It’s alive! It’s alive!

Just barely. It’s been two years and two months since the last entry. Let’s see if we can resuscitate this blog. There should be a blog post a week from now on. This was supposed to be a blog about music but it’s been more about books and fitness. This week’s post is the challenge. Next week’s post will be about focus. The topics will be more clearly delineated. This week’s picture is not related to subject matter.IMG_6462


Day 2 of NaNoWriMo

Day 2 of NaNoWriMo

I can hardly believe it myself but I am into day 2 of the seventh consecutive year of participating in NaNoWriMo. If you don’t already know, it is a massive planet-wide effort to write a 50,000 word novel in November, that’s 30 days bunkie. This year I’m expanding on an idea I had 8 or 9 years ago. A murder mystery centered on a Halloween party at a small college. So far so good. Of course I’m just setting up the scene and introducing a few characters now. It’ll get much tougher when I have to fit all the puzzles in.

Ellen and Kirk’s Wedding

Ellen and Kirk's Wedding

Jumping for joy at the wedding!

Kirk is the first of our three children to get married. Ellen our new daughter-in-law is a wonderful person. The wedding was held at the Indiana World War Memorial in the center of Indianapolis, Indiana. It is a fabulous venue with very ornate marble furnishings including massive columns, gilding, and plush upholstery. The reception was at the Indiana State Museum and the whole thing was beautifully done. Ellen had everything under control with checklists for all. Kudos to Ellen and her parents for the fabulous job of putting this on!

My Ukulele

My Ukulele

My son gave this to me for Christmas. It turned out to be more wonderful than I’d imagined. I’ve been playing it almost daily since receiving it. It’s a perfect opportunity for making mistakes which is my resolution for this year.

New Year’s Resolution

In searching for an appropriate quote for the New Year’s email I came across this gem. I’ve decided that it is great advice and that I need to try it even if it’s scary. Making mistakes sounds like something I could be good at!

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”
― Neil Gaiman

Weight Management Update

A little over 2 years ago a post on TLC started a support group to form for weight management. It’s probably overdue for a report. Some members of the group did very well. Others like me ended up back where they started or close to it. I’m probably a few pounds down overall but I am in better condition and my waist size went down. I’m fairly certain I would have gained much more without the support.

Here are some of the tips we’ve collected. Maybe some will help you!

  1. Move as much as you can
  2. Have two planned healthy snacks to keep appetite under control.
  3. Minimize sugar intake.
  4. Get at least 7 hours of sleep.
  5. Take frequent exercise breaks from sitting.
  6. Be sensible on portion sizes.
  7. Drink at least six glasses of water a day. Eight is better.
  8. Drink green tea.
  9. Be sure you’re getting your healthy oils and fats.
  10. Bitter leafy greens, cooked/steamed/stewed or chips (kale chips) assist in cutting sweet cravings.

and for goodness sake Have fun!!!!

New Years Eve in Disco Style

A single pink rose against green foliage

Happy New Year!

Today’s musical link is Celebration by Kool and the Gang.

I would like to wish everyone a very healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year!

Mary asked for all the music links in one place so here they are:
Get Up and Boogie, Silver Convention
You Should Be Dancing, Bee Gees
Dance, Dance, Dance; Beach Boys
Disco Inferno, Trammps
Take a Chance, ABBA

Rockin’ in the New Year

I’ve been starting each morning this week with a little musical pick-me-up. Why not share it with the world I asked myself? Why not indeed.  I will post a link every day until the end of the year. Of course that’s only three days but it’s the thought that counts. Today’s number was from that great Swedish group ABBA – Take a Chance on Me. This is from 1977. I find the music so infectious. Their sound was truly unique and it was so danceable! Here’s a picture of me with my wife sometime in the late 70s.

70s couple

Listening to ABBA

Happy Festivus

Peace sign at the Botanic Gardens

Dona Nobis Pacem

Today is Festivus. It is also the last day of Saturnalia. So enjoy! Tonight will be the fourth night of Hanukkah and Christmas and Dies Sol Invictus are only two days away! Of course it’s Yuletide which is both Christian and Germanic Pagan so bring on the Mistletoe!

I will help celebrate anyone’s holiday if it involves feasting and merriment. I hope you don’t mind if I don’t join you on holidays involving fasting. I’ve got Lent and that’s enough.

Here’s a quote that I hope to take to heart:
Christmas gift suggestions:  To your enemy, forgiveness.  To an opponent, tolerance.  To a friend, your heart.  To a customer, service.  To all, charity.  To every child, a good example.  To yourself, respect. 
~Oren Arnold

Put Saturn back in Saturnalia

 A Facebook post from an old friend reminded me how fascinating the ties between modern Christmas and Midwinter celebrations in pre-Christian Rome and Europe were. Saturnalia which honored the god Saturn started on December 17th and went on to the 23rd. That’s my kind of holiday.  The Dies Sol Invictus or Day of the Unconquered Sun was on December 25th or just a few days after the winter solstice was marked in the later empire. It is possible that the date for Christmas was influenced by this date. It is also possible it was the other way around and Dies Sol Invictus was a reaction to the Christian celebration.  There were many similar festivals in cultures well above the equator. It was probably even more a relief then than it is now to have the days getting longer again.  The practice of gift-giving at Christmas most likely began with the similar custom during Saturnalia.