Take a Stand, Make that Statement, Slam that Door!

by Cyndi Paxton Johnson

I recently went roller skating for “The Last Time in My Life”.  It wasn’t a difficult decision – and I feel quite convinced I will never change my mind.  Of course, the brace on my left wrist is a constant reminder for the next six weeks.  But I’ve made these statements before – and I’ve never waivered.

About twenty years ago I enjoyed my last motorcycle ride.  No broken bones that time, but it occurred to me that I was spending almost a decade in college to get the most out of my brain, and putting it that close to concrete at 55mph was not the wisest choice.  I’ve never looked back – I’m not afraid to ride, I know it would be most enjoyable, but it’s not an option.  I also made “the last time” declaration for roller coasters a few years ago. I used to love their stomach clenching excitement – but it’s no longer fun.  (and….I think it’s preferable to quit while I’m just not happy, rather than when I’ve lost my lunch on complete strangers while flying upside down – I’m sure they appreciate that more, too!)

What strikes me most about “the last time” statements is the absolute conviction behind them.  I’m done. Period. No discussion, no second guessing, no being talked into another try. I’m DONE. 

What if I took that conviction and applied it to other areas of my life? Is it easier for me to say, “I will NEVER do that again” than to say “I will do xyz from now on”?  See the difference?

Many self-help books say to phrase everything in the positive – that our brains ignore negative statements.  You know, “don’t slam the door” becomes “please close the door quietly”.  Hmmm….thinking about it, I definitely use “Don’t” in my interactions.  I’m ok with that, really. It works for me.

And maybe it’s more powerful for me to say “I will NEVER let the fear of something new hold me back” than to say, “I will embrace challenges whenever possible”.  Maybe it’s a stubbornness thing. Or maybe it’s just easier.

Evening Contrails

Contrails at SunsetContrails at SunsetWe were heading to Cambridge to hear our friend Anne Watts and Boister play their latest CD live, when we got a feast for our eyes.

Confessions of a hapless baker....to dough, or not to dough

by Cyndi Paxton Johnson

I love bakeries - Cake Boss leaves me drooling like a Newfoundland. New York City has amazing bakeries with freshly baked treats arranged in the windows to lure you in like the proverbial moth to the flame. Fortunately I was quite young when I lived there and could breakfast on the large, chocolate filled pastry logs without requiring an extra seat on a plane. (these days I go up a pants size by simply looking in the window)

Ever since I left New York I've strived to re-create the pastry perfection of those dream-filled windows. I've managed, from time to time, to create some rockin' cinnamon rolls, bread, muffins and cakes.

Find Unique Gifts, Pamper your Spirit and Have a Ball in Caroline County!

Have you ever said....

The malls are crazy in December!
Those super-stores are a pain - and so huge!
I just don't know what to get {so and so} this season - she's so hard to buy for!
I want to buy local this year and support the Mid Shore community!
To heck with Christmas crazy - I just want to have FUN!

Well, fret no more - because here's the solution! Get thee to these two open houses in Caroline County - have a blast, pamper yourself, and get original (and most welcome) gifts for everyone on your list! 

Saturday, December 1st 10am-6pm: Go to Outstanding Dreams Farm [24480 Pinetown Rd Preston,MD] to play with an alpaca, chat with Phil and Vickie Liske, and lose yourself in the luxurious warmth of alpaca knitwear - it's amazing! Their alpaca store has a large assortment of gifts and sundries - all of the finest quality - and many homemade. Alpaca wool gloves will certainly feel good this snowy winter! If you can't make the open house you can still enjoy the store and many gift offerings - give them a call!

Sunday, December 9  1-4pm: Visit Cindy Draper & Associates [311 Franklin St Denton, MD] for their Holiday Open House! This is THE place to go for massages, reiki, acupuncture, foot reflexology and more. Just walking into the Denton historic home is enough to lower your blood pressure a few points. Who wouldn't love a gift certificate for a full body massage ($60)?  The open house will feature many types of gifts, including essential oil products, photographs, afghans, teas, jewelry and more. Don't miss it!

Fire Company Tradition Brightens Skipjack For The Holidays

Volunteers from Cambridge Rescue Fire Company recently brought their Ladder Tower No.1 truck to Long Wharf in Cambridge in what has become an annual tradition of helping light the Skipjack Nathan of Dorchester for the holidays.

Firefighter Rick Travers, Jr., used the truck’s bucket to give a lift to skipjack volunteers. They lashed a small tree to the top of the mast and outlined the skipjack’s sail pattern in garland and lights. Nathan crew members John O’Reilly, Tom Kish and Michael Hoff took turns in the bucket, while other volunteers handled decorating on deck.

The Nathan went “green” this year, with a gift of LED lights from a donor who wished to remain anonymous. The new energy-efficient bulbs replaced its previous glass incandescent bulbs. Capt. Frank Newton, who supervised the decorating, noted that the new plastic bulbs should last longer and draw much less power, reducing breakage and blown fuses.

Newton added that the Nathan’s lights contribute to the Cambridge waterfront holiday display and are readily visible as one crosses the Choptank River Bridge into the city.

Shore Health Patient Safety Initiative Receives National Recognition

Shore Health’s Target Zero initiative was one of four programs across the country that received national recognition earlier this year as an honorable mention recipient of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) 2012 Partnership in Prevention Award. This national recognition is given annually by HHS in partnership with the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) to recognize the top hospitals who have achieved the greatest sustainable improvements towards eliminating healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).

The first of its kind, this award is meant to demonstrate that wide-scale reduction and progress toward the elimination of healthcare-associated infections are truly possible when multidisciplinary teams work together.

“It is gratifying for Shore Health to be named among the top hospitals in the country for our Target Zero efforts because so many people at Shore contributed to our success, “ says Michael Tooke, MD, Chief Medical Officer for Shore Health.

Thanks to Target Zero, Shore Health has experienced extended periods of time with zero significant infections, in particular CLABSI, CAUTI, and VAP. Each ICU and many other hospital-based nursing units, including the home care and hospice team, have gone for periods of over a year (some even greater than two or three years) without a device-related infection. Additionally, Shore Health has seen reductions in every other healthcare-associated infection tracked, including MRSA, C-Diff, and VRE.


          -- Applications are now being accepted for organizations wishing to apply for The Community Arts Grants program. The deadline for receipt of the applications is Friday,

            December 21, 2012. These grants are an allocation of the Dorchester Center for the Arts as the designated Dorchester County Arts Council, and monies are to be used for arts programming.

            The funds allocated in the grant are from the Maryland State Arts Council and are intended to encourage arts participation across the county. Supported arts disciplines include dance, theatre, visual arts, music, film/media arts, literary arts, folk/heritage/traditional and multi-disciplinary arts programming. Individual grants average $100-900. Granting allocations will total $2000 for the 2012-2013 fiscal year. Programs must take place between January 1 and June 20, 2013.

Giving Thanks this Thanksgiving

I don't understand it. How is it possible that it's the end of NOVEMBER already??? Last time I looked, it was the 4th of July and we were concentrating on swimming, hot dogs and fireworks. (I vaguely remember a three-day sugar buzz that could have been Halloween) 

Life is still marching on at an alarming rate. Children grow, loved ones pass and the face in the mirror keeps looking older. (don't get me started on THAT one) Thanksgiving has traditionally been the huge family affair day - complete with turkey, Aunt Edna's stuffing and fighting with relatives. Thanksgiving afternoon we rested, gearing up for Black Friday shopping. 

Hope you didn't really need that nap, because the shopping now starts on Thursday afternoon - and continues the ENTIRE night. If you don't have a full car by 6am Friday morning you've missed it - better luck next year.  I'm starting to feel...annoyed at the entire process.  I'm not a Black Friday star performer, by any means. I've gone out a few times, feeling like an idiot for leaving my warm bed at 4am to score the best deals. Now that seems like a luxury - actually getting to sleep until 4am!

4 Clever Ways to Avoid Morning Stress

Mornings can be a difficult time for many individuals. Often, mornings are spent preparing breakfasts, getting lunches ready for children and spouses, anticipating meetings, and managing traffic. In most cases, these morning tasks can lead to a great deal of stress. By keeping some basic recommendations in mind, however, they don’t necessarily have to. Individuals who want to avoid morning stress should be sure to develop a routine, plan ahead, rise early, and anticipate traffic. These tips cannot only make the morning hours run more smoothly, but can be beneficial for the rest of the day as well.

1.  Develop a Routine
As mentioned above, one of the most important tips for individuals who want to avoid morning stress involves developing a routine. As with other long-term plans, developing a routine for the morning hours may take quite a bit of time. While routines may vary depending on personal situations, they may include making breakfast, taking a shower, getting children ready for school and on the bus, and finally heading to the place of employment. Try to create a specific routine and stick to it for an extended period of time. If a morning routine is not working, try incorporating small changes, and reevaluate its effectiveness after a few months of use.

2.  Plan Ahead
Though developing a routine is very important for individuals who want to avoid morning stress, planning ahead can also be beneficial. Instead of making and packing sack lunches in the morning, try to do it the night before. Similarly, outfits can be laid out in the evening, so the question of “what to wear” will not come up in the early morning hours. Finally, make sure all paperwork and other materials that may have been brought from work and studied at home are packed and ready to go in the morning. Planning ahead cannot only significantly reduce stress , but may also be an effective way to save time in the precious morning hours.

Rehabilitation After a Brain Injury - The Steps You Can Take

Rehabilitation after catastrophic brain injury is required to help the individual – and their loved ones – adapt to the new situation in their lives. Brain injury patients may have to re-learn everyday skills including walking, speech, conversation and personal care, requiring a multi-disciplinary team of doctors and therapists to help the patient return to their daily life as much as possible.

First steps to recovering from brain injury

Many families worry about how long it might take their loved one to begin to recover during brain injury rehabilitation, which in itself can be challenging. Medical professionals generally consider that the first six months after brain injury will give an indication of how quickly or completely a brain injury patient will recover – but slow recovery from brain injury does not mean that progress will not continue to be made, as different therapies suit different individuals and each case of brain injury is unique. 

A year after the brain injury is perhaps the best time to begin thinking about the future and what further rehabilitation might be needed to help the patient continue their recovery. The emotional and psychological trauma of brain injury can take much longer to overcome – and progress may be linked to how well the patient is able to deal with what has happened to them.

Featured Image

Railroad Switch

Read More Articles

Need something done? We'll introduce you to the local experts!
Adventures, positive parenting & homeschooling information
Find eclectic shops and outstanding bargains!
Local experts give advice on health & fitness!
Literary corner, product reviews and more!
Small town happenings, festivals and events!
Inner peace and community action
Exhibits, concerts, plays and much, much more!
Sometimes....you just have to laugh!
Near, far and everywhere in between
Restaurants, local produce, canning & food preparation!
Create a home that blesses & restores your spirit!
Hiking, cycling, kayaking, fishing & more!
Learn, stretch, grow
Critters & flowers & veggies - oh my!
Dancing Women