Page 1

december 2013 complimentary issue

www.infinitieplus.com

x

x

Also in this issue:

Page x

Page x

x

x

x x

www.infinitieplus.com

x

x

and more


2

december 2013

i n f i nitieplus

www.infinitieplus.com


Letter from the Publishers

T

oday, it is said that corporations or organization are “people too.” The underlying assumptions for the extended definition of group of humans and their activities beyond the realm of mere populace or a nation are issues of etymological reappraisal. x

The Publishers welcome input from the public. You may write or email your comments to comments@infinitieplus.com.

The magazine for living life beyond... PLUS ONE. OUR MISSION

To enrich the localglobal community with the “just in time” knowledge to assure future life successes.

OUR VISION

To become an information oracle of functional and constructive reports that serve the needs of all people.

Publishers/Editors Robert Fadojutimi Joycelyne Fadojutimi

Creative Director and Design Therese Shearer Contributing Writers Kelly Bell Adam Holland Photo Editing Laura Christian Administrative Assistant Kendall Bryant Distribution Teddy Larose Rachel Larose

517 Mobberly Avenue | Longview, Texas 75602 | 903.236.0406 | www.infinitieplus.com For advertising, contact Joycelyne Fadojutimi at 903.236.0406 or jfadr@infinitieplus.com. Submission Deadline: The first of the month prior to month of issue.

www.infinitieplus.com

infinitieplus magazine is not responsible for any discrepancies or changes since the publishing of this issue. At the time of publication, to the best of our knowledge, all information was accurate though not guaranteed. The entire contents of infinitieplus magazine are copyrighted 2013. Any reproduction or use in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. infinitieplus reserves the right to edit and make appropriate modifications. The opinions published by contributing writers do not necessarily reflect the views of infinitieplus or its advertisers.

infinitie plus

december 2013

3


december 2013

Volume 2 | Number 12

6-9

x

Get a Leg Up on Varicose Veins.............................. 6-9 x....................................................................................... x x....................................................................................... x Three Tasks for Three Days.....................................18-20 Oh, Christmas Tree!..................................................... 21 Prolong your Life with the True Meaning of Christmas.................................. 22, 23 A Letter to Santa................................................... 24, 25 12 Myths Debunked for Christmas...................... 26, 27 Finding Holiday Joy..................................................... 28 Just for Chuckles......................................................... 30 Mental Muscle............................................................. 30

15-17 22, 23

24, 25

from the cover x

28

Visit our exclusive online photo gallery to view and download these photos and many more.

www.facebook.com/IPMagazine2

www.

i n f i n i t i ep l u s . c o m


Body, Mind and Soul

Get a leg up on

varicose veins Not just cosmetic:

Varicose veins can be painful and unhealthy.

6

december 2013

i n f i nitieplus

www.infinitieplus.com


S

By Joycelyne Fadojutimi jfadr@infinitieplus.com

ufferers of varicose veins display swollen, "ropelike" blood vessels that protrude above the surface of their flesh. The physical appearance may not include discoloration, but when it does, the vessels are blue or purple, and can look like a miniature cluster of grapes. Although they can appear anywhere from ankle to groin, they are typically on the insides of the legs or the backs of the calves. Board Certified Interventional Cardiologist Dr. Jonathan Greifenkamp of Longview Regional Medical Center's (LRMC) Vein Center describes varicose veins as an unfortunately common condition afflicting literally millions of Americans. Women are especially susceptible, although 15% to 20% of men also develop the condition. A full half of all persons aged 50 and older will be affected. Varicose veins develop because veins in the legs must

www.infinitieplus.com

work against gravity in order to recirculate blood to the heart. As people age, their veins lose elasticity, forcing them to stretch. Valves in the vessels prevent blood from flowing backward. When these valves weaken with age, deoxygenated, blue blood, unable to reach the lungs and take on oxygen, can flow backward and pool in the legs, causing the varicose condition. Although anyone can be affected by this condition, it is most common in older women and in male construction workers. Younger, pregnant women are also at risk because pregnancy increases their bodies' volume of blood, but decreases the flow of blood to the legs and pelvis because blood is diverted to the growing fetus. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also make expectant women more vulnerable. Pregnancy-induced varicose veins generally clear up on their own within three months after childbirth. Hormonal changes brought on by premenstruation and menopause can also bring on the problem. Also, certain female hormones can cause vein walls to relax. Hormone replacement therapy and the taking of birth control pills may also increase the chances of developing varicose veins.

infinitie plus

december 2013

7


Body, Mind and Soul Persons with a history of the illness and those who are overweight are also at risk, as are those who spend long periods either standing or sitting. Patients of deep venous thrombosis are also frequent sufferers of the problem. Because it causes long-term fluid buildup, varicose veins often result in deep and very painful ulcers, usually presaged by a discolored spot on the flesh. Such ulcers should receive medical attention immediately. Thrombophlebitis (blood clots) are another side effect of varicose veins, and can cause the entire leg to swell. This is a serious development requiring urgent professional treatment. Besides swelling, discoloration and ulcers, other symptoms include aching pain, burning sensations, legs which tire easily, heaviness in the legs, rash, itching and numbness. Fortunately, East Texans with this debilitating malady have excellent treatment options. Dr. Greifenkamp is the only board certified interventional cardiologist in the region who specializes in vein

care and performs the procedure of venous ablation. LRMC CEO Jim Kendrick has complete confidence in the doctor's ability. "When a patient seeks out a physician to treat them for venous disease they can be confident that Dr. Greifenkamp is dedicated to the delivery of the highest quality of vein care," said Kendrick. "We are very fortunate to have him here in our Center." Like its approach to all fields of medicine, LRMC aims to restore their varicose vein patients to a hearty, pain-free state in which their legs look and feel healthy. "Varicose veins are a very common problem," said Greifenkamp. "More people lose more work time over vein disorders than from artery disease. There are many options available for treatment that leaves the patient with less pain, less bruising and faster recovery time. Everything we do is conducted here at the Vein Center of Longview Regional, and no general anes-

Varicose and Spider Vein FAQs Q: What are varicose veins and spider veins? A: Varicose (VAR-i-kos) veins are enlarged veins that can be blue, red, or flesh-colored. They often look like cords and appear twisted and bulging. They can be swollen and raised above the surface of the skin. Varicose veins are often found on the thighs, backs of the calves, or the inside of the leg. During pregnancy, varicose veins can form around the vagina and buttocks. Spider veins are like varicose veins but smaller. They also are closer to the surface of the skin than varicose veins. Often, they are red or blue. They can look like tree branches or spiderwebs with their short, jagged lines. They can be found on the legs and face and can cover either a very small or very large area of skin. Q: What causes varicose veins and spider veins? A: Varicose veins can be caused by weak or damaged valves in the veins. The heart pumps blood filled with oxygen and nutrients to the whole body through the arteries. Veins then carry the blood from the body back to the heart. As your leg muscles squeeze, they push blood back to the heart from your lower body against the flow of gravity. Veins have valves that act as oneway flaps to prevent blood from flowing backwards as it moves up your legs. If the valves become weak, blood can leak back into the veins and collect there. (This problem is called venous insufficiency.) When backed-up blood makes the veins bigger, they can become varicose. Spider veins can be caused by the backup of blood. They can also be caused by hormone changes, exposure to the sun, and injuries. Q: How common are abnormal leg veins? A: About 50 to 55 percent of women and 40 to 45 percent of men in the United States suffer from some type of vein problem. Varicose veins affect half of people 50 years and older. Q: What factors increase my risk of varicose veins and spider veins? A: Many factors increase a person's chances of developing varicose or spider veins. These include: • Increasing age. As you get older, the valves in your veins may weaken and not work as well. • Medical history. Being born with weak vein valves increases your risk. Having family members with vein problems also increases your risk. About half of all people who have varicose veins have a family member who has them. • Hormonal changes. These occur during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. Taking birth control pills and other medicines containing estrogen and progesterone also may contribute to the forming of varicose or spider veins. • Pregnancy. During pregnancy, there is a huge increase in the amount of blood in the body. This can cause veins to enlarge. The growing uterus also puts pressure on the veins. Varicose veins usually improve within three months after delivery. More varicose veins and spider veins usually appear with each additional pregnancy. 8

december 2013

i n f i nitieplus

• Obesity. Being overweight or obese can put extra pressure on your veins. This can lead to varicose veins. • Lack of movement. Sitting or standing for a long time may force your veins to work harder to pump blood to your heart. This may be a bigger problem if you sit with your legs bent or crossed. • Sun exposure. This can cause spider veins on the cheeks or nose of a fairskinned person. Q: Why do varicose veins and spider veins usually appear in the legs? A: Most varicose and spider veins appear in the legs due to the pressure of body weight, force of gravity, and task of carrying blood from the bottom of the body up to the heart. Compared with other veins in the body, leg veins have the toughest job of carrying blood back to the heart. They endure the most pressure. This pressure can be stronger than the one-way valves in the veins. Q: What are the signs of varicose veins? A: Varicose veins can often be seen on the skin. Some other common symptoms of varicose veins in the legs include: • Aching pain that may get worse after sitting or standing for a long time • Throbbing or cramping • Heaviness • Rash that’s itchy or irritated • Swelling • Darkening of the skin (in severe cases) • Restless legs Q: Are varicose veins and spider veins dangerous? A: Spider veins rarely are a serious health problem, but they can cause uncomfortable feelings in the legs. If there are symptoms from spider veins, most often they will be itching or burning. Less often, spider veins can be a sign of blood backup deeper inside that you can’t see on the skin. If so, you could have the same symptoms you would have with varicose veins. Varicose veins may not cause any problems, or they may cause aching pain, throbbing, and discomfort. In some cases, varicose veins can lead to more serious health problems. These include: • Sores or skin ulcers due to chronic (long-term) backing up of blood. These sores or ulcers are painful and hard to heal. Sometimes they cannot heal until the backward blood flow in the vein is repaired. • Bleeding. The skin over the veins becomes thin and easily injured. When an injury occurs, there can be significant blood loss. • Superficial thrombophlebitis (throm-bo-fli-BYT-uhs), which is a blood clot that forms in a vein just below the skin. Symptoms include skin redness; a firm, tender, warm vein; and sometimes pain and swelling. • Deep vein thrombosis, which is a blood clot in a deeper vein. It can cause a “pulling” feeling in the calf, pain, warmth, redness, and swelling. However, sometimes it causes no significant symptoms. If the blood clot travels to the lungs, it can be fatal. www.infinitieplus.com


thesia is required." Sclerotherapy and ablation are just a couple of the minimally invasive procedures the Vein Center offers patients. Following consultation and ultrasound evaluation, Dr. Greifenkamp will provide individual patients with their best treatment options. A favored treatment is compression stockings, which are more comfortable in cooler weather, meaning that spring/summer "shorts weather" will arrive after the condition has been improved. Most insurance companies cover varicose vein treatment. Because of the dire implications of the disease, Dr. Griefenkamp finds treating its patients very fulfilling. "I love treating vein disease because it is very rewarding," he said. "This is not a cosmetic procedure because when venous disease is left untreated it can lead to amputation." For more information please visit www.longviewregional.com.

Q: How can I prevent varicose veins and spider veins? A: Not all varicose and spider veins can be prevented. But, there are some steps you can take to reduce your chances of getting new varicose and spider veins. These same things can help ease discomfort from the ones you already have: • Wear sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun and to limit spider veins on the face. • Exercise regularly to improve your leg strength, circulation, and vein strength. Focus on exercises that work your legs, such as walking or running. • Control your weight to avoid placing too much pressure on your legs. • Don’t cross your legs for long times when sitting. It’s possible to injure your legs that way, and even a minor injury can increase the risk of varicose veins. • Elevate your legs when resting as much as possible. • Don’t stand or sit for long periods of time. If you must stand for a long time, shift your weight from one leg to the other every few minutes. If you must sit for long periods of time, stand up and move around or take a short walk every 30 minutes. • Wear elastic support stockings and avoid tight clothing that constricts your waist, groin, or legs. • Avoid wearing high heels for long periods of time. Lower-heeled shoes can help tone your calf muscles to help blood move through your veins. • Eat a low-salt diet rich in high-fiber foods. Eating fiber reduces the chances of constipation, which can contribute to varicose veins. High-fiber foods include fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains, like bran. Eating less salt can help with the swelling that comes with varicose veins.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health

www.infinitieplus.com

infinitie plus

december 2013

9


Community Connections

x

x By Joycelyne Fadojutimi jfadr@infinitieplus.com

x

x

10

december 2013

i n f i nitieplus

www.infinitieplus.com


x x

x

x x

www.infinitieplus.com

infinitie plus

december 2013

11


Community Connections

12

december 2013

i n f i nitieplus

www.infinitieplus.com


www.infinitieplus.com

infinitie plus

december 2013

13


Community Connections

14

december 2013

i n f i nitieplus

www.infinitieplus.com


Community Connections

By Kelly Bell ongview Regional Medical Center (LRMC) has released its 14th list of local women the hospital has selected as its 2014 Stars Over Longview. During the two months when women were being nominated the LRMC Advisory Council meticulously evaluated 12 outstanding ladies to be recognized as stars for their dedication to the city and their contributions to making it a better place to live. "It truly is amazing to see so many wonderful nominations pour in year after year for so many deserving women," said LRMC Marketing Coordinator Elizabeth Baumgardner. Eighteen local businesswomen, community volunteers and activists make up the hospital's Women Advisory Council. Every year, this panel carefully evaluates nominees before pridefully releasing the annual list of Stars to be celebrated at a formal awards luncheon ceremony. Council member Karen Partee did her best to emphasize the importance of her panel's task. "The women of Longview give so much of themselves each day- to their families, their professions and their communities," she said. "To recognize them each year at Stars Over Longview is to acknowledge the significant contributions all women have made and are making to better their corner of the world. If ever one needed inspiration to make a difference, one need not look any further than this important event to discover those who show us what it truly means to rise to the occasion." Longview Regional CEO Jim Kendrick seconded this and added how honored his hospital is to be involved in the selection process. "Longview Regional Medical Center and the hospital's Women Advisory Council take great pride in presenting the Stars Over Longview event each year," he said. Jenna Bush Hager

www.infinitieplus.com

infinitie plus

december 2013

15


Those selected will be recognized at the 14th Annual Stars Over Longview Awards Ceremony and Luncheon and on a calender to be presented at the event. The 2014 Stars are as follows: February Star Linda Davis March Star Marion Mack April Star Susan K. Smith May Star Jennifer Harris June Star Julie Fowler July Star Martha Glascow

“It truly is amazing

to see so

many wonderful nominations pour in year

�

deserving women.

April

after year for so many

susan k. smith

March

February

marion mack

Linda Davis

Community Connections

Elizabeth Baumgardner

16

martha glascow

July

May

June

julie fowler

jennifer harris

LRMC Marketing Coordinator

december 2013

i n f i nitieplus

www.infinitieplus.com

August Star Mary Ramos September Star Paula Cargill Kaplan October Star Karen Maines November Star Renee Slegeir December Star Iva Holyfield January 2015 Star Barbara McMichael


Paula Cargill Kaplan

Mary ramos

Renee Slegeir

November Barbra Mcmichael

January 2015

December

iva holyfield

October

Karen Maines

September

August

The Awards Ceremony, Women Who Rise to the Occasion will take place Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at Maude Cobb Convention and Activity Complex at 100 Grand Boulevard in Longview. Doors will open at 11:30 a.m., and the event will commence at noon. Mistress of Ceremonies will be KYTX anchor Dana Hughey. Perfect Catering will cater the event, and valet parking will be provided. Tickets will go on sale Monday, November 4, 2013. Single tickets are $30, and $240 for a table of eight. Keynote speaker will be Jenna Hager, who is a contributing correspondent on NBC's Today. Her broadcast position enables her to publicize inspiring reports of selfless people who do wonderful things all over the country. During a 2006 trip to Latin America as a UNICEF intern she met and befriended a 17-year-old mother who, despite being infected with AIDS, worked to insure her own child would not suffer the abuse and neglect that seared her own childhood. This poignant episode inspired Hager's book Ana's Story: A Journey of Hope, which made the New York Times' best seller list. Hager currently chairs the UNICEF initiative Next Generation, which is striving to prevent childhood deaths internationally. Hager holds an English degree from the University of Texas, and has coauthored the book Read All About It!, Editor-at-large of Southern Living magazine, she is daughter of Former President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush, and grand-daughter of former President George H.W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush. For tickets and any additional information please call (903) 553-7407 or visit www.LongviewRegional.com.

www.infinitieplus.com

infinitie plus

december 2013

17


Money Talk You're facing three lazy days ahead- the gap time between Christmas and New Year's Eve, when most businesses slow to a crawl and the leftovers are growing stale. What a perfect time to accomplish a few things that are best done now- at the end of the year.

r o f s k s a T e e r Th s y a D e e r h T

Here are three tasks for three days: Year-End Organizing: Now is the time of year to organize your financial records in time for tax season. In April, you'll be running around trying to find all your tax-related papers and receipts. Instead, do it now. You don't need a fancy system. Just take some large baggies and a shoebox if you don't want to buy one of those plastic file boxes and dividers.

ge

ry Sava

By Ter

Here's what you need to do: • Put all those deductible receipts in separate baggies- taxi receipts, dues and subscriptions, unreimbursed business expense receipts, and the letters you'll receive certifying your charitable donations. • If you're banking online, print out your check register. Or download the year's banking into a Quicken file. Take all your monthly statements, put an elastic band around them, and throw them in the shoebox as well. If you're still using a paper check register, ask your bank for a new one to start 2010. Put the old one in the shoebox. • Prepare a file for your year-end investment statements, which will start arriving in January. The ones from your 40l(k) or IRA won't have an impact on your taxes, but it's nice to keep them all together. That's also where you'll stash your W-2 from work, and any 1099 forms that arrive in January, showing interest or dividends or capital gains. Getting your files organized is a project you can do in minutes. If you clean out your desk drawers and briefcase now, you'll have the bonus benefit of starting the New Year well organized and in control of your money for the year ahead. 18

december 2013

i n f i nitieplus

www.infinitieplus.com


Get Year-End Financial Help: Perhaps I should have put this task first. If you read the paragraphs above and thought that your financial life is too much of a mess to organize in a box, that your debts outweigh any possibility of paying future bills now to get deductions, then this next task is designed for you. It's time to get the big picture- the honest picture- of your personal finances. And it's time to get help you can trust! • Start by piling up all the bills. • Then take a sheet of paper and make a list of the balance due on all your credit cards. • Next to that huge number, write the current minimum monthly payment and the interest rate. (If you used the card this past month and haven't yet received your bill, check the balance online or make a good estimate.) This task doesn't take a computer or any math skills. Just stack the bills on the kitchen table and go to work. At the same time, make an honest list of what you must spend every month- rent or mortgage, utilities, food, gas, insurance. Try to divide annual expenses such as homeowners or renters or auto insurance by 12 months, to get a real estimate of how much money you need every month. Then STOP. You don't have to do another thing. Just pick up the phone and call Consumer Credit Counseling Services- (800) 388-2227. That will connect you to the nearest local office, where you can get honest, professional help from this national, nonprofit agency. Make an appointment. They'll offer a range of solutions, depending on your situation. If you're just behind a bit every month, they may help you reorganize- or show you that if you could get a weekend job you could catch up.

•Internet Commerce •Litigation Support •Employee Benefit Plans •Expert Witness Services •Bankruptcies •Asset Protection •Mergers & Acquisitions •Accounting Services •Bookkeeping/Write-Up •Forensic Accounting •Financial Statements •Tax Planning & Preparation •IRS Representation •Payroll Services •Sales Tax Services •Consulting Services •Business Valuations •Buying & Selling a Business •Computer Consulting •Estate Planning •Financial Planning •Retirement Planning

"Professionalism in the accounting profession means integrity, objectivity, independence, adherence to professional standards, and a demonstrated will to maintain and improve the quality of professional services." 1223 Judson Road Post Office Box 1352 Longview, TX 75606 Phone : 903-757-4071 Fax : 903-757-9806 Email : reedcpa@reedcpa.net www.reedcpa.net

www.infinitieplus.com

infinitie plus

december 2013

19


Money Talk Or they can contact your creditors and help you work out a repayment plan. They might even advise bankruptcy and direct you to an attorney who can help. Just talking to a counselor at CCCS does not go on your credit report. So it's worth a try- and this is the perfect time to start. The tasks above will give you everything you need to set up a successful meeting with your counselor.

Update Medicare Part D: And here's a reminder to seniors- and their adult children, or teenage grandchildren, who could be their best helpers in this project. Every senior who is not covered by private or VA insurance for prescription drugs must sign up for Medicare Part D- even if they're not currently taking prescription drugs. And every year it's very important that you recheck your coverage to make sure that last year's plan is still the least expensive coverage for the coming year. Any change must be made by Dec. 31. Many plans changed the prices for their prescriptions or dropped coverage for some drugs. That's why you should line up all your prescription bottles with the names and dosages of each medicine. Then go to www.Medicare. gov and follow instructions to the "plan finder" tool. That will automatically compare the plans available in your locale. Or call 800-Medicare, and they'll help you over the phone. Either way, you can connect directly to the plans you choose, so you can go through the required telephone interview and get signed up before year's end. Get started today. This is the way to roll into a better financial year ahead. And that's the Savage Truth. Terry Savage is a registered investment adviser and is on the board of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. She appears weekly on WMAQ-Channel 5’s 4:30 p.m. newscast, and can be reached at www.terrysavage.com. She is the author of the new book, “The New Savage Number: How Much Money Do You Really Need to Retire?”

dry cleaner 1/4?

20

december 2013

i n f i nitieplus

www.infinitieplus.com


Easier Living

Oh, Christmas Tree! By Mary Hunt As tempting as a pricey artificial pre-lit Christmas tree may be, few things about the holidays are as satisfying as a fresh, real tree. Consider these fun facts and tips:

Fresh test.

Gently grasp a branch between your thumb and forefinger, and pull it toward you. Very few needles should come off in your hand if the tree is fresh. Shake or bounce the tree on its stump. You should not see an excessive amount of green needles fall to the ground.

Keep it fresh.

The best secret for keeping your tree fresh is water, water, water. Once you get your tree home, cut 1/4-inch off the end and immediately put the tree into water. Never allow your tree to run out of water. If a fresh tree is properly cared for and watered, it should stay fresh through New Year's Day.

Additives.

The National Christmas Tree Association does not endorse any additive to the tree's water. Your tree will stay fresh with just plain water.

Whoops.

Within four to six hours of exposure, the tree will form a sap seal over the stump and it will not absorb water. If you forget to make a fresh cut and the tree is set up and decorated, do this: Remove the water from the stand (a turkey baster works great). Drill holes into the side of the trunk below the water level. Immediately refill with water, making sure none of the holes are above the water line.

Size.

When choosing a tree, the most important characteristic is water capacity. A good rule-of-thumb is one quart for every inch in diameter of the tree's trunk. For example, the average 6-foot tree has a trunk with a 4-inch diameter, so the tree stand should hold 1 gallon of water.

Fire hazard.

The National Fire Protection Association tracks fires and their causes. According to their data, of all residential fires, real Christmas trees are involved in less than 0.1 percent. Sensational blazing trees on the evening news are often doused in a flammable liquid to create a show, or are very old and dried out.

Why real?

If the nostalgia of a fresh, fragrant tree is not reason enough to go natural, consider these facts: Artificial trees will last for six years in your home (got storage space?), but for centuries in a landfill. One to three seedlings are planted in the U.S. for every harvested Christmas tree — a total of 41 million were planted in winter/spring 2010,alone. Ninety-three percent of real Christmas trees harvested are recycled in community programs providing mulch for landscape and replenishing the Earth's soil.

An industry.

There are close to 15,000 farms growing Christmas trees in the U.S., and at last count over 100,000 people are employed full- or part-time in the industry. Caution: Never burn a tree in a fireplace or wood stove. Pine trees have a lot of sap that can flash and also create a chimney fire.

Mary Hunt is the founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com, a personal finance member website. Email her at mary@everydaycheapskate.com, or write to Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2099, Cypress, CA 90630.

www.infinitieplus.com

infinitie plus

december 2013

21


Body, Mind and Soul

Prolong your life with the true message of

Christmas

F

By Dr. David Lipschitz

or me and millions of other Americans, the Christmas season is among the best times of the year. Even for those of us who do not follow the Christian faith, it is hard not to get swept up in the joy and enthusiasm of this special holiday. Unfortunately, a good Christmas is often typified by how much we spend and who gets the "best" presents. While the mercantile elements are obviously important, it is the spirit of the season, the message of peace and love, which sustains us and actually helps to improve health. The link between faith and health is clearly documented through extensive research. So, no matter your religious belief, I urge that you take this holiday season to consider the importance of spirituality in your life. Health is promoted not because of which religion you belong to, whether you attend religious services or if read the religious texts, but rather whether you practice the principles of love, compassion and peace that are the cornerstones of every faith.

22

december 2013

i n f i nitieplus

www.infinitieplus.com


Here are the core elements of faith that contribute to your health: First, seek peace, not only for the nation but also for yourself. The stressful life leads to illness. Stress is a major contributor to heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, depression and obesity. Learning to be peaceful requires commitment, time and education. A qualified therapist can help teach easy techniques to control stress and improve the ability to cope with challenging situations. Second, be hopeful. Have more hope that the future will be better, our lives richer and our bodies healthier. Should you become ill, simply being hopeful can be a key element to responding to treatment. Along with hope comes faith — faith not only in a higher power but also in ourselves and in others. We must have faith that life will be fulfilling and goals will be realized. Without faith, we will never lose weight, commit to exercise and do what it takes to live a healthy disease-free life. We must also have faith in our friends, neighbors and community members. Next, have more love. More than anything, love is the essence of spirituality and the key to longevity. Love assures a better and longer life. Men who are in longstanding, loving, intimate and monogamous relationships live 10 years longer than

"We are born for wonder, for joy, for hope, for love, to marvel at the mystery of existence, to be ravished by the beauty of the world, to seek truth and meaning, to acquire wisdom, and by our treatment of others to brighten the corner where we are.�

Dean Koontz, Life Expectancy

those who are not. While women in relationships do not get quite such a large benefit, they live an average of three years longer. Love is not relegated only to the realm of intimate relationships. Love can be expressed in many ways: between parent and a child, student and teacher, doctor and patient, family, friends and community. Without love, there is no life. A central component of every faith is to be charitable and more giving. Volunteering 14 hours a week (at any age) prolongs life for five years. Giving your time or your money to good causes is an insurance policy to a longer life. Research shows that more you give in relation to what you have, the greater the benefit. A man of faith once told me that if you are unwilling to give, you cannot receive. Give to others and we all benefit. Finally, remember forgiveness. The willingness

www.infinitieplus.com

infinitie plus

to forgive others and ask for forgiveness in return may be the most powerful linkage between spirituality and health. Most of us have great difficulty with forgiveness; it requires work. But bearing a grudge and carrying the weight of unresolved conflict is a heavy burden to bear. It weighs on your heart and mind, affecting more than just friendships. Striving for atonement, attempting to be a better person and forgiving the faults of others is a powerful motivator that leads to a longer, healthier and more fulfilled life. To all of you who read this column, and no matter your faith, I wish you a Merry Christmas and hope that a New Year brings comfort, peace, prosperity and good health. Health is so much more than fitness and nutrition, so take advantage of the season of giving and do a little extra for your health. Dr. David Lipschitz is the author of the book "Breaking the Rules of Aging."

december 2013

23


Grubs Up

A Letter to Santa... By Adam J. Holland

Dear Santa, It’s been quite some time since I’ve written you. In fact, my last letter came to you on a Big Chief sheet, written with map colors. But that was a few decades ago and I doubt you remember anything after the decadent 1980s (for which I was partly responsible). I’m coming to you with a wish list once again, but first I owe you many thanks. I might be getting up there in years, but I’m still excited every time a new Hess Truck appears beneath our artificial tree. Also, when I shouted ‘This is the best Christmas ever!’ a year ago after unwrapping the entire Six Million Dollar Man series on DVD, I meant it. Heck, man. Who am I kidding? I’ve meant it every December 25. You are the bomb, Santa, and I really appreciate youbut not only for Celtics tickets, cooking classes and Wüsthof knives. Let’s face it, Santa. You must spend considerable time each year pondering as to whether you should stop by my home. I’m fully aware that, if I’m not griping and complaining about something, I’m getting myself into trouble elsewhere mostly juvenile stuff like drinking straight from the 2-liter bottle, or leaving my XM-Sirius on the Playboy channel for my wife to hear when she starts the car. I know that you must have also caught me trying to pass off chicken thighs for white meat, or claiming that my (perfect idea of) chili was ‘accidentally’ over-spiced.

24

december 2013

What can I say? I’m guilty. Yet, you come through for me every year. And I’m asking you to come through for me in a big wayand avoid me. You read that correctly. Don’t bring me anything. Unless you can pay off my mortgage or sprinkle some magic ‘get along and be nice’ dust on my children, I have everything I need and want. But, there are too many people who don’t... right here in my hometown. Before you get too nervous at what I’m asking for, don’t. My request only includes children, since they are the ones who are forced to live with their parents’ choices. In my line of work, I too often see children who don’t even own a belt or shoes that fit, whereas their caretakers (if you want to call them that) manage to talk on high-tech cell phones as they are driving about town on a $2,000 set of chrome wheels. Other children go hungry on weekends, since school cafeterias feed them only Monday through Friday. (We have about 800 of those children living right here.) What’s up with their parents? God only knows. I know you cannot solve the world’s

problems- especially in one night. And, please don’t start thinking of me as a sappy bleeding heart, because there are some socalled grown-ups out there who deserve to have their remaining ‘meth’ teeth kicked out... and I’d like to have those honors. But, there are some little ones out there who’ll be skipped over (again) if we don’t step up. So, Santa … How about it?

Your old friend,

Adam J. Holland Longview, Texas

P.S. Feel free to stop by for a late-night snack and a couple of beers (I’ll try to save you at least one Anchor Steam Christmas Ale). But please tell those antler-shedding helpers of yours to avoid snacking on my citrus trees this year. You can follow Adam Holland’s blog, The Unorthodox Epicure: Confessions of an Aspiring Food Snob, online at www.unorthodoxepicure.com or email him at unorthodoxepicure@gmail.com.

i n f i nitieplus

www.infinitieplus.com


Though I’m including measurements here, I tend to wing this based on the container I’m using. This recipe is for a 1-quart jar. It’s a Sou th Spicy Pic ern tradition to s e kled Shr imp durin rve the brigh g the sum t flavors als m addition to the ho o make for an e er, but xcellent liday hor s d’oeuv res men u.

Spicy Pickled Shrimp It’s no secret that Santa enjoys sweets any way you make them. But the poor guy needs a little sustenance. Not to mention, all those cookies are murder on his hemoglobin levels. Spicy Pickled Shrimp are clutch as an appetizer, but they are also outstanding on a sandwich or as a salad topper. www.infinitieplus.com

1 lb. – Medium shrimp (26-30 ct.), peeled and deveined 2 TB – Old Bay Seasoning -or- 1 TB Pickling spices plus 1 TB Cajun Salt 1 – Lemon, quartered To about 8 quarts of water, add spices and lemon. Bring to a rolling boil in a large sauce pan or Dutch oven. Place shrimp in water, turn off heat and cover for about 5 minutes (until shrimp are pink). Remove shrimp and place in ice water to prevent overcooking. ¼ cup – Extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp – Mustard seed 1 TB – Red chile flakes 2 TB – Black peppercorns

½ tsp – Ground coriander 1 tsp – Celery seed 2 TB – Flat leaf parsley, chopped finely

Combine spices with olive oil in a small bowl. Set aside. 2-3 – Lemon or Orange slices 3 – Garlic cloves, quartered lengthwise 2-3 – Fresh jalapeno pepper slices 1 – Small yellow onion, sliced into thin strips 2 TB – Kosher salt 2 – Fresh Bay leaves -or- 2-3 Fresh Citrus leaves 2½ cups – Vinegar combined with ½ cup – water Place garlic cloves, jalapeno pepper slices and salt in bottom of quart-sized jar. Add a layer of onion, followed by a layer of shrimp. After a couple of layers, add Citrus slices and Bay (or Citrus) leaves. Continue making layers until all shrimp and onion have been used, or until jar is full to the neck. Add vinegar/water mixture to within about 1 inch from the neck (add more water if necessary). Add olive oil/spice mixture. Seal jar and refrigerate overnight, or for 2-3 days for deeper flavor. Gently agitate daily to distribute spices. Keeps for about 7-10 days, refrigerated. Serve chilled. infinitie plus

december 2013

25


Social Security

12 Myths

d e k n u b De for

Christmas By Tom Margenau Here's a holiday gift for my readers. You've heard of the 12 days of Christmas, right? Well, here are 12 of the most common misconceptions about Social Security, cleared up for you in one neat little package. And please note that these are myths involving one's eligibility for Social Security benefits. I've spent many past columns clearing up the gads of historical, political and policy myths (make that outright lies) about Social Security that are circulating on the Internet. Myth 1: Your Social Security benefit is based on your highest 10 years of earnings. Fact: A Social Security retirement benefit is based on your average inflation-adjusted monthly income using a 35-year base of earnings. Myth 2: If you stop working or start working part-time a few years shy of your Social Security eligibility age, your benefits will be severely reduced because you have limited or even "zero" earning years just before you claim your Social Security. Fact: Because your benefit is based on a 35year base of earnings, the impact of some years of reduced or even no earnings is greatly lessened. Your eventual Social Security benefit won't be as high as it would have been had you kept working full time right up to your retirement date. But you shouldn't lose too much sleep over the relatively minor impact of early retirement on your Social Security checks.

26

december 2013

i n f i nitieplus

www.infinitieplus.com


Myth 3: If you work after you start getting Social Security, the extra taxes you're paying should increase your Social Security check. Fact: You would get an automatic increase in your monthly retirement benefit only if your current income exceeds the lowest (inflation-adjusted) year of earnings used in your original Social Security benefit computation. Myth 4: If you were in the military, you get a bonus added to your Social Security check. Fact: If you served in the military anytime from World War II on, special wage credits are automatically added to your Social Security record. How much is added depends on the period of time you were in the military. But frankly, these extra wage credits are so minimal that they rarely have much, if any, impact on a veteran's Social Security benefit. Myth 5: I can file for reduced Social Security benefits at 62 and repay those benefits at 66 and file a new claim for full (unreduced) benefits. Fact: You used to be able to do that. But the rules were changed about a year ago. Now, you usually can withdraw a claim only up to 12 months after your filing date.

Myth 6: A wife gets half of her husband's Social Security. Fact: She gets half if she waits until age 66 to claim those benefits. But benefits are reduced about one-half of 1 percent for each month they're taken prior to that age. Myth 7: You can take a benefit on your spouse's record at 62 and switch to full benefits on your own at 66. Fact: If you take any kind of reduced (i.e., preage 66) Social Security benefit, that reduction carries over to any other benefits you might be due. This rule does not apply to widows and widowers. Myth 8: You must be married for 10 years before you qualify for benefits on your husband's Social Security record. Fact: The 10-year duration-of-marriage rule applies only to divorced women. If you're still married to your husband, that marriage needs to have lasted only one year in order for you to claim benefits on his record. Myth 9: If a woman was married more than once, she can claim benefits from all her exhusbands.

www.infinitieplus.com

infinitie plus

Fact: Although a woman might be potentially eligible for benefits from more than one man's Social Security record, she will get benefits only from the record that pays the highest rate. Myth 10: If a widow remarries, she loses her first husband's Social Security benefits. Fact: If a widow remarries after age 60, she can keep getting widow's benefits from her first husband's Social Security account. Myth 11: A child can get benefits from a parent's Social Security record only if that parent is deceased. Fact: In those rare cases when a retiree still has a minor child at home (it is often a stepchild), that child can get dependent's benefits until age 18. If the child is disabled, those benefits can continue indefinitely. Myth 12: All first-time disability claims are automatically rejected. Fact: About 30 percent of all initial claims for disability benefits are approved. Have a Social Security question? Tom Margenau has the answer. Contact him at thomas.margenau@comcast.net.

december 2013

27


Opinion

Finding Holiday By Shawn Dell Joyce Holiday joy can be a fleeting thing this time of year, as many people feel more like Scrooge than Tiny Tim. Behind the advertising blitz that bombards us with consumerist images of smiling, well-dressed people giving cheerfully wrapped packages is the dark truth of depression. Out of 14 countries, the U.S. tops the list in depression, according to a recent World Health Organization poll. Much holiday malaise can be traced to a sagging economy and holiday expectations. A parents' group, the Boston-based Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, wrote letters to 24 leading toy companies and retailers to express concern about ads aimed at kids. These parents expressed dismay that they can't afford the pricey toys that toymakers are heavily advertising to our children, and children feel diminished when they don't get pricey toys. It's hard to believe that we are descended from settlers' children, who rejoiced at receiving a penny and a stick of candy as their main holiday gifts. In the 1800s, our kin earned $1,500 per year and would have had one nice set of clothes for church and one shabby set for daily life. They worked twice as hard for a simple diet because they had to grown most of what they ate themselves. Over the course of 200 years, we've grown an average of 4 inches taller and 20 pounds heavier, our houses have more than doubled in square footage, and we no longer find joy in a penny and a stick of candy. We need to reclaim our holidays as times of family togetherness and joy, no matter what shape the economy is in. Even if you don't celebrate the Christian holiday or the Jewish Hanukkah or African Kwanzaa, you can still celebrate a "secular Sabbath," in the words of New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman. A secular Sabbath is a break from email, cell phones, television, and all the other distractions of modern living that keep us alienated from one another. "You need not be elderly to remember when we had no choice but to reduce activity on Sundays; stores and offices- even restaurants- were closed, there were certainly no electronics, and we were 28

december 2013

i n f i nitieplus

largely occupied by ourselves or our families," writes Bittman. Ways to get more joy from the holiday season: Revel in the mundane moments. Notice the details of the season: new fallen snow, laughing children, glittering icicles and the sparkle of a lit tree. Avoid comparing your decorated house with your neighbors', or your co-worker's holiday plans with your own, and so forth. Instead of comparing, which is almost always unfavorable, be genuinely glad for your fellows, delight in their joy, and you in turn will feel greater satisfaction. Be satisfied. Don't look for satisfaction in material things because you won't find it there. Satisfaction is a spiritual concept and cannot be bought or given. Find the true meaning of the holiday. A gift of time to the local soup kitchen or the "Toys for Tots" program will deliver a greater feeling of joy than spending more money at the mall. Look for ways to do generous acts anonymously this season. Rekindle a sense of faith in humanity as a gift to your community. Cherish family time. Spend more time sharing joyful experiences like caroling, baking, watching Christmas plays or making gifts together instead of shopping. Put gratitude in your attitude. Start your holidays off with a gratitude list that notes all the wonderful tangible and intangible blessings in your life. Counting your blessings will keep you focused more on what you do have. Say thanks. Call or write a thank-you note right away after a gift or good deed. This prolongs your joy and shares it with the giver. Keep the spirit of the holidays in your heart all year. Remember to give often and generously. Make volunteerism a part of your daily routine. Research indicates that both the giver and the receiver of a good deed get an endorphin boost from the act.

Shawn Dell Joyce is an award-winning columnist and founder of the Wallkill River School in Orange County, N.Y.

www.infinitieplus.com


www.infinitieplus.com

infinitie plus

december 2013

29


www.infinitieplus.com

Christmas Trivia

19. (I'm Dreaming of a) White Christmas (just like the ones I used to know) 20. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts roasting on an open fire; Jack Frost nipping at your nose) 21. It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas 22. O Little Town of Bethlehem (how still we see thee lie) 23. Winter Wonderland (Sleigh bells ring, are you list'nin'? In the lane snow is glist'nin') 24. I'll Be Home For Christmas 25. We Wish You A Merry Christmas (We Wish You A Merry Christmas) 26. I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day 27. Frosty The Snowman (was a jolly, happy soul)

Carol Initials

Reindeer (You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen) 11. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (underneath the mistletoe last night) 12. Silver Bells (City sidewalks, busy sidewalks, decked in holiday style) 13. Hark The Herald Angels Sing (Glory to the newborn King) 14. Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer 15. Oh Holy Night (the stars are brightly shining) 16. All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth 17. Jingle Bells (Dashing through the snow, in a one-horse open sleigh) 18. We Three Kings (of Orient Are)

i n f i nitieplus

Answers 1. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas 2. The First Noel (the Angels did say) 3. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen (Let nothing you dismay) 4. IIt Came Upon A Midnight Clear 5. Silent Night (Holy night, all is clear, all is bright) 6. The 12 Days of Christmas (On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me) 7. Deck The Halls (with boughs of holly. Fa La La La La La La La La) 8. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (You'd better watch out, you better not cry!) 9. Joy To The World (the Lord has come) 10. Rudolph The Red-Nosed

december 2013

How many of these Christmas songs can you identify using just the initials of their starting phrases? 19. IDOAWCJLTOIUTK 1. HYAMLC 2. TFNTADS 20. CROAOFJFNAYN 3. GRYMGLNYD 21. IBTLALLC 4. ICUAMC 22. OLTOBHSWSTL 5. SNHNAICAIB 23. SBRAYLITLSIG 6. OTFDOCMTLGTM 24. IBHFC 7. DTHWBOHFLLLLLLLL 25. WWYAMCWWYAMC 8. YBWOYBNC 26. IHTBOCD 9. JTTWTLHC 27. FTSWAJHS 10. YKDADAPAVCACADAB 28. JOSNLYETW 11. ISMKSCUTMLN 29. GKWLDOTFOS 12. CSBSDIHS 30. UOTHRPOJGOSC 13. HTHASGTTNK 31. JBJBJBR 14. GGROBAR 32. IHABCWY 15. OHNTSABS 33. WUNWTAGC (LSN) 16. AIWFCIMTFT 34. JHTSBRTTT 17. DTTSIAOHOS 35. CTTMPRPPP 18. WTKOOA

Answers 1. Montgomery Ward created Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. 2. "White Christmas" is the best-selling Christmas song. 3. Dec. 25 was the ancient Roman "birth of the unconquered sun" and the birthday of the Iranian "Sun of Righteousness." It was also close to the winter solstice and embodied the Roman Catholic Church's identification of God's son with the celestial sun. 4. "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" first aired in 1966. 5. Franklin Pierce, our 14th president, was the first to decorate a tree in the White House. 6. The name derives from Dr. Joel Poinsett, U.S. ambassador to Mexico, who brought the plant back to the U.S. over 100 years ago. 7. In 1923, President Calvin Coolidge started the tradition of lighting a national Christmas tree. 8. The 12 days of Christmas begins on Christmas Day and ends on Jan. 5, on the eve of the Epiphany. 9. FALSE: "The Twelve Days of Christmas" wasn't a coded reference to important elements of Christianity. 10. Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly.

30

1. Name the department store that created Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. 2. What is the best-selling Christmas song of all time? 3. Why is Christmas celebrated on Dec. 25? 4. In what year did the "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" cartoon first air? 5. Which U.S. president was the first to decorate a White House tree? 6. Where does the poinsettia plant get its name? 7. When did the U.S. start the tradition of lighting a nation Christmas tree in Washington, D.C.? Which president started this tradition? 8. When do the 12 days of Christmas begin and end? 9. TRUE or FALSE: The song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas," was created as a coded reference to important articles of the Christian faith. 10. Name this famous Civil War cartoonist who first drew Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly in 1862. He went on to draw Santa for an additional 30 years.

28. Jolly Old St. Nicholas (lean your ear this way) 29. Good King Wenceslas (looked down, on the Feast of Stephen) 30. Up On The Housetop (reindeer pause. Out jumps good old Santa Claus) 31. (Jingle bell, jingle bell) Jingle Bell Rock 32. (I'll Have A) Blue Christmas (without you) 33. Way Up North Where The Air Gets Cold (Little Saint Nick) 34. Sleigh Ride (Just hear those sleigh bells ring-a-ling, ting, ting, ting-a-ling) 35. CTTMPRPPP Little Drummer Boy (Come, they told me, pa rum pum pum pum)

Mental Muscle Just for Chuckles


www.infinitieplus.com

infinitie plus

december 2013

31


ip-december-2013  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you