Tag Archives: care

Strategies to Face the Unthinkable: When a Spouse is Diagnosed With Alzheimer’s


The moment a loved one receives the terrifying diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, difficult changes are on the horizon. I can think of nothing more daunting than to be a spouse facing these challenges. The supporting partner must navigate relationship changes, safety issues, as well as medical and financial decisions. At the same time, they are left to grieve the relationship they once knew.

Life will soon be inexplicably changed forever. The partner, now altered by this disease, will likely exhibit challenging behaviors and unpredictable personality changes. It is a difficult road full of unthinkable demands for the one providing care. A new reality requiring a tremendous amount of support. Following are suggestions for those facing this tragedy. Continue reading

15 Million Girls Getting Married Before 18: Ending Child Marriage Now

“Every two seconds around the world another girl is forced into marriage.”

Upworthy shared this post about child marriage across the globe. Girls as young as 8 years old are being forced into arranged marriages as a result of issues like poverty, culture, and religious pressures. Continue reading

From Intent.com: Listening



“You’re short on ears and long on mouth.”
-John Wayne

We all know how possible it is to be completely surrounded by people and still feel alone.
Physical proximity counts for a lot less if that presence isn’t felt through knowing and being known. At the same time, our brains are receiving and processing information lightning fast. Out attentions dart from a person to our phone to the car driving by to the sound we heard behind us. Listening takes focus. And because of that, listening can be one of the best and easiest ways to convey that you care. Continue reading

How To Fight Five Of The Top Clothing Stains

I know I should use some positive affirmation here and not write that I am clumsy but the truth of my laundry hamper is, I am clumsy. I have this knack for getting something on virtually every piece of clothing I own. Whether it’s something I was trying to make into my mouth or just putting on too much deodorant in a hurry, it’s always something. Over the years I’ve learned that there are days you may have left your Tide To Go at home or you’re fresh out of Shout with a puddle of cranberry juice eating away at your brand new tank top. But just because you haven’t restocked your supplies doesn’t mean you can’t be a champion of stain fighting!

I’m sure your mother or the tag of your favorite sweater has already told you all this but just a reminder that when stain fighting:

1. Act as quickly as possible.

2. Always use a test area before applying any stain remover to assure it is safe on the fabric.

3. Do not under any circumstance throw clothes in the dryer until the stain is completely gone otherwise it never will be… DUN DUN DUNNN!!!

Here are some of the top perps of stained clothing crimes:

Red Wine: Next time you spill red wine on yourself, throw some white wine on there too! The white wine will neutralize the stain and it will vanish. Then just throw it in laundry! If you’re a strictly Cab girl such as myself and white wine’s as sparse as Brussel Sprouts in your kitchen (unless I’m still the only one who never got over that childhood hurdle), blot the stain with club soda or use coarse salt tot soak it up.

Coffee: For those of us who practically need it to make it through the work day, coffee is bound to get on something. Next time you’ve drenched your blouse in latte, combine cold water, powdered laundry detergent and white vinegar in a tiny bowl. Mix until it’s a toothpaste consistency then apply to the stain in a circular motion. Rinse with cold water and apply a touch of detergent to the stain before throwing it in the wash.

Deodorant/Perspiration: Squeeze a lemon, mix with equal amount of water and saturate the stain. Leave the garment in the sun and together you have quite a green stain fighting team! If that didn’t do the trick, crush up two aspirins  in a half cup of water. Pour it onto the stain, let it sit for two hours and then add a tiny bit of liquid detergent to the stain before rubbing it and throwing it in the wash.

Ink: There’s nothing worse that a pocket that needed protecting that has since been destroyed by a sea of black ink but there is hope! Take the garment and the stained area directly on top of a clean towl. Then use rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover to rub the stain out. As you rub, the ink will be transfered on the towel so make sure to monitor it and move the garment to un-inked sections of towel to assure it doesn’t seep back on.

Grass: If you didn’t catch the grass quick enough (you can blot it out with a sponge and water plus a run through the washer with a stain remover if caught in time), you can also use a white vinegar and baking soda paste (much like the coffee stain). Rub onto the stain and let it sit for awhile and then wash. If things are really serious, you can also take a window washing solution like Windex and soak the spot in it, let it sit for an hour then wash.

And if you’re prone to battling these brutes, next time you’re at the grocery store, check out the laundry aisle and nab yourself some OxiClean, a Tide Stain Brush or Spray & Wash Dual Power stain removers which work as awesome pre-treatments to garments before they hit the laundromat. I also discovered a great product called Wine Away, that does exactly that, make red wine go away! 

If you’ve taken all these steps and the spot persists, I’m sorry to say you’re probably stained for good but in that case you can always use the excuse I use- it adds character! 😉

photo: Flickr / DLPrager

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis in Ayurveda is known as ‘Sandhigat vata’. It is a condition that causes pain, swelling, inflammation of joints and deformity of joint, which may restrict joint movements. In rheumatoid arthritis small joints of the hands and feet are affected first, making them felt stiff. There are two most common forms of Arthritis – osteoarthritis & rheumatoid Arthritis. There are hundred different types of Arthritis, and careful diagnosis, early detection & right treatment can help relieve pain & prevent later complications.

Rheumatoid arthritis is more common after 40 but can affect any age group. Females are more likely to have arthritis than males. There are more than 30 million people in the states and approximately 3 lakh people in the UK who have some form of arthritis; women are more affected. In U.S.A. Arthritis is an expensive disease and is known as the most spread crippling disease. Modern medicine is unable to cure arthritis while it is trying to treat it with painkillers & steroids, which are more harmful for health.


The exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown, but Ayurveda explains it very well. According to Ayurveda it is caused by formation of ‘Ama’ in our body. The undigested food or ‘ama rasa’ is produced by imbalanced body fire, which is carried by imbalanced vata dosha and reaches the kapha dominated places (joints, stomach, chest, brain etc.) and blocks the vital channels, nourishing the body. According to immunologists rheumatoid arthritis is an auto immune disease.

How is ‘Ama’ formed in our body:

Body doshas (vata, pitta, kapaha) are imbalanced due to opposite to your nature food and lifestyle, by lowered ‘Jathragni’ (fire responsible for food digestion), excess in physical exertion that involves a lot of joint movements.

Sign & Symptoms;

Joints Inflammation and pain, stiffness, swelling, restricted movement, joint movements accompanied with sounds, start in wrist and hand joints, Rheumatoid nodules, fever, loss of energy, loss of appetite, weakness, low interest in food (aruchi ), indigestion.


Ayurveda treatment includes some procedures to cure rheumatoid arthritis that should be done under Ayurveda doctor supervision:

Snehan – massage with medicated oils.
Swedan – fomentation with herbs.
Lepan – local application of medicated paste.
Anuloman – mild laxative treatment.
Shamana – oral treatment with therapeutic remedies.

Home Remedies:

During the treatment for rheumatoid arthritis remember to take care of proper digestion; one day fasting is beneficial for removing Ama. In addition the following home remedies are also helpful for getting relieve in rheumatoid arthritis:

1. Lemon juice and a teaspoon of honey mixed in a cup of warm water;
2. Saffron with milk at bedtime;
3. Castor oil with milk at bedtime before to sleep;
4. Massage with warm clove oil;
5. Half a teaspoon of turmeric powder with warm water helps cure arthritis.


Garlic, castor seeds, aloe vera, nutmeg, saffron, vasaka, winter cherry, pepper, lemon grass.

Yoga Care:

Pranayama, Pavanmuktasana, Bhujangasana, Makarasana.

Suggested Diet:

According to Ayurveda in rheumatoid arthritis it is suggested to take light food, which can easily be digested. Proper timing/method of intake are also important and helpful for the patients.

Vegetable juices and soups, coconut water and milk, carrot juice, beet root juice, cucumber juice.

Spices like cumin, coriander, ginger, garlic, fennel and turmeric green salad with a dressing of lemon juice and a little salt.

Khichadi is also good for patient having imbalanced vata problem.

Regular physical exercise and massage with oil should form an important part of the routine.


Junk food, food preserved for long time, spicy and fried, sweets, foods which affect vata (air) like cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, broccoli, okra and potatoes; Excess in taking tea, coffee, alcohol, white sugar, yogurt, chocolate, cocoa; Antibiotics, painkillers, steroids and nicotine, avoid sleeping during day, take good and healthy sleep at night; Mental tensions like worry, anxiety, fear, stress and grief.

Therapeutic Remedies:

  • Triphala guggulu
  • Maha Yograj or Yograj Guggulu
  • Castor oil
  • Mahanarayana oil


Garden Instead of Lawns in Beverly Hills: An Update

 My son planted a no-dig garden this summer as part of his Senior Thesis for the University of Vermont (posted June 25, 2009). Today we stood in awe at a 6′ tall tomato plant (one of four) that have some 4-6 tomatoes ripening as I write this post.

The garden has done so much more than I ever imagined it could or would.

The sense of pride, care, loving kindness, and gratitude that flows from a little sprig of rosemary or a leaf of sage or an edible marigold flower is pretty palpable. It is as if we have added a family of sorts growing right in our backyard. I wander out there daily to just check in on the new seedlings (infants), the sprouts (childhood), emerging fruit (adolescence), mature plants (adulthood) and then their demise (aging) and ultimate death.

The diversity of plants, their various stages of growth, the problems (aphids/slugs) and hazards (heat, infection, underwater, overwater) all reflect a metaphor for the life of our family and all families worldwide.

On his balcony where my son ‘starts’ his seeds, some plants were placed too close together and suffered from a widespread plague of pests. Separated, sprayed with an organic solution my son concocted, they came back vibrantly to life.

I know a garden has long been a metaphor of life yet growing it in my backyard made it ever so vivid. A garden has ups and downs like those of life that we each and all endure. And yet the garden is also a place of profound beauty, of nurturance, of peace, and of individual growth.

My son planted certain plants to keep predators away (marigolds for example) and he’s educating me on the ways to ‘harvest’ plants and the times to do so. A novice before this project, I’m discovering that I can care for ours now even without his direction (at least for a week or two).

He was away for a week and I found myself checking the leaves, feeling the soil, making sure our plants were receiving just enough water and space and were being cared for and harvested just the right amount. I found the care I used to give my children when they were young (now in college or living away from home) being transferred right over to the arugula and swiss chard. It is a useful substitution of sorts for the ’empty nest’ syndrome many mothers face as their children move away from home.

And on top of all the love that has burst forth in honor of our garden, my other children and husband are attending to the produce and beauty it brings. Yesterday my daughter and son ate a peach off his peach tree and made pesto pasta from the basil. My daughter couldn’t get over how incredible the peach was, juicy and ripe from the afternoon sun, while the pesto pasta was vibrant and green with immediate freshness. She’s as sold as am I on the value of the garden, but my husband is too. He wasn’t up for eating the marigold while my son was gone (didn’t trust that I knew which one was the edible vs. decorative ones) but he cherishes its look and loves the arugula salads we make.

And on top of all this, we have 3,000 worms creating rich compost from our leftover garbage – in a worm compost on the side of our house.

I can’t wait to see how attached I might get to those!


How Can we Help the Helpless? See Them

Namaste is one of the most beautiful terms I have ever heard. I love the sound and the flow of the greeting but it is the meaning behind it and the sacred feeling of saying Namaste that touches me deeply each time I use it in my life when addressing people.

The loose meaning of Namaste is “the soul in me sees the soul in you.”
Too often we rush through our lives, avoiding conversations, ignoring people and being distracted with our own inner talk to realize the clerk holding the door open for us, the cashier ringing us through or even our children wanting to share a tidbit of information.
When was the last time you looked into the eyes of a homeless man and saw the man? Or a stray animal and wondered where they came from and where they are going for the night?
Desensitization is one way to deal with the poverty and sickness around us another is through love and empathy. I am not advocating petting stray dogs as it may not be safe or befriending every person on the street inviting them into your home.
What I am advocating is to slow down, be conscious and see people, see animals. Look them in the eye, recognize their humanity and in the quiet moment during the exchange acknowledge the beauty and truth of that single moment: that we are all connected.

Kelly McIntyre M.Sc.


God’s Dictionary: Security



se- = apart from


cura = care


          Oh, here is a whopper of a concept if ever there were one!  People have stayed in boring jobs for security, in miserable marriages for security, even in religious traditions for security. Security is the reason my three siblings think I’m crazy for the way I live my life. The whole insurance industry is based on the illusion of security. Because—and I don’t ordinarily consider myself an alarmist, but . . . there isn’t any such thing! At least not how it’s defined in today’s world.  The truth is that jobs can be downsized, marriages can end in divorce, and churches don’t fall down when we leave them. 


          The Latin roots of this word give us much more security than our current (and in my opinion, narrow) definition. It means, literally, apart from care, not in the sense of uncaring or uncared for, but in the sense of carefree. AND, it’s a choice. As long as we keep looking for security from outside of ourselves, we won’t truly have any security. The moment it comes from within, meaning that it comes from ourselves and not others, we are carefree. Ask:  How can I be so secure within myself that I am carefree today?




          I realize that security is an inside job. If help is wanted, I inquire within, and I find all the security I’ll ever need.


reprinted from God’s Dictionary (Tarcher/Putnam 2002)

Find more Divine Definitions at Dr. Corso’s blog, God’s Dictionary


You may not realize it, but you have just about reached a goal you’ve been fighting to achieve for a while.

 So slow down today and take a look at where you are, right now. Is this your destination?

It might not look quite the way you expected it to look, but maybe that’s a good sign.

Reality seldom matches Expectations — but sometimes it’s even better!

It means that there is still a mystery to explore.

Your life is not nearly as boring as you think!


7 Ways to Comfort Loved Ones in Their Darkest Times – A Poem

Sometimes the most profound truths come in the simplest  words and arrive in the most mundane of ways. One of my favorite poems spoke its elegant, powerful, and compassionate truth to me again recently when it landed in my mailbox, gracing the cover of the Victory in the Valley cancer support center’s winter newsletter.

Written by Linda Mae Richardson, “Comforters: When I Was Diagnosed with Cancer” first reached me about two years ago when I was invited to speak at VV’s “Fiesta and Siesta” retreat for women cancer survivors in the Wichita area. It’s an evergreen poem not just for people with cancer, but for anyone carrying a heavy load.

So many have been helped and healed by these simple words. Please keep them in mind throughout this season of giving. Because it’s not about giving things, it’s about offering love, light, and hope during the darkest days.

Comforters: When I Was Diagnosed with Cancer

My first friend came up and expressed his shock by saying,
"I can’t believe that you have cancer.
I always thought you were so active and healthy."
He left and I felt alienated and somehow very different.

My second friend came and brought me information about different treatments being used for cancer. He said,
"Whatever you do, don’t take chemotherapy. It’s a poison!"
He left and I felt scared and confused.

My third friend came and tried to answer my "whys?"
With the statement,
"Perhaps God is disciplining you for some sin in your life?"
He left and I felt guilty.

My fourth friend came and told me,
"If your faith is just great enough God will heal you."
He left and I felt my faith must be inadequate.

My fifth friend came and told me to remember that,
"All things work together for good."
He left and I felt angry.

My sixth friend never came at all.
I felt sad and alone.

My seventh friend came and held my hand and said,
"I care, I’m here, I want to help you through this."
He left and I felt LOVED!

Copyright 1988, Linda Mae Richardson
Reprinted with permission from the author

As written in Victory in the Valley‘ winter newsletter, “The response of the friend in the last stanza speaks to the very heart of Victory in the Valley’s mission…” Victory in the Valley is a nonprofit organization that offers support, encouragement, and hope to people in the Wichita area and beyond who have "punched by cancer" [my words in quotation marks].

This post is adapted from Lori’s CarePages.com blog, "what helps. what hurts. what heals."
Learn more at LoriHope.com.


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