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Solano Stories

Siblings

Written By: Rex Solano - Oct• 15•14

Note: This blog is written by Hyla Solano

It is a hard thing to do, keep in touch and genuinely keep the closeness with siblings; with our busy lives of priorities, appointments, friends, and basically all else. We take it for granted this family we grew up with; that they will be there forever and always. But the closeness can fade from lack of togetherness and friends and other “new” families (husband, wife, kids, etc.) now become the first priority. Sad but many times inevitable.
Siblings are a unique breed of family. You don’t get to choose. They are just there when you grow up whether you like it or not. But you can foster a bond that is unimaginably unbreakable if you all wish it so. If one doesn’t then you can try to convince them but it takes two. First of all you don’t have to look around for someone about your age (most of the time you’ll are 2-4yrs apart). All of you come from the same background environment so maybe the general rules of life would be similar. That’s 50% of the battle when trying to find good friends-same ages, similar outlooks, and maybe same racial background. People would say what? My sister/brother be my friend? Why not?
The problem starts as they get older they develop individual personalities that may or may not clash with yours. The differences start to be a problem and the fights begin, mostly because you’ll live in close proximity! The key is to weather this time of growing up together to be bearable so you don’t end of hating each other until adult reasoning chimes in. Sometimes the damage is irreversible and bonds are lost for many years, sometimes forever.
As adults, it’s harder to repair bonds that have been damaged or severed but it can be done if both sides are willing to work at it. One person cannot do it all. It needs to be a relationship whereby both sides are satisfied of the outcome. That is easier said than done obviously.

The Ultimate Challenges Of Our Faith

Written By: Rex Solano - Oct• 08•14

Despite my physical condition due to a surgical operation which restricted me from traveling, heavy lifting, bowling among other things, I made a very risky decision that plausibly would have endangered and compromised my health. After receiving sad news from my cousin that my mother had suffered a stroke, I felt like a rumbling rock was trying to crush me against the wall. As I was told, my Mom was confined in the Intensive Care Unit at St. Gabriel Hospital in Kalibo. Without any hesitancy, my wife and I took immediate flight to my home place in the barrio of Ondoy. Sadly, it was indeed very traumatic news and disconsolate to hear after having had a good conversation with her the prior week on the phone then the most painful setback she had ever incurred. I renounced myself to the probity of any given circumstances that I will still be able to see my mom alive. At the age of 90 years old, I concurred with God’s will that the equilibrium of our own fate and destiny is in His hands. Gone now are the splendor and past glories of what my mom and I were trying to envision about the progress of greater tomorrow. Oh yes, we always talked about the good old days, our future and how I would be able to continue supporting her financially till she reached the age of 100. For so many years I was able to make her happy whenever I called her on Friday afternoon (Hawaii Time) which is Saturday morning in Philippines. She was always in her usual mood, happy and vibrant, and so inspired to tell me all about her new-found craze and that is to widen the horizon of her business. She sought my advice of what kind of business would be best to deal with especially in a small barrio of Ondoy where the discountenance of poverty decries so loud for mercies. Surprisingly, she did not vent her desire to solicit from me furthermore. But I promised her that I will go home this coming January 2015 to help and support her business endeavor, maybe at some point, be able to expand to her business venture if the opportunity arises. She was so ecstatic to hear of my pending vacation, much more trying to convince me to come home in August to attend the Ondoy Senior San Roque fiesta instead of January. I told my mom that I cannot go home in August because I just had a neck surgery (Fusion of the upper spine bones) that required for me to recuperate for about 3 to 6 months. But how fate would have dictated the circumstantial event of her wish for me to come on August instead of January? It was on that fateful day of August 4 that changed the complexities of my life, as I received very distressing news that my mom had suffered a stroke. It was one of the most painful and heartbreaking news I ever received in so many years of enjoyable gift and happiness that God had bestowed upon me. I muttered in silence the words that only God and I would be able to hear. Now I do believe that nothing in life is all pure joy and pleasure, for I believe in the equanimity of God’s Law, that the way we live is measured by how God wants us to experience also the pain, sadness and sorrow. My wife had accompanied me and while we were on the plane, so many inevitable thoughts tried to dance in my mind. Pretending to be sleeping, I reminisced her 90th birthday which we had celebrated last year, the face of a satisfied and grateful woman, as beautiful and accomplished in her momentous life of yore. But in her present condition now, I am neither inclined nor willing to confront the sudden changed scenario, the contrasting environment, where pity and sadness will drown my innermost feeling. I admit I am not used to this. My mom is the only reason that I always make my plan to take a vacation in Ondoy. Now I am so scared. Never has this feeling of cowardice trying to undermine the strength of my personal character. I had never been so afraid in my life even when ultimate death comes face to face with me while I was assigned in a war torn country of Vietnam. I froze at the thought that the preponderance of negative thinking is about to unfold. It is always a real threat to our own belief when we are presumably disheartened to face the real situation in life. I was prepared to resign to the inevitable and inescapable adversary of misfortunes; for I believe that tragedies befalling us are not the doing of God but our own way of disregarding the significant of medical symptomatic advice. Even I too was a culprit of my own doing because I did not listen to my personal doctor.
Arriving at the Ibajay District Hospital was not a pretty sight to comfort my own feeling. There she was confined in bed with Nasogastric tube inserted through her nostril and down to her stomach. I flinched with a sigh of pity, agonizing in anguish toward my mom as I imagined how uncomfortable it is to have the fluids and other substances passes through her nose. Also an Intravenous tube was injected within her veins. I felt so numbed and helpless. I don’t know how long she will be confined in the hospital, but as a son, nothing else has there been for me to do but to offer my undying love and affection, to give her strength and wishing her a speedy recovery. Through prayers and believing in miracles, I leave everything up to God, the ultimate Savior of all our undertakings in life.

” Everything Happens For A Reason” – Robin Williams

Written By: Rex Solano - Aug• 17•14

While the death of American actor and comedian Robin Williams was sad and tragic, we cannot exculpate nor dignify his action as being a true exemplary role model for others to follow. He may have shared his comedic acts of joy and laughter, his warm love for those whose lives he touched and his inspirational words of wisdom to those he liked to impart, but to end his life ingloriously in an apparent suicide is as disdain and unheralded to those who believe that to take one’s own life is a sin and forbidden in one of the Tenth Commandment of God ” Thou shall not kill.” Though we mourned sadly for his passing, nothing good comes out of venerable vintage to appease us with our own personal conclusions, but grief and sorrow for the course of choice he took. This reminds me of one of his inspirational quote that “everything happens for a reason.” And so on August 11, 2014, actor Robin Williams at the age of 63 tragically committed to end his life, unbeknownst to us the burden he carried in his heart, the excruciating pain so insufferable for him to bear, again he chose a disgraceful exit in life that leaves all of his fans in the entertainment industry shocked and stunned in disbelief. And so we ask? Why did a man who was so successful in his glamorous movie career would in turn chose another way out? Indeed it was a profound loss for what other celebrities claimed of Robin Williams as a comic genius, beautiful artist and a loving human being. As I was trying to analyze what he meant when he said in one of his memorable quote that “everything happens for a reason,” I came to grapple with a foreboding thought that actor Robin Williams must have envisioned the mixed realities of how life can be challenged and endured. Beset for years battling with severe depression, drug dependency and alcohol abuse, he leads his life privately and quietly that the news of his untimely death due to apparent suicide had devastating effects to his love ones, close friends and entire follower of fans. As an actor, Robin Williams was adored, loved and glorified due to his comic genius and rarity of talents, a man I followed for his acting ability like enjoying watching his movies ” Good Morning Vietnam,” ” Good Will Hunting,” ” Mrs. Doubtfire,” just to name a few; his death rendered me speechless in an unbelievable manner reacting to the question, why? Perhaps I may not know all the reason why at 63 years of age, he chose death over the life; the gift God had given to him. Any imaginative forces of knowledge and logic will adhere to the facts that suicide is a sin. In an article I read has given me a relatively religious theory that says in part that “ any suicide committed of a well-known person has been known to give suicidal thoughts to other people.” Suicide is not to be condoned, and also to sensationalize the ever presence of depression problems. Life is worth living for and worth fighting to the last gasped of our breath. Robin Williams had given us all the joys and laughter through all the years as we had followed his illustrious and distinguished movies and TV careers. What remains now are lasting memories, the unphysical presence of an actor we endeared so greatly. We come to bade farewell as he is laid to rest. To his wife and children, I offer my sincerest condolence. As the nation mourns the loss of Robin Williams, I join with them to offer my fervent prayer that through difficult times of years of depression, we must embrace to find love, understanding and forgiveness that eternal salvation may be achieved through the Divine Intervention of God.

When The Sun No Longer Rises

Written By: Rex Solano - Jul• 25•14

How fitting to see the flow of my life so encouraging and inspiring giving me a chance to be thankful about a gift of life I received from God. To live to this day is but a blessing and a gift itself. And as I continue to appreciate and marvel the natural beauty surrounding thy heavenly earth, there is more to life than living in a world of turmoil and unrest. I love to see the sun continuing to shine brightly on me and the blowing of the winds that daintily seep through the nostrils of the freshly air I breath. Once in a while I can feel the rains stomping on the ground with the rumbling of thunder and the incandescent spark of lightning made me worry that the world is about to end. And so I fear! But how the years and days could transgressed into our lives beholding and recalling the unforgettable moments that we can no longer brings to life? Ah! Memories, a very fascinating time to replenish our thoughts with the passing of such magnifying joy of heralded accomplishments; a proud moment in life when all my children had reached the pinnacle of their goals and a great potential to even outgrow them. And what else do I have to share and foretell? Oh, yes I still remember those 14 years and 7 months to this day enjoying my retirement from Federal job which I always considered my second home. After working for almost 30 years, I had experienced that feeling of sadness, the cruelties of longing the servility of those past alliances with some of my old friends. I began to wonder what happened to all my co-workers. Are they still alive and what have they been doing? When I have time, I scan the obituaries and tears begin to shed when I see the name of my co-worker whom I shared some happy moments and shouldered the burdens of the work we did together. Some of my co-workers I did not have any good rapports as we always argued about the jobs I assigned to them. I was a transportation dispatcher for Material Department and I don’t condone nor did I believe that any driver had an easy task assigned to them. For me, fair is fair and at the end the fairness makes everyone happy. One time, one of the drivers complained about being singled out. True in my heart I did not really mean to fall into such predicament but the situation asked for it as I was caught in a bind due to lack of manpower. So I assigned him the job that most drivers hated to do. He yelled and swore at me in front of other drivers. He shouted at me, cursing me “ f#ck you ” and then I yelled back, “ F#ck you too.” Those were instances that become a common ground of insults and swearing but never did I hold a grudge against him, and after so many years of working together we became the best of friends. Dennis died so many years ago and those I had an ounce of regret; glancing at the passing of time I remember now that the sun no longer will be rising for him. He was younger than me and at my age, I still am able to see the rising and the setting of the sun. Sometimes we wonder if the way we lead our lives has something to do with it. No, as I shook my head, it cannot be as I bemoan the efficacy of innumerable differences how we handle the task being presented. Too often, there comes a time when our faith is tested. And regardless of the trying and difficult times, those trials and tribulations that we all must undergo, we must not allow ourselves to unclasp those hands in prayer, the wounded knees kneeling and begging for mercy, for there is no other person so divine and powerful, when the time to ask for help, we come to seek God Himself. I may be too secretive and held upon in silence the irreverence of being a troubled man. But deep in my heart, I am prepared to miss the rising sun as we are not bound to live forever. Each morning we are always looking for the sun to beam a ray of light upon our lives. Each morning we are always happy to begin our daily lives with a fresh start. And so as Ramayana was trying to remind me that ” just as a building supported by strong pillars decays in course of time and comes down, so do men pass away, being victims of old age and death.” Though sometimes it may rain thus suppressing the brilliant appearance of the sun, but we are still fortunate if ever we can come to the delights of seeing the sun shining on us for a promising life and brighter tomorrow.

A Modern-Day Guide to Living with Substance and Style: What Would Michelle Do? – Allison Samuels

Written By: Jsol - Jun• 30•14

I am obsessed with strong independent women! I truly believe there needs to be more of us out there! Allison Samuels touches on every facet of the 21rst Century woman by using Michelle Obama as a role model. This is the “How-To” book to juggling life as a FLOTUS (I am always highly amused by this acronym, First Lady of the United States).

Who knew that I could relate to Michelle Obama so well? I mean yes, we have our obvious differences: I am not African-American, I didn’t go to law school, I wasn’t raised in a racially tense environment, and I am not the First Lady, but I still think every young hardworking woman can learn a lot from how she lived her life.

When I was in high school, I always had the notion that your life was mapped out for you in some way. I felt that everyone who was currently in their career knew exactly where they wanted to be and where they wanted to go since high school. Like my mom for example, she had worked for the same company since she was 18! The idea of being stuck with a company and that every decision you make in terms of your career would be set in stone was terrifying. My mom had to set me straight and tell me nothing is permanent. She would always say, “You can do this for now to build your resume until you work your way to what you truly want to do.” She was definitely right and the more people I talk to, the crazier the stories become as to how people wind up in their current profession. It was also true in Michelle’s case, which made me feel at ease that we can eventually find a job that we truly love. She also dealt with this decision around the same age that I am today. I feel that passion is so important and without it you live a half-life. I admire everyone who has a true passion and a dream they are attempting to reach. I think without that you’re living a complacent life. Whether you don’t make it or are still continuing to make it, I think that all avenues of achieving your passion are commendable, you’re fighting for something important and worth living!

“For me fashion is fun, and it’s supposed to help you feel good about yourself. I think that’s what all women should focus on: what makes them happy, and feeling comfortable and beautiful.I wear what I love. Sometimes people love it, sometimes they don’t, I’m fine with it.” – MO

“I never want to be a woman viewed as overly concerned with the way she looks. As a woman I know that feeling good about myself is just as important as looking good to others. I want my daughters to feel the same way.” -MO

I LOVE FASHION just as much as the next girl! In the past, I’ve worked in the makeup industry and the IT industry. Being on both sides gave me a perspective of how much society still associates looks and pretty makeup with the ditsy and the dumb. The girly side of me enjoyed fashion and makeup, which led me to work at Sephora for a while. However, the challenge wasn’t there for my puzzle-loving brain, thus I made the transition into software, which is what I currently do. One thing I will never do and still continue not to do is compromise who I am for the things I love. You can always expect that I will be wearing something sparkly or glittery. After all, my nickname at work was “Sparkles” and it was no secret that I loved the color gold. I am notorious at work for wearing makeup, high heels, and being a fashionista with my work ensembles, but don’t let it fool you, I can still troubleshoot tough client issues like the next person.  You can still look beautiful and feminine while showing your intelligence.  Michelle has had her share of fashion faux pas as First Lady, but at the end of the day what mattered was that she looked good, felt comfortable, and put together. I know a lot of ladies who would disagree with me on this one, but I truly believe you should take the time to make yourself look good. I can’t tell you where I got my girly girl gene from, seeing that my mom doesn’t care much for any of that stuff, but I absolutely love when I can put my “face” on for the day and conquer the world. I have had some people say, “Well, doesn’t that make you insecure if you always have to put your makeup on everyday!” I reply, “OF COURSE NOT!” It means I care about myself and I do it because it makes me feel good. There’s a difference when you’re putting on makeup for yourself or for others! I’ve also had some people say comments such as, “There’s no one to impress at work so I just don’t feel the need to do any of that stuff.” There may be no one at work I want to impress either, but I do need to impress myself! I dress up because I love it and it feels good! You only have one body and one face why not make the most of it and show the world how beautiful you are! It’s not always about making yourself look like a cover model, it’s about enhancing your existing beauty. Women should take more pride in themselves! Don’t get me wrong, I love my weekend yoga-pants, t-shirts, and no make-up wearing days too! Every girl needs those every once in awhile, but when you’re conquering the world, take care of yourself and always do what makes you happy!

I too, like Michelle, am a bargain shopper. TJ Maxx, Ross, Marshalls, and Burlington Coat Factory are the stores I frequent. I go there so much that the TJ maxx cashier really thought it would be in my best interest to open a store credit card (Obviously, I resisted). Every time I wear pieces from these stores, people always think I got it somewhere fancy or I shop at crazy high-end stores, but I just find good deals at these shopping outlets. I’ve purchased Michael Kors clothes, shoes, and bags countless times, where I purchase them at almost an 80% discount and it may be last season but it’s still great quality and fashionable. Michael Kors is my all-time favorite brand since his look reminds me of a stylish classy lady and he always incorporates gold into his pieces.

“The Warrior Friend: The friend who protects you and your interests at all costs. The one who makes sure you are taking care of yourself. She’ll go down fighting for your good name to the end. These friends aren’t easy to find.”

Michelle has such a close relationship with her mom and her mom was actually the first mother to stay at the white house as live-in staff. My mom is truly my best friend and I am blessed to have such a shining example. She has shared so much wisdom with me over the years, sometimes when she says things, my brothers and I look at each other in disbelief. Where did she get that from? or How does she know this stuff? It amazes me everyday. I never would’ve imagined I could live away from home, but with technology today, I am able to text my mom everyday and call her, which keeps us close. My mom has always encouraged me as the only girl in the family to keep working hard. My mom was very good at making her expectations of us known without actually telling us, which is a powerful parenting gift. She held a great balance of love and discipline. She knows how to instill a distinct lesson of right and wrong. My mom also happens to be one that is very critical of all the men I’ve ever dated. In most families, it’s usually the dad to watch out for and the mom is usually the easy-going parent that loves all of the men you bring home, but mine is quite the opposite. With my mom being highly critical of all the men I have dated, it instilled in me how much I was worth and that is so important for a woman. Sometimes we think the next man we see that is good looking, has a decent job, and a car is the one we are going to marry, but somehow my mom’s critical voice in my head always said, “You could do better!” Any time I would debate on whether a man was right for me or if he did something that made me second-guess whether he should stay in my life, my mom was always quick to say “You don’t need him. Move on.” hahaha. It was like one strike, he’s out. It makes me extremely picky, which I am grateful for, but I know my mom wants nothing but “close to perfection” for me.

“I began to prioritize exercise because I realized that my happiness was tied to how I feel about myself.” – MO

“I have freed myself to put me on the priority list and say yes, I can make choices that make me happy.” – MO

“Before marrying Barack, Michelle made the most of being a young single woman… she did quite frankly whatever she wanted to do with her own time. Being in a relationship where you share the highs, lows, ups, and downs of life can be a beautiful thing, but having the chance to spend some quality time with yourself is something to relish. The best part? Once your soul mate makes an entrance, you’ll be mentally relaxed, emotionally refreshed, and physically ready to welcome him with open arms.”

“Barack didn’t pledge riches, only a life that would be interesting. On that promise he’s delivered.”

What I love most about Michelle is how she lived her life before meeting Barack. How much I wish this for all my close girlfriends, niece, cousins, sisters, best friend’s daughters, and sophisticated ladies of the world! Michelle worked on herself 100% until she found Barack and I feel that is so important in today’s society. We have come a long way with women now entering the workforce and having equally powerful positions as men. I think so many of us women still define ourselves based on our relationship status. I can not say I don’t struggle with this as well, but when I talk to some of my close friends even some that are older, their conversations revolve around the crazy men that come and go in their life. I am definitely guilty of this as well, but I truly believe we need to find our true self before adding another complicated male into our life. I feel when we don’t know ourselves, we are even more confused when we jump into a relationship and our vision of what we want becomes muddled. Knowing yourself means being able to know what makes you happy, what fulfills your life, what are your likes and dislikes, and what will cheer you up and bring you down. I definitely have my low moments at times and I always try to think of that saying, “Only you can control your happiness, no man is going to make you happy.” How true that is! I could be unhappy and depressed today, but no man is going to walk into my life and change that for me. My unhappiness will still be there despite being in a relationship or not. They say one of the reasons for a happy marriage is when two people are not solely dependent on each other for their happiness. When Michelle and Barack started dating, they did a long distance relationship, but while they were apart, Michelle still did all of the things that she would normally do on her own: happy hours with girlfriends, travel, art/music shows, museums, concerts, and movies. I love that! This is the reason why I jump at every opportunity to travel, treat myself to facials and massages, nails and pedicures, go running on new trails, read books and go to the farmer’s market to eat right. I also feel when you can do things like that, you become a very confident and secure woman. As strong and independent as some of my friends think about me, it’s always a growing and struggling process to maintain your inner confidence, but I think it grows when you know more about yourself. When in a relationship, it’s very difficult to learn about yourself when you’re so busy trying to compromise and please another person’s interests. Thus, when you get to a point where you know exactly who you are, what you’re looking for and what you like, the right man will come into your life and be a BONUS. He should be someone who will complement your interests and not be someone who is supposed to fill a void or be your second father or provider.

Michelle balances being a powerful, smart, and independent woman but still remains a fashionable lady who still loves the cliche romantic lifestyle that involves dates, dressing up, wearing makeup, chivalry, and girlfriends. That’s truly a smart and classy woman that I aspire to be.

Hiking on Oahu – Kulana’ahane Falls

Written By: Troy - Jun• 28•14

Kulana’ahane Falls – May 26. 2014

I did this hike a while back, but trying to keep the Solanostories blog alive,  I decided to put an entry in. I’ve been hiking avidly over the summer, however a lot of those hikes probably shouldn’t be plastered all over the internet.

Out of all the times I’ve been in Moanalua Valley, I”ve never seen Kulana’ahane falls flow. Today would be the most opportunistic day as rain was in the forecast. The waterfall only spills after a good downpour. Its not from a stream or anything, just a waterfall chute. It goes off when there is rain. 

Today Erik was taking his friends on a hike. Joining the hike was Marcus and his girlfriend Loreece. We had a 9am start time. The hike on the road was uneventful like most of the time. It felt like a long time today because of my upper respiratory infection which is taking the wind out of me. At about the 2 mile mark, it started to downpour, a good sign since we wanted to see the waterfall flowing. It continued to pour as we meandered throughout the valley. Marcus and Loreece didn’t even bring their jackets, but they go to college in Oregon so they can handle. I was freezing with my jacket on. The stream started to pick up, but we weren’t in any danger. Moanalua Valley stream doesn’t flow as hard as the other Oahu streams. 

In about 2.5 hours we got to the spur ridge. Erik thought we should summit, so that is what we did. Must have been a cardio crew as we got to the top in under 15 minutes. The view like I said in other post, is world class. I just was here a few weeks ago for Kenji final Ko’olau Summit hike.  After enjoying the view we went down the spur ridge and followed the stream to the waterfall. It was hard to rock hop as I only have 1 spike, lost my other one at Kawailoa. The falls was flowing today. It looked pretty good, its a very tall waterfall, but only spills a few thin strips. The view from the pool looking towards the valley is money though, a sight to behold.

After the waterfall, we blitzed it back and got back to the trailhead in less than 3 hours. We washed up and went to The Alley in Aiea Bowling Alley. I ordered the same thing as Erik, he ordered the fried pork chops. It was very tasty, get it with the gravy for more clogging. 

 

Love, Laugh, and Eat – John Tickell, M.D.

Written By: Jsol - May• 24•14

You Get The Idea:

The author, John Tickell M.D. traveled the world with his two doctor children where they did a study regarding the traits of those that lived to 100. He found that the Okinawans had the most centurions per capita! Most of his book is written about the Okinawans’ way of life, which is a plus for us because we ate many Japanese foods growing up!  A read with lots of personality!

Notes from a Lady:
Secrets to living a long life. Nothing we’ve never heard before, well besides being able to eat fish everyday without consequence!

Moderation in Everything except laughter, sex, vegetables, and fish. No particular order. 🙂

I like how he lays out his plan, it’s very simple and easy to follow. He talks about the four aces, which I absolutely loved!

Life is like a game of cards, you can’t be truly happy unless you hold all four aces.

Ace of Diamonds – Money and Wealth
Ace of Spades – Work Ethic, The More you work at something, the better we will be.
Ace of Clubs – Social Contact, laugh with friends, share a drink, have a support system to connect with.
Ace of Hearts – Building Relationships between Family and Friends, Faith and Compassion.

A- Activity
C- Coping
E- Eating

Cut down on CATS (Caffeine, Alcohol, Tobacco)

Take things slow and in moderation! 21 days to create a habit.

When you wake up in the morning, check your pulse rate, a fit person is between 55 and 75 bpm.

A glass of water with lemon, slows the absorption of sugars.

Basic Foods: Plant Foods
Bonus Foods: Moderation

Two-Thirds, One-third: Basic, Bonus

15 Different Plant foods for the day (all fruits and vegetables).

Always have fruit/veggies in the fridge.

Breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Prince, Dinner like a Pauper

A good Exercise -Crunches: Up, Across, Side to Side

Laugh when you can, force yourself to laugh, whether it’s watching a funny movie or a comedy show!

Questions to ask yourself Everyday:
Did I do my walk today?
Did I do my strengthening exercises today?
Did I do my stretching exercises today?
Did I do my coping work today?
Did I do my meal plan today?

Three Day Breaks Every Four Months:
1. For Yourself
2. With Your Spouse
3. With Your Family

Relaxation List:
Go to a nature destination
Watch a Sunrise
Watch a Sunset
Go to a Movie
Have coffee with a friend
Sit/Lay in Sunshine
Sip a glass of really good wine
Read a book
Swim
Warm Bath
Light a Candle
Listen to Relaxing Music
Deep Breathing
Massage
Facial
Plan your next three-day break
Cup of Tea and Crossword Puzzle
Close your eyes and dream of a good things
Call someone you haven’t seen for a while
Go to an Old Folks home and have a chat
Practice taichi

Physical Valve:
Aerobic Exercise
walking, Running, Cycling, Swimming, Dancing, Stair Climbing, Rowing
Anaerobic Exercise
Short Burst Activity, Punching bag, Sports, Weights
Stretching/Deep Breathing

Psychological Valve: Laughter, Relaxation, Mental Bonuses: Movies, Books, Beaches, Fishing, Gardening, Hugging, Three Breaks: Selfish, Spouse, Kids

Foods He Ate: Banana, Carrot, Strawberries, Coffee, Brussels sprouts, Passion Fruit, Grapes, Mandarin Orange, Corn, Raspberries, Water, Soy Bread, Sardines, Yogurt, Olives, Soy Milk, Alfalfa Sprouts, Avocado, Almonds, Prunes, Tomato, Beets, Soybeans, Red Wine

Foods for Longest-living People:
Soybeans, Fish, Rice, Sweet Potatoes, Firm Tofu, Miso Soup, Seaweed, Shiitake Mushrooms, Jasmine Tea

Antioxidants – Builds immune system, repairs cell damage, effective antioxidants are Vitamin C. Blueberries is the #1 Antioxidant.

Probiotics – Help you break down and digest you food, protect from organisms that cause disease. Flush out unhealthy bacteria through fermented

cultured foods such as yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, raw apple-cider vinegar, kombucha tea, pickles, and kefir.

Soybeans prevent heart disease. Studies show positive correlations to soybeans with health.

Soluble and Insoluble Fiber – lower cholesterol and reduce risk of colon cancer.
Soluble – Fruit, rice, and oatbran.
Insoluble – rinds, whole grains, corn, and many vegetables.

Beans – The Holy Grail. Beans was the only food across all cultural differences that was proven to increase life span regardless of ethnic background. A great source of protein, high in fiber, low in calories and fat.

Fail-Safe Snacks
Spoonful of yogurt
Few sips of Smoothie
A cup of vegetable/minestrone soup
A few sardines, half a can of tuna on toast
Half a banana spread on toast
Unsalted nuts (almonds, walnuts, soy nuts)
Spoonful of hummus on toast
Half a can of baked beans on toast.

Drink two glasses of water before every meal.

VFCF (vegetables/fruit/chicken/fish)

You must have fiber at breakfast time. Fiber is the roughage that fills you up and helps to sweep the toxins and poisons through your intestines. Fiber is in vegetables,fruits, grains, nuts and seeds.

LifeChanging Ideas
Skip the Supermarket – Buy fresh vegetables and fruits at the farmer’s market
A Little goes a long way – Avoid huge meals. Drink lemon and water before your meal.
Snack More with Less – Best snacks are the ones that satisfy your tongue and your stomach but contain very few calories.
Fifteen and Counting – Rule of 15, keeps variety in your diet.
Take the Stairs
Leave it on the Plate – It’s ok to throw away food, like open a bag of chips eat four and toss the rest in the trash.
Monitor portion size – Eat off smaller plates, reduce portion of meat to the palm of your hand, Eat with chopsticks.

Need Family, Fun, Friendships, Faith
Family – Keep in touch with your family, it’s that connectedness and support system you need in life. It all surrounds around love, learn to express love toward experiencing a happy, healthy, wealthy, and wise life. You can love or be in love with someone, or you can love something as a momentary experience but it is impossible to separate love and long life. Love-making, increases the hormones in your brain. We need water. We need food. We need oxygen. We need sex. Sex is just a fact of life. It’s vital and good for you.

Fun – It’s all about attitude. It’s all about our response to negative situations, choose to see everything in a positive light. It’s all about health expectancy not life expectancy. Being happy and having fun is a daily decision.

Friendships – Are your support systems for advice.

Faith – A reason to exist, to believe that there is good in everyone.

Fiber, fish, fruit (and vegetables), and fitness

Love, Laugh, and Eat your way to 100.

Donald Sterling, The Embattled Man

Written By: Rex Solano - May• 17•14

With the Los Angeles Clippers eliminated in game 6 of the basketball playoff, maybe we can also have a closure to the Donald Sterling controversial racist case. From the very beginning, the LA Clippers basketball team never had a good thing going for them, as attested to the inappropriate manners displayed by LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling on and off the basketball world of sport. Instead of supporting his own team, he stirred distractions and had taken out the limelight of what his players like Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and others would have done to ultimately pursue that glorious moment of hoisting the trophy for winning the NBA title. However at the end of game 6 where the LA Clippers was trounced by the rolling Oklahoma City Thunders, I saw the forlorn faces of the LA Clippers players in a stupor state of dejection like vanquish warriors whose home territory they failed to defend. I could feel from the innermost experience of how a defeated person interacts with pain, all too well to incongruously describe their spirits were dampened, their hopes and dreams were suppressed and they incessantly hit the crossroads of pain, frustrations and disappointments. Yes, as we begun to look back to game 6 that the LA Clippers tried so gallantly and rapaciously to win the game and to be ready to ramble for a seventh game winner take all affair, but it never happened that way as the duo of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant had shown their experiences too tough to handle. It would have been a very joyful ride of momentum to see the LA Clippers go all the way to the Western Conference final to clash with the SA Spurs, had it not been muddled and roiled by real estate mogul and LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling, the embattled man who gained notoriety with his harmful and offensive remarks toward African-Americans.
Encumbered with difficulties of dealing with his personal character and behavior, Donald Sterling compounded his problems by letting out a tirade and personal attacks at LA Lakers Hall of Famer ” Magic’ Johnson saying to the effect, calling Magic Johnson a poor model for the kids and had done nothing for the black community. I would not go to the extent and beyond those wicked and cruel words against Magic Johnson, but for me I think that’s uncalled for and irrelevant. What has Magic Johnson done to Donald Sterling that this notorious man would spread venom of inflammatory remarks except for Magic to attend the LA Clipper games at the invitation of his ex-girlfriend model V. Stiviano? Was Donald Sterling so jealous because Sterling’s ex-girlfriend invited Magic Johnson to the game? If indeed Donald Sterling was true and sincere to his own words of admission that he is not a racist, why drag Magic Johnson to this controversial case and expose Mr. Johnson’s personal past for the entire world to know? Now banned for life in all professional sports due to his sense of insensitivity and his offensive remarks against the African-American, Donald Sterling has swallowed his pride and bent his knees for forgiveness, asking for apology for all the harm and pain he caused especially to the black community. But what do we expect from a man who apologized and asked forgiveness, and then turned around telling the television viewers at the time he was interviewed by CNN Anderson Cooper that Magic Johnson went around in every city to have sex with girl, then he catches HIV?  This is not the kind of person that an apology should be given and forgiveness is at our mercy for we all knew that he do not act accordingly as it was dictated in our society a behavior a person normally does. I don’t think he will ever change. I also don’t think that he will contribute highly to our society and make much difference to the people he socializes with. At the age of 80 years old, what he needs to reform himself is to leave everything up to God and pray directly to Him that he will be forgiven; maybe his apology will be accepted.

A Hurtful Word

Written By: Rex Solano - May• 01•14

A perspective view from a basketball fan’s standpoint:
It is a sad commentary to note that while the NBA basketball playoff were glittered with lusters and full of excitements, it has perfunctorily disturbed and roiled by such obnoxious and despicable comments made by LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling. As I kept on hearing about this controversial issue and the way Mr. Sterling has openly voiced his sentiments about Afro-American, his dislikes and discriminatory words of racism, one has to look upon his personality and question how he really is so prejudicial and scornful toward black people. In the NBA where most players are Afro-American, Mr. Sterling should have embraced with adoration the basketball players who are on the basketball court displaying their spirits of competitiveness and sportsmanship; instead he muddled it with venom in his mouth and exasperated it with racism. I cannot in the truthfulness of my own conscience thereby believe how such an educated person as Donald Sterling would be acting so uncivilized, so uncontrolled with his dispassionate disfavor of the minority groups. As an owner of the LA Clippers, where love abounds and respect for his players, he should have embraced it with tidings and gladness. But no, he did not do so. Instead he masqueraded himself wearing wolf’s clothing. For so many years as owner of the LA Clippers, it appeared to me that Donald Sterling did not trickle his love and sentiments with his players, but rather has acted pretentiously and hypocritical all along. Mr. Sterling doesn’t deserve to own a basketball team where the antipathy and animosity living in his heart does not merit socializing with people of different races.
The announcement of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver that LA Clipper owner Donald Sterling will be banned for life in any professional sports does not need any defying logic or anyone having to spearhead any protest for it was the right decision. I would verily say that it is a great victory not only for the black people but also to other ethnic races who suffered humiliations and demeaning the integrity of one’s personal stature. Such harsh and obnoxious comments, in all practicality are not welcome in our social world. I know for a fact that any black players playing basketball applauded and rejoiced that announcement. It has to be and always will be. That was a courageous and forthright decision made by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. Adam Silver believed that there can be a zero tolerance for racism and hatred spread around the basketball world. Adam Silver sent a very strong message to owners of basketball that any offensive and harmful views or comments made by Donald Sterling is not to be condoned and tolerated for such manner simply has no place in the NBA.
Sometimes in life, it does not matter whether you are a billionaire, a powerful and influential person in our society if a person does not demonstrate good intelligence and sound judgment, exposing his ignorance at the very worst especially when he does not even know how to deal with racist and discrimination. Too often we ignore that mundane and the consequential effects it brings upon. Too often we also forget that we were all created under the images of God; that what belongs to God, has all the rights and respect be accorded to all mankind. The problem in our society is that some people did not know where they come from. And so as they were exposed to different races, they ventured into their minds the profundity of being so superpower over the others. The world was made and the earth is our home. Why can’t we share in our social world, to treat other people equally the same and to embrace that love, care, respect and compassion for a better place for us all to live? It is not too late and it can be done. God bless you all!

 

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