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A teacher’s beautiful decision for 14-year-old student with down syndrome

<p>A teacher has made a beautiful gesture for a 14-year-old boy with down syndrome.</p> <p>Kerry Bremer, 52, first met Jake Manning when he was just 14 years old, along with his mother Jean four years ago after the family moved to Massachusetts from Florida, US.</p> <p>Sadly Jean had breast cancer and worried about the fate of her only son.</p> <p>“He’s just so lovable,” Bremer told<span> </span><em>Boston 25 News</em><span> </span>about the student.</p> <p>“He loves everyone, and he’s so smart and funny. He is very funny.”</p> <p>Bremer was Jake's teacher at CASE Collaborative School in Concord, Massachusetts when he and his family just moved to the state.</p> <p>After Jean expressed worry about what would happen to him if she were to pass away, which resulted in Kerry offering up to adopt sweet Jake who she admitted she “fell in love with” instantly.</p> <p>“I called his mom and I said, ‘I might be overstepping here, I’m really sorry if I am but just in case, if you need to have some backup for Jake my family would be willing to be his guardians,’ and she said, ‘I’m going to sleep better tonight than I have in a very long time,’” Bremer explained. </p> <p>“I knew he would a need a home and there was no way I wouldn't open ours to him.”</p> <p>Kerry and her husband already have three children: Kristen, 21, Jonathan, 19, and Kaitlyn, 16. </p> <p>On November 13, Jake’s mother, Jean, sadly passed away from cancer, and swiftly moved into Bremer’s home full-time.</p> <p>“He needed us and quite honestly obviously we needed him,” Bremer said.</p> <p>“He’s fit in so perfect here.”</p>

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How to keep grandchildren safe in your home

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Children are always at risk of injury, even when in the homes of relatives and grandparents. For many of us, childproofing our homes is a distant memory but with grandchildren on the scene, it’s worth taking a good look around to see what hazards you might have overlooked.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Fortunately there are many simple measures that can be taken to prevent accidents from occurring in your home. It is a case of taking a critical view of objects around your home and understanding where the potentials for hazards are. Take the time to get down and crawl around the home so that you can see for yourself where curious hands and adventurous spirits might roam.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While childproofing the home is equally important for grandparents and families, property investors should also take the time to understand how child-friendly their investment property is, as it may represent a marketing point for their investment property.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Injuries are the leading cause of death in Australian children aged one to fourteen, accounting for nearly half of all deaths in this age group. More children die from injury than of cancer, asthma and infectious diseases combined.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Unintentional injuries make up around 95 per cent of all child injury deaths, with young children under the age of five years most at risk of unintentional injury. The most common place for young children to be injured is in their own home, so ensuring the safety of our homes should be paramount for parents to keep their children safe. There are so many things that are precariously balanced, just waiting to be pulled down, knocked over, bumped into or climbed on.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">And as children become more mobile and dexterous, they love to put things in their mouths and they don’t discriminate between toxics or poisons and lollies or biscuits. So, cast your mind back to when you were a young parent and take a critical look around your home and garage. You might be amazed what hazards you find lurking. Here are some tips:</span></p> <p><strong>THE KITCHEN</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Dangers abound in your kitchen so if you can’t prevent access, make sure you keep a close eye on children while cooking. Make sure small hands can’t reach the handles of pots and pans on the stove – use the back burners instead. Lock up detergents, pesticides, cleaning products and toxic household chemicals – or place them well out of reach in a high cabinet. With babies between 6 and 25 months old, make sure safety latches are fitted but still take the precaution of placing dangerous chemicals high up.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Store plastic bags, cling wrap and aluminium foil out of reach. Plastic bags and cling wrap are suffocation hazards whereas the sharp edges of boxes and foil are dangerous to curious hands. Keep knives safely secured.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Glassware should be stored up high, move the toaster, coffee maker and other electrical appliances and their cords out of a child’s reach.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ultimately, be careful to never leave hot food, drinks, glassware or knives unattended, not even for a few moments. Don’t forget that tablecloths and place mats can provide opportunities for young children to pull both them and what stands on them down.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>THE BATHROOM</strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Similar to your kitchen, the bathroom plays hosts to a series of potential hazards.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There are childproof doorknob covers and other preventative measures you can take to prevent children gaining access to your bathroom.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One of the primary risks is your toilet. Small children are very curious, have poor coordination, and are particularly top-heavy. It’s possible for them to topple head first into a toilet and drown in as little as 3cm of water. Keep the toilet lip down and consider fitting a lid-lock.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Watch out for sharps! Razor blades, nail clippers, scissors, tweezers and sharp utensils should be stored up high and out of reach.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Appliances that generate heat, like hair dryers, curling wands or straightening irons should never be left plugged in and, again, should be locked away or stored where they can’t be reached.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cosmetics and medications, especially prescription drugs, must be kept in a high cupboard or locked away. Don’t forget about vitamins and things like mouthwash either. Multi-vitamins that contain iron can be poisonous to children and mouthwash contains more alcohol than wine.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Naturally, keep all electrical appliances well clear of water to avoid risk of electrocution. Your hot water heater should also be set at no higher than 49 degrees centigrade. Bath tap handles and spouts are places where babies can hit their head so use rubber guards or make certain babies stay at the safer end of the bath.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Keep in mind the risk of you slipping and injuring a child as well. Could a non-slip mat placed inside and/or alongside the bathtub help assure neither you or a child in your care gets injured?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Never leave children alone and unsupervised anywhere where there is water, not even briefly. If the phone rings or there’s somebody at the door, remove the child from the water, wrap them in a towel, and take them with you. Don’t leave anything cooking on the stove when it’s bath time for children. You need to be certain nothing can distract you from watchful supervision.</span></p> <p><em><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/property/how-to-keep-grandchildren-safe-in-your-home.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Republished with permission of Wyza.com.au.</span></a></em></p>

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Follow these 5 simple lifestyle changes for the best sleep

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Why is sleep so important? It promotes good health, makes us happier, ensures that cuts and wounds heal faster, makes us more alert and active during the day, lowers stress, improves memory, supports a strong immune system and reduces the chances of developing diseases and conditions. But you already know this.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">You’ve done everything to get better sleep – darkened your room, switched off your mobile phone, turned down the temperature in the thermostat and even invested in some premium organic bamboo sheets. Yet the sleep God doesn’t pay a visit.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">What are you doing wrong? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. A lot of people suffer from poor quality of sleep.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">National guidelines recommend adults have at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night but studies show a third of Australians fail to get enough on a regular basis. So what can you do to ensure an uninterrupted night of dreamless sleep?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Although darkening the bedroom is a good habit, making certain lifestyle changes for better sleep may prove to be more beneficial. Here are five of them:</span></p> <p><strong>1. Say no to naps </strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Yes, napping during the day can help replenish your sleep debt, but it can also make nighttime sleep worse. Afternoon naps not only decrease the quality of sleep but also prevent you from falling asleep easily at night. If you absolutely must indulge in a siesta during the day, then ensure that it’s 30 minutes or less. To avoid nodding off in the afternoon, talk to a friend, take a short stroll, have a glass of cold water or simply wash your face.</span></p> <p><strong>2. Do light exercise before bedtime </strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Working out regularly not only promotes good health but also elicits better sleep. WebMD recommends exercising regularly to get some high quality shut eye at night. However, rigorous exercises should be avoided four hours before bedtime. Ideally, do some light exercises before hitting the bed such as yoga or Tai Chi.</span></p> <p><strong>3. Avoid drinking liquids close to bedtime </strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Guzzling down drinks and even water before bed isn’t a good idea because it leads to frequent trips to the bathroom. Once you’re awake, it’s hard to fall back to sleep. Avoid drinking liquids at least two hours before bedtime to eliminate bathroom visits at 3am.</span></p> <p><strong>4. Do something calming </strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Even doing 10 minutes of an activity that calms or relaxes you can make a significant difference. This is particularly useful for people who worry and think a lot catching some z’s. Read a book, have a warm bath, do deep breathing, listen to some Mozart or calming music, meditate.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Taking a warm bath can soothe tired muscles and drop your body’s temperature after an hour tricking the body into thinking it’s time to sleep. When we doze off, our body’s temperature falls so tricking your body is a good way to induce sleep. Add Epsom bath salts to your tub in order to reduce stress and relieve sore muscles.</span></p> <p><strong>5. Ditch the caffeine </strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Simply cutting down on coffee and tea isn’t good enough. Some kinds of chocolates, pain killers and weight loss pills also have caffeine in them. Read the list of ingredients in chocolates and ask your doctor if your pain killers and medication have caffeine in them. Even small amounts of it can inhibit a restful slumber.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Experts advise having some warm milk or sipping on chamomile tea laced with honey to encourage sleep. Sniffing some lavender or dabbing a small quantity of lavender oil on your pillow also helps. This essential oil is known to slow down heart rate, decrease blood pressure and even promote healing.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A few lifestyle changes, such as the ones listed above, can go a long way in instigating a night of good sleep. The trick is to try different things and see what works best for you. For example, you may find that reading a book might not be as effective as taking a warm bath.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Keep trying and before you know it, that evasive eight-hour catnap you’ve been craving for so long will come to your command in no time.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Phoebe Yu. Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/5-simple-lifestyle-changes-for-better-sleep.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wyza.com.au.</span></a></em></p>

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How did this couple create a new career out of rhubarb?

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Discover how 50+ entrepreneurs Jan Hughes and Holger Ostersen, the driving force behind Rhu Bru, are transforming ‘second-grade’ stalks of rhubarb into first-class products.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Historically used for medicinal purposes to cure anything from digestive upsets to fevers, if prepared correctly, rhubarb can also act as a cleaning agent, hair dye, organic insecticide and herbicide. This humble vegetable is also delicious to consume. So with all these uses, why on earth would anybody waste a stalk of it?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Advocating renewable food security based on adding value to second-grade agricultural waste, Tasmanian-based Rhu Bru makes use of approximately 80 tonnes of rhubarb stalks each year, effectively converting ‘rejects’ into rich jams and compotes as well as sweet, nutritious juices, tangy vinaigrettes and much more.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I think we were really rather shell-shocked at the waste and excesses of First World living when we relocated to Australia in 2002,” Jan explains. The pair met in Tanzania, where Jan was volunteering as a teacher with Australian Volunteers Abroad, while Holger worked as a farmer through a Danish volunteer group.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Recognising a gap in the market for jams and sauces catering to the growing expat population, Holger launched a jam-making company, which he ran for seven years before gifting it to his right-hand man, who continues to run the operation today.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Their experiences living in East Africa significantly shaped their values and had an immense impact on how they run their business; valuing integrity and honesty above all else.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We want to have a successful enterprise, we want the world to know about Rhu Bru and we want it to contribute to the economic sustainability of our small rural community,” Jan says passionately.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The seed that would one day become Rhu Bru first began germinating when Holger learned that Jan’s cousin Jerrod Nichols – a rhubarb farmer who sells his produce to Woolworths outlets along Australia’s eastern seaboard – was left with tonnes of second-grade stalks each year because they failed to meet the tight quality controls imposed by supermarkets around the country and much of the First World.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Whether too long or short, too thick or thin, or showing traces of wind burn or slug marks, these perfectly edible stalks were being dumped for their less than perfect appearance.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Unable to fathom, nor accept, the fact that good food was being wasted on purely aesthetic grounds, the industrious couple began to envision how they would utilise this abundant supply of raw material.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">During their initial trials, however, Jan and Holger discovered they were decidedly lousy rhubarb wine makers and instead turned their attention to a decent tasting juice they’d concocted, which they asked friends, neighbours and B&amp;B guests to sample. Positive feedback encouraged the couple to take the plunge, bottle their product, and hit the road with a car full of Rhu Bru goods.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Rhu Bru’s first sale was made soon after, in September 2008, to a local cafe in Bridport. The brand has grown rapidly ever since and in just seven years the company boasts a catalogue of over 20 unique products.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The couple’s home also has a shopfront, which doubles as the charming Beulah Heritage B&amp;B, an 1878 Federation house, built by one of the regions earliest pioneers and retaining many of the original features. Adding to the historic charm is Jan’s old-fashioned hospitality, complete with rhubarb-infused breakfast each morning and desserts at night.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Thanks to Rhu Bru’s quality and flavour, home-bottling was short-lived and production now takes place in a small factory with up to eight employees, most of whom are the wives of local farmers.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Spread over 20 hectares and yielding around 2000 tonnes of rhubarb per year, Jerrod’s farm is conveniently located just 8km from the factory, so it is a short, scenic trip from paddock to boiler.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We hear a lot of political speak about agriculture needing to change, farming needs to be sustainable, farmers needing to think differently – we are trying to do this, trying to value-add, create a better return for production by using a higher percentage of the crop,” Jan says. “We are trying to develop a model that can be the germination of an idea that will lead others to explore on-farm secondary production and value-adding.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In 2013, Rhu Bru nabbed 17 awards at the Hobart Fine Food Fair, but despite the brand’s growing success, Jan and Holger will forever be committed to utilising ‘seconds’, minimising waste and creating employment opportunities wherever possible.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Much of the processing is by hand, from picking the stalks of rhubarb to labelling the jars and bottles and our determination to use only Tasmanian fruit and, when necessary, spices sourced from mainland Australia – like Buderim ginger,” Jan explains.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Rhu Bru crew remains confident that the growth in popularity of farmer’s markets and community and urban gardens will continue to encourage consumer awareness.</span></em></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Louise Smithers. Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/work/employment/how-exactly-did-this-couple-create-a-new-career-out-of-rhubarb.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wyza.com.au.</span></a></em></p>

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Michael Schumacher's wife the centre of startling new claim

<p>Michael Schumacher’s former manager has claimed that the Formula One legend’s wife has been keeping her husband’s condition private for fear of “the truth” going “public”.</p> <p>Schumacher has not been seen in public since his skiing accident in December 2013.</p> <p>Speaking in a German TV documentary, Schumacher’s long-term manager Will Weber claimed that requests to visit his former client have been denied by the seven-time world champion’s wife Corinna Schumacher.</p> <p>“I know that Michael has been hit hard, but unfortunately I do not know what progress he makes,” Weber said on <em>The Michael Schumacher Tale</em> RTL special.</p> <p>“I’d like to know how he’s doing and shake hands or stroke his face. But unfortunately, this is rejected by Corinna.</p> <p>“She’s probably afraid that I’ll see right away what’s going on and make the truth public.”</p> <p>However, Weber said he believed fans will see Schumacher again.</p> <p>“I firmly believe in Michael’s recovery, because I know he is a fighter,” Weber said.</p> <p>“If there is a chance, he will use it. That cannot be the end.</p> <p>“I pray for him and am convinced that we will see him again.”</p> <p>Weber’s comments came as Corinna gave her <a href="https://au.sports.yahoo.com/michael-schumacher-condition-former-manager-willi-weber-claims-wife-corinna-cover-up-071053930.html">first interview</a> since the skiing accident.</p> <p>Speaking to <em>She Magazine</em>, Corrina paid tribute to her husband, whom she said helped her develop a passion for horses. “When I was 30, I very much wanted to have a horse and Michael went with me to Dubai, where I intended to buy an Arabian horse,” she said.</p> <p>“He did everything for me. I will never forget who I have to thank. That would be my husband Michael.”</p>

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How to: Dating with confidence

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Marina’s advice on dating with confidence will assist you to begin to make changes in the way you believe, think and feel about yourself so you can begin moving towards fulfilling your love goal with confidence.</span></p> <p><strong>Confidence equals attraction</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Confidence has been attributed to the greatest attraction factor for both men and women. So let’s start by becoming clear about what confidence is. Basically confidence is being comfortable in your own skin – confidence reflects what you think and feel about your abilities. Therefore, I know my worth, I know my life matters, I know how to promote my internal assets and more importantly I pursue my goals with passion and purpose. Confidence is not about trying to be like others – confidence is accepting yourself as you are and allowing your uniqueness to shine.</span></p> <p><strong>Know your worth</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">So, what it is the fastest way to increase your confidence? Knowing that your life has meaning and that your contributions to the world are of value is one of the quickest and fastest ways to increase your confidence. But confidence is not something we can fake. It is a feeling we give out to others – people feel what we think and believe about ourselves. A common mistake many people make when they begin dating is that they only focus on their external assets; their hair, going to the gym, losing weight, buying a new wardrobe or a new car, Botox and the list goes on. Although good looks, sexy clothes and a great body may attract men and women to you it is no guarantee that they will fall in love with you or want to establish a long term relationship. Research informs us that men do not necessarily fall in love with the prettiest and sexiest of women and not all women fall for the best looking guy (or the one with the most money).</span></p> <p><strong>Tips to increase your Dating Confidence</strong></p> <p><strong>Let go of past relationships and attachments: </strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This is one of the biggest reasons why people prevent the right partner from finding them. They are still emotionally attached to a past love/s.</span></p> <p><strong>Make a list of your strengths and your good qualities:</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Become clear about why you are a great catch and more importantly why you will no longer accept anything less than what you deserve. Remember having something is not better than having nothing; particularly when it comes to love.</span></p> <p><strong>Break free from your comfort zone: </strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Are you still doing the same thing you always have to find the love of your life? Then the chances are high that you will keep attracting the same type of person or situation.</span></p> <p><strong>Re-evaluate and then re-create your “must-list”:</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Think about what is on your ‘must have’ list when it comes to a partner. Then look honestly at yourself and identify what qualities you could still do some work on to strengthen. Then take positive steps to become the best you can be to attract the person you would like in your life. Remember, like attracts like!</span></p> <p><strong>Spend time with friends that celebrate you:</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The calmer and happier you are, the more confident you will feel about attracting your special person. The way people treat us directly impacts on our self-esteem.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Read more from Marina about how to find new love </span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/lifestyle/boomer-life/preparing-for-love-in-your-50s.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">here.</span></a></em></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Marina Bakker. Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/relationships/dating-with-confidence.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wyza.com.au.</span></a></em></p>

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How to start a vegetable garden

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Growing your own vegetables can save you money and give you a huge amount of satisfaction. Ready to get a green thumb?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Your own homegrown vegetables taste much better and are fresher than any that you buy in the shops. Fruiting vegetables, like beans, tomatoes, capsicum and sweet corn, have the best flavour if they’re eaten as quickly as possible after harvest; leafy vegetables, such as lettuce, lose water and rapidly become limp, and all vegetables are more nutritious if they are consumed when as fresh as possible. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Growing your own can save a considerable amount on food costs and will also give you a wider choice of vegetables. Unusual vegetables are often difficult to buy in shops, but are easily grown in the home garden. Lots of vegetables are ornamental so can be grown for their good looks as well as their produce.  </span></p> <p><strong>WHEN TO GROW VEGGIES</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Vegetables can be loosely grouped according to their growing season.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Cool Season Vegetables:</strong> Grow best when temperatures are between 10-20 degrees C or even lower. They include: broad beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, onions, peas, spinach and turnips.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Intermediate Season Vegetables:</strong> These are best between temperatures of 15-25 degrees. They include: beetroot, carrot, parsnip, celery, leek, lettuce, radish, silver beet.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Warm Season vegetables:</strong> Are grown best when temperatures are above 20 degrees celsius. They include: Beans, capsicum, eggplant, potato, sweet corn, sweet potato, tomato and cucurbits (including cucumbers, zucchini, pumpkins etc.) </span></p> <p><strong>VEGETABLE CULTIVATION</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Position:</strong> Vegetables must have sun! Try to select a growing area that is sunny for most of the day, is sheltered, and is close to a source of water. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Soil: S</strong>oil is often the easiest thing to adjust to your growing needs. In fact, strictly speaking, soil is not absolutely necessary. Vegetables can be grown in potting mix or in a hydroponic set up, but the most common medium is still good garden soil. Soil must have good drainage and a good structure. Regular incorporation of old organic matter (such as compost) will keep the soil functioning well. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Nutrients</strong>: Vegetables, more than most other plants, need to be supplied with adequate nutrients.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Mineral fertilisers:</strong> are reliable sources of good quantities of nutrients. Mixes with a balanced NPK ratio are suited to a wide range of crops. Balanced, all-purpose fertilisers, such as Thrive All Purpose, can be mixed into the soil before planting. Soluble fertilisers, such as Thrive, can be applied in liquid form to plants during their early stages of growth. Additional dressings of Sulphate of Potash and Superphosphate may be necessary, especially for fruiting and root crops.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Organic Fertilisers:</strong> are derived from once-living material. They’re excellent for improving soil, but their nutrient levels can be very variable. In recent years, however, increased interest in these products has led to many improvements, with fertilisers such as Dynamic Lifter organic pellets now having guaranteed nutrient levels. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>pH:</strong> pH is the level of acidity or alkalinity in the soil. Most vegetables produce best results if grown at a soil pH level of 6.0 to 7.0. In some areas this may mean adding lime before planting. Checking the pH level of the soil is recommended. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Mulching:</strong> Mulching over plants’ root systems, preferably with an organic mulch, will retain moisture, suppress weeds, reduce temperature fluctuations, and prevent soil crusting. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Watering:</strong> Water thoroughly so that the entire root system of the plant is moistened. Thorough waterings are more effective than light sprinklings. Don’t allow plants to reach wilting point but, conversely, don’t flood them as this washes away nutrients and may cause drainage problems. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Crop rotation:</strong> It’s important to avoid growing successive crops of the same type of vegetable in the same spot in the garden. This practice, which is called crop rotation, helps prevent build up of soil diseases. Seasonal crop changes often lead to natural crop rotation. </span></p> <p><strong>FAVOURITE VEGGIES</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Beans –</strong> Available in dwarf or climbing forms, beans produce pods that are sliced or eaten whole. They must be grown during the warm season. Origin: Tropical America. Nutrition Value: Vitamin C, Vitamin A (beta carotene), iron, fibre and some protein.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Beetroot – T</strong>he deep crimson swollen root of beetroot is cooked in stews and soups or cooled for salads. Its leaves can also be used as a vegetable. Origin: Southern Europe. Nutrition Value: Excellent source of folate.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Brassicas</strong> (cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts) – All grow better when temperatures are not too hot or too cold although new varieties are more heat tolerant. The introduction of Chinese cabbages and other oriental brassicas has encouraged new culinary uses for this group of vegies. Origin: Europe and Asia. Nutrition Value: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, mineral salts, fibre, protein.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Broad Beans –</strong> Grow on upright bushes during the cooler time of year. The whole pod can be eaten when young or (more commonly) the seeds are removed and cooked. Origin: Prehistoric Europe and ancient Egypt Nutrition Value: High in carbohydrates, fibre, minerals, Vitamin A and Vitamin C.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Vegetable -</strong>garden -carrots -potatoes -wyza -com -au</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you're short of space for growing veggies, try square foot gardening</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Carrot</strong> – A root vegetable that is traditionally bright orange in colour. Must be grown in well-drained, friable soil that is free of stones, fresh manure or fertiliser. Origin: Europe. Nutrition Value: Potassium, carotene (Vitamin A), Vitamin C and fibre.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Cucurbits –</strong> Includes vine plants such as pumpkin, cucumber, zucchini, melons. They must grow during warm season and almost all have separate male and female flowers. Only the females produce fruit. Origin: Tropical America and the Orient. Nutrition Value: Vitamin C, minerals and fibre.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Lettuce –</strong> The most popular salad plant in the world, lettuce is grown for its crisp green leaves. Butterhead lettuce has soft, buttery leaves; crisphead or iceberg have firm, solid hearts; cos has upright, loose leaves. Origin: Mediterranean. Nutrition Value: Carotene (Vitamin A), Vitamin C, fibre.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Onions –</strong> Onions are bulbs with a pungent flavour. The bulb develops in response to day length and correct sowing times are critical for onions. Origin: Central and Western Asia. Nutrition Value: Vitamin C, calcium.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Peas –</strong> The pea is a legume that is grown for its pods or for the seeds they contain. For many centuries peas were eaten only in their dried form but the fresh pea has a sweet, pleasant flavour. Available in dwarf or climbing forms. Origin: Asia and North Africa.Nutrition Value: Protein, fibre, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, mineral salts. One of the most nutritious vegetables.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The underground tuber of a warm season plant that is now one of the world’s staple foods. Easily grown in the home garden but needs plenty of room. Origin: South America. Nutrition Value: Protein, Vitamin C, carbohydrate and fibre.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Sweet Corn</strong> – A warm season cereal that is grown for its sweetly flavoured seeds, sweet corn grows on a tall plant. The seeds must be pollinated by pollen falling from the tassel at the top of the plant. Origin: South America. Nutrition Value: Vitamin C, fibre, minerals and protein.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Tomatoes</strong> – A warm season fruiting vegetable that is popular both in salads and cooked dishes. Fresh tomatoes are best eaten at room temperature. Origin: South and Central America. Nutrition Value: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, fibre and protein.</span></p> <p><strong>MATT’S TOP 7 TIPS</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sydney based Landscape Gardener Matt Paton says the secret to growing a great home veggie patch is finding the right location to plant, using a good potting mix and watering regularly. </span></p> <p><strong>1. Choose the best location:</strong> Always plant in a bright and sunny area which is away from any windy spots.This will maximise the growing potential for your vegetables and will help to provide years of fresh vegetables for you and your family.</p> <p><strong>3. When planting in clay:</strong> If you have a clay type soil use a liberal dose of clay breaker or gypson. This powder needs to be worked into the soil with a garden fork (as a guide you should go as deep as the garden fork goes in the soil) for best results. This helps breaks down the clay to release the other vital nutrients in the soil to the plants but must be done several days before planting the seeds.</p> <p><strong>4. Draw up a plan:</strong> Then mark up the spacing with a tape measure and create holes with your finger or a stick to show where you are planning to put the seeds. Then tag the area with whatever is handy such as coloured pegs or if you want the professional look then buy specific plant tags from a nursery.</p> <p><strong>5. Use a good quality potting mix:</strong> Buy this from a nursery and use your garden fork to mix this into the soil. This winning combination gives added nutrients to your growing vegetables and provides a healthy environment for a great crop to grow.</p> <p><strong>6. Space out your vegetables:</strong> Follow the instructions given on the side of seed packets regarding spacing out the vegetables. They will grow better and it really does make a difference to help maximise your seasonable vegetables crop. If they are planted too close together then pests and diseases are likely to become more prevalent in your vegetable garden. </p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>7. Apply a layer of mulch:</strong> This should be about 50-75 mm thick of mulch to the whole area of the vegetable garden (just cover the rows you will be planting and harvesting) as this reduces weeds and provides organic matter to the plants when it breaks down. </span></p> <p><strong>8. Liquid fertilisers give good results:</strong> Consider using a liquid fertiliser as the plants take up the nutrients of the fertiliser quicker than they do with a granular fertiliser. It also saves you time. If you use a granular fertiliser then always water when the soil appears dry and apply the fertiliser before you water.You can use a granular slow release fertiliser such as 'Osmacote' for vegetables.You can also use a liquid fertiliser such as 'Seasol’. This has the added benefit of watering the plants and fertilising them simultaneously.</p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/property/how-to-start-a-vegetable-garden.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wyza.com.au.</span></a></em></p>

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9-month-old’s saving chance: Court order prevents hospital pulling the plug

<p>A Texas court has allowed a family to place a temporary restraining order on a hospital wanting to take their 9-month-old baby off life support. </p> <p>Tinslee Lewis was born with congenital heart issues and has been under the care of the Cook’s Children’s Hospital for the better part of her whole young life. </p> <p>Her family is rejoicing after a court order has allowed them to buy more time to find a hospital who is willing to keep their baby on life-saving machines. </p> <p>The child was born with Ebstein Anomaly, a rare heart defect meaning there is an abnormality in the tricuspid valve. </p> <p>The disorder separates the right atrium from the right ventricle so normal blood flow cannot occur. </p> <p><span>In some rare cases, the disorder can cause the right atrium to swell, and even result in congestive heart failure. </span></p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Ftrinity.lewis.3551%2Fposts%2F2476561655891273&amp;width=500" width="500" height="586" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>While Tinslee has already undergone numerous surgeries for the disorder, for the past several months the young infant has been kept on a ventilator. </p> <p>The doctors worry the 9-month-old baby’s health will not improve and that she is “suffering”. </p> <p>However, her family could not agree less. </p> <p>"We are a family who believes where there's just a little air, there's hope," Beverly Winston, the infant's relative, told<span> </span>CBS DFW. </p> <p>"Regardless of your reason, what the law is -- she deserves the chance to fight for her life, and she has a troop who will help her 100 percent and above."</p> <p>Ahead of the court’s ruling, the hospital has issued a statement explaining the doctor’s conclusions. </p> <p>“Tinslee Lewis is a beautiful baby who has captured the hearts of many at Cook Children’s since her premature birth nine months ago,” a statement from the Cook Children’s hospital read, according to CBS DFW.</p> <p>“In the last several months, it’s become apparent her health will never improve,” the statement continued. </p> <p>“Despite our best efforts, her condition is irreversible, meaning it will never be cured or eliminated. Without life-sustaining treatment, her condition is fatal. But more importantly, her physicians believe she is suffering.”</p> <p>“To maintain the delicate balance necessary to sustain Tinslee’s life, and to prevent her from pulling out the lines that are connected to the ventilator, doctors have had to keep her constantly paralyzed and sedated.</p> <p>“While Tinslee may sometimes appear alert and moving, her movements are the result of being weaned off of the paralyzing drugs. We believe Tinslee is reacting in pain when she’s not sedated and paralyzed.”</p> <p>The hospital says they have reached out to nearly 20 hospitals who have all declined to accept the infant as a patient. </p> <p>Tinslee's life support was due to be switched off on the 17th of November, however a judge sided with her family with preventing from doing so. </p> <p>Another hearing is scheduled on November 22. </p> <p>“I thought that they were going to pull the plug on my baby,” Trinity Lewis, the baby’s mother, told Fox 7 Austin. </p> <p>“I didn’t think she was going to still be here today, and that’s what I’m grateful for.”</p>

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Is your home keeping you awake?

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Could your home’s sleeping environment be contributing to your sleepless nights? There are several ways you can change your bedroom to help you nod off and get a great night’s sleep.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you've bought a new home and are having a tough time nodding off, have you tried making small environmental changes to improve your chance of a good night's sleep? Well, here are some handy home hints to help you fight insomnia.</span></p> <p><strong>Feng shui</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Feng shui expert Steven Post, along with neurosociologist John Zeisel, had a lively discussion at the Brain Event in the Museum of Art in New York. They discussed whether there was an effect of feng shui on the human brain. They both concluded that feng shui is a state of mind - if you believe that your environment affects you, then making your environment peaceful, may help you, especially when you move into a new home. For example, having the bed facing the door can help people feel less claustrophobic because they can see an "escape". </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">What’s our advice to new homeowners who are environmentally sensitive? Feng shui your bedroom to your heart's content. It may just be the trick to a good night's sleep.</span></p> <p><strong>Make sure your bedroom is just for sleeping</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It is so easy to make your bedroom your living room and study all in one. Time is fleeting and because of that, we seem to cram everything into one place. A 2011 poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation discovered that 95 per cent of adults use technology an hour before bedtime.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Phones, TVs, iPads and computers all stimulate the brain and increased stimulation doesn't help you fall asleep, especially if you use them just before or in bed. So, the key is to make your living room or study a nice place to spend some time. When you create a warm, inviting environment to use your technology in, it will stop the temptation to take those mobile devices with you when you go to bed.</span></p> <p><strong>Pay attention to noise suppression </strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If your home is near a source of constant background noise, such as an airport, main road, or even a highway several kilometres away, this might be impacting on your quality of sleep. Studies have found that consistent background noise can affect cognitive function, blood pressure, the nervous system and cause physiological stress.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Options to consider would be to move to a bedroom in your home away from the source of noise or, if that’s not possible, consider installing better insulation or a double glazed window to your bedroom.</span></p> <p><strong>Sleep in the dark for better quality Zzzzz </strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Another study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation found that when you are exposed to light, your brain will respond with a message to keep you awake. Therefore, when it is time to sleep it is important for the room to be as dark as humanly possible. Light-blocking curtains and eye masks can eliminate your exposure to unwanted light and make it so much easier to fall asleep.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Don't forget that your bad sleeping patterns may not be your body's fault. If you buy a home or start renting a new house, then it could be the new environment that is disrupting your snooze time. Try making these changes before you nod off and hopefully you won't be sleepless in the suburbs for much longer.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/property/is-your-home-keeping-you-awake.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wyza.com.au.</span></a></em></p>

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BREAKING: Seinfeld actor's body found in a horrific state

<p>Golden Girls and Seinfeld actor Charles Levin horrifically passed away in June. </p> <p>However, while the details were spared from the public, they have since been obtained by the <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/index.html" target="_blank"><em>Daily Mail</em>.</a> </p> <p>The actor was reported as a missing person on June 28 by his son Jesse after he phoned a friend to say he was lost somewhere near Cave Junction, in Oregon, United States of America. </p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bxpfx8NlIHG/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bxpfx8NlIHG/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by NOSTALGIAINMILAN #F4FREQUEST (@nostalgiainmilan)</a> on May 19, 2019 at 8:01am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>On July 13, police authorities confirmed a body was found near where his unique orange Fiat car was also located. </p> <p>Inside the vehicle was Levin’s beloved deceased pet pug who was identified by his signature purple collar. </p> <p>Reports obtained by the <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/index.html" target="_blank"><em>Daily Mail </em></a>revealed his body was discovered at the bottom of a rocky 30-foot ravine. </p> <p>Sadly it was revealed his remains were horribly decomposed, and he had been dead “for days”. </p> <p>The report indicated signs of “animal scavenging likely in the form of turkey vultures.”</p> <p>Authorities used dental records to identify Levin’s body, and his death has been ruled accidental. </p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B0BQQGTnhhm/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B0BQQGTnhhm/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Every Day a Famous Dies (@everydayafamousdies)</a> on Jul 17, 2019 at 6:29am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>It has been assumed Levin fell down the ravine while attempting to find help. </p> <p>Police reportedly had to scale a slope to retrieve his body using a rope-and-pulley system.</p> <p>The local member who found the actor’s body said “It looked like he was trying to take a back route to Grants Pass [where he lived]. </p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B10NcuwFh5y/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B10NcuwFh5y/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by David Plunkett (@melsdinercastandcharacters)</a> on Aug 30, 2019 at 9:58pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“But the road he went down was remote and doesn't have any signs. It's easy to get lost, and GPS doesn't work.</p> <p>“His car was pretty banged up and was off a logging trail. I went up on foot, hiking. I wouldn't have driven up there by myself, no way. I think he might have made a few bad decisions.”</p> <p>Levin was a familiar face on TV screens around the world and appeared on <em>Alice, The Golden Girls, NYPD Blue</em>, and <em>Hill Street Blues</em>. </p> <p>He famously played a Mohel in the 1993 <em>Seinfeld</em> episode, The Bris.</p>

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“Dedicate this to dad”: A group of mates lucky $500,000 Melbourne Cup win

<p>A group of mates will be counting their blessings after winning $500,000 by backing Vow and declaring months ago they would be victorious in the Melbourne Cup. </p> <p>The incredible moment they realised they had won an eye watering amount was recorded on video.</p> <p>39-year-old Alex Xerri made a number of bets starting from June when Vow and Declare were at huge odds. Thankfully this bet paid off in the end, and won him $320,000 on Tuesday, as well as an extra $200,000 by his friends who followed his hot tip. </p> <p>The video was shot by his friend Jimmy Hoyne, and showed the group’s excitement when the gelding surged home and snatched up the Melbourne Cup. </p> <p>The moment felt bittersweet for Mr Xerri who’s father Paul, 81, passed away a month ago, before he had the chance to collect $40,000 from bets he also made on the winning horse. </p> <p>“It was difficult, I was really sad that he never got to watch the Cup and share in the excitement and happiness,” he told Daily Mail Australia.</p> <p>“He always backed my judgement and I know he's proud of me. It was a very touching and emotional moment.</p> <p>“I have to dedicate this to dad.”</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FJimmyHoyne%2Fvideos%2F2536730216403887%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=267" width="267" height="476" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allowfullscreen="true"></iframe></p> <p> Xerri said he and his dad hopefully placed their first bets on June 8 after watching Vow and Declare come second in the Queensland Derby.</p> <p>Just two weeks later, the racehorse won the Tattersall's Cup, however they then had to wait months to see it would compete again at the Turnbull Stakes on October 5.</p> <p>However, in a turn of tragic events, Paul suddenly died from an unexpected heart attack the morning of the race, a month before the Melbourne Cup would commence. </p> <p>Xerri said a eulogy delivered at his funeral expressed how excited Paul was to put his bets to the ultimate test. </p> <p>“The speech said how he was really excited about a horse that will run in the Melbourne Cup, and last few months of his life that's what he was really looking for,” he said.</p> <p>The winning son said his father would continue to place bets on the horses despite being told to stop. </p> <p>“We went through his wallet and he had all his bet slips printed and A4 sheet of paper,” he explained.</p> <p>“He believed it would happen, he'd never won that sort of money in his life and we were talking about what we would do if it won.” </p> <p>Mr Xerri said he became convinced Vow and Declare could win the Melbourne Cup after it won an 1,800m race on Oaks Day in 2018. </p> <p>Paul listened to the advice of renowned horse trainer Danny O'Brien, who talked up his horse's abilities.</p> <p>“He said it was an elite staying prospect and everything it was doing suggested it could run the Cup's distance,” he recalled.</p> <p>“I thought from then it was a potential Melbourne Cup champion.”</p> <p>Xerri placed more bets in following months after initially placing $100 for the horses to win at 201/1 and $900 to place at 51/1 at the Queensland Derby. </p> <p>He placed more bets in following months and convinced 25 friends to get on board and place their own bets on the same horses. </p> <p>The gamble earned him about $320,000 in winnings by Tuesday’s race, and his friends $200,000 between them. </p> <p>Mr Hoyne's video showed the five friends getting progressively more excited as Vow and Declare entered the final straight on the tail of the leader and gradually wore down the margin.</p> <p>When Vow and Declare crossed the line first, the room erupted. </p> <p>“I have never felt a rush like that in my life... words cannot explain,” the friend who filmed the scene said.</p> <p>“Such a big day for the family man been riding this horse for over a year and to see it come true - unbelievable.”</p> <p>Xerri said there was a lot of anticipation leading up to the race as he knew he and others had cash riding on the result. </p> <p>“I was nervous, my legs were jelly. I'd told so many for so long and they'd put money on it just because I said to,” he said.</p>

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How yoga changed my life

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Think you’re too old to start or teach yoga? These three inspirational older Australian yogis describe why they became yoga teachers.</span></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Danielle Mondahl, 50, Queensland</strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Teacher’s aide and mother of three, Danielle never imagined yoga would bring her a new career specialising in yoga for pregnant women and young mums as well as Thai yoga massage.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I was ‘tricked’ into teaching yoga!" she says. "It was never my intention to teach yoga myself. I only did my Level 1 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training to develop my own personal practice. With my kids a bit older, I finally had some time to devote to myself.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"I was 45 when I did my teacher training with Tammy Williams of Yoga NRG on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. My course began in March 2011 and by July 2011 I was fully qualified. It took about 10 contact days in total plus many hours of written assignments and study. There were just seven of us on the course and we soon developed a beautiful friendship that endures today and supports each other.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I didn’t feel out of place on the training because of my age. There was one person older than me and the other students were in their 20s or 30s. I did feel out of place because of my body though. I thought, ‘What on earth am I doing? I can hardly do any of these poses, I’m the largest person here, I don’t wear the right clothes.’</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It all went well though. I totally immersed myself in the practice and attended about six classes a week. I loved it. At the end I was ‘tricked’ into becoming a yoga teacher. My trainer Tammy asked if would like to fill a class for her at the school where I worked as a teacher aide. I instantly said, ‘no!’ I knew that I could do it though so after a minute or two I said, ‘I’ll do it just this once.’</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I was terrified about teaching my work colleagues. I had my laminated sequence sheet with me the whole time. I was nervous for the first 55 minutes. It was only for the last five minutes of savasana that I finally calmed down. The next class I taught, I was nervous for 54 minutes! After that second class I thought, ‘Ok, I can do this.’</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Since then, I’ve specialised in pregnancy yoga and mums and bubs yoga. I’ve always had a passion for all things pregnancy and baby. I dreamt of being a midwife but having three kids of my own got in the way. The pregnancy yoga is my favourite class to teach because I am making a positive difference in the lives of women and their families. I loved my pregnancies and I want to encourage women to have a positive attitude and experience about their pregnancies.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’ve also started assisting on Level 1 Yoga Teacher Training courses and I teach Thai yoga massage. I’m now completing my level one Thai yoga massage training. It’s all meant I recently resigned from my teacher's aide job of 10 years to pursue my passion.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It is never to late to start or to teach yoga. I’m now 50 and I see people in this age group every day trying out their first class. We have trained students in their 50s, 60s and 70s to become yoga teachers.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“In my opinion, older people make better yoga teachers. They bring a huge amount of life experience; they’re reliable and they don’t let their egos get in the way of sharing their gifts.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Danielle teaches at Yoga NRG in Moffat Beach, Queensland. Head to </span><a href="http://www.yogaenergy.com.au"><span style="font-weight: 400;">www.yogaenergy.com.au</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> </span></em></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Robyn Metcalfe, 62, Middle Park, Melbourne</strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After spending years as a cancer nurse, Robyn’s yoga practice has led her to teaching yoga to women who’ve had breast cancer.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I started going to yoga classes in the year 2002. We had a blended family so there were four children living at home and I was working full time. The first classes I went to were in a park near the beach. I liked the fitness aspect of yoga and I always left the classes feeling relaxed and energised. I loved it.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I am a registered nurse and worked in the cancer field. I was looking for some study that would allow me to keep working into the years ahead. I had been pondering this for a few years and one day during a yoga class in the park, I decided I would look into taking a yoga teaching course.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I did my advanced diploma of yoga teaching in Melbourne at the Centre for Adult Education, the course is offered part-time over two years and comprises 1200 hours of course work. It’s now called the Academy of Yoga Learning.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I had wondered if I would feel out of place because of my age but in fact I didn’t at all. There were a couple of other women around my age and everyone in the course was very accepting of everyone so age wasn’t a barrier at all.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">From cancer nurse to yoga instructor, Robyn proves that it's never too late to get into it!</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I decided to start teaching towards the end of my course as I thought it would only get harder the longer I left it. For my first class, I was very nervous which I found strange as I was comfortable with public speaking about different cancers and prevention. The class went very well though; I taught a small group of yogis that had been practising for many years and were used to teachers coming and going over time. I ended teaching there for two years and only stopped because we moved to a different area.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“For me, yoga always makes me feel better. Whether I am teaching or doing my practice or in a class, I continue because of the benefits the practice gives to people, the difference in their day-to-day lives in terms of stress. Also being able to observe changes in people’s bodies, posture and wellbeing over a term.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“As a nurse, I am lucky to have a background in different diseases and chronic conditions. I guess this is shaping my practice. I started out doing general classes and corporate classes once or twice a week because I was still working. Now I teach yoga to women who have had breast cancer and the different treatments this involves, as well as to a class of women over 50 (with some of them in their 70s), and a general class of mixed ages. I am also about to start classes at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I guess it will keep evolving and changing, I hope to continue teaching for many years. In part I became a teacher to encourage older people to keep moving and practise yoga so I guess I am heading this way.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’m not sure why anyone would think they would be too old to teach yoga. If people are keen to learn and are already practising yoga, it is a fantastic course to undertake. It is very rewarding and as a teacher, you get immediate feedback from students and also give people a wonderful practice to take with them into their lives.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Robyn is a member of Yoga Australia. Check out </span><a href="http://www.yogaaustralia.org.au"><span style="font-weight: 400;">www.yogaaustralia.org.au</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> </span></em></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Gitam Garden, 70, Gurringbar, Byron Bay</strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After retiring from a career in law at age 60, Gitam, now 70, found herself with a new career in yoga and wellness.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I was age 63 when I took my first yoga teacher training course. I’d officially retired three years earlier from my job as a conveyancer in a small legal practice. It had been extremely stressful. Back then a weekly yoga class had been the highlight of my working week.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Not long after retiring though, I fell into an administrative position with the Byron Yoga Centre. My boss there, John Ogilvie, taught yoga each Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8am. I would attend the class and then go into the next room to work. It was dealing with all the telephone and email enquiries about the teacher training course that led me to actually doing the training after a year of being in the job.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I did an intensive Level 1 training at Byron Yoga Centre, in a class of 15 women. It was hard work and long hours, but having experienced John's teaching three times a week for a year or so, I realised I had absorbed a lot of the learning already in his classes.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The other trainees were all at least 30 years younger than me. The age difference wasn't a problem, but I sometimes envied the flexibility of those younger bodies!</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">At age 63, Gitam took herself from the high-pressure law office to the relaxing yoga classroom</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“During the training we began to teach a portion of a class to the public and for a while after the training I would share a class with another recent graduate, under supervision by the trainers. Then one of the regular teachers at Byron Yoga's studio went on maternity leave and John assigned me to teach her class. I was terrified, I felt incompetent and shaky. After the class I discovered that the students had thought I had sounded confident and experienced! What a surprise. A year later, at age 64, I did the Level 2 training.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“In the beginning, I felt that my classes were a bit stuck in 'textbook' mode, but gradually over the years my practice and teaching methods have matured. As soon as I step on the teaching mat I connect to some deep place within myself and I believe that connection is transmitted to my students. I love the moment after the final Om, when the students open their eyes and look so peaceful, I'm so grateful for the teaching.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">During the same period that I did my training, I also started a cafe at Byron Yoga Centre to feed both the trainees and the teachers. This resulted in the publication of our cookbook Gitam’s Garden.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Lately I have been more involved in the yoga retreats we hold at Byron Yoga Retreat Centre and have begun to talk to participants about Ayurveda, and to give a healthy cooking talk/demonstration, as well as teaching yoga classes.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“There is definitely a place in the yoga world for older teachers. No matter how well you are taught when young, there's nothing like personal experience of the effects of ageing to help you understand what your students are going through.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I teach classes in my local community, where most of my students are in their 50s and 60s, doing yoga for the first time ever, or after many years. It’s amazing how well the body responds to the attention given to it in a yoga practice.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“To older people considering a teacher training course, I say, ‘It’s never too late to re-invent yourself!’ We all have so much life experience to draw on and the practice of yoga draws you in to yourself.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Gitam works at Byron Yoga Centre. Go to </span><a href="http://www.byronyoga.com"><span style="font-weight: 400;">www.byronyoga.com</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> </span></em></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Tamara Pitelen. Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/exercise/how-yoga-changed-my-life.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wyza.com.au.</span></a></em></p> <p> </p>

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"Absolutely incredible": Jacinda Ardern stuns the world in two minutes

<p><span>Jacinda Ardern has marked her second anniversary as the Prime Minister of New Zealand with a video, which has since gone viral.</span></p> <p>In the clip shared on Facebook on Saturday, Ardern was given the challenge to list the policies and achievements her government has made in the past two years within two minutes.</p> <p>Ardern, sitting at her desk, spoke about some of the Government’s accomplishments – including creating 92,000 jobs, planting 140 million trees, improving cancer care with more radiation machines, increasing the minimum wage, and bringing unemployment to the lowest rate in 11 years.<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fjacindaardern%2Fvideos%2F3087161944643747%2F&amp;show_text=1&amp;width=382" width="382" height="651" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="true"></iframe></p> <p>Although Ardern exceeded the time limit by 56 seconds, the video has received more than 2.1 million views and 43,000 shares.</p> <p>“Absolutely incredible to watch this @jacindaardern video be pinged around the world,” one Twitter user wrote.</p> <p>“In the last 48 hours, it’s seemingly gone everywhere from the UK to Pakistan, and has even gone viral in Lebanon – becoming another tool for protesters to push for change.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Absolutely incredible to watch this <a href="https://twitter.com/jacindaardern?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@jacindaardern</a> video be pinged around the world. In the last 48 hours, it's seemingly gone everywhere from the UK to Pakistan, and has even gone viral in Lebanon - becoming another tool for protestors to push for change <a href="https://t.co/7RyJvywHjJ">pic.twitter.com/7RyJvywHjJ</a></p> — Ashleigh Stewart (@Ash_Stewart_) <a href="https://twitter.com/Ash_Stewart_/status/1190889315074752512?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 3, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>“At a time when protesters in many countries are demanding that their governments address inequality and sustainability, the progress in NZ is refreshing,” former New Zealand PM Helen Clark posted.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Amazing reaction to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NZ?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NZ</a> 🇳🇿 Prime Minister <a href="https://twitter.com/jacindaardern?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JacindaArdern</a> video: in 2 minutes she sets out achevements of government she leads. At a time when protesters in many countries are demanding that their governments address inequality &amp; sustainability, the progress in NZ is refreshing: <a href="https://t.co/ZvP9g164nK">https://t.co/ZvP9g164nK</a></p> — Helen Clark (@HelenClarkNZ) <a href="https://twitter.com/HelenClarkNZ/status/1191159736634400769?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 4, 2019</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">We need more leaders like Jacinda</p> — Julie Ann Richards (@sapphofem) <a href="https://twitter.com/sapphofem/status/1190912361022066688?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 3, 2019</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">I so wish I was a Kiwi. Instead I’m an Aussie who has to endure <a href="https://twitter.com/ScottMorrisonMP?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ScottMorrisonMP</a>. Thank you <a href="https://twitter.com/jacindaardern?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@jacindaardern</a> for leading the way because us Aussies have no hope at the moment!</p> — Michele (@MinbyH) <a href="https://twitter.com/MinbyH/status/1190926980767600640?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 3, 2019</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Jacinda Arden is a world class leader. New Zealanders are lucky to have her.</p> — The Knight (@FerroneGuiseppe) <a href="https://twitter.com/FerroneGuiseppe/status/1190989428656754688?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 3, 2019</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Can she come to the UK and take over here please?</p> — Marie (@CariadMarie) <a href="https://twitter.com/CariadMarie/status/1191002496996691969?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 3, 2019</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">The PM inspires.We also see the spark of her brilliance and hear the echoes of her excellence here in Africa.</p> — nelson chamisa (@nelsonchamisa) <a href="https://twitter.com/nelsonchamisa/status/1191255595325759489?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 4, 2019</a></blockquote>

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6 sleep myths you can put to bed

<p>When it comes to sleep, most people have heard an old wives’ tale or two – that wine helps you sleep better, or counting sheep is the only way to drop off. And while many of us blindly accept they’re true, scientists aren’t so sure. Here are six myths that could change your sleep routine for the better!</p> <p><strong>1. Older people need less sleep</strong></p> <p>Not true, says Dr Brendon Yee, sleep and respiratory physician at Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. “We know your sleep changes as we get older, with more ‘light’ sleep phases and less deep sleep, but our need for deep sleep and quality sleep is the same. Quality means sleep that’s not fragmented, with adequate periods of slow wave sleep and REM sleep. Not sleep that’s interrupted because you’ve got sleep apnea, or restless legs, or insomnia.”</p> <p><strong>2. Counting sheep helps you fall asleep</strong></p> <p>Apparently not, according to scientists at Oxford University who studied two groups of insomniacs and gave some instructions to distract themselves with specific things (like sheep), or nothing at all. Interestingly, when participants were told to imagine relaxing scenes, like a soothing beach scene or field of flowers, they fell asleep on average 20 minutes sooner. So it might be worth visualising your ‘happy place’ when trying to sleep – whether that’s a beach holiday you had last year, or the bucolic view from your back porch!</p> <p><strong>3. You MUST get eight hours a night or you’ll get sick</strong></p> <p>The media often mentions eight hours as the magic figure of sleep we all need or you’ll get heart disease or strokes or diabetes or obesity, but that’s not strictly true, says Dr Yee. “People have different needs and one of the interesting things is there’s a lot of variability. You could put 50 people in a lab and some will fall to pieces [with sleep deprivation] and others won’t. Why? We don’t know. It’s like a lot of things in medicine. You might expose people to 40 cigarettes a day for 30 years and some will develop lung cancer and others won’t. We don’t know why and those are the issues as doctors we try to face.”</p> <p><strong>4. A warm glass of milk will help you sleep</strong></p> <p>It’s a nice thought and probably one we associate with drinking milk as kids before bedtime – but scientifically, milk is probably not going to get you dropping off in a hurry, say researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Milk is jam packed with tryptophan, a sleep-inducing amino acid – but for it to have the desired sleepy effect, it has to cross the blood/brain barrier and the tryptophan has to fight other amino acids to do so. The solution, they suggested, was to eat carb-rich foods to stimulate the release of insulin which helped the tryptophan enter the brain. So maybe include a piece of toast along with your milk!</p> <p><strong>5. Monitoring your sleep is easy with a device such as the Fitbit</strong></p> <p>Nope, and in fact, you should take your Fitbit’s ‘sleep report’ with a grain of salt, warns Dr Yee. “When you measure sleep in a lab, you use an EEG, you have brain leads on, you measure eye movements and muscle tone. I’m not so sure how a device you wear on your wrist can measure sleep objectively! I also think these devices can cause extra stress and anxiety for someone already worried about their sleep, so it’s important we all remain a bit cynical about these new technologies and what they can actually do.”</p> <p><strong>6. You sleep better with a few glasses of wine under your belt</strong></p> <p>Sure, you might drop off more easily, but don’t be fooled – using alcohol as a sleep aid can be more detrimental if your quest is a good night’s sleep, say experts. Sleep may be deeper at first, but it becomes increasingly disrupted during the night and will probably promote snoring and poorer breathing. You can also sweat more as your body tries to maintain an optimal body temperature, which can again lead to disturbed sleep – and because alcohol is a diuretic, it can also mean a lot more trips to the loo in the wee hours. Result? Waking up feeling worse, rather than refreshed!</p> <p><em>Written by Rachel Smith. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/6-sleep-myths-you-can-put-to-bed.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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Meditation for people who can't sit still

<p>Quilt therapy founder Madeline Fernbach claims that quilting is ‘meditation for people who can’t sit still to meditate’. Discover how doing craft can help you feel feel better today!</p> <p><strong>So, what exactly is Quilt Therapy?</strong><br />It was founded by clinical psychologist and self-proclaimed amateur quilter Dr Madeline Fernbach who says Quilt Therapy is an initiative aimed at offering support, inspiration and guidance to those suffering anxiety, depression, trauma or grief.</p> <p>Though tricky to define, most of us intuitively understand what is meant by the term. As quilting is a creative and often times repetitive art form, Quilt Therapy is about using these skills as a way of working through emotional and mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.</p> <p><strong>Benefits of doing craft</strong> <br />Many quilters enjoy the therapeutic benefits of quilting without realising it, whether it’s through quilting as part of a group or making gifts for loved ones or charity. “What makes my idea different is that I want to encourage quilters to express their emotions and their issues by creating quilts just for themselves. Just to express what is going on for them,” she explains. “If someone is making a quilt from the heart, most especially when they are making a quilt entirely for themselves, it can speak volumes. With Quilt Therapy I am trying out ways of encouraging people to express their feelings and work through the darkest emotions they might have.”</p> <p><strong>Craft lowering stress levels</strong><br />In her own case, Madeline was quilting as a way of de-stressing after an emotionally tiring day or week. In her line of work, she understandably comes across a spectrum of challenging issues and on those occasions when she feels flat or overwhelmed, she retreats to her sewing room just after dinner and only emerges when it’s time for bed. “My partner is very understanding so I try not to do this all the time or I wouldn’t have much of a relationship!” she jokes.</p> <p>Madeline became interested in quilting while pregnant, when she was struck by what she terms ‘an inexplicable urge’ to create quilts; first for others and then for herself. “At some point I made the connection between doing therapy and making quilts and realised after an internet search that there really wasn't anything available, either in book or electronic form, that made use of quilts for mental health healing.”</p> <p>Encouraged, Madeline launched the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/Quilt-Therapy-530058980373318/timeline/">Quilt Therapy Facebook page</a> as a means of spreading her idea in a way that would reach quilters in both city and rural areas. It was important for Madeline to ensure access to country quilters, as these are the very people least likely to access mental health services.</p> <p>She recognised that, while you can talk a problem through until you’re blue in the face, non-verbal means of expression can be intensely powerful, allowing individuals to represent their ideas visually, often revealing new ways of understanding and dealing with a problem.</p> <p>“Country women have a culture of ‘sucking it up’ and getting on with life and not valuing their own mental health,” Madeline elaborates. “Through expressing things they find difficult to say in words, quilting can be a therapeutic process,” she says, claiming it is equally effective as a ‘timeout’ or escape from distressing situations, helping to sooth and relax.</p> <p><strong>Quilt Therapy can help</strong> <br />Combining a mix of gentle cognitive behavioural therapy interventions with new ideals Madeline is trialling, she discovered that the initiatives most enthusiastically received were those relating to community-based projects, which prompted the launch of the Quilt Therapy community projects.</p> <p>“I believe that as people engage with communities and other individuals, they can find a way to deal with their difficulties, moving towards a sense of peace and, hopefully, optimism about the future,” Madeline adds.</p> <p>Of course, the final results don’t need to be perfect. It is all about communication and connections with others. The ultimate objective is not to create a flawless piece of art, but to create a strong and healthy community.</p> <p>Overwhelmed by the initial response on Facebook, with over a thousand ‘likes’ attained in a matter of weeks, word quickly spread. “What has been even more rewarding was that people are willing not only to ‘like’ the page, but also participate. I am hearing stories of people’s losses, their successes, their struggles with mental health issues, and quilting is always a central part of the way through,” she says.</p> <p>Jacqueline Atkinson, Professor of Mental Health Policy at the University of Glasgow, investigated during the study The Relationship Between Quilting and Wellbeing for the Journal of Public Health. This study found that a strong social network fostered the formation of strong friendships.</p> <p>Affirmation from others boosted self-esteem and increased motivation for skill development and using colour was psychologically uplifting. Quilting was challenging, demanded concentration and participants maintained and helped participants learn new skills.</p> <p><strong>Get involved today!</strong> <br />Anybody is welcome to get involved, regardless of their sewing level and even Madeline admits she isn’t a great quilter, but her love of the craft renders this irrelevant. “The act of making a quilt, from the planning to the preparation, selection of materials, cutting and sewing, and finally quilting is creative but also repetitive.</p> <p>When an individual’s mind takes off in uncontrollable flights of anxiety, depression or grief, making a quilt soothes the mind and redirects it in a safe, predictable way,” Madeline is careful to state, however, that where possible it is recommended to deal with issues relating to trauma, depression and anxiety with professional help. She adds, “I invite you to come on this creative path, helping to connect people through non-verbal communication.”</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/wellbeing/hate-the-idea-of-meditation-discover-why-crafting-is-a-great-alternative-to-help-you-destress-and-feel-great.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a> </em></p>

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Paralympic gold medallist dies by euthanasia at age 40

<p>Paralympian gold medallist Marieke Vervoort has passed away by euthanasia at the age of 40, 11 years after making a promise to herself.</p> <p>The Belgian Paralympian suffered from an incurable degenerative spinal condition which was diagnosed at the age of 21.</p> <p>The diagnosis followed years of pain, and Vervoort continued to suffer after receiving her diagnosis.</p> <p>"I know how I feel now, but I don't know how I'll feel after half an hour," she says. "It can be that I feel very, very bad, I get an epileptic attack, I cry, I scream because of pain. I need a lot of painkillers, valium, morphine,” she told<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.bbc.com/sport/disability-sport/50150513" target="_blank">the BBC.</a></em></p> <p>"A lot of people ask me how is it possible that you can have such good results and still be smiling with all the pain and medication that eats your muscles. For me, sports, and racing with a wheelchair - it's a kind of medication."</p> <p>Vervoort was a strong advocate for euthanasia, as she first signed the documents necessary back in 2008, just six years after euthanasia was made legal in Belgium.</p> <p>"I was a very depressed person. I was thinking about how I was going to kill myself,” she said.</p> <p>"All those people who get those papers here in Belgium – they have a good feeling. They don't have to die in pain.</p> <p>"They can choose a moment, and be with the people they want to be with. With euthanasia you're sure that you will have a soft, beautiful death."</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B3x0kvcH4ud/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B3x0kvcH4ud/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Can’t forget the good memories!</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/wielemie.marieke.vervoort/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Marieke Vervoort</a> (@wielemie.marieke.vervoort) on Oct 18, 2019 at 4:45pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>A statement from the Belgian Paralympic Committee and IPC called her a “source of inspiration in our society”.</p> <p>"We will not forget Marieke Vervoort's great sporting achievements, as well as her courage in the face of illness," said President of the Belgian Paralympic Committee, Anne d'Ieteren.</p> <p>Marc Vergauwen, Secretary General of the Belgian Paralympic Committee, shared the same sentiment.</p> <p>“Marieke Vervoort brought the disabled into the light with her two medals at the London Paralympic Games.</p> <p>"Her performances as well as her spontaneous interviews after her races generated great media attention for Paralympic sport in Belgium and were a source of inspiration for our society."</p>

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Ways for overcoming the blues

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As we move through life, we will all eventually face challenges that will test our ability to cope and thrive. Empty nesters may take some time to adjust to a smaller, quieter household. Couples may go through relationship upheavals, such as divorce or remarriage. Perhaps the shift from working life into retirement can challenge your self-worth or sense of purpose. At the extreme end of the scale, the loss of a spouse or someone close to you can be a shattering experience that you many find difficult to move on from.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It’s not until you are actually in the midst of such situations that you will know how you will react. So what can you do if you find yourself on a downward spiral?</span></p> <p><strong>Manage your self-expectations</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Self-esteem and motivation are notoriously fickle aspects of human nature. Once they are seriously dented, it can test our will, sap our energy and create a cycle of disappointment about not being able to achieve or ‘perform to our usual standards’.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The first step to combating this is to give yourself a break and set goals that are a little easier to achieve. Focus on making small wins on even the most trivial of everyday tasks to give yourself a chance to get momentum.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Speaking to someone, such as a family member, friends or a professional can be helpful when feeling down. You should never feel that you are alone.</span></p> <p><strong>Moving on from trauma</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you are struggling with a loss and with the challenge of re-adjusting your life, it’s important to look for new connections and interests that will re-activate and stimulate your sense of purpose. Taking a cooking or fitness class, joining a bushwalking or reading club, looking for opportunities to volunteer or use your skills to help others – such activities may be the kick start you need to form new relationships and new goals in life.</span></p> <p><strong>Ask for help</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Perhaps most importantly, you should never feel that you need to face such challenges alone. If things degenerate into depression, then professional help is essential. Sharing and confiding in friends and relatives can also be important in helping you crystallise your feelings and gain moral support.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you need further ideas on what to do or how to get assistance, here are some useful resources:</span></p> <p><a href="http://www.beyondblue.org.au"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Beyondblue.org.au</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> </span></p> <p><a href="http://www.lifeline.org.au"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Lifeline.org.au</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> </span></p> <p><a href="http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Blackdoginstitute.org.au</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> </span></p> <p><a href="http://www.mensline.org.au"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mensline.org.au</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">  </span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Tom Raeside. Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/top-tips-for-overcoming-the-blues.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wyza.com.au.</span></a></em></p>

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Why you should eat like a caveman

<p>You shouldn’t believe in fad diets or losing seven pounds in seven days. Instead, we should believe in is eating for life, vitality and a little bit of pleasure too.</p> <p>In the healthy eating series we shine a light on the many different ways you can achieve a balanced and nutritious diet without having to drink tea brewed on magical mushrooms.</p> <p>In fact, there’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to healthy eating. We all have different preferences and levels of activity to sustain. However, no one really thrives on a diet full of refined and over-processed foods. Therefore, a common theme in many diets is to eat foods as close to their natural state as possible.</p> <p>One of these diets is the Paleo (Paleolithic) Diet which has become increasingly popular among people who want to shed a few pounds, but also those who want to avoid the nasty chemicals and additives found in many processed food categories. <br /><br />The Paleo diet is also known as the Primal diet, the Caveman, Stone Age or Hunter-Gatherer diet as it is based on eating the same types of food they ate back in the day (way back in the day!). <br /><br />Essentially, the diet is comprised of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, seafood, poultry and eggs. It is high in good fats and lean protein while eliminating things like dairy, refined sugar, grains and even peanuts. The main reason for avoiding grains such as wheat, barley, rice and couscous is that they contain anti-nutrients which can irritate the gut and cause chronic inflammation and some grains may even prevent the body from properly absorbing vital nutrients from other foods.</p> <p>People who eat according to the Paleo principles have experienced feeling more energetic throughout the day, having clearer skin and decreased bloating of the abdomen. <br /><br />While it might seem overwhelming to be cutting out whole food groups such as dairy and grains, the fundamental Paleo principles offer something inspiring for all of us as it invites you to eat good quality wholefoods with a low Glycaemic Index that won’t wreak havoc with you hormones and blood sugar levels. <br /><br />If you’re interested in learning more about eating Paleo visit the <a href="http://www.eatdrinkpaleo.com.au/">eatdrinkpaleo.com.au</a> blog and why not try one of these recipes for yourself.</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/nutrition/healthy-eating-series-why-you-should-eat-like-a-caveman.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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Walk your way to better health

<p>Hippocrates said that “walking is man’s best friend”. Nietzsche claimed that “all truly great thoughts are conceived while walking”. Thomas Jefferson insisted that “walking is the best possible exercise”. Are these just meaningless musings, or were they really on to something? Let’s take a closer look.</p> <p><strong>Stimulate the circulatory system</strong></p> <p>Getting in motion has obvious advantages for getting the heart rate up and the blood pumping, but there are also reports that it helps lower cholesterol and control high blood pressure. That’s good news for heart health and stroke risk reduction, but try to make it a brisk walk for at least 30 minutes a day to achieve some real benefits.</p> <p><strong>Improve immunity</strong></p> <p>Want to help keep diseases like type 2 diabetes, asthma and some cancers at bay? Then take a walk. Experts say that pacing the pegs can have a positive impact on the risk of diabetes. It can also help prevent colon, breast and womb cancers.</p> <p><strong>Watching your weight</strong></p> <p>Walking may not be enough in itself to lose masses of weight, but keeping it regular and as vigorous as possible will certainly burn more calories than you may first think. Best of all, it’s so easy to do; no preparation or equipment required. Just put one foot after the other!</p> <p><strong>Defending against dementia</strong></p> <p>We all know the prevalence of dementia in our society, especially as we grow older. Studies show that there can be demonstrable reductions in dementia risk from regular activity such as walking.</p> <p><strong>Build up your bones</strong></p> <p>Walking obviously puts your body weight onto your lower limbs and in doing so it assists in preventing osteoporosis – a major issue for those of us getting on in years.</p> <p><strong>Better balance</strong></p> <p>The intricate workings of our brain that keep us balanced when we are in motion are stimulated and improved when we walk – particularly on uneven surfaces, such as hiking trails. Train your brain and it will help prevent falls as we get older.</p> <p><strong>Open your mind</strong></p> <p>Walking certainly doesn’t take much concentration to execute, which leaves our brains free to think, create and problem-solve. Maybe Nietzsche really was right!</p> <p><strong>Mobile meditation</strong></p> <p>Our western lifestyle doesn’t really embrace the practice of sitting still and meditating all that well, but walking provides a great opportunity to allow your mind time to tune out from the tumult and give it space for serenity.</p> <p><strong>Aiding arthritis</strong></p> <p>Any type of exercise is generally difficult for arthritis sufferers to bear, but walking can be a gentle alternative that can provide benefits to assist combating this condition.</p> <p><strong>Extra energy</strong></p> <p>Walking can help give you a lift in spirits and make you feel more alive, but it also helps you sleep more soundly. This, in turn can boost your energy levels and help you live life more fully.</p> <p><em>Written by Tom Raeside. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/exercise/walk-your-way-to-better-health.aspx"><em>Wyza.com.au.</em></a></p>

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Are you always hungry? 8 reasons you can’t stop eating

<p>Can't understand why you're always feeling so hungry? Chances are you're not getting enough sleep, you're spending too much time on Facebook and you're not drinking enough water.</p> <p><strong>You went to bed too late</strong></p> <p>Skimp on sleep and you mess with your hunger hormones: ghrelin surges, leaving you feeling hungry, and leptin (which helps you feel full) sinks. Sleep loss also appears to boost blood levels of a chemical that makes eating more pleasurable – similar, believe it or not, to the effects of marijuana, according to a small, recent study from the University of Chicago. Participants who slept only about four hours at night (instead of a healthier 7.5 hours) couldn’t resist what the researchers called ‘highly palatable, rewarding foods fit for the munchies, like cookies, candy, and chips – even though they had a big meal two hours before. Your goal, starting tonight: seven to nine hours of shut-eye.</p> <p><strong>You opt for the short stack instead of the omelette</strong></p> <p>And almost every time, not long enough after your last syrup-slathered bite, your stomach is grumbling and you’re left wondering how that’s even possible. Oh, but it is: researchers at the University of Missouri found women who ate a high-protein sausage and egg breakfast felt less hungry and fuller throughout the morning, and even ate fewer kilojoules at lunch, compared to women who had a low-protein plate of pancakes and syrup in the morning, or skipped breakfast altogether. And speaking of bypassing breakfast, try not to: in another study using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), results showed eating a healthy breakfast, especially one high in protein, reduced brain signals controlling food motivation and reward-driven eating behaviour, compared to breakfast-skippers. “Protein can fight off cravings and increase satiety at meals,” says dietician Angela Ginn-Meadow, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.</p> <p><strong>You only eat low-fat this and fat-free that</strong></p> <p>Those processed foods aren’t necessarily better for you: some have extra sugar, others more salt, and many might not even save you kilojoules. But we digress. You’re right to try and avoid trans fats, and not go crazy on the saturated versions. But you can (and should) make room for a little heart-healthy unsaturated fat in your diet, because similar to protein and filling fibre, it can also help you feel full: “Fats slow stomach emptying, as well as trigger satiety hormones,” says registered dietitian Cynthia Sass<em>.</em> All fats, including the healthy fats in olive oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados, are high in kilojoules, so stick to proper portions. The American Heart Association recommends healthy adults limit fat to 20 to 35 per cent of total daily kilojoules. </p> <p><strong>You need water</strong></p> <p>Those pangs of hunger may actually be your body telling you you’re thirsty, says Ginn-Meadow, who serves as senior education coordinator for University of Maryland Centre for Diabetes &amp; Endocrinology. So before grabbing a snack from the pantry, sip some water or have a cup of tea and wait a little to see if your cravings pass. Staying well-hydrated may also help you manage your appetite and weight, according to a study from the University of Illinois. Scientists studied the dietary habits of more than 18,300 adults and found the majority of people who upped their daily water intake by one, two, or three cups cut up to 850 daily kilojoules, as well as reduced their consumption of saturated fat, sugar, sodium, and cholesterol.</p> <p><strong>You sweat all the small stuff</strong></p> <p>We’ve all been that person mindlessly munching through a bag of chips while frantically trying to meet a deadline, or spooning ice cream from the container after getting into a fight with a friend. But when you’re stressed out all the time, cortisol hormone levels remain high, which then trigger hunger hormones. “Also, chronically elevated cortisol produces glucose, leading to increased blood sugar levels, and is also tied to insulin resistance, which increases the risk of type 2 diabetes,” adds Sass. “In this state, when blood glucose is high, but insulin isn’t functioning normally, hunger is increased, because the body thinks the cells are being starved.”</p> <p><strong>You (still) eat white bread</strong></p> <p>You have absolutely heard the advice to switch to whole grain versions: they contain fibre, so they are more filling; they contain more nutrients, so they’re healthier for you; and they are a good source of complex carbohydrates – the kind that take longer to digest, so blood sugar rises more slowly and steadily. Refined grains – found in that white bread you insist on using, as well as white rice and many sugar, white-flour foods like biscuits and crackers – have been stripped of their fibre and cause blood sugar levels to spike, then plunge, leaving you hankering for more bread, or another biscuit or three, soon after. “Essentially when your blood sugar drops it signals a need for fuel, even if kilojoules have just been stored,” explains Sass. Another reason to break the white-bread habit: researchers tracked the eating habits and weight of more than 9200 Spanish university graduates for an average of five years, and found those who only ate white bread were more likely to become overweight or obese than those who favoured whole grain bread.</p> <p><strong>You wait too long between meals</strong></p> <p>Four to five hours apart is about right. If it’s going to be closer to six hours, have a small snack in between, says Ginn-Meadow. “Eating on time allows you to better recognise hunger and satiety cues,” she says; “it also lets your body completely digest complex carbs and protein, which can help maintain a healthy metabolism.” Just make sure your meals are balanced with nutrient-rich foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, dairy, and lean protein.</p> <p><strong>Your social feeds are filled with food pics</strong></p> <p>You scroll through shot after shot of the gorgeous birthday cupcakes your sister-in-law Instagrammed. You know she totally did not bake them herself, and yet your stomach is still grumbling. There’s a reason, according to a scientific review published in the journal <em>Brain and Cognition</em>. Researchers say when we see an attractive image of food, blood rushes to the parts of our brain associated with taste. So even if we’re not physically hungry, we want to eat.</p> <p><em>Written by Teresa Dumain. This article first appeared in </em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/diet/always-hungry-8-reasons-you-cant-stop-eating?slide=all"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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