← Return to Winter Wellbeing: What are you doing this winter for you?

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Colleen Young, Connect Director (@colleenyoung)

Winter Wellbeing: What are you doing this winter for you?

Healthy Living | Last Active: Mar 16 11:03am | Replies (18)

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@colleenyoung

@migizii, I had wondered about the origin of your username. How lovely to hear that it means eagle in Ojibwe. It sounds like you have a special connection to eagles. I'd love to hear more.

FYI to everyone: The winter project I'm turning my energies to is birding. I'm intent on backyard birding. My office is on the second floor and I have the advantage of seeing bird up close and personal in our backyard apricot tree. Especially in the winter it is full of cardinals, bluejays and juncos. The neighbor's property behind us is higher than we are and the red-tailed hawk family love to perch on their tall pine. Birding also gets me away from my desk. I'm learning more about identifying birds and their calls during morning and weekend walks. Naturally my thoughts often return to my garden as I plan which plants to use to attract butterflies, bees and birds.

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Replies to "@migizii, I had wondered about the origin of your username. How lovely to hear that it..."

I just walked from my sofa where we were watching the birds at the feeders – to my computer – we moved the feeders to the porch landing this Fall so we could watch from indoors, and it only took a couple days for everyone to find them. I just noticed we have a lone juvenile gold finch hanging around with the cardinals. And juncos are new here – we don't see them in summer. Every couple of days, the birds all disappear, and when I go for my walk I hear the eagles calling as they fly near here.

Here's a fun energy food for your feathered friends:
1 lb peanut butter, 1/2 lb lard, rendered suet or solid shortening (I use one plain suet cake from the farm supply store), 1 lb coarse cornmeal – melt together over low heat, let cool until semisoft and spread on a rough log or pine cones. Roll in hulled sunflower seed (optional) for an extra treat. Hang and watch the birds enjoy. If you use pinecones, I suggest hanging them with wire so the squirrels cannot steal them, which they do if you use twine. Store the extra, covered in a cool place and reapply as needed.

Wish I had a picture of the "feeder logs" our friend makes (not many rough-barked trees in Texas) – about 3-4" diameter & 18-20" long, shallow one inch divots drilled all over to hold the mixture, eye hook in one end for hanging. We use these in TX to fatten up the migratory birds before they begin the trip northward in Spring, here most seed eaters prefer them to suet.

I did this project with my grandson last week and we hung the cones from branches they could see out the picture window.

Sue

Hi Colleen! Although I read all the heartfelt messages that come in, I do it in the evening when my energy is low and it’s harder for me to focus and concentrate to give all of you my input, support and care. However, everyone, please know I care deeply for all of you and your journeys…..life has many roads we all must travel and there is so much support here! I thank all of you and am grateful everyday for this space❤️
Now, the origin of my username comes from the Ojibwe name for eagle. I worked with the Leech Lake Band Of Ojibwe for many years and the eagle (migizi) is one of the Seven Grandfather Teachings. Although I am not of their tribal background or race, gradually they accepted me and gave me so much in terms of compassion, knowledge, and laughter. I worked in the capacity of mental health, providing therapy to severely emotionally disturbed children and youth in their small community in the school setting, in a Level IV special education program and the Alternative Learning Center. The kids and their families had so many challenges, yet the love that they shared was unconditional and endless in spite of the depths of grief their community often experienced. Ok, I guess I’ve rambled enough. As you probably noticed, I loved my job (in spite of intense stress), but had to retire due to Covid this year because my bronchiectasis interfacing with the kids would be too high risk for my health. Fortunately, I’m now 65 and Medicare is here for me. But now I grieve for the kids and leaving them without therapy right now…..eventually someone will be hired and then they will have new opportunities. Though, as I mentioned, they are used to loss and unfortunately, I am another loss to them. Sorry to make this sound sad….I also grieve my loss to not be there anymore but my health feels more stable, although my energy level continues to stay somewhat low. Thanks for asking and Have a wonderful holiday!

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