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VN Featured Comment
Comfortable, stylish alternatives to high heels
Fashion & Beauty
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Today’s Featured Comment

From DJ

I grew up in the southeast and wore heels and ridiculously high wedges when I was younger because that was “the fashion.” I am now a 64 year old “comfort & support” convert. I prefer a heel of 1 to 1.5 inches, though occasionally I’ll purchase a 2 inch heel in a shoe that is well balanced and classic. I will also buy I a sandal, comfort shoe, or sneaker that is flat, provided the brand is committed to great soles and support. (Truly, a totally flat shoe can be as bad, or worse on the foot as a stiletto.)

Thankfully, shoe manufacturers are starting to “get it” and are beginning to make shoes that are both comfortable and stylish. Now, if only more brands would manufacture shoes in more widths other than medium, I’d be very happy indeed.
Unfortunately, the brands that fit me best are also fairly expensive, (I have a normal footbed, but a very narrow heel) so I’m very careful about my purchases. My faves for summer are Naot, Gentle Souls, Fly Flot, and Donald Pliner, and Cole Haan.

In winter I live mostly in cowgirl boots, but in Wyoming it would be impractical to wear anything else. Out here – you’ll go to dinner and cocktails, and see everything from cowgirl boots to flats to heels … and nobody cares. I love that. I had rather wear a pair of fabulous Old Gringo cowgirl boots any day than a 3″ high pair of Mano Blahniks or Jimmy Choos, but that’s just me.
High heels can be beautiful, but they aren’t worth the price our feet must pay to wear them. If you are willing and able, wear what you love.


[This comment was originally posted in this conversation. ~ Eds.]

Anxiety and pregnancy
Family & Relationships
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Long story short my son married a girl who suffers with panic attacks.. they have a beautiful healthy smart 3 year old daughter. When pregnant for her ( my grandaughter)  my daughter in law reduced her meds but continued taking them .. when our grandaughter was 6 months she tried going off them altogethere within a year was back on them . I have really tried to stay supportive but i do have issues about prescription drugs having come from a family of PD abusers.. we had discussed tht facet that she felt fortunate that our grandaughter escaped with no side effects  or defects caused by the use. I do fully understand that to have discontinued them at the time cold turkey could have had drastic results for the mama. 

my issue now is they had been trying to get pregnant and did lost it after only a few weeks. then continued trying now pregnant again but continuing on the meds .. cut herself down to have  and has started having panic attacks again naturally because of the quick cut down ( I think) …i dont knoww i am just so worried and trying not to judge but i don t understand why she wouldnt have dealt with it before getting pregnant again.. i guess i may be being selfish but not lloking forward to the next 7 months of this..  I take care of the little one a lot already..and my son takes amazing care of her as well.. but he also does most of the cooking and cleaning and runs a company… we all work together.. oh my i dont know what i am asking i am at my wits end.. maybe i need to see someone before i go crazy!. sorry for the vent… I

Flower Bear
Pomp and Circumstance
Other Topics
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When I think of the month of May, I think of three things: gardening (of course), Mothers Day, and graduations. I live surrounded by colleges, with two campuses of the State University of New York to my North and South, Ithaca College to my west, and three community colleges here and there. From mid-May on, the strains of “Pomp and Circumstance” can be heard pouring from stadiums and auditoriums every weekend. The last graduation I went to, but certainly not my last – not with 5 grandchildren – was for my oldest granddaughter when she graduated high school. I remember listening to all the speeches about how their lives were just beginning, and how they were being challenged to go out there and make a difference. My reaction to what the speakers were saying was that they were leaving out some really important things that I thought these young people should know. I wanted to tell them all about the next school of higher education they were about to enter – The School of Life.

I wanted to tell them that learning never, ever ends and that one does not graduate from the School of Life. Instead, one just continues to master one subject after another. We learn to think and act on our own without our parents to guide us. We learn about relationships, love, marriage, children, and work. We also find out that some of the things we learned growing up don’t necessarily hold water now that we are adults, and that we have the power to not only change our lives, but to change the world if that is our calling. We learn that the most powerful teacher of all is the one that lives inside, the voice that whispers to us when we’re not on our chosen path. We learn that becoming all that we can be requires us to be flexible and open to change. We learn that hate never solved anything, but that love can solve everything. We learn that we are enough … at least most of us do. I want to tell them that they don’t have to wait until they’re in their 60’s to learn that particular lesson like I did. Nobody should have to wait that long to master that particular class.

So to the Class of 2015, I send my love, my prayers for a happy, healthy and exciting tomorrow, and one piece of advice to take with you as you begin this new journey: Bloom Where You’re Planted. Be the best “you” that you can possibly be regardless of where you find yourself. If you do that, you can’t help but make the world a more beautiful place just because you’re in it.

You may now throw your caps in the air!

And so it is.


Flower Bear
In Defense Of Weeds
Home & Garden
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Hello, my name is Dandelion, and I am a weed … at least that’s what you call me. I am actually a plant just like other plants. I was put here on this earth to be of service and fulfill my purpose. Oh, you only think I’m a nuisance because I’m growing where you want to plant one of your frilly, pretty flowers. I happen to think that yellow is a beautiful color. After all, the sun is yellow, and where would your pretty pink flowers be without the sun, I ask you? Besides, I have so much more value than you realize. Your ancestors knew how to use every inch of me, from my roots, to my greens and my pretty yellow flowers as well. I am medicine for when you are sick, vitamins to help your body grow strong, and even wine to sooth you. My yellow color makes an awesome paint … I can paint the sun! Can your frilly pink flowers do that, huh?

The reason I a writing to you today is because the way you humans treat us is the way you treat each other. If someone is perceived to be different, if they don’t “fit in” with the rest of the crowd, you don’t want them around. Very often they are given labels that are derogatory and hurtful. Just as often, however, they have gifts and talents you would be surprised to learn … if you bothered to take the time to learn them instead of just writing them off as “those people.” It is more than likely that where they come from, not only are they considered beautiful and talented, but they would consider you to be “those people.” In many parts of the word, dandelions are grown ON PURPOSE (wrap your head around that one) as medicine. Do you humans even know why you’re here, or what your purpose is? Maybe you should give that one some thought before you start labeling others as “weeds.”

P.S. You’re just jealous anyway because we can still grow in the millions despite all of your hard work to get rid of us!

P.P.S. This post was written after Flower Bear spent a very hot and buggy morning pulling weeds to prep the new garden … and she apologized to every dandelion she pulled out. She’s nice that way.

And so it is.


Dr. Anna Garrett
5 Ways to Make Peace with Skin Changes in Menopause
Healthy Living
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One of my Hormone Harmony Club members recently had a hysterectomy. Within 4 weeks, she was posting questions about how to address the skin changes she was already starting to notice…wrinkles, sagging and dryness.

With the exception of puberty, there is no more challenging time for your skin than when you go through menopause (or in this case, instant menopause caused by the hysterectomy). Roller coaster hormones make all kinds of skin problems fair game in this time of your life.

With estrogen on the wane as menopause progresses, testosterone steps up to wreak havoc when it comes to what’s happening on your face. Surges of testosterone cause acne on your face, neck, back and chest. Stress also creates contributes to changing hormone levels and may make you more likely to break out.

While testosterone muscles up on the acne front, decreasing estrogen is working to break down your collagen and elastin and thin the dermis, leading to fine lines and wrinkles. You may also notice that your skin lacks the glow that it once had and that broken capillaries are appearing just below the surface of your skin. Hair becomes thinner and nails may break more easily.

So, what’s a gal to do? While these problems may seem like big obstacles to overcome, there are some simple things you can do to restore balance to your body and your skin.


Exercise increases your circulation and gets oxygen to your tissues. Not only will you feel better, but your skin will thank you.

Eat Clean

Approximately 30 percent the calories you consume should be from carbohydrates, and of those carbohydrates, the majority should come from fresh fruits and vegetables high in vitamins and minerals. Forty percent of your diet should be in the form of lean protein, and 30 percent from healthy fats. Keep salt to a minimum to avoid fluid retention.


Our bodies are mostly water. And our skin is our biggest organ. Makes sense, then, that you need lots of water to keep your skin healthy. Aim for at least ½ oz. per pound of body weight. This will flush your system and help your skin reclaim its glow.


The likelihood of skin cancer goes up as you age, especially if you were an “iodine and baby oil” teenager (you know who you are). Daily use of a broad-spectrum SPF is a must in all skincare regimens, but avoid sunscreen that contains hormone disruptors (avobenzone and oxybenzone).

Choose Cosmetics and Skin Care Wisely

As important as what goes into your body is what goes on your body. Choosing a skincare regimen that is right for you is vital. Look for products that use pharmaceutical-grade ingredients. You can find out more about the safety of your cosmetic products at

I also recommend having a consultation with a holistic aesthetician who can guide you in the use of herbs and oils for your skin. This can save you a LOT of money in the long run AND keep your skin looking beautiful.