Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday Five: Staving Off the Gloom



Sally at Rev Gal Blog Pals writes:

Candlemass is past, and Christmas is well and truly over, here in the UK February looks set to be its usual grey and cold self. Signs of spring are yet to emerge; if like me you long for them perhaps you need ways to get through these long dark days. So lets share a few tips for a cold and rainy/ snowy day....

1. Exercise, what do you do if you can't face getting out into the cold and damp?

I joined a fitness center but to be honest I haven’t taken advantage of the membership often.

2. Food; time to comfort eat, or time to prepare your body for the coming spring/summer?

Typically at this point I’m thinking of swim suits at the lake and cutting back on portions, watching the carbs and getting some exercise. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to make a dent in my trouble spots.

3. Brainpower; do you like me need to stave off depression, if so how do you do it?

Winter is always way too long, and this year has been particularly daunting with lots of snow, bitter cold temperatures and a host of chaotic events in the church and in my family.

Typically, I don’t struggle with depression often but have found that this year I really have to get out with friends and find activities which lift my spirits.

4. How about a story that lifts your spirits, is there a book or film that you return to to stave off the gloom?

Nothing in particular really stands out. The thing that keeps me going in the winter are the dogs – they are bored and constantly begging me to interact with them. Nothing better than a dancing dog, a wagging tail and a dog kiss to pick up your spirits.

5. Looking forward, do you have a favourite spring flower/ is there something that says spring is here more than anything else?

When I start to see the crocus, daffodils and johnny jump ups, it’s time to take out the rake and start the outdoor gardening chores.

Bonus; post a poem/ piece of music that points to the coming spring......

I  typed in “The Coming of Spring” and found this CD of dulcimer music and it made a connection to my Appalachian heritage and my Irish ancestry.

As we spring forward into summer time, here's a bright and cheerful album of traditional Irish dance music and Carolan pieces played on hammered dulcimer by Cliff Moses, on his first solo album. Not only is 'The coming of Spring' the title of one of the tracks, but it also reflects the bright and light sound of the dulcimer.

The hammered dulcimer is an unusual instrument in Irish music; it's nearest cousin would be the harp, though the strings are hit rather than plucked. Wire strings are used, and there is no damping, giving it a more bell-like tone, like the older style of Irish harp.

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