Rainy Weather

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This “spring” has been crazy.  We’ve had many days with temperatures in the 40’s and 50’s.  Last weekend I cleaned out both fireplaces, and my husband cleaned out the left-over wood in the wood room.  So, what kind of weather have we had this week?  You guessed it, most days didn’t make it over 60°.  The nights went down into the 40’s, and we had no heat.  Bring on the afghans!  I actually slept with my winter nightgown over my spring nightgown and socks on my feet.  The dog was chilly enough to jump up on the bed also.  Thank goodness, since I appreciated his warmth!  While this has been a bummer as far as enjoying the outside, my state no longer is in a drought, and everything is wonderfully green.  However, I really need more than just a few hours of sun peeking through the clouds.

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Thankfully, it looks like the sun is coming back, the clouds are in retreat and some warm weather is headed our way. Hopefully not too warm (I can just imagine it being in the 90°’s with 95% humidity this summer).  Hope not, but it is New England where it can snow in the morning and be 75° and sunny in the afternoon.

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I hope that you’ve been able to get out and enjoy your spring!  If you have, let me know what you’ve been doing.

Finding Serenity

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Life can be pretty nuts.  Not only do we have to worry about what’s going on in our own lives, but there is also the human suffering that we all see every day – and a lot of that is not just somewhere “out there” in the world, but here at home.

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So, what to do?  How can we deal with all of this?  The stress of just daily life can be overwhelming. How can we find some form of serenity?  There is only so much that we can do as individuals.  Yes, there are letters to write and petitions to sign, but how do we find a way to cope with the stresses that need to be dealt with?

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Personally, at the end of the day I realize that there is only so much I can do to influence what’s going on “out there”.  I try to influence people who I come across each day.  If I think that someone who I don’t know looks really nice, I’ll tell them.  Just the look of surprise and happiness that I see on their faces lets me know that even though I may have hesitated to give them a compliment, it was the right decision.  And, although talking to a total stranger is hard for me, it was worthwhile.  So, let me know what you do to throw a little happiness out there in the world.  I’d love to hear your stories and advice.

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Happy Things This Week

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I love the Minions!

Even though I’ve been in somewhat of a depression lately, there were some happy, joyful and glorious things that have happened over the past week or so.  The first of these was that after almost a year of not being able to use my oven, I got a new stove.  Yes, I was able to use the top of the stove, but I haven’t made any baked goods in a long time.  So, this week I bought apples and am looking forward to baking a pie over the weekend.  Yum!

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My daughter and I went to see Beauty and the Beast this week.  This movie was just wonderful.  Belle was portrayed exactly the way I always felt that she was.  A strong, intelligent woman who found her small town to be more than a little too small.  Belle has to be the one Disney “princess” with whom I feel an actual affinity.  Books, books, books!

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This was a big week, since my daughter and I also went to see The Sleeping Beauty by the Russian National Ballet this week.  This was actually my birthday gift from my birthday way back in September.  You have to wait for the good things.  I love, love, love going to the ballet, and this one was wonderful!  What a great time.

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Tonight, we’re going to see a middle-school production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.  I know that a lot of people dislike going to these events, but I love them.  The kids put their hearts and souls into the play, they work really hard, and often-times they are the biggest surprise regarding the talent some of the performers have.  One of the girls my daughter babysits will be in the play, and I really look forward it seeing her.  She’s very talented, and I enjoyed the play she was in last year.  Lots of fun!

Those are my good, happy and fun things lately.  Please share your good things!

Giving Things Up?

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I know that it’s the Lenten season for those of you who are practicing Christians.  Oftentimes people choose to give something up for the forty days of Lent.  I used to do that myself.  When I was a child I usually gave up chocolate.  This was not a big deal, since at my house there was never any chocolate allowed, with the exception of chocolate chip cookies and brownies.  Since I was the designated baker of the family (one of my Saturday chores was to bake cookies for the upcoming week), I simply made snickerdoodles or oatmeal cookies for those few weeks.

When I got older, instead of giving up things, I would make sure I visited one of my grandparents every week during Lent. Not only had I done something the made them happy, but I was also the only family member to hear the stories about Speakeasies, Jazz and illegal drinking in NYC during Prohibition.   Looking back, I realize that was a much better way of observing the spirit of Lent.

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Now that I’m an adult, I try to be more spiritual.  I don’t think that we should limit our spiritual lives to seasons, although it’s more difficult to reflect on the state of the world in a consistent manner .  In my own life I’ve found that if I try my best to follow the “golden rule” I can look at myself in the mirror.

Are you giving up, or giving this Lenten season?  Let me know your plans, and we can share suggestions to celebrate the spirit of Lent.

Winter Wonderland

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For most of the winter we haven’t gotten much snow, as a matter of fact the winter has unsurprisingly been fairly warm.  However, just a few days ago, it was 60°, (and we were battling mud), then the next day we got 17 inches of snow.  One of the old quotes about New England is “If you don’t like the weather, just stick around for a few hours, it’ll change.”  This winter is stretching that truism quite far.  However, with all the snow, it’s turned into a winter wonderland, and I just wanted to share some of my pictures with you.  Enjoy!

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This is where you put the Frisbee to avoid it getting caught in the snow blower.

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Some Information on Ayurveda

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I’ve been thinking about health for a while now.  My Fibromyalgia has been gradually getting worse as I’ve been getting older.  I let myself stop working out and now that I’m back at it, it seems to be taking me a long time to get some flexibility back.  I don’t want to be a little old lady who can barely walk at the ripe old age of 60 (when I do get there).  One of my resolutions this year was to go to the Doctor for a physical, so I’ve got to do that.  I don’t think that other than my Fibromyalgia I’ve really got anything else going on, but since I haven’t been to the doctor for quite a few years, I think a physical could be a good idea.

Since I like to research things, I found myself looking up information on Ayurveda.  For those of you who don’t really understand what it is, here is an explanation, copied directly from the website.

“The two main guiding principles of Ayurveda are 1) the mind and the body are inextricably connected, and 2) nothing has more power to heal and transform the body than the mind. Freedom from illness depends upon expanding our own awareness, bringing it into balance, and then extending that balance to the body.”  http://www.chopra.com/articles/what-is-ayurveda

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When I read that, I thought it was a great way to look at health.  Of course, everything is interrelated, and we really do need to learn how to meditate, slow down and care for ourselves.  This is such a problem for me.  I’m one of those people who, when told in an airplane that I would have to place the oxygen mask on myself before placing one on my child, recoils.  Intellectually I know it makes sense, but why would I put myself before my child?  See my problem?

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I’m determined to explore this “self-care” more this year, and encourage you to do so too.  Since I hate pharmaceuticals, I don’t want to be put on any.  I want my health to come from natural sources such as what I eat, how I think and how I take care of my body.  Let me know what things you do to stay health in mind and body.  I’m going to explore this Ayurveda path, and I’ll probably talk about it in some future posts.