Trying New Things: Putting the Shine Back on Winter

New bag and scarf modeled by me

  Most of us start the year ready to tackle goals and do new things. By March, though, some of that shine has begun to wear off and, if you’re like me, you start longing for something to freshen things up, to polish up the motivation a little. Trying new things staves off boredom and research supports that surprising and challenging your brain with new information and tasks can help fight dementia. It also helps to distract you from the long, gray days of winter (if it happens to be March and there is still a foot of snow outside your window). For all of these reasons, I have been in the mood to try more new things, some successful (and delicious) and others a work in progress. Here’s a little run-down of some of the new things I’ve been doing this month to put the shine back on my winter: 1. 5K Sundays.  January’s a … Continue reading…

Tenacity and the Four Castles

This week in 2014, the theme is tenacity. As I introduced 13-year-old, Scout, to the timeless, warped hilarity of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, I was struck by the parallels between me and the king of Swamp Castle. “When I first came here,” he explains to his son, Herbert, “this was all swamp. Everyone said I was daft to build a castle on a swamp, but I built it all the same, just to show them. It sank into the swamp. So I built a second one. That sank into the swamp. So I built a third. That burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp. But the fourth one stayed up. And that’s what you’re going to get, Lad, the strongest castle in all of England.” OK, so I’m not really anything at all like this character in this classic film. I don’t have a son who’s … Continue reading…

Birthday, Burn, and Exercise Win

This post is coming out a day late in order to give a shout-out to my dad, one of the coolest people I know.  Today’s his birthday and I didn’t want to wait a whole week to sing from the rooftops about how much I love this man and wish him the happiest of birthdays. What makes him so cool?  Well, apart from putting up with my sorry butt for the first half of my life without acting on any urges he may have had to strangle me when I was a teenager (or at any other time), he’s also the person who bought me my first dictionary, introduced me to Game of Thrones, and convinced me that there is genius in organizing your puzzle pieces by shape. He was also the person who taught me my very first “burn.” One day when I was about seven, my sister, Shannon, … Continue reading…