Tag Archives: love

Ditch the Tie: It’s Dad’s Time to Fly!

 
Ditch the Tie: It’s Dad’s Time to Fly!

by Amy Lignor

 

For those of you out there in this world who are lucky enough to still be able to hug Dad each and every day, it is that time of the year again when Dad’s “special day” comes into play.

LIFESTYLE (C1)I was one of the luckiest in the world when it came to having the perfect Dad. He was also one of those amazing men who loved it when his kids “made” him something – arts and crafts wise – that he could put up on his desk and look at. He always said it made him smile. He was also the ‘best of the best’ and deserved so much more than we could ever give. I’m sure there were tons of things he wanted, yet never asked for. As far as he was concerned, his kids’ love was enough. Well…just in case you are sitting in your room right now thinking about that sports loving father you have; that hunter, that fisher, that crossword-puzzle genius or even that tech-savvy man who loves playing with all these digital toys, here are just a few fantastic picks out there that would still make the man who already has everything smile even wider.

 

Start with that hunter or fisher Dad. The one who loves to go out on the water or into the woods and get that “catch” of the day or bag that twelve-pointer. If these are the hobbies Dad loves, Filson offers a fly fishing rod case this year that is absolutely stunning. A heavyweight twill, brown leather case, with an interior that includes a padded separator for a rod, reels, and various accessories (and, yes, that can mean a couple of well-deserved beers). This would be a stunning thing for him to have at his side.

 

In addition, the outdoor man would also love the Opinel N°09 Oyster pocket knife. This is one of those luxury European items with a wood handle that not all men get to carry in their pockets, that’s for sure.

 

And for those Dads who love to take walks outdoors, whether hunting the elk or netting the bass, the new bottle by S’well gives Dad the perfect container to carry both cold drinks, as well as the best coffee possible along with him for whatever the day’s excursion may be.

 

But what about the food? He has coffee, he has a nice bag, but what about that perfect breakfast sandwich? And, no, I don’t mean the one you pick up at a fast-food chain that’s been pre-frozen for who knows how many hours. Hamilton Beach offers a great breakfast sandwich maker for your best pal and most-looked-up-to man in the world. And this is one easy item to use. Ham, egg, cheese, bacon and more – whatever he wants to throw on it, he can. For less than $25.00, Dad can eat well while relaxing on his outdoor escape.

 

He doesn’t like the Great Outdoors? He’s more into tech stuff, you say? Not a problem. Remember the time when headphones were huge, then all the companies out there raced to make the tinniest earbuds in the world that you could barely see? Well, headphones have gone back to the “big” leagues with HiFiMan HE400S. These he can take anywhere. Planar-magnetic drivers allow that audio to be crystal-clear, and can even plug directly into his beloved Smartphone. Will he look a bit like an eighties nerd? Sure. But who cares? Brue Springsteen never sounded better.

 

And the biggest tech savvy item that has its own commercials every five minutes and has reached the #1 notch on all holiday lists comes in the form of the Amazon Echo. A wireless speaker system, Dad can ask for any of his music to be played, ask to tune into the news, and even control appliances that are compatible to the Amazon Echo. Now if we could only find a way to change that voice. Lets’ face it, there are men all over the world who like being ‘butch’ and would rather hear Jack Bauer of ‘24’ introduce the news than that Barbie-like Alexa. (Mom’s would, too, by the way, but for a whole different reason.) Logitech is also one of those companies that made an Alexa compatible item for the sports-obsessed Dad. The Logitech Harmony Elite remote control allows him to control that TV with all the favorite sports games going on, as well as control the thermostat in the house, gaming, lights and more.

 

Lastly, for those who have a father who literally always says nothing but his children’s love is necessary to make him happy, there are very cool subscriptions you can opt for, like the Birchbox Man Subscription Box. From only $20 per month, Dad will receive products that he can test each and every month in all different areas – from tools to seasonal gifts. He’ll have a ball and even, perhaps, stumble across a brand new item never before seen that he simply can’t live without.

 

But no matter what “gift” you choose to give, always remember that the hug, the kiss, and the “I love you, Dad. Thank you so much for everything you do,” will always be the best and most perfect gift Dad can receive. And from one girl who had the ‘best of the best’ by her side for many years, but not nearly enough, make sure that gift is given every single day!

 

Original Source:  Baret News

Before I Forget

 

Before I Forget
Love, Hope, Help and Acceptance in Our Fight against Alzheimer’s

by B. Smith and Dan Gasby

Harmony Books

Hardcover, $25.00

336 pages

ISBN: 978-0-553-44712-5

Book Review by Kam Williams

“Restaurateur, magazine publisher, celebrity chef and nationally-known lifestyle maven B. Smith is struggling at 66 with a tag she never expected to add to that string: Alzheimer’s Before I Forget, Love, Hope, Help and Acceptance in Our Fight against Alzheimer's, B. Smith and Dan Gasby, Book Review by Kam Williamspatient… Part memoir, part caregiver’s guide, this work is a unique entry on the Alzheimer’s shelf.

Crafted in short chapters that interweave [B. and husband Dan’s] narrative with practical and helpful advice, readers learn about dealing with the day-to-day challenges of Alzheimer’s, family realities and tensions, ways of coping, and coming research that may tip the scale, as well as lessons learned along the way.

At its heart, Before I Forget is a love story illuminating a love of family, life and hope.”

— Excerpted from the Bookjacket

Barbara Elaine Smith was born on August 24, 1949 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Florence and William, a maid and a steelworker, respectively. The darling, little daughter would grow up to do her parents proud, embarking on a series of phenomenally-successful professional careers.

She started out as a model, becoming the first African-American to grace the cover of Mademoiselle. The talented Renaissance woman parlayed that success into endorsement deals and her own nationally-syndicated TV show, “B. Smith with Style.”

  She would also launch her own product line, publish a magazine and several cookbooks, and open restaurants in Manhattan, Washington, DC and out on Sag Harbor. With the help of her husband, B. built such a formidable business empire that she became widely known as “The Black Martha Stewart.”    

Unfortunately, upon consulting a doctor a couple of years ago because of a nagging forgetfulness, she received the devastating diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer’s. Although she and Dan have since reordered their priorities,  the two have steadfastly refused to allow the disease to either crush their spirits or diminish their love for each other. As B. puts it, “I’m still myself. I just can’t remember things as well as I once did.”       

In “Before I Forget,” she and Dan share their inspirational message of hope while issuing a rallying a cry to the African-American community which suffers from Alzheimer’s at over twice the rate of whites. The autobiography primarily focuses on the last five years of B.’s life, although it does devote a few chapters to earlier periods, including her childhood in Pennsylvania.

However, the thrust of the book is to kickstart a frank conversation about Alzheimer’s from recognizing the warning signs, to identifying its stages, to reciting lesson’s learned thus far. Above all, the memoir is a reaffirmation of a couple’s undying love, as evidenced by Dan’s waxing romantic with, “I am so grateful for the honor and pleasure of your company, and for the privilege of sharing your life.”

To order a copy of Before I Forget, visit: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0553447122/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Source:  Baret News

The Home is Back to Being the Castle

The Home is Back to Being the Castle

by Amy Lignor

 

There are so many different lifestyle choices nowadays, it’s hard to pick just the right one that will add to the peace and serenity of your own life. But when it comes to the house, the “castle” you own is your castle, whether it be Buckingham Palace or the cabin in the woods with the lovely scene of wildlife all around. In 2015, however, one of the things that make
the castle the best it can be comes from the outside, not the inside. Gardening and landscaping have jumped to the top of 6277419029_2d4c580eecthe list when it comes to talking about home redecoration or renovation. Not only because it helps to sell the house in the future, adding more ‘finery’ to grab more money from the potential buyer, but also because the owner wants a place where they can go to sit, relax, and love life.

 

Whether you have the kids in the backyard that want a huge, safe place to play while you watch them from the deck; or you have that stunning front yard that everyone can see when they pass by and look in awe at the beauty that you have chosen to decorate it with, the outside of that castle has become a huge part of daily life.

 

It is true that any real estate person will tell you that landscaping is the first thing a buyer sees, and it is the framing that shows your house off to its highest potential. If the frame of the picture isn’t right, then the picture within looks shoddy and poor, which is not something you want to see. Choosing the right landscaping is a tough job. After all, there are a million things you can do to the front or backyard, from putting in that pool you always wanted, to putting in the perfect garden for you to enjoy through all seasons…the yard is something that not only helps the house, but allows you to get outside and actually enjoy it.

 

One dynamic feature comes with a tree. Now, there is a belief out there that only Nature, herself, can create a tree. However, that’s not exactly true. You can put in trees. Maybe not the 100-year-old oak that has stood magnificently on a property, but you can add smaller that will bring about so many benefits, including the absolute beauty of being able to look at it on a daily basis. The benefit list is long when it comes to having trees on the property: from the storm water runoff, where trees, of course, draw up water run-off stopping pollutants to the energy savings they bring. Trees cool homes in summertime, as well as working as windbreakers during the winter.

 

When it comes to beauty, it is lovely to have a rose bush – the colors are startling, BUT, it is far better to have the native shrubs, plants and flowers to your area simply because they thrive at all times. Indigenous plants do not need the constant time and money that has to be put into foreign plants, because they are already in their natural habitat. And the help they give to the surrounding wildlife cannot be measured. Even The National Wildlife Federation supports this so much that they award a special certification to homeowners who create natural habitats that allow for birds, and other animals a place to feed, live, and enjoy life by keeping the natural world intact.

 

On ‘to-do’ lists when it comes to increasing the beauty of your castle are everything from rain gardens that filter and distribute runoff underground, and prevent storm water from flooding basements, as well as the beauty of fencing.

 

Putting up the right fence is part of the new lifestyle of the castle you want to live in. Fencing can come in all forms, from stone terracing to the beauty of natural wood. Fencing always adds safety to the home and, if placed in correctly, can not only help the backyard but also the front. Curb appeal can be increased if just the right type of fencing is added so the frame around the castle is elegant and/or charming.

 

And never bypass that outdoor lighting that can truly be stunning, casting brilliance on the castle that is all yours.

 

Photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/65978013@N03/6277419029

Source:  Baret News Wire

Use Your ‘Green’ Imagination on Valentine’s Day

 

 

 by Carmen Schwartz

This is the day, ladies and gents. This is the day where romance is number one on everyone’s wish list. Celebrating are the couples who are the luckiest, who have spent decades together bringing children into the world, and are now enjoying those beloved grandchildren (really enjoying because they go home…right Grandma?) Also celebrating are those couples with new romances, perhaps just getting on their feet or soaring into the sky. But no matter which category you are, this IS the day to celebrate all that love, luck and life.

 

There are ways to celebrate this Hallmark event that not only offer the perfect gift to give to that person whose heart you cherishv day, but will also bring a little bit of perfection into the world. Going green, as everyone knows, involves doing all different types of things to help our environment, air, water and the world around us, so that the next generation of those grandchildren can enjoy a healthy life. So if you are looking for that imagination surge which will put a smile on the face of your true love while also bringing an added extra shot of happiness to Earth, itself…look no further.

 

What is the most popular gift when it comes to Valentine’s Day? It is the gift that decorates absolutely every shelf in almost every store right now: Chocolate heaven. BUT, organic chocolates are even more fantastic, and by purchasing organic chocolates, you’re talking about giving a gift that does not cause more harm to the planet. No pesticides are used in the chocolate production, and fair trade principles are used when it comes to producing these delicious gifts. Which means people out there working hard are actually being paid correctly. Meager wages and other huge problems come with regular chocolate production, with wars even developing in the industry. By turning to organic and fair trade chocolates, you will feel good and lend a hand to support sustainable agriculture.

 

Along with the chocolates there is usually something else in hand as you present your gifts to the person you love the most. Yes, the flowers. Always stunning, this is the gift that can take the breath away (and having great words of love to speak also add to the event, so get to thinking). But when it comes to the world of flowers, giving a plant this year is even more special. Think about it. Whereas the bouquet of beauty will, unfortunately, wither fairly quickly, a plant will continue on. Together, you can watch that plant grow, and have it as a symbol for how your love continues to blossom each and every year. Look for that nursery in your area and pick up one of those stunning white carnation plants, and watch it grow hand-in-hand with the love you feel for each other.

 

If the bouquet is still your favorite choice, pick some truly beautiful organic flowers. There are companies that produce eco-friendly flowers that bring the beauty and help the rest of the world.

 

Something even more special? Your local Humane Society is just the place to purchase the most perfect gift for Valentine’s Day. A new best friend in the cutest puppy you could imagine; a furry kitty to be a part of your world – you name it, adopting an animal is a precious gift that will become an automatic member of the family.

 

Arts and crafts are also among the most amazing ideas when it comes to this holiday. A creation from your own mind, heart and soul will go over far better than a store bought gift, because you are the one who put your skill into making him/her the gift of a lifetime.

 

Yes, jewelry is a wish for some. Many will look forward to this day as being ‘the day’ when the big question is asked and a diamond is placed on the finger. But, remember, there are other stunners that will not only show your love, but will also not be a part of the conflicts and wars that continue to be waged in the world of diamond mining and marketing. Give from the soul, but make sure that the gem given is part of a conflict-free world.

 

And don’t forget the lingerie, ladies. There are a host of companies that are more than happy to provide you with sustainable lingerie. Good for the environment, good for you, and most definitely will make your significant other extremely happy. And there are many shades of green to choose from!

 

,

 

 

,

Do Our Plants Know That We Love Them

 

Many of you may regard the notion that we can have a kind of loving relationship with our plants as a bit odd, but in many ways this is a kind of natural idea to think about. We are certainly here with them on the Earth in a kind of symbiotic union. We breathe in oxygen and produce carbon dioxide. Plants breath in carbon dioxide and breath out oxygen. When they grow old we burn our plants and produce carbon dioxide which is then naturally returned to the process of new plant growth. ThePicture 397B plants absorb the carbon and release the oxygen. When we cultivate plants in a garden they produce edible parts that we can eat, digest and that too becomes part of the carbon cycle as we derive metabolic energy from the combustion of the edible carbon from the plant and give back the carbon dioxide that is produced so that new plants will use it. We do well when plants do well and the reciprocal of that idea is also true. So maybe it’s natural to feel a kind of relationship with our plants.

Our plants stay in one place and don’t move around very much. We can help them to meet their purposes by caring for them as they grow and age. Certainly in gardens we can get them to effectively produce more and larger edible parts and thrive by the care we give the plant.

I’ve got this wonderful Roma tomato plant which is now nearly eight months old, which is fairly long by tomato plant standards. It keeps giving out new growth and new tomatoes. It’s already produced hundreds and shows few signs of giving up the ghost. It loves a haircut now and then. I trim away the dead or dying branches and it immediately puts out new growth, and new flowers which then turn into big flavorful tomatoes. It does well surrounded by other plants which give off odors that may repel the wrong kinds of insects. African marigolds and rosemary planted in pots and moved nearby seem to be particularly effective. In fact, I know that sprigs of rosemary the ooze oil of rosemary so avidly that you can’t get it off your fingers will send insects scurrying in the opposite direction.

Today I gave my prize Roma tomato plant a nice haircut. It seems better already. The other tomato plants get the same treatment and they are doing quite well also. In the case of pole beans planted so that they move up some kind of trellis, moving the runners back into line seems to help them gain a more orderly existence. While I cannot attribute their later Picture 391success to some kind of conscious amorous response, it is an interesting thought. Order to these plants is useful in providing maximum contact of the leaves with the sun and thereby more effective photosynthesis. Why wouldn’t the plant feel happy and grateful for it’s human guidance. But perhaps as I sit in the midst of all this wonder in my garden and adjust the vines, provide the water and the care for their orderly growth and existence, it’s all one sided. It’s just something I enjoy, but being human I attribute to it some kind or orderly human-like response from the plants. It’s true they are alive, they have an orderly existence and while it’s fun and a natural thing for me to do attributing and human-like emotional response toward me for the care I give them, perhaps I am reaching just a bit — just a bit.

 

Please Follow Richard on Twitter: https://twitter.com/pebblerick

 

Richard A. Hudson is a writer, reader and blogger committed to exercise, proper nutrition and health. He’s interested in politics, economics, alternative energy, gardening and sustainability and has written brief essays on many of these topics on his bloghttp://richlynne.wordpress.com. Despite his generally positive and optimistic views about globalization, he wonders whether we will survive current destructive forces that increasingly promote warfare among political and social classes. He is also beginning to think about the declining influence of the know-it-all baby boomer generation just as the next generation born in the 60s begins to slowly stumble into a dominant position in the U.S.

He received a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Chicago (1966) and subsequently spent 42 years in academics, gradually developing all sorts of interests well beyond his basic training. He ended his academic career in 2008, having published about 100 scientific papers, reviews and commentaries. In his last several years in the academy, his role as Dean of the Graduate School afforded him many opportunities to interact with students from all over the world seeking graduate degrees.