Stop the Crazy

We are living in a time that is unlike any of us have ever seen or lived through. It’s scary. The unknown is scary. But panicking isn’t the answer.

Every day, literally, every day someone tells me about a doomsday news story they’ve seen. Or how they can’t sleep. I saw a huge display of melatonin in the store last week. I keep some in my house, but not because of the issues of today. Come to think of it, mine might be expired. Anyway, remember this, most news stories are fabricated, sensationalized, or embellished to get people to the state of panic.

So what can you do? I’m glad you asked. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Find a good church to watch online. Seriously. Pray, pray a lot.
  2. Watch the President and his task force’s updates. They will encourage you.
  3. Turn off all other news unless it’s about an order you need to follow – whether or not you agree with it.
  4. Read. (But not news.)
  5. Go for a walk (if allowed).
  6. Write a letter – not email.
  7. Call a loved one.
  8. Fall back in love with an old hobby.

Remember, we cannot control what other people do and we certainly can’t control what this virus does. But we can do our part, and that’s what matters. How we handle this says everything. I think Tolkien was on to something:

What can you add to the list?

God bless, stay safe, and stay healthy!

Happy St. Patty’s Day!

There are no parades today. Most bars are closed, so it’s green beer at home with our corned beef and cabbage.

Have you ever wondered who Saint Patrick was? Here’s a good answer to that question, courtesy of the website.

Happy St. Patty’s Day!

Question: “Who was Saint Patrick and why do we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?”

Patrick, whom almost everyone calls “Saint Patrick,” although he was never canonized by the Catholic Church, was born to a wealthy family in AD 387 in Kilpatrick, Scotland. His real name was Maewyn Succat. It was his extensive missionary work in Ireland for which Patrick is famous. During the thirty years of work there, he supposedly converted over 135,000 people, established 300 churches, and consecrated 350 bishops. Patrick died on March 17, 461. For over a millennium, the Irish have celebrated St. Patrick’s Day on March 17.

History records that Saint Patrick, at age sixteen, was captured by Irish raiders and spent several years as a slave in Ireland. It was during this time that he learned the various rituals, customs, and language of Druids, and it was these people that he eventually evangelized. Patrick apparently had a dream in which God spoke to him, saying, “Your ship is ready.” Patrick was then able to escape Ireland by ship. Shortly thereafter, he experienced another dream in which he received a letter that was labeled the “voice of the Irish.” When he opened it, he heard the voices of all those whom he had met in Ireland begging him to return.

Saint Patrick then returned to Ireland to tell people about Christ. Though the task was difficult and dangerous, he persisted and was able to build a strong foundation for Christianity. The Irish people were receptive to his teachings, especially in light of the fact that he was able to take several of their Celtic symbols and “Christianize” them. The most well-known of Patrick’s illustrations is the shamrock, a certain type of clover sacred to the Druids, which he used as a symbol of the Trinity.

Each year millions of people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. It is a national holiday in Ireland when people do not work but worship and gather with family. In the United States, the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in New York on March 17, 1762. It consisted largely of Irish soldiers. Today, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated by wearing green, which symbolizes spring as well as Irish culture.

What started as a religious holiday has become a secular celebration of all things Irish. Neither Saint Patrick nor St. Patrick’s Day is mentioned in Scripture. While we would strongly disagree of some aspects of theology that St. Patrick taught, the fact that around 1,600 years ago a man dedicated his life to proclaiming the gospel, resulting in tens of thousands coming to faith in Christ, is most definitely worth celebrating (Luke 15:7–10).

Recommended Resource: Balancing the Christian Life by Charles Ryrie

The Cause of the Panic

Simply put, we are. We are the cause the panic over the covid-19 a.k.a coronavirus. We can no longer think for ourselves. Common sense is now gone. We are afraid to live. We want someone else to tell us how to live.

I am not saying you can’t be uncertain or scared of the unknown. We’ve seen all the posts with all the statistics. The coronavirus has nothing on so many before its time. And I understand the not wanting the coronavirus to become the next swine flu. (Look at those numbers and you might wonder what we’re so worried about.)

I can’t get the flu shot. I’m allergic to it. I don’t hide away from the world. I know my chances. And getting a flu shot isn’t a guarantee you won’t get the flu. Sometimes the flu vaccine inoculates the wrong strand of flu. If you are immune compromised, I bet you already know that and I bet you’ve already been making proper adjustments or trying to.

Nothing in life is guaranteed. Nothing.

I’ve rabbit-trailed down a hole I had no intention of going. Sorry! But the truth is, we’re only making it worse. People who actually need the supplies and can’t get them could become seriously affected/infected. This should never happen:

In the age of technology that we live in, you’d think we’d be smarter. Yet, we are waiting for others to tell us how to live. And it’s causing panic. Originally I had this titled, “NO TP!” We all have either seen for ourselves or heard of the run on toilet paper, which has now extended to paper towels and tissues (I hear). We were at the store yesterday and there wasn’t even toilet paper dust on the shelves. I walked passed the boys’ bathroom yesterday and they had a half pack of toilet paper sitter on the counter. Instead of telling them to put it away, I thought, “I wonder what the rolls would go for.” Pretty soon we’ll be left to using leaves. Thank goodness it’s almost Spring! This isn’t the zombie apocalypse. But the slightest sign of trouble, the slightest sign of interruption to our comfy lifestyles, and we freak out.

I suspect we will resume life sooner than anticipated. I hope. I pray.

However, there was a time in our life where we made decisions for ourselves without the government’s “guidance.” There was a time when the church actually took on the roll (pun intended) of social services, not the government. There was a time when people took responsibility for their lives and didn’t expect someone else to do it and at the same time, we looked out for our neighbors.

I’ve seen numerous posts about how this time will bring us closer as a family. Why? The government has forced the closing of schools and large gatherings.

Shouldn’t we already be making family a priority? Shouldn’t sitting down to a family dinner every night come before sports? Shouldn’t we live under the same roof at the same time as the family God designed? And when the panic is over, we’ll go back to life as it was.

Life is only as precious as we make it and it’s as precious as it meets our needs. We are selfish and lazy and want someone else to do for us. I know that’s a blanket statement, but that seems to be the majority today. And if it’s not the majority, then the majority is silent. Shame on you too.

So, agree with me or not, (and you’re allowed to disagree with me), where is this same fervor over abortion and the lives lost there? Where is the outcry over homelessness in our country? I don’t think I need to go on for you to get my point.

Imagine if we treated all things that were harmful, that we caused, with the same zeal as we are attacking the covid-19 virus. But the different is – if you’re reading this, you’re probably not aborted or homeless. (Sarcam intended.) You see, covid-19 could affect you personally in one way or another. However, so does abortion and homelessness. Both are very real. In abortion, not only a life dies, a part of the mother does as well. There are so many physical and mental problems that can arise (and usually does) after an abortion.

We, the human race, need to slow down. We need to be the family God has called us to be and to stand firm on His Word, not the fear of man or the fear the government wants to feed us.

We need to learn to think for ourselves and to help one another when our neighbor needs it.

Fear is not from God.

Hug your family, love those around you, and don’t be afraid to live your life the way God calls you.

God bless, be safe, and be smart!

Migraine Help

I suffer migraines. According to an article I read, 12% of the population suffer from migraines. I think the number is much higher. A lot of the people I talk to have had migraines at one time or another. Migraines seem to hit most women and some men. And then there are so many kinds of migraines!

What happens or what can happen during a migraine? For me, it can be blurred vision, sensitivity to light, my sense of smell is heightened and I already have a good sense of smell (with two boys – one almost a teen and the other just a teen, in the house, this doesn’t necessarily bode well for me) and I could go on. I’m sure you could add more to the list as well. Migraines frankly suck!

Then there’s the joy of migraine hangover. We all know what that’s about.

So, what are the causes and how do you go about figuring it them out? There are so many triggers for migraine suffers and no two people are the same. The tricky part is figuring it out and the only way I’ve known how to do that is by trial and error–over and over again.

Basic knowledge and a healthy lifestyle are an important part of migraine prevention. Eating right, exercising, getting enough sleep, and staying hydrated will do wonders for you! Dehydration will kick anyone into a headache that could morph into a migraine. Never leave home without your water!

Years ago, like clockwork, I could tell you exactly when a migraine would kick in and how long it would last thanks to hormones. When one came on, I knew it would last exactly twenty-four hours. And I mean exactly, practically down to the minute. It was kind of funny. But if I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have thought it was funny.

Today is another story. While hormones can trigger a migraine, it’s not for the same reason as before. The weather plays a huge part in my migraines. Barometric pressure and I are not friends. I understand Mr. Barometric Pressure is important in his own right, but it doesn’t mean I have to like the effects at times.

Scents and odoriferous things can be a huge trigger. So much so I’m like the perfume nazi around here. Even deodorant in this house has to pass my ‘sniff’ inspection. My poor mother-in-law has plug-in room deodorizers in her house and I’m always unplugging them on her. It’s that or I’ll end up crying. She’s seen the light (at least while I’m there, lol). She understands though. But odors can be a tough one. I have never understood why people feel the need to bathe in perfumes and colognes. Just because you are used to it doesn’t mean the rest of us are. I’ve had to change seats in church because this. And then there’re airplanes . . . because I need another reason not to like flying.

I can’t fix the barometric pressure. But I do have a little hack for odoriferous things. Vicks Vaporub. A little dab under your nose will block out the smell or at least reduce it. Plus, it smells nice; it’s refreshing. Some studies have even shown that menthol can reduce migraines. I can’t say that’s been my experience, but I try blocking the odor before I get a migraine. And Vicks Vaporub (I use generic) does help block out odors. I never leave home without it, seriously.

There is another one that is a big trigger for me. Vitamins. At one point I was getting multiple migraines a week! I was miserable. Then I read vitamin d3 can cause migraines. I was taking extra vitamin d3 because I also have psoriasis and I had read that increasing vitamin d3 helps with psoriasis. So not only did it NOT help my psoriasis, it gave me migraines. Good times. But once I stopped taking vitamin d3, my migraines began to lesson.

The grocery store had a sale on multivitamins, so I bought some super-strength-energy-solve-the-world’s-problem-kind-of-vitamins. My headaches increased. I stopped taking all vitamins then slowly started taking a different normal strength multivitamin. After about three days, another migraine visited me.

All these multivitamins have vitamin d3 in them. I knew that, but I thought I could tolerate a lower dose. Apparently not.

I did find one multivitamin without vitamin d3. It should be here any day. It also doesn’t have A but I can take a supplement. Hopefully, these won’t trigger a migraine. My hopes are high that they work.

Finding our triggers and how to deal with them is key to surviving and thriving when living with migraines. You can’t live in a bubble and stay home all the time. Although when you have a migraine, I highly recommend it.

One last tip. If you feel a migraine coming on, there are a couple of things you can do. I like to take two ibuprofen, a magnesium pill, and a potassium pill. I make sure to stay really hydrated too. If in a couple of hours, the headache is still being persistent, I will try another magnesium with two acetaminophen. This works a lot of the time or at least staves off the headache from becoming a migraine. There are times it doesn’t work at and times it works like magic. It really depends on why I’m getting the headache/migraine.

If you are a migraine sufferer, you are not alone. Find your triggers. Don’t give up the fight and I hope and pray something I’ve said helps!

God bless!

P.S. If you have any tricks or tips that help you, share them in the comments. Thanks!! 🙂

What keeps our brains healthy?

I was reading an article today that said variety is the secret to keeping us sharp. I believe that. The article also said that binge watching TV was bad. I believe that too.

However, binge reading . . . well, I think that is the best thing you can do for your brain!

Here’s the article:

Keeping the mind healthy with variety and consistency

By Becky Brickwood -26th February 2020

Brain left and right creativity functions concept
© iStock/Gugurat

Research from the University of South Florida (USF) reveals that the key to maintaining cognitive function is to engage in diverse activities regularly.

The study published in the Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences found those who increased activity diversity over the decade long study exhibited higher levels of cognitive functioning than those who maintained lower or decreased activity diversity.

A study over ten years

The researchers reviewed two sets of data from 732 people ranging between the ages of 34 and 84 that was collected by the National Survey of Daily Experiences. They focused on seven common daily activities: paid work, time with children, chores, leisure, physical activity, volunteering, and giving informal help.

Over eight consecutive days, the participants were asked if they took part in any of those activities and scored on an activity diversity score that captures both the breadth (variety) and evenness (consistency) of activity participation. The same group was then interviewed again ten years later.

Assessing cognitive function

Previous studies have examined how activity variety and frequency impact cognition. This is the first study to prove activity consistency is also essential, regardless of age.

Their cognitive functioning was assessed using the Brief Test of Adult Cognition by Telephone (BTACT) battery, which measures multiple dimensions of cognition, including working memory span, verbal fluency, attention, speed of processing, reasoning and verbal memory.

Soomi Lee, PhD, assistant professor in the USF College of Behavioral and Community Sciences said: “Results support the adage to ‘use it or lose it’ and may inform future interventions targeting the promotion of active lifestyles to include a wide variety of activities for their participants, findings suggest that active and engaged lifestyles with diverse and regular activities are essential for our cognitive health.”

Activity diversity matters for cognitive health

The results revealed that daily engagement results in greater accumulation of intellectual and social repertoires. Life experiences, such as educational attainment or leisure activities, can help compensate for progressing Alzheimer’s Disease.

Additionally, a lack of activities or passive behaviour, like binge-watching TV, is associated with cognitive decline.

While participants did keep their minds sharp, Lee says she did not find a correlation between activity diversity and episodic memory, which is known to decline with age. A previous study by Lee also shows that activity diversity is important for psychological well-being, especially for older adults.

The current study shows that activity diversity matters for cognitive health across age groups and an active lifestyle is important for different domains of health.

Go enjoy a good book, go for a walk, get some exercise, take a class–there are so many things you can do!

But remember, whatever you do, do it for the glory of God!


New Blog! Okay – Re-vamped Blog!

I’ve decided to bring back my blog. I changed the name of it so I can talk about anything I want. Not that I couldn’t before but let’s face it, it was more stuffy than not.

Which means you could see things about God, the Bible, books, reading, cooking, kids, dogs, mental health, and a plethora of other topics.

Why be limited? But I do want us to have fun and enjoy it and hopefully learn a few things along the way.

Thank you for joining me! I’m looking forward to getting to know you all!