Preventing Lyme Disease, Part 2

As those of you who have read my bio know, I have suffered from chronic Lyme disease for seventeen years. Lyme disease is not only transmitted through a tick bite; it can also be sexually transmitted or passed from mother to child in uterus.

 

Unfortunately, because of the intense controversy surrounding this disease, these and other facts are not widely known.

 

It is not my intention to deal with the politics of Lyme in this post. For myself, I have multiple blood tests to prove that the Lyme is active in my body.  For others, there is proof showing that more than 800 new cases of Lyme is detected EVERY SINGLE DAY.  Lyme does not discriminate and it is possible that you may contract this disease as well.

 

This past winter was unusually mild. That means that the tick population this summer will be rampant, and we will all need to be exceptionally careful. The following posts will give you multiple ideas on ways to PREVENT contracting Lyme disease, as well as information about TESTING for ticks if you, your children, or your animals are bitten, to discover if the tick carries any diseases.

If you are confused as to what exactly Lyme disease is, and how difficult it can be to treat, check out my post Preventing Lyme Disease, Part 1.

  As many say, “Prevention is the best form of medicine.” Let’s get to it!

Please note, dear readers: I am not a medical professional, and the following information is my opinion only. Any changes you make in your healthcare should first be reviewed by your doctor.

PREVENTION TIPS

  •   Stay out of tall grass

This is a basic guideline. While ticks abound everywhere, sticking to close-cut grass allows you to see more of the creepy-crawlers that may choose you as their new home. Staying out of woods and dense areas is also important, as these places often make healthy habitats for ticks.
  • Daily tick check

After coming inside from a walk, check all over for ticks. Important areas include in between your toes, armpits, behind knees, and groin areas. Ticks love to hide and can do so easily, especially the smaller species.
  • Protect your clothing

Using a bug spray that contains tick repellent is an excellent idea whenever you venture outside. Permethrin can be found at major chain stores, including outdoor stores like Cabela’s, and can be used on clothing and outdoor equipment (such as tents). Never apply Permethrin directly to your skin.
There are also several essential oils that help to repel ticks (see below for a possible recipe).
Diatomaceous earth can be sprinkled around outside, especially around doors and windows, to keep all crawling insects out of your home.
There are also multiple plants (including Citronella, Lemongrass, and Peppermint) that you can keep indoors to help repel bugs.
Another choice available to you is already treated clothing; check out companies such as Insect Shield and BugBeWear to find options that work for you.
  • Dress sensibly

Wearing light or brightly colored clothing allows you to better see any ticks or bugs crawling on you. If wearing socks, tuck your pant legs inside to prevent ticks from crawling up your legs, and tuck your shirt inside your pant to keep bare skin unavailable to unwanted guests.
  • Keep your body healthy

Generally speaking, the healthier you are, the more likely your body is to fight pathogens such as Lyme and co-infections. A healthy immune system is essential for fighting any illness. Avoid GMO’s, and keep to a low-sugar, organic diet, while boosting your immune system with vitamins such as C and D as well. Exercise routines such as yoga or Tai Chi can help bring you back to your center and regulate your breathing.

 

  Keep posted for more information readers!

 

Essential Oil recipe for tick repellent:

  • 20 drops Lemongrass oil
  • 20 drops Eucalyptus oil

In a 4 ounce spray bottle, mix these oils together, then fill the rest of the bottle with water. Shake before each use, and reapply every 4 hours.

Other possible essential oils for repelling bugs include Cedar, Tea tree, and Peppermint.

Preventing Lyme Disease, Part 1

As those of you who have read my bio know, I have suffered from chronic Lyme disease for seventeen years. Lyme disease is not only transmitted through a tick bite; it can also be sexually transmitted or passed from mother to child in uterus.

 

Unfortunately, because of the intense controversy surrounding this disease, facts such as these are not widely known.

 

  It is not my intention to deal with the politics of Lyme in this post. For myself, I have multiple blood tests to prove that the Lyme is active in my body.  For others, there is proof showing that more than 800 new cases of Lyme are detected EVERY SINGLE DAY.  Lyme does not discriminate and it is possible that you may contract this disease as well.

This past winter was unusually mild. That means that the tick population this summer will be rampant, and we will all need to be exceptionally careful. The following posts will give you multiple ideas on ways to PREVENT contracting Lyme disease, as well as information about TESTING for ticks if you, your children, or your animals are bitten, to discover if the tick carries any diseases.

But first, let’s go over some of the basics regarding this disease. Follow my blog through email to keep up with the follow-up posts, in which I’ll discuss prevention and testing!

Please remember, dear readers: I am not a licensed medical professional. All statements provided below reflect my opinion only. Please discuss treatment options with your doctor.

lyme ribbon

 

PART 1:  WHAT IS LYME DISEASE?

  • Lyme disease is an infection, often caused by a tick bite
  • It’s not only ticks that carry Lyme; any biting insect is capable of transmitting a variety of pathogens (including fleas, mosquitoes, flies and mites)
  • You are ten times more likely to contract Lyme disease than West Nile, but even so, Lyme receives significantly less funding
  • Lyme has far surpassed AIDS as the #1 infectious disease within the United States
  • Co-infections are also often transmitted along with the Lyme disease. Common co-infection include Babesia, Bartonella, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Powassan virus, and more
  • Lyme and co-infections can be transmitted in as little as fifteen minutes after a tick first bites
  • Children and pets are particularly at risk, due to the amount of time they spend outside
  • Standard testing for Lyme (and co-infections) is EXTREMELY inaccurate, because they are testing for the presence of antibodies and not bacteria
  • Few medical professionals understand the seriousness of Lyme disease, and even fewer realize how easily it can become (and stay) chronic
  • For a large percentage of cases, the recommended dosage of antibiotics for a 28-day cycle is nowhere near enough to completely kill the infection
  • Lyme is often misdiagnosed with “autoimmune diseases” such as MS, ALS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s, Lupus, etc
  • Lyme bacteria can enter the nervous system, bloodstream, and organs, often causing severe neurological damage
  • Once Lyme becomes chronic, there is no cure. It often becomes debilitating, forcing patients to try a variety of treatments in desperation
    fight lyme pic

 

Keep posted for the next installments!

You’re Baking Me Crazy

If you had met me a few years ago, you would likely have discovered my abhorrence for all things cooking-related. Kitchens were a waste of space (although a coffee maker made them acceptable). Sure, I “knew how to cook” thanks to my lovely and patient mother, who taught me all the basics at a young age. Did I like cooking? I thought it was a waste of time and energy. So no.

woman-cooking-in-kitchen
Then I started a diet called the Paleo diet, as instructed by my MD. I knew right away I had to do this well, and do this right if there was a chance of it making a difference. I’ve been on many diets before but the Lyme disease had reached such a horrible stage, it was determined that going carb-free (and sugar free and dairy free) could drastically improve my symptoms and overall health.
It wasn’t easy at first, I cannot tell a lie. My time in the kitchen was not enjoyable and I struggled to find food that fit the restrictions yet tasted good. That is actually a tall order.
Fast forward a year or so. After losing 75 pounds and improving so dramatically (going from being bedridden to having good amounts of energy combined with significantly less pain), I was hooked on the Paleo lifestyle! And that is exactly what it has become too me: a lifestyle, not a diet. I plan to adhere to this lifestyle for the remainder of my days.

baking-ingredients-1
While working an average of 30 hours a week and looking after my dog, not to mention my health, I have managed to put in quite a few hours in the kitchen. Check out my “punchcard” below for hours spent cooking and baking:

September 2016: 40-45 hours
October 2016: 25-28 hours
 (I was very sick this month but still managed to spend a good amount of time in the kitchen)
November 2016: 45-50 hours
December 2016: 60-65 hours
January 2017: 40-45 hours

Let’s break that down. Besides working a “real” job those months, I essentially employed myself on more than a full-time basis in the kitchen. That’s nearly 222 hours/5 months.   If I had been getting paid, I would have made about $17000.00.

(That’s getting paid at a low rate, however; if you’re interested in the exact math and calculations based on experience, location and standard salaries in this field, message me).
Despite my new skills being worth a fair penny, I have not employed myself in order to pursue a career as a chef…although that might be fun! Worth more then a salary is the knowledge and skill to make meals that follow very strict guidelines while also tasting incredible. I have it on good authority from family, friends and co-workers that my food tastes good. Many were shocked to learn that they had just eaten something gluten/sugar/dairy free…and enjoyed it.

Here are a few more statistics you may find interesting:
In the past 5 months I’ve made approximately…
  • 84 c. Soup
  • 36 c. Applesauce
  • 10 dozen Cookies
  • 14 dozen Muffins
  • 8 Casseroles
  • 10 loaves of Banana Bread
  • 5 types of Granola
  • 5 types of Protein Bars
  • 4 different paleo Dog Treats
  • 15-20 other various Paleo desserts

In the past 5 months I’ve also learned to can…did I tell you about that?!? Another time. 

muffins
For the majority of my time spent in the kitchen, I’m enjoying myself. Mostly I’m so grateful to have found food I enjoy that falls within strict guidelines. And my self-confidence has been undeniable boosted. Makes me believe in miracles! 

 

For more information on the Paleo diet, check out these links:

https://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/the-beginners-guide-to-the-paleo-diet/

http://paleoleap.com/paleo-101/

http://thepaleodiet.com/

Also, check out a few of my other recent blog posts:

Feverfew…a migraine miracle?

The Issue with MOLD

My First Day

Still Working, Still Baking

 

Exercise & Lyme

Having dealt with chronic Lyme disease for 17 years, I know the ins and outs of this illness.

For the most part, I know what my body can handle. However, despite my intimate knowledge and understanding of this disease, I still hear the following words rather regularly: “If you would just exercise…”

exhausted-person-image

It is true, exercise has been like a fountain of youth for many people. And I’m certainly not disagreeing with the effectiveness of engaging in consistent exercise. However, people rarely try to see the issue from my point of view: when in pain (excruciating pain), dealing with headaches (at least five per day and often a migraine on top of those five), suffering from tummy issues (despite a healthy diet and supplementation), and moaning from achy joints and muscles…exercise is NOT a good idea.

exhausted-animal-image

Those symptoms described above also accurately describe my daily life for the majority of the past 17 years. Only recently have I begun to think that maybe, just maybe, I could get serious about exercise.

By “get serious” I mean do more than walk when I can, or take the stairs at a store when I can. I mean join a group, learn the rules, commit to doing some form of exercise several times per week.

In fact, I can prove I’m serious. In October, I joined a yoga class. I was able to do one class, then I experienced a chronic infection that lasted for 8 weeks…basically, imagine the worst flu that you have ever had, then keep that in your mind for eight weeks. There was no way I was going back to yoga while feeling like complete and utter s***.

Now, I think I may be ready to try again. I have been recovered from the chronic infection for two months, and have been able to increase my hours at work while dealing with a sick dog, so I think my body might be ready for a change.

Now dear readers, is the part where I need your help!

I am considering many options: yoga? Pilates? Swimming lessons? Physical therapy? Gym? What, oh what, would be best for my body?

cat-excercising

If you have been chronically ill and have also tried exercising, I would love to know your story and get your feedback on how exercising has gone for you! 

 

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Feverfew…a migraine miracle?

  In one of my recent blog posts, I listed several of the many blessings I experienced in 2016 (see Happy New Year (and belated Merry Christmas)!). One of them was in reference to the reduced amount of migraines I have been having, thanks to a little herb called Feverfew.

I didn’t want to write a blog post about Feverfew right away, even though I have been taking this particular herb for several months now. Sometimes, a supplement will work for me at the beginning, then it’s effectiveness is reduced over time. Also, the results I saw at the beginning seemed so fantastic, I was wary regarding whether or not it would actually continue to work.

Now, several months into taking this herb, I am ready to share my news!

 

  First, a little history…
  At age 13, I began experiencing a headache…that never, ever, EVER went away. Then, the one headache decided it wasn’t doing enough damage, so several other headaches decided to join in on the fun. The headaches were my first symptom of chronic Lyme disease (which I discovered 10 years after first experiencing the never-ending headache). During those 10 years of searching for a reason/cure, I had an average of 5 headaches daily and would often have a migraine on top of those 5 “regular” headaches. Life was not much fun.
  After my diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease, I began working on serious treatment…and am still continuing to work on treating the Lyme. After 17 years of fighting this horrible disease (that in many ways, is worse than cancer), I still have not beaten Lyme disease. However, I have found several supplements/treatments/medications that help keep the symptoms under control.
  For the headaches, I’ve tried so many things…so many things. My doctors have given me several prescriptions over the years that have helped to curb the pain, but I am always seeking alternative treatments versus prescription medication. I had researched and tried this particular herb called “Feverfew” but it had never done much for me…the instructions indicated I should take it at the onset of a migraine, and that is what I tried. Even so, the migraine always persisted.

woman-with-migraine

A few months ago, after experiencing over 10 migraines within 30 days (the kind of migraines that make you want to just throw your hands up and die), I began researching anew and found this forum about Feverfew. After reading several comments, I found one from a mother who said that she gave her daughter Feverfew EVERY DAY as a preventative to migraines, and that it was working for her daughter. I had never thought about/read about taking Feverfew as a preventative, but I figured, why not try?

Here are some basics on Feverfew:

  • Feverfew is a traditional medicinal herb called tanacetum parthenium, and is plant based

  • Feverfew has been used as an herbal treatment to reduce fevers, treat headaches, treat arthritis, and treat tummy issues

  • Trial studies have not proven to be 100% effective in reducing headaches for the participants (out of 5 trials during a 2004 study, 3 were effective, 2 were not)

  • Feverfew can be taken in capsule or tablet form, in a tincture or tea, or, it can be home-grown and harvested

  • Feverfew is not recommended during pregnancy or breastfeeding

 

While many people have found relief from headaches with this herb, it is not always effective. I still keep over-the-counter and prescription drugs ready, in case of a serious migraine.

woman-with-migraine-2

 

Since starting Feverfew several months ago, I have noticed a serious decrease in migraines. I mean, SERIOUS!

I was experiencing, on average, two migraines per week. Those migraines would last 24-48 hours each, despite medication, and would often bring difficult side effects with them (such as blacking out/getting seriously nauseous). It would take a minimum of three days to recover from one migraine.

Now, for the past three months, I have experienced a total of three migraines. For those of you who have difficulty with math, that is one migraine per month.

 

One migraine per month, versus two migraines per week, is an amazing result for me. After the first month I was holding my breath, fearful that it was simply a fluke. But low and behold, the next two months were the same (even with the holidays!).

happy-woman-in-rain

Needless to say, I am EXCITED to share my news with you!!! Currently, I am taking Feverfew in capsule form, once in the morning. In each capsule, there is 700mg of actual Feverfew (a high dose – many bottles have 200-300mg in each pill, in which case they often prescribe 2 pills/day).

 

  If you are interested in trying Feverfew for yourself, I would recommend you research the following sites (just type in Feverfew in the search section):

http://www.themigrainetrust.org

http://www.botanical.com

http://www.herbwisdom.com

 

Also, do a search online to find forums/personal reviews of others who have tried this herb. Everyone’s experience is different.  My experience of taking Feverfew as a preventative is too good NOT to share however, and I sincerely hope that results are similar for those of you who try it.

happy-woman-2

  If you do try, or if you have tried in the past, what was your experience with Feverfew? Would you recommend it to others?

 

Check out other blog posts on my fight with Lyme disease:

Lyme Disease Facts, in pictures

Stress, Anxiety and Life

Weight and Lymies

Weight and Lyme Disease, Pt 2

A Day In My Life

 

You can also sign up for email alerts and get notified whenever I write a new blog post!

100 Movies Update 3

Despite the craziness of the holidays and my home life recently (see blog post Happy New Year (and belated Merry Christmas)!), I have another update on my movie challenge for my dear readers! (See blog posts 100 Movies for my 30th Year! 100 Movies: Update and 100 Movies Update 2) Over the past few weeks I was able to watch and review Schindler’s List, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and From Here to Eternity.

Check out my thoughts…

 

Schindler’s List

schindlers-list15

This incredible film is well worthy of being named one of the best American films ever made for several reasons: 1, the style of filming, 2, the actors involved and 3, the way the characters (based on real events) are so personalized. The way this film starts in color, fades to black and white, then employs the use of color again later in the film is nothing short of genius. Just through filming, the audience is fully aware of the emotions behind the script. The way the camera stays so close to the actors faces puzzled me at first, until I realized it was being shot in a documentary style (even though this is most assuredly a big budget film). A risky move, but one that pays off thanks to the acting genius of Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes and Ben Kingsley. Not only does the script dive into uncomfortable history, it portrays how human souls change because of the horrors they see, both for the good and the bad.

Notice these tidbits…

  • Ralph Fiennes put on several pounds to play the role of Amon Goethe by drinking beer

  • Steven Spielburg had to the option to cast a well-known actor (including Harrison Ford) in the main role of Oskar Schindler, but chose Liam Neeson (a then little-known actor) so the film would not be overshadowed by star power

  • This is the most expensive black and white film made, to date

  • A large percentage of the film was shot using a hand held camera

  • The film won 7 Academy Awards including Best Director, Best Picture, and Best Original Score

  • Based on the book, Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally

  • The girl in the red coat was based on a real girl, Roma Ligocka, a survivor of the Krakow ghetto, who was known for wearing a red winter coat. She later wrote a book called The Girl in the Red Coat

 

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

butch-cassidy-film-poster
I went into this film expecting certain things, thinking it was a typical Hollywood Western. Not true. This movie shines above others because of the truly incredible, and I do mean incredible, script. Every single line was chosen with care. Words are not minced and if you, as the audience, miss a line, you miss a great deal. Seldom do you see such superb writing, or such chemistry between two male actors  (Robert Redford and Paul Newman). The character of Butch (Newman) is played with looseness and affability, while the Kid (Redford) is more serious and stoic. The cinematography adapts a less-is-more attitude and interrupts the minimalist style with scenes consisting only of yellowed photographs, while giving several scenes more character simply because the audience does not expect the excess (for example, the scene of the bicycle crashing to the ground on its own). All in all, this movie is a must-see.

Notice these tidbits…

  • Screenwriter William Goldman (who won an Academy Award for this film) also wrote the well-known novel, The Princess Bride

  • Steve McQueen, Warren Beatty and Marlon Brando were considered for the role of the Kid, but Robert Redford eventually won the role

  • The President of 20th Century Fox, Richard Zanuck, paid $400,000.00 for the screenplay – more than anyone had ever paid for a screenplay before

  • Paul Newman did his own bicycle stunts

 

From Here to Eternity

from-here-to-eternity-film

Although I had never watch the full version of this film before, I had seen the classic scene with Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster on the beach many times. At times the filming and acting came across as choppy to me, perhaps because Montgomery Clift (who played Robert E. Lee Prewitt) was pioneering a new type of acting (method) and therefore, his style seemed almost out of place (although exceptionally more natural). The lone but hard working soldier, the unhappy girl, and the hard-nosed officers lent inspiration to future films such as An Officer and A Gentleman, The Guardian, and Annapolis.. The casting of Donna Reed as a well, let’s face it, hooker, was a genius move, considering she had been typecast as the “girl next door” in previous roles. The role of Maggio was played by Frank Sinatra, an interesting choice but one that brought comic relief to an otherwise dramatic film.  This film was certainly an interesting fictional take on the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the people whose lives were changed by that event.

Notice these tidbits…

  • Montgomery Clift, in true method acting style, learned to play the bugle for his role (even though he knew he would dubbed) and studied boxing (although he was dubbed by a real boxer in key scenes)

  • The kiss between Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr on the beach was deamed “too erotic” by the MPAA

  • Aloha shirts became much more popular after this film was released

  • Based on the book From Here to Eternity, by James Jones

 

 

See my other movie reviews in the following blog posts:

100 Movies: Update

100 Movies Update 2

Check out other blog posts of mine as well, and be sure to sign up for new post alerts through email!

Happy New Year (and belated Merry Christmas)!

Life Updates!

Happy Thanksgiving 2016!

Ah, My Life

Happy New Year (and belated Merry Christmas)!

It’s 2017! I always say “this past year has gone by so fast” but really, I think time has stayed the same, despite the craziness of my every day life. 

2016 could have ended on a very bad note for me regarding the love of my life, my fur-baby Bella. However as I ring in the new year, I am filled with hope for her. On Christmas day, I took Bella to the ER vet. We had made two trips to her regular vet in the 24 hours before Christmas, but Bella was still in a tremendous amount of pain. Her vet and I suspected her bad back as being the culprit, but I had never, EVER seen my baby go through that kind of pain. 

After an examination, the ER vet told me that Bella has disc disease. She gave Bella an injection full of pain medicine and recommended I get acupuncture/cold laser treatment/combination of both as a way to treat the disease. Since Christmas, Bella has had several treatments of acupuncture/cold laser/massage,and I am so grateful to be able to report improvement in her condition. After several weeks of these healing treatments my plan is to begin aquatherapy at home, to build up Bella’s strength. Because she is 7 1/2 pounds and full of personality, I cannot keep her from doing some damage to her back (by jumping/running), but by doing constant exercises, her body should be able to handle the stress without having to endure this kind of pain. 


Bella is, quite frankly, my reason for living. To be without her would be like being without my heart and soul. Because of her, I have survived an addiction, break ups, loss of jobs and independence, and years of being bedridden due to Lyme disease. While I fully understand that she will not live forever, I need others to understand that with every breath I take, I am loving Bella, missing Bella, talking to Bella, thinking about Bella. She is my miracle. And if I never experience another miracle in life, I will know that I could not have appreciated or loved this little miracle any more than I have.
Thankfully, a new year is here,bringing new thoughts of hope. While I do have goals for the upcoming year, I would prefer to list the goals I accomplished/good things that happened to me in 2016. This past year certainly wasn’t perfect, but I’m still grateful for the following:

I survived (with chronic Lyme disease, surviving is a constant struggle)

-I stuck to the Palio diet and improved my gut, Candida, muscle/joint pain, and fatigue by doing so

-I discovered that my migraines would significantly decrease by simply supplementing my pill regimen with Feverfew on a daily basis (more on this later)

-I continued to collaborate with my doctor on ways to fight the Lyme in my body

-I learned much more about cooking/baking in 365 days then I had in my previous 20+ years, and was able to continually cook for family, friends and myself (a trait that for the most part, everyone else greatly appreciated)

-I joined the workforce again after several years of being too sick to work…and haven’t been fired yet! 

-I was able to spend quality time with dear and trusted friends, including days learning to can with T, and a trip to DC with A (I also enjoyed going to the movie theatre only once in 2016, to see The Secret Life of Pets with K)

-I was blessed to spend many quiet hours reading or watching TV, while curled up with Bella, and discovered the genius of Agatha Christie, E.M. Forster, and other modern classic authors

-I found a new hair color that suited me (after many ill attempts with various dye jobs) and am now comfortable using and recommending henna hair dye

-I saved a tremendous amount of money by making most of my own beauty products

-I attempted joining an exercise program (which I thoroughly enjoyed but had to quit due to a chronic infection…however, it is a new year! )

-I watched many classic films after beginning my challenge to see all 100 of the best American movies ever made (so far, favorites include Some Like It Hot,  Schindler’s List, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid)

-I endured my car breaking down on the side of the road for the first time ever

-I went to the beach with my sister, her husband and my nephew

-I turned 30 years old and finally feel like I’m beginning to act as a true adult would

-and many other blessings, too numerous to name

  • My New Year’s wish for you:

May 2017 be filled with hope and healing for each and every one of you. No matter your goals starting out, I pray when this year comes to an end, you will be able to look back and see the blessings that occurred and the battles you survived. 

100 Movies Update 2

If you have been keeping up with my blog, you know that I have been doing a movie challenge (see post 100 Movies for my 30th Year!).  This is my second update on the movies that I have checked off the list, including the films Bonnie and Clyde, The Wizard of Oz, and Some Like It Hot.

I must say, I am enjoying this challenge! There are still quite a few movies to see and unfortunately, many of them look like they will be incredibly depressing, so I’m trying to pace how many “downers” I watch in a week. Life can be difficult enough!

 

Bonnie and Clyde

bonnie-and-clyde-movie-poster

This was Faye Dunaway’s first major role and it was entertaining to see her so young. Even though the filming was grainy and out of focus at times, Ms. Dunaway is still incredibly beautiful and puts all of her body into her role’s particular language, a talent that proves uncomfortable at times but still relays how dedicated she is as an actress.  Based on true events in the lives of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, the producers certainly did not shy away from violence or sex.  The ending death scene was, considering when this film was made, incredibly graphic although interestingly enough, some of the filming seems patterned after comical slap-stick scenes.

Notice these tidbits:

  • Based on real life events of gangsters Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker

  • Bonnie’s mother was played by Mabel Cavitt, a local schoolteacher in Texas where the movie was filmed

  • Shirley Maclaine was considered for the role of Bonnie until her real-life brother, Warren Beatty, decided to play Clyde

  • Before deciding to play Clyde, Warren Beatty wanted musician Bob Dylan in the role

  • Cinematographer Burnett Guffey shot in a somewhat radical style, with some scenes being out of focus to give a hazy, nostalgic sense

 

The Wizard of Oz

the-wizard-of-oz-movie-poster

What a delightful film! Truly, no matter your age, a movie that will make you feel young at heart.  While Dorothy, played by Judy Garland, is memorable, it is the supporting cast (including Toto) that truly show their acting chops in this film in regards to singing, dancing and portraying multiple roles.   Nominated for 6 Academy Awards, the movie was disappointing in the box office when first released but has since become one of the most-watched films of all time. Aesthetically, the fantasy wonderland (including the poppy field) truly shined in the Technicolor style. Who can suppress a smile whenever the song, “Over the Rainbow” is sung? Also, those famous ruby slippers, interestingly enough, are now housed in the Smithsonian museum for all to see!

Notice these tidbits:

  • Over the Rainbow won Best Original Song, but the nomination for Best Picture was given that year to Gone With The Wind

  • W.C. Fields was originally chosen for the role of the Wizard, but it went to Frank Morgan instead

  • The costume for the Cowardly Lion (played by Bert Lahr) weighed nearly 100 pounds

  • Shirley Temple was considered for the role of Dorothy

  • The oil used on the Tin Man was actually chocolate sauce

 

Some Like it Hot

some-like-it-hot-movie-poster

Oh my goodness…if you haven’t yet seen this film, you need to! I laughed and laughed and laughed some more. Filmed in black and white, actors Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis play cross-dressing musicians fleeing the mob, who are both attracted to Marilyn Monroe’s character (who, it should be noted, wears some incredibly fabulous dresses during this film).  The Roman Catholic Legion of Decency gave this movie a “condemned” rating, because it plays with the idea of homosexuality during an era when such ideas were taboo. However, whatever your personal beliefs may be, this film is intended to be funny and no one can deny the comedic talents of Lemmon and Curtis.  My hat is off to costume designer Orry-Kelly, who did such a fabulous job dressing two men as (mostly) convincing females.

Notice these tidbits:

  • Generally considered by critics to be the greatest comedy ever made

  • Marilyn Monroe’s personal life and problems interfered with the filming to such a degree, she was not invited to the wrap party. She often had 40 or more takes to get a single line correct

  • The famous closing line, “Nobody’s perfect,” was never intended to be left in the film; the writers simply kept it in the script while they tried to think up something better

  • Tony Curtis intentionally imitates Cary Grant when he pretends to be a millionaire named Junior

 

Keep updated with my blog by signing up for email alerts! Be on the watch for more of my Movie Updates, and check out these recent blog posts of mine:

Life Updates!

Car Problems

100 Movies: Update

Happy Thanksgiving 2016!

My 30th Birthday

The Issue with MOLD

Mommy, What’s a Toxin?

 

Life Updates!

FUNDRAISER

A few weeks ago, I started a youcaring.com fundraiser to raise money to cover the costs of my car repairs (see blog post Car Problems).  I worked out a payment plan and have been able to cover over half of the total! To keep up with my fundraiser, see this site: https://www.youcaring.com/shelbynutz-703341

  I still need to raise more money.  I understand it’s a busy season but if you are able to pitch in even a few dollars, I would be extremely grateful. Thank you for taking the time to check out my fundraiser and see why my car is so important to me!

car-pic

CHRISTMAS

Also,’ tis the Christmas season! This year I am making most of my Christmas gifts for friends and family and greatly enjoying it.  I’ll reveal WHAT exactly I’m making, AFTER the gifts have been given!

christmas-pic

100 MOVIES

I’m continuing my Movie Challenge.  Keep posted for an update on my list soon! See blog posts 100 Movies for my 30th Year! and 100 Movies: Update

cinema-reel

 

Check out other recent blog posts:

Happy Thanksgiving 2016!

My 30th Birthday

The Issue with MOLD

Mommy, What’s a Toxin?

Car Problems

I hate car trouble.  Like, really hate it.  But I have been exceptionally blessed with my car: it has given me 8 years of faithful service so far with few problems.

Until yesterday morning that is, when it started making a truly horrific noise before breaking down on the side of the road! It picked a good spot though –  literally two minutes from my mechanics.  After my wonderful father came and picked me up, my mechanic determined that the AC compressor was at fault and needed to be fixed right away.

If the problem had continued, much more serious issues would have occurred.  I’m grateful for my blessings, but this unexpected cost is throwing me a bit…the mechanic spent the entire morning working on my car and it is drivable now, but the cost is equaling around $600.  I brought them cookies this morning to thank them for taking such good care of me, but I also decided to start a youcaring.com fundraiser to help raise the needed amount.

Life never ceases to be interesting! Keep up with my fundraiser here: https://www.youcaring.com/shelbynutz-703341

car-pic

My Honda Civic, bedazzled with awesome bumper stickers