I am now 2 years old going on 3. Just to clarify, I am not some precocious savant toddler who has been writing these blogs. Although, if true, wouldn’t that be something! What is true is that I am about to embark on a 3rd year of blogging. What’s also true is that this is a huge deal for me since it goes against my nature. That means that I tend to moan and groan over having weekly deadlines involving creative writing in particular.
So why this self-imposed torture? The long and short of it is that I was desperate for a creative endeavor. Due to being visually impaired, most activities that I would have enjoyed in which I had skills were no longer viable. Keeping with the short of it, what was left was writing. I came up with this pressure packed project of writing a weekly blog. For some inexplicable reason I managed to complete 2 years without missing a week. For further inexplicableness I decided to keep going. Again, why? Perhaps the pandemic has affected my brain cells.
I do get bogged down periodically and wonder if there is anything else to say that hasn’t already been said. How many times have we come across a topic that has been written about numerous times each with a different spin? There is actually a neurological reason that so many books or articles on a particular topic are available. David Rock, a neuroscientist, has written about how our brains have ‘quirks’ and we can read or hear things differently within ourselves or from person to person
“There ia a small set of quirks about the brain that require a lot of attention, if you want to succeed in the modern world. The reason these quirks require attention is that they are not insights we might learn automatically, like how to breathe.
“One reason there are so many books on these themes is that we need constant reminders, in different forms, of these ideas. The brain is highly dynamic, constantly changing, affected by your thoughts and environment, the people around you. Your brain is more like a forest than a computer, with connections changing constantly, with the light, with the time of day, with the seasons.
“Another reason there are so many books on a limited set of themes is because there are so many different people. All our brains, on one level, are very different. Once the information hits the cortex. Different brains require different contexts and messages.”
In simple terms, our brain quirks cause us to absorb info differently at different times said or read in different ways. That tells me I can pretty much write about whatever moves me at any given time. It will be news to somebody. With that, let’s see what a budding 3 year old can come up with.
Comments are welcomed.
And it’s August. I have this inexplicable thing about August. It’s a good inexplicable thing. I just can’t seem to drill down to the one underlying reason for the “August Thing.” So let’s just go with it is what it is.
There are many delightful characteristics about August. For example a couple of the national celebration days include August 8 which has a double dip. It is National Happiness Happens Day, which is lovely. My personal favorite is that August 8 is also National Sneak Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day. I had a harrowing experience with zucchini when I lived on a farm for 8 hellish years. I wrote about this sorry tale in a previous blog. LINK Today being the 10th, I thought you’d like to know it is National S’mores Day. Bon appetit!
There are so many aspects of August one could talk about such as gem stones, flowers, holidays, watermelon, corn, fairs, harvest beginnings, for example. As we are now into the dog days of summer, let’s go with that. Are the dog days really about our four legged friends?
“We often hear about the “dog days” of summer but few know what the expression means. Some say that it signifies hot sultry days “not fit for a dog,” others suggest it’s the weather in which dogs go mad. The Dog Days of Summer describes the most oppressive period of summer, between July 3rd and August 11th each year. But where did the term come from? And what does it have to do with dogs?
The phrase is actually a reference to the fact that, during this time, the Sun occupies the same region of the sky as Sirius, the brightest star visible from any part of Earth and part of the constellation Canis Major, the Greater Dog. This is why Sirius is sometimes called the Dog Star.
In the summer, Sirius rises and sets with the Sun. On July 23rd, specifically, it is in conjunction with the Sun, and because the star is so bright, the ancient Romans believed it actually gave off heat and added to the Sun’s warmth, accounting for the long stretch of sultry weather. They referred to this time as diēs caniculārēs, or “dog days.”
Thus, the term Dog Days of Summer came to mean the 20 days before and 20 days after this alignment of Sirius with the Sun—July 3 to Aug. 11.
While this period usually is the hottest stretch of summer, the heat is not due to any added radiation from Sirius, regardless of its brightness. The heat of summer is simply a direct result of the Earth’s tilt.
During summer in the Northern Hemisphere, the tilt of the Earth causes the Sun’s rays to hit at a more direct angle, and for a longer period of time throughout the day. This means longer, hotter days.” – from The Farmer’s Almanac
Okay, dogs of the world, you are off the hook for this one. I did a little more research and discovered that today, August 10, is National Spoil Your Dog Day. Caveat to dog spoilers: Do not share any of today’s S’mores with your dog. Chocolate can be deadly to your pet.
Comments are welcomed.
I had a number of things going on this week which captured my attention and held it hostage. I suddenly realized I had nothing prepared for my next blog. I came across some snippets of truisms and thought them worth sharing.
Patience is a theme that we are all working with these days. May we demonstrate patience with each other and with ourselves. May we cultivate this quality, and become masters of patience, even though we'd rather not.
The secret of patience is doing something else in the meantime.
You can’t calm the storm, so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself. The storm will pass. - Timber Hawkeye
Nature does not hurry yet everything is accomplished. - Lao Tzu
You can avoid having ulcers by adapting to the situation: If you fall in the mud puddle, check your pockets for fish.
Nature, time and patience are the three great physicians. - Chinese proverb
The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do. - Galileo
While global issues spiral out in worrisome ways, caterpillars are still transforming into butterflies, coffee still enchants us with its aroma, and the breeze still cools us off with a gentle touch. Let's not miss the everyday blessings that surround us and provide for us.
Comments are welcomed.
It is difficult to avoid making references to the pandemic, but something happened yesterday that causes me to vent. My favorite Italian restaurant closed when the lock down was first issued. They were not even open for take out. I wondered if they had closed their doors forever. A couple of days ago I saw they had re-opened for take out and patio dining. Yesterday my friend and I were in the neighborhood again and decided to order a meal to go.
There was a pleasant set up with a table and 2 chairs on the sidewalk right in front of the restaurant. One of the waiters came out to take our order. It was James who I knew from the good old days. You remember the good old days just a few months ago when life was normal? We chatted and I told him how happy I was they had opened up. My friend and I were quite taken aback with what he told us.
He said that every day was a crap shoot (those are my words, not his). Some days were great. Then there were days when customers would come to the restaurant rude and abusive beyond belief. The outrageous behavior was all about face masks and the face shield James was wearing. They wanted the masks to be removed. James handled the situation very well.
The mask situation is something that really gets to me. It is a simple, yet proven effective method in limiting the spread of the corona virus. Of course, it has to be accompanied by physical distancing and hand washing as we all know. I just don’t see this as any kind of hardship considering the alternative.
Can anybody explain to me why there is the entitlement, the selfish irresponsibility, touting the impingement of freedom, etc.? We are all going through these difficult times. I have to wonder if these no maskers have ever stopped to think how life would be for them living in a country with no clean water, no electricity, poor access to regular food, limited health care. Maybe they prefer ventilators to masks. It baffles me. Such a small ask that could make a big difference. Being quarantined for so long and limited to where we can go is no excuse for bad behavior. End of vent.
I certainly get squirrely periodically like most. Sometimes I stay squirrely and not worry about it. Other times I try to focus on hope and gratitude. Hope is all about future possibility. It’s about having a vision of something to look forward to and developing some ideas to achieve it. Hope can be in the short term as well. What can I do tomorrow that will be fun, challenging, service oriented or whatever is appealing? Any step forward to living well means hope is present.
The second component is gratitude. There is so much that has already been offered to us about gratitude on TV, books, personal stories, TED talks, that I don’t need to become a redundancy. In the midst of an adversity it can be difficult to flip a switch and suddenly feel full of gratitude. If we can find a way to steer ourselves in that direction, it will make a huge difference. We cannot be grateful for everything, but in a single moment we can be grateful for something. Personally, I am hoping to stockpile those moments.
Comments are welcomed.