Brightening the Dark Days of Winter

wmdog in sunbeam
Everyone loves a good sunbeam.

I am tired. It’s only Monday, but I woke feeling unusually unrested this morning. I’m going to chalk it up to the return to standard time and a cloudy weekend. My activity level has plummeted in the past 8 weeks, from walking and/or biking several miles and spending hours gardening each and every day, to working in an office. I run the stairs and go outside whenever I can during the workday, but I am feeling the change in many ways… and none of them pleasant.

Winter in the northern latitudes is a challenge, a marathon, an endurance test. A few months ago, we were basking in so much sunlight that it almost seemed pointless to go to sleep Continue reading “Brightening the Dark Days of Winter”

Meeting Penelope

penelope2eeOne of the ways my family connects is through animals.  We all are amazed by them and the ways that they communicate with each other and with us.  We walk our dog and play with our cats, frequently visit a cat shelter to help socialize the cats, view swans and ducks on the lakes, listen to barred and great horned owls at night, as well as the occasional howl of coyotes, marvel as eagles soar and swoop over our kayaks, and visit the wildlife rehabilitation facilities and zoos.

Today we were charmed by Penelope, a month-old reticulated giraffe at Como Zoo.  For a moment, she stared at us, and we smiled in wonder and awe.

Homemade Bread Routines

wmbread2Bread.

One of my favorite aromas: a bakery that uses a sour rye culture.  One of my least favorite aromas: the packaged bread aisle of supermarkets.

I’ve been making most of our breads, of all shapes and sizes, for years. Slightly fluffy whole grain sandwich bread, crusty and fragrant sourdough, tortillas, pita, and naan, pizza, and occasionally bagels – I enjoy the process and product both.

Baking bread has the reputation of being time-consuming.  I’ve experimented with various means of fitting the bread cycle into our days, and I’ve assessed the competition Continue reading “Homemade Bread Routines”

Off the Clock by Laura Vanderkam

wmcuckoo

Time management and personal efficiency writer Laura Vanderkam’s newest book, Off the Clock, focuses on habits and thoughts that can expand one’s sense of available time. I’m actively following my own plan to decrease time stress, but am still on the watch for new ideas.

“People who feel like they have enough time are exceedingly mindful of their time,” Vanderkam found after surveying hundreds of working parents (p.8). She summarized results into 7 tips for increasing the sense of time. I’ll paraphrase here, but check out her book, a quick 2-evening read, for more details. Continue reading “Off the Clock by Laura Vanderkam”