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Blog: On Health. On Writing. On Life. On Everything.

Earth Day 2011

April 21, 2011

Tags: order, air conditioner, birthday present, blog, composting, detergent, Earth Day 2011, health fair, household, plastic, recycling, renewable energy, summer, toys – wooden, UMass Medical School Worcester, water – bottled

Don’t forget: Tomorrow is Earth Day (it is also my husband’s birthday! And about a year ago, I wrote my first blog here!).

Do something to help our burdened old Earth:

• Take recycling more serious
• Stop buying bottled water
• Compost your kitchen scraps
• Buy less plastic, more renewable energy items (as in wooden toys as opposed to plastic toys)
• Use less detergents, etc. in the household. Often we can get away with half of the amount we use
• For birthday presents, think less over the top, more homemade
• This summer, plan to use the air conditioner only if you are elderly or sick

Today, I met wonderful people at the UMass Medical School Worcester Alternative/Complementary Health Fair. I am too tired tonight; send me in one of YOUR ideas for a happy Earth Day!

The Troubles

July 22, 2010

Tags: order, alcohol, attitude, charity, clutter, children, coughing, debts, drama, dreams, drugs – recreational, family, finances, forgiveness, gossip, gratefulness, hand washing, helping out, loneliness, mayhem, perseverance, reading, recycling, relationship, responsibility, sneezing, spirituality, tardiness, text-messaging, The Troubles, troubles, TV, water

Are you addicted to drama and mayhem in your life?

Are you living within your financial means?
Do you start projects and never finish them?
Are you always having boyfriend/girlfriend trouble?
Do you waste water?
Are you patient with children?
Are you gossiping?
Do you think at the end of your life you will be held responsible?
Are you holding on to old grudges?
Do you wash your hands after you used the bathroom?
Do you say “please” and “thank you” often?
Are you friendly with your family, even if you find them difficult?
Do you watch brainless TV programs?
Are you taking recreational drugs and/or excessive alcohol?
Do you reach out when you feel lonely?
Are you always late?
Do you cover your mouth when you sneeze/ cough?
Do you read a book once in a while?
Are you text-messaging when you drive?
Do you think the world and the people in it owe you something?
Have you given to charity in the last month?
Are you neighborly?
Are you eating more than your share at the table - given that there are about ten billion people who also want to eat?
Do you work hard for your dreams?
Is your house cluttered?
Do you recycle?
Do you lend a helping hand – even to strangers?

Are you the problem – or are you part of the solution to the problem?

Driving An Old Car

June 6, 2010

Tags: order, herbs, food, cars, Driving An Old Car, Earth, recycling, repair, reuse

When I carried my son at the ripe age of forty-two, my obstetrician was livid. He thought it was irresponsible and dangerous. “You can drive a twenty-year old Cadillac from the East Coast to the West Coast,” he declared, “BUT you will get into trouble!”

The comparison of my still nicely functioning body with an old car was insulting – to say the least. But history proved me right, and we have a wonderful, healthy son.

That, however, is not what I want to talk about today.

I want to praise old cars (and other old things). As of this day, my car is about fourteen years old and still running fine. When that car was much younger (but already dented and unfashionable), one of my patients declared: “With a car like that, you can’t be a good doctor!” Meaning: a good doctor can afford a newer, better car.

But can she? Apart from that my car is not a measure of my value or of my medical skills - am I not more than just a doctor – but also a steward of our good old Earth, like we all are, or should be? The longer I drive my old car, the fewer resources have to be used up, the more is saved. That is true for many things. So many items we buy nowadays get obsolete fast – and we retained nothing of their value. When I was a student, I made one day a totally irresponsible purchase: I bought a used Yamaha piano. I signed a check for money I didn’t have and then scrambled to borrow from my friends. Somehow, I made it – the check didn’t bounce. And so many years later the piano is still wonderful – and more worth than ever. – When my son now buys electronics (a cell phone, a laptop, an iPod), he uses them for a few short years, and then their value plunges toward zero. So many things we replace because they are not the newest item anymore, but they still pretty good, in working order and all. My Yankee (of course, I am not a Yankee – but feel akin) nature wants to preserve, repair, recycle.

In case you think this has nothing to do with medicine: The herbs I cherish and the plants I eat can only grow if we preserve our old Earth.

I will buy a new car if this one stalls and there is a hybrid station wagon on the market.
Aspen eyes, by Peggy Peters

Iguazu Falls, by Xin Liu

Alexa Fleckenstein M.D. 2012, by Lolita Parker jr.

Tags - see also the non-captalized entries below!