Category Archives: Holistic Life

Healthcare: How to Get There from Here

This article, We all Want Healthcare to Cost Much Less – But We are Asking the Wrong Questions, by Joe Flower, is just about perfect in its analysis of the problem. I encourage everyone to read it.

I have always believed that we need health CARE, as opposed to health INSURANCE. This has led me to advocate for a single-payer system that does away with insurance companies. Mr. Flowers does not quite go there in his argument, but it’s not really his point, anyway. He goes a step further: how to go from a profit-driven and highly wasteful, inefficient system, to one that promotes the best health of each individual? What are the steps we take? What happens in the transition?

In short: what do we pay for?

Therein lies the rub, folks.

Comments? What do you think?


Oh My, Look at the Time

I’m on the third night of Very Poor Sleep. I’ve been awake since 2:00, just like last night. Yes, I tried meditating, counting my slow, deep breaths, muscle relaxation, and pretty much anything else they claim is useful. I don’t drink coffee after 10:00 a.m. and I almost never drink alcohol anymore. I don’t/can’t nap during the day. I stay off of electronic devices after dinner and do gentle stretches and relaxation poses before bed. There is no TV in my bedroom. Yet in the middle of the night, adrenaline courses through my veins no matter what I do, and now I’m up talking to you.

This is my Normal. It has been for almost 20 years, so no, this is not a result of recent stresses. It would be nice if I were one of those people who happily function on 4 hours of sleep a night. In a way, I do function all right – I always get through the day, usually get a few things done, and feel mostly okay. But years of this are taking a toll. My memory is much worse. I can’t write fiction anymore and you’ve probably noticed the scarcity of blog posts over the last year. It has become a challenge to organize my thoughts and write something coherent. Often I start a post and give up in frustration because I’m not making sense even to myself.

Maybe I should resort to Twitter.

There’s no real point to all of this. Consider it a case a weary mumbling and go on with your day.

How did y’all sleep last night?


Here’s a Good Description of a Workable Food System

Let me repost this blog for your reading pleasure. Chew on this idea:

I think there’s a bit of unnecessary snarkiness in the article, but the idea is exactly right, if you couple it with Pollan’s mantra: “Eat real food. Mostly plants. Not too much.”

A side benefit of this kind of food system is reduced diabetes, reduced heart disease, reduced obesity, reduced cancer, and reduced other autoimmune disorders. Which means cheaper health care.

How can that be bad?


In Our Garden: Western Tanager

This summer we’re seeing a bird that’s new to us. It’s quite striking and got our attention right away. This gorgeous bird stops by most days to drink from our rock fountain in the back yard. It’s called a Western Tanager. I haven’t been able to get its picture yet, so this one is borrowed:

Western Tanager

Copyright: Dave Ryan

Western Tanager












Reblog: Despite a Supreme Court victory, it could take years for Texas abortion clinics to reopen

I’m greatly heartened by the Supreme Court decision that firmly tells Texas pols they can’t interfere with a basic right. But as this article points out, the situation in Texas won’t improve overnight. “Some clinics may never reopen…”

So instead… let’s do this: Let doctors be doctors. OB/GYNs need to offer abortion as part of the standard of care. If a patient needs one, the doctor can get her the medication early in the pregnancy, the doctor can continue to oversee the patient’s care, the procedure is cheaper and safer. If abortion needs to be performed later in pregnancy, but early enough for an office procedure, the doctor can schedule it and all should be well.

There should be no need for separate abortion clinics. Just doctor’s offices, health care clinics, and hospitals. They should ALL include abortion as part of the necessary care. It’s done if needed, and not done if not needed.

Simple for everyone.



You’re the Parent. Start Acting Like One

Here’s a good article on training our children. I think this is a very important concept that has been lost among today’s busy young families.

It’s interesting  – I am a big believer of things like on-demand breastfeeding and attachment parenting. I think we can’t love our kids too much and we can’t hold them too much. I think newborns NEED bodies and arms and breasts and voices and faces in order to thrive. They are sponges, soaking up every sensation that comes their way, and their busy little brains are categorizing and applying it all like crazy.

I think babies know instinctually how much to eat, and how much sucking they need to do, and how much holding and communication they need. I think they need warm bodies with them at night. I think we should watch them for signs of being ready for solid food (sitting up well, watching you eat, reaching for your food), and let them have some input into when to wean.

So how and when does this “baby-led or baby-centered” philosophy give way to setting the  rules and teaching the kids that they have to fit into OUR world?

Well… let’s think about it. It starts almost immediately when the nurses and doctors want to exam and poke baby after birth. When you go home from the hospital. That car seat is mandatory. When mom goes back to work and baby is taken from bed, put into the car seat and dropped off at day care. When it’s bath time and bed time.

All of these things teach the baby that he’s on your schedule, even if you’re squeezing on-demand feeding into the picture.

Just build on that as baby grows. Day care means your baby has to learn social skills and parents must teach them to treat others right. How to take turns. How to share. It’s important to know that kids must grow into these skills. A six month baby is not capable of sharing, but a two-year-old is. Learn about child development, then watch YOUR child to know when he’s ready to learn the skill. Appropriate ages for skills are going  to vary from child to child, but most kids will follow the general age.

And remember – the baby who never had to wait an hour to eat because of some arbitrary schedule – that baby may easily learn to treat others with respect. It’s the baby who had to scream and fight for basic needs who might turn into the bully.