Gratitude 29June17 Pennies From Heaven

When I was little, my Granny told me a story that when you are missing someone who has gone to heaven, an angel sends down a penny for you to find. It was the angel’s way of letting you know your special person is thinking of you, too. She told me to never pass up a penny I found.

img_5815Yesterday, as I walked out of my writing group, I found a penny on the sidewalk. I was really excited because it was facing heads up, meaning it was mine to find. Finding one always comes as a welcome and happy surprise.

Greek mythology believed that metals, and especially copper had unique properties. It is one of the oldest metals to be used by man. Copper was thought to ward off evil spirits and attract love. Copper was used for making coins.

Historically, finding a penny is associated with good luck. It is a sign that the heavens are raining good fortune upon you. It is also thought that even though a penny is just one-cent, it still adds to your fortune!

Today I am thankful

  • Thinking about those who have gone before me today.
  • Very content to be at home.
  • I am excited about an event tonight at the library.

I have a crystal box on my dresser that holds coins and small trinkets I have found over the years. Every now and again, I go through it. I can’t seem to part with any of the contents. Somehow, each treasure seems lucky. Superstitious? Probably.

affectionately yours, Laura

*** revised from 25October13

Gratitude 28June17 PSA: Summer and Medication

sunshineI have always enjoyed the sunshine and the feel of the heat of a summer day. Being out in the sunshine is one of my favorite things to do.

Being half French-Canadian, my skin browns quickly and I have never had a problem with burning or skin issues. All of my life I have always been able to endure the heat for extended periods of time.

This summer has been unique for me. It started with sunburns on my face after my daily walks. I increased my sunscreen to a very high SPF. Then I experienced several incidents with multiple symptoms of overheating after short periods time in the sun and moderate activity.

I contacted my primary care provider with my concerns. My symptoms were those that mimicked heat-related illnesses.

Heat-related illness happens when your body’s normal temperature control system is unable to maintain its internal temperature. To chill the body, our blood goes to the skin away from the major organs, which is why heat-related illnesses can be so fatal.

Symptoms of heat-related illness are significant sweating, cramping, dizziness or lightheadedness, fainting, headache, nausea, vomiting, heat rash, disorientation.

All of my current testings were healthy, so, we began to go back through by medical history for the past year. During the winter I had a medication change of dosage. And it is a medicine that is sensitive to sunlight.

I asked my doctor how many people pay attention to how their prescriptions correlated with the change of seasons and affect their bodies. She said what happened to me is quite common.

My PSA and call to action for you is to take a minute to look at your prescription bottles and look at the side-effects. Many medications have the ability to cause sensitivity to sun and heat.

Today I am thankful

  • What a show Mother Nature put on last night! That was quite a thunderstorm.
  • A busy day today. Always an adventure.
  • I am thinking of those I love today. Some days I am more lonesome than others.

With summer upon us, if you are on a medicine that is sensitive to sunshine and heat, here is what I have learned.

  1. Stay hydrated. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but alcoholic beverages do not count. Sip nonalcoholic beverages throughout the day. Water is always good.
  2. Be very sun-safe. Use a sunscreen daily and often. Also, dress accordingly in clothes that protect your skin and in a wide-brimmed hat.
  3. Stay in the shade as much as possible and avoid being outside at the hottest time of day.
  4. Stay Cool by doing outside activities early in the day and later in the evening. On sweltering days remain in the air-conditioning.
  5. Be aware of the signs of heat-related illnesses. If you develop any of them, lie down in a cool room with your feet above your heart. Apply clothes to your skin or cold packs to neck, armpits, and groin area. Keep a sports drink on hand and drink a half-cup every 15 minutes.

Those at risk of heat-related illness and should take extra precaution are infants and children, elderly, people overweight, those with chronic diseases or on a particular medication.

Stay healthy and safe this summer.

affectionately yours, Laura





Gratitude 27June17 Who Needs Pants?

summerA new study by Benjamin P. Chapman and Lewis R. Goldberg, The Personality and Individual Differences, has determined that people who like to be naked at home are more intelligent.

The study was based on the Big Five Personality scale traits — extraversion, agreeableness, contentiousness, emotional stability, and intellect. 

The study used a dataset of questions that reflected intelligence level, personality, and habits. Researchers then tied the answers into an Act-Frequently Approach model.

That model is what identified the five personality traits.

Other interesting things to note; People high in agreeableness were most likely to sing in the shower.  I wonder if bad singing counts?

Those higher in intellect, or openness to experience, were more likely to swear around other people, buy organic food, and create art.

So, the next time my daughter Facetimes me, and I am sans pants, I will remind her, “Ahh, it’s my intelligence.”

Today I am thankful

  • Fantastic walk with my best friend
  • Settling in back home
  • A beautiful summer day

Wishing you a peaceful summer evening.

affectionately yours, Laura



Gratitude 22June17 Got Diabetes?

Mike Mulvaney, the current director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), was asked if people should be denied healthcare if they can’t afford it.

DiabetesHIs response was that he believed in helping to provide “a safety net so that if you get cancer, you don’t end up broke.” Then, he went on to separate that from others that he called “ordinary healthcare,” that he thinks is at the heart of the healthcare debate.

Mulvaney stated, “That doesn’t mean we should take care of the person who sits at home, eats poorly and gets diabetes.”

Interestingly enough, I have people in my life that I love who have diabetes. One, I lost at a young age to the illness. None of them are as Mulvaney has described of the variety that sits at home and eats poorly.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in 2014, approximately 9.3 of the United States adult population has a form of diabetes. That is about 29.1 million people.

Mulvaney statement is reckless that a requirement of determination and standard for being “deserving” of healthcare is required.

The new American Health Care Plan (ACHA) that is coming to the Senate floor for a vote next week will no longer cover pre-existing conditions for healthcare. Diabetes is one of those conditions.

Pre-existing conditions means expensive insurance premiums from high-risk pools. These policies come with imposed annual limits and lifetime limits on covered services.

It gives insurance carriers the right to ask permission from their state to “opt out” of covering chronic diseases like diabetes. (Please note: this includes people with coverage through their employers.)

With the future of Medicare hanging in the wind, this is critical. The bill presented today ends the Medicaid expansion, in addition to the budget cuts already voted on in the House.

For some the burden of diabetic medications and supplies under the ACA was burdensome. They need to get ready; the worst is to come.

The American Diabetes Association states on its website, ” Diabetes and its complications can be managed, and type 2 diabetes can often be prevented — if there is access to and availability of adequate and affordable health care.”

They might want to give Mike Mulvaney and Mitch McConnell a call this week.

You should call, too. 202.224.3121


Gratitude 22June17 Tell Me With Whom You Walk

There is a saying “Tell me with whom you walk, and I will tell you who you are.” Along with that same line of thought, “Tell me whom you love, and I will tell you who you are.”

As my dear Granny would say, “Birds of a feather, flock together.”

circle of womenIn our life, I think it is often more important to look at who is in our life than what is happening in our life. For myself, I have found, what is happening is often driven by “who” is in my life.

I will always have many acquaintances. There are many people in my life that I am fond of and will always keep in touch.

I have come to understand that life is unpredictable. If I dream of someone or think of someone, I will contact that person. I believe that is our unconscious way of telling us to reach out.

The people I “walk” with are a smaller and refined group. Those are the people that I find are a reflection of my life. I use my relationships with them as a gauge of “am I the kind of person I want to be?”

It is interesting to discover that we don’t require daily contact with each other. We all respect and understand the requirements that every day lives call from us. Not all of us are single.

Several live across the country miles away. One is a kindred spirit I met online years ago that I could call in a heartbeat. Not all are my age. Not all are female. A few are souls that I have connected with and are always there if I need them. The majority of my closest friends, I have known most of my life.

The common traits they all share are loving, honest, intelligent, strong, and gifted. The characteristics I strive to emulate as I give gratitude for their friendship daily.

Today I am thankful

  • The circle of family and friends I am blessed to have.
  • Another rainy day in the ATL. Go figure.
  • A busy day for my “To Do” list
  • A sweet and sleepy grand puppy.

Take five minutes today and make a personal connection with someone you love. Send them a card or call them instead of sending a text. Don’t call while you’re driving or multi-tasking. Call when you can give your undivided attention. Five minutes.

Tell me with whom you walk, and I will tell you who you are.

affectionately yours, Laura


Gratitude 21June17 Summer Solstice

summer solsticeToday is the longest day and shortest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. I believe it works out to be about 15 hours of sunlight.

It was interesting to note, as I researched for today’s blog, that the sun is sitting at its highest position in the sky. You would think with summertime heat; it would be the closest. Instead, it’s rays are vertical, and straight upon us. That explains my sunburn last week.

The summer solstice is known as the time of fertility, growth, and light. For farmers, some refer to this as midsummer. They have planted their crops and are patiently awaiting their harvest. Now is the time the sun warms the ground and nurtures the earth.

I think most of the time; we don’t think much about the sun. We go about our days, and we know when it is daylight or nighttime. A day without the sun? I can’t imagine. Even a rainy day I get through knowing the sun is just beyond the clouds.

This year we will get a taste of what that would be like when on August 21st, the sun will be eclipsed by the moon. As the sun disappears, the day will turn to twilight and the temperatures with drop rapidly. wrote that “On that day, America will fall under the path of a total solar eclipse.”

The word solstice means – “the sun stands still.” And in essence, it does at this time of year for our admiration.

Today I am thankful

  • Summer days that are content and easy.
  • Getting some work done.
  • At times re-evaluating your life strategy is necessary.

As we celebrate this glorious summer solstice day, we embrace the sun’s gift of sunshine and the heat it brings.

affectionately yours, Laura

Gratitiude 20June17 Where Is Your Somewhere?

“Every Adventure Requires A First Step”
The Cheshire Cat

Cheshire CatAlice: “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” The Cheshire Cat: “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.” Alice: “I don’t much care where. The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.” Alice: “So long as I get somewhere.” The Cheshire Cat: “Oh, you’re sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.” Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

I have always liked the above exchange between Alice and the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland. It speaks to me in several ways.

First, the times in my life when I am living without any direction. Living day-to-day, getting done what is necessary, but, not putting in the work to have the life I desire. Living life without any real intent — just living.

Second, how accurate I have learned that if you just keep going, you will end up somewhere. One day, there you are living a mediocre life — in a relationship, job, environment, or moral position — wondering what happened.

It is a reality check of realizing you are not quite living the life you intended or desired, yet, you are living just the same.

The lesson for me in that exchange is the importance of dreams, goals, and making plans. Not leaving it up to fate to decide that “somewhere” you will be if you walk long enough.

But, striving for what you want out of your life.

I am in the process of evaluating where I am at this time in my life. I am adjusting goals and two pathsrefocusing my energies, so I don’t look up and just end up “somewhere.”

It’s easy to go day to day and not pay attention. The older we get, the more we must make each step count and not just go aimlessly through life.

What applies to this life — we are guaranteed two things. We are born, and we will die. What we do with our in-between is on us. That is the question Alice is asking the Cheshire Cat. It is never too late to take a different path. To decide different choices of where to go from here.

The choice of how we get through life is ours.

Today I am thankful

  • God is good. All the time.
  • It’s amazing the joy a grand puppy can bring into your life.
  • Tonight is Queen Sugar Season 2 Episode 1 .. Yay!
  • Life never ceases to amaze me.

At some point, you may see someone without a smile today. Pay it forward and give that person yours.

affectionately yours, Laura

***revision of 3June14