Monday, March 28, 2011

enjoy a cr-afternoon.

When was the last time you spent several hours doing something wonderfully creative? When was the last time you spent an afternoon being crafty? My daughter's friends planned a CRAFTernoon doing various creative projects together, and as soon as I heard about it I had to have one. This past Saturday on a visit to daughter Abby in Minneapolis we spent the afternoon with our needlework projects. We visited a yarn shop for color inspiration for starters... I showed Abby how to design her own pattern on graph paper for a needlepoint project... and I counted the stitches and painted the canvas for my next Christmas stocking using a beloved Mary Beale counted cross stitch pattern. Abby's inspiration for her needlepoint pillow was a favorite vintage rose print. We spent hours sitting around her kitchen table on that sunny crafternoon!

Grab an unfinished project or start a new one, but enjoy the pleasure of a whole afternoon with your creative juices flowing among friends.

3 important questions.

When my bunnies were little I read a book entitled "How to Really Love Your Child" by Ross Campbell. The nutshell wisdom I learned is this: When your child acts up or is naughty, before you disciple them for their inappropriate behavior, ask these three questions. Are they tired? Are they hungry? Is their emotional tank full? Sometimes, the resulting behavior was my fault. For instance, we were out shopping and - oops - I skipped their nap and - oops - I skipped their lunch. More often than not, meeting one of their basic needs fixed the problem. Learn to review these important questions in your mind next time you have naughty girls or naughty boys on your hand. Important Note: This applies to husbands too.

the common cold.

Mike's dad, a champion veterinarian, always said "a cold lasts ten days - not matter what." I hated hearing this because I always wanted to think that I could do some magic thing to make it shorter, but I think he was right. But see for yourself. Next time you get a cold, start counting.

As a general rule and when possible, Mother Rabbit does not believe in taking over-the-counter medicines because for every benefit there are side effects to deal with. In most cases I think that the side effects of most cold medicines are worse than the cold symptoms themselves. I like to gut out a cold as long as possible... (But you know the ugly symptoms that make it impossible to be in contact with other humans: nose resembles a faucet turned on, sneezing that looks like a tissue commercial, tears running down your face without reason.)

When Mother Rabbit has to turn to cold medicine, her choice is TheraFlu. You pour the flavorful contents into almost boiling water and you have the impression are are drinking a soothing cup of hot tea. I add lemon for effect. It is already sweet or I would add honey too. It comes in a day version (which won't make you drowsy) and a night version (which won't keep you awake.)

And don't forget homemade chicken soup. The fat in the broth really does provide soothing comfort to a sore throat. And drink lots of fluids. And get extra sleep. And then maybe your cold will last only nine days.

Monday, March 14, 2011

turn off your flash.

I could talk for days about the things you will discover with this tip from Mother Rabbit. Learn how to turn off the flash on your camera and learn the use natural light instead.

Professional photographer Nick Kelsh said this:

"A flash is harsh and mood changing. The light comes straight from the lens. Most good photographers choose to have the light come from the side of the lens for dramatic effect. Using the flash all the time makes you an amateur snapshooter. If you ever want to mature photographically, you are going to have to turn that darn thing off. And know when to turn it back on."

Friday, March 11, 2011

get a massage.

Today I got a lymphatic flush massage and I am a new woman. Through a delightful turn of events we converted my office house into The Little House Day Spa. While we are starting out our budding business slowly at two days per month, Spa Days have been such a success that I have been bumped off the schedule. Besides that, on Spa Days I am busy preparing the robes, serving fresh squeezed grapefruit juice & hot tea, and playing spa music softly in the background. This week I needed a massage, so my massage therapist came today just for me.

If you think massages are just about fluffy tickling and temporary pleasure, you are wrong. Massages are preventive maintenance for your good health. Massages get things back into alignment and move nasty toxins out of your body. Massages should be required maintenance for everyone over 35, like having an exercise regiment and going to the dentist - and they are oodles more fun than both of those things.

Do yourself a favor and find an excellent massage therapist near you, and schedule a peaceful indulgence that will promote your good health.

Monday, March 7, 2011

set the timer.

If you have a task before you that is overwhelming to start, or one that you just don't want to tackle, Mother Rabbit has a magical solution for you. Set the timer for one hour. No matter how nasty the task or how overwhelming the project, we can all do just about anything for one hour. Set the timer and dive into the project with gusto! Prevent distractions because this one hour is for this one particular project.

I guarantee that you will be amazed at how much progress you made in one little hour, and how little pain it actually caused you. Try it. You'll like it.

hospital advice.

Personal circumstances have helped me remember a piece of classic Mother Rabbit advice: Never leave a loved one alone in a hospital. Not that you can't trust medical care or caregivers today, but you can't trust medical care or care givers today. Smile. It is best to always have an advocate with you. It is best to have two sets of ears to listen, and helpful when the advocate can take notes about what the doctor is diagnosing or suggesting.

Medical news can make you emotionally flooded and it takes a lot of energy to sort through what you are hearing. Mike and I were surprised recently when we both heard the words coming out of the doctor's mouth at the same time in the same room, but we heard two different things. (So ideally one should employ an unemotional scribe as well?) Hey, if you can't laugh through this stuff I don't think that your chances of survival are as good.

Anyway, do not leave someone you love alone in a hospital. Period.