Sunday, August 29, 2021



It really is true. It is the little things that can make big changes in my life. Smiling, for instance. Most all of the time you can smile at a stranger and you will receive one back. In the times that we live in now (wearing masks due to Covid) we have learned more of how to read a smile through the eyes. I know that I feel better with a smile on my face rather than a frown. So I kicked that Debby Downer out of my life.

Some of the ways that I manage to do it I would like to share in my blog.

Finding my morning ritual. It can be alone or with someone. It starts my day off on the right foot. Becoming present and a wonderful way to begin my day. Quiet thoughts...usually quiet with my helpers not far away. They enjoy watching and listening to the birds with me. It does not matter whether we are at the front of the house looking out on the humming birds and song birds or if we go out to the screened in porch to start the day. It is our ritual. Sometimes I like to throw in some meditation or play my mindful app on my fitbit/phone. Slowing it down for the day is such a positive for me and I am lucky now that I am able to do this. Sometimes it could be a challenge if one has small children or a specific time to be at work. Still, I believe that with a little creativity, it is a doable project.

When starting a mundane task, such as the laundry, it always is better to have some music playing in the background. Music can be a wonderful way to perk up your spirits. Sing along, whether you are in the laundry room, or shower or in your car. Belt out a few songs from your playlist. And oh yes, make a playlist just for this purpose. Add in some of your favorites. I know for me I must have Bohemian Rhapsody, Andrea Bocelli, or the whole soundtrack of Mama Mia. Off key or will take your mood elevator up to the top floor.

As my day carries on, I must remind myself that it is not the end of the world if everything does not get checked off of my to do list and stop shifting negative thoughts toward myself. It is never ok to be a bully - even toward yourself.

Trying new things is a fun and creative way to keep my brain moving. Brain fog is not something that I want to hang around. Picking up my guitar to strum some songs that I remember playing, as well as going back and learning new ones. Playing The Rosetta Stone to practice a second language. It has been ages since I ever painted with water colors and acrylics. Now I even have my own special place with an easel and all of the tools I need for when it is time to reach for the artsy part of me.

Having a green thumb is not something that I lead the top of the class with, so I worked around it. I do love cooking with fresh herbs. My thoughtful and loving husband found a very special gift for me. An Aerogarden. They have all sizes to choose from and then you get to pick the type of herbs or veggies that you wish to grow. Trust me. There is no way to go wrong. Lights go on to tell me when to water, when to prune, when to add fertilizer and show me how to store the herbs while they continue to grow. 

There are so many other ways to work on positivity and happiness but I really want to end this blog on a  feel good note. I like to give a special someone in my life my undivided attention. Listen to them, while looking at them and not my phone or thinking about my to do list. For example, I have a very thoughtful daughter who calls me every day. Just to say hi or tell me something important that is going on in her life. Sometimes it may not be the most convenient time, however, there is nothing in my life that I could be doing that could not be put on hold while I give her my undivided attention. It gives me such a happy feeling and hopefully it lets her know how important she is to me. My husband and I know when it is our time together we sometimes take calls from our children. That is because now that we both are retired we actually have that ability to share our time more.

I like to find ways to connect with optimists on social media. I have learned how to scroll on down when the Nellie Negatives want to spout off. There are some people that seem to love to share that they were up at 5 and then go on to list all of the errands they did and accomplished and now it is 12 noon. Even if they were Wonder Woman, it is not happening, it didn't happen, so why would I read that junk? Much more impressive to connect to optimists on social media. 

One very special little thing that I love to do every so often is to place a cheery little love note to my husband somewhere he will least expect it. This seems to make him happy too. He can save them in a jar or use them as a bookmark. His choice, yet it is the little things that can make us all happy!

Sunday, August 22, 2021



The other day my mind started thinking just how good our dogs' lives are. I am aware that not all dogs have it so good. People that treat a dog badly need to be taken to the pound, for sure! A dog never asked anything at all except for a return for the pure love that they have for you. Our two dogs in the picture above really do have a spoiled and special life and we would not have it any other way. Anyone can look at them and see the love in their eyes. There are times that we can become frustrated with their antics. All it takes is a cuddle from one or both and all is forgotten. 

Our dogs go many places with us and know the cues to watch for. If I put on my shoes or grab my handbag, they go and stare at their leashes just hoping that it means a trip out. They are quite aware that they cause a lot of attention which gets them doggie treats at the bank or other drive thru places. Their favorite is the famous puppuccino that Starbucks gives to them. In all fairness, I must brag on them when they are told no that they can't go this time, they immediately go to their crates and get a little mini pumpkin berry treat. No crying or whining, but man oh man, don't look back. Their eyes will do you in. 

When we do get back home they are so excited to see us. Out they go before any accidents happen. Oh my goodness to be a dog and get that ecstatic over something that is a common occurrence! Sweet furbabies! They truly are special.

Did you ever notice that when dog's are happy, they smile with their whole face (and body - just watch their tails wagging).

People have been trying to understand dogs ever since the beginning of time. We all can read stories or watch movies where a dog saved the life of someone drowning or lay down his own life for his Master. Some people call this loyalty. I call it love - the deepest kind of love that there is. It is a shame that people all over the world can't have this kind of love in their hearts.

Another story that I read about was a dog named Pickles.

In 1966, the World Cup was being held in England which, to the English, was kind of a big deal. They thought that this year they had a good chance of winning it...and they did. So only imagine how they felt when the World Cup was stolen just four months before the matches started. There was a frenzy to find the cup and to try to avoid the embarrassment. It was actually found by a dog named Pickles, a collie, who was out on a walk with his owner. He sniffed something under the bushes and amazingly it was the World Cup. Pickles became the star. He was even invited to the banquet in his honor and given a bone and a thousand pounds. Hopefully, his owner cashed it and got Pickles some new toys and treats. Pickles went on to star in several TV shows and even in the movies. 

It is true that life is just plain good with a dog in it. I saw this shirt and it is so true. You will never go to the kitchen again alone. Life is good for our furbabies. We have learned what they can safely eat and what they can't. It is also true of going to the loo. One or the other will gently use their nose to peek in to make sure that you are there and are okay. Bless their little hearts.

One thing to think long and hard about is what the responsibility is of having a dog means. Not to mention the cost. It is a shame that some people see that cute little puppy and then all of a sudden they believe the cuteness has worn off.

Dogs teach us many things about being a better person that people don't teach. It is a dog's life.

Saturday, August 14, 2021



The other day while flipping through a magazine, I noticed people sharing what they know for sure. There is actually a book with this title by Oprah. Just about little life lessons that we as humans need to pay attention to as we experience them. Then I saw this article about living through the global pandemic and what have I learned, along with others about what I now know for sure. Being in a lock down, not seeing friends and family in person tends to put a whole new spin on our world.

For example, I know that I deserve unconditional love from myself. It is a form of self-care. I learned that if I don't take care of myself then I can't help others.

We all need to learn to live with a little more grace and empathy. No one knows what others have been going through, just as they don't know about your circumstances. 

We as human beings are more resilient than we give ourselves credit for. If I truly look deep inside of my soul, I know that I can problem solve most of my own issues. With that in mind, I then can and should reach out to others who may be experiencing the same things. We are adaptable if we allow ourselves to learn from our circumstances. This in turn helps us to move forward. It has taught me that I know better who I am and what I want in my life. There is a Maya Angelou quote that I am reminded of:

"When you learn, teach. When you get, give."

Love is the only way through this crisis that we are all experiencing. Sometimes this means that solitude for a moment each day helps me to understand that I must let go of what I expect and just embrace what is there. What is there? There are friends, family, books, flowers, sunrises, sunsets, my furbabies, laughter, cooking together, candles, wine, Netflix, deliveries, walks, and how grateful I am to have the love of my life and best friend in the world with me. We support each other. 

All of these plus a kajillion more fill up what we all hopefully have learned by going through COVID. 

One of the biggest thing is that I will never take traveling to other places for granted. And although we now can travel somewhat, it just is not quite the same as it once was.

Quite frankly, there really is not a place at this time that I would feel comfortable going to visit. I have learned that nothing is permanent. Just as that is a little unsettling, it also is reassuring that everything comes and goes and it can be exciting to embrace the new. I know that I will be okay, just in a new way in my own time. 

It is very important to me to have family and friends that take me at face value. I know that I am so grateful to have everyone in my life. Taking the time to journal through the ups and downs of this pandemic most definitely helps guide me. Find those new lessons to learn and new skills to try out. One thing for sure is that my excuses for not exercising have absolutely nothing to do with my busy schedule. Nada!

I will end this blog with a simple gratitude. 

My gratitude is that I see people viewing themselves and others with more patience and empathy. There is something to be said for acknowledging what we have gone through and wondering how we will eventually come out of it together.

Sunday, August 8, 2021





There is an issue in calling it the work - life balance instead of the life - work balance. Work loads should not be taking over anyone's life. Our work does not define us. Let me rephrase that...we define who we are. If we only see ourselves as our job title then we have no balance in our life. There are books, workshops and podcasts to help guide you through it all. Perhaps if a person was so buried in the work side of his/her life, then it might be a good idea to invest in one of these methods to gain your life back again. 

Really I believe that there is a much easier way to take charge. 

  • Organize Your Schedule - it may mean to actually write down not only the important meetings that you must attend for work but include the time to run errands, school meetings or activities with your child, sleep, time for the gym or a hair appointment...all of these things are important and in your life. It is not just all about work, even if your boss wants you to believe so. There is a time and place for everyone. Scheduling breaks and time for yourself will actually help in getting more things accomplished at work. Why? Because you are a happier person, a more well-rounded individual and fun to be around. 
  • It is important to delegate responsibility. You are not Wonder Woman or Superman. It is important to know your limits. Give yourself permission to say no at times. Or at least a compromise. 
  • There has to be a "ME" time. It is called self-care and if you go too long ignoring your needs then you are going to feel as if you are doing a balancing act of spinning all of the plates in your life and they are spinning out of control.

It is important to detach yourself from your thoughts and become aware of the world around you. Sometimes all it takes is just a few minutes to close your eyes, breathe in and out and make note of how you are feeling and what can you do about getting back in control. Be aware of how you feel and be mindful. Taking a short walk and sensing what you are seeing, hearing, or smelling will sometimes do the trick.

  • If you have a significant other or a group of friends then make a date night to meet for dinner. And I might add to put the phone away. 99% of things that come in on your phone can wait. It is much more important to engage with the people around you. 
The most important guidelines to get started with making an efficient and fun life - work balance is to prioritize what is important in your life, walk away from your desk for lunch (making it a special time for yourself or share with a co-worker as long as there is no work talk), and most of all use all of your all of your allocated vacation days. Even if you are taking a day off to go to the zoo or park with a very important person (family or friend or it could be a moment for yourself?)

Not overscheduling yourself is important. No one person can do it all. If you find yourself not moving forward the way you would like to in balancing your life, believe it or not there are Life Coaches that you can talk to in order to move you along. They will believe in you, help you to remove your roadblocks that you set up in your mind, give you clarity, competence and confidence. 

 “Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create.” 

Sunday, August 1, 2021

The Differences That Millennials Have


First of all let's be clear of exactly who I am talking about when I say 'millennials.' Specifically, the research calls anyone born in 1981 -1996 a millennial. As we all know, depending on the individual, it can easily move down a few years to the Generation X group which takes into account some born in the late 70's. Rarely, does it move up the Generation Z age group where the oldest age is 22. The experience is not usually in the Z equation.

 Having children in the millennial group as well as working with them side by side in the work force, I have noticed some interesting habits. Trust me, I am sure that they could write a blog on the interesting habits of the Baby Boomers just as well. All I can say is just bring it on. We all have our quirks. No one is shaming or blaming. It is just the way we are. Some of the characteristics I have even picked up on and I am not in the millennial group.

Let's start with clothing and the way we dress. These are basically all no-no's for millennials:

Hawaiian type shirts (so Jimmy Buffet)

Does not matter if it is tucked in or not? (What is with the fanny pack?)

Now I am on to explaining what is not cool to most millennials. Crocs (regardless of gender), New Balance sneakers, shoes with velcro (unless you are too young to tie your shoes or too old to bend down and reach them).

Below you will find looks that just don't make the grade for most millennials which would be the tourist look, the high waisted jeans/pants, and jorts. If you are going to wear jeans then wear jeans. Back in my day of the dirt ages, we actually tore our jeans to make shorts out of them. (Let the truth about me known)! And fabrics are now no iron, so irons and ironing boards are so outdated.

This age group tends to be real "foodies." They truly enjoy new and unusual foods and experiencing new cultures.

Buffets are simply not a good thing for anyone. Especially now with the pandemic still going on. Restaurants are opening up some, however, I know that I must agree with the fact that it is not safe. Really, it never was before the pandemic. I have seen children (and once an adult) reach in with their hands to get something. The other item in the picture is a seasoning, and I am using the term lightly, Mrs. Dash. If you notice they come in a few different flavors. If you are going to take the time to make a delicious meal then go for the real thing. 

Next is one of my all time pet peeves. Be in line at the grocery store and the person in front of you pulls out a check book. Even I do not do that. However, yes, I do still receive paper snail mail bills and do write checks and use the Post Office. More and more I am heading in the other direction. It is just an efficient way to be sure you are paying your bills on time. The mail service, with the pandemic, has been rather shaky. I missed a few bills here and there. Luckily, once I realized it and called the company, I was not charged a late fee. Apparently, they are well aware of this problem. 

Sort of in this same category e-mails vs. text messaging. E-mails are meant for work. And we all know how many of those we usually get. So sending a text message is so much easier. Unless you are retired and this is the only e mails that you receive? 

While we are on the subject of the mail, is there anyone else who receives piles and piles of junk mail catalogs? Don't get me wrong. Some are very reputable companies. Honestly, there have been days that I receive 4 -6 catalogs. Truly, if I want something I can look it up on line. In fact, I walk from the mailbox through the garage and dump all of the catalogs in the trash bin. Never look at them. This is so not environmentally correct. Our county does not pick up recycle. That fact amazes me because when I lived in other places more than 25 years ago, we had recycle containers to put out with the trash. What is wrong with this picture? We all should have recycle bins and service.

There are so many more traits that I could list and I will try to not list too many more. The minimalist approach can not be overlooked. This is how they decorate. There is no need for knick knacks, words of art on the walls, carpeted bathrooms and of all things a fuzzy toilet seat, potpourri, real china and files for papers. 


Last, I would like to mention the fact the news stations on our televisions have not kept up. Or maybe they are serving the baby boomers and those older by having 24 hour news stations. Really? On my IPhone I can get instant news at any time that I wish. Is there really a need for this much news. Frankly, it can be depressing and there is only so much I can personally take. Get the facts, resource it and move on. I am not a millennial but this is my motto.