About Disease, Part 2

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Every action has a reaction

Every action has a reaction

The Immune System is our body’s incredible defense system.  It is made up of various glands, organs, the bone marrow, and highly trained and specialized cells.  Its job is to protect us from disease.  But it can be weakened or strengthened.

A few ways we can weaken our immune systems include: not enough of what cells really need [fresh air, proper nourishment, water, and rapid waste removal]; being overly tired or exhausted; too much negative stress; chemical abuses; too much sugar and saturated fat; a negative attitude; not forgiving others; too little exercise, and more. 

A few ways we can strengthen the immune system:  cool showers or baths; little or no sugar or saturated fats [mostly in animal products]; a balanced plant-based diet; drinking enough plain water; getting lots of fresh air; going to bed before midnight and getting 7-8 hours of sleep; and regular exercise – a powerful strengthener [30 minutes a day for 3-5 days each week], helping others, and more. 

What I’ve Learned: 

  • Every type of uncleanliness can pave the way for disease.  So, keep things clean:

    1. Our skin – bathe regularly to wash off poisons excreted by the skin.

    2. Our clothes – which absorb poisons excreted by skin pores.

    3. Our homes – especially keep the kitchen and bathrooms clean.  Keep the home free from garbage piling up.  Also avoid damp, dark places where germs, molds, and mildew love to grow.  Remove animal waste from the home regularly.

    4. Outside the home – no garbage or decaying anything should be near the house, where the foul smells could be breathed in.

  • Cool showers or baths improve my muscle flexibility and movement, and sharpen my thinking!  Cool allows nerve transmissions to travel faster to the brain and muscles.  Hot temperatures [from climate or fever] slows down nerve transmissions, so I move like a slug.

  • Any regular movement helps improve the function of the nervous system.  I’m moving, and I hope you are too.

  • Moving the body or parts of the body helps me [and probably you too].  For three mornings I’ve been walking, with my walker, up and down the driveway for 20 minutes.  Then after dinner I try to use the elliptical machine for 3 minutes.  And before bedtime I try to do 50 squats in 5 sets of 10 – resting between sets.  I skipped the squats last night, but noticed my muscle strength and balance had increased over what they were last week.  It felt great!  I’m good at putting off exercising.  But now I’m pushing myself because I so want to improve.  It’s possible, because the body responds to the good we do to it.  And daily use of all the Laws of Health works [proper nutrition, exercise, water, sunlight, fresh air, rest, self-control, and trust in Divine power].  I believe this and have seen it!  **We will go over these laws in detail in upcoming Posts. 

  • Years ago, when I first got MS, a friend of my Mother told me this:  “People are going to watch you and see how you deal with this.”  Every day I keep this in mind when I’m at home, go out with my husband, or interact with strangers.  I don’t know what this might mean to you, but for me, I want to be a good ‘ambassador’ for disabled people.

Anyway, that’s all for now. Take good care of yourselves, and see you next week for Autointoxication.

 

Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence

 

 

About Disease

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Every action has a reaction

Every action has a reaction

Next week’s Post will be on autointoxication. It is a big word, a huge topic, and extremely important to our health. In preparation for that Post, I just want to share a few things about disease.

• Disease never shows up out of nowhere. There is always a cause. In the USA [and other developed countries] some of the most common causes are: germs; genetics [‘bad’ genes]; long-term exposure to environmental pollutants; and lifestyle choices – our daily choices about what we eat, drink, and breathe; how we exercise and rest; our thoughts, attitudes, and more. Of these causes, lifestyle choices are the main reason many Americans are sick and dying. Diseases like heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, MS, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, obesity, and more. These diseases, for the most part, can be prevented.

• So called “bad genes’ play a role in diseases forming, but not as big as lifestyle choices. Generally, our daily choices are three times stronger for us getting sick, than our genes. There is a saying that genetics can load a gun, but lifestyle pulls the trigger. Meaning: when we have genes that could cause certain diseases to develop, our lifestyle choices could either ‘turn them on’ [activate] or ‘turn them off’ [inactivate]. Epigenetics is the field of biology that studies this amazing discovery. It gives us hope that we can possibly play a role in preventing some diseases.

• Disease needs the right conditions to develop and grow. Our daily choices help build blood that will either strengthen our bodies so they can grow and fight off disease, or build weak and sickly cells that are easy targets for disease. Making good or poor blood doesn’t just start in adulthood. It is influenced by habits and choices from childhood; choices we made or that others made for us. But we don’t have to stick with bad choices. We can choose to change.

• And this process doesn’t end with us. It can affect our children and possibly our grand-children. When we have children, the choices we have made and the quality of blood and cells we have made, they can lay the foundation for the health or disease in those little ones. But if, like me, your choices have not always been the best, we can start right now to make healthier ones that will help build up our bodies. The body is so awesome, it will respond to every good thing that we do for it.

• The body’s fight against disease also begins with the cells. Enemies to the body are always around us. They enter the body through the air, food, or water; through our eyes, noses, mouths, open cuts, or from dirty hands. Even though numerous enemies can be floating in our blood every day, many of us don’t get sick regularly. Why? Because our immune systems are strong enough to fight them off. Invaders [like bacteria, viruses, fungi, yeasts, parasites, cancer cells, pollutants, chemicals, etc] can only cause illnesses if they can break into our cells. And they can’t break in unless the immune system is too weak to fight. And disease-causing germs don’t go after strong and healthy cells. They are like bullies and go after weak and damaged cells.

To be continued …

Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence

After The Storm, Part 2

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A Few MS Tips for Rebuilding

• The body needs protein, but not as much as we think, and it doesn’t have to come from animals. Everything that grows has some protein.

• When we eat meats, pork, poultry, game, sea foods, etc. – our blood can get a few things from the animals. Like fats, high protein [contributes to osteoporosis and cancers], growth hormones and hormones of fear [released as animals are transported and slaughtered], bacterial and environmental contamination, and antibiotics.

• Animal foods have cholesterol, but no fiber. Plant-based foods have fiber, but no cholesterol.

• 2 strengthening foods to eat once or twice a day: an orange and an apple.

• Most of today’s killer diseases [heart disease, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, etc.] can be prevented by right and regular use of the 8 Laws of Health. And if already sick, health can be improved by their use as well.

• Many experts say we should eat like a king for breakfast [biggest meal], a queen for dinner , and a pauper for supper [smallest meal].

• Don’t skip breakfast. Eat a good one daily. Why? For one, it helps prevent sticky platelets which can form blood clots and lead to heart attacks and strokes. Two, it gives the body good ‘fuel’ to start the day and helps reduce snacking and weight gain. And three, it helps with better learning, memory, and well-being in adults and kids. People who eat a good breakfast are less likely to be irritable – their cells are well fed and happy.

• Each day our bodies need 30 to 50 grams of fiber [best source is from fresh, plant-based foods]. Try getting at least 10 grams of fiber for each meal. Fiber ‘sweeps’ the body clean of excess cholesterol, as well as toxins, and wastes – helping the bowels to move more easily and regularly. The more servings of plant foods you get, the more fiber you’ll get.

• Eating more plant foods will help lower elevated serum cholesterol levels. Their fiber grabs cholesterol and takes it out the body with the feces. The safest cholesterol levels are below 200, the ideal being between 170 and 190.

• Eat a ‘rainbow ’ of colorful plant foods [red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet].  Eat fruits in various rainbow colors with breakfast.  And for dinner, eat vegetables in various rainbow colors. The more colors, the more nutrients you will get.

• Get essential fatty acids – they are healthy fats that the body needs, but cannot make. All cells need them especially brain cells. They are found in flaxseed oil or ground flax seeds [keep both in refrigerator], all beans, nuts [esp. walnuts], cabbages, green leafy vegetables, sesame seeds, squash, whole wheat, wheat germ, and more.

Enriched flour is refined flour [in breads, pastas, crackers, biscuits, etc]. Foods made with this flour look and taste good, but they are missing a lot of what the body needs to function best. If you are going to eat these, eat them with foods that are rich in nutrients [like fruits, vegetables, nuts, or beans].

• Going from a whole wheat grain to white flour requires processing that strips away 24 of the whole wheat’s vitamins and minerals; protein; and 68% of its fiber. Then only four nutrients are replaced, and this flour is labeled ‘enriched’. Read labels and look for flours made from 100% whole grain, multi-grain, stone ground, or sprouted-wheat on your labels.

*Reduce use of sugar, dairy, fatty and greasy foods, caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine.  

*If you are weak, it might be from MS or one or more of these:

  1. Eating too many sugary foods.  They steal B vitamins from the body.  B vitamins help feed the nerves and make energy.

  2. Too much dairy and sugar.  Both increase inflammation.

  3. Not drinking enough water – will make it hard for muscles to work.

  4. Not eating enough calories from wholesome foods.

The best defense against sickness and disease is a strong immune system. It can be weakened by too much sugar, fat, alcohol, animal products; not enough rest, water, sunshine, or exercise; guilt; a mean, selfish, or unforgiving spirit, and more.

• In making healthier changes with the way you eat, drink and live, go slow. Change is hard, but it is possible. Make 1 or 2 changes at a time. With foods, take the foods you love, or find recipes you like, and make them in a healthier way. But the foods should look, smell, and taste good. Because eating is not just nutrition, it’s family, friends, holidays, traditions, enjoyment, and more.

• Whatever good we do for the body, the body will respond. So, even if you don’t see improvements right away, keep making good choices.
 

Even while living with MS, let’s do our best and try to build improved health that we can enjoy every day. OK?  See you next time.

  *Coming soon: A Recipe page, and a post on Autointoxication

Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence

After The Storm: Time To Rebuild

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The “storm” of Multiple Sclerosis, or some other disease, has hit our lives. Damage has been done.  Now what?  Keep doctor appointments and take the medication?  More.  While living with MS we need to  improve whatever aspects of our health that we can.  Like after any big storm to hit our homes, as soon as possible we:
1. Evaluate the damage and see what we needs fixing.  Look at our choices before MS, and see what could have been done better, and do it.  Like, we ate too much processed and refined foods and drank lots of caffeinated beverages.  After the storm we can eat more fresh, plant foods and drink more water.
2. Make plans.
3. Start to clean up, repair, and rebuild – stronger than before MS. This time using better building materials. 

For any rebuilding project tools are needed.  In health and wellness there are 8 Laws of Health, also called 8 Natural Remedies, or Nature’s 8 Doctors.  They don’t get much publicity, but they have been around a very long time, and are used by individuals and Lifestyle Centers [in U.S. and worldwide] to help prevent illness and recover health. 

These laws work together like a team  to help protect us, but should sickness occur, they are used as remedies to help us get well.  They sound simple, but are very powerful.  Use all of them every day for best results.  Today we will just take a brief look at these laws, but in upcoming Posts we will go into detail for each of them.  Here they are.

Proper Nutrition

Healthy Food Choices will be one of the most powerful tools we have to help improve our health, while living with MS.  Here is what two experts say about the importance of food choices.

” … for people who know the power of the plate … They know what we eat can promote health or fuel disease; it can undermine health or prevent, arrest, and reverse common Western killer diseases. It can shorten our life or lengthen it.”
 Reference: The Optimal Diet, THE OFFICIAL CHIP COOKBOOK, by Darlene Blaney, M.Sc., N.C.P. and Hans Diehl, DRHSc., M.P.H., F.A.C.N., Page 4 [on www.Amazon.com]

Food is fuel.  Choose well for good results.  

Water

Thoughts, hearing, bones, muscles – every part and every action, in the body, requires water.

Drink 8 glasses of water daily [slowly so it absorbs better] to keep the blood thin and flowing smoothly, and the body working properly. Take 2 glasses warm water first thing in the morning and add the juice of ½ of a lemon to each glass. This helps rinse the blood and get rid of wastes that accumulated over night. It also helps reduce the stickiness of the blood platelets [clotting cells], which happens in the mornings before breakfast. Why? Most people don’t drink at night and their blood gets dehydrated. This causes the blood to move slowly and the cells to stick together, increasing the chance of blood clots forming. This can cause heart attacks and strokes. Experts say that most heart attacks happen between the hours of 7am and 12 noon.

Don’t drink water [or other beverages] with meals, but before or after eating. Liquids with meals dilute digestive juices and slow digestion.

Regular exercise

Do what you can several days each week.  The body was designed to move.  All its organs, bones, and muscles depend on movement to help keep them strong and working well.

Rest

The body runs on cycles or rhythms.  One of them is work-then-rest. 

Go to bed by 9p or at least before 10p, and sleep 7 to 8 hours. Why? “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” There is truth to that saying. Experts say the best sleep takes place between 9p and 12a. The body runs on a natural, daily, internal clock – circadian rhythms. It takes care of certain things at the same time each day. Certain hormones are produced and released during 9p to 12a, more than at other times through the night, and they repair and rebuild the body. So, for a healthier body and stronger mind, go to bed early.

Sunshine

Don’t go out to burn, but just for short times in the morning or afternoon.  Sunshine is a powerful helper for better health.

Fresh Air

Go outside and breathe deeply of the fresh air to help purify the blood and energize mind and body.  Open windows in the home – when possible.  Or keep some green plants, which help filter out bad air.

Self-Control

Avoid things that are damaging to the body and use good thing moderately.  Too much water or exercise can hurt us. 

Trust in Divine Power

Trust God Who works through these laws/remedies to prevent illness or recover health.

To be continued …

Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence

A Perfect Storm, Part 2

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Lightning from Blue Cloud

 

A Few Facts – cont’d

  • Drugs treat symptoms.  They don’t cure.  That’s why we have to keep taking them.  Drugs also have many side effects.  And for the most part, the body views drugs as poison.  In caring for our health we can’t just take drugs and wait.  We must go after the cause [mainly choices], or the body won’t get much better, no matter how many drugs we take.

  • The body’s cells need 4 basic things to live and do their work.  If they don’t get these, eventually they won’t be able to keep us well.

  1. Oxygen – breathe in lots of fresh air.  Air out your home.

  2. Plain water – cells can’t live without it [not the water in coffee, juice, milk, or soda].

  3. Proper nutrition from a wide variety of plant-based foods [fruits, nuts, seeds, vegetables, 100% whole grains, and beans].

  4. Cleansing – get rid of wastes quickly. 

 

  • There is a saying, “What you eat and drink today walks and talks tomorrow.”  Today’s choices determine how healthy or sickly we will be in times ahead.

  • Disease always has a cause.  We prepare the way for it by our choices.

  • The body can put up with a lot of our wrong choices – for a while.  Then we will see symptoms; really a cry for help.  It needs our help to cleanse and rebuild.  It needs more of the 4 items listed above.  

  • The body is flexible in that, if we do good things for it, it will respond.  Change is possible.

  • A diet rich in a variety of plant-based foods will help protect us from disease, and help us heal if sickness comes.

So, where does A Perfect Storm come from?  I looked back over the years at how I lived and it was horrible.  My little brother reminds me of times I ate cake and ice cream for breakfast.  Dumb.  In Middle School I used lunch money to buy records to dance to at lunchtime.  My lunch?  Brownies and milk.  As an older teen, working and sharing an apartment with a girlfriend, my life was centered on going to the disco.  I worked to pay rent, plus buy outfits for the disco, admission fees for the disco, and transportation to and from the disco.  Food was not a priority.  I ate cake and brownies and drank milk and soda – a lot.  I partied hard and rested little.  Later, I worked like crazy and rested little.  A storm was building from my wrong choices and habits.

For many years my food was mostly refined, processed, and junk – no fiber.  So my elimination was poor.  *Note:  It’s not cute for anyone to have reading material by their toilette.  It’s a sign that someone (s) is in serious trouble; their body is not working right.  We’ll talk more about that in an upcoming post.

While at University, money was often scarce.  At those times I would make batches of instant pancakes or a pot of cornmeal dumplings to eat for each meal [not much nourishment there].  But now, along with my poor nutrition and poor elimination, there was a third factor: stress. 

Nursing School was monster-sized stress, especially those final few weeks.  I was so busy with papers and exams that when a strange symptom appeared, I couldn’t take time to have it checked.  Both legs went numb from the knees down for 1 week!  Crazy.  I believe that was my very first MS symptom. A warning sign.  Had I known to change my choices, who knows what I could have avoided.

Then while working as a graduate Nurse, and training in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit [ICU], I had major stress, plus I got a bad cold – a virus. 

My view:  MS has more than one cause.  In July 1984 A Perfect Storm, of the following 3 systems, came together as MS and slammed me:   *Not sure if getting that bad cold was really a factor.  Or, perhaps there is some other unknown factor.

  1. Poor nutrition for many years

  2. Poor elimination for many years

  3. Stress

Building good health is like building a house.  The materials used and how good a job you do may not be noticed right away.  But when that house faces storms [of stress, tragedy, etc], you will know.  My body put up with my foolish choices for decades, but when the big storm hit, it could not hold up.  I hadn’t built well or made good blood.

We have a disease, that if the experts are correct, it’s most likely due to our lifestyle choices.  I’ve already looked at what I need to change with my choices and habits.  And you should too.  We’ve got to get at the cause and correct it, then give the body what it needs.  If we don’t, getting better is not going to happen.  And we may even get other diseases.  It’s like weeding the garden.  Pull up the complete root or that weed will grow back.

 

That’s all for now.  If you have any questions let me know.  And if you like these Posts, would you be so kind and share them with others?  See you next week.

 

Copyright © Regina Spence

A Perfect Storm

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Lightning from Blue Cloud

I recently looked at a 5th Grade Thesis done by a very sweet young lady, back in 2004. Twelve year old Victoria [name and material used with her Mom’s permission] interviewed me as one of 7 people, who she felt, had overcome a handicap. I was honored to be asked, but for me, accepting a life with MS was a long process. Some days I had it. Some days I didn’t. But I finally got it. Yeah!

 For the interview Victoria [now a sophomore in University] asked many excellent and thought-provoking questions, and was so professional. I’d like to share three of those questions and answers with you.

1. “Would you ever wish you could go back to how you were before?”
My answer: “No. Not at all. Before I was very selfish.”
*I must add, I was not too interested in other people’s needs. MS humbled me and shaved off ugly parts of my personality and character. It helped me notice and care about others, especially those who were struggling. I have heard and read the testimonies of those, who had accidents and physical losses, but got the lessons and blessings hidden within. They too said they would not go back to their old selves. Sure, I miss doing certain things, but MS has made me a better person on the inside. I’m happy with that person and I wouldn’t go back.

2. “What are the most important things; guidelines you would tell people today about life? What is the most important thing (s) that we should be doing with our lives?” My answer –
1. “Take care of your health
2. Find ways to make life better for others. When you do this, life becomes pretty.
3. Treasure the (good) things that you have, like good health. It could change tomorrow.”

3. “Is there something you wish you would have done differently in your life?” My answer –
“Yes. I wish I had eaten better when I was young. Also, I wish I’d sought more help and not struggled for so many years.”

It was this last answer that brought to mind a theory I’ve held for many years. It’s my theory. No proof anywhere but in my experience. But I want to share it because many of you are wondering why and how you have this disease. And some wonder why they aren’t getting better.  Maybe this will inspire much thought.

 
I call this theory A Perfect Storm. Because I could pin point two of my wrong habits, plus stress, which all came together like a powerful storm, and broke out on me in the form of MS. When I read about disease formation, my conclusion is this: I think I did this to myself. A doctor once told me not to think that way. But when I look at the facts, I can’t ignore them.

Just A Few Facts
 • In spite of all the modern advances, sickness and degenerative diseases are increasing [like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, MS, obesity, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and more].
• Most of the diseases that are common in developed nations [like U.S.A.], are related to lifestyle choices. These are choices about what we eat and drink; if we exercise or smoke; how much rest and fresh air we get, our attitudes, and more.
• Genetics plays a role in people getting diseases, but not as much as our choices.
• To have good health, good blood is a must. How do we get good blood if we can’t see or touch it? By eating and drinking healthy foods that will build it. What we eat and drink gets transformed to help make blood. The blood then feeds the cells, repairs damaged parts, and builds up the body. We need to make sure that we don’t put anything into our bodies that can’t be made into good blood.
 

To be continued …

Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence

Watching Mom, Part 2

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Watching Mom, Part 2

Mom on ship returning to Florida

Mom on ship returning to Florida

 

In that moment, at the airport, Mom set the tone for how we would deal with MS – for then and always.  I don’t believe she meant we would cure it.  She was an Occupational Therapist [OT], and for years had taught patients how to adjust and live their best lives after a loss; to see what they could do or learn to do with the abilities they had left.  She was also passionate about having them knock the “t” off  “I can’t”.  I was her next patient.

Mom’s rehab was not a “piece of cake”.  For example:  “Out of bed by 8am.  Naps were allowed, but no sleeping until noon.”  I could sleep 10 or more hours and still be tired.  “Eat lots of fresh fruits, nuts and seeds.”  And, “Find something to do each day.  No sitting around and watching TV all day.”  Whatever she said, I did it.  Surprisingly, the more I did, the more I could do. 

It was only recently that I understood that, by getting me up and active, Mom was following a principle of health.  Those who are weakened by disease or injury should have something light and useful to do each day – suited to their condition.  This helps to occupy their thoughts, time, and attention on something other than themselves.

Dad’s version of rehab was having me go to his awning shop.  I was shaky and clumsy, and my speech was slurred, but he had me work at the front desk.  I was embarrassed, but answered the phones and helped customers.  And little by little those symptoms went away.  Then my younger brother got involved.  He ‘instructed me’ to ride 5 miles a day on his stationary bike and bounce on his mini trampoline.  I’d biked a lot before MS.  But with poor balance it wasn’t easy.  Dad and Mom combined efforts to strengthen my leg muscles by walking me  on the beach.  They each held one of my hands, like I was a toddler, and walked me along the shore.  When I think of those times my heart overflows with love for all my family. 

After being home about two months, I noticed my condition had improved.  Was it from the Prednisone [steroids], or my family’s love, support, and rehab?  I believe the steroids helped my body.  But my family helped my body, mind, and spirit.  Then Mom gave me a surprise.

One day she casually said, “It’s time for you to go back.”  Go back where I asked her?  “To your life”, she said.  Terrified of the thought, I told her, I can’t.  She said, “Yes you can.  You’re ready.”  I couldn’t argue with Mom’s motherly and professional evaluation of my condition. 

I returned to Illinois and my job.  For a while it was hard.  I tried working part-time, but had to reduce it to casual.  I don’t know how I made it financially – except for God’s goodness.  Eventually I got stronger and was able to do full-time, and even 12 hour shifts!

Those were very dark days for me.  But I will never forget how my family and dear friends did all that they could to help me be strong and get better. 

 

MS Tips

  • Life changes.  Adjust.  Compensate [can’t do that, but can do this].  And try to live your best life.

  • Attitude matters.  Thoughts and feelings affect our health and ability to heal.  We will feel the way we think. So, choose to think and speak positively – to yourself and to others.  

  • Support systems are crucial.  If yours is not positive, seek out people or groups who are, and can help you on your journey with this disease [like from church or MS support groups].

  • Feed the body so it can make more energy and do its repair, healing, and detox work better.  Best foods?  More fresh fruits, nuts, seeds, vegetables [also 100% whole grains and beans].  Or fresh juices.  They are loaded with vitamins, minerals, other elements that feed the cells.  My favorites: carrot, celery, and beet juice or pineapple and strawberry.

  • If needed, ask your doctor for a referral to:

    • A Social Worker – to learn about financial options while you’re unable to work.  I didn’t know of any for a long time and struggled.

    • Physical Therapy [PT,]  – to learn how to move and use mobility devices.  For over 10 years I used a cane the wrong way.  My body was thrown out of alignment.  When I got PT, I learned how to use a cane and walker.

    • Occupational Therapy  – to help you live with your present abilities.  And to evaluate your home for any accessibility improvements.

Well, that’s all for now.  Any questions?  Let me know if there anything you want to hear more about?  See you next week.

 

Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence