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Give Your Dad a Smile for Father's Day

When you smile and laugh endorphins are released in your body relieving stress, increasing blood flow and boosting your immune system.


     Everyone knows it's better to smile than to frown, but did you know it can be a holistic approach to better health overall as well?  Not only can it improve your mental health but also your physical body by reducing tension and releasing endorphins.  It even increases blood flow for cardiovascular protection.  Laughing makes you feel better and gets you through those tough times.  Smiling and laughing actually boosts your immune system. So smile and laugh your cares away.

Need a reason to smile?

                                     Watch a funny Youtube:

                                              Dentist dad-Wisdom teeth removal
                                              Golfer dad-Fox chasing golfball
                                              Olympic swimmer dad-High diving giraffes
                                              Cat owner dad-Paralyzed cat
                                              Auto repair dad-Changing flat tire


                                     Download a free animated smiley screensaver or funny wallpaper.

                                     Watch a good comedy together on Father's Day.

                                     Buy your dad a good joke book or joke-of-the-day calendar.

                                     Take your dad to a comedy club.

                                     Try some 'laughing yoga' classes.

     So think of something pleasant while working, driving or relaxing and work those smile muscles. The more you practice, the easier it becomes.  You'll find your mood improving along with your zest for life.  Laughing even helps to reduce pain.  Melt away that tension and soon you'll find yourself 
laughing away life's little stressors and feeling better overall.

The act of smiling or laughing relaxes the body and provides many health benefits providing stress relief.



Earthing: Grounding Ourselves to Mother Earth to Improve Our Health

Earthing, the process of grounding oneself by walking barefoot in the grass or on a sandy beach neutralizes free radicals in our bodies and provides many other health benefits.

     So now that you've decided to go with a healthy, organic lawn after reading about the benefits in last week's article, you're ready to learn about the health benefit of grounding oneself.   Stepping on the ground barefoot electrically balances you.   Ever wonder why strolling along a sandy beach seems to energize you.  The same thing happens when you walk barefoot through the grass.  This is also known as 'Earthing'.  So kick off those shoes and let Mother Earth ground you and restore your natural energy and well-being.

     Earthing balances the electrons in your body.  Grounding yourself may also minimize the consequences of disruptive electrical fields known as 'electromagnetic pollution' or 'dirty electricity'.  When you are barefoot, free electrons flow from the surface of the earth throughout your body, extinguishing free radicals along the way.

The earth=a free radical neutralizer=a powerful antioxidant

     Historically, humans went barefoot most of the time.  And when shoes were worn, they were made of natural materials such as animal skins which can conduct electricity.  Shelters and 'homes' were made with dirt floors. It's only in modern times, when synthetic materials were developed, that we are no longer naturally grounded on a regular basis.  Shoes constructed with plastic and rubber soles and synthetic flooring materials such as carpets and linoleums, prevent direct physical contact with the Earth.  This in turn prevents us from reaping the many benefits of nature's electrical balance.  We are not grounded when traveling by airplanes, boats or automobiles either. The only time we are really grounded in these modern times is when we are in the shower or bathtub, and only then, when metal plumbing is used.

     Some studies on the health effects of grounding claim reduced stress, better quality of sleep, reduced inflammation and pain, reduced allergy symptoms, and even improved viscosity of the blood and reduced cortisol levels,  for preventing disease.  You can research these studies for yourself at  Earthing Institute.

     Several variations on grounding oneself during sleep are available.   From a simple, inexpensive anti-static wrist strap to the more expensive conductive grounding sheets and mattress pads. There are also pads to place under your feet during time spent at a computer. All of these are either plugged into a grounded outlet in your home or office or wired to a copper rod placed in the ground.

     Whatever method you might choose, the simplest method is to just go barefoot whenever possible and at no cost to you.  That might be when doing yard work, a fun afternoon at the beach or even exercising while barefoot in the grass.  Grass is  more conductive in the morning because of the dew.  Or just go for a dip in a lake or the ocean to immediately wash away all the negative energy in your body and regain that invigorating sense of balance and harmony with our planet. Even a few minutes to an hour a day is better than never being grounded at all.  Try it for yourself. You might be surprised at how much better you feel.


Turning the Dream of a Perfect Organic Lawn into Reality

The harmless dandelion weed becomes harmful and toxic when chemical weed killers are used to destroy them.

     The perfect lawn.  Every homeowner's dream or shall we say obsession.  Obsessing and stressing over every weed that pops through that thick, lush green carpet of grass, the plot thickens.   What to do next.  Who to call.  What's the next attack?  More fertilizer.  More herbicide. More pesticide. How many people have become brainwashed into thinking they have to maintain the perfect lawn no matter the cost.  What will the neighbor's think? Maybe you should stop worrying about the neighbors and start worrying about yourself and your family.  All those chemical pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides you or the lawn service you've hired, are dumping on your lawn year after year, are creating your very own personal toxic waste dump.  And no, they don't just magically disappear after a few days of working their magic on your lawn.   You're not just disrupting the life cycle of a few beneficial bacteria, and earthworms in the soil, and killing off a few more beneficial insects and birds.  As we are now sadly finding out, yourself, your children and your pets are being harmed as well.  And for what?  To out perform the neighbors. Instead of creating a toxic waste dump, why not turn your backyard into your own little paradise.  Stop spraying and start relaxing.

     What's the solution to toxic lawns?  Is there a solution?  Of course there is.  There's enough pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers being used in commercial agriculture already. There's no reason to use them in your yard or gardens.  Don't have the inclination or motivation to pull weeds out yourself?  There's a multitude of organic products on the market for maintaining your lawn, as well as flower gardens and vegetable gardens.  There are even lawn care companies going 'green'.  You just have to actively seek them out.  They may cost slightly more, but is your families health worth it?  Read on to find out.  You'll actually save money over time, because an organic lawn requires less treatments to maintain it.

     Glyphosate, Monsanto's Roundup, is used on their genetically-modified corn, soy, canola, and cotton crops.  It is also sprayed in parks and roadways, as well as used by many home gardeners. Glyphosate has now been linked to birth defects, neurological disorders, fertility issues, cancer, and now even possibly Parkinson's disease.  Pretty nasty for a product once touted as harmless as well as stating it quickly dissipates in the environment.  Many consumers fell for these lies without investigating for themselves.

     Atrazine is commonly used on corn in the Midwest.  It has now found it's way to many rivers and and drinking water sources.  Exposure to atrazine has been linked to an increase of birth defects, infertility, and possibly cancer as it is a known endocrine disrupter.  Manufactured by Syngenta, it is banned in Europe. Even Switzerland, home of the manufacturer, has banned its use. Yet, it is found in many brands of weed killers in the U.S.  Check out this full color, online booklet concerning atrazine.  Pass the butter and salt for my corn on the cob please.

     Chlorpyrifos, developed in the 1960's by Dow Chemical, has been widely used for home gardeners for many years.  Nowadays, it is also applied to almonds, oranges, apples, corn and cotton crops.  Even low-dose exposures of chlorpyrifos can cause headaches, fatigue, nausea, and blurred vision.  Some people have even suffered respiratory paralysis. Children have an increased risk of being born with lower IQ's as well as more potential for developing ADHD.

     Metolachlor is recognized by the EPA as cancer causing.  Side effects include breathing difficulties, nausea, jaundice and convulsions.  Widely used on crops, do we need more chemicals in our backyards?

     Metam sodium is often applied to potatoes in high concentrations as a fumigant and pesticide. The risks include nausea, breathing difficulties, thyroid damage and birth defects.  It's really easy to plant a crop of seed potatoes in your own yard that will last the whole year.  And you don't need any chemicals just an occasional  watering.  Oh, and this time could you please pass the sour cream along with the butter and salt for my baked potato.

     A fully organic lawn is the healthiest lawn both for the lawn itself and the surrounding environment.  When basic requirements are met, organisms work symbiotically to produce a healthy lawn.  Chemicals destroy this symbiotic relationship, requiring more and more chemicals each year to overcome the harmful effects.   Clippings should not be removed after cutting the lawn.  They provide a great source of nitrogen.  Fully organic lawns never need thatching.  Earthworms, beneficial microbes and insects eat the thatch producing healthy fertilizer.  Over-seeding the lawn with slow growing varieties of grass seed helps to crowd out weeds, as well as allowing more time between cuttings.  Grass blades should be left at a height of three inches to shade weeds and prevent growth.  Lawns only need about one inch of water per week.  Morning watering is best to prevent evaporation.  This also allows the lawn to dry out before nightfall when over saturation can cause disease and root rot.  And frequent daily watering causes roots to become lazy.  Occasional, deep watering encourages deep root growth.  You want the roots to grow long and deep into the soil for strength.  They are forced to do this when they have to seek out moisture.  Aeration every other year prevents compaction in the lawn.  A machine is used to pull finger-sized plugs from the lawn allowing water, nutrients, and air to reach the soil and roots.  And remember, a healthy lawn doesn't happen overnight.  It may take more than one season.
     You can do your own composting for a small yard for the best fertilizer.  You'll have to use the old fashioned wheelbarrow and pitchfork method to spread it.  Or just buy an organic granulated fertilizer for use with a spreader.  Blood meal makes an excellent non-toxic lawn fertilizer and can be found online for less than one dollar per pound.  Not only will your lawn look great, but blood meal will chase away critters from your flower and vegetable gardens.  Another great 100% organic fertilizer is, don't laugh, Chickity Doo Doo.  It is made from the waste of poultry laying hens and contains 9% calcium, another important ingredient for lawns and other plants.  If you can't find it locally, the best price I've found is on Amazon, at about one dollar per pound including shipping.  It is available in pellet form for flower and vegetable gardens or granulated for lawns.

     Skip the weed-and-feed and just incorporate organic fertilizer into your lawn maintenance program along with some chelated iron organic weed killer for your lawn.  It is safe and natural and kills a broad range of weeds.  If you can't find it locally several different brands are available online at Amazon.com including Whitney Farm's, Scott's organic brand and Ortho Elementals. Garden's Alive sells all organic products for your lawns and gardens.  Iron X is their chelated iron weed killer.

      Many organic pesticides are available for lawns as well.  If your lawn has been neglected, you may need to de-thatch it.  Mosts pests and fungi thrive in this dead layer of materials lying the surface of the soil.  When the layer of thatch exceeds one inch, it is recommended to remove it. Once your lawn is properly maintained, de-thatching becomes unnecessary.  Soil organisms will naturally biodegrade the thatch.  Compost or even a layer of soil spread over the lawn helps to break down the thatch layer as well. Too frequent watering is one of the greatest causes of lawn pests.  Most can't survive under dry conditions, so overwatering and maintaining a moist environment invites them to breed.  Grubs aren't considered a problem unless there are more than ten per square foot.  If you already have an infestation you will have to look into organic pesticides such as beneficial nematodes, milky spore, neem oil, insecticidal soaps, or diatomaceous earth to get them under control.  Japanese beetles can be slowed down with traps.

     Chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers are now so widely used they are found in the air we breathe and the water we drink. Complete avoidance is next to impossible, but reducing our exposure reduces our risk of the many damaging health effects being discovered daily. Even after 50 years of studies on various herbicides and pesticides, we are often left with conflicting reports. So why take a chance and add to the problem.  Why not make your yard a place where you and your family can relax and not worry about walking barefoot in the grass or garden. By the way, I'll be discussing the many health benefits of going barefoot in the yard or when gardening in an upcoming article.  So get prepared and stop spreading those toxic chemicals in what should be your own private backyard paradise.