The last hour of my life…

I just spent a half hour trying to get that little widget to the right there onto the blog.  Linda from afar helped me (Thanks, Linda!).  Then I spent another 30 minutes checking out Dooce, a blog.  Heather Armstrong is funny!   Just check out this You Tube video of a Japanese Commercial.  

via kottke

News Flash! Exercise Good For You!

Look no further, exercise is the magic bullet!  My clients can tell you what a nag I am about this.  Since I live in the real world I struggle practicing what I preach.  What keeps me moving isn’t lofty thoughts of self-improvement… it’s pain.  Chronic illness and the pain that often comes with it has been with me since my mid-twenties.   Scleroderma effects connective tissue which in turn effects joints.  I couldn’t take the usual pain medication because my kidneys were touchy.  My doctor told me to move.  I whined and begged for mercy but he was insistent and he was right.  Exercise can be the best pain killer for many conditions.  An unexpected bonus was that the depression that haunted me began to lift.  I was happier!  It’s a lesson worth learning over and over again….which I do, because often enough, I fall off the wagon. 

You Name It, Exercise Helps It, by Jane E. Brody, health writer for the New York Times, says it better than I can.    Read Jane often, she’s good for you, too.

Got A Lot Done – Office Still A Mess

Right now over the rim of my desk I see several piles of papers, CDs, old mail, office supplies and magazines.  Because I consolidated clutter that was in the living and dining room, my office is worse off than it was this morning.  Admittedly, that glow of satisfaction isn’t quite there.  Instead of cleansing my workspace I spent time talking with someone in emotional pain, I made connections needed to further the good works of my biotech company, I listened to my daughter who worries about when her braces will come off and I noticed how vivid the green of new grass is when it is wet with spring rain.  OK, so now I can feel some of that glow and my chi can manage around the papers for a bit longer.

Cleaning Up On A Rainy Monday

My home office is more like the old fashioned attic where stray stuff goes to collect dust.  For a while it’s OK until a critical mass of junk starts getting on my nerves.  My Chi is blocked!  That’s when it’s time to channel my friend and organization guru Linda Groat, owner of Simply Back to Basics.  She’s won awards for her organization skills and has helped me get a grip on clutter.  The reward is what my sister calls "…that glowing feeling of tangible accomplishment," as we survey our uncluttered domain.  Happy Chi!

My Favorite YouTube Guided Meditation

Sometimes I need help guiding my thoughts away from the busy-ness of life.  I’ve found YouTube to be a surprising resource.  Here’s a favorite.

Bridget Woods Kramer’s voice is so soothing, I begin to relax just by listening.  I love the  sound of the monks’ chanting behind her voice. 

Kentucky Derby Countdown

Do you have to be horse crazy to love the Kentucky Derby?  If you care at all that it’s only eight days, six hours and forty-nine minutes to the big event, check out the New York Time’s The Rail.

The Real Deal: Ravin’ Reviews

Look for The Real Deal: Ravin' Reviews on the last Thursday of every month! 

Hey there you guys, Vanessa here letting you in on a new Real Deal feature called Ravin' Reviews, where my mom and I will each comment on either a book, movie, or piece of music that we think is something that wouldn't be incredibly embarrassing to read, watch, or listen to with your mom.

This week's entry will be on the book Hacking Harvard by Robin Wassarmen.

~*~Vanessa's Take~*~

The book Hacking Harvard by: Robin Wassarmen takes place in Boston, Massachusetts where, of course, Harvard stands over high school students intimidating those who are brave enough to attempt to get in. Over the years things have gone quite smoothly, the same old students getting accepted and the same old getting rejected, that is before three boys, one freshmen in Harvard who goes by the name of Schwartz and his two high school senior friends Eric and Max, begin to question the admission offices ethics and rights to say who is right and who isn't. The book follows the boy's attempt to win a bet by getting a low-life senior, named Clay Porter, through the system and into Harvard to prove that anyone can get in.  This book is an exceptionally wonderful read! It is nothing like those sappy teen novels that make you want hit your head against the nearest coffee table, it is a novel that makes you want to know more to the point where you are staying up till midnight sitting in bed reading (I know you thought that would never happen) and it is also a book that boys and girls could read so it is most definitely not sappy! Plus, Wassarmen adds her own sense of humor into the book giving each character their own colorful personality.
I give this book five stars and two thumbs up! It is a must-read!

Dr. A's POV :)

From a Mom's point of view I have found that sharing common interests with your tween an important conduit for communication.  Sometimes those common spots don't fall into our laps, we need to make them happen.  For example, Vanessa likes to read, I like to read.  When I stopped reading out loud to her (I'm pretty our last read-out-loud book was a Harry Potter) we stopped sharing an important part of our lives.

Last summer I noticed Vanessa was reading a lot of what's called YA (Young Adult)  literature and it was all new to me.   On the radio or somewhere I heard mothers and daughters were forming book clubs.  Another book club wasn't in the cards for us (sounds too much like homework) but reading the same book and then discussing it…why not?  Vanessa was raving about a book she just finished and I asked her if I could read it.  It was an eye opener to me to learn the depth of feeling in The Truth About Forever, by Sarah Dessen.  This was not a "children's" book.  It addressed serious issues like recovering from sudden profound loss and hidden hurtful prejudice.  And it had humor, too, and a light, natural sounding voice, making it all go down with ease.  Vanessa and I had fun discussing the characters and the situations they found themselves in, just like in my 'old lady' book club.

I haven't read Hacking Harvard yet; Vanessa lent it to a friend before I could make a grab for it; but I do look forward  to reading it and talking it over with her, especially after reading her review. 

Amusing and might even be good for you

How to Live Longer Without Really Trying

via Michelle Slatella

Joan Benoit Samuelson Breaks Record!

She did what she said she wanted to do but later wasn’t sure she could.  She achieved a personal best and broke a record for women everywhere.  Women at fifty especially, whether they are runners or not, are proud.

Thank you, Joan!

The Panasci Entrepreneurship Competition!

Western New York should know more about this unique event that supports start-up businesses in our area.  It’s been going on every year since 2000.  The 2002 winner was JoAnn Johnson, DVM, owner of Frontier Equine Veterinary Practice who today happens to be Annie’s vet.   The competition final will be held tomorrow, April 23rd, at the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership in the Butler Mansion.  If you are a business person, student, teacher, or a potential investor, you would find the presentations eye-opening as to the energy and ingenuity we have right here in WNY.

The Panasci Technology Entrepreneurship Competition 

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