97 Things To Do With Dental Floss
I was eight months pregnant with my son when the twin towers were hit on September 11th 2001. I have a minor in psychology and had learned that what impacts an unborn child the most, more than the health of the mother or the nutrition of the mother, is the mental and emotional state of the mother. As I saw the towers come down and my countrymen wounded, I was in shock. I couldn’t breathe or swallow the huge lump in my throat. My heart was breaking with sorrow for them. I couldn’t hold back the tears! I knew my son was feeling it too. I refused to let those terrorists negatively impact my son!
I was also so proud of my countrymen that day and the way they stood up, worked together and rose to this challenge. They showed what it really means to be an American! I wanted my son to know and be proud of them as well.
I realized that he could not know what happened unless I teach him. But how do you teach a small child about what happened on September 11th and not frighten him or fill him with rage and anger? That would only play into the hands of those terrorists. I had to find a way to teach him that would help him to higher levels of inspiration, love, strength, compassion and service. I believe that whatever you focus on grows and I didn’t want to add to all the sorrow, anger, hatred and feelings of revenge. I needed a very special story to help him rise above the hate and choose love, to overcome helplessness with service and to overcome the fear with confidence.
When my son started first grade, I realized that there was a whole nation of children that could not know what happened unless we teach them. I wanted to help teach the children but in a way that would strengthen them. I was seeing a lot of fear in children’s eyes because they knew something upsetting had happened but didn’t really understand what. I felt they could know, they needed to know, it was important that they know what happened but they also needed to know how to use this event to rise to their own challenges.
I was watching the history channel on another September 11th and heard again all the sad stories that just made us all shake our heads in sorrow and disbelief and clench our fists in anger. Suddenly I saw a little five minute story of a piece I had not known before. It was the story of the John J. Harvey. The John J Harvey is a fire boat that was launched in 1931 and fought fires in the New York harbor all those years. After sixty years, it was decided that this ship was too old and too big. It was decommissioned and sat in the harbor for five years waiting to be sold for scrap metal. A year before the towers were hit, a group of business men bought and restored it. The day the towers were hit, the force of the explosions broke the water mains in the city so there was no water with which to fight the fires.
Manhattan was a burning island with no water or electricity and no way to get thousands of wounded people to safety and help. An “all boat” signal was sent and people with any kind of boat descended on Manhattan to help. One of these was an old boat no one had wanted. The John J. Harvey took one hundred fifty people to safety. Realizing that the John J. was a fire boat and could pump water it floats on, it was requested to come back to the scene of the fires to help. The ship came back and fire hoses were hooked up to its water cannons. The John J. Harvey pumped for four days and nights helping to put all the fires out.
I thought, “That’s it! That’s the story I’ve been looking for! That’s everyone’s story! Who hasn’t felt too old, too young, too big, too little, not wanted and don’t fit in?” In the audio version of the book, that is available with each book purchased, the children hear my voice reading the story to them. The music in the background is a piece I wrote for my daughter entitled, “Rising to the challenge”. This is the underlying theme of the book. The main lesson and message is defined in this quote from the book,”Harvey knew that sometimes bad things happen and we can’t stop them from happening. But when bad things happen, we can all do something to help. Everyone has something special to give and to share. It just might be that what you have to give is exactly what is needed. That’s what can make all the difference.”
I have talked to literally thousands of people about this story and surprisingly only five people I talked to previously knew this story! It is a joy that now thousands of children and their parents know about the John J. Harvey and how after being counted out, thanks to some people who were willing to sacrifice to make something better, this ship was ready to perform a great service during this time of distress and need. The John J. Harvey still floats in the harbor of Manhattan. It has also been a joy to be able to donate some of the proceeds from the book back to the boat for its needed up keep and restoration projects.
My greatest joy has been going to schools as an author and talking to the children about the lessons in this book to meet and overcome their challenges, how to link with their countrymen to help each other stand strong and how to keep our nation strong. I love our country and love to share with them how proud I was of my countrymen during this challenge, how they banded together to help each other. I want the children to be proud of how their countrymen met this challenge too. That’s what freedom means to me, deciding for myself to help my fellow countrymen, to share what I have to give and to make something better. When each of us does that, our efforts combine together and become a powerful source for good. That’s what makes our nation great. That’s why this event didn’t destroy our nation as it was intended to do. This what will make our futures bright.
“Harvey” was originally written for children up to the age of eight. But as I have toured different schools, the older children seem to love it just as much as the younger ones. One preschool teacher told me she was amazed that her four year old students were “transfixed and were really getting this”.
The children are our future! There are great lessons we can learn from the past. It is truly a privilege to have written this for them. It is my hope that it will help teach children how to rise to their challenges, inspire them to enjoy their unique abilities and talents, develop those abilities so they will become more proficient and share their unique gifts with their countrymen and the world.
My second book is “97 things you can do with dental floss”. I have been a dental Hygienist for over 30 years and have loved helping people help themselves by cleaning their teeth and teaching them how to keep them clean themselves and more importantly, Why. Flossing is an irreplaceable part of that. I would often say, “I have never found anything so cheap, so easy to get, so easy to use, that takes so little time and does so much for you!”
Then I would give them the “spiel”. I believe it is so much more motivating and easier to accomplish something if we know why it is beneficial to us. People are intelligent and if they knew what they get out of something they would be more inspired to do it. That was the approach I always took with Oral Hygiene. Most people just don’t realize what is going on in their mouths. That’s understandable when you realize that none of us can actually see our own mouths. And often, when it comes to taking care of our mouths, it is a case of “out-of-sight-out-of-mind”. So I would use unusual metaphors to bring the whole thing clearly into “the sight-of-the-mind”. It was so great to see the light bulb come on and the light in their eyes sparkle as they “got it”. Often, I would have patients comment that they never heard it like that before or that they never understood the why before. It just seemed like one more thing we are supposed to do that we don’t really have time for and they would just tune it out.
It was so rewarding to watch many people become much healthier, not just their gums and teeth, but their whole bodies! Yep, that’s what flossing can do for you! I often say,”The eyes may be the window to the soul but the mouth is the gateway to the whole body. Keep that healthy and everything else works better.”
Obviously, the number one thing you can do with floss is floss your teeth. In the book, I give the talk I gave my patients so now my readers can get the “why” that may inspire them to do one of the top two best things they can do for themselves. The rest of the 96 things are the “other” things my patients and I would do with floss. We had a lot of fun swapping stories and there was a lot of “wow, I never thought of that before.”
We would have a good chuckle and I would say ,”tongue-in-cheek” of course, that I was writing a book on all the other things we do with floss and they usually would offer a few of their own. One day a patient of mine looked me right in the eyes and said very seriously,”You really should write a book about this.” I took her advice. Now there is a camping section, a cooking section, a household section, fun and entertainment, and a holiday section.
Let me sum it up with and excerpt from the book. ”I have often reflected that if I ever had to experience survival conditions, the things I would want most (after air, water, food, shelter, heat and appropriate clothing) would be fingernail clippers and dental floss. Dental floss is so simple and elegant in its design and yet is so incredibly useful and versatile. Ironic, isn’t it? To find in our highly technological society, something so simple, cheap, easy to use and easy to get a hold of that can aid in so many ways. It just makes me smile! Dental floss is truly one of the great inventions, right up there with the paper clip! So relax and peruse as my patients and I relate the benefits of dental floss (just be sure to read and do #1).
I have a book in production right now that should be released in the spring of 2017. It is entitled,” Me Too!” It is for early readers and based on my twin grandson’s interactions with their parents. It will also have an original composition of mine in the background of the audio book. I have several more children’s books I will work into production at the goal of two to three a year. Each of the future children’s books will have an original composition that echo’s the theme of the book. The music and voice will be in the audio version of the book that comes free with either the hard back or paper back versions.
As I mentioned, I compose music as well. Ironically I cannot read music. I can figure it out but I don’t play with my mind or my eyes. It all comes from the heart and my ears tell me if it’s right. I have two CD’s out on Amazon, “Perceptions” which are song from my childhood and youth. There are songs on that Cd that I “wrote” when I was ten and eleven years old.
The second Cd out is “Believe” which are all the lessons I have learned about how to live life. Through the lessons and the people these songs describe, I have learned how to come out of darkness into light, come out of hiding into the joy of acceptance. The title means, believe life is a good thing despite and sometimes even because of the difficulties. There is a song for each of my children, my husband and my mother and father on this CD as well as many other things I have experienced. There is another CD of another 20 songs ready to go into production with songs of my grandchildren.
These are all available on Amazon or though my publisher at Tate Publishing .com. However, you cannot get a book signed by the author through them and so I encourage people to contact me directly. I also have other version of “Harvey” than are available through the other sources. There is a hard back, coloring book, paperback and DVD available of “Harvey” through me.
I can be reached through firstname.lastname@example.org