A Tribute to Mandela

We say thank you and goodbye to a very great man!

Think back to all the American presidents you have lived and worked under; how many of them were joyful men? Maybe Bill Clinton in his better years, or JFK, and perhaps Ronald Reagan? Fewer than the fingers on your right hand. Yet, should a leader not be joyful? I do believe that freedom is a quality of mind, a quality of heart and a quality of soul; it is the essence of what we call greatness and for those who have it none can take it away. Mandela’s life goes a long way to prove my point.

Statue of Mandela

He was essentially a joyful man, yet there was not much in his hard life to make him so. He spent all of twenty-seven years in prison where he slept on a thin mat on a stone floor. Those years were filled with hardship, with icy nights in the winter and sweltering summer days, with bad food and hard labor yet at all times he remained upbeat and positive. In the early years his wife was rarely allowed to visit him, and he was never allowed to see his children. She was bitter but he was never bitter.

He was sentenced in 1964 to life imprisonment for sabotage and placed on Robben Island off the Cape of Good Hope. This was ironic, for at that time hope was foreign to his situation. In the early years his achievements were small, but they were always there. He cultivated good relations with the prison guards, and was rewarded by having his allocation of sugar for his coffee increased to two teaspoons – blacks were normally allowed only one. It was a small, but important victory in overcoming the circumstances of his existence.

Later on, his prison life was punctuated by other small victories, only because he was such a man of good will and none could hate him. He succeeded in getting the grueling slave labor abolished for all blacks in the limestone quarry, but then regretted it because he was getting fat! So he persuaded the prison authorities to let him play tennis.

Finally, he was transferred to a lighter prison on the mainland and towards the end of that phase off his life he was given a small cottage with a garden and a pool which he referred to as his gilded cage. He was always aware that his freedom – he could eat, swim, play tennis when he chose and even see his wife – was but an illusion. It was a measure of independence, but it fell far short of freedom.

Time marches on, something we can count on, and in some countries, in some times, the greater good reasserts itself. He was invited to lead the country’s passage to majority rule. There were many secret meetings, and at these meetings he was treated with honor and respect. Finally came the meeting with President P.W. Botha on July 5, 1989.

While Mandela never lost his heart, never lost his intelligence, certain domestic skills had fallen by the wayside while he was in prison. Maybe, as a member of an “inferior” class, he didn’t have them in the first place or rightly thought them unimportant. On that historic day he had needed some help to knot his tie and tie his shoelaces. What of it, he had lived over twenty years in prison slip slops and a T-shirt.

In the end they did him proud and Mandela entered the president’s office looking like, well, looking like the next president, which is what he was to become. Still in no way resentful of what had been done to him, he accepted the challenge to lead the South Africa he loved and his race, out of the morass and up into the stars.

Black & white mandela

Mandela Quotes

“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.”

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Thanksgiving 2013

What am I thankful for about America? 

Two little Indians and two little settlers

Thanksgiving 2013

As I set about to write this post, I went back to last year’s thanksgiving entry and clicked on a thanksgiving account written by a Native American.  I  was not born American and I remember thinking last year – wow what was done to the Native American people in America was absolutely horrible, and I entered into her upset and I began to feel resentment.

Note: Resentment is at odds with the emotion of gratitude which is liberating.

Luckily this year I am seeing it differently. This year I see that there is truly no place for holding on to “being a victim”  Don’t get me wrong here, it is not that I think that what was done by the early Americans to the Indians was okay, it wasn’t. Had Indians not helped the early settlers, those settlers could in no way have survived.  My point is that as we celebrate all together in November in America, should we put our attention on the positive not the negative.  Holding on to being a victim keeps the conflict alive. This underlies our horrible and I will say unnecessary war on terror which only serves to keep corrupt leaders in power using this resentment to create strife, it does not in any way help the people. So let the resentment go.

So while I do not want to justify the bad things done in America’s past and there are many, I think we all, whatever our color, race or creed have to rise above these.bad experiences.  I look back on bad things done to me in my short life, and I am grateful that I have gained the ability to let go of these. It is an ability I have only recently acquired.

What I like most about this adopted country is how far we have come to include  the many different peoples in the fabric of the American culture. America has come a long way with Diversity – and it didn’t just happen. Once upon a time it was true that the Native Americans got the short end of the stick but let’s move forward for that was then, and now is now

So what am I grateful for this year? I am grateful that as a White South African who emigrated to America that I was invited this last year to a Native American Pow Wow!  I am grateful that as a White South African that I was once the only White invited to a Black HIstory celebration in a black church, an aesthetic moment I cherish, for the singing and harmony was unbelievable!  I am grateful for my Black Friend Willie Gibson and his very special lady, my Facebook friend, Dominee Phillips; friends who have had a positive impact on my life.  I am grateful for the very white lady who has just shopped at my Christmas table with her very black husband as I watch her look up at him adoringly.  I am grateful for China Town, Little Armenia and Vietnamese and Korean Restaurants. I am grateful that we are one nation under God and that Native Americans are now very much part of our national heritage and are now very much included in the multi-faceted American culture.

When we seek to reinforce our cultural strength, the woof and warp of many different realities that make up our great nation, we see that what we want to express gratitude for, is those many times when we as a nation have been able to rise above strife and conflict and have come together to care and share.for each other whatever the color of our skin, or the diversity of our politics and backgrounds.

Such a wonderful joyous time, so many wonderful Thanksgiving celebrations I have enjoyed since I came to America in 1978. I thank all of you who have celebrated with me.

turkey standing on American FlagIt was a very unique and special time, that very first American Thanksgiving and so let’s repeat it over and over year in and year out and give each other help and respect.

Lets all celebrate and eat turnkey!

Quote for the Week.

“If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can make our world safe for diversity.”  

John F. Kennedy

Snap-e Pie

Quick and Easy and Healthy also!

Snap-e Pie has become a popular meal in my home. I bake at least two or sometimes even three pies in a week. We like them but I love them even more.for they are easy on my wallet and a good protein substitute for meat and also gluten-free.   Best of all they are easy to make.  One pie takes ten minutes to prepare, and twenty-five minutes in an oven at 300 degrees. There is usually enough in a pie to continue eating for two or three days, unless the kids fall in love and gobble it up, which is entirely possible!

I started making Snap-e Pies because I wanted more protein and a freedom from gluten.

(When we all began eating Snap-e Pies there was an additional bonus. We became “regular” – this was from the psyllium; psyllium is a husk-like product that gives roughage. It can be bought at TJs. )

Here is the basic recipe.

4 eggs
A half a tub of TJs whipped cream cheese ($1.99)
A half a cup of Psyllium or a cup rolled oats (gluten free if you or family members are gluten-sensitive)
A pinch of salt
A pinch of baking soda

Separate the eggs, putting the yokes in the blender together with the cream cheese.

Whip the egg whites with the salt until so stiff that the little eruptions stand up firmly.

Blend the eggs and cheese and fold into the whipped whites. Add the Psyllium and the pinch of baking soda and mix thoroughly. Bake in a baking pan at 300 degrees for twenty five minutes.

This basic pie is delicious if you serve it with butter and Marmite. Marmite is a spread rich in Vita B1 and is an acquired taste. Your kids may love it or hate it. Adults usually love it and so do animals because of the B vitamin factor.   If your kids hate Marmite, serve instead with butter and marmalade.

marmite

Sweet Snap-e Pie

(Here are some sweet variations It is the same basic recipe)

To the blender with the cheese and egg yokes, add grated apple and grated coconut. To the final mix add oats rather than Psyllium and finally, just before baking, add a little box of raisins. Garnish with baked, sliced coconut. (Instead of the coconut you can use honey roasted sliced almonds or spicy pecans.)

 Or

Use banana or peach or pears instead of the apple. Blend thoroughly before adding to the egg whites. I almost always add raisins to my sweet Snap-e Pies.

Snap-E with Sausage and  Cottage Cheese

Snap-E with Sausage and Cottage Cheese

Savory Snap-e Pie.

(These can serve as a meal replacement rather than a snack)

Chop Up a zucchini and press some ginger into the mixture in the blender. Add raisins. It is a sweet and savory variation..

Or

Add hummus to the egggs and cheese. Then add lentils to the final mixture and spread a layer of TJ lentils on top of the savory pie covered with a layer of salsa. Garnish with grated cheese. Yum – delicious.

Or

 Add TJs chopped Asian vegetables to the final mixture. It is kind of crunchy and I serve it with marmite and butter. My husband likes this one

 Or

 Add cooked spinach to the final mixture and garnish with a thick layer of cheese. Trim with tomato slices.

Gluten-free pie savory

Snap-e Pie savory

With the basic recipe so easy and quick and truly healthy, there is no end to the variations you can create. Easy & Delicious!

 

Ruane Manning: Most Popular Wildlife Artist (August 2013)

Some Quirky Facts about Wild Animals

Long and narrow 12x36

Wild animal textured pictures.

Ruane is known for his delightful pictures of wild animals, like lions, tigers, giraffes and elephants. Each picture has an emotional quality and one feels the artist’s reverence for our small planet and the wild creatures that share it with us. His images come to life through expert use of light and shade, outstanding composition, and his intimate knowledge of the animals he paints so well. Ruane published his first wildlife print as far back as 1968.

He studied Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and won some art awards there especially from the Philadelphia Art Alliance. He is internationally famous for his sculptures, some of which are in the art collection of  Presidents Reagan, Carter and Ford.

He lives on a farm in Southern New Jersey with his family and many animal friends.

Here are some fun facts about the animals that he paints.

 elephant with baby

  • Elephants are the largest animals on the planet and the females have the longest pregnancy – a full 22 months.
  • Elephants hate peanuts and don’t eat them in the wild, are not fed them in the zoo so don’t think you are giving them a treat if you offer them peanuts.
  • Like small human toddler, magpies, and dolphins an elephant will recognize himself in a mirror.
  • Elephants are very social animals. They form close, lifelong relationships with their families. They support each other, helping family members if injured or sick. They comfort each other just as we would.

Mommy giraffe kissing baby

  • A Giraffe’s tongue is almost 2 feet long.
  •  A male giraffe can weigh as much as a pick up truck! That’s about 1400 kilograms.
  • Although a giraffe’s neck is 1.5 – 1.8 metres, it contains the same number of vertebrae at a human neck.
  • Drinking is one of the most dangerous times for a giraffe. While it is getting a drink it cannot keep a look-out for predators and is vulnerable to attack. Furthermore his neck is shorter than his legs.  Poor beautiful, long-neck giraffe, it has to splay his legs in order to reach the water. Then it really can’t see any attack in the making.

Lion with lamb son of god

  • The roar of a lion can be heard from 5 miles away, it is so loud! On the other hand a tiger’s roar can only be heard from only a mile away. All the same both animals have mighty roars.
  • People are very impressed by lions. Lions have been chosen as the national animal of Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, England, Ethiopia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and even Singapore.
  • Why we admire them I know not for lions are lazy animals, they sleep 20 out of 24 hours a day.
  • They also put their women out to work; Lionesses are better hunters than males and do most of the hunting for the pride.

white tiger in snow

  • Tigers have eyes that are brighter than any other animal found anywhere in the world. Their eyes blaze out at dusk or at night in the light of a torch, with a burning intensity.
  •  A tiger can eat 100 lbs of meat at one night sitting, like that is about 400 hamburgers!  They eat so much because they go many days between meals.
  • Tigers are man eaters, and to be avoided if out alone in the wilds. Yet they also eat frogs, monkeys, porcupines and tortoises, (ugh) when a good man or deer is not easy to get.
  • Tigers are magnificent creatures and unfortunately the specie is sadly endangered. If we learn a little more about them, we can maybe help them grow to grow back in numbers once again. By survey pictures of tigers at Picture Lady, are more popular than pictures of any other wild animal.

  Quote of the Week

Obstacles are like wild animals. They are cowards but they will bluff you if they can. If they see that you are afraid of them . . . they are liable to spring upon you; but if you look them squarely in the eye, they will slink out of sight.  

Orison Swett Mardin

 

 

 

About Stemcells and Happiness

smile

So I have been taking the nutritional supplement Laminine a couple of weeks now and how am I finding it?  It hasn’t been earth shattering but I have become a believer.

Because I had polio as a young child, I was left with a slightly crooked back, I have been in pain on and off most of my life, always needing a chiropractor. My pain was never of a degree that I talk much about it or that I cannot be (sometimes quite spectacularly) productive, but it has always been there in the background.  Sometimes you may have noticed that I limp when I am tired and this makes me crotchety. With the early muscle atrophy from the polio as I have aged, I don’t have the muscle reserves that most others enjoy.

With Laminine it is not that the pain has gone away although I do feel something positive happening in my body and there is some hope that over time the stem cells may even handle the muscle atrophy from the polio. That seems possible to me as this is clearly a breakthrough product. Yet in this tight economy I would not stay on Laminine just for the hope of a future improvement in my muscles. No, that is not why I am already so completely committed. It is all about what I am experiencing with the product right now.

I have been feeling a very satisfying sense of well being – as though the stressors in my life have gone away or that somehow I handle them better. Nothing spectacular – just a good sense of what suddenly seems to be a good life. There has also been a distinct increase in energy. I am sleeping better and it is deep healing sleep. And Laminine is  purely nutrition – no side effects.

I was at the cashier at Trader Joe’s yesterday, a young guy named Daniel. He was excited. He said I made his day. He said it was so good to see a really happy person. I was positively exuding good vibes. Hello? He was actually talking about ME!!!

As my mood improves and my crotchetiness goes away, thanks to Laminine, I think my husband is finding this to be a great investment. I feel the benefit; his life gets better. – Lynn

 Quote for the Week 

Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of good conscience, good health, occupation and freedom in all just pursuits. 

Thomas Jefferson

All About Health

Detoxification – What is Health

Disease doesn’t just happen, it progresses. The alternative concept is very different from the medical idea that non-optimum body conditions just happen.

health

Alternative Medicine sees many illnesses as self limiting when you are living in a clean environment. Given adequate rest, a light fast and lots of cleansing water the body is able to protect and to heal itself by itself.

Modern Living brings up a problem: We are being more and more assaulted by toxins in our everyday life. Toxins come in on us from many sources, for example a toxin can be the uric acid formed  by eating too much meat, Add to that nowadays they are adding hormones and toxic substances tto the beef, chicken and fish to get the food to last ilong enough to get to the supermarket.

Toxicity is also poison such as a bee sting or spider bite.

Toxicity is  bacterial infection. This has been brought somewhat under control by good hygiene during the last century. This alone in America, while the rest of the world has yet to catch up.

For quite some time America was winning the toxic game with individuals living longer and staying healthy. Now, it seems the toxic load is rising again and we see this in comparative statistics. Japan is way ahead of America in healthy people. In Japan one in half a dozen have an alkaline water machine in the home, in America it is one in eighteen hundred. In the 1800s only one in 1800 succumbed to cancer, while now it is one in three or four living in our modern cities. Nowadays toxicity is assaulting us from pesticides and GMOs in America not to mention new electrical gadgets like computers, cellphones and GPSs.

Furthermore our modern life is stressful. Stress generates cortisol and if there is too much cortisol in the body, the hormone itself becomes toxic. How are we to cope with this?

For many years those who enjoyed a relatively natural lifestyle, sickness was for most part, self limiting. The body took care of the toxic assault and recovered easily in three to ten days.

To best understand what has changed, pretend that your liver is a factory which has two major tasks, its primary function being to filter toxins coming in from the environment while it is also tasked secondarily to seek out toxins that have lodged in the facility.  For the second task to be done (cleaning the factory) it has to best the ongoing challenge from the outside, to be able to quit handling the assault for long enough to find the time to work on its second mandate fixing the factory. When this outside challenge is so big that the liver barely copes, it never has time to turn inwards to house clean. To make matters worse it will have to find a place in the factory for the excess load coming in, that which it was unable to handle, process and eliminate. So while the liver is over busily coping, it never does its inward housecleaning work and it actually adds drudge in the body. Toxicity gets lodged in the fatty tissues which makes it all but impossible without handling the toxicity as the first step, to then successfully diet.

So what happens when the toxicity coming in is never handled, not when it arrives nor later when it has lodged?  This is where we get the onset of disease, disease which progresses  through five clear stages, as a condition worsens.

 Elimination
The liver as the main filter will work hard and long to neutralize the toxic load and to eliminate toxins through the colon, bladder, lungs or the sweat pores of the skin.  The most efficient of course is the elimination through the colon, which is why it is vitally important to have your feces moving through the colon, and not getting stopped up. Your body will tell you when it is trying to eliminate. You will get a runny nose, break out into a light rash, have fits of sneezing, spit up phlegm, get really tired,and maybe even experience a light fever, all these symptoms are part of living, go to the pharmacy, get a pill,right? Wrong. Listen up, for the body is giving you a signal.  It is saying “Hey, you, you who is in charge of this body, I need some help in detoxifying here! Cut down on your eating, drink more water, and get more rest. If you don’t you will be facing a disease further up the line 

Irritation
When a body is overtaxed and there is an inability for the liver to neutralize toxicity through the normal elimination channels, the body throws additional means of elimination into gear such as diarrhea, bad breath, acid urine, and bad skin outbreaks. Now these are the real warning signals.  Handle the condition, and then be sure to make the right lifestyle changes to reduce toxicity in on your body, or for sure you will be facing disease further up the line.

Inflammation
If irritation does not handle the problem, the body seeks to localize it. An example is tonsillitis. The toxicity has been contained around the tonsils and they are now inflamed. Another good example is tendinitis where the muscle ends flare up. Yet another example is arthritis which we may see as a chronic aging condition, maybe so? Yet it started once with localized inflammation in the joints that was not handled. Pain usually accompanies this kind of inflammation and can be regarded as the liver and the body upping its warning signal. In this stage the temperature is often elevated. In alternate medicine a fever is seen to be a good thing as it kills off bacteria and viruses. Fever is being generated by an overtaxed liver. It is how it handles the onset of disease.

Chronic Disease
If the inflammation is ongoing and it is not addressed and fixed, in fact if all the liver’s efforts and warning signals are ignored, or if any further toxic load is added by pain killing or anti-depressant medication,  the disease progresses into what we call a chronic illness.  What is happening is that the body is attempting to quarantine toxins by sacrificing a particular section or organ, for in this way it tries to avert death. It is in this stage that we  find tumors, cancerous growths or ulcers.

Organ Failure and Death
Unable to reverse the chronic disease the body chooses to die.

The whole awful process can be reversed if you master the gentle art of detoxification and know how to keep the detox, gentle.

Detoxification is the body’s way of removing and metabolizing dangerous compounds that have lodged in the body. This is called a healing crisis. By encouraging the body to flush out toxins, we not only boost our health and well-being, but also strengthen our immune system and prevent future disease. We are helping the factory (the liver) to have the time and energy to turn inwards and to clean house.

When going through such a detoxification one rarely feels good and it is wise to work with a doctor who understands detox or a natural healer to make sure that all is progressing as planned on a gentle gradient, not too fast and not too slow and facing no unexpected hurdles.

going throug it

You are feeling bad  because the toxins are coming off and this is a good thing. It is quite amazing but the body seems to know just how far it can push you, and it rarely dishes up what you cannot face. That is not to say while going through it, you won’t complain! Know however that when it is all over you will be feeling top of the world! You should hang in there, push through and look forward to the higher plateau of health that you have now very well earned

There are a few ways to make the detox lighter on you.

detox bath is one of the easiest healing therapies that can be done.  The skin is the largest detoxification organ so you want to soak in a bath that is as hot as you can take, while the toxins are being drawn out through the skin. Typically, a detox bath is made with Epsom Salts which draws out toxins, and also has health benefits.

During your soak do not use soaps or shampoos for your pores will be open and they will absorb the chemicals found in these products.  After your bath you may apply a natural moisturizer like Shea Butter.

 Herbal Cleansing
If your Detox organs are in good shape when you come upon a forced or needed detox, it will be much lighter on you.  At Picture Lady Health we recommend regular cleanses of the liver, colon and the kindney/bladder channels. After all you lube your car, why not lube your body?

cleanses

Set yourself up for improved energy,  a lighter detox and a better outlook on life with a regular and routine cleanse. Research shows that a feeling of well-being results when nutrition is not lost through non-absorption which can so often be the case when the elimination organs are clogged with waste material. Most important is the colon cleanse. If your colon is clogged with debris you can expect kidney and bladder problems or heavy skin outbreaks as the body moves on to the next (yet lesser efficient) channel of elimination.

If you do this cleansing routinely, your body will be in far better shape to cope with any illness.

 Live Water Therapy
Staying hydrated plays a crucial role in maintaining overall wellness.

Know that not all Water is the same and know that your body is close to 70% water. So in the face of illness or lost energy, it would make sense to address this aspect of your healing for many illnesses have the common attribute in that the  body has become dehydrated.

There is another practical reason for looking to water therapy as an answer. Depending on how far down the five stages of disease your body is, the more time you will need to rest. In our corporate culture, it is difficult to fast or restrict your eating to only alkaline foods. Live water therapy has many practical ramifications.

A problem is that in this recessed economy more and more individuals are being forced to work one or two jobs just to stay ahead. Older people have had their savings slashed and they too are out in the workplace coping. All of this is stressful. The stress is itself toxic. You may know that a detox is the answer, but find this ever increasingly hard to do. Under such modern life conditions it is a luxury to take time off to detox. Yet it is entirely practical to devote your weekends to rest and water therapy, and very easy to take an alkaline bottle of water with you to work each day. that bottle of water will ensure that while you are working your body will stay alkaline.

Live water has three crucial properties:

  1. It is alkaline and helps the blood to stay at optimum which is slightly alkaline.
  2. Live water handles free-radicals in the body, in other words it is anti-oxidizing.
  3. Furthermore Live Water is able to penetrate the cells and hydrate and nourish them. Believe me not all water has this property. Over a lifetime a toxic wall develops in many cells, making it impossible for them to be nourished or hydrated.  At the molecular level, live water is micro-clustered. In other words the water molecules are so small that they are able to bypass the toxic barrier that has built up in many of your cells.

Let’s hear what world-renowned biochemist Dr. Otto Heinrich Warburg once said about alkalinity, and oxidation and the part it plays in achieving better health.

In his ground-breaking research, Warburg found that all forms of unhealthy cells are characterized by two basic conditions: high acidity and lack of oxygen. lack of oxygen is a very serious and dangerous environment for a cell.  To even deprive a cell of oxygen for only 48 hours results in cell damage.  For better health Warburg insists that cells need an alkaline environment. This is why it is crucial to consume an alkaline diet with negative ORP (Oxidation Reduction Potential).

The easiest way to satisfy these requirements is with “Live Water”. If this is a subject that interests you tell us in the comments section this post or email us at http://www.picturelady.com/ We will send you more specific information.

 Quote for the Week

“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”

 

Days of Summer!

And guess what, your house is an unholy mess!

It seems to you that all the world is descending on you for a visit.  The problem is that you were so busy in March and April that you forgot to spring clean, and now it is just far too hot to bother.

But . . .

Your husband is bringing his golf buddies back for dinner!

And challenge of all challenges the in-laws are coming to stay for a week or two or three or four  . . .  and so it goes.  Oh my, will you ever survive?

To add to your distress all the kids in the neighborhood have descended on your pool. You are going to have to jump in and create some summer cleaning games, and create some summer music before you send them all back home and get to it  . . .

Now for the Serious Stuff:

First:
The kids helped but you still need to hire a cleaning lady or service. With all you have going, and are expected to do, you have rights!

Two:
Take a clipboard and walk through your house and really look at what is there. You want to make three lists:

  • One, everything you love.  These are the things you plan to keep.
  • Two, things that you dislike and would prefer to discard.  These are the items you are going to replace. It doesn’t have to happen all at once.  You start with the 20% that will make the 80% of difference.
  • Three: The worn & shabby list: Furniture etc that has become old and threadbare.  Don’t hesitate. Throw it out.  It is better to leave an empty hole than fill your house with anything that you feel is sub-standard. (there are a few exceptions – beloved things you really couldn’t do without because they are so useful, so expensive to replace or hard now to get any more – they stay but try to refurbish them!)

Now, here’s the rub: What about those items on the first list that are dated.  You have been holding on to them because you love them. Meanwhile fashions change, the world moves on,  and while the images may still be beloved, the frames, well those old gold frames don’t they really suck?

Did you know that at Picture Lady we can Resurrect Your old Artwork? This is one of our more affordable and very gratifying services.

Art for the Home:

Spend a little bit of money to cheer your spirits and your home. Invest in one new bright picture for each of your main rooms.  (Living, Dining and Family) Primary colors are always best for the summertime

whimsy one

                                            Cafe Marie 

(I just love the whimsy in this bright picture that reminds me of touring in Europe)

Picture Lady wishes you a summer full of fun and friends and all good things!

And if you are traveling on the I-5 don’t forget to visit us at our weekend store!

Quote for the Week

“A messy house is a must – it separates your true friends from other friends.
Real friends are there to visit you not your house!” 
Jennifer Wilson 

About Health and Wellness

Growing Older Gracefully 

I want to keep my good looks. I want to grow old without pain? I want to stay alert and productive and comfortable and happy right up until the day I die!  Is this possible?

While we all age and while we all must eventually move on, it is an observable truth that while many suffer as they age there are those few who attain a quality of life well into their golden years. What it is that they do differently?

  1. The first thing is they seek out and find understanding. Almost one for one you will find that older people who have attained a quality of life go out of their way to obtain true knowledge. They take the time to go to the web or to the library, or they find a mentor, they follow a religious creed as it applies to health, whatever they do  they seek out true knowledge. Then they run their own bodies rather than have the body run them.
  2. Secondly they remain active, they walk, they go to the gym, they swim. My sister and brother in law ride bicycles. It started when his kids gave him a three wheeler for his birthday, but he was having nothing of this,  only children ride tricycles and he is not a child!  So he went out and bought himself his own regular bike; he is Dutch and so cycling is part of his roots. His wife got the tricycle for having had a knee replacement she needed a little more balance and a lighter gradient. To this day you can see them out and about, both wearing the quaint hard hats. She is 86 and he is 89 years old! They enjoy (by observation) a true quality of life.
  3. Thirdly the folks that age gracefully often do good deeds.  
  4. A friend whom I a
  5. dmire has volunteered most of her adult life, almost as long as she once worked for the phone company. She has been President of this or that Club, and has even travelled to Mexico to hand out glasses to the needy. What you notice most about her is not that she only has one eye, for that has never stopped her, what you notice is her incredible courage and willingness to help. She is 86 years old and she also surely enjoys a quality of life.
  6. The one thing that ties it all together seems to be the goal, they are creating on a goal they have set for themselves. They see themselves as part of the community,  very much still part of the game of life.

The aim is to enjoy optimum health, which is after-all the fundamental stone on which a quality life is built.

Quote for the Week

To keep the body in good health is a duty – otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.

Buddha 

 

Creating a Home with Atmosphere

The blogger Seth Godin  said, ” In every city there are expensive hotels that are noisy, with $56 breakfasts, no parking, blinds that don’t make the room dark and rooms that don’t have enough closets. But the fact of paying extra to stay there ensures that you’ll be surrounded by others just as wealthy as you, and just as interested in proving it.”

Paris hotel

I consider there is a little more to a five-star hotel than location, wealthy clientele and flashy decor.

Did you know that the luxury hotel market was first created in France with a hidden agenda. The country desperately needed to improve their balance of trade so they decided to get creative. Can you believe that a whole country invented a luxury culture that they then used for the country to prosper. The French created an image and a style that was uniquely French and tourists flocked into the country to wine and dine, and shop. I know that the French were successful, for we visited with Peter’s brother, who was living on a house-boat on the Seine, and we were shown the  best of Paris. My mouth still waters as I recall the subtle tastes of the delicious food and I can still see the fancy, fashionable ladies swaying down the Champs Elysee.

I am not trying to talk you into going to France for nowadays who wants to go through Airport Security?  I m rying to show you that what the French can do so can you. You can create a uniquely stylish home and it won’t even cost all that much money. You can even add French pictures and they always add a touch of class and at Picture Lady they are not expensive.

french cafe onefrench two

So I don’t quite agree with Seth although I do know of some hotels that are overpriced.  What I believe though is that there is a subtle quality in the best hotels, which I like to call it “atmosphere”   As a creative homemaker you can become a master of atmosphere in your own home.  I believe that a loving atmosphere in your home can become the foundation of your life.

My message is that if France could do it, so can you and creating a home with atmosphere does not need to cost a great deal.  With a little bit of imagination you can create your own  home culture, something special for your family, and it need not be based on pretension, it need not even be expensive. It is all in your attention to detail.

Much can be done with lighting. Ever notice how many lamps hotel rooms have – at least five lights in the room? Real estate agents will turn on every light in a house they are showing. Lamps create atmosphere faster than anything else!  Much can also be done with Aroma. I invite you to check out the Aroma Lamps from Picture Lady Home Products.

Even more can be done with color.Here is the color palette for 2013:

art palette

We are fortunate this year in that the fashionable colors in 2013 are positive, and strong. For some years we have lived with tepid colors, but all that is gone. Now opposites attract  like never before, exerting a magnetic pull on the spectrum. Today’s colors may fight with each other, yet they always make a strong statement.

color palette 2013

 Quote for the Week

Love is a feeling completely bound up with color, like thousands of rainbows superimposed one on top of the other.” 

Happy Decorating!

Lynn
The Picture Lady

The Day the Volunteers went on Strike

Why we write these blogs

Excerpt from “Politics IOU” by Ella Bevan

Liberty in the medical sector in Shadow City, was evaporating like a mist on a summer morn.

The cost of medications had skyrocketed until they reached a level higher than what the average man could pay. Big Pharma had decided that they would have to find someone to pick up the exorbitant tab. When electronics also entered into the field of medicine with its expensive diagnostic machines, one after another hospital (all in deep fiscal trouble)  began to fail. All over the nation (and especially in Health Care) the numbers weren’t  adding up.

Health Care endangers LIberty

 

Nice Government Men, all with the best of intentions (and an eye on the next election) had legislated that all the hospitals had to treat anybody who arrived at their doors in Emergency; whether citizens, whether they had the funds or the insurance or not.  Indigents and illegals quickly took advantage. The hospitals were being forced  into free service = free fall. It was a medical fiscal cliff.

Rith, the Director of Volunteer Services in Shadow Community Hospital was a woman whose good looks were understated. She loved her volunteers and she loved the hospital for her job gave her the opportunity to help others. She had known her hospital was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and that the Board of Directors had sacked the old CEO and appointed a new and younger corporate leader. This didn’t phase her for the hospital did not have to pay her volunteers.  Because Rith was popular and a good organizer, her Auxiliary was able to pick  up several vital  hospital functions that had been dropped after the recent layoffs.

She didn’t like the new man; this new pompous CEO, but who was she to say? She was content to stay out of the limelight, do her job and do it well. She figured that in the end it would all come out alright. There were sick people and an aging population and they all needed help. The need was not going to go away.

She walked along the slate pathway through the exquisite rose garden past the patio, giving her fundraiser Ginsee a cheerful wave.  The new CEO had banished her fundraising events from the front lobby to the patio, and she knew that the Auxiliary-Pledge, usually a very generous gift to the hospital, would be about half this year.  The volunteers were just not getting the support from the hospital that they deserved.

Rith had almost reached the entrance to the hospital when she saw or rather heard the commotion. What was going on?  She could see her seventy-five octogenarian volunteers parading in a long line in front of the newly remodeled hospital entrance.   Some volunteers were behind walkers, some were leaning on walking sticks, and many were in power-wheelchairs or on scooters. Everybody was there; Rith had not seen such a turn-out of her volunteers before. It was something else! They were holding up (or trying to hold) big, heavy, aggressive, bold signs.

“NO FREE LUNCH, NO FREE WORK!”

“WE WANT OUR VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION DINNER”

“WE DEMAND AN AUDIT OF OUR CONTRIBUTIONS”

“WE ‘RE THE PINK LADIES AND DON’T THINK WE’RE YELLOW!”

“THIS AUXILIARY IS ON STRIKE”

“Yes I get that,Pearl!” said Rith, breaking into a run.

Pearl, the diminutive Auxiliary president, was out in front leading the parade.

“Did you call me, Rith?” she inquired demurely, having left the line and coming up quietly next to Rith.  Pearl was just shy of five feet, and she could almost fit under Rith’s left elbow.

“What on earth are you up to?”

“Can’t you see? We are on strike!”

“Volunteers don’t strike,” said Rith through clenched teeth.

“Pearl! Get back here; we need you to lead us!” yelled a gray haired volunteer who was doubled up with laughter. She had not had this much fun, not in her full seventy years.

Pearl skipped back to the front of the line and took her position as the leader of the pack. She picked up her megaphone and yelled: “Don’t you ever dare take us for granted again!” She was proudly leading them, all four foot eleven of her, their new, feisty  president, firm and resolute! Rith penetrated the inner line and pulled out Jay, the vice president; she pulled him out by his last four gray hairs. Usually she could depend on this intelligent man for stability and sane solutions.

“Jay, Jay what on earth are you doing?”

“We’re striking,” he said mildly looking up at her.

“That I can see! What situation precipitated it?”

“You know how it has been. It began to get bad after the hospital was bought out.”

“Yes, I do know all about that, but Jay, there must have been something, one big thing that upset you’ all?”

“There was no Volunteer Appreciation.”

“No Volunteer Dinner?”  Rith was astounded. She had left it all organized before her trip.

“He canceled it. “

“Who canceled it?”

“The new CEO and he also canceled our free cafeteria lunches.

Rats! This was trouble; big trouble! This CEO was typical of a new class of manager coming in dedicated to cutting costs, looking good to the share-holders and making a tidy profit, rather than dedicated to good organization and to good healing.

“Jay, you know that volunteers don’t strike.”

“Yes that is what I told Pearl,” said the placid, little man.

“And what did she say?”

He blinked his eyes, “She said: “Don’t be such a wimp, Jay, do you want him to walk all over us?”

“She said what?”

“What could I do?” He looked up at Rith, eyes wide.

“For heaven sakes Jay, there are going to be consequences.”

“Really?”  Rith hoped she was not too late to calm the waters.

She walked off to find the new CEO, who was, as she well knew, the real culprit here; this new CEO brought in to save the hospital money. With volunteers all you had to work with, was their willingness? Did he not understand this?

She knew that her volunteers loved their annual event; they had been planning a dress-up party with a fashion show! They had even chosen their outfits and they were going to do the modeling themselves. This type of event was right down Pearl’s alley and she had drummed up much excitement in her followers. She had even arranged that the clothing the volunteer models were going to show would be donated by a few local clothing stores.  These ladies were all on a fixed income so this meant a lot to them.   Hot skies above, after all the volunteers had done for the hospital, why deny them this little night of pleasure?  Did this new CEO have any idea how much her volunteers saved the hospital?  They worked the front desk, they manned the phones, they handled the backroom paperwork, and they even conducted valet parking!  It was going to take some damage control, and she hoped that she was not too late to save the day.

Back in front of the hospital entrance, she found the supercilious man confronting Pearl. His fat shoulders and head were thrust back which showed his pot-belly to disadvantage. He and Pearl were in loud dispute, no he was the one shouting and she was listening, ominously quiet. The man stood, smugly satisfied that he had stopped the procession; he was into stopping.  He stood encased in self-importance, so typical of the impeccably coiffed new generation of managers, turned out by colleges far removed from the demands of real life and real people.

Little Pearl was standing her ground in front of him, intense, courteous to a fault, but Rith knew she had not stopped being trouble.  She could see it in the cleft in the little raised chin. Rith began to run again.

“Pearl! Pearl! Please stop this!”

Power wheel chairs began to close in on the CEO from every direction.

Volunteer in wheelchair going fast

The CEO, backed off and spun round. Then he saw Rith and exploded.

“You are fired!”  he spat out.

Rith blanched. She knew he was not going to change his mind; could not change his mind.

“And you, er you, you,” pointing at Pearl with his whole body shaking, “you, you little impudent snippet , you, you, right now, you get right off my campus! “

The man, he was the Man turned and stomped off.

The volunteers went into shock. This was something they hadn’t predicted and had not wanted. They had all loved Rith, each and every one of them.  They began to disperse slowly, beginning to realize what they had done.. Rith watched them go, watched them all leaving her. They had been everything to her; they had been her life, for nearly a decade.

She turned around slowly, not quite sure where she was going to go, or what she would do.

~~~~****~~~~

Politics IOU will be up on Kindle at the beginning of February. Meanwhile you can read the story for free at www.ellabevan.com