Scramble Up Stress and Smile

Written by Christina Major*

There are some cultures that eat swans, and it’s considered a transformational experience. We don’t, at least I don’t.

SwanEggs

I do eat their cousins, chickens and turkeys. And their eggs. They are delicious and good for you.

TurkeyEggs

The science shows 1 egg a day, for most people, are healthy and can reduce cholesterol. They are filling and can help a diabetic control his or her sugar throughout the day.

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Eggs can also relieve stress. Look at it; it’s sunny and yellow (or orange if you are getting the good, free range kind). The cholesterols in them help stimulate regular, low-level feel good chemicals. They are inherently warming for our system. While no study has been conducted on eggs and depression, I have noticed in my clients adding an egg always leads to feeling better.

SunnySideUpEgg

Here’s a great way to add an egg to your day: Scramble 1 egg with some peppers, mushrooms, spinach and onion. Add a small side of sweet potato home fries. If you set up the night before, it can take a small 10 minutes to cook breakfast. Now, you have a hot, filling and healthy breakfast to start your day right!

SmileyEgg

 

*Holistic Nutritionist & Naturopathic Doctor

As an owner of a thriving nutritional and lifestyle consulting business, Christina knows health is not just a condition, but a true state of being! Her clients are people who modern medicine has swept aside; not truly knowing what is causing their problems.  Christina spends the time with her clients to really learn who they are and what is causing their problems.

ChristinaMajor

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Photo Phace Phriends

How do I, a creative spirit, find folks in a town where there are no past connections?

I spent the early part of the day looking at architecture in another area.  I drove back to my temporary town and stopped off for supper in the local pizza shop. My somewhat new assertive courage actually worked out fine today.

BroccoliTomatoHamPizza
(broccoli, ham, tomato, cheese pizza)

I was doing work on my laptop when I looked out into the room where seven young folks congregated after school. They sat around a double table with their beverages (and sandwich) while all proceeded to peer intently into their cell phones.  They were involved in a typical social gathering with comments, jokes, belching, laughing, etc.  A group photo shoot was a predictable event for the gathering with friends.  There doesn’t seem to be enough photos of themselves and/or their friends . . .

I assumed they just took self-portraits, which would be posted on Facebook instantly, or later that evening.  The teens were certainly startled when I popped up from my seat and asked if I could also take a photo of them – but rather – if they’d be willing to be part of a creative photo shoot.     I envisioned a photo of their camera face-photos instead of their actual faces.

My animated energy was spent explaining “my vision.”  At least two in the group seemed to understood what I wanted to do for a photo.  Then one by one — light bulbs began to illuminate in their heads.   “Oh, I get it” one girl was pleased with her sudden insight.
Next, someone would project the image in their head with words to the head next to them until all 7 were “getting it.”  They even began to see the tongue-in-cheek humor in the concept.

The gang gathered around me in the same way my students did when I teach group art lessons.  This time, however, they had to help me with my technology.   First I had to get them to disconnect from the WiFi. There was a huge drain on the connection with all those “smart phones.”

I think our meeting was a magical moment — well, to me, it was.  Will I ever see the goofy gang again?  Not sure.  But if our paths do cross again, we can compare creative tech talk.

PhotoPhaces

Here are my new phound phriends and their photo phaces.

Hey gals/guys, see if you can elaborate on this photo concept and send another version to me.   Most of you in the gang participate in sports.
One of you can contribute to this blog with a creative sports shoot — and hopefully have a “ball” with it.

Thanks for providing a phamiliar pheeling of phamily.

Smile.

You’re on iCygnet Blog.

Charming Community Connection

Discovering charm in small town establishments has become more difficult in the last few years. The expense and multitude of regulations make starting a brick & mortar” business difficult. Surviving beyond start-up is an even more daunting challenge.  I survived and thrived over 20 years in a small town.

I have always been drawn to unique, non-franchise style establishments. I understand the process of start-up, development, advertising, hiring, operating several businesses. A large gap exists between “cookie cutter” franchises and independent operations.
A chart and floor plan for where every item is to be placed — a standard for block stores — keeps employees from feeling connection to their workplace.

This Wednesday, I visited Pizza Phi in Lewisburg, PA. It had the standard look of a town pizza shop. The employees were at their job — pleasant, but there was no phenomenal friendly service.  As a customer, I was also not engaged in the establishment.

PizzaPhi

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There is a spirit of spontaneity that will never feed my soul when I walk into other establishments.

I will have to build a new place with personality again — someday.

We Experienced the Extraordinary

It was my honor to educate and empower a dozen young people in my art/music studio coffeehouse over a 10-year time span. We all grew in knowledge and understanding of how to relate to the public — and each other. Our work gang was truly a delight — full of energy — creative and dedicated to accomplishing any task.

AngelaMatt_S Cheesecake

My all-time favorite energetic creative volunteer extraordinaire worked around the customer created murals.
She helped transform the space into a tearoom.

DianaSignatureWall TeaTime6

One of the best part of any independent shop is the empowerment an employee experiences because he/she is given the chance to add their creative spirit to the establishment.

The next higher level is the connection with the customer. We had a unique bond of spontaneous energy unable to be duplicated anywhere else.

WindowArt

WindowArt2

These Junior High School students loved the opportunity to decorate the windows on their Half-Days.

VE1cook

Two precocious children grew up in the studio/coffeehouse from age four/six for 5 years.
We had art, music and baking adventures.

BettyViolin

Betty and I met years earlier with her purchase of tubes of paint from Cygnet Studios.  Her first gallery exhibit featuring 70 years of artwork  was a grand event.  My father passed away October 2009, Betty was comforted through his violin the next year.  We lost Betty to Cancer, January 2011.  Her family requested my community coffeehouse for the life celebration — an honor.

JavaJournal2011

The community coffee connection is memorable. These ladies decorated their own “Java Journal” and didn’t even make the mistake of dipping their markers in a coffee cup. Way to go, gals.

GalleryGames

Sitting in the art gallery was inspirational, a huge reason many youth frequented my establishment.  Conewago Coffeehouse was more than just fun and games . . .

PositivePostIts

Spontaneity emerged and manifested itself instantaneously with this post-it project and became a new in-house activity.
We celebrated the joys of life and the sadness of death — together.

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Go ahead, ask “what happened to your amazing establishment?”

Evil does exist.   I found out first hand — I looked it in the eyes . . .

Predatory placed and promoted establishments didn’t kill OUR community coffeehouse — though a few DID try with “Imitation is the sincerest of flattery.” (Charles Caleb Colton) My community connection was calculatedly destroyed by a duo of “bully-boys” (names omitted for anonymity) then veiled through a twisted legal system.

I bet YOU and I are counting on justice to prevail.   Anyone for a family reunion?