I love plants. They bring a fresh pop of color to any living space and also a bit of nature indoors. I walked around my house and counted a total of 21 pots with greenery. It got me to thinking of the health benefits so I did some research and here's what I found out:
If you think you want to try some plants in your house, start off small with some easy to grow ones such as spider plants, ivy, or philodendrons. Make sure you water them when the soil is dry to the touch (every 2 weeks or so in the winter). If you need a reminder to water, just schedule it on your calendar.
To reap the above benefits, experts recommend you have 1 large plant (8 inch diameter pot) for every 100 square feet of your house. That may seem like a lot but over time you will find your collection of plants grows. I have some that are over 20 years old!!! Happy planting.
Well, I guess we're a dog family now. Sort of. Dave and I have never had pets. I'm allergic to cats and too lazy to bother with shots. Dave would love to own a dog, but we work all day and go away a lot on the weekends, so it doesn't seem fair to have a dog that spends all of its time alone.
But our house is surrounded by neighbors with dogs. Two labs on one side of us, 2 big mutts on the other side of us, and directly behind us used to be 2 little yappy terriers owned by an older widow. The yappers disappeared a few months ago, and then one day I noticed a bigger brown and white dog in her yard who appeared to love the outdoors. He would sit at the fence, watching everything with his little ears perked up, smiling and taking it all in. His whole demeanor screamed "come play with me!"
So about a month ago I went over and spoke with my neighbor. Both of her terriers had died and she was content to be dog-less, until her brother died and left her his dog. Buddy. A 6-year-old Border Collie full of energy. I offered to walk him for her (she uses a cane and doesn't get out much). She accepted.
And so now we (sort of) have a dog. LOL. The first time I took him for a walk, he kept his tail tucked between his legs and his face down and quietly walked a straight line. I was a bit perplexed.....until I found out that he had NEVER been walked on a leash before. He had lived in the country, on land with horses and sheep, and had free reign of the property. The last few years when his dad was ill, he stuck close to his side, indoors, and then when he moved to my neighborhood he stayed in the fenced yard. So he didn't really know what to do on a leash.
But it didn't take him long to realize that a walk meant getting out and exploring new things. Now he comes running and wagging when he sees me and Dave walk up the drive. Buddy is the mildest dog I have ever met. He doesn't jump on people, he sits when you tell him to, I have only heard him bark once, and he is very friendly when he meets new people. The perfect dog!
We walk him daily, for about 45 minutes, and sometimes take him into our yard to play with frisbees and balls and let him run along the fence with the neighbors' dogs. He has already shed a few pounds, and I am getting a guaranteed 45-minutes of activity every day. Win-win.
Liza recently wrote an article about the health benefits of owning a dog! I'm reaping some of those benefits with my pseudo-ownership of Buddy!!
Currently it is too cold to enjoy being outdoors for any extended period of time and it gets dark early. This can lead to the winter blues quickly. Here are some ideas to energize and entertain you while you are a prisoner in your own home.
· Bundle up and go outdoors for a while: Enjoy a quiet walk in the snow, gather some friends and build a snowman, have a snowball fight with your neighbors, look for creatures foot prints, go sled riding.
· Organize your home: Take this time to empty and organize closets, dressers and cabinets. If you find items that you forgot you had or haven’t used in the past year, put them in a box to donate to charity.
· Add a few new items: Nothing makes you enjoy being home more than having something new to look at. It can be as simple as new throw pillows, a new wall decoration or a new comforter on your bed. It can even go a little further to include a fresh coat of new paint or a new piece of furniture. You can even online shop so that you get the added perk of awaiting a new delivery.
· Plan a trip: Planning a trip to take in the next month or two will keep you planning, preparing and eagerly looking forward to the break.
· Take advantage of local attractions: Museums, Aquariums, Zoos, or other indoor attractions in your area.
· Planned theme days and make a calendar: Craft day, movie day, build an indoor fort day, baking day, cooking day, board game day, read a book day, dance party day, karaoke day, spa day, funky hair style day, dress crazy day…the ideas go on and on.
· Go to a local hotel with a pool for the day: This is fun for both kids and adults to spend the day swimming indoors and get out of the house.
· Light up your home: Turn on the lights or lamps, light some candles, if you have a fireplace-make a fire, hang Christmas lights and plug in. The extra light can be comforting.
· Invite your neighbors to dinner: Sometimes winter weather keeps friends from traveling to see each other, but it’s easy for neighbors to visit each other.
· Call an old friend: Reconnecting with friends and family that you haven’t seen for a while on the phone is a great way to pass the time while enjoying a cup of hot tea or hot chocolate.
Finding a way to enjoy every season we endure will keep you happy and looking forward to the memories you create during them. Please feel free to share more ideas with us!
Click to set custom HTML