On being a Grandma, part two

Last year at this time I became a grandmother for the first time.  We have been enjoying the presence of my son’s precocious, now four year old step-daughter in our lives and could not have been more thrilled to welcome her little brother. A few days ago this Grandma was equally thrilled to add another baby to this new generation of our family.  As promised, (by ultrasound) she is a beautiful baby girl.  The proud parents are my son and his wife that you heard about in all my wedding posts last spring.

 

 

There are no words special enough to express the emotions of being a grandparent although love, joy and pride might be a start.  We are so fortunate to have all three grandchildren to love and spoil. With them all living close by, I hope to do so as often as their parents let me!

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The power of vinegar

Is the power of vinegar an old wives’ tale or a well known fact?  Vinegar is basically acetic acid and as such makes an effective and inexpensive cleaning agent.  I must admit, being very aware of and sensitive to TOXINS, I do use extra strength (10%) plain white vinegar for many things.  Here are a few of the uses:

  •     carpet cleaner
  •     drain unclogger (with baking soda)
  •     laundry cleaner (disinfects) and softener
  •     weed killer, but be aware that it is non-selective meaning it will kill your grass too, so is best used between patio stones etc

 

Apple cider vinegar (ACV), made from fermented apples, has the benefits of acetic acid as well as enzymes, magnesium, probiotics and potassium.  It has become more popular recently as a dietary aid and home remedy to:

  • relieve heartburn
  • relieve sunburn
  • detoxify your liver and lymphatic system
  • lose weight and maintain healthy weight
  • remove skin tags
  • treat acne
  • clean wounds (antiseptic)
  • balance blood sugar levels
  • lower cholesterol levels
  • boost energy
  • condition hair
  • keep blood alkaline
  • clear sinuses by thinning out mucus
  • clean teeth
  • improve circulation

 

That is an impressive list of benefits for both white and apple cider vinegar.  White vinegar can be used as a cleaning agent directly from the bottle.  Apple cider vinegar should be diluted before use.  To drink it,  add one or two teaspoons to an eight ounce glass of water.  As a weight loss remedy, drink it before meals.  Rinse your mouth after drinking to prevent erosion of enamel from your teeth.  There are other adverse side effects of apple cider vinegar too, especially if consumed in excess.

So dig out those bottles of vinegar from the back of your pantry and put them to work as non-toxic cleaners and home remedies.

 

Do curlers have to be physically fit?

In my youth, the only curlers I knew were the rags my mother used to put in my hair.   I was vaguely aware that my BFF’s brother was a curler, but I cannot say I was interested enough to find out anything about the sport.  In fact, I’m not sure it was much of a sport back then.

My husband was a great curler in his youth, representing his club in the provincial playdowns several times.  His teenaged years were consumed with curling.  His knowledge of and passion for the game, not to mention the numerous trophies that we have in our home, (those were the days when no one but the winner got a trophy) taught me all about the game.  Not just the logistics of the game, but how difficult it is (here in Canada) to be the best team in your club let alone your zone, province, or country.  That degree of difficulty has not changed.  It might be even tougher as there are so many good teams out there.

My two eldest sons started curling at the age of four.  They both curled locally for years,  coached by their father. The younger of the two was not as passionate about the sport as the elder who also went on to curl competitively including representing our area in the provincials.  Unfortunately, much to the chagrin of his dad, his curling days took a back seat to his goal of becoming a civil engineer.  Both sons learned a lot on the curling ice, including leadership, team play, and communication skills.  Both developed friendships that have lasted over the years.   In fact, my eldest son met his new wife within the first few years of his curling career.  They both still curl at the same RCC although she is currently taking a hiatus to give birth to their first child!

Gone are the days, however, where drinking beer (adults only of course) and munching on junk food after the game were the highlights of the sport, at least at the competitive level.   Today, teams and individuals are known for their fitness level, mental endurance, and strategically amazing shots.  Sorry Ed Werenich, but the days of the belly hanging over the belt as you crouch on the ice to throw your shot are long gone.

ed

 

Watching the mixed doubles category in the winter Olympics this week, it is obvious that these curlers definitely have to be physically fit athletes to compete at this level today.  With just two (traditional curling has four) curlers per team, they  are throwing a rock, then quickly jumping up to sweep it down the ice towards the house.  I broke out in a (nervous) sweat watching them, especially the gold medal game between Canada and Switzerland.  The pairing of Canada’s John Morris and Kaitlyn Lawes were spectacular to watch as they brought home the gold.

curlers
CBC news: Canada’s John Morris and Kaitlyn Lawes win Olympic gold in curling mixed doubles

 

How well do you know your acronyms?

How well versed are you on the acronyms that are so popular today in conversations via text, private message or social media?   If you have teenagers in your house, you are probably very knowledgeable about these.  If not, here is a quick lesson, LOL.  That stands for Laugh Out Loud by the way, not Lots of Love as some (of us older) people think.

  • OMG is pretty obvious, I just put it on the list to ensure everyone knows at least one.
  • WTF too, although I did see a joke on Facebook that implied many people my age do not know what it stands for. In case you are one of them, it’s What The F**k.
  • BRB stands for Be Right Back just in case you get interrupted in the middle of a conversation through text or PM (private message)  That’s like asking “Can you hold on a minute?” in the old days when you were talking on the (landline) phone and the doorbell rang, or your oven timer went off or…NVM (never mind) you get the picture.
  • MYOB means Mind Your Own Business.  Some people use an F before the B; you can probably guess what that stands for.  I guess that is added when you are really annoyed at someone.
  • LMFAO means Laughing My F***ing Ass Off. (a fancier version of LOL)  Again, you can add the F or remove it as you please or as your vocabulary dictates.  There is also ROFLMAO which is Rolling On the Floor Laughing My Ass Off.
  • AFAIKB3 means As Far As I Know Blah Blah Blah.  In other words, I don’t care, which means it could be abbreviated to IDC, which should never be confused with IDK which BTW (by the way) means I Don’t Know.

 

acronyms

 

 

Tell the truth, how many of these acronyms did you know already?  I admit I learned a few more today, and tested my eyes at the same time.  LOL.

Bulletproof coffee

What is bulletproof coffee?  It is a new trend or fad, but not necessarily a healthy one. The biggest reason it is not healthy is because people are replacing a more nutritional breakfast with this coffee.  This coffee contains what is called empty calories because they contain little nutritional value.

Bulletproof coffee is made by adding 1 tablespoon of butter, preferably grass-fed and unsalted, as well as one tablespoon of MCT oil to one cup of coffee.  MCTs, by the way, are medium chain triglycerated fats like coconut oil.

Saturated fats are becoming more popular lately than their “fake” over processed cousins.  The fats in this coffee recipe supress hunger so avoiding breakfast is possible.  They also raise ketone levels in the bloodstream which supplies the brain with energy providing fuel.  The problem becomes when one third (assuming you eat three meals per day) of your daily nutrition is eliminated.

 

bulletproof coffee

 

The solution would be to have a bulletproof coffee in addition to your nutritional meals.  That is if you can afford the extra calories in your diet.

Ends for an end to cancer

April is coming soon, which means the (7th this year) annual Ends for an End to Cancer event is looking for support.  April  is cancer awareness month, and since most everyone is or has been affected by this devastating disease, the most obvious time to step up and support any fundraising event.

Ends for an End to Cancer is a curling bonspiel and more held at the Richmond Curling Club (RCC) here in the Ottawa area.  This year it will be held on April 7th.  My daughter-in-law and son are involved in this wonderful, and very successful event, in support of victims and their families.

cancer

 

There are many ways to help.  You can submit a curling team in the bonspiel, come out to participate in the silent auction, donate items for the auction or donate money to the cause.

If you are interested and available to support this great cause, contact me for more details.

The end of Alzheimer’s

The book I read recently, called The End of Alzheimer’s, is the inspiration for this post.  It is written by Dr Dale Bredesen and can be purchased here.

Seven years ago I was struggling with various health issues including a terrible short term memory.  As I worked through the process of finding out what my problem was, I discovered that many common dietary habits are linked to poor short term memory and the general fatigue I was experiencing.

More recently I heard about this book that claims to contain the solutions to preventing and even reversing the cognitive decline of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.  I was intrigued since the causes of cognitive decline outlined in this book are eerily similar to what I discovered were the causes of my earlier health issues.  That is my excuse for why there are so many internal links to my previous posts.

I will attempt to summarize these causes and their solutions, but read the book for full details if you are seriously concerned about yourself or someone you care about.  What I took away from reading this book is that the main cause of cognitive decline (dementia including Alzheimer’s) is an overproduction of sticky amyloid plaque that destroys the synapses of the brain.

Alzheimer's
synapse: Wikipedia

 

This amyloid is produced naturally as a defence mechanism when our immune systems detect irritants or pathogens in our bodies.  The problem becomes when our immune systems face a chronic (consistent) bombardment of irritants to fight and never shut off.

According to this book, the three culprits that cause our immune systems to be overworked resulting in the overproduction of amyloid are:

  • inflammation including infections (viral, bacterial, fungal, parasitic) poor hygiene (gum disease) and poor food choices (trans fats, omega 6 fats vs omega 3s, sugar, dairy, gluten)
  • the shortage and decline of nutrients, hormones and molecules that are necessary to support our brains
  • toxins (metals, chemicals, antibiotics, medication, alcohol) and biotoxins (mold)

So, how do we prevent or reverse the onset of cognitive decline and yes, even Alzheimer’s?  The author uses the analogy of terrorists on an airplane.  If you prevent the terrorists from getting on the plane, they cannot blow it up mid air.   Likewise, we can thwart these neuroterrorists (listed irritants) that are wreaking havoc on our immune systems by not ingesting them.

Note that the first two irritants on the list are diet related, meaning they should be easier to control.  Removing the toxins in your home and life may be more complicated, but can be done.  Note too that this neglect or abuse of your immune system has (most likely) gone on for years.  That means fixing it won’t happen over night!

From my own personal experience I can say that eliminating gluten, reducing sugar and trans fats, choosing omega 3s over 6s, and reducing my exposure to toxins for the past seven years has made an incredible difference in my overall health.