Category Archives: Life in General

Mom and Ray Christmas 2013

This is a couple of photos from Christmas 2013 at my brother’s home in Valdosta, GA. We had a great time out behind the pool house where the cooking of some of the most awesome crab legs transpired. They were absolutely delicious, and I didn’t even miss the turkey and dressing.

Mom and Ray were married Feb. 13, 2014.

Mom and Ray, Christmas 2013

Mom and Ray, Christmas 2013

Crab legs for Christmas lunch

Crab legs for Christmas lunch

Painting in the Blue Ridge mountains

Thanks Jeffry for the photo

Many thanks to my brother, Jeffry, who shot this photo of me painting in Blue Ridge. It was very cold, and I was racing against sundown trying to get the last few strokes of paint on before my hands froze.

Fortunately, we had a roaring fire in the outdoor fireplace on the deck just a little way to the left of where I had my easel set up.

Painting in the Blue Ridge mountains

Painting in the Blue Ridge mountains

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields by John McCrae, 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Yoga for Back Pain

Peggy CappyAfter a weekend of spring cleaning in the yard, raking and pruning shrubs, my back went out and I could hardly walk. I could barely bend over the sink to brush my teeth. Used to be pre 40, I could hang with the best of ‘em.

So, I went to see my chiropractor and found out I had a severe back sprain. It’s going on two months now, and I’m just beginning to be able to bend down to put on my shoes without pain shooting through my lower back.

I’ve seen tremendous improvement since I started following along doing yoga with Peggy Cappy. I first saw her program on PBA30, public television, here in Atlanta. I’m doing stretches in the morning, some of the easier stretches during the day, and I can’t believe the improvement in how I feel.

Check out Peggy’s books, DVDs, and relaxation music here on our shop.

Green Tea

Earlier this week, I decided to stop drinking coffee after watching a special on PBS. I’ve known that coffee is not good for health for a long time, but I was hooked on it.

I had weaned myself down to two cups a day, but I continued to have a curious skin itch that would not go away. Well, I know that normal pH for the body is slightly alkaline, and coffee upsets that balance by making you acidic. Soft drinks do that as well due to the phosphoric acid in them.

I switched to green tea after hearing Dr. Daniel Amen extol its benefits. How did I make it to 49 and not know about the benefits of green tea?

New research shows that green or black tea may be a potent weapon in fighting Alzheimer’s disease. Tea is already thought to protect the body against heart disease and cancers, but research shows black and green tea inhibit the activity of enzymes associated with the development of Alzheimer’s, a form of dementia that affects about 5 million people in the U.S. and is estimated to triple to 15 million people by 2030.

The new finding comes in the wake of research that suggest that flavanoids contained in tea, particularly green tea, protect against strokes, heart attacks and many different types of cancers, as well as other conditions such as tooth decay and dehydration. One study shows that drinking three cups a day is the equivalent of eating six apples.

Green and black tea come from the same plant. Black tea consists of fermented leaves. Green tea is less processed and is popular in China and Japan, where it has been linked to longevity and low rates of heart disease and cancer.

In a recent article published in the journal Phytotherapy Research, scientists found both teas inhibited the activity of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), an enzyme which breaks down the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. Alzheimer’s is characterized by reduced acetylcholine. Green tea went one step further in obstructing the activity of beta-secretase, which helps produce protein deposits in the brain linked to Alzheimer’s. These findings could help in developing treatments for Alzheimer’s.

A cup or two of green tea a day may help you remember the rest of your life.

Juicy Food Gooood!

A couple of months prior to my surgery in 2007, I started getting up at 4:30 am to exercise and mentally prepare for the surgery. Once I resolved that surgery was my only resort, I was on a mission to get as healthy as I could.

I’m now 49 — 48 at the time of surgery, and I was not in the best of shape. I have never been more than 10 or so lb. overweight, but I wanted the weight off and for my cardiac function to be as good as possible.

I’ve heard that it takes a long time to get used to something outside your routine, and I’ve found that to be true, but when properly motivated, it can take much less time. Say for instance, your doctor tells you that if you don’t change your diet you’re going to die.

I had a friend, who worked out regularly at the gym, was a marathon runner, but ate most of his meals at fast food restaurants. His favorite was a McDonalds hamburger with fries and a soft drink. He started having dizzy spells at work and so decided to go to the doctor to be checked out.

When I next saw him, he asked me what I thought the doctor had said to him. My response was, if you don’t change your diet, you’re going to die. He smiled and said, yep, that’s basically what he said. He started eating at Blimpie instead. A good improvement. They have great salads and turkey subs. His health improved, and the effect was almost immediate.

I’ve lived by a rule of thumb I read about years ago in the book, Fit for Life. Eat a diet with foods that have high water content. That is, watery vegetables and fruits. If you put it in a juicer, and lots of juice comes out, it is good. Examples include carrots, cabbage, tomatoes, lettuce, beets, most fruits. If you put beef, chicken, bread, nuts, in a juicer, no juice come out! So you want to eat less of the non-juicy stuff and more of the juicy stuff. Why do you think the term "juicy" in non-food context usually means something is appealing? Juicy usually means, it’s good!

Juicy — GooooD! Not-juicy — NOT SO MUCH!

Rule of thumb, try to eat 70% juicy food. Try it and let me know how your health improves.

Birthday ’08

2008 B'day Card from JeaneaneThanks to everyone that sent cards and called me on my birthday. I turned 49 this week, and I would like to take a few minutes to reflect and appreciate the people most dear to me.

First, I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful family. When I had my surgery back in November of last year, they all rallied around me. I would never have gotten the help I needed for sleep apnea had it not been for my wife. Dr. Roser said it’s usually that way; the spouse brings in the patient more often than not.

Just about everyone on my side and Jeaneane’s side of the family was there at Crawford Long Hospital the day I had my surgery. It was a long day for them. Sitting around the hospital waiting on someone to come out of surgery is just not the most fun way to spend your day.

During the first week of my recovery, I was pretty much an invalid. Jeaneane was there for me around the clock preparing my special diet of liquidy foods and making sure I took my medications at the proper time. Jeaneane’s sister, Shelbie, helped out driving me to several of the doctor appointments Jeaneane could not attend. Amy’s husband, Philip, brought me some Brunswick stew one day when I started eating more solid foods. My brother Jeffry and my mother drove up from Adel to visit a couple of weeks after I came home, since Jeffry was sick the day of my surgery. My brother-in-law, Marty, called numerous times throughout my recovery to keep up with my progress and let me know I was in his prayers.

To my family, I love you all. There’s no need to list everyone by name — you know who you are. Also, to my friends, thank you for being there for me as well. I love you all too.

I am thankful to God that I am still here and for all the things mentioned in the paragraphs above. Without the mercy of God, I would surely not be alive today. I have had a number of close calls in my life time, brushes with catastrophe if you will, and I have always been delivered. With God, all things are possible.