Greetings Further Shore friends,
Welcome to June and the season of summer! School’s out so there is plenty of fun to be had during these warmer months. A few special highlights include Father’s Day on June 18th; Juneteenth (June 19th) the holiday to mark the end of slavery in our country, and just for fun, June 15th is National Smile Power Day. June is Pride Month, so remember to celebrate our LBGTQ+ community in large and small ways. It is also Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness month. The AARP offers this article describing 10 ways to love your brain!
Spring has been beautiful in our village since all that snow melted away. We have been enjoying an abundance of tulips, daffodils, irises, blossoming fruit trees, and a variety of wildflowers this year. The snow did replenish our parched mountain town and the lakes are full to the brim. It rained for one entire day in May, but otherwise, it is temperate, sunny, windy, and dry. Those conditions can give way to increased wildfire risk (see below for a bit more on wildfires).
Our big news on the personal side is that Olivia has now had the TPLO surgery and doing very well with recovery. The entire recovery is 12 weeks. There is a lot of homecare including twice daily rehab exercises and several short, very controlled leash walks. She’s feeling better so wants to be rambunctious, but bone healing takes time, and we want to be sure she has full recovery so she can run and play again. She doesn’t hate the blue donut, but she doesn’t love it either! What a brave little girl, our Olivia.
Now for the News:
- This Month’s Special Day: June 21, 2023 at 7:57 a.m. (PDT) is the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. The ancients celebrated this day with festivals, bonfires, song, and dance. For them, the solstice harkened to the season when warmth, light, and food stuffs were more plentiful and socializing outdoors more easily done. Here in modern times, the summer solstice is a time for us to reflect on abundance in its many forms, to tend to and nurture the “seeds” that were planted before the winter snows (or at winter solstice), and to celebrate the long light offered by the sun during the season of growth. One way to celebrate the day is to meditate on various aspects of abundance. Consider different abundance categories such as laughter – happiness; social or relationship connections, financial – monetary; capacity for activity/general energy – health; the pantry or fridge; hobbies; career options; opportunities for creativity and so on. It can be useful to ponder these questions in regard to those categories:
- What is at a comfortable fullness or capacity?
- What is overflowing and needs to be dialed back?
- What is lacking that may need attention or support?
After meditation, kick back and sample some of the season’s delicious fruits. Strawberries may be the darling of summer, but blackberries, figs, blueberries, cherries, Asian pears, nectarines, and other stone fruits are becoming ripe for the pickin’ in June and July. Happy Solstice everyone!
- On the Blog: Visit A,B,C’s for Living Well to brush up on easy to use skills to live well and support the ones you care for. Watch for “U” is for Understanding coming soon. You may also view the current, and all past newsletters here.
- Wildfire Notes: Wildfires are no longer relegated to the western USA. There are large fires burning in Oregon, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Florida. As of May 16th, there were 87 wildland fires burning in Alberta, Canada. Many midwestern states (MN, WI, IL, IA, ND, SD) experienced smoke in May from the Alberta fires and smoke from the Nova Scotia wildland fire has recently prompted Code Orange Air Quality Alerts in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. There are important steps to take during an air quality alert to protect children, elders, and those with COPD, asthma, allergies, or other respiratory medical conditions. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has many recommendations to prepare for and survive a wildfire that threatens your home or community. Categories include:
- Preparing areas in and around your home before a wildfire threatens
- Creating an evacuation plan for your family (including for companion animals or livestock)
- Learning about local resources, maps, agencies, and instructions for evacuation to safe zones
- Important actions to take during a wildfire threat to your area
- Pandemic tidbit: The National Institute for Health (NIH) recently released a study that narrowed down the more than 200 symptoms of Long Covid to just twelve. The report assigns points to each of the twelve symptoms (i.e., “Brain Fog” – 3 points) and if a patient has 12 or more points, they likely have Long Covid aka Post Acute SARS-COV2 Sequelae (PACS). The study was widely published by news media. Long covid patients, their physicians, and some researchers are challenging the reduction due to concerns that the simplification will make it more difficult for patients to receive proper diagnosis, support, and treatment. Author, James Jackson, PsyD just released his book, Clearing the Fog – From Surviving to Thriving with Long Covid, A Practical Guide. In it, he addresses the many and varied manifestations of long covid “brain fog” and ways to improve its symptoms. On another pandemic note, here is an interesting article about the connections between mold allergies, Mast Cell Activation Disorder (MCAD) and Long Covid.
- Quote of the Month: “Grief and resilience live together.” ~ Michelle Obama, Becoming
May all beings be safe, well, happy, and content.