Category Archives: Well-Being

Keep Cool When your Work Computer is Acting Up

 

 

Every now and then we all have computer problems. It’s a bummer. You can’t get onto the Internet and you need to do that ASAP. Sometimes, the screen gets all wiggly or gives you a message that it is shutting down and you scream, ’NO, I didn’t save it yet – wait! Aghhhh. Why didn’t I save it?”  Bang head against computer.  It may turn it on again, or you may have created a more serious computer problem.

We all know how we feel when we can’t get to a site we need to right away OR you have someone on the phone–and the computer, for the first time in weeks, decides to s-l-o-w-l-y t-u-r-n o-n and slug along while someone is waiting on the other end tapping his or her fingers while you say the old cliche, ‘my computer is really slow today.’ Not fun for your nimble fingers itching and ready to pound the keys that won’t let them. Is the server down? or is the system having problems?  the views are not working right? — #@%?>#

What do you do when these problems come up at work and the administrators are trying their best to fix them? They know and hear that the user is getting mighty frustrated. Here are some tips & suggestions for those days when this inevitably happens to everyone.

1. DON’T vent your frustrations out on on the Help Desk employees. They are trying their best to fix it.  Word will get around how unreasonable (yes, they will say that) you are – not to mention your boss hearing it.  In the scheme of proper and improper behavior, let’s not ‘bite the hand that feeds you’ and/or ‘don’t air dirty laundry’ to the public. They may be amused at first, but that gets old quick.

2. DO “keep in your department what happens in your department”- don’t blame others – your glitch may not be their fault. Otherwise, it starts to sound like “As the World Grumbles” or “Family Feud”.

3. Try to be patient. No one likes to have to wait for things or not be told what is going on. When things aren’t quite up to par technically, some of you want to hit the Panic Button, and do; others wait patiently for the air to clear and haven’t said a word.  Shalom.  It is duly noticed by others in your group how you react under stress.

4. Read any article that explains systems problems, especially those dealing with adding on servers and LAN’s and how traffic is intricate and inter-related. You will see that they take time to develop, time to test and time to implement. Plus, it takes time to get the bugs out. We all know about bugs; we’ve all had them – the computer kind, that is.

5. Try to imagine the worst thing that could happen – like your company could put you totally in the dark, and you could get ERROR messages on everything that is out there. All of your reports and work articles could be frozen out there somewhere forever.  They may not be backed up and lost forever.   See, things could be worse. If you can get some screens, although that isn’t warm and fuzzy, it should be somewhat comforting.

6. While you’re pounding the keys harder than what they were made for, remember that you have the advantage of having a job and it is usually OK – except when the server is not working right?  Yes, I do hear you and validate you – you know some really bad words — normally, you do like what you are doing. Come on, admit it, or you wouldn’t be so frustrated. That’s better. Now try to smile a little.  Come on – that’s a smile?  All right, forget about it.

7. Do not give in to the urge to sweep the computer off the desk onto the floor. Big mistake. Think of something pleasant instead.  You can if you try.

8. Stop putting even  more phone messages on the Help Desk line.  They’ve already been inundated with questions asked and re-asked. Breathe in and out and think. Get up and go for a walk.

9. You look better. Uh Oh, your eyebrows are knitting together again. Relax. Think happy thoughts; remember, you’ll make up this time Somehow, Somewhere. Isn’t that a Barbra Streisand song? Oh, come on, that was a joke – stop throwing things.

10. Whoops, you’re pounding away again – not good for the keyboard.   And another call to the Help Desk — tsk tsk.   You already ‘aired’ that annoyance twice already. Stop calling them. Yes, Stop.

Oh, look, the system is up now. And they have fixed all the glitches. Now, admit it — wasn’t it kind of nice to take a little break? OK, OK, I’m out of here.

 

 

 

(C) Marie Coppola August 2014

 

 

 

The Generations on Wakes & Funerals

Many members of the  Y generation and Mellennials  [born 1977 to 1995]  say they do not want to be viewed in a casket after they leave this world.   They think caskets, viewings, funerals and people getting together when they are grieving is distasteful to them and not their expression of sympathy.  They also feel that attending a ‘gathering’ or ‘luncheon’ afterwards is like ‘having a party’ and is not something they want any part of for themselves.   They don’t want anyone to see them laid out – and they don’t want to have a lot of folks around them if they lose a loved one and are sorrowful  – they want to just go home – and be alone with their loss/grief.

As I was growng up, I used to dread wakes, and the traditions surrounding them. As I got older, I realized the need for the grieving family and loved ones to process the loss they were going through.  Attending the services is an expression of respect for the deceased and their loved ones.  Some people die unexpectedly and the wake is the reality that the loss did happen.  When a wake is not attended, there could be a thought or denial that it did not happen, ie, ‘I did not see it therefore I can’t believe it’.

Wakes, viewings, and services are a part of life for many Generation X members [(born 1965 to 1979] and Baby Boomers [born 1946 to 1964]  and Traditionalists or Silent Generation born 1945 or before.

The bereaved need the comfort of family, friends and acquaintances during this most grieving time. As difficult and tearful as it is, it gives the bereaved an opportunity to give needed expression to release the grief that most of us feel at these times in order to heal and accept their loss.

it is your presence that will be remembered and not your words.   Acts of comforting via touch, hugs, or listening help heal the loss feelings – which could be overwhelming into a depression if they are not expressed – and your presence may foster acceptance and healing.

In today’s culture,  wake or viewing times have been shortened to sometimes to just one day [it used to be 3 days followed by the funeral the next day [or fourth day].  It may be a drain on a family who may have not slept in days or experience long travel times or accommodations  for out-of-time relatives. There are closed caskets, cremations and different memorials for the deceased.  Wakes are a part of a person’s life just as baptisms or weddings are.  Attending Services are acts of respect for the deceased and their loved ones.   Sometimes there are quips and laughter in remembrances of the deceased and is not meant disrespectfully but in remembering and cherishing memories of him or her.

There are lunches after the cemetery or interment….It’s closure.   It is better to be with people who knew and loved the person who died than to go home right after the cemetery – alone with a heavy heart.  It reconnects people who have lost touch. Shared grief will share the loss for all.   Wake viewings and funerals serve this purpose.

If you are a faith person, the viewing and church services are a celebration of a new life in eternity with God.  Many churches focus on this positive affirmation instead of the negative of loss. If you believe in the resurrection of the dead, then the wake is a celebration of their life here on earth and the new life they are entering.

Marie Coppola July 2017

10 Tips for That First Day on the New Job


 

You finally landed that job you were praying you would get, and Monday is here and it’s your first day. Here are some tips to help you ‘settle in’ those new digs with confidence and a positive attitude, along with some caution.

1) Try to arrive at work at least 10 or 15 minutes before the normal working hours. This not only gives you time to settle in, turn your computer on, or listen to voice mail messages. It also gives you a relaxed frame of mind for friendly good mornings instead of rushing in at the last minute or a few minutes late and get a reputation for ‘always being late’. Employees who arrive before the workday begins are usually the ones who get good reviews and/or promotions. Likewise advice on leaving at the end of the day. Plan on staying 15 minutes or so after work if possible; never leave early – somone always loves to make an issue about that and the reputation will stick; the people who usually get ahead in a workplace arrive a little earlier and leave a little later.

2) Start the new job with a To Do List. This List itemizes tasks that may have been sent to you via email, voicemail or verbally. Jot it down so it is not forgotten and when you have a few minutes, prioritize the List by importance. If you don’t get to it all that day, start the next day’s List with the undone items so they can have first attention. Keep a file folder with the checked-off ‘Done’ items, date they were completed, with any information that may needed in the future for follow-up. Not only do ‘To Do’ Lists give you a reputation for getting things done, they also give you a feeling of accomplishment as you go over the list and view the things you did that day. On a hectic and busy day, those accomplishments will help neutralize the feeling that you ‘got nothing done today’.

3) Go slow getting to know your new co-workers. In your ‘being new’ nervousness, you may reveal more about yourself than you really want to. You may be telling your life history to the office gossiper. If you are asked to lunch with the group, be neutral to everyone, polite and friendly. The work environment is revealed at lunchtime, and you will hear inside scoops of what is going on with work, projects and people. Don’t make judgments or remarks. Wait until you get to know the people and the issues and even then, don’t make judgments or remarks. And don’t repeat what you hear at lunch or in the halls to your cubicle co-workers. Gossip spreads through offices faster than forest fires. And your name will be attached to it.

4) Go to lunch at your appointed lunch time and take the one-half hour or whatever the rule is. Some companies allot 45 minutes or one hour for lunch. Long-time employees may stretch their lunch times from the one-half hour lunch to a 45 minute or one hour lunch. That’s their choice, but as a new employee, you don’t want to get a reputation that you ‘take long lunches’. It’s a title that you may earn quickly and it will stick with you. Your supervisor will know about it sooner than you think. Co-workers usually stagger lunch times so that someone is always in the office, and you will get off on the wrong foot in your office if someone is waiting for you to come back from lunch and you’re late and taking time away from their own lunch.

5) Start off your new job with a team attitude. There are different ways to help someone out even if it is picking up their mail or copy order at office services. Your helpfulness will reflect back from your co-workers who will do the same for you. This becomes invaluable on a really busy day when you need an extra set of hands; kindness goes a long way and people react positively to it. When someone turns their back on being a team player with the rest of the group, the group usually reacts in the same manner.

6) If your office surroundings are efficient-situated…..which usually means a phone, PC, desk, and chair in a cubicle with only enough room to turn around in. You will hear others’ conversations on the phone and normal business interchanges during the day. Most office workers tune out these distractions, but it’s hard to tune out loud or noisy social gatherings or constant social talking on the phones and/or laughing. A certain amount of sociability is expected in the office, but if you constantly stop at someone’s station and gab or allow someone to come to yours and do the same, someone is going to complain about the ‘noise’. And if you’re new, you don’t want to start off with that image. If someone lingers, you might just say, that you need to get something done and you’ll ‘see them later’. Don’t socialize more than you have to at work. You’re there to do a job, not listen to someone’s problems or the great time they had at a party last night. Or to talk on the phone with personal calls or send zany emails. Companies monitor both calls and PCs, so be careful what you say and write.

7) Every office has a Don Juan Casanova or Flirty Feline who will try to engage you somehow. They can’t help it – it’s in their genes. Be friendly, but keep your distance. The more time you give them, the more time they will devote to hanging around you. Be busy, and they will finally move on to the next new person. Don’t be flattered or taken in; you are one of many.

8)  Keep wearing to work the kind of clothes you wore on the interview. Now that you have the job, you don’t want to slip out of your good shoes and  wear athletic shoes and sweats to the office. Most offices have dress codes or ‘business attire’ or ‘business casual’  which is a suit or pants, shirt and tie for men and suits, dresses, or pants outfits for women. Leave the décolletage necklines home as well as stretch pants that reveal all. Jeans may be allowed on ‘Casual Day’ but don’t wear them on any other day. The saying goes “Dress for the job you want to have” and that’s pretty good advice. Good grooming and neat appearance go a long way in the office. You never know who is going to stop in the office that day or what meeting your boss may ask you to attend in his or her place.

9) Never discuss with your co-workers how much money you make or what your bonus was or the percentage of your merit raise. Salary levels are the same for most positions, but other factors may reflect different salaries for you and the person next to you who do the same kind of work. That person may have more advanced education or a degree that requires a specialty in their work or they may have been given a larger starting salary than you if they had more experience. Sometimes an employee is not given extra money for the same work you both do, but may have been given an extra week vacation as a negotiation factor in employing them for less pay than what they were getting. There are many variables in salaries and it’s only going to cause stress if workers compare salaries. Having worked on compensation issues and raises myself, I could not believe hard workers getting a lower merit raise than someone who did not work as hard getting a higher one. My boss always told me to just kick the desk when I saw glitches like that – it was beyond our control. I did kick the desk a lot. Avoid this upset — don’t ask and don’t tell.

10) As a new employee, you will need to find out about the company your work for in a short amount of time. Read the annual report and study the organizational charts. Find out where people sit so you aren’t wandering around the building, getting flustered and nervous. Find out what the pecking order is so you don’t mistake a Chief Executive Officer for a co-worker. A new worker once turned unknowingly to a vice-president and complained that ‘this place is a nuthouse’. It became a joke between them, but not all V-Ps have sense of humors like this one did. Tread lightly until you know the waters. Put your best foot forward, as they say, and you will be an asset to the company you work for – and be rewarded as such.

Remember – statistics show that it can take up to six months before you feel knowledgeable about what you are doing.   Good luck!

©Marie Coppola  March 2014

How Vitamin C Saved a Rooster’s Life

 

Charleston, West Virginia’s City Council has a new law governing just how many baby chicks a person can buy. The new law amends a law that had been on their books for five decades. The prior ordinance had stated it was unlawful to sell baby fowl, such as chicks, ducklings, goslings, or turkeys, in lots of fewer than six. Now businesses and breeders can sell just one young fowl.   There was a time when families bought a dozen baby chicks as an Easter present.   No more.

It seems that people buy the fluffy, adorable little chicks and forget that they can grow up to be big, pecking chickens or roosters. A chicken more than doubles it’s weight every two weeks until it’s full grown. The Animal Shelter in Charleston said that someone brought in a chicken that was given as an Easter gift. Sometimes people dispose of them especially if they are bought in larger quantities because they really only wanted one. It is not recommended to buy more than one since most people don’t have the space to keep them. And it saves unnecessary disposing of baby chicks.

Our dad bought us a dozen baby chicks one Easter when I was 12; it was common for families to get them for the kids’ pleasure for Easter. Our baby chicks survived the fondling and squeezing that younger kids excel in doing and the chicks more than doubled in size quickly. Dad had to erect a chicken coop in our yard to hold 12 mature roosters.   We had a large wooded lot in the back and if anyone in our development minded the cock-a-doodle doos early in the morning, no one complained. At least, not to us.

I was given the task of making sure the coop was locked every night against predators such as weasels and/or foxes. Although I was conscientious about this, one night, my younger neighbor next door asked if he could play with them and he would lock the coop for me. I said OK, but unfortunately, the young 9 year old forgot to do so. At dawn, the next morning, we found that none of the chickens survived the night invasion, except for one lying motionless in the driveway and the smallest one of the group who had run away, but came back that next morning

I was devastated and guilt-ridden. My mother, who grew up with chickens herself, said the most humane thing was to ‘pull’ the chicken’s neck and put him out of his misery. I begged and pleaded as only a 12-year can do, and my mom, God bless her, said I could stay home from school and see what I could do for the fallen rooster.

The poor thing kinda flopped where he lay and had very little life in him. He could not stand, and couldn’t or wouldn’t open his eyes. Food was not even an option; he could not have eaten or even put his head up and try. I made a little bed with rags for him – and wrapped them around him as he could not be lifted; I was afraid he would die from the move. Since he couldn’t eat, I tried to find some bugs and other things like corn or bread that he liked, but he had no interest at all.

The only thing I could think of was oranges. We always had lots of oranges, and I squeezed some in a bowl. To ‘feed’ the rooster, I had to nudge his head up and put his beak into the orange juice. He had two choices: he could pick up his beak and gurgle it or he could drown in it. He gurgled. For the next few days, he was given orange juice in this manner. Again, my mom, let me stay home another day, but said I had to go back to school on Monday – that gave me 4 days in total to juice the rooster.

Mornings I would get up before school, juice the rooster, dash home and juice again and then at night. Eventually, the rooster got stronger and was standing – although wobbly – which was cause for a family celebration. When he finally walked, he was given his regular food in addition to the orange juice – and even though he walked somewhat lopsided like a crab, he could walk. He never ran as fast as his brother, but he wobbled along nicely beside him. Always – on a slant, but almost catching up.

Eventually, the two brother roosters were able to inhabit the coop again and I never forgot to lock the coop again. The greatest moment for me was one morning, as usual, the brother rooster would wake us up for school about 6:30 am with his perky doddle doo. A few minutes later, there was this very throaty, uneven, bizarre cock-a-doodle-doo which could not be made by any other animal except a once-wounded rooster. In true Walton Family Style, you could hear everyone laughing from their bedrooms and clapping and shouting that I, indeed, did fix the rooster. My mother never had to remind us to drink our orange juice after this; we learned first-hand the benefits of Vitamin C.

Vitamin C is required for life. The nature of our modern diets leads to a serious lack of this essential nutrient. This situation may be a leading contributor to much of the sickness and chronic disease that the population of the earth suffers.

A study in the Journal of Epidemiology (May, 1992) was reported to show that people who have high blood levels of vitamin C live 6 years longer than those who have lower blood levels. Ref: http://www.cforyourself.com/

You don’t have to convince me. I found out first-hand at age 12 just how potent Vitamin C is. It is life sustaining and most necessary nutrient. An animal was nurtured back from imminent death; sustained until strength returned and made an almost full recovery.

© Marie Coppola  March 2014

 

Stalked by a Predator


It is difficult to remember when he took over and tried to possess me.

I paid him little attention when I first met him; he had a rather menacing look about his eyes. They were green in color – maybe attractive on someone else, but illuminating and piercing on him. He had an air about him that was disconcerting. At once furtive, and just as quickly attentive with an intense stare.

I met him at my friend Carly’s house. Carly, bless her, has all good intentions, but sometimes, bad judgment. I know she was trying to lift my spirits, which were down a lot lately. Like the song, ‘breaking up is hard to do’, it’s true – that it was. But it’s been four weeks already, so I was hoping I was over the worst of it. Tired of kind of dragging around, I really had no desire to go out and meet new people or even talk a lot. So I hesitated when Carly suggested staying by her for the weekend, she was planning on having some friends in I had never met and we could go tag and garage sale hunting, etc. She is very bubbly and very insistent. I don’t know why I agreed to stay with her, but I guess that was a good sign I was feeling better.

He was at the house when I arrived at Carly’s. His swarthy, somewhat weathered look added to his ominous nature, yet even in my funk, I had to admit he was quite attractive. He was as aloof as I was intimidated, so after introductions – his name was Tom – we kind of migrated into our own part of the room. Which was fine with me. I wasn’t feeling very friendly or interested.

When some of Carly’s friends started to come by one by one, the room became a little crowded. I noticed that Tom had slipped out of the room into the kitchen. Maybe he’s having heart trouble, too, I mused. Looking back, I did not notice him anymore that night until much later.

Carly’s friends were upbeat, and although I tried to mingle and make an effort, my heart really wasn’t into it. After a couple of hours and a couple of glasses of wine, I feigned a headache and said I needed to get some sleep. They all protested, of course; they were kind people, but I suspect they were getting a little tired of me, too.

Carly showed me to my room on the second floor – nestled in the back of the house. At least I was away from all the laughter and good times downstairs. My room was really delightful. It had a queen bed (surprise!) and a small TV on the dresser. There was a small bathroom adjoining it. Carly loved Victorian, and she did it up quite nicely with lots of lace, flowers and frills. No man fitting in here, I thought somberly. Isn’t that fitting?

But I wasn’t going to be alone for long.

I sat on the bed for a while, listening to the fun times downstairs and became melancholy. It seemed like a long time since I felt like that. The best thing to do would be to go to sleep; forget TV or reading. I changed out of my clothes and put on my pj’s. After brushing my teeth in the tiny bathroom, which also had ruffles and frills, I shut the light and slipped into bed. After my evening prayer, I turned off the bedside lamp. My mind was turning over events of the past few days. So into my reverie, that it was a few moments before I realized that there was an almost imperceptible movement in the room.

Now I was at full attention. I had shut the door and knew that it had not been opened since I did that. Nervously, I flipped the light back on. Nothing there, I must really be uptight or something. Or too much wine. I leaned back and shut off the light and my eyes. Then I heard and felt a rustle on the further side of the bed. My throat tightened up and my heart started throbbing. Who was there? The sound was so close to me that I couldn’t bring myself to turn and flip the light back on. I was afraid to turn my back on that noise. Afraid that would make me more vulnerable. If I screamed, would Carly and her friends hear me above the music and laughter?

I felt and heard the movement settle on the other side of the bed. My palms were sweating. Someone was there sitting on the bed. I could hear breathing. I was holding my own breath, as if by doing so, I would be not seen, not heard.

And then, even in the dark, I saw the eyes. Those green eyes were staring and bearing down on my face. They came closer and I could feel breath on my face.

Warmth and weight leaned into my body.

When Tom started to purr loudly, I picked him up and deposited him outside my door.

© Marie Coppola Revised March 2014

The Miracle of You ~~~~~~~~You are Literally One in 250 Million

 

This is the life journey that we ALL took.  It is the miracle of YOU beautifully expressed through the act of conception. While the explanation I found is very detailed, I will give you a capsule view of what I consider is a miracle ~~how each of us is made.   Let’s call it: Conception 101~

After conception, only a few hundred of the 250,000,000 (that’s 250 million!) healthy sperm reach the egg. It takes about two hours to make the entire journey to the egg; however, some sperm are Olympic swimmers and can reach the egg in a half an hour. If no egg is available to fertilize, the sperm swim around patiently waiting to bump into one. Because there is no chemical or physical attraction of the sperm for the egg, the sperm literally must bump into the egg. The area of the egg containing the mother’s genetic contribution (chromosomes) and the area of the sperm containing dad’s genetic contribution combine to begin a brand- new, unique individual. About 24 hours after fertilization, the first division of the newly formed cell takes place. The dividing ball of cells continues to travel down the fallopian tube toward the uterus where it will implant and grow.

Each of us has had an ‘Olympic swimmer’ who obviously won the ‘gold’ because you and I, our parents, friends, loved ones, children, everyone we know here on earth each had an award-winning “Olympic swimmer’ in their lives. And that new unique individual is YOU. This is only a brief summary of the many conditions that must be present in order for there to be a pregnancy. You are literally One in a Million – make that One in 250,000,000!

You were no mistake or accident; God created you in His likeness. You are His child; His son or daughter. Ephesians 1:11, tells us “All things are done according to God’s plan and decision…” And God tells us, in “Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

God has given us life, plans and a future. In embracing Him, through His Communicator, the Holy Spirit, we can accomplish much in our lives. It is our decision, through the free will that God has bestowed upon us, to prosper in the hopes and future that God envisions for us. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in developing the natural talents that you have. As you find your niche in life, your self-esteem will increase and you will find fulfillment. You are special, you are loved, you are precious to our Creator.

I come in contact with persons who sometimes have really low self-esteem. They weren’t born with it, so somewhere, they developed a poor image of who they are.

Maybe it is self-inflicted; maybe it was forced on them; maybe it was the result of many disappointments. If they aren’t blessed to have had someone build up their confidence or appreciate the talents that God has given to each of us individually, I hope they are reading this and realize that we are ALL special and we ALL have worth.

In God’s Book, he tells us ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you…’ (Jeremiah 1:5). Before we are born, God knows of our strengths and weaknesses; He knows what we are capable of and what our limitations are. We have to trust in God that He knows and will guide us in His Will through His Communicator, the Holy Spirit, who gives us wisdom and knowledge, if we only ask for it.

Marie Coppola February 2014

 

Try Singing – It’s Good for Your Health & Soul


 

Many of us like to sing. Some of us sing well, and …. well, some of us sing like Lucy Riccardo on I Love Lucy. That’s me. Some of us hum and sing when we are nervous; my brother does that.  Humming actually helps relax you as you breathe differently when you sing. And some of us only sing in the shower where the acoustics help us out.

It’s a fact that singing is good for you.  It has a positive effect in that it reduces stress levels which helps our well-being.”It can also be considered a good work-out, even if sitting because it is an aerobic activity that brings oxygen into the blood stream and exercises major muscle groups in the upper body. It’s also psychologically beneficial as singing together in a chorus or group promotes a sense of community, sharing and belonging to a common cause.” Ref: Professor Graham Welch, Chair of Music Education at the Institute of Education, University of London

“Regular exercising of the vocal cords can even prolong life, because you are exercising your lungs and heart. Not only that, your body produces ‘feel good’ hormones called endorphins, which rush around your body when you sing. Not only can it increase lung capacity, it improves posture, clears respiratory tubes and sinuses, and can increase mental alertness through greater oxygenation. It even tones the muscles of your stomach and back, that is if you’re singing correctly.” Ref: guardian.co.uk

So, singing even helps you live longer, enhances your mental state and even helps keep wrinkles off your face. A study at the University of California has reported higher levels of immune system proteins upon singing/choral participation.

Ahhh, then there are the songbirds we all know, who sing well, and what a delight they are to hear.   What does singing have to do with ‘make a joyful noise unto the Lord?’ Psalm 100 says…” Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness; come before his presence with singing.”

Does God like us to sing to Him? What does the Bible say?

Singing is also a delight to our Lord, who mentions throughout His Book about singing praises and thanks to Him. He doesn’t care about acoustics or if we sound like Lucy; He takes pleasure in our devotion of singing. Zephaniah :17 tells us – “…He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.

We have grace in our hearts when we sing to the Lord. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Col. 3:16).”

When we sing to God, we sing with our spirit and mind. ” What is the outcome then? I shall pray with the spirit and I shall pray with the mind also; I shall sing with the spirit and I shall sing with the mind also.” 1 Cor 14:15

“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” (Eph. 5:19)

“O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to God all the earth.” Psalm 96

Lift up your heart to the Lord by singing songs in gratitude and praise. It will improve your life and your health and delight the Lord.

Here is a pleasant, relaxing example of praise to the Lord by Laurie Klein – Maranatha – who sings “I Love You, Lord”.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5DnUvrxpeM 

SING ALONG – IT’S GOOD FOR YOU! AND IT MAY MAKE GOD SMILE…….

Marie Coppola  February 2014

 

Women Bikers Going Solo …..and They are Increasing in Numbers

 

Residents in North Myrtle Beach have noticed a growing trend of more women attending bike rallies. They are not riding on the back of a Harley bike; they’ve moved up to the front and once they’ve done this, they don’t look back.

American women are the fastest-growing part of the motorcycle business, buying more than 100,000 of them a year. Alongside baby-boomer men, who make up a large male rider population, women are continuing to take up riding solo. With larger paychecks and better corporate jobs, more women are choosing riding as their leisure pastime – making up 12.3 percent of owners compared with 6 percent in 1990. Ladies accounted for 23 percent, or 5.7 million, of the 25 million Americans who rode a motorcycle last year.

The typical motorcycle owner was 43 years old, according to the MlC’s latest ATV Owner Survey. That was up from 1998, when the typical owner was 38, and a leap from the typical 24-year-old owner in the 1980s. There are indications that ownership is once again on the upswing among younger riders. Baby boomers still outnumbered Generation Y owners 2 to 1 in 2008.

Why are women choosing motorcycles? Some women, like their male counterparts, like the freedom from routines, parenting, and stressful jobs and opt for plain enjoying the sport, honing their skills, and enjoying the scenery. Some are grandmas, their kids are grown and out of the nest and simply put, “It’s time for me”.

Biker guys dress a little differently from the ladies. Instead of the male-look standard black leather jacket, more female rider clothes are being produced — lots of pink, some with rhinestones, and many made from leather in blues and pinks as well as black. Even the Harley-Davidson skull emblem has undergone a friendly makeover on some clothes to include wings and flowers.

Women motorcycle riders are referred to as biker babe, chopper chick or cycle mama and they all have experiences with “helmet hair”, raingear, heated apparel and proper boots. New riders should be aware that the ladies avoid loose frills or ribbons that could get caught in a moving part of their bike. They also avoid sequins around the neckline which may heat up in the sun – cause unnerving reflections and possible burns or abrasions from the bike’s vibrations, as would any rough material, bead or button. Big, loose shirts can whip up in the wind and possibly cause loss of control. That’s why an experienced biker wears shirts or tops with a tight fit or snug cuffs; thus prevent flapping and irritation. There’s reasons why they wear form-fitting clothes.

Some celebrity biker babes who share the adventure, camaraderie, freedom of the road and the thrill of hitting the throttle, rolling into a curve, and feeling the wind are: Tina Turner, Angelina Jolie, Bree Turner, Cameron Diaz, Cher, Demi Moore, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessical Alba, Kate Hudson, Lauren Hutton, Lindsay Wagner, Lisa Hartman Black, Pamela Anderson, Queen Latifah, and Sheryl Crow.

A reflection on the Harley pictured above, the Harley-Davidson Company or HD has been around for just over 100 years. It all began with two friends in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1903. William S. Harley stands for the H in HD. Arthur Davidson is one of three D’s. The other two D’s being his brothers, Walter and William Davidson. William Harley and Arthur Davidson began working on the prototype and eventually sought the help of Walter and William. Walter was a skilled mechanic. William was an experienced toolmaker and the group formed the HD Company. During 1903 HD turned out a grand total of 3 motorcycles.

Marie Coppola Revised September 2013

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Acid Indigestion, Heartburn and Stress


 

Antacid sales top $ 10 billion annually! And acid indigestion plagues a third of U.S. population. Even when the economy is in better shape, acid indigestion and heartburn plagues about a third of the U.S. population. About 100 million Americans experience heartburn every month; about 15 million fighting it at least once a day.

What causes heartburn and indigestion? Eating on the run, skipping meals, eating junk food, nervous stomach from stress and volatile emotions such as anger or frustration can adversely affect your digestive system. How can you get your stomach to calm down after a stress-filled and / or frustrating day? Does stress at your job cause your digestive problems?

Employee surveys suggest that over half a million people believed they were suffering from stress, anxiety or depression, or some physical illness resulting from stress, caused or made worse by their work.

A busy workload, multi-tasking or managerial position can keep you motivated and create energies needed for such responsibilities. Although this kind of stress can reinforce commitment to your work, it can affect you negatively when stress becomes excessive or uncontrolled. Some indications of negative stress can be apparent by personality changes or behavior in work habits.

Stress is a response to pressure. Over a period of time, this can lead to under-performance, chronic sickness, heart disease or psychological damage or even major illness or death. Managers and co-workers should be aware of these signs which can create problems within the company. People under stress show such physical signs as headaches, increased blood pressure, panic attacks, anxiety, depression, and indigestion.

Stress can affect decision-making, inability to concentrate, spurts of irritability or aggression and changes in self-confidence. Work relationships can be affected, cooperation with others may diminish and stress could lead to either overworking or the opposite — taking time off in increased sick days. Good employers and managers will recognize this and take appropriate supportive action.

Americans have made antacids a major category in a typical drug store’s merchandise mix. Many people carry antacids around with them during the day in case they get bad heartburn, indigestion or stomach distress. If you take Tums regularly, large amounts of calcium carbonate-containing antacids can affect the balances of calcium and acid in the body and damage your kidneys. You should not take antacids over long periods as you could have a more serious ailment such as a stomach problem, or peptic ulcer disease.

What can you do to reduce heartburn and indigestion? You can try the following to reduce the stress associated with meals. If you get stressed in the office, do not eat in your office. Try to remove yourself from the stressful environment . Get away from your desk and walk or drive to another location to get your food. The walk should be made at a leisurely pace and if possible outside in a quiet environment.

Do not lunch at a busy restaurant as it can also add to your stress. Once you get your food do not take it back to the worksite. Find a quiet place to sit down and eat your food at a slow pace. This may be hard at first but a simple technique is to chew each bite of food ten time before swallowing. When you have finished your meal take your time getting back to your office. You will be surprised at how much this will relieve your indigestion and reduce your stress or anxiety. Upon returning to the office, you may be surprised to find that you can work more efficiently.

Going home, relax by breathing deeply and stretching your muscles. If you dine alone, put on some nice, relaxing music. Even if you are not use to it, say grace. It doesn’t have to be formal, just gratitude for the food and for your blessings. Counting your blessings negates the negativity and stress stored up. Don’t watch TV or listen to the news. That in itself will give you indigestion.

If you dine with family, concentrate on the positive and happy experiences of the day, not the negative or complaints. Use humor and good cheer. Laughter and happiness are good for digestion and relaxation. Have a glass of wine or after-dinner cordial with your mate or partner and spend me minutes alone if you have children. Bring the tempo down along with your blood pressure. Tomorrow is another day. You can dispel the stress from today instead of storing it up and adding it to tomorrow’s.

© Marie Coppola September 2013

Women’s Health, Heart Attacks and the Holidays

 

A few years ago, a good friend of mine, at 49 years of age, died of a massive heart attack. This vibrant woman, a champion of exercise and good health died after a workout. She had received her B.A. degree a month before with a grade point average of 4.0. It was later learned that her father had died around the same age of a genetic birth defect.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women 65 and older; it is the second-leading cause of death for women 45 to 64 and it is the third leading cause of death for women 25 to 44. In the United States, heart disease kills more women than any other health condition. All women of all ages should aware of heart disease — its causes and risks — whether it runs in the family or not. [See updated info below*].

Women’s warning signs differ from those for men. The signs for women are not the typical heavy weight on chest, or heart-burn, shortness of breath, pain in arm or cold sweat. These symptoms are less likely to be a women’s common first sign. Cause for concern in women are:

  • pain or discomfort in an unusual place such as: the jaw, elbow or even a tooth
  • an unexplained sense of dread, doom or anxiety
  • a feeling that something is not ‘right’
  • a sudden weakness or heavy fatigue similar to ‘flu symptoms’ – more than 70% of women cited this one.
  • shortness of breath
  • nausea
  • indigestion
  • these symptoms may occur as long as a ‘month’ before an attack

A second attack could be completely different than a first heart attack.

Recent patterns in fatal heart attacks on both men and women, increase during the winter holiday season, especially around Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Research at the University of California, San Diego and Tufts University School of Medicine examined 53 million U.S. death certificates from 1973 to 2001. They discovered an overall increase of 5% more heart-related deaths during the holiday season.

Cold weather can add strain to the heart by constricting blood vessels which can raise a person’s blood pressure. And there is more chance for blood clots to form. Cold weather can also mean more shoveling snow and adding increase strains on the heart. But even these reasons don’t explain why there are ‘spikes’ of fatal heart attacks on Christmas Day and New Year’s day. According to the Circulation study, “The number of cardiac deaths is higher on Dec. 25 than on any other day of the year, second highest on Dec. 26, and third highest on Jan. 1.” These spikes occur even in balmy, mild weather areas, where there is no snow shoveling.  [Ref: WebMD]

There are several lifestyle changes women can do to reduce your risk of heart disease:

  • Exercise 30 to 60 minutes a day on most days of the week.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Quit or don’t start smoking.
  • Eat a diet that’s low in saturated fat, cholesterol and salt.
  • Take prescribed medicines; ie, blood medications, blood thinners and aspirin
  • You may consider supplements, such as omega-3 fatty acids or fish oil tablets for high cholesterol
  • Stay at a healthy weight
  • a normal body mass index (BMI) is helpful; a BMI of 25 or higher can be associated with increased risk
  • If overweight, a weight loss of 10-15 pounds can help to decrease risk
  • Take a daily low-dose or baby aspirin.

Leading Causes of Death in Females United States

All Females, All Ages Percent*
1) Heart disease 24.0
2) Cancer 22.2
3) Stroke 6.3
4) Chronic lower respiratory diseases 5.9
5) Alzheimer’s disease 4.5
6) Unintentional injuries 3.5
7) Diabetes 2.8
8) Influenza and Pneumonia 2.3
9) Kidney disease 2.0
10) Septicemia 1.6

© Marie Coppola December 2016

References: MayoClinic.com; WebMD; Circulation Study; LHS, Your Health