Blessings

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Mental Floss

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There comes a time every year, springtime to be specific, when we open our windows to let in the fresh, clean air. At the same time, we release all the staleness that has been surrounding us during winter’s darkest days.

I’m sure that by now, your mind has conjured up images of your house or other place of dwelling. And while such a picture may indeed be valid, it’s not what I am talking about today. Today, I am talking about releasing the negativity inside our heads and letting in the fresh, new thoughts of spring.

If there is one thing I have learned in dealing with anxiety, it is to limit the negative input that is allowed to filter into the mind. For someone like me who “floods” (takes in too much input), it is often necessary to block or limit input before it overwhelms and becomes negative. But that is not always the case. Some people do not flood, and for them just limiting the negative is sufficient.

Some might think that this is a form of burying one’s head in the sand – it isn’t. What it is is a balancing of mind and thought that keeps us moving in a positive, productive and healthy way. And springtime is the perfect time to clean house in our minds as well as our living rooms.

Here are some tips about positive and negative thought:

DO NOT THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE WHEN YOU ARE FEELING ILL

If you are sick, you most likely will not be in a good mood. Your thoughts will be tainted with the negative colors of your malady. So, shut off your mind, don’t think deep thoughts, and just recuperate. That is your job. When you feel better, you will feel optimistic, and then you can make plans.

LIMIT THE AMOUNT OF TELEVISION YOU WATCH

Love it or hate it, television is steeped in negativity. The nightly news is roughly 80 percent (or higher) negative. Little time is spent covering the good things happening in the world, and trust me, there are many.

Television drama is filled with stress and violence. Comedy shows display dysfunctional people who do nothing but insult one another. And in between shows, we get ads telling us what is wrong with us and how we can fix it if we buy someone’s products. It’s tantamount to brainwashing.

CHOOSE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA WISELY

Social media is the Wild West gone digital. You can find just about anything you want on the internet, and a lot of it is negative. Carefully pick the sights you visit, and when reading things, take time to mull them over – not everything you find online is true. There are virtually no rules, so be careful of what you surround yourself with.

SEEK REALITY

Take time to disconnect, unplug, relax and think. Spend time outdoors. You will be amazed at how clearly you can think when you let Mother Nature talk to you.
That’s about it for now. Too many words can bring stress with them as well. I will simply leave you with my best wishes and hopes that you will fill your days with peace, happiness, positivity and love.

If You Think It, It Is So

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Okay, I have had enough of it. I am putting my foot down, even if that means altering the immutable laws of natural science.

What am I talking about? I am talking about ending all this nonsensical bad weather and ushering in the spring – and I intend to do it!

The calendar has said that it has been spring nearly a month now, and in that time we have had countless snow, wind and ice storms. Clearly the people who control the weather have not gotten the message.

It is time to take action.

I am putting away all my winter clothes. I am doing a thorough spring cleaning of my house. I am going to act exactly as if the warm weather was here, with the possible exception of opening my windows and letting the icicles tumble inside.

That’s it! I now declare that it is spring. Everyone celebrate!

I know that to some, this might sound crazy, but is it?

Is it crazy to alter one’s mind to think in a way that will garner positive results? Is it crazy to behave in a way that will bring us happiness? Is it crazy to believe that good things will happen in our lives? I think not. I think it is the right thing to do.

And what if we carried this even further? What if we applied this positive way of thinking to our entire life? And what if that way of thinking became contagious – and it spread throughout the world?

Wouldn’t that be lovely!

So please forgive me if I refuse to grow sad because the sky is gray. Please forgive me if I refuse to shudder as the chilly wind passes by. Inside my heart it is just too warm for that. Inside my soul the sun shines bright. For inside it is spring and I am loving it.

Think spring my friends!

Going Topless

CensoredI hope you’re sitting down because I have some shocking news for you: for now and the foreseeable future, I shall be going topless. Perhaps some further explanation is warranted to help ease your nerves regarding this matter and perhaps save you the trouble of contacting the authorities.

The scandalous chain of events that caused this uncomfortable situation has its origin in the snowstorm that hit Fulton last week. A snowstorm in January is certainly nothing new around these parts. That is what makes the story even more tragic.

It was “garbage day” in my section of the city, and my trash sat sealed and snug in their containers, waiting to be picked up – which they were, right on time. But this particular day saw the wind pick up to treacherous levels, and I feared for the safety of my trash receptacles. As soon as I heard the sanitation truck pass my house, I went outside to corral the containers and put them in my garage. But by the time I got there, the damage had already been done: one of the lids was missing.

I searched the neighborhood, but it was no use. No doubt the combination of gale winds and its Frisbee-like shape sent it flying away. By the time I got there, it was probably already in Minetto. Sadly, I was forced to give up my quest.

But the story continues.

Today I found myself in my favorite shopping superstore, hoping to put an end to this horrendous tale of woe. I selected a brand new lid, tossed it into my cart, and headed to the checkout line. And that is where the story takes a turn for the worse.

The cashier lifted the lid from the conveyor belt and look me dead in the eyes. “Why are you buying a garbage can lid?” she asked.

At first, I thought maybe she was the kind of person who took special interest in her clients, but that didn’t seem likely. Still, I am not the kind of person who easily shares such intimate personal details, so I opted for a simple answer.

“I need one. My old one flew away.” That was all the information she would get out of me. The conversation continued.

“Well, you can’t buy one,” she replied. “We don’t sell them.”

“Then what are you holding in your hand?” I asked, becoming slightly queasy at the uneasy exchange of question and answer.

“I mean that we don’t sell them by themselves. They only come with garbage cans. To get a lid, you have to buy a can.”

“But I don’t need a can. I already have one. I only need the lid,” I said.

“Those are the rules. Anyhow, lids don’t even have a UPC code. I can’t ring it up.”

Those in fact were the rules. The cashier caller her supervisor to render a decision and tell me my options. It was true. I was not allowed to purchase a lid unless I bought the can to go with it. Being a law-abiding citizen who did not want to violate any sanitation ordinances, I decided to thank them for their time and return home.

On my drive home, I began to wonder about these so-called “rules.” This particular one didn’t seem very wise. Surely other people would find themselves in the same position as me. Surely others would want to purchase a trash can lid. Why weren’t they for sale all by themselves?

Ideas floated around my mind. Could this possibly be a diabolical scheme whereby store employees wander the neighborhoods on trash day and misappropriate trash can lids in order to boost sales of cans? That was one possibility. If that were true, I had better buy a new can or else I would be putting can workers out of their jobs; and I would be responsible for ruining the economy.

Another possibility is that we in America now live in a throw-away society. We don’t repair anything. We don’t sew torn clothes or mend cracked things. We toss in the trash and buy another of the same, brand shiny new. Of course I have no proof of this, but I bet if you checked how glue sales were going, it would give a clue into the trend.

As for my dilemma, I don’t see a solution at the moment. So I will have to go topless. I will be forced to put my trash into the garbage can without a lid and hope that the wind does not send it flying around the neighborhood. In the meantime, I’m saving up to buy the complete set: garbage lid and can. But when that happens, I will have a new dilemma…

How do you get rid of a garbage can?

The First Snowfall

First Snowfall

Right around this time of year, something profound happens. Like clockwork, Mother Nature shifts her calendar and treats us to the majesty of the season’s first snowfall. With it, comes a change in our thinking, giving insight into one’s personality.

Some of my friends will wail and bemoan the arrival of yet another snow season, five to six months of shoveling, scraping, slipping and sliding. Others will jolt with eager anticipation of snowmobiling across the countryside. And others will reach for their credit cards, as another holiday shopping season is here.

As I watch the faint mist of flakes slowly fall to the ground, barely enough to cover a blade of grass, I grow nostalgic. I vividly recall childhood excitement of the wondrous holiday season just ahead, of sleds and snowmen, and grabbing a handful of snow to shove into my mouth – even when my mother said not to.

I am reminded of the passing of time and of people no longer with us, sad that they are gone, but glad that they will never be forgotten.

The first snowfall is an emotional time for me, a strange cloudy mix of memories. But most of all, it is a reminder of how beautiful the world can be if I look at it with innocent eyes, and how lucky I am to be here to observe it.

#snow #snowfall #first_snowfall #winter #seasons #memories #nostalgia

Buddies

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Rain Forest

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Soft Afternoon

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The warm glow of the afternoon sun lit the trees with a soothing softness.

Surf’s Down

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Surfer’s at Waikiki Beach in Hawaii take time out to enjoy the sunset.

Perspective

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This photo doesn’t seem very special until you look at it closely to get the proper perspective.  See if you can figure out why I felt this shot was amazing.

Tropical Fragrance

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Hawaiian flower of unknown species.  There were many.

Hike

IMG_4160View from half-way up on our hike up Diamond Head on the island of Oahu.