Monday, 19 August 2019

Widow's Endorphins: Life Extension 101

Widow's Endorphins: Life Extension 101: I cycled 10 miles in 27 minutes yesterday!  A year ago, I could barely do half that.  I walked into our communal gym, and climbed on...

Life Extension 101

I cycled 10 miles in 27 minutes yesterday!  A year ago, I could barely do half that.  I walked into our communal gym, and climbed onto a stationary bike, pedalling to nowhere, slowly.  I've lost a lot of inhibitions about exercising in public, lost a little weight, and gained a whole lot of energy! 

One of my highschool friends asked if I was training for a marathon, and I said, "yes, the next 40 years of my life!"  I want to live to be over one hundred!  Exercise, a healthy diet, creative expression, being surrounded with great people, and being at peace, are my prescriptions for a long, and authentically happy life. 

I treasure this charming serving bowl, for the happy little bluebirds, cherry blossoms and indigo blue border...Disney in Provence.  More than one guest this Summer, has enjoyed lemon yogurt, with fresh strawberries, raspberries or blueberries served from this cheery bowl.

The deep bowl was handpainted by a Toronto woman when she was in her eighties.  In her lovely handwriting, she signed the year, and her name on the back: Rachel Aronov, 2000.  I would like to think she continued her art for many more years.  The joy she received in painting, would surely have added years to her life.  

Excercise is great...and for me, creative expression is essential.  I often say I would have gone mad without photography, and all my other art projects.  I am not alone.  So many of my friends have found the peace and joy, and energy that comes with creative expression.   Through photography, painting, drawing, carving, making jewelry, singing, playing guitar, playing piano, dancing, writing, cooking, baking, and gardening - my friends and I have found the fountain of youth!  

Photographs Copyright of:  Ruth Adams, Widows Endorphins Photographic Images Incorporated.

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Widow's Endorphins: Dahlias

Widow's Endorphins: Dahlias: Dahlias.  You can't say their name without saying, "ah".  Their abundance of petals, circling symetrically around a sunn...


Dahlias.  You can't say their name without saying, "ah".  Their abundance of petals, circling symetrically around a sunny centre, may draw you inward, and, like the mandalas of India, encourage meditation, and thoughts of yoga.  Dahlias, however, are from the New World.  Early in the16th Century, Spanish Conquistadors "discovered" them in Mexico, and brought them back to Spain.

The dahlia is Mexico's national flower.  Painter Frida Kahlo, the daughter of a gentle, German photographer and a Mexican mother is an iconic modern figure, with black braided hair, often decorated with dahlias.  She once said, "I paint flowers so that they will not die", and dahlias are in many of her self portraits and still life paintings.     

Dahlias are part of the Asteraceae family of flowers which includes sunflowers, chrysanthemums, zinnias, and daisies.  Think of the word, astral.  These flowers have a starlike appearance, with rays extending in all directions.  Hardy, and gorgeous, they are stars of the garden.  There are more than 40 varieties of dahlias, ranging in width from two inches, to dinner plate size.  The colours range from cream, to yellow, pale pink, lavender, and fiery salsa red.  Dahlias radiate energy! 

These long lasting flowers are lovely in any arrangement, and work especially well with snapdragons, lilies, and deliphiniums, which bloom at the same time of the year.  Dahlias are showy, and dramatic, although they can be old fashioned and demure, depending on the softness of the colour.  To paraphrase Frida Kahlo, bring dahlias into your home, and make the Summer last longer.     

Portrait of Frida Kahlo Fiery Dahlia of Mexico, by Oksana Gruszka Sanaj
Photographs Copyright of:  Ruth Adams, Widow's Endorphins Photographic Images Incorporated.

Saturday, 20 July 2019

Widow's Endorphins: One Small Step

Widow's Endorphins: One Small Step: Fifty years ago today, July 20th, 1969, two human beings on board the lunar module, Eagle , landed on the Moon.  Six hours and 39 minu...

One Small Step

Fifty years ago today, July 20th, 1969, two human beings on board the lunar module, Eagle, landed on the Moon.  Six hours and 39 minutes later, on July 21st, Neil Armstrong, Commander of the Apollo 11 Mission, would step out onto the moon's surface, and into history, becoming the first person to walk on the moon.  He made the profound observation, "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind".  

The historic, life-as-we-knew-it-would-never-be-the-same events were transmitted to earth in blurry, black and white images, watched by an estimated 650-million television viewers around the world...but not by me.  The night of the moonlanding, my 12 year old girlfriends and I were hanging out on a gravel playground at Sperling Avenue Elementary School in North Burnaby, fascinated by an ant hill in the making.  It was a balmy Summer night, and still light out.  I glanced up at the moon, did the pre-teen eye roll, and sarcastically said, "what took 'em so long?"  I could smack myself!

I am grateful that my pre-teen studied ennui gave way to a grown up sense of awe.  There's so much to discover, from the tiniest nanoparticle, to distant galaxies - and it's all fascinating!

After a brief walk on the moon, Armstrong was joined a few minutes later, by Buzz Aldrin, and the two American astronauts began taking selfies - Armstrong capturing his own image in the reflective visor of Aldrin's space helmet.  They also gathered up about fifty pounds (21.5kg) of moondust and minerals to take back to the earth lab for study.  They spent less than 24 hours on the moon, yet it must have seemed like an eternity for the third astronaut on the mission, Michael Collins, who was all alone, way out in lunar orbit, piloting the command module, Columbia. 

The footprints left behind, are still there.  The moon has no atmosphere, so there's no wind or water to erode the footprints away.  There are no volcanoes, either.  There are meteor showers, and there is the rare possibility of a meteor striking the moon's surface, just where the footprints are located, destroying them. There are also solar winds, which move particles very slowly over the surface of the moon.  Future astronauts and lunar tourists will have to tread carefully, so as not to destroy the footprints, and efforts are afoot to preserve and protect the area of the first moon landing.

There is another footprint mankind has left behind...the ugly kind.  Two hundred tonnes of space debris and human waste from five decades of lunar exploration, litters the moon.  The crashed spacecraft, robots, research equipment, good luck coins and earthly memorabilia, were left behind by American, Soviet, European, Chinese, Japanese, and Indian missions.  Just as they've done on Mount Everest, human beings have scarred the pristine landscape.  

We have a multitude of crises on planet Earth: hunger, disease, pollution, corruption.  It is often said, "we can get a man on the moon, but we can't...(fill in the blank)".  It is also said that the technology and know how are there, or can be created to meet the need;  what's lacking is vision, and will...and one small step...

In 1961, when US President, John F. Kennedy addressed Congress, he boldly announced his intention to do what had never been done before, "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth."  Kennedy admitted, "no single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish."  In unifying his nation, he added, "in a very real sense, it will not be one man going to the Moon - if we make this judgement affirmatively, it will be an entire nation.  For all of us must work to put him there."

In less than a decade, man walked on the Moon, proving that anything is possible, when there is a will and commitment to make it happen.

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Widow's Endorphins: Biker Chic

Widow's Endorphins: Biker Chic: For the past year, I've been cycling ten miles a day, four times a week, and getting nowhere.  A stationary bike, may not take you...