The Stress of Constant Noise

Never underestimate the effect of unwanted sound on your stress levels. Although many of us live in cities and are used to a certain level of noise, when that noise reaches a certain threshold, the symptoms of stress will begin to manifest. These symptoms can be as simple as a headache and increased bodily tension resulting in sore muscles at the end of the day. Alternatively the stress of continual noise can manifest as irritability, moodiness, crying fits, emotional eating, and jangled nerves. Ultimately prolonged exposure to uncontrollable noise can result in chronic free-floating anxiety and/or depression. Although you may … Continue reading

When the Noise Gets to You

I know that my years of parenting have increased my tolerance for all sorts of things: mess, chaos, whining, and noise. It is amazing how quickly we acclimate. Even if we used to be the most calm and mellow person, craving and appreciating our quiet alone time–we do get used to the noise and rambunctiousness of family life. Well, at least most of us get used to it and for most of the time… I was at a coffee shop the other day and while it was a busy place, it was relatively calm–there was the constant buzz of adult … Continue reading

Here Comes the Microcar

I live in a relatively small city in the Upper Midwest portion of the United States far, far away from the cutting edge “left coast” where “green” concept cars are a dime a dozen. Around here people care about the environment, but getting motorists to trade in their gas-guzzling “Ram Tough” 4×4’s for an eco-friendly vehicle that looks like a roller skate on four wheels could be a long time coming. Or is it? The big news around the state came is that motorists are one step closer to being allowed to drive new energy-efficient microcars on local streets. Microcars … Continue reading

Auto Emergency Kits

Some of the most tragic stories of vacations gone wrong are often those where a person or family experiences a situation where they are lost or stranded in their automobiles. While the risk of life and death situations are far more common with winter driving trips, no matter the season families can suffer great peril when traveling by car. The truth is that most of the tragic stories we hear on the evening news may have been avoided had families considered and prepared for the worst possible situations they might face along their journeys. When we jump in the car … Continue reading

Remodeling: Creating A Peaceful Retreat

This blog is inspired by Beth’s blog: “Is noise driving you mad?” In it she wrote about noise being a source of stress and tension. I happen to agree and wondered what I could do to reduce the noise factor in my own home (besides donning earplugs when my 2-year-old screams at octaves that make dogs sit up and take notice). Enter: Soundproofing. It may seem a bit extreme, but research has found that soundproofing techniques are becoming more popular in today’s homes, especially as an increasing amount of homeowners transform their basements into music studios, media rooms, or children’s … Continue reading

Winners of the Caldecott Medal: 1983-1987

Come read the books deemed worthy of the Caldecott Medal! I am giving a brief synopsis of each book along with a comment about the artwork here and there. I am also including lists of the Honor winners for each year. I hope you enjoy my series. Comments are welcomed!! 1983 “Shadow” translated and illustrated by Marcia Brown; original text in French: Blaise Cendrars “Shadow” is a book describing the African view of a dancing image. This image comes to life when a storyteller tells his stories around a bright fire. Dark colors are used in this book to emphasize … Continue reading