The Curious Autodidact

May 22, 2015

End of Life Wishes

Filed under: end of life,helpful hints — Honilima @ 7:13 am

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Even if you have done everything to communicate your own end-of-life wishes, you may find need to take the initiative and have the discussion loved ones who have not shared their end-of-life wishes with you. Here are pointers to keep in mind:

Select an Appropriate Setting
Find a comfortable place that is free from distraction to hold a one-on-one discussion.

Ask Permission to Begin this often Tender Conversation
People cope with end-of-life issues in different styles. Ask permission to discuss the topic, this assures your loved one that you will respect and honor all of his or her wishes. Here are a few suggestions:

  • “I would like to talk about how you would like to be cared for if you got very sick. Is that okay?”
  • “If you ever got sick, I would be afraid of not knowing the kind of care you would like. Could we talk about this now? I would feel better if we had the conversation in advance.”

What To Expect
Keep in mind that you have initiated this conversation because you care about your loved one’s wellbeing – especially during difficult times. Allow your loved one to set the pace. Focus on maintaining a caring manner throughout the conversation, show your love and concern:

  • Nod your head in agreement, acknowledge them with kindness
  • If appropriate hold your loved one’s hand
  • Offer a hug or comforting touch

A few questions you may want to ask about end-of-life care include:

  • If you were diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, what types of treatment would you prefer?
  • Have you named someone to make decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so?
  • How would you like your choices honored at the end of life?
  • What can I do to best support you and your choices?

You may well encounter resistance the first time you bring up this topic, sadly death and dying is not spoken about in our culture. Don’t be discouraged; instead try again at another time.

Be a Good Listener
Be sure to make an effort to hear and understand what the person is saying. These moments, although difficult, are important and special to both of you. Some important things you can do are:

  • Listen for the wants and needs that your loved one expresses.
  • Make clear that what your loved one is sharing with you is important to you.
  • Show empathy and respect by addressing these wants and needs in a truthful and open way.
  • Verbally acknowledge your loved one’s rights to make life choices – even if you do not agree with those choices.

Having conversations with your loved ones about their end-of-life wishes can be a sensitive discussion. These conversations matter and are needed to learn about your loved one’s wishes so that those wishes can be honored at the end of life.

May 21, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Podcasts Worth a Listen

Filed under: book related,cool internet stuff,media related,social justice — Honilima @ 9:31 pm

Here are a few podcast that are worth a listen either on your mp3 player or on your computer via the links detailed below.

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Pulitzer Prize winning author John McPhee appears on the program On Point Radio and talks about his career as a writer. He is a brilliant author and one is reminded of his great mind during this interview, you will want to go back and read at least one of his thirty books.

Thom Hartmann’s latest book is “Threshold: The Crisis of Western Culture.” He spoke at Town Hall Seattleand his talk can be listened to on-line here.

National Endowment for the Humanities chairman Jim Leach talking about his ‘civility tour’ on Michael Krasney’s KQED program FORUM. Also interviewed by Mr. Krasney is playwright Dan Hoyle talking about his 100 day road trip across America touring small towns and his work “Real Americans.”

May 20, 2015

Curious Phrases of Seafairing

Filed under: origin of phrases — Honilima @ 11:50 pm

THREE SHEETS TO THE WIND

Meaning

Very drunk.

Origin

Our colleagues at CANOE, the Committee to Ascribe a Nautical Origin to Everything, have been hard at work and, to their great pleasure, they can add this phrase to their list. ‘Three sheets to the wind’ is indeed a seafaring expression.

To understand this phrase we need to enter the arcane world of nautical terminology. Sailors’ language is, unsurprisingly, all at sea and many supposed derivations have to go by the board. Don’t be taken aback to hear that sheets aren’t sails, as landlubbers might expect, but ropes (or occasionally, chains). These are fixed to the lower corners of sails, to hold them in place. If three sheets are loose and blowing about in the wind then the sails will flap and the boat will lurch about like a drunken sailor.

The phrase is these days more often given as ‘three sheets to the wind’, rather than the original ‘three sheets in the wind’. The earliest printed citation that I can find is in Pierce Egan’s Real Life in London, 1821:

“Old Wax and Bristles is about three sheets in the wind.”

Sailors at that time had a sliding scale of drunkenness; three sheets was the falling over stage; tipsy was just ‘one sheet in the wind’, or ‘a sheet in the wind’s eye’. An example appears in the novel The Fisher’s Daughter, by Catherine Ward, 1824:

“Wolf replenished his glass at the request of Mr. Blust, who, instead of being one sheet in the wind, was likely to get to three before he took his departure.”

three sheets to the windRobert Louis Stevenson was as instrumental in inventing the imagery of ‘yo ho ho and a bottle of rum’ piracy as his countryman and contemporary Sir Walter Scott was in inventing the tartan and shortbread ‘Bonnie Scotland’. Stevenson used the ‘tipsy’ version of the phrase in Treasure Island, 1883 – the book that gave us ‘X marks the spot’, ‘shiver me timbers’ and the archetypal one-legged, parrot-carrying pirate, Long John Silver. He gave Silver the line:

“Maybe you think we were all a sheet in the wind’s eye. But I’ll tell you I was sober; “

 

May 19, 2015

Doris Lessing’s Thoughts on Aging

Filed under: women heroes,Word Related — Honilima @ 8:55 pm

All one’s life as a young woman one is on show, a focus of attention, people notice you. You set yourself up to be noticed and admired. And then, not expecting it, you become middle-aged and anonymous. No one notices you. You achieve a wonderful freedom. It’s a positive thing. You can move about unnoticed and invisible.

Doris Lessing, novelist, poet, playwright, Nobel laureate (1919-2013)

May 18, 2015

Simple Ways to Volunteer Your Time

Filed under: cool internet stuff,helpful hints,nonprofit — Honilima @ 8:15 pm

girls with hula hoops

 

Think that you are too busy to volunteer your time? Consider how many older people live in your neighborhood who would value a visit or a homemade something brought to brighten their day. Send a funny cartoon to someone who is housebound. Write a letter to someone who is incarcerated, many of whom haven’t heard from their family in years. These simple things will brighten someone’s day who is compromised and make you feel good too.

If you have regular time available go on-line and get matched!

 

 

May 17, 2015

The Kaizen Way: One Small Step Can Change Your Life

Filed under: book related,helpful hints — Honilima @ 2:17 pm

This is a little book, One Small Step Can Change Your Life by Robert Maurer, PhD but that doesn’t mean it is easily forgotten. It is about the Kaizen way but written for Westerners and accessible for a wide audience.  I have given it to people of all ages including a recent college grad who told me he read it and then turned it over and reread it right away to see what he might have missed.

The theory is that we must achieve large changes by starting with the smallest steps and learning to grow using this method which is simple but for some quite hard too. Kaizen is about small incremental improvement. This is a great guide book to increasing your effectiveness and outlook on daunting tasks that you can simplify into manageable steps. This  books makes a stunning graduation gift that will have very practical applications.

May 15, 2015

Pancreatic Cancer: the Silent Killer

Filed under: end of life,nonprofit — Honilima @ 12:19 am

 

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Raising Awareness of a Silent Killer: Pancreatic Cancer

What do Margaret Mead, Count Basie, Rex Harrison, Henry Mancini, Irving Wallace, Marvin Beli,  Patrick Swayze, Michael Landon, Donna Reed, Dorothy Dunnett, Joan Crawford, Steve Jobs, Phillip Levine, Jack Benny, Dizzie Gillespie, and Frank Zappa all have in common? They all died of Pancreatic Cancer, as did former President Jimmy Carter’s brother Billy, and their mother “Miss Lillian.”

Pancreatic Cancer is the #4 cancer killed in the United States amongst both men and women. It is often referred to as the “silent killer” as it is rarely diagnosed in time for treatment. It has the #1 fatality rate of all cancers. Only 4% of the patients will survive beyond five years.

According to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network  approximately 32,180 people will be diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer this year. Yet, “despite the especially lethal nature of pancreatic cancer, the research spending per pancreatic cancer patient is only $1145, the lowest of any leading cancer.”

Why is this? Perhaps because most people don’t even know where their pancreas is located or what role it plays on our body’s good health. It works in the production of enzymes for digestion and the production of hormones that regulate blood sugar levels. It is a gland located deep in the abdomen between the stomach and the spine.

Every 17-minutes someone in the country dies of this lesser known disease that has a 99% fatality rate.

Although it is the fourth cancer killer in the country most people do not know the risk factors or the symptoms of this type of cancer. Hence, November has been designated as Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.

Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer include:

Pain in abdomen or back

Jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes)

Dark Urine

Itching

Fatigue or Weakness

Digestive Problems

Nausea and Vomiting

Significant Weight Loss

Risk factors include:

Smoking: 2-3 times increased risk for smokers vs. nonsmokers

Chronic pancreatitis

Family history: 2-3 times increased risk if first degree relative diagnosed with PC

Diabetes

Only a small percentage of people who are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer are able to have the tumor surgically removed. More often than not, by the time the diagnosis comes, the cancer has spread and there are not at this time many treatment options.

The NW is home to one of the country’s highly-respected Pancreatic Cancer researchers, the UW’s Dr. Teri Brentnall whose work has been nationally recognized.

Thank you for reading this article and for taking a moment to be aware of some of the symptoms of these lesser-known but grave forms of cancer.

If you know someone with pancreatic cancer, or a friend who is caring for someone who has this form of cancer, I urge you to lend a hand —it is a horrible disease. This posting is meant to raise awareness and urge you to support the quest for additional research dollars to help find a cure.

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May 14, 2015

Wendy MacNaughton, Brilliant Artist from SFO

Filed under: media related,women heroes — Honilima @ 5:41 pm

Should I Check E-Mail? Flow Chart Print

This clever artist, with many commentaries on our modern times has an Etsy site you can purchase her brilliant line drawings. Support an artist today!

 

Susan Sontag on Art.

May 13, 2015

Quotes about Death: In Memory of Mary O.

Filed under: end of life,Word Related — Honilima @ 7:25 am

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Death is simply a shedding of the physical body, like the butterfly coming out of a cocoon. It is a transition into a higher state of consciousness, where you continue to perceive, to understand, to laugh, to be able to grow, and the only thing you lose is something you don’t need anymore . . . your physical body. It’s like putting away your winter coat when spring comes.
ELISABETH KÜBLER-ROSS

Death is the most beautiful adventure in life.
Charles Frohman

Death teaches us to live; it gives us a boundary to map our living within. Death’s hammer breaks through the mirror separating us from light.
David Meltzer

A man’s dying is more the survivors’ affair than his own.
THOMAS MANN

The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.
Marcus Cicero
c 106-43 BC Great Roman Orator Politician

Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.
Buddha

Death is the liberator of him whom freedom cannot release, the physician of him whom medicine cannot cure, and the comforter of him whom time cannot console.
Charles C. Colton

I think of death as some delightful journey that I shall take when all my tasks are done.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Death? Why this fuss about death? Use your imagination, try to visualize a world without death! . . . Death is the essential condition of life, not an evil.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman

When the body sinks into death, the essence of man is revealed. Man is a knot, a web, a mesh into which relationships are tied. Only those relationships matter. The body is an old crock that nobody will miss. I have never known a man to think of himself when dying. Never.
Antoine De Saint-Exupery
1900-1944 French Aviator Writer

Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.
George Eliot
1819-1880 British Novelist

Dying is something we human beings do continuously, not just at the end of our physical lives on this earth.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Swiss-born American Psychiatrist

Every man goes down to his death bearing in his hands only that which he has given away.
Saying of Persian Origin

What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.
ALBERT PIKE

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Kona Sunset, Big Island, Hawaii

May 12, 2015

Infographic: Mother’s Day in America

Filed under: cool internet stuff,helpful hints,media related,women heroes — Honilima @ 4:22 pm

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