The Miracle Of Bee Venom

New Zealand is without a doubt the most beautiful country I have ever visited.

It has it all. The white sands and clear water. The snowy mountains towering over still lakes. Palm trees and waterfalls. Secluded beaches and hidden coves, native culture and thermal waters.

It is also the home of the Manuka flowering bush and also New Zealand sheep that are raised for their high quality wool.

Another by product of their wool is lanolin. Mother.

Lanolin, also called wool wax or wool grease, is a wax secreted by the sebaceous glands of wool-bearing animals. Lanolin used by humans comes from domestic sheep breeds that are raised specifically for their wool.

From the Manuka plant comes Healthful Manuka Honey and several skin care products using bee venom.

Honey bee venom is used cosmetically to ‘fool’ the skin into thinking it has been lightly stung with the toxin melittin. me lit tin. : a toxic protein in bee venom that causes localized pain and inflammation but also has a moderate antibacterial and antifungal effect.

This causes the body to direct blood towards the area and stimulates the production of the naturally-occurring chemicals collagen and elastin.

Collagen strengthens body tissue while elastin is the protein that helps the skin to remain taut and bounce back into shape after being pressed or pinched.

The venom also has the effect of relaxing the muscles, it is claimed.

Experts collect bee venom by placing a pane of glass alongside a hive and running a weak electrical current through it, which encourages the insects to sting the surface.

Because the bee’s lance remains in its body, it does not die.

I have done my due diligence on skincare containing bee venom. They do work. There is one caution. After all, the ingredients that work for one person may not have any effect on another. Even worse, instead of helping your skin, you may have an allergic reaction to any one of the ingredients in any product you apply on you skin. So it is important to do a small patch test if you are highly allergic to bee stings or have sensitivity toward ingredients in the products.

Copyright Sandra Hart 2018 ©

All Rights Reserved

Music Memories

Did you ever think that maybe the music that we have been exposed to by our parents as children has a great deal of importance in our formative recipe as to who we are today?

I recently did a YouTube video about my musical memories and how important they are to me. I was reminded by one of my fellow YouTube creators about music that her mother and father liked.

That conversation brought me back to a time that I had almost forgotten. My mother loved the music of Hoagy Carmichael. I can remember her playing his song, Stardust, over and over again. Every time it came up on our old wooden radio she would stop what she was doing and stand there living her personal Stardust dream. I was too young to understand it all, but now I wish in adulthood I would have asked her sometime during her ninety-two years just what that dream was. Mother’s music when I was a child resonated with me and I felt so it deeply in my heart because I loved her.

When I was about 12 years old for Christmas I found a music box that played Stardust. Every penny that I saved for Christmas that year went to buy that special jewelry box for her.

Throughout her life mother kept all of her precious jewelry in that box and I always knew when she was taking something out when the tinkling sound could be heard throughout the house.

When mother died and we were packing and sorting her possessions I kept two things; her purse that was filled with personal items and that music box.

Eventually, sometime when I was in my decoupage period I decided to decoupage the faded outside of the music box. Looking at it now, I’m not too sure it was the right decision, but it still plays.

Today I took mother’s music box out from my shelf in my closet. I gently gave the stem a few winds, just to listen to a few notes and it slowly plucked out the familiar tune. Next, I’m going to place my jewelry inside it’s empty faded velvet partitions. Then I will wind it fully and put it where I can look at it every day so that I can be reminded of my mother and the music that has shaped my life. I will remember through her music box the beginning if my own childhood dreams choreographed by Hoagy Carmichael.

Copyright Sandra Hart 2017. All Rights Reserved.

True Life Sweet Spots 

I  recently had to go in the hospital for a cryoablation for heart palpitations I’ve had since my twenties. I had a procedure done twenty years ago to ablate the pathways that were causing my heart to fire those extra impulses. Well, through the years they grew back and I have had to have another procedure to ablate them again. 

It just so happens that my cardiology surgeon is a big Tonic fan. Although we have had many phone conversations about the new cryoablation procedure, I hadn’t seen Dr. Todd Florin since my radiofrequency ablation in January, but he remembered all about Tonic when we met again pre-op. 

This time Dr. Florin spent at least a half hour with me just going over my procedure and generally chatting about life before l went into surgery. When I was finally prepped and wheeled into the operating room, he came over and said he wanted me to meet someone. He gestured to a handsome young doctor that was a part of his team to come closer. 

“Would you believe, this young surgeon is also a fan of Tonic. He must have been 12 when that first album came out! “ he said kind of amazed.
Well, it turned out this doctor not only was a singer/musician himself, but knew all of Tonic’s music. The last thing I remember as I was going under is being serenaded by him with his wonderful rendition of “If You Could Only See The Way She Loves Me.” True Story.  
Copyright Sandra Hart 2017©

Music Is My Memory Trail

(Author’s note: If your soul is rooted in music as deeply as mine, grab your earphones and reading glasses, if needed, and let me transport you with me to places in my past.)

“ I believe in teleportation and time travel,” he said taking a sip of his Old Fashioned. It was Friday and we were at a speakeasy watching bluegrass. I wasn’t sure I heard him correctly. 

“ Not in the sensational way, mind you. But in the way a waft of a certain perfume can take you back to childhood, or a song can being back a flurry of feelings you felt long ago.  Isn’t it strange and wonderful how our senses can give us context of the present, but transport us to the past?” 

He whispered to the bartender who came back moments later with a mint julep identical to the one he introduced me to when we first met….orange twist and all.

“Here. Close your eyes and take a sip of this.
Tell me…..where does it take you?  

Aromas and music are the two triggers that can transport me back in time.  Big band music  takes me back to my early childhood and our Sunday family outings to The Lotus Restaurant in Washington, DC. 

Rock and roll and the music of the 50’s bring me back to my high school days when we wore pony tails and bobby socks and the worst thing the boys could do was smoke behind the building or drink beer in the coal pits. 

Georgetown and  great jazz  wisk me back to my college years where we would spend our nights listening to Mose Allison or Dave Brubeck.  I can still smell the mixture of cigarette smoke and scotch that filled the crowded clubs lining the narrow streets in Georgetown. 

My child rearing years and the small tube radio that I always had on in the kitchen comes to my mind every time I hear Billy Joel and his romantic take on life. I was always dreaming through my humdrum life while being transported to somewhere beyond that kitchen and piles of dirty laundry by Billy.  

Now that I’m older and have Alexa in my life, I can be transported to any era of my life by just asking.   Transporting has never been easier! 

Copyright Sandra Hart 2017 

Moving Forward

I have lived long enough that if I would put all of my ‘what ifs’ in writing, l would  have a complete novel. Honestly, think  back. How many ‘what ifs’ are in your past that if you had a ‘do over’ things would be different, or the outcome would have been much better if you had only….

Well, let me stop you right there. You are where you are supposed to be right now because the ‘what ifs’ didn’t happen.  Good or bad, there is no going back,  There are few ‘do overs’. 

A long time ago I quit torchering myself and put  all of my ‘what ifs’ in a basket and lit a match to it.  I refuse to live in the past and think that my life would be so much better if I had made different decisions in my life. I decided that living in the now is what is important.  

Learn from your ‘what ifs’  Burn that basket and move forward into the present and don’t look back with regrets.  Your best life is now!

CopyrightSabdra Hart 2017©

Stepping Out Of The Box

One big positive about being a mature woman is that the bonds of restriction that had me tied in knots most of my life are untied. I am finally free to be me. 

As a young woman, I followed the trends, was afraid to be different and never stepped over the line when it came to fashion or being proper.  Sure, I took some risks career wise, but I never dared to be out of step as to what was expected of me. 

 I don’t think I was alone in that mindset.  After all, it was the early 60’s, my childbearing and mothering  years, before Woodstock and the hippie generation.  All that ‘freedom-to-be’ passed me by with diapers and nurturing others. 

It must have been in my fifties when suddenly a light bulb went off in my head and I started taking risks. I started to realize it was okay to be me. It was okay to step out of the box. 

Knock. Knock. Let me out of here! 

Copyright Sandra Hart 2017©

It’s Hard To Be A Writer

I know it’s much more difficult to write about ones life than it is to pen a novel. The latter is fantasy, make believe. Journeys you take in your mind that release you from your own reality.

Facing the truth in front of your typewriter is another story. Sometimes is extremely painful to write about ones own life’s reality.  Those events are never erased, but lived over and over again. Pages ripped from your past that come back to haunt you and resurface things that you had hope were buried so deep that they would never resurface. 

It’s hard to be a writer. It’s hard to write about the truth. 

Copyright Sandra Hart©.  All Rights Reserved