Saturday, September 30, 2017
There are a multitude of activities during this Fall season and those who own a home are either busy working on last minute home improvement projects or preparing their house for the long, cold winter months ahead. (Be sure to check out our Fall Home Improvement section for many ideas, suggestions, etc.)
But as we begin these preparations, may I provide a gentle reminder to everyone (mainly to myself) to F.A.L.L. into Fall and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us this time of year; not letting our productive lives get in the way of that.
Author, Carson Tate states that the acronym of F.A.L.L. is: Fun Activities Loved by the Less-busy you.
She suggests thinking back to when we were children and reminisce about our favorite Fall activity. For example, does picking apples, carving pumpkins or thinking about that costume you wanted to wear for Halloween bring back lots of fond memories? What really gets you excited about Fall?
Personally, I recall the joy I felt in raking leaves into big piles and jumping into them, as I saw a hint of my breath in the chilly Autumn air. Once I had done a few rounds of that, I rushed inside to get my piping hot chocolate so that I could run back outside to sit around the bonfire. That was one of my favorite - or what I call “yummy” childhood memories.
Carson suggests that we remember those moments because “as we get older, fun tends to get relegated to the background of our lives.”
She reminds us that fun is an essential part of being alive and she gives the following suggestions to commit to at least one fun activity we enjoyed from our past:
A. On a post-it note or in a note app on your mobile device, take two minutes to write down three of your favorite Fall memories from when you were a kid. Then, ask yourself: When was the last time I did that? Why has it been so long?
B. Write down a commitment to yourself to do at least one of those things by the end of November.
C. Now, look at your to-do list for today. What’s one small “thing” can you remove or delegate from your list? (Remember, you’re running hills, so think present moment - think about today.) What is one thing you can remove from your list today?
To read Carson’s full article, go to www.huffingtonpost.com/carson-tate
The story on Chris Hanson's move from Raymond to Windham is much appreciated. As someone who worked with him for two years in Raymond and is a Windham resident, I am excited for Windham’s future. I know that, given time and opportunity, he will prove to be a great asset to our town.
My statements to your reporter were paraphrased in the article and, for the most part, I am not displeased. However, on one point I do take issue. I stated, “Chris Hanson knows how to work as part of a team". I chose this wording specifically because, to me, it has a significantly different connotation than the hackneyed descriptive of “a team player".
I understand each publication is free to rely on its own style standards. Perhaps I am in a minority to whom double quote marks imply a verbatim quote. For the sake of clarity, may I suggest the use of single quotes when paraphrasing?
Friday, September 22, 2017
Ready or not, it arrives at 4:02 p.m. EDT on Friday, September 22. “It” is the autumn equinox, that time of year when the sun begins to recede earlier in the day and brings with it nippy, foggy mornings and crispy, colorful days that require an extra layer of clothing.
While a few mourn the loss of long, sunny days and the freedom associated with the summer months; many view autumn as a leap into new adventures. Some fall favorites include eating hot and hardy autumn soups, devouring warm and gooey snickerdoodles and hot apple pies fresh out of the oven, driving the backroads of the Maine countryside to view the spectacular fall colors, weekend bonfires with friends and family as well as, supporting their local high school sports (be sure to check out our sports section.)
I must admit I’m one to grieve as I say goodbye to summertime, but there is also something special about fall that I do look forward to. There are many ways to embrace this season of change and I love the preparation that goes into the next season’s hibernation mode.
That may sound odd coming from an extrovert but as my husband and I begin to winterize our home, I look forward to the opportunity to put a little balance into my life.
I’m not the only one who burns the candles at both ends, I think that comes with the territory of living a passionate and fulfilling life of not only obtaining one’s goals but being of service to others. However, that constant activity can be unhealthy for the physical body as much as it is nourishing to the soul. Seeking balance is key.
Equinox, in Latin, means aequus (equal) nox (night) - when the day and night are the same length. Interestingly, this balance of day and night is symbolized by the astrological sign of Libra (balanced scales) that begins on Saturday, September 23.
Fall provides an opportunity to balance it all; to slow down enough to reflect on ways to take care of ourselves and identify what is truly important to us and to ensure we balance work and play as much as possible.
It’s true that we will never get it completely right – this balance thing. But autumn provides the perfect opportunity to at least give it a whirl. If you are one of those people who long for balance, I wish you the best of luck. I know I’ll need it.
Letter to the Editor:
In the wake of the news that the credit-reporting firm Equifax had been hacked, many consumers across the country were left feeling vulnerable. However, no matter which entity is hacked, there are important steps each of us should take to keep our data safe.
Mainers of all ages should place a freeze on their credit report (sometimes known as a “credit file”). Because a security freeze safeguards a person’s credit report, it is one of the most effective ways to protect consumers from identity theft. Without access to the sensitive information housed in your credit report, an identity thief is unable to obtain credit in your name. In Maine, freezing and unfreezing your credit report is free.
You need to place the credit freeze with each of the three major credit bureaus: Experian, Transunion and Equifax online, by mail or by telephone. Each bureau will also provide you with a free copy of your credit report annually upon request.
Parents and grandparents should place a freeze on their children and grandchildren’s credit reports as well.
It is also recommended that you closely monitor your bank and credit card statements and report any unfamiliar charge, even if it is a small amount. Scammers will often charge a “test charge” on a stolen credit card to verify the number. This amount is usually just a few cents so many people don’t report it.
For more information visit www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork. During an era of unprecedented data breaches, placing a freeze on your credit report and closely monitoring your accounts has never been more important.
AARP Maine Fraud Watch Network Volunteer
When President Obama left office he asked us not to fight but to sit and discuss our differences.
I have tried to do that with friends who have a different point of view and the fact is we are so far apart on everything we believe in, that an intellectual debate to anyone’s satisfaction is futile.
For example, one side believes in global warming, the other doesn’t; one side wants a National Health Care Program, the other doesn’t. One side wants a fair livable minimum wage, the other doesn’t, one wants negotiation, sanctions or constraints to accomplish goals with foreign powers, the other prefers war. One side wants DACA kids to be granted a path to citizenship, the other side wants them thrown out; one side wants the protection of all social programs (Medicare, Medicaid, Welfare, the GI Bill, Affordable Health Care and Social Security), the other wants them privatized. One side wants intelligent gun legislation and the other side is fine with 30 thousand Americans killed by them every year. One side wants government regulation to protect us from corporate greed, the other wants to deregulate everything; one side addresses the needs of middle and lower income families, the other favors the ultra-rich.
There are so many other examples but you get the point.
We are a Nation divided and until we can sit down to fruitful, intelligent common ground, nothing will change.
We are supposed to be global leaders with the ability to negotiate and yet, we can’t even talk to each other.
That should trouble all of us.