What do you appreciate?

Other than changing my earrings, I don’t give a lot of thought to my ears. However last week I had the opportunity to visit an Ear Nose & Throat specialist due to some weird crackling in my ear (which turned out to be caused by an infection in my mouth). While I was waiting for the doctor, I studied a wall poster that showed the complex anatomy of the middle and inner ear.

Here’s my conclusion — my ears are an underappreciated organ! There is a lot going on that we can’t see! Not only do the structures in our middle and inner ear coordinate hearing and balance, our ears connect our central nervous system to our head and neck (which is why ear infections can make us dizzy). It really is amazing what we take for granted until it stops working.

I remember when my mom got hearing aids. She was excited that she could hear the keys as typed on her computer keyboard after many years of silence.

This week, write about something that you learned to appreciate. It may be related to your health, your business or your community. What triggered your interest and what did you learn?

Reviewed – Sweet Poison: Why Sugar Makes Us Fat

It’s ironic that I’m writing a review about the evils of sugar while I’m baking Thanksgiving pies. However we’re going into the holiday season of weight gain, so this book is very relevant.

A life-long dieter, author David Gillespie found himself 90 pounds overweight and the parent of six children under the age of 9-years-old. His weight was taking its toll on his energy and his health. Eventually, after cycling through pretty much every diet on the planet, he realized that sugar (specifically fructose) was the problem. After significantly reducing the fructose (aka “sweet poison) in his diet, he is now slim and healthy.

Mr. Gillespie has clearly done his homework and this book is not a light read. Sweet Poison covers the biology of weight gain, the effect sugar has on your body, and the history of the sugar industry. He also writes about the history of the weight loss industry and cites many scientific studies regarding the role of sugar and fat in obesity.

I am someone who struggles with my weight and fully admit that sugar is my downfall. Now I understand, from a biological viewpoint, why sugar is a problem and how reducing sugar consumption can improve our health. I think this book would be incredibly valuable to people who are struggling with their weight and looking for some serious science about why sugar is a problem.

Happy Red Planet Day!

Red Planet Day is celebrated on November 28 and honors Earth’s next-door neighbor – Mars (aka the “Red Planet”). Mars is the seventh largest planet and has one-tenth of the mass of Earth. The temperature on Mars ranges from -207 F to +81 F. It takes Mars 687 days to circle around the Sun.

Red Planet Day commemorates the launch of the Spacecraft Mariner 4 on November 28, 1964. The 228 day mission of Mariner 4 brought the spacecraft within 6,118 miles of Mars and transmitted the first images of Mars’ surface. (Source)

How to write about Red Planet Day:

  • Have you ever seen Mars? It is sometimes visible to the naked eye. Write about your experience looking at the stars and planets.
  • Are you a science fiction fan? Share your favorite book or movie involving Martians.
  • Are you interested in astronomy? What resources can you recommend for someone who is interested in viewing Mars?

Changing Thanksgiving Traditions

I am always interested in people’s Thanksgiving traditions. Growing up in Canada (where Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October), Thanksgiving was never a big deal. When I moved to the United States in 1992, I had no idea that Thanksgiving was such an important holiday. I’d also never heard of Black Friday, so I was shocked to discover that part of the Thanksgiving ritual (for others, not me) was getting up at 4:00 AM the next day to go shopping!

In addition to cultural differences, I’ve seen how traditions evolve within a family. Parents of young children are too exhausted to consider celebrating. The aunt — who always “did Thanksgiving” — is no longer well and the task is passed to the next generation. A daughter takes over carving the turkey, because her dad’s hands shake too much for him to hold a knife. Children find significant others, so the holiday guest list expands to include more than the immediate family — or grown-up children make choices that no longer include mom and dad.

Much as we love traditions, they are always changing. Today, write about a Thanksgiving tradition in your household. Did anything change this year? Were you able to create a new tradition? How did it make you feel?