Frankly Freddie – Sniffing Around

Frankly Freddie – Sniffing Around

CATNIP readership, is particularly well-read and accomplished, not to mention famous, as evidenced by the current group of winners.

I’ve done a bit of sniffing around and found that the winners of my subscriber drawing, in addition to a prize which will be arriving by mail from Catnip Zazzle store, deserve plugs for their accomplishments.

James Greco

James 

A published author and writes a blog –

https://fjamesgreco.wordpress.com/ Thoughts on writing, music, news, & politics”

He’s owned by Wicket, a Bichon-Poodle Canine Dog

Jacqui Murray

Jacqui

Published author and writes 3 blogs – One of which is Worddreams (if you are a teacher check out her other blogs) https://worddreams.wordpress.com/

Currently owned by a dog and 3 blogs

Vandi Clark  

Vandi

An actress, known for The Lathe of Heaven (1980), Snake with a Human Tail (2014) and Jack’s Bad Day (2010).

Currently owned by 1 dog and 5 cats. 

AND That’s NOT ALL.  

Peggy & Judy share appreciation for two people who donated their time and expertise to helping get CATNIP’s paws off the ground.  They instructed me to send them a thank-you gift from CATNIP Zazzle store too:

Sharon Bonin-Pratt

Not literally Shari

Writer & creative Artist, which is apparent by the creative picture on her blog.

Her blog is Ink Flare Blog  https://sharonboninpratt.wordpress.com/

Currently owned by Grandchildren

Shari spent a lot of time reading and critiquing CATNIP content, linking and formatting which helped Peggy & Judy look like they knew what they are doing. 

Ronna Skinner

Graphic designer extraordinaire 

Ronna

(who I thanked before but NOW she’ll get a thank you gift too!)

Ronna helped get the cats Peggy drew, safely perched onto the letters where they can play with “CATNIP” to their hearts content and make Peggy & Judy look professional.

If you want CATNIP gifts YOU should volunteer.

Frankly,

Freddie Parker Westerfield

Drawing Master

 

Frankly Freddie, You are a WINNER! Come on down.

Dear Human-beings who had the good sense, not to mention the intelligence, to subscribe to CATNIPblog

YOU CAME THROUGH FOR ME!  Treats galore! (not an obscure reference to Ian Fleming James Bond novel Goldfinger  but rather to the fact that this blog is dedicated to a “Pussy Cat Galore”).  I get one treat for every subscriber so keep them coming.  But I digress. . .

Tongue-lick’n good

Unless you are a blogger you might not know that every lick . . .  I mean click, every commenter, every subscriber is catalogued in the statistics.  Which makes my job much easier to keep track of who subscribed and how many treats I get. 

Here’s how I ran my subscriber contest:

  1. I assigned every subscriber a number.
  2. A random number generator on the Web gave me 3 numbers.
  3. I matched the randomly generated numbers to the subscriber number AND

Until now only Ernst & Young have known the winners.

TA DA!!!!

# 38 – http://fjamesgreco.wordpress.com  Come on down. You are a WINNER!

#22 –  vandi.clark Come on down.  You are a WINNER!

#47 – Jacqui Murray Come on down.  You are a WINNER!

If that’s you, e-mail my humans at PEGGYJUDYTIME@gmail.com*

with

  • Your name
  • Mailing address
  • Whether you are owned by a cat, dog or other critter.

You’ll get your treat via U.S. Postal Service as soon as Peggy & Judy get to the Post Office.

*E-mails must be received by Saturday, April 1st (no this is not an April Fool’s prank) or the next random person will be declared a winner and get your treat.

Frankly,

Freddie Parker Westerfield, CDM

Certified Drawing Master

 

Falling Waters and Rising Spirits

I love waterfalls! 

One of my favorite places to go is the Columbia River Gorge, an area with the highest concentration of waterfalls in North America.  There are over 90!  I love it there and I will hike uphill for miles to see the waterfalls.

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All my life I’ve loved the rain, going to the beach, having a water fountain in my yard, and taking showers. They all make me happy. Now I know why – negative ions.

Negative ions are produced by falling water and create changes in our levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that relieves stress, increases energy and reduces depression

“Negative ions increase the flow of oxygen to the brain; resulting in higher alertness, decreased drowsiness, and more mental energy.” 

WebMD. Pierce J. Howard, PhD

The WebMD article goes on to say “The air circulating in the mountains and the beach is said to contain tens of thousands of negative ions — Much more than the average home or office building, which contain dozens or hundreds, and many register a flat zero.”

Want to get negative ions?

  • Take a walk by a river or stream.
  • Walk in the rain.
  • Go to the beach.
  • Run in the sprinklers.
  • Have a water fight in a pool.
  • Hike to a waterfall.
  • Sit by a fountain.
  • Buy a negative ion generator for your home.
  • Or . . .  just take a shower.

(I didn’t list “wash dishes by hand” or “scrub the floor on your knees” because I believe adding detergent to water MIGHT create positive ions which we all know are not mood elevators . . .)

(PA)

References:

“Negative Ions Create Positive Vibes” By Denise Mann, WebMD, June 2, 2003.
The Owners Manual for the Brain: Everyday Applications from Mind Brain, by Pierce J. Howard, PhD
Biopsychology of Mood and Arousal, by Robert E. Thayer,

 

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Pawsitively Tuesday — Olde Ode

Sometimes I think,

she says with a wink,

I’m stupid and old

if the truth be told.

Cuz it’s hard to remember

the last time I was young,

she says cheek in tongue

to-be-old-and-wise-you-must-first-be-young-and-stupid11

If you haven’t already subscribed to CATNIP, to enter Freddie’s Drawing  click HERE for information

Those who have subscribed are in the drawing!

Frankly Freddie – Catnipblog Subscriber Drawing

Welcome to OUR NEW BLOG.  You found it!  (You can read what Peggy and my human are up to on my original invitation by clicking here: Curious to the Max)

Here’s the scoop (pun intended cuz this blog is dedicated to a cat – if it were appropriately dedicated to a dog, like me, I would have said “Here’s the information one needs to know to enter my drawing”)

  • Subscribe by e-mail in the side-bar, upper right column and type in your e-mail address and you will automatically be on the subscriber list.
  • Everyone who subscribes by Saturday March 18th at midnight (when cats howl) will be entered into my drawing.
  • Winners will be picked democratically, without bias as to how many paws you have.
  • The winners will be announced on this blog (forcing you to visit Catnipblog to see if you won)  

If you are one of the MANY winners you can pick your prize . . . or let me pick.

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A cat, not Freddie, by Peggy

PLEASE SUBSCRIBE to CATNIP NOW so Peggy and my human don’t think I’ve sabotaged them because I don’t like cats . . . and withhold my treats. 

P.S.  Scroll down or click here Meditation can reduce depression by 40%      How Practice Gives You 3 months of “HAPPY”    Snack Your Way to Mental Clarity to read the first posts too and tell me what you think.

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Freddie Parker Westerfield, Certified Canine Therapist, RET

Research shows you will be happier for 3 months – Music to my ears

I played violin in the high school orchestra. It was enjoyable and got me out of physical education class. Practicing was another matter.  Practicing the violin was excruciating for me. It was solely focused on doing weird, complicated, boring scales over and over and over . . . no melody, NO FUN.   I would set a timer for 1 hour: polish my violin for 10 minutes; resin the bow for 5; tune the strings for 15 and; laboriously do scales for the rest of the time. I did get better.

If only I had known that I could have practiced being in a good mood while I was practicing scales.

Yup, research now shows the more you practice being in a good mood the better you get at keeping a good mood.

Our brains seek out familiar patterns. The more we consciously focus on positive thoughts the easier it is for our brain to access those thoughts and find positive patterns in other areas.  (Of course, there is a corollary  – focus on the negative and your brain will look for more negative connections).  So the more you think about the positive things in your life, the easier it is to think of good things in your life. 

Start at any time.  Like now. Think about something “positive/good” . . . a time you had fun or laughed at a joke or a childhood celebration.  It doesn’t even have to be about you or your life . . .  something “positive” you’ve witnessed, read about or even imagined.  Share it with someone and notice feeling happier.

The more you practice the easier it will be for your brain to access the positive and lift your mood.  

Here’s an easy practice session.

   Maui Practicing, not judy, by Peggy

Pawsitive Exercise

Each day for a week, at the end of the day, write down 3 good or positive things that have happened to you that day and why they happened. 

They can be:

  • BIG things (became a grandma, bought a Maserati, won the lottery)
  • Small things (took a nice shower, ate breakfast, paid the water bill on time).
  • The same things repeated each day or different things/events listed.

When you write down why they happened give yourself credit:

  • I won the lottery because I bought a ticket
  • I took a nice hot shower because I paid the water bill on time
  • I became a grandma because I became a mother because I have kept a good relationship with my daughter because I called her and had a positive conversation.

You don’t need a fancy journal –

a notebook, post-it-notes, napkins will work.

Just do this for one week.

Research shows you will be happier for 3 months!

My violin “practice” list would have looked like this:

  • I managed to get through another violin practice session without dying of boredom.
  • I played in tune, 75% of the time
  • I polished my violin and it’s shiny.

(jw)

Reference:  Seligman, M. P., Steen, T. A., Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2005). Positive Psychology Progress. American Psychologist, 60(5), 410-421. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.60.5.410

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Meditation can reduce DEPRESSION symptoms by 40%

One of the more debilitating “problems” of  having a chronic disease like fibromyalgia is depression.   Whatever is going on in my fibro-brain is altering or dampening the neurotransmitters that impact mood.  When my fibro symptoms really flare I become depressed – dog food or Depends commercials can bring me to tears and not because I use either . . .  Most of the time my fiber-depression is minor and here’s one of the reasons why:

Freddie

Freddie Parker Westerfield, Interval Trainer

I walk my dog Freddie almost every day in the park.  It’s 25 minutes of  interval training.  Freddie runs like crazy, stops, marks territory, runs like crazy, stops, sniffs, marks territory, runs, stops . . .  I hold onto the end of the leash and follow his lead (with the exception of marking territory).  

Years ago, I started saying a meditative prayer while on our walks.  I repeat, ( sotto voce so as not to make others in the park suspicious I’m a terrorist) Allah ‘u ‘abha (“God is great” in Arabic – it’s more mellifluous than English).  Afterwards, I feel relieved (the CALM-kind of relief, not the territory-marking-kind) and have little pain.

I was stunned  to read this article on meditation and exercise to find not only am I saving time by combining the two I am self-medicating. 

Fighting Depression? Neuroscience Says This May Reduce Symptoms by 40 Percent (in Just 8 Weeks)*

By Melanie Curtin

“. . . neuroscience research has identified a stunningly effective yet simple way to significantly reduce depression symptoms: combining aerobic exercise with meditation.

“In essence, neurogenesis researchers hypothesized that as depressive symptoms emerge, the production of new cells decreases. They noted that trauma and stressful life events are already known to impair neurogenesis, and that the literature has already established that aerobic exercise can significantly increase the number of new cells a brain creates.”

The problem is what happens after aerobic exercise: a great number of new cells die just weeks after being created. And if they don’t join the brain’s circuitry, they can’t bolster the brain, uplift mood, help a person experience resilience, or create a more robust sense of wellbeing.

Fortunately, while new neurons can die, they can also be rescued, which is where meditation comes in. It turns out that when novel learning experiences challenge the mind, new neurons are “saved.”

The study, published in Translational Psychiatry, outlined how the research was conducted: The neuroscientists developed a mental and physical (MAP) training plan for participants, which combined focused attention meditation with aerobic exercise.

“During the meditation portion, participants were instructed to focus on the present moment, refocusing on their breathing if thoughts drifted to the past or future. According to research, this helps those with depression (not to mention the rest of us) “accept moment-to-moment changes in attention.” This was followed by 30 minutes of “moderate-intensity” aerobic exercise.”

“Remarkably, the study found a nearly 40% decrease in depressive symptoms after just eight weeks of the training. They described these results as “robust.”‘

“As Tracey Shors, one of the study authors said, “Scientists have known for a while that both of these activities alone can help with depression … But this study suggests that when done together, there is a striking improvement in depressive symptoms along with increases in synchronized brain activity.”‘

“The researchers also pointed out that while the norm for treating depression has involved the prescription of psychotropic drugs like Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa, and Lexapro, these drugs can have limited efficacy and can also lead to intense and disruptive side effects. Part of the excitement over these results is the fact that the practices involved are free, immediately accessible, and have no adverse side effects.”

Amen.

*Read the entire article and click HERE.

Soon! Coming to a Computer Near You:

A post “Meditate with the Dalai Lama” that explains how to combine meditation with problem solving.

(jw)

 

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