Happiness: Out Of Reach For Some Of Us?

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A perfectly beautiful spring day viewed from my front yard.

A perfectly beautiful spring day viewed from my front yard.

How many people could look at this beautiful spring day depicted in the above photo that I took earlier today and not just be overcome by happiness?  I actually know people that would find something wrong with it and I am sure you do too.  Some people can look at a young puppy or kitten or even a little baby and not be overcome by joy and happiness and be in awe of the miracle of it.

Happiness; what do we need to reach that state.  Is happiness beyond the reach of some of us?  What might keep us from being in a state of happiness?  Does being positive lead to happiness or does being negative prevent us from being there?  What other factors might lead to happiness or prevent us from having it? All good questions and I hope to answer at least some of them.

This morning I was on Twitter and noticed a tweet that hooked me in and I then followed the link to Dumb Little Man dot com.  While I did not have the time to check out the site to any degree there was an excellent post, I think so anyway, titled 16 Sneaky Ways You Sabotage Your Own happiness ( and What You Can Do About It ).  While I intend to go back and check out any other jewels that this site might hold; I have to first give you a link to this article.  I hope this might be a help to you in your quest for happiness.

I know when you read this you will think of certain friends, co-workers, family members or maybe even yourself.  I did, and it made me laugh to myself, although it is not really a laughing matter.  More sad than funny but sometimes you just can’t help it.

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a healthy and happy day.       David Johnson

Natural Remedies for Acid Reflux Disease

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DSCN0035Natural remedies for Acid Reflux Disease includes the juice of 1/2 lemon in 8oz of water, sipped slowly before breakfast.

In my last post I talked about my experience with Acid Reflux Disease and what I had learned that worked for me.  Today I would like to give you a compilation of the things I learned during my research on the subject. First I am going to give you a list of things that are known to be troublesome to people with a history of acid reflux.  Then I will tell you things that you can do that have a positive effect.  Some of these will be practices or changes in behavior and others will be natural remedies for Acid Reflux Disease.

.Foods to avoid at least until you determine how they affect you. If they are not a trigger for you; then by all means enjoy them.

  1. chocolate

  2. onions & garlic

  3. citrus fruits

  4. tomato based foods

  5. spicy foods

  6. fried & fatty foods

  7. peppermint and spearmint

  8. coffee and caffeinated drinks

  9. refined and processed sugar ( this is a bad one for me )

  10. artificial sweeteners ( this I am not too sure about but there are other good reasons not to use them )

  11. Many drugs such as sedatives, anti-depressants, blood pressure meds, aspirin and ibuprofen.

  12. tobacco
  13. alcohol

Natural Remedies for Acid Reflux Disease starts with avoiding the things that trigger the symptoms.


The natural remedies for Acid Reflux Disease start with changing the behaviors that may may bring on acid reflux symptoms even when we eat something that is not normally a trigger. The first thing is:


  1. Limit our food intake so as to not become overly full.

  2. Eat our last meal of the day at least 2 to 3 hours before the time we plan to go to bed.

  3. Eat several small meals during the day instead of 2 or 3 very large ones ( see number 1 )

  4. If you smoke, quit.

  5. Limit alcohol consumption.

  6. Elevate the head of your bed if possible. Possible with most beds except waterbeds.

  7. Decreasing the amount of carbs in our diet may help.

  8. If you are overweight or obese, lose weight.

  9. Up to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in 8 oz of water three times a day, may add some honey.

  10. Juice of ½ lemon in 8 oz of water sipped slowly before breakfast.

  11. Lemon oil rubbed on the skin of the abdomen may also help.

  12. Peppermint or chamomile tea.

  13. Licorice tea, green tea or ginger tea may relieve symptoms and heal the mucus lining of the digestive tract.

  14. Eating alkaline foods will decrease the acidity of our bodies. The Sad diet or the standard American diet leads to acidosis. That is believed to be one of the reasons for the epidemic of acid reflux.

  15. A deficiency in magnesium may contribute to acid reflux

Digestive aids such as enzymes and consuming lacto fermented foods will speed up our digestion and move food through our digestive tract more quickly.

Hazards of drugs that are prescribed for acid reflux are many and not all are side effects of the drugs. Proton pump blockers double the rick for a second heart attack. Those taking acid reducing drugs were four times as likely to get pneumonia and three times as likely to get a life threatening diarrhea infection. Natural remedies for Acid Reflux Disease do not have these hazards.

There are other medical conditions that my make acid reflux worse such as hiatal hernia,rapid weight gain,diabetes,high blood pressure, motion sickness and obesity.

Here are some acid causing foods.  Al animal products except natural yogurt, carbs, beans, fats, coffee and alcohol. These vegetables: cranberries, prunes, plums and corn.

Most vegetables are alkaline but the most alkaline are; Lemons,watermelon,parsley,red pepper,bananas, figs and spinach.

I hope these tips help. There are more online, I just gave you what I personally would try first and then if they don’t work I would look further. Too many options can get confusing. There is a book at Amazon that you might also want to check out called No More Heartburn: Stop the Pain in 30Days—Naturally: The Safe Effective Way to Prevent and Heal Chronic Gastrointestinal Disorders.

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a healthy and happy day.       David Johnson

I am an Amazon Associate and may get a few cents from them if you use the link to them to buy anything. This helps me to keep this blog going and I appreciate it.






























Healthy Diet; How It May Help Acid Reflux

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DSCN0029Eliminating acid reflux from your life is like a beautiful spring day after several days of rain. Today’s weather was a welcome change after the last rainy period we just had here. It was so good to see the sun.  As the sun can brighten our spirits after the rain, a healthy diet can help to eliminate the suffering from acid reflux.

Recently I was talking to someone I care very deeply about and she was saying how badly she was suffering from Acid Reflux, her partner also has the same problem.  She has tried or is currently taking all the miracle drugs that are supposed to take care of this problem, nothing is working. She ask me if there was a natural remedy that might help.  I told her that I had read of things that had worked for others but couldn’t remember what they were. I then spent about half the day reading up on the subject and I am going to lay out what I found, There were many sources and I am not going to name or quote them but the information is out there for anyone to find.  My conclusion will be comparing the effects of the SAD diet ( standard American diet ) and a healthy diet on the incidents of Acid Reflux. The results are solely my opinion based on the information I have gathered.

In my younger years I to suffered from Acid Reflux, and yes I do mean suffer.  You don’t wake up from a sound sleep with stomach acid coming up into your throat and mouth and not suffer.  That is not to mention the fear it causes the first few times it happens.  Over the years I have learned to control it to the point that it is no longer a problem.  I have taken most , if not all of the current over the counter drugs for the purpose, plus a lot of anti-acids.  I now only take a anti-acid occasionally when I eat or drink something that gives me an acid stomach.   Learning what foods cause me a problem, what time of day  is better for me to eat certain things and learning to follow a healthy diet have all helped me.  Developing a healthy diet over the years has also been a big help.

In my experience the number one problem is eating too much, especially at the wrong time.  When we eat too much and go to bed or simply lie down it makes it easy for the food and the accompanying acid to be pushed back into the esophagus and up into the throat and mouth.  In my experience it is best to eat a large meal two to three hours before planned bed time and even earlier if eating particularly troublesome foods.  The second problem is determining what time of day you can best eat foods that you like that could cause you a problem.  There are foods that I can safely eat during the day that would cause me problems if eaten in the evening. Also there are foods that when eaten in moderate amounts cause me no problem but do when eaten in excess.  In my next post I will give you a list of foods that commonly cause trouble, some may cause us trouble, some may not.  Our job is to determine which of these cause us problems personally but you probably can think about it and will already be aware of at least some of them.  You may even have a problem with something that is not on the list, we are all different and our bodies reach differently to different foods than maybe someone else would.  Eating a healthy diet and controlling how much we eat at each meal can go a long way to help us deal with Acid Reflux.

Living healthy is knowing our bodies and how they react to the food we eat.  How we feel after we eat tells us if the food is good for us.  If we eat too much of something that normally makes us feel good, we may not feel good. If we have heartburn, if we are bloated, gassy, feeling sluggish our body is telling us something: we need to listen or there will be health consequences.  A healthy diet is a diet that works for us, that supplies our particular body’s needs.

In my next post I will give you more of what I have learned about Acid Reflux and how a healthy diet can help you eliminate it or if not, live with it.  Don’t despair, there is hope.  There is a book on Amazon called  Dropping Acid : The Reflux Diet Cookbook & Cure that you might benefit from.  Even if it doesn’t cure you; it should help.

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a healthy and happy day.       David Johnson

I am an Amazon Associate and may get a few cents from them if you use the link to them to buy anything. This helps me to keep this blog going and I appreciate it.


Everything Has a Purpose

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Right now in the beginning of spring I am so impatient sometimes to get things in may garden and to get them growing.  There is a problem it seems, every time the dirt gets about dry enough to plant it rains again or it turns cold again or both.  In my heart of hearts I know that it is this way for a reason; whether I can decipher the reason or not.  We humans though, think that we are in charge or at least that we should be; for after all we are the center of the universe, aren’t we not?  How many times do we have plans for our day off and the weather changes; like going to the beach and then it rains or worse turns cold.  Most of us really have little tolerance for things that do not go our way.  We all know that we are not really the center of the universe and that we are not owed a life free of interruptions but when it happens we still get upset.

Like my early example; when you plant a garden too early it may be killed by a late frost or at the very least it will not grow properly until the temperature reaches a certain point.  If it doesn’t rain regularly then later in the season there may not be enough moisture to keep your plants alive.  Even though we want to control things; they happen for a reason, and are governed by natural laws.  Even if we were to some how be able to override these laws and have our way; it would come back an bite us in the rear.  Just because you want it to; you can not make a ball fall upward, gravity works the absolute same way absolutely every time.

We already know that things are not going to go the way we want them to every time; so why not just accept it and be okay with it.  The day you wanted to go to the beach may instead be a trip to the library and you meet your soul mate.  The day you were to go to the outdoor concert; you call a friend and meet then for coffee and find out they know someone who is needing to hire someone with your exact skills.

So lighten up and be grateful for the life you have and look for ways to use  the surprises of life to find new and better opportunities.  Just because it didn’t go our way doesn’t mean it is not good for us.  We don’t always know what is best for us.  That person you were head over heels in love with when you were seventeen might have made your life a living hell or maybe they did.  Some loses are for the good; it is just hard to see it at the time.

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a healthy and happy day.       David Johnson

Can’t Let Go

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Hopefully the frost here last night was the last frost for this season.  I know this happens every year but it seems like winter just has a hard time letting go.  I actually saw some frost on the edge of the mulch I put around my newly set blueberry bushes.  I will admit that there wasn’t much; nor would I have even expected that much at 40 degrees.   It could have warmed up some before I arose though; my feet didn’t hit the floor until about 7:15.  I have several tomatoes and some peppers out but I had them covered with some nursery pots, no apparent damage, nor did I expect any.

We like old man winter ( or is it old lady winter ) are prone to hold onto things when we would be better served to just let them go. How many times have we held onto past hurts, slights, bruised feelings, or emotions  that hold us back from enjoying the present. When we don’t just forgive and forget about it; who are we hurting? Certainly not the one who hurt us.  They have already forgot about it, or they may not even know that what they said or did hurt you.

When I say forgive and forget about it; I mean forgive yourself, them or both, and let it go.  If it is bothering you; it is in the past and you are in the present, you can’t go back and change it, nor can you change it from here.  Today, the present is the only time you can control and you are the only person you have any hope of changing and that is sometimes hard to do.

Nine times out of ten the person who hurt you did not intend to; nor even in a lot of cases even realize that they did.  They said something and you heard something entirely different; what they meant was not what you thought they meant. The next time someone does or says something that hurts your feelings; if they are important to you and you want them in your life, ask them if that was what they meant.  I will bet that you will be surprised in how many times you misread their intentions.  By simply clarifying, you prevent the misunderstanding before it happens.

Now go out there and be happy.  Have great relationships, be kind and loving to all.

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a healthy and happy day.       David Johnson


Soup Time Again

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This is my butter bean, butternut squash and kale soup.  You can also see some of my sourdough bread.

A cold front came through here last night and the temperature is about twenty degrees less than it was yesterday and it got me thinking about soup.  When it is cooler I usually make a big pot of soup at least once a week but it has been a month or so since I made any.  I guess I was too busy with the start of spring, trying to get my garden going, setting out four new blueberry plants and getting them mulched, mowing the grass for the first time.   I have a lot to mow so I mowed it over two different days; usually do it all in one day but not this time.  The yard around the house which I mowed first is ready for another trim around the ears; on my schedule for Monday, maybe.  I also found some asparagus plants at Lowe’s and there must be at least 50 to 75 plants and I am Working on a bed for them.  I had some asparagus about thirty years ago and ate so much of it that I didn’t want any for years; maybe I can restrain myself this time so that doesn’t happen again.  My daughters and some of the grandkids like it so I guess it wouldn’t go to waste.

The soup I am going to talk about is one of the last ones I made before it started warming up.  I do not go through all the steps with photos of each step as some food bloggers do but instead give you a general idea of how I did it and the ingredients I used.  Cooking is individual and personal;  we use what we like and season it as we like it.  Suggestions help but in the end it is your baby and it certainly won’t hurt my feelings if you don’t do it exactly like I did it.

I have my own garden and I usually raise what I call butter peas or small lima beans and sometimes there will be beans that are a little to dry to use as fresh beans so I keep them to use as dry beans.  These were what I started with; soaked them overnight in water, drained and covered with chicken broth added half a medium onion, a couple pressed garlic cloves and cooked at a very slow boil until almost done.  I took a medium sized butternut squash, peeled, removed seed, chopped into 3/4 inch pieces and added to beans.  Then I chopped some kale up and added to the pot.  In both cases I added until it looked like about the right proportion  to the other ingredients.  I added salt and black pepper and sriracha sauce to my taste and then simmered until the butternut and kale were done. If you want the kale just wilted wait a while before you put it in.  I personally like mine cooked a little more.  Over time you will get the feel of when to put the various ingredients in.  Feel free to use whatever seasoning combo that works for you.  Italian seasoning would work, maybe cajun or try turmeric.

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a healthy and happy day.       David Johnson



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Taken in my front yard, morning after the storm.

Sometimes when something is happening that we do not want to happen; it seems like things will never be right again and sometimes that is true.  Some things do lead to permanent loss and permanent change.  When someone dear to us dies, that is permanent, nothing will ever bring them back.  Unlike the previous example; most change, even if permanent, does not have that kind of impact but it gives us a chance to move on.  That is good; when we are forced to move on, it gets us out of our comfort zone and allows us a chance to learn new things and to bloom.  Like a plant, sometimes we feel rooted to one spot and only by being moved by change can we reach our potential.  When we have to change there is an equal chance that the change will be an improvement and if we can see the positive in everything and be open to what is to come, the odds get much better.

Last night I was sitting here watching TV when this very unexpected electrical storm descended upon me, the lightening was flashing and the thunder rolling.  After a couple of minutes the lights flickered a few times and were gone.  The power was only out a couple of minutes but I had to wait ten to fifteen minutes for my Directv to reboot.  While that was happening I went out on my front porch to check on things and it hadn’t even rained.  It did rain right after that and managed almost a half inch but the rain was not the main event.  The main thing was the sudden and possibly damaging electrical storm, was I really concerned, no and if I had been aware that it was coming, would probably have not given it much thought.

Like spring after winter; the time after a storm seems like renewal.  Many times after something we think is bad has happened in our lives; it turns out to be a renewal too. The saying ” when a door closes, another will be opened ” is saying that life is continually renewed; whether we think we want it or not.  When things change we probably will not be able to go back; so we have to be open to the possibilities the change has presented to us and use the change to our own best interest.  We all know from experience that many things we initially think are devastating tend to work out over time.  What looks like gloom now may and probably will lead to an opportunity down the road.  We just have to be open to see it.  So the next time something like this happens in your life, don’t panic, give yourself some time to work it out and see how you can turn it into an opportunity rather than settle for what is initially seen as a tragedy.

I must admit that I don’t like change much unless I am in control of it but it is going to happen anyway so let’s go with the flow and use it to our advantage.  Besides, life would get very boring without it.

To Change!  Toast!

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a healthy and happy day.       David Johnson


How Can We Be Living Longer But Not Better?

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DSCN0027Dogwood in my front yard

Today we on average live longer than people did fifty years ago but the death rate from some diseases have not changed much.   Modern medicine does some things rather well and others very poorly.   If we are in a tragic horrible accident they can bring us back from the brink of death in ways that could have not even be dreamed of fifty years ago.  They have surgical skills that border on the miraculous and they can do wonderful things with it. They have modern diagnostic equipment that can help them determine what ails us.  This country spends more on health care than any other comparable country but in the end; they fail miserably in helping us to be and remain healthy.   Our quality of health care is lower than most of the developed countries.

Except for the above mentioned examples the health care industry is in the business of treating symptoms; not curing disease.  Heart disease, diabetes and other diseases can be cured or reversed by changes in diet and / or physical activity.  How many doctors will even admit that and even fewer will tell their patients that.  The medical schools do not teach nutrition as it relates to our health and most of the published data put out by our government is flawed or simply not true.

The approach is usually if they can’t cut it out or install some device to make it work; they write you one or usually more prescriptions for the symptoms and send you home.  Most don’t know anything else to do.  There are some that are open minded and will go out of their way to find an approach that will benefit their patients but others are even hostile to the idea that something besides what they have been taught could work.

If we get cancer they may be able to successfully treat it, put it into remission or reduce it to the point that it is not life threatening but if we keep living in the same way as before it will most likely return.  We all have cancer cells in our bodies and it can remain inactive or non threatening for years; then something allows it to start growing.  We could be unhappy in some area of our life, job, home life, or be under constant stress and feel overwhelmed and that the situation we are in is hopeless.  If that trigger that caused the cancer to start growing still exists; it can also be the trigger to allow it to return.  When people who have been told they have very little time left to live; make a dramatic change, it can add years to their lives and enjoyable, meaningful years too.

We will live a healthier, longer life when we take charge of our own health.  We can certainly use the medical profession when we have a need in an area where they excel but when it is an area we can better control; it is our responsibility.   You wouldn’t ask your maid  to fix your car, so why ask a doctor to do something most doctors are not good at. You can dig through all the conflicting information about what to eat and how and how long you need to exercise to achieve the quality of health you desire.  It may take some trail and error but you can figure out what works for you.  It is much cheaper and much safer than popping pills.

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a healthy and happy day.       David Johnson




Another Reason to Lose Fat

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Field in front of my house.

As if we didn’t already know enough about the dangers of fat; I am going to give you another one.  I guarantee that this is something you probably have never heard about but it could be one of the more important reasons.  It has already been proven that people who are overweight; in addition to the normal effects such heart disease and diabetes, fat also increases our chances of getting cancer.  Personally I am not absolutely sure how this works other than that there is a general deterioration in our quality of health when we are carrying too much fat.  Being overweight just does not seem to promote good health in general.

What I am talking about today is how our bodies handle toxins. These can be anything from the normal by products of our cell functions, toxins we get from our foods either from remnants of pesticides or other chemicals used in the growing process or things in the foods our bodies can not process.  Add to that all the additives, preservatives, artificial colors and flavors that are added to most processed foods and you have a real chemical cocktail in our bodies.  If our bodies can; they process these toxins and flush them out of our bodies either through our kidneys or colon. When our bodies are not able to remove them, they store them in areas of our bodies where they will cause less harm and prevent them from entering our cells and causing damage to them.

I have been reading about how to use food in our fight with cancer; either to prevent it or to get rid of it and prevent it from returning. Devra Lee Davis of the University of Pittsburgh refers to excess fat as the ” toxic waste site ” of the human body.  According to her, any form of physical activity capable of reducing fat, taking with it its stockpile of contaminants, is a prime method for ” detoxing ” the body.  Dr. Bouillet the medical director of the Institute of Radiotherapy at the Avicenne Medical Center of the University of Paris says adipose tissue (fat) is the principle storage site for carcinogenic toxins in humans.  This information I obtained from the book  Anti Cancer;  A New Way of Life  by David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD.  He is himself a cancer survivor.

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a healthy and happy day.       David Johnson

I am an Amazon Associate and may get a few cents from them if you use the link to them to buy anything. This helps me to keep this blog going and I appreciate it.


Allergies; What Can We Do?

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I don’t know anyone who does not have an allergy to something and most  of us have many but we are still able to function relatively well.  We manage to go to work, take care of our families, homes, pets and find things in life to enjoy.  What do we do if the allergies are overwhelming or debilitating?  We all know people that suffer greatly from either allergies to pollen, pet dander, household chemicals and even worse, food allergies. While any allergy can make our lives a living hell if bad enough; food allergies can kill us. They can be slow as in the case of gluten intolerance to very quickly in the case of a severe nut allergy.

Today I am focused on food allergies for they are the most dangerous. The idea to write this was sparked by an article I read this morning and the fact that my best friend had really bad allergy symptoms this week.  She felt really bad on Thursday and Friday but it was better yesterday and today; maybe because of the cold front that came through Friday morning and cleaned the air. The article was written by Ann Marie Michaels who at the age of 25 was very sick from her various allergies.  She talks about her struggle to eliminate her allergies by changing what she ate; she did do that but it took her over two years.  When she did it; she had no help or guidelines to follow and had to use the trail and error method, but she succeeded.  She now has an online course that is available to others that gives them the information they can use to do the same thing.  She has a step by step plan plus recipes to help you fix healthy nutritious meals to heal the damages to your body from allergies.  It is not just a case of a little sneezing or watery eyes, there can be serious problems caused by certain allergies.

I am giving you the link to the article  Reversing Food Allergies and hope if you have these types of allergies this will be a big help to you. If you purchase the on line course I will not be compensated in any way. I am strictly sharing this information.

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a healthy and happy day.       David Johnson