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Patty Craig: A Slice of Time

I enjoy reading and learning more about common issues. The three topics that caught my attention this week were sun damage, exercise and firewood. Each reading included something that was new to me.

First, Better Homes & Gardens (May 2021, pp. 96,110) considered some types of sun damage and preventive measures. For example, wearing sunglasses will protect your eyelids (‘Five to 10 percent of skin cancer cases occur on the eyelids….”) and help prevent cataracts. Also, a “base tan” does not protect us from sun damage. Some common mistakes we make when enjoying the outdoors include using a sunscreen of less than SPF 30 or not putting the sunscreen on often enough. The authors stated, “A family of four should use an entire 8-ounce bottle of sunscreen during an afternoon outside.” Interestingly, getting a tan in a tanning bed doesn’t solve the sun damage problem: “Tanning indoors can increase your risk of squamous cell skin cancer by 83 percent and basal cell skin cancer by 29 percent.” This information indicates that all tanning should be done with great care.

Second, Better Homes & Gardens (July 2021, p. 90) reported: “With regular exercise, you’re 20 percent less likely to have very frequent migraines.” The researchers followed 4,600 people who get these headaches and “found that those who logged at least 150 minutes of physical activity weekly had fewer migraines.” The exercise can be low impact, such as cycling or brisk walking. Those in the study also reported other positive effects, such as better sleep and less depression and anxiety. I believe exercise has many positive effects, and if it prevents migraines, that’s even better.

Third, Kentucky Farm Bureau News (June/July 2021, pp. 14-15) included an article by Kelsey Thomas, “Fostering Healthier Forests,” about Reed and Heather Graham’s Eastern Kentucky firewood business. They are both Extension Agents and are practicing conservation. They have focused on “timber stand and wildlife habitat improvement across their forested acreage,” while harvesting trees that are already damaged, dead, dying or downed. The Grahams minimize impact by focusing on small tracts with small equipment. They have sold their bundled wood through the Natural Bridge State Park and the Natural Bridge Shell gas station in Stanton, KY. The Grahams typically have sold about 3,000 bundles of firewood a year, but last year’s sales reached 9,000 bundles. The Graham’s firewood business is a good use of natural resources and an innovative additional income.

Albert Einstein said, “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” Reportedly, about 80% of a person’s learning on any given day is forgotten. Hopefully, a little of the information on sun damage, exercise and firewood will be useful.


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