Your Intangible Legacy

As most of us get older we begin to think about the things we will leave our loved ones after we depart this earthly plane. Money, property, and heirlooms occupy most of our considerations in this matter.

Yet we often overlook many priceless treasures that we possess and have inherited from others…

Do you share your father’s work ethic, your mother’s tenaciousness, your grandmother’s loving spirit, and your grandfather’s resilience? How we live our daily lives, the choices we make, and our values are influenced by the examples passed down to us from our ancestors. These are the legacies that shape our identity and interactions with others.

Share these explicitly with kids and grandkids, helping them see and appreciate these values that they’ve learned from you.

Whose Surprise Is It?

“No peeking,” Reggie’s dad said. Reggie shielded his eyes. His father’s hands rested on his shoulders and slowly guided the boy to the family’s living room.

“Happy birthday!” his dad said. “You can look now.”

“Oh boy!” Reggie yelled as he ran across the room and hugged the neck of a huge hound dog. The dog and the boy stood nose to nose and then the dog licked the birthday boy in the face.

Reggie turned to his dad and asked, “Is he for me, or am I for him?”

“Sleep On It” Isn’t Just A Saying

Many people report that when they wake after a good night’s sleep, they find solutions and ideas they hadn’t been able to think of the day before.

An article on the Medical News Today website explains why. According to neuroscientists, sleep is essential for consolidating memories. Insufficient or poor sleep makes the synapses in your brain less effective, which interferes with your ability to learn and sort information.

Recent studies also suggest that taking a quick nap, or even just resting quietly for 10 minutes or so, can help new information settle into your memory so you can access it more readily afterwards.

Catch Some Rays This Winter

If you shun the sun, suffer from milk allergies, or adhere to a strict vegan diet, you may be at risk for vitamin D deficiency, according to WebMD.

Known as the “sunshine” vitamin, vitamin D is produced by the body from cholesterol when your skin is exposed to unfiltered sunlight— best taken in for about 10 to 15 minutes per day. Vitamin D also occurs naturally in a few foods including some fish and fish liver oils, egg yolks, and in fortified dairy and grain products, although it’s very difficult to absorb enough vitamin D from diet alone.

What makes vitamin D so special is that, unlike other vitamins, it functions like a hormone, and every single cell in your body has a receptor for it. Having a vitamin D deficiency is very common. It’s estimated that about one billion people worldwide have low levels of the vitamin in their blood.

Here are 7 common risk factors linked to a vitamin D deficiency:

• Having dark skin
• Being elderly
• Being overweight or obese
• Eating little fish or dairy
• Living far from the equator where there is not much sun year-round
• Always using sunscreen when going out
• Staying indoors

Whether you’re getting your vitamin D from the sun or a supplement, you might also want to pay attention to how much magnesium you’re getting
as well. Nutritionists say that vitamin D can’t metabolize effectively without sufficient amounts of magnesium, which transforms the vitamin into usable form inside a human body.

You can solve a lot of health woes by frequently eating salads and other green vegetables while sitting in the sun!

People Foods That Are Bad For Dogs

While tempting to give Fido goodies, not knowing what is and isn’t safe for dogs can cause serious harm. In particular, you should avoid giving your dog these common human treats:

Alcohol and food containing alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death. Under no circumstances should your pet be given any alcohol.

Chocolate, coffee and caffeine all contain substances called methylxanthines, which are found in cacao seeds, the fruit of the plant used to make coffee, and in the nuts of an extract used in some sodas. When ingested by pets, methylxanthines can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death. Note that darker chocolate (including baking chocolate) is more dangerous than lighter chocolate.

Grapes and raisins can cause dogs to develop acute kidney injury with anuria (a lack of urine production). The phenomenon was first identified by the Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), run by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Approximately 140 cases were seen by the APCC in the one year from April 2003 to April 2004, with 50 developing symptoms.