I’ll throw my hat in the ring along with everyone else this month and talk about moms….specifically Southern ones.

I doubt I would be able to write much about my mother without becoming overly maudlin and sentimental.  She was beautiful, refined, talented (a musician), a wonderful hostess, a fashionista and the wife of a husband who adored her.  At the same time, she was STRONG: she was the disciplinarian in the family; she was loyal to a fault to family, friends, faith and country (the confederacy?); and determined (I remember overhearing her say one morning to my high school brother, “You are NOT going to fail French!!!!” And HE DIDN’T! )  Wonder how many things we Southerners do because our mothers told us to or just because that’s the way she did things?  Do all families revolve around the mom?  Or is it just the Southern ones?

I was browsing through Southern Living magazine this month (Mother read it so I do too) and loved reading Editor in Chief Sid Evans’ tribute to his mother.  Check it out.  A few parts I loved are:

“Like a lot of Southern women, she is not a minimalist…At birthdays and Christmas she goes completely overboard…she loves classical music…played so loud that it rattles the windows.”

This encouraged me.  Maybe I’m not alone in my lets-go-over-the-top- if-possible approach to life. Some of my ideas for entertaining or gifts or holidays or fundraising or gardening or parenting have been met with REALLY? ARE YOU KIDDING? from my friends and family.  But  I just keep going with a “yes, that’s what I’m going for” and it happens and it’s WONDERFUL!

Maybe that’s just the way us Southern moms are.    And yes, I do rattle the windows listening to music.

By the way, my brother went on to finish first in his college graduating class.  Mom knew he had it in him!



8 ears fresh corn, cooked in microwave (2 min each)

1 orange bell pepper, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

4 green onions, chopped

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1 lb diced pepper jack cheese

After cooking corn, remove husk and silk (it will come off easily when cooked in microwave).  Cut kernels off the ear.  Mix the dressing and pour over corn, peppers, onion, cilantro and cheese.  Chill.


3/4 cup olive oil

1/3 cup white vilegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

This post was written by Vein and Skin Laser Center | May 6, 2016


Why do doctors advise against high heels?  And will a job requiring standing make me get varicose veins?

You know that your heart is a pump, pumping blood 24/7 throughout your body.  But did you know that you have a calf muscle pump?  This calf muscle pump is important in returning blood from your legs back up to your heart.  But it is not an automatic, like the heart.

Two things are essential in circulating blood back to the heart:

  1. Normal calf muscle pump
  2. A normal vein with intact valves

Walking activates the calf muscle pump.  When the calf muscle contracts, this squeezing action forces blood upward against gravity and back towards the heart.


The second part of the process is the valves in the leg vein.    The valves in a normal vein act like steps on a ladder, supporting the column of blood until it reaches the right side of the heart.  If the valves are worn out (are incompetent),  they will not support the column of blood and cause more pressure in the veins.  This is called reflux.  The weight of the blood pushing down in the veins causes increased pressure and can push fluid out of the veins into the tissues.  This is one cause of swelling, a symptom of abnormal venous function.

Do your legs a favor by not wearing high heels too often. When a women wears high heels, her foot, ankle and calf don’t contract and bend normally.  So the calf muscle pump doesn’t work as well, causing greater stress on the veins.

If you are routinely required to be on your feet all day, wearing support stockings can alleviate strain on the venous system.  Standing isn’t the worst thing:  think about it—when you are standing, you usually do take steps, which activates your calf muscle pump.  Sitting all day is a poor option for leg and vein health because the calf muscle pump is not activated.  Try to incorporate walking each day, without high heels. 


This post was written by Vein and Skin Laser Center | May 6, 2016


Yes, it is true that not only did your mother give you life, but she also may have given you the tendency towards bad veins.  Unfortunately, we do inherit genes that predispose us to weaker veins.  So if your mother (or father) has varicose veins, you could very well develop them too.

In mom’s defense, women are at higher risk, often developing bad veins for the first time during and following pregnancy.   Carrying a pregnancy (you!)  for 9 months puts pressure on pelvic  venous circulation, increasing pressure in the lower extremity  leg  veins.  More pressure means more stress on the leg veins as they  return blood to the heart.  Finally, the veins begin to break down into varicose and spider veins.  Multiple pregnancies  cause  more damage  and worsening of the varicose and spider veins.  To add insult to injury, hormone changes also affect  veins negatively.

If your family history predisposes you to varicose or spider veins, try these suggestions for vein health:

This post was written by Vein and Skin Laser Center | May 6, 2016