Hello to all readers of The Seeker and welcome to the darkest time of the year. As we all know, November is the month where we typically ‘fall back’ from Daylight Savings Time, and gain an hour of sleep. One might think that is a beneficial thing, yet there are some adverse effects to disrupting our natural sleep cycles. For one, our appetite is thrown off. Our bodies tend to know when meal times are approaching, and get confused when we gain an extra hour. Our moods may also be affected, mostly due to the lack of light in the evenings. We may also have less mental energy. Sunlight affects our seratonin levels, and this ‘happy hormone’, seratonin, also controls our sleep patterns, digestion and mood. There are also typically more accidents, both automotive and work-related. So do be careful and allow yourself time to adjust. When that extra hour comes along, try sleeping rather than staying up. Your body will thank you for it, especially if you’re getting older.
Of course, we’re all getting older, and I recently have noticed my eyesight needing some help. Johnny, too, has been less active and feeling aches and pains that he never had before. I recall one elderly gentleman once telling me, ‘If it doesn’t hurt, it probably doesn’t work’, when asked how he felt. I hope that’s not going to be the case with me, and I know there is also a cure for just about anything that ails us, including ageing. All we need to do is keep moving. We can go for short walks, or do some kind of stationery exercise at home. The trick is to elevate the heart rate a little, while doing something easy. There’s no need to join a gym, or take up rock-wall-climbing. So whenever possible, try walking instead of driving, or maybe park farther from the door. Enjoy your neighbourhood by going around the block if you can. In a wheelchair? Do some arm-exercises. Keep that blood circulating, a little faster than normal once in awhile, and you’ll stay healthy.
Item of the Month: This month I bid online on a beautiful, hand-made, wooden, heart-shaped table which came with a small pitcher. It’s a one-of-a-kind and will fit our decor nicely. My Johnny had to get up extra early to bid on it, but he did, and came in just before the deadline for the sweet price of just $11. After some confusion as to who the winner was, the page administrators said we had won, so off John went to pick it up. I recommend trying some of these online auctions for a number of reasons. 1. They are COVID-friendly. In many cases you may pay for your item via an e-transfer, then pick it up from the sellers porch without having to be face-to-face with anyone. 2. They keep money here in the community. You may be helping a pensioner or someone on a fixed income to buy medications or groceries. 3. You are truly re-cycling. It’s amazing how many perfectly good items wind up in our landfill sites, and by selling online, items stay out of the dump to be re-enjoyed by someone new. 4. If you are selling, you don’t need to haul your item to a consignment store or other place to sell it. You sell online and the buyer is responsible to haul it away. (unless you choose to offer delivery) All in all, it’s a great way to keep money in Cornwall and keep our dump from needlessly filling up. I’d like to thank my Johnny too, for being my courier driver when picking up my winnings.
Business of The Month: After having gone years without an eye test, both Johnny and I went to have our eyes examined by the optometrist at the Walmart Vision Center. We were both impressed by the courteous and professional service. We then sat with an optician and chose glasses. Within two weeks, they arrived and we are both delighted by the quality and care taken to their manufacture. Mine are transition bi-focals, and the areas of focus blend nicely from one to the other. In years past, I had a pair made, but they caused dizziness and headaches, because the areas where the transitions happened were wrong. By taking the extra care to examine our eye positions, the lenses were made perfectly for our eyes. I would highly recommend anyone needing glasses to visit them. Their prices were low, but their service level was high. Equally important in these times, their store and the way they function is very COVID friendly. Masks, directional arrows, sanitizing of frames, and more are all done to ensure the safety of their customers and staff.
Fun Facts: Did you know that the poppy grew in the fields where battles took place during world war one, in addition to Flander’s Field? It became the official flower to commemorate Remembrance Day for this reason, and also because the red color symbolizes the blood spilled by allied soldiers. There is a small movement to replace the red poppy with a white one, so as not to glamorize war. The fact is that the red poppy glamorizes peace, and celebrates victory and freedom.
Tip of the month: Consider these facts about darkness. 1. Darkness promotes the production of melatonin, which fights diseases. 2. Switching off lights and TVs at night saves energy, which saves money. 3. Skyscrapers with lights on get hit by countless migrating birds who die after being attracted by the light. Shutting them off saves the lives of these birds. 4. Darker cities actually enjoy lower levels of crime, because criminals can’t see as well. If an unexpected light does come on, it is more likely to be reported to the police. 5. We’ve rediscovered the stars. Newer streetlights aim light downwards, and there is less light-pollution to block out the heavens. And here is a truly beautiful quote from nobel-prize winner, Rabindranath Tagore, “Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark”.
Family News: One of my grandchildren, Odin, turns the big 7 on November the 7th. Have a wonderful year at shcool, Odin, love Nana. I also have two sisters, Kim and Marion and a brother Wayne all having birthdays in November. Happy birthday to all!
Did You Know? A plant named Silphium has a seedpod shaped like a heart. The ancient city of Cyrene even put the heart shape on it’s currency, after becoming wealthy from trade of the Silphium plant. The plant was used as medicine, an aphrodesiac, perfume and even as a contraceptive. It’s no wonder that we use the shape to celebrate Valentine’s Day. (More on that in the coming February issue of The Seeker)
Community News: As we know, November the eleventh is Remembrance Day in North America, commemorating the end of the first world war. Armistice was officially declared on November 11, 1918, at 11 a.m.- on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. Please visit legion.ca to learn how to support Rememberance Day from home.
Until next month: Make the most of the darker days, get out and walk a little, but most of all, keep wearing those masks and following protocol. This pandemic won’t last forever, and we could make progress before Christmas, enabling us to gather with loved ones.
Marlene Lister of www.listerphotos.ca & www.fashionography.ca