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Know & Grow Monthly Magazine
"You gain strength, experience and confidence by
every experience where you really stop to look fear in the face.
You must do the thing you cannot do. "
~ Eleanor Roosevelt ... Daily Inspirational Quotes

October 30, 2006


"Since I Laid My Burdens Down"
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From the Inside Out...
A Basket of

Yes You Can!...
Rethink Your
Dog's Vaccinations

Far Horizons...
Phang Nga Bay

Untangling the Web

What a Site and
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In the Spotlight...
How to Live
One Hundred Years

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In Native American culture, Burden Baskets are hung at the entrance to ones lodge or house. It is believed that hanging a burden basket on the outside, or inside of a door you enter most, reminds you and your guests to place worries and burdens in the basket, so they are not carried into the home. When the basket is full, it will tip, causing all the burdens to fall out and transform to good with the elements of the Earth. The baskets are a symbol of pride for Native American people, because they are among the most beautiful types of artistic basketry in the world.

~ Chelle Thompson, Editor


From the Inside OutInspiration Line - 1930 'sApache Woven Burden Basket

Some years ago a group of conventioneers gathered at a ski resort to conduct their annual meeting. Hundreds of conventioneers came from every part of the country. Young and old, rich and poor, and in all shapes and sizes. They shared common interests, though their backgrounds and careers were quite varied.

Twenty of the conventioneers were put up at a large bed and breakfast near the outskirts of town. After a few days, the guests became better acquainted, friendships developed, and a camaraderie was felt within the group. But one night the stories around the fireplace took a different twist. The conversation turned serious when Mike, a young man in his 20's, confessed that he had just been diagnosed with cancer. While it was treatable and he stood an excellent chance of being cured, he was nonetheless distraught. A middle aged couple, Tom and Cheryl, offered their support and understanding. They had just been informed that their child needed a kidney transplant. The news had been emotionally devastating to the family. A woman tearfully explained how she had recently lost her husband to a car accident. Another person told that he had just lost his job and was at wit's end. The evening turned gut wrenching as others began to describe horrible aspects of their "normal" lives or lives of their loved ones. From depression and drug addiction, to eating disorders and relationship problems — no one seemed immune from some sort of hardship.

Finally, an elderly gentleman — a man who was at the convention by himself and only known to the group as Mr. Hayes, interjected himself into the conversation. Mr. Hayes had a distinguished look about him, and while no one knew exactly where he came from, he spoke with a gentle voice that engendered confidence and assuredness. During the past days, he had smiled and laughed, evidently enjoying the company, but he had not said very much. People just looked at him and thought he was a "nice old man." After listening to everyone's concerns and problems, Mr. Hayes looked over at the hostess and asked her if she could get a paper and pen for everyone in the room. She returned in a minute, complying with the unusual request. "Do me a favor," Mr. Hayes asked. "We're going to try something and I need your cooperation. On the small piece of paper please write down the 3 biggest problems or burdens you are facing in your personal life right now. Don't sign your name. We'll keep it confidential."

When everyone was done writing down their problems, Mr. Hayes asked everyone to fold their paper and place it in a small basket that was placed in front of the fireplace. There were curious looks throughout the room, but again, everyone cooperated, wondering what would happen next. Mr. Hayes shook the basket and held it above everyone's head as he walked around the room and asked each person to pick a paper from the basket. After he was done, he sat back down and looked around the room. "Friends, open the paper and just read to yourself the problems that you chose," Mr. Hayes explained. "And please, be as honest as you can." Then, Mr. Hayes glanced at the woman sitting on his left and asked, "Lisa, would you like to trade your burdens that you wrote down with those that you chose from the basket?" Lisa quickly replied,"No!"

Next, Mr. Hayes asked the man sitting next to Lisa the same question. "Would you like to trade the problems you wrote down for those that you chose from the basket?" Again the reply was "No." Mr. Hayes went around the entire room. Everyone had a chance to respond. Remarkably, the answers were all the same — no, no, no, no, no... Comments ranged from "I can deal with my own problems, but I can't deal with what I chose out of the basket," to "Wow — these make my problems look like nothing. Forget this."

Mr. Hayes settled back in his cushioned rocking chair and asked, "Do your problems seem so difficult now when you see what others must endure? Most of you wish you were in someone else's shoes, and yet, when you get a chance to trade your problems for theirs, none of you are willing. "Don't you see? Tonight you've learned, by your own admissions, that despite the hardships you face, and despite the worries that grind away at you and cause you to lose sleep at night — despite all that — you've come to appreciate and understand the simple fact that the problems you face are nothing compared to what others must deal with. In light of everyone else's problems, your own problems seem manageable. If nothing else, that's something to be grateful for. Sure, we like to complain. It's our nature and it's also therapeutic to express ourselves and get our frustrations off our chests. There is nothing wrong with that, and in fact, it can be a healthy thing to do. It helps us sort things out. And heaven knows, we can always find something to complain about."

The group found themselves mesmerized with Mr. Hayes' comments, with several people shaking their heads in agreement, as if something amazing had just dawned on them. "But friends," he said, "the burdens that have been placed upon us are there for a reason. Because without our problems, we would not search for answers. And if we led our lives without searching for answers, we would never become better, or stronger, or more understanding. Sometimes it takes a serious problem to wake us up to what's really important in life. As an example, you'll find that many of the answers you're looking for can be found by helping others facing similar problems, and that act of service is what's really important. You see, the key to your enrichment, to your happiness and peace, is to take the problems you have and look at them as a chance to find an answer. Learn your lessons well, and then to take those lessons and answers and use them to become a better person — for yourself and for others. I'm not saying you have to like the challenges you face. No one does. But you can look at those challenges as an opportunity to do some good.

"Now with that in mind, remember this... Some people let the world and the problems they face dictate what they think and how they live their lives. And yes, some people just love to wallow in misery. But if the truth be known, it should and can be the opposite. You have the power within you to change your world and put your problems behind you as you move forward. Ironically, the power to do that comes from the very things you see as problems and setbacks. That's what most people don't understand. For every setback you experience there is an equal or greater blessing that accompanies it. You may not realize this, but your struggles are allowing you become a better person each and every day. You just have to open your eyes and see it. The blessings that come from your struggles are sometimes hidden and many times you have to look long and hard. But by finding them in due course, and by counting those blessings, you will discover a secret of the ages, an undeniable truth, which seems to have escaped most of humanity. That secret is very simple: The more you count your blessings, the more blessings are bestowed upon you. If you don't believe me, just try it and see what happens."

The group was spellbound, just staring at Mr. Hayes, reflecting upon his words, his sincerity and conviction. His comforting knowledge seemed to vanquish the stresses and worries which had infected the earlier conversation. Mr. Hayes took his last sip of hot chocolate and excused himself to retire to his room. Those present continued to discuss what they had learned, and by the end of the evening, all had concurred that Mr. Hayes had hit on something. Each person was able to discuss a problem they had which could be turned into a blessing.

The young man who was diagnosed with cancer was determined to use his experience to educate others on the importance of early detection. The couple with a son who needed a kidney transplant dedicated themselves to join the campaign to encourage others to sign donor cards. The woman who had lost her husband decided to carry on his memory by volunteering to pick up where her husband had left off in his community work. The man who had lost his job, told himself that he would use this opportunity to do what he had always wanted to do — write a book that he had been thinking about for years. Rather than dwelling on their problems, everyone had learned to use their problems as a stepping stone toward bettering themselves and helping others. Rather than getting wrapped up in self-pity, the experience of confronting their problems and seeking answers proved to be a valuable lesson indeed. Someone commented, "Now I finally realize what looking at the glass as half full means."

The next morning at breakfast, the hostess reported to the group that Mr. Hayes' room was empty and that he must have left very early. During subsequent conventions though, the friends often reminisced about their gathering at the secluded mountain resort and of their fond memories of the fireplace conversations and the time their problems ended up in a basket.

~Author Unknown
Photo: 1930's Apache Woven Burden Basket

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s You Can!


The year was 1978. Dogs were becoming more popular as pets, indeed as members of the family. Suddenly, an epidemic of disease struck those furry family members. For no apparent reason, dogs would lose their appetites, start vomiting, and then develop bad, bloody diarrhea. Within a couple of days, they would die a painful death. Sometimes the most aggressive care could not save them.

What was this horrible epidemic? It was an outbreak of the viral disease, parvoviral enteritis, commonly known as “parvo.” Thousands of dogs died during this epidemic.

Then a vaccine was developed against the virus. It was an effective vaccine, and remains so to this day. People lined up to get their dogs vaccinated. One veterinarian who worked those frantic days and months told me that people lined up in their cars just to get their dogs vaccinated, almost as people lined up to buy gas during the gas shortage of the same era. The vaccine saved countless canine lives.

Although not as dramatic, vaccines for other diseases such as canine distemper virus and rabies have proven just as effective. The rabies vaccination is especially important because the disease can be transmitted to humans, and once symptoms occur, the disease is invariably fatal in humans and animals. So, vaccines are good. But can too much of a good thing be bad?

Rethinking the yearly vaccination

There is developing evidence that as dogs age, vaccines every year are not necessary and, in rare cases, can have harmful side effects. This is a major change in thinking; as a young teen, I was programmed to believe that my dog needed her yearly vaccines. In fact, when I graduated from veterinary school in 1997, we were still taught that yearly vaccines were required. The vaccine protocols developed during the parvo outbreak worked.

However, those protocols were developed based on vaccines that were tested to prove they provided an immunity that lasted at least one year. The actual duration of immunity was not tested at that time. In other words, it was possible the immunity produced by the vaccines lasted longer than one year, but exactly how long the immunity actually lasted was not known. Therefore, the vaccines were labeled for yearly re-administration, and the yearly vaccine protocol was born.

In the last ten years or so, side effects to vaccines, although rare, were becoming more well-known -- for instance, some cats developed tumors at vaccine sites. There is suspicion that some serious diseases, such as immune-mediated hemolytic anemia, could be a consequence of vaccination, although this has not yet been definitively proven.

There is also growing evidence that some vaccines do not need to be administered every year. This is a major shift in thinking, however, and there has been some resistance to this line of thought. Pet owners fear a recurrence of epidemics such as the parvo outbreak of 1978. Individual veterinarians worry that they may be liable if they recommend that an owner not vaccinate a pet and the pet then develops parvo or one of the other diseases for which vaccines are available. There are no easy answers to these understandable concerns.

However, as duration of immunity studies are now being released, we are seeing a gradual shift in the recommendations being made. The American Animal Hospital Association and the American Association of Feline Practitioners have released new vaccine guidelines, and all the veterinary colleges in the United States have developed protocols that potentially extend the interval between vaccines for adult animals. These protocols have been developed in keeping with the guidelines of the Academy of Feline Medicine Advisory Panel on Feline Vaccines, the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents, the American College of Internal Medicine, and the veterinary teaching hospitals of North American veterinary colleges. A main feature of these recommendations is vaccination as one component of a comprehensive, individualized health care plan for each pet.

Establishing the right vaccine schedule for your dog

A core principle of the newer vaccines guidelines involves you and your veterinarian working together to assess your individual dog’s risk for the specific disease in question and developing the protocol that is best for your individual pet. Age, breed, geographic location, health status, underlying health conditions, and travel plans are all factors you must consider when deciding which vaccines to administer to your dog. It is no longer ‘one size fits all.’ A hunting dog or show dog may have a different protocol than the ‘couch potato’ dog.

Of course, the rabies vaccine must always be given to your pet on the schedule defined by your state’s laws.

Additionally, it is still critically important that puppies (and kittens) receive their appropriate vaccine series. Puppies’ immune systems are immature, and they must be re-vaccinated according to your veterinarian’s recommendations for proper immunity to develop. Unfortunately, parvo is still all too common; we generally see three to five cases a week and sometimes more in our small ER. It breaks our hearts to see puppies dying from parvo, especially when proper vaccination is effective in preventing the disease in puppies.

The bottom line regarding changes in vaccination protocol for the average dog owner is this: get your puppy vaccinated on schedule according to the recommendations made by your veterinarian. Missing a vaccine booster or getting it late can mean death or severe illness for your dog. Get your dog booster shots one year after the puppy vaccines. Then work with your veterinarian to develop a vaccine schedule that works for you, your vet, and your dog, and reassess that schedule at each yearly exam.

~Dr. Susan Barrett is a graduate of The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
She now practices emergency medicine in Columbus, Ohio, and blogs about life
in an animal ER at: http://PetPeeves6003.spaces.live.com


Far Horizons


Phang Nga Bay, Thailand

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Picture sheer limestone cliffs ringing a Thai bay, while unlikely karst towers carved into extraordinary shapes rise up from the azure waters. Now picture yourself in a kayak, paddling into these towers. Just over 60 miles (95 km) from the fabled island of Phuket, the area around Phang Nga Bay is startlingly beautiful. It's also ideal for kayaking. Canoes can enter narrow crevices inaccessible to larger boats, sometimes passing beneath overhangs so low that the canoeist has to lie flat to enter. Once within one of the many sea caves or hidden bowls scattered throughout the bay, absolute silence reigns, save for water dripping from a nearby stalactite. The caves often open into large hidden bowls, inaccessible from above, which fill with sunlight during daytime hours and are home to an extraordinary range of flora and fauna. Sea canoes are ideal for such explorations, as they too are absolutely quiet, gliding through one hidden cave after another, the sound broken only by the occasional splash from a paddle. Phang Nga Bay is a 400 km² bay in the Andaman Sea between the island of Phuket and mainland of the Malay peninsula of southern Thailand. Since 1981 a big part of the bay has been protected by the Ao Phang Nga National Park. The most famous of the many islands in the bay is the so-called 'James Bond Island,' a needle formed limestone rock in the sea, which was featured in the movie The Man with the Golden Gun.

James Bond Island - Phang Nga Bay

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"The Fatigue Be Gone! Jumpstart e-Guide"

80% of American women will suffer from Adrenal Fatigue at some point in their lives — 20% claim to have fatigue intense enough to interfere with their having a normal life. I spent years going in and out of fatigue under the guises of "getting older, engagement stress, holiday fatigue, menopause, had stayed up to late or gotten up too early ..." It got so bad that I couldn't ignore it anymore, so I started researching and this turned into The Fatigue Be Gone! Jumpstart e-Guide. ~ Author Viveca Stone-Berry — Contact by phone: (540) 207-1889

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Redecorating Windows
Themes are complete redecoration packages for your desktop. A typical theme will contain a coordinating screen saver, icons, fonts, colors, window borders, cursors, and sometimes even sounds. Do you know how to set up those basic packages ... and how to modify them or even create your own?

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In the Spotlight

Dr. James Martin Peebles appears before Octogenarian and Centenarian Clubs in California on the occasion of his 98th Birthday. His talk in part was as follows:

I am safely embarked at the present time on my ninety-ninth yearly voyage across the tempestuous ocean of human life. Often I am asked, "How have you lived so long in this struggling and tiresome world?" Negatively, I have not lived in ease and idleness, nor have I lived to sensually fatten on human flesh, animal foods, or various stimulants. "But what are the general causes of your nearing a century of years?"

Many are the reasons. In the first place I was born of healthy yet poor parents in the pure, bracing air of mountainous Vermont. Becoming, in middle life, a practicing physician, I feel to deliberately say that, breathing being the first thing in life and the last thing at death. It is natural and necessary that we breathe pure air by day and also by night. The next reason is light; light is an inspiring and vitalizing force, and sunshine is ever a strong and powerful invigorator.

Be as wise as the birds and flocks in the field — retiring early at night and rising with the morning sun — is sound common sense. Dress loosely; to firmly compress any portion of human organization causes illness or gradual suicide. White is much healthier clothing than black. Let the hat or bonnet rest lightly upon the head. Multitudes in the East go with bared heads; they are never bald. Sandals are healthier than shoes. Eating animal flesh is both expensive and morally injurious to the higher nature. To state that it gives added strength to the human system is an insult to the desert camel, the elephant, the ox and the faithful horse.

Tobacco being unknown to scholastic Greece or imperial Rome, is an expensive and filthy habit, causing a repulsive stench to the breath and filling the garments and lovely home with distasteful and unhealthy odors. It has not one redeeming quality. Drinking tea and coffee are not among the necessities of human life. Having seen green tea prepared in India, Ceylon and China, I pronounce it a certain nerve and blood poison. All people, in a sense, are artists. Their habits and their secret conduct tinge their facial appearance. Perfumes do not strengthen or sweeten digestion. Paints and powders do not produce facial smiles of beauty.

This astounding twentieth century not only pleadingly invites, but persistently demands seers and sages — demands plain and brave talk, clean habits, righteous purposes, and a rigid practice of all the ennobling, uplifting principles that tend to promote long life, brotherhood and the redemption of a world-wide humanity. Old age in a rightly lived life is rich and golden in meditation. I would sooner be 98 than 48.

Sick of the city's tumult, and the world's selfish strife, I sometimes ask: "Is there no sunny nook in this great Father-Mother universe, where books, birds, flowers and the music of ever-flowing streams tell and sing of quietness and peace? Is there no tropic isle in southern seas, far away from the world's traffics, suspicions, competitions and crushing jealousies, where loving hearts blend like rainbow hue--blend as do the joys of angels and fadeless love of the gods?"

Upon the whole, this is a beautiful world. Five times I have circled it. The incense of Oriental gardens still cling to my garments and the solemn music of the historic Nile still murmurs in my memory. Spices never lose their perfumes. Good thoughts never die. Modern science and psychic research — Heaven's right and left-hand angels — have demonstrated the continuity of life. Death is simply a disguised deliverance, or, like the budding rose, it climbs up on the garden wall to bloom on the other side.

Inspiration is universal. It is over-swept with grandeur all the past ages, and is just as fresh now as in time's earliest morning. Poets, as much as prophets, are illumined with a divine radiance. They think, they write and sing from the very depths of their being. Aged, very aged in years, I am, soon I can say with Tennyson — "I go to prove my soul, I see my way as birds see their trackless way, I shall arrive."

~By Dr. James Martin Peebles, International Lecturer, Prolific Author, Journalist and Physician
A Reprint of the Battle Creek Enquirer & News in Battle Creek, Michigan, June 19, 1920

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Laughing It Off Need an escalator to get to your workout?

The doctor told me I should start an exercise program.
Not wanting to do harm to my body, I've devised the following plan:

Start the ball rolling ... Beat around the bush ... Jump to conclusions

Drag my heels ... Push my luck ... Make mountains out of mole hills

Bend over backwards ... Jump on the band wagon ... Pass the buck ... Run around in circles

Toot my own horn ... Pull out all the stops ... Hit the nail on the head ... Climb the ladder of success

Open up a can of worms ... Add fuel to the fire ... Throw my weight around ... Put my foot in my mouth

Climb the walls
... Go over the edge ... Count my chickens before they hatch ... Swallow my pride ... Eat some crow

Pick up the pieces ... Bow my head in thanks ... Exercise a little caution ... Wade through the Sunday paper

~Contributed by Bob in St. Cloud, Florida
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