The first day of autumn tip-toes in this Saturday. Nowhere is the change of seasons more evident than at farmers’ markets. Displays of summer produce, such as musk melons and heirloom tomatoes, nestle up against fall standouts, such as pears, apples, and butternut squash. Are you ready to let go of summer and welcome in fall?
The changing of seasons creates a whole-body, sensory reminder of the passage of time: Our internal clocks try to adjust to the changing lengths of day; our sense of taste and smell reacquaint themselves with seasonal palates; our eyes feast on the shifting colors around us; our skin begs to be covered or uncovered; our ears pick up once familiar sounds – birds chirping, winds gusting, air conditioners or heaters humming, leaves rustling, fires crackling . . . . At the beginning of each season, I always say “This one’s my favorite!” And so it is.
#1 – Pears
Pears are good sources of phosphorous and Vitamin A. When selecting pears look for firm, well-colored, aromatic fruit with no blemishes or bruises. Ripe pears should be refrigerated and will last anywhere from 2 days to a week. If they are not ripe, put them, bottom-sides down, in a paper bag and store in a cool place. To hasten the ripening process, put a banana or an apple in the paper bag with the pears. Visit local farmers’ markets to find more varieties of delicious pears.
#2 – Nature and Art
On a beautiful piece of land, complete with rolling hills and adjacent harbor, exists a spectacular sculpture collection. Gibbs Farm in New Zealand is home to more than two dozen enormous pieces of artwork. This interesting juxtaposition of calming rural scenery and contemporary art can be seen by appointment only and is definitely on my bucket list of things to do! Check out some of the installations and their descriptions on Twisted Sifter or go to the Gibbs Farm link above.
#3 – Sugar, Sugar
This week I read an online article in a Harvard Medical School publication regarding computer games and brain fitness. The article states, So far, it looks like simply playing games that require concentration won’t help you remember important names, faces, and appointments. What can work are practical tools designed to address specific problems encountered in daily life . . . to stay sharp, your mind needs regular workouts in creative thinking, problem solving, and intellectual focus. To stretch and exercise your brain, choose an activity you enjoy—reading, playing cards, or doing crossword puzzles are some good examples. If you’re feeling ambitious, try learning to speak a new language or play a musical instrument.
Well, I just discovered this Sugar, Sugar game in which a player has to figure out ways to funnel sugar into coffee mugs. I believe this game, and the others I’ve linked to in the past, all require concentration AND problem-solving. And since the Harvard article says that learning a new language is good for the brain, why don’t we just play our favorite games in different languages?
#4 – Eyes: Windows Into You
Eyes are not just the windows to your soul. They are also windows into your health. According to this pictorial article, “Eyes can be very helpful when it comes to diagnosing an illness.” Reading this article keeps you more in tune with what your body’s telling you and that’s a good thing.
Have a great weekend!