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    Suzi Wilson Blog

      Tour de France 2016


      Official Teaser – Tour de France 2016 by tourdefrance_en

      Boy do I love cycling and I am excited to see the Tour de France starting another season. It is the most challenging sport. It consists of 21 days of racing over a 23 day period and covers 2,200 miles (3,500 kilometres). There are roughly 20 teams with 9 riders each.

      The Jersey’s

      The rider with the lowest aggregated time over the course of the race gets to wear the yellow jersey on the next day.

      • Green Jersey: The best sprinter
      • Poka-Dot Jersey: The best climber
      • White Jersey: The best placed young (under 25) rider
      • Combative Number: The rider’s number has a red background
      • Team Jersey: The riders’ numbers have a yellow background

      The Points System

      The first 15 riders to finish a stage receive points. Riders can also get points for crossing a predetermined ‘sprint’ point during each stage.

      Each stage has a different classification and a different point value. Here is an example from the 2015 race.

      Tour_de_France

      If a rider exceeds the time limit for the stage they can be eliminated. The limit depends upon the type of stage and the winner’s average speed. The time limit may be extended or waived if more than 20% of riders exceed the limit. This can happen due to weather and collisions.

      I am really looking forward to watching as much cycling as I can this year. You can follow the activities and learn more about the Tour de France 2016 on their website.

      Happy Mother’s Day

      Happy Mother’s Day Sally

      My sister Sally is the best mother I know. She started life as a mother with her two step children and then grew her family with four more of her own. You would never know the difference though as she treats them all with the same love and kindness and they in turn treat her the same. Her children treat her with loving kindness and respect. Now she is a grandmother to many as well and she cherishes each moment with them, even when she is tired or would rather be doing something else.

      Our Mother

      VivianOur Mother was also a great example. She was careful with her words. She told us every day how much she loved us, how beautiful we were, how talented we were and how proud she was of us. Because we heard this from such a young age we believed it. It made us stronger, smarter & more confident. We lost our mother to cancer when she was 47 and we were 25. For many years I hated to celebrate mother’s day. I resented that everyone else got to celebrate and I was sad. But, I’ve come to realize that I can celebrate other mothers and their beauty and accomplishment.

      Thank you Mom & Thank you Sally. Happy Mother’s Day to all.

       

      New Orleans Museum of Art Masks

      Last week I visited the New Orleans Museum of Art, otherwise known as NOMA, for the first time. NOMA is located in New Orleans City Park.

      New Orleans City Park

      City Park sits on an Island between Orleans Avenue Canal and Bayou St. John on, what New Orleanians call, “The North Shore”. “The North Shore” refers to your proximity to the great Lake Pontchartrain.

      City Park has a lot to offer and there are so many places and exhibits to explore I know I will come back often and report on other exhibits and attractions there.

      The Masks

      The exhibit I enjoyed the most at the New Orleans Museum of Art was “Traditions Transfigured: The Noh Masks of Bidou Yamaguchi”.  Bidou Yamaguchi makes reproductions of historic Japanese Noh masks. He transforms the idea of Noh masks to iconic female portraits and others. “Noh” is derived from the Sino-Japanese word for “skill” or “talent”. It is a form of classical Japanese musical drama, performed since the 14th century. A Noh program includes five Noh plays with comedic plays in between.

      Noh is often based on tales from traditional literature with a supernatural being transformed into human form as a hero narrating a story. Noh integrates masks, costumes and various props in a dance-based performance, requiring highly trained actors and musicians. Emotions are primarily conveyed by stylized conventional gestures while the iconic masks represent the roles such as ghosts, women, children, and old people. Written in ancient Japanese language, the text “vividly describes the ordinary people of the twelfth to sixteenth centuries”.Wikipedia

      I loved the way the masks were displayed and enjoyed the attention to detail and fun nature of the characters. Here are the images I captured of the masks:

      We saw several other beautiful exhibits at the Art Gallery. This one I found particularly amusing, especially when a young man next to me (who had a strong russian accent) tried to explain that the reason these two pieces were next to each other was because of the copy of the hairline by the newest artist. The original was done by Amedeo Modigliani who was Italian and lived between 1884 – 1920. The artwork is “Portrait of a Young Woman done in 1918.

       

      If you are ever in the New Orleans, LA area please make the NOMA and City Park one of your destinations. It is a side of New Orleans that should not be missed.

       

      Feel Better About Yourself with a Simple Exercise

      Just imagine the world for a moment where everyone felt good. You know, the euphoria we feel around Christmas time, when everyone is being nice to each other and sharing the “Christmas Spirit”.

      Everyone can feel better about themselves. It doesn’t matter if you are naturally a happy person or a normally depressed or angry person. I recently read an article by Jannice Vilhauer, Ph.D. in it she discussed a simple exercise she gives to her patience. This exercise is simple enough, but strangely, few people actually do it.

      I know that I tend to get into a rut of thinking. Sometimes the thinking is just that things won’t change and that I am powerless. So, regardless of what your negative thoughts are I think this could help.

      The exercise is this:

      • Keep a pad of paper next to your bed and every night before you go to sleep, write down three things you liked about yourself that day.
      • In the morning, read the list before you get out of bed.
      • Do this everyday for 30 days.

      But remember: There is no benefit to your mental health in just understanding how the exercise works, just as there is no benefit to your physical health in knowing how to use a treadmill. The benefit comes from the doing.

      I’m interested to know how this works for you. I know I’m going to try it.

      Read the entire article here.

      Ballet Shoes

      I love to watch ballet dancers. They make everything look so easy, even though we know it is very, very difficult. Ballet has changed very little over the years and the craft of making ballet shoes is much the same as it was back when they started making them.

      Recently, I ran across this video short of the makers of ballet shoes. I enjoyed watching it and thought my readers would enjoy it too. It was shot at Freed of London. They have been making Pointe shoes since 1929.

      New York City Ballet “Pointe Shoes”

      The Story of Ballet Shoes

      This story follows a young New York City ballet dancer. There is a definite bond and trust between the dancer and the maker of the shoe, and they rarely have a chance to meet. The saying “meet your maker” takes on a whole new meaning. In this story you have an opportunity to see how a dancer determines what a custom shoe for her foot means.

      Winter Cruise of the Caribbean

      We decided to treat ourselves to a November cruise of the Caribbean as our birthday gift this year (my husband and I both have birthdays in November). Since New Orleans is so close to our home we left from there aboard the Carnival Elation.

      New Orleans Port

      french-quarterYou couldn’t find a more interesting port to leave from. We spent the afternoon poking around the French quarter before our boarding time at 2 pm where my husband bought some very cool sun glasses. Parking was easy and there were NO LINES!

      We retired early last night, but really enjoyed watching our favorite shows while being rocked to sleep.

      Carnival Cruise Lines

      So far our experience has been great. The ship were on is a little dated and worn, but very spacious and colorful. This is our first cruise on Carnival. We have found our favorite deck on the stern which is quiet and beautiful. The weather has been absolutely fabulous. Temperatures in the upper 70’s, light breezes and plenty of sunshine.

      For Kids or Adults

      carnival cruise trackThere seems to be plenty of room for kids and adults on this cruise. There is a great adults only section on the stern of the boat where you can relax in quiet, sunbathe or sit in the hot tub. In the center of the ship is the swimming pool with a nice waterslide and lots of music and activities. The front of the ship holds the fitness center, spa and a nice walking track with put-put golf.

      Benefits of Yoga for Scoliosis

      A friend shared an article by Kathryn Ashworth in Yoga International about a new study on the benefits of the side plank yoga position on people with Scoliosis which I want to share with you.

      Scoliosis

      milwaukee brace for scoliosis
      I was diagnosed at age 12 and had to wear a Milwaukee brace for 2 years.

      Most people know someone with scoliosis as it affects 6 million Americans. I have a severe case of scoliosis as does my twin sister. My nephew and cousin also suffer from a lesser curvature of the spine. The cause, for most people, is unknown although it can also be caused by conditions such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy.

      There was a great quote in the Yoga International article by Kathryn’s friend Amanda that mimic’s my feelings about my condition:

      Everything is crooked when the spine is crooked. And it requires mindfulness to pull it together…

      Side Plank

      A team of researchers studied the side effects of side plank on reducing spinal curvature in scoliosis patients and it was published in Global Advances in Health and Medicine. Each participant was instructed to hold the posture on the convex side of their spine—the side that’s rounded outward—daily, and for as long as possible. According to the study, this averaged about 1.5 minutes a day for 6.1 days a week.

      side plank yoga pose

      19 of the 25 participants in the study had a reduction of curvature averaged 40.9%!

      Although most yoga positions are supposed to be done on both sides to aide in asymmetry. For scoliosis sufferers it is recommended that they ONLY perform this pose on the convex (rounded outward) side.

      I can’t imagine why I wouldn’t give this a try. Afterall, I love yoga. If it can be so beneficial for an ailment like Scoliosis, image what it can do for you.

      See the article in its entirety here.