Keeping a List of Different Types of Birds Can be Fun to Put Together

Keeping a List of Different Types of Birds Can be Fun to Put Together


A listing of all of the different types of birds there are in the world would be an impossibly long one. Even a field book describing those birds most commonly found in North America is too long a list for anyone except the most dedicated birder to try to remember.


birdBirds are fun to watch, some are exceptionally beautiful, and a few sing beautiful songs. There are birds of prey, waterfowl, flightless birds, birds that make great pets, and so on. A person could spend a lifetime studying only one or two types of birds, hummingbirds as an example, or birds of prey.
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Guide to Protecting Birds

Guide to Protecting Birds in Your Own Yard


Protecting birds can be a very rewarding experience. What may seem like a few small gestures to us humans can have a profound impact on the lives of countless birds. Protecting birds in your neighborhood is only part of what your efforts will go towards; many migrating birds may also receive a positive influence by your attempts to provide protection and food. The following sections explain a few easy ideas for ways that you can offer extra protection to the birds in your yard. Many of these ideas are excellent projects for children, too!
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Funny Tasting Water

I have been on the market lately for a much needed water purifying system to use at home. Of course it has to be totally dependable, easy to use, not too expensive, and of course it has to fit under my sink. I am searching for such a thing as I have been noticing several changes in the quality of water that has been flowing out our tap these couple of days. One can’t really be too sure when it comes to drinking water.

It first happened last week when I came home from the mall after I bought the best lightweight luggage of my dreams. I have been pondering of traveling lately and what better way to prepare for it than to buy the best thing associated with traveling, but enough about that. So I came home from the mall a little bit thirsty. Grabbed a glass and went to the tap for some much needed drink.

Heck, I could have sworn somebody put toothpaste on the faucet as it tasted very much like it. I know our drinking water here in America is thoroughly fluoridated at the water plant but this is too much.

This afternoon it happened again as I tasted something entirely different but very familiar. I guess it was something close to the chlorine they put in swimming pools and it smelled of it too. I have drank my share of pool water during my time so I know how it tasted and this one comes very close to it. What are the people at the water plant doing? Are they working drunk or something?

Well enough is enough already and I thought of doing something about it, which brings me to my current dilemma of finding which of the water filtration systems available in the market best suits me. I have read a bit about it on the internet and the general consensus of the best filtration system among many people is with reverse osmosis.

Reverse osmosis is explained as a kind of water purification technology which uses porous semi-permeable membranes to filter out discernible particles from water. It uses water pressure to trump up the osmotic pressure present in water. So basically it forces the water into several types of membranes to clear any impurities contained in it which is always fine by me. Heck they even use it to make clean water from sea water so it must really be that powerful of a process.

So the only thing now left to consider is which product to buy among the myriads of choices available on the internet today, and also if they do shipping and stuff. Hopefully the one I choose has a center near here so it would not be much of a hassle getting it.

Well I have to settle for bottled water for the mean time just to be sure and temporarily use tap water only for cleaning and watering the plants. Heck if only the people in the water plant done their job efficiently then none of these things would’ve happened. Or is it just me?

Start Living

I have always been fascinated with all of God’s wonderful creations. From the lowliest of insects to the largest of mammals, every single one of them I adore. How life itself would really be without all of them around and co-existing with us. Certainly it would be a bore and quite different from what you and I have come to know.

Imagine the bees, such little creatures never seen around quite often and never appreciated for the work they are doing. Did you know that without them, flowers and plants will be hard put growing and reproducing themselves? You might think that “so what is it to me if they do not reproduce”. Well several studies have been done about that and all conclusions point to the fact that if the bees are gone, in one point or another, human kind will be sure to follow their demise afterwards.

Everything in this world has a purpose, each and every single one of them. If anything foreign suddenly pops up in your otherwise dreary life, you can be sure they are there for a reason. Never cut short the being of anything you don’t recognize. Appreciate them for all their worth.

A mean looking red ant suddenly crosses your way and you are driven by the desire to squash it mightily under your feet, a bird chirping uncontrollably near your window, bothering you from your monotony and calling you out, the cat purring between your legs longing for your attention, or the ever loyal dog that is always there, each and every one of them there for a reason. You just have to sift through all the static of daily life and you will find it.

I have always been searching for the reason for everything. Why are they here or why I am here? We are like them in many ways and their problem quickly becomes ours if we are not careful. We all live in the same planet hurtling through space, never knowing where we are going and never knowing why.

So what can we do as human beings? Well the answer to that I honestly don’t know. Maybe we just put everything to trust and to faith, and hope that everything would be just fine. Sometimes it’s better to never really know why and to just appreciate what is already here.

Me, I just console myself with the fact that I’m still here, although a little old in days and a little wise from experience, with my magnificently old camera and best travel tripod in tow, and everything and anything as my subject. I am happy just like that.

You really cannot have everything in this world and whatever you take, you cannot bring with you after your life. So maybe make the most out of your time and appreciate everything there is to appreciate as time really is short for all of us. Live life the way you know how and rest in the fact that there is more to come. Just believe.

Healing Asthma the Natural Way

You know what I don’t really like about spring? It is the annual release of pollen by all types of trees, grasses, shrubs and almost all the members of the plant family while we’re at it. I profess my annoyance to them with every wheezing breath I perform during the times that I have the unlucky chance of inhaling them.

Spring is the time when all manner of plant life shoots out pollen to perpetuate their ilk. I know it is generally a good thing, as we cannot live in this world without plants and pollen alike, but they sometimes do harm, especially to people like me who are allergic to them. It is quite a miracle for me to have flourished with my job, as both a nature photographer and bird lover alike, that I am still here, even with my aversion to anything pollen.

I start preparing for it in late winter when the ice begins its journey to become water again, and the trees start to show their sturdy barks. I load up on my very diverse regimen of anti-allergy home remedies for asthma to somehow build my resistance to the soon to be awoken airborne allergens.  You can find out more about home remedies for asthma on this website.

I have spent many years on prescription drugs and synthetic medicines to fight this condition, though only a mild form of asthma according to my doctors, I have become too dependent on these man-made marvels of medicine to cure my illness. It is only these past few years that I intentionally thought of facing the problem in a more natural way. With research, I discovered the potency of several food items with regards to their asthma fighting capabilities and also their efficacy in strengthening the body’s natural resistance to sickness.

For the incessant coughing and fluid in lungs that is caused by asthma, I have my trusty black pepper tea infused with honey and lemon that, when consumed regularly, also relieves clogged sinuses. Then there also are the things around the kitchen which are nondescript, but definitely reliable forms of natural remedy for asthma like chili peppers, onions and peppermint extracts, all of which contains, in varying degrees, anti-inflammatory properties that works well against the constriction of a person’s airways and also thins out the mucus produced during asthma attacks.

The caffeine in coffee has a bronchi-dilating effect on asthma sufferers, meaning it loosens up the constricted respiratory passages with the effect of enabling one to breathe much more freely. Other common beverages which are good against asthma are orange juices with their accompanying vitamin C, and yoghurt that contains vitamin B12 which can alleviate several symptoms of asthma.

All in all, these food items are great in fighting off and preventing the symptoms of asthma for me. Who would have known that they were this good against my illness? I definitely am very thankful, that I have made the change into natural forms of medicines. Gone are the days when I feel sleepy and dizzy from all the pills and capsules that I had to consume, and even now, I feel very energetic coming off winter as is opposed to back then, when I generally feel fear when winter is about to end. I would recommend these and other kinds of natural treatment to all asthma sufferers out there. If it worked wonders for me, it will also do so to you. It is time to make your change.

Having Skin Tears is a Very Painful Thing

After asthma, the thing I am most worried about regarding my health, are skin tears. At the age I am already in, skin tears are very prevalent and common that even the simple bumping into any inanimate objects can cause them. Even scratching itchy bumps like my pimples under the skin, for more about it click here, which are also common to anyone past a certain age, and also not a good idea to scratch at, can become a dangerous precedence for a skin tear to form.

Skin tears are defined as distressing injuries which results in the separation of the skin from several layers, and is oftentimes caused by friction, shearing and direct trauma to it, causing separation between the dermis and its underlying structures. Skin tears are common for both the elderly and infants, who both have fragile skin that are easily broken, and can occur in any place of the body, but are observed to be more usual to the hands and other extremities.

Those two words, when put together can usher you into a world of terrible pain, believe me as I had the chance to experience it firsthand. It happened last summer, while I was readying up to go take my daily walks around the nearby park, and was so unexpected, that I had to see the blood drip before realizing I had the injury.

I was holding my jug on my left hand and my camera on the other, as I was planning to take pictures of an unfamiliar bird that I saw yesterday, flying around in the trees in the park. Having no freehand available to keep the door ajar, I used my forehand to gently push it open. It kind of felt like my arm was stuck with glue to the door, and as I try to remove it, I felt a wet feeling in the area. I did not really mind it and just went on my way, only to be stopped by my next door neighbor who was watering his lawn at the time. He was pointing wide eyed at my arm and almost screaming my name. And then I saw it, and I immediately felt light headed from so much blood.

I was diagnosed with a Category 1 skin tear by the doctor, meaning it is of the linear type and also does not include any tissue loss, but boy was it a big wound. I expected it to be sewn up or something but the doctor did not do it. He instead applied tissue glue in between the two flaps of skin, and covered the area with a sort of fiber dressing that contains anti-microbial agents. Tubular bandages were then placed on either end of the dressing for support, and also to make sure that the bandage remains in place.

You can still see the remnants of the wound on my forearm today, and it serves as a reminder for me that I need to be careful all the time. Now I always aim to moisturize my skin daily through the use of the lotion prescribed by the doctor. I also take in several nutritional supplements, to help maintain the elasticity of my skin and to lessen the risk of it breaking. Believe me you do not want to experience what I have gone through that time.

Typical Signs of Pregnancy

Let me tell you a little story. Back in my days, the only way a woman can truly tell if she is really pregnant, is when her tummy was bulging, and is exhibiting several remarkable things, that only women who are pregnant typically displays. Yep that was all that is really needed, for one to be sure. No flimflams or hoo-has about it, they just waited for it to show. Now, if that bulge is caused by some other factors, or is even a kind of sickness, then they had a problem.

Today, Science removes all the guesswork and makes it possible to be really sure about pregnancy. From pregnancy test kits, that is very handy and does not need any kind of formal education to use, to the many kinds of Implantation Calculator, like this one here, that, more or less, even lets you know the exact day when your baby was originally created, and began its life on your womb. There are even ultrasounds today that tells you what the sex of your baby is, and even what your child looks like just by rubbing it against your belly and stuff. Oh how wonderful the things that science has given to us.

But the old adages pertaining to pregnancy still resonates today. What was called as” being pregnant” back then is now scientifically defined as “signs of implantation”, a more formal phrase, but is truly also the same thing. These typical symptoms of pregnancy are universal, and manifest it every time, and no matter what the situation is, they will occur.

Signs of Implantation examples are several things, first is the breast changes that occur when one is pregnant. The breast undergoes an expansion of sorts, and becomes sore and tender to the touch, they may even feel heavier and fuller, mainly because of the various hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy.

Another example of being pregnant is the onset of morning sickness, or the nausea that women suffer from when they are already expecting. Hormonal changes in the woman’s body are also responsible for this, and usually occur during the thirteenth to fourteenth week of pregnancy.

Other signs of pregnancy are the spotting or cramping that almost all women experience, when an egg is successfully fertilized in her womb. Fatigue also seems to always occur to pregnant people, due to the high level of progesterone that is being produced by her body. The frequent urination of a woman, coupled with dizziness, headaches and mood swings can also be attributed as a sign of pregnancy. And who would debate that the stopping of the monthly period, relates directly to a woman’s being pregnant?

All these things and more, point directly to a woman being pregnant, and it is such a thing of beauty, what pregnancy is. So if you are a woman, and you experience several, or all of the symptoms described here, chances are high that you are pregnant, and it is advised of you to have yourself checked, to make sure that the welfare of both you and the child you are carrying is taken cared of.

Fleeting Time

Time goes by really fast, especially when one is having fun and is around loved ones. Yep that’s a very popular cliché, but also a very true one. Do you ever notice, that when you are around people that you don’t like, time seems to stretch itself out, and a simple hour seems to last for several, but when you are with friends and family, or even people that is not related to you but you seem to kind of like them, time gets faster, that even four full hours tend to get by like just one. Can anybody explain that? What really happens to time during those moments?

I know time is a constant thing, never stretching or bending depending on a particular situation or event. Time doesn’t care for such things, and just chugs along at the same rate from the beginning up until the end, that is, if there is one. I sometimes think that when we’re having fun, that time smiles sneakily, and slips away so fast when we are not looking, and by the time we notice it again, it has gone very far already.

Musing aside, I am really disappointed with time for being so fast. Last time we were together, my daughter and I were discussing about making several pregnancy announcement ideas for her upcoming pregnancy, and that was a year ago. We love our daughter very much that even if it was a pain letting her go and live her life, it was her choice, and it was definitely natural for her to get married, as beautiful as she is, it was a blessing that she got to stay with us in our home for thirty years, before deciding to tie the proverbial knot.

Anyway, what brought us here again together was a family visit, and this time the husband and wife are now accompanied by their little precious bundle of joy. Adeline was a beautiful little girl, and she looks very much like her mother. She is sleeping now, which is good, because just a moment ago she was getting a mild case of hiccups. My daughter was getting alarmed about the newborn hiccups thing that Adeline was experiencing and was asking us if we knew of any way to cure it. We told her that when she was young, that she too was also prone to getting hiccups and that it was only natural for an infant to get one. In fact, babies getting hiccups is sometimes a good thing because it means that they are being well fed and such. It only sometimes gets scary because we are not used to seeing babies getting one.

We also told her that what she did earlier, of patting the baby’s back after feeding and letting her burp, was the right thing to do to get rid of hiccups. It is because of that excess air in the newborn’s diaphragm, which sometimes comes from too much sucking and swallowing of air that is the cause of hiccups, and removing that said air was therefore, its cure.

I’ll remember this day for posterity’s sake. I know we will never notice it but maybe the next time we look, Adeline will be very much bigger and grown. And who knows, maybe this time it will be her that is asking me for wedding invitation ideas. Time is that fast.

Braces for Injured Dogs

As a nature lover, I hate seeing any living thing in pain.  While on a photography trip to Los Angeles, I was walking through some of the neighborhood and notice a dog limping.  He is one of those very cute dog, my best guess would be some sort of a Husky Pomeranian Mix.  He was left on the street in pain.  I looked around and no one seem to care, so I picked him up and brought him to the veterinarian hospital.  I learned a lot from the doctor there and found out that this dog needed braces.  Here is what I have learned from that experience.


Dog braces can be very helpful tools for canines that are unable to walk properly due to an injury or condition of the leg. Just like humans, dogs can develop muscle, joint, and bone problems that make the legs unstable or painful to use. Dog braces help to support the affected leg so that the animal can regain a normalized gait. Any dog owner whose pet is living a less-than-full life due to a leg issue may want to consider the leg brace as a possible remedy.


vet hospitalWhat Are Dog Braces?


A dog brace is a support device that is typically made of a durable cloth, metal or plastic, and resilient foam padding. The device is designed to mold to a certain part of the dog’s leg where it can support and immobilize a specific joint or joints. Braces are fitted with straps that circle around the leg in order to keep the device firmly in place as the animal moves around. There are several different types of dog braces, such as the carpal brace, elbow brace, tarsal brace, hock brace, and stifle brace. Each of these devices is designed to support a specific part of the leg by relieving pressure, restricting unwanted movements, and lending strength to certain joint, bone, or set of muscles.


The brace must be an exact fit for the dog’s leg. This is important because a brace that is too large won’t be able to support the leg while a brace that is too tight could cause damage to the limb due to increased pressure. No two dogs have the exact same legs. Just like a human, each dog has specific measurements that are special to him or her. The best way to get an exact fit for the dog is to make a plaster mold of the animal’s leg, similar to a cast. This is often done at a veterinary office where the mold can be sent directly to the company that will create the custom brace.


What Conditions Require the Use of Dog Braces?


The greatest percentage of braces are used during the recovery process. A dog that has suffered an injury to one of the bones, joints, or muscles in the leg may require a brace to support the injured limb until it has recovered enough to be used on its own. Being hit by a car, jumping from a high place, or being attacked by another animal are just a few of the possible ways that a dog might sustain a serious leg injury requiring the use of a support device.


An injury isn’t the only reason a dog might require a brace, however. Conditions such as arthritis, ligament inflammation, tendonitis, and osteoporosis may also bring about the need to use a leg support device. Braces may also be used after surgery to prevent the dog from moving around too much or it could be used as a long-term alternative to surgery.


How Are Dog Braces Applied?


As mentioned earlier, a dog brace contains several bands to help secure the device to the dog’s leg. The way that a brace is applied to the leg will primarily depend on what type of brace is being used. Most braces may simply be fitted over the appropriate area. The straps, which feed through rings or openings in the brace’s frame, then wrap around the part of the leg that is not enclosed in the brace. The straps may be adjusted to obtain a snug fit. Ankle or paw braces might be easier to apply with two people as this brace often encloses the bottom, sides, and tip of the paw. Having one person to immobilize the dog while the other person fits the brace will make the task much easier and quicker.


What Are Canine Prosthetics?


Canine prosthetics serve the same purpose as human prosthetics. A prosthetic limb is an artificial limb that is specifically designed to replace a lost or unformed limb. A dog may lose a limb through a disease, degenerative condition, or injury. It is also possible that a dog may be born with a limb that did not form properly during gestation. Canine prosthetics come in many designs depending on one’s budget and the needs of the dog. Most prosthetic devices are made of composite plastic or carbon fiber and are fitted to the dog using a series of straps. A prosthetic device may not be suitable for all disabled dogs, however, as the device does require a certain amount of bone available to which the device can be fitted.


Can a Canine Prosthetic Restore a Dog’s Mobility?


A canine prosthetic can certainly enable a dog to regain his or her mobility, but there are limitations. Depending on the dog’s specific disability and the prosthetic with which it is fitted, the dog may be able to walk with a relatively normal gait but he or she may not be able to run as steadily or perform agility exercises. For most dogs with prosthetic limbs, the device helps to reinstate the animal’s basic freedom to come and go but it won’t necessarily enable the dog to perform complicated movements such as jumping up and down from a car or swimming in a lake. Each dog is different and can display a different level of adaptability.

Foods That Help Prevent Bruising

Once I turned age 60, I decided to retire from my long-time career and focus on personal photography. After being a photographer for years, I began to discover unexplained bruises. They were mostly located on my arms and legs. At first, I thought that hauling my heavy photography equipment around on a regular basis may have been the cause of the bruising; surely I had knocked my camera bag into my legs a time or two, and perhaps I had accidentally swung my camera into my arms on various occasions as well.

At that point, I decided to be more careful with the way I handled my camera equipment. Weeks later, when I was still beginning to notice bruises on my arms and legs, I decided that it was time to see a doctor. After all, I had done some research online and read that unexplained bruises could be caused by certain diseases and forms of cancer; this, as you can imagine, made me extremely nervous.

Fortunately, a trip to my doctor and some simple tests cleared me of the possibility of cancer and other major diseases that could cause the unexplained bruising. When that was ruled out, my doctor speculated that my bruising was most likely the result of vitamin deficiency in my diet. This made sense to me, as I knew I had not been doing as much as I probably should have to reach my daily recommended vitamin intake.

After my visit to the doctor, I knew that I needed to find a way to incorporate more vitamin C and vitamin K into my diet. These, I learned, are the two main vitamins responsible for not only healing existing bruises, but preventing new ones from coming back. My doctor told me that the best three foods to eat for increasing vitamin K and C intake were blueberries, cabbage, and watercress. All three of these foods are rich in vitamins. Blueberries are specifically great for vitamin C, while watercress is wonderful for both vitamins C and K. Cabbage, on the other hand, contains harmless bacteria that helps the body synthesize vitamin K to prevent bruising.

Ever since I began incorporating these foods into my diet, I have been pleased to find that my bruises have healed themselves and a significantly smaller number of new bruises has emerged. I plan on continuing my intake of these foods as often as possible, though I think it has also been helpful for me to keep vitamin supplements on hand at all times for days when my access to these foods is limited.


Finding Fun and Unique Activities for Kids

I have been observing kids through the lens for most of my life. One thing I’ve discovered is that children love having fun. They also love exploring themselves and discovering new things. Anything that’s fun will do and, will surely keep them busy. Otherwise, they’ll be busy wrecking havoc. As a parent, you might want to find unique and fun activities for your kids to engage in. but how does an activity qualify as fun and unique. Here are some tips.

paintingConsider your child’s age

As children grow, they tend to shift their focus from one activity to another. For example, a toddler might be interested in artwork such as my little pony coloring pages. As he grows older, he shifts his focus to toys and mind challenging games. I have observed this in my kids and, by considering age, I was able to find unique activities for my children.

Your engagement

Besides being a parent, I was also my children’s first best friend. They relied on me to be there and share the fun with them. Whether they were painting or playing ball, my presence gave them assurance and confidence. I always ensured to be part of my kids fun activities especially when they were young. I didn’t necessarily have to be active but giving credit for their efforts, my children had the confidence to continue having fun.

The educational part

Fun and unique activities for kids shouldn’t be only about enjoyment. It should also be a learning experience. As an art lover, I usually encouraged my kids to try out art. They loved it and learned a lot. A simple drawing enables your kids to develop cognitive and motor skills. In addition, the kids will get to earn about social skills as well as discover more about themselves.

The child’s interest

Kids are naturally curious about new and fun activities. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the child will be interested in any activity introduced to them. That said, its not recommended that you try and force and activity on your kids. Simply introduce them to a new activity, such as this, and watch how they respond.


How complex an activity is will determine whether your child will remain focused on it or not. Kids tend to get bored fast. This is especially so if the activity engaged in is too simple or complex. The key to selecting an activity that’s just right for your children is considering their age and level of motor and cognitive development. For example, a toddler will find crayon more interesting than paints for artwork. The reason for this is that a toddler’s motor and cognitive development hasn’t reached the stage whereby he can easily apply paint on canvas.

The Nature of Growing Old

It is an exhilarating experience walking in nature, the tranquility of the surroundings, the chirping of birds and the swoon of the calming wind passing through the leaves of trees and blades of grass. The skittering of random squirrels and the fluttering of butterfly wings brings peace. A bee zapping from flower to flower and a caterpillar hastily building its cocoon signaling life is abound. The marching of ants and the ripples atop rivers, constantly popping up, brings mystery to whatever it is underneath. I love these things. I grew up adoring nature and everything that relates to it. It is with nature that I started my life, lived my life, and will eventually give my life to when it is all over. But that time is still considerably distant to warrant contemplation. To that I say, not yet.

But life is too short for us mere men. Time brings drastic change to whatever it is that dances with it. Our once dark, bountiful mane of hair turns coarse and gray, Our once supple young skin gives way to dry, thin, wrinkly skin, eyes that can see beyond the horizon becomes strained, if not blurred, looking afar. Remembering things easily becomes just a memory. Our once lithe, robust body becomes weighted, laboriously doing anything, which does not warrant any effort, back in the days of old. Teeth falling off, joints always aching, we are humans and that is our fate. Yes we can delay the inevitable, but for how much and for how long?

I must defer, and I do resist, but it is what it is. I must confess that somehow, unbelievably, age is getting on to me. Walking has been terrible lately. Pain is felt on my hips every time I take a step. Hormonal imbalance or a pinched nerve I silently imagined, but a recent visit to the GP exhibited hip flexor pain. The hips, do they do that? I mused myself. But a stern warning from my doctor surprised me. He said that what I am feeling could either be just a strain, or worse, a symptom of some other illnesses like arthritis, tendinitis or muscle tear. It can also possibly be fractures in the bones of the hip and even osteoarthritis, he said matter-of-factly.  Several tests must be done he said, before a diagnosis could be dispensed. He also advised me of anterior hip precautions to take, to minimize aggravation of the pain that I am feeling, and suggested several exercises and stretches to do to relax the stiffness in the area. The consultation ended with some over the counter pain medicine to take the bite out of the pain.

Reality crashed through the window of the car while I was driving home. I remembered naughtily jumping over a fallen log, in one of my leisurely walks, as I was trying to avoid a troop of ants going about their daily trade. Of the awkward way that I landed on a stone and the cringe I felt afterwards. Yes that was it, I said with a sigh of relief.  Fear of my still unknown sickness slowly vanished, replaced by the commitment that I should take better care of my actions. The ride home went happily after that, even though my hips were still aching.

Walking again, a somber realization surrounded me; that I am a man, a temporary and frail being in this world of change, always hanging by the threads of fate and is destined to death even while unborn. Yes, we are one on this journey. But its end is hopefully not near. Not yet.


Symptoms of Diarrhea and Constipation in Toddlers

Toddlers are such a joy to be around with, especially my grand-kids. Always full of life, forever skittering around and bouncing off the walls, constantly curious and teeming with boundless energy, there is never a dull moment. That is why whenever they become quiet or listless; we know something is wrong with them. Diarrhea in toddlers and toddler constipation are the two most common illnesses that are almost always present during growing up. They may not be capable of saying what is wrong with them, they just start to cry whenever these maladies hit. That is why it is of utmost importance that we know how to identify them.

diarrheaThe process of digestion among us human beings starts when we swallow our food through our mouths. Enzymes are then mixed with the food as we chew them. A process called peristalsis, which contracts and relaxes our gastrointestinal muscles in a downward motion, directs the food down to our stomachs and then to our intestines. It is there in the large and small intestines that our body absorbs the nutrients of the food, leaving the waste products to be later expelled as stools. It is in the absorption of nutrients that the two disorders have their differences.

Constipation is an illness wherein our body passes stool in longer intervals, about only 2 to 3 times a week, and the stool that is produced by the body is often hard and compact. Toddlers with constipation are pained and often struggle releasing their stool. In constipation, peristalsis is somehow slowed down; the food is kept at the large intestines much longer than normal, making the body absorb much more liquid from the food we eat. The body’s lack of fiber from food is the common cause of constipation. In toddlers, the usual symptoms of constipation are:

  • The child has a constant stomach ache
  • Bloating of the body and often times the child is nauseous
  • Irritability and the unwillingness to eat
  • Crying during stool passing, presence of blood in stool
  • Hard stools. Sometimes pellet like in form, sometimes hard and chunky

Diarrhea on the other hand is an illness wherein we pass stool multiple times in a day. Usually the stool that is passed is watery in nature and is sometimes accompanied by mucous. In diarrhea, peristalsis goes into overdrive so that the intestines hardly have time to absorb the nutrients in the food. Diarrhea occurs when our intestines are irritated and is usually caused by either infection, food poisoning or the taking of medication; another cause of diarrhea is irritable bowel syndrome. Diarrhea in toddlers is very dangerous and must be treated quickly as the child’s condition gets downhill really fast when he is dehydrated.  Common signs of a toddler with diarrhea are:

  • Watery consistency of stool and the frequent passing of it
  • Dark color and small amount of urine due to the depletion of water in the body
  • Low grade fever, nausea and dizziness
  • Malaise and lacking of energy
  • Drying of skin and the absence of tears when crying
  • Cramping of the stomach


Diarrhea and constipation in toddlers are serious afflictions and must not be taken lightly. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of each one, enables us to know the necessary steps we must take in dealing with them. We must always be aware of the state of health that our children are in, because it is up to us if they will be safe. Their lives depend on it.

Breastfeeding your Child

It is said that the bond between a mother and her child further strengthens during breastfeeding. Even the Bible has several passages relating to a mother’s nursing of her young and about how important it is towards the child’s development in the world. Breastfeeding therefore, is the holy grail of new born care. A mother’s unending love towards her child, life giving sustenance, and a very unique human experience, breastfeeding is all of these things and more.

Practically speaking, breastfeeding is the process of feeding a baby or an infant with breast milk directly from a mother’s breast. There are many benefits of breastfeeding for both the mother and her baby. Primarily for the baby, it is the transfer of the mother’s antibodies which helps the infant’s capacity to fight disease and can also protect him from suffering from allergies. Breastfeeding is also linked to higher emotional quotient of the child and, among other things, serves as an intelligence booster later in life.

On the other hand, the mother also obtains several important benefits though breastfeeding, among them are:

  • A lesser possibility of suffering from stress and post-partum depression after childbirth.
  • Eliminates the chance of developing certain kind of cancers like the ones that develop in the breast and ovaries.
  • Lowering the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes and cardiovascular problems.
  • Acts as a natural contraceptive, as a mother’s ovulation and period while breastfeeding is discontinued.

Although breastfeeding is simple in nature, you still have to watch what you consume and put into your body, as it may have a big possibility of being passed to your baby through your milk. Among the foods to avoid while breastfeeding are coffee, chocolate, tea or any other drinks that contains caffeine as it may cause the child to be fussy and irritable, alcoholic drinks are also frowned upon as  the baby tends to get drowsy all the time and is also shown to cause weakness in the child. Citrusy and spicy foods are also to be used in moderation as it affects your baby’s digestion and may also leave a taste in your nipples that will make your baby avoid them. It is also common sense to stop smoking and to also consult your doctor if you are taking any prescription medicines while you are breastfeeding as it will definitely have adverse effects on your baby.

Summing it all up, breastfeeding is a wonderful thing. After comprehending all of its known and presumed benefits to both the mother and the child, it is unthinkable for any mother to not breastfeed her child.  Nurturing naturally that’s what it is. I still remember how my children immediately stopped crying once my wife lovingly embraces them to her bosom. Now that they have grown, I can still see their closeness to us, their parents, and especially to their mother. Maybe we were just lucky or maybe we did succeed in bringing them up nicely. Credit goes fully to my wonderful wife for all of that and more.

No Dieting for Me

scaleDieting is defined as the procedure of eating food in a controlled fashion to maintain, decrease and also to increase weight in an individual. Although dieting per se is synonymous to trimming down, it is not always about losing weight. It can also be a tool that is used in gaining it, like when you want to build up muscle mass or building a larger frame, and finally, also of maintaining weight, which is usually done for health or aesthetic reasons. In short, and for whatever purpose, dieting is a word used to describe how we eat food.

Dieting for weight loss is scientifically classified, according to various dissertations made about the topic, as temporary in nature. Long-term studies about dieting reveal that almost all of the individuals who have dieted regain whatever weight they lost in about two years, and with about two thirds of the study group even getting heavier than their starting weight. The same study indicated that dieting coupled with strenuous exercise makes the weight loss of an individual more lasting and easier to maintain. However, it is also noted that the mortality rate of people who practice fad or unhealthy dieting increased two fold.

Are you still with me? Well, what I really wanted to say is that dieting, for all its worth, is just that, a fad, a temporary solution. If you really wanted to lose weight, you got to sacrifice your way of life, you got to change the way you live, because that’s what made you fat in the first place. No 1000 calorie diet, South Beach Diet or Atkins Diet can help you, if you still do what you were used to doing prior to dieting. You can eat all the low carb vegetables you can get your hands into but still be fat. You see, it’s like this when you are dieting; You look at yourself and think that you are fat even though you are not, then you decide to do something about it and you go into a diet, you scale down on the foods that you eat or even completely skip a meal or two and you keep depriving your body for days on end. Your body responds by going into starvation mode and saves all of the energy it gets by shutting itself down. You get sleepy all the time and have no energy to do basic things; your mind starts to wander off as you easily lose concentration and suffer psychologically. You then go bat crazy and still continue on this path, you then suffer extreme consequences like depression, muscle atrophy, continuous physical fatigue, organ damage and ultimately, if you’re unlucky enough, you can die from it.

Why diet then? If it’s a very hard process and if you’re going to gain it again later, why must you endure the pain? I’ve been thinking about that too. Is it society that is to be blamed for this kind of thinking? Does anybody have an answer to my question?

A Dog and a Child’s Friendship

Ever had a dog as your pet? I did once, when I was young. Have you ever heard of the saying that a dog is a man’s best friend?  Well, I must say, based on my experience, it’s true and more. A dog stays loyal to his master for a long time, unending, unconditional love. Doesn’t matter if you are fat, ugly, mean or whatever, he will love you.

I got him when he was still a little puppy, whimpering every time I touched him. I made a little cot for him to sleep him in, but always, as if it was his destiny, he trudged, with his little paws, back to me. Wherever I was, he will come to me. I don’t know if he was just cold or hungry, but he always comes for me. I never did like pets inside the house but his actions made me consider, melting my heart to the point of surrender every time he is near.

Growing up, we shared lots of time together. I always loved walking, and he was with me everywhere I go. Be it walks around the block or in the park, he was my constant companion. A quirk of his, is that ever wagging tail and hanging tongue, he was always thirsty, I don’t know, maybe the park’s humidity or his jumpy attitude makes him thirsty always. Yes, there was the occasional missing shoe and holes dug in the yard, but one sight of those soulful eyes makes everything forgiven. I used to share secrets with him, talking to him about everything under the sun which was always met with severe licking. He chases squirrels around a lot not managing to catch any one of them; maybe he was just playing around with the critters. For me, he was part of the family, a little brother, my best friend.

A dog’s life is short compared to us humans and they also get sick. Vets aren’t common and hard to come by back then, and he got terribly sick. Eventually his time did come, I was inconsolable. They said I cried for a whole week. I don’t want to remember those times. For me, he is still here, following me around. You can’t find words to describe a child losing a beloved pet, which he is very close to, you just can’t. And that must be the reason of my attitude towards pets today, especially dogs.

cute bichon poodleI like to just watch them nowadays, fascinated by the progress of breeding and training. The dogs of today are very far from the dogs of yesteryears. Wanted traits and characteristics are bred and cultivated among many a variety of breeds producing a dog which is intelligent, family oriented, easily trained or other combinations that the owner desires. I am partial to the poodle mixes particularly the bichon poodle variety. It’s a small dog that looks like the dog I had and is both caring and likes to please people around them, traits that my dog had.

Even though he is long gone, He is still my pet, even if it is only in my heart. I still love and miss him to this day.

Hedgy the Hedgehog

hedgyHaving Hedgy the hedgehog as our pet was a very profound learning experience for us. We bought him when he was still young because the children wanted a pet. I was a bit hesitant at first when I found out that it was neither a dog nor a cat that they wanted, but of all things, a hedgehog? They eventually went on and on with their explanation of why they want a hedgehog, about how sonic the hedgehog was their favorite video game character and how, if permitted,  would take turns of caring for it and other silly reasons that I now forgot. Hedgehogs, unlike today, are hard to come by in Oregon during those days but, yep they got it; I eventually gave in to their constant badgering and got them their own hedgehog. They named it Hedgy, and I was so puzzled and asked them that I thought that sonic was their favorite hedgehog? Well dad, he looks like a hedgy, and that was the end of it.

Hedgehogs are small animals, a little bit larger than most hamsters but not bigger than your average cat. They have quills on their back and soft fur on their bellies. Their quills are not that hard as the porcupine quills are, but still, they are firm enough to warrant careful handling. They make huffing and squealing noises depending on their mood and sometimes curl up into a ball if they feel threatened. We read that he is an omnivore by nature, eats both plant and animal as food, but we usually give him cat food and sometimes fresh produce whenever it is available. Hedgy was not the sociable type and just always keeps to himself in his cave that we built for him, sometimes when he feels like it, he ventures out towards his exercise wheel but those episodes are few and far in between. Sometimes the only thing that reminded us that he is there are the constant grunts he makes when he is hungry. The kids, who were so enthusiastic at first, after two months, eventually got tired of his novelty. They stopped minding Hedgy and eventually left me with his care. We finally returned him to the dealer one day, fearing that continuous neglect will eventually do harm to him, and just told the dealer that we are not worthy of Hedgy and that maybe, there were other people who will love him more than us.

The kids are grown up now and I think they do not remember Hedgy anymore, but it was a lesson learned the hard way. Hedgehogs are a bit exotic in nature and having hedgehogs as pets is unique in a different way. They are the kind of pets who are just there, they don’t interact much and they don’t give love and attention back the way most people are accustomed to, they are just there minding their own business, so tendency is that they will eventually lose favor with you, and with you ending up neglecting him.

Making the long story short, before getting any pet, one must think many times and make sure that he is ready for anything that may arise and also to accept all the responsibility that comes with it. It is only fair that we do.

Effects of Too Much Uric Acid

The kidney is a very important organ of the human body, that without it, you will surely die. That escalated a bit quickly huh? I’m just kidding. But the kidney truly is very important to our body, as it is the one generally in charge of filtering waste from our body. It is located in the middle part of our right chest area and has the ribs for protection; it is also the second largest organ in our body next to the skin. Its main functions are to filter the blood coming from the digestive system before it spreads to the rest of our body, and also to secrete bile into the intestines, to help in the breakdown and absorption of the food we eat.

The liver is also affected by several illnesses which has pain as their common factor. Examples of such liver diseases are; alcoholic liver disease, acetaminophen toxicity, liver cancer, liver cirrhosis, fatty liver disease, fibrosis, hepatitis and several others that I temporarily seem to forget. Liver pain usually is felt as a dull and throbbing pain on your right side, which may even radiate to your back area, particularly in between the shoulder blades and also in your hip area.

So why am I saying all these information about the liver? Well, mine is actually acting up since yesterday, and since I have nothing else better to do today, I’m going to tell on him.  And do you also want to know the common factor between pain on top of foot and liver pain? Yes you’re right, its uric acid.

Uric acid, that pesky little thing, is produced when the liver breaks down foods with high concentration of purine in them. Examples of food items that are high in purine are beans, sardines, animal organs, cauliflower, lean meat, sea-foods and even beer. When you eat much of the said foods, your liver produces more uric acid than the body can handle, resulting in the accumulation of uric acid crystals in several locations in the body. Which in my case, is located at the top of my big toe on my foot, also called gout, and also several crystals of it are also, as per the doctor’s advice, on my liver.

I know it too well, the symptoms of gout. First, my big toe will go sore, like I have hit it against something hard, then the second day it will feel like I have slept on it and will feel a little numb. The third day I cannot even flex or bend my big toe anymore, and any contact with the area, even the slightest touch, will mean unbearable pain. Standing up is very unbearable, and walking, ouch, next to impossible.

exercise at parkThe doctors told me to lie low on my eating of very rich food and such, but it’s very hard, especially if many of my favorite food items are on the no-go list. I should also be more active he added. But how can I be active if I can’t even stand on my own? Oh, maybe he meant the time when I’m okay and stuff. Nah, I’m just kidding again. Maybe it’s really time to tone down a little on my eating habits, and the doctor may very well be right on my need for exercise. Now if I can just get my willpower to work, then we’ll see, we’ll see.