Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Month of May which in the UK is ‘National Smile Month’. Traditionally, this is the month many Canadians look forward to, as it starts camping season for many, as well as gardening season for the rest of us. The famous ‘two-four’ weekend is when many people return to a campsite, open up a cottage, put the boat in the water, or take on other happier activities which have been put aside during our cold Canadian months. I will be enjoying my own yard and flower gardens, as well as morning tea and coffee on the front porch with my Johnny, and whiling away some of the warmer days on the back deck. I hope each of you get outside and get your hands dirty in a garden patch, or even perhaps picking wildflowers if you’re walking in the great outdoors. Contacting mother earth with our hands provides enormous health benefits, because ‘dirt’ (or soil, accurately) will increase our serotonin levels for starters. This is a natural anti-depressant which also strengthens our immune system, making us more relaxed and happier, but also less susceptible to getting sick. This is how I remember my happy aunts and grandmothers in the summertime, when they were coming in from gardening or even hanging laundry on the clothesline.
Item of the Month: Johnny got me this cute cat headset, so I can listen to music or TV without disturbing him or anyone else. I love it. Meow!
Tip of The Month: Get some fresh air and sunshine by walking outside. Walking reduces health risks for diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and weight gain, while boosting your mood and strengthening your immune system, due to increased serotonin and dopamine. The sunshine provides natural vitamin D which promotes healthy bones and teeth, while supporting immune, brain, and nervous systems, just to name a few. A short walk also provides a mental break which can boost creativity when we take time away from our office or other indoor chores. Johnny and I have started walking and already feel the benefits of added fresh air, oxygen, exercise and the sights and smells of nature. This has helped Johnny in his ongoing recovery from cancer, as he continues to enjoy the outdoors with me.
Mother’s Day: Every year, we celebrate Mother’s Day on the Second Sunday in May. Do remember to pick up some thoughtful items for the mothers in your life, whether it be a simple card, or something more elaborate such as flowers or a gift. Remember, mom gave you life, so honoring her place in your world is the least you can do! 🙂 More importantly, mothers appreciate these acts of kindness and remembrance and it’s always wise to keep mom happy. For those finally allowed to visit their mothers who may be in long term care, or a senior residence, do wear a mask, preferably an N95, as the older people are more vulnerable to COVID and to any cold or flu that we may be carrying without realizing it. I am so happy being a mom but also a great-grandmother and I’m also expecting my thirteenth grandchild soon. I plan to visit my own mother in Ottawa in the weeks to come.
The Cherry Blossom type 1: First, let’s talk about the confection made in Canada by Hersheys. The ‘Cherry Blossom’ consists of a maraschino cherry and syrup surrounded by chocolate, shredded coconut and roasted peanut pieces. They began to be produced in the 1890s, and for many decades were made at a factory in Smiths Falls, until it closed in 2008. Both my daughter Ellarose and I LOVE Cherry Blossoms.
The Cherry Blossom type 2: These are the springtime flowers of the ornamental cherry tree. The best place to see a large number of these is the Experimental Farm in Ottawa. Aside from that, individual homeowners will often have an ornamental cherry tree in their front yard, providing passers-by with a fantastic view and aroma for the short time when they are in bloom. You should be able to purchase a flowering ornamental cherry tree at a local nursery. Oh Johnny, start the car!
Family News: My younger brother Bryan’s birthday is on May 20th. May you have a delightful and fun kind of birthday this year my dear BIG, little brother. Also my late twin sister Darlene’s first daughter, Natalie will be turning 44 on the 20th as well. May you have a wonderful and fun time during your birthday with your loving husband, Brodie, family and friends. All the very best in Health, Wealth, & Pure Happiness for the rest of 2022 my dear, sweet niece. Love Auntie M~
Community News: This is a great time of year to support some of the local nurseries that we have operating seasonally in our area. This is one area where I try and support the local growers more than the large chains who sometimes import plants from the USA or even other countries. We can shop locally and try to help our own local farmers who are competing in an unfair marketplace with cheaper imports. You’ll wind up with better quality plants and be supporting Canadians at the same time.
Until Next Month: Keep moving! Walk, run, cycle, kayak or do whatever it takes to keep moving. The fresh air is always better than indoor air – even if you live on a busy street or near industry. We were not designed to sit for long, so stretch, walk, mow the lawn, climb a ladder, or do any movement that keeps you changing position and working those muscles and joints. You’ll thank me for this advice as you grow older. (and especially if you already are . . . like me) To all the mothers of the world, near and far, may you have a wonderful Mother’s Day with your loved ones.
Marlene Lister of www.listerphotos.ca AND www.fashionography.ca FOR ALL OF YOUR PHOTO NEEDS & WANTS!
Marlene loves doing the things she does! She's a pro at shopping at our local thrift stores to achieve that sophisticated lady look, while staying young at heart. Check out her latest finds in Fashionably Marlene.
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