first image


Welcome to This Awful/Awesome Life! My name is Frances Joyce. I am the publisher and editor of this magazine. We'll be exploring different topics each month to inform, entertain and inspire you. Meet new authors, sharpen your brain and pick up a few tips on life, love, entertaining and business. Enjoy and please share!

Sunglasses, Sunscreen and Water...Ready for a Safe Summer! by Fran Joyce

While you are enjoying this beautiful summer, it’s important to take a few moments to protect you and your family.



The right sunglasses are a great defense against short-term and long-term eye damage caused by UV rays according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. However, finding the right pair of shades is more involved than finding the perfect shaped frame in a to die for color. It’s not enough just to look good. Use these six tips from the AAO to help you find the perfect sunglasses.

  1. Buy glasses marked 100% UV protection.
  2. Bigger is better – think Audrey Hepburn large lenses or stylish wrap-a-rounds to protect your eyes from exposure to UV rays.
  3. Darker Lenses don’t protect better – always check for 100% UV protection.
  4. Lens color does not matter – amber, green, gray, brown, or red – again go with 100% UV protection – different colors won’t block more UV rays,  but certain colors can increase contrast and this can be useful for athletes playing sports such as baseball or golf.
  5. Polarized lenses cut glare not UV rays – so they do not offer additional UV protection. However, reducing glare can make driving or being on the water safer and more enjoyable.
  6. You don’t have to pay top dollar for 100% UV protection – less expensive pairs of sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection are just as good.

I’d like to add one more criteria for buying sunglasses, the fit. If you’ve ever had a pair of glasses fitted at your optometrist, you know what a difference small tweaks can make. Let’s face it, the better your sunglasses fit, the more you will wear them and the more protection from UV rays you will get. Many opticians carry prescription and non-prescription sunglasses. Look for sales and consider buying a pair of prescription sunglasses whenever you buy new glasses. Most of the practices I’ve used offer discounts for buying multiple pairs of glasses. You can even ask for advice on how to get the best fit for your sunglasses.


110 I4.jpg


Apply sunscreen whenever you will be outside during the day this summer. I was raised in Florida and some of my worst sunburns occurred on cloudy, overcast days. Use makeup and lotions with sunscreen as extra protection not your only protection.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer. From 2008-2018, the number of new melanoma cases diagnosed annually has increased by 53%. More people are diagnosed with skin cancer in the United States than all other cancers combined.

It’s estimated that 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70. About 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet radiation  of the sun.

The most common form of skin cancer is Basal cell carcinoma. An estimated 4.3 million cases are diagnosed each year in the U.S. resulting in 3,000 deaths while an estimated 1,000,000 cases of  Squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common form of skin cancer, will result in 15,000 deaths.

Regular use of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by about 40%.

Daily use of sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher can reduce skin aging by 24%.

Skin damage - About 23% of lifetime exposure occurs by age 18, but skin damage is cumulative.



110 blur-bottle-boy-1126557.jpg

Corey Flynn had an awesome article about the importance of staying hydrated in our June 2018 issue, so I’ll be brief here (Scroll through our June issue and read her article – you’ll thank me later).

Your lean body mass is about 70-75% water. Fat contains 10-40% water. Your hydration needs are unique to your body, but the more fit you are, the more water your body contains.

Water helps supply nutrients to the body and remove waste. It is essential for maintaining blood circulation throughout your body and it helps maintain your body temperature. When you exercise, your metabolism and internal body temperature increase. Water carries heat away from your internal organs to protect them from damage. Heat traveling through your bloodstream causes your body to perspire and cool itself. If your internal organs overheat, you can suffer a heat stroke which can be fatal.

Daily water intake must be balanced, so once you start feeling thirsty ( a loss of about 1% of body water), you are already suffering from dehydration. At 2% loss, you can suffer serious fatigue and cardiovascular impairments.


Check the color of your urine – it should be pale yellow not dark yellow, smelly or cloudy.

Drink water before and after low to moderate intensity workouts.

If you are exercising in extreme heat or for periods longer than one hour, drink water and a sports drink to replace important electrolytes and prevent hyponatremia (low blood serum).

Be cautious consuming alcoholic beverages if you will be exerting yourself intensively and avoid heavy workouts if you have a hangover.

If you are planning intensive workouts or training for an athletics event, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor or a certified personal trainer for advise on adequate hydration.

Never chug large quantities of water because this can result in a sodium imbalance which can be dangerous or in extreme cases fatal.

Sources for photos of Audrey Hepburn and Jeff Bridges:

Jeff Bridges, The Big Lebowski, The Dude, Vuarnet VL1307



What's for Dinner? Ask Linda

Help Your Pets have their best Summer by Fran Joyce