Posts Tagged ‘holidays’


Meghan supervised while I decorated the Christmas tree, so now she’s settling down for a long winter’s nap.


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Driving up to my house just now, I came to a brutal realization: I’m the neighborhood scrooge!

(Warning: very bad quality photos. Sorry…)

Let me explain. Here’s my neighbor B’s house:


B loves to decorate for every holiday. (Well, maybe not St. Patrick’s Day.) This photo doesn’t capture the lights she’s hung in her back yard and by her garage. And you should see the inside of her house! Red and green galore.

B’s been decorating for as long as I’ve lived here. But, lo and behold, my other next-door neighbors have added some lights:


Even the neighbor who just moved in across the street is in the spirit of the season:


Now, here’s my house:


Ack! I’m bringing down the neighborhood!

My house wasn’t always so dark, though. My first Christmas here, 11 years ago, someone gave me a miniature live Christmas tree, complete with snowman lights and festive ornaments. That tree lived for eight or nine years, and each holiday season it would sit on my front porch, its snowman lights shining cheerfully.

But after the tree died, I didn’t replace it. And I just haven’t attempted to hang lights on my house, even though I bought a set last year. Though in my defense, I do have a healthy fear of tall ladders!

But maybe I could pull out that box of lights and, at the very least, string lights along the hydrangea and roses near the front door. With Christmas only days away, I better get a move on! Last thing I want is to be the neighborhood scrooge!

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photo courtesy of Microsoft

I’m giving myself an early Christmas present this year:  I signed up for Dr. Fuhrman’s 2012 Holiday Challenge.

The challenge, which begins today, is to follow Dr. Fuhrman’s eating guidelines for better health during the holiday season.  Those guidelines include eating a large salad every day, and eating plenty of greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries and seeds (GBOMBS).  He also recommends limiting the amount of oil in one’s diet, instead getting fats from avocados, nuts and seeds. He recommends eliminating sugar and artificial sweeteners, white flour, and most processed foods from the diet.    One can still eat meat or dairy, but he recommends that only 10 percent of one’s total caloric intake come from these sources.

I’ve been following these guidelines, on and off, for the past four months.  When I’m “good,” I feel better and have more energy.   When I’m “bad,” I feel bloated and cranky, and don’t sleep well.  I’ve been especially bad lately, using food as a crutch.  I’ve been sad and stressed, and I over-eat, basically stuffing down my emotions.   I’ve gained a good five pounds since  October, and the holiday season — with all its sweets and treats — is only just beginning.  I have to get a hold on this now!

Signing up for a challenge — and writing about it in this blog — is me publicly making myself accountable.   So for this holiday season, I intend the following:

1. To follow the eating guidelines outlined by Dr. Fuhrman.  I can do this!

2. To deal with my emotions rather than stuff them down with food.  I’ve got my journal ready to write what needs to be released.  Exercise also helps a lot.  I’ve got only six  months until my Camino, so no reason not to get off the couch and get moving!

3. To come up with a treat that doesn’t involve food.   This could be exercise, reading a good book, watching a funny movie, or taking a bubble bath.
By doing these three things, I can give myself a wonderful gift not only for this holiday but for the rest of my life: a healthy relationship with food.

Here’s to a happy, healthy 2012 holiday season!




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It’s the dawn of a new year, and I have to say, “hallelujah!”

But before I set my intentions for the new year, I want to honor the blur that was 2011.

The year started out so promisingly. I had recently returned from an enlightening trip to Peru and was intent on learning as much as I could about Quero mysticism and energy work.

I was going to get together with like-minded friends for meditation and ceremonies. I was claiming my power as a co-creator of my life. Most of all, I felt very positive about my life and my purpose this time around.

Then, about February, one of my dogs simultaneously injured her front leg and began exhibiting unsettling signs of dementia.

After running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to ease Bailey’s pain and anxiety, I soon realized that no matter what I did, I couldn’t cure my dog. I just needed to pay attention to what was mine to do and to be a loving presence for her.

It was a long year of running to vet appointments, spending a lot of money, and sleeping very little. Somehow, my best-laid plans of focusing on spiritual interests went right out the door!

I did accomplish a few things, including finding closure on an old family hurt and developing a better relationship with a “challenging” person.

I also had a very productive spring garden, and have vowed not to travel extensively next summer so as to stop potential problems before they get out of hand. Deer, squash bugs and weeds: you are on notice!

And I finally got over my fear of canning and began preserving some of the produce from my garden.

One positive from this past year was my reading (and re-reading and re-reading again) the works of several spiritual teachers/life coaches, including Wayne Dyer, Jennifer Hoffman, and (most recently) Julia Rogers Hamrick.

What I am trying to absorb is something very simple: set intentions, then get out of the way and trust that life will unfold in divine right order.

So, with that overarching goal in mind, here are my personal intentions for 2012 (in no particular order):

    I intend to get healthy. This past fall, I have had a cold/flu/allergies for months on end, then a stress fracture, and now more respiratory stuff. Enough already!

    Along those lines, I intend to lose weight and honor my body with an increased focus on healthy eating, exercise, and sufficient sleep.

    I intend to find and/or create soulful work that also provides me with financial abundance.

    I intend to walk the Camino de Santiago with ease. I would like to go sooner rather than later, but I leave the timing up to the Universe.

    I intend to increase my efforts for healing work for the earth and its sentient beings.

    I intend to live in Easy World! This one sums up a lot of things I’d like to accomplish: living in the flow, with no need to judge situations or others, and truly trusting that my highest good is unfolding.

So, in a nutshell, get healthy, create meaningful work, step out onto new horizons, stop judging, and be more loving.

A tall task, but since I’m living in Easy World now, no need to worry!

Happy New Year!

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Truth be known, I love my coffee. Dark blend. French roast. I can’t get through the day without a few cups.

I also love my water. Perhaps because I drink all that coffee, but I find my body isn’t happy unless I am well-hydrated.

But winter time also has me reaching for tea. Black tea. Green tea. Herbal tea. I have a cup every night after dinner.

Well, sometimes there’s hot chocolate, but that’s another story.

Back to tea. One can imagine my excitement when I saw the holiday assortment of teas made by Celestial Seasonings.

I purchased the Gingerbread Spice (reminiscent of their Exotic Chai) and the Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride (does indeed taste like sugar cookies, but not a keeper).

I also purchased my new favorite tea, Candy Cane Lane. A decaffeinated green tea with a hint of peppermint. Delicious! I am addicted.

But, because this is a limited-time-only tea, I knew I had to stock up while supplies lasted.

So last week, I went back to my co-op and bought one box for me, along with several others to give away. (Yes, I did give them away!)

Much as I wanted to, I did not empty the shelves at that time. It was the season of giving, not hogging, after all!

But today, three days after Christmas, I figured it was safe for my inner hoarder to come out.

I went back to the co-op and purchased the last four boxes of Candy Cane Lane tea. Now I just have to find a place to store all those boxes! Though, based on my tea consumption over the past few weeks, I don’t think space will remain a problem.

What type of tea do you like?

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