Stardust, The Little Prince, and Covid lessons

If we could wave a magic wand in 2022 it would take us back to pre-covid “normal”. Tinkerbell used her magic stardust for Peter Pan and why not for us?

Does anyone get the feeling that we are living another reality? A recent meteorite just ”skimmed” past our planet 🌎, major catastrophes, earthquakes and tsunamis, some people could benefit from snow literacy, and all benefit by touching faith.

Major economic power countries have so much ”space junk” floating around (check out Business Insider article); yet, media is so focused on this “little bugger” Covid. It’s been proven as a blood clotting disease 🦠 attacking lungs and other vital organs, while we are all learning Greek letters one painful Covid strain at a time (Delta δ , omikron ο)…. I loved reading about the creative writing student who wrote about the Greek letters protesting about their reputation and losing ”face” as someone wrote “can’t wait for the letter pi (π) it will just be going to infinity” 🤓😩😮

The scientific community is still at odds about mRNA vaccines and the ”architect“ of these vaccines stands with over 16,000 scientists planning for a protest in Washington DC soon which will add yet another dimension to our own confusion.

One thing is for sure, Covid is highly contagious, hospitalization may be an unpleasant result for some due to infection, continued fever and trouble breathing as oxygen intake hypoxaemia or other concurrent health issues may even lead to core damage or death (the ”cause of death” is another contentious issue for many countries’ data bases).

If you’ve ever made any arts and crafts in grade school with glitter you know how it sticks to everyone… it’s exactly how covid transfers from person to person. These winter months so does flu, the common cold and now there is a new category of both flu and covid 😵‍💫.

Take care of your health and if you do not only believe in “luck” you’ll surely make it out ok ✅, but please stick to the recommended 15-day rule of self-testing everyone or rapid/ PCRs for your home (close contacts) and requirements for travel. As global citizens you owe it to be responsible, vaccinate if its appropriate and recommended for your age, remember medical staff are overwhelmed. Alas, this 2020 WHO poster is now becoming a reality; there are many cases of people needing surgeries or other care, and not getting it due to the Covid pandemic…..understandably a big problem.

Think about it… don’t overuse the health system … and focus on prevention and early treatment.
“One only understands what one tames”, said the fox 🦊 to the Little Prince. We must be patient, deal with our inner gremlins even our idealizations, realizing we all have something to offer each other. Perhaps this needs to be our “great reset” button this year, not focusing so much on conspiracies.

Contributing to your health literacy, with some health tips (remember severe pain or fever, may signify a more serious condition, you need to consult a medical provider):

  • wear a mask 😷 tight around the nose, when you’re indoors in crowded spaces, for those who are sick at home cloth masks are just fine (always wash your hands and wear clean masks every few hours)
  • rest, sleep 😴 🛌 is the best medicine
  • don’t panic 😱! Look at the data, most people make it through just fine, and be more diligent about self-care if you have a chronic health condition.
  • Good Mental Health is key 🔐 reframe the ”little bugger” (positive Get a little crazy …mindset) as it helps your physical health
  • check your oxygen levels using an oximeter (they are cheap) and body temp with a thermometer 🌡. Remember an oximeter is essential to detect hypoxaemia, the source of oxygen which may be too low and you may need to be put on a ventilator or worse clinical distress and need to undergo endotracheal intubation.
  • Intake plenty of fluids, antioxidant vitamins (C, Zinc), garlic, propolis, a bit of 🌞 sun for vitamin D (15 minutes near a sunny window, think like a cat!) Echinacea works in the very first symptoms as its more preventive
  • rinse out mucosal passages morning and evening before bed (throat and nose — saltwater is great, lemon with honey and a bit of hot water is equally soothing for a scratchy painful throat),
  • eat good food, stay off dairy and sugar
  • some indoor/outdoor exercise like walking and even lung “workouts” (there are plenty youtube videos especially by Ayurvedic physicians).
  • One additional thing that helps any flu or lung-type cold is heat. Tried heating a large stone/brick in a stove (not microwave) or in the summer sun —> a porous large stone or brick are best, wrapping in a soft towel and putting on chest (shirt required to prevent unwanted burns, and adults only!) until heat runs out, about 10 mins.
  • eucalyptus type creme or gel on chest and nostrils 👃 may helps free up clogged nasal passages as some are not keen . A few essential oil drops from eucalyptus or lavender are great in a humidifier too!
  • Honey with lemon and a bit of hotwater in the morning, later on with your herbal tea, and in your cough syrup is great medicine! Honey honey honey! 🍯
  • There is a rainbow after every major difficulty…. Rainbows 🌈 for all.

“What makes the desert beautiful,’ said the little prince, ‘is that somewhere it hides a well…”

The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

It’s a new day….

Michael Bublee says it best! A new life, a new day, and I’m feeling good! New Year’s Day is the first page in a blank book: Let’s write a phenomenal story!

I challenge you to pull out a piece of paper, take out your journal and write down at least 2 things you can change in the new year and at least 5 things or events you are grateful for from the past year! Remember make your new year resolutions achievable like “walking at least 5,000 steps each day!” Why? It keeps you motivated to do more…next day you might walk 10,000/day which is the achievable “secret” health goal. This year I ended my year walking 12,000 steps in a city I never traveled to before (oh yes, it was partially a Christmas gift so ”thank you” family) ….and it felt great!

Everyone has hopes (or resolutions) on new year’s day and as we begin the year 2022 let’s think of what we have accomplished to date…. we are alive, breathing, and doing the BEST we can despite the last 2 years of a global pandemic, economic downfalls for many countries, and ecological disasters throughout the world. I put on my warm socks, drank my anti-oxidant tea 🍵, started to sort through leftover stuff to clear the space and the mind, keeping that lucky ”faux” pomegranate (its traditional for the first visitor Day 1, in the Greek home to take a pomegranate and smash it — in a bag of course — and the seeds to represent luck and prosperity for the year) fostering an attitude of gratitude, being kind! I made my list, and thinking about:

  • all the things I’m grateful for …. how about you?
  • all the things I accomplished (some against all odds!) or hoping to accomplish
  • doing my annual medical tests to stay healthy and necessary prevention
  • increasing cash “flow” & spiritual “glow”
  • guiding our children and youth in the best ways possible
  • being more creative

Make this year your most creative one yet!

Can Control, Can’t Control this Season

10 sessions of 3 hours each in a small town via an educational after-school center for adults in their 20s through 60s is a perfect brief psycho-educational time frame to help gear up for life or holiday stress!

We learn self-appreciation, community growth and appreciation of what we have (see Rovaniemi) or what we can change, a foundation in Spirituality and better understanding the connection between physical and mental health. We may gain some weight from that yummy cake but hey so what? we need it for winter ”cushing”! What would Santa 🎅🏻 be like without that extra belly fat and heartfelt ”ho ho ho”? Loved this infographic RING 🥰 (from Brianna Vieria) along with our chocolate cake with apple garnish “ring”… apple 🍏 🍎 garnish for some extra fiber.

Back to what you CAN control 4 simple steps:

  1. Amounts of water you drink daily, and being aware of where it comes from!
  2. Your impulses with a little breathing work. Truly like this ”urge surfing” meditation to help us control the uncontrollable (over-eating, or reacting)
  3. Develop a can-do attitude by starting a list and giving yourself credit for what you have accomplished DAILY; with this a Gratitude list for what you have! Be grateful to God and more will come.
  4. Cleaner space – cleaner you…. once you get started room by room it feels and looks great 👍🏽 The Kondo method see Cleaning House 🏡 post-method is a smart move … and how about a 🌹 rose in winter? along with those chestnuts

Amadeus, Amadeus “Requiem”

What would we do without the ‘master’? Today 300 years later we are still discussing the man, the genius, the jealous rivalries, and possible illness that lead to his demise on December 5th. There is ‘Baby Mozart’ to supposedly make infants smarter (unproven but still fun — read more about it here!) , there is Mozart while studying, if you enjoy those Austrian almond paste chocolate Mozart balls quite yummy! Perhaps you will be lucky enough to travel to Austria this holiday season and check out some of these along with the “lucky pigs” (see post: Beyond a New Year’s Resolution)

What caused his untimely death? His timeless influence, between reality and myth are still with us through today….

Falco’s line ‘Rock me Amadeus’ (German version below) is easily retrievable in our 80’s music memory stronghold…. priceless!

It was intriguing to read about possible causes of Wolfgang’s death, ranging from tuberculosis, to syphilis. According to historical records from other men his age, it was likely a streptococcal infection (see Dr. Markel’s full article “A symphony of second opinions on Mozart’s final illness” PBS 2016). A recent covid-related complications death of 69-year-old Mark Blum actor from ‘Mozart in the Jungle” brought the Master composer’s name back into the headlines. The study of epidemiology can be done years later to reflect on CAUSES by looking at the trends of diseases in a certain population at that historical moment.

The final scenes of the Oscar-winning movie Amadeus (1984 trailer) play off a jealous rivalry between Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) and Antonio Salieri (1750-1825). However, after the discovery of a mutual composition — a cantata ‘score’ written by both for the harpsichord (a favorite sounding instrument predating the piano) shed new light of their relationship, and Mozart’s death “by poisoning” has long been discounted …. we know how it is that everyone likes a little bit of drama! And yes, Mozart was age 30 when Beethoven age 16 met, so we can guess why they are both so great and their music can affect us years later…. useful also with music therapy.

By far, for those of us who ponder what angels on earth sound like, the pounding of the heart and the rising of the soul…. the famed Requiem is one of the most amazing pieces and the LAST one that Mozart wrote, never completing before his death at the tender age of 35. Requiem in D minor, K. 626, is a requiem mass — and “Lacrimosa” …. A bit for your music literacy!

IN REQUIUM then our dear Wolfgang AMADEUS Mozart…..

Classical music still popular today via different mediums …

Rovaniemi winter survival

We take for granted what we have in most cities and towns, all year long. Cars and trucks that take us places, the local grocer or supermarket for our goods. Recall that before “all things mechanical” people were living off the land with resources given and their own passion, creativity, and will to survive. Animals have always played a big part in this for protection, ranging from fur for warmth (not only fashion as we now know — see past minks post), food, protection (think mountains and wolves) but also for travel, in the form of dog or horse drawn sleds.
Recently, this video came into my hands reminding me of the loud but fun snowmobiles, and the amazing dogs trained for the dogsled area in Rovaniemi, Finland. Don’t let the puppy 🐶 cuteness fool you as your hand can get bitten off in seconds (we were advised NOT to put our hands through the metal netting)!

Dogsleds and snowmobiles – Rovaniemi, Finland (Northern Lapland)

Beyond the tourist attraction, Imagine that these people not so long ago, LIVED and travelled with dog 🐕 sleds 🛷; turns out that the female dogs are almost always in the front because they keep the TRACK (they don’t get easily distracted), and immediately following the 2 strongest males in line with the other “Dog pack” …. Pretty amazing !
Harsh winters as the North Pole measures freezing temperatures and earlier bedtime routines since darkness falls quickly during winter but in the summer it is the land of the Midnight Sun as they are near the Arctic!

So what do people do to stay healthy? Locals as other groups around the globe are big on arts and crafts, hot drinks, berries collected and made into compote earlier in the Spring and summer. The traditional Shamans (in tents) may foretell your future, eating high fat or high protein meals (keep body fat going to bear tge cold — bear meatballs anyone?) as it is ok to gain those needed winter 5-10 kikos!! The kids love a good snowball fight, while adults shovel, sled-rides keeps kids active! I personally loved greeting Santa Claus 🎅🏻 with his long beard and winter cloak while we danced under the starry winter night with the Northern lights (known as Aurora Borealis) in the distance …. something we wanted to see clearly but due to weather did not, so it’s worth a trip back !

There are plenty of ice-hotels, for those thrill-seekers, as for our group we had some amazing hot soup with salmon, yummy 😋!!

Appreciative of those pre-Covid times and holiday memories from several years back.

Community Health and Thesmophoria

Thesmophoria, translating the words “thesmos” θεσμός (ties) and ”phoreis” φορείς (the plural noun of “delivery” or some type of messengers) are helpful to begin to understand what this adult only women tradition of THESMOPHORIA in Ancient Greece was about. Dr. Alkistis Agio, a coach/trainer has written an amazing blog post on this widespread celebration in Ancient Greece (Happy ’Thesmophoria’ ladies!).

Autumn rituals to the agriculture goddess Artemis (Demeter) and her daughter Persephone are still with us through today. Of special interest is the close celebration to Dionysus (Bacchus the Roman name) of Dionysia which is also considered the first carnival. In context with the wine making, wheat storing, in essence ”loading up” food for winter months all these festivals made sense, and created social rituals as human basic need to bond and share. Now we have in some countries September-October the more marketable ”Oktoberfest” … but definitely the traditions of wine and beer making continue (even during Covid!)

I had the privilege years ago to purchase a ceramic chalice with the Celtic writing of “life”…. though too big to drink so much wine from (!) it reminds me of the importance of community sharing and common rituals through Cultural and religious traditions today (eg. communion in the Christian tradition)

As Persephone was lured to the underworld with a pomegranate — read post ”Pomegranates and Autumn Comforts” I was grateful starting the first week of October and ending Thanksgiving to run a 10-session seminar on stress management and wellness psycho-education group for a group ages 23+ through 60+ the benefit of cross-generations, a lot of sharing! I found the entry point of the Persephone myth in the ancient ruins in Elefsis (“Elefsina” Ελευσίνα in Greek)…. perhaps I thought that getting a bit closer to the Eleusian Mysteries will take my spiritual development at a higher point to tie in the power of the female along with our more traditional patriarchal society… and how everything merged into a community bond that was difficult to break, but in many ways maintained that particular community’s identity, health and well-being. Anyone read Marion Zimmer Bradley’s historical fantasy “The Mists of Avalon”? Camelot existed, or did it not? The Celts were travellers, perhaps some traditions merged in a way that we will never quite understand.

Cave in background is the supposed entry-point to Hades’ kingdom as Persephone became his ”bride” — more on Persephone here by World History Encyclopedia.

There is no planet B for youth

This was the key message from the United Nations rep on the current state of our Earth. On November 4th many celebrate Diwali 🪔 much needed LIGHT, and one custom of GOOD reminds me that “there is some good in this world and it’s worth fighting for” says Sam to … Master Froddo! So, we need to fight for it.

Fight for your soul, for humanity, and the planet. Take it seriously, this is not a joke — we have no planet ”B”. Many have helped us increase our knowledge, our health literacy, with individual and community efforts…. Do think of what can you do today?

  • As consumers use less plastics, the 3 Rs ♻️ Reuse, Reduce, Recycle ♻️), but be careful as some of these “cool bags” can lead to bigger issues! (The Cotton Tote “Crisis”)
  • Energy and fuel efficient, less carbon emissions cars 🚘 and buses 🚌 🚎
  • Plant 🪴 🌲 🌳 reforest, and think of getting a little help from those heroic bees (April showers bring May flowers and..? 🐝 )
  • Homes 🏡 — energy efficient light 💡 bulbs, turn OFF and stop 🛑 your tap water from running when you don’t need it; insulate well!
  • Clean 🧼 up trash and vandalism from your community and help your municipality! Alone or with a group “after the storm”…
  • Schools 🏫 can also educate to recycle, fix up play areas, contribute books and offer classes to poor neighborhoods
  • Demand your legislators and governments to enforce global mandates — New agreements between US and EU on steel mandates (Joint EU-US agreement on steel 2021)

thinkgreen #EUinitiatives #Recycle #noplanetB

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Thoughts – November!

Food for thought this November, happy month !

The birds ”stock up“ How about you?

Every year I have observed a pattern of birds (pigeons) eating olives whose Omega 3 nutrient is much needed for their wings and stocking up for winter survival. Fot sure each season has its foods (see last post!) and what about long-term survival?

Some food for thought from the recent United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glascow, Scotland — we cannot have the earth as a “dumping ground” anymore a wake-up call for individuals, communities and governments to take action for the environment!
oh oh OH!

“Novembre” by Italian singer G. Ferreri

Think Fast…. blessed to have training

Every parent and maybe every teen should get First Aid training you can save a life. Last weekend my child from anaphylactic shock. Years ago it was my boss. Thankful to have done American Red Cross training years ago, and continuing to build health literacy for myself and others through today.

It was an awkward moment for one of my Supervisors a brief treatment psychologist, a vulnerable moment where he turned blue from some food he was eating. Running over instinctively as part of Procedural memory I knew what to do, I wrapped my arms around his upper waist made a triangular fist under the diaphragm giving him the Heimlich manoeuvre. He was very lucky person that day as I prevented him from choking and saved his life. Right place right time.

Photo by Roger Brown on Pexels.com
Some mornings you’re extra glad to see the ”Peace and Friendship” stadium from a hospital window! As it says below in Greek ”Each sunrise 🌅 of our life is not a “given” it is a blessing” and we know this well as the country of Greece recently mourns a beloved political leader, Fofi Gennimata, and her long battle with cancer.

As health literacy month comes to a close, some last October thoughts —

  1. Get trained in CPR and basic first aid
  2. Genetics are partly responsible but MAJOR role are our habits/choices for long-term health
  3. Remember screenings appropriate to your gender and life stage (some like dental care need to be done biannually for good oral health, pap tests for women, colonoscopies over 50, etc.)
  4. Anglo-Saxon and Traditions of the Americas like Halloween 🎃 are now popular throughout the world 🌎 so keep some healthy ideas going (pumpkin and nuts versus candy corn?)

After the storm


A great day, one of beach cleanup, and getting some much needed vitamin D from natural sunlight. Floods have become commonplace as a result of bad weather ⛈🌪 and deforestation due to fires 🔥 this past summer with one of the greatest ecological disasters on the isle of Evoia, as one friend said “apocalyptic”. A public transport bus in Attica was flooded as the driver misjudged a bridge and the passengers made a human chain to get out, several drownings — all reminisce cases of people we know who died — wrong place at the wrong time. 💔😥 Often in a rush to make it on time, we misjudge and create accidents, or lose a life.

This day was all about teamwork, beach cleanup after the storm, the benefits of volunteerism. Plastics, cigarette butts, beer cap bottles, old shoes, were some of our findings. So glad that cafes and restaurants are finally mandated to use paper straws. Thus, the lovely loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta, native to the region, won’t get the plastic ones we found (counted over 25!!!) stuck in their snouts.

“If I could remind people one thing for their own and other’s health — Slow Down and enjoy each moment!”

Author, October 2021

Thank God for seashells, and rainbows 🌈 and the promise of new beginnings. Great days ahead.