art, Health

Did “Ewe” Know…

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A few facts from

  • There are over 1 billion sheep in the world.
  • Sheep have a field of vision of around 300 degrees, allowing them to see behind themselves without having to turn their head.
  • The digestive system of sheep features four chambers which help break down what they eat.

    “A 2002 Oxford study found that insomniacs who counted imaginary ewes actually took longer to nod off. ”



art, Personal Success

Funny How the Mind Works

I’m taking painting classes through (Lisa Congdon!) and last night, right before bed, I painted this:


I went to bed and when I woke up, I thought of a vintage dress a friend gave me over twenty years ago. It’s stored in a closet in my office – and I never look at it. Yet something evoked a need to look at the pattern:



It makes you realize how your brain is working while you sleep. I notice that whatever I think about right before I go to bed is clarified somehow when I wake up. This is why watching informative and inspiring programs before bed is better than watching news…this is why reading a good book is better than arguing…and this is why asking yourself “How can I solve this problem?” is a better question than “Why me?”


Health, motivation, Personal Success



Fatigue can lead to irritability…which can lead to arguments with others. It also hinders our ability to focus and feel good physically.

Interesting fact: “Sleep deprivation was a factor in some of the biggest disasters in recent history: the 1979 nuclear accident at Three Mile Island, the massive Exxon Valdez oil spill, the 1986 nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl, and others.” (WebMd)

Your sleeping habits affect everything you do. So consider getting a minimum of 7 hours of sleep every night!


Health, Personal Success

Toe Bone Connected to the Foot Bone…


Photo by Hisu Lee

My lower back has been hurting lately – and, the cancer survivor in me jumps straight to fear. It’s a tumor, it’s come back, I assume. I fight the urge to Google it. Believe me, nothing good comes from Googling “pain” + “cancer”!

Of course, after thinking about it, I realized that my plantar fasciitis has returned and I’m walking in a different way to compensate for it. Consequently, my posture and walk has been thrown off kilter and voila (!) back pain.

Have you ever had headaches and/or dizziness and realized that your shoulders are super tight?

Everything is connected.

Doing a body scan on a daily basis has become effective for me. Try this: When lying down to sleep, do a scan. Start with the top of your head, down to your temples, your shoulders, your arms and so on. Check in with your body. Relax each part as you settle in to sleep.

It can be informative. You’ll be able to relax tight muscles and maybe put to rest any worries you have.



Is Benadryl Harmless?

It started a little over a year ago.

I would wake up at around 1 or 2am every single night. Er, morning. I would be wide awake and it would take about a half hour for me to fall asleep again. Of course, I’d feel less than 100% the next day. I need my sleep, at least 7 if not 8 hours. A friend of mine suggested I take Benadryl. She’s a nurse, so I trusted her.

Taking Benadryl every night helped tremendously.  I slept through the night and felt refreshed each day. A creature of habit, I did this every night for over a year.

And then I read this article.

Basically, anticholinergic drugs have been found to cause dementia in people 65 and older who used them for over 3 years.

This was the first study where they looked at over-the-counter drugs. You would think that if you don’t need a prescription, they’re very safe, wouldn’t you? Not so.

The writer recommends you take all the drugs you are taking, put them in a baggie and discuss your use with a doctor. I have mixed feelings about that. Of course, it sounds logical. However, for those of you who know me, I was diagnosed with breast cancer over five years ago and I believe that it was caused by being on birth control pills for so long. When I complained to my OB about my PMS pain, she literally pushed me onto the BC pills and assured it was acceptable to be on them for years.

I’m Asian. I don’t eat much red meat. I exercise regularly and am not overweight. I have never smoked. I have no breast cancer history in my family at all. I am in the lowest quartile for breast cancer risk. And yet it happened.

That’s my hypothesis. Beware of popping pills to solve your problems! You might create bigger ones!







Garmin Vivofit Review

After a few months of considering fitness trackers, I finally made my decision. There are so many out there and I wasn’t sure I really *needed* one. I really don’t NEED one. This is a First World issue, let’s be clear. I eat well, I exercise 6x/week…why the desire for a fitness tracker?

I wanted to know my stats. As I age, I’ve become hyper aware of changes metabolically.  What’s my heart rate? Resting pulse? Calories burned?

Ugh. Ego.

Willey purchased this for me for Mother’s Day. Early.  How did he know? Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.  I am very happy with it and have had two – no, three – unexpected benefits from it.  Aside from learning my heart rate is at an optimum level for exercise and my age, I can see how much sleep I had the night before. And as I track it, it has become very clear to me that I need 8 hours for an excellent day and that I rarely sleep 8. Let’s get more sleep, people!

Secondly, the red bar across the top warns me when I’ve been sedentary for an hour. This doesn’t happen often, but when I see the red bar, I get Opal and go for a walk. I am definitely more active in general now that it’s on my wrist.

Thirdly, it’s a watch. I used to search my bag for my phone to check the time. Now I check it old school (sort of)!

Cleaning is a must – I wash it with damp, soapy rag and wipe it down with a dry cloth. I also use some alcohol. Here is a great (short) video on the proper way to clean your fitness devices from Live Science:

Don’t forget to clean your chest strap, too.

“Mom, it’s ugly.”

“I don’t care. It does what I want.” I refuse to spend an extra $100 for aesthetics!

If you’re on the fence about getting one, I think you don’t have to spend a lot and your dog will thank you.