3 Surprising Reasons Why Birding Can Help You

Birding and Alzheimer’s Prevention During my impressionable growing up years, my mom ran a respite care business in our home. The ladies she cared for introduced me to the problems with aging: forgetfulness, fading memories, and loss of dignity through dementia and Alzheimer’s. I didn’t know many kids my age who could identify ‘Alzheimer’s’ as a proper noun, and not a Southern rendition of ‘Old Timer’s.’ Ever since those days, I thought that memory loss and odd behaviors went hand-in-hand…

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The Perfect Prescription for Tired

What Wears Me Out Tired creeps into my bones. Projects. Meetings. Frustrating reports that I have to do and re-do because the manual doesn’t give clear instructions. Grading papers. More meetings. Preparing for classes, but always just one step ahead of the students. Did I mention meetings? People wear me out. Cold, dry days and freezing, dark nights march across the calendar. An occasional stunning sunrise breaks the monotony. Pink and gold fluffy sunsets yield no rain, though. The lawn…

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Book Talk Tuesdays: March 2018 New Releases

Note: Clicking on the picture of the book will take you to Amazon. I am an Amazon affiliate. Net Galley sends me advanced digital copies of these books in exchange for my honest opinion on their website. I only feature books that I really love on my blog. The Innkeeper’s Daughter By Michelle Griep, published by Shilo Run Press, 322 pages, March 1, 2018 Johanna Langley walks a tightrope between success and the workhouse. In order to keep the Blue…

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The Importance of Speaking Well of Your Children

Self-Care Sundays For the next eight months, I’ll continue the MAPS theme from my Write 31 Days Challenge. I strongly feel that in our self-indulgent culture, we often lose sight of the difference between nurturing ourselves and indulging ourselves. Occasional indulgence won’t hurt anyone, but a steady diet of indulgence that overlooks actual self-care can leave us feeling empty and confused. The acronym MAPS stands for Mental, Academic/Artistic, Physical and Spiritual—the four areas of our lives that we need to…

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Regret is the Piranha in My Soul

The Piranha of Regret Regret eats away at the soul, nibbling tiny piranha bites from memories. Unlike the murky waters of the Amazon, though, regret lives solo in the fish tank of our souls. Woulda, shoulda, coulda, form relentless chanting as we shake our memories over the tank. Envisioning different outcomes if only we had noticed sooner that our daughters sliced in pain. Surely, we could have orchestrated other outcomes by better vigilance and deeper understanding. A kinder word, a…

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Book Talk Tuesdays: The Literary Genre and My Name is Venus Black

What IS Literary Fiction? What makes a book ‘Literary Fiction?’ The fiction category has two limbs-each of which serves a different purpose. Genre fiction, according to Steven Petite, provides a path of entertainment and escapism. I confess that I usually read genre fiction (historical inspirational, especially). I prefer reading books to watching television shows or movies. Mysteries, thrillers, suspense, Westerns, romance, science-fiction, and horror (I probably missed a few) make up the genre fiction limb. Petite claims that the purpose…

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Before You Bike, Do a Skills Check

Self-Care Sundays For the next eight months, I’ll continue the MAPS theme from my Write 31 Days Challenge. I strongly feel that in our self-indulgent culture, we often lose sight of the difference between nurturing ourselves and indulging ourselves. Occasional indulgence won’t hurt anyone, but a steady diet of indulgence that overlooks actual self-care can leave us feeling empty and confused. The acronym MAPS stands for Mental, Academic/Artistic, Physical and Spiritual-the four areas of our lives that we need to…

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Beauty Lurks in Unexpected Places

Beauty Lurks Beauty lurks in unexpected places hoarfrost springs from a shriveled red berry beneath a subzero sky Beauty hovers at wood’s edge speckled fawn twitching elegant ears, blinks slowly in dappled sunshine. Beauty hides behind dark clouds sunrise stretches fingers out across the water filled with snowy geese. Beauty peeks from angry eyes, of a girl too young to carry life’s burdens on slender shoulders, itching to escape Beauty manifests hope as a young man reaches out a hand…

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Book Talk Tuesdays: The Edwardian Era and Across the Blue

The Edwardian Era The Edwardian Era in England covers little more than a decade between the death of Queen Victoria in 1901 and the outbreak of World War I in 1914. During this time period, wealthy British subjects set aside some of the conservatism of the Victorian Era. Instead, they focused on expanding their use of technology and developing their leisure-time activities. King Edward, a leader in both arts and fashion, favored the styles and trends of continental Europe. Wealth…

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Seven Things to Do When You Feel Discouraged About Weight Loss

Self-Care Sundays For the next eight months, I’ll continue the MAPS theme from my Write 31 Days Challenge. I strongly feel that in our self-indulgent culture, we often lose sight of the difference between nurturing ourselves and indulging ourselves. Occasional indulgence won’t hurt anyone, but a steady diet of indulgence that overlooks actual self-care can leave us feeling empty and confused. The acronym MAPS stands for Mental, Academic/Artistic, Physical and Spiritual-the four areas of our lives that we need to…

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