Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I'm Trying Something New Today

I’m trying something new today, its Jin Shin Jyutsu. Jin Shin Jyutsu is an ancient art of harmonizing the life energy in the body. Jin Shin Jyutsu brings balance to your body's energy, which promotes optimal health and well being. It complements conventional healing methods, reducing the effects of stress and promoting relaxation.  Typically a Jin Shin Jyutsu treatment is supposed to leave you feeling relaxed, balanced and serene. Yay, I can definitely use more balance and serenity in my life. For my treatment, which I get to stay dressed for, the practitioner will with a light touch clear blockages to harmonize and restore my energy flow. I can’t wait to feel the results. I’ll keep you posted.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Understanding Everyday Stress

Stress is an abnormal condition that disrupts the normal functions of the body or mind. No two people are affected in exactly the same way, or to the same degree, but most people living in our society suffer from its effects at one or more times during their lives. Symptoms range from mind headaches, occasional bouts of insomnia, overall restlessness, digestive problems, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation and diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

  •       Death of a close family member or friend.
  •       Major personal injury, illness or pregnancy.
  •       Major change in the health of a family member.
  •       Marriage, marital reconciliation, divorce.
  •       Arguments with spouse, family members, friends, co-workers.
  •       Financing major purchases.
  •       Major change in eating habits, living conditions, moving.
  •       Changing to a different line of work.
  •       Major change in responsibilities at work.
  •       Changes in working hours or conditions.
  •       Being fired at work.
  •       Starting a new job or career.
  •       Retirement from work.
  •       Business readjustment, changes in financial condition.

How many of items on this list are effecting your life right now? Know you are not alone and there is help. There are a mirade of healthy things you can do to relieve stress; walking  outside, talking with close friends, hugging a pet, taking a bubble bath are on my list. Life coaches, therapists and support groups are available to help you help yourself.  

Monday, April 26, 2010

Growing Old Gracefully

Today, according to the World Bank, our life expectance is 78.4 years. Conservative experts believe that man is really build to last about 100 years; and that medical advances and more healthful living habits could bring this about within a generation or two. Gulp, panic is setting in as I try to figure out how I’m going to finance that many years, let alone what to do with all that time. The truth is what good is it to add years to life if we do not also add life to years?  In fact, unless people learn to enjoy life and to grow old gracefully, the extra years may be an additional burden. I don’t know about you but I intend my golden years to be joyful as I gracefully age into Centurion status.

The traditional view of aging is generally accompanied by a loss in physical and mental flexibility.  This is noticed in a tendency to become stiff in the joints; a slower comeback after a strenuous trip, or excessive "night life;" in slower healing of wounds, sore muscles, and sprains; in slower recovery of pep after an illness; and in greater difficulty to adjust to new people, new places, and new ideas. Well wasn’t that just a cheery future to look forward to.

Gratefully new studies have brought about new thinking. The conclusion now is that the performance and ability of the elderly has long been underestimated and can be greatly improved by a proper diet, sleep and exercise along with rest and relaxation. Many elderly people tend to lose their joy and will to live and chronic worriers may mope around and withdraw.  Medical authorities now say that laughter is one of the best medicines for the elderly.  You can always keep your sense of humor tuned up by surrounding yourself with pleasant and interesting people.  So don't be afraid to laugh at yourself even when no else is around.

Now that we all know the role that physical activity plays in our lives, remember to do something physical every day.  The joints must be used or quite simply they will tighten with age creating that stooped worn out appearance we so often associate with getting old.  Keep yourself flexible and fit on an exercise program consistent with your ability and don’t forget to laugh. As for me, I’ll be hitting Planet Fitness later today and texting Diana to find out the when & where of her next Laughter yoga session.           

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

New look Option 1

Blogger has come out with some new templates. My old template felt to green too me, after all I'm not Kermit. What do you think of option 565?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Civic Duty: Pull the Lever

Today NJ is holding their School Board elections. When I dropped my dad off to vote at his polling place, I was presently surprised by the large turnout. As a poll worker for the primary and general elections, I am very aware of the low voter turnout for most elections. Historically Presidential elections get the largest turnout of elections held. Yet the 2008 Presidential election only tallied a 64% turnout. I’m sorry but for a country whose existence was created as a response to taxation without representation, I find it appalling that every eligible citizen over the age of 18 does not avail themselves of the right to vote.

Voter turnout began to decline in 1964 hitting its lowest point during the 1996 Presidential election when only 49% of the electorate voted. Midterm elections for Congress and State government elections have an even more dismal attendance. Sadder still, the Daily Record is reporting that the usual turnout for a School Board election in Morris County is a paltry 18%.

The November election for Governor garnered a 47% of possible ballots cast. Today’s School Board election 36% of my fellow Roxbury residents showed up to cast their vote doubling the usual county turnout. I am hopeful that even more citizens across the nation will stand up and be counted at this year’s Midterm primary and election.

Reminder New Jersey residents, Primary elections will be held on June 8th. See you around the polling place.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The New Meadowlands Stadium

Yesterday was the opening of the New Meadowlands Stadium. The Jets & Giants readily admitted that the stadium is not yet complete. Giants Stadium still looms on the northern front. The parking lots and roadways need finishing. The Presidential suites as well as a variety of eating, drinking and merchandising areas are not ready for business. Giants Stadium is not departing without a fight and is taking longer than expected to be dismantled. Expectations are by football season most of these will be ready & waiting the season ticket holders.

Even so, there were enough amenities available to the lacrosse fans attending the 2nd Big City Classic to make the day a pleasant experience. Having worked the Red Bull Arena opening it was not unexpected to experience a rocky start at the gate. Nor was it surprising that the staff were a little tentative on directions. Those things are easy fixes that come with familiarity with the facility filled with fans. Overall, the staff was energized and helpful, while the fans were curious and patient. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Of course what fans really want to know is what the inside is like. Well, there is a huge concourse on the first level with far more food choices than at Giants Stadium. Our seats were on the lower mezzanine in the club section. The club chairs are plush & comfy with cup holders attached to the seat in front. The club lounge runs along the back of the lower mezz section on the opponent’s side of the field.  Although seating is plentiful, it is next to impossible to see the field from inside the club. The club had a slew of food choices along with flat screen TVs galore. The entire stadium is out fitted with flat screen TV’s. The only place I didn’t see TV’s were the bathrooms.

Note: The old stadium was known for its crazy wind patterns. The new stadium seems destined to carry on that tradition if not surpass it. Whereas in Giants Stadium the wind came from the East or West Tunnel or from above; the new stadium allows the wind in from all directions. For reasons past my understanding those interesting slats on the outside of the building do not close.

My verdict, yeah the new stadium is nice but still unnecessary. I will miss the atmosphere of the old Giants Stadium.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

PSL Rant

Today as I sat in the New Giants Stadium, oops I mean the New Meadowlands Stadium, I reflected on the absurdity of the Personal Seat License (PSL). Team owners around the country to maximize their revenues, created a scam called PSL. A season ticket holder is given the privilege of forking over thousands of dollars for the right to occupy a seat in their new stadium.

The brochure sent by the Giants last year extolled the virtues of the new stadium. It told us of the wonderfulness awaiting us as soon as we coughed up 10k for our seats; then came the best part probably from the legal department. The 10k is non-refundable. It is transferable (sellable) but only according to our guidelines and whoops, we haven’t written those yet. Oh and there are seat holder responsibilities to uphold or you will lose your season ticket rights and of course the PSL money. Once again we can’t tell you what all those responsibilities will include because we haven’t made them up yet. Lastly, in due time when the Giants once again decree they must have a new stadium; the PSL will not be transferable to that new stadium. A new and more than likely even more over-priced PSL will be needed to retain your seat in that stadium.


While I am a longtime fan of the Giants, I am admittedly a fair weather fan. I will attend games when the weather is fair, otherwise I am quite happy to watch the game ensconced in my home in front of the fire and the flat screen. Ticket prices nearing $100 had my family reconsidering our season ticket holder status. The new stadium with its PSL sealed the deal. I am now a former season ticket holder.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tai Chi is it for Me?

Tai Chi is an ancient martial art that marries mind and body to create awareness and clarity of the inner you.  It is proclaimed to have health benefits ranging from strengthening the body to alleviating a variety of ailments such as Arthritis and gastric problems.

I’ve seen groups in the park acting as one going through beautiful routines. It looks like karate in slow motion. Considering how uncoordinated I am, slow is better. Tai Chi has always peeked my interest, but I had never tried a class; until the other night that is. The instructor gave us a brief background on Tai Chi and another meditative practice, Qi Gong. Then he led us through a few movements of each discipline. While looking in the mirror as the class moved through the Tai Chi movements I realized it would take years of working with the same group of people to ever look like those people in the park. The movements themselves were doable, but the precise nature of the discipline left me dispirited due to my aforementioned un-coordination.

Qi Gong on the other hand had a more of a give it your best shot vibe, a much better fit for my klutzy abilities. Qi Gong translates to life force work. It incorporates breathing and slow movement to enhance overall health without the martial arts theme. Qi Gong can even be done lying down. Now this is my kind of exercise. I’m definitely going forward to taking some Qi Gong classes.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Wildwater Walking Club

I love to listen to books while driving in the car and running errands. The current book playing on my MP-3 is The Wildwater Walking Club by Claire Cook. So far, this is a fabulous read.

I’ve got a lot in common with the lead character, Noreen Kelly. I’m single, live by myself, out of a job I had for a number of years, and trying to discover what to do next. After wallowing in the depression of job loss she wakes up to find she’s packed on the pounds. To combat the weight gain, she straps on her pedometer and heads outside for a walk. This galvanized to pick up a pedometer of my own. After leaving the store I strapped on the pedometer to start counting my steps.

Guidelines suggest we should be aiming to walk 10,000 steps every day for weight management. A sedentary person (me), tend to average 1000-3000 steps a day. That’s a long way from 10,000 steps. So I grabbed friend and went walking around Horseshoe Lake. Not only was it energizing exercise, it was enjoyable to spend time catching up with a friend. Best yet, it has inspired me to do it again.

Steps on Day 1 8604

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Happy Birthday Twinkie

Today Twinkies turn 80 years old today April 6th.  How surprised was I to visit the official Twinkie website to find nothing about this big milestone. Come on Hostess you can do better than an out of date web page featuring the “upcoming” Twinkie recipe book for the birthday child.  I was given a copy of that book last year!  

The book was a gift from the church for giving them a Twinkie cake. Guiding Light fans will remember the Twinkie cake. Bill & Lizzie made it for their wedding after their original cake fell out of the car Bill was driving.

Here’s another bit of trivia for you: the brainchild of James Dewar, Twinkies were originally filled with Banana cream; then came rationing of bananas during World War II forcing Hostess to switch to vanilla cream.  The Twinkies you and I love are still made with vanilla cream.

Celebrate with a Twinkie today.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Pets are Wonderful Month

April is Pets are Wonderful Month. Well I have to agree, they are wonderful. At the top of my list is my dog Kris. Kris was the first dog I ever had. Actually he was a member of the family before I was. Dad never particularly liked dogs, unlike my mom who had very fond memories of her grandparents Sheppard. Eventually, mom was able to wear dad down and they got Kris, a German Sheppard. The day I came home from the hospital my mom laid me on the couch, unwrapped my blanket then introduced me to Kris. As mom it, he sniffed me from my toes up to my face, then gave me a big face lick. From then on Kris was my dog. He slept by my bedside nightly with a brief break when my brother arrived.  He simply was my protector, playmate and friend.  

My favorite memory was the day dad brought home a lobster for dinner. This was the first time we’d ever attempted lobster at home. Come to think of it, it was the last time as well, but that’s another story. Dad got a lobster so huge it wouldn’t fit in the pot. While my parents pondered what to do, they put the lobster on the porch. Kris also on the porch was not pleased with the new arrival. He and the lobster glared at one another neither knowing what the other was but instantly disliking the other. To protect both parties, Kris was tied to the porch while the lobster’s pinchers were pinched. So Kris barked while the lobster snapped its pinchers to the amusement of the kids in the neighborhood. To the delight of my dog, not so much the lobster; my parents quickly came up with a solution and the lobster took his expected place on the kitchen table.  

Kris has been gone over 30 years but I will never be forgot my wonderful dog. How are you honoring your favorite pet this month?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

50 Book Challenge

Back in 2008 Steve Jobs created a stir when he said “the fact is that people don’t read anymore.... Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read anymore." That comment irritated readers throughout the world. The gauntlet was thrown down and in response libraries, bookstores, teachers, and book clubs created 50 Book Challenges around the globe. I’ve been a fan of for a number of years and quickly joined the 50 Book Challenge group. So did my dad and a number of friends.  As soon as I achieved reading 50 books in a year, I joined the 100 Book Challenge too. So far this year, I have read 28 books so I am on track to reach the 50 book mark by June.  

As I was posting my latest reads on the Shelfari board, news stories about the release of Steve Job’s iPad wafted through the air. How amusing that the guy who said there aren’t any readers out there has introduced a new product aimed to compete with the Kindle Reader. What’s more the long lines for the iPad were reported throughout the day. Amazon’s phenomenal successful Kindle, Sony’s E-Reader and B&N’s nook prove that not only are people reading, they are anxious for new toys on which to read. Personally I’m looking forward to passing my Sony E-Reader onto dad and reveling in the nook.