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5 Quick Ways to Help the Environment

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We are all so busy right?  We want to do a lot of things but never seem to have the time.  Once of these things is helping out the environment.   How can we be more sustainable without spending all of our time.  Below, find 5 quick ideas to help the planet be a better place.

  1. Use biodegradable poop bags for your dog.  Yes, they exist.   Keep plastic out of the landfills.
  2. Reuse gift bags.  We have all got them for birthdays and holidays.  Too nice to throw away right?  Cut off the address tag and reuse them.  You can give gifts in them, use them to carry things, cut them up for a decoration.
  3. Buy Bamboo when possible. Bamboo is durable and fast growing. It’s renewable and sustainable. It can also be used for a variety of things from interior design and clothing, do bowls, and utensils.
  4. Volunteer for a river or park clean up.  Spend a few hours one weekend a year to help get trash out of our water supply. It will not only help keep our drinking water clean, but also keep animals from eating garbage or getting trapped in trash,
  5. Support an animal.  Volunteer or donate items to  a shelter.  Adopt through a wildlife organization or zoo your favorite animal.  I’ve sponsored endangered species  before. It’s also a great gift for others!  Christmas is coming!

What quick ways do you know that help the environment.  Share them with me.

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Every Color Has A Story. Color Psychology.

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Color.  I love color.  Nothing makes me happier than looking at a wall of paint swatches, or bin of colored pencils.  Color makes me smile.  Color is a very influential in many aspects of our lives. It not just for looks either.  Color can illicit an emotional response. Marketers, artists and designers all know how color influences us.  Color creates associations.  We use colors in psychology, art and religion to denote status and attention. When you look at some religious art, why are some deities in blue?  I’ve never seen Christianity’s Virgin Mary in scarlet red. She always in blue and white. Color,  at it’s purest form make us feel, maybe more than anything. Red can be angry, but it can also be loving.  Blue calming but also cold.

How does color tell us this? It depends on our age, culture, and climate. Children often change their favorite color.  However, once we hit adulthood we often have a fixed favorite. For years my favorite color was black.  Since my thirties my favorite color has been charcoal grey.  A hard color to find in clothes, but more prevalent in design.

A pioneer in the science of color psychology was Carl Jung.  Jung not only investigated the meanings of color, but how they could be used as a psychological tool.  The meaning of color is most prevalent in marketing.  Color has power.  It helps us recognize brands without using words.  Almost everyone in the world recognizes the “Golden Arches” of McDonalds. Color catches your eye. It helps you to decide if an item is appealing. Sometimes color name influences buying choices too.  If a rose color was blood red instead of romantic red would it be as popular of a choice?

We live in a world of color.  What are the common feelings that they evoke?

Take Blue for instance.  Blue is calming.  It instills trust, a sense of duty, coolness, reflection, tradition, sadness, and coldness. Blue is used for Tiffany boxes, in traditional gift wrap and power suits.  There is also the expression “to have the blues”, meaning to be depressed.  All colors have a dual personality.  The good and the bad.

Green is all around us.  It is refreshing, zesty, growth, restorative, restful and safe.  It can mean ordinary or stagnant as well.  It’s not coincidence that many environmental companies use green in their logos.  It is the color of our environment.

Yellow is both sunny and scared.  Yellow is warmth, happy, honorable and open.  It can also be fearful, cowardly, and irrational.  What does it say to you?

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Orange as a color evokes the ideas of energy, stimulation, food, fun, and health.  It also is frustration, cautious, immature, and warning.

Red has so many meanings its hard to list them all.  Red is courageous, strong, warm, vigorous, energy, love and passion.  It is also danger, anger, pain, and defiant.  Want to learn more about other colors?  Wait for part two to learn about the other colors including purple, pink and others.

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Self · Uncategorized

How To Get A Pen Pal.

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I love writing letters.  There is something about getting a letter in your mailbox that is exciting.  A handwritten letter is always so much longer and involved than an email or tweet. If you take the time to write a letter, you care.  You take the time to choose what to say.  I love to pick out stationery, stickers, pens, and little inclusions for my letters.  I like to make the special.  I even will do some mail art.

I have been writing letters to pen pals since I was 11 years old.  My oldest pen pal has been writing to me since 1988.

When I got my first pen pal in Tasmania, Australia at age 11 it was from a kids TV show called “Big Blue Marble.” I liked writing letters so much that I got several more from them.  I can still remember the jingle used to advertise pen pals.  I even memorized the address and know it all these years later!  Once the TV show ended I searched for more pen pals.

I got some out of various magazines.  Pen pals were very popular in the 80’s.  Pre-Internet you know.  There were various pen pal services back then.  I used several of them to varying effects. A magazine called ‘Teen” magazine did lots of pen pal matches.  In fact, my longest pen pal I mentioned above was matched to me in one of their pen pal programs.  If I remember correctly, we were matched based on our astrological sign.  We are both Libras! I even honeymooned in Hawaii where she lives.  So we were finally able to meet up.  My husband and I took her out for lunch. I also had the fortune of meeting four other pen pals when I lived in Europe. Maybe someday you can meet yours!

One of the main sources of pen pals for me has been IPF or International Pen Friends.  The world’s oldest pen pal service started in 1967. Here is their web address: http://members.ozemail.com.au/~penpals/

Writing to pen pals can be tricky. Things happen.  Life happens. Some people you write to never respond.  Some people write for a little bit then stop.  No one knows why.  Having a pen pal is a serious commitment.  You want a pen pal to write you long letters then you have to write long letters yourself.  Pen pals can be wonderful.  It takes time and effort. I personally feel that it is a fantastic hobby.  A hobby that can last a lifetime.

There are many groups on Facebook for pen pals.  There are also several other organizations that offer pen pals.  Use your best judgement.  Be careful about putting yourself out there.  Do your research.  When in doubt, don’t do it.  When you find a pen pal it can be a great experience. There is so much to learn and its great to have another person to listen to you.

Take a chance and go out and get a pen pal.  It’s an experience to remember!

Enjoy writing those letters.

 

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The meaning of flowers

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Flowers.  It is that time of year again. The snow has melted finally, and everything is starting to bud.  Right now I am anxiously awaiting what ever tulips are still alive in my yard and to evaluate all my plantings for next year.

I wish I could say that I am a real green thumb, but I’m not.  I am not the type to spend hours in a garden as relaxation or exercise.  I wish I was. I do love flowers.  I love how they look, the color and the shape.  I even like the scent of a few of them.  My love of flowers lead me to the concept of the language of flowers.

We all know each birth sign has it’s own trademark flower, each month has one too, and we all know holidays such as Easter and Christmas are marked by distinct flora.  Did you know that each flower, even each color of flower has it’s own distinct meaning?

Flowers in place of sentiments or words hit the height of popularity during Victorian times.  A single flower could have several meanings depending on what part of the world or the situation that it was involved in. Even the ribbon the flowers were bound with, to the condition of the flowers and even the hand they were handed over in or received in determined the message. It will certainly make you think next Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day.  There are still a vast amount of books from the height of the Victorian Era where you can find all this information and more in.

Here are some of the meanings of flowers.

Orange Blossom: Chastity, Purity and Loveliness.

Red Chrysanthemum: I love you.

Bluebells: Kindness

Peonies: Bashfulness

Tulips: Passion

Pink Carnations: Never Forget You

White Carnations: Sweet

Yellow Carnations: Romantic Rejection

Red Carnations: My heart aches.

Purple Violet: Thoughts of love

Red Rose: Love

Red Tulip: Confession of Love

Calla Lily: Magnificent Beauty

Clover: Think of me.

Apple Blossom: Preference

Crocus: Youth

Daffodil: Regard

Daisy: Innocence

Edelweiss: Courage/Devotion

Forget-me-not: True Love

Lilac: Youth

Lily of the Valley: Sweetness

Red Poppy: Consolation

Sunflower: Adoration

Gardenia: Secret Love, Sweetness

Orchid: Femininity, Refinement

Queen Anne’s Lace: Sanctuary

Cherry Blossom: gentleness, beauty

There are so many more meanings and flowers to choose from.  This was just a sample.  Hopefully it will give you something to think about next time you decide to give someone a bouquet of flowers.  Enjoy!

Self · Uncategorized

Some Things to Know About Migraines

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Migraines are a chronic condition that can last for years or for a lifetime.  Triggers can include: hormones, foods, drinks, stress and exercise. Other causes include environmental factors such as weather and a genetic predisposition.  Symptoms include throbbing in one area that can vary in intensity, nausea and sensitivity to light, sound and smell. Migraines are common in families and women.

Over 15% of the world’s population suffers from migraines.  The earliest mention of migraines in writing is in the Ebers papyrus in 1500 BCE.

There are four phases of migraines. Phase 1, called Prodromephase.  It is marked by mood changes, irritability, depression, fatigue, cravings, stiff muscles, constipation and/or diarrhea, and sensitivity to light and smell.

Phase 2 is called the Aura. It is where you can experience vision disturbance, pins and needles feelings, numbness, speech and language issues, the world spins, and weakness.

Phase 3 is the Pain Phase. It can last as long as 4-72 hours of pain for adults. You can have several migraines in a lifetime or several in a single week. Neck pain is common. Also during this time you can experience nausea (90% of suffers), vomiting (a third of people), sensitivity to a variety of things, irritability, fatigue, sweating, confusion, light head, and the world can spin.

Phase 4 is called Postdrome. The final phase, often in conjunction with menstruation, involves fatigue, muscle soreness, hunger, and stress.

According to the International Headache Society there are seven subcategories.

Category One, Migraine without aura.  It is the most common form of migraine.

Category Two is a migraine with aura.

Category three is Childhood Periodic Syndromes which includes vertigo, abdominal migraine, cyclical vomiting.

Four is Retinal Migraine has a hallmark of visual disturbances.

Category five is complications of migraine, including long or frequent migraines and can be associated with seizure or a brain lesion.

Category 6 is Probable migraine which has the characteristics of migraine but not enough to diagnose, common medication overuse.

Seven is Chronic Migraine.  Chronic Migraine is greater than 15+ days month for more than three months. Chronic migraines effect 1.5-2.2% of the population.

How do you prevent migraines?  It’s hard. A variety of things help to improve migraines such as medication, nutrition, lifestyle alterations, and surgery. It is best to check with your doctor to find out what approach is best for you.

 

Information taken from: Web MD, International Headache Society, and Wikipedia.

 

 

 

Self · Uncategorized

A few words…

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I was clicking through Pinterest and came across this quote.  It was by a character on the television show “Grey’s Anatomy.”  To be honest, I’ve never seen the show.  I’ve never even had an interest in seeing the show but this quote really spoke to me.  I hope it speaks to you too.

There is this person

inside my head. She’s brilliant,

capable, she’s me.

Only so much better! And I’m afraid

I’ll never become that person.

-Meredith Gray, character on Grey’s Anatomy