All photos: Author’s collection.
All photos: Author’s collection.
Back in 2019, I tested low on Vitamin D3. Because vitamin D3 helps regulate mood, I believe my deficiency was a factor in the depression that I was faced with then, and which I wrote about here: www.countryripples1.blog/2019/06/05-depression-a-heavy-spirit.
Vitamin D3 not only regulates mood, it also helps with processes in the muscles and nerves. It is needed to absorb calcium, which makes it important for healthy bones.
Because vitamin D3 boosts the immune system, low levels of it can promote COVID-19 infections.
Sunshine is a well-known source of Vitamin D3, but if you live in the Northern Hemisphere in the winter, (as I do), it can be hard to get enough of it.
Your doctor can do a simple blood test to show whether you have a deficiency or an insufficiency in the vitamin, and he or she can tell you the amount you need to take.
Mannheim Steamroller’s CD The Music of the Spheres is a space-themed project the group did in association with the Space Foundation and NASA. The CD starts off with a rousing “Escape From The Atmosphere” consisting of a space shuttle launch and a shuttle landing. Between the narration from commentators at the Kennedy Space Center and the Johnson Space Center and the music from Mannheim Steamroller, I felt as though I was riding right along!
The CD includes music from Gustav Holst’s classic “The Planets”, the theme songs from “The Outer Limits”, and “Star Trek” tv series, Richard Strauss’ “Sprach Zarathustra Op. 30 Fanfare”, and original songs from Mannheim Steamroller, such as “The 7 Stars of the Big Dipper”, so the music complements the space shuttle coverage.
With the music and the commentators’ narration, this is a good CD to listen to when you want to escape from the world for awhile!
One day the younger human put my collar and leash on me and put me in the carrier. The older human told me, “You’re going to go to the kitty doctor to get your claws trimmed and mats taken out of your coat.” I thought, “Hmmm—the kitty doctor—I get treats there!” The day promised to be more exciting. The younger human took me out to the car; she put my carrier on the back seat; and put herself in the front seat. The car said, “Vrooomm!” and off we went.
Once at the vet’s, it was the same weird routine as we’d run into before. You can read about it here if you want: The Abby Chronicles–Abby Goes to the Kitty Doctor–Round III, A Very Strange Visit The younger human talked into a very small box-like thing. She told me she hoped we didn’t have to wait as long as we had to before. Her hopes were answered as two female humans from the vet’s office came out and took me in the carrier. My human told them I liked going there because they gave me treats. One of the females from the vet’s office said, “You’ll get your treats, girlfriend!” A human called me “girlfriend”—can you imagine that! 🙂
Sometime later—I don’t know how long because we cats don’t keep track of time—the humans brought me back out to the car where my human waited. My claws were trimmed; those knotty, uncomfortable-to-lay-on mats were gone. I felt like a new cat! Oh—I had treats, too!
P. Booher, secretary
There are days I struggle with lack of motivation. Lately, however, a phrase keeps popping up in my head: “Do one more thing”. I think this is my mind’s combination of a quote from newscaster/explorer Lowell Thomas, “Do a little more each day than you think you possibly can”, and an article from literary agent Steve Laube’s blog. The article is titled, “The Devil is in the Procrastination”. You can find the article here: https://stevelaube.com/the-devil-is-in-the-procrastination/.
Regardless of the source, that four-word phrase, “Do one more thing” helps me accomplish a little more and decrease the stress in my life.
Its practical uses are endless: from filling the tea kettle before I go to bed so the next morning goes easier; to finding one more picture for a blog post; to organizing one more manila envelope of papers, to taking time to check the car’s windshield wiper fluid level (not good to run out while I’m out and about on a wet or snowy day!)
If I told myself “I need to do this, this, this, and this after I do that” it would be self-defeating. But mentally and emotionally I can handle, “Do one more thing”.
Resources: I consider Steve Laube’s blog excellent for beginning and established writers. He and his team have much info. to share on writing and publishing. (www.stevelaube.com).
Newscaster/author/explorer Lowell Thomas packed a lot of adventure into one life. If you’d like to find out more, you can go to: https://britannica.com/biography/Lowell-Thomas.
I thought about all the days ahead in the year, fresh and new. For years, people regarded the new year with hope. They looked for improvement in their lives, countries, and the world. After the upheaval of 2020, people may regard 2021 with more apprehension.
But 2021 deserves hope. Even if it isn’t the glittering, shiny-bright hope of past years in which we (I) thought circumstances would instantly be better with the changing of the date, there is hope. There is hope that this year, on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best, if 2020 was 1, maybe 2021 will be a 3, or a 4, or maybe higher. Perhaps not a 10, but it doesn’t have to be a 1, either.
How can I say that? Consider what we saw last year: people picking up groceries or needed medicine for family, friends, neighbors who couldn’t go out; people organizing food drives or drives for personal goods for those hard-hit by the pandemic, financially or otherwise; musicians who ordinarily would perform in person playing online to raise people’s spirits; artists painting murals in towns; people literally going out of their way to help others. People connected with their families more, perhaps learning new technology to do so; parents, teachers and school districts navigated regulations and technology to enable students to learn; people merged necessity and creativity to do what needed to be done. People went outside in larger numbers, finding the benefits and joys of doing so; they took up new hobbies; they discovered resilience they didn’t know they had. People tried hard to make the circumstances better.
Out of the turbulence of 2020 came clarity—not only with family and what really matters, but also with hidden problems that came to light in large and small areas. When problems are in the light, they can be dealt with. On a small, personal scale, I see character flaws that need worked on. I can’t be content with sweeping them under the rug anymore. Those flaws affect all areas of my life. If I can’t take care of them entirely, I can put up a fight, and make progress. I know I have unhealthy thinking patterns; I am trusting that with God’s help, those will be changed. I have hope.
If each person does what he or she can every day to make the world a better place, even a little thing, such as holding the door open for someone struggling with packages, or “paying it forward” in some way, 2021 has hope.
“Treat others as you want them to treat you.” The Golden Rule, Matthew 7:12 (CEV)
This new year deserves beauty to start it off with, don’t you think?
Come enjoy these pictures with me.
All photos: Author’s collection.
A series of thoughts, feelings, and experiences all written by Kira Murillo
Writing Tips, Prompts, and Inspiration
Positive thoughts from a Christian perspective.
Drinking deeply of the Living Word
Every day applications of biblical truth
God, Me & a Cup of Tea
Christian Lifestyle Blogger
With this news, strengthen those who have weak knees. Say to those with fearful hearts, Be strong & do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.” Isaiah 35:3-4
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