SEARCH: The Heart of the Matter

The Heart of the Matter

by Elliot Thorpe

“Hey, let’s go for a run!”

“Do you mind if I just finish this pack of high-saturated-fat content potato chips first?’ I replied, balancing the TV remote on my knee so I didn’t have to stretch for it. “And my large over-sized tumbler of non-specific branded fizzy pop, filled to the brim with sugars and coloring, will go flat if I don’t drink it all up now.”

Just the thought of both those comestibles gives me a gut ache, let alone the implications of what they could do to my arteries. That said, if I’m honest, the notion of going for a run pretty much fills…

Read the rest in our Winter 2021 #Wellness issue

SEARCH: Author Spotlight on Oksanna Normandeau

Author Spotlight on Oksanna Normandeau

OnormandeauLocation: Spanaway, Washington

Tell us about yourself: Poetry was first introduced to me in my childhood years with Shel Silverstein’s, Where the Sidewalk Ends. It continued on into my adulthood as I read through the semesters in college. It wasn’t until I was in my 20’s that I went through one of my most influential transitions of my life where I turned to it for my own therapeutic means. I haven’t stopped writing since.

What do you find inspiring about writing poetry? The possibilities with each creation are boundless. If you think about all of the ways one can form a writ ten piece—free verse, spoken word, haiku, etc—it is mind blowing what we can come up with…

Read more in our Winter 2021 #Wellness issue.

SEARCH: Does Music Increase Memory Retention?

Does Music Increase Memory Retention?
by Michele Roger


As a musician and music teacher, I have a lot of very specific questions about how music affects the brain. Most people wouldn’t ponder why piano students, no matter if they’re left handed or right handed, always struggle with learning the bass clef. I do. And why is it that kids who are more mathematical are more successful at learning the guitar?

I’m always looking for ways to set my students up for success. After twenty years of teaching, I’ve also made a few key observations.

Some of my students study music to improve their grades, not necessarily for the beauty of learning an instrument. Studying music improves math scores and cognition in any age group. Other students with attention challenges study music as both a form of…

Read more in our Winter 2021 #Wellness! issue.

SEARCH: The Well of Zen-ness

The Well of Zen-ness
by Tim Reynolds


I’m a big supporter of health and wellness. Really! I have a regular exercise regimen that includes stretching the truth, jumping to conclusions, and running off at the mouth. When I’m feeling extra energetic I even try to jog my memory.

I like my yoga plain, with fresh fruit mixed in, and my “downward dog” is textbook perfect—if you define “downward dog” as napping with my pup, Sedona. I have a coat rack in my living room that looks just like a stationary bike, a tarp hanger in my basement that strongly resembles an $1100 elliptical machine…

Continue reading in our Winter 2021 #Wellness issue.

SEARCH: Follow Your Heart, Across an Ocean

Follow Your Heart, Across an Ocean
by Michele Roger


After years of hardship from war, my grandparents found each other.

He told the story of the guys in his barrack taking shifts sleeping. Stationed in Africa, the locals— supporters of Rommel—were known for sneaking into American camps and slitting the throats of soldiers. He was thankful to be reassigned to a new post that took him to France.

She told stories of being orphaned by age eleven and raised in a school by nuns. She recalled a time when she hid from a German patrol in a theater with her schoolmates. None of them had eaten or had water for days. Her friends hid in a prop room. There, they stumbled upon a stash of oranges and a barrel of water. They ate oranges until their gums bled and their bodies formed “pockets” of water in their skin, unable to absorb the water they poured into their mouths.

Clarence was an American Machine Specialist soldier from Detroit stationed in France. He played saxophone…

Read more in our Winter 2021 #Wellness issue.

SEARCH: The Benefits of Mineral Baths

The Benefits of Mineral Baths
by Kay Tracy

heidi-kaden-gcKomw5peMo-unsplashAn old phrase you may have heard before is, “Taking the waters.” It involves the use of mineral springs, natural warm water sources, and cold water therapy as a health benefit. Some people will swear that the mineral baths and hot springs have healing properties and result in improved health.

Others hold the belief that this is all wishful thinking and nothing more than hokum, or a line to take your money. While there is certainly a psychological reaction to sitting back in neck-deep warm water and being able to relax, it turns out that science has found it is also physiological as well. Once seen as “alternative” medicine with no grounding in scientific rigor, this viewpoint is changing.

Be aware that there are several categories of hydrotherapy, including…

Read more in our Winter 2021 #Wellness issue.

SEARCH: Editor Letter for our #Wellness issue


I recently hit a milestone birthday, and my husband and I joke that my warranty expired. Like a car that’s driven a few too many miles, I hear the creaks and groans of age build up as the indiscretions of youth finally come due. That time I slipped while doing a pull-up and tweaked my back? The knees that complained when I slung my baby around in her carrier? Now is the time to itemize just where I went wrong and look to the future, where little ol’ me hopes to hit milestones without feeling like I need to go in for maintenance.

One of the perks of age is that I have also gained perspective. In our Wellness: Mind, Body, & Soul issue, we consider more than the physical tribulations suffered by our earthbound selves. Our body shelters our mind and soul so we can achieve our best selves. We refine our personalities so we might share our joys at any age.

In our featured article, Elliot Thorpe recounts learning about his heart condition. Brian and Patricia Dake provide a recipe built around healthy broccolini. Tim Reynolds has a lighter take on the accessories to mindfulness. Michele Roger investigates music as a source of academic improvement, while Kay Tracy extolls the benefits of mineral baths. Lillian Csernica considers the challenges of achieving spiritual enlightenment, particularly when it’s difficult to connect with other people, let alone a higher power.

Our articles offer suggestions to take care of your body so it does not distract you from the joys of the mind and the elevation of spirit. Discover the reward of seeking knowledge for the mind and compassion for the heart.

And no, I still don’t wish to purchase an extended warranty.

Heather Roulo / Editorial Director

Read our #Wellness Winter 2021 issue.

SEARCH: 2021 Winter Issue Table of Contents

Our Winter 2021 reminds you to take care of your Mind, Body & Soul in our #Wellness issue.

Table of Content

• Humor: The Well of Zen-ness
• Music: Does Music Increase Memory Retention?
• Author Spotlight: Oksanna Normandeau
• #Mind: A Flight into Being
• Food: Lemon Garlic Broccolini
• Autism: Getting into the Spirit
• Fitness: Why Wait?
• Health: Weight Loss Vs. Weight Lost
• City Spotlight: Florence, Oregon
• Books: Meditations on the Fridge
• Poetry: Mind, Body, and Soul
• Tech/Biz: Traffic Circles
• Poetry Corner: Simple Chains

Read it all in our #Wellness Winter 2021 issue

SEARCH: They Can Do It!

They Can Do It!
by Lillian Csernica

One of the most serious concerns parents of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) children face is how their children will make the transition out of the educational system and into the workforce.

Breakthroughs in research about ASD provide more and more support for school-age children. Unfortunately, autistic teens and young adults looking for work experience find themselves with far fewer options. ASD still carries a stigma among people familiar only with the more dramatic portrayals of ASD in the movies and on social media. This can lead to assumptions about ASD people that are not only factually incorrect, they spread a pre-emptive anxiety that robs ASD people of potential opportunities…

Read more in our Fall 2021 You Can Do It! issue.

SEARCH: Regrets, I Have a Few

Regrets, I Have a Few
by Tim Reynolds


I am 61 years old and I am not going to the moon.

You’re thinking, “Of course you’re not, Tim. You’re 61 and you’re not an astronaut,” and you’d be right. But I might have. I actually applied to go with Japanese billionaire Yusaka Maezawa.

He’s taking eight people with him on SpaceX’s Starship, in 2023. Really! It’s the #DearMoon project. And I applied. So what if I didn’t make the cut? My point is, I might have gone. The odds of me going weren’t great, but there was a slim chance. By applying, my chances were 1 in 62,500. Despite failing to make the cut, I don’t regret applying. If I didn’t apply, my chance was zero.

Read more in our Fall 2021 You Can Do It! issue.