It’s the seventh anniversary of this Photo Blogging Challenge. Thank you host PJ, for continuing to lead our small group of dedicated participants! 🙂 There have been several months over the past seven years when this challenge is the only post published to our blog.
It’s quite a coincidence that with the world “at sixes and sevens” and so many of us now required to spend seven days a week at home, this month’s theme is seven. I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone came up with in response to this broad theme. Here’s my take:
1. Seven Ducks a Swimming
I strongly believe in the value of a daily dose of Vitamin N(ature) to support physical and mental well-being. Even so, my mind got caught up in the 24/7 news cycle almost entirely focused on COVID-19 for a good part of this month. One of the few nature photographs I took is of seven Common Goldeneye ducks on the Bow River in Camore. There are five females and two males in the group.
2. Seven Test Strips
There’s a hot tub on the back deck of our mountain getaway and I’m the one that does the maintenance and water balancing. We set the hot tub to vacation mode when we leave and then turn the temperature up and re-balance the water when we’re there. On our most recent escape to the Canadian Rockies it took the better part of a day and seven test strips before I got the chlorine, pH and alkaline levels just right. Well worth the effort – soaking in your own hot tub is one of the outdoor enjoyments that’s still possible during the COVID-19 pandemic.
3. SMILE and Cope
At some point around the middle of the month, I realized that – like many people – my anxiety and stress levels were really high. For me, it’s a state of mind that results in poor sleep, poor decision-making and impaired health. My response? SMILE and cope as best I can by making SMall, Individual, Life(style) Edits to things I can control. Here’s a list of seven such changes I made in March:
- replace daily walks to the grocery store with a daily walk around the neighbourhood
- place online grocery orders for pick-up every 10-14 days
- include grocery items for an elderly neighbour, friends in self-isolation and elderly parents-in-law in those online grocery orders
- text, telephone, Facetime, Google Duo or Zoom with at least three family members/friends each day
- strengthen my meditation practice by making it daily and using guided meditations that focus on joy, loving-kindness or other positive emotions
- regularly wipe down high touch surfaces (door handles, light switches, faucets, fridge door handle, etc) with soapy water
- replace the news and social media with audiobooks and podcasts (except for one news summary per day)
What are some changes you’ve made to help cope during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Building with Lego is a great way to get creative, enter a flow state and relieve stress. As I was thinking about ideas for the theme of seven, I realized I don’t remember ever seeing a Lego brick with seven studs (the little round bumps that let Lego bricks lock together). For that matter, Lego bricks with five studs are very rare and I couldn’t find one in our bins of one-third height bricks when I put together this assembly of parts.
5. Seven New Recipes
With so many of us under stay-at-home guidelines/orders, it’s no wonder we’re spending more time cooking. I tried at least seven new recipes this month: beef udon; Asian vegetable soup; chocolate fudge; water cake, pumpkin bread, tofu stir-fry and cream of mushroom soup are the ones I can remember. I enjoyed the mushroom soup for lunch, seven days in a row!
That brings my celebration of seven to a close. Head over to organizer PJ’s post and check out the link up to see what everyone else came up with.
While you’re there, please consider joining this photo blogging challenge! With most of the world under stay-at-home guidelines/orders, activities like this help bring a sense of purpose to a portion of time. It’s basically a low-stress photo assignment – an excuse to hone photography skills. For each month’s theme, share five photos taken with any camera. The amount of accompanying text is up to you. The next theme will be posted at a ‘lil Hoohaa in early April.