5 Steps to Deal with the Winter Blues (Part 2)

  • January 15, 2018
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One year ago I wrote “5 Steps to Deal with the Winter Blues.” The ideas work, but over the year it was sometimes difficult to do the things that would make me feel better. I thought about getting a SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) lamp but didn’t know where to start.

Sometimes it’s as easy as a search online. I started reading Winter Blues, Fourth Edition: Everything You Need to Know to Beat Seasonal Affective Disorder, by Norman E. Rosenthal. It gave me information that helped me purchase a SAD lamp.

The current thinking is to use the lamp for periods of 15 minutes or so (up to one hour). I turn mine on in the morning and read while eating breakfast. Fifteen minutes later my timer dings and I turn off the lamp. It’s that easy.

But does it work? For me, I’d say yes. It’s not that I’m suddenly euphoric, it’s that I’m able to continue throughout my day with better feelings. Is it a placebo? Frankly, I don’t care. Whatever works to get me through the dark and cold and keeps the negativity from bleeding into my thoughts and sapping my will (without compromising my health!) is fine with me.

In case anyone is wondering, this is the model I bought:

Verilux HappyLight Liberty 10,000 LUX Light Therapy Energy Lamp


A Cozy Place to Read

  • January 08, 2018
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No, the window seat above is not my home. It’s a fantasy of mine, found online.

And yet…does it have to be only a fantasy? Why not create my own little nook?

I have a couch. It’s comfy. And my coffee table is a large black trunk from my college days.

In case the couch isn’t what I need as I dive deep into a story, I have a rocking chair, bought years ago in the Adirondacks. The first time I sat in one like this with its curved back, my spine sank into it with relief.

But I wanted more. So this year I bought an electric heater that looks like a wood burning stove. It’s positioned across from my couch, and curling up on the couch while the flames flicker makes reading something to be savored. The best part about the model is that I can have the “flames” flickering without the heater working.

This is obviously a wintertime thing, when the temps dive below zero and multiple cups of hot tea with honey rest on a nearby surface while I escape into pages of summer and wild blueberries. When the seasons come around again, there will be changes made to create cool, quiet moments as I read about characters in snowstorms.

What about you? Do you have a reading nook, a special corner where stories find you?


Happy New Year!!

  • January 01, 2018
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happy new year photo

May your year be happy, healthy, and prosperous!

To All Who Celebrate

  • December 25, 2017
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House Guests and Broken Pipes

  • December 18, 2017
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Week two into my house guests’ stay, I was washing pots in preparation for making supper when I realized my feet felt warm. A nice feeling in the wintertime. Then I realized my feet felt wet. I looked down and saw half my kitchen floor covered in water.

House Guests :)

  • November 27, 2017
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My house guests are arriving today for two weeks. See you on the flip side!

Busy Busy

  • November 20, 2017
  • Blog

Soon I’ll have house guests visiting for two weeks. I’ll be happy to see them, but it doesn’t mean everything else stops. I’m sure everyone is familiar with the concept. Cleaning, shopping, and a lot of other preparation falls into the space I call “time,” and whatever I normally have planned gets pushed to the side.

Add to that this week’s final exam in American Sign Language, Level 1. I had a mild panic attack when the teacher gave us homework that counts as part of the exam—videoing myself signing answers to a set of questions. It’s amazing how tangled my fingers get. (I know, I know, I put more pressure on myself than the teacher does.)

So my writing is one of the things that’s going to be pushed aside for a bit. It doesn’t make me happy, but it is what it is. It happens to all writers, and readers understand because they have the same issue with their time and reading.

Life happens. It’s all right.

LEGOs as I’ve Never Seen Them

  • November 13, 2017
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The only thing I’ve ever been able to create with LEGOs are stairs and walls. Wheels? Poles? I’d stare at them while my friends blithely created wagons. What about you? Were you able to get creative with them? Do you now?

I visited the LEGO display at the Staten Island Mall in NY and got blown away by the detail and ingenuity displayed. Here’s some of what I saw.

And the back:

I couldn’t resist showing a closeup of one part–the detail astounds me:

A side view:

And finally:

There were more pieces, each one unique. They were pieces of art hidden inside a children’s toy. Should the exhibit come around to you, head for the mall. It’s worth it.

Up in the Adirondacks

  • November 06, 2017
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I spent a long weekend in the Central Adirondacks with a group of friends. It was exactly what I needed, the catching up, the laughter, and especially, those mountains surrounding me.

Day two began with a power outage that lasted most of the morning, and we fortified ourselves with cold cereal and muffins. By the afternoon, everyone was out, either hiking on trails, puttering along the lakes in a motor boat, or hanging out in their own cabins. I sat at the table in my cabin and began writing. The mountain facing me radiated absolute quiet but not silence. Peace steeped my bones, and my pen worked diligently across the page.

There wasn’t time to do a lot of writing, but that moment of solitude and clarity was the spark. At least it worked better than me trying to light the fireplace. For the record, what you’re seeing in the photo below is the newspaper burning. Alas, the logs were too damp to catch on. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)

There isn’t much more to say except yes, it was hard to leave.

But here’s someone who was glad to see me when I returned home. And thankfully, the writing spark is still going strong.

On Vacation :)

  • October 30, 2017
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