Health Hack: Sing Your Stress Away

“Many of my patients say music is one of the most useful stress-coping strategies,” says Dr Muhammad Nasim, a GP at Northwood Medical Centre, Birmingham, who regularly sees patients suffering from stress. “[Listening to music and singing] reduces stress hormone levels in the blood.” Dr Mark Winwood, a London psychologist, also tells me that music fires “positive brain neurotransmitters”, which basically means you get more positive images in your head, which helps you relax.”

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Vinnie’s Dad Gives Up Control of the Remote ~ LOL

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Sometime after dinner, Vinnie’s mom and dad are sitting on the sofa. Vinnie’s dad is watching a tennis match on television. Vinnie’s mom touches Vinnie’s dad’s forearm and says, “Al, do you mind switching to the Lifetime channel? There’s a romantic comedy I know we’ll both enjoy.”

Vinnie’s dad keeps his eyes glued to the TV screen, “Can we record it and watch it tomorrow? This is an important match. I’d hate to miss it.”

Vinnie’s mom rolls her eyes and says, “I’ll agree with you if you can answer either of the two questions I’ll ask you.”

Vinnie’s dad says, “Are they easy or hard questions?”

Vinnie’s mom says, “There pretty much easy. It’s about the game you’re watching.”

“It’s a match. In tennis they don’t call them games, they call them matches, but go ahead. I’m ready,” says Vinnie’s dad.

“Question one: Who are the players?”

“You said it was easy,” says Vinnie’s dad. “Can I have the second question?”

“Sure. In what city are they playing the game, I mean match?”

Vinnie’s dad turns toward Vinnie’s mom. He says, “Can we make it the best four out of seven?”

“No. Hand me the remote.”

“Do I have to watch the movie?”

“Yes. Don’t you dare get up and get your laptop, iPad or iPhone. You’ll love it. It will relax you from all the stress you have during the day.”

Vinnie’s dad hands Vinnie’s mom the remote. He says, “What’s it about?”

Vinnie’s mom says, “This girl gets in an accident four days before her wedding and goes into a coma. Her fiancé stays by her beside for five weeks telling her stories. The stories are all back stories of their lives since they met. I don’t want to tell you the ending and spoil it for you.”

“You say this is a comedy?”

Before Vinnie’s mom can answer. . . .

“Hey, Mom. Hey, Dad. Want me to tell you about the Grizzlies?” says Vinnie running into the living room carrying Rupert under his right arm. Dexter follows closely to Vinnie’s heels.

Vinnie’s mom touches Vinnie’s dad’s arm, “Al, will you record the movie for me? Sweet Mother of God, help me to hold it together.”

“Mom, what are you trying to hold together? If Mary can’t help you, Rupert will know the answer, he’s smarter than any human. He has the highest IQ in the world and on Mars, maybe on Jupiter and Venus, too,” says Vinnie.

Vinnie’s mom stares at Vinnie for a moment, then says, “Can I hold Rupert while you tell me about the Grizzlies?”

“Mom, no can do. Rupert is going to play saxophone for us. He’s also our song writer. He wrote the words to three songs this afternoon. He has to think about the music. Mom, will you and dad travel with the Grizzlies when we become a star rock band?”

Vinnie’s mom says, “That’s a great idea, Vinnie. Dad can handle all the contracts and it will get him away from the mob.” Vinnie’s mom starts convulsing in laughter.

“Dad, Dad, Dad, why is mom lying on the sofa holding her belly laughing so hard tears are going down her face?” asks Vinnie.

Vinnie’s dad is quick on the mental switch, he says, “Vinnie will you go and get me and you an ice cream sandwich and you can give Dexter the left over couscous.”

“Thanks, Dad. I’ll bring an extra one for Rupert. If he doesn’t want it, I’ll eat it.”

Dexter barks and chases after Vinnie toward the kitchen.

Vinnie’s mom opens her eyes, “Not the leftover couscous?” 


🔤 Grammar Tip: I Before E Except . . .

I Before E, Except After C
The rule goes like this:
I before E, Except after C, unless it sounds like A, as in neighbor or weigh
There are many exceptions to this rule—maybe it’s better to think of it as a guideline—but it can be helpful with words like the ones below.


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Do Not Stand on my Grave and Weep ~ Mary Elizabeth Frye

Do Not Stand on my Grave and Weep

Mary Elizabeth Frye

Do not stand at my grave and weep 
I am not there. I do not sleep. 
I am a thousand winds that blow. 
I am the diamond glints on snow. 
I am the sunlight on ripened grain. 
I am the gentle autumn rain. 
When you awaken in the morning's hush 
I am the swift uplifting rush 
Of quiet birds in circled flight. 
I am the soft stars that shine at night. 
Do not stand at my grave and cry; 
I am not there. I did not die.