Saturday, June 12, 2010

Epiphany

I had an epiphany today and I thought I would share it. I, like everyone have made decisions that in retrospect were probably not the best even though they may have seemed so at the time. In the last 2 or 3 years I have reflected on many of my decisions and regretted them. I kept telling myself that I had to reflect and dissect in order to not repeat them. But I really think I have been attracting the same types of activity and decision patterns. Today I realized that regretting these decisions and then focusing on them to dissect them only holds me back. I know this is not new information but it is certainly eye-opening for me because I really thought I was doing the right thing by trying to learn from my choices that I don't in retrospect care for. Learn yes, wallow in, no. That is the epiphany. I can and should learn from them but without staying so focused that I'm living in it.

WCD

Friday, June 11, 2010

Chicagoans & Sports

We are definitely a sports town. I was recently asked if Chicagoans pay attention to all sports or just specific ones. Now, who would answer such a general question and be so bold as to speak for “all Chicagoans”? Me. I answered , “we love all of our teams even if we don’t follow the sport”, and I proceeded to list the Chicago teams of all of the sports including the ones I don’t necessarily follow but I certainly knew their names and whether or not they are doing well. I named many sports bars to attend The listener was skeptical and a little shocked that I was so sure that Chicagoans support “all sports Chicago” but I think I was vindicated today. 2 million people on Michigan Avenue and running through the streets after the Blackhawks in support of them winning the Stanley Cup.

Chicagoans love our sports teams! We support our lovable losers year after year and when our teams win we show our appreciation of them.

WCD

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Chicago's Farmer Market Review

All things Chicago! And one of the best is the Farmer's Market in Daley Plaza on Thursdays in the summer. I happened across it today and was pleasantly reminded of good old, farm-grown Midwestern American Fare!


The fragrance of the fresh flowers drew me in that direction. I saw the stands as I approached and got super excited. I was instantly lifted by the day. It helped that the fountain in front of the Daley Center had red water in support of the Blackhawks. GO HAWKS!!!

My first stand was possibly the best. I bought Apple Butter and Peach Butter at an Amish stand. They are from Middleburg, IN. I have shopped with them over the years in their community and the food is always fresh & wonderful. I was happy to see them there. They have everything from fresh, baked breads to pastries and jellies. Their banana bread is a treat.

I found a new, fabulous bakery that is actually local. It was a difficult decision between the kolackis, macaroons, pierogies, breads and pastries galore! But I selected Apple Cinnamon Bread. Now! I have to tell you one thing – the Apple Butter on the fresh-baked Cinnamon Apple Bread may very well be a little trip to heaven. The bakery is called Delightful Pastries & is located at 5927 W. Lawrence Ave. www.delightfulpastries.com I have added their card to my file! The baker was there to answer any questions. The guy gave me a great idea that I think I will try tomorrow – make French toast with it! Now that’s a plan!

There were fresh farm stands with vegetables like asparagus, apples and strawberries. A bunch of asparagus at one stand was only $2. For the opportunity to cook, eat & serve farm fresh vegetables, it was well worth the detour.

I found the scents that had drawn me in! There were a couple of stands of fresh cut flowers, fresh blooming plants in full bloom and even fresh plants of cilantro and other spices. If you are looking for bamboo or bonsai trees, they have those too. If I had been driving, my balcony would be floral scented right now!

It is heart-warming to be reminded of family-owned businesses, farms that are working to bring us fresh foods and the opportunity to support them. I probably spent $30 but what I felt in solidarity with farms & local people working together to keep us all working and well-fed is immeasurable. Chicago gives you the opportunity to do and be whoever you are. That’s why it’s my town, Chicago!

Windy City Diva

Vitamin Supplements that WORK!

Arthritic knees – lubricated; restless sleepy nights – eliminated; lulling energy because of restless nights – energy up! Here’s how!


I recently learned about a new vitamin supplement that has real potential to be beneficial (another health topic). With all of my recent health challenges my mom went seeking a liquid multi-vitamin. (Liquid vitamins as many of you may know have a higher level of absorption and for those of us with aversions to pills, are easier to take.) She not only found one for me, but found some healing for herself.

She has been taking this supplement for 3 weeks now and is already feeling benefits. First her knees, which are typically stiff from arthritis have been easier to move standing up from low places or after sitting for extended periods.  Since she has been taking this super powered liquid multi-vitamin, she can stand without getting stuck.  My mom reports that she is sleeping through the night and waking up feeling the best she has in years.  Typically, she has to take a sleeping aid once or twice a week to sleep through the night.  She is the most well-rested and has more energy during the day.  I have placed my order and am looking forward to starting on it myself.  I will certainly blog specifically about it as I start taking it in a week or so when I receive it.

Windy City Diva

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Allergies as a Gateway

You may have noticed that I am hyper focused on health the last several days. It could be because of my migraine or my overall “icky” health this past month.

A month or so ago my allergies went beyond the reach of my Allegra and turned into something ugly. I had to really crank the meds, water and all of the other recommended treatments to survive the symptoms. According to multiple reports nationally, this season of spring allergies has been one of the worst with the early rains.1 Somehow knowing that does not make it any easier, or does it?

It seems that allergies can weaken your immune system which can allow a virus to attack, or you come in contact with a virus and simply treat it as if it were allergies. I apparently just experienced such a perfect storm; which then set off torrent of headaches, lung pain (from the coughing and post nasal drip) irritating my asthma, migraines, etc.  You see where I am going with this. Allergies can be a gateway irritant to weaken your system and allow other ailments to pile on or rear their ugly heads.  This was new information to me, so I thought I would share it.

I thought I was taking care of my allergies but apparently when the allergy season hits, whatever yours is, it would behoove you to tightly manage and be proactive with your allergy symptoms.  I recently found an interesting Website that provides updates by location. www.pollenlibrary.com I hope this helps someone, anyone.  This probably falls in my patient awareness category.


1. http://www.examiner.com/x-49599-Pittsburgh-Health-and-Beauty-Examiner~y2010m6d7-Allergy-season-in-full-swing and http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37580959

Patient Advocacy

Health is not something we should ever take for granted. I have seen very ill people in my family and in my general surroundings. One thing I truly value is my health, although sometimes it seems very fragile. One lesson I have learned through all of my experiences with health and hospitals is, understand your diagnosis. Understand, not know what the doctor said, but actually understand it. Ask questions until you do, no matter how long it takes, or how many different ways you have to ask the question.

From many medical, social studies it is determined that certain age groups, races and genders are the ones least likely to not only seek health care, but to ask questions and even to seek out a second opinion. Older generations tend to see physicians they have a standing relationship with as the one and only answer. This can really be a death sentence.  Additionally, women tend to be more likely to take care of their families rather than themselves. And finally, minorities are the highest group that will postpone seeing a doctor and therefore potentially receive a life-saving early diagnosis, but compound that with not receiving treatment timely to save their lives. There are of course cultural dynamics that I am not bringing up here, this is more or less the summary of my years of not only personal experience but the research I have gathered through my hobby, patient advocacy.

I implore you as you read this… take your own symptoms seriously and encourage your family members to do the same. Once you get yourself to go to the doctor, ask questions until you understand. If you think you may not be following, ask to reschedule a consultation and take someone with you. I attend my mother’s appointments periodically just to make sure there is a “second ear” in the room. It is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength.  Your physician should NOT mind.  I will recommend this (with a heavy breath), please be sensitive to your appointment time, and if you have many questions that are not immediate to your care, it might be better to schedule a consultation time.  That is not to say walk out of the office not knowing how to take a prescription later that night or what follow-up tests to schedule.  But, if there are dietary changes, or habits then it is probably best to schedule another appointment.

Happy health to all.
Windy City Diva

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Fraud Career Claims??

Are you a fraud in your career or in some area of your life? And is it a good thing?


Fraud is a funny word. According to www.websters.com there are several definitions of fraud, but the one that appears most relevant to this topic is “a person who makes deceitful pretenses; sham; poseur”.

Have you heard the phrase, “fake it ‘till you make it”? I have. I am in the process of retooling my life and in so doing, I am claiming my new future every chance I get. My church always taught you to claim the good things in life and God will help you bring it into reality if it is for you. Even the law of attraction says what you focus on, you bring about by drawing it to you. I could quote many clich├ęs but I think you get the point. I certainly do.

So here is my quandary, why do I feel like a fraud? And how do I stop? I am not trying to deceive anyone by claiming my rightful future that I am working towards. I am actually trying to make sure the universe and my spirit know where I am trying to go. That does not make me a fraud does it? My supportive friend says no, as does an article I just read on the Oprah site, but how do I stop feeling like I am presenting myself as something I am not? There was an article with tips how to do it and the two parts I have to increase are the visualizing and the action. From that article, I have my vision board up and in front of me and am writing this blog to increase my visibility and my practice writing.

I of course currently still feel a little like a fraud but hopefully the more I claim it and act it, the less I will feel that way. Also, the more I act on it, the more activity there will be for me as a freelance writer and an event planner.

Windy City Diva