Got To Do It: Take a Hike!

trail marker for the Appalachian Trail.This past weekend, I went hiking on a bit of the Appalachian Trail in the Delaware Water Gap. (That’s the Delaware River on the New Jersey-Pennsylvania border, not Delaware, the second smallest state.) The A.T. is a marked hiking trail running from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine. I decided that I will hike the entire A.T. in sections over the next twenty years. I might have done 20 miles so far. Just 2180 left to go.

Sandee Takes a Hike Sandee Ostwind Hiking in the Delaware Water Gap

This is my friend, Sandee, a 60 year old woman who had not hiked a day in her life until last October. The very idea makes her daughter convulse with laughter. Sandee is still not your typical hiker (“Let’s sit down and take a rest.”); however, she enjoys it immensely. Why? Sandee says, “Hiking has everything – physical, mental, spiritual. I feel great about myself when I finish a hike.”

Mountain LaurelMountain Laurel

Kalmia latifolia, the flowering evergreen shrub, blooms in May and June in the mountainous forests of the Eastern United States. The Mid-Atlantic States are blanketed this week. White flowers in the shade and pink flowers in the sun.


Damn You, New York Times!

Circada on a leaf

Little Circada

I’m mad at The New York Times, with their multimedia features and images enlarged 100 times, for scaring me about cicadas. Cicadas are insects that crawl out of the ground every 17 years for a three-to-four-week frenzy of mating before they deposit their nymphs underground and die. We saw cicadas on leaves, and they are cute little critters. First, we heard them (Is that the sound of a broken fan belt? You decide…) and then we saw them on leaves here and there. Their swarming actually takes place 40 feet above in the trees. Not once did a molted carcass fall on my head.

Your thoughts, do you hike? What do you like about it?

Winter Sun Rays and Gratitude

Pure light, refracted

Today, winter sun rays hit a prism in my bedroom window to make this picture on the door. The prism itself makes the color by refracting a beam of colorless light. The color spectrum is always the same, think rainbows and chakras for people who see them. I find comfort in knowing that the light plane is orderly, consistent, and pure. It never lets me down. It is reassuring and I am grateful.

Your thoughts: Do you like to think about physical phenomena?


The Sleazy World of Diet Products

From time-to-time, I am asked by a manufacturer, public relations firm, or editor of a nutrition website to review a new diet product.  I usually follow Mom’s advice, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” In other words, I let the reader know if the product is harmful or unproven to work but, otherwise, I focus on the positive and keep it lite. To see what I mean, check out my article, Vaportrim Claims Smell can Trick Your Brain Into Being Full, for Diets in Review.

But I just have to share what I found out in doing a little background check on Vaportrim.  As it turns out, in my humble opinion, the product is a small part of an immoral force. The patent for Vaportrim is held by a man who owns the Adult Entertainment Broadcast Network, a pay-per-minute porno site that services about 2,000 people a day at $11.95 a pop. He also owns the Real Touch virtual sex device to go along for the ride.

Internet porn is a serious new problem. It is highly addictive and it creates an inability for users to be turned on by real partners. Read about how Porn-Induced Sexual Dysfunction Is a Growing Problem in Psychology Today.

And so, the next time you see an ad for a silly diet product, consider that it may be tied to a nefarious operation.

Your thoughts: Are you surprised by what I’ve said?

How Not to Gobble Up the Goodies – and Get a Great Gift

Here’s a gentle reminder: If you keep your hands occupied, you won’t be likely to pick on so many goodies. And so with that in mind, I recommend knitting – not some giant, impossible project, but something easy and readily gift-able. I’m suggesting a no-brainer: this toasty over-sized cowl. The pattern for the Dobbs Ferry Knit Cowl. It is my Christmas gift to you. Trust me, it’s so easy and everybody loves it.

Well, east coast girls are hip, I really dig those styles they wear….

In his December 11, 2011 New York Times montage about NYC womens’ winter outerwear, Frosty, Bill Cunningham caught several fashionistas sporting over-sized cowls. They’re everywhere.

The pattern is from (whom else?) Martha Stewart and Lion Brand Yarn. Martha’s cowl is bigger than ours. You’ll have to decide how much over-sized cowl you can handle. We used two, not three, strands of yarn held together, and cast 40 to 50 stitches onto a Size-19 circular knitting needle. We ended up using two, not three, skeins of yarn, which was a real money saver. We adapted the final length of each cowl to the wearer’s height. Check out the photos of my daughter, ‘Liza, our close family friends, the Zuck sisters, Rebecca and Lillie, and me, all wearing over-sized cowls that we whipped up in a jiffy!

And so, how about putting that cookie down and picking up those knitting needles. Happy holiday to you!

Your thoughts: Will you make this knitted cowl?  If you do, please send a photo for our wall!

Welcome to My Blog

Welcome to my blog. I have put this off for months because I’m not a writer: I don’t have to write and, in fact, I would rather talk. But that’s okay. It might be best to see it as a chore now, because don’t all bloggers learn that sooner or later?  But then, as I was writing my first blog (coming up), I began to see the advantages of being a blogger. Clean the kitchen? Sorry, I have to blog. It’s my job, you know.
There, I’m already loosening up….
Thank you very much for visiting me.  Don’t forget to leave a comment!