How to keep my New Year’s resolution, and yours too –  (parenthetically speaking)

(I never make New Year’s resolutions because NEVER is how I keep them.  However, I’m rethinking it this year to resolve to eat healthier based on these tips.)

1. Know who you are . . . and who you’re not

“Do the activities that make you who you want to be rather than just focusing on your goals. Decide the type of person you want to be: A healthy person? A strong person? A writer? A musician?
Then prove it to yourself with small wins over time: Gym classes, writing, practicing . . . Every time you do something toward the goal of you who want to be, tell yourself that you are becoming that person.
(I want to be healthier . . . healthy might be a bit too big a stretch.  And because food is medicine I want to eat healthier)

2.  Make it something you like or enjoy.  

(no problem – I LOVE to eat)

Avoid resolutions that sound great but are unattainable. Make them them something you will enjoy. They can still be hard, but that doesn’t mean they have to make you miserable.

3.  Make it specific
Resolution idea: Eat an apple every day for lunch or snack.
Resolution idea: Have one donut on Saturdays for breakfast
Eating better and exercising more are all nice ideas, but they’re too general and don’t give you a plan of action. People often think they lack motivation when the problem is really a lack of clarity.
“The simple way to apply this strategy to your habits is to fill out this sentence:

I will [BEHAVIOR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION],”

(I’ WILL keep a bowl of fruit on the counter and cut-up vegetables in the refrigerator.  I DO NOT ENJOY chopping vegetables so I’ll buy them already cut-up.

When I want to eat my go-to sugar with a side of carbohydrates I WILL EAT A PIECE OF FRUIT OR VEGETABLE.)

8 x 8 inch canvas – very small fruit by judy

4. Change it up. Swap it out. Write your own rules
Instead of one year-long resolution set yourself monthly micro-resolutions.

(I might have to break it down into weekly . . . or daily . . . maybe hourly resolutions since I eat all day and all night)

5.  Start Small
(I’m going to eat small pieces of healthy fruit and vegetables).

6.  Allow yourself to fail

“Everyone screws up. Expect to have occasional slips. But don’t let the occasional missed exercise class or donut throw you off course. Most successful resolvers slip in January, but 71% of successful resolvers say their first slip strengthened their efforts through a combination of guilt, increasing awareness of their problem’s severity, and the slip reminding them to refine their plans.”  (Who ARE these people?)

And if you do slip? Focus on getting back on track, not the slip. “The people who show more compassion for themselves are more likely to get back on the horse and try again.”  (This might be a problem since I show compassion for myself by eating sweets.)

7.  Set yourself up for success

(Since I want to “limit” sweets I must get them out of the house. I resolve: I WILL give them a stern talking to EVERY TIME they appear so they know they should leave.)

8.  Make it public
(I just did)

“If you’re surrounded by supportive friends and family, making your goals public and asking for accountability can help. So can joining a gym with friendly competition or a group.”

(Probably the key to my past failures at keeping resolutions starts with the fact I prove myself right by thinking I can’t/won’t keep my resolve.)

“Think you can’t do it, you’ll likely prove yourself right.  But if you believe in yourself, you are 10 times more likely to change via a New Year’s resolution, compared to non-resolvers, when both groups have comparable goals and motivation”.*

*University of Scranton psychology professor John C. Norcross, who has studied resolutions for decades.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/01/health/keeping-new-years-resolutions-wellness/index.html

“Eat in” the New Year with Old World Food

As the new year arrives around the globe, special cakes and breads abound. The particulars vary, but the general theme is the same:

Share food and drink with family and friends to usher in a year of prosperity!

1. Hoppin’ John, American South

Field peas or black-eyed peas are the base for Hoppin' John.

Field peas or black-eyed peas are the base for Hoppin’ John.
Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

In the American South, Hoppin’ John said to bring good luck in the new year:

  • pork-flavored field peas or black-eyed peas (symbolizing coins) and rice
  • served with collards or other cooked greens (the color of money) and
  • cornbread (the color of gold).

Different folklore traces the history and the name of this meal, but the current dish has its roots in African and West Indian traditions and was most likely brought over by slaves to North America. A recipe for Hoppin’ John appears as early as 1847 in Sarah Rutledge’s “The Carolina Housewife” and has been reinterpreted over the centuries by home and professional chefs.

2. Twelve grapes, Spain 

In Spain, they bring in the new year with 12 grapes. The tradition has spread to many Spanish-speaking countries.
In Spain, they bring in the new year with 12 grapes.
JAIME REINA/AFP/Getty Images
The people of Spain watch the broadcast from Puerta del Sol in Madrid, where revelers gather in front of the square’s clock tower to ring in the New Year.
Those out in the square and those watching at home partake in an unusual annual tradition: At the stroke of midnight, they eat one grape for every toll of the clock bell. Some even prep their grapes — peeling and seeding them — to make sure they will be as efficient as possible when midnight comes.
The custom began at the turn of the 20th century and was purportedly thought up by grape producers in the southern part of the country with a bumper crop. Since then, the tradition has spread to many Spanish-speaking nations.

3. Tamales, Mexico

Tamales get special attention in Mexico during the holiday season.

Tamales get special attention in Mexico during the holiday season.
Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock
Tamales, corn dough stuffed with meat, cheese and other delicious additions and wrapped in a banana leaf or a corn husk, make appearances at pretty much every special occasion in Mexico. But the holiday season is an especially favored time for the food.
In many families, groups of women gather together to make hundreds of the little packets — with each person in charge of one aspect of the cooking process — to hand out to friends, family and neighbors. On New Year’s, it’s often served with menudo, a tripe and hominy soup that is famously good for hangovers.

4. Oliebollen, Netherlands

An oliebol is a doughnut-like product, traditionally made and consumed in the Netherlands during the New Year's celebrations.

An oliebol is a doughnut-like product, traditionally made and consumed in the Netherlands
BAS CZERWINSKI/AFP/Getty Images
In the Netherlands, fried oil balls, or oliebollen, are sold by street carts and are traditionally consumed on New Year’s Eve and at special celebratory fairs. They are doughnut-like dumplings, made by dropping a scoop of dough spiked with currants or raisins into a deep fryer and then dusted with powdered sugar.
In Amsterdam, be on the lookout for Oliebollenkraams, little temporary shacks or trailers on the street selling packets of hot fried oliebollen.

5. Marzipanschwein or Glücksschwein, Austria and Germany

Fresh marzipan made in the shape of little pigges.

Fresh marzipan made in the shape of little pigges.
PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images
Austria and its neighbor Germany call New Year’s Eve Sylvesterabend, or the eve of Saint Sylvester. Austrian revelers drink a red wine punch with cinnamon and spices, eat suckling pig for dinner and decorate the table with little pigs made of marzipan, called marzipanschwein.
Good luck pigs, or Glücksschwein, which are made of all sorts of things, are also common gifts throughout both Austria and Germany.
Vienna bakeries this time of year will be filled with a variety of pig-shaped sweets: Champagne truffles, marzipan and chocolate in a variety of sizes.

6. Soba noodles, Japan

Many Japanese slurp down bowls of delicious Soba noodles to welcome the new year.

Many Japanese slurp down bowls of delicious Soba noodles to welcome the new year.
Nishihama/Shutterstock
In Japanese households, families eat buckwheat soba noodles, or toshikoshi soba, at midnight on New Year’s Eve to bid farewell to the year gone by and welcome the year to come. The tradition dates back to the 17th century, and the long noodles symbolize longevity and prosperity.
In another custom called mochitsuki, friends and family spend the day before New Year’s pounding mochi rice cakes. Sweet, glutinous rice is washed, soaked, steamed and pounded into a smooth mass. Then guests take turns pinching off pieces to make into small buns that are later eaten for dessert.

7. King cake, around the globe

The French do enjoy their galette des rois.

The French enjoy their galette des rois.
margouillat photo/Shutterstock
The tradition of a New Year’s cake is one that spans countless cultures:
  • Greeks have the Vasilopita
  • French the gateau or galette des rois
  • Mexicans have the Rosca de Reyes
  • Bulgarians enjoy the banitsa.
Most of the cakes are consumed at midnight on New Year’s Eve — though some cultures cut their cake on Christmas or the Epiphany, January 6 — and include a hidden gold coin or figure, which symbolizes a prosperous year for whomever finds it in their slice.

8. Cotechino con lenticchie, Italy

Cotechino con lenticchie is the yummy Italian pairing of sausage and lentils.

Cotechino con lenticchie is the yummy Italian pairing of sausage and lentils.
barbajones/Shutterstock
Italians celebrate New Year’s Eve with La Festa di San Silvestro, often commencing with a traditional cotechino con lenticchie, a sausage and lentil stew that is said to bring good luck (the lentils represent money and good fortune) and, in certain households, zampone, a stuffed pig’s trotter.
The meal ends with chiacchiere — balls of fried dough that are rolled in honey and powdered sugar — and prosecco. 

9. Pickled herring, Poland and Scandinavia

Rolled herring in vinegar, served with onions and pickles.

Rolled herring in vinegar, served with onions and pickles.
gkrphoto/Shutterstock
Because herring is in abundance in Poland and parts of Scandinavia and because of their silver coloring, many in those nations eat pickled herring at the stroke of midnight to bring a year of prosperity and bounty. Some eat pickled herring in cream sauce while others have it with onions.
One special Polish New Year’s Eve preparation of pickled herring, called Sledzie Marynowane, is made by soaking whole salt herrings in water for 24 hours and then layering them in a jar with onions, allspice, sugar and white vinegar.
Scandinavians will often include herring in a larger midnight smorgasbord with smoked and pickled fish, pate and meatballs.

10. Kransekage, Denmark and Norway

This is a traditional Norwegian marzipan ring cake.

This is a traditional Norwegian marzipan ring cake.
V. Belov/Shutterstock/Shutterstock / V. Belov
Kransekage, literally wreath cake, is a cake tower composed of many concentric rings of cake layered atop one another, and they are made for New Year’s Eve and other special occasions in Denmark and Norway.
The cake is made using marzipan, often with a bottle of wine or Aquavit in the center and can be decorated with ornaments, flags and crackers.
Those who can’t make it to Copenhagen for Danish treats should check out Larsen’s Danish Bakery in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle. They have a long-running mail-order business to accommodate kransekage lovers across the country and carefully pack each ring on the tower individually for easy assembly right before your New Year’s Eve feast.

Here’s to a delicious New Year!

Frankly Freddie – A man for ALL seasons (and a calendar too)

Santa CLAUStrophobia:

Fear of fly-by night men who are partial to the color red, use environmentally appropriate transportation and make their employees wear pointy shoes.

This phobia is often triggered by anticipation of shoveling snow and spending time with relatives in closed quarters.   It is characterized by over-spending, over-indulging, delusions of family harmony, leaving cookies and milk out to spoil and . . .  lying to children.

Have a HUMAN(E) Christmas!

Lickingly LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL,

Freddie

P.S.  My Humans say to tell you to have a DOG-GONE

Merry Christmas AND . . .

buy EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT MEN I LEARNED FROM MY CAT 2020 Calendar

It’s the purrrrfect mini size –  6 3/4″ w x 5 1/4″ H

Remember 50% goes to

The Gentle Barn Charity!

Click HERE to get your 2020  mini calendar

Click HERE to get your calendar

Sneak Peek into my Mixed-up . . . media life

Because of my limited energy and never ending search for whimsey I took one of Carla Sonheim’s on-line classes The Painting Techniques of Anne Marie Grgich (Portraits).   Carla is one of our Well Done Women and her classes are filled with experimentation and whimsey.  This one didn’t disappoint.

3 paintings – Mixed media, acrylic paint, collage, markers, pens, pencils, crayons, scratching, scrawling, smushing, doting and dabbing . . .

Anne Marie encourages working fast, loose and intuitively . . . my kinda artist!  She described her technique like frosting a cake – layers upon layers of media building the surface with color and texture. 

We were to work on 6 portraits and keep moving spontaneously between all six.  My work space (concentration & energy) was limited so I did three.

judy

 

 

 

Abdu’l-Bahá writes: “If religion is opposed to reason and science, faith is impossible; and when faith and confidence in the divine religion are not manifest in the heart, there can be no spiritual attainment.5

To have faith is not merely “to know” the truth. True faith is conscious knowledge expressed in action. Bahá’u’lláh states that “The essence of faith is fewness of words and abundance of deeds…6 On the same subject, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá writes: “it is first ‘to know’ and then ‘to do’.

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Rats Taught How to Drive Tiny Cars (Parenthetically Speaking)

Rats can learn the complex task of navigating a rodent-operated vehicle (ROV) to a desired area, according to new research from the University of Richmond.  (They are not allowed in car-pool lanes which require 2 or more rodents per vehicle)

Dogs don’t need to drive, they have their meals delivered — click here!

A team of behavioral neuroscientists led by University of Richmond’s Professor Kelly Lambert taught rats how to drive specially-designed ROVs.

“The driver compartment of the ROV was a plastic container with an aluminum floor plate and cut out windows spanned by copper bars,” they explained.  (Kinda like a Kia or Fiat?)

“The ROV was designed so that the rat could move the car by touching or grabbing a bar and stop movement by releasing contact.” (No self-driving technology?)

The research involved five young adult male rats (Female rats don’t need enrichment to learn) that had lived in an enriched environment (i.e., environment with interesting objects to interact with) for four months and six control rats raised in standard laboratory housing.

Driving training began when the animals were approximately 5 months of age.  (Legal rat-age to acquire learner permits)

Compared to standard-housed rats, enriched-housed rats demonstrated more robust learning in driving performance. (It’s long been known that standard-house-wives need enrichment too.)

“We found that rats housed in a complex, enriched environment learned the driving task, but rats housed in standard laboratory cages had problems learning the task (i.e., they failed their driving test),” Professor Lambert said.

“That means the complex environment led to more behavioral flexibility and neuroplasticity.”

“Among other outcomes, the research could help scientists better understand the effects of Parkinson’s disease

(The next time you see a rat driving erratically, smile.  They’ve learned how to escape from the lab and go joy riding.)

Freddie’s JOY RIDE – Dog  Driving Bowl – Buy it here on Zazzle! 

Remember, a Dog’s Share of proceeds go to The Gentle Barn Animal Rescue Charity

The Gentle Barn

Teaching People Kindness and Compassion to Animals, Each Other and our Planet.

http://www.sci-news.com/othersciences/psychology/rats-drive-cars-07731.html

paper describing the research was published October 16, 2019 in the journal Behavioural Brain Research.

 

Sneeeek Peeek – Painting my way to THIN

On doctor’s “orders” I’ve been struggling to lose weight.  The biggest problem I’ve discovered is swallowing.  Now that art classes have resumed I think I’ve solved the “swallowing problem” . . . I’m painting . . .

APPETIZER

MAIN COURSE

DESSERT

Haven’t gained a single pound . . . So far so good . . .

judy