Cicadas Are Causing Quite the Buzz: Tips to Reduce Your Stress During the Insect Invasion

Picture1For 17 years, cicadas have been nesting underground waiting for the perfect conditions to make their appearance. And ta-dah, that time has arrived. Over the next four to six weeks, those living on the east coast from Georgia to Connecticut will need to find a way to cohabitate with the insects. Cicadas, although great for the local ecosystem (see below), can cause some annoyances in our daily lives including the drum-like “love song” that male cicadas make to attract a female partner. So here are a few tips to help you handle our little uninvited guests:

 

  • Protect trees and gardens: Homeowners who are concerned about their young hardwood or fruit trees (less than 5 feet tall) can protect them by wrapping branches with pond netting or spun polyolefin. Since Cicadas only consume liquid from trees, home flower and fruit gardens are not at any risk.
  • Keep animals safe: We can protect our animal companions from eating cicadas by keeping cats indoors and taking dogs for leashed walks. Although cicadas will not bite animals (nor humans) and cooking-up live cicadas may be a delicacy for some, eating a dead cicada can be potentially harmful to your pet.
  • Dress appropriately: This year, we will see more cicadas than usual. Depending on the area you live in, cicadas are predicted to outnumber people 600 to 1. Because cicadas will harbor in trees and will be emerging from the ground, you may want to consider wearing closed-toe shoes and carrying an umbrella.
  • Children: Cicadas, though somewhat unattractive, are not harmful to children. Let your kids know that the insects will not sting or bite. Actually, the six week period of infestation can actually be a unique learning experience. Children may like to collect Cicada shells after they shed and the rare occurrence may also provide an opportunity to teach kids about unusual species.

Just remember that Cicadas are a benefit to our environment. The Chimney-like tunnels they dig to emerge naturally arrogate the soil allowing more water to reach the trees’ roots. Also, female cicadas dig tiny trenches in young tree  branches to lay their eggs inside. This natural pruning helps strengthen trees so they produce more fruit and blossoms. And when cicadas die, their bodies become a nitrogen rich fertilizer. Remember: cicadas are our friends.

Giveaway Day Winners!

DSCF0094Yesterday was My Mental health Day Giveaway Day! If you were following along on Facebook, you already know all the winners and hopefully found time to read some of the great stress reducing tips and articles we provided throughout the day. But in case you missed it or you want to double check your raffle ticket number(s), below is the full list of lucky giveaway winners.

If you weren’t able to purchase a raffle ticket, there are other ways to support the campaign throughout the year. Our mission is to educate the community about the importance of mental wellness, taking time for yourself, and reducing stress. Eliminating the stigma associated with mental health takes many voices and we are ever grateful for your help and support.

Carla S (#1061): Leroy Neiman Limited Edition Serigraph called “Cal Ripken, Jr.” which commemorates his record-breaking “2131” game.  The serigraph is pencil signed by both LeRoy Neiman and Cal Ripkin, Jr. and comes with authentication information for both the artist and the athlete (note: this piece comes unframed).   Estimated retail value of $3,500.  Donated by Ronald D. Paul Companies, Inc.

James T (#0869): Three hours of financial planning services.  Expiration June 30, 2014 and appointments must be scheduled in advance and at convenience of Monument Wealth Management.  Winner’s name and contact information to be provided to the firm.  Estimated value is $1,200.  Donated by Monument Wealth Management/Mike Jacobs.

Sarah L (#001): Ten passenger Limousine for 3 Hours of Service. Value is $450. Gratuity due at time of service. Expires May 24, 2014. Donated by RMA Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation.

Sarah L (#004): A $400 gift certificate redeemable at any Black Restaurant Group location.  Value is $400. Donated by Black Restaurant Group.

Kathleen R (#048): Four hours of home Maintenance and handyman service. Service available in the Washington DC Area and in San Antonio, TX.  Winner must allow for a few weeks advanced scheduling. Estimated value is $360. Donated by Hassle Free Home Services Inc.

Melanie & Lawrence N (#1478): Nikon Coolpix P7100 10.1 MP Digital Camera. Estimated Value is $350. Donated by Joy Paul.

Susan F (#086): IPad Mini (7.9” display, 16 GB) or New Kindle Fire HD (7” display, 32 GB)* Estimated Value is $229-$329.  Donated/purchased with My Mental Health Day underwriting support from the Jerome S. & Grace H. Murray Foundation.

*Item winner to select color (if applicable) within 14 days of being notified of winning and selection will be limited to the available stock at Apple, Amazon, or MHA-selected retailer.  Prize will be ordered upon receipt of that information from the item winner.  The item will be available to the winner upon receipt of the package by MHA.  Wi-fi/phone service charges are NOT included with this prize.

Amanda Curoso (#1024): IPad Mini (7.9” display, 16 GB) or New Kindle Fire HD (7” display, 32 GB)* Estimated Value is $229-$329.  Donated/purchased with My Mental Health Day underwriting support from the Jerome S. & Grace H. Murray Foundation.

*Item winner to select color (if applicable) within 14 days of being notified of winning and selection will be limited to the available stock at Apple, Amazon, or MHA-selected retailer.  Prize will be ordered upon receipt of that information from the item winner.  The item will be available to the winner upon receipt of the package by MHA.  Wi-fi/phone service charges are NOT included with this prize.

Hope G (#064): Baroni hand crafted Tourmaline Citrine Topaz Crystal necklace. Estimated Value $289. Donated by dmf collection.

Michael M (#124): Visit to the flower wholesaler and one flower arranging lesson with Ellen Seagraves.  To be scheduled at a mutually agreed upon time.  Valid until May 2014.  Estimated value is $250.  Donated by Ellen Seagraves.

Jenifer J. (#098): Hand crafted Gold fill Tourmaline crystal topaz necklace. Estimated Value $239. Donated by dmf collection.

Shadow Graphix (#1506): Three-month membership to Rock Creek Sports Club. Estimated Value $210. Donated by Rock Creek Sports Club.

Elizabeth H (#016): Hand crafted Sapphire Zircon Crystal necklace. Estimated Value $189. Donated by dmf collection.

Carla S (#1065): Four weeks of class and membership at My Gym. Estimate Value $167. Donated by My Gym.

Stephanie A (#082): Golf Lesson at Congressional Country Club and lunch at the Founder’s Pub (Bethesda, MD).  Winner’s name and contact information to be provided to the donor.  Dates and times will be at the discretion of the donor.  Estimated value is $150.  Donated by Haywood Miller.

Amanda C (#1023): Aspen Hill Club (Silver Spring, MD) One Month Couple Congressional Membership. Estimated value is $119. Donated by Aspen Hill Club.

Kathleen R (#046): Two tickets to the Olney Theatre Center production of Rancho Mirage (Showing October 2-October 20, 2013). Estimated Value $113. Donated by Olney Theater Center.

Hope G (#066): A $100 Amazon gift card. Estimated value $100. Donated by Cindy Flanders.

Adrienne Fierro (#091): A Washington Redskins  autographed “Limited Edition 2012 Team Laser Signed” football. Estimated value $100. Donated by the Washington Redskins.

Nick A. (#0929): Circa at Dupont (DC Restaurant) Gift Certificate for $100.  Estimated value is $100.  Donated by Circa Dupont.

Mark and Ann B (#0900): Circa at Dupont (DC Restaurant) Gift Certificate for $100.  Estimated value is $100.  Donated by Circa Dupont.

Ronald D Paul Companies (#1458): Hand Crafted picture frame welded combining brass and copper elements. Estimated Value $100. Donated and hand crafted by Gary Rosenthal.

Teddy A (#0934): A $100 gift certificate to Newton’s Table. Value is $100. Donated by Newton’s Table. Expires 4/11/14.

Michael D. (#0928): Baroni hand crafted inlaid pearl five ring set. Estimated Value $99. Donated by dmf collection.

Madelon J (#104): Baroni hand designed gold five ring set. Estimated Value $99. Donated by dmf collection.

Shu-Ping C (#1072): Baroni hand designed moonstone oval ring. Estimated Value $99. Donated by dmf collection.

Yoko Consulting (#1504): One hour massage with Val Ford at Ninotch Spa in Bethesda. Estimated value is $95. Certificate excludes Gratuity. Donated by Val Ford and Ninotch Spa.

Mary K (#0923): Roger Bernadina autographed baseball from the Washington Nationals. Estimated Value is $85. Donated by the Washington Nationals.

Anthony C (#0877): Two space-available passes for The Studio Theatre production of Baby Universe: A Puppet Odyssey. (Showing June 26th-July 14th, 2013). Donated by The Studio Theatre.

Ronald D Paul Companies (#1456): A $50 American Express Gift Card. Estimated value $50. Donated by Joy Paul.

Stephanie A (#084): A $50 gift certificate to Clyde’s An American Bar. Estimated Value $50. Donated by Clyde’s Restaurant Group. Expires 5/2014.

Steve S (#0962): A $50 gift certificate to Old Ebbitt Grill. Estimated Value $50. Donated by Clyde’s Restaurant Group. Expires 5/2014.

Carla S (#1066): A $50 gift certificate to Tower Oaks Lodge. Estimated Value $50. Donated by Clyde’s Restaurant Group. Expires 5/2014.

Alexa H (#0939): Two Day Passes or Two Open Climb Passes at Climbing Earth Treks Centers. Estimated Value $50. Donated by Climbing Earth Treks Centers.

Lee H (#010): Two Day Passes or Two Open Climb Passes at Climbing Earth Treks Centers. Estimated Value $50. Donated by Climbing Earth Treks Centers.

Amanda C (#1022): A gift certificate for a free manicure and pedicure from Nails by Timothy. Estimated value $40. Donated by Nails by Timothy.

Richard M (#0891): A gift certificate for a free manicure and pedicure from Nails by Timothy. Estimated value $40. Donated by Nails by Timothy.

Abbey K (#062): Baroni hand designed green and blue crystal silver chain earrings. Estimated Value $40. Donated by dmf collection.

 

The Healthy Benefits of Gardening

By: First Lady Katie O’Malley

garden KOM

The American botanist Luther Burbank said “Flowers always make people better,
happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.”

 

April is National Gardening Month and at Government House in Annapolis, we’re preparing for our fifth annual food garden. As we enjoy warmer weather, budding plants, and emerging wildlife, we encourage you to plant a food garden at your own home.

There are so many things we gain when we get our hands a little dirty and plant a garden in our backyard, in containers or in a lot down the street, including:

  1. Eating Healthy: Fruits, herbs, and vegetables are fresh, nutritious, and readily available. They can easily be incorporated into favorite recipes. ChopChop Maryland offers seasonal recipes to make with your family.
  2. Exercising More: Gardening encourages us to get outside and be active. From watering plants to pulling weeds, the work helps you and your plants stay healthy.
  3. Connecting with Nature: Gardening at home gives us the opportunity think about the source of our food, as well as the importance of eating healthy, well-balanced meals.
  4. Spending Time Together: Gardening provides a wonderful opportunity to bond with friends and family. It encourages conversation and observation for children of all ages.
  5. Supporting Family Farms: Families who grow their own garden often choose to supplement their homegrown food with fresh produce from farmers’ markets, strengthening our local economy and supporting our family farms. Learn more about the benefits of eating locally-sourced foods.

Planting a garden at home is a great way for Marylanders to improve their physical and mental well-being. From patio containers to sprawling acres, we hope you will join us in getting outside and getting active.

Follow the progress of the Government House garden online at governor.maryland.gov/firstlady/.

 

My Mental Health Day Thanks:
First Lady Katie O’Malley
http://www.governor.maryland.gov/firstlady/

Golf for Mental Health?

For some, getting that small ball into what can seem like a tiny hole may be pretty stressful, but for others it is a great way to relax.  Here’s an article about the physical and mental health benefits of playing golf.  What do you think, is golf stressful or relaxing?

If you’re one of those folks who know that playing golf boosts your mental well-being or you’d like to try it out to see, go to Blue Mash Golf Course for “Syco De Mind-O” (sync your mind and body) tomorrow, May 5th.   Just mention MHA and Blue Mash will generously donate 15% of your greens fees to MHA!  Relax & Help Others – that’s two mental health boosting activities!

Want a whole year of golfing fun?  Buy a My Mental Health Day ticket for a chance to win an Any Day Membership to Blue Mash!  Ticket purchasers will also get emails with great mental health boosting tips and strategies.

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