Blooming Boomers

November 12, 2014

“THANKSGIVING CAN MAKE YOU HEALTHY” AND A CHALLENGE

Filed under: Uncategorized — sakaco @ 5:33 pm

What? Eat your Thanksgiving dinner and feel better? Because that’s not what usually happens to me! OK, That’s not where I’m going with this. Read on…

There is now scientific research that demonstrates that gratitude produces health benefits. This research is described in the book, “Thanks! : How The New Science Of Gratitude Can Make You Happier” by Robert Emmons.  Emmons and his colleagues at the University of California are studying health promoting behaviors.

IMG_3987This book reports on several studies. In one study, participants were divided into three groups, each making entries into weekly journals. One group wrote down 5 things they were grateful for. The second group described 5 daily hassles. And the “control group” listed 5 things that had affected them in some way. The research results were that those in the “gratitude group” felt better about their lives in general, they were more optimistic about the future, and they reported fewer health problems than all the other participants.

I can see how the gratitude group might feel more optimistic and more upbeat about their lives in general while they are writing down and focusing on things for which they are grateful. But the fact that they reported fewer health problems is very interesting, indeed. How can that be? How can there be a connection between what they are thankful for ( their thoughts ) and their health? On the surface it might seem strange. But there is more and more evidence proving that there is a direct connection between our minds ( thoughts ) and our bodies! And the mind-body connection is one of the things that we here on Blooming Boomers explore often! But more of that later…

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Today, because it is getting closer to Thanksgiving, I’d like to encourage you to start writing down the things for which you are grateful. Every day! Because not only will you feel more emotionally better, but it will affect your physical health in a positive way as well!

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But don’t just believe it because these studies show it. Try your own experiment. Rate your emotional and physical health on a scale of 1-10. Then begin focusing on, writing down, and being more mindful of that for which you are grateful. After 21 days, rate your emotional and physical health on the same scale. Do you notice a difference? If you decide to take the challenge,  let me know and report back your findings after 21 days.

October 12, 2014

INTENTIONAL AUTUMN

Filed under: Uncategorized — sakaco @ 10:58 am

Autumn hasn’t “officially” arrived according to the calendar but our activities have definitely changed to a new season. The grandkids are back in school, the pontoon is out of the water and in storage, hubby is back to his three hour a week retirement teaching job at the night school, and our Bible Study groups have begun. The lazy days of summer are behind us and we’re back to a “sort of” schedule. While I enjoy having our laid back summers, being the “organized guru” that I am I also look forward to having a routine in my life. Yeah, call me crazy but there is something about having ordered days, routines, and schedules that appeals to me.

So being the “organized”  person that I am, I like to make a list of intentional things that I want to make sure I do in the Fall. You might call it a Fall Bucket List. I call it an” intentional list” because I don’t want to feel too regimented. There are things that I “intend to do” to make sure I appreciate this new season and everything that goes with it. Things that I look forward to that help me enjoy the moments of the season.

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So here’s my list:

1) Make apple crisp and apple pie with my favorite Haralson apples.

2) Take a ride through the country and enjoy the beautiful changing colors of the leaves.

3) Buy a bouquet of Gladiolas to enjoy.

4) Making my Gramma’s famous sweet pickles.

5) Take a walk in the crisp Fall air while kicking up some leaves.

6) Enjoy a fire in the fire pit on a cool evening.

7) Visit the apple orchard with the grandkids, taking a wagon ride to pick our own apples.

8) Decorate the house with some pumpkins. I like the white and blue ones!

9) Walk through a corn maze with the grandkids.

10) Go to the Fall Farmer’s Market and pick out some squash, bittersweet, and other Fall goodies.

Making an intentional list helps make sure the days don’t fly by without experiencing the riches of this season. What’s on your list?

September 24, 2014

Whatever is True

Filed under: Uncategorized — bloomingboomers @ 12:26 pm

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September 17, 2014

Summer’s over…back to hurry?

Filed under: Uncategorized — bloomingboomers @ 11:35 am

Whether or not we have school-aged children, summer seems to officially end with the beginning of the new school year. So, just a couple weeks into September, what does your schedule look like right now? Is it already getting overloaded? Are you finding yourself becoming frazzled and frenzied?

Sometimes being too busy covers up something that is wrong inside. As John Ortberg says,

“Hurry is not just a disordered schedule. Hurry is a disordered heart.”

Consider how you can find some breathing room, some space in your schedule, and address what is really important. Take time to breathe, to relax, to pray, so that you can busy-calendarmove forward with strength and confidence, knowing that what your day holds aligns with your goals and values.

June 9, 2014

More Simple Pleasures of Summer

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sherrie Porterfield @ 2:00 pm

My Blooming Boomers friend, Sandy, just posted about simple pleasures and enjoying nature. We BOTH love this time of year!

Today, here are some of the simple pleasures I am enjoying:

• My husband home all day in the summer – he works for the school district and today is his first day of summer vacation! He is working in the garden. This is the view I have from my desk!

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• How blessed I feel that I can work from home (graphic design), so that I can flex my schedule to enjoy these summer moments.

• How fun it is to see birds, deer – and even the neighbor’s cat – enjoying a drink at the bird bath.

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• The smell of freshly baked lemon blueberry bread that I just made.

• The just-picked purple and yellow iris that miraculously bloom every year.

• The matching doily that I traditionally place the iris on – that my husband’s grandmother made for us many years ago.

• My collection of teacups and saucers that I bring out and use just for fun.

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Ahhh, simple pleasures of summer!

Sherrie

NATURE

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — sakaco @ 11:21 am

NATURE IS THE ART OF GOD.        RALPH WALDO EMERSON

 

One of the simple pleasures of life in the month of June is to just take in and enjoy Nature’s beauty. We’ve waited long for this time of year here in Minnesota. The winter was hard, cold, and never-ending. Spring was almost non-existent. And now everything  seems almost magical with its bright green grass and leaves, newly formed flower buds, and bright sunny skies. I think we appreciate the little things in nature more when we have to wait so long and be patient for its arrival.

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“Nature is the art of God”, says Ralph Waldo Emerson. As we understand an artist to create a beautiful painting, so too does God create the beauty of Nature on the Earth’s canvas. We sit back and enjoy the beauty of a painting. But do we sit back and enjoy the beauty of nature? Oh yes, we enjoy the beautiful out door weather when we entertain an activity. But often nature is not the object of our enjoyment, but rather the activity is. We are grateful for the gorgeous weather that allows us to enjoy our activities. And that is all good and well. But nature itself, is less often our focus. Sunset over Lake Superior

Take time today to sit outside and become freshly aware of the beauty surrounding you. The shapes of the leaves on the oak tree, the little buds forming on flowers, the strong bark of the elm tree, the bright greens, the blue skies. Enjoy a sunrise or a sunset. Take it all in. Enjoy it as the beautiful art that it is. Art created by God, himself. The creator, designer, artist.

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This awareness of the art of God is a simple pleasure that can be enjoyed by anyone, anywhere, anytime. Let’s not take this gift for granted but let us see Nature as the freely given amazing art that it is, designed by God for us to enjoy.

 

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And God created the heaven’s and the earth and He saw that it was good…

June 7, 2014

SUMMER BUCKET LIST

Filed under: Uncategorized — sakaco @ 2:36 pm

A BUCKET LIST IS PLANNED FUN!

Wow! It’s June! Where did the time go? Even though technically Summer doesn’t start until June 20th, for me, summer officially begins on June 1st. And now it’s here! I’m ready to begin that Summer Bucket list I mentioned in my last post. This is a fun list as well as projects I want to accomplish and more.

I know summer is a carefree time for many and some of you may think I’m being too rigid by making a list. But it helps me to stay intentional, be focused, and actually do the things I had hoped to do. Nevertheless, I also find time for spontaneity. So I do get some balance in my life.

So what is on my Summer Bucket list?  Here are a few things:

 

1) Gramma Camp!      Every year we have the grandkids for a week of fun! I usually pick a theme and we plan activities around the theme. We make crafts, learn to cook and bake, visit museums or zoos depending on the theme, learn new skills, and just plain have fun! The kids look forward to it every year and so do we! IMG_2164

 

2)  Getaway for hubby and I celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary! More fun!

 

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3) Cleaning out closets     We are taking one closet a week to downsize. A bit of work but we’re breaking it into small chunks. When this is all done I will feel great!  And that will be the fun part! Here’s the look I’m going for…

 

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4) Go to a 400 mile long yard sale! Yes, to me this is fun!

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5) Make my Gramma’s cinnamon rolls. I used to make these all the time when my kids were growing up and stopped when the kids left home. They are the best cinnamon rolls  around! The recipe makes about 7 dozen, so I’ll make them and share them.cinn_rolls_alt_540_grande

So these are just a few things I’d I like to have done by the end of the Summer. Nothing spectacular. Just some simple pleasures. They are reasonable and doable and I can enjoy it all! I will feel great by the end of the Summer if I can do these things! But as much as I will attempt these things and more I will not stress if they are not all accomplished. I don’t want the list to stress me out! I have them prioritized so I know what is most important…like Gramma Camp, for example!

So what is on your Summer Bucket list?

 

May 20, 2014

THE LIST MAKER

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — sakaco @ 11:15 am

Woman writingHi, my name is Sandy and I’m a chronic list maker. I make lists of lists. I list things I’ve already done just so I can cross them off! I have a notebook for each list. Is there a list makers anonymous group? Because maybe I need to go.

List making is a simple pleasure for me. Maybe it doesn’t sound “simple” or “pleasurable” to you. But I’m going to make a believer out of you. With a list! Hah! So here’s a list of four reasons you should become a list maker:

1) It helps you be intentional and focused.    Have you ever said to yourself, ” I’m going to do that someday” and then you never do? Life can get in the way of our good intentions. We get busy and things fall by the wayside. But making a list of what we intend to do keeps things in the forefront of our minds.  We are more apt to be intentional about the things we want or need to do if we make a list. It’s the best way to actually do the things you intend to do!

2) It keeps you organized.   We live in an ordered world. The sun rises and sets. The seasons follow one after the other. OK  sometimes in Minnesota, the season of  Spring is skipped but still. There is order there.  There is even order in how our bodies work. And if we want to live in the flow of this order we need to be orderly and organized ourselves. Yes, we do! I can hear some of you  “messies” out there bitterly resisting this but it is true. And making lists of things helps us keep our lives orderly and ordered.

3) It helps you remember.   Now that I’m getting older I tend to forget some things. If I didn’t make lists, I would forget half the things I intended/needed/wanted to do. But even if you are not old like me, let’s be honest here, you can forget some things. Who hasn’t gone to the grocery store without a list and got home only to have forgotten some things? And doesn’t that get frustrating? And time consuming when you have to go back to the store?

4) It adds to the fun of the events you want to happen.   Did you see the movie, “Bucket List”? As a chronic list maker you’d think that would be at the top of my list of things to do. Didn’t get there. It wasn’t on my list. As a result of that movie more people are making lists of things they want to do.  But not necessarily before they die. They just want to make sure they do them… so they make a list. If you haven’t done that, you are missing out on some fun! Making the list, the anticipation, the planning, the imagining, the dreaming, is all part of the fun of the event itself. In fact, it has been discovered that people have more fun in the planning than the actual event. That is because your brain doesn’t know the difference between imagining the event and the event itself! So you double your fun!

So go get yourself a new notebook or journal, a pen or pencil, a cup of your favorite beverage, a place to get comfortable, and start your list making. In the end it will make life easier and more enjoyable. Start with your fun bucket list, then go on from there…things to do list, grocery list, home project list, things to take on vacation list, blog posting list, a list of your lists…

I’m off to make my “2014 Summer Bucket List”!

 

May 9, 2014

SPRING…THE SEASON OF HOPE

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — sakaco @ 10:12 am

The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created Spring.     Bern Williams

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May is a month of hope. I know. I have seen it with my own eyes. But one needs to pay close attention. I walk around our vast yard looking for signs that Spring has, indeed, arrived. The calendar tells me it’s here but today, as I write this, it is snowing. In May. Nevertheless, I choose to see the glass as half full so I look. And I find little green shoots of grass poking up through the dirt. And snow.

“Under the giving snow, blossoms a daring Spring” writes, Terri Guillemets.

And I smile. How can such a simple thing as a little shoot of grass bring such pleasure? Is it the arrival, finally, of something for which we have waited so long…so patiently? If that is true, do people in Florida, whose grass has never been blanketed with snow get as excited over a tiny blade of grass as we who live up North? Perhaps because they experience it all the time, they take it for granted? I’ll have to ask my sister who lives there.

I think it’s one of life’s simple pleasures to take notice of the beauty of the birth of yet another season. Arthur Rubenstein says, “The seasons are what a symphony ought to be: four perfect movements in harmony with each other.” I love that! And I love experiencing the different seasons! That is one of the reasons I choose to continue living in Minnesota. Despite the never ending snow! And cold! Or is it that I bore easily? I choose to believe the former.

Yes, a new season has arrived. And this season is as fresh as the dew in the early morn. This season speaks of hope and a rebirth of sorts. Those little shoots of green grass remind us that there is beauty ahead. There is something new on the horizon. The snow won’t be here forever, though sometimes it seems that way.

Our lives can be like that. You may go through a cold dark winter in your life. It may even last too long. But if you look deeper, you will see little shoots of hope poking through the snow. Yes, a new season of life is just ahead. Be patient. Pay close attention. Make sure your glass is half full. And look deeply for it. Because it is sure to come. One proverb I discovered said, “No matter how long the winter, Spring is sure to follow.”  You can count on it! Millions of people have experienced this long-awaited Spring and have written to tell about it!

So today go out and search for that new sign of Spring, no matter how small. That is a picture of hope. Then with your glass half full, see the hope of a new season in your life. Look deeply for it. It is sure to come.

May 4, 2014

THE GARDENER’S JOURNAL

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — sakaco @ 2:55 pm

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Each Spring ( and sometimes in Indian Summer too ) a gardening instinct, sure as the sap rising in the trees, stirs within us. We look about and decide to tame another little bit of ground. 

From Cream Hill, Lewis Gannett, 1949

And what better way to get started than beginning a Gardener’s Journal. A gardener’s journal is a simple pleasure for all gardeners. Whether you have a very large garden in the country or you garden in pots on your balcony, a gardener’s journal is a delightful way to slow down and enjoy your garden in a whole new way.

I just purchased “The Gardener’s Journal, An Old Fashioned Keepbook” at a yard sale for 50 cents! It was in” like-new” condition as if I had just purchased it at  my local bookstore. While my plan initially was to sell it at my Spring vintage occasional sale, upon perusing it, I got caught up in the delightful pictures, quotes, and thoughts about what I might do with this pretty little book.

In it, it explains why we will receive pleasure in keeping a record of our garden. “It will”, it says, “inspire you to be more observant, so that you develop a deeper interest in your garden, so that you want to do more for it”. The book also reminds us that “gardens and gardening have also served traditionally as metaphors for earthly paradise and for the business of life itself.” It was for this last reason that I decided to keep this journal to keep notes about what I can learn from gardening. The weeding, the watering, the waiting, the sowing and reaping, the bountiful harvest, and yes, even the droughts can be metaphors for a rich new way of understanding our lives.  Luther Burbank says, “Trees, plants, and flowers are all educators in the right direction.”

My new journal is designed as an old fashioned keepsake, or “keepbook” as they call it. It has beautiful floral pictures and whimsical artwork reminiscent of an earlier era. It has pages to plot your garden so you can begin your planning and dreaming even while the snow flies in winter, thus enjoying your “gardening” days for a longer period of time. It offers pages for practical details like tools and maintenance needs as well as lovely quotes about gardening like the one below.

“One bright branch growing against the wall is grace.”      George Washington Carver

While my own living situation allows mainly for planting in pots, this little book has inspired me to keep an ongoing gardening journal for practical items but mainly for the inspirational metaphors of which they will remind me. I also plan on adding more quotes about gardening in my keepbook. Why not try this yourself? If you prefer not to purchase a new book, you can create your own by writing things down on plain paper and using graphed paper for plotting your garden design. You can add favorite quotes and even doodle your own little flowered artwork. Don’t worry about what it looks like. It is for your own simple pleasure.

 

 

 

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