Sturm and Drang and internet tidbit topics

 From the clevelandclinicwellness site:

         “As with the rest of our body, the brain shrinks as we age. Practicing meditation may help fend off the age-related decline. A small study shows that longtime meditation devotees maintained more gray matter as they got older and had stronger neural connections. These networks are essential in allowing the brain to function and communicate. Getting into a daily meditation routine could help keep your brain young and nimble well into your golden years.

From the Manufacturer… Based on the Zen concept of living in the moment, you simply paint on the board’s special surface with water; the image darkens and then slowly fades away. The Buddha Board gently encourages the user to value the present. Buddha Board is also environmentally friendly and will last for years with proper care. It comes with a bamboo brush and “Japanese style” water holder/stand. The board dimensions are 12” x 9.5” x ¼”. Allow yourself to “let go” and not be concerned with each outcome – live for the moment and enjoy.” Endquote

I own this board. My son got it for me last Christmas. The beauty? The water painting is fleeting. The painting disappears after a few minutes, leaving a fresh new white surface to begin again with nothing but water, no paint involved. When the Sturm and Drang of living overwhelm, this board provides a center. 

Sturm & Drang: (German, “storm and stress;”  rhymes with firm and belong) Rousing action and high emotionalism. Revolt.
It’s a phrase with roots in music and drama. We all relate to sturm and drang in the course of ordinary life. All lives are stress-filled, beautous, challenging, strifeful and all lives therefore extraordinary. 

Hard to do all that’s expected of a person around the holiday… I’ve got my own significant other, a few co-workers, select acquaintances and friends, three (grown) kids, three grandchildren and the significant others and extended families who accompany some of those people.

Decorating the hearth and home, time to bake, write out cards, do Christmas crafts, etc. etc. can be challenging. Especially when hands ache from arthritis, autoimmune disease or some other ailment and of course energy tends to wane moreso than it waxes. 

“Power through” I tell myself and remember somewhere at anytime anywhere stories like that of the following young man are more challenging than my own: His right hand was chopped off by a machine at work and salvaged by colleagues. But doctors needed to keep it alive while they repaired his arm, which was also flattened in the accident. They decided to attach it to his left ankle to keep the blood flowing to it .


That’s a miracle! 

My oldest son said to me recently, “who writes Christmas cards by hand? Who does that anymore?” My hand may ache but at least I’m intact. 

I also plan to teach my grandchildren cursive writing if in fact it IS removed from the school curriculum!

I do love to send Christmas cards because I especially like to receive them. When I was little I was in awe of a soup can on my Grandma’s table which contained writing utensils of different varieties. I loved collections of things that were the same but different too. (Still do.) Some pens wrote boldly black or even candy cane red, some skipped ink and left messy blots, still some were dried up completely. Pencils in the can varied from the ‘number two’ type with long silvery points to stubby carpenter pencils- hand sharpened. All were sticks of possibilities!!!

 I still love collections…Portuguese photographer André Vicente Goncalves pays tribute to windows.. in his ongoing series called Windows of the World.


When I receive Christmas cards, I will tape them around a door casing. It would be interesting to have themed Christmas cards of decorated holiday windows…

After the holiday season comes then goes, I often cut out the pictures on the cards and stuff them in the cellar Christmas box to save them for future use in crafts like ornament making. Sometimes the inspirational scenes go into my art supply drawer (I have many!) for use in decoupage projects or as inspiration for future paintings. Christmas cards can be a source of joy for so many reasons… A 5-year-old New York girl who lost her family in a fire that was intentionally set has one wish this holiday season: Christmas cards from around the world. Why not send this little girl a Christmas card at:


P.O. Box 6126

Schenectady, NY 12306

12335927_10153414386804858_1439684771_n (1)

I sent a card. Perhaps a collection of cards will help a little?

I am in love with the sounds of Christmas too, and by sounds I mean laughing, xmas carols (think The Kinks’ Father Christmas) and retro claymation specials on TV. I love the decorating aspects, the yearly Christmas ornament crafting, the smells of pine and baking. 

Every year my grandson and I make a character from spongebob to hang in the tree. This year it’s Gary the snail. 

The tree’s colors and lights, and the lights of outdoor displays. These are simple introvert pleasures. As an introvert, I was snickled to come across a site that shows “25 meaningful tattoos introverts will love.” (I don’t “love” a single one.) Now isn’t that an oxymoronistic concept? If in fact a person is an introvert, why would they want to have an obscure tattoo on their bodies which would generate a lifetime of conversations/questions from strangers as to what said tattoo “meant?”


To each their own. I was an only child. It was just the three of us. My parents would never take the last piece of anything in case somebody else wanted it. I picked up the habit too. We’d let the last slice of Italian bread go moldy; leave the last serving of cereal rattling in the box until it went stale; and insist that none of us truly wanted that last hot dog in the pan.

It was a simple and humble upbringing. There is stress and pressure and sadness too at Christmas for untold reasons. I take time to remember less fortunate, appreciate simple things, and fantasize about being the person who is PAID to create Zonks behind the scenes on Let’s make A Deal…or another dream job: creating challenges and props for Cutthroat Kitchen! These thoughts keep my mind stimulated, my creativity fed.

Real world communication is not at all like the Xhosa people of South Africa who have 15 completely different clicking sounds as their means to communicate.

It would kind of be fun though, if we incorporated clicking into conversation, right?

Gotta go- I’m tripping over myself.


P.S. Before I go, just look at the intensity of my 2 year old granddaughter on the Buddha Board:

“I drawing!”


introverts’ tattoo ideas:

Xiao Wei’s hand growing on leg:

photographers’ window of world collection:

Safyre’s Christmas card wish:

Buddha board:

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