Tag Archives: Thoughts

Are You Happy? You Can Be!

Heirloom Cherry Blossoms

Did you know you can take actions to make yourself happier? Apparently, you can.

I am currently taking an on-line college course that was offered for free by Coursera. (Not all Coursera courses have a free option.) I had never heard of them, but now that I am aware, I will be taking more of their free classes on my computer. The class I signed up for is through Yale University. Other classes may be provided by other institutions. If you want a certificate at the end, you have to pay, but I don’t care about that. I am auditing the course.

This class is about happiness. It is taught to Yale students, and during this time of Covid, they wanted to offer it to others who might benefit as well. I first became aware of the opportunity when it was mentioned in the newspaper. The name of this particular class is The Science of Well-Being. It lasts for eight weeks and requires about two hours per week of effort. Lectures are pre-recorded video clips and there are quizzes and a bit of home work. I’m having fun!

Double Daffodils

The lectures first tell you some of the science behind happiness and various theories, studies, and experiments. Then it moves on to how this pertains to us. I am learning a lot through the course and having a good time doing it. Some of the ways to be happier are not news. The one that everyone has heard about is gratitude.

Narcissus

Gratitude is an easy outlook to apply. Just look around you. What do you see that you are grateful for? I see flowers, plants, trees, and gardens that I am grateful for. If I look at my more immediate surroundings, I see dogs, books and magazines, and coffee in a gifted mug that I am grateful for. One of the dogs is currently gazing at me adoringly and that is a true blessing. And there are so many more. We have but to open our eyes and hearts and see.

What are you grateful for? Yes, I really want to know. There may be things that I am overlooking, and I care what others see as blessings.

Namaste. Peace be with you.

Books I Read in February 2021

I liked this one!

I didn’t do much better at reading in February than I did in January. In my defense, February is a short month.

1. Beaglemania-Linda O. Johnston

Adoption manager Lauren becomes the prime murder suspect after a dog abuser and puppy mill worker dies. Lauren spends all her time taking care of her shelter charges and looking for the real killer. Keeping herself safe becomes harder and harder. The first in a new series. A worthwhile read.

2. Christmas At the Island Hotel-Jenny Colgan

This story takes place on one of the far north islands of Scotland. It has an enjoyable cast of characters who all play a part in bringing off the success of the new hotel on the island. A nice slice of life in another land.

3. Rescue You-Elysia Whisler

Sunny and her sister Constance are involved in running a dog rescue. I grew really attached to all the characters in this book as I read about them working out problems in their personal lives and for the dogs. A very enjoyable book.

4. The Lending Library-Aliza Fogelson

When the local library closes for long term repairs, the main character Dodie, feels lost. She opens a library in her home with donated books and gets to know many people in her community. She also struggles with how to handle her desire to have a child while she still has time. I found this book to be ok, not the most exciting thing I’ve ever read, but not bad.

5. Return to Virgin River-Robyn Carr

This is one of the books on which the television series is based. If the show is anything like the book, I can see why it is popular. Kaylee is dealing with the death of her mother and moves to the town of Virgin River for a few months to finish her next book. She finds lots of people in town who become like family.

If I had to pick just one book for you to read from this list I would recommend Return to Virgin River, although Rescue You is a close second. Why wonder what you’re missing? Read them both!

Two Dogs, Sheltie

Shelby and Zekie Got Mail!

Something happened a few days ago that put smiles on the faces here at our house. Shelby and Zekie got mail! It was addressed to them, as was the card inside. As you may know, these are two of our dogs who were attacked by two other loose dogs while hiking about a week and a half ago. Encounter With Loose Dogs, Gone Bad

Get Well Card
Card received by Shelby & Zekie!

The card was signed “Love, Foxy and Wolfie”. These are two shelties that are owned by a friend of ours’ from the sheltie world. Foxy and Wolfie say they are glad that Shelby and Zekie are feeling better and send hugs, and to their mom too (me!).

What a blessing the friends I have made in the dog world, and elsewhere, are! My posts and updates about the incident garnered tremendous amounts of Facebook likes, hearts, and hugging cares. We feel loved. I hear comments about how social media is bad for people and results in stress and anxiety. I say, those people are not using it properly or perhaps associate with the wrong people. I have made wonderful, supportive friends who make my life better. When I have a trauma or upsetting experience, I post it (as long as it will not harm someone else), because I know my friends, acquaintances, and followers will share words of kindness and lift me up. This happens 99.5 % of the time, making it easier to ignore that one. That one was not my friend anyway, if they are “diss-ing” me.

The card that Shelby and Zekie received also points out how one kind action can change someone’s days. It certainly did for me. I feel lighter and more cheerful knowing that people have my back. It makes me want to be kind to others and share the positivity. It created a ripple that will spread to others and make the world a little bit better. Thanks Diane!

By the way, Shelby and Zekie are feeling much better. Shelby has been off pain meds for days, and finished the antibiotics yesterday. I still gently massage her wound area to increase blood flow to promote healing of the deeper tissues. On the surface her wound looks good. Zekie is a miracle, like the whole thing never happened. The prayers everyone sent have been answered. The two of them are doing great.

I thank you for your thoughts, prayers, support, and good wishes. I can feel them.

Food for Thought

I’m trying something new this year. I got a planner for the year that has month at a time pages and weekly pages with lines to write what you do each day. That way I can keep track of my commitments but also be able to write daily.

And what am I writing on these daily pages you might ask? (Or if you don’t want to ask, then as Rosanna Rosanna Danna often said…Never-mind.) I am going to do one kind thing everyday and record it in the journal. By keeping a record, it keeps me mindful and wanting to make sure that I have something to record. Most times it’s nothing fantastic.

It could be something as simple as leaving a quarter in the cart at our local Aldi’s grocery store. (You have to put in a quarter to get a cart and then you get your quarter back when you return the cart.) At least I am working on the habit of consciously being kind. I hope that this leads to bigger and kinder things from me.

Some days when I’m jotting down my kind act (or picking my brain to remember something I did that was nice) I wonder what should really qualify? When what I come up with is “Haul wood to the house while my hubby is sick so he can rest”, does that really qualify as something nice? Isn’t that just something I should do anyway?

So I’ve discovered that the difference between being nice, and doing what you should, is sometimes a fine line. Food for thought…

Does This Happen To You?


Is it just me or do random people at the store stop you to talk and ask questions of you too? I’m talking total strangers that I have never seen before.

There was the lady who was determining what kind of cat food to get. I was there getting cans of cat food for my 15 year old cat who would eat nothing else. Little did I know that by entering the pet aisle that I would become her prime suspect. She saw the food I put into the cart and asked, “Do they like it?”. Umm, no I just buy this to stack around the house? Of course, I responded that yes, this was the only thing that Lacey the cat would eat. Then I got to hear a little about her cats.

Next I was asked about a number of other brands on the shelf. I had no experience with most of them. Then it was, “Do you think Brand X is good for them?” Umm, you really should discuss it with your vet if you think that your cat has special needs. I thought this would be my opportunity to make a break for it. I don’t mind helping people but I had already spent some time on this and I had to get home. Not to mention, this lady was in desperate need of a bath. Mercifully, I was not all that close to her but I didn’t need to be. I explained to her that I was on my way home from work so really needed to get going.

I should have been faster with my departure. “What kind of litter do you use”, was next on her agenda. She wanted to discuss the merits and my experience with the various cat litters. I gave her a few words of advice and moved to leave. She was still talking as I made my way down the aisle and I called have a nice day. I could still hear her as I left the aisle. I’ve always wondered if she was still standing there talking by the time the next unsuspecting soul came along.

Driving home I thought there went 15 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back. I can only hope that this random shopper’s life was improved in some way by our discussion. Whether it be from some advice I gave her, or just that someone took 15 minutes out of their day to talk to her.

There was also the day that a friendly lady asked me about acorn squash in the produce department. She seemed nice and mercifully was well groomed.

Her: Do you know anything about acorn squash?
Me: Yes, it is delicious.
Her: (Picking up random squash) Does this one look good? How about this one” (And so on, until she had the appropriate squash.
Me: (Thinking she is all set now and we are done)
Her: Ok, what do I do with this?
Me: (Gave her various cooking methods)
Her: Well, what do you cook with it?

So I gave some more suggestions and made my get away.

These are the most notable instances but these types of encounters seem to happen to me from time to time. I went home one day and asked my husband, “Does it say Sucker or Has no life on my forehead? He said no, that he thinks people can sense that I am a kind and caring person. I like his answer better so that’s the one we are going with.

Freedom 

There is no way you could get me to trade this for a tidy little house in town. 

Sometimes it does sound appealing to me but very rarely. When I think about having nice, clear city water, it doesn’t sound so bad. You know, you just turn the tap on, and out it comes, magically iron-free and ready to use. 
In the winter time, you drive a short distance down the street, or maybe even walk, and you can buy things without risking life and limb on slippery snow covered roads. 

But here, I am free. I can sit outside and listen to the crickets. I can hear the wind blowing across the little valley. I can plant beds upon beds of flowers on one side of the house and vegetables on the other. 

And most importantly, I can have all the dogs I want. Well, not quite that many! I am constrained by time and money. But one day I will be retired and then I will only be constrained by money. Beware!

My mother-in-law liked to quote a poem that began “When I am an old lady I shall wear purple…” Well I already wear purple so either I am already an old lady (hmmm, I guess that’s relative) or I am going to do things more outrageous than are quoted in the poem.  Let’s hope for the latter. 

Wow, that is one bunch of random thoughts. Well, if you know me, you know that is how my mind works. I don’t claim to have them organized, just to have lots of them. Until my next random spilling of thoughts…

Peace be with you. 

Peace Be With You Anyway 

Sometimes I think our society is getting just a little too lax on what it considers to be acceptable, or mainstream, behavior. 

For instance, one day last week, I stopped at the gas station on my way home from work. I was using a pump in between two other vehicles and the drivers apparently knew each other. One young man shouts across the pumps to the other, “I was driving home and I realized, I f**king need gas”. The other young man shouts back, “I know,  I realized I f**king need gas too”.

I wanted to yell back to them, “Do you talk to your mother with that mouth? What if there are kids in these cars that can hear you?” In hind site, I probably should have, but you never know when that crazy person is the one next to you. 

Someone I know was also out shopping last week and had two similar encounters in one day. He was joking with an employee and as he walked away, heard “f**king a**h*le. Later after making a purchase at another store, an assisting employee said “no f**k”. 

Really people? Even on the job you think it’s ok to use this kind of language? Let me give you a hint. If you care to retain employment, there are few places that would find this language to be acceptable. Or even tolerated.

I also think/wonder some other things about foul language:

  1. What do you say when you’re really upset and want to make a point? 
  2. Do you think it’s ok to talk this way in front of children? I know they’ve heard it before.  The point is, they shouldn’t think that you find it acceptable.
  3. Isn’t our society deteriorating if foul language/behaviors become the tolerated norm?
  4. Don’t you know any more descriptive words?

    Ok, I am done with my rant. If you think language of this sort is ok, at least now you know why some others of us do not feel that way. My wish for you this evening is still, …Peace be with You. 

    Darkness and Stars

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    Only in the darkness can you see the stars.” – Martin Luther King Jr

    I read an article today titled “I Have a Dream”:  25 of the Greatest Quotes From Martin Luther King Jr .They are an impressive bunch of words and ideas. I think they deserve further contemplation. I decided to focus on the one above for tonight.

    I went outside and took a picture of the moon which, if memory serves, is a giant star. So in the darkness, I saw a star. Is this what Dr. King meant? Almost certainly not, although it is indeed true. I think it was meant to evoke more of a mental and emotional thought process.

    Perhaps without the darkness that is suffering, we would not appreciate the good that we encounter. This holds true on a small or large scale. For instance, when we pick strawberries, if the weather is hot and the plants are dirty, we may undergo some suffering, albeit minor in this circumstance. We will likely appreciate the sweetness of the berries even more than if someone just gave them to us. Same berries but a different experience.

    In taking a test, if you receive an ” A”  in a subject that comes easy to you, that is of course a wonderful thing. Now imagine a time when the subject matter was confusing to you, but you persevered and due to hard work, you received an “A”. That is an even more rewarding feeling.

    Take it a step farther. You want to make a difference in the world. You spend years, maybe your whole life, working toward a goal. To make the world a better place for a certain group of people, or maybe for all people, or all beings. You see what could be from the point at which you are.

    So friends, my wish for you is that you may see the stars.

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