Archive for April, 2009

A new beginning

Posted in photography, Photos, Poetry, Thoughts on April 30, 2009 by maryrestaino

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Every day is a new beginning

A chance to start over

Leave yesterday’s frustrations behind

Find a new path

To reach your dream destination

Estonia postcard

Posted in blogging, Personal, Photos on April 29, 2009 by maryrestaino

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Estonia is a small country in Eastern Europe. On this postcard is a picture of a girl in Estonian national clothes. To send and receive postcards, visit http://www.postcrossing.com/

Human hair used to clean up oil spill

Posted in news, Thoughts, writing on April 29, 2009 by maryrestaino

A group of volunteers is cleaning oil from San Francisco’s beaches using an unconventional and totally organic method: human hair and mushrooms.

Mats made of human hair are being used by the volunteers to absorb droplets of oil that washed ashore because a cargo ship rammed the base of a Bay Bridge tower last week, spilling 58,000 gallons of fuel.

Hair, which naturally absorbs oil from air and water, acts as a perfect sponge, said Lisa Gautier of San Francisco, who provided 1,000 hair mats. They are about the size of a doormat, tightly woven with dark hair, and feel somewhat like an S.O.S pad.

Once the mats are soaked with black gunk, oyster mushrooms are placed on them, growing on the mats and absorbing the oil.

Gautier said the mushrooms will absorb the oil within 12 weeks, turning the hair mats into nontoxic compost.

And I’ve been throwing out the hair that collects on my brush.

Cool postcards

Posted in blogging, Family, Personal, Photos, Travel on April 28, 2009 by maryrestaino

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This is a picture of a reindeer from Finland. I belong to a postcard exchange club and received this yesterday. Visit http://www.postcrossing.com/ to send and receive postcards from all over the world.

Tips for keeping your teeth healthy

Posted in Family, Personal on April 26, 2009 by maryrestaino

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Our teeth are very important to our well being. Tooth decay (cavities and dental caries) and gum disease are caused by colonies of bacteria that constantly coat the teeth with a sticky film called plaque. Taking care of your teeth helps to prevent plaque from forming on your teeth. If plaque is not brushed away, these bacteria break down the sugars and starches in foods to produce acids that wear away the tooth enamel. The plaque also hardens into tartar, which can lead to gum inflammation, or gingivitis. Follow these tips to keep your teeth healthy for your lifetime:

  • 1. Very important: Brush at least twice a day, and as soon after eating as possible – even after snacking. It was only 100 years ago that toothpaste was invented. Brushing correctly breaks down that sticky plaque.

 

  • 2. Brush all of your teeth, not just the front ones. Spend some time on the teeth along the sides and in the back. Brush away from your gums.

 

  • 3. Spend at least 3 minutes each time you brush. If you have trouble keeping track of the time, use a timer or play a recording of a song you like to help pass the time.

 

  • 4. Be sure your toothbrush has soft bristles (the package will tell you if they’re soft). Replace your toothbrush at least every three months. Some toothbrushes come with bristles that change color when it’s time to change them.

 

  • 5. Learn how to floss your teeth, which is a very important way to keep them healthy. It’s a little awkward at first but soon you’ll be an expert. Slip the dental floss between each tooth and up along the gum line. The floss gets rid of food that’s hidden where your toothbrush can’t get it, no matter how well you brush.

 

  • 6. Visit your dentist twice a year. A visit to the dentist will help you keep your teeth clean and prevent potential problems.

 

  • 7. Brush your tongue or use a tongue scraper. Why do a great job on your teeth only to have them come in immediate contact with the microbes living on the surface of your tongue? An added plus, your breath will be a lot better!

It’s not just brushing, flossing and visiting the dentist that keep your teeth healthy – you also need to be careful about what you eat and drink. Vitamin C has long been known as important for healthy gums and a good colloidal mineral supplement will provide the calcium and phosphorus your teeth need. 

 More teeth are lost through gum disease than through tooth decay. Gum disease is likely to hit anyone who neglects oral hygiene or eats poorly. Your strong autoimmune system is one of your best defenses against poor oral health and GOOD food is your best source of essential vitamins and minerals. Remember, the plaque on your teeth is just waiting for that sugar to arrive. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables and drink water instead of soda. And don’t forget to smile!

Caffeine, are you addicted?

Posted in blogging, Personal on April 25, 2009 by maryrestaino

Today, I’m skipping my daily cup of coffee.

Yesterday, I didn’t get a chance to have my usual cup in the morning. I felt somewhat lightheaded and even had a headache. I wasn’t aware that my body had become so used to having one or two cups a day.

It seems I’m not alone in my love of caffeine. With a coffee shop on almost every corner, it’s no surprise that one study showed that more Americans of all ages are getting a caffeine buzz, with nearly 90% of adults and 76% of children getting caffeinated on a daily basis. In fact, humans have been using caffeine since the Stone Age.

An 8 oz cup of brewed coffee has about 135 mg of caffeine, an 8 oz cup of caffeinated tea has about 50 mg of caffeine, a 12 oz glass of Coca-Cola has about 34.5 mg of caffeine, and a 12 oz Diet Coke has 46.5 mg of caffeine.

Scientists say many Americans may not be aware of the amount of caffeine they’re drinking because manufacturers are only required to list caffeine as an ingredient on the food or drink label. The Nutrition Facts label does not specify the amount of caffeine in the product.

Coffee and caffeine consumption appears to have some health benefits. Coffee beans contain disease-ravaging antioxidants, called quinines, which become more potent after roasting. According to an American Chemical Society news release, coffee is the leading source of antioxidants in American diets, just because we drink so much of it.

This type of antioxidant, along with the magnesium found naturally in coffee, affect blood sugar levels and are thought to be responsible for the link to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

Coffee also contains trigonelline, an antibacterial compound that not only gives it a wonderful aroma but may be a factor in preventing dental cavities.

Researchers are also quick to point out that caffeine is a drug, and can be abused if you use it in place of a good night’s rest or a healthy diet.

Everyone’s tolerance for coffee is different. Most people can tolerate two cups of coffee each day with no problem. But more than that may cause nervousness, rapid heartbeat, palpitations, sleeplessness, and irritability. It can even lead to health problems such as osteoporosis or high blood pressure. If you skip your usual morning cup, you can experience a caffeine withdrawal headache.

Like most things, enjoy your coffee, but in moderation.

The journey

Posted in Poetry, Thoughts on April 25, 2009 by maryrestaino

On my journey

I’ve reached a fork in the road

To turn left or right

I am not worried

If I listen to my heart and soul

I’ll end up where I’m supposed to be

And arrive there on time