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Monday, February 24, 2014

Beacon Bits -- Winter Blues ?

Have you felt like this winter has been insurmountable ...........................................................
................................ or have you felt blocked and damned up by the endless snow and ice?
Hopefully you've been watching the 2014 Olympics in Sochi to inspire you to believe in the power of overcoming the inimitable characteristics of the cold season of the year. if so, you've witnessed seventeen days of overcoming the challenges to ski, skate, twirl, rotate, speed, jump, slide, and glide over snow and ice.
But as for local action, it's time to review the options for what can lift the spirits since winter may last another 6 weeks!
Here's my top 10 list of activities to engage in to feel rejuvenated before the sap starts to run in the Hudson Valley once again.
10. Stop by Clay Wood & Cotton and purchase some novelty yarn; it's never to late to learn to knit or crochet. And if you do, you'll have lots of warm scarves and hats to accessorize for long winters such as this one!
9. Stop by Main Street Music and purchase a ukulele, mandolin or banjo and start to take lessons. Your brain will thank you for challenging the neural pathways; learning how to play an instrument is a great way to integrate cortical functioning.
8. Visit one of the local bakeries (Ella's Bellas, Cake Bin, All You Knead, or the new Beacon Bread Company or Get Frosted); indulge in carbohydrates which are good for serotonin receptors -- a natural anti-depressant.
7. Start moving -- take a ballroom dancing class at Yanarella's School of Dance starting Sunday March 9 -- you'll be ready for the stars!
6. Get into some great music at the Towne Crier Café.  After attending the Nuala Kennedy concert on February 9th, I'm looking forward to Lunasa - another Irish import!
5. Bring some friends to Eat-Paint-Love and make a personal art happening. This is definitely 'art for the rest of us' - those who are not naturally artistic and talented but who want to re-visit the days of finger-painting and training the brain to create what it sees.
4. Stop by Artisan Wine Shop on a Friday or Saturday evening to learn about some new wine selections for your cellar as you partake of food and wine pairings from Tim and Mei.
3.  Anticipate the spring by signing up for a local CSA -- Obercreek Farm and Common Ground Farm are starting to gear up for shares of vegetables that start in the spring and carry you through into autumn.
2. Support a local fundraiser -- Beacon Sloop Club is having an event on Thursday February 27th at the Towne Crier Café for the renovation of the people's sloop -- the Woody Guthrie. And BeaconArts is honoring Linda Hubbard at the Dia Beacon on Thursday February 27th for her participation in the emergence of the art scene in Beacon.

1. Catch the end of season winter sale at Mountain Tops Outfitters. In addition to extending your play in the snow this year, you'll be prepared for the first snow days of winter 2015!
While hoping that the stirrings of Zora Dora is a sign that spring is really coming, immerse yourself in the remaining days of these authentic winter days. Enjoy the transformation of nature - the outline of the trees and mountains with the sharp contrast of dark and light; the subtle presence of our natural treasures; the stillness of time and the beauty of being in this moment of time.
Snow padded tree limbs
Mountain gazes over ice
Flying eagle soars.
Food for thought:  The days are lengthening and the light is returning. It won't be long before Daylight Savings Time returns on March 9th (remember, it's spring ahead). Be aware that the loss of an hour's sleep has its cost, and that there are more accidents on the road the Monday after the clocks are changed. Early birds suffer the most with the time change. If you find yourself sleep deprived, try to adjust to the change with incremental shifts in the hour of sleep and wakening prior to the time change. Learn more about circadian rhythms and the impact of sleep on overall health. But in the meantime, use that full hour each day to venture out and enjoy the remaining days of the winter of 2014.

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