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Archive for March, 2016|Monthly archive page

Exercise and de-clutter this spring.

In Children and Family, Entertainment, Health, Opinion, psychology on March 24, 2016 at 11:02 pm

Deer In Headlines
By Gery L. Deer

DIH LOGOSpring has sprung and, even though temperatures aren’t quite sweltering yet, it’s time to get off that couch and get moving. No more excuses. You can do it! It’s time to get things done and here are two ideas to help.

If your goal is to get into a new outdoor workout routine, it’s best to get started sooner than later. I can’t help you much on running or some of the other athletics, but, for our would-be bicyclists out there, here are some suggestions from my own experience.

Growing up where I did, a bike was a necessity. Early on, I had to learn the rules of the road, long before there were “bike paths,” or lanes anywhere around our farm. So, my first recommendation for would be cyclers, do your homework.

Before you hit the road, be sure that you know the available routes and trails understand the rules. Hit up the local parks and recreation websites to learn about off-road, public trails and street-based bike routes.

Take extra care to plan out your route with each excursion and take a friend. It’s best not to ride alone on back roads or on isolated trails. Use the buddy system to stay safe.

Since many bike paths replaced former railroad lines, some of them go through small towns and take you onto sidewalks and thoroughfares. Be sure to watch for directional signs, both at eye level and painted on the pavement.

Make sure your cycle is in good shape as well. If you don’t do that kind of stuff, take it in for professional maintenance. Nothing’s worse than being stranded from a poorly maintained chain or crank.

Another thing that’s great about this time of year is the fresh start it brings. So how about those of you for whom a spring goal is to clear out the garage, basement or storage rental. It’s good for the living space and great exercise.

12903726_10153764334789342_1452602020_oMy friend Tami Doling is the owner of Silver Lining Organizers, LLC, and a fellow contributor to the WDTN-TV2 Living Dayton program, as well as Dayton Parent Magazine. She has some great advice on her website and blog on how to clear out the clutter, but it all begins with list of some pretty tough questions.

In her “ask the organizer” blog at Dayton Parenting Magazine, Tami offers the following “test” you can take to decide whether to keep something or not.

Begin by asking yourself the following: do you love it? Would you buy it again? Is it broken? Is it worth cleaning and storing? Can someone else use it?

I’d probably expand on the “cleaning and storing” question a bit further. For example, if you haven’t properly maintained an item, that is, you didn’t keep it well cleaned or stored, why would you start now? Probably time to chuck it.

But possibly my favorite of Tami’s advice is her 60 second rule. “If it takes you more than 60 seconds to decide to keep it,” she writes, “you probably don’t need it.” She also suggests that you try not to do too much at once. You could get blindsided by a sense of being a bit overwhelmed.

“Just start, and start small,” Tami says. “Pick a closet or drawer. Empty it and get rid of anything that you no longer need or use. Enjoy the clutter free area and use that feeling to motivate you as you tackle the next area.”

For the last several months, I’ve been in a state of consistent de-cluttering at home. I’ve thrown away things I didn’t even remember keeping, or why they were still there. Broken lamps, old VCRs, TV remotes – why did I keep old TV remotes?

This spring, I’m using the good weather to clear out a great many other areas too, and you can do the same. You can find more of Tami Doling’s articles, TV spots and great ideas about organizing and de-cluttering at silverliningorganizers.com.

Whether you’re starting a new exercise routine or getting some long overdue items checked off of that “honey do” list, the onset of spring is a great opportunity to start. Get up and get moving and I’ll see you outside!

 

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. Deer In Headlines is distributed by GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd. More at deerinheadlines.com.

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Dayton creative agency relocated to Yellow Springs

In Business, Dayton Ohio News, Economy, Media, Uncategorized on March 22, 2016 at 3:00 pm

The Bricks Logo_V2Yellow Springs, OH – Dayton creative advertising services company, The Bricks Agency, has relocated to the village Yellow Springs as of Monday, March 21st. As the creative strategy division of DMS ink (formerly Dayton Mailing Services, Inc.), the firm has moved from the parent company’s original location on Keowee St. in Dayton to suite 102, west, of 888 Dayton Street in Yellow Springs.

Established in early 2015, The Bricks Agency provides advertising, graphic design, copywriting, print and

888 Dayton St. Yellow Springs, OH

888 Dayton St. Yellow Springs, OH

digital market strategies, as well as corporate identity and public relations services. The fledgling company’s inaugural year proved highly successful, landing its first international client and achieving two, bronze Hermes awards from the American Advertising Federation Dayton.

Gery Deer is the agency’s Managing and Communications Director. He says the move to Yellow Springs is in line with the expansion of the parent company, DMS ink, which just purchased the Dayton Street facility and will be moving its headquarters and production lines there in the coming months.

“We’re excited to be in our new, creative space and a part of such a naturally nurturing community,” Deer says. “It’s the ideal environment in which our agency can prosper and grow.”

Any questions about the agency or its relocation should be directed to Gery L. Deer, by calling 937-222-5056 Ext. 134, or email gery.deer@thebricksagency.com. Online at bestdaytonadagency.com.

 

 

Is your vacation actually relaxing?

In Children and Family, Entertainment, Opinion, psychology, Travel on March 18, 2016 at 10:03 am

Deer In Headlines
By Gery L. Deer

DIH LOGOVacation. For some people the word conjures up images of sandy beaches, mountain cabins or just a sunny day hanging in the back yard. But what if you’re one of those people for whom the idea of sitting idle makes you feel anxious, unproductive and wasteful of time and money? Yep, I’m one of those people too.

I never understood the concept of vacation. I mean, really, what good does it do? For me, having down time means rest, to stop burning energy and recover. I can’t get into the idea of exhausting yourself for no good reason. So how do you actually get some relaxation on vacation? Here are some tips.

First, scale it back. Whenever someone talks about an upcoming vacation and the itinerary is jam packed with back-to-back activity, I have to wonder how that’s relaxing at all? Try to dial it back a bit and choose one location, maybe one major event, like a dinner out or something, and use the rest of the time to unwind. The more complicated your agenda, the more stressful it will be.

Next, minimize the amount of baggage you take along. People – especially Americans – have a tendency to overpack. Don’t take so much with you. Take only what you need, rather than looking like the Howells on Gilligan’s Island – a different outfit for every hour.

It’s important next to remember why you’re going – just to get away. It really doesn’t matter where you go as long as it’s a change of scenery and day-to-day activity. Make sure you get away and get a break.

Finally, turn off the tech. No kidding, leave the iPhone in the car or packed in a bag or something. Don’t take laptops or tablets. How about a book, you know, the paper kind with pages and ink? They never need to be recharged and are super cheap. If you’re on vacation with family and friends, spend time with them, not with Facebook and Twitter. Relax and put down the tech for a while.

I’d imagine I sound like a pretty big wet blanket, but I just don’t care for the beach, or water in general, and forget a cruise. If I’m going to a monstrous hotel, I want it to be attached to dry land. There are just some vacation choices I can’t understand.

Take camping, for example. My mom and dad loved taking the whole family to one of the local state parks for a weekend of the great outdoors. I grew up on a farm, with plenty of wildlife, grassland and woods, so “the great outdoors” was all around me. I didn’t see the point in paying to see more of the same. I liked being with the family, but otherwise I just never got it.

Today, I spend a great deal of money on a mortgage so that I don’t have to cook, eat and sleep outside. But some people spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours on just such pursuits.

beachI like nature as much as the next person, but camping is so much work you might just as well have stayed at your job. Building a fire, food prep and cooking, setting up the tent, all the equipment and the planning always left me exhausted, not rejuvenated.

What about fishing? Yuck. I really don’t see the “sport” in it and I’m not eating anything that came out of the water around where I live. I’ve never been a fan of freshwater fish in the first place, so I’m probably not the best judge on that one anyway.

And don’t get me started on camping trailers. I mean, what’s the point? Why go out to the woods to camp and just hole up in a rolling hotel room with satellite TV and Wi-Fi?

According to most financial sources I reviewed, wealthy Americans spend an average of $13,000 on vacation, annually. What puzzles me is when someone who normally complains about being unable to pay bills suddenly posts photos from their recent trip to Florida. How does that not add to stress instead of relieving it?

Of course, I know all the psychological and medical reasons one should take a break from work and refresh. But to spend money you don’t have and time that could be better used in some other way has always been a foreign concept to me.

Over the last decade, between work, maintaining my home and caring for my parents, I’ve rarely had a day off anyway. But, when I do, there is plenty to fill my time without my having to invent something.

When I do choose to relax, I’d prefer it had something to do with a nice hotel, music, a book and a long car drive. And I make choices that I can afford, not overload credit cards while my bills lay unpaid. That’s just ridiculous.

The point is that, while I have little interest in the usual vacation options, I do understand the need to relax. You should do whatever helps you unwind, but be mindful of how much stress the activity adds to your daily life and how much money you have to spend on it.

Taking a break doesn’t mean you have to empty your wallet. Consider something that actually allows you to rest, rather than waste energy and money doing the same thing every year. Whatever you choose, remember the point is to spend time with family and away from the daily grind.

 

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. Deer In Headlines is distributed by GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd. More at deerinheadlines.com.

 

Get smart about birth defects.

In Children and Family, Education, Local News, Opinion, Science, Technology, Uncategorized on March 3, 2016 at 8:12 am

Deer In Headlines
By Gery L. Deer

DIH LOGOAccording to the March of Dimes, one out of every 33 babies in the United States is born with some kind of birth defect. The severity of these problems is broad reaching, from minor defects needing no intervention at all to those requiring invasive surgical treatment.

It’s important that people understand how many different kids of birth defects exist and how they affect the child, and the family. A structural birth defect occurs when a part of the body is missing or deformed. Kidshealth.org reports that heart defects are the most common of these but others include cleft palate and spina bifida.

When the child’s body chemistry is affected, it’s called a metabolic defect, which prevent the body from breaking down food for energy. Tay-sachs and phenylketonuria (PKU) are examples of this kind of defect. Causes of birth defects are not always clear but may include a combination of genetics and outside influences such as prescription drug use.

My mother, Lois, was epileptic. Sometime in her 20s she was prescribed phenobarbital to help reduce seizure events. Phenobarbital is an FDA-approved drug introduced in 1912 and was presumed safe. Mom took it for decades, including during the entire time she was pregnant with me.

According to findings by the North American Antiepileptic Drug (AED) pregnancy registry, and countless medical studies, phenobarbital has been linked to a myriad of birth defects. Research shows the drug to have some negative effect on an expectant mother’s level of folic acid.

Photo Courtesy ScienceMag.org

Photo Courtesy ScienceMag.org

Enter, me. I came into the world in the late 60s, fat, happy … and somewhat inside out. I was blessed by one of those structural birth defects mentioned earlier, apparently the result of my mother’s anti-seizure medication.

Without getting into specifics I had an internal organ protrusion to the outside through a defect in the abdominal wall, missing vertebra, malformed hip joints and several other related deformities.

As a result, I was neither expected to walk nor was there any exact estimation of a prognosis. Much of the surgical procedures involved in my care had yet to be invented and it took many years to get some of it right. Fortunately, nearly a half century later, thanks to medical science and my family’s level of faith and determination, I’m up and walking and in relative good health.

During her pregnancy with my two siblings in the early 1950s, my mother was not yet on the drugs and they were born with no similar issues. And, although the exact causes of my defects were never conclusive, mostly due to the lack of medical knowledge on the subject at the time, the drug angle is widely accepted as fact.

Countless lawsuits are going on to help families of those children affected by these drugs. But that’s a little like closing the barn doors after the horses have come home.

After decades of experimental surgery, trial and error medicine, and, at many times, constant pain, when I see an expectant mother smoking or drinking or doing something equally as stupid, I just want to scream. She has no idea what she is probably doing to her child and what he or she will go through because of it.

My mother and her doctors didn’t know that her treatment would do such damage to her youngest child’s life. But now, in our modern day of free and easy access to constant information, how can anyone be so ignorant as to do that to an unborn child?

And spare me the speeches and excuses about addiction. If you’re pregnant, you stop. If the life of your unborn child isn’t enough motivation to make you put down the bottle, or whatever it is that makes you a bad risk, nothing will be. You have to do whatever it takes to stop and hope the damage isn’t already done.

The point is that there are things we cannot control for our children and those that are entirely up to us. Do not consciously put your child through the kinds of horrible things I experienced because of a lack of knowledge or an unwillingness to change.

 

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. Deer In Headlines is distributed by GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd. More at deerinheadlines.com