Friday, May 26, 2017

Last Lyrics

I get all my ideas in Switzerland near the Forka Pass. There is a little town called Gletch, and two thousand feet up above Gletch there is a smaller hamlet called Über Gletch. I go there on the fourth of August every summer to get my cuckoo clock fixed. While the cuckoo is in the hospital, I wander around and talk to the people in the streets. They are very strange people, and I get my ideas from them.
~Dr. Seuss


Two themes for the end of the lyrics month! First, a children's theme, which I'm kicking off with what I think of as a poem for two voices from Seussical:



Steve Songs. He has a lot of inventive, interesting lyrics.



They Might Be Giants cover many science topics in a fun way.



Bonus lyrics that made me laugh:



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My second theme is "I can't keep quiet." I already featured this first song, but it's back with a choir of 1,300:



Cold War Kids: Locker Room Talk



Bonus for people who like political parodies: The Russian Connection (to the tune of "The Rainbow Connection," song starts 2 minutes in)

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Reflections on the Teche has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Margaret!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Wish we were here

Success, she decided, was often a matter of knowing when to relax.
~Barbara Taylor Bradford


I saw this painting and thought, This is it. Here's what I have to say this week.

Couch on the Porch, Cos Cob
by Childe Hassam


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Getting your hands dirty

My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant's point of view.
~H. Fred Dale


We have a guest blogger for Wellness Wednesday! Maria Cannon wrote a piece about a subject close to her heart: gardening. She found that gardening improved her quality of life as she dealt with a chronic illness. Links at the bottom to help people get started.


a handful by Pat Dumas

6 Amazing Reasons Why Backyard Gardening is Good For You
by Maria Cannon

It’s easy to see why gardening is fun, interesting, and rewarding, but the health benefits of tending to a backyard vegetable or flower garden aren’t so obvious. If you’ve ever wondered why getting your hands dirty in the garden feels so good, read on for seven incredible ways that gardening boosts your wellbeing.

1. It Boosts Your Mood

You know you feel better — happier, more spirited — after an afternoon of digging in the dirt, but did you know there’s a scientific explanation for why gardening makes you feel great? Healthy soil is home to bacteria called M. vaccae, and when you breath it in, it gets busy boosting the amount of the mood-boosting neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine in your body.

2. It Unleashes Your Nurturing Side

Tending to garden plans puts your nurturing side to work: In order for plants to bring you beauty and nutrition, it’s your responsibility to keep them watered, fed, and safe from passing storms and hungry wildlife. Having something to nurture can be especially rewarding for people living with mental health issues. When you’re responsible for something else’s survival, there’s a reason to get up and get active each and every day.

3. It Centers You

Gardening keeps people connected to their most immediate needs as humans. It teaches the importance of aspects of the natural world that are taken for granted, like healthy dirt and clean water. It lets you produce something tangible and teaches patience while you wait for plants to grow and blossom. In a world where it’s all too easy to stress about spreadsheets, deadlines, and budgets, connecting to the natural world can be incredibly centering. It forces you to stay focused on the present moment, not on future responsibilities and past mistakes.

4. It Relieves Your Stress

Gardening has been shown to reduce the amount of cortisol circulating through the human body. Cortisol, sometimes called the “stress hormone,” is released in excess during times of stress. Over time, too much cortisol in the body can lead to anxiety, depression, fatigue, weight gain, and even premature cognitive decline.

5. It Gives You a Healthy Dose of Vitamin D

Insufficient vitamin D is linked to depression, seasonal affective disorder, and even weakened immune systems, and there’s only one sure-fire way to get enough vitamin D: sunshine. Any time you work outside in the garden, your skin is soaking up ultraviolet B rays and using them to produce vitamin D. While you need exposed skin, free of sunscreen, to properly absorb UVB rays, you should only leave your skin exposed for about half the time it normally takes you to get a sunburn. After that, cover up to prevent skin damage and protect against skin cancer.

6. It Keeps You Limber

Working in your backyard garden may not qualify as vigorous exercise, but it does require a wide variety of body movements that help keep you active and limber. Whether you’re kneeling to sow seeds, squatting to harvest lettuce, bending to pull weeds, or lifting bags of compost, the diverse activities involved in tending to a garden can improve your mobility. This helps keep your body healthy now and also preserves balance and functional mobility as you age, keeping you independent for longer. In fact, gardening is even used as therapy for stroke patients seeking to regain dexterity, increase strength, and improve their confidence.

Whether you’re interested in gardening for the access to fresh, organic produce, for its therapeutic value, or simply for a fun, outdoor hobby, you’ll be rewarded with all of these wonderful health benefits and more.

Links:
Small Space Gardening (How to Garden Anywhere)
10 plants to grow if you're stressed
Black Thumb Gardener

Monday, May 22, 2017

All on me

When it don't add up
you can count on me
~Devin Dawson


Having a mellow, upbeat Music Monday with Devin Dawson:



Thursday, May 18, 2017

Lyrics inspired by books and plays

There is a design, an alignment
A cry of my heart to see
The beauty of love as it was made to be
~Sigh No More


Lyrics inspired by or from books and plays today. So many choices! I shared some Wuthering Heights songs and David Gilmour singing Sonnet 18 a while back. This Poetry Friday, we have two Shakespeare, two Daphne du Maurier, one C.S. Lewis, and one Gregory Maguire (L. Frank Baum).

Mumford and Sons: Sigh No More (lines from Much Ado about Nothing by Shakespeare)



MC Lars: Hey There Ophelia (Hamlet)

Tori Amos: Jamaica Inn (inspired by the book of the same name by Daphne du Maurier)

Meg and Dia: Rebecca (also by Daphne du Maurier)

Phish: Prince Caspian

Kristin Chenoweth: Popular from Wicked (a musical inspired by a book inspired by a book)



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Do you have favorite songs inspired by books?

Whispers from the Ridge has the Poetry Friday round-up today. Thanks, Kiesha!

Itty Bitty redux

The Spoonsize Boys steal the dollhouse toys while the cat by the fire is curled. Then away they floats in their eggshell boats, down the drains to their underground world.
~Tim Powers


Another Art Thursday repost today. This is from August 2013. I am a fan of wee scenes and am hoping to put together a miniature garden. Last fall, I bought one piece, which was joined by a couple others, and now I need to find a suitable location for them (so I can add a lot more!)

Darth Vader's dollhouse? Check. Dollhouse's dollhouse? Check. Miniature-food genius? Check. You may proceed.

Dollhouse for a dollhouse
photo by Bellafaye

Dollhouse inside House on the Rock
photo by John Kroll

Stettheimer Dollhouse
photo by Kristine Paulus

Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle
photo by Kathy

Dollhouse Candy Cabinet
by Stéphanie Kilgast

Dollhouse bedroom
photo by Béatrice

Dollhouse library
photo by dmmalva

Bedtime Story
by Chris Nitz

Gingerbread House in Progress
by Stéphanie Kilgast

Dollhouse full of bees
photo by shelmac
At night they all retired to the honeycombs in the kitchen, Lo-Fi Arts Festival, 2012

Links:

* Let's Build a Dollhouse, how-to site
* Make an easy bookcase dollhouse
* Dollhouse wall boxes (dioramas)
* Miniatures tutorials

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Language of Love

One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.
~Paulo Coelho



I heard about the concept of "love languages" last weekend. The five love languages (as described by Gary Chapman) are: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. They can communicate any kind of love -- romantic, familial, neighborly, etc. I'm including this for Wellness Wednesday because it seems useful to think about what makes us feel good (as givers and receivers).



I think I like to give and receive all five. Maybe I like quality time best? Words of affirmation? What do you think? Is there a particular love language that you identify with?