Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hope Versus Trust

Have you ever pondered the difference in Hope and Trust?  Three times in the last couple of weeks, out of the blue, "hoping" versus "trusting" has popped up....on a TV program, in a totally unrelated novel, and from a friend.  I don't know about you but when something shows up for me that frequently I pay attention.  I think a message is trying to get through and I don't want to miss it.

Think about how often you use the word 'hope'.....not in a heavy, serious way...just in everyday conversation.  If you have a "big issue" going on in your life right now, I bet you use the word "hope" even more often.  Casually, we hope for something, meaning we wish for it.   It's a "wouldn't it be nice" kind of thought.  Or it could be more of a desperate desire.

Hope is saying, "I really want this.  Maybe it'll happen.  But I know it may not."

"Trust" carries a totally different message.  When I trust that something will go a certain way, I am knowing at a deeper level.  Some might call that Faith.  Or Confidence.  Or just Knowing.  When I trust, I am willing to let go of my fears, my worries, my "what ifs" and replace those feelings of upset with peace, with calmness, with certainty that the bigger picture is "all good".

Obviously there is so much more going on than any of us could possibly imagine.  We can worry about the unknown, fret, wish, and hope.  Or we can give our heart to the good and relax into Trust, knowing that all is well in the big picture.

So, guess what I am working on these days?  Whenever a concern, large or small, comes up I am consciously choosing to Trust that all is well, that things will work out, that God has a plan much better than I can imagine.  It's been said that "Worry is the misuse of imagination."  Why not use that imagination in a more positive way and imagine it "turning out for the best".

Simple, as they say, but maybe not always so easy.  It is our choice though, isn't it.

Enjoy the day,


Sunday, June 26, 2011

It's All In How You Say It

I was visiting another blog when I came across this video. I was so moved by it, I couldn't wait to share it. Get ready for your heart to open.

Enjoy Your Day!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Laugh And Be Well

Help!  I'm stuck under the hood!!!

We all know that laughter is "good for what ails you".  We all love to be around those people in our lives who are just plain funny.  It's not that we want to be constantly entertained.  It's that when we are with people who make us laugh, we leave feeling better about ourselves and others.
Print by Connie Haley.

Joel Osteen, the smiling TV preacher talked about this on May 1, 2011.

He says to "Find some reason to laugh everyday.  Our immune system contains NK cells   (natural killer cells)......they destroy the bad cells.  Negative emotions weaken our NK cells.  Happiness, laughter grow our NK cells.  We sure do want to have lots of these!  Laughter is as powerful as many drugs with no side effects.  Laughter releases healing inside of makes us younger, calmer, and more creative as the "good stuff" flows through our bodies."

I remember seeing the movie "Patch Adams" with Robin Williams, one of the funniest people "I know".  He is just gifted in the area of hilarity!  In the movie he visited patients and brought joy and smiles to their bedsides.  Although not as "out of the box" as Robin Williams, hospitals are now bringing in laughter programs, funny movies, and clowns to patients. 

"What if I'm just more serious?", you might say.  Many of us feel that way.  But as children we all laughed.  We were generally good natured and silly sometimes.  Joel reminds us to "Hold on to the child within you.  Be extremely joyful and never forget how to laugh.  Happiness is good for you!!!  Be full of joy." 

"As we age", he continues, "don't turn into a grumpy old man or woman.  Stay full of joy.  Have a smile.  Have fun.  Tell jokes.   Keep that child inside.  Old is an inside job.  Don't think old thoughts.  The real you is ageless.  Go with it!" 

Stay young in your mind.  You are someone's pride and joy.  Live that image.  Have fun and enjoy your life.  If you are not a "laugher", at least be good natured.  Release the stress.
I loved it when he said "Laughter is the Drano for your life.  Release the clogs...clean out the pipes.  And     enjoy your children 'even when'.   Seek out humor to be younger, stronger, healthier. 

Some people think of the Bible as a rule book.  "Do this.  Don't do that."  Some feel it is antiquated.  But, whatever else it says, the Bible does remind us to:  "Finish your course with joy."  "Stay full of joy."

Enjoy the day!

Job 8:21   And fill your mouth with laughter.

Friday, June 24, 2011

5 Ways To De-Clutter

I struggle with messiness, clutter, and too much stuff just like most people I know. Up to a point.  But don't you have those times when you feel like you simply must clean out and de-clutter or you will self destruct?  I do! Even so, sometimes it feels like a never-ending battle. Just going to the mailbox can provide you an hour's to-do list. Saving what must be saved, and putting it "somewhere" in an organized manner takes time doesn't it.

That which no longer serves me in any way needs to go.  I want my environment to reflect who I am and I hope that includes "calm and peaceful".  If I have clutter everywhere, anxiety and overwhelm start to creep in.

Here are 5 ideas that work for me:

1.  Open the mail while standing by the trash can. Got junk mail?   Get rid of it immediately.  Shred it or recycle, but just get rid of it in the moment.

2.  I worked  in a field with an endless amount of paperwork; the bottomless stack just never went away.  Then one day I went to a seminar that challenged us to put a dot on a piece of paper (in upper right hand corner) every time we handled it.  That was just to raise our individual awareness to realize how often we pick up a paper, then put it somewhere else, only to pick it up again later.  When your paper begins to look like it has the measles, you know you have a problem.  Now, when I read a paper that I do not need to keep, I rip it in half that very moment. Whether I am at the library, in the car, or at church, the decision is made it or keep it.  If I ever run into a ripped sheet, I don't even look it.  It's a goner.

3.  If I am somehow emotionally connected to an item and I really want to keep it, then it needs a special place.  I have several special places.  One is a BIG ole Bible my Grandmother gave me when I got married. A lot of "special family stuff" goes in there.  What a treasure trove it is!

Other meaningful things I love go in plastic pages in a 3-ring keepsake notebook.  I can enjoy these things a lot more frequently because I know where they are.  A quicker pile-reducer than scrapbooking.

4.  I think laminating machines rock! It was on my wish list and I got one for Christmas.  Some things I love so much I want them to be in sight...or I might want to share them with others and they may be handled a lot.  These things get laminated.  I just love the permanence.  Nobody is going to throw away a laminated colorful, personalized, poem, photo, drawing, quote, note, scribble or otherwise without taking a second look.  Works for me.  The cheapest place to laminate is probably your main library.  It can be quite pricey elsewhere.

5.  My last favorite practical declutter idea is online banking.  Every bill I pay is set up in online banking and most are on automatic pay.  I get to pick the day they are paid so I am "in total control"....and I do love being in control! Just ask my husband.  If I am sitting with a stack of bills, I open one, keep the part containing the essential information, and rip the rest in half....on it's way to the trash can, shredder, or recycle.  A quick look at online bill pay allows me to make sure I have the correct payment set up.....and if not, to do so right then.  Then all papers are ripped and disposed of...right then. 

6.  I know I said 5 but I can't leave out Goodwill.  Keep a box.  The moment you think "I don't need this, want this, or like this", go put it in your Goodwill box.  Quickly...before you change your mind. 

Tricia Molloy, author of Divine Wisdom At Work and motivational speaker, often speaks of the value of cleaning out your space.  Here is an excerpt from her teachings: 

"Clutter distracts and confuses us and drains our energy. It often keeps us from doing what’s most important and gets in the way of our goals. There’s a universal law that states: The universe abhors a vacuum. So, when we clear away the physical clutter (like a messy office), as well as the emotional clutter (the regrets, resentments, toxic people and unnecessary obligations) and technical clutter (e-newsletters you don’t read and an over-reliance on your cell phone), we make room for the universe to fill it with what serves our highest good. Commit to begin cleaning out the clutter today."  Amen, I say.
Have fun cleaning out!  Gosh I didn't even think about the refrigerator.  Now that's another story altogether, isn't it!  My cousin calls theirs "the museum".  Get it?

Enjoy the day!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Cost Of Freedom Is High

This statue currently stands outside the Iraqi palace, now home to our 4th Infantry division. It will eventually be shipped home and put in the memorial museum in Fort Hood, Texas.

It was created by an Iraqi artist named Kalat, who for years was forced, by Saddam Hussein, to create  hundreds of bronze busts of Saddam  throughout Baghdad.

Kalat was immensely grateful for the American's liberation of his country.  He melted 3 of the heads of the fallen Saddam and created this statue as a memorial to American soldiers and their fallen warriors. He worked on this memorial night and day for several months.

To the left of the kneeling soldier is a small Iraqi girl giving the soldier comfort as he mourns the loss of his comrade in arms.
Let there be peace on Earth.  Now.

Always Weigh Naked


My husband is "trying" to lose weight.  He has gained 15-20 pounds in the last year.  He knows, and I know, it is about working too long, becoming stressed, and relieving that stress with comfort food.  Knowing it, and doing something about it, are two different things though, aren't they.

I weigh, when and if, I think I'll get a pleasing result.  If I know I'm a little heavy, I'm not going to weigh.  When I'm thinking all is well.....or I'm starting a new healthy campaign....then I will weigh.  Weighing takes place only in the morning, straight out of the shower, before coffee.  That's how I get my "best number".  My husband will sometimes weigh fully clothed! "Why?", I ask him.  Do you want to be depressed?   I would never, never, never do that.  If I do, then I have to have the conversation with myself about how much the clothes weigh.  Why bother?

My mantra is "only weigh naked".  If that isn't, or is no longer, your best view of yourself, just close your eyes when you pass the mirror.  Go for your best number.  Make yourself happy!

My belief is this.  When we spend time and energy fluffing around about weight and diets, it is just a pure luxury.  Like thinking about new haircuts.  When that "sort of material" is occupying our thoughts... it's not a bad thing.  It just means that nothing we might call " really bad" is going on.

Have you noticed when you are distracted by some troubling issue in your life, or your family's life, you really are not concerned about what you weigh or how your hair looks?  If someone close to you gets a cancer diagnosis, or you hear of a tragic accident touching someone you care about, consumes you. It's all you can think about and talk about.  So consider yourself fortunate if all you have to kvetch about today is how to lose a few pounds and how to make your hair shinier.  It really is a luxury isn't it?  I say enjoy those sweet times to the hilt!

In the meantime, on those really good skinny days, weigh empty, weigh early, and weigh naked!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Combat The Summer Slide

Good Morning!

You are invited to check out my monthly column at The Caffeine Coquette, a blogazine for parents.

This month's topic is about wonderful, wonderful summertime AND about how much our children "forget" before school starts again in the fall AND how to lessen the summer slide in learning and retention.

I'd love to get your thoughts and comments there. 

Thank you,



Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Latest And Greatest Find

What a great find!  I've loved this type of cookware and serving dish forever.  Usually it's quite pricey because the quality rocks.  And it's beautiful and goes with everything.  Bake in it, microwave in it, and throw it in the dishwasher...all good.  Oh, and I didn't tell you, yet, that I found it at Goodwill!  Not $25. Not $15.   No, only $3!  Lovely to find such a steal.  Tonight it will be filled with one of our favorite vegetables.  Can't wait!

May you have such good fortune.  It's the little things, isn't it.

Enjoy the day.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Hooked On Squash

Of all the things out there to be hooked on I think squash is a pretty safe alternative.  "Just say no" to drugs, alcohol, unsafe sex, premarital sex, extramarital sex, elevator sex, sugar, candy, and ice cream, and "Just say yes" to squash. You can't go wrong.

I'm exaggerating a bit of course.  No one really gets addicted to squash.  But if you did.....they are easy and legal to grow, readily available now in the summer season, cheap, and good for you.  I've really been into them lately.  Here is one of my favorite ways to prepare summer squash.  It's easy too.
"How?", you ask.  Choose squash and zucchini small to medium size.  Scrub off all the pesticides.  Slice thinly and dump in glass baking dish.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle heavily with the seasoned salt of your choice.  Mainly salt, pepper, onion, garlic, paprika plus whatever else you like.  Mix up so all pieces are coated and cook at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.  Just see when it is done to your desired consistency.  Such a fun and easy way to go from the garden to your plate to your stomach.

Is it good for you?  Oh yes it is!

Stay healthy!

Friday, June 10, 2011

New Use For Vitamin D

The Vitamin D I am talking about is the kind that comes directly out of the sky...from the sun.  Pure, unadulterated Vitamin D...the best kind in small doses.  I'd rather sit in the sun everyday for 10 minutes than  have to swallow a pill.  Probably a really big pill.

It is hot here.  Early this morning it was 90 degrees in the shade.  By now it's close to 95.  I had wet sheets in the washing machine at the same time all this monstrous heat energy was streaming from sun. sheets got a lucky break, missed the dryer, and got to lay out in the sun. 

Looks like a fort doesn't it.  The kind you built when you were small.  Your kids and your grandkids all build the same fort.  I'm betting on that.  There is no one to play inside my fort today.  It's only function is to soak up the rays and!  If the Home Owners Association people decide to drive by while my fort is out there I am in big trouble.  A letter would show up in my mailbox pronto.  It seems forts and clotheslines are just not tolerable to many. Too bad.  I'm willing to risk it though.

Get your Vitamin D everyday, one way or another.  Me?  In just a few minutes I have built my fort in the sun, read one chapter in my book, had a lemonade, and folded my now-dry sheets.  I have soaked up my daily dose and used energy the natural way.  My sheets will smell heavenly too.  Just don't tell the HOA!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Get Rich Click

Do you have the entrepreneurial spirit?  I do.  When I was a little girl we would have a lemonade stand in the front yard and offer cold lemonade for 10 cents to hot, weary people walking home from the bus stop.  A few years later it was Girl Scout Cookies.  There were no websites then.  We just we door-to-door and gave our most earnest, hopeful, "Would you like to buy some GS Cookies?"  Getting a "Yes" just made my day.

Fast forward to my first real job at Belk-Matthews department store.  Every year they would have a coat sale or a blanket sale and everyone who worked there tried to sell these items no matter what department you were in.  Mine was Fabrics and Patterns but I still remember how exciting it was when I actually sold a coat in August!  Even more exciting getting my 'bonus'.

Nowadays Ebay is one of my financial ventures.  It's always fun to make a sale no matter how small.  One of the segments on The View today was right up my entrepreneurial alley.  The author of "Get Rich Click", Marc Ostrofsky, was there with his new book discussing ways to make money on the Internet.  Although this is a topic you can find all over the place, this hot-off-the-press book is full of new ideas....some I will definitely try.  I can't wait for my copy to arrive and then to try my hand at new ways to be creatively prosperous. 

You can grab a copy here, read it, and we can discuss what's hot and what's not in the world of big biz on the Internet! 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Barefoot and Blogging

You may have noticed I haven't been blogging for awhile.  I am not sure why my interest waned but it did.  While it is true I have been more distracted than usual, this often adds a richness to my writing instead of a dearth!  No matter what you do, the most important aspect is your level of passion for it.  You know all about passion.  It's when you lose yourself in your work...or in your play.  It's when you realize you've worked through lunch and haven't even noticed.  It fires you up from within and inspires you with a feeling of ...."bring it on, I can't wait".  For some reason I have lost a little of that feeling, the intensity I love, the joy of everyday.

I haven't "over thought" it.  Rather I've just been going with the flow, following my heart.  And writing just hasn't been there.  Blogging hasn't either.

I wonder if it is because it is almost summer.  School is out, suddenly it seems, and it is extremely hot here.  I've been uncharacteristically content with a Wendy's chocolate frosty or a slice of watermelon, and a good book.  It seems I've gotten quite lazy doesn't it?

When I sat down to blog the other day, I didn't get past the sitting down part.  Underneath my desk was a pair of shoes.  I take that back, there were three pairs.

 I was barefooted, needing neither.  It seemed everywhere I went in the house, there were more shoes!   In my studio where I paint...a pair of shoes.

 By the sofa where I, yes, watch a little TV...more shoes.

  By my bedside....a pair of shoes. 

I am just feeling no need in the world to put them on my feet.  At least I have gathered them all back to their resting places in the closets.

In the name of wellness, I read recently that those who experience knee pain upon walking should go without shoes.  If they must wear shoes, the article suggested a flexible shoe like a flip flop!  Who knew the flip flop was an orthopedic shoe!  Supposedly the ease of flexing your foot muscles when walking without a stiff shoe is good for your knees.  So there is your health lesson for today.

I plan to continue enjoying these warm days of late spring.  You too, I hope. Wiggle your toes in the sand, the water, the grass, the carpeting, the mud...whatever you have around you.

 "When I was little" we were given permission to start going bare-footed and wearing summer shorts outside in May.  It was just so exciting! Maybe I have just been reliving that wonderful time, kicking back a little, and preparing for full blown summer. I know I'll be writing from the pool soon.  It's wi-fi now!  Progress!