Archive for October 30, 2014

Mother’s Wisdom

A reminder worth thinking about in this war-torn, intolerant world:

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”  (Mother Teresa of Calcutta)



How to Spend that Upcoming Extra Hour

Let’s plan ahead for Sunday, when we turn our clocks back an hour.  What will we do with the extra hour we’ve gained?  Why not share it with someone who doesn’t necessarily consider time a friend, like that neighbor or acquaintance who is too ill or shy to get out much.  We can spend time feeding hungry families at a kitchen, gathering food for local food pantries that serve them, visiting veterans at the VA, bringing a picnic lunch and conversation to Aunt Sally at the nursing home.  Or give that extra hour exclusively to our children, playing, reading, or just being together.  Or nurture our marriage with an uninterrupted hour together, being present to each other. Through that one hour, we won’t let stress, overwork, or other pressures interfere with our relationships. In short, rather than waste that morsel of extra time, we can use it to live life more fully, sharing our time and selves with others.



Happiness Up to the Wife

Apparently, “happy wife, happy life” is true.  Granted, the study looked at people age 50 or older, but I’d bet that it extends into younger marriages–and even maybe into how we treat each other in other relationships.

There are several reasons for this happiness factor (as well as the reverse: miserable wife, miserable life). They include the differing ways men and women are raised, societal roles, and the fact (surprise!) that men don’t communicate their feelings and women do (what a revelation!).  The cure for this disparity is better communication–like that’s gonna happen in most man/woman relationships….

For details of this study, read the Huffington Post article “Study Finds that ‘Happy Wife, Happy Life‘ is Pretty Dead On.



A Tree-Mendous Addition to Our Home

I’ve been accused of being a tree-hugger–time and time again.  Maybe that’s why I’m so exited by today’s addition to our home.  I admit, I hug redwoods, my favorite tree, every chance I get. Redwoods are majestic and beautiful, and they feed my love of symbolism.  That’s because redwoods have shallow roots.  They survive and thrive by growing close together and entwining their roots with each other.  That allows them to grow tall and strong.  Therein lies the lesson for human beings.

But the spot I have is for a single tree.  So I planted a Northern Catalpa.  It doesn’t look like much right now:

New Tree

.     .But with TLC and water, it will look like this:



I’ve been feeling tree-deprived for a long time.  Several years ago our next-door-neighbor got our beautiful street tree condemned and removed, and about five years ago our gorgeous ash in our back yard became diseased and had to go before its 45′ (or so) beauty crashed onto our house.  That left us with no trees.  Now that has changed.  I’m happy again.


Follow-Up on “Is there Something I’m Missing?”

I MUST add one more bit of questionable logic to Monday’s (10/20/14) posting on situations in our daily lives that make little sense.  Yesterday I saw that TV commercial yet again.  It’s for an ambulance-chaser–er, I mean, law firm–in which anyone who has been in an auto accident and has been either seriously injured or killed is urged to call their office.  Now, I know that long-distance companies have improved greatly over the years, but does the land-of-the-afterlife have phone service?



Man and the Beauty of Life

Reread these short twenty words several times.  They may cause you to look differently at the next sad, sour, homeless person you meet.  This is a Thursday Thought worth carrying with us.


“If a man cannot understand the beauty of life, it is probably because life never understood the beauty in him.” — Criss Jami



Starbucks & Animal Welfare

Is your cup of coffee supporting animal cruelty?  Starbucks may have an animal welfare policy but it doesn’t follow it.  Watch a short video on how the eggs Starbucks uses are produced in battery cages, read more information, then sign the petition.  Go to the page now.



The World, Mental Health, & the Death Penalty

Today is the 12th annual World Day Against the Death Penalty.  This year the focus is on mental health.  The message the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty hopes to get across is that too many prisoners who are mentally ill or intellectually disabled are being executed rather than receiving treatment to address the condition that is the underlying cause of the crime.  Many of us wish that our country would join other industrialized countries in abolishing the death penalty totally; many others view executing a person who is mentally ill or the mental age of a child as barbaric.

For more information about this day and topic, and for what you can do, go to



On the Lighter Side: So, It Is What It Is & It’s All Good

So, today I want to vent about words and phrases that I’m sick and tired of hearing. These thoughtlessly-uttered words have caused me to snap several times.  Look, I realize that it’s all good.  Look, I like to recognize the person who has done something without risk to himself but produced good for someone…he absolutely IS a hero.  After all, he could have snapped and run away from the situation.  Instead, he decided to do the good deed and pay it forward.  If he hadn’t, we would have had to send our thoughts and prayers to the unfortunate person he ended up not helping.  Some people think a hero is only someone who puts himself in danger to help another person; I think the guy who buys an ice cream for a crying child is a hero. But, as I say, it’s all good, and as far as the opinions of those others, I tell them that it is what it is.  Absolutely.

So, look… as an old English teacher I’m writing this to educate you and give myself some much-needed closure.  I expect no gratitude; I’m just paying it forward.  And, of course, for all of you who are vocabulary-deficient, my thoughts and prayers are with you.



Another fight. I’ll drink to that!

Sports are changing.  A baseball or football game used to be a family event.  Now not only is it too expensive for most families to go to the ballpark, it’s too dangerous. There are so many stories, like Bryan Stowe, beaten at a Giant’s game two years ago by rival fans.  In the last few days two more incidents have taken place.   At Levi Stadium two men attacked two others in the restroom not long before kick-off.  And at the Angels Stadium three people attacked a 43-year-old man and his cousin (an off-duty police officer, yet!) in the parking lot.

The news doesn’t answer my major question about all the attacks: how many of these incidents involved people who had been drinking?  With tailgating and free-flowing beer concessions–not to mention what is sneaked in–a good number of people at any game end up drinking enough to make them belligerent.  That mood is heightened by the heat of the sun, the roar of the crowd, and the emotional ups and downs each time a team scores.

Maybe it’s time to make games family-friendly and safe again.  Ban drinking at tailgate parties, and don’t sell alcohol in the stadium.  Does a fan really need to drink to enjoy the game?  Would fans’ behavior and language improve if they didn’t have alcohol-soaked brains?  Would–here’s a thought–fans therefore get more for their money, because they’ll actually see the game?  I imbibe a bit of the grain or grape from time to time, so I’m not suggesting another Prohibition…just a dose of common sense.