Archive | September 2015


“People who train to be cooperative extension Master Gardeners report that they stay with the program because it improves self-esteem, offers continued learning opportunities, the chance to help and feel a connection to other people, to feel a sense of purpose, and a way to develop skills for employment .”


Schrock, D.S., M. Meyer, P.Ascher-Reasons for becoming involved as a Master Gardener. HortTechnology.

Part I Believe or not, PLANTS do enhance our lives both mentally and physically!

plants 4Plants 5

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Plants by 20% can improve memory, attention span and concentration outside in wildlife. Studies have even shown that tasks performed while under the calming influence of nature are bettered performed (from sitting with our pets to being outdoors with mother nature in pleasant weather to that individual’s mind—from rain to a pleasant sunny day with birds chirping or even by a rain fall dropping near the person).

Keeping ornamental plants in the home and in the workplace increases memory retention and concentration. The calming influence of natural environments is conducive to positive work environments by increasing a person’s ability to concentrate on the task at hand. Work performed under the natural influence of ornamental plants is normally of higher quality and completed with a much higher accuracy rate than work done in environments devoid of nature. Going outside or being under the influence of plants can increase memory retention up to twenty percent, a recent University of Michigan study showed (Sewach). The effect of nature in the home and in the workplace serves to stimulate both the senses and the mind, improving mental cognition and performance. (Bisco Werner 1996; Brethour 2007; Frank 2003; Pohmer 2008; Serwach 2008; Shibata, 2001, 2004; Yannick 2009).

Even take parks or places like botanical gardens that both often play as a host to educational programs and special events, which do contribute to the awareness of culture and education of the community, especially children. The better the environment the better the effect. Example take a highly criminal area as opposed to a lesser one. Installing a park or botanical garden in a community has many direct benefits to residents, but an auxiliary benefit of having such a naturalized landmark in the community is the special events and cultural opportunities it brings to people who might not otherwise be exposed. Botanical gardens and zoos often create educational programs for children in order to teach them how the value of being environmentally-conscious and conserving the environment. They can also impact adults in the community as well, creating a cultural awareness of the importance of natural environments. Parks and gardens foster an appreciation for nature that often instills in residents a sense of responsibility for the caring of and protection of the environment. (Appleseed, Inc. 2009, Dubey 2007, Nadel 2005, Phipps Botanical Gardens and Conservatory 2010)

Parks and urban green spaces impact people’s health by providing them with an inexpensive (often free) and convenient recreational service. There is a positive correlation between the presence of a park in a neighborhood and the level of physical activity of the residents; people are much more likely to exercise when there is a no-cost, aesthetically pleasing area or facility for them to use. Many are more out to do simple (walking) or more intense (running) outside to even handball or basketball do just mental exercise (reading) all outdoors in nice parks as opposed to a high urban area of just warehouses and buildings with no park or in a work out place with all just nautilus and weights all over the public place that has high probability of picking up cold, flu, infections. Why? In high probability your exposed to much more germs and bacteria as opposed to a park or your own home in or outside.   Less host build up of germs and bacteria. Public places are high percentage in where you pick up germs and bacteria.

Believe it or not is helps in the healing process. Shrubs, trees, and flowers have a practical application in hospitals. Whether the the presence of plants are in the patients hospital rooms or viewed outside the room seeing beautiful parks via their window greatly reduces the time necessary to heal. The soothing effects of ornamental flowers and plants are so great that simply having daily views of flowers and other ornamental plants in landscaped areas outside patient recovery room significantly speed up recovery time; now if unfortunately the patient is terminal it’s a much greater atmosphere to be around than just four walls.

Ornamental plants affect the levels of compassion that people feel for others. Studies have shown that people who spend more time around plants are much more likely to try and help others, and often have more advanced social relationships. People who care for nature are more likely to care for others, reaching out to their peers and forming shared bonds resulting from their common interests.

Spending time in nature gives people an increased feeling of vitality, increasing their energy levels and making them feel more animated. Their performance levels are, in turn, increased by this improved state of mind. Natural environments induce a positive outlook on life, making people feel more alive and active. When people experience increased vigor, they put more of themselves and their energy into their work. People who spend more time outside in nature have a significantly more positive outlook on life than people who spend a great deal of time indoors, based on the majority.

One of the more obvious benefits of plants and trees is that many of them have valuable medicinal properties. Cultivating plants helps humanity because it provides opportunities for additional scientific studies of the possible positive medicinal values of plants. Natural herbal remedies are simple and holistic methods for treating common illnesses and maladies.

Simply regarding STRESS, plants help people with dealing with it in a positive way. How you ask; by helping many people transform their stress into a more positive emotion, this can be done commonly done in America in a pent house, back yard to farming, gardening-it gives people an excellent coping mechanism for their daily frustrations. Plants to even nurturing them helps reduce stress levels and gives people a way to cope with their negative feelings, in letting them release rather than build up.   Gardening can have therapeutic effects on people who have undergone trauma, either mental or physical. The act of nurturing a plant can provide victims with a way to work through their issues and heal their wounds, whether they are on the surface of the skin or deeper. Cultivating plants also improves their mental states and helps to put them in a better place for recovering. Gardening is a therapeutic tool.

Beautifying traffic medians not only improves the aesthetics of the roadways, it also affects driver attitudes. Studies show that drivers are more at ease on roadways with natural landscaping, and are much more inclined to think positively about the community that they are driving through if the roadways are beautiful. Furthermore, adding trees to roadways creates a sort of natural obstruction which could reduce the likelihood of cars crossing medians into oncoming traffic lanes. This improves driver safety and makes the community a safer place for everyone to live in.

Believe it or not plants enhance our lives!



“Every citizen who stops smoking, or loses a few pounds, or starts managing his chronic disease with real diligence, is caulking a crack for the benefit of us all.”
Mitch Daniels (born April 7, 1949) is an American politician who is the president of Purdue University and former Governor of Indiana. A member of the Republican Party, he served two terms as governor from 2005 to 2013


Gerard Way (born April 9, 1977) is an American musician and comic book writer who was the lead vocalist and co-founder of the American alternative-rock band My Chemical Romance from its formation in September 2001 until its split in March 2013. He is also executive producer of a band.

Part 2 Depression vs. Anger

September is SUICIDE prevention month.

Depression is a real thing and know there is treatment for it; know what considerations with red flags to look for and what the key factor is for the person who has depression must have to take the first step in controlling it if not resolving depression completely.


Treatment for anger and depression is based on the risk factors present, and is individualized for your specific needs. Treatment may include group therapy to discuss and rationalize anger, stress management exercises or even medications. Learning what causes anger and what can be done to avoid becoming angry are among the main focuses of treatment. Also important is learning what to do when becoming angry, and positive ways to focus feelings instead of becoming aggressive in response.


It’s important to consider all options when deciding to deal with feelings of depression and anger. A physician can make recommendations as to which type of treatment may be best, or he can refer individuals to someone else. People shouldn’t be embarrassed or feel inadequate because they need help but should focus on the strength shown to solicit the help.


Constant feelings of anger and depression can have a negative effect on overall health. People who are depressed and angry more than most are much more likely to suffer from heart-related problems. Anyone who experiences thoughts of harming themselves or suicide should contact a physician immediately for the appropriate treatment.  If you know someone who maybe with this REACH OUT and SPEAK UP to someone significant to that individual and bring that person to an expert to help this individual.  Look what happen to Robin Williams but alcoholism was the key factor in this unique talented man’s cause of suicide, by media.  Now lets look at the average American; the majority of us are not millionaires to billionaires who have everything financially going for us and more.  Now unless the millionaire or billionaire puts themselves in a situation that they gamble their money away and lose everything remember they could have put away a safe chest of money if that happened but if not done that was their choice.  Unfortunately they have to deal with that poor judgment call caused a crash financially but life does not have to be over.   It is the choice of everyone at an adult age (21 y/o and up)  in where they let their  money go but to those not in that situation  going through depression its up to you to make your priorities regarding what is most important to you and making them reachable.  That step to make priorities in what most important to you is all up to you starting it.  Those things bringing you down, reach out to yourself and list what is bringing you down and address them.  If its work search for something new but don’t walk out until you have s0mething new (but money doesn’t make you happy alone).  Again look at Robin Williams, who at one point had everything going for him.  If its your marriage well it takes not 1 but 2 to work on it.  One thing you both could do that would only help you understand each other better is both address their hurts, needs, desires with each other and if none to express to each other with both parties not wanting to work on it or ending line no resolution than part to allow each one live life to its fullest with letting misery start to heal.   If your in the scenario staying together just for the children if you think fighting and being unhappy in front of them all the time; you may want to think twice (their not blind).  If parting to stay on a friends note is better for everyone maybe that is the choice.  Of course without question if its stay together because of quilt or embarrassed in front of others if you split; just FYI these people are not blind in seeing you happy or unhappy with each other and over a long time of seeing the couple fight or unhappy they might even be thinking to themselves they wish you guys were so each individual could be possible happier.  The key factor in starting to figure out what’s best for yourself is to use self discipline and give yourself a chance to figure out the best way to go to resolve it or control it is get HELP.  Where the MD, or group, or psychologist, etc… can assist you whether the depression be alone or with a significant other you might be having depression over (Ex. Marriage).  Ending line if you could have resolved it on your own you wouldn’t still be in depression.   If this is the situation your in at this time of your life,  set up what your top 3 to 5 things most important in your life is that would make life better for you and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT don’t stay in the dark hole!  Your just drowning yourself in misery.  It may sound easier than it actually is but it initially takes YOU to make the first move (if you can’t help yourself than who can you help-Noone).  So make yourself a happier individual to some extent to be a good impact to others or those who would want to be around you.  First to reach there its advised to go to a professional (from MD to counselor to group meetings but not simply yourself (its not recommended to try to resolve this on your own if this depression has been going on for a longtime or over 6mths after a devastating situation in your life.)  It’s better than doing nothing to allow yourself and others around you to be happier.  Good luck.

The current data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.    In 2013, there were 41,149 deaths by suicide in the United States. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death; homicide ranks 16th.  It is the second leading cause of death for 15 – 24 year olds.  *                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         The chart above which shows the Ten Leading Causes of Death in the U.S. in 2013.  For more data, you may visit or  For more comprehensive data, visit the CDC website’s Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS)


General Statistics

  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US for all ages. (CDC)
  • The suicide rates decreased from 1990-2000 from 12.5 suicides per 100,000 to 10.4 per 100,000.  Over the past decade, however, the rate has again increased to 12.1 per 100,000. Every day, approximately 105 Americans die by suicide. (CDC)
  • There is one death by suicide in the US every 13 minutes. (CDC)
  • Depression affects 20-25% of Americans ages 18+ in a given year. (CDC)
  • Suicide takes the lives of over 38,000 Americans every year. (CDC)
  • Only half of all Americans experiencing an episode of major depression receive treatment. (NAMI)
  • 80% -90% of people that seek treatment for depression are treated successfully using therapy and/or medication. (TAPS study)
  • An estimated quarter million people each year become suicide survivors (AAS).
  • There is one suicide for every estimated 25 suicide attempts. (CDC)
  • There is one suicide for every estimated 4 suicide attempts in the elderly. (CDC)

Gender Disparaties

  • Suicide among males is 4x’s higher than among females. Male deaths represent 79% of all US suicides. (CDC)
  • Firearms are the most commonly used method of suicide among males (51%). (CDC)
  • Access to firearms is associated with a significantly increased risk of suicide. (NAMI)
  • Females are more likely than males to have had suicidal thoughts. (CDC)
  • Females experience depression at roughly 2x’s the rate of men.(SMH)
  • Females attempt suicide 3x’s as often as males. (CDC)
  • Poisoning is the most common method of suicide for females. (CDC)

Age Disparaties

  • 1 in 100,000 children ages 10 to 14 die by suicide each year. (NIMH)
  • 7 in 100,000 youth ages 15 to 19 die by suicide each year. (NIMH)
  • 12.7 in 100,000 young adults ages 20-24 die by suicide each year. (NIMH)
  • The prevalence of suicidal thoughts, suicidal planning and suicide attempts is significantly higher among adults aged 18-29 than among adults aged 30+. (CDC)
  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for 15 to 24 year old Americans. (CDC)
  • Suicide is the 4th leading cause of death for adults ages 18-65. (CDC)
  • The highest increase in suicide is in males 50+ (30 per 100,000). (CDC)
  • Suicide rates for females are highest among those aged 45-54 (9 per 100,000). (CDC)
  • Suicide rates for males are highest among those aged 75+ (36 per 100,000). (CDC)
  • Suicide rates among the elderly are highest for those who are divorced or widowed. (SMH)

Racial and Ethnic Disparaties

  • The highest suicide rates in the US are among Whites, American Indians and Alaska Natives.


  • Over 800,000 people die by suicide every year.  (WHO)
  • There is one death by suicide in the world every 40 seconds. (WHO)
  • Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in the world for those aged 15-44 years. (WHO)
  • Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. (WHO)


(Sources: CDC – Center for Disease Control, WHO – World Health Organization, AAS – American Association of Suicidology, NAMI- National Alliance on Mental Illness, NIMH – National Institute of Mental Health, SMH – Screening for Mental Health).



Robin Williams said before he traveled for work again he would return home to San Francisco to spend time with family members, who encouraged him to get help and who keep him going by telling him they love him.

“That’s the bottom line,” he said. “That helps the most, and then the rest is up to me, and God. And then you got to keep working it every day.”

Robin William


Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States. Although it’s common, accurate information about acne can be scarce.

American Academy of Dermatology



Acne is a skin condition that occurs when your hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. Acne usually appears on your face, neck, chest, back and shoulders. Effective treatments are available, but acne can be persistent. The pimples and bumps heal slowly, and when one begins to go away, others seem to crop up.

Acne is most common among teenagers, with a reported prevalence of 70 to 87 percent. Increasingly, younger children are getting acne as well.

Depending on its severity, acne can cause emotional distress and scar the skin. The earlier you start treatment, the lower your risk of lasting physical and emotional damage.

Acne signs and symptoms vary depending on the severity of your condition:

  • Whiteheads (closed plugged pores)
  • Blackheads (open plugged pores — the oil turns brown when it is exposed to air)
  • Small red, tender bumps (papules)
  • Pimples (pustules), which are papules with pus at their tips
  • Large, solid, painful lumps beneath the surface of the skin (nodules)
  • Painful, pus-filled lumps beneath the surface of the skin (cystic lesions) If home care remedies don’t work to clear up your acne, see your primary care doctor. He or she can prescribe stronger medications. If acne persists or is severe, you may want to seek medical treatment from a doctor who specializes in the skin (dermatologist).Seek emergency medical help if after using a nonprescription skin product you experience:
  • The Food and Drug Administration warns that some popular nonprescription acne lotions, cleansers and other skin products can cause a serious reaction. This type of reaction is quite rare, so don’t confuse it with the redness, irritation or itchiness where you’ve applied medications or products.
  • When to see a doctor
  • Faintness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the eyes, face, lips or tongue
  • Tightness of the throat
  • Four main factors cause acne:
  • Oil production
  • Dead skin cells
  • Clogged pores
  • BacteriaHair follicles are connected to oil glands. These glands secrete an oily substance (sebum) to lubricate your hair and skin. Sebum normally travels along the hair shafts and through the openings of the hair follicles onto the surface of your skin.
  • Acne typically appears on your face, neck, chest, back and shoulders. These areas of skin have the most oil (sebaceous) glands. Acne occurs when hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells.


When your body produces an excess amount of sebum and dead skin cells, the two can build up in the hair follicles. They form a soft plug, creating an environment where bacteria can thrive. If the clogged pore becomes infected with bacteria, inflammation results.

The plugged pore may cause the follicle wall to bulge and produce a whitehead. Or the plug may be open to the surface and may darken, causing a blackhead. A blackhead may look like dirt stuck in pores. But actually the pore is congested with bacteria and oil, which turns brown when it’s exposed to the air.

Pimples are raised red spots with a white center that develop when blocked hair follicles become inflamed or infected. Blockages and inflammation that develop deep inside hair follicles produce cyst-like lumps beneath the surface of your skin. Other pores in your skin, which are the openings of the sweat glands, aren’t usually involved in acne.

Factors that may worsen acne

These factors can trigger or aggravate an existing case of acne:

  • Hormones. Androgens are hormones that increase in boys and girls during puberty and cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge and make more sebum. Hormonal changes related to pregnancy and the use of oral contraceptives also can affect sebum production. And low amounts of androgens circulate in the blood of women and can worsen acne.
  • Certain medications. Drugs containing corticosteroids, androgens or lithium can worsen acne.
  • Diet. Studies indicate that certain dietary factors, including dairy products and carbohydrate-rich foods — such as bread, bagels and chips — may trigger acne. Chocolate has long been suspected of making acne worse. A recent study of 14 men with acne showed that eating chocolate was related to an increase in acne. Further study is needed to examine why this happens or whether acne patients need to follow specific dietary restrictions.
  • Stress. Stress can make acne worse.

Acne myths

These factors have little effect on acne:

  • Greasy foods. Eating greasy food has little to no effect on acne. Though working in a greasy area, such as a kitchen with fry vats, does because the oil can stick to the skin and block the hair follicles. This further irritates the skin or promotes acne.
  • Dirty skin. Acne isn’t caused by dirt. In fact, scrubbing the skin too hard or cleansing with harsh soaps or chemicals irritates the skin and can make acne worse. Though it does help to gently remove oil, dead skin and other substances.
  • Cosmetics. Cosmetics don’t necessarily worsen acne, especially if you use oil-free makeup that doesn’t clog pores (noncomedogenics) and remove makeup regularly. Nonoily cosmetics don’t interfere with the effectiveness of acne drugs.
  • Risk factors for acne include:
  • Hormonal changes. Such changes are common in teenagers, women and girls, and people using certain medications, including those containing corticosteroids, androgens or lithium.
  • Family history. Genetics plays a role in acne. If both parents had acne, you’re likely to develop it, too.
  • Greasy or oily substances. You may develop acne where your skin comes into contact with oily lotions and creams or with grease in a work area, such as a kitchen with fry vats.
  • Friction or pressure on your skin. This can be caused by items such as telephones, cellphones, helmets, tight collars and backpacks.

Stress. This doesn’t cause acne, but if you have acne already, stress may make it worse.



Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is the term coined for the neurodegenerative disease often suspected in athletes with histories of repeated concussion and progressive dementia.

Frontiers in Human Science (Published online 2013 May 24.  doi:  10.3389/fnhum.2013.00222).