The Scoop on Granny


Dreaming of the mountains...

Who is Granny?

I'm the incredibly blessed mother of 9, "Granny" to 16, and wife of "The Papa," the knight-in-shining-armor whose loving support has made it possible for me to stay home and give my life to mothering, homemaking, and 26 years of homeschooling. Life at Granny's House is full of laughter, friendship, books, music, lively debate, writing, and good things to eat. My days are made even more meaningful by coming alongside other moms, giving them the support and encouragement that I lacked as a young mother and helping them to network with each other in ways that strengthen homes and families. A few times a year I board a plane to visit my "away" kids, to attend the birth of a grandchild, or to enjoy some lazy days with my best friend, but I always love coming back to...Granny's House.

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On Granny's Calendar
  • August 15 - SAC Day begins
  • August 16 - Sam is 7!
  • August 20 - Kristen's birthday
  • August 30 - THE WELTYS ARRIVE!
  • Sept 3 - Chris' birthday
  • Sept 5 - Henry is 9!
  • Sept 7 - Isaac is 10!
  • Sept 17 - The Papa's birthday
  • Sept 23-30 - Granny and Papa go to Hawaii
  • Sept 26 - PawPop is 88!
  • Sept 29 - Tim is 15!
  • Oct 2 - Cheyenne's birthday
  • Oct 4 - Liam is 5!
  • Oct 7 - John Caleb is 17!
  • Oct 18 - Tony's birthday

  • Email Granny!

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  • Monday, October 20, 2008

    I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was doing research on the herbal supplement Pycnogenol, or pine bark extract. I started doing the research for a particular health problem but was soon stunned to see the number of uses this stuff has and the breadth of research that's being done by the medical community. Here is a summary from the website of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York:

    Clinical Summary

    Derived from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, Pinus maritima, a trademarked product, Pycnogenol®, has been used in clinical trials. Pine bark extract consists of proanthocyanidins which have strong antioxidant, antiinflammatory properties and exhibit immunostimulant effect in animals (1). It has been studied for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and endothelial dysfunction (2) in adults (3), and in children (4), cardiovascular disease, chronic venous insufficiency (5), and inflammatory conditions (6). In addition, pycnogenol supplementation enhances memory in elderly participants (7), reduces menopausal symptoms in peri-menopausal women (8), and improves osteoarthritis symptoms in patients with grade I or II osteoarthritis (9) (10). It is also used to treat skin disorders such as melasma (11) and erythema (12), endometriosis (13), and systemic lupus erythematosus (14). In vitro studies indicate that pycnogenol inhibits HIV attachment and replication (15), suppresses encephalomyocarditis virus (EMV) replication (16), and represses Helicobacter pylori growth and adherence to a gastric cell line, AGS cells (17). Pine bark extract, when used in conjunction with L-arginine, has been found effective in treating erectile dysfunction (18). Chewing gum containing pine bark extract may reduce gingival bleeding and plaque accumulation (19).

    Almost sounds like a nineteenth century "cures-all-that's-ailin'-ya" potion, doesn't it? I'm a born skeptic about stuff like this. Seriously. But this research is hard to ignore and I'm watching with more than a little interest, not only for my own problems but for treatment of childhood asthma and many other conditions that affect people I love.

    Anyway, several people have asked me about it, so I'm going to list here some of the links to studies I've found (many of which are referred to in the above Sloan-Kettering summary). This is not meant to be medical advice (heaven forbid that I'd ever do THAT) and I certainly have no financial interest here...though I wouldn't be above taking a small kickback from Vitacost, my preferred supplier, if they were so inclined ;-)

    JUST KIDDING. I'm providing these links simply so that if you're interested you'll have a shortcut to some of the medical studies.

    (And let me know if you'd be interested in an invitation to my 150th birthday party.)

    Pycnogenol((R)) in the Management of Asthma. [J Med Food. 2001] - PubMed Result

    Pycnogenol may help children manage asthma

    Benefits of Pycnogenol

    Pycnogenol as an adjunct in the management of chil...[J Asthma. 2004] - PubMed Result

    Journal of Inflammation | Full text | Inhibition of NF-kappaB activation and MMP-9 secretion by plasma of human volunteers af..

    Click here: Pycnogenol - Osteoarthritis Pain Reduced by Pycnogenol

    Reducing Knee Osteoarthritis - Biotechnology - an eLab Article at Scientist Live

    Prevention of edema in long flights with Pycnogenol.

    Study highlights Pycnogenol's anti-swelling action

    Pycnogenol Helps Hypertension

    Pycnogenol Aids Hot Flashes, ADHD

    Pine Bark Significantly Reduces Menstrual Pain - Pycnogenol(R) Reduces Need For Dysmenorrhea Pain Medication, New Study

    Pycnogenol Improved Diabetes Control and Reduced Hypertensive Medications - RedScrubs

    Pine Bark Improves Memory In Elderly

    Pine Tree Extract May Ease Menopause Symptoms - Associated Content

    Study Shows Pine Bark Naturally Reduces Cardiovascular Risk Factors in... ( Pycnogenol(R) improved diabetes c...)

    Pycnogenol® — A Powerful Antioxidant

    M. D. Anderson Cancer Center - CIMER - Pycnogenol (Pinus pinaster ssp. atlantica)

    Pycnogenol(R) inhibits growth of ovarian cancer cells in vitro. -- Buz’zard and Lau 2004 (1): 727 -- AACR Meeting Abstracts
    Pycnogenol induces differentiation and apoptosis in human promyeloid leukemia HL-60 cells .
    Pycnogenol enhances immune and haemopoietic functi...[Cell Mol Life Sci. 1998] - PubMed Result
    Astazanthin(R) and Pycnogenol(R) Proven to Protect Skin from Aging, Scientists Say
    Effect of PYCNOGENOL® on the toxicity of heart, bone marrow and immune organs as induced by antitumor drugs

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    Granny's Mission Statement
    "...Tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done....that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children."
    ~Psalm 78:4-6

    My Focal Passage for 2011...
    Philippians 2:5-11

    5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,

    6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,

    7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

    8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

    9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,

    10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

    11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

    ~Philippians 2:5-11 (ESV)


    "The vanity of being known to be trusted with a secret is generally one of the chief motives to disclose it."

    ~Samuel Johnson

    [Oxymoronica, n., A compilation of self-contradictory terms, phrases, or quotations; examples of oxymoronica appear illogical or nonsensical at first, but upon reflection, make a good deal of sense and are often profoundly true.]

    Books on the iPhone, the Kindle, or on the nightstand...

  • The Good Husband of Zebra Drive, Alexander Mccall Smith
  • The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, Arthur G. Bennett, editor

  • Books finished in 2011...

  • Oxymoronica, Mardy Grothe
  • Some Sing, Some Cry, Ntozake Shange, Ifa Bayeza
  • English Society in the Eighteenth Century, Roy Porter
  • One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, Ann Voskamp
  • His Word in My Heart, Janet Pope
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot
  • Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi
  • Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God, John Piper
  • Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, Joshua Foer
  • Blue Shoes and Happiness, Alexander McCall Smith
  • The Red Queen, Philippa Gregory
  • Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, Eric Metaxas
  • The Confessions of Saint Augustine, St. Augustine
  • Complete Poems and Selected Letters of John Keats, John Keats
  • Unfamiliar Fishes, Sarah Vowell
  • Words That Work, Frank Luntz
  • NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children, Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
  • Poke the Box, Seth Godin
  • Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It, Gary Taubes
  • A Patriot's History of the United States, Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen
  • Song of Saigon: One Woman's Journey to Freedom, Anh Vu Sawyer
  • The Artistic Mother: A Practical Guide for Fitting Creativity into Your Life, Shona Cole
  • The Politically Incorrect Guide to English and American Literature, Elizabeth Kantor
  • The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, David McCullough

  • Oh, the thinks you
    can think...
  • Tapestry of Grace
  • Anatomical Charts
  • America's Library
  • George Washington's Mount Vernon - Virtual Mansion Tour
  • Thomas Jefferson's Monticello - Virtual Mansion Tour
  • Hurricane Demo

  • Oh, the places we'll go...
  • The Alamo
  • Majestic Theater
  • The MAiZE
  • Magik Theatre
  • Sheldon Vexler Children's Theatre

  • Granny always says...
    a love like ours is love that's hard to find...
    Sunday snippets...
    Okay so it's 3:30 am and I'm afflicted with way m...
    I am not a Catholic, despite having often been mis...
    Those in my inner circle know that I have a soft ...

    Sometime today, please pour yourself a cup of coff...
    All I have to say is that this might just make me ...
    For those of you who have been squeamish about de...
    Words on Wednesday

    Granny used to say...
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    Grace Notes

    "Were the whole realm of nature mine
    That were a present far too small...
    Love so amazing, so divine
    Demands my soul, my life,
    my all!"