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Got Collections, Got Clutter?

Just saw a hilarious video about the collections we hang onto long after the enjoyment has dried up—much like the glue in that collage you made in the 70’s. 

All of us collect things – even neatniks and health nuts (think organic soaps and lotions, organic coffee and teas, Birkenstocks, tunics, glass food containers, floor cushions, yoga mats and essential oils…..).  I collect vases – all sizes, shapes, and colors.  Try wrenching them out of my hands.  You’d lose. 

Watch this little video and share at the comment link below what collections you have.  And then skip to the bottom of this post to find out about a freebie I’m offering this Thursday.

zenbannerFREE Teleclass – Zen in 2010 (Thursday evening, September 30) 

If you’d like some inspiration for “managing” your intentional and unintentional collections, sign up for the free Zen in 2010 teleclass – we’ll talk about collections and a whole lot more!  Here’s the link to read more and sign up: http://www.cherylmillerville.com/zen/teleclass-registration

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Clean Up, Clean Up, Put Your Things Away

Some of us didn’t learn this little clean up song when we were young.  It’s not too late.  Cleaning up is a skill; it can be learned.

If you want to learn to clean up your messes, put your things away, see the freebie below this video. 

Zen in 2010 Free Teleclass FREE TELECLASS – Zen in 2010, Thursday evening, September 30

If you’d like to clean up your inside and outside spaces (think inside your head and inside your house), join me for a free teleclass.  All you need is a telephone.  Here’s the link to read more and sign up: http://www.cherylmillerville.com/zen/teleclass-registration

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Summer Evening Walk – Where Do Dragonflies Come From?

Tonight there were at least 1,000 dragonflies on the levee – a sure sign of summer.  The hotter it gets, the more of them I see.  I’d never seen so many before, though.  Maybe it’s their last hoorah before the end of summer.  It occurred to me that I don’t know much about the life cycle of dragonflies.  How long do they live, what do they eat, how do they reproduce?  Where are they all going to go once it gets cold?  Do they just die and resurface next summer? 

I’m a city person – love nature – but don’t really know that much about the specifics.  I really appreciate the flora and the fauna and study it when I get curious – like now.  I see a Google search in my near future.  And the future is now.

I had no idea dragonflies started out in the water – and kind of ugly at that.  But fascinating.  Now to find out where they go before they die … to start the life cycle over again…..

Are there any insect experts out there who can add to the description provided in this short video?  Click the comment link below.

If you cannot see the video below, your work place is blocking it—I hope you can watch it at home or convince IT to allow this feature (a long shot but worth a try).  Once you click the arrow to watch, you will need to click the link to watch it on youtube – but it’s worth it.

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Celebrating 90 Years – my mom

At age 90, finding out you’ve got an aggressive rare cancer (stage 4), moving from one assisted living apartment to another one several states away with a husband who has dementia and congestive heart failure–that’s a lot to take in, but mom’s doing it.  She comes from pioneer stock to be sure. 

In the past month,  mom and dad moved from their assisted living apartment in Sanford, NC to their new assisted living apartment in Chelsea, Michigan to be near family for mom’s remaining weeks or months.  The surgeon removed a third of her colon and discovered that it had spread to her abdominal cavity.  She was hopeful that she could do chemotherapy but was recently informed that chemo was not recommended in her case.  She’s taking it like a trooper but confessed she wishes she had a couple more years.  Her family does too.   Her kids are heading to Michigan this weekend to celebrate her 90th birthday.  Dad turns 87 in August so we’ll be celebrating his birthday too.

The video below was made last year when mom was released for a few hours from the rehab hospital where she was recovering from a stroke.  My sister Diane and I were visiting and clearing out their home of 24 years so they could move into assisted living in Sanford, North Carolina.   She has a missing tooth (it broke when she bit into a biscotti biscuit she received in a birthday basket—tough luck!).  Other than that, she looks pretty good for 88 don’t you think.  This little snippet is so funny – she has an infectious laugh and sense of humor.

I welcome your comments and stories about your family. 

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Nighthawks on the Kansas Levee

The other evening while walking on the Kansas levee with Toby, I watched the nighthawks dive bombing for insects. nighthawk Their wings look like boomerangs.  So when I got home that night, I did a google.com image search to find a picture to see if I was right to call them nighthawks.   My search brought me to a little audio lesson (a few seconds) that tells about the bird and its song.  Here ‘tis:  http://www.birdnote.org/birdnote.cfm?id=198  (click to play the MP3).  Note, the bird is really not a hawk but in the whippoorwill family.

What’s the tie-in with wellness?  Nature.  When we have a strong connection with nature, life is more interesting.  In fact, I drove home from the dentist in torrential rain just now.  Lightning all around me.  My wipers couldn’t keep up.  After a quick prayer of safety for everyone traveling, I anticipated coming home and throwing open my front and back doors so the energy of the storm could move through my home.  Love it!  The temperature dropped 20 degrees or more – a welcome respite from the scorching heat. 

The wind was so fierce the rain blew in both the front and back doors.  So I propped my heavy umbrella in the doorway to keep the rain from the hard wood floors (mostly).  I can think of nothing more relaxing than sitting in my oversized chair enjoying the surround sound of rain and thunder. 

Without a connection to nature we’re more likely to be afraid of bugs and stay cooped up inside our cars, homes, and office buildings.  And if we really lose sight of the benefits of nature, we may start to trash the landscape and use up more than our share of the natural resources.  Without a regular dose of nature, we’re more likely to feel stressed.  Spending time in nature has a dramatic calmative effect.

As I started this description about why it’s important to  have a connection with nature, a loud clap of lightening enlivened me (read: startled me).  What a great way to revive one’s energy.  I was getting a little sleepy on the drive home….until the rain hit.  Now I’m alive, alert, awake, enthusiastic – just like the Girl Scout song says.  I found several renditions of this song on youtube – from many different cultures.  I thought I was the only one who thinks that song is cool!  And fun!

Alive Alert Awake Enthusiastic

How does nature impact your wellness?  Share at the comment link below.

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A Wellness Moment When Life Takes a Turn

With much flurry, I emailed my blog subscribers that the Spring Clean Your Body series would be extended through June….then I got the call that my mother had colon cancer.  After several nights of tossing and turning about the tossing and turning events of life, I headed to Sanford, North Carolina to the Parkview Retirement Community.  The day after arriving, I got mom out of the hospital (no easy task) and into a rehab hospital one hour away in Pittsboro (also no easy task).  After a Dairy Queen treat with my dad, we settled down for a few wellness moments of story telling.  With my handy Flip video camera I pressed the red record button and dad reminisced.

Even though he has dementia, he can recall old stories with a good deal of accuracy.  But at this stage in life, accuracy is less important.  In fact, if someone asks what he had for lunch and he doesn’t remember, he’ll make something up.  That’s pretty smart.  An accurate account of life is over rated when you have dementia or when you’re listening to a story you’ve never heard before. 

The next day I took him to the emergency room for congestive heart failure.  After a stay in ICU, he was released – so glad to go home—read the paper, take a nap, read Time magazine, take a nap, watch Larry King or CNN, take a nap, eat dinner, take a nap, and then go to bed.  It gets simple for old folks.  And complicated for their kids.

So here’s a peek into my dad’s life the day before hospitalization.  He tells stories about his 44 years of selling on the road. 

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Quick, Healthy Brunch

springcleanlogo I made a wonderful, quick, healthy meal to start my Memorial Day weekend celebration and I made a super short video to share with you.   If the space below is blank, that probably means your employer is blocking youtube.com.  If that’s the case, you can watch it on your home computer.  The “recipe” is below the video.

Egg Stir Fry

Sautee a combinations of veggies (your favorites) in a little olive oil.  Here’s what I put in my version:

Pea pods

Mushrooms

Asparagus

Garlic

Green onion

Spinach

Cilantro

Avocado

For one serving, use 1-2 eggs whisked with a little milk or nondairy milk (almond milk, soy milk, etc.)

Cucumber Salad

Peel cucumber and slice or chop cucumber into a small dish.  Add a small amount of cilantro (optional) and salad dressing.  I added fresh squeezed orange to mine and a little salt and pepper.  Very flavorful.

Curious….does this sound good to you?  What fast meal ideas can you share?

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Want to See What’s in My Grocery Bags?

springcleanlogo

I’m starting another two week cleansing program so I went to the Community Mercantile “The Merc” to stock up on healthy foods.  Check out the video below to see what’s in my grocery bags.  See if you can guess how much it cost.  I’ll share the total at the end.

Want to join me in my healthy eating plan this week?  I’m going to focus on eliminating caffeine, sugar, and white flour. 

And hey, if you know any good ideas for how to use these groceries, please share at the comment link below.

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1 Dress, 365 Days – the Uniform Project

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Have You Had Your Laugh Today?

My dad was a salesman for close to 60 years.   Most of his clients were men and humor was an important part of their language.  He told a wide variety of jokes – some of them shared in private, just for men.  I used to roll my eyes.  I was such a snob.

Dad has dementia now and can remember only one joke.  So I no longer groan when he asks “Have you had your laugh today?”  I act like I’ve never heard his joke and he gets a big kick out of it.  And so do I.  Here’s the joke:  Do you know how to make holy water?  No, how?  You boil the hell out of it.  See why I used to roll my eyes.

So if you haven’t had your laugh today (and you love dogs), watch this short video.

Do you have any funny jokes to share?  See the comment link below….share your humor there.

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