Mercury-Free Alternatives

Friday, January 29, 2010

Mercury is a naturally occuring element that is found in soil, water and air. There are three forms of mercury: elemental, mercuric chloride (inorganic mercury), and methylmercury (organic mercury). Most people have some exposure to mercury as a result of daily activities. The distribution of mercury throughout the body is highly dependant on the form of mercury to which an individual was exposed.

The absorption of Elemental Mercury occurs rapidly through the lungs, but is poorly absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract. One elemental mercury crosses the blood-brain barriers, it can be stored in brain tissue. This form of mercury may be eliminated through urine, feces, exhaled air, sweat, and saliva.

Inorganic Mercury absorption is dependant on the particular mercuric salt involved. Absorption may also vary according to individual factors such as intestinal pH and diet. Inorganic mercury has a limited capacity to cross the blood-brain barrier and is generally excreted through feces and exhaled air.

Organic Mercury is rapidly absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract. This form of mercury easily crosses the blood-brain barrier and is distributed throughout the body. Organic mercury is thought to be distributed via a neutral amino acid carrier protein, and has a relatively long half-life in humans: estimates range from 44-80 days. Elimination of this form occurs through feces, breast milk, and urine.

The effects of mercury on humans are fiercely debated. Many people have reported significant health improvements after performing a mercury detox. These benefits must of course be considered anecdotal, because the FDA does not endorse the benefits of natural remedies. With all of the mercury-free products available on the market today including everything from automobile airbags to acceleration switches, there's no need to potentially put your health at risk.

Long Fingernails in the Health Care Industry

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Long fingernails are considered attractive by many people, but are they appropriate for a health care worker? During a recent visit to our local doctor's office, I was amazed at the number of female health care workers who wore acrylic fingernails. It suprised me that there are no regulations concerning long nails. University of Michigan researchers say nurses who wear acrylic nails are more likely to pass germs on to their hospital patients. Seventy-three percent of nurses studied who were wearing fake nails had harmful bacteria on them. After hand washing, that number went down to 68%, which is not exactly a huge reduction.

The body of evidence implicating artificial nails and long natural
nails in health care-associated infections continues to grow.
Infections with pseudomonas and other gram-negative pathogens and yeast have been associated with personnel wearing artificial nails.

If a caregiver does choose to wear artificial nails, new
guidelines on hand hygiene from the CDC may be of interest:

The government issued guidelines urging doctors and nurses to abandon the ritual of washing their hands with soap and water between patients and instead rub on fast-drying alcohol gels to kill more germs. The goal: reduce the hospital spread of viruses and bacteria that infect an estimated 2 million people in the United States each year and kill about 90,000.

Competitive Spirit

It always sounds like a good idea to sit down as a family and play a friendly game of Yahtzee, Battleship, or Sorry, but it rapidly escalates into an arguement over who's turn it is, who's not paying attention to the game, or someone accusing somebody else of cheating.

I'm trying to teach my children the importance of good sportsmanship which includes learning to be a good winner as well as gracefully accepting defeat. So far, the lesson has taken effect. My youngest daughter continues to do a victory dance when she wins, and threatens to quit in the middle of a game when she's losing. We've tried to explain to her that no one else will want to play with her if she acts that way, and she promises to behave at the beginning of every game, but it usually doesn't take long for something to go wrong.

Some people naturally have more of a competitive spirit than others. However, nobody wins every time, and it's important to learn how to be happy for others when it's their turn to win. Despite the arguments and occasional name calling between my children, I enjoy our family game nights. Hopefully they'll learn a few life lessons along the way and have memories that they'll look back on and enjoy.

2010 Houston Rodeo

I found the perfect family vacation! My family and I have been trying to decide where to spend our vacation this year, and we've finally managed to agree on a location. We're going to the 2010 Houston Rodeo. We live in the country and enjoy the rodeo atmoshphere. Every year we attend our local fair and rodeo, but we've never been to a large-scale event of this type. Just looking at the pictures online makes me wish we were already there.

The carnival is sure to be one of my children's favorite activities. Our local fair has nothing compared to the rides at the Houston Rodeo. My oldest daughter has been waiting to go on the bigger rides, and now is her opportunity. My younger daughter still likes it when we ride the rides with her, so I have an excuse to have fun too!

I love everything about the rodeo. Every year when we come home from the fair, it puts me in the mood to watch the movie Charlotte's Web. That movie makes me feel like I'm still at the fair! I think I've burned everyone else out on that movie though, because no one will watch it with me anymore!

My favorite part of the rodeo is the horse show. I've always dreamed of owning my own horse, but up until now, the closest I've come is taking care of our neighbor's horse. It amazes me how well trained these animals are. I can't even get my dog to come when I call him!

As much as we love the country, my daughters and I are more into rock and pop music than country. I'm going to surprise them by taking them there on the day that their favorite musicians are playing. Their two favorite artists, Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber, are playing on the same night. I can't wait to see the look on their faces when they find out that they actually get to see them in person. There are still great seats available, and I'm going to order my RodeoHouston tickets online, because that's how you get the best seats for the best prices. Check it out!

I Wish I Would Have Found These Upright Freezers Sooner!

Murphy's law states: "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong." This has certainly proven to be true in my home, because it feels like every time someone comes to visit our home for their vacation, things seem to break down in groups of three. Unfortunately, the most recent items have been high-dollar expenses. We've had to buy two refrigerators in the past few years, take our vehicles in for major repairs, and had to repair frozen septic lines. I've never considered myself to be a superstitious person, but I'm starting to think that it's time to stop having visitors!

I wish I would have taken the time to visit a website that compares prices in order to help you get the best deals. Take it from me, you don't want to settle for the first thing you find when it comes to appliances such as an Upright Freezer. Visit to compare prices on major brands. They update prices every hour and provide a list of stores that offer exactly what you're looking for.

First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

My children are already tired of listening to my husband and me complain about our taxes, and we haven't even filed them yet! Every year, we try to find all of the deductions that we qualify for, because we want to hold on to our hard-earned money! We work hard all year, and it seems like such a shame to hand over thousands of dollars that we've worked so hard to earn. I understand that many services in this country are funded by our tax dollars, I just want to make sure that I'm not "donating" more than necessary.

The First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit allows homeowners to receive up to an $8,000 tax credit. This credit has also been extended to now include homeowners who wish to "move on" after 5 years of living in their current property. If you're a homeowner who has lived in your current home consecutively for 5 of the past 8 years, you can receive up to a $6,500 tax credit. There are eligiblily requirements including income and purchase date. It's estimated that approximately 2 million people will utilize this tax credit, so find out if you're eligible to take advantage of this opportunity.

We rented a home for years, and everyone kept telling us that as soon as we bought a home, we could deduct our mortgage interest. Well, that sounded like a great idea, but we never had enough to itemize, and we always took the standard deduction. So, once again, we weren't able to take advantage of a tax break. Most of us are living on a budget, and every penny counts, so I wanted to share this information with you in hopes that it could help save money on your taxes if you're buying a home for the first time, or you qualify as an exsisting homeowner.

Natural Remedies vs Pharmaceutical Industry

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Why are natural remedies considered "alternative medicine," while chemicals created in a laboratory are considered "conventional medicine?" The March 23 issue of the Journal of Natural Products reports that around 70 percent of all new drugs introduced in the United States in the past 25 years have been derived from natural products. Researchers say, "Half of all anti-cancer drugs introduced since the 1940s are either natural products or medicines derived directly from natural products." Their findings reveal that despite advances in technology, Mother Nature is still the best drug designer.

In a telephone interview with Reuters, David Newman of the U.S. National Cancer Institute's natural products branch stated that "Wyeth and Merck are the only two U.S. manufacturers of that size that still use natural products as one of their sources to look for drugs." So, why aren't more American firms examining natural products for drug sources?

Why are we bombarded with commercials that advertise potentially fatal drugs while natural remedies are quick to be taken off the market? When you search the internet for natural remedies, you will usually find a statement at the end of the page that informs the reader that there's not enough evidence to support these claims, and these remedies are not intended to treat or cure. Of course there isn't enough information, and they don't want to do more research that would allow people to be free from prescription drugs. The pharmaceutical industry is a billion dollar industry, so why do research that would enable people to regain their health for little to no money. This is not profitable, and therefore not worth the time.

The following figures are from 1999, and profits continue to rise.

U.S. Pharmaceutical Market
1998 - 1999

Total pharmaceutical prescription sales: $107.1 billion:_ up 15.6% _(1998)

Promotional Spending:_$5.9 billion_(1998)

Leading Sellers:

Prilosec $4.19 billion (99)

Prozac $2.57 billion (99)

Augmentin $1.16 billion (99)

Cipro $921 million (99)

Rocephin $517 million (99)

Combivir $465 million (99)

Viracept $448 million (99)

Crixivan $223 million (99)

Just Sign on the Dotted Line

It's amazing how dependant we've become on credit cards. I recently started a new job, and things have certainly changed since I've returned to the work force. I'd worked in the food and beverage industry in one way or another for many years, and I've done everything from bartending on a riverboat casino to serving food in a family restaurant. Years ago when I was working, I would see the occasional credit card or check, but most people paid with cash. I'm no longer in the food business, and I rarely see anyone pay with cash anymore. It actually caught me off guard the other day when someone handed me their cash to pay their bill.

I also have my own small internet business, and I understand firsthand how important it is to be able to accept credit card payments. Without the ability to pay with a credit card, most customers will choose to take their business elsewhere. Maybe we've all become so accustomed to the instant gratification of being able to pay right away and receiving our merchandise faster than ever before. I've become so dependant on credit and debit cards that I recently went to the store without my card, and I had to go home and get it, because I rarely carry cash anymore. It will be interesting to see how we'll be paying for things by the time my children are grown.

Hawaii Injury Attorney

Hawaii is a dream destination for many people, and hopefully someday I will get my turn. As I sit here enduring the bitter cold of the midwest, I can imagine strolling along a beautiful sunny beach and feeling the waves splash against my feet. My husband taught me to always be prepared for any situation, and although I hope nothing goes wrong, it's a good idea to know where to contact a Hawaii Injury Attorney in case something unexpected should happen.

So for those of you who are reading this from a sunny location with beautiful weather, think of me scraping the ice off of my windshield and waiting for my car to warm up before I can go for a drive. It's time to bundle up the children so they can play outside for a few minutes before deciding that they have to come back in to use the bathroom!

What's it Worth to You?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The following video, narrated by Raj Patel, is one that I believe everyone should watch. He discusses our current economic crisis and how we came to be in this situation. He addresses the issue of value and how we relate this concept to our own lives. He makes an interesting point when he states that we've mortgaged our future and call it freedom.

He also addresses the topic of income by pointing out that people in certain professions are capable of making more money in one hour than others make in a year. How have our values become so distorted? Are we helpless to make changes? Are we destined to sit on the sidelines as we watch government officials dictate the outcome of our future and the future of our children? NO! He explains how we have the power to change the course!

He explains this important information in a way that everyone can understand, and he does it with humor that everyone can relate to. He brings up an interesting point about how many people can't afford to buy organic food for their family, but they can afford to buy a value meal at McDonald's. It makes me wonder why it is that people who are on certain government assistance plans that provide meals for young children are only offered coupons for dairy products and concentrated juice? It's a well-known fact that our bodies need fresh fruits and vegetables to maintain good health, yet the government doesn't offer these items? Are they really looking out for our best interest?

This is your life, and you need to take responsibility and understand what's happening in the world around you. Take time to educate yourself. Ignorance is not bliss! This subject reminds me of a line from the Michael Moore film Sicko, when he says that the government doesn't want us to be healthy and educated because it's easier to govern people who are sick and uneducated.

Find out how you can get something valuable for nothing by entering a sweepstakes to receive a free copy of The Value of Nothing by Raj Patel.

Miniature Mansion

Anyone who's watched the television show Home Improvement knows how Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor always has to have "more power". This is one of my favorite shows, and now my girls enjoy watching it with me. Perhaps one of the reasons I like this show is because Tim Taylor reminds me of my husband, who also has to find a way to make everything bigger and better. The latest project on my husband's drawing board is to build a dream dollhouse for our girls. It started out as a simple project with a few rooms, and has gradually increased into a major family project!

When he started this project, I never realized how elaborate and realistic a dollhouse could be. He has every detail planned, right down to the dollhouse lighting. They found a crystal chandelier for the dining room and an adorable duck lamp for one of the bedrooms. My daughters are picking out the wallpaper for the dining room and bedrooms. No one wants to help me repaint our kitchen, but they're exciting about painting some of the walls in their dollhouse! It's amazing to see the exquisite detail that goes into creating the miniature furniture. They found beautiful porcelain bathroom furniture for their dollhouse, and I could only dream of having such nice furniture for my own bathroom! If I could shrink myself down and fit inside their dollhouse, I'd be living in my own mansion!

My only concern now is trying to convince my husband not to make it too large, because our house isn't that big, and we need a place to put this dollhouse. Thankfully, he's an excellent carpenter who pays attention to detail, because this house will need to be able to withstand some use from my youngest daughter's friends. I realize that as they get older, they won't be playing with it as often, but this is something that they can pass on to their own children if they take care of it. I want it to be something that they can have fun with. I don't want it to just sit there looking pretty, I just hope they won't let their friends play too rough with it.

Even though I give my husband a hard time about getting carried away with his projects, I must admit that I'm excited to see the final results. It's been fun looking through the selection of furniture with my girls, and it's something that we can all do together. Now if I could just get my family to get excited about doing a few repairs in our house, I'd be all set!

Inspirational Poem

Saturday, January 23, 2010


You may see me struggle,
But you won't see me fall.

Regardless if I'm weak or not
I'm going to stand tall.

Some say life is easy,
But truly living it is not.

Times get hard,
People struggle
and constantly get put on the spot.

I'm going to wear the biggest smile
Even though I want to cry.

I'm going to fight to live
Even though I'm destined to die.

And even though it's hard & I may struggle through it all.
You may see me struggle...but you will NEVER see me fall.

~Joyce Alcantara~

What You Don't Know Can Hurt You

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The first car I bought on my own was a ford escort. I was so proud of myself for getting the loan without any help and paying for it with my own money. It was a good car, but I didn't know anything about car maintenance, so I ended up having a little car trouble. That's the car I had when I met my husband, and when he heard the noise it was making, he asked me how long it had been since I had changed the oil. I didn't know I was supposed to change the oil, and since he had been a mechanic, this was extremely hard for him to believe! I was only 19, and up to this point, my dad had always taken care of my cars, so the only thing I ever put in them was gas.

I'm pretty trusting of people who are supposed to know what their doing, so if a mechanic tells me that I need a new water pump, I just assume that he knows what he's talking about. I found a great website that can help you decide if your car actually needs certain repairs by reading experiences from other people who own the same type of vehicle, and find auto shops in your area to get a second opinion. If you visit a repair shop and they tell you that you need a new timing belt, you can visit to find other repair shops in your area and read about all the parts and accessories that may be required for your repair. If you want to make sure you're not paying for unnecessary repairs or paying too much money, visit and get the facts!

No Time

Saturday, January 16, 2010

No Time

I knelt to pray but not for long,
I had too much to do.
I had to hurry and get to work
For bills would soon be due.

So I knelt and said a hurried prayer,
And jumped up off my knees.
My spiritual duty was now done
My soul could rest at ease.

All day long I had no time
To spread a word of cheer.
No time to speak of faith to friends,
They'd laugh at me I'd fear.

No time, no time, too much to do,
That was my constant cry,
No time to give to souls in need
But at last the time, the time to die.

I went before the Lord,
I came, I stood with downcast eyes.
For in his hands God held a book;
It was the book of life.

God looked into his book and said,
"Your name I cannot find.
I once was going to write it down...
But never found the time".

Living Comfortably Within Your Means

Friday, January 15, 2010

The key to financial success is to spend less than you earn. This may seem like a simple concept, but when the cost of living continues to rise and our income remains the same or less, how is it possible to live within our means? Find a Money Saving Guide that can help you learn some tricks to help you make the most of your hard-earned money and even have money to save. If you're barely getting by just trying to pay utility bills each month, and it seems that there's no way to cut back on your expenses, try using simple energy saving techniques that could help reduce your monthly bills. Heating and cooling bills are a major household expense, and there are many tips available on the Internet that show you how to save a lot of money over time.

Many companies offer discounts that aren't advertised in the newspaper, but they provide online coupons that you can print and use in your local store, or they may offer discount codes that are available when ordering online. The rising cost of fuel has created a greater expense. There are tips to saving money on fuel that may not seem like a significant savings, but over time, they can really add up. For instance, running your car until it's empty increases the likelihood of having sediment in your fuel system which makes your car run less efficiently and use more gas. Another simple idea is to find the gas station in your area that has the lowest prices. Saving a few cents every time you pump can add up to real savings.

Do What Simon Says

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

This classic game has a simple concept, but it isn't as easy as it seems. All you have to do is repeat the color pattern given by the computer. The longer the sequence, the faster the colors are displayed. See how long you can keep it going!

Virtual Sheet Music

Sunday, January 10, 2010

If you're looking for free sheet music, you'll find classical and piano sheet music at They offer free sheet music for musicians of all skill levels, and members are able to download the music of their choice. They even provide blank sheet music so you can write your own music. There are 255 selections to choose from for piano solo from classic composers including J.S.Bach, P.Tchaikovsky, G.F.Handel, L. Van Beethoven, F.Chopin, as well as various additional composers.

Piano sheet music is available for free to members, or you may purchase individual selections for a small fee. You can easily find the sheet music you need by searching through their catalog which is displayed in alphabetical order, or you may browse through their selection of most popular downloads.

Their catalog includes 530 items with violin sheet music. They offer a 90 day money back guarantee if you're not completely satisfied. They make it easy to order with their secure online checkout using your credit or debit card, paypal, or even use your checking account and pay online using one of your checks. For more information, visit their frequently asked questions section or send an e-mail with any questions you may have.

Used Cars For Customers With Bad Credit

Thursday, January 7, 2010

There's good news for people with bad credit who are looking for quality Used Cars. You can get a vehicle with a 36 mos/36,000 mile warranty regardless of your situation. DriveTime has 78 locations, making them the nation's largest dealership specializing in selling used cars to customers with bad credit. Customers in the Phoenix area enjoy the selection of used cars, and are treated with courtesy and respect. Shopping for a car should be fun, and the staff at DriveTime will help you find the vehilce that fits your lifestyle and financial situation.

You can get instant online approval by filling out a short application. It only takes two minutes to find out if you've been approved by Drive Time once you've submitted the application. Once you've been approved, your next step is to visit the nearest Phoenix DriveTime store to choose your vehicle. If you want to check out their selection of vehicles before applying, stop by any of their locations to see the vehicles they have to choose from. You can feel confident about purchasing a dependable vehicle that has been put through a detailed 53-point inspection process before it arrives on their lots. When you make on-time payments, they offer ways to improve your credit score and lower your interest rates. Enjoy the car that you really want and the respect you deserve from the professionals at DriveTime.

Congratulations! You've Been Approved

Friday, January 1, 2010

Credit Cards are valuable when used wisely. You may be required to have a credit card when making hotel reservations or renting a vehicle. Having a credit card also makes it convenient to order products online. I live out in the middle of nowhere, so I'd be lost if I couldn't shop online! This convenience also comes with the responsibility of keeping track of your finances, so it's important to compare credit cards before deciding which one to use. Some cards offer rewards such as cash back or airline miles, while others are designed for businesses or students.

Don't let bad credit prevent you from having a credit card. There are cards available for people with bad credit, and if you're worried about spending beyond your means, there are prepaid cards that prevent you from spending more than you have. Prepaid cards are perfect when you need instant approval without a credit check. It's impossible to overspend, because your transaction will not go through if you try to use it for more than you have deposited. Find the best credit cards for your situation, and please use them responsibly.

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