Saturday, January 3, 2015

Customers Gift Bruegger's Employee With A Car For Christmas

I am going to start sharing more good news videos this year. People doing good things for others. There is so much terrible news we are subjected to on a daily basis, I thought it would be nice.

I'll start with this one.  47-year-old Shirley Ratliff works at a Bruegger's Bagels in North Raleigh, N.C. She's worked there since 2006. She has never driven, though knows how to drive, and didn't have enough money to buy a car, so she has taken three buses every day to get to her job. And another three to get home.  She opens the shop at 5 a.m. so you can imagine at what hour she needs to get up to get there on time. She had been saving up for a car, but then was hit with cervical cancer a few years back, so there went her plans to purchase an auto.

Step in a bunch of customers, and Shirley now has a car. Nothing extravagant. An old car with 88,000 miles, but it's wheels.

A group of loyal customers – they call themselves “Shirley’s Fan Club” – gave Ratliff a 1992 Buick LeSabre on Monday. They said they wanted to show their appreciation for the countless bagels and cups of coffee she has served them over the years and to ease her burden a bit.

Ratliff, 47, has has been working at Bruegger’s since 2006. She had tried to save money for a car, but she was diagnosed with cervical cancer a few years ago and experienced a financial setback. She had insurance, but treatment was still expensive.

“I’ve never had a whole lot of money anyway, and every now and then something happens,” she said.

At Thanksgiving, she had to spend time in the hospital because of complications from diabetes.

“This is the best Christmas present ever,” Ratliff said to the group of about 20 people who gathered to present her with the car. “All my friends are here, and I see that now. I knew it before, but now I really know.”

The idea for the gift was spearheaded by David Burton, a local dentist and regular customer who managed to get it together in 2 days.. They also gave her a gasoline gift card, along with the bow-wrapped vehicle.

He bought the car for $1,500 from a co-worker Friday, then collected money from fellow customers over the weekend. They gave him more than enough to cover the cost of the vehicle.

“When I asked for people to contribute, they didn’t even blink,” Burton said.

Most of Ratliff’s customers knew about her daily bus journey. After her shift ends, she takes three buses to get home.

To avoid taking multiple buses, she walks a mile from Bruegger’s to Creedmoor Road. The longer route means she has to take a bus to downtown Raleigh, then get on another bus to go home, which is on Duraleigh and Edwards Mill roads.

Ratliff, is one of those people who just seems grateful to be alive.

“I just love people, and I’ve been here so long,” Ratliff said of her job. “It’s just like ‘Cheers.’ I’m so happy to be at work.”

On having to take the bus:

“I really didn’t mind riding the bus, I met a lot of people on the bus." “It never bothered me except when it rained or when it was really cold outside.” 
 And obviously has a wonderful effect on those she encounters daily, that make them willing to help out.
When she was getting treatment for her cancer, Ratliff said friends took care of getting her to and from UNC-Chapel Hill. They also made sure she got to WakeMed for surgery. On days with bad weather, some of the same customers who helped buy her car will drive her from Bruegger’s to the bus stop on Creedmoor Road.

Customer Craig Boyd said Ratliff is special to so many people who see her every day.

“She’s Shirley,” Boyd said. “She takes care of us and always has a smile.”
Good things happen to good people.  I might take a little time, but happy for Shirley.

Here's the video of Shirley's reaction to receiving her new car on December 22, 2014.

Source: News Observer

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Health and Diet Friendly Restaurants In London

For those of you living in London, or planning on visiting London, the has a list of 10 diet and health oriented restaurants, including some vegan, vegetarian, and veggie-friendly ones.

Wish I lived there, or was planning a visit.  Maybe some day.

You can find the list along with a description of the food here.

It includes:

Amico Bio
Bread Street Kitchen
Cassis Bistro
The River Cafe
SAF Kensington
Wright Brothers
Yalla Yalla
Yashin Sushi

Everything from Asian, to Lebanese, to Italian veggie.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Hugs For Better Health

Hugs are wonderful. They make you feel warm and fuzzy and safe and loved, and a new research study has found that they may actually have the ability to boost the immune system, therefore helping prevent colds and viruses.

For the study, researchers at Carnegie Mellon surveyed 404 adults about their interpersonal relationships, including how frequently they gave and received hugs from people most important in their lives. The researchers followed the study subjects for 14 consecutive days.

Next, they intentionally exposed the study subjects to the common cold virus, quarantined them and monitored for symptoms of illness.

The researchers found that people who felt they had a higher level of social support were less likely to end up sick, and those who reported getting more hugs stayed healthiest of all. They also found this group had less severe symptoms when they did get sick than those who didn't give and receive as many hugs.

"The apparent protective effect of hugs may be attributable to the physical contact itself or to hugging being a behavioral indicator of support and intimacy," said Sheldon Cohen, a professor of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University's Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences and lead author on the study.
It also can help with heart and lung function, depression and fatigue.

The reason:

Scientists say hugs may act as a safeguard because they help trigger the body's production of oxytocin, a hormone that's linked to sexual function and people's ability to bond physically with loved ones. This is why oxytocin is often referred to as the "cuddle hormone." During physical contact levels of cortisol -- the stress hormone -- also drops.

But this isn't the first research done on the healing power of hugs. There was a research study back in 2006 regarding touch and hugging for the help with pain. And who can forget the amazing story published in the Worchester Telegram & Gazette in 1995, Life Magazine in 1996, and Reader's Digest in 1996, about the preemie twins Kyrie and Brielle Jackson.

One of the most moving examples of the healing power of touch is a story that made the rounds via email about Kyrie and Brielle Jackson, preemie twins (pictured above) born in 1995. In the neonatal intensive care unit at The Medical Center of Central Massachusetts in Worcester, Kyrie (the larger of the 2, at 2 pounds 3 ounces) began to thrive, while her sister Brielle was not doing so well, with breathing and heart rate troubles. Then one day Brielle started gasping for breath, turned bluish-gray, and started hiccoughing (an indication that her little body was overly stressed). With her heart rate dangerously high, the nurse (Gayle Kasparian) tried everything to stabilize the baby, to no avail. Remembering an unorthodox treatment, rarely used in the U.S. but common in Europe, Kasparian decided to bed Brielle with her sister. As soon as she was placed in Kyrie's incubator, Brielle snuggled against her sister and immediately stabilized. Kyrie then placed her arm around Brielle, and we have the picture above. Both children are doing well.

And how touch and hugs helped transform Edie The Scared Dog.

So get out there and give someone a hug.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Naomi Feil and Gladys Wilson- Love and Kindness Awakens Alzheimer Patient

With all the violence and hatred in this world, the race baiting, the religious intolerance, the following touching video was such a breath of fresh air.

Naomi Feil is the founder of Validation Therapy, which is a method of dealing with disoriented older adults, usually with Alzheimer's.  

In the video, we see a breakthrough moment of communication with Gladys Wilson, a woman who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2000 and is virtually non-verbal. Learn more at
It's not so much about the therapy itself, but the fact that Naomi, a Jewish woman, reaches across the boundaries of race and religion to validate late stage Alzheimer's patient Gladys Wilson by singing some Christian songs, and what happens next is miraculous.

If we reached out to each other with this kind of love and tenderness, the world would be a much better place.

Get your Kleenex out.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Omega 3s Can Help With Anger Management

Here's a fascinating study they're doing in an Australian prison: The effect of Omega 3 Fatty Acids on anger management. Apparently, the more you ingest (either through food or supplements) the less violent you will be.  Should be interesting how this unfolds.

There are a myriad of benefits from taking Omega 3's, but who knew about anger.

It can help the following:

can lower elevated Triglycerides
can lower inflammation
rheumatoid arthritis (I take this for my R.A. and every time I have stopped taking it, the stiffness and achiness return)

Certainly worth a try.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

NYC Freedom Tower Being Built At Ground Zero- Time-Lapse Video

In honor of all those tragic lives lost on September 11, 2001, here's a time-lapse video of the Freedom Tower being built at Ground Zero.

God Bless them all.

Let us never forget!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Natural Ways To Help With Stomach Problems has a great list of things you can do to help with tummy issues, and they're all natural. From gas, to diarrhea, to heartburn, to the other myriad of digestive troubles people can get, including those of us with Ulcerative Colitis, there are natural, preferably food derived ways, to deal with them. So before you pick up that Tums or Prilosec, why not try one of these things.


Aloe vera juice is a wonderful product to use with stomach issues, including Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Though you need to make sure it's pure, and try and stay away from ones that have preservatives.  I used to use George's Roadrunner during some past Ulcerative colitis flares, it was expensive, but it was distilled, pure and tasted like water.

2. The BRAT Diet:  

Short for Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast- so it's easy to remember- this diet is great for those who are having problems with indigestion, stomach upset, and diarrhea.


A nice cup of  Chamomile tea can help with nausea, GERD/Acid reflux, sometimes gas, and definitely helps calm your nerves.


This I had never heard of, but according to Daily Meal, Dandelion greens are great for heartburn and upset stomach. They have recipes for great side dishes. Who would have thought.


Ginger is an amazing herb. Not only is it wonderful to cook with, it's a powerful anti-inflammatory (for arthritic conditions), but is also wonderful to combat gas, indigestion and nausea. You can use it fresh to make a tea, just peel, chop and boil, or you can eat some candied ginger or buy some ginger tea. People on blood thinners, like Coumadin, should stay away from it.

6. MINT:

Any kind of mint will do. Peppermint, spearmint will both help with digestion, nausea and gas. It relaxes the muscles.  It is also said to help curb one's appetite. Steep fresh cut leaves or dried peppermint leaves in a cup of boiling water from 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how strong you want your tea.  Although some say it is good for Acid Reflux, and heartburn.


Papaya is a great fruit, not only is it yummy in smoothies in salads, it's wonderful for digestion, upset stomachs and gas. The papain in papaya, can also be taken as a supplement as a digestive enzyme.


Probiotics aka good bacteria are a must for stomach health, especially after a dose of antibiotics. The best are the refrigerated ones. You can try yogurt or kefir, but I doubt they are that helpful. Do your research, though, because every probiotic strain is different, and depending on your tummy issue some will be better than others.


Prebiotics help the good bacteria grow. Try asparagus, garlic, onions and Jerusalem artichokes, though those foods will cause gas.

Besides these, I'd like to add another one of my own:


Fennel seed is great for digestion and bad breath. If you've ever been to an Indian restaurant, you might have noticed a bowl of fennel seed, sometimes candied. The candy part is probably not so great, considering they're usually brightly colored, which means they are chockfull of food dyes, but they make them tastier.  Grab a very small teaspoon of these little seeds and chew on them after a meal. IMPORTANT NOTE. Do not eat these by the handful, like candy. My sister ate almost a whole bag and became very dehydrated. Just a tiny spoonful is enough to help with digesting your meal.

In case you decide to buy George's Road Runner juice, I get a pittance from Amazon.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Video: Pee Wee Football Team Stands Up For Bullied Kid

From last year, a video that will warm your heart.  We hear so many horror stories about kids these days,  it's wonderful to see that there are plenty of good ones out there still.

Danny Keefe is the cutest kid ever.  He's only six, but ever since his parents bought him a black velvet jacket and tie for Christmas, he started wearing one every day to school, along with a very cool hat. Unfortunately, his penchant for dressing dapper, and his speech disorder (childhood Apraxia), Danny was often the target of bullies, so much so, he no longer wanted to go to school. That is, until his football buddies (he's water coach for the Bridgewater Badgers) decided to come to his defense by wearing suits to school one day.

What Danimal's Army have to say about their friend and bullying is truly inspirational, as is Danny himself.

Danny was a preemie and the medical community did not have much hope for him.  He has proved them wrong.