Category Archives: exercise

Soul Food

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There are so many versions of “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” which

really is a great collection of books. I felt happy when my youngest

daughter  started  reading,    “Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul.”

She would have a big smile on her face, arriving at the dinner table,

taking each individual story and reading it as a daily devotional.

 

She would excitedly share about the impact in the story collections

of one life upon another. This, along with her two years of studying

as a confirmand, which is one getting ready in our Presbyterian

Church to be confirmed. . . all of the pieces were falling into place,

with her faith.

 

Here was a young girl, who at age 11, feeling pain in her joints;

already. My daughter was diagnosed at age 12 after being tested

and a surgeon wanting to cut into her knees. We chose to research

more and found out she had JRA. This is the acronym for Juvenile

Rheumatoid Arthritis. Felicia was diagnosed using blood samples,

at Children’s Hospital. She was ‘taken under the wing’ of a lovely

and giving physician named, Dr. Gloria Higgins.

 

If anything, Felicia could have quit playing soccer, would never

have pursued in high school, cross country and could have not

been so eager to learn in school. Her energy and her determination

earned her 10th place in the OCC for our high school in long

distance running. She enjoyed being a cadet journalist and “Girl

on the Street.” There were times I would accompany her to the

mall where she would take her microphone and ask questions

like,  “What are you buying for your significant other, Sir?” or

“What is the most popular toy in the store?” to a salesclerk or

busy manager. She would happily exclaim over the loud speaker,

the morning announcements ,

 

“Good morning, Hayes High School, this is Fox Oldrieve giving you

the news today.”

 

Let’s go back to elementary school, before she knew pain or had a

‘care in the world.’ She wrote an essay that won her third grade

class’ assignment on the subject of Martin Luther King, Jr. She did

this once more and wrote an essay that won her fourth grade class’

assignment. The amazing thing to me was she also won the whole

school’s award two years in a row. She was asked to speak in front

of Ohio Wesleyan University’s annual MLK, Jr. breakfast. My secret

wish was for her to pursue this and become a newscaster. . . She did

study dual majors at University of Dayton in Communications and

Marketing. No, she is not in journalism.

 

Her goal is to help others in their pain management, encouraging

them to be careful of what they eat. Healthy choices for her and

she has documented what causes negative joint reactions in her

hands (knuckles), knees and her jaw bone. The way she helps

herself to feel less pain is gluten-free, no milk products, no

sandwich meats or other salty and less natural foods. We shall

see if she finds her dream of this come to fruition. This is not

what my focus is today.

 

Anyway, the books got her through difficult times, challenging

circumstances. When some people, coworkers and friends, start

to complain about aging and their aches and pains, I try not to

say this thought out loud:

 

“My daughter was told by not only Children’s Hospital but also,

due to her being a participant in an OSU study on rheumatoid

arthritis, she had the joints of a 65 year old at age 12.”

 

Here are two motivating quotations, written by John Caulfield,

taken from “Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul II:”

 

~ One ~

“Her essay about the wedding ring was short. Kerr wrote,

‘Things are just things- they have no power to hurt or to heal.

Only people can do that. And we can all choose whether to be

hurt or healed by the people who love us.

That was all.

And that was everything.”

 

~ Two ~

“And so I wait.

I wait for time to heal the pain and raise me to my feet once

again. So that I can start a new path, my own path, the one

that will make me whole again.”

 

Besides chicken soup what can we do to help strengthen our immune

systems?

There is always such diversity in lists given by different resources.

There are so many various food sources, also being cleverly labeled

as, “super foods.” A tag that this past ten years has labeled those

foods that give us healthy bodies and provide us rich sources of

“anti-oxidants.”

 

Using some of these ingredients will help you stay healthy on

the outside, your body will hopefully battle the daily coughs

and sneezes we are all assaulted with, in elevators, in cubicles

and in the library sitting next to someone you wish you could

say, “Next time, when you feel miserable and sniffly, would

you please stay home?”

1. Ginger-

a. Soothes upset tummies.

b. Relieves muscle pains.

c. Helps your vocal chords (voice to speak)and prevents coughs.

 

1. Chili powder of chilis-

a. Warm your mouth and ‘innards.’

b. Clear congestion.

 

3. Garlic-

a. Antioxidants boost your immune system.

b. Helps heart and lowers cholesterol.

 

4. Mint

a. Helps with colds and fevers.

b. Mixed with smashed peas, minted peas are getting popular.

c. Sipping on mint green tea, adding another antioxidant, lemon is

a great way of combining forces.

 

Tasty Alternatives in Soups:

~ Homestyle chili with Mexican spice, cumin, garlic, other seasonings

and flavorings both vegetarian or meat/beef style are very good for

us. Also, nice to have a big crock pot of this, so you can pack a few

meals up and be ready for work. (White bean chili is a new favorite.)

~ Garlic soup using sweet potatoes and cauliflower, with curry and

ginger spices.

~Also, some recipes for soups are adding cinnamon, paprika and

bay leaves.

~Roasted pepper and cheddar cheese soup includes cilantro, basil,

garlic and cumin.

 

One last ‘brag’ about my youngest daughter who handles her pain

and sometimes ‘suffering’ in silence and shows grace. I entered her

in her junior year of high school in a contest by the Columbus Dispatch,

“Who Is Your Hero?” She ‘won’ along with two others, in a three way

tie, the newspaper took a picture of the two of us, we won two tickets

to see Dustin Hoffman in “Hero,” first run movie and it was nice to

receive copies of the first page of the Arts and Entertainment

section from so many people in Ohio.

I mentioned something like this:

“At the end of the day, there are teenagers who would use any excuse

to get out of sports or work, but my daughter has a part-time job, is

involved with extracurricular activities and doesn’t complain. There

are many people around her daily who have ‘no clue’ of what she goes

through. It is nice when we are relaxing to sit downstairs while we

have a fire in the fireplace. But as she gets up, she winces. That pained

face moves me. When her stepdad offers to help her up the stairs, she

takes him up on the kind offer. You know that is when it really hurts

to know what she hides most of the time.”

 

What challenges do you overcome daily?

(Spiritual, emotional, seasonal, physical, mental or other?)

 

 

 

Bits and Pieces

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The Nutcracker book sits in my pile of Christmas and seasonal books,

along with Rudolph, The Night Before Christmas and other holiday

books. I include snowmen, gingerbread boy (and man), along with the

little dog Spot, in my menagerie of characters and stories yet to read

as the month progresses. I like for my once a year ‘treat’ for adult

choices, “The Gift of the Magi,” by O. Henry. There are plenty of

pieces of great literature to treasure, while helping to lift your spirits,

calm your soul and fill your mind.

 

In Columbus, “The Nutcracker” ballet is performed annually. I have

the details for Cleveland’s performances since it is exciting to note

their location:

Playhouse Square is the SECOND largest unified Arts Complex in

the United States! Wow!  My youngest brother took his wife to see

the Russian Ballet company perform, dancing their beautiful and

lively parts of the grand seasonal extravaganza. (Lincoln Arts Center

is the number one arts center in the U.S.)

 

Have you heard the R & B singer on the winter and holiday Glade

commercial? He turned 25 yesterday. His name is Kevin Ross, who

has been interviewed by several journalists, along with being in the

“Essence” magazine. He was a student and graduate of Berkeley

School of Music, he had a project where he had to perform, which he

chose Stevie Wonder to sing. The performance was outstanding,

he has been listed as a “Motown record artist.”

You may wish to check out other songs by Kevin Ross, but his soulful

voice soars into the upper registers and won my heart in his “My

Wish for You,” which keeps on going if you download it… to sing

the often mentioned but never less meaningful words of,

“Let there be peace on earth.

 

 

I love to walk in nature, despite my occasional grousing, to see frozen

waterfalls. There is one quite close to my home, less than a half hour

drive at Hayden Run Falls, off Hayden Run Road in Columbus.

The Hayden Run Falls is a part of Grigg’s Reservoir and Nature

Preserve.

Another close to my ‘neck of the woods’ waterfalls display is at the

Indian Run Falls in Dublin, Ohio. There is a short (3 miles) loop

where you can walk past a waterfall, look over a small ravine and

also, see the Veteran’s Memorial for Dublin veterans. The flags

displayed there are international and I think it is worth the walk.

 

I dislike repeating myself, but walking in the brisk winter air will not

give you a cold! It is invigorating and if bundled up properly, with a

warm set of layered clothing, scarf and hat on, you will find it rather

fun. It also will be enough exercise to take off a few of those extra

pre-holiday and holiday calories, too!

Here are a few more locations where the waterfalls are fabulous and

awe-inspiring:

Cuyahoga Valley National Park~

Brandywine Falls one of Top Ten in the U.S. visited National Parks.

 

Old Man’s Cave, where there are Upper Falls and Lower Falls trails.

 

In Michigan, the falls are abundant. I enjoyed in the U.P. the tannin

(looks like flowing whiskey) colored falls. The tall, tall pine trees lend

their sap to the coloration.

I am sure you know of a few in your area that are simply breath-taking

and would be happy to hear about them!

 

Two special quotes from the man who paints miracles upon canvas:

 

“When you live in the light of unfolding miracles,

There is always a future, always a hope.”

 

“The points in Life

where what has happened

and what you have done

converge,

Move you forward

and significantly shape

the person

you are,

Those are your miracles.”

~* Thomas Kinkade *~

 

Humorous Romance

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Some of my friends who are younger are amazed when I mention that up until my

Dad died, my Mom and Dad enjoyed one form of romance or another. Here’s to all

those loving, open and caring people who dance in the kitchen! Hope this inspires

you to put some spice in your life or at least bring your significant other a bouquet

of burgundy, crimson, golden and burnt sienna Autumn flowers. My Mom will be

receiving a pot of those gorgeous lavender-rose chrysanthemums, (the closest there

is in the palette of fall colors to her favorite color of pink!) One important thing I

learned from my Mamma: “Never show up on the doorstep of your friends or loved

ones without an old-fashioned hostess!”

This is especially important if you are showing up with a packed bag, dirty laundry,

and a plan to stay for an extended period of many days!  When I would come home

from college, catching a ride from the Studon ‘ride board’ for Fall, Winter or Spring

Break, I already knew which were the certain plants that  Mom liked: mums, pink

poinsettias, and  pink tulips in that order. The pretty yellow or red daffodils or  the

brilliantly gorgeous red poinsettia plants did not ‘fit in’ with the pastels in her formal

Victorian living room.

Kenny Rogers’ song about “bringing his wife flowers” was a big  ‘hit’ with Mom. The

memorable special song was called, “Buy Me a Rose,” written by Jim Funk and Erik

Hickenlooper and released in 1999. This song included valuable communication

suggestions like calling one’s partner during the day time, to make her smile and

stay in touch, simple gestures. Too often, those meaningful and thoughtful ways of

staying connected are lost, especially during the frantic paced child-rearing period

of Life. I know, from personal experience oh too well, women can become so wrapped

into their childrens’ lives they miss the signs they are losing touch with their spouses.

My parents set an example of putting priority on their interpersonal relationship

time to go out together, sometimes dressing up to be chaperone school dancees,

then stopping to have a drink out. Low cost; big rewards later.

My Dad knew’if he were in the dog house’ to bring Mom her favorite flowers of all:

pink roses. ”

The song, ” You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” (any more) pulls at my heart strings more

than the song Kenny Rogers sang. It is due to the fact that duets help  me transform

to another place and time, creating a  picture of the two people facing a crisis.  Along

with the two voices of Neil Diamond  and Barbra Streisand’s melodic and harmonious

blending made this a ‘perfect’ love song (in my mind.) This song affected many more

people than just me. Interestingly, this song had a very different beginning than I had

remembered. The collaboration of Neil Diamond with the couple, Alan and Marilyn

Bergman, were to write the music for a television comedy called, “All That Glitters.”

It was a very short snippet of a song, originally written as the opening t.v. series’ song

in 1977. (The show never caught on and took a ‘dive.’) Once it became expanded into

a full-length song in 1978, it was played frequently on the radio and became so popular

it won a Grammy Award for  “Best Song of the Year.”

 

Now, for the lighter side of this post, thanks to my Mom sending it to me this week.

(Joke taken from my Mom’s collection from her good friend and California pen pal

Joyce, otherwise known as, “Pooky.”)

 

Here are~

“Love Making Tips for Senior Citizens”

1. Wear your glasses.

This will ensure you that your partner actually in the bed and not asleep on a Lazy Boy,

in the living room. Glasses will be helpful for other reasons, like grabbing or tenderly

touching the appropriate body parts.

 

2. Set a timer for three minutes.

Just in case you accidentally doze off in the middle.

 

3. Set the mood with lighting.

Suggestion: Turn them ALL off!

Or if #5 is necessary (due to memory loss) keep a low light on your side of the bed

 

4. Make sure you put “911”on ‘speed dial’ or as one of your emergency contact numbers

on your cell phone. Before you begin. . .

 

5. Write partner’s name on your hand, in case you can’t remember it.

 

6. Use extra Poly Grip.

So your  teeth don’t end up under the bed.

 

7. Have Tylenol ready or other medications ready.

Just in case you two actually complete the act. Aches and pains, possible side effects.

 

8. Make all the noise you want.

The neighbors are probably as old as you are and hard of hearing.

 

9.  Congratulations!

Thank goodness for those endorphins and mood-enhancers.

This can be substituted for your daily regimen of a walk.

Exciting way to get your heart pumping and feel alive.

10. For all those ‘single ladies’ or ‘gentlemen,’

Dancing,

Running,

Skipping,

Hiking,

Swimming

or Dark chocolate can work, too.

 

It makes me sad there are a lot of couples who barely speak to each other.

When I  was a server while in my 40’s I would wait on tables and witness

this pattern of disconnection between lovers. Granted, I worked at Cracker

Barrel, where the busy 36/37 routes intersect with north and south 71. A

lot of my customers were tired, cranky tiravelers who also were hungry.

The way I would do my ‘part’ to brighten their day or night,  would be to

get their food or beverage order as soon as I could. Bringing their drinks,

accompanied with a platter of hot biscuits and corn bread  helped to break

the ice. Once I established rapport with them, I would fib to them.

I would say they looked like they “belonged together.”

It was such a simple statement

but it helped to improve their mood

and changed the temperature of the

atmosphere between the two of them,  too.

 

Quote for the Day:

“Blessed are those who can give graciously without remembering,

Blessed are those who can take gratefully without forgetting.”

( “The Spire” October,2014 First Presbyterian Church bulletin)

 

 

 

 

October’s This and That

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When I have a few odds and ends, loose ends which need to stop unraveling, I usually

post a “this and that” summary. It is a little like when you go to a garage sale, flea

market or thrift store, some history and strange things may show up.

First of all, this is more of a serious subject. When I wrote my slightly negative review

of the movie, “August: Osage County,” you may remember that I said the movie had

one ‘saving grace?’ It was in the calm, interesting Native American housekeeper.

Little did I know that she would turn up missing just a week after my article was

posted. Her real name is “Misty Upham,” and she has been missing a week. There

have been people ‘close to her,’ mentioning that she has had some financial trouble,

along with being depressed. Her father filed a “Missing Persons” report on October

6, 2014.

Here is a brief biography of Missy Upham. She was born July 6, 1982. My daughter

was born in 1980 and son in 1981, which makes my heart stop, worrying about this

young woman. She could be a classmate or friend of theirs. . . Missy walked out of an

apartment in Auburn, Washington more than a week ago. She was born in Kalispell,

Montana and went to school in Auburn. This is located about 20 miles south of Seattle,

WA. Her biggest acting award was for a movie called, “Frozen River,” where she won an

Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female Actor. She made a series of Native

American television movies, “Skinwalkers,” “Dreamkeeper,” and “Edge of America.” She

played a recurring role in the t.v. series about polygamy called, “Big Love.” She had a role

in “Django Unchained.”

I certainly hope nothing happens to her. I know this is rather unusual but I plan on

keeping Misty Upham in my prayers…

Note: Family and friends are convinced her death was not due to depression. They

believe Misty’s views on Native Americans, may have caused her to get in ‘trouble’

and get murdered. They don’t believe she would commit suicide. I am sad that this

happened to someone who had talent, intelligence and died too young. So sorry

to have to add this, too. (Friday October 17,.)

 

In the Summer of 1986, a man from Tuxedo Park, New York traveled to England.

He had been invited to visit the Palace to dine with the Prince of Wales . This man

was named, James Brown Potter. (I wonder if he was related to Beatrix Potter?)

Anyway, he moved in some fancy, ‘high society’ circles, where he was used to

wearing what they casually called, “an evening suit.”

When he went to an English tailor, J. B. Potter was impressed so much with the

design of a shorter black jacket, on display.  The jacket had a refined look and he

felt distinguished while wearing it to dinner with the Prince of Wales. The satin

lapels were what set it apart from other suits. Later, the added satin, grosgrain

stripe along the matching black pants and a cummerbund were part of the final,

complete “Tuxedo,” otherwise known as a “Tux.”

This was found in the Tuxedo Park ‘archives’ of the local community news.

When J.B. Potter came back to America, he had a New York tailor create this suit,

which he labeled, a “Tuxedo.” In the Fall of 1986, at the Autumn Ball held in New

York City, a man named  Griswold Lorillard, wore the American design of the

styled suit jacket. This is where many people noticed and  commented about

his “Tuxedo”  jacket.

And here, I had imagined someone had visited Antarctica, viewed penguins and

got the idea from their dapper appearance!

 

In an AARP article that comes out in a newsletter, filling in ‘gaps’ of information

during the off months that “AARP Magazine” is not published I found several

famous people who have been diagnosed with Diabetes (Type 2).  I feel this is

an ongoing concern for my good friend, Pat, along with other friends. I think

knowing how others handle their disease can be helpful and encouraging. When

anyone doesn’t feel ‘alone,’ it is good to spread this around. My youngest girl,

who deals with ongoing arthritis, started out at age 12, which helps her to feel

better when she reads about others and their techniques in coping with this

physically debilitating disease. So, in this vein, hope you may find this helpful

to know of some famous people over 5o coping with Diabetes, type 2.

Since 1995, Larry King was diagnosed. He eats many small meals, includes

30 minutes of daily exercise and is careful monitoring his foods.

Patti LaBelle has written three books about Type 2 Diabetes, including some

delicious recipes and light-hearted suggestions. Can you believe her exercise

includes walking her 20 dogs? This would take ME all day, taking only 2 at

a time…

Tom Hanks was diagnosed in 2013 with diabetes and works out, eating healthy

foods. His wife, Rita Wilson, likes to go out on walks with him. Did you know

they met on the movie set of “Volunteers?” It is a funny movie and I had to get

it out from the library to remember this one!

Sherri Shepherd, dropped 40 pounds when she decided to handle her diabetes

starting with a serious weight loss. She has written a humorous book about her

challenges and includes recipes for this particular diet of low carbs and  no white

processed foods and sugar.

Billie Jean King, tennis professional, has been an active spokesperson for Diabetes

and supports fund-raising by appearances on television and in person. She is given

credit for raising public awareness on the subject.

Paula Deen admitted that she was diabetic, after she had many books published

having desserts and mashed potatoes included. She has made significant efforts

speaking and addressing the foods she used to support. Paula has also changed

her famous fat, sugar and butter-laden recipes making them more healthy. She

went through a big controversy over this unfortunate situation and another

situation which does not pertain to diabetes. She admits to still struggling with

what she calls, “stress eating.”

Ben Vereen, the dancer/actor, has been dealing with his diabetes since 2007.

He believes there are “opportunities for a better life.” His positive attitude,

along with continuing exercise, diet and awareness in his regimen have helped

him immensely.

 

Last night I watched a fantastic episode of “Madam Secretary” and I wish to

recommend it again. I had included it on the (at the time, Upcoming Fall

Television shows)  new shows to watch. Then, I had recently commented on

someone’s blog that I did not enjoy it as much as I had hoped. It turns out this

man made an effort to convince me, through comparing it to the excellent writing,

cast and ensemble, “West Wing,” television series. I decided to give it a second

chance, which involved a Chinese young woman seeking asylum in America. It

was a really fascinating plot, it kept me wondering what the Secretary of State

would do.  Whether she would agree to having her stay or send her back. I won’t

ruin this plot for you, since it was a good and satisfying ending, the way it played

out. There was a diplomacy issue, a treaty to sign, involved also. Well acted by

many of the famous people in this cast.  I especially like the marital dynamics

between the leading role of Secretary of State played by Tea Leoni and her nice

husband, played by Tim Daly,  as supportive, sympathetic and understanding.

If you remember “Frasier,” you may also know and recognize Bebe Neuwirth,

starred, off and on, as Frasier’s ex-wife. She came across as  a  ‘mean’ or ‘witchy’

woman in one of the scenes on Sunday’s current show she is part of, but you find

out more about her reasons for being this way. I like when a show takes the time

to include character development.

I am still watching, “Forever,” and “Scorpion.” I am giving up on the quirky plot

lines of “The Red Band Society.” My regular television shows seemed to have

very exciting Season Premiere episodes, catching my interest and keeping me

a faithful viewer.

 

What’s new in your area of the world? Anything bothering you or causing you

concern?

 

If you have a new show you would like to recommend, please let us know. We

still have time to catch up on t.v. shows, by watching on the channels’ websites.

 

 

 

 

What a Riot, Maxine!

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When I quote some ‘words of wisdom,’ as dictated by the wild and carefree Maxine,

I seem to have more viewers and more fun comments than almost any other posts.

If you have ever seen the drawings and read ‘her’ witty sarcasm by the artist and

writer named, John Wagner, you will be able to ‘picture in your head,’ how Maxine

looks. Sometimes she has a hat with a flower sticking out of it, other times a ‘beret.’

I like her dark sunglasses and her extra curly white hair, with red earrings peeking

out, on her earlobes. I like her dog with his pointy ears and his silly cross-eyed looks,

sometimes his eyes are just ‘askance’ or expressing skepticism of his owner, Maxine.

Sometimes she looks cranky, other times ‘cross,’ but no matter what her appearance,

I will nod my head, sometimes snigger a little,  knowing she understand growing older.

 

Interesting, isn’t it? That its a man who writes these and draws Maxine with such a

unique character and personality,  in such simple strokes. I cannot help myself, I think

of some of my Mom’s apartment neighbors, table mates and her friend, Pooky.

I must admit, my Mom is NOT a cranky woman. . . but she does wear red lipstick, a

hat upon her (thinly haired) head and a smile on her face. There are at least 12 choices

of hats in her coat closet; maybe more! She has Easter hats, a red, white and blue hat,

fall hats, felt hats and ones that look like she is heading out to garden. She has a mirror

by the door, to look at herself, determing which one is the ‘perfect’ match for the day.

 

Are you ready for some fun!

Do I hear you cheering for Maxine?

Here she comes, both ‘barrels’ loaded and ready to give it her ‘best shots!’

 

1. Morning

“The only thing preventing me from smashing my alarm every morning is

the fact that it is my cell phone!”

 

2. Aging

“I finally figured out what I want to be when I get older. . .

YOUNGER!!”

 

3. “Bad Girls”

“There’s a certain age where you can no longer use the term:

‘Good Girl gone Bad.’

“It’s more like,

‘Her old ass should know better!’

 

4. Stress…

“My Doctor told me to start killing people.

Well, not in those exact words. . .

He said I had to reduce the stress in my life. . .

Same thing really!”

 

5. Cooking fantasies…

“I read recipes the same way I read Science Fiction.

I get to the end and I think, ‘Well, that’s not going to

happen!'”

 

6. A better place…

“The world would be a nicer place if everyone just

would take a ‘chill pill.’

It would get even better, if some of them choked on it!”

 

7. This is so true…

“My day starts backwards.

I wake up tired,

and go to bed, wide awake!!”

 

8. Musings…

“Why isn’t the number 11, pronounced, ‘onety-one?'”

 

9. More musings…

“If 4 out of 5 people ‘suffer’ from diarrhea, does that mean

that one out of five enjoys it?”

 

10. Recreation

“I’m thinking of going roller skating (insert your favorite

dangerous sport… skateboarding, skydiving…)

I could use a couple weeks in a hospital to rest and recuperate.”

 

Of course, you may use your own form of recreation but I usually

choose wine or desserts to help me feel better.

What helps ‘float your boat?’

 

 

Have a fun-filled weekend!

 

 

Carry On

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Isn’t it marvelous when a burden is lifted from your

shoulders? When you know that everything is finally

going to be all right. I have three grown children who

when they are ‘down’ or have worries, I feel some of

that empathetic worry, myself.

On my way to work, I heard the band, Kansas, singing a

song straight to my heart. It was such an appropriate

song for this first day of freedom from worry for one

of my loved ones! This progressive rock band’s single,

an oldie but goodie, begins like this:

“Carry on, my wayward son,

There’ll be peace when you are done.

Lay your weary head to rest,

Don’t you cry no more.”

(Written by Kerry Livgren, 1976.)

One of my children no longer has to feel like there

isn’t closure in a personal situation. I am so happy that

I will be walking around, sighing in relief, possibly this

could have been noticeable to others, had they been working

in my area today.

I wanted to write a poem expressing this wondrous feeling

of joy and weightlessness, floating around the atmosphere…

but I just couldn’t write poetry today.

Instead I thought of a list, one that would have life’s

irritations and burdens included. Where you, as readers,

may choose one that really had an impact on your life.

A time when it was very challenging to put one foot

before the other one, making moving forward an almost

impossible task.

Here are a few feelings you may relate to, have had

experiences with and have made it through to “the

other side.”

Unfinished business.

Disappointments.

Life’s Abrupt Changes.

Long-Distant Move.

Major Transition.

Debilitating Illness or Disease.

Unresolved Issues.

Disaster.

Death of Loved One(s.)

Death of Friend(s).

Death of a Beloved Pet.

A Series of Uncontrollable Events.

Divorce.

Fire.

Break up/ heart break.

Piles of bills and debt.

Suicide Attempt.

Anorexia/Bulimia.

Alcoholism.

Addiction.

Troubles.

In my family member’s case, something had been left

opened for years, festering, lasting longer than it

deserved to. It had a ‘hold’ on my loved one, who was

dwelling on it and not really enjoying life as much as

they should have been. Closure was reached last night!

Hurray! Yippee!

The more recent American indie band, Fun, put out a great

lively song called, “Carry On,” (2012). The lyrics were

written by a combination of the band members and producer.

Nate Reuss, Andrew Dost, Jack Antonoff and Jeff Bhosker.

Another song with the name of “Carry On,” performed by

the legendary band of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, was

written in 1991,by Stephen Stills. It is meaningfully

written about relationships.

Although the Disney movie, “Frozen,” won for the song,

“Let It Go,” I chose this song because my grandkids love

to belt it out, both boys and girls alike! It gets very

grand at one point, where you need to raise your voice!

This can be very exhilarating and liberating. This helps

to remove any cobwebs that are caught in your mind. It

could raise your spirits considerably. The power in the

words of this song, can alleviate some of your pain and

heartache.

I think the act of singing, while driving down the road,

particularly, can make you feel ‘free’ of sadness.

“Let It Go,” was written by the husband and wife team of

Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, sung by Idina

Menzel. There also is a Demi Lovato cover of the same

song.

In conclusion, music lifts our spirits. Other things

can be chosen depending on your individual tastes and

interests to help release the ‘angst.’

Some very serious problems can not be handled simply by

engaging in walks in parks. That is something for me that

helps me unwind and think. I like to see nature and its

wonder, and sometimes it relieves my temporary depression

by knowing I am but a small part of a greater world.

Meditation can remove the rocks in the way on your journey

through life. Seeking counseling can help you to have a

neutral party to listen, absorb your pains and anger, then

help by gently guiding you to a safer, saner existence.

When was the time you felt heavy in spirit, dragged down so

low it was hard to be motivated to do daily chore? Do you

mind sharing it? If not, please share techniques that helped

you and this will encourage someone, maybe even today, to

be able to…

“Carry on.”

Get Out and Walk!

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Nature and Parks are the best places to be when it is cold and there

is snow on the ground. Bundle up! Wear layers and boots, sometimes, if

they are not waterproof, I will wear two pairs of socks and a bread

bag on each foot, inside my boots! This really insulates and protects

your toes. Even the “best quality” boots can be water permeable, unless

you have the proverbial ‘rubber boots!’ Andrea Cambern, a former news

and television broadcaster initiated a Central Ohio program for the

parks here, aptly titled, “Commit to be fit!” hope this post will serve

you well, in its inspiration and getting you in an active frame of mind.

I went for a walk on New Year’s Day with someone I had not seen for

awhile. My schedule opened up after I dropped my granddaughters off,

and I had buoyed spirits, full of ‘bon vivant’ and jovial feelings.

Extra energy was pouring out of my pores! I answered the cell phone,

somewhat with trepidation, half with excitement. Yes, I would meet

at a park, half distance from his place to mine. We met at the Genoa

Township Park, walking fairly quickly, admiring the fact the temps

were in the ‘double digits’ and the sun was shining! What a great

sign of a wonderful new year in each of our separate, but somehow

connected, lives.

Conversation bounced from grandkids to work schedules, veering off

into our ongoing, continued friendships and relationships with the

opposite sex. I had not been able to see Bill today, I said, due

to his college football scheduling conflicts. He had promised me

“dainty treats at Starbucks café” and was going back on his word!

I was making sure the other party did not think I was ‘desperate’

nor lacking entertainment. I also mentioned I was going home with

an appetite later for my son’s pork roast, daughter in law’s baked

three cheese and macaroni casserole and the requisite sauerkraut.

All, to me, the best meal to begin one’s new year and give you a

bit of good luck, too. After walking, I would not feel guilty about

the large meal. I would be ready to consume it all, deliciously,

lounging on the sofa with a pile of movies rented from the library.

This man is in a relationship, not married nor engaged, but tied up

none the less, waiting for morsels of her time over the holidays.

Her ex-husband provides housing, you see, for her sister and brother

in law, therefore the fun after holidays game playing period, ends

up at his house. Also, for New Year’s Day, all had some kind of

dinner planned, again excluding the present boyfriend. I ‘tut-tut’

and give a few sympathetic ‘too bad’s’ but am secretly a little bit

happy, is that kind to say? I mean, we were broken up by this said

woman, now he did what my Dad would declare from time to time:

“You made your bed, now lie in it!” (By the way, one must not use

the word “lay,” since that is the word meant to be used as “to place

an object” somewhere, not a body! I learned this from my frequent

error of saying in front of my mother, the English grammarian and

teacher, “I like to ‘lay out’ in the sun!” Horrors! My Mom would get

all wound up with a lecture about that one, even to this forgetful

and feeble minded day! Huge smiles at that memory!)

We saw some birds take off in the woods, heard and saw some scampering

squirrels, along with my special bird of choice, several male red

cardinals, along with their yellowish, brown mates on our walk.

We breathed deeply, listening to the crunching sound of our boots

on the path, giving pauses in our lively conversation.

Anyway, here are some interesting historical facts about the parks

and recreation areas that make us all so lucky to be in our fabulous

United States!

In June, 1864, almost 150 years from this time, Abraham Lincoln signed

into effect, a bill creating the “world’s first public, government-run

park!” This was, of course, the beginning of the Yosemite Park.

Then, eight years later, (1872), Yellowstone National Park became the

first National Park! (It apparently was not government funded totally,

and the name National Park was added to Yellowstone.)

In 1916, Woodrow Wilson signed into legislation the federal organization

known as the National Park Service.

Wallace Stegner, Pulitzer Prize winning author, called this, “America’s

best idea.” Another great author and screenwriter/producer/director,

Ken Burns’ documentary, “The National Parks” can be rented and seen in

your home on several discs.

A couple of years ago, for only $80, one could purchase an annual pass

(or an even better purchase, for a person over 62 years, only $10 will

buy you a lifetime pass!) This pass will get you access to 395 national

parks and cultural highlights of our nation.

I watched, “Miss Potter,” an excellently written, portrayed and amusing

movie again recently. If you have not seen it, it’s a charming movie that

tells all about the naturalist, conservationist, author and illustrator.

Renee Zewelleger and Ewan McGregor do admirable jobs in portraying these

real people.

Beatrix Potter made a lot of money selling her books with her darling

drawings, with watercolors. This was rare for women in her day. You may know

her more from her drawings of Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-Duck and Squirrel

Nut-kin. The movie also has some whimsy, in that the drawings become moving

and wriggling animated creatures that Beatrix talks to. Loved this aspect of

it! After all, we all kind of coax our living animals and talk like they are

people, along with talking to our characters in our stories.

She also illustrated all varieties of nature, including mice, bats, insects,

and fungi. She left, when she died in 1943 her inheritance to the National

Trust, hundreds of acres of land to be kept as nature preserves in England.

These are located in the Lake District National Park. For years to come,

they will protect the land from construction and other forms of ‘progress’

ruining it.

I know every country, in the world, has beautiful landscapes, parks and

historical features to be seen and treasured. The birds and wildlife can

be observed, the paths usually kept walkable, so if you are not from the

U.S. go out, discover and explore your parks! Tell us about your favorite

locations, if you would like.

There is not many things one can do to get that exhilarating thrill of a

speedy, quick paced walk with a friend, sharing and catching up on each

other’s lives. The cold air on your face will not freeze it off, you may

even get some sun on it, so put protective lotion on with SPF in it!

I have only three books to recommend in this post today, I hope that by

taking them out at your library, purchasing them online, at a local book

store or one of my favorite ‘bargain places,’ Half Price Books.

1. Lonely Planet’s “Discover USA’s Best National Parks,” (500 pages). This

is a fantastic guidebook and a great coffee table book. It includes full color

photographs and important details, including costs, lodging and other neat,

helpful information.

2. “Ranger Confidential: Living, Working and Dying in the Parks,” (265 pages).

The author, an actual Park Ranger, Andrea Lankford, tells in both a humorous

tone and a serious one, all about her experiences. This non-fiction book also

gives you a scary statistic; that a Park Ranger has fifteen times more chances

of dying in his/her position than an FBI agent!

3. “Ansel Adams’ in the National Parks,” (344 pages). The famous black and

white iconic photographer, is featured with his pictures of the parks, dating

back from the 1940’s. You have seen the most famous photographs of Yosemite Park,

Yellowstone National Park, and the Grand Tetons, but the ones that will be also

fascinating to you, will be ones of over forty other parks that he photographed.

Hope this post and its facts, books and thoughts about nature will get you

moving towards the great outdoors! Communing with Mother Nature may be the way

to keep a few of your resolutions and keep your sanity, too.