Fall Border to Colour

pumpkin corn border

praise God for wheat poem with pumpkin borders

The poem is by our old friend ‘anonymous.’ I found it and the border in volume 21 of a magazine called School Education, published in 1902.

You could adjust the side of the border to make name tags for guests, or cut it into strips and paste onto paper cups with names on them for placetags. You could adjust the size so that when the ends are pasted together into a ring, they fit nicely around your good glass drinking ware. Coloured by the children, you could cut them into strips, tape each strip into an enclosed loop as you make a paper chain for Thanksgiving, tearing off one loop for each day as you count down to Thanksgiving.

Write down tasks to do to get ready for Thanksgiving on the back of each strip before you make them into a chain, or write down a Bible verse to read, or a game to play, or a book to read at bedtime, or a hymn to sing, or mix and match.

Or do what I do, which is just to enjoy looking at them.=)

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Free Kindle Reads

Verner's Pride title pageEast Lynne

Published in the 19th century, reminds me a bit of Wilkie Collins.
Here’s an extract: “In an easy-chair of the spacious and handsome library of his town-house, sat William, Earl of Mount Severn. His hair was gray, the smoothness of his expansive brow was defaced by premature wrinkles, and his once attractive face bore the pale, unmistakable look of dissipation. One of his feet was cased in folds of linen, as it rested on the soft velvet ottoman, speaking of gout as plainly as any foot ever spoke yet. It would seem—to look at the man as he sat there—that he had grown old before his time. And so he had. His years were barely nine and forty, yet in all save years, he was an aged man.
A noted character had been the Earl of Mount Severn. Not that he had been a renowned politician, or a great general, or an eminent statesman, or even an active member in the Upper House; not for any of these had the earl’s name been in the mouths of men. But for the most reckless among the reckless, for the spendthrift among spendthrifts, for the gamester above all gamesters, and for a gay man outstripping the gay—by these characteristics did the world know Lord Mount Severn. It was said his faults were those of his head; that a better heart or a more generous spirit never beat in human form; and there was much truth in this. It had been well for him had he lived and died plain William Vane. Up to his five and twentieth year, he had been industrious and steady, had kept his terms in the Temple, and studied late and early. The sober application of William Vane had been a by word with the embryo barristers around; Judge Vane, they ironically called him; and they strove ineffectually to allure him away to idleness and pleasure. But young Vane was ambitious, and he knew that on his own talents and exertions must depend his own rising in the world. He was of excellent family, but poor, counting a relative in the old Earl of Mount Severn. The possibility of his succeeding to the earldom never occurred to him, for three healthy lives, two of them young, stood between him and the title. Yet those have died off, one of apoplexy, one of fever, in Africa, the third boating at Oxford; and the young Temple student, William Vane, suddenly found himself Earl of Mount Severn, and the lawful possessor of sixty thousand a year.
His first idea was, that he should never be able to spend the money; that such a sum, year by year, could not be spent. It was a wonder his head was not turned by adulation at the onset, for he was courted, flattered and caressed by all classes, from a royal duke downward. He became the most attractive man of his day, the lion in society; for independent of his newly-acquired wealth and title, he was of distinguished appearance and fascinating manners. But unfortunately, the prudence which had sustained William Vane, the poor law student, in his solitary Temple chambers entirely forsook William Vane, the young Earl of Mount Severn, and he commenced his career on a scale of speed so great, that all staid people said he was going to ruin and the deuce headlong.
But a peer of the realm, and one whose rent-roll is sixty thousand per annum, does not go to ruin in a day. There sat the earl, in his library now, in his nine-and-fortieth year, and ruin had not come yet—that is, it had not overwhelmed him. But the embarrassments which had clung to him, and been the destruction of his tranquility, the bane of his existence, who shall describe them? The public knew them pretty well, his private friends knew better, his creditors best; but none, save himself knew, or could ever know, the worrying torment that was his portion, wellnigh driving him to distraction. Years ago, by dint of looking things steadily in the face, and by economizing, he might have retrieved his position; but he had done what most people do in such cases—put off the evil day sine die, and gone on increasing his enormous list of debts. The hour of exposure and ruin was now advancing fast.”

Reader Review: ts strength is its storyline. For modern readers, you may feel its weakness is in the context of its Victorian era, with the way it characterizes the actions, looks, and language of the people in it.

Children who say “hark”, women who are constantly turning as pale as their clothes, men who shiver in horror, etc.

If you can get beyond this, you will find an enjoyable book with a fairly complex number of main characters with an increasingly twisty plot that solves a murder and at the same time adds a tale of love gone upside down. Mistaken identities, facts, motivations rule the plots.

A man is shot inside his house. The apparent murderer says he didn’t do it but the one he accuses seems innocent, mostly because he couldn’t be placed at the scene. On another front, a man and woman marry and start a family in happy circumstances. Then the man appears to fall for another woman, putting the wife in deep despair. She goes off with another man, later to regret abandoning her husband and children. Thinking her dead, the husband remarries only to have the first wife reappear in disguise to be the governess to their children.

The book sucked me in for hours at a time wondering what was going to happen next. Its also stayed with me well after I finished it.

Another reader review: Potboiler, purple prose, hyperbole… perhaps. Frankly, I found this book to be addictive in its plot twists, melodrama, and suspense. Upon publication, East Lynne was indeed hugely successful, sellling over a half a million copies by the turn of the century. Twenty years after this Victorian bestseller’s first appearance in 1861, its author, Mrs. Henry [Ellen] Wood, managed to garner more votes than Shakespeare and Dickens combined as polled reader’s ‘favorite author’(based, one supposes almost entirely on the popularity of East Lynne). Personally, I found this now-forgotten suspense classic to be highly engaging, artfully plotted ~ and certainly, one of the finest sensation novels ever penned. Highly recommended for devotees of romantic suspense ~ and a must-read for fans of Wilkie Collins, M.E. Braddon ~ or even Dickens.

Others by the same author: Verner’s Pride

It’s this sort of book:
“I engaged myself… in an unguarded moment; as soon as the word was spoken I became aware that she was less dear to me than [another]. I might have retracted; but the retractation would have left a stain on my honour that could never be effaced. I am, not the first man who has paid by years of penitence for a word spoken in the heat of passion.”

“Unless your looks belie you, you are not degenerate.”"

Mrs. Halliburton’s Troubles

Trevlyn Hold

All by Mrs. Henry Wood

These are all affiliate links. And I have no more to share today because I just found myself spending the last four or five hours reading through one of her books. The plotline is predictable, and cheesy, and very Victorian and all nobility and a sense of duty and self- sacrifice, and I couldn’t stop myself.

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Therapy Update

I met with the new therapist yesterday, and overall it was pretty amazing.  I don’t think I can begin to describe the amazing parts.

Even though, or perhaps because, the amazing parts were the better and greater part of the therapy, I’ll start with the less than amazing, because I found it amusing.

I am fairly sure the therapist is an atheist and I know he’s an adherent of biological determinism.

So, during the course of therapy we went down one path where he was trying to explain the uselessness of guilt, and he said religious people suffer more guilt than atheists do, but there’s no evidence it does them any good or stops them from committing heinous acts, and after all, everybody expects the world to come to a blazing end in a religious war, and religious wars have killed more people… He asked what I would say to that (and remember, I am grossly paraphrasing, and picking out a comment here and there from a 3 hour conversation). I said I would say somebody doesn’t know their history, since in the last hundred years the three regimes responsible for murdering the most people were all atheist in foundation. He blinked. He is a therapist, not a friend or a philosophy teacher, so he dropped it. I wanted to point out that another flaw in his argument is that not all religions are created equal, and that the one religion currently responsible for wars and acts of terrorism around the globe actually teaches that those are good things to do, so the religiously motivated terrorists actually *don’t* feel guilty about those actions at all, which is why guilt is not acting as a deterrent for them. But that’s not why I was there.

At another point he wanted to convey that what’s done is done (I agree) and there’s nothing anybody can do to change the past (I agree), so there’s not any point in dwelling on that (I agree, although that’s been harder to do). But then he wanted to say that even if we could go back in time, we couldn’t change the past because however anybody has acted is the only way, given their genes and life experiences, that they could have acted at that time. He used a tree branch that had fallen as his first example- the branch fell because the wind blew and broke it. And it’s foolish to say, “Well, but couldn’t the branch have been any thicker, and then withstood the winds better?” No, it couldn’t. Given the genetic make-up of that tree, and the tree’s life experiences, that branch was the only way it could have been at the time it broke. It couldn’t have been thicker. It couldn’t have been thinner.
He had a couple of similar stories to illustrate the same point, and they were better told than this, but it was the same general point. And then he had a story about a man who set a house on fire when a baby was inside, and another man who came along later and heard there was a baby in the burning house, and he ran in to save the baby.

He wanted me to understand that under the circumstances, given the genetics and life experiences of each of those men, neither of them could have acted any differently than they did.

I didn’t agree. I told him that was biological determinism, and I didn’t believe in that, and that humans are not tree branches, we have memories and we make choices and we learn from our mistakes as well as other people’s. I said I understood that since we can’t go back in time to do anything we’ve done differently, there’s no point in wallowing in regrets and would’ve, should’ve, and could’ve beens. I wish I had thought to tell him that biological determinism is just predestination for atheists. Again, because his goal was good therapy, not a religious argument, he switched tactics. He said he wasn’t going to claim to have the monopoly on truth, he didn’t know what was truth anyway, but he was just presenting a way of thinking about things that might help me with a better perspective, and we moved on.

All of this (and loads of other stuff I’m not commenting on because it was personal, or because the details are blurry, or because it would be boring) were preamble to the main part of the therapy. Preamble seemed to be focused on taking a sort of measure as to where I was and why, why I was there, what I wanted from therapy, and relaxing and getting comfortable. I never was completely comfortable, because I had given permission for him to tape the session to use in training others, and in order to fit us both in the frame, he was in my space. I don’t mean we were anything like toe to toe, but as an introvert, although my bubble is fairly spacious, it is meant for a one person bubble, and it’s mine and only mine, and he was in it. Yes, I could have said, “Look, if taping this means you have to be this close, turn off the tape and go to another room, and let’s text,” but I didn’t.

So we continued and finally got to the heart of the therapy, the amazing stuff.

It was RTR (Rapid Trauma Recovery) therapy, and he used at least some elements of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR),(as I understand it), which my friend Carmon has been recommending to me as well.  You can read more about that here.

The appointment lasted nearly 3 hours, which I was not expecting.  I was exhausted when it was done, but it was a good exhausted.  I felt like I could get a clean, sound sleep.  Afterward, we took our son to Red Lobster because he’s never been there, and it’s the end of their Endless Shrimp special.  My son and husband can eat a lot of shrimp.  Then we went to a thrift store and an Aldi grocery store and came home.  I went to bed at 7 and napped a couple hours.  Then I went to sleep again and slept until 7 a.m.  No headphones of blaring K-Pop to keep the Monsters away.  No nightmares.  No Monsters.

In fact, we drove to the appointment in my usual fashion- sunglasses on, even though the day was overcast, iPod playing K-Pop, headphones in my ears, me scratching my hands raw because they itched. I drove home without the sunglasses or headphones, and I only flinched a couple of times (normally, the entire drive is just one long flinch from start to finish).

This morning,I got up at 7, got the Boy up,  made breakfast, made a green smoothy, got dressed, fed my sour dough starter (his name is Murgatroyd), worked on some writing projects, got the Boy started with school.

I spilled green smoothy all over and it was not the end of the world, even though it was actually purple and I got it on one of my favorite skirts and over at least three square feet of floor space.    Under duress, the two teens helped by putting the blanket, the couch cover, and the clean laundry that had been on the couch into the washer and bringing me wet washcloths when I used mine up.

I put away groceries from last night, started supper, made the Cherub Miso soup and a bowl of roast beef, made myself Thai soup (except I couldn’t find my lemongrass), took things out to the compost pile, cleared the counter, put away pots and pans and eliminated some pans I don’t use enough to keep around.

I got online and read and did more writing.  I came across a few headlines that refer to events that are typically triggering, and I did not have to close my eyes and count to ten while taking deep cleansing breaths or turn on loud music to rattle the rafters in the attic of my mind.

So I’ve told you all about the funny parts of therapy, and the stuff I did afterward, but I have not given you any details about the therapy itself. And I don’t know if I can. There used to be a free Kindle book about EMDT at Amazon.  It’s not free anymore, but I found this one (also not free)- I have no idea if it’s any good, but this title?  This is what I said to the therapist yesterday:

Ending Anxiety, Panic & PTSD – Like Magic

Like Magic. I’m not saying ‘cured,’ for one thing because it’s too early to tell, for another because I’m a pessimist by nature anyway. And I still had a couple ‘heightened startle reflex’ episodes. But there is a definite difference.

You know the game ‘mirror?’ Two people face each other and one of them does various movements, and the other copies? That’s one of the things we did. We were seated, and he moved his hands and arms in various positions. Only as I followed his movements, I wasn’t supposed to look at his hands, just his forehead- and, here’s the weird part- he had me retell that thing, the thing I don’t talk about, never even say the word. never write it on the blog, from beginning to end. And I did it, and I was fine. Then we did it again while he counted, and I actually lost my train of thought not because I was upset, but because I got distracted by the numbers.

I’m pretty sure I could say it again and write about it. I don’t want to, but I just don’t want to- the say before yesterday it was impossible to even contemplate.

My shoulders feel lighter. I feel like, I told the therapist, superglue has been removed from my feet.

brain maze ptsd
Here’s an article on working through anxiety issues using EMDR yourself.

Here’s an article on how it might work.

What are the symptoms of PTSD?  Learn more here.

Living with somebody with PTSD?  Here’s how to be supportive.

Managing the emotions of PTSD

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Gov’t Doubling Down On Anti-Fat Nonsense

soup bowlGranny Tea made an absolutely marvelous butternut squash soup the other night. I had butternut squash, sweet potato, chicken broth, onion, whole cream, a bit of milk and a couple other ingredients. It was incredibly delicious. We all raved, and asked her for the recipe. She admitted it was tasty, but sighed, “It’s not very healthy.”

It’s incredibly healthy and nourishing, in fact:

“The top scientist guiding the U.S. government’s nutrition recommendations made an admission last month that would surprise most Americans. Low-fat diets, Alice Lichtenstein said, are “probably not a good idea.” It was a rare public acknowledgment conceding the failure of the basic principle behind 35 years of official American nutrition advice.”

Those low-fat diets are particularly not a good idea for children, and yet, they are baked into the dietary restrictions the unelected Michelle Obama wrote for our nation’s children when she wrote the regulations schools have to follow for school lunches.

The USDA and HHS have been preaching the false gospel of no fat for decades.  It was never based on good science.

Ancel Keys, who in many ways can be considered the “father” of the cholesterol-heart disease hypothesis, had this to say in 1997:

“There’s no connection whatsoever between the cholesterol in food and cholesterol in the blood. And we’ve known that all along. Cholesterol in the diet doesn’t matter at all unless you happen to be a chicken or a rabbit.”

This is a reference to early studies performed on chickens and rabbits where they force-fed these animals high-levels of cholesterol. Since rabbits and chickens are mostly vegetarian, their physiology is not adapted for processing such large amounts of dietary cholesterol, so it’s no surprise they developed atherosclerosis. The mistake was assuming that the results of this experiment could be extrapolated to humans, who are omnivores with significant differences in physiology.


In the last five years or so, evidence not even they could ignore has come out indicating their horrible advice actually contributes to obesity and diabetes.  Saturated fats from foods like good meat, cheese, and butter are actually good for you.

The most current and rigorous science on saturated fat is moving in the opposite direction from the USDA committee. A landmark meta-analysis of all the available evidence, conducted this year by scientists at Cambridge and Harvard, among others, and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, concluded that saturated fats could not, after all, be said to cause heart disease. While saturated fats moderately raise “bad” LDL-cholesterol, this does not apparently lead to adverse health outcomes such as heart attacks and death. Another meta-analysis, published in the respected American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2010, came to the same conclusion. The USDA committee has ignored these findings.

So the USDA hasn’t made much of an effort to let the public know about their embarrassment.  In fact, in some areas they are doubling down on the stupid and ignoring the science- lots and lots of science:

Another consistent thorn in the side of supporters of the “lipid hypothesis” is that women suffer 300% less heart disease than men, in spite of having higher average cholesterol levels. At the recent Conference on Low Blood Cholesterol, which reviewed 11 major studies including 125,000 women, it was determined that there was absolutely no relationship between total cholesterol levels and mortality from cardiovascular or any other causes.

Our government’s dietary advice has probably been killing off those who follow it:

And finally, the huge Japanese Lipid Intervention Trial with over 47,000 participants:

“The highest death rate observed was among those with lowest cholesterol (under 160mg/dl); lowest death rate observed was with those whose cholesterol was between 200-259mg/dl”

In other words, those with the lowest cholesterol had the highest death rate, and those with cholesterol levels that would today be called “dangerous” had the lowest death rate.

Women naturally have higher cholesterol than men, and we’re supposed to.  There’s no benefit at all to women taking statins and reducing our cholesterol levels, and plenty of risk.  The risks may even include Parkinson’s Disease:


Science Daily:” Researchers are sufficiently worried by new study results that they are planning clinical trials involving thousands of people to examine the possible link between Parkinson’s disease and statins, the world biggest selling drugs, reports Patrick Walter in Chemistry & Industry, the magazine of the SCI.

New Parkinson’s Therapy

Suggestions of a statin link are not new, but the results of a recent study linking low LDL cholesterol to Parkinson’s provide the strongest evidence to date that it could be real, because statins work by reducing LDL cholesterol. The study by researchers at University of North Carolina showed that patients with low levels of LDL cholesterol are more than three and a half times more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than those with higher LDL levels.

When asked whether she was concerned by the new results, study leader Xuemei Huang said: ‘Yes I am very concerned, which is why I am planning a 16000-patient prospective study to examine the possible role of statins.’ Huang was quick to point out, however, that a causal link with statins had not yet been proven. And Yoav Ben-Shlomo, a professor of clinical epidemiology at University of Bristol said that it is also a possibility that LDL cholesterol is a consequence rather than a cause of Parkinson’s.

But according to Huang, the well-established link between Parkinson’s and apoE2, a gene associated with lower LDL cholesterol, supports her theory that low LDL is the culprit in many cases of Parkinson’s.


We need to be eating healthy fats without worrying about cholesterol. What we should be worrying about is our carbohydrates, and especially sugar.

In place of saturated fats, these agencies have counseled Americans to consume ever-larger quantities of unsaturated fats, which are found mainly in soybean and other vegetable oils. Yet a diet high in these oils has been found in clinical trials to lead to worrisome health effects, including higher rates of cancer. And the USDA, which espouses a commitment to finding healthy “dietary patterns” based in history, is now in the paradoxical position of telling Americans to derive most of their fats from these highly processed vegetable oils with virtually no record of consumption in the human diet before 1900.

The most hopeful path lies in a different direction: An enormous trove of research over the past decade has shown that a low-carbohydrate regime consistently outperforms any other diet in improving health. Diabetics, for instance, can most effectively stabilize their blood glucose on a low-carb diet; heart-disease victims are able to raise their “good” HDL cholesterol while lowering their triglycerides. And at least two-dozen well-controlled diet trialsinvolving thousands of subjects, have shown that limiting carbohydrates leads to greater weight loss than does cutting fat.

The USDA committee’s mandate is to “review the scientific and medical knowledge current at the time.” But despite nine full days of meetings this year, it has yet to meaningfully reckon with any of these studies—which arguably constitute the most promising body of scientific literature on diet and disease in 50 years. Instead, the committee is focusing on new reasons to condemn red meat, such as how its production damages the environment. However, this is a separate scientific question that is outside the USDA’s mandate on health.

Politics are trumping health and science.


“Have we been conned about cholesterol?

“…A leading researcher at Harvard Medical School has found that women don’t benefit from taking statins at all, nor do men over 69 who haven’t already had a heart attack.

There is a very faint benefit if you are a younger man who also hasn’t had a heart attack – out of 50 men who take the drug for five years, one will benefit.

Nor is this the first study to suggest that fighting cholesterol with statins is bunk. Indeed, there are hundreds of doctors and researchers who agree that the cholesterol hypothesis itself is nonsense.

What their work shows, and what your doctor should be saying, is the following:
• A high diet, saturated or otherwise, does not affect blood cholesterol levels.

• High cholesterol levels don’t cause heart disease.

• Statins do not protect against heart disease by lowering cholesterol – when they do work, they do so in another way.

• The protection provided by statins is so small as to be not worth bothering about for most people (and all women). The reality is that the benefits have been hyped beyond belief.

• Statins have many more unpleasant side effects than has been admitted, while experts in this area should be treated with healthy scepticism because they are almost universally paid large sums by statin manufacturers to sing loudly from their hymn sheet.
So how can I say saturated fat doesn’t matter when everyone knows it is a killer? Could all those millions who have been putting skinless chicken and one per cent fat yoghurts into their trolleys really have been wasting their time?

The experts are so busy urging you to consume less fat and more statins that you are never warned about the contradictions and lack of evidence behind the cholesterol con.

In fact, what many major studies show is that as far as protecting your heart goes, cutting back on saturated fats makes no difference and, in fact, is more likely to do harm.

So how did fat and cholesterol get such a bad name? It all began about 100 years ago, when a researcher found feeding rabbits (vegetarians) a high cholesterol carnivore diet blocked their arteries with plaque.

But it took off in the Fifties with the Seven Countries study by Ancel Keys, which showed that the higher the saturated fat intake in a country, the higher the cholesterol levels and the higher the rate of heart disease.

The countries he chose included Italy, Greece, the USA and the Netherlands. But why these particular ones?

Recently I did my own 14 countries study using figures from the World Health Organisation, and found the opposite.

Countries with the highest saturated fat consumption: Austria, France, Finland and Belgium had the lowest rate of deaths from heart disease, while those with the lowest consumption, Georgia, Ukraine and Croatia, had the highest mortality rate from heart disease.

Added to this, the biggest ever trial on dietary modification put 50 million people on a low saturated fat diet for 14 years.

Sausages, eggs, cheese, bacon and milk were restricted. Fruit and fish, however, were freely available. I?m talking about rationing in Britain during and after World War Two. In that time, deaths from heart disease more than doubled.

Even more damning is what happened in 1988. The Surgeon General’s office in the US decided to gather all evidence linking saturated fat to heart disease, silencing any nay-sayers for ever.

Eleven years later, however, the project was killed. The letter announcing this stated that the office “did not anticipate fully the magnitude of the additional expertise and staff resources that would be needed”.

After eleven years, they needed additional expertise and staff resources? What had they been doing? If they’d found a scrap of evidence, you would never have heard the last of it.

Major trials since have been no more successful. One involved nearly 30,000 middle-aged men and women in Sweden, followed for six years.

The conclusion? “Saturated fat showed no relationship with cardiovascular disease in men. Among the women, cardiovascular mortality showed a downward trend with increasing saturated fat intake.” (In other words, the more saturated fat, the less chance of dying from heart disease).

Even stronger evidence of the benefits of increased fat and cholesterol in the diet comes from Japan. Between 1958 and 1999, the Japanese doubled their protein intake, ate 400 per cent more fat and their cholesterol levels went up by 20 per cent.

Did they drop like flies? No. Their stroke rate, which had been the highest in the world, was seven times lower, while deaths from heart attacks, already low, fell by 50 per cent.

It’s a bit of a paradox, isn?t it? That’s one of the features of the dietary hypothesis – it involves a lot of paradoxes.

The most famous is the French Paradox. They eat more saturated fat than we do in Britain; they smoke more, take less exercise, have the same cholesterol/LDL levels, they also have the same average blood pressure and the same rate of obesity.

And you know what? They have one quarter the rate of heart disease we do.

The official explanation is that the French are protected from heart disease by drinking red wine, eating lightly cooked vegetables and eating garlic.

But there is no evidence that any of these three factors are actually protective. None. By evidence, I mean a randomised, controlled clinical study.

Every time a population is found that doesn’t fit the saturated fat/cholestrol hypothesis – the Masai living on blood and milk with no heart disease, the Inuit living on blubber with low heart disease – something is always found to explain it.

One research paper published more than 20 years ago found 246 factors that could protect against heart disease or promote it. By now there must be more than a thousand.

The closer you look the more you find that the cholestrol hypothesis is an amazing beast. It is in a process of constant adaptation in order to encompass all contradictory data without keeling over and expiring.

But you don’t need to look at foreign countries to find paradoxes – the biggest one is right here at home. Women are about 300 per cent less likely to suffer heart disease than men, even though on average they have higher cholesterol levels.

For years there was an ad hoc hypothesis to explain this apparent contradiction – women were protected by female sex hormones.

In fact, there has never been a study showing that these hormones protect against heart disease in humans.

But by the Nineties, millions of women were being prescribed HRT to stave off heart disease.

Then came the HERS trial to test the notion. It found HRT increased the risk of heart disease.

So what to do? Put them on statins; bring their cholesterol level down ? below 5.0 mmol is the official advice.

But, as The Lancet article emphasises, women do not benefit from statins. The phrase “Statins do not save lives in women” should be hung in every doctor’s surgery.

But it’s not just hugely wasteful handing out statins to women and men who are never going to benefit; it also exposes them to the risk of totally unnecessary side effects.

These include muscle weakness (myopathy) and mental and neurological problems such as severe irritability and memory loss.

How common are they? Very rare, say experts, but one trial found that 90 per cent of those on statins complained of side effects, half of them serious.

Only last week, a study reported a link between low LDL cholesterol and developing Parkinson’s disease.

Statins are designed to lower LDL. In the face of anticholesterol propaganda, it is easy to forget cholesterol is vital for our bodies to function.

Why do you think an egg yolk is full of cholesterol? Because it takes a lot of cholesterol to build a healthy chicken.

It also takes a hell of a lot to build and maintain a healthy human being.

In fact, cholesterol is so vital that almost all cells can manufacture cholesterol; one of the key functions of the liver is to synthesise cholesterol.

It’s vital for the proper functioning of the brain and it’s the building bock for most sex hormones.

So it should not be such a surprise to learn that lowering cholesterol can increase death rates.

Woman with a cholesterol level of five or even six have a lower risk of dying than those with a level below four.

The Lancet reported that statins didn’t benefit anyone over 69, not even men; in fact, there’s good evidence that they may hasten your death.

The Framingham study in the US found that people whose cholesterol levels fell were at a 14 per cent increased risk of death from heart disease for every 1mg/dl.

Set up in 1948, the study screened the whole population of Framingham near Boston for factors that might be involved in heart disease and then followed them to see what happened to them.

It is still going today, making it the longest running and most often quoted study in heart-disease research.

A massive long-term study that looked specifically at cholesterol levels and mortality in older people in Honolulu, published in The Lancet, found that having low cholesterol concentration for a long time increases the risk of death.

This may be because cholesterol is needed to fight off infections or there may be other reasons ? but many other studies have found exactly the same thing.

Low cholesterol levels greatly increase your risk of dying younger. So the cholesterol hypothesis looks something like this:

There is no evidence that saturated fat is bad – and there are lots of ‘paradoxes’ where countries with a high cholesterol intake don’t have a higher death rate from heart disease.

But there is an even more fundamental problem. The theory claims fat and cholesterol do things in the body that just don’t make sense.

To begin with, saturated fat and cholesterol are talked of as if they are strongly connected. A low-fat diet lowers cholesterol; a high-fat diet raises it.

What is never explained is how this works. This isn’t surprising because saturated fat doesn’t raise cholesterol. There is no biochemical connection between the two substances, which may explain all those negative findings.

It’s true that foods containing cholesterol also tend to contain saturated fats because both usually come from animals.

It’s also true that neither dissolve in water, so in order to travel along the bloodstream they have to be transported in a type of molecule known as a lipoprotein – such as LDLs (low-density lipoproteins) and HDLs (high-density lipoproteins).

But being travelling companions is as close as fats and cholesterol get. Once in the body, most fat from our diet is transported to the fat cells in a lipoprotein called a chylomicron.

Meanwhile, cholesterol is produced in the liver by way of an incredibly complicated 13-step process; the one that statins interfere with.

No biochemist has been able to explain to me why eating saturated fat should have any impact on this cholesterol production line in the liver.

On the other hand, the liver does make fat – lots of it. All the excess carbohydrate that we eat is turned first into glucose and then into fat in the liver.

And what sort of fat does the liver make? Saturated fat; obviously the body doesn’t regard it as harmful at all….”

• Extracted from The Great Cholesterol Con: The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid It by Malcolm Kendrick


Deja Vu?  They were wrong about salt, too.

cornsyrup ad1It reminds me somehow of the history of corn syrup- once advertised as cleaner, purer, and more sanitary than honey, as though that were a good thing.

In The Science of Eating (published in 1919) we read that ” Food manufacturers declare their chemical preservatives are ‘harmless.’ Scientists are found to agree with them. Thus they set up arguments of such plausible and convincing character that the government has been prevailed upon to permit them to employ chemicals in the manufacture of a hundred food products.’

Katie Couric is the narrator for the film Fed Up, a film which does to the food industry what Inconvenient Truth did for climate, and with the same tactics (dishonesty, hyperbole).  She wants to blame our obesity epidemic on the food industry and Ronald Reagan.  The food industry basically produced and delivered the food the government told them too and rewarded them for producing. The FDA encouraged food manufacturers to replace saturated fats with poly unsaturated fats, which resulted in the transfats in our processed foods.  Then the food manufacturers had to increase the sugar  to boost the flavor so the public would still like it.   The government made adding sugar, soy, and corn to all our food attractive by offering subsidies to farmers for growing those foods,  and then it pushed those foods to us as healthier.  In blaming Regan, Couric missed the mark:

it was McGovern:

The government, of course, must be involved somewhere, because whenever basic, simple, organic realities are tampered with and made more complex and costly, we can look to the meddling hand of government stirring that pot:

” No single event marked the shift from eating food to eating nutrients, though in retrospect a little-noticed political dust-up in Washington in 1977 seems to have helped propel American food culture down this dimly lighted path. Responding to an alarming increase in chronic diseases linked to diet — including heart disease, cancer and diabetes — a Senate Select Committee on Nutrition, headed by George McGovern, held hearings on the problem and prepared what by all rights should have been an uncontroversial document called ”Dietary Goals for the United States.” (Michael Pollan, source at the link above).

Actually, even that is a little late. It was in the 1900s when corn syrup was marketed as a better product that honey because of its ‘sterility’ and lab-created hygienic purity (think, too, of the reasons doctors once preferred, and some still do, formula over breast-milk- it’s measurable and quantifiable qualities, its scientific manufacture- all so much tidier than breastmilk, easier to quantify and test).  In the government recommended diet for children as published in 1929, there was a shocking shortage of fresh fruits or vegetables of any sort, and an over-reliance on breads.

The government’s dietary advice has been dangerously off base for over a century.  So why do we still listen?  Another question- where is the government mandate for dietary advice in the first place?  There are about 18 powers granted to the Federal government in our Constitution.  All other powers not specifically mentioned in the Constitution are legally the domain of the states (or individuals).  So why are confiscating our tax dollars to pay for this history of bad science?

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Fall Picture- Cottage, Pumpkins

From the October, 1916 issue of Primary Education

From the October, 1916 issue of Primary Education

The reason the pumpkins are as big as the door of the house is because you’re supposed to use them to make a poster something like this one:

fall poster

However, no other patterns are given for the other items in the poster.

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Fall Coloring Page: Roasting Popcorn Over Fire

autumn coloring page roasting popcorn over fire

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A few headlines that caught my eye

I understand what this nurse is saying when she talks about the science, and stresses that you cannot get Ebola from somebody who isn’t displaying symptoms yet.  But what she (and other officials) fail to understand is that the public knows this, too, for the most part. And what we also know is that Dr. Craig Spencer, the doctor in New York lied about what he did-  took the subway, a cab, and went bowling, among other things, while he had symptoms. He only fessed up when police looked at his credit card records. The second nurse in Texas flew on a public airplane and possibly went out and tried on her wedding dress while she had symptoms, and NBC’s Dr. Nancy Snyderman broke quarantine to go get her favorite soup.

Kaci Hickox is threatening to blow her quarantine, saying:

“I truly believe this policy is not scientifically nor constitutionally just, and so I am not going to sit around and be bullied around by politicians and be forced to stay in my home when I am not a risk to the American public,” she said.

“We know that if I developed symptoms, I would isolate in my house, I would call the health department and I would arrange to be safely transferred and tested in a facility.”

But that’s exactly what we do not know.   Based on this track record, as well as the dishonesty from the politicians involved,  the public has pretty good reason to suspect that not all health professionals will show a professional level of concern and respect for their fellow citizens, and we simply don’t believe they will all quarantine themselves immediately should they get symptoms.  In fact, it doesn’t even need to be selfishness- all of us can miss the significance of symptoms of an illness when it first begins.  I remember once unpacking boxes as we moved in to our new home in Colorado, and I was so exhausted and so sore.  I thought it was the unpacking, but I was truly puzzled as to why this move was so hard on me.  I put it down to elevation issues.  And then the next day I came down with the flu and only then realized I hadn’t just been tired and overworked, I was sick.

Incidentally, I thought Hickox was a hero, at first.  But when I read about her reasons for going to third world countries to help, I think she’s an egoist.

I do not think a 21 day quarantine for those who have been exposed to Ebola is an unreasonable response.

Holder is angry about the leaks coming out in the Ferguson investigation.  He’s even still bitter about the fact that we all know Mike Brown was no ‘gentle giant’ thanks to the video footage of his thuggish behavior at the convenience store a few minutes before he was shot.  Poor Holder:

“I think that somebody, these leakers, have made the determination that they’re trying to somehow shape public opinion about this case,” Holder told The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart.

I think what’s he’s really angry about is that he wanted his narrative to be the only version available.

For those wondering, I still think the police response in Ferguson (and Ferguson’s long history of taxing and fining the working poor to death) is shameful.

This is disgusting, and Alan Grayson should be tarred and feathered:

six days after being named the 17th richest member of Congress, it’s being reported that U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson‘s estranged wife has been issued an EBT card to help feed his children.

Lolita Grayson was approved for public assistance by the state of Florida, and their four minor children — they have five children altogether — are also enrolled in the free lunch program in Orange County schools, according to ABC affiliate WFTV.

Read more: http://www.bizpacreview.com/2014/10/29/wife-of-alan-grayson-named-17th-richest-member-of-congress-receiving-food-stamps-to-feed-his-kids-155394#ixzz3HZzzL6YG

The Rotherham case in England is worse than reported, if you can imagine that’s even possible.  They did abuse girls in their own communities, too.

This looks like a pretty clear case of intentional media bias by a news organization run by someone with a personal connection to the Obama White House.”

Yes, yes it does.

If somebody in your administration is calling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “aspergery” and a “chickens***,” you’re doing diplomacy wrong.  And the only reason I believe you would be unwilling to track down the source of that comment is because you really already know who said it.

La Raza offers guide on where and how to vote without ID.

“Houston mayor Annise Parker has—finally—entirely withdrawn the harassing subpoenas that the City unjustifiably inflicted on the pastors.”

City backs down in the Hitching Post gay wedding case.

NYT writer thinks only stupid people care that their politicians have real world work experience.  His word for those with real world work experience?  Bumpkins.

Nearly a quarter of doctors may opt out of Obamacare exchanges next year.

College students increasingly ok with infanticide, even for kids as old as five, because supposedly they aren’t self aware.

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Getting Ready for Winter and other fall pictures

vintage squirrels in acorn cups vintage oak leaves with acorn the house that jack built getting ready for winter 1 getting ready for winter 2

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Therapy and PTSD Stuff

I haven’t had much to say because I’ve been in holding pattern.  I was in between appointments – I have my first real appointment with the new, more professional therapist today in a couple hours.  I canceled seeing the other one because it was too exhausting to show up and never be sure if she’d be there or not.

And oh, my dears.  You don’t even know the half of it.  If I told you the rest, you’d wonder why I am not calling to have her licence revoked. I kind of wonder that, too, honestly, but I just can’t bring myself to do it.

So…. in the holding pattern I mainly just worked on treading water a little longer each day, and I did.

I’ve had days where I spent hours in the kitchen without breaking a sweat, and I even drove once.  I did that because I thought my son was forming an abscessed tooth and I took all backroads.


As it turned out, he was only teething.

He’s sixteen years old, and all his wisdom teeth came in this month.  The dentist said he has three times the normal room for them because he has a strong jawline which the chicks will love (I quote).   So the massively swollen gum at the back which was the reason for my panic is just…. teething.

That’s the way things go.

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Eugenics, 1923

Apologies for the formatting. I had to take three screen shots and then cut and align them to get the whole article. It was too appalling not to share.

The date pasted to the bottom is my addition- that is the correct magazine and issue, but in the original that information is on the cover, not the page.

I think if you click it should embiggen so you can read it better if this is too small for you.

eugenics popular science 1923

According to Wikipedia, Capper was a Republican who:

“….served two full terms as Governor, Capper was not permitted to run for a third term by the Kansas State Constitution. Instead, in 1918 he ran for election to the United States Senate and won. Capper became a long-serving senator, representing Kansas as one of its two senators for five 6-year terms. He was in the Senate from 1919 to 1949, and prominent among Republicans who supported the relief efforts and other policies of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration. He did not seek reelection in 1948.”

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