Friday, August 26, 2016

The saddest photo I've ever taken


Wolfram Gottschalk and his wife Anita have been married 62 years. But now in their old age, they’re living apart, against their will. Whenever they get a chance to visit one another, both burst into tears.
“I just want to see them together,” said the couple’s granddaughter Ashley Bartyik. “They’re a pillar of strength in our family.”
Wolf, 83, and Anita, 81, are in separate care facilities in Surrey, B.C., and even though the regional health authority says it’s working to reunite the couple, their families fear time is running out. Wolf has dementia and has been diagnosed with lymphoma.

In January, Wolf was hospitalized and told he couldn’t go home, because he required a higher level of care. He was moved to the Yale Road Centre in North Surrey, where he’s been living for the past eight months, apart from his wife. Anita lives at The Residence at Morgan Heights, a 30-minute drive from her husband.
“She is just begging anyone that can help her get her husband back," Bartyik said. "It’s been very, very difficult for our family.”

Bartyik drew attention to her grandparents’ plight when she posted a photo of them during a visit. Both were wiping tears from their eyes, as they sat facing one another. Wolf slumped in a wheelchair.
“This is the saddest photo I have ever taken,” Bartyik wrote.
“They cry every time they see each other, and it is heartbreaking.”
Fraser Health said it’s trying to reunite the couple and get them living under one roof
“We are also exploring options other than this particular facility that his wife is at now,” said spokeswoman Tasleem Juma.
“Certainly when the scope is narrowed to one facility, it becomes difficult to place them there, because we have to wait for another bed to become available.”
Since there is so little time left for the couple, I think Tasleem Juma should move her butt. When people co-operate and work together solutions can be found quickly. Obviously the system is not sympathetic to human beings or the human condition.
So change the damn system.

Embrace your mid-life crisis ? Or suffer through it??

Mid Life Crisis. . Maybe you should just stick with a sports car. It's "The Situation" in about 20 years.

Instead of fretting about hair loss and diminished virility, should mid-life be re-evaluated as a time to try new experiences and re-invent oneself? This eternal question has eternally plagued mankind and perhaps there is no eternal answer.   It has been proven that a new sports car, new wardrobe, a toupee and a younger woman only serve to point out to the world at large that you are going through your mid-life crisis and handling it very badly.

There are only two subjects, according to the film director Peter Greenaway: sex and death. Put them together and you have the mid-life crisis. On the one hand, the waning of one's charms, vigor and fertility; on the other, the grim future of the liver-spotted paws, the living road map of veins and wrinkles and the incessant drain of sand through Father Time's hourglass.

Of course, we prefer to avert our thoughts from such elemental things, and tell ourselves that the mid-life crisis (MLC, for short) is about concerns like status and goals. But these things  are probably peripheral to mourning the loss of hair and muscles and panicking about erectile dysfunction.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines the MLC as a "loss of self-confidence and feeling of anxiety or disappointment that can occur in early middle age". But when is that, exactly? Most authorities suggest it begins in the mid- to late-40s, though it's perhaps a state of mind more than a black letter day on an actuarial table. And every individual reaches their crisis according their given circumstances.

Anyone who watches sitcom or romcoms will know men are typically the butt of MLC storylines. But the writer and journalist Miranda Sawyer recounts a, by-no-means rare, example of the distaff side of MLC. Of her own experience, she says,"The strongest feeling I had was that I've done everything wrong… I woke up in this life and it wasn't really my life," says Sawyer, recounting the moment her mid-life crisis truly descended in her 40s.  She felt her life "should have been completely different".
Sawyer has documented her experiences in a new book, Out of Time, and is candid enough to admit that mid-life sex can be a ticklish issue.
"As you get older, there's a lot invested in your relationship with your partner and to ask them for more sex, different sex, less sex, better sex, becomes really, really hard."
It upsets the equilibrium in the relationship that took years to build.

Nor is the phenomenon confined to the straight community. Broadcaster Simon Fanshawe, 59, detects what he calls the gay mid-life crisis when he spots a man of a certain age in  ridiculously tight shorts. The MLC for gay men, he says, is inextricably bound up with coming out. Whether they like it or not, formerly settled married men who come out in their middle years reset their personal chronometers, says Fanshawe.
"One day they're fine and with the wife and children… six months later they've come out and suddenly there's this tattooed leather queen coming down the road. Whatever age you actually come out, in your head you're 16. It's a kind of year-zero of being gay."

You might be interested to know what a world-class philosopher has to say about the MLC, but Alain de Botton (46) wasn't available, so we had to settle for the late Arthur Schopenhauer instead, a 19th Century German seer.
Schopenhauer's basic argument is that the problem with getting everything you want is that then your pursuit is over and you have nothing left to do. He thought we were doomed to swing endlessly between the boredom of having no goals left, and the agony of having unsatisfied desires.
Happily Schopenhauer managed to get out of the bed on the right side one morning and acknowledged that although he believed all desire was ultimately pointless and fruitless, he thought the pursuit of simple activities, like going for a walk, seeing friends for a coffee, was less likely to lead to depression and futility.

Someone who gets that very well is former businessman turned stand-up comic Dave Streeter. He had it all, to coin a phrase: family, business, nice house. But then the business went, and pretty soon, so did everything else. Streeter adapted the presentation skills he had learned at work into stage patter.
"My wife got the house, the car, the kids. I got the guilt and a four-man tent," he says. "The tragedy is, I don't know four men that like camping."
Like all the MLC veterans, Streeter looks back on it as a valuable if painful stocktaking.
 His new passion is vibing, a kind of disco on two wheels. Vibers work up a sweat on static bikes to the sound of dance favourites.  Vibing could be seen as a metaphor for the MLC: pedalling furiously, but getting nowhere. But it could also be the perfect tonic for the MLC condition.
What do Schopenhauer's insights boil down to, after all, but the tried and tested maxim: it's not about the destination, it's about the journey.  Thoroughly enjoy your journey from the very beginning and you will have few if any regrets when you hit middle-age. In fact you will be eager to see what else life has in store further down the road.

All the data suggests that we're living longer and beginning to adapt accordingly. What used to be pensionable age is now considered late middle-life.  If you're not there yet, by the time you are, science will probably will have recalibrated the present retirement age, to the bloom of youth - think of all that time you'll have to work on your Pokemon Go handicap.

On his 80th birthday, the French statesman Clemenceau was taking the air on the Champs-Elysees with a friend when a beautiful young woman came towards them. As she passed by, Clemenceau turned to his companion and sighed, "Oh, to be 70 again!"
So to anyone inclined to take a dim view of Clemenceau and the flicker of carnal desire awakened in the octogenarian, all I can say is that he was clearly ahead of his time: after all, 80 truly is the new 70, 60 is the new 50, 50 is the new 40, etc.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Food for Thought : Health Benefits of Cherries

Chock full of vitamins and minerals, cherries are one of the healthiest fruits you can snack on all year long. You can enjoy cherries as a snack, in pie filling, or in a glass of cherry juice. In addition to being a low-calorie healthy snack, there are many health benefits of cherries that you can enjoy by grabbing a handful of this delicious fruit.
Minimizes Pain :
If you have arthritis, you may experience lingering pain that hangs around even with the help of painkillers. Cherries are naturally able to minimize and even eradicate arthritis pain. This is because cherries can significantly reduce the presence of uric acid in the body, leading to less inflammation and pain. This effect is strongest when you enjoy Bing cherries.
Lower Blood Sugar Levels :
People that suffer from diabetes should enjoy cherries on a regular basis. This powerful fruit is full of anthocyanin, an antioxidant that has many health benefits. Cherries can naturally increase insulin production in the body, helping diabetics to more naturally maintain healthy blood sugar levels. If you are diabetic, it is better to eat fresh cherries than canned cherries. Canned cherries often have added sugar and less anthocyanin.
Minimizes Risk of Heart Disease :
When you enjoy this tart treat, you are doing your heart a favor. In fact, cherries can be as effective as some prescribed heart medications without the side effects. They are good at regulating fat and glucose in people with metabolic conditions. If you are on medications to prevent stroke or heart disease, cherries can improve the efficacy of these drugs if you eat them at the same time as taking your medication.
Get Rid of Belly Fat :
If you are carrying a few extra pounds or a spare tire around your middle, cherries may be the answer you’re looking for. Since belly fat is a huge problem in the United States, this is one of the most popular health benefits of cherries. Even if you don’t change your diet, eating cherries can help your body build up less fat and gain less weight.
 Reduces Chances of Gout :
Gout attacks can be excruciatingly painful, so wouldn’t you do anything you could to prevent them? Adding a handful of tart cherries to your daily diet can keep gout away. People have noticed a reduction in gout attacks after just two days of regularly eating cherries. In order to enjoy this health benefit, you just have to eat 1/2 cup of cherries every day.
Reduces Muscle Soreness :
Many runners and hardcore exercisers are starting to realize the power of cherries. Instead of reaching for a sport drink or glass of water after a workout, many fitness buffs are reaching for a large handful of cherries or a glass of cherry juice. Cherries can reduce muscle inflammation, leading to less soreness and quicker healing. If you decide to drink cherry juice, be sure that you are drinking tart, unsweetened cherry juice.
Slow Down Aging :
If you are looking for an anti-aging potion, look no further than cherries. There are numerous anti-aging health benefits of cherries. This is because cherries are full of isoqueritirin and queritrin, antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress in the body. By keeping your body free of free radicals, cherries can slow down the aging process and keep you feeling youthful for decades.
Fights Cancer :
When you enjoy the bright red color of cherries, you are noticing that which makes cherries good at fighting cancer. Flavonoids in cherries give them their color and fight free radicals in the body. This can halt the growth of cancer cells and keep them within normal levels. While all cherries are full of antioxidants, the darker the cherry, the more benefits it has.
Improves Sleep :
Our bodies rely on melatonin, a chemical that regulates sleep cycles, to help us sleep well at night. Tart cherries are a natural source of melatonin. Reach for a glass of cherry juice at night to help you sleep better.
Boosts Memory :
Cherries are an excellent source of anthocyanin, a chemical that can improve your memory. By regularly adding cherries to your diet, you can notice an improvement in your recall skills. This chemical can also improve your motor skills. For those with a faltering memory, this may be one of the best health benefits of cherries.
                                                           Cherry Pie 
 Total time : 3 hours  25 minutes       8 servings

2      cups all-purpose flour
1      teaspoon salt
2/3   cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening
6      tablespoons cold water 
1-1/3     cups sugar
1/2        cup all-purpose flour
6           cups sour cherries, pitted
2           tablespoons butter or margarine, if desired
1 .  Heat oven to 425°F. In medium bowl, mix 2 cups flour and the salt. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost leaves side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary).
2 .  Gather pastry into a ball. Divide pastry in half; shape into 2 rounds. Wrap flattened rounds of pastry in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 45 minutes or until dough is firm and cold, yet pliable.
3 .  Roll pastry on lightly floured surface, using floured rolling pin, into circle 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch glass pie plate. Fold pastry into fourths and place in pie plate; or roll pastry loosely around rolling pin and transfer to pie plate. Unfold or unroll pastry and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side and being careful not to stretch pastry, which will cause it to shrink when baked.
4 .  In large bowl, mix sugar and 1/2 cup flour. Stir in cherries. Spoon into pastry-lined pie plate. Cut butter into small pieces; sprinkle over cherries. Cover with top pastry that has slits cut in it; seal and flute. Cover edge with 2- to 3-inch strip of foil to prevent excessive browning; remove foil during last 15 minutes of baking.
5 .  Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust. Cool on cooling rack at least 2 hours before serving.
Expert Tips :
There are two types of cherries—sweet and sour. Sour cherries, also called pie cherries, tart cherries or tart red cherries make wonderful pies. Sweet cherries are great for eating fresh, but not for pies.
Substitute 6 cups frozen unsweetened pitted red tart cherries, thawed and drained, or 3 cans (14.5 oz each) pitted red tart cherries, drained, for the fresh cherries.

A proud Grand-poppa                   G.