Category: Living Well

Say Yes to Gratitude


In Say Yes To Life, Ilse Anderson shares lessons she learned from her journey with cancer.
Clovercroft Publishing: $21.95 (Barnes & Noble)

We all face daunting challenges at some points in our lives. Whether the crisis involves health, career, relationships, the initial reaction is always fear.

I’m not talking about being scared, which is a natural response to the unknown. Being scared gets your adrenalin going so you can think clearly and act decisively. It has a purpose, and then it passes.

Fear, on the other hand, paralyzes you, and if you let it, fear will take up residence in your mind and heart.

Of course I was scared. I had been diagnosed with Stage 4 oral cancer. From one day to the next, I found myself in a life-or-death situation with a very limited amount of time to decide how I would handle it.

Feel Grateful This Thanksgiving


Serve a Thanksgiving menu rich in tradition around a beautifully decorated table. (Christy Rost)

My husband Randy and I love the time we spend in our Colorado mountain home, but as Thanksgiving draws near, our focus shifts to family gatherings.

Each year, shortly before Dallas-area oak leaves turn red and yards overflow with colorful chrysanthemums, we return home to share this beautiful season with loved ones.

Take Cues From Your Cat


“Declawing should never be an option — it’s like pull-ing off your finger or toe nails.”

Cats have charmed many of us into lifelong (theirs) submission (ours).

Growing up, my family usually had a cat around, and throughout my life random felines have found me and moved in (my latest crawled out of a drain behind my house patchy, starving, and affectionate — oy!).

Here are some interesting notes on this peculiar species we have welcomed into our homes.

Arboretum Opens A Tasteful Place


A Tasteful Place garden features vegetables, herbs, and flowers and an outdoor kitchen referred to as the
“tasting plaza.” (Photo: Sarah Diver)

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of life with a little fresh air, some quality time outdoors, and hands-on lessons in farm-to-table (actually, garden-to-table) cooking.

At the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden’s new 3.5-acre edible display garden, A Tasteful Place, there’s something to do 362 days out of the year.

Skin Needs a Fall Break


Now that summer’s over and we have tanned our hides — and as cooler, dryer temperatures tease us — thankfully, the fall allows a reprieve from extreme temperatures that can wreak havoc on our largest organ.

What should you be using during the fall to rehydrate skin from summer sun damage and prepare for winter’s crispness? Body lotion.

There are so many on the market now. Lotions drew approximately $3.49 billion in sales in 2016, with Private Label leading the pack with a 7.1 percent share. However, for 2017, Private Label comes in second, according to

Say It With Me: Co-Co-Nut

Dr. Bronner’s coconut oil.

Over the summer, I brought up coconut oil in one of my columns, mentioning that it has a teeny amount of SPF (about 4), which makes it a good moisturizer for arms, face, and neck for everyday protection if your sun exposure is mostly driving and walking to and from the car.

At the time, I had to stop myself from elaborating on the many other uses of the stuff, knowing that I could fill a whole column with that info.

Well, hi, hello … that whole column is upon us. Boom — keep reading.

Downward Dog with the Dogs


Isabelle Calzaba, left, and Ariel Tolfree enjoy Puppy Yoga. (Photo: Lorelei Day)

Yoga isn’t just for humans anymore.

Maybe it stemmed from the many poses named after animals, such as the Downward-Facing Dog, Cow pose, or the One-Legged King Pigeon, but bringing live animals into the mix is proving to be a popular trend.

According to an article in, combining the healing effects of yoga with the stress-relieving addition of animal interaction can work wonders on overall well-being.

Dealing With Difficult Older Parents?


In his work providing psychological evaluations of geriatric patients, Dr. Paul Chafetz hears frequent complaints.

Every week, adult children tell the North Dallas psychologist some variation of, “My mom is driving me crazy; my dad’s impossible.”

Hurtful sarcasm, irrational demands, constant criticism, and underserved anger can take its toll on children, even adult children, Chafetz said.

Keep Halloween Fun


(Photo: Christy Rost)

I always feel like a kid as Halloween draws near, and I’m not alone, as evidenced by the faces of our guests during last year’s Halloween party.

Thirty adults arrived at our door dressed as pirates, ghouls, witches, Roman soldiers, and even a geisha, wearing expressions of sheer joy at the chance to step away from real life for a few hours. I confess, I was a bit surprised, but also delighted by their transformation into kids who hadn’t seen the inside of a classroom for decades.

For years, I’ve lined our driveway with lanterns on Halloween, swept away acorns that always seemed to drop en masse just before the holiday, illuminated the bushes along the sidewalk with tiny orange lights, draped cobwebs over the porch lights and front doorway, and placed a series of jack-o’-lanterns on the steps leading to the door.