Friday, October 20, 2006

Ah, The Smell of Fall

Are you in the mood for fall yet? I begin to start thinking autumn when the leaves need to be raked, and the days get a little nippy. It is "sweater weather." Soon it will be time for cleaning out the closets, and checking to see if my sweaters survived, or whether they have "angel wings" on the shoulders from being on clothes hangers all summer.

My world has taken on an earth-tone hue, reflecting the colors of changing leaves, brown grasses, and dried up vegetation. Something about the bright oranges, yellows, and reds appeals to the eye, causing my blood to run a little faster and my heart a little slower - at least until I remember the leaves to be raked.

For some unknown reason, I have the urge to go for a walk, observe and enjoy the changes of nature. There is nothing quite as satisfying as the rustle of dry
leaves as I walk through piles gathered by the wind, and watch as the wind scatters the rest of the leaves that need to be raked.

If my spirit is not revived by now, there is always the harvest, besides the leaves that need to be raked. How anyone can look at a pumpkin patch with its bright orange fruits and remain sad is beyond me. I always think of autumns past, when pumpkins were carved into jack-o-lanterns to make smiling lanterns in late October.

Change is all around. There is certain sadness in seeing the death of a million leaves, the withering of flowers, not to mention all the leaves that need to be raked. The long cold winter looms ahead with trees naked to the bark, and bending in the icy wind.

But that is even more of an inspiration to cling to the last remains of summer, revel in the splendor of falling leaves, and order fireplace wood. I think of children returning to school, of football games, of Halloween. The lazy days of summer are behind me, and I have plans to make, as well as leaves to be raked.

What is "in the mood for fall" anyhow? Could it be that feeling that comes with the passage of time, with loss, and with change? But with loss, there also comes the opportunity for renewal. Fall is the motivation for renewing energy and zest. I am forced to see reality, in spite of the leaves that need to be raked.

I never believe that it could possibly be October already. But, just look at the rolled up bales of hay in the fields, not to mention the mountains of leaves to be raked. I'm never quite ready. Each passing season forces change, for better or for worse.

The brightly colored leaves are here for only a brief period of time before they wither and die. I try to learn from them and be willing to accept changes gracefully, to know that change is something beautiful that can create awe and wonder, as well as leaves to be raked.

Fall is the splendor of nature in all its glory. But autumn, like life, is bitter sweet. It smells of the smoke of burning leaves and tastes of the sweetness of apple cider. Fall is glorious to behold and should be enjoyed for what it is. Like life, it is but a season, changing too quickly and gone too fast -- unlike the leaves to be raked that hang around forever.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Pinecone Banner Research Link

I know that this is a weird post for my regulars but I need to share. For those of you who found this site via a search engine looking for a "Pinecone Research banner link" Well here you go.

It was working as of five minutes ago. After clicking on the link above, scroll down to the article titled Pinecone Research, and there you will find a link If that one doesnt work try going directly to the Pinecone signup site here. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't.

For those who want to know what I am talking about, Pinecone research is a very reputable research/survey company that pays a minimum of $5 every time you do a survery. They vary in length but usually no longer than ten minutes. Also often you get to do product research. They send you stuff to test and you keep the stuff and get paid for doing it. They pay by check via the mail, and is pretty fast. The signup links are elusive and only last a little while so finding a working link is rare. Anyway good luck.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Losing weight is hard to do...

I sometimes hate working out. My friend Sonja seems to think that everyday chores are the same thing as working out. They might be for her. But in a dazzling display of mutual support, we've learned to talk ourselves out of working out.

"Look, I don't feel like working out, you don't feel like working out--let's just skip it."

"Nobody's going to know, right?"

"It'll be our secret."

"Right, we'll just continue to look the way we do. And if anyone asks, we ran today."

The truth is nobody likes to work out. We just do it to keep up with people who look better than we do. If we would just agree to not work out--and I mean everyone, across the board--we'd be a lot happier. We could eat cupcakes and sleep late. The problem is it would only take one person in good shape to ruin it for the whole group. "Great, now we gotta look like her..." And the next morning all be back running, lifting and sweating against our will.

Weight. Some people talk like it's nothing. "I'll just lose it after the holidays. It won't be hard--I mean I've only been eating like a pig these last...What is it...3...4...20 years? I'll have some cottage cheese for lunch; I'll be fine."

We put a lot of pressure on cottage cheese. We've convinced ourselves it's a Miracle Food. If it's on your plate, you're on a diet. Doesn't matter what else is on your plate. It could be three cheeseburgers and a mountain of lard. Drop a scoop of cottage cheese on there--it's a Diet Plate.

It's the same with a peach half. Somehow it's a Diet Enforcer. "Sixteen pork patties with a piano-size pile of potatoes, and a fresh peach half." And you think, "Peach half--how bad can it be? It's obviously a special Dieter's Platter."

If you ever see cottage cheese and half a peach on a plate, for God's sake be careful. You could literally disappear. Your body mass could evaporate into thin air--so powerful are these nutritious diet items. Sheesh.