WORLD SAUNTERING DAY

TL 6-19 WORLD SAUNTERING DAY

I have met with but one or two persons in the course of my life who understood the art of Walking, that is, of taking walks — who had a genius, so to speak, for sauntering… – Henry David Thoreau

The popular phrase I used to hear in the workplace was, “Efficiency is the RULE and speed is the TOOL.” Because many of us work toward that goal every day, we find it difficult to take it down a few notches after we punch the clock at night. I want to challenge you to do something different today. When you get off work, take a few deep breaths and tell yourself you are on YOUR time now – and slow down!!! Yes – slow down!

When was the last time you took a walk along a nature trail? I’m not talking about walking for your health, but just a leisurely walk in the woods to get closer to nature? There is no better way to relax than to slowly stroll along a hiking trail and see animals in their natural habitat.

You may not think there are any nature trails close to your work or home. You might be surprised! Even if you live in a large City, as I do – there may be some spots to go relax. We have a nature trail less than five miles from our house. It’s a great place to escape from the frenzy of life for a while!

I take my camera out with me. When I’m trying to get a good shot of an animal, that forces me to walk at a slower pace yet. Animals, unlike people, do not demand to have their photo taken!

There is a time and place for power walking and getting your heart rate up – no doubt. But today I hope you will take some time to just saunter along – your camera hung around your neck – waiting for nature to come out and pose for you.

One day I hope to be sauntering along a beach, taking photos of lighthouses. It won’t be this year, but hopefully some day I’ll get to see a beach and a large body of water! It’s on my bucket list.

My friend Lucinda Berry Hill wrote a wonderful poem about sauntering.

6-19 TO REFRESH MY SOUL (USED 6-19-13) (2)

Have a great WORLD SAUNTERING DAY!!! ❤

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BUY A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT DAY

TL 5-22 BUY A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT DAY

https://youtu.be/XoNNfw93sVw

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. – Plato

Today is BUY A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT DAY!!! What a temptation that would be, but I don’t want to go into that kind of debt now. When I bought my Clavinova it was a total GOD thing! I got paid one Friday and was looking through the classifieds in the newspaper. I rarely look at the paper, but that was the only reading material in the break room and I didn’t take a book to read. I spotted an ad – someone wanted to sell their nearly new Clavinova for only $1,000!!! My first question was, “What’s the catch?” I arranged to go look at the instrument and to my surprise, it really was all they claimed. The people were obviously well off and did not need money and wanted to sell the instrument quickly. I stood in the foyer (which you could land a plane in) and wrote the check! We loaded it up and it came home with me! Of course that transaction happened nearly ten years ago, but the Clavinova still works fine. It is not current in its technology – it uses discs to record. I’m not one to do a lot of recording, so it really does not bother me. I just like to play – and I enjoy all the different voices. It’s a lot of fun and how I unwind in the evening.

You must see your goals clearly and specifically before you can set out for them.  Hold them in your mind until they become second nature.  – Les Brown

The thing we give most of our time and attention to is the thing we love most.  For me, that is music.  Without a moment’s hesitation I say that music is my first love.  OK – second love.  Of course I love Jesus first.  Um…  ok music comes in a close 4th – after my family.

I’ve discovered “fake books” and love them.  When I play within the confines of traditional written music – the notes, staff, rhythm – I am simply playing what someone else has already written.  It is not my whole creation but rather an interpretation of the writer’s vision.  A fake book gives chords with no other instruction.  It allows the one playing to experiment with rhythms and be as creative as they feel like being on any given day.  One day I may want to play a simple tune, but the next day I may want to be a little more intricate in my playing.

I have several “fake books” and hardly touch my traditional music anymore.  I’ve always experimented with music, from hymns to jazz to blues.  I simply do not enjoy following the songwriter’s rules.  Rules were made to be broken, right?

Maybe you’re not ready to sink a wad of cash into a new instrument right now, but if you have not tried to play from a “fake book” yet, I invite you to give it a try.  Just buy one and give it a whirl.  I really think having the freedom to fill in the way you want to will give you a whole new appreciation for music!  Use your imagination and let those fingers fly!   😉

PICK STRAWBERRIES DAY

TL 5-20 PICK STRAWBERRIES DAY

When I think of spring, I automatically think of strawberries! Although I eat a golden delicious apple every day, I also incorporate strawberries into my diet in season. I think it’s fun to have them out at parties with the chocolate fountain as well. How can you possibly have a bad time when there are chocolate-covered strawberries at a party?

My mother in law grew strawberries and she used to invite me over to help her pick them. The fields of strawberries looked as though they were growing in little mounds. She had the places higher where the strawberries grew. I asked her why one time and she said it has to do with the irrigation process. She used a unique sort of terracing method that was quite effective. I sure got spoiled on those berries and the ones we buy at the grocery store are just not as tasty.

I remember humming the Beatles’ hit song, Strawberry Fields as I was picking them. Funny what comes to mind sometimes…

Today is PICK STRAWBERRIES DAY!!!  I want to share one of my favorite smoothie recipes with you.  Now, some of you who are diabetic are going to tell me there’s no way I should be drinking this because of all the natural sugar.  I’m very strict about the serving size.  I don’t drink more than 6 oz. of this wonderful stuff – any more than that and I would be asking for trouble!  I hope you enjoy it – sparingly, of course!!!  😉

STRAWBERRY, PINEAPPLE AND ORANGE SMOOTHIE

2 fresh pineapple slices
4 strawberries
½ banana
1 cup orange juice
½ cup plain yogurt
1 tbs agave nectar (I use Stevia)
3 ice cubes

You can add ground flax seeds or raw oatmeal for added fiber benefit

Blend everything until desired consistency

Put a little paper umbrella and a bendable straw in your glass and go to the deck or patio.  Mmm…  what a yummy way to end a hectic Monday!!!  Cheers!!!   😀

NATIONAL STRESS AWARENESS DAY

TL 4-16 NATIONAL STRESS AWARENESS DAY

Today is NATIONAL STRESS AWARENESS DAY!!!

I’d like to ask you a question: 

Do you sometimes feel like the victim of your own Greek tragedy?  Has the drama in life got you wanting to add the phone number for a-joke-a-day to the most frequently called numbers in your cell phone? 

Let me introduce you to the best stress buster to date.  Zentangle is like Etch-a-Sketch on steroids!  This gives Spirograph a run for its money!  It takes the magna out of magna doodle!

Zentangle is used in hospitals for stress and pain relief.  Zentangle can also influence piano playing!  Since I’ve been a pianist for over 45 years, I thought it would be a good idea to look into this ZENTANGLE thing! Well, the best way to learn something is to first read about it and then experience it first hand if you possibly can.  The more I read about this fascinating art form, the more intrigued I was and the more I wanted to try it for myself.

Upon first glance, this does not look like it’s going to be simple.  It looks a bit daunting, to be honest.  Everyone assured me that it is really easier to do than it seems to be.  You know what?  That’s what everyone says about cross-stitch, but my eyesight will not let me do cross-stitch no matter how large my Aida cloth is!  I was really afraid that this medium of expression would be a similar kind of experience for me.

Evidence suggests that our hormonal reaction to stress may speed up the aging process.  – Vivian Diller, Ph.D.

I do not find such things as puzzles or games to be relaxing.  There is a certain outcome that is expected in all of this.  Freedom of expression is the reason I enjoy music so much.  Even though when you play a piece of music you are told by the composer how it is to sound, you still have the freedom to use your own style and tweak it if you want to.

This is the sort of freeing and uplifting experience you feel as you create with Zentangle.  You can create never-ending, never-changing “solutions” in these amazing creations.  As I understand it, no two Zentangle pieces are alike, because of the individual decisions you make – it is literally one stroke at a time and it’s anybody’s guess what the result will look like.  No pre-planning whatsoever.

It’s calming and relaxing because there is no absolute – no right or wrong way to do it (unlike the Rubik’s Cube) It’s a wonderful way to just rest your brain for a little while and create.  Create what?  Well – we won’t know until it’s finished, but it’s going to be beautiful!  I’ve looked at over a dozen completed Zentangle works and they are all unique and gorgeous.

If you are feeling stressed and a bit boxed in, Zentangle can provide a release of that tension and give you a sense of timelessness, freedom and well-being as you completely focus on your project with no thought or worry about anything else.  It provides a mini-vacation for your spirit.

We all know that stress happens – and there is not a single medical condition or disease that stress benefits!  Stress is bad – but we know it’s there – every day of our lives.  Any bit of relief we can find to escape the horror of stress is welcome indeed!

Walk away from what has you so stressed out and get creative with Zentangle.  It’s a great way to de-stress and forget about life for a while.  I think you will really be surprised at how your mind will go to a much happier place and you will create a unique piece of art in the process!