Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Broadcaster Moved to Tears -

Indians broadcaster tears up watching his son's first MLB at-bat:

By Mike Oz
Take his job out of it — just think of Tom Hamilton as a regular ol' dad watching his son, Nick, get his first MLB-level at-bat, and the moment is pretty special.

But consider Tom Hamilton's job, that he's "the voice of the Tribe" and will be calling Cleveland Indians games on the radio for his 25th year in 2014, and what happened Monday is an amazingly touching moment.

A moment that we all get to see too.
Nick Hamilton, an Indians prospect who was drafted in 2012 out of Kent State, got his first at-bat Monday at the major-league level, with proud papa Tom, watching from above. As you can imagine, the moment overwhelmed him and he teared up.

The younger Hamilton was just an extra player for Monday's game against the Cincinnati Reds, thrust into the DH role after some confusion about whether this particular spring game would use one. The Indians had already given Nick Swisher the day off, so Hamilton got the nod, even though he hadn't played a day past Single-A yet in his pro baseball career.

Tom Hamilton had already taken the day off from broadcasting, knowing that his son had a chance to play. He wanted to watch the game as a dad, not a play-by-play guy. So he sat in a booth above the field. He didn't know Nick would be in the starting lineup. Terry Francona didn't make that call until 15 minutes before first pitch, knowing Nick was available to play and Dad had a prime view.
After the game, Francona Jordan Bastian:

"We were like, you know what? Hammy's sitting up in the booth," Francona said. "I think there's always maybe a little time in Spring Training to have a nice, special moment. I'm sure both of them thought it was really cool. I know our players got a kick out of it. We just thought it would be a nice touch to the day."

Nick Hamilton, 24, figures the totality of the moment hasn't hit him yet.

"I'm just grateful for the opportunity to be able to get out there and get that first taste of playing in the big leagues. It was just a lot of fun and something I can learn from and build on from here. Eventually, looking back, I'm sure this is definitely something that I'm going to cherish."

Nick went 0-for-4 Monday, grounding out to second base in that first at-bat. But, look at that beaming face. Tom Hamilton was proud of his son just the same.

Friday, March 21, 2014


Prom Queen Gives Her Crown to Special Needs Student

Little did they know that just three days later they would have a new prom queen after the classmate they elected made a selfless act.

On Wednesday, Kendra Muller, 16, the junior girl who was named prom queen on Saturday, entered a classroom and handed her sash, tiara and title to Amanda Belnap, a special needs student who had been voted "first attendant," or first runner-up.

"Kendra came into Amanda's class and, in front of her peers and the teachers, said, 'I thought that Amanda really deserves this honor,'" Riverton High Principal Carolyn Gough told Good Morning America "It's just absolutely one of the neatest things that I could ever imagine."

Amanda, also 16 and a junior, is a cheerleader and well-known and well-loved by her fellow students, according to Gough. She and Kendra had never interacted, however, prior to Saturday's prom.

Kendra, who was paralyzed in an accident nearly three years ago and is in a wheelchair, told Gough she had no idea her generous act would garner all the attention that it has.

"She said, 'I just did it because I thought it was the right thing to do,'" Gough said.

Amanda, meanwhile, has been relishing in her new title, wearing her tiara and sash around school with a "grin from ear to ear," according to Gough.

"The thing that is so remarkable about our school in general is that we're oblivious to disabilities," Gough said of the 2,050-student school she leads. "Students are very generous to other students in the school, seeking out ways to help and to serve."

"How can you see this as anything else but just the most generous character in a student, especially for a student who genuinely deserved it herself," Gough said. "This is just a bright spot for me."

Saturday, March 15, 2014

10 Natural Remedies for STRESS!

10 natural remedies for stress!

Winter and the accompanying bad weather can be a stressful time for anybody, especially in today's day and age, with all the problems Americans are facing in this difficult economy. More and more people are suffering from negative stress. Negative stress takes a toll on our daily lives and our health and can lead to high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, anxiety and depression, among other problems, so I feel this question is very appropriate.

Rest assured, there are many things you can do before you run out to get a pill. Here’s a list of some of the most effective natural stress reducers.

1. Passionflower
While passionflower has long been considered a “folk remedy” for anxiety and insomnia, a few studies have shown that the herb may actually be comparable in effectiveness to benzodiazepine drugs, which are used to treat stress. Though not proven, it is believed that passionflower works by increasing levels of a chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. This lowers the activity of some brain cells, making you feel more relaxed.

Passionflower is available in a variety of forms, including infusions, teas, liquid extracts and tinctures. It is not recommended for children or for women who are pregnant or nursing. Consult your doctor before adding it to your diet, especially if you are taking other medications.

2. Massage
This is kind of a no-brainer, right? Everybody loves a massage. But did you know that it’s been used as a stress reliever for thousands of years? Historically, the Chinese used massage to open blocked energy channels in order to improve health and Hippocrates, the “father of western medicine,” used friction for physical healing treatments. Today, we use massage to relax tense muscles, reduce pain and improve circulation, which can all do wonders for the mind.

3. Meditation
Meditation, or mindfulness, only takes 15 to 30 minutes a day, which is possible even in a packed schedule. It’s also incredibly affordable, considering the only tool you need is your own mind. Just give yourself some silent time to let your thoughts run free or just focus on your breathing. That small amount of peace in your day can help you deal with or even release stress.

4. Exercise
Whether it’s yoga, Tai Chi or running, exercise works much in the same way as meditation because it gives you the time to be alone with your thoughts (or an opportunity to let them go). However, exercise also has the added benefit of releasing endorphins into the brain, which improves your mood. It also prevents obesity and other health problems, giving you less to be stressed about.

5. Organize your life
Organization offers a sense of control and peace of mind, and there’s a number of ways you can improve in this regard. If you’re the kind of person who’s always running around, it can help to make lists so that you remember everything. If you’re the kind of person who feels edgy in their own house, tidy up. Studies have shown the mere sight of clutter can put us on edge.

6. Eat healthy
It’s actually been proven that junk food can make us depressed (not to mention fat) so clean up your diet. Healthy foods like whole grains and protein can improve your mood and give you long-lasting energy to tackle everything that comes your way during the day. Foods that are especially effective for stress-busting include blueberries, salmon and almonds, according to scientists.

Also, put down that extra cup of coffee. While studies have shown that some coffee during the day can offer health benefits, too much caffeine will make you jittery and anxious, and eventually lead to a crash.

7. Limit Internet and cellphone use
Disconnect, disconnect, disconnect. Part of the problem with reducing stress in today’s world is that we are never truly able to shield ourselves from it. By turning away from the Internet and shutting off our cellphones, we can at least block some of the channels from which stress can reach us. Doing this also allows us to live in the moment and appreciate it.

It is particularly important to cut off electronic use before sleep, which can cut down on insomnia-related problems.

8. B Vitamins
B vitamins are known to promote proper functioning of the brain and nervous system, as well as help induce relaxation and fight fatigue. In fact, indicators of B deficiency include irritability, depression and apathy, so to stave off those symptoms, increase your intake of foods rich in B vitamins. B vitamins are typically found in the germ and bran of cereal grains, as well as beans, peas, nuts, liver, eggs and dairy products.

9. Aromatherapy
In some cases, inhaling certain scents has been shown to have immediate stress relief effects by raising mood, reducing anxiety and aiding focus and concentration. Experts say it’s because the smells can stimulate the limbic system, which in turn releases chemicals that affect the brain, promoting feelings of relaxation, calmness, love and excitement. Popular oils for stress relief and mental fatigue include lavender, cypress and rosemary.

10. Sleep
Sleep is the most important natural stress reducer of them all. Too little sleep leaves us cranky, irritable and on edge. Too much sleep can leave us sluggish and depressed. Try to find the right balance that allows you to feel well-rested and ready for the day. Promote better sleep by establishing bedtime rituals that signal to your brain that it’s time to fall asleep, avoid exercise in the three hours before sleep or take a warm bath. Certain foods can also promote sleep, such as carbohydrates, bananas, peanuts, figs, dairy and - of course, a certain holiday favorite - turkey. These foods all contain tryptophans, a precursor for creating melatonin. However, avoid having a large meal close to bedtime, because it may result in indigestion, reflux or heartburn.