Archive for: February 2013

When Cancer Knocks

fight-cancer-featuredMy sister-in-law was complaining to her 95 year old grandmother about all of the aches and pains she was experiencing since she was over fifty. Her grandmother said, "Growing old isn't for wussies, dear." With my mother turning eighty-one this year, I wish that's all she had to complain about, but she has cancer knocking at her door. She had a kidney removed last year, and since that time she has been to the hospital three times to have cancer nodes scrapped off of her bladder.

Since last year we have spent quite a bit of time together. After my divorce in 2003, I had moved back home to nova Scotia so I would have more time to spend with friends and my aging parents. At that time, Dad had already been diagnosed with dementia, and later on they decided it was Alzheimer's -- although he wasn't too bad when I first moved home. So I got to visit them quite a bit, while he was still able to function at a reasonable level. Unfortunately, the following years became worse. Still, he was never in a home or hospitalized. My mother looked after him the whole time.

I didn't get to see them as often as I would have liked. They lived 35 miles out of town. But I called my mother every day.  We usually talked for a half-hour, although at times it stretched to an hour or more. I sincerely hope that in some small way it helped her cope with my father, knowing she had someone to talk to. By the time Dad passed in 2006, he mostly didn't recognize any of us, including my mother. I say mostly... because....

He became distressed in the summer of '06. It was late at night. My brother and his wife were at their cottage and I was at mine. Both cottages were only located about three-quarters of a mile from our parents house. The cottages sit right on the Bay of Fundy. A late night knock at the door saw my brother standing there. He said, "C'mon -- it's Dad."

I got dressed; jumped into my pickup and drove as fast as I could to my parents place. There were too many cars to park close, as first responders includes firemen, police and paramedics. There was quite a commotion going on at the front door so I ran in the back. There must have been over a dozen people n there. They were wheeling Dad out on a stretcher through the front door, when he grabbed my mother's hand and said, "I guess this is it, then. I love you!" It was one week short of their 50th anniversary. But at that moment, he knew who she was, although most days prior to this, he didn't know her. He did, that night though....

Dad passed away. I wondered about calling my mother every morning, that I had become so accustomed to, after that. Dad was gone, maybe she didn't need to talk to someone rational every morning. But then, maybe she needed someone to talk to. You don't spend 50 years with someone and not be grief-stricken when they are gone. And of course, the whole point of moving home, after my divorce, was to be close to family and friends. I would call her. And I did -- the same time every day.

She has since sold the old farmhouse and moved to the adjacent town across from where I live. I could be there in fifteen minutes if I had to be. I've thought about ending the calls, but then I thought she needs to adjust to living alone. Maybe I can help her with that....

Then she was diagnosed with cancer two years ago. This last year, we have spent a lot of time together. When my daughter Kelsey was here, we would do things together with her and her friends. We've had some wonderful times. Now that my daughter has gone away to live with her mother, Mom and I often get together for lunch, or do some odd things together. And I'm still calling her every day.

One of the clients I work for, are publishers of alternate cancer remedies.  I asked them which of their books I might buy that would help my mother, and they freely sent me many of them, including Outsmart You Cancer by Tanya Harter Pierce, M.A. MFCC. They said, out of all the books they publish, this was one of the best. In Chapter 11 of the book she talks about a drug called Protocel. You can read a previous article I wrote about Outsmart You Cancer here. It's one of the books she has read that has probably done her the most good, and convinced her to change some of her eating habits too. Protocel is apparently a good choice for fighting bladder cancer. But I haven't been able to convince her to speak to her doctor about it yet. Of course, the reviews are mixed and it hasn't been approved that I'm aware of.

Watch Dr. Michael L. Johnson in the video below as he speaks about Protocel.

My mother will be undergoing Bacillus Calmette-Guerin treatments. According to WebMed, it's supposed to help eliminate the recurrence she has been experiencing. I certainly hope this works for her, but it's nice to know there are other options.

If you don’t want to miss any of these posts: on the right-hand side of the blog is a place where you can enter your email address, and I’ll send you any new posts by email. You’re not going to get spammed — I respect your privacy. All you will get is the new posts only. Note: any posts that contain video or other website technologies won’t be available in the email version of the posts.

While you’re here, don’t forget to check out our rebel mouse page, to see what else you might be missing.

Comment are welcome below.


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101 Best Soup and Stew Recipes Ever

chili-featuredWhen I was a teen ager, I spent a fair amount of time at a friend's house.  His mother, who had raised seven boys, often kept a pot of chili on the stove, in case anyone wanted something to eat. It was a huge pot. I have a similar pot here at home, but it was my understanding it was supposed to be for  2-3 dozen ears of corn-on-the-cob, which is always a favorite around here, and especially at the beach. Regardless of what it's for -- it's a big pot.

I love Chili. And by friend's  mother made the best chili I've ever tasted. It was fantastic! And I've tried a few recipes here and there but never found one I was happy with. Of course it could have something to do with the way I follow directions. But when I was browsing through some books today I discovered 101 Best Soup & Stew Recipes Ever: Including Gumbos, Chowders & Chili Recipes by Nancy F Thomas. In chapter four you can find six chili recipes,  and look great.

One of the ones I took interest in is the Bulgur Chili. I was reading through it fairly quick and I thought it said "Burger Chili" which brought to mind the chili I was so fond of as a young man. It had hamburger in it. After a quick search I saw on Wiki,  "It is a cereal food made from the groats of several different wheat species, most often from durum wheat. It is most common in European, Middle Eastern, and South Asian cuisine. The word bulgur is of Turkish origin." I suppose I could substitute Burger for Bulgur, but there is another recipe called Spiced Chili, where one of the ingredients is 1 ½ of ground beef.

I'll probably have to wait until the weekend before I get a chance to do some experimenting.  Nothing worse than going to all the bother to cook up something special, ruin it -- and then wind up eating hotdogs because you have run out of time....

I'll have to decide which recipe I'm going to start with. You can likely tell I may have another disaster on my hands, but if you like new ideas for stews, soups and chili, you can get the Kindle version of this book for free today. It's part of an Amazon promotion and will likely only be available for the next 24-48 hours. And if you have a favorite Chili recipe, why not share it below in the comments section?

If you don’t want to miss any of these posts: on the right-hand side of the blog is a place where you can enter your email address, and I’ll send you any new posts by email. You’re not going to get spammed — I respect your privacy. All you will get is the new posts only. Note: any posts that contain video or other website technologies won’t be available in the email version of the posts.

While you’re here, don’t forget to check out our rebel mouse page, to see what else you might be missing.


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Feeling fenced in?

fenced-in-featuredHow many times have  you heard the expression, "That's the way we have always done it. Don't re-invent the wheel." In some situations it may be good advice, but if you're over fifty and starting over, it's the worst advice. You have to find new ways to move on. It's easy to lay blame, but sometimes the biggest roadblock is ourselves.

When I was young boy, my parents had a small hobby farm. My mother loved ponies, so we had eighteen at one time. She was also a school teacher and loved children, so one summer she decided she would offer pony rides to children in a field by the edge of the road. And it was my brother's, and my job to help out. Sometimes we would have a number of cars stopping, and often times more than one child wanting a ride. So we would lead the ponies around a makeshift corral when the riders were little or inexperienced.

I remember it being a very warm summer. We had to make sure the ponies didn't get too hot, so off to the side of the main corral was a holding pen for the  ponies who were resting up and not on duty. Our place was about a half-mile away, so we couldn't put them in the barn to rest.

Not sure how old I was at this time. I might have been ten. I had quite a bit of experience at this age with ponies. As any rider knows, when it's time to go back home, a pony will often  run if you don't constrain them.  This made me wonder about the holding area we had for the ponies who were not serving rides. It certainly didn't seem like much of a barrier to them at all. It was a few fence posts stuck in the ground with a loop of rope stringing them together.  In a couple of places the rope was sagging, and probably didn't clear the ground more than a couple of feet.  It got me wondering why those ponies just didn't step over the rope and head for home.

During a short lull in riders that afternoon, I asked my mother about this observation.  She said the ponies didn't escape because they were fenced in. Of course I replied, that it wasn't much of a fence.  Why didn't they just step over it? She said it was because they were used to be fenced in and not being able to escape, so they didn't know they could.

The same thing happens to a lot of us. Barriers we see as insurmountable are fencing us in out of habit. Stepping over the rope can be likened to being caught outside of our comfort zone. Sometimes it takes a monumental event before we are driven to free ourselves. It doesn't have to be this way.

A Kindle  book that is free today on Amazon is called Tuning In to Inner Peace: The Surprisingly Fun Way to Transform Your Life. Joan Gregerson writes about personal growth, meditation, teaching and life. Her book is a series of 29 lessons that will help  you understand how our thoughts can hold us back. If you're afraid to step over that rope, and head home, this book will give you a fun way to transform your life.

If you don’t want to miss any of these posts: on the right-hand side of the blog is a place where you can enter your email address, and I’ll send you any new posts by email. You’re not going to get spammed — I respect your privacy. All you will get is the new posts only. Note: any posts that contain video or other website technologies won’t be available in the email version of the posts.

You’re also welcome to share your comments below.

While you’re here, don’t forget to check out our rebel mouse page, to see what else you might be missing.


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Retired Teachers Can Make Extra Cash

If you're a teacher or better yet, an over fifty, retired teacher, I learned about a new way you can make some extra money online.  You can make lesson plans for school and sell them to other teachers. I'm not kidding you. Dien Rice, who runs the Seeds of Wisdom Forum posted an article about this on the message forum.  In his post he says, "Teachers pay $59.95 for an annual premium membership fee to sell materials on the site, with the agency taking a 15 percent cut of most sales, according to Businessweek."

You can find the website Teachers Pay Teachers here.

My mother used to be a teacher before she retired. She claims it takes a lot of work to make up lesson plans, but it is something she enjoyed when she taught school. She always tried to find ways that would enable the children to learn about topics that would be entertaining as well as instructional. And the kids loved her for it. I know this for a fact, because I've had numerous people stop me on the street and ask me if I was Audrey MacLellan's son.  Then they proceed to tell me that my mother was their favorite teacher.

Regardless of whether or not you 're a teacher -- if you're looking for a place with like-minded individuals that can help you brainstorm ideas for extra income, you will find some intelligent, remarkable people at the Seeds of Wisdom Forum. You can find it here.

If you don’t want to miss any of these posts: on the right-hand side of the blog is a place where you can enter your email address, and I’ll send you any new posts by email. You’re not going to get spammed — I respect your privacy. All you will get is the new posts only. Note: any posts that contain video or other website technologies won’t be available in the email version of the posts.

You’re also welcome to share your comments below.

While you’re here, don’t forget to check out our rebel mouse page, to see what else you might be missing.


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Valentine’s Day? Please… I’m over fifty and single

While couples everywhere will be enjoying Valentine's Day with their sweethearts, for those of us who have made it a lifestyle choice to stay single for the next 50 years, there are lots of other ways we can enjoy today. At least we don't have to worry about someone getting angry because they didn't like the gift they got.

There have been a couple of good links to articles published to the FaceBook page for this site. 1) 12 Most Happenin’ Ways for Singles to Spend Valentine’s Day and,  2 )  14 things to do if you don't celebrate Valentine's Day. Click here for a sneak peek.

Why not join us on Facebook? All you need to do is "like" the page.

If you don’t want to miss any of these posts: on the right-hand side of the blog is a place where you can enter your email address, and I’ll send you any new posts by email. You’re not going to get spammed — I respect your privacy. All you will get is the new posts only. Note: any posts that contain video or other website technologies won’t be available in the email version of the posts.

You’re also welcome to share your comments below.


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