Welcome – Keep On The Sunny Side

0313Welcome
One of the best things about living in California is the weather. It’s a mid-February morning as I write this, and outside my office window are blue skies and people walking on the sidewalk wearing light-weight wind breakers and tennis shoes. If you’re feeling depressed or sad today, you certainly can’t blame the weather!

Of course, if you are feeling that way (down) there probably is some reason for it; something didn’t turn out the way you wanted, someone let you down, or you need something that you aren’t getting. Maybe you’ve had a loss of some sort — maybe a big one, or maybe several. If I am speaking to you, please know that it is not my intention to make light of your situation or deny that you may be feeling pain. But please remember this: regardless of the weather, we all have challenges in life but it is how we choose to react to those challenges that matters most.
I will be the first to admit, I sometimes find myself wallowing in negative—worried, anxious or depressed—and then something amazing happens. I’ll encounter another person who is the ray of sun piercing my self-created black cloud. Just their presence lifts my spirit and turns my thinking in a new direction.

There are some people in my life—I call them “life enrichers” – who exude positive energy. Their lives are not free of problems—to the contrary, in most cases these are people who have overcome major challenges—but whenever they are around, they seem to brighten the universe around them. Their secret seems to have something to do with focusing on uplifting others more than worrying about their own problems.

My friend, Joe is one of these people. So are my friends Mike, Eli, Del, Jean, Rodney, Wanda, Bob and Tami. Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting weatherman Lloyd Lindsay Young and his wife, Bonnie. While many would think his on-the-air, upbeat persona is an “act,” I can tell you that it is not—Lloyd is a genuine “life enricher” too.

There is a wonderful song entitled, Keep on the Sunny Side (of Life), and whether they know it or not, it is the theme song of all the people I mentioned.

Why don’t we make it our theme song too?

Eric Johnson

Stamps in My Passport: Nepal Wedding

Stamps in My PassportStamps in My Passport

Let’s face it—singing and dancing go together with “love and marriage like a horse and carriage.” I remember growing up and attending a lot of weddings. Invariably as the evening rolled on the band would get louder and louder and the music faster and faster. Eventually both young and old would be carried away with the festivities—and get out on the floor and dance.

This tradition is not only common here in the United States, but it spans the globe as well. I’ve sneaked a peek or two at weddings all over the world. The bride’s dress and/or the groom’s outfit may vary. The instruments probably take on different shapes and sounds, but as midnight approaches it seems as if everyone enjoys a dance. My most memorable eavesdropping on a wedding celebration occurred during anunforgettable night a number of years ago in Nepal.

You may recall from earlier stories that I was deeply involved in a start-up medical clinic in Nepal. My visits were not medically related, but rather I acted as a peace envoy between the headstrong western doctor who ran our clinic and the established government-controlled medicine men in Nepal. The two sides were in constant combat, it seemed, and I periodically went over to this remote country to smooth out the conflicts.

Our facilities were located in the city of Jorpati, about twenty kilometers from Kathmandu. Jorpati is just down the road from Bodha which houses the largest Buddhist Stupa in Nepal. This is a common tourist site, and I’m sure a number of you have visited there.

My visits usually lasted about two weeks, and my home for the duration of each stay was a relatively decent hotel called the Blue Star. Over the past few years the Blue Star has upgraded itself considerably, but at the time of my story it was not uncommon for a hotel employee to show up in my room about nine o’clock at night with a “flit” gun loaded with DDT. He would proceed to go around the baseboards of my room exterminating whatever bugs had dared to ventured in during the last twenty four hours.

My room was located on the second floor overlooking a courtyard filled with benches, tables and a slightly-raised platform. This area was used as an outdoor eating area, but it could also be rented for larger parties and gatherings. On my first-ever Saturday night in Nepal, I was privileged to look out over a most joyously-celebrated wedding ceremony.

True to form, after the dinner dishes from the wedding were cleared, a collection of stringed instruments accompanied by some percussion pieces arrived and began to entertain the guests. The noise kept me awake anyway, so I thought I might as well watch the goings-on below. It was an obviously joyous celebration with much laughter. The bride was a pretty little girl, no older than sixteen years I’m sure. She was dolled up fit-to-kill in a soft white dress which was loaded with multicolored shawls and a huge amount of colorful beads. Alas, the groom was in plain black with only a white Nehru shirt in contrast to his suit. I would guess most of you ladies would classify him as handsome—with his dark skin and black hair.

At just about midnight, a chant began to grow and grow, until the bride and groom in response to the chant got up on the stage to perform. They resisted a bit, but it was a foregone conclusion that they were going to lose. The performance began by the groom wrapping a rope around his bride’s waist, and, in a most aggressive fashion, he began to lead her around. He, the strong masculine type—she the weak and subservient bride following behind him. Slowly they began to circle the band which had now begun to play. The audience joined in with a resonant rhythmic clapping.

Around and around they went, but as they continued to circle, a change began to take place. Slowly but surely they were becoming equal—walking side by side. The rope was now binding them together more as partners. He was losing his bravado, and she became more of a participant as they circled the band.

The beat grew faster and the clapping louder The change of positions continued as they walked round and round. Now he was becoming the horse and she the driver. The rope began to act as a bridle for him and a means for her to steer him on—a complete reversal from the original positions in the dance. At this point the audience’s laughter and joking took over, and they all crowded around the couple, with glasses raised high in one huge delightful mass.

I will let you draw your own conclusions about the meaning of this ritual. I will only close by saying; perhaps they understand life better than I gave them credit for. As I am growing older and Barb and I are celebrating anniversary after anniversary, I am beginning to appreciate the significance of this traditional Nepali dance.

Harry Hubinger is a retired engineer who operated his own company for twenty years. He first began traveling outside the United States on business, but these visits escalated upon his retirement. He has now traveled to 115 countries and continues to add several new ones each year.

In 1998 he began writing his humorous and insightful articles for a supplement to a local newspaper. These stories, based on experiences most travelers could identify with, soon earned him a wide local following. In 2005 he published his first book, Stamps in My Passport—a collection of travel vignettes.

Harry has lived in Danville for almost forty years and has volunteered with the Danville Police Department for the past seven. His wife, Barbara, is the detail chronicler of their trips. Her journals provide the background for Harry’s broader view. You can get his book at: www.travelbookspub.com.

2010 Chrysler 300: A Sexy Sedan!

Think “cool, low and boxy”—and think a modern version of what the Green Lantern would drive. That’s how I like to describe the Chrysler 300 sedan. Since it was introduced in 2005 the fresh and distinctive style has only grown better with age. In other words, it is still a head-turner!

The 2010 Chrysler 300 is classified as a large car and with Ford retiring the Crown Victoria soon, the 300 will be one of the few large rearwheel drive vehicles left standing. Behind the wheel the width of the 300 clearly dictates that you are in a large car; however, the tight handling and road-hugging suspension, convince your senses that you are strapped into a sport sedan.

2010 introduces us to some minor styling upgrades, including chrome door handles and front and rear fascia accents for the 300 Touring model. Side airbags are now standard on all models. For 2010, the five-passenger 300 is available in eight model trim variations that are grouped into four trim categories: Touring, Limited, 300C and SRT8. The Touring trims are: Touring Sedan ($28,010), Touring
Signature RWD ($32,635) and Touring Signature AWD ($34,700). The Limited is available in both RWD ($36,675) and AWD ($38.980). The 300C is equipped with the 5.7L V8 Hemi and available in both RWD ($37,760) and AWD ($40,800). The SRT8 is the high performance 425 HP version ($47,366).

So many cars these days get lost in the blur of sheet metal that covers the parking lots and highways of our cities. One of the few cars that really stand out is the Chrysler 300 with its long sculptured body that sits low and rides heavy. The large grille begins the montage of chrome attributes including side mirrors, door handles, badges, and bumper trim. The front grille and fascia is square and in your face. The high beltline gives the impression the top has been chopped and lowered. The back window is steeply raked forward creating a sense of motion. The end result is the 300 is a real looker.

The interior was upgraded in 2008 to a premium level as a reaction to the cars biggest complaint. Cheap hard points and plastics have been replaced with soft materials, silver trim, and tortoise shell accents on the 300C and SRT8. The interior is sporty and elegant at the same time. The seats are comfortable and the instruments and gadgets are easy to use.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT:

  • Base 300 lacks anti-lock brakes as a standard feature


COOL FEATURES:

  • The super-hero exterior design
  • The female navigation voice sounds like a live person talking to you
  • Large Navigation/Media Center Screen
  • Power Adjustable pedals with memory

The 300 is a very high-tech vehicle loaded with advanced features.

The 300C AWD model we tested included some of the following equipment:
Rain-sensitive windshield wipers, Electronic Stability Program, Heavy Duty Anti-lock 4-Wheel disc brakes, Remote Start System, Remote Proximity Keyless Entry System, SIRIUS Radio, front heated and
powered seats, illuminated front cupholders, and Halogen Projector Headlamps with Smartbeam.

IN SUMMARY:

If you are looking for a vehicle that makes a statement, is blessed with power and comfort and is packed with cool features, then you need to get behind the wheel of a 2010 Chrysler 300. Its styling has remained relevant and impressive and if fuel mileage is more important than performance then the 300 Touring sedan with a 2.7-liter V6 gets 18 MPG City and 26 MPG Highway. My personal choice of a good blend between economy and power is the 300C. Either way, take the 2010 Chrysler 300 for a test ride and prepare to be impressed.

2010 CHRYSLER 300C AWD

BASE PRICE: $40,050
AS DRIVEN: $45,475 (INCLUDING DESTINATION)
ENGINE: 5.7-LITER 8-CYLINDER
HORSEPOWER: 360 @ 5150
TORQUE: 389 POUND-FEET @ 4250 RPM
TRANSMISSION: 5-SPEED AUTOMATIC WITH OVERDRIVE &
AUTOSTICK
DRIVE: ALLWHEEL-DRIVE
SEATING: 5-PASSENGER
TURNING CIRCLE: 38.9 FEET
CURB WEIGHT: 4280 POUNDS
CARGO SPACE: 15.6 CUBIC FEET
FUEL CAPACITY: 19 GALLONS
EPA MILEAGE: 23 HIGHWAY, 16 CITY
WHEEL BASE: 120 INCHES
WARRANTY: 5 YEARS/100,000 MILES POWER LIMITED
ALSO CONSIDER:AUDIO A6, BMW 5-SERIES, BUICK LUCERNE,
CADILLAC CTS,AND FORD TAURUS
FUTURE CHANGES: REFRESHED IN 2008

Laurus Bistro

Casual yet elegant in design, Laurus Bistro in Blackhawk Plaza invites families to dine on authentic European favorites prepared with the freshest of ingredients. This commitment to freshness is felt the moment you enter Laurus’ open and airy dining room and extends into the menu which changes daily based on local availability. Neutral walls, brown polished floors, and vibrant prints of vegetables and fruits hang in the dining room.

Morroccan lanterns hang from the ceiling conjuring up images of the south of France. Guests can opt to dine at the Chef’s table facing the open kitchen, in the main dining room, or on the large unny patio. Laurus is designed to meet the needs of those looking for a place to meet for a business lunch, a special dinner, dinner with the family or just to catch up with friends for a drink after work. And don’t forget about their Monday special, with purchase of a bottle of wine you receive two free movie tickets to Blackhawk Theatre.

Restaurant owner, Matthew Silverman’s career is as diverse as it is interesting, especially considering that he is only 31 years old. Starting as a musical prodigy and evolving into an Executive Chef
working for top restaurants and resorts in Las Vegas, Silverman has cooked for some of the world’s leading celebrities. He has been profiled in multiple publications and on various television programs, but ultimately it is Silverman’s creative abilities and “focus on the food” that keeps customers coming back for more. He is the Executive Chef and Co-Founder of Verve Hospitality Group, which maintains multiple restaurants including Coa and STOMP as well as Laurus in the Blackhawk Plaza.

On our recent trip to Laurus we sat in the dining room. From the moment we were seated the service was friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable. Our dinner commenced with a white bean hummus. A unique twist on a classic appetizer, Laurus chef individually peels each chickpea giving the dip a fluffy much smoother texture. Truly a delicious way to start off your lunch or dinner. Other great starters are the Caesar salad wrapped prosciutto as well as the crab cakes with terragon cream and roasted peppers. Laurus crab cakes are a great lighter option as they are pan-seared, not fried. Of all the starters featured on the menu, the absolute standout is Laurus’s signature soup; the truffled cauliflower bisque with sweet corn-pancetta relish, chili oil and fresh chives, truly a heavenly invention and sinfully decadent.

Our next course contained two wood-fired flat breads. We’d have to say they are true standouts, we can’t pick which one we like more. Marissa prefers the caramelized onion with gorgonzola, basil pesto, spiced walnuts, salumi tuscano, and basil, while Anthony thinks the grilled mushroom with portabella cream, fontina, goat cheese, white truffle oil and wild herbs wins. What we both agree on is how well they both went with our Skylark, Orsi Vinyard Pinot Blanc from Mendocino County.

Wine expert Zubin Desai helped us with all of our pairings for the night. He is on his way to becoming a sommelier with one test under his belt so far. And I must say he really has fun with his pairings, giving us a Boont Mendocino beer with our bisque and Caesar salad and a cocktail called the Bradshaw—a delicious martini made with casa noble single barrel tequila with our pasta dish. The taglietelli pasta with braised wild boar bolognese, truffle pecorino, nutmeg and opal basil was spectacular and we will be returning to Laurus soon to enjoy this entrée again! If you had to pick a last meal we would both tell you to get down to Laurus and order this ASAP.

All the entrees on Laurus’ menu are mind blowing, on our “most wanted” list would have to be the crispy free-range half chicken with truffle honey mustard glaze, cavatelli “mac and cheese” and broccolini, the wild coho salmon with hercot verts, fingerling potatoes, rhubarb chutney, pea shoots and harissa and the bouillabaisse with muscles, clams, shrimp, halibut, calamari, scallops and saffron broth, which we both agree could also be a great starter to share with the table! With so many amazing options on the menu it may be difficult to choose. Based upon our experience you cannot go wrong with any of the entrees.

This review would not be complete without mentioning all the extraordinary desserts Laurus has to offer. The tiramisu cappuccino with chocolate genoise and mascarpone cream is absolutely remarkable
and a standout on the dessert menu. Although, we also enjoyed the chef’s selection of gelato. Samplings included four wonderful complimenting flavors; their signature Laural leaf white gelato, stracciatella, Mexican chocolate, and both our favorite, the raspberry.

With the weather getting better we encourage you to check out Laurus and enjoy an amazing meal on their picturesque patio—We found the dining experience to be memorable, filled with excellent
food and world class service.
www.laurussf.com, (925) 984-2250. 3483 Blackhawk Plaza Cir., Danville.

Wedding Music

Notes on KeySpring is definitely in the air and many couples are busy planning a June wedding. Choosing the invitations, making the guest list, selecting the cake and most importantly the bride’s gown, are all priorities, but one of the most important elements of a wedding is the music.

How does one choose the music for a wedding? There are many considerations to ponder. The venue will often dictate the nature of the music. Will the wedding be in a church, in a home, outdoors in
a backyard or a beach, a mountain setting or perhaps on a cruise ship? If it’s a church wedding there may be guidelines as to the type of music permitted. At secular sites there may be noise limits and
space allotted for a band. Consider the size of the ceremony site, as it may determine or limit the size of a musical ensemble.

Choosing music should reflect the tastes and personalities of the couple getting married. A young couple may want the music to be contemporary and popular, as opposed to a more mature couple
who may want classical or traditional music. The style of music chosen will most likely dictate the nature of the ensemble, vocal soloist or disc jockey performing the music.

The style of music will generally fall into one or more of these categories: traditional, contemporary, folk, pop, rock, etc. All of these styles may be played and /or sung by a vocal soloist or a small
ensemble. These may include organ or piano alone or with vocals or instrumental accompaniment. Organ and brass are a great combination. Piano, harp, string quartet, guitar and other small instrumental ensembles are often used depending upon the size of the venue and the mood of the wedding.

In a formal church wedding the music in the ceremony may include the prelude, processional, interludes (if used) and the recessional. The prelude music is played before the ceremony begins and
generally sets a nice relaxed, light mood. It usually lasts at least 15 to 20 minutes while guests are being seated.

Processional music should be celebratory and impressive announcing the appearance of the bride. The most traditional processional is the Bridal Chorus (Wedding March) from Richard Wagner’s opera Lohengrin. The interlude music is lighter and is often a vocal soloist accompanied by piano, guitar or organ. This music usually speaks of love and romance.

The recessional is used when the bridal party exits and is usually an upbeat, energetic, lively piece. The most traditional recessional is The Wedding March, by Felix Mendelssohn from A Midsummer Nights Dream.

Music during the wedding reception again most often reflects the couples taste and style. Traditionally there is a first dance by the bride and groom. This very special dance is usually a favorite of the
couple—”their song.” Music for dancing may be provided by a live band, small ensemble or a DJ playing a variety of songs. Unless the couple has friends or family that will volunteer their services there may be considerable costs for soloists and musicians.

A good wedding planner always has lists of musicians and DJ’s. Churches are a good source for wedding musicians and the yellow pages of your local phone book often lists musicians. Always audition
the soloists or ensembles to see if they are right for your needs.

You can save considerable money by hiring local nonprofessionals such as talented college students or amateur musicians. The right music at your wedding will not only entertain your guests but will set the mood and secure the memories for the most important day of your lives together.

“Life is a song—love is the music!”

Please submit your questions and comments to banddirector01@comcast.net.
Visit our website at www.danvilleband.org for up-to-date information about the Danville Community Band.

The Three Fs

From the PublisherI don’t watch much television, but one program I catch every once in a while is Man Versus Wild, with Bear Grylls. There is something fascinating about a guy who confidently dives head first into a frigid, ice-covered pond to capture a wiggling trout with his bare hands; who then, without skipping a beat, proceeds to devour the creature—fins, bones, eyes and all.

Grylls is always animated yet matter-of-factly confident as he demonstrates these extreme survival techniques. This is true of every episode I’ve seen—except one. I don’t recall the exact circumstances, but in this particular episode, night was falling as Grylls’ normally steady composure seemed to flag a bit. He was obviously tired, and while there was a film crew nearby, he was apparently feeling lonely. He then said something that, while out of character for Grylls, seemed very real and heartfelt. To paraphrase, he said, “when things seem bleak; when I start to feel down or alone, I always remember the three Fs — friends, family and faith.”

Attitude is everything, and Grylls’ statement resonated as probably the most useful and powerful survival technique he had ever shared. Keeping the “three Fs” in mind can go a very long way indeed, on every level—physically, emotionally and spiritually. In my day-to-day routine, I try to make a point of thinking about the three Fs, whenever I can, but confess that sometimes, I forget.

One of the most amazing things about the three Fs is that if you do happen to forget, they will be there for you anyway, ready to reach out and lift you up when you need it most. Take the “friends” part of the three Fs, for example. I recently discovered that I have one I have yet to meet in person, as a result of writing this column every month. Her name is Dorothy, a local Alive reader.

In a letter I received from her recently, Dorothy expressed her appreciation for Alive Magazine and for the positive message we try to convey. She composed a beautiful, eloquent letter, complimenting all of our editorial contributors. In short, Dorothy took the time to open a door of friendship to me that, due to the circumstances of the day, could not have arrived at a more appropriate time. I wasn’t expecting it, but one of the three Fs reached out and lifted me, just when I needed it.

What else can I say but, “Thank you Dorothy. Thank you for being the kind and caring person that you are. I appreciate your gesture and words, and hope you will grant me the honor of adding you to my three Fs list, as you may certainly count on me to be on yours!”
Eric Johnson

Trivial Matters

It seems like holy matrimony is the subject of the month. Playing Trivia is not necessarily conducive to a long marriage, but my spouse and I are going on 53 years. I cannot really say that thinking of this stuff has contributed to the longevity, but you never know.

HERE ARE THIS MONTH’S QUESTIONS:

  1. Who played the “best friend” in the movie “My Best Friend’s Wedding”?
  2. In the 1970′s, two New York Yankee pitchers swapped wives. It was a cause celebre. Who were those restless cats?
  3. One of the big TV episodes of the 70′s was the night that Rhoda Morgenstern, of the hit show “Rhoda,” got married. Who played the groom?
  4. Johnny Carson was never one to miss a bet. What singer was married on his program?
  5. Whose wedding captivated the world in 1956?
  6. “I’m Getting Married in the Morning” were the opening lines to a great song. What was the song and what was the famous Broadway show that it was sung in?

APRIL’S TRIVIA ANSWERS:
1. Al Jolson 2. George and Ira Gershwin 3. William Howard Taft 4. W. Somerset Maugham 5. Ed Wynn 6. Bill Rigney

APRIL TRIVIA WINNER:
Charlotte Miller of San Ramon

WIN LUNCH ON BEN!
The first person to email or mail, no calls please, the correct answers to all of the above questions will win a $25 gift certificate at The Uptown Cafe in downtown Danville, compliments of Ben Fernandez!
Entries must be received by May 20, 2010. In the event of a tie, the winner will be drawn at random. Please email your answers to info@aliveeastbay.com, or mail to ALIVE East Bay, 199 East Linda Mesa Avenue, Suite 10, Danville, CA 94526. Employees and family members of employees of ALIVE East Bay are not eligible. Restaurant may be changed without notice.

Prevention: The Best Health Investment in Any Economy

We all know that we should not eat greasy, fried food and that late-night binge eating is a sure way to pack on unwanted pounds. So why does it sometimes take a doctor’s report to convince us to change these destructive habits? For some, even a scary prognosis fails to produce enough motivation to dump our junk food-fueled lifestyles. The result? Unnecessary suffering that could have been prevented! Let’s take a look at what all those calorie-fests could really cost you:
Standard Ambulance ride: Depending on where you live, anywhere from $100 to $1,500.
Massive Heart Attack: ER room, visit, testing, etc. $500 to $10,000.
Heart Bypass Surgery: A person in the Houston, Texas area racked up a bill of $169,000.00. Medicare covered most of the cost but the patient was responsible for a balance of approximately $34,000.00. In similar cases the balance needing to be paid by the patient was as high as $70,000.
Co Pays: averages $5 to $50 per visit. The cost of two visits (at the average $25 co-pay) per month for a year: $600.
Clinical depression: In one recent study, the total treatment cost per person per year, including the cost of housing, was $60,000.
Institutional care can cost as much as $130,000.
Early Death: IMMEASURABLE.
While one could argue that the financial consequences for many individuals are minimized by their insurance companies, let’s not forget that the true costs are eventually paid by everyone else when
insurance rates rise. The increasing demand for weight-related health treatments is also contributing to more national debt. “The economic impact of heart attacks and strokes in the U.S. alone totals
nearly $403 billion in medical care and lost productivity annually,” said Dr. Peter Lindgren of Stockholm Health Economics.

And what about the emotional consequences? Imagine receiving the news that a dear friend or family member just suffered a heart attack or stroke. Circumstances like these take their toll on the psyche. Mental disorders including anxiety and depression affect one in ten working-age adults each year, resulting in a loss of approximately 200 million working days a year.

What is the bottom line? Our unhealthy lifestyles carry a high price tag, and we have limited resources to pay it. The only rational solution, then, is to break free from our unhealthy lifestyle. In over a decade as a personal trainer and life coach, I have observed four key principles that empower this kind of radical change:

KEY 1: REVELATION

Fortunately, the body is like a big Band-Aid. It longs to heal itself. But that doesn’t mean the choices we make today won’t scar our bodies for years to come. Nothing in your life will change until the consequences become real to you. Revelation is about seeing and believing the truth. This is the key to prevention. For example, before (this is the “pre” in “prevention”) you develop Diabetes, a debilitating blood sugar disorder which affects about 8% of the population, close your eyes and imagine giving yourself daily insulin injections, losing your vision, or even losing a limb. How would you feel then? How would your family feel? Think about missing out on your grandchildren because you suffered a massive heart attack fueled by decades of fast food and a sedentary lifestyle. These things happen every day.

For many, this reality check finally hits home when they’re confined to a hospital bed awaiting bypass surgery—but it doesn’t have to be that way. Your revelation can start the moment you read this article or hear the early warnings from your doctor. Your life will change when the source of your decision-making drops 12 inches—from your head to your heart. This is how you convert information into realization. Become passionately involved in a decision, and you’re more likely to act on it rather than just letting it sit on a shelf.

KEY 2: DECLARATION
Control your mouth, and you control your whole body. If you want to find out who you really believe you are, listen to yourself talk. As you speak with others, pay attention to your own words. You could even record your side of phone conversations for a couple of days, wait a week or two, and then play your words back. You may be surprised and even shocked at what you hear coming out of your mouth! Our words reveal what we honor. Are your conversations littered with phrases like, “I can’t do this… I always fail… My mom was built this way and my metabolism is slow, so I’ll never lose the weight?” Focus on replacing these negative words with positive declarations like, “I am blessed…I am an overcomer, and I am overcoming this…I’m getting healthier every day.” You will be amazed to discover the creative power of your own words, both for your good and for your harm.

KEY 3: APPLICATION
Do you do what you don’t want to do, and don’t do what you want to do? It sounds like a tongue twister, but this dilemma defines almost everyone trapped in an unhealthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, the solution to this problem is simple but not easy. You ignore what you want to do in favor of what realization has told you—what you MUST do. Truth without action simply doesn’t work. But here’s the great news: as you apply truth to your life day after day, your desires will start to change. You will want more of the good and healthy things. Simple exercise and walks in the park will instantly spike your metabolism, not to mention decreasing your biological aging by almost 10 YEARS! The rewards are sweet, and you will reach a point where you will truly desire them more than you desire that giant slice of cake.

Exercises like walking and weight training with a simple exercise band not only prevent heart disease, diabetes and obesity, they reduce your risk of 35 other diseases and 12 cancers! If that’s not a great
return on your investment, I don’t know what is. Get moving, apply yourself, and watch what happens.

KEY 4: MANIFISTATION (IN 30 SECONDS!)

Don’t just talk about your dreams, live them! While I do advocate writing your 6 week goals down on paper (in concert with Key 3), manifest that 6 week goal today–this very moment (you know, In 30
Seconds). Do you have a goal to lose 30 pounds or unclog some of those arteries? Well, do it today. Don’t eat any fried food—TODAY. Go for a walk- TODAY. Pass on the sweets—TODAY! You will literally see a manifestation of your 6 week goal happening right before your eyes.

The satisfaction of SAYING NO will give you such confidence and peace that you will be ready for day 2, 3 and 44! Go for your dreams and live it one day at a time. You are worth the investment. Your 30 second focus/short term goal for the week: Did you remember to write down your goals last week. If you forgot to Take a few moments THIS MOMENT and write down one thing that you would like to accomplish this week/ this month and this year! We are 5 months into 2010, and despite what may have happened in 2009, 2010 is going to be an exceeding abundant year for you and your heath. You can prevent disaster by making 30 second decisions to Change. Get ready for next months’ article: Empowering Extraordinary Life. E-mail me! Love and Blessings, Ron.

Ron Kardashian

Ron Kardashian

Ron Kardashian is a published author, fitness expert, life success coach, national television and radio personality, and NSCA-certified strength and conditioning coach. One of America’s first life coaches, for the past 15 years, Ron’s wellness organization has inspired hundreds to reach their full physical, mental and spiritual potential.

With over 12,000 hours of coaching under his belt, Kardashian has received two consecutive nominations for Personal Trainer of the Year and has been an honored speaker for the National Strength and Conditioning Association, one of the largest institutions of health and fitness in the U.S. In short, Ron is one of the nation’s leading life coaches, sharing the stage with some of America’s top advisors. Indeed, he has become a coach’s coach! His work is pivotal in empowering executives and individuals to operate at peak performance personally, professionally, and most important—spiritually.
In addition to authoring books and other educational resources, Ron has been pursuing his ultimate passion: philanthropy. He operates a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that is relentless in its efforts to communicate the power of bringing optimal health to all walks of life. This organization’s mission is to fight obesity and all related diseases on a global scale. Across the globe, Kardashian’s integrated, holistic approach has garnered amazing results, making him a powerful, compelling voice of change for professional athletes, CEOs, political leaders, clergymen and people of every age, religion, and creed.
Ron is now accepting new clients to achieve their dreams in his proven “Coached to Win Program,” system of success. As Ron says, “These classes are a reasonable investment for you to manifest your talents in any economy. You have got what it takes. Sometimes it takes a coach to bring out the best in you. Every athlete has had one, so why not you?” You can reach Ron Kardashian at 1.888.918.HEAL or at www.kardshian.tv

Sugar Rush

Sugar Rush
Sugar Rush

Sugar Rush Events is owned by Kristen Jensen. Kristen’s love of planning, passion and spirit is evident at every event. Her creativity and ingenuity make her stand out among the rest. She is always staying on top of the latest trends and allowing her client’s visions to come to life. Her laid back demeanor and easy going attitude make planning fun. Kristen is able to give her clients peace of mind on their wedding day…and that is the greatest gift a bride could ask for. Sugar Rush Events is run by a team of experienced event planners. Each planner shares the same love, and expertise as Kristen, so whether you are working with Kristen or one of her highly skilled team members; your experience will always be sweet and thrilling!

So how about that name? “Well, people ask where we came up with the name Sugar Rush Events. A Sugar Rush is thrilling! It’s full of energy and life. When planning an event, you get an incredible high, and have the time of your life while doing it. Events, just like sugar rushes, are exhilarating!”

When asked what she wants people to walk away with after planning their wedding she says, “I would want people to say that they had FUN planning their wedding with me. That the wedding planning experience was stress free, relaxed and an experience they will always remember. I would want clients to say that I am creative and design out of the box, but always keeping their budget, needs and wishes in mind. I would like brides to say that I am professional, reliable, and quick to respond to their needs. I would want all my past brides to say that they will pass my name along to all their single and engaged friends, and that I am a must-have in their wedding planning process.” Well, to that I say most Brides and Grooms would agree; since Kristen has gotten started she has won a handful of awards, including ‘The Knots’ Best of Weddings for 2010 and KRON ‘Best of the Bay’ event planner in 2009!

I always ask my entrepreneurs where they see themselves in ten years, to this she replies, “In 10 years I see myself first and foremost still raising my family and enjoying time with my husband. Family is always number one in my life. My second love in life is Sugar Rush and I see myself growing my business and expanding. I would love to hire more event planners over the next few years, and really take over the Bay Area market. I work with amazing event venues in this area and have built solid, trusting relationships with them. I would love to be the name they refer to all the brides that walk in the door. It is so thrilling to me to see what I can do now; I can’t wait to see what I can do over the next 10 years.”

I wish Kristen good luck in the years to come; I know she will be a success! Sugar Rush can be found at www.sugarrushevents.com, and can be seen featured on Style Me Pretty, The Knot, Modern Bride, and Today’s Bride.

Special thank you to: Imagesbylori.com, Trendz Salon, Mindi Boni for NARS Cosmetics, J’aime Bridal Pleasanton for contributing to this article.

The Dirt Gardener: Thanks for Asking

The Dirt GardenerQ: I’m having a problem with these Rolly Polly bugs getting into my strawberries when they’re almost ripe. Do you have any suggestions on how to keep those darned bugs off of my berries?

A: The Rolly Polly bugs, actually, are Sowbugs. They’re a gray color, oval in shape and curl up when disturbed. Also, they’re not actually an insect but a soil-dwelling crustacean that is closely related to the crayfish. They feed at night and live under logs, wood chips and other decaying organic matter where it’s damp, dark and moist. Sowbugs are considered beneficial, as they break down organic matter into nutrients, which is used by plants. However, they’re a problem with strawberries and any other crop that lies on the ground, like pumpkins, and melons. Sowbugs enter at the point where the berry makes contact with the soil. The lack of or poor air circulation and moisture creates a location were decay or rotting begins. This occurs quickly compared to other crops because strawberries have no waxy coating on their outer layer. This decaying organic matter is very attractive to the Sowbugs and they are easily controlled without any pesticides. The berry clusters are raised up off the ground with a drip irrigation clip. Acoated Dixie Cup placed under the mature berries is another way to prevent Sowbugs. Plastic is often mentioned with growing strawberries, however in many home gardens this creates watering problems. If I were to use plastic, I’d use black plastic over clear as it retains more heat, which will deter the Sowbugs. For cucumbers, pumpkins, squash, and all melons,
a layer of straw is a simple and effective solution.

Q: If we were to plant a lemon or lime in a twenty-inch wide glazed ceramic pot would it eventually break the pot or would it die from being root bound?

A: Given those two choices, your plant would strangle itself from being root bound before it cracked the ceramic container. A plant is more likely to crack a clay pot rather than a ceramic container as moisture evaporates through the porous sides. And, it takes longer for plastic than clay to break down because of UV issues. Water stress is the primary reason why Citrus and other ornamentals die in containers rather than from being root bound. The volume of soil is lost out the drainage hole and from the activity of the microorganisms while the root ball increases in size to support the vegetative growth and moisture retention is severely reduced. These plants suffer from water stress when the days are long, windy and with warm temperatures. Hence it is recommended to water containers daily when the temperatures are above seventy-five degrees. Also, you need to remove the saucer so the water flows free out the bottom and to avoid a mosquito breeding area. Today, mosquitoes are a serious health hazard as they’re the primary carrier of West Nile Virus.