A few years ago I visited India, a country where malaria is regularly found. This disease sickens more than 200 million people each year, 80% of them children. It was the first time I had thought seriously about my health and considered the risk I was taking by potentially coming into contact with malaria. Given the preventative drug options given to me by my doctor, I felt comfortable taking my trip.
Last weekend I came down with a nasty stomach virus. It started with a headache that came and went several times for two days. Then I felt my body get weaker and weaker. Soon my head was spinning, my stomach ached, and I couldn't even stand up. Instead of fighting through it to accomplish my neverending list of tasks, I decided to lie down on the couch. Within an hour I was much worse and was forced to abandon any social plans and get into bed.
Many people are afraid of earthquakes and they wonder what they are like. I have lived in California for most of my life and I have experienced countless earthquakes. The first one I remember occured when I was about 7 years old. It came in the middle of the night. It woke me up, though I didn't realize that the whole room was shaking. I only remember hearing some banging noises on our piano. I thought in my disoriented state that my dad was playing the piano in the middle of the night. It turned out to be a big shaker, which knocked a bunch of books off of our shelves and onto the piano.
* At the recommendation of a friend, I recently read a new book called Power Foods for the Brain. In it, author Dr. Neil Barnard presents his theories on how to keep your memory sharp as you progress into older age. For the most part, his advice coincides with commonly known tactics for remaining healthy in general. For instance: eat well, sleep well, and exercise.
Growing up in California where much of our country's produce is grown, I was no stranger to fresh fruits, healthy vegetables, and organic produce. My grandparents lived in Palm Springs, which is an inland oasis between San Diego and Los Angeles. They would visit us a few times every year, stopping along the way at local farms and small organic produce shops to pick up some delicacies for us. My grandma would get especially excited over the eggs. She would bring us a flat of eggs (which carried 36 eggs on it), and each of them would be the size of a small fist.
Hot water bottles haven't been around much lately. People have heating in their homes, electric blankets, electric mattress pads, and regular old blankets to keep them warm at night. Not to mention the fact that I live in San Diego, which doesn't get very cold in comparison with the rest of the world. So why use something old fashioned like this?
Sometimes it's the littlest, most mundane things that excite us the most. Take, for instance, my new stapler. Instead of using metal staples like a regular stapler, it punches, folds, and then tucks the pages into themselves. The result is an elegant, efficient, economical, environmentally-friendly, and super cool way to bind your papers.
Have you ever been to an Olympic event? Those of us who are lucky enough to live near an Olympic venue have the slim chance of seeing first hand some of the excitement, athleticism, and energy that surrounds these rare events. I was only 8 years old in 1984. We were living in San Diego, California, and my parents scored tickets for our family to attend the Opening Ceremonies of the Summer Games in Los Angeles. It's about 2 hours from San Diego.
I was looking for an art project that I could do with the children in my son's kindergarten class. It had to be something simple, not too messy, and with an attractive outcome. I decided on string art. It was new to me, though it seemed easy enough for me to try.
Well, not really. I am a human being. However, I was born in the year of the dragon in accordance with the Chinese zodiac. The dragon is one of twelve creatures written into the folklore of the zodiac. There is one creature for every year of a twelve year cycle.