Author Archives: ladysusaniris

Cup of Ginger Tea, Anyone?


How effective is the power of positive thinking in health?  Many years ago a Doctor said, “It is when a man has prostate trouble, not if he has it.” Is every man in the world really just a prostate problem waiting to happen? Is there a way to ward off the prostate demon? Cup of ginger tea anyone?

In the Wall Street Journal, July 12, 2011 an article stated “ A study of 700 patients found cold sufferers who get a pill, regardless of what it contains, have less severe symptoms and recover a bit sooner than patients who don’t take pills.  Researchers concluded that there can be a placebo effect with the common cold, particularly in people who believe in a therapy but the effect is limited and not large.”

An anxious patient paid close attention as his doctor, followed by a group of interns, walked to the heart monitor, pointed to the screen and asked the students if they observed the healthy gallumping of his heart? All the students nodded gravely and the class moved en mass to the next room. This very ill man mulled over his healthy gallumping heart and smiled, relaxed and concluded he was not as sick as he thought he was. Healthy was the word that stuck in his head. A healthy heartbeat surely meant he was strong enough to recover. Instead of dying as the doctor fully predicted, the patient recovered and returned home.

So, here is my take away. On more than one health website ginger root is purported to have remarkably positive benefits for men.

It is purported to strengthen and possibly eliminate prostate trouble.

Seems pretty easy to hand my husband a cup of ginger tea every night.  Would his continued health be because of the act of loving concern in a cup of tea, or the ginger in the tea, or the belief the tea will make a difference or yes to all the above? Tonight we drink tea.

This post has the goal of strengthening families

Thanksgiving Letters to Your Children


Thanksgiving is just around the corner. So before the busy time begins, add one more thing to your To Do list:  write a thank you card to your children this year.

Why? To tell them that you are honored, blessed, lucky, and happy to have them as your child. It doesn’t have to be on a card from the store – notebook paper is fine. Even email would work, but a note in your own handwriting makes it more valuable. Almost 18 years after my father’s death, whenever I see his handwriting, it brings back sweet memories of him.

You may think your children know you love them, and that you’re too busy to write the obvious. You may think the card won’t matter. But it may surprise you how your note will impact them.

Everyone enjoys praise. A simple “nice job” or “wow” can improve one’s frame of mind.

In my opinion, power of written affirmation is largely untapped. But don’t take my word for it – give it a try yourself. This year, write a Thanksgiving note to your children to show them how much you love them.

Include at least five things in your note:
1. Tell them you are blessed because they are yours. This will show they belong.
2. Tell them how joining your family changed it for the better. This shows they are one of a kind.
3. Tell them how they thrill you. This shows them you think they are successful.
4. Tell them a dream you have for them. This shows you believe in them.
5. Tell them they will always have your love. This gives them security.

In no way should the letter reprimand, scold, or express disappointment.

When you do this don’t be disappointed if not much is said to you as a thank you. I wrote a Mother’s Day card to my children after they went to great lengths to plan a surprise gift for me. I was touched by their efforts to honor me and I quickly jotted a note to each one.

Unfortunately, my notes didn’t incite the enthusiasm I hoped they would. I thought it would be like receiving a gift card to Manny’s Chophouse, but that wasn’t the case. They read them, but said very little. However, I wrote it as much for myself as for them. I wrote the cards to my children because I wanted the record to show that having them in my life is the one of the best things to ever happen to me. If they choose to save their card, it will be written proof that they are very loved. Even as a grown child and a parent myself I treasure the special notes from my parents.

Remember when I said you may be surprised how it will impact them? I just discovered my oldest daughter carries her Mother’s Day thank you from me in her wallet.

Take the time to write your love note to your children. Do it now before you are too rushed to add it into your holiday season.

Hang It All


With the current emphasis on living green, I want to encourage those who dare to unplug their dryers on September 19th, 2009, take a basket of clothes outside in the sun, and hang their laundry to air dry. I have happy memories of hanging clothes with my mother. I was born in the 50’s. Before my family owned a dryer, I helped hang a basket of clothes on the clothesline many mornings before my school bus came. I was in charge of bath cloths, dishcloths or any thing sufficiently short enough to not drag the ground on the line strung lower just for me. I was a big helper, and I knew it. Some of the dried clothes would be stiff enough to stand up on their own, but they smelled so yummy, full of sunshine and fresh air. Occasionally a windy day would provide my dog with a thrilling game of catch-the-flapping-clothes, which would result in a piece or two of laundry being torn or ruined beyond repair. Rain could either be a welcome second rinse or we might find the clothes beaten off the line, lying on the ground. But mostly we would bring in fresh smelling laundry ready for folding.

Hanging clothes was necessary then and worth it now. Now is the time to become Eco-Chic. On the website, “eco-chic” is defined as a “combination of trendiness and environment.

“It is fashion with a social conscience.”

“Dryers [power consumption] are second only to refrigerators in most households and can consume up to 6% of a home’s total energy cost,” states Christine Woodside in her December 2, 2007 New York Times article. This adds up to hundreds of dollars each year per home. While many factors contribute to the cost per load of operating a dryer (such as the age and efficiency of the dryer, diligent maintenance of lint screen and vent, and removing buildup of softeners on the lint screen, which impede the flow of air) the sunshine is free.

The average amount of sunshine in St. Petersburg, Florida as sited on the website claims an average of 361 days of sunshine a year, for the last 75 years. According to, Central Florida averages 42 minutes of sunshine each hour, and 7-10 hours of sunshine each day from winter to summer. That is enough sunshine for much of our laundry drying needs.

Unplugging the dryer is not just good for our carbon footprint. Hanging our clothes in the sunshine is good for our health. Non-burning sun exposure is the most effective way for the body to make vitamin D. The website states,” Vitamin D sufficiency, along with diet and exercise, has emerged as one of the most important preventive factors in human health. Hundreds of studies now link vitamin D deficiency with significantly higher rates of many forms of cancer‚ as well as heart disease‚ osteoporosis‚ multiple sclerosis and many other conditions and diseases.” This website further states that, “few foods naturally contain or are fortified with supplemental vitamin D. For example, an 8-ounce glass of whole milk is fortified with 100 IU (international units) of vitamin D – just 10 percent of what the most conservative vitamin D researchers now say we need daily. In contrast, sun exposure to the skin makes thousands of units of vitamin D naturally in a relatively short period of time.” According to this council, we all want to spend at least a few non-sun-burning minutes outside each week.

Not all neighborhoods welcome the sight of laundry hanging in the breeze. In fact many neighborhoods have restrictions on the visibility of laundry. In the New York Times article by Christine Woodside in December 2007, “the power of a laundry line to enrage neighbors was documented in a well-known legal case involving a couple in Rye, N.Y. In 1956, Dr. Webster Stover and his wife strung six lines of tattered clothes in their front yard to protest rising property taxes and left them up for five years. By 1961, the city passed a ban on laundry lines in front and side yards, which is still in effect. Dr. Webster paid a fine and went to jail for 11 days; he appealed to the Supreme Court, which refused to hear the case.”

“Some people see clothes hanging in the yard as a sign of poverty”, says Alexander Lee, executive director of Project Laundry List, a group based in Concord, N.H. that advocates the “right to dry” clothes outside. There is a prevailing opinion that hanging laundry is unrefined and detrimental to property values. Most homeowner associations forbid any apparatus for the purpose of hanging clothes. We need a paradigm shift in our thinking. So, I propose that we make September 19th National Hang a Basket of Clothes Day. Convince your neighbors to join you. Hanging clothes outdoors is a responsible, economic and a healthy solution to living in 2009. Be the first in your neighborhood to be eco-chic.