Archive for July, 2013

Tick-Borne Disease Alliance

By
July 31st, 2013



Tick borne diseases scare me. I don't remember them being a problem as a child on the mainland, but by the time I hit adulthood, it was becoming an issue.

In 2000, my parents were living in New Jersey, which is really the best kept secret in the Union because it's quite pretty in the rural areas. They had a house in a very forested area, and deer and other wildlife roamed right through the backyard.

That's how my dad got bitten by a tick. He didn't get the more common Lyme disease. He got babesiosis, and then he went into the intensive care unit in the hospital for days.

I was living in Hawaii, working at KHNL. My mom called me and suggested I fly there to see him because he wasn't looking too good.

He eventually did recover without - to my knowledge - lingering symptoms.

This is why it piqued my interest to hear that Candice Accola, star of the hit television show The Vampire Diaries, is helping the Tick-Borne Disease Alliance (TBDA), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness, supporting initiatives and promoting advocacy to find a cure for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.

She recently launched Bite Back for a Cure, a national grassroots campaign to build support for the fight against the devastating impact of tick-borne diseases. Bite Back for a Cure has two elements - an online campaign and a national bike ride.

The online campaign, led by Accola, will accumulate over time "a national video quilt" of individual statements by those affected by tick-borne diseases and their friends and families. This "video quilt" will be sent to state and federal legislators, encouraging them to support Lyme-disease legislation.

In addition, 24-year-old Lyme-sufferer John Donnally will bike across America this summer and fall to meet others affected by Lyme disease and galvanize local support for TBDA's mission to fund research and educate the public about the silent epidemic of tick-borne diseases.

"TBDA is thrilled to launch Bite Back For A Cure, which will help us build momentum on a national scale and reach local communities throughout the country to fight what has become a truly national health epidemic," said Staci Grodin, TBDA President.

Online Advocacy Campaign

Earlier this year, Accola filmed a PSA for TBDA, urging the public to take action in the fight against tick-borne diseases. Now, TBDA is inviting the public to participate in an interactive advocacy video.

The public is encouraged to visit BiteBackForACure.org, where they can download and print advocacy signs emblazoned with key phrases that embody TBDA's fight against tick-borne diseases, such as "Be the Change," "Take a Stand," "Change the System" and "Support Research." To view the Bite Back for a Cure campaign video, click here.

Each Bite Back participant will be able take their own photo with the sign of their choice and upload it to the TBDA website or share it via social media. TBDA will compile all the photos from across the country and create "a video quilt" that will be sent to state and federal government officials, asking them to support legislation that funds tick-borne disease research and helps those affected by Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.

Cross-Country Bike Tour

John Donnally, a 24-year-old Lyme sufferer and cyclist, will kick off Bite Back for a Cure's cross-country bike tour with a series of training rides throughout the Northeast this summer to meet others affected by tick-borne diseases and mobilize support. A former Colgate lacrosse player, Donnally was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2003 and again in 2011. His personal passion is fueled by the fact that others in his family also suffer with Lyme disease.

In August and September, Donnally will lead rides in Southampton, N.Y.; Martha's Vineyard, Mass.; Albany, N.Y.; and North Wales, Pa. In addition to Donnally's cross-country bike ride, Bite Back for a Cure will include TBDA walks, partnerships with retailers, and initiatives to build advocacy in local communities. The entire campaign will be documented on TBDA's social media channels and promoted in the media.

To learn more about Bite Back for a Cure and how you can get involved, visit BiteBackForACure.org.

For more information about the threat of tick-borne diseases and what you can do to help build awareness about the health crisis posed by Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, visit TBDAlliance.org.

The exercise class

By
July 26th, 2013



I have decided to try harder to make this a summer of fitness. I have been making a real effort to get to the gym more.

To keep it fresh, I started to attend a cardio-dancing type class when my schedule allows. It's like Jazzercise or what have you with a really jumpy instructor moving to loud music.

I suck at rhythm.

I walk in and it's like a dance club with high decibel rap and hip hop music. There is a teacher in the front doing a combination of what looks to my untrained eye like cheerleading moves, hip hop, kickboxing, and standard push ups and sit ups and crunches.

I'm trying to follow along with the choreography which moves quickly, and then I get all tired and confused and I'm the one moving out of synch.

I usually do not move rapidly for 60 minutes straight. This class makes me tired within 20 minutes.

I'm slowing down the longer class drags on, and the teacher is doing the hardest versions of the exercises. Whatever.

I still try to go because it's kind of fun and I like to feel like I've achieved something. It's full of other soft female desk jockeys like me.

I totally admire the teacher and the skill set it takes to dance well and teach well. She is a 5'9" blonde who I'm sure models for Fitness magazine in her spare time. She looks 25.

She has no cellulite, even when we are sitting on the ground and her legs smoosh against the hard floor. I want to hate her but she's really nice, so I settled it out in my head with the idea that she's young and beautiful, but those hips have never pushed out a child! So there!

I was joking about this with one of the gym staffers. She laughed because she's there, too. And then the hard fall: "You know, she has three kids."

What?

"Yeah. Three kids, and she's a doctor's wife. She just does this because she's bored."

I was half even-more-admiring and half crestfallen that there went my excuse!

You look pregnant!

By
July 24th, 2013



Brutal. So brutal.

I'm in the shower and my kid says, "You look pregnant." With surprise and disappointment, I look down at my stomach which is not, to my knowledge, full of life and ask, "Are you saying I look fat?"

She's six. She said, "I'm saying you look pregnant." Small extended finger pokes at my tummy. Sound of ego deflating heard in vicinity.

I think I'm holding up pretty decently, but maybe I need to rethink this exercise program because just last month, I walked into a party and the first, FIRST words out of the hostess' mouth were, "Are you pregnant?"

Like, I was in the middle of my greeting sentence. It goeth like this:

"Hi, I'm sorry we're late, we just--"

"Are you pregnant?!"

"(stunned and flat silence for uncomfortable seconds) We just ran into traffic. No, I'm not pregnant. I guess I should get to a gym."

It's the hostess and it's an acquaintance (rather than a close friend you can rip into) so I can't be all rude and stuff, but I was on simmer for the first 20 minutes.

Now that I think about it, both these insults took place at the end of days that I consider bad days. The Universe sure has a sense of humor.

Breathe Easy Breakfast

By
July 19th, 2013



The American Lung Association in Hawaii saves lives and improves health through research, education and advocacy. We fight to reduce smoking, keep the air we breathe clean, prevent and treat lung diseases such as asthma, COPD and lung cancer.
The American Lung Association® was founded to combat a single disease: tuberculosis. Today we're working to make the world a better place to breathe.
Our goals include reducing tobacco use, especially among young people; preventing and controlling air pollution; and providing education and funding research to make life more comfortable for people with asthma or other lung disease.
We hope you will consider joining us along with retired NFL player Olin Kreutz on Sunday, August 4th.   Growing up in Hawaii, Olin and his family all suffer from the effects of asthma, he will share his lifelong struggle .
Additional information is attached,  please post and share with those in your network.
With aloha & appreciation,
Follow the link to purchase your tickets and for additional information:   www.breatheeasyhonolulu.orThe American Lung Association in Hawaii saves lives and improves health through research, education and advocacy. We fight to reduce smoking, keep the air we breathe clean, prevent and treat lung diseases such as asthma, COPD and lung cancer.

The American Lung Association® was founded to combat a single disease: tuberculosis. Today it is working to make the world a better place to breathe.

ALA's goals include reducing tobacco use, especially among young people; preventing and controlling air pollution; and providing education and funding research to make life more comfortable for people with asthma or other lung disease.

image001

To learn more, join retired NFL player Olin Kreutz on Sunday, August 4th.   Growing up in Hawaii, Olin and his family all suffer from the effects of asthma, he will share his lifelong struggle .

Follow the link to purchase your tickets and for additional information:  www.breatheeasyhonolulu.org

Midsummer's festival

By
July 17th, 2013



The summer solstice is June 21, the longest day of the year. I don't remember celebrating it much in my youth here in America, but I bet that's because an extra hour of sun is no big deal in Hawaii.

However, it's a big deal in Scandinavia, where summer might consist of a grand total of three consecutive sunny days. Since my husband is from Denmark, we try to observe it. It's the most celebrated holiday after Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

Called Sankt Hans Aften in Danish, the town comes together in the late afternoon to light large bonfire meant to ward away evil spirits. There's a straw witch on the top, which symbolizes the Church's witch burnings of the 16th and 17th century. There are also speeches, picnics and songs. Claus says his mom's town still holds this event, fake witch and all.

Some years, energy and scheduling permitting, we get together with friends for some food and fellowship. After all, what's a Danish get together without a heavy buffet and a small but powerful beverage selection?

We also clear out a party room for those who imbibe too much and need to sleep over. Based on anecdotal and observational evidence, it seems to me like a popular Danish thing, because I don't know many Americans who drink and then sleep at their friend's house. (I don't know why they don't. I think it's a great idea.)

This year, we had a small fire on a grill which kind of served as the mini-bonfire, followed by a functional use as an actual food cooking station. The most surprising lesson for me is that the Danes bake bread on their campfires, whereas Americans melt s'mores.

Bread! Funny! Snobrød, they call it.

IMG_2905

Turns out, it's those thin doughs like the kind from the Pillsbury can. Of course, the Europeans disdain the pre-made American fast foods, so Claus recalls of his childhood that his mom and aunts made the dough from scratch.

IMG_2906

An embarrassment to Danes everywhere, we used the Pillsbury dough and we even bastardized it by including a hot dog. Yum!

IMG_2908IMG_2909

What's a Danish get together without beverages? On offering, schnapps (snaps in Danish) and black licorice (sort lakrids.) I can recommend neither, though I'm sure the Danes will say, "More for us!"

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Archives