The Future Of Medicine And Communication

The Future Of Medicine And Communication

When technology starts to be put to good use in areas such as medicine, then everyone wins. It takes years for certain types of medical technology to get approved for general use, and for obvious reasons. As we look towards the future, there are new medical products on the horizon that make full use of the Internet. As more and more parts of the world are introduced to WiFi, the possibilities for medicine continue to grow.

Digital Medical Data

The stories about implanting special computer chips in everyone and putting their medical data on those chips have been around for years. While that still remains science fiction, reality has something similar but a bit more convenient. A digital medical ID bracelet is a device that can be plugged into any USB drive and call up a person's latest medical data. If someone passes out or becomes incapacitated in some way, one of these devices could save their life.

Remote Surgery

For now, the ability to have a surgeon perform a life-saving procedure in emergency situations is something that can only be done in person. Technology is being developed that would allow surgeons to perform procedures through remote devices powered by the Internet. There are a lot of bugs to work out in this kind of technology and it may be decades before we see an actual working model. But if this technology ever gets off the ground, imagine the good it could do.


An exoskeleton is a mechanical device that is worn on the outside of the body, but it can control paralyzed limbs. This sort of technology is closer to being a reality than people may think, and it would give people who have lost the ability to walk a chance at an independent life again.

The future of medical technology is exciting and hopeful. As technology in general continues to advance, the possibilities that open up in the world of medicine become almost mind-boggling.

Making Dried Flower Bouquets from Black Eyed Susans

This week we have been busy gathering black eyed susan flowers. I am attempting to dry them out and turn them into a beautiful bouquet or unique stems to accent a dried flower centerpiece.

They are so bright and cheery when they are fresh. They apparently keep as a cut flower for at least 6-10 days. That's sounds great, but I'm not sure about the drying results.
They turned out a little haggard in my opinion. Any advice? This is all new to us so I would love any tips or tricks. Please comment below.

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How to kill japanese beetles that are eating your plants!!

The Best Way to Kill Japanese Beetles - Easy and Without Touching Them!

Japanese beetles are always defoliating my beans, raspberries and linden trees. For years, I would go around my plants and smoosh the bugs between my fingers. Gross, I know and only marginally effective. Why? Because Japanese beetles jump off the leaves just as you are about to squeeze them.

There has got to be a better way....and there is! Today I came home to find JBs defoliating my cherry tree.

They were literally destroying it. So I grabbed a little bucket, put in a drop or two of soap and filled it halfway with water. The water just has to be barely soapy. You can see by my pail that there wasn't even suds.

I did this for a while and at first I maybe caught only 25% of the bugs I went after. I was tapping the tree with a paint brush to get the bugs to fall off. Some would fall but the rest would fly away. By the end, I had perfected it and was getting 80% of the bugs I went after. The trick - just touch them. They fall down when you touch them to get away - they fly more often if they are disturbed in any other way.

Plus - I found that having a shallower dish helps. I was using a tall bucket with just a bit of water at the bottom. Some of the JBs had the opportunity to fly back out before hitting the water. I did find the handle on the bucket to be a nice touch when trying to do multiple things at once but I either need to swap to a shallower bowl or fill the bucket with deeper water. Either way - the tree is now free of bugs (and I have went out every hour to grab any newbies.) Use this tip if you are being harassed by Japanese beetles. They can not fly out of the water and they drown.

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Linden : Basswood Tea - How to make it, what it tastes like, is it healthy?

The Linden (also called Basswood) tree is full of benefits. It's a big gorgeous, native tree that produces heart shaped leaves and oodles of highly scented blossoms. Bees love this tree! People always ask me if I have ever made tea from the linden flowers and until this summer, I hadn't.  
How do you make it? Super easy - just gather the blossoms and steep in hot water for 5-10 minutes. Easy. It's a pretty yellow colored tea and tastes almost exactly like red raspberry leaf tea and all other "natural" teas except that it has a very floral scent. The scent is pretty but it's overwhelming.

I saved some of the flowers (I just left them to dry on the counter and they were dry within a few weeks) to use in the winter, but I prefer the more neutral scent of red raspberry leaf tea and probably won't use linden tea again unless I find out it has amazing health benefits. I will save the blossoms for the bees.

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Time, Energy, Money: The Battle of the Three for Getting Things Done

Time, Energy, Money: The Battle of the Three for Getting Things Done

Nothing seems truer than the following saying: "Time, Energy, Money. Choose two."Throughout life, we always seem to have two going on. When we're younger we've got plenty of time and energy but little money. When we're older we've got money and energy but we're running out of time.

This creates a paradox, in some ways, because we're also battling whether we should invest our efforts in business and financial goals when the outcome is a bit uncertain.

We're talking about sweat equity.

Sweat equity is the time and energy you place into business/money-making efforts without an immediate payoff. We use our sweat equity toward the hopes it pans out. There are a million ways to hustle to boost that cash flow using this avenue and the aforementioned paradox.

Let's dive through a couple ways to stack that money going from what's quick (time/energy) and what requires extra effort (money/energy).

Service Gigs
A typical gig avenue is tapping existing skills to make a few extra bucks. This leverages what and who you know to use time effectively vs spending it lounging around when you feel the need to hustle.

This could include:

  • Tutoring
  • Handy work
  • Sitting
  • Care
  • Or, really anything you know with a market need.

These activities only require time and energy since they're established. Getting your name out through referrals, business cards, or applying for gigs through apps could land a few extra hours each week. Of course, the first few clients may take days or weeks to land. But, once you've built a client list this forms into a nice money-maker.

Micro Businesses
In the in-between are business ideas tapping into your skills or interest but requiring a bit of capital to get started. These options draw upon your business creativity while fulfilling consumer needs.

Examples of this could include:

  • Tree trimming
  • Pressure washing
  • Painting
  • Home/business cleaning
  • Yard work/landscaping

There are thousands of these endeavors you could start with a relatively small investment. All that's needed is one or two essential items and promotion. Fast cash loans are one way to quickly raise capital for these ideas. Else, tapping your savings or even a credit card (wisely) could get it going.

These examples require time and money. Plus, a bit of sweat equity as you market yourself and services.

A set of business cards, word of mouth referrals, and local marketing efforts like listing your site on Yelp or Google shouldn't take long. Many of these micro businesses you could hold in your spare time or moonlight until they've outpaced your normal job!

Those with money and energy can blend time and sweat equity building startups.
Again, these are ideas you could explore tapping existing talent, hobbies, or through the right set of connections.

This could include buying into a franchise, copying and modifying a business model, or expanding out as a freelancer into a full-fledged organization.

Ideas include:

  • Food trucks
  • Web services
  • Consulting
  • Mechanic
  • Blogging is a pretty common avenue for building a startup as this creates the initial interest and community feedback used to validate ideas. The blog could also eventually form into an e-commerce or business site promoting this new idea. Mix in social media efforts and your launch starts with an existing foundation used to drive sales.

These startups require extra capital usually gathered via:

  • Long-term savings
  • Personal investments
  • Bank loans and funding
  • Crowdsourcing capital

If There's a Demand, There's an Opportunity. Our economy has shifted into full-on gig mode. The idea of making money using the Web or picking up odd jobs here and there are commonplace. These aren't far-fetched ideas as they may have seemed just ten years ago. If there's a demand in the market (which there almost always is), then someone will willing to pay.

You'd be surprised the number of businesses needing extra talent without taking on a regular employee. Or, how many people are willing to pay for services or unique offers now that they're incredibly busy and have extra spending money.

Get to hustling and see what you could moonlight. See if you can find balance with time, money, and energy. And, be ready and able to put in the sweat equity to escape the rat race. There's opportunity out there!

At-Home Teeth Whitening: Does it Work? - I review a kit for Sensitive Teeth

My teeth have given me trouble my entire life. There was the usual crowding and crooked teeth to deal with, but I also have the odd issue of late tooth development. When I was 2, I didn't have any teeth and my parents were super worried. The dentist took x-rays to be sure I even HAD teeth. Slowly, over the years I started to get teeth. While my first grade friends were losing their first baby teeth, I was still getting mine. 

This set up a ton of insurance related nightmares as they would only cover "age appropriate" procedures and my age was always too old for my tooth development. *Sighs*

Most of this is stuff I just have to deal with, but when I came across the Smile Brilliant kit, I thought I might have a chance to make my smile a little brighter. 
I have purchased home whitening kits and have not been happy with them. They usually come with big football guard mouth kits and are super uncomfortable. 

Hands down - I have to say the best thing about the Smile Brilliant kit is the ability to make a perfect mold of your teeth. The trays are excellent and precise. 

And they were easy to make. The instructions were easy to follow and it only took a few minutes. The company emailed me when they received my molds and then sent the trays a few short weeks later.

The kit comes with everything you need to make the molds (plus extra in case of an issues) and it comes with whitening gel and desensitizing gel. I never used the desensitizing gel because my teeth did not feel sensitive.

I feel like my teeth are whiter - or brighter at least, but it did take a long time before I started feeling like it was working. Might just be "my teeth" again. Here are my before and after shots.

It's been a few months of regular use. I really do feel more confident - in real life - but am not seeing the same results I expected to see on camera. It's been a pleasant experience and reasonably convenient to use, so I will press on until I run out of the whitening gel. 

Wish me luck!

If you are interested in giving Smile Brilliant a try - you can save 20%  by using this 20% off coupon code: suburbanjungle20 

Also - You can enter to win a $149 Smile Brilliant credit - open to USA, UK, Australia, and Canadian residents by visiting this link and signing up for the giveaway. - Giveaway ends on 7/10/2018

Tooth Whitening Gel

Start Your Own Massage Business

Are you ready to be mompreneur? Balancing the roles of mom and business owner is no easy task. Choosing the right type of business venture is critical to your success, happiness, and work/life balance.

Massage therapy is a great line of business for moms. Owning a massage therapy business gives you the ability to create a flexible work schedule, the pay is very good and the startup costs are minimal compared to other entrepreneurial endeavors. The barrier to entry is also pretty low since you don’t need years of training or a college degree.

After you do get the required education and licensing out of the way, there are three primary things to focus on to launch a massage business.

Equipment for Your Massage Business

Before you can start kneads the knots out of your clients, you’ve got to have tools and equipment to get the job done. Fortunately, you don’t need much to get started.

The most essential piece of equipment is a comfortable high-quality massage bed or table. The best investment starting out is a portable option. Even if you plan to rent a studio space, with a portable table you can go to clients if they can’t come to you.

Other essential massage supplies include:

  • Towels
  • Massage oils and lotions
  • Aromatherapy tools
  • Heat sources for towels and hot stones
  • Relaxing music

Of course, the equipment you need will depend on your massage specialty. As you gain clients and income you can add extras that enhance the massage experience.

Branding for Your Massage Business

It’s understandable if you’re eager to get going, but it will pay to make time for branding your new business. Branding is the identity of your business. When you’ve got great branding it can actually improve customer loyalty and tie certain values to your business.

Make sure to add the following to your branding plan:

  • Business Name - Many entrepreneurs will tell you your business name is the most important part of branding.
  • Unique Value Proposition (UVP) - Every business needs to establish it’s UVP, which tells people what sets you apart from the competition. Think hard about what makes you and your services better or different. That’s your UVP.
  • Tagline - A tagline is a catchy one-liner that sums up what you do and/or your UVP.
  • Logo - Your logo will become a visual cue that tells people what you do.
  • Color Scheme - Don’t underestimate the power of color. Studies have shown colors affect mood.

Don’t worry too much about getting every brand element perfect. Your brand will likely evolve during your first year of business as you establish yourself.

Marketing Your Massage Business
Now that you’ve got a handle on the branding you can start marketing. Mompreneurs are super lucky these days in terms of marketing any type of business. Thanks to the Internet and social media there are a lot of free ways to market your new massage business and start scheduling appointments.

Take advantage of every social media platform. There’s no better free marketing platform since millions of people use social media. Because everything is done in real time, it’s also a great resource for promoting specials. Start accounts specifically for your business then invite all of your friends to check them out using your personal accounts.

Once you have more income coming in you can consider other low-cost marketing platforms. For instance, Google Adwords is an affordable way to get top ranking in the search engine because you only pay when someone clicks on your link.

Marketing messages are just as important as your marketing platforms. One of the biggest hurdles is convincing potential clients that your massage service is superior to using a massage chair. Sure, the Tekjoy massager is nice to have at the end of a long day, but it can’t replace the skilled hands of a massage therapist.

Think back on your UVP to craft marketing messages that get people calling.
The next marketing essential is a website. Using free resources like Wordpress and Wix, you can create a website at no cost. It will be fairly basic but that’s better than having no website at all. However, it’s usually worth the investment to step up to a premium account that allows you to have your own unique domain and advanced features like online scheduling tools.

Once you’ve got those three essentials covered you’ll be well on your way to owning a successful massage business.

Change your perspective, Change your Story, and the true meaning of extroversion/introversion

One of the best pieces of advice I can give to you is this: understand that not everyone thinks like you. They do not see the world the same, they have not had the same experiences, and they do not remember/keep the same things.

Consider the responses of witnesses to crimes. Whenever there are multiple witnesses, there will be multiple stories. They may have similarities, but they will be markedly different.

I attended a rural high school - with about 100 people in my graduating class. Growing up in a small community,  everyone knows everyone. They know your parents, your history, and every mistake you've ever made. It's kind of a drag. But what they think they know is often wrong.

I left my hometown the day before my 17th birthday and set off for the "big city" to go to college and start my life.

A few years after high school graduation, my mother ran into a girl from my class and she asked about me. This girl was someone I knew (of course, since there were only 100 people!) but I did not really interact with her.

I was never "mean" to her but I had only remember talking to her once in all the years I lived there. But what she told my mom was outrageous to me.

She asked how I was and my mom told her what I was up to. She said, "oh good. She was one of the only popular people that was ever nice to me."

I was never intentionally mean to anyone after my junior high days, but I was not outwardly nice either. And one thing was certain - I wasn't POPULAR. What in the world?

I am the quintessential definition of "the lone wolf." I do not roam in a pack and I prefer to be alone. I never had any real friends through out my entire school experience. Actually, I take it back. I was friends with one person for a few months in my 10th grade year. She was my only friend. Even now, I find friends exhausting and have but a few.
Which brings up a big misunderstanding among people. Why are introverts and extroverts the way they are? I am 100% introvert, but ironically I spent my career working in outside sales. Say what? How can that even make sense? It's because introvert does not mean what you think it does.

Most people believe extravert = life of the part and introvert = unibomber. Nope. What it really means is "how you manage your energy." Introverts have so much to say and they are usually quite "aware." They spend more of their time observing than acting - waiting for an appropriate and worthy time to act (this is in regards to people interactions, introverts are not just lumps lying around, lol)

The reason for this is because introverts are givers and extraverts are takers. This is the more accurate way to look at the situation. Anyone can act "extraverted." Introverts can be salespeople that have to talk to new people every single day and ask them to buy their products. Introverts CAN have fun at parties. They just don't when there are a lot of extraverts in the room. Why? Because extraverts take and take and take. They suck the energy out of people. Out of the room. Out of the experience. They feel energized after talking to people because they take a lot out of the experience. They take your knowledge, your zest, your energy.

This is why introverts sit quietly in the corner. They are looking around for someone worth talking to. When they find that person, they will freely give of their time, their energy, their knowledge. But if they see an extravert or worse, a group of extraverts, they will avoid them until they are cornered. Then, the extravert(s) will suck them until the introvert manages to escape. After a long night of extraverted exhaustion, they will need to spend time alone to recover from the experience. 

So most introverts are able to accurately assess the situation and consider whether they want to engage in the experience. Those that don't are quickly consumed and they wither away, a slave to a taker.

I am not a taker. But I also withhold my giving. So I stay with myself. That did not make me popular in school, and it surprises me that she considered me to be "popular." I was not a jock. I was not wealthy. I was not involved in any groups/clubs. I didn't have a group or usually even a single friend.

And again, I had one interaction with her in my life. I am fairly certain it was the only interaction because I didn't actively engage with people - and pretty much only had forced interactions during classes (work in teams, etc) and she was not in any of the upper level classes I took that would have forced interaction.

My moment with her occurred at the crisis pregnancy center. At some point, my 16 year old self found out we had a crisis pregnancy center and for some reason I decided I should stop in and volunteer my time. This was not something they were used to and they didn't know what to make of me. I gave them my work and school schedule, then offered up any of my free time to help.

They did something really smart at that point. They told me I was too young to help as a counselor and that since this was a small community, I would most likely recognize the girls and they me. This would be hard for them so they wanted me to be "in the background." They asked about my hobbies, skills, etc - and when they heard I spent my summers at math and science camps, they quickly found me a role. This was the mid-90s and almost no older people knew how to use computers. We didn't have computers in our schools. There were no cell phones (gasp!!)

They were trying to convert their mailing list to a computer document so they could make mailing labels. Until then, they had been writing them all out by hand and none of them could get it to work. Well then. They expected it to take me all year but I completed it all in 2 afternoons. I offered to add the entire phone book to their list, but they declined - something about only wanting to ask for donations from current donors. Sounded wrong to me, but I was 16. What did I know? And my work there was done.

On my way out, I ran into the girl mentioned earlier in the article. She was pregnant and scared. She saw me and of course knew me from school. I asked if she was pregnant and she said yes. She asked if I was too. WHAT??? I told her I was volunteering there, but I had finished my work. Then I told her good luck and left.

That was it. And from that, I was the only popular person that was ever nice to her. Perspective.

We are a curious species. Perspective is reality. It IS reality. You make your own reality by how you choose to see the world. And you can even change your story. My husband does this all the time. He retells events from our lives to other people and the whole time I am thinking - "wow, you left out so much, and that's really how you saw it?" But he tells himself all the ways he won, he succeeded, he conquered. He sees himself as a winner and a conqueror so that is how he narrates his story.

If he chose to see the whole truth or to focus on the times we lose (quite often in pure factual data) then he might have less confidence and be unwilling to keep battling out in the giant scary world we live in.

So - remember that. You are the author of your story. Retell your story in a way that gives you the confidence to go out there and do your stuff. And choose the way you want to see an experience - good/bad/otherwise.

And if you are an introvert that does not monitor your time/energy - start taking back your time/energy. Do not let extraverts suck you dry.

Best of luck.

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Wild Strawberries are gross and other lies from the internet

Once upon a time, I used to read wild foraging books. They were full of all sorts of tales - lies actually. It seemed every book parroted the same false information. As a regular woodland forager, I am very aware of what is edible and have tried almost everything that grows in our area (with some plants still to be found...)

So I gave up on foraging books - with the exception of Sam Thayer's books because he actually eats the things he writes about, he lives/forages in a northern climate, and his information is accurate.

wild strawberries - see how little they are?
One of the most outrageous lies has to do with eating milkweed pods. I have eaten these on multiple occasions and they are actually one of my favorite wild edibles. Most books say they are bitter and require a minimum of three boilings. Hogwash. So it was not at all surprising to read every book glow about how great wild strawberries taste. My experience was that they were not worth picking.

On two separate occasions, I had picked wild strawberries and found them lacking in flavor and with an unpleasant texture - like foam. Just another foraging book lie, I thought. Then I got to telling people this and realized I better check again before I start spreading tales. So I gathered the strawberries you see in the photo above. They are small like a finger nail (ignore my dirty finger...they are always dirty this time of year.) I braced myself for a bite of foam, and..... they were fantastic. Oh my goodness! I had been wrong. Or maybe semi wrong, semi right. Maybe some are unpleasant - those further in the shade perhaps? But these were great.

But it's not all roses, friends. During the winter, I came across an article claiming that juicing rhubarb leads to a beautiful pink drink - sweet tart like lemonade - but without the need for ANY sugar. Hot dog. I marked the recipe into my calendar and when the rhubarb was ready, I got busy.

I only made a little because the recipe was surprisingly wasteful. This little bit of juice took over a cup of rhubarb to make. I used the pressings in a rhubarb bar recipe, but still couldn't get over the volume to juice ratio.  But it was beautiful, and pink. This surprised me because the rhubarb I grow at home is all green.
Well, I was looking forward to a glorious sugar-free sweet tart drink. No! It was awful. Like an unripe wild apple. Yucky, yucky, yucky.

I froze the juice in little cubes to sneak into smoothies, but I don't know. The internet was wrong on this one and I will never make it again. A much better option - staghorn sumac. This makes a real lemonade alternative. I just need an efficient way to save the goodness all winter, without taking up oodles of freezer space.

dried stinging nettle

raspberry leaves and nettles

This spring was the first time I caught fiddle heads in the right season. I am usually a day or two early/late. They were delicious, definitely something I will harvest again. I recently dried some red raspberry leaves (these make a great tea) and stinging nettles that I hope to make into a whole wheat sour dough bread.

The details on that will be coming shortly.

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