Using Neuro Linguistic Programming to Modify People’s Thinking

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else. You are the one who gets burned.’

Powerful Winning Hacks That Take Venom Out of Angry People

During a job performance review in the 1990s, my boss, H-E-B Food-Drugs Vice President Ralph Mehringer said something that I remember to this day.

“You have the unique ability to take the venom out of angry people,” he noted. “You quickly de-fang them.”

I liked that.

Ralph is a keen observer and calls it as he sees it. His words were motivating, so of course, it reinforced my learning and practicing.

I became interested in studying Neuro Linguistic Programming, or NLP for short. Eventually I became a certified NLP Practitioner.

It helped immensely in leadership and dealing with others through powerful techniques such as “anchoring,” reading body language and facial expressions, “reframing thoughts” and building rapport.

As the years progressed, “de-fanging” became natural and automatic-like.

Here are some tips I learned along the way and continue to use today:

1. When someone is angry and confrontational, stand next to them, rather than in front of them. You want to appear not to be much of a threat, after all you’re physically on their side, and they eventually calm down.

2. Slow the pace of speech.They are likely to be yelling or talking rapidly. It’s critical not to engage in a like manner. When it’s your turn to reply, do so in a deliberate, kind, quiet and slower tone.

4. Rephrase what the other person says and repeat it back to them. In that slower, quieter voice, this helps you understand their concern. This makes them feel you care and are listening to them. It shows your genuine interest in them. It validates them and helps you. Note: Don’t overdo it. You don’t want to appear condescending.

3. Open with “I need your help.” Most people don’t like the guilt of not helping someone out. When asking for a favor from someone, begin with “I need your help.” It GREATLY increases the chances of getting the favor done. But best of all, it can be used as an opening line to someone very irritated about something. Usually I act innocently not knowing why they’re upset. It’s a good precursor to leading them out of their anger towards a better outlook.

5. If you want someone to agree with you, nod while you talk. I learned this as a door-to-door insurance salesman in the early 1980s and discovered it works well with group presentations too. When you notice them beginning to change their attitude, or better yet nod back, you’re on the right track. They are beginning to subconsciously agree with you.

6. If someone doesn’t like you, ask to borrow a pencil or pen. This is called the Benjamin Franklin Effect. It’s just a small favor that actually helps nudge them to like you. Not as effective, but still good, is to subtly touch someone’s upper arm when you ask for a favor.

7. Mimic them without them realizing it. It’s called mirroring and takes some practice. It has to be subtle and with finesse. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it try folding your arms in a non-threatening way. It helps to determine their interest. If someone is observing you, they will likely mimic you.

8. Repeat a person’s name many times in the conversation. Don’t overdo it, but it helps you remember their name, and makes them like you more.

9. If the person is a child, bring bubbles. Hint: this can work for adults too. Bubbles are magical mood changers.

Please note this article begins a series on posts offered to help our readers understand how NLP can not only help you in everyday life and business practice, but reveals the ways politicians, propagandists and others can manipulate your thought process to change your beliefs.

In God We Trust

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Nurse Dodie’s 5 Convenient Healthy Meals Under 300 Calories

These are some of my favorite healthier alternative meals that are also easy to prepare.

They are relatively quick and easy to make, plus they pass that “Jack Test” for being especially delicious.

Enjoy!

4. Quick Pepper Steak

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh gingerroot
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1-1/2 pounds beef top sirloin steak, cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large green peppers, cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1-1/2 cups sliced celery
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  1. In a bowl, combine the cornstarch, brown sugar, ginger and garlic powder. Stir in broth until smooth. Add soy sauce and molasses; set aside.
  2. In a nonstick skillet or wok, stir-fry steak in oil for 4-5 minutes; remove and keep warm. Stir-fry peppers, celery and onions until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Stir broth mixture and add to the vegetables. Return meat to the pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in lemon juice. Serve over noodles if desired.

The content of this article is for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice. Please consult with a qualified health care professional before acting on any information presented herein. Any statements about the possible health benefits of any subject discussed have not been evaluated by medical professionals or the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.

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History, Texas, Pioneers, Genealogy

From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

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CLICK: PARK LANE by Rebecca Taylor

Nurse Dodie’s Other Uses for Aspirin You May Not Know

Acetylsalicylic acid, better known as aspirin, is one of the most consumed over-the-counter drugs in the world because of its powerful anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-coagulant properties. 

Since ancient times, common aspirin uses have included pain relief, like relieving headaches, as well as muscle aches and some cold symptoms.

There are other uses for aspirin besides a headache or pain relief. We usually buy uncoated aspirin, and the following aspirin-hacks all use the uncoated tablets.

Caution! If you are allergic to aspirin, you should not take it internally or apply it externally.

🔹Insect bite or sting.

Aspirin is most often used as a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory medicine. That’s because one of aspirin’s ingredients is salicylic acid. If you get a bee sting or an insect bite, you can wet an aspirin and hold it directly on the sting/bite. Alternatively, you can crush the tablet and add a drop or two of water to make a paste. Apply the aspirin paste to the irritation, and it will relieve the pain.

🔹Rejuvenate skin by eliminating blemishes and dead skin.

Although this is generally done with professional cosmetic products, it can also be made at home using aspirin.

Ingredients

  • 5 aspirin
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice (20 mL)
  • 1 Tbsp. baking soda (10 grams)

What to do

  • First, prepare a thick mixture from the aspirin and lemon juice.
  • Then, rub it over a clean face. Let it set for 20 minutes.
  • After that time, gently massage in a circle, then rinse with cold water.
  • Apply a bit of baking soda to neutralize the acid from the lemon, then rinse again.
  • Finish by moisturizing your skin.
  • Use once a week.

🔹Treat discolored hair. 

Too much chlorine in a swimming pool might make your blonde hair look green. This may be one of the weirdest uses for aspirin, but you can restore your hair color with aspirin.

Dissolve six or seven crushed aspirin in a glass of warm water. Apply the mixture to your hair and let it soak for fifteen minutes. Then wash your hair like you normally would. The greenish tint should disappear.

🔹Treat dandruff.

Crush two aspirin and add them to a capful of shampoo. Wash hair as you normally do. Repeat the treatment as needed.

🔹Remove rust. 

For rust stains (from razors, can of shaving cream, etc.) on a bath or sink, first dampen the stain with water. Then apply several crushed aspirin tablets directly to the stain marks. After ten minutes, simply wipe the rust away.

🔹Revive a dead car battery. 

Don’t despair! Aspirin can help. Drop two aspirin into the battery cell. The battery’s sulfuric acid will react with the aspirin to create a charge. It should be enough to jump-start the battery—and enable you to drive to the nearest gas station or auto parts store.

🔹Eliminate sweat stains.

Grab the aspirin. Crush three or four aspirin and mix with warm water to form a paste. Evenly rub the paste over the stains and allow it to soak for a couple of hours. Then launder as normal.

🔹Garden assistant. We grow vegetables in various sized potted containers. We love enjoying fresh tomatoes, green beans, peppers, and onion. By adding one crushed aspirin to one gallon of water, just spray the mixture on vegetables. The aspirin will improve growth, increase production, and combat fungal diseases.

🔹Fresh flowers extender.

A crushed aspirin mixed with water and added to a vase of cut flowers will keep them looking fresher longer

🔹Hangover treatment. 

Many scientific experts, like Dr. Michael L. Oshinsky from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, have studied various hangover treatments. One of the most effective solutions to combat the results of drinking too much is the combination of aspirin and caffeine (coffee or tea).

Take two aspirin with coffee a few hours after “too much partying,” and you should feel no ill effects the next day.

The content of this article is for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice. Please consult with a qualified health care professional before acting on any information presented herein. Any statements about the possible health benefits of any subject discussed have not been evaluated by medical professionals or the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.

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History, Texas, Pioneers, Genealogy

From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

The Top 6 Healthiest Fast Food Menu Items on the Planet

We live in a rural area miles away from fast food restaurants, but do enjoy the convenience of such dining when we are on a roadtrip or pressed for time in a city.

Fast food has a reputation for being unhealthy and high in calories, salt and fat.

Thankfully, there are exceptions. Although many fast foods have been processed, refined or deep-fried, some fast food restaurants now offer healthy options.

To make a healthier selection, look for items that include vegetables, lean sources of protein or whole grains. Additionally, opting for foods that are grilled or baked rather than fried can significantly reduce the calories and fat in your meal.

Here are the top best menu meals for healthier eating.

6. KFC Grilled Breast and Sides. Most of Kentucky Fried menu items are filled with grease and loads of sodium. This is not too surprising since the word “Fried” is in the fast food restaurant’s name.

5. Wendy’s Ultimate Chicken Grilled Sandwich. While many of their burgers are high in calories, this Wendy’s offering is relatively low in calories.

4. Baja Fresh Wahoo Fish Taco. At just 230 calories, this taco is a good way to include some seafood in your diet. You can even add avocado.

3. Taco Bell Grilled Steak Soft Tacos. They have added a more lightened variety of menu items for healthier options for their customers. These are the healthiest from these menus.

2. Chipotle’s Salad Bowl. With a good reputation for fast healthy food, they are good about using organic meats and vegetables. They offer build-your-own options too.

1. Chic-fil-A Grilled Market Salad. They have a variety of meal options most of us would enjoy, but this is their healthiest option.

Bonus Options

Although not in the top six, here are some healthy choices at other fast food chains:

🔹Culver’s: Beef Pot Roast Dinner.

Healthy eating doesn’t have to be all salads and chicken breast. If you enjoy pot roast, opt for the beef pot roast dinner option from Culver’s, then choose steamed broccoli and a side salad (or a double portion of either) as your two sides.

🔹Jack in the Box: Chicken Fajita Pita

This Jack in the Box pick is basically a handheld salad—fresh veggies, flame-grilled chicken, and zesty salsa are all nestled into a whole grain pita pocket.

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History, Texas, Pioneers, Genealogy

From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

How Does Sleeplessness Affect Our Minds and Body?

Lack of sleep isn’t good for you, in fact, it is harmful. It affects your body. 

Dodie is a retired RN with close to 40 years of experience.

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“We certainly know that a lack of sleep will actually prevent your brain from being able to initially make new memories, so it’s almost as though without sleep the memory inbox of the brain shuts down and you can’t commit new experiences to memory,” said sleep expert Matthew Walker, professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California and author of the book Why We Sleep

“After just one night of four to five hours of sleep, there is a 70 percent reduction in critical anticancer-fighting immune cells called natural killer cells,” he wrote.

“And that’s the reason that we know that short sleep duration predicts your risk for developing numerous forms of cancer.”

Professor Matthew Walker

Lack of sleep can slow down our thought process

Excessive Sleepiness affects our brain

Lack of Sleep can make learning difficult

Sleeplessness Slows Down Reaction Time

How do you know if “lack of sleep” is a problem?

How can you improve sleep and mental health?

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

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Tips and Secrets for Better Internet in Rural Areas: RVers, Campers and Country Living

It’s no secret Bidenflation has forced millions to seek out ways to reduce food, travel and living expenses.

In 2020, we moved to a rural area in the Texas Hill Country away from congestion, traffic and rising crime. We have no regrets about living a far less expensive and peaceful life. It allows us to work and write from home or on occasional road trips.

Due to the high cost of just about everything, including rentals and housing, more Americans are:

🔹Living in RVs and Campers.

🔹Using tents instead of hotel rooms.

🔹Taking “staycations” and limiting travel closer to home.

🔹Working remotely on the internet from home instead of commuting to and from a work location.

🔹Becoming Digital Nomads, wandering the country taking miscellaneous work and temporary employment.

We loved Guadalupe River State Park in April 2022

In 2022, the United States should break records with over 305 million internet users within its borders, which accounts for this rise in numbers of digital nomads and remote workers all over the country. 

Unfortunately, as practical as this may sound, these remote workers and  digital nomads, along with over 25 million Americans, continue to struggle with slow internet speeds and lack access to high-speed internet facilities due to the rural locations they may find themselves in.

Slow internet speeds can affect work deliverables, hamper productivity, and even jeopardize employability, especially if the job requires high internet speeds for effectiveness. 

These tips may improve your internet connection if you are living in a rural area, are on the road, or just camping out.

Tips for Rural Residents 

Turn off your router for some time. Giving your router a break can help refresh your internet connection and improve your speed issues. Doing this daily stimulates your internet connection, especially when experiencing a lag.  This fix won’t take your speeds to NASA levels, but it should help.

What’s your Data Capacity? A data cap may be responsible for slowing your home speeds. Your ISP allocates the amount of data you can use every month. Once exceeded, your internet speed drops drastically. The cap limit is outlined in your bill.

Move your Router. Where is your router positioned? That may be why your internet speed sucks.  Moving the position of your router to a higher point or more central location in your home will ensure the Wifi signal from your router reaches every corner of your building. With most wireless modems, the closer you are, the higher your internet speed.

Get Wired. Ditch wireless connections and get wired to eliminate any lags in speed you may be experiencing. Many people don’t know this, but cabled connections like Ethernet are safer, more reliable, and faster than most wireless connections.

Ads are a Drag. Literally. Every time you are online, you see ads. It’s everywhere, on every website; you can’t escape it. Or can you? Ads slow down your internet speeds, especially those heavy, annoying auto-play videos. You can fix this by installing an ad blocker in your browsers.

Scan regularly for Viruses and Malware. Viruses and malware may also be responsible for your crawling internet speeds. Install software that scan your device and connections for viruses and malware, set it up to scan regularly, and you should be fine.

Tips for Campers

Stay centered. Or as close to the center of the camp as you possibly can. The range for RV parks and Campground Wifi signals, thanks to FCC regulations, is limited to just under 300 feet. The closer you are to the camp router, which is often set up in the center of the camp, the better your internet connection.

The less green, the better. Dense trees, foliage, and even high walls can reduce your internet connection quality. For the signal to get to you uninterrupted, you must ensure you are not being obstructed by greenery or other natural or artificial fixtures. Set up your camp in an open space to improve your connection quality.

Upgrade your receiver. A Wi-Fi reception booster or antenna can improve your internet connection and reduce lags. Both instruments can receive and upgrade your internet signals on all your devices. They are easy to install and set up, and you should get sorted out quickly.

Look before you Camp. Different RV parks and Camps use different ISPs for internet access. Do some research before you camp in that park or hotspot. Check reviews for internet speeds and plan accordingly.

Tips for RVers 

Choose your equipment carefully. The right equipment can mean the difference between consistent high internet speeds and slower speeds. Pick the right cellular equipment for your needs, the more powerful your router, the more powerful your internet connection will be.

X marks the Spot. Using a coverage map will help you navigate areas with spotty coverage and keep you informed about signal strength so you are never caught in the lurch.  These maps are not always accurate but are still great tools for planning your travels.

Avoid Congestions. Areas with many internet users can experience low internet speeds due to heavy data traffic. Congested areas like festivals, concerts, and even football games have tended to experience an overload on the internet infrastructure, resulting in slow connection speeds.

Less is good: The fewer devices connected to your network, the better. Make sure your devices are connected to the devices you are using at the moment. It is easy to lose track of background devices, leading to an increased lag in your internet speed as they update regularly.

Definitely not us. LOL.

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History, Texas, Pioneers, Genealogy

From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

Foods That Have More Sodium Than a Bag of Potato Chips

Guilty was the verdict and Jack confessed.

He snacked on a small bag of delicious H-E-B brand potato chips Monday evening after such a healthy day of eating.

So how much sodium is in the average small bag of chips? In his bag, H-E-B noted 170 mg (with 150 calories). We looked at the sodium content in a small bag of chips of three leading brands: Lay’s (170mg), Ruffles (160mg), and Kettle Brand (210mg).

By taking the average of these three, we estimate that the average small bag of chips has about 178mg of salt. Here’s how other popular foods compare:

🔹One serving of Bumble Bee White Crabmeat has 260mg of sodium.

Buy the Solid White Albacore Tuna In Water with more protein and 140mg of sodium.

🔹Canned, packaged, and restaurant-prepared soups often pack a lot of sodium, though you can find reduced-sodium options for some canned varieties.

On average, canned soup has 700 mg of sodium, or 30% of the Recommend Daily Intake, per 1-cup (245-gram) serving.

Here’s a tip to save costs and reduce sodium intake: Just add rice and water to any can of soup to double or triple it for almost free. Note: This same hack can be used on other high sodium consumables like tomato sauces, chili, etc.

🔹Making a sandwich? Two slices of Oroweat’s Whole Wheat bread contains 270mg of sodium. Instead, try an Oroweat Whole Wheat Sandwich Thin Roll with just 170mg.

🔹Ham is full of salt. A 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of roasted ham averages 1,117 mg of sodium, or 48% of the RDI.

🔹One Serving of Grape-Nuts Original Cereal has 270mg of sodium so opt for Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds with 135mg instead.

🔹Instant Pudding. A 25-gram portion of instant vanilla pudding mix — used to make a 1/2-cup serving — has 350 mg of sodium, or 15% of the RDI.

🔹Jerky. A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of beef jerky packs 620 mg of sodium, or 27% of the RDI.

🔹A serving size of V8 Original Vegetable Juice contains a whopping 640mg of sodium but the V8’s Purple Power Veggie Blend contains just 100mg instead. Some brands offer low-sodium versions, which means they can have no more than 140 mg of sodium per serving according to FDA rules.

🔹One Serving of Organic Valley’s Cottage Cheese contains 450mg of sodium so replace it with a Grassmilk Plain Yogurt which contains 120mg per serving. Note that one study found that rinsing cottage cheese under running water for 3 minutes, then draining it, reduces sodium content by 63%.

🔹Pizza. Yikes!A large, 140-gram slice of store-bought, frozen pizza averages 765 mg of sodium, or 33% of the RDI. A restaurant-prepared slice of the same size packs even more — averaging 957 mg of sodium, or 41% of the RDI.

Jack and I agree that since going as salt free as possible, we’ve noticed the original tastes of vegetables, fruits and other food are far more naturally flavorful.

SALT FACTS

🔹Salt is an essential part of a healthy diet. It helps our nerves and muscles function properly and help us control blood pressure and volume. But too much may lead to hypertension, a leading cause of heart disease and stroke. The FDA recommends no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day, but Jack aims for under 1,000 at home.

🔹The Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for sodium of 2,300 mg — is about 1 teaspoon of salt.

🔹Table salt, known chemically as sodium chloride, is made up of 40% sodium.

🔹It’s estimated that at least half of people with hypertension have blood pressure that’s affected by sodium consumption — meaning they’re salt sensitive. In addition, your risk for salt sensitivity increases with age.

🔹The average daily sodium intake in the United States is 3,400 mg — much higher than the recommended upper limit.

This mainly comes from packaged and restaurant foods, rather than from overusing your salt shaker.

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History, Texas, Pioneers, Genealogy

From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

Tips and Uses For Dawn Dish Soap You May Not Know About

The legendary cowboy, Kent Doyle, of Bandera County, Texas, recently told me how to get rid of some ants using bottled dishwashing soap. It worked.

So I took on another project of searching out more tips and hacks with Dawn dishwashing soap.

Eliminate fruit flies. Pour white vinegar into a small container. Add a drop of Dawn. Fruit flies will be attracted to the vinegar, but cannot escape the Dawn.

Make your own ice pack. Partially fill a plastic, zipper-type bag with Dawn dish soap. Squeeze out the air and seal the bag closed. Place the ice pack into the RV freezer. The Dawn will become a gel which will flex to fit the shape of the injury site.

Remove grease stains from clothing. Apply Dawn directly onto greasy stains from that yummy BBQ meal. Rub it in a bit and launder as usual.

Clean carpet stains. Mix together equal parts Dawn and warm water. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and spray the stain. Use a microfiber cloth to gently clean the stain away. Use another microfiber cloth dipped into clear water to rinse the area. Blot the cleaned and rinsed area with a towel. Allow to air dry.

Clean windows. Just one drop of Dawn into a quart of water makes a great glass cleaner. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and get to work on those windows.

Clean hairbrush and comb. Begin by removing hair from the utensils. Then pour a cup of hot water into a shallow bowl. Add one tablespoon borax and one tablespoon Dawn. Gently swirl to mix. Soak the comb and hairbrush in the mixture until you see they are clean. Use an old toothbrush to scrub away any residue. Rinse thoroughly with clear water.

Prevent eyeglass “fog.” Rub a small drop of Dawn on each lens of your eyeglasses, both sides. Then use a microfiber cloth to dry and polish each lens. This is especially helpful when temperature differences cause the lens to fog, such as transitioning from an air-conditioned car to the steamy, outside summer weather.

Eliminate squeaks. Apply Dawn detergent to a squeaky hinge and the squeak will disappear.

Soothe poison ivy. Gently wash the affected area with Dawn and cool water. (Dawn’s oil-fighting formula will help to eliminate oil from the poison ivy plant.) Follow the first application with a second round of Dawn and warm water, which will help soothe the blisters and itch.

Clean the tub and shower.  Fill a plastic spray bottle halfway with white vinegar. Heat the vinegar in the microwave until warm. Then fill the remainder of the spray bottle with Dawn. Put the lid on and shake to mix thoroughly. Spray the mixture all over your shower walls, floor, and that disgusting ring around the tub. Let it sit for ten minutes and then scrub stubborn places clean. Rinse thoroughly.

Outdoors

Stop ants. Put two teaspoons of Dawn into a spray bottle of water. Spray the ant trail or any suspected ant entry point into your home. (Hint: This recipe also works to kill fleas. Spray the affected area. Let sit for half an hour. Then vacuum up the dead critters.)

Kill weeds. Mix together 1/2 cup of salt, 1/2 gallon white vinegar, and two tablespoons of Dawn. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and spray the resulting solution on weeds. This should take care of them—even poison ivy!

.Clean outdoor furniture. Mix water with Dawn detergent. Using a sponge or brush, dip into the soapy water and scrub off furniture. Use your hose to rinse and set furniture in the sun to dry.

Oil/grease spill on concrete driveways. If you spill grease onto the concrete pad, you can clean it off with Dawn. First, remove as much of the spill as possible by sprinkling kitty litter over it. Use a paper towel to pick up the oil-soaked kitty litter. Then mix a generous squirt of Dawn with warm water. Use a scrub brush or old towel to apply the treated water to the spill. Scrub to remove the stain.

Find leaks. Spray Dawn soapy water over the hose (water or gas). If you see bubbles, you have a leak.

Clean your BBQ grill. Put 1/2 cup of Dawn dish soap into a gallon of water. Stir gently to mix. Pour the solution into a large tub or sealable trash bag. Then put cooled grill grates into the mixture. Soak the grill grates in the solution overnight. You should be able to easily scrub them clean the next morning.

Scrub tires. Begin by hosing loose dirt and grime off tires. Put Dawn directly onto a rag or heavy-duty sponge and scrub the tires. Rinse thoroughly.

Clean greasy tools. Put one tablespoon of Dawn into a gallon of water. Dip a sponge into the solution and use it to clean greasy tools. Avoid rust by drying the clean tools immediately with old towels.

Remove stickers.  Apply Dawn right to the stickers and let it sit for several minutes. Dawn cut through the glue and the stickers were easily removed. Note: Be sure to rinse thoroughly afterwards.

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History, Texas, Pioneers, Genealogy

From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

The Anti-COVID Regimen We’ve Used Over Two Years Has Kept Us Safe

By Dodie Dennis, RN (Retired)

Being a registered nurse for 40 years, as soon as we heard about the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, I did extensive research to find the right foods and supplements for Jack and me to fight it. (Shown at the bottom of this article).

Both of us agreed we would not be taking any so-called experimental vaccines that were rushed into development and not adequately proven.

We elected to support our God-given immune systems by modifying our vitamin, mineral, and food intake instead.

Hard to get.

Hydroxychloroquine, which has been around since 1946, has been used to treat autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis, in addition to malaria and other conditions.

The more research I did, talking with and learning from physicans, nurses and researchers, I decided on a regimen for Jack and me.

Let me just say, we have taken road trips through Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada and Colorado since June 2020. These were during so-called “lockdowns.”

Some of the crowds we’ve been in included Graceland, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, D.C., Ark Encounter, Branson, Royal Gorge, Sea World, various zoos, museums and theaters.

We have relatives that had COVID, some twice, even after taking the jab. We know more people who have died from COVID and some after being recently inoculated. We also know many nurses and even doctors who refuse to take the shots. We are respectful to any individual for whatever their choice is, but we refuse to be used as guinea pigs for their harmful gene therapy injections.

We are not fond of wearing masks, but out of respect for others, we do so only in medical offices, hospitals, and businesses that require it (usually we go somewhere else).

We know our body wears out over time, but why? Exactly what drives this process that slowly robs us of our health and vigor?

Our body ages because our cells become damaged, and our body can’t repair them fast enough. There are many different reasons for this damage, and scientists don’t agree on which one is the main cause. But most agree on this: The long term effect of this wear and tear on the cells in our tissues is the main factor in aging.

This gradual damage reduces the number of brain cells we have, allows some of the cells in our body to become cancerous, destroys the part of our cells that produces energy, limits blood flow by clogging our arteries, and weakens our heart.

Free Radicals

In the mid 1950s, Denham Harman was toiling in a science lab at the University of Nebraska. His hard work paid off when he proposed the free radical theory of aging. His name is famous in the research world, and the free radical theory is more widely accepted today than any other in the scientific and medical communities.

Take a deep breath. Feel refreshed?. As you breathe, you take in invigorating oxygen; it also produces chemicals called free radicals. These free radicals are molecules that are unstable because they lack an electron. They travel through your body like a band of pickpockets, trying to steal electrons from healthy cells. When they succeed, they leave the cell irreversibly damaged.

One damaged cell will not usually cause your body much distress. But over time, lots of these pickpocket molecules can cause so much damage that your body becomes weak and more likely to fall prey to cancer and heart disease. This cell damage is called oxidation, and it is similar to the oxidation of metal that produces rust.

Don’t feel betrayed by your body because it creates these roving thieves. Luckily, your body also produces antioxidants, which neutralize free radicals.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight oxidation by combining with free radicals to form a harmless substance or by contributing an electron to the free radical, making it stable. However, when free radical levels get too high, these protective processes can’t keep up.

Cigarette smoke, pollution, radiation, stress, excessive sun exposure, and other factors can increase your level of free radicals, causing you to use up your store of antioxidants more quickly. In addition, as you get older, your body’s production of antioxidants slows down, allowing free radicals to damage more and more of your cells.

How can you stop free radicals from slowly taking over your body, overpowering and outnumbering your antioxidant protectors?

You can help your body manufacture antioxidants like glutathione, and you can get other antioxidants, like vitamins E and C, from your diet. As far as protecting ourselves from COVID-19, here is the well researched regimen we’ve successfully used since early March 2020.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. Health information articles provide general health information and are not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment by a physician or other health professionals. We advise you to contact a health care professional with any questions or concerns about specific health care needs.

OUR ANTI-COVID REGIMEN

Today we eat a low sodium (under 2,000 mgs a day) diet. We emphasize more vegetables and fruit, and smaller entrees of meat, chicken, seafood, etc. We do prefer chicken (not fried) over meat.

🔹The #1 thing we take every evening is zinc with tonic water. It’s the closest thing to hydroxychloroquine that we know of. It’s inexpensive and doesn’t require a prescription.

🔹Tonic water contains quinine, which has been used for centuries to treat malaria.  Chloroquine is a relative of quinine — both are extracted from the bark of the cinchona tree. Quinine has been around for centuries, discovered by Peruvian natives in the 1820s.

There are a few reasons why quinine and chloroquine work as an anti-viral. First they can change the pH in the cells, making them more alkaline (thus impairing virus’s ability to replicate).
 
Second, quinine and chloroquine help bring otherwise bio-unavailable zinc into your cells, and the zinc inhibits the virus’s ability to replicate inside your cells.

🔹Sunlight (vitamin D) also minimizes the effects of viruses.  A 2020 study found that people with lower levels of vitamin D were more likely to die from coronavirus. 

🔹Vitamin C is used to help our God-given immune systems fight off any viruses we come in contact with. We take Emergen-C containing 1000 mg of Vitamin C as well as B Vitamins and other antioxidants.

🔹We also take a proprietary blend of CoQ-10, Citicoline, and refined fish oil.

🔹In addition, we consume Green Pasture Products such as fermented Cod Liver Oil along with their Concentrated Butter Oil.

Concentrated Butter Oil is made from milk produced by rapidly growing greengrass fed cows. It is extracted and concentrated through centrifugation. The speed of grass growth, timing of grazing, species of grass, climate, and extraction method are all-important factors in making real Concentrated Butter Oil.

Their blend contains naturally occurring Vitamins A and D. It’s a natural source of Omega Fatty Acids.

🔹This cod liver oil is so good for your heart, brain and joints. I’ve tried many brands over the years (as a former national champion volleyball player) and Green Pasture helped me in just a matter of days like no other.

But my go to, especially for joint health, is without a doubt the Green Pasture Skate Liver Oil.

Last, but not least, we take probiotics that support gut health–the basis for immune system health.

Highly recommended!

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VISIT BANDERA, TEXAS

10 Tips for Healthy Quality Sleep

Sleep is an essential to life and our wellbeing. A lack of good quality sleep can have serious negative impact on our physical and mental health. Here’s some wise tips on how to get some quality sleep.

1. Put your phone down

Our phones, tablets and computers emit blue light which tricks our body into thinking it’s daytime. This causes a reduction in the hormone melatonin, which relaxes us and allows us to fall into a deep sleep. Try to avoid screens at least a half hour before bedtime and definitely do not use them in bed if you’re struggling to sleep.

2. Avoid caffeine late in the day

Caffeine can stay in our systems for several hours and therefore can keep us awake at night. Try avoiding caffeine 6 hours before bedtime to ensure your system has enough time to wind down for a good night’s sleep.

3. Exercise regularly but not before bed

Exercise has many great health benefits including sleep quality improvement. Regular exercise during the day is one of the best ways to ensure a healthy sleep routine. However for some, exercise right before bedtime can increase the body’s production of hormones such as adrenaline which may cause sleep issues if too close to bedtime.

4. Avoid alcohol

Many people believe alcohol helps them sleep. However alcohol seriously reduces the quality of your sleep. Alcohol reduces the production of melatonin which is vital to your sleep cycle. You may feel it helps you fall asleep but it is likely you will wake up feeling tired as your sleep quality will be negatively impacted.

5. Get outside during the day

Natural sunlight helps keep your circadian rhythm in check by keeping your body clock in sync with night and day.

By increasing your light exposure during the day your body will provide increased energy followed in the cycle by a relaxed brain and body at night, telling your body it is time to sleep.

6. Get into a routine

By changing your routine on weekends or even day to day throws off your circadian rhythm. If you struggle to have consistent bedtime your body will not know when it needs to wind down for the night. This will negatively impact your long term sleep health. Have a set sleep/wake cycle if you’re having difficulty sleeping.

7. Improve your environment

Invest in a comfy mattress, pillow and create a relaxing bedroom environment. Improving comfort will reduce aches and pains and provide a better night’s sleep. You can also use black out blinds/curtains and reduce external noise to help you relax.

Associate your bedroom with sleep and being relaxed. If your work computer is in your bedroom you may not feel relaxed when in that environment, which could affect sleep. Leaving a TV on overnight in your bedroom will also prevent you from getting much needed restorative sleep.

8. Don’t eat late at night

Eating a large meal late at night can negatively impact the release of melatonin and HGH which help you get a quality night’s sleep.

It is also worth mentioning a healthy diet will help improve your sleep on the whole.

9. Get the temperature right

Being too hot or cold can prevent you from falling asleep or having a quality sleep. Try to get the room to around 68° for an optimal sleep temperature.

10. Relax

Try to incorporate relaxation into your bedtime routine. Things such as reading a book, taking a bath, breathing techniques or getting a massage can help you wind down and reduce your stress/ adrenaline levels before bed.

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Pringles Can Hacks (& Things You Don’t Know About the Snacks But We Are Telling You Anyway)

How many chips are in a container of Pringles?

The cans say there is “about” five servings of 16 chips, which means 80 Pringles. When we tested four cans of Original Pringles we counted two cans with 79 chips, one with 80, and the last one had 78.

However, a can of Sour Cream and Onion chips had 82 and can of Pizza-Flavored had 81.

Pringles has 25 different flavors in the U.S. and even more internationally, when combined you can make 318,000 unique flavor stacks. Of all the varieties, the top-selling flavors are Original, Cheddar Cheese, Barbeque and Sour Cream and Onion.

When Fredric Baur, the inventor of Pringles potato chips died at age 89, per his wish, his cremated ashes were placed inside an original flavored Pringles can for burial.

Baur

In 1956, Baur, a trained chemist, used a geometric formula to create a saddle-shaped chip that would not break when individually stacked inside a cardboard cylinder in-a-can invention.

Besides a burial urn, here are other uses for Pringles cans:

Store other foods inside. Chips aren’t the only food that will travel safely inside a Pringles container. You can also safely pack a sleeve of crackers, some spaghetti or other noodles, dried beans, and more inside this handy can.

…and cookies.

Flour, sugar, and breadcrumbs are other products that can be transported via the Pringles container. The sturdy cardboard will protect the food, and you won’t have punctured bags or spilled products On your roadtrip, in the tent or inside a RV.

Make a cell phone speaker. Cut a slit near the bottom of the Pringles can. Make the slit large enough for your cell phone to sit inside. Remove the lid. The can will amplify your cell phone’s speaker.

  • Store plastic bags. Cut a small (one-inch diameter) hole in the Pringles lid. When you need a plastic bag, simply reach into the hole, and pull one out.

  • Office or hobby supplies. A Pringles can will also corral those office supplies like pens, scissors, paper clips, and glue sticks. Hobby supplies like beads, wire, artists’ paintbrushes and more will also fit inside.

  • Hair accessories holder. Use a Pringles can to keep hair ties and elastic bands together. Just put them around the outside of the can. Clips, ribbons, and bows can be stored inside the can, as well.
Dog cage?

  • Makeup organizer. You can cut down Pringles cans so that your makeup brushes, comb/brush, and other tools are easily at hand. Tape a series of cans together so they’ll stay securely upright.

  • Necklace holder. Put weights in the bottom of a Pringles can. Then wind a rubber band around the can, near the top. Hang necklaces and bracelets from the rubber band. Simple! And handy, too!
  • Bird feeder. Use a darning needle to poke and thread a string through the top of the Pringles can. Tie the ends of the string together. Then use a spatula or butter knife to smear peanut butter all over the exterior of the Pringles can. Then roll the prepared can in birdseed. Hang the bird feeder from a nearby tree or garden flag holder.

  • Keep paint rollers fresh. When painting, you can slip a Pringles container over the paint roller at the end of the day. The next day, the paint in the roller will be ready to go.

  • Travel Tools. We use a few select tools when traveling in our car or a RV–a tire gauge, a channel lock, screwdrivers, pliers, etc. An easy way to keep these few, but necessary, tools together and within reach is to store the tools inside a Pringles can.
Cousins?

  • Children Fun. Kids love doing this. Remove the bottom of the Pringles can. Use waterproof tape to securely fasten the lid onto the can. Gently place the lid end of the can into the water. Look through the bottom of the can to see what’s underneath the water’s surface. Here’s more ideas:

Holidays

Even More

Using chalkboard paint.

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

Sources and Networking for Writers, Investigators and Sales People

“Where do you get your ideas for articles? How do you develop and retain dependable sources? How do you sell more? Increase business? Obtain information?”

These are common questions I have received over the years as a “Jack of All Trades” being an investigative reporter, insurance salesman, business executive, trade organization president, writer, detective and corporate facilities manager. The simple answer is to be a good networker.

Personal Connections

After making any connection, I always tried to build on it. Sometimes it takes creativity and thoughtfulness, but those are wonderful traits for life anyway. At HEB Food/Drugs, my division had thousands of employees (Partners), service providers, vendors and other resources to keep our stores, offices, warehouses, manufacturing plants and other real estate safe, lawful and in welcoming conditions.

H-E-B calls employees ‘Partners’

Early on, I would use Rolodex files (labeled: “Sources,” “Engineers,” “Partners,” “Designers,” Electricians,” and others) for individual information on people in each category.

For example, when I visited Austin, Houston, Dallas, the Rio Grande Valley, the Coastal Bend and other regions of Texas, the file for that area would include more than just names, phone numbers, and emails. It was critical to have personal notes to connect and care with individuals I may come in contact with. Examples might be:

Birthplace, Birthday, Anniversaries, Spouse, Children, Other Family, Connections, Hobbies, Interests, Education, and Accomplishments.

Others items to note might include Affiliations, Career and Work History, Goals, Prides, and other interests.

“Is Bobby, Jr. still playing baseball this year? How’s Nancy doing in track? Here’s an autograph of Tim Duncan for your brother. I know he’s big on Spurs basketball,” were some ways to build rapport.

The key was to capture the bits and pieces of hot, vital information
about people I met. These appear as phrases such as “Texas State alum,” “loves to fish,” “never eats lunch,” and so on.

Many times I kept a pocket recorder to help remember for when I jotted it down in the hotel room or plane ride later. As technology developed, I kept computer files and spreadsheets instead of manual Rolodexes.

Note: Even today, I do not include confidential information and confidential names on a computer or internet file. My reputation and ability to gather data and news depends on sources trusting me.

Resources You Can Count On

It’s all a lot of work, but worth every minute of it. What does all this
have to do with resolving an emergency, mitigating a problem, gathering resources, or closing the sale? Just about everything when it’s
used at the moment it’s needed.

Who can you depend on for help when your dealing with a hurricane, a sales proposal or news article?

I don’t subscribe to the saying “Networking is a numbers game.” The success doesn’t come from how many people you can meet. What you actually need is to have a list of people and resources you can count on.

One of my greatest mentors was a senior vice president of Facility Alliance at H-E-B, Ralph G. Mehringer. I watched and learned. When he met someone for the first time–a food server, janitor, visitor, new partner, whoever— Ralph was consistent about making them feel like the most important person in the room.

When I lived in an apartment above the Majestic Theater in downtown San Antonio, a neighbor, Walter Stovell, known as the “Godfather of Houston Street,” totally made eye contact with others–and he kept it. He smiled. He listened.

Majestic Theater

During conversations, Walter made comments and asked questions that showed he was hearing and listening. One day the current and two ex-mayors of the Alamo City walked by and Walter amazed me with his abilities to engage each one opportunities to express themselves without interruption.

What If You Need a Large List to Increase Sales or Potential Sales?

A sales person may mention to someone for whom has been a good customer, “I was just going through my checks, and I realized I spent over $2000 with you last year. I guess we’re really getting to depend on each other more than I knew.”

A typical question I receive is “where do you get your articles and story ideas?” They are all over, if you network properly.


You can expand networking by simply trading networks with someone else.
How big is your network? If you answered infinite, you’re
right. You’re only limited by the number of people on earth. Your network is potentially the size
of all your contacts, plus all your relatives’ contacts, your
friends’ contacts, your business associates’ contacts, and so on.

Suppose you want to introduce a new service you offer. Are you going to limit the list to the names you’ve been able to scrape together? Of course not. You’ll ask me for my list, and if I like the offer I might even ask a few other people for their lists. Instead of a few hundred names, you now have a few thousand.

Always treat anyone’s contacts with the utmost respect. Like tightrope walking, this is a system based on trust. A fall from grace, like a fall from the high wire, can be very hard to recover from.

3 Tips on Selling

🔹 Be Knowledgeable. If you want people to listen to you, you need to be an expert about the product you’re selling, about the market it exists in, and about the way it addresses the needs of your customer.

🔹Establish Rapport. Your primary responsibility is to establish a connection between the needs of the customer and the solutions that your product/service provides. It’s about them, not you. If you’re not paying attention to the customers’ needs, how could you ever accomplish that? Listen to what they’re saying. Ask questions to gain deeper understanding. Seek to build and demonstrate empathy.

🔹Build Relationships. Many people will go to online reviews to learn about your product or service. It’s amazing how much stronger leads are that come from customer referrals. Cultivating customer relationships will give you more leads, and when you listen to compliments and complaints about your offering, it will help you improve for future customers.

One final thought is to use the forever faith 80/20 rule. Twenty percent of your network likely provides 80 percent of the value. What have you done for them lately?

Jack Dennis

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

HEB FOOD DRUGS