Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Reality is Virtual

Excerpted from Riches of the Heart by Steve Goodier.

In the “Journal of the American Medical Association,” Dr. Paul Ruskin demonstrated how our perception of reality (not actually what is going on, but how we perceive it) determines how we feel about it. While teaching a class on the psychological aspects of aging, he read the following case to his students:

The patient neither speaks nor comprehends the spoken word. Sometimes she babbles incoherently for hours on end. She is disoriented about person, place, and time. She does, however, respond to her name. I have worked with her for the past six months, but she still shows complete disregard for her physical appearance and makes no effort to assist her own care. She must be fed, bathed, and clothed by others. Because she has no teeth, her food must be pureed. Her shirt is usually soiled from almost incessant drooling. She does not walk. Her sleep pattern is erratic. Often she wakes in the middle of the night, and her screaming awakens others. Most of the time she is friendly and happy, but several times a day she gets quite agitated without apparent cause. Then she wails until someone comes to comfort her.

After presenting the case, Dr. Ruskin asked his students how they would like caring for this person. Most of them said they would not like it at all.

He then said that he believed he would especially enjoy it and thought that they might, also. He passed a picture of the patient around for his puzzled students to see. It was his six-month-old daughter!

Most of the students had already made up their minds that they would not like caring for such a patient. But the age of the patient, rather than the actual duties, made the task seem fun and enjoyable! When they thought the task might be fun, they were positive about it, though their reaction just moments before was quite negative.

You and I have numerous tasks ahead. How will you look at them today? As pleasant or unpleasant? As chores or as fun? When you think you may actually enjoy them – you probably will!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Stairway to Heaven?

So, I'm thinking, miracles can be elusive... akin to one of my favorite song from the 60's, "Butterfly of Love."
How to relate?  Right here, right now?  I'll borrow from childhood:

Growing up just outside Santa Fe, New Mexico, I was all too familiar with the infamous Loretto Staircase.  Yes, that's a sigh ….. remembering the sheer boredom I felt every time my parents felt compelled to parade out-of-town family and friends to that Chapel.

Only now – decades removed from “The City Different” can I appreciate it's history and charm.

One reviewer has written:

Architects will tell you it should have crashed the moment someone set foot on it.

Scientists say it defies the laws of gravity.

But the Sisters of Loretto know: It was a miracle.

If you've not had an opportunity to see it personally, you may enjoy this moving depiction.  (Please, don't forget to "mute" my playlist, below.)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Simple Pleasures - Old Towels

It's that time again!   Go back, deep inside, to that which makes your soul smile.  It's actually easy ... remembering Simple Pleasures!

Yes, I’m often intimidated by inanimate objects. For example,

SaranWrap is not my friend ….
~ nor are linen slacks 
…..or pretty towels.

Towels, you say?

You know … those with an impossibly smooth finish, boasting satiny trim.  I once spent a weekend with a friend whose guest bath contained these objects d’art.  Honest, I was inclined to use their T.P. to remove my makeup!

What shouts, “Comfort!” around our house are several aged, nubby towels— worn from too many wash cycles -- thirsty critters, unafraid of the occasional lipstick stain, grubby palms, what-have-you.

Of course, they go into hiding when “proper folk” stop by! 
These excerpts from an olden magazine pretty well define what I’m trying to express:

To be in fashion, a towel must be new; and I find that I have very little affection for my towels until they are old.”

Company towels? Have them better than the family towels, if you please; but be sure to have the family take the “new” off. This may be hard on the family, but the wiping guest will love you more and leave behind a blessing instead of a reproach!”

Friday, August 20, 2010

Unity through Uniqueness

- Excerpted from Wisdom of Wolves by Twyman Towery, PhD.

There is not a more eerie, mournful, frightening or beautiful sound at night than the musical extravaganza of a howling wolf pack. Campers and hunters who have heard this chorus are filled with wonder, but are also usually immobilized by fear. Because of the melody of voices, it often sounds like they are surrounded by scores of wolves.

In truth, there are usually no more than 5-8 wolves howling in a pack. The secret is that the wolves are always careful not to duplicate each other. Each wolf assumes a unique pitch, respecting the distinctiveness of other members of the pack. While the notes may change, as in any beautiful song, one wolf will not copy the pitch of another.

Interestingly, this respect for the individual only emphasizes the true unity of the group. They are one, but they are individuals, each contributing to the organization in their own unique way. Every wolf has his own voice. Every wolf respects the voice of every other wolf.
While no one knows for sure why wolves sing, nature has blessed them with a talent they have perfected through the generations: They are happy, excited, playful, territorial and sorrowful; they may be simply reaffirming the spirit and unity of their pack.

After all, why do birds sing? Why do we?

An additional reason that wolves may howl is that it provides a time, a place and an event for all social barriers to be broken. Wolves have a strong social order, with each member understanding its role and place. But when wolves howl together, all barriers are dropped, as if to say, “We are one, but we are all unique, so don’t tread on us.”

The wolf symphony makes the pack appear a much more formidable foe than would be the case if they all sounded the same.

So, too, are human organizations and families more formidable when the awareness of each individual is celebrated rather than stifled.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Simple Pleasures, continued

Remember when ....
You hit your stride right about midnight?  Naturally, one requires a serious dose of Comfort Food to keep on keepin' on!
So, I "borrowed" this shot of my 16-yo "grand" from her FB page.  She and her BFF were celebrating their last all-nighter before heading back to school.

Me?  I'm much too old to remember what midnight feels like - LOL! ...
but I sure haven't outgrown the urge for an occasional late-night binge.  (Did I just say, occasional?)     

More often than not, it's JIF extra-crunchy peanut butter ... served icy cold on a big soup spoon.  

What's your guilty pleasure?  


Please help yourself to more Simple Pleasures over at Dayle's place.
You'll be so glad to did!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Your Valuable Friends
by Steve Goodier .................http://LifeSupportSystem.com

I heard a story about an older woman who stood in line at the Post Office. She struck up a conversation with a young man next to her. He noticed that she had no packages to mail, and asked why she was standing in line. She said that she just needed a few stamps.

"Ma'am, you must be tired standing here. Did you know there's a stamp machine over there in the corner?" He pointed to the machine built into the wall.

"Why yes, thank you," the lady replied, "but I'll just wait here a little while longer. I'm getting close to the window."

The customer became insistent.  "But it would be so much easier for you to avoid this long line and buy your stamps from the machine."

The woman patted him on the arm and answered, "Oh, I know. But that old machine would never ask me how my grandchildren are doing."

She had a need greater than the need for postage stamps - a need to feel connected to other people. And it was a need that could not be met by a stamp machine.

When Harry Truman was thrust into the U.S. presidency at the death of Franklin Roosevelt, a colleague and friend - Congressman Sam Rayburn of Bonham, Texas - gave Truman some fatherly advice.

Rayburn said, "Harry, from here on out, you're going to have lots of people around you. They'll try to put a wall around you and cut you off from any ideas but theirs. They'll tell you what a great man you are, Harry. But you and I both know you ain't." Friends can say those things to each other.

Later, when Sam Rayburn discovered that he was seriously ill, he told his friends in Congress that he was going home to Bonham for medical tests. "But there are excellent doctors and medical facilities in Washington D.C." some of them argued. "Why would you want to go to Bonham?"

"Because," the congressman replied, "Bonham is a place where people know it when you're sick, and where they care when you die."

Rayburn had a need greater than good medical assistance. He needed friends. Someone to ask how his grandchildren were doing. Someone to sit by him and stop by his home. Someone to care. A few close friends meant more than the best medical facilities in the world.

Who is such a friend to you? That person is more valuable than your greatest possession.
Have you said ... thanks?

Excerpted: LifeSupportSystem.com

On a personal note, I want to send a big bouquet of thanks to all who held my DH in your prayers earlier this week .... his news was good.
Still, we are honored to hold those who are fighting the Good Fight in our hearts and our prayers. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Simple Pleasures

invites us to Stop! Look! Listen!  ... to slow down and pay closer attention to the simple things in life.

So at the end of the workday, when all's said and done ... my soul's ready to absorb the "warm fuzzies."   I think the best moments in life are, indeed, the simplest!

My definition of a perfect Saturday afternoon?
Blank agenda + good book + big comfy couch.   
My eyes are growing heavy, heavy, heavy ...........

I totally take back all those times I didn’t want to nap when I was younger!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What the Doctor Ordered!

So, I've an unaccustomed day off. DH is due later today for his annual “poke n' peek” – his terminology for a necessary biopsy to ensure no new cancer cells have germinated. Four years clear … and counting! Your prayers are soooooo appreciated – that today marks Year #5.

Understandably we've been a bit tense …. and this morning's e-mail contained just the trigger to provoke my “funny bone.” No matter your circumstance, hope you, too, find reason to laugh aloud!

UPS Airlines

Remember, it takes a college degree to fly a plane, but only a high school diploma to fix one -- a  reassurance to those of us who fly routinely in our jobs.

After every flight, UPS pilots fill out a form, called a 'gripe sheet,' which tells mechanics about aircraft problems. The mechanics correct the problems, document the repairs on the form, and then pilots review the gripe sheets before the next flight.

Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humor. Here are some actual maintenance complaints submitted by UPS pilots (marked with a P) and the solutions recorded (marked with an S) by maintenance engineers.

By the way, UPS is the only major airline that has never, ever, had an accident.

P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.

P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

P: Something loose in cockpit.
S: Something tightened in cockpit.

P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on back-order.

P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200-feet-per-minute descent.
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.

P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume set to more believable level.

P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
S: That's what friction locks are for.

P: IFF inoperative in OFF mode.
S: IFF is always inoperative in OFF mode.

P: Suspected crack in windshield.
S: Suspect you're right.

P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.

P: Aircraft handles funny. (I love this one!)
S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right and be serious.

P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics..

P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.

And the best one for last .....

P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.
S: Took hammer away from the midget.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

No, I'm not particularly fond of surprises. Like the Scouts' motto cautions, “Be Prepared” …so I've journeyed.

DH regularly, gently chastises, “Why do you always jump to the 'worst case' scenario?”

Why? So I can be ready, with a Plan. Any other conclusion is like ….well, icing on the cake.   Looking back, (I rationalize) everything Awful that's ever happened to me occurred when I wasn't paying attention.

Ya, right. Can't you imagine God chuckling?

Still, I sense I'm not a lone ranger.   So today I'd like to share a meditation that speaks to my crazy impulse to wander about, cloaked in a parachute and bubblewrap ….


Where are our minds right now? Are we focused fully? Or, are our minds wandering off to events scheduled for later today, or tomorrow perhaps? The simple truth is that this moment is all God has allowed right now. It's His design that we live fully each moment, as it comes. Therein lies the richness of our lies. Each moment contributes to the full pattern that's uniquely our own.

We must not miss the potential pleasure of any experience because our thoughts are elsewhere. We never know when a certain situation may be a door to our future. What we do know is that God often has to work hard getting our attention – perhaps allowing many stumbling blocks in order to get us back on target.

Being in tune with now, this moment, guarantees a direct line of communication to God. It also guarantees a full life. Our purpose becomes clear as we trust our steps to God's guidance. How terribly complicated we make life by living in the past, the present and the future all at once!

Let me tell thee, time is a very precious gift of God, so precious that it's only given to us moment by moment. - Amelia Barr.


This is just about my favorite old "feel good" commercial spot.

If it rains all weekend, just pretend you're a duck! Quack, quack, waddle, waddle ....
(... don't forget to "mute" my playlist button!)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hurray for Hollywood!

Do you enjoy going "out" to the movies?   Since the arrival of Netflix, I’m thrilled that “date night” translates to pj’s and wings in front of our own television…. no muss, no fuss!

As is often the case, a coworker and I began our Monday, discussing our favorite movies and performances.

Neither of us is particularly fond of “pretty boys” – aka' Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise – so there was no bloodshed, scratching, hair-pulling.  :)
I'll admit, their names are synonymous with box-office gold. But, are their performances particularly memorable? Maybe. I don’t want to get into a spitting contest over something I’m sure not qualified to debate!

So, hands-down, my favorite actor is Tom Hanks.   For instance ... how many actors can perform for 90 minutes opposite a volleyball… and still suck you in? Remember that scene in Castaway when “Wilson” floated away? I wept like a baby -- over an inanimate object …. go figure!

How about you?  Has a special movie moment given you pause that lasts and lasts?
....Just curious!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I'd like to thank ....

......Sweet Sandie for this cute award!

If you're not already familiar with her blog, RUN (don't walk!) on over to her spot in the sun -- http://chattycrone.blogspot.com/
Thank you, Sandie!
Yes, a few "to-do's" are in order:

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award. (Check!)

2.  Share 7 things about yourself:
     OK, other than what's already shown on my profile? ....

     a. Subtract the part about water, and I'm a "typical" Pisces.

     b. If there were "do-overs", I'd like to work as a homicide detective ... I love good mysteries!

     c. Rainy days do get me down ... but I love the snow!

     d. Are you sincere? I really try to be -- and value that trait in others.

     e. I love to travel, but still haven't conquered my fear of flying.

     f. I'm conservative - both in my politics and lifestyle.

     g. I still care WAY too much what others think of me.

3.  Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic.

Hmmm. I don't get 'round much (yet!) ... and haven't 15 followers (yet!) ...LOL.
So, I'd like to offer a big-old invitation to whomever may be passing through -
Please, help yourselves to this sweet award ....and spread some of YOU all over the place (just put on a happy faaaaace!).

Monday, August 2, 2010

Thought for the Day

Women are angels, and when someone breaks our wings,

we simply continue to fly...on a broomstick.

We are flexible.  :)