Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Blog Action Day 2008 - We're in

Today, October 15, 2008, is Blog Action Day all over the world and 9,373 sites are participating - hoping to catch the attention of over 10 million readers/viewers.

How can you help? You can go to the Blog Action Day site and check out what other blogs are participating. You can learn about ways you can help reduce poverty and, because I'm a nurse and a health writer, hopefully improve the health of people all over the world.

I've written many times about my passion for literacy. Often poverty and literacy (or lack of literacy) go hand in hand. When your stomach is empty, it's hard to concentrate in school. If you can't do your work, you can't learn - if you can't learn, you can't learn how to read. If you can't read, you're destined to continue living in poverty. People in poverty often are less healthy than those who are better off. And there is your circle.

In my mind, the best way to beat poverty is to teach people how to read - and most of those people should be women. It's been proven that a family and a community's health and welfare improves when women become more literate. As women are educated, they are more able to care for their children and help them learn how to read. This then enables the children to learn skills and trades to be employable.

Poverty can be beaten in many cases. If you can help someone learn how to read, you can be helping them be a healthier person, as well.

Blog Action Day 2008

Tomorrow is Blog Action Day

Come back tomorrow to see how we're participating in Blog Action Day.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians

Thanksgiving in Canada is different from that in the US. First of all, I have several US acquaintances who were surprised to find out that we even have Thanksgiving - but since it is a day to give thanks for the bounty the earth (and our farmers' hard work!) supplies us, it's not surprising.

What I enjoy about the Canadian Thanksgiving is that it's not so close to Christmas as the US one. I love that it's in October where sometimes it still can be beautiful outside (as it is here in Quebec this weekend) and it doesn't seem to have the stress involved with it that our neighbours seem to have.

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding, but I've seen and heard many stories of people being horribly stressed and often comments about Thanksgiving are related to Christmas being not so far behind. But regardless of whether you have Thanksgiving in October or November, the point of the day is to give thanks for what we have and to - hopefully - spend some time with those who love us and who we love. So, this year, this is what I'm thankful for:

Despite my aches and pains, my good health.
My three kids who are well on to their own lives now as they work their way through college/university/first jobs.
My husband with whom last week I just celebrated 23 years of marriage.
Our home which, faults and all, is ours to do as we wish.
My three dogs who have gone on to rainbow bridge and left such an imprint in my soul.
My love of writing and the ability to turn that into a living.
My ability to read. With so many, even in North America, who are illiterate or functionally illiterate, it breaks my hear to know that there are those who can't enjoy the written word.
Living in a country that allows us to go freely to elect our governing bodies. As flawed as the system may be, Canadians are among the most fortunate in the world.

There are too many things to list, this is just but a few. Happy Thanksgiving to both Canadians and Americans for next month. And for those readers outside of North America, peace and happiness to you.

Today at Help My Hurt:

That pizza and interstitial cystitis
President Bush signs national ALS registry act
Dalai Lama recovering from gallbladder surgery
Nerve stimulation may help reduce chronic headaches

Today at Womb Within:

Celebrity pregnancy updates
Pregnant with thyroid cancer
Music can ease stress and depression during pregnancy
Over-zealous sperm donors in Australia

News for Today:

Study Warns of Hearing Loss From Music Players
Latex hides in unexpected places, experts warn
Naps don't harm older folks' nighttime sleep
Fliers Can Keep Blood Clots at Bay
Docs double kids' vitamin D recommendations