Sunday, September 26, 2021



How many times has a techie told me to reboot my computer when it is not functioning properly? Well, I would be a millionaire, for sure. Now, most of the time, I remember to do this. Yet those frustrating times when I am feeling rushed, I can easily forget to do that. 

Our very own brain is our original computer. In the times that we are living in today with the pandemic and violence, I started thinking that my brain needs a reboot. It needs to be reset before I allow myself to fall into a rabbit hole of hopelessness. 

With my list making skills I started working on ways that I could go about rebooting my brain. I knew that I was already doing some things right to combat so much negativity being thrown my way. Everyone was getting it thrown their way. Close friends and family talked about it with me. We help each other out by doing check ins. Some times all it takes is a positive word from someone close. And a reminder to turn the news off. Hearing too much chatter about the same thing over and over is never a good idea. There still is some good news out there. 

Even before the pandemic I always started my day with a positive mantra. I knew that it helped to get my brain on the positive track. Just like most things in life, the brain involves both nature and nurture. Some people have the genetic code to be a constant worrier or perhaps the happy go lucky type; their family genes lean one way or the other. Not everything is programed at birth. The environment can have a great impact and alter your genes. I read a study that suggested thinking of my genes as the computer hardware and then my physical, mental and emotional environments as my software - I could see the whole picture. Even normally positive people (and I put myself in that category) can have thought processes that can be brought down if too many negative events come my way. This theory works both ways.

My list of ways to reboot my brain is to start my day with our alarm going off to the sound of wonderful music. The normal alarm clock sound is so dull and gives me no happiness in waking up and coming alive. Plus, I have the option of changing up the music. 

The very next thing that works on my software is to make coffee or even more exciting is when my very thoughtful husband brings a cup of coffee to me as I start my dressing and make up routine. However, I catch myself as not taking the time to actually close my eyes for a moment and just let my whole body indulge in this special time. I felt like it was just a ritual if I did not take a moment to smell the coffee and actually taste the flavor of what I was drinking. Positive thoughts all the way around. Perhaps even a short meditation.
Coffee has often received a bad rap. Coffee drinkers already know that it does bring on a higher alertness, but there are studies that suggest it can improve our moods and protect us from depression. In fact, regular coffee drinking has been associated with a lower risk of dementia, Alzheimer's and heart disease. I am not suggesting that anyone go overboard on coffee consumption. In fact, too much can take one over to the danger side of many other different diseases. Moderation! That is the key. 

Knowing how I get into my day after breakfast, it is a good time to do my short exercise routine. Stretching and walking, plus using my weights to work on upper body strength.

Next stage is to have a healthy breakfast. It can be a healthy protein bar for those times when I am not able to prepare food such as eggs on guacamole toast. 

Before getting into my day, I found that a way to really reboot my brain is to work on using my nondominant hand for something all day long. It really reboots if you can do it for a week. Things such as wearing your watch on the other wrist, brushing your teeth using the other hand or even eating with your opposite hand. It tends to stimulate our brains and this produces a protein whose levels drop when you're under stress but it has been proven vital to the growth of neurons linked to long-term memory and mood.

As I start my day, I like to find the perfect mantra. Usually, I post it to my social media page. It is for me, and many friends have told me it was how they were thinking also. When I worked at a school, I posted these little mantras in the teachers' mailboxes and I was shocked when teachers showed me their collection of my mantras and told me how it helped them rethink their day.

Eating a healthy lunch with veggies and other valuable nutrients is important to give my brainpower a little extra boost. Yes, a good old-fashioned hamburger is good now and then. Key words for me? NOW AND THEN!  Dr. Mindy Pelz, a nutrition health coach says that if we fix our gut then our brain will change. 

To help avoid the after lunch sluggish feeling, it is time to take a little break outside if possible. 

It is also a great time to work on a new skill. I have enjoyed painting, writing, and learning a new language. Something creative that can sometimes be woven in to what is happening at your job, such as new technical skills, redesign your office or cube, headphones on to hear a language lesson. Open your mind and if it is not possible to do at that time, then save it to do after dinner. Definitely it would be more beneficial then staring at the TV when there is nothing on to watch and enjoy. Or get creative in the kitchen with a new recipe. I have amazed myself with some of our creations that we cook together.

While dinner is baking, I like to use this time to write in my journal about how my day played out. This is not the time to write in the negative. "I should have, could have, etc." Unless I add the positive spin of how I may have handled a situation if it happens again. It is a time to sort of have a conversation with myself and to write about my gratitudes of the day. 

The process of getting ready for bed is as important as the sleep...well, almost! Getting clothes out for the next day, sitting down and taking off make-up and taking my medications and finding something comfy to wear. Sleep shirts are my favorite right now. It is crucial to have the right temperature and sounds off, as well as any blue lights. My phone charges by my bed, but with the screen face down and the sound is on mute. 

"One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions."
Wendell Holmes

Sunday, September 19, 2021



Being the youngest in the family does have some perks, especially if you are the most vocal one. I am Maggie Mae, a two year old Goldendoodle. The story has been told over and over that my human pets, Lola and Smiley, took my brother, Davis out to the very same breeder(the best ever) where they found Davis. This was to allow Davis to help by finding a pup in the litter who had some response and interaction with him. 

Apparently, they did even debate if Davis would love having another dog in the family or want nothing to do with the other dog. Every puppy that was brought out to Davis there was nothing happening. No fireworks. No Ka-booms. Until I arrived on the scene. We hit it off right away. He let me climb on him, pull on his tail and speaking of tails...both of our tails were wagging as if to say, "Yes, pick me!"

And I am so glad that he did. I believe it was a perfect match. Davis is rather quiet. But over time, I have taught him how to join in my barking and howling when necessary. 

Also, I believe that my Lola and I have the same blonde hair and I know that I am lucky to have the natural smoky eye effect. Don't you think? The good news is that I am the 'natural blonde' and I don't have to apply the eye shadow. Just natural coloring. Lola lets me sit with her when she is using her make-up. So glad that I don't have to do that to my eyes.

The other thing is that she is a writer and sometimes I believe that she works too hard and needs to play more with us. I have found a good way to get her attention. It works!

Some things that I like to do is get all dressed up with my fancy bows or bandanas. I love to go riding in the car or watch out the windows so that I am seen for sure. Love it when we go through Starbucks drive-thru and the baristas talk about how cute we are and give us a puppuccino. One of the local stores actually put a dog bone in the top of the cup. 

Ahhh, the wind blowing in your face. Heavenly!

I know that Davis and I have a lot of fun at Walnut Grove Doggy Daycare. We have not been in a while because Davis has a touch of inflammation in his right front paw and then he stepped on something and ended up with a puncture wound. We will be back as soon as Dr. Taylor, Lola and Smiley get him all healed. I had a little female surgery and had to wear this unbelievable collar. Wow, was I ever happy when it came off. Davis tried to help me sometimes but he always got in trouble for helping to untie it. We both can be little devils at times.

Here is a picture of the Dynamic Duo and others showing what we like to do best. I can't understand why Davis loves the water so much. Not me. He did try to teach me how to jump high for water. I just stayed further away from the hose. I do prefer to play hide and seek on the jungle gym and do flying leaps off the top slide. Davis and I pretty much stay together at Daycare but there are times I find my way around some other friends.

Just being together is the way it should be. We are a team.

We do love cuddling together and Davis will even bring pillows to me to lay my head on for a nap or cover me the best he can when he thinks I am chilled.

Sometimes, I just have to take what is available, so I don't think that I am too spoiled.

Now I do need to let you know that my brother is a blanket thief. My blankies. His crate stays open all of the time. What is his is his and what is his is mine. However, my crate must be closed when he is roaming. Why? He goes in it and takes my blankies. I love my soft blankets and pillow. If my door is left open then I must stand guard.

When I was really young, he pretended that he was guarding me. I think that he was but I know he really wanted that blanket. I guess that he did not like it when I tried to get into his food and water.

Davis has taught me about Christmas and oh how I love that. It should be coming along soon. Still there is no tree up. That is the clue, I have learned. Also, all of the stockings are put out.

The TV has become one of my favorite things to watch ever, mainly when there is a dog in the movie. That Turner and Hooch show is the best ever. The Art of Racing in the Rain is also good. Smiley watches a veterinary show with all kinds of animals. That is another favorite along with the different dogs prancing in dog shows for Best in Show. 

Then there are my girls. BG and Sky. With the pandemic it seemed like forever before I got to be with them again. Finally, with vaccinations for the grownups, it was safe to be with them again. 

When you get lucky and have a big brother who gives you the bully stick first, it is a grand feeling. He gets it in the end, one way or another. It is the thought that counts.

Somehow, I just knew that I wanted to be the lil' sis. So I stayed smaller by 30 pounds. I know that we keep Lola and Smiley entertained. Sometimes maybe a little frustrated but they seem to always smile at us and talk softly. Even over my loud barking at delivery people, squirrels, people walking or riding bikes. I have encouraged Davis to start howling like a wolf to join in a duet. Usually, it involves a brief time out. Just long enough to stop the noise. 

We belong together always. We take good care of each other, as well as Lola and Smiley.

Sunday, September 12, 2021



Let me start with what self-acceptance is not. Accepting something does not mean that you have to like it. The reality is that self-acceptance actually helps to facilitate change. That may sound counter intuitive. Just think about it for a moment. Accepting yourself covers a lot of ground. One must be willing to look in the mirror and not see the problems that you may want to change. First look at the good. It may take actually sitting down and writing all of the good things about yourself. No one else needs to read it. As the author, you just need to believe in the words that you write from your heart. 

It does not mean that there are no imperfections. It means to truly have unconditional self-acceptance and to accept imperfections and all. Is anyone I know perfect? How about you? Is anyone that you know perfect? I don't know about you but there are actually people out there who believe they are perfect and have no problem with self-acceptance. Where their problem is that they can't accept that others know they are not perfect (or eventually will find out). Just be kind. Perhaps at some point it will kick in and they will understand that there are at least ten signs of self-acceptance. I am sure there are more, however, I found a list of ten to share.
  • self-accepting people are happy people
  • self-accepting people go out of their way
  • self-accepting people are always open to being loved and complimented
  • self-accepting people are empowered to be their 'real selves.'
  • self-accepting people accept themselves as they are right now
  • self-accepting people are able to laugh at themselves, often and easily
  • self-accepting people have the ability to recognize and attend to their own needs
  • self-accepting people are self-determining people
  • self-accepting people are in good contact with reality
  • self-accepting people are assertive
Some descriptive words that come to my mind when I think of self-acceptance are: trust, observe, appreciate, accept, care, attend, engage, embrace, allow, express, liberate, share, encourage...and yes, there are so many more!

There truly is no amount of self improvement that can make up for any lack of self acceptance. I know that I have many self improvement books and do they help? Yes, they do but only after I understand that I must first be self-accepting of the ME right now. My diet is not only what I eat. It is what I watch, what I listen to, what I read, the people I associate with...I have learned that I must be mindful of the things that I put  into my body emotionally, spiritually and physically. They all connect! They all are important and need to work together.

This is the power of self-acceptance.  Our relationship with ourselves is the most powerful of all. Other relationships will not be able to thrive if we don't work on self-acceptance. It is what helps me in becoming successful in my dreams. 

These quotes on self-acceptance are strong and proven to be true. It took quite a hard look for me to see just how true this kind of outlook on life is to move forward. Do I always feel this way? Not just no, but hell no. I can have my moments where I have to let myself have a pity party and then work on how I will begin looking in the mirror and accepting me for who and what I am. 

As taken from Vironika Tugaleva, an author of self-help books interestingly enough, she believes that we work hard to fix ourselves but just maybe what we need is not another plan or book to be fixed. Maybe what is holding us back is the idea that we need to be fixed. Once we let go of that concept and just accept ourselves and know that we don't need to be accepted by others then that wanted desire of ours can go to another level and begin to happen over time. 

"Self-acceptance is not the end. It's the beginning."
Nataly Kogan