sunsetA Brief History of Norfolk, Virginia

The history of Norfolk got its start with the arrival of one of the earliest Englishmen to settle in the area, a man named Adam Thoroughgood. He had risen to a position of prominence and it is generally believed that two counties, North Norfolk and South Norfolk, as well as the town of Norfolk, were named by Thoroughgood, the name being in honor of his birthplace in England.

The Founding of Norfolk

The town was founded by the British in 1682 when Virginia was still a British colony. The original name of Norfolk was ‘The Towne of Norfolk County.’  Norfolk is an Anglo-Saxon name meaning ‘northern people’ as opposed to Suffolk which means ‘southern people.’ There is also a Suffolk in Virginia, which of course was also settled by the British. Norfolk and the surrounding area, known as Hampton Roads was not only the first place in what is now Virginia to be settled by the British, but was the first place in America to be settled by the British as well. Prior to Norfolk’s founding, the immediate area was already being used by the British as a port, and warehouses were being built to store merchandise.

The town originally was 50 acres in size, but given its favorable and somewhat strategic location on Chesapeake Bay it grew steadily. At the time of the American Revolution, Norfolk had over 6,000 residents. Today the number is approaching 250,000.
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Paying A Visit to the City of Norfolk

The charming Chesapeake Bay waterfront City of Norfolk, located in the heart of coastal Virginia between Newport News and the popular Virginia Beach tourist area, is intersected by two primary interstate highways, I-264 and I-64. The center of the city is also within shouting distance of Interstate 664.


The Largest Naval Station in the World

Norfolk is home to Naval Station Norfolk, which owns the title of being the world’s largest naval station, home to 75 naval vessels and 134 naval aircraft. Naval Station Norfolk is also home to one of the famed WW II battleships, the USS Wisconsin. Naval Station Norfolk acts as the logistics hub for naval operations in the Caribbean and in the European and Central Command theaters of operations. Nearby is Nauticus, Norfolk’s sailing center from where you can set sail on Chesapeake Bay or travel up the Elizabeth River.

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A Shelter is a Great Place for Adopting a Dog

During my walkabout tours, I find that many people love their dogs.  On one tour, this gentleman, Bob, brought his dog, a husky pomeranian mix, along the entire trip.  He would carry his dog on the arms most of the time.  These dogs are so cute and lovable.  He works for a shelter and here is what I learned from having lunch with him a couple of weeks back.

There’s a true story about adopting a dog that says a lot about knowing if you’re choosing the right animal. A man who was interested in acquiring a dog for a pet visited a shelter. There were several dogs he liked, including one medium sized one that seemed a bit shy and appeared to be a bit on the old side, but was still a nice looking dog. He was about to look further when the shelter worker suggested he take the dog for a walk, as a sort of a ‘test drive’.

He took the dog for a 5-minute walk. Nothing out of the ordinary happened except as he turned to go back to the kennel the dog, who had been walking nicely at his side, moved closer and began to press slightly against his leg. The dog continued to press slightly against the man all the way back the kennel. It must have been the dog’s way of saying he would make a faithful and loyal companion. In any event the man took the dog home with him.

If you visit a shelter, which is a wonderful place to find a pet, a worker may suggest you take an animal you’re interested in for a walk, or you could always ask. Most dog lovers recommend that approach. It can be hard to judge an animals temperament if it has been in a cage for some time. Dogs that are locked away often become shy or frustrated. A few become aggressive, largely because they are afraid. A good first tip in adopting a dog is to take time to get to know the animal. A short walk can help to do this.


Adopting From a Shelter Often Results in a Win-Win Situation

A good tip, alluded to but not specifically mentioned up to this point, is to visit a shelter or rescue if you’re looking for a dog. While a shelter may be overloaded at times, those who work there aren’t usually in the habit of getting rid of an animal at any cost. They invariably want to find good homes for their animals, and it’s not unusual for them to turn down someone who they feel may not provide an animal such a home. Some of the dogs you will see in a shelter may be in cages, but they usually receive the best possible treatment in terms of food and shelter, and even exercise, plus most of them usually get a medical check-up, followed by treatment if necessary.


Looks Count, But Not Always for All That Much

Another tip – don’t go by looks alone when selecting your next pet. Looks are fine if you are looking for a specific breed, but aside from that it’s usually size, temperament, and energy that counts. The noted dog trainer Cesar Millan places a great deal of emphasis on selecting a pet whose energy level matches your own. Above all, you don’t want to take home an animal you can’t control, or one that makes taking for a walk a supreme challenge. Neither do you want an animal you have to carry home after the two of you have already walked a mile.

It’s not only about walks. All dogs need some exercise, but some need a lot of exercise and they need exercise just about every day. A medium or large dog that is full of energy isn’t suitable for apartment living unless you intend to go running or jogging every day. A medium to large fenced in yard will suffice for most pets.


Consider the Type of Category if It is Possible to do So

You can’t always tell what type of dog a mutt will be, but dogs fall into four general categories. There are working dogs, sporting dogs, non-sporting dogs, herding dogs, toy dogs, hounds, and terriers. The latter simply refused to be categorized since they prefer to do their own thing, which is chasing down rodents and vermin. Try to select a type that either fits in with your own lifestyle, or you’ll be comfortable with. Doing a little research on different types and breeds ahead of time can be a great help in making a good selection.


Don’t Let Sad Eyes Be the Deciding Factor

One final tip about adopting a dog from a shelter is to leave your emotions at home. One of the hardest things about bringing a dog home from a shelter can be that of leaving all of the other dogs behind. It’s natural to want to adopt more than one of them, or all of them. Stick to a single dog unless there happens to be a matching pair you know you have room for and can handle. If there are two dogs who have grown up together you may be doing them both a favor if you are able to take them both. What you don’t want to do is let you emotions take over and select a dog or dogs you feel most sorry for. It won’t necessarily be the best choice.

right bruised kneeHow To Heal A Bruise

Unexplained bruising can cause a lot of pain for many people that experience the condition. Since I am a senior personal tour guide, I know that bruising can occur.

Some people, especially if they have trouble walking, may fall or hit something. They might not even realize that they have done so. Since this can happen a lot, they may find that they have a bruise that they didn’t realize they received. When they are out on vacations, they may be in more of hurry to see as many things as they can, and they might inadvertently bump into something that they didn’t plan to. This can happen to people that are older or younger, and they need to make sure that they take their time when they are out and about.

When it does occur, many people become scared about what to do. They shouldn’t worry too much because they should make sure that they massage the affected area lightly. Once they do this, the blood will start to circulate throughout the area again. They should make sure that there is not immense pain when they do this. If there is, there may be a broken bone. If there is, they will need to get to the doctor’s office or an emergency room as soon as they can.

They can also put some soft lotion on the bruise as they are massaging it to make the skin smooth around the affected area. If they are worried about how it looks to others, they can put on some foundation to cover up the bruise.

If the bruise is on the legs, they should make sure that they stay elevated so they are above the heart. This will allow the blood to drain from the bruised area and will help it to heal faster.

A bruised area should also be treated gently without much activity. As it heals, a person will be able to move about as they normally do. When it is healing, they should try to take it easy so that it doesn’t become agitated.

Many people like to wrap a bruised area on their body to keep it warm. The warmth will help it to feel better. When they first bruise it, putting ice on it can help to keep the swelling down. They may also want to keep an ice pack on it for a couple of days until they see it fading.

breastfeedingWhen you are a young mother who has had her first child, there is a lot you need to learn and this process has to occur slowly over a period of time. Most mothers learn by experience but it is always nice to have someone who has done all this before and can give you useful tips on problems such as foods to avoid while breastfeeding and how to stop breastfeeding. There is no doubt about the fact that breastfeeding is the best option for anyone who wants to provide nutrition to her baby, but after 2 years of breastfeeding, you need to wean the baby. If you do not know how to stop breastfeeding, this can create quite a problem and the baby might refuse to take any other form of milk completely. The key is to make sure that you introduce a bottle and formula milk early on so that the baby is used to both breast milk and formula milk. The simplest thing to do is to simply start increasing the amount of formula or bottle milk and decrease breastfeeding gradually. If you stop breastfeeding your baby abruptly, it can make him irritable and cranky and he will refuse not only bottle milk but solid food as well. If you are not sure how to stop breastfeeding, you can always ask your friends or relatives who have done this before and will have more experience and know-how than you do. It is best to ask for help as trying to do everything on your own might not turn out to be advantageous.


Another thing a breastfeeding mother needs to know is what foods to avoid while breastfeeding. Many people say that you can eat whatever you want and it will not have any effects on your baby. This cannot be farther from the truth. What you eat will be transferred to your baby and will have its effects. For instance, if you eat gassy food, it will make your baby gassy and so on. So, among foods to avoid while breastfeeding, anything that causes gas and bloating is at the top of the list. Similarly, breastfeeding mothers should avoid food that gets them constipated as the baby will also get constipated in turn. Try to eat food items that make you feel good and relaxed as the same vibe will be carried to your baby. There is no list where you can find out about foods to avoid while breastfeeding, so you have to carefully examine how you react to different food items and then create your own list to make sure that you and the baby do not have any problems adapting to the food you eat.


The important thing to remember, as I keep telling my friends, is that breastfeeding and anything else related to motherhood is a continuous learning process. You should not feel guilty about anything and if you find something too difficult, always ask for help. You do not have to take everybody’s suggestions and act on them – but you can get all the advice you want and act on the tips that sound good to you.


boxes of stuffI found myself covered in a thick cake of dust and sweating profusely, digging into a cornucopia of paper, stacked boxes, and thingamajigs. I was dog tired. That was my predicament last week, when I was rummaging through stacks of magazines and newspapers in our storage room, boxes upon boxes of them. There was a recent drive by the leaders in the community for cleaner living amongst us villagers. It was discussed and suggested in the meeting, that it will be good for us, if we are to follow the guidelines for recycling. So with the greater aim of helping save the environment, there I was, ever the good citizen, looking for items that will go towards recycling. It took me a whole afternoon of drudgery doing the thing, but I finished with a smile on my face.

You see, I found a box of my grandchildren’s stuff, buried among the boxes of paper and other items in the room. It was new compared to the other stuffs there, as it was just last year that it was used, during the time they paid us a visit to spend their vacation. Toys, puzzles, crayons, books, paper airplanes that we made and other kiddy things, but the ones that I took a long time looking on was the coloring pages. Sloppily done with colors past their borders, a grinning red colored sun, the purple rain that soaked a running pink dog, everything was off, but all were done with love.

We printed them one afternoon as they caught me fiddling with my computer. It was a lazy afternoon and there was nothing better to do, so I gave in to their whims. My Little Pony coloring pages were the favorite of my youngest grandchild, she liked horses, and dinosaurs were for the boy a year ahead of her. I couldn’t stop but remember how they liked to color them, even forgetting their afternoon cartoons for a chance to color something, even a table or a wall, come to think of it. And especially when each one of them would say, “i love you gramps”, as I give them a fresh batch of printed coloring pages.

After finishing the work I’ve started, and eventually cleaning the area and myself, I went to the internet hoping to catch if any of my grandchildren were online. I’m going to tell them what I found in the basement and basically just to catch a glimpse or even hear them a little. But sadly, after an hour of waiting, no grandchildren were sight. Maybe they are out playing or are in school. I’ll just try again later or tomorrow after I deliver these stuffs to the recycling center.  In the meanwhile, maybe I’m just going to print some of these new pages that I saw like the “Disney’s Frozen” coloring pages, I think they’re going to love them. So that next time they come and visit, I’ll be prepared.  How I miss those adorable kids. And how I wish they would come and visit again soon.

A few months ago, one of my neighbors visited me, looking visibly upset. When I asked Leslie what the problem was she told me she had just come back from a visit to her doctor. Lately, she had been experiencing some breathing problems and was hoping they would go away on their own. After months of facing the same problem, she finally caved in and booked an appointment with her doctor. The news he had given her today was worrying – she had fluid in lungs which was making it difficult for her breathe. There are many diseases which are associated with fluid in lungs and can be benign or life threatening such as cancer. The doctor had ordered some tests which would tell what had caused the fluid to accumulate in the lungs and then they would chalk out a treatment plan. After she left, I thought or researching fluid in lungs on the internet and found out some very useful information. Fluid is always present in a sac-like cavity between the outer side of the lungs and the rib cage which allows the lungs to move easily when a person breathes. However, certain diseases cause more fluid to accumulate in the lungs and thus cause problems. These include: Pneumonia, liver disease, congestive heart failure, Pulmonary Embolism and inflammation of lungs. All these factors can be responsible for fluid in lungs and the condition can prove fatal if not cured early on.


Some of the common symptoms of fluid in lungs include chest pain, cough, fever and problematic and heavy breathing. Since all these symptoms are relatively mild and common with many other diseases, people often do not take them seriously and let the disease fester unchecked. If you value your health, you should never avoid going for a medical check-up and even schedule one every year to make sure you are healthy and fit.


When Leslie came back from the doctor she was somewhat relieved to find out that it was inflammation from Pneumonia. However, her dilemma was that she had to take antihistamines but she did not want to take medication. Luckily I was able to provide a solution – my father hated taking medicine so he knew almost all alternative natural products which could be taken instead of medicines. I called him up and he told me there were three top food items which contained natural antihistamine and can be consumed easily. The first one is Vitamin C which contains high amounts of natural antihistamine that cure allergies. Vitamin C is naturally found in citrus fruits, but you can also use a supplement. Food items such as citrus fruits, parsley, broccoli, apples, onions, tomatoes and garlic contain Flavonoids which have natural antihistamine. Lastly, fish contains high amounts of Omega 3 Fatty Acids, so if you need a dose of natural antihistamine in your body, you can consume a fatty fish like salmon or tuna at least 3 times a week.
Leslie is following a diet that contains all three sources of natural antihistamines and the results that she has achieved so far are amazing.

I used to have a dog in my childhood and loved taking care of it. It was an adorable Teacup Pomeranian pup and I loved looking after him, taking him for long walks and playing with him all the time. If you have ever owned a dog or, more specifically, a Teacup Pomeranian, you must know what I am talking about. These are the perfect dogs for children, who have possibly the same amount of energy as these little fellows and love hugging and playing with them all day long. The best thing about keeping a Teacup Pomeranian is that you do not have to give them a bath as often as other dogs. Their body is covered with fur so you can bathe them once a week as it allows the fur to completely dry out and does not create any problems such as an ear infection. However, this does not mean that keeping a Teacup Pomeranian as a pet is easy by any account. These are vivacious and intelligent dogs that crave attention so you will have to make time for it. As a child, this seemed like an easy task to me since I would play with my pup for hours after finishing my homework. At the end of the day, we would both be so tired that we were off to sleep as soon as we hit the sack. Teacup Pomeranians are not violent at all and they are extremely playful – I would recommend this breed to anyone who is looking to buy a dog for his or her children. For someone who lives in an apartment, this is the perfect dog breed as they can easily play inside the apartment and you do not need to have a yard.

Another dog breed that I adore is the Boxer Pitbull mix that I had in my college years. As the name indicates, it is a mix between a Boxer and a Pitbull and hence has the features and characters of both breeds. You can never tell from which breed it will get most of its characteristics – it can be a 50-50 mix or in any other ratio. I enjoyed having this dog a lot and since it has high energy levels I would have to take him to the park for hours at a stretch. I would not recommend this dog breed to anyone who cannot take the dog for regular exercise. Boxer Pitbull mix dogs need to get rid of their excess energy which, in some cases, can make them act aggressively. This is one reason I would not recommend this breed to anyone who has children. While this breed of dogs can be extremely playful and friendly if trained properly, they do have an aggressive streak in them.

When it comes to a comparison between Teacup Pomeranian and a Boxer Pitbull mix, you need to weigh the pros and cons of each. Both have admirable qualities, but while the Pom is more of a toy breed, Boxer Pitbull falls into the more aggressive category. Younger children and teenage girls will love the Teacup Pomeranian as it is playful and full of energy and very cute to look at.

Being a tour guide in Norfolk, Virginia, I meet a lot of new people on a daily basis and often I get to talk to them a lot as the tour progresses and they ask me questions about the area. Many people have no idea what an amazing place Norfolk is and when they get a detailed tour with me, they are surprised at the amazing places you can find in the area. For me, it is a great and rewarding experience as I talk to my clients and often learn something useful. One of the life changing experiences for me was when I met this couple – Greg and Anna – who seemed to be in their late 30s and were enjoying every second of the trip. At one of the stops, they asked me to join them for a cup of coffee and we started talking. I was immediately surprised to find out that they were both in their early 50s. When they saw my surprise, they laughed and said it was all because their diet primarily consisted of low carb vegetables and low carb fruits. Like everyone else, I had heard of the benefits of eating a healthy diet but when I saw their fitness level I was surprised. Not only did Greg and Anna look young, they were also agile and fit and it seemed like nothing was tiring for them.

Once I got home, I started my laptop and started researching the internet for low carb vegetables and low carb fruits. As you probably already know, all fruits and vegetables have low carbohydrate content and are thus ideal for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, etc. are ideal for weight loss and for staying fit. From that moment onwards, I promised myself that I would stick to eating as many vegetables and fruits as I could and completely cut out junk food from my life. I started taking my lunch along with me, which was mostly vegetable or fruit salad. Fizzy drinks and colas also cause a lot of weight gain so I decided to cut those out completely as well. I substituted fizzy drinks with healthy, homemade fruit juices which helped me curb my appetite as well. Within a month, I noticed that my clothes no longer fit so snugly against my body and I felt I could move around much freely. I started losing weight, I looked better and I certainly felt a lot fitter than before. This gave me a lot of encouragement and I started taking my vegetables and fruits seriously and also convinced my friends to try this method.

It has been 2 years since I met Greg and Anna and I have gained a lot from this meeting. Last month, they came back to Norfolk with some of their friends and took the tour again. They hardly recognized me and were surprised when I walked up to them. When I told them about my shifting to a diet consisting of low carb vegetables and low carb fruits, they were delighted and encouraged me to keep following it all my life. Needless to say, I plan to do exactly that!