Ireland Passes Same-Sex Marriage Law

It was on this day, May 22 in 2015 that Ireland became the first country to legalize same sex marriage. What makes this so controversial is that it is primarily a Roman Catholic Country.   According to a New York times article, “not long ago, the vote would have been unthinkable. Ireland decriminalized homosexuality only in 1993, the church dominates the education system, and abortion remains illegal except when a mother’s life is at risk. But the influence of the church has waned amid scandals in recent years, while attitudes, particularly among the young, have shifted”. It is truly remarkable that this passed. At the time the United States allowed same sex marriage in 37 states, but not long after, on June 26, 2015 the United States Supreme Court did rule that same-sex couples can marry in the US. Ireland led the pack though, they carried the torch as the first country to allow same-sex marriage.

Take Care of Your Blood Pressure

The month of May is National Blood Pressure Month. When was the last time you had your blood pressure checked? You want to make sure it stays within normal range for your age group, body type, sex, and any other factors that may come into play. Here are a few of the 13 ways to lower your blood pressure (if you suffer from high blood pressure) naturally, according to Prevention.com:
-Power Walks
-Deep Breathing
-Music
-Working Less
-Drink more tea

Yes, those are just a few ways you can naturally start to bring down the blood pressure. Remember though, you should never stop taking medication unless directed by / consulted with your doctor. Here are a few tips from the mayoclinic.org on how to maintain your blood pressure if you are off your medication, or on the borderline of needing medication.
Remember, eat healthy, watch your sodium, breath and exercise, these are the main points of keeping a healthy lifestyle!

Let’s Go Strawberry Picking!

Tomorrow is strawberry picking day! When is the last time you went out and picked those delicious berries? They are the best directly off of the plant, specifically from your garden, when you can pick them at peak ripeness, but going to a farm that allows picking can be nice too (just be ready to eat what you pick). This is unlike the ones from the grocery store, which tend to be picked before they are fully ripe, so aren’t always as sweet. If you are interested in planting your own garden of strawberries, there are things you should know. First, there is a time of year that they should be planted, based on where you live. I found this helpful map so that you can figure out when that time is for you. Next, you should also take into consideration type of strawberry for your location. Here is a link to help guide you on which ones to buy. Looking over the information, I live in Zone 9, so I should plant December-February, and there are about 12 varieties that are good for California. Next you need to know when you should pick them. According to a different page on this same website, in the United States it is best to pick from April – June. I hope you make it out tomorrow and grab some delicious strawberries, heck, you may even find other fruits to pick while you are out there! Happy picking, and enjoy!

Enjoy Your Motorcycle With These Road Trips!

With much of the country, though not all, are having warm spells, it is time to dust off that motorcycle, if you haven’t already, and take a road trip! I found this list of the 100 best motorcycle road trips by state, with ranking. If you are living in California, my home state, I have also found this list, that can help you find a place to ride in your area! Wherever you end up riding, make sure you stay safe out there. Protect yourself with the right gear, and if you do get into a wreck, make sure to find yourself a lawyer. Be safe out there, and have fun!

International Museum Day

Tomorrow is International Museum Day, a day to bring a little culture to your life. There are many different types of art, which is why we are all allowed to have a favorite. I personally enjoy Modern Art, which often takes criticism for the artists not having skill, I think to each their own. I found this link of the top 10 Modern Art Museums, hopefully one is in your area! And for those of you near me, here is a link to the one in San Francisco. Enjoy your day at the museum!

Police Officers Ride Motorcycles Too

Motorcycle Police officers have become more popular over the years, and while the exact number may not be known, you can probably get a feel with seeing more for them out there on the road. Unfortunately, with additional motorcycle police, come additional injuries and deaths. According to officer.com motorcycle collisions were ranked third in cause of death for officers. Now, even though it causes injury, and sometimes death, the number of fatalities has declined since 1969 when they changed the training, making it more comprehensive, so that the death toll would drop. According to ABC10.com of the 233 police officer deaths in the line of duty over one third of them were motorcycle wrecks. You might be asking yourself why they still train officers to ride motorcycles with so many fatalities. The reason is that they are able to get to places that police cars are too big for. So they are helpful in pursuits in a way cars cannot be. Hopefully the training continues to get more comprehensive, and the body armor continues to get better, so that the number of deaths will stay on trend to be lower.

Not to take away from the seriousness of the post, but I had to bring up one of the most famous motorcycle police riders, Ponch! I have not seen the remake of CHIPS, but the trailer does look funny! Enjoy the clip here.

The Power of the Pedal!

May is a busy month for bicycling! Not only is it National Bike Month, and then within that the start of National Bike to Work Week, here in Modesto, CA, we had the Amgen Tour of California begin stage 2 here today! It makes me tired just thinking of all of that peddling! Bicycling is so good for not just the health of the person riding it, but the health of others as well, as it does not contribute to air pollution. I found this article from bicycle.com on the health benefits of riding, which include: 

Improving your heart; losing fat; preventing cancer; and living longer.

And here is a website on how biking is much better for the environment then driving a car, listing reasons like fuel, batteries and motor oil.

If it is feasible for you to ride to work, or maybe even for errands, anything to let that car sit more, you will thank yourself for your better health, and the planet will thank you too!

“You Are Now Entering The Twilight Zone”

Have you ever watched an episode of the Twilight Zone? Released in 1959 it was a show about, “ordinary people who find themselves in extraordinarily astounding situations, which they each try to solve in a remarkable manner” according to the IMDb (internet movie database). According to the Urbandictionary.com the Twilight Zone is, “a state of surrealism, where things  that should not make sense seem to do so”. Nowadays with all of the different streaming devices out there it should be easy to find a place to see an episode, and in fact you can see it on Hulu, Netflix and CBS.com to name a few. So, head home, jump on the TV or computer, and check out one of the top 10 episodes, maybe with a food you really enjoy!

The Disappearing Nurse

Do you remember going to the school nurse when you were growing up? Anytime you raised your hand in elementary school and told your teacher you did not feel well you were sent to the nurse. You sat on the little bed in their office, got your temperature taken, and you were either sent back to class or home, depending on what the nurse thought. In high school the nurse might be a little busier, as fights can occur, and so can sports injuries. Sadly, school nurses are becoming a thing of the past, they are turning into one of those tales like having to walk miles through the snow to get to school.

Why are school nurses becoming part of history? According to the Daily Nurse website, “a major consequence of the nationwide nurse shortage is a lack of school nurses. Less than half of the public schools around the country have full-time nurses, and it’s even worse in urban and underfunded schools, leaving one school nurse for every 4,000 students”. And according to the US News website, “school districts have steadily shed school nurse staff since the early 2000’s, as budgets tightened heading into the Great Recession”. Budgeting, and nurse shortages are the main reasons for the issues, and decline in an important role within the school system. Hopefully this will change, and school nurses won’t become completely obliterated.

Here are some facts coming from the nurses’ perspectives, I encourage you to read, as some of their points made me stop and think. 

Make Dreams Real Golf Tournament

There are many different charities to donate to in this world, for various reasons, if you are looking for a good cause check out the Make Dreams Real website. Make Dreams Real is an endowment fund, located in Modesto, CA that benefits programs in Stanislaus County such as Stanislaus County Office of Education for the Outdoor Education program, Society for Disabilities, Tuolumne River Adventure Club, and CASA of Stanislaus County. In just a little over a week, on May 18th they are having their biggest fund raiser of the year, The Make Dreams Real Golf Tournament. The tournament is held at two locations, with three courses that are used, and both men and women can sign-up. While the tournament itself is sold out, you can still involved in the festivities according to the website. There is a dinner, silent auction, and even a helicopter ball drop! I don’t know about you, but it sounds like a fun time, for a great cause! Here is a link if you are interested in getting involved.