Happy Friday All,
I know the coming weekend is a popular holiday with many of the world’s big 3 religions, Easter, Passover, Ramadan. It will be very different this year with the social lock down and stay at home orders. Just because you can’t go out doesn’t mean you still can’t celebrate with friends and family.
Thanks to the advent of different technologies you can Zoom/ Facebook Message or FaceTime your friends/families/parents/dog or cat/ goldfish(?). Regardless you can use this weekend and downtime to advance your skills that you can share with those people (and almost all of them over video chat). I am going to list some options below and then link out to other posts and sites I have either made or have found extremely helpful. Lists of ingredients/tools/materials needed are listed as well. So without further adieu:
Learn an instrument: I personally love playing the ukulele and have a few. You can find affordable starter soprano and tenor (bigger, lower tones, better for bigger hands) on Amazon, MusiciansFriend, and other sites. I personally love my Makala ukuleles with Nygut strings. Sites to help you learn basic chords with TONS of songs are out there but I love this site. This is also awesome as its a great starting point for your kids to get into other musical instruments such as guitar!,
Learn another Language: My wife and I love to travel. I lived abroad for many years and was exposed to many languages in Europe. Since my wife and I have started seeing each other we make it a point to go adventure! Now I know right now that’s not an option but that gives you more time to learn a language in as little as 5 minute a day playing games and listening to stories. https://www.duolingo.com/learn is a free resource that allows you to create a profile and go out an learn TONS of languages _FREE_. I have used this to teach myself German, which I used to navigate Munich,Germany, Austria and Switzerland! “Eins Mas, Bitte” ( a Mas (1L stein) of beer please!) I used it to help me remember my high school and college French and I have even started learning DANISH on there – Jeg Drikker Ol! (“I drink Beer”, remember start with the essentials). There is an app that you can download as well from Duolingo and can be installed on you iPad/phone/android devices. This is a great way to expose your children to another language and help educate them when online school meetings have lost their appeal.
Learn to make your own Alcohol: Beer, Wine, Mead – All use the same basic principals for fermenting sugar into alcohol. How they taste, the volumes, and the creativity in formulating recipes are all up to you!
I will add more posts in regards to wine and beer, but go online to find resources locally, such as local brew shops, who can provide you a vast knowledge of where and how to start brewing, but also to help you with any questions you may have. This also helps your local communities and the economy so do your civic duty and drink up. Personally I have been brewing only Mead (Honey Wine) recently. I do it many ways mixing in fruit or spices or Hops. I primarily make Mead in 2 styles, wine style ( 12-15% alcohol), or Session style (4-7% alcohol and carbonated like beer). You can get a decent Session mead from raw ingredients to something you can drink in as little as a week!
Dry Hopped Session Mead
The folks over at Groennfell Meadery in VT have great resources online to teach you how to make and trouble shoot your own meads at home, and the head Meadmaker Ricky, is a delight with his knowledge and awesome “Ask the Meadmaker” YouTube videos. https://www.groennfell.com/blog
Self care – Meditation: There are many apps out there that will give you guided meditations and many more videos on YouTube etc. to help. The simplest tool I have found to help anyone start is Box breathing. Here is how is goes:
1. Find a quiet area and sit comfortably or lay down and close your eyes.
2. Clear your mind and just focus on your breath, coming in, going out and how it feels in your head/chest/back then arms and legs.
3. Now just focus on the breath, inhale for a count of 4. Hold it in for a count of 4. slowly breath out for a count of 4. Hold you breath without air in your lungs for a count of 4. Then repeat inhalation instructions. Do this once or twice a day for 5-10 minutes. You will feel clear headed and calmer with lower levels of anxiety after.
This is a technique taught to first responder’s, Navy SEALs, Military and other professions of high stress situations. You do not even need to sit down and close your eyes but this activity helps calm the nervous system and is an essential *Life Hack* when things are just getting too intense.
Alright everyone – I hope you enjoyed these tips and advice. Much much more to come in the future around these topics and many more. The meditation/Breath technique will definitely help during this pandemic and being stuck at home. Thanks all for reading! Happy Easter/Oester/Passover!