Statistics and Magician’s Wife Tuesday, Feb 23 2016 

 

Storytelling throughout history was the passing on of the essence of an event. Specific details were not necessary. It was a person’s emotional interpretation of a significant occurrence. The heart of the story was what was important.

These stories would get passed down by word of mouth, so they altered along the way. I recently heard on the science program, Nova, that every time we recall a memory, we edit it. It becomes less and less accurate because our imagination fills in bits and pieces of things that may have happened, and then those imagined additions become part of the memory.

Today, we do more reporting than storytelling. We want specific details—time, dates, and numbers. When I wrote Sunday feature articles for the Chicago Tribune, three things were to be included: real voices, meaningful quotes, and statistics. Stories needed to be about people with real concerns, told in their own words, and backed up with relevant data.

Statics are an important element in substantiating a story. They tell a level of truth in numbers. Although it was my least favorite college class, I do realize its significance from sports and politics to science and demographics. However, in all reality, even those numbers are a matter of interpretation and can be twisted.

WordPress offers a stats page for each of my blogs. It shows the number of views, likes, visitors, and comments for every post and even where those viewers are located. These numbers give me an idea of who is reading my blogs and whether they are of interest to anyone. There is a wide variation of numbers for many reasons including relevancy of content, writing style, and the time and day of posting.

My most viewed post ran back on August 19, 2013. It had 777 views on WordPress plus countless others via Facebook reposting.

For those who might like to re-read it, and those who never saw it, here it is again:Top 10 Ways You Know You Are a Magicians Wife

©2016, Mary K Doyle

What a Woman Wants Saturday, Feb 13 2016 

 

IMG_1649Heads up guys—I have the secret for making your Valentine very happy.

The days of my husband, Marshall, showering me with lavish gifts are long gone. No more jewelry, flowers, or chocolates from my sweetheart. But he does give me everything I need from him.

Marshall was a generous gift-giver. He showered his loved ones with extravagant treats and never hesitated to pick up the dinner tab. The more money he made, the more he gave. He spoiled all of us, and himself, without going beyond his means. He gave what he had when he had it.

He’s been retired a decade, and unaware of the meaning of Valentine’s Day for many years. He still tells me he’d “like to do something nice for me.” But because of Alzheimer’s disease, those thoughts are fleeting and have no connection to significant occasions on the calendar. He no longer can show me how he feels with store-bought gifts.

What he does do is to tell me how he feels. Repeatedly he tells me how much he loves me and what I mean to him. Today he said that he lives for me. How romantic is that?

What a woman wants is to feel special. We want to know that our man holds us close to his heart. My love has done that for me every day since the day we met. No present is better than that.

So my suggestion to you is to say those things you hold in your heart. We need to hear it, even if we know. Don’t hold back this Valentine’s Day. Tell the one you love how dear they are to you.

And give her a little something to open. Those “I love yous” don’t get the rest of you off-the-hook for a gift.

©2016, Mary K. Doyle

 

Do You Like Me? Thursday, Feb 4 2016 

How much do you want to ‘Like” Me? I have 11 Facebook pages. Not only do I have a personal page and one for me as an author, I also have one for every one of my books as well as one for my Beautycounter business. Some posts are duplicated but most are targeted to specific groups.

Please “Like” as many as you find of interest. And comment and post! It’s very lonely to post alone. I need your feedback to know if I’m on track with my thoughts and words.

Here is a list of my Facebook pages and the content you’ll find there:

  • Mary K Doyle – My writing and work as an author/speaker
  • Navigating Alzheimer’s – Credible information on dementia and caregiving
  • Hans Christian Andersen Illuminated by The Message – Faith and fairytales, especially those by Andersen
  • Grieving with Mary – Grieving and Marian devotion
  • Young in the Spirit – Aging faithfully
  • Saint Theodora and Her Promise to God – Saint Theodora and children
  • Seven Principles of Sainthood – Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, also known as Saint Theodora
  • The Rosary Prayer by Prayer – The rosary and Marian devotion
  • Mentoring Heroes – Mentoring
  • Beautycounter By Mary Doyle Brodien – Beauty products, beauty tips, health
  • Mary Doyle Brodien – My personal page for close friends and family

©2016, Mary K. Doyle

The Look You’re Going For Wednesday, Feb 3 2016 

Here’s a tip from my husband, Marshall:  If you don’t like the way someone applies their make-up, don’t take beauty advice from them.

Sounds simple enough, but I’ve often stopped at cosmetic counters and done just that only to proceed to the ladies room and wash it all off. Marshall would then remind me of his warning. Just because someone stands behind the counter doesn’t mean their method or style is appropriate for me.

All mentoring works that way. Follow the lead of one you want to emulate. Too often we move with the flow of the majority without thinking if that’s what we really want to do or if that’s the type of person we want to be.

As much as I love my husband, I’ll be following his warning but not his style of make-up application, especially since his cosmetology experience was as the much-loved Wizzo the Wacky Wizard on Chicago’s Bozo Show.

(For fabulous beauty products made safely, see my Beautycounter website.)Wizzo.Blue

©2016, Mary K. Doyle

You’re Not a Baby, Carrot Sunday, Jan 24 2016 

Crunchy, sweet, tasty – baby carrots make a great little snack whether we dip them or not. I love the way they snap when you bite into them and the idea that they contribute toward a healthy diet. But did you know that these little carrots didn’t grow that way?

The January 15, 2016 Wall Street Journal featured the most fascinating article by Roberto A. Ferdmanon on these little babies. He said the path to popularity began when California carrot farmer Mike Yorosek peeled and sculpted bite-sized carrots from deformed regular sized ones. It was an effort to prevent the produce from being delegated to the trash. He sent a bag to a local grocery chain along with his full-sized carrots. The stores asked for only the baby ones from that point on.

This ingenious idea boomed into big business. Carrot consumption snowballed every year. More than 70% of all carrot sales now are from these little jewels which sell at a premium.

Carrots are packed with antioxidants. They may have an anti-cancer effect and help regulate blood-sugar. They are an excellent source of vitamin A and also contribute toward our needs for vitamins C and K, calcium, iron, potassium, folate, manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, and zinc as well as fiber.

©2016, Mary K. Doyle

One Less Contaminant at a Time Saturday, Jan 16 2016 

DSCN3524The average woman uses at least 12 products a day on herself. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body lotion, sunscreen, foundation, blush, eye makeup—the list goes on. More than 10,000 chemicals are used in the cosmetic industry in products such as these, 90% of which the FDA has never assessed for impact on long-term health. In fact, the U.S. has not passed a new law in more than 75 years regulating ingredients used in skincare products and make-up.

According to the FDA website, “It’s against the law for a cosmetic to contain any ingredient that makes a product harmful when consumers use it according to directions on the label, or in the customary or expected way,”

However, they also state, “Under U.S. law, FDA does not have the authority to require cosmetic manufacturers to submit their safety data to FDA, and the burden is on FDA to prove that a particular product or ingredient is harmful when used as intended.”

Nor do companies need to disclose their ingredients. For example, “fragrance” may consist of anything, natural or synthetic.

In other words, “Buyer Beware.”

In contrast, the new company, Beauty Counter, excludes the use of 1,500 questionable or harmful ingredients in their products, 1,400 of which are cosmetic ingredients banned in the European Union but not in the U.S. Beauty Counter has a rigorous screening process to ensure the highest safety level possible. More than 80% of the ingredients in their products are organic, natural, or plant derived. And they believe in transparency, naming all ingredients included in every product.

This new company is continuously monitoring their products and adding new ones for the whole family. They have so much more than just make-up.

As I wrote in the previous post, my goal this year is to eliminate as many toxins in my life as possible. I don’t expect to avoid everything, but even changing a handful of products will reduce the toxins with which I pollute myself and my environment. Not only do I want to eliminate these chemicals in myself, I want to leave behind a safer world for my children and grandchildren. Our planet is toxic enough. I don’t want to contribute to the contamination any further.

For these reasons, I started using Beauty Counter products as a consumer and was so convinced of their purity as well as effectiveness, that I am now a consultant. (See my website at: beautycounter.com/marydoyle-brodien)

You can find more information about Beauty Counter on my website, especially at the very bottom of every page under FAQ. You also may place an order on that site.

If you are interested in ordering products or becoming a consultant and would like to chat about it, please contact me. I’d love to share what I’ve learned about this fabulous company.

©2016, Mary K. Doyle

No Need to Compromise Safety for Beauty Tuesday, Jan 12 2016 

The day I’m on my deathbed, I’ll scare anyone observing me to the other side before me. Without make-up, my face is nearly invisible and I have this crazy hair that dances in every direction if not flat ironed into submission.

I’m one of those women who won’t leave my house without makeup, and I also use lotion from head-to-toe. I’m too vain to show the real me in public. But I do admit that slathering all those chemicals on day-after-day does concern me. I have enough health problems. I don’t need to pollute myself further.

However, there are safer products and ways of checking how yours rate on the safety scale. Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep is an online safety guide for cosmetics and personal care products where you can look up the safety of a product or ingredient. The database provides safety ratings for tens of thousands of personal care products.

Skin Deep lists a hazard rating and a data availability rating for products and ingredients. The hazard score is on a 1-10 scale with 1 being the lowest and 10 the highest hazard. A 1-2 score is believed to have low hazard, 3-6 is moderate, and 7-10 is rated high. The data availability rating reflects how much scientists know about an ingredient’s safety.

If you own a product that is rated high on the hazard list, it’s suggested that you do not dispose of it down the drain. This adds to the growing concern of water pollution. Tossing it in the trash is not ideal but considered a better option.

You can find extensive information on the EWG’s Skin Deep site about products and ingredients. Try it out for yourself. Enter the names of your shampoo, conditioner, make-up, and skin care products into the search bar. You may be quite surprised at what’s in your favorite products.

For safer skin care products, check out Beauty Counter, products that work beautifully without compromising safety.

(Information gathered from EWG’s Skin Deep)

©2015, Mary K. Doyle

How to Keep That Resolution Thursday, Dec 31 2015 

Tonight’s the night to begin anew. The approach of the New Year raises hopes for better living, and we do this with resolutions, our part in making a change.

British psychologist Richard Wiseman found through his research that only 12% of us actually follow through with our resolutions. He also found why those who did succeed were able to do so. Surprisingly, our willpower had little to do with it.

Here are a few of the steps found to be effective:

  • Make only one resolution.
  • Write it down.
  • Set specific deadlines for small steps along the way.
  • Publicly declare your resolution. Telling friends and family makes us more accountable.
  • Reward yourself as you progress.
  • Don’t quit. If you stumble, pick yourself up and move forward

My resolution is to live healthier. One of the ways I’m doing this is by using skin and beauty products without harmful chemicals. Beauty Counter uses as many natural and organic ingredients as possible. Any synthetics are carefully researched to ensure safety. These items are some of the safest for consumers and the environment available anywhere. And they are effective and luxurious.

Thank you to my daughter, Lisa, for leading me to Beauty Counter. Why not check out their line for yourself?

Good luck on making your own resolutions!

©2015, Mary K. Doyle

Cookie Diet and Exercise Program Friday, Dec 18 2015 

DSCN3249

I’ve been on a cookie diet. Since the middle of November, I’ve baked and eaten cookies day and night. I use only the finest ingredients—hormone-free butter, unbleached flour, organic eggs, fresh nuts, and—lots of chocolate.

Everyone has their favorites. I try to make them all and test frequently to ensure top-quality. The cookie sheets haven’t been put away in weeks. Double-dipped, shortbread, spritz with white chocolate, chocolate covered chocolate, sesame seed, candy cane, almond, pizzelles, and white and semi-sweet chocolate chip. There are many more I have yet to make.

There’s a considerable amount time and fine ingredients in these cookies. And all that mixing and lifting of heavy cookie trays takes a lot of energy, so I know I’m burning more calories than taking in. Right? I ask you, can this program be wrong?

So many cookies. So little time.

***

Here’s Grandma Roses “S” Cookie recipe, a family favorite. It’s a fragile cookie, and a little tricky to make, but melts in your mouth.

Grandma Rose’s “S” Cookies
2 Sticks Sweet Cream Unsalted Butter (I use 1 1/2 sticks butter and 1/2 stick margarine for a little firmer cookie.)
¼ Cup Powdered Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 Cups Flour
1 Egg Yolk

Mix ingredients. Mold into “S” shapes. Bake at 325 until set(not brown). Remove from oven. Cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar until fully coated.

©2015, Mary K. Doyle

Diminishing Workforce Thursday, Dec 10 2015 

For the first time in 65 years, the word’s working population is declining. Most of my life, global overpopulation was a concern. We are now at a point where it is the opposite, at least in regards to the workforce and consumerism.

What does that mean? Globally, we will have, and are predicted to have, for some time, too few workers and customers.

Most countries are aging due to lower fertility rates and longevity. The majority of the population in most countries soon will be middle to late age. As a population ages, so does their needs. Focus shifts to services rather than durable goods. We tend to save more and spend less with age. The elderly need more medical care and pharmaceuticals than household products, cars, and luxury homes. Companies that market to teens and younger adults diminish, while others such as pharmaceutical companies, grow under these circumstances.

The economy no longer will need as many employees. And yet, finding the right employee in some positions and also to replace those retiring will be increasingly more difficult. Young entries will not have the necessary experience. And companies also will be more challenged to meet pensions, as so many of their previous employees will be retired.

In 2050, India will be the most populous country with Nigeria and Indonesia close behind. However, overall they will continue to be in the lower-income category. In fact, low-income countries will make up 14% of the world population in 2050 as opposed to today’s 9%. Recruiting from these countries may be an option.

To increase the numbers of future employees, this past October China eliminated their one-child policy.Countries including Singapore, Australia, and Canada’s Quebec are encouraging cash grants to encourage bigger families and more generous child support for working mothers in the hopes of boosting the desire for more children. Robots also will fill in to increase productivity.

Worldwide, we will have to update our perception of aging to allow the experienced senior employees to remain in the field. We are healthier than our counterparts even a decade ago. There will be more reasons to continue working than not, and therefore some accommodations will be necessary. Businesses will have to adapt the workplace to the joint and vision needs of their older employees.

©2015, Mary K. Doyle

« Previous PageNext Page »

%d bloggers like this: