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More winter weather left? What to do?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

10 Remedies for Cabin Fever
By Ana Maria Spagna
Published in the March/April 2014 issue of Orion magazine --

1. Shovel early, shovel often. Early winter. So exciting! Before the powder turns to ice, before your brain settles into stale-air mush, head out to gawk at fresh small-mammal tracks and silent still-white limbs, and make your paths. Remember to lift with your legs and pace yourself.

2. Go for a run. Jog gingerly in the icy tire tracks of pickups or the unplowed skiff on the road shoulder while flakes pile on your ball-cap brim and nineteen trumpeter swans glide across the nearby lake. Wave at the neighbors and schoolkids as you pass. You’re all in this together.

3. Schedule no-whining days. Make a pact with friends. Once a week, you’ll spend the day outdoors walking, skiing, swan-watching, hauling firewood—anything, anything at all—together and without complaint. On sunny days, sit hatless on foam pads and share the last of the garden pesto dip. On freezing days, wrap your mittened hands around a passed thermos lid of tea. (Apple brandy optional.) You’ll forget you ever wanted to complain.

4. Organize. Midwinter, when weariness encroaches, stay busy! Organize your files, your silverware drawer, the endless, strewn Ziploc baggies of first-aid supplies from summer hikes. Organize a dinner party or a book club or a weekly travel slide show. Who knew your neighbors visited Cambodia in the 1960s, the Galapagos in the 1980s, Panama by canoe, Antarctica with a sled?

5. Make art. Paint. Knit. Carve. Quilt. Sculpt. Scour the web for submission opportunities and send your creations around the world. Note that the range of what qualifies as art grows in direct proportion to the lousiness of the weather and your distance from town. A Halloween mask from wine corks. Fingerpainting. Writing your memoir.

6. Get political. Write your congressperson. Sign petitions, or start them. Fight for clean energy, clean air, and clean water. Fight against violence and torture and injustice. Read and write and think and rage. But not at your partner.

7. “It could be worse.” Late winter, when snow piles toward the eaves (the neighbors board their windows, but not you!), read about Shackleton, read Jack London, or the latest from Elizabeth Kolbert. Flip through photos of icebergs melting, creeks cresting, fires burning, tornadoes spinning. Consider real hardship while soaking in a steaming hot bathtub.

8. “This is better?” Visit relatives in LA or Houston and remember there’s something nice about driving an ice-free interstate, watching heat ripples rise from asphalt, swapping familiar stories with siblings. (It did not happen that way! Did too! Did not!) Remember, too, that there’s also something nice about having four seasons back home—snow sifting through the pines, swans on a silent lake.

9. “This is better!” Fly to Cancun or road-trip to Moab. The sky is blue, the ocean warm, the red rocks startling, the tropical fish surreal. Feel the sun on your skin—serotonin! endorphins!—and sleep tentless in the sand and remember you’re connected to the earth in some nearly inexpressible way. But be forewarned: once you get home, it’ll be months before you’ll be barefoot again.

10. Give in. It’s spring, supposedly. Your lettuce seeds have rotted in the ground, your crocuses crushed by slush. That’s it. Kick off your muddy boots, and stare at the wall. Even the swans have left town. But wait, is that the sun still streaming in the window at dinnertime? Step onto the porch in your socks and bask in the warm glow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:



I'll settle for just hanging on to the remnants of my sanity as we batten down for our next winter storm. (It's on the way, right now.)

I did see a pair of swans the other day, in the small patch of heated water that exists thanks to a manufacturing plant here in town.

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TIFALVA 3/16/2014 10:22PM

    Great ideas :-)

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Copied from Willow49

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Installing Love emoticon

Tech Support: Good Day, how can I help you?

Customer: Well, after much consideration, I've decided to install Love. Can you guide me though the process?

Tech Support: Yes. I'm so glad you called and I can help you with that. Are you ready to proceed?

Customer: Well, I'm not very technical, but I think I'm ready. What do I do first?

Tech Support: The first step is to open your Heart. Have you located your Heart?

Customer: Yes, but there are several other programs running now. Is it okay to install Love while they are running?

Tech Support: What programs are running?

Customer: Let's see, I have Past Hurt, Low Self-Esteem, Grudge, and Resentment running right now.

Tech Support: No problem, Love will gradually erase Past Hurt from your current operating system. It may remain in your permanent memory but it will no longer disrupt other programs. Love will eventually override Low Self-Esteem with a module of its own called High Self-Esteem. However, you have to completely turn off Grudge and Resentment. Those programs prevent Love from being properly installed. Can you turn those off?

Customer: I don't know how to turn them off. Can you tell me how?

Tech Support: With pleasure. Go to your start menu and invoke Forgiveness. Do this as many times as necessary until Grudge and Resentment have been completely erased.

Customer: Okay, done! Love has started installing itself. Is that normal?

Tech Support: Yes, but remember that you have only the base program. You need to begin connecting to other Hearts in order to get the upgrades.

Customer: Oops! I have an error message already. It says, "Error - Program not run on external components." What should I do?

Tech Support: Don't worry. It means that the Love program is set up to run on Internal Hearts, but has not yet been run on your Heart. In non-technical terms, it simply means you have to Love yourself before you can Love others.

Customer: So, what should I do?

Tech Support: Pull down Self-Acceptance; then click on the following files: Forgive-Self; Realize Your Worth; and Acknowledge your Limitations.

Customer: Okay, done.

Tech Support: Now, copy them to the "My Heart" directory. The system will overwrite any conflicting files and begin patching faulty programming. Also, you need to delete Verbose Self-Criticism from all directories and empty your Recycle Bin to make sure it is completely gone and never comes back.

Customer: Got it. Hey! My heart is filling up with new files. Smile is playing on my monitor and Peace and Contentment are copying themselves all over My Heart. Is this normal?

Tech Support: Sometimes. For others it takes awhile, but eventually everything gets it at the proper time. So Love is installed and running. One more thing before we hang up. Love is Freeware. Be sure to give it and its various modules to everyone you meet. They will in turn share it with others and return some cool modules back to you. emoticon

(author unknown)

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ROSE_626 2/19/2014 6:07AM

    I love it! emoticon

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    I loved this.

My husband is a software engineer, and he has to do help-desk duty sometimes. If he weren't such a GUY, I'd share this with him, :D From now on, though, when he talks about the technical details of his job, this little dialog is going to playing in the back of my mind.

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Spark Diet in ranked by US News panel

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

It was ranked #13 by US News panel. I found the article in Yahoo Health. See here.

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TRI_BABE 1/27/2014 5:14PM

    Yeah my friend works for Spark and posted this to her Facebook. Great news!

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what to do, what to do?

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Eat less.
Move more.
Eat real whole food.
Cook at home.
Make lunch and snacks.

And a picture of my youngest love just to add a joy point.

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KNYAGENYA 8/9/2013 11:04AM

    This is true. Very cute pic.

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JEREMY723 8/8/2013 7:25AM

    So true. Wishing I could do the same more often as well:) I hope that your summer is going well! The cooler Cleveland weather has been nice though it leaves me no excuse for not running!

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Consider the “to do” list-

Sunday, January 20, 2013

I am a list maker. Not because I want to be; it happens to be a tool/exercise that really helps me get things out of my head, remember what I need & want to do.

There are times that I look at the list and just feel overwhelmed, annoyed, demoralized and dissatisfied – even when I have crossed several things off of it!
So, recently in a discussion about goal setting and self care a very smart friend of mine shared a new way to handle prioritizing the items on my list-

Commit to doing 3 things on the list. The conditions of the three things that should be selected:

One thing that has been looming. That thing that just has been hanging on and you keep putting it off until that “other thing” gets done. Then that “other thing” gets done and switched out for something else, and the looming thing is still on the list. Get the looming thing off the list so it isn’t looming any more.

One that will get something moving forward. It might not get done all the way, but you can clearly get the ball rolling on it. (Schedule the mammogram, ob/gyn, colonoscopy, dentist, eye dr appointment!! You don’t have to go today or tomorrow. Set the date; that is moving in the right direction.)

One thing that will give you JOY. YES!! If there is nothing on your list that fills this requirement ADD IT. You are more important than your list. Do something for yourself! That third thing is the gift you give to yourself for getting something done, and getting something moving. And it is just good for you.

Thanks Noelle Celeste for you wonderfulness!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PDQ1203 1/22/2013 8:56AM


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MILPAM3 1/20/2013 4:59PM

  Love the crossing off part!
Just read something the other day about making a list of the things you have accomplished...Now that is really a symptom of list-maker's syndrome emoticon !

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2WALKISFUN 1/20/2013 10:16AM

  I am with you. Got to make a list of all that needs to be done, whether it's at work, what i need to do when i get home, what chores need to be accomplished over the weekend, whatever the case may be. There is a certain level of JOY that I feel when the list is done and I can enjoy the time that is left to do whatever else I may enjoy. I am trying to teach my kids the same philosophy - the chores need to be done before the fun stuff. They each have their daily list, weekly list, etc. that must be completed before they can watch, play video games, or get on the computer. I think it's a great way to teach them to be responsible adults.

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