Archive | December, 2010

Christmas for the unemployed, the sick and lonely

Posted on 23 December 2010 by Patricia Gras

Maybe while everyone else is celebrating, shopping and gathering, you find yourself wondering why you find yourself under different circumstances.  You lost your job last year, or a relationship broke up, or maybe you were diagnosed with an unexpected illness. Christmas is not that great for you this year. That’s because maybe what Christmas has come to mean to many is not what is meant to be at all.  There are this year over 30 million people in America with no job, millions who are sick and even more who are lonely. All I can tell you is this. For me Christmas is about family, relationships, love, hope and charity. I may not know you but I want you to know that I, along millions of others do care what happens to you during Christmas and even after. We pray for you, we rembember you, we think of you and we ask you, strangers that we may seem to you,  to have faith. We ask you to believe things will get better. To understand that bad times don’t last a life time and neither do good times.  I just want you to know that even if I don’t know you, You are not a stranger and there are millions who send you prayers, good vibes and tons of hope.  There are a few things that I did when I lost my job, or felt lonely or grieved after a loss. I prayed more, I promised myself that I would not lose my faith, I tried to be kinder to others, because I so needed them to be kind to me, I cried, I walked alone, I woke up earlier to see the sunrise, I stopped to smell a flower, I called a friend, most importantly I got out of myself, I stepped out of myself and I forced myself to believe that things would get better …and guess what …they did. I chose that path. Please, you can choose that path too. My Christmas wish is that you understand there are millions thinking and praying for you. You are not alone.

I found some websites that might help.

This is the best time of the year to volunteer. Take a break from searching for a job and certainly from being alone in the house. Try to get out and help someone. Here is what I read and agree that might help: Maybe volunteer at your local soup kitchen, homeless shelter, Police Athletic League or hospital. There is always someone in worse shape than you and being able to help them will make you feel better. Why not form your own jobs support network? Just post a free ad on any number of local blog sites —, a local mommy blog, your kids’ school — and hold the meeting at the Starbucks. Go around the table and let everyone introduce themselves and say what kind of work they are seeking. Reminding yourself that you aren’t alone in this recession helps.. (article by Anne Brenoff)

Love and Light

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Kindness, new ideas, Music

Posted on 20 December 2010 by Patricia Gras

Last night I had to take my dad to the hospital. He’s an octogenarian so if anything minor happens, you can’t take chances. I observed him, a retired physician tell every nurse he had been a doctor, as if that would help. He looked at me, sadly and said. I hate getting older and sicker. He was so uncomfortable, but what he didn’t realize was a gift he was giving me at that moment. Despite feeling horrible, my father was extremely kind to the staff, he smiled, made jokes, praised the nurses telling them he was in good hands, and when he got frustrated he would remind them of what they had promised hours before..all with a  smile. I am a very lucky woman you see. Both my parents taught me kindness towards everyone. I am not perfect and at times I have been everything but that, yet last night, I was reminded once again where I come from and what’s important in life. Why we can choose every minute how to relate to people. How we can choose to be kind or exasperated and frustrated. How we can choose to be content instead of miserable in the worst of times. What a gift I got last night in the emergency room!

Today I am going to add another segment to my blog. It will be called new ideas. If you have any ideas that could improve the world. By all means share them!

On Living Smart this Sunday at 3pm we get back on track with John Bradshaw and emotional intelligence. Bradshaw is a fabulous speaker, he shares some of the most important life lessons he’s learned over the years.

Also on Sunday at  2:30pm on Latina Voices, we talk to the lively Chef Tarsha and the dynamic Gracie Cavnar about good food and what to do about our children’s obesity epidemic.

Don’t forget to come to our Music Concert benefitting Pink Ribbons on January 22nd at University of St. Thomas Jones Hall 8pm. Go here for more info and tickets.

What I learned this week

Being Kind, is a choice. I hope I make that choice more often than I have in the past.

What I am grateful for

I have seen my parents be kind in difficult times.

New Ideas

Lower insurance premiums if I keep my weight at a normal BMI (body mass index)

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What's in a hamburger, Living Smart and Music

Posted on 12 December 2010 by Patricia Gras

On Living Smart we are always trying to find how to get the most out of life, but when we talk about meat or hamburgers, what we are getting is the most of what we may not want. This is not the first time I read about this of course  but the latest book I read on the subject was Anthony Bourdain’s Medium Raw. I like how her writes, but most importantly I like what he’s writing about because it is so very important. He read in the New York times that as standard practice “when making their “American Chef’s Selection Angus Beef Patties, ” the food giant Cargill’s recipe for hamburger consisted of, among other things, ” a mix of slaughterhouse trimmings and mash-like product derived from scraps” and “the ingredients came from slaughterhouses in Nebraska, Texas and Urugua and from a South Dakota cmpany that processes fatty trimmings and treats them with ammonia to kill bacteria. LET ME REPEAT, AMMONIA. That’ s right, so that you and I don’t get sick . One of our past Living Smart guests, Robyn O’Brien wrote the Truth About Food in her book “Unhealth Truth” How our food is making us sick and what we can do about it. I suggest you read her book and watch the program

I used to be a meat eater. I was raised in Argentina and when I was growing up most of the cattle in Argentina was grass fed. I am not so sure anymore. Here we know most of our cattle is corn fed, even if they spend their first year feeding on grass. Cattle was not meant to feed on corn, but it is cheaper that way. That fact is that in America we need to start asking more questions about our food supply, especially if we have children. I think by now most Americans know what goes into a hot dog and it is not preety.  We keep hearing we should eat more organic and I agree but watch out, In the documentary Food Inc. a large percentage of so called “organic” food are owned by the same  parent companies that don’t have our best interests in mind.

As Americans we like our food to be cheap, but the fact is that if we keep eating whatever we find without asking questions, the long term costs will be exhorbitant. You wonder why our health care premiums are going up? The most important thing we can do for our health is research every food we choose to put in our body. Next time  you take a byte, ask yourself, is this what I want to be eating?

What I learned this week

I will save more money in the long term if I ask questions about what I am putting in my mouth.

What I am grateful for

I live in a country where I have access to information that can improve the quality of my life. I just have to read!

Barandua Concert

To come to our concert on January 22nd 8pm at the University of St. Thomas, here is the information. We want you to be one of the three hundred there!

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Concert and What I learned

Posted on 01 December 2010 by Patricia Gras

I have shared with a lot of you that my band will reunite after 8 years to play for a breast cancer fundraiser on january 22nd at 8pm at the University of St. Thomas. We would love a full house and seating is limited so please go to this link if you want to come

What I am most grateful for this week

The more I love, the better I feel.

What I learned this week

The more I talk about my problems, the worse I feel, so I learned to think less about them and more about solutions.

Living Smart returs on December 17th with the Emmy nominated Yvonne Butler show. Dr. Butler founded the first sugar free school in the country.

On December 19th 2:30pm. I met Muhammad Yunus and Cristal Montanez Baylor. They both work very effectively to combat poverty. Dr. Yunus on the Nobel Prize for his work with microcredit. Their work is an inspiration to us all.

My Living Smart tips for the month.

1. When you sit to talk to someone, you actually shut your brain down and you listen.

2. When you smell a sweet flower, you actually breathe it in deeply and hold on to it as long as you can.

3. When someone you love is dying, you hold them tight and send them love and light without saying a word.

4. When you are really upset, you breathe in slowly at least five times and wait.

5. When you think everything is falling apart. Go home and sleep. No excuses. Find the time. It’s your life.

6. When the sun shines. Be grateful.  Some people never get to see the sun very often.

7. When in doubt, ask questions. Heard be curious not furious?

8. Walk as much as you can. Go up the stairs.  Skip the elevator. Skinny girls do the stairs.

9. Eat every two hours. It speeds up your metabolism.

10. No sugars, alcohol or flours. No processed foods. Yes to Salmon!

Hope to see you at our concert!

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Must Read Books

  • 100 years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
  • Kite Runner by by Khaled Hosseini
  • Mistress of Spices by Chitra Divakaruni
  • Paula by Isabel Allende
  • The Kingdom Within by John A. Sanford
  • The Middle Passage by James Hollis
  • The Nature of Evil Daryl Koehn
  • The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

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