Monthly Archives: July 2009

Laughter: The Best Medicine

I just finished reading the August 2009 edition of Ode Magazine. The entire issue is devoted to laughter. In these tough times, what a wonderful idea.

It’s been said that laughter is good for the soul. It’s good for your body, as well. A hearty belly laugh gets your lymph system flowing; it produces endorphins in your brain, which help to block pain and stress; it reduces the levels of cortisol (you’ve seen ads on TV about belly fat produced from excess levels of cortisol); it’s been linked to the reduction of inflammation (leading to heart attacks, arthritis, allergies and other health problems) and can slow the progression of kidney disease. Best of all, you burn more calories laughing!

I have a friend who constantly forwards jokes via email. No matter how busy I am, I make it a point to read at least one each day. Some elicit just a chuckle, others make me laugh ’til I cry. No matter, I’ve laughed at least once and the day isn’t nearly as stressful.

So, instead of making lemonade when life hands you lemons, start a food fight! You can laugh as you clean up the mess, helping your soul and your body at the same time.

To get you started, here’s a joke from that issue:

A rabbi, a Lutheran pastor and a Zen monk walk into a bar. “Hey, what is this, some kind of joke?” the bartender asks.

At Last!

Not that I expect anything to come of it, but someone is finally talking to the US Congress about something I’ve been harping on for years – the overuse of antibiotics. The Mother Earth News article (with a link to the full testimony) can be found here.

Bacteria have the ability to adapt themselves very quickly to one chemical hitting them. The more we use antibiotics, the more they are able to fight off the effect of that one chemical. That is why we now have strains of bacteria like MRSA – Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. This strain is resistant to standard antibiotic treatments. Unless we take steps, soon there will be a strain of bacteria that resists all treatment.

When you have a minor bacterial infection, try treating it first with natural alternatives such as garlic or tea tree oil. And for a viral infection like the flu, don’t ask your physician for an antibiotic – it won’t work anyways.

While this woman’s testimony only talks about the use of antibiotics in our food animals, it’s an important first step. The next step is to educate the public to NOT flush unused prescription medication – this gets that medication (including antibiotics) into our water supply.

If, for some reason, you have unused prescription medication, check with your pharmacist to see if they either have or know of a safe disposal mechanism. This will keep that chemical out of our water supply.


I spent yesterday spending money instead of making it. A friend invited me to go with her to a wholesale gem and jewelry show in Franklin, North Carolina. While jewelry isn’t my thing, I found the most wonderful red zebra agate mortar and pestle sets for my shop … still have to take a photo and upload them to inventory. They are most unusual, which I like!

My greatest find was some blue lace agate cabochons with which to make my new rune set. I’ve been wanting a new set for awhile to replace the inexpensive ceramic set I’d been using but the wood set I made didn’t feel right. I think it was too lightweight. These are jewelry-quality cabochons, so quite a bit of money later … and more effort to come, I will have not only a functional set but one that is quite pretty to look at.

Now, out to the garden to see what the deer and rabbits have been munching on in my absence.