrick Henry thought that taxation without representation was bad, he should see how bad it is with representation.  - Farmer's Almanac

I love the study of body language, known as kinesics (pronounced 'kineesicks') as well.  In the office, no one speaks but if you watch closely, they tell the story without saying a word.  The non-verbal communication began when I watched a man standing at the front desk with his hand in his pocket nervously jingling the change and whatnot.  He must have thought that what was in his pocket would be all he would have left!  

The avoidance of taxes is the only intellectual pursuit that carries any reward.
- John Maynard Keynes

Then an older couple came in, checked in at the front desk and took their seat.  She was awkward with silence and just kept rifling through the magazines on the table and organizing them as though she was going to burst if she didn't get to speak at some point.

Indoors or out, no one relaxes
In March, that month of wind and taxes,
The wind will presently disappear,
The taxes last us all year.  - Ogden Nash
The seating in the waiting area was awkward, to put it nicely.  If you did not have something to read then you would be forced to look straight into a stranger's face, and we were no more than a couple of feet across from each other - very cozy seating area.  It was like a little hallway leading back to the individual offices of the CPA's.  I personally chose to look at their flooring and compare their tile to the tile I have in my own entryway.  I like my color choice better, by the way.

The United States is the only country where it takes more brains to figure your tax than to earn the money to pay it.  - Edward J. Gurney

As a general rule, we do not receive a refund of any kind.  This year, however, due to all of the increased medical expenses we've incrued, we get quite a handsome refund.  When we got that bit of good news I immediately announced that I have plans for that money.  The CPA nearly choked on her gum, she laughed so hard.  Yes I do have plans and it's not to pay out for more expensive drugs either.  **sigh**.  

A girl's gotta do a little livin' while she can, ya know!!!  I wanna have some fun!

Happy TAX DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

No Housework Day

My mama used to say, "Cleanliness is next to godliness", and I've read the Bible through a few times and have never seen those exact words!  This phrase was first recorded in a sermon by John Wesley in 1778, but the notion is ancient, found in Babylonian and Hebrew religious tracts.  It is invoked, often as an admonition to wash or clean up!  It was mama's way of saying, "Get your act together" - yeah, no, that's not in the Bible either. 

Today is Sunday, which by all accounts makes this a lazy day to begin with, but we are celebrating NO HOUSEWORK DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  In my world, every Sunday is no housework day, so this is literally a no-brainer.

But let's think about all the benefits that housework provides, shall we?

If I clean house for one hour I will burn about 157 calories!  The other obvious benefit of housework is that I will have the satisfaction of knowing I no longer live in a dirty filthy pit!

According to a recent study, conducted by a team of researchers at Indiana University-Purdue University, individuals who clean their homes on a regular basis and live in surroundings the researchers termed “tidy” are more likely to be fit and physically healthy than their peers who live in dirty or cluttered homes.

According to NiCole Keith, an associate professor of physical education at Indiana University, “At the end of the day, the interior condition of their house seemed to be the only thing affecting their physical activity. It was not at all what we expected.”

These findings left Keith wondering, "Are the types of people who take care of their bodies the same types of people who take care of their homes?"  It seems that individuals who are able to stick to an exercise regemen for an extended amount of time are motivated by certain personality traits like self-control and the ability to set future goals and stick to those goals regardless of what's going on around them or how they feel about it.

There's something to be said about cleaning whether you feel like it or not.  Letting emotional issues dictate whether you clean your house or not - well, that's a little bit like playing Russian roulette.  It's very hit and miss and very fickle.  It's better to just get in gear and get it done.  It's best if I just have a schedule and stick to it.  Whether it's housework or exercise, in the end, I feel better about everything - my house, my circumstances and my creative process.

To be honest, for me the psychological benefits of a neat, clean, tidy, organized living space far outweigh the physical ones.  I actually get a sort of "high" after I have really dug in and done a good cleaning.  When my home is clean, organized and tidy, I think more clearly.  When my surroundings are in order and make sense, my mind follows suit.

I especially like to clean during the Winter months or if it is inclimate in any way outdoors.  Boredom can absolutely take over my mind on days when the weather is less than cooperative.  If I begin cleaning my house and really get into it, there's a sense of purpose and a goal.  My house is not immaculate and I don't want to give that impression, but if it's neat and tidy I feel a sincere sense of accomplishment.

For me, cleaning house is a stress buster.  I know it sounds weird, but I like to clean when I'm alone and it's my time to let loose and have some fun.  My favorite music is funky disco (yes, I said funky).  The Bee Gees CD goes in the player, I put on my rainbow suspenders and I grab my rainbow feather duster and dance my way through the house.  Uh-huh...  there's a reason I don't want an audience! 

No, I do not have a disco ball - and I don't wear roller skates. 
Who asked that???

The quick motion of cleaning releases endorphins, a natural mood-enhancing hormone, into your bloodstream. 

I'm once again picturing Carrie Fisher in "Postcards From The Edge" calling endorphins, "endolphins".  I just love that movie! 

It is most difficult for me to buckle down and clean when the weather is gorgeous.  I don't want to be indoors dusting if I can be outdoors doing - well - anything else!  So, I have deemed Spring (the days when it isn't raining) and Summer the months I should not have company. 

I'm tempted to get one of those signs that says, "My house was clean yesterday, sorry you missed it!"

Well, mama was probably right - cleanliness is probably next to godliness.  But my housework will definitely wait until tomorrow.  There's always tomorrow!

Enjoy NO HOUSEWORK DAY!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Celebrate National Tartan Day

Little Linda Turner wore tartan
for her photo in Kindergarten!!!

(eat your heart out, Lucinda Berry Hill -
I made that rhyme up all by myself!)

If I were to ask you to define the word "tartan", you would most likely give me a definition such as:

(noun):  Woolen cloth with a woven pattern of straight lines of different colors and widths crossing at right angles. 

Here's a fun fact about tartan:
In the Scottish Highlands, each clan has its own pattern.  Fascinating!!!

Today we celebrate NATIONAL TARTAN DAY!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Although the name would suggest we are honoring a piece of fabric or a garment, the real meaning goes much deeper. 

It's estimated that nearly 30 million American citizens claim Scottish heritage, with the majority of these residing in Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas.

Scottish Americans are the 8th largest ethnic group in the United States.

Today we are celebrating people of Scottish and Scottish-American descent and their contributions to medicine throughout history.  Let's take just a few minutes today to mention these men of Scottish descent.  Without their valuable contributions, modern medicine would not be where it is today. 

John James Rickard Macleod (1876-1935) was a Scottish biochemist and physiologist.  Although he mainly devoted his career to diverse topics in physiology and biochemistry, he was quite interested in carbohydrate metabolism.  Have you ever heard of a little miracle called insulin?  He is noted for his role in the discovery and isolation of insulin during his tenure as a lecturer at the University of Toronto.  In 1923, he and Frederick Banting received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. 

Alexander Fleming (1881-1955) was a Scottish biologist and pharmacologist.  He is known first for the discovery of the anti-bacterial lysozyme, a natural substance found in tears and the nose that helps the body fight germs.  He is also famous for his discovery of a little wonder drug called penicillin.  It quickly became the life-saving drug of his day.  The discovery was made by accident while Fleming was on vacation.  A mold had grown and destroyed the bacteria on a Petri dish in his lab.  In 1945 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Robert Burns Woodward (1917-1979) was a Scottish-American organic chemist, considered to be the preeminent organic chemist of the twentieth century.  He made many key contributions, especially in the synthesis of complex natural products and the determination of their molecular structure. 

He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1965.

So, you see, it's more than just a piece of cloth or a garment we honor today.