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Monthly Archives: January 2011

On worrying

     
   “What worries you .. masters you.” – Anonymous
 

Stevie the farm dog in a Bovine stare-down; an emjayandthem photo

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Categories: Animals, Faith, Forgiveness, Humor, Life, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Wisdom | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Self-editing

image courtesy of bbc.co.uk

Ever find yourself with something to say and later realize that what you meant is not quite how you delivered it? Oh crap. I have done this and sometimes with great embarassment.

The same applies to writing.  At work, I’ve learned to write important emails and save them as a draft; coming back later to re-read what I’ve drafted helps me to edit and clarify my commentary.  Usually, I edit out 3/4 of what was written and often, I start over.

The headlines below were forwarded to me via email so I can’t credit the author .. but I would if I knew who it was.

Regardless, while many made me chuckle, most cause me to ponder the importance of pausing – saving – and reviewing once more before hitting the “publish” or “send” buttons.

Actual (poorly-written) Headlines

  • Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says
  • Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over
  • Include Your Children when Baking Cookies
  • Plane Too Close to Ground, Crash Probe Told
  • Stolen Painting Found by Tree
  • Two Sisters Reunited After 18 Years at Checkout Counter
  • War Dims Hope for Peace
  • If Strike Isn’t Settled Quickly, It May Last a While
  • Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
  • Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges
  • Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
  • Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors
  • Man Struck By Lightning Faces Battery Charge

How about you? Do you find yourself carefully editing your words?

Categories: Determination, Family, Forgiveness, Friendship, Home, Life, Opinion, Personal, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , | 10 Comments

Where’s the beef?

photo courtesy ocregister.com

A California lawsuit claims that fast food giant Taco Bell is NOT serving 100% beef and that instead they use a meat mixture containing “binders” and “extenders.” The suit claims that this combination doesn’t meet requirements set up by the USDA to be called beef.

“What’s for dinner, Mom?” 

“NearlyBeefaroni!”  

   Huh?

“Beef-kinda-sortanoff”

 Come again?

“Beef…almost-fredo”

Sigh.

Taco Bell countersued saying their seasoned beef contains “88 percent USDA-inspected beef and the rest is water, spices and a mixture of oats, starch and other ingredients that contribute to the “quality” its product.” The company said it uses no extenders. (for more see http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41311073/ns/business-consumer_news/)

Um … I don’t even know what an “extender” is, do you?  I do know this: I don’t want to know. 

Let’s not even discuss the makings of a chicken nugget.

Categories: Animals, Family, Food, Home, Life, News, Opinion, Personal, Rants, Share, Thoughts, Useful Information | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Music for a morning

(Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images; available at canada.com)

It’s Friday and it’s been a challenging week. I need something big to get me motivated this morning.

I give you Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” performed by Canadian songstress k.d. lang.

Disregard her politics, her lifestyle and yes, even her lack of shoes.

   Just close your eyes and let her voice take you someplace wonderful.

Categories: Beauty, Faith, Forgiveness, Gratitude, Life, music, Opinion, Personal, Random, Romance, Share, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , | 14 Comments

What does doubt mean to you?

photo from: spiritdreamsgr.com

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a decision that’s before me; one that I admit to feeling hesitant about.

Yesterday I heard this quote:  “Doubt means don’t.”

Today I found this picture at left.   

Think the universe may be trying to tell me what I already know?

It doesn’t matter what the decision is … this can apply to any of us at any time.

I’m going with my “gut.”  

You?

Categories: Determination, Faith, Forgiveness, Gratitude, Life, News, Opinion, Personal, Random, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , | 14 Comments

On living

image from public-domain-photos.com

 

“If the world is cold, make it your business to build fires.” Horace Traubel

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Charity, Faith, Family, Friendship, Gratitude, Home, Life, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Romance, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 6 Comments

Is it really progress?

Angry Birdgs game photo from advante.org

I enjoy computing and find the vast array of information available to me via the internet amazing (and sometimes a little overwhelming). I’m also an adult.

So I was alarmed to read the following statistics from Internet Security Company AVG:

Small children today are more likely to navigate with a mouse, play a computer game and increasingly – operate a Smartphone than swim, tie their shoelaces or make their own breakfast. This is according to a new ‘Digital Diaries’ study from Internet Security Company AVG (www.avg.com). AVG Digital Diaries is a series of studies looking at how children’s interaction with technology has changed.  For more on the study visit: http://http://www.avg.com/us-en/press-releases-news.ndi-672

 Kids are smart. We know that.  But here’s what this article makes me wonder: are today’s parents afraid to hear the words, “I’m bored?”

If my siblings and I dared utter the dreaded “I’m bored” we were told one of two things: 1) Really? Ok you can help with ____ (we lived on a farm, fill in the blanks with: bring the clothes in from the clothesline, clean the basement, weed the garden, pick the eggs, clean the stalls in barn, mow the lawn, water the flowers, you name it.)  The second alternative was 2) Find something to do or I’ll find it for you (see #1). And we did.  We rode bikes, climbed trees, stole raspberries out of the garden, collected rocks, and built forts, castles and stages. We went on hikes, produced talent shows and pitched tents.  All of those activities were far desired over spending any time doing chores.

What’s happened to singing, dancing, reading and “playing school?” What’s happened to puppet shows, make-believe, dress-up days and creating forts out of old sheets?  What’s happened to catching bugs, going up the slide the wrong way and hopscotch, kick-the-can, and freeze tag?

Please tell me that most parents are not too busy building imaginary Farms on Facebook to actually interact with their kids.  (“Baby drowns while Mom on Facebook: http://www.kdvr.com/news/kdvr-baby-drowns-while-mom-is-on-fa-01132011,0,2404118.story)   )

So what is it?   Have we become so paralyzed by fear that we no longer let our kids go outside to play?

My parents insisted that “children learn more by what we do than what we say.”  So if your kids see you playing on an iPhone or iPad it makes sense that they will want to also.  And that’s ok .. to a point.  I’m just hoping that little ones are also being exposed to educational “apps” because I’m concerned about a generation that can order take-out but not cook, can “race” for NASCAR but not change a tire and can master “Angry Birds” but not identify a real one looking at them from outside.

Technology? Love it. But it shouldn’t be a substitute for the real thing: play time.

 What are your thoughts on this?

Categories: Family, Home, Life, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Rants, Technology, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Thank you Winter

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It’s 6 degrees F on this fine Michigan morning.  The sun is shining and the snow is crunchy and luminous.   Old dog has found a favorite spot in the sunlight and I have a kick in my step because there’s not a cloud in sight.

One of the things I appreciate most about Winter is its ability to make me treasure ALL seasons just a little bit more… only 2 months till Spring!

Categories: Beauty, Faith, Friendship, Home, Life, Love, Opinion, Personal, Random, Relationships, Seasons, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

What are your dreams trying to tell you?

Most of the time I don’t remember my dreams. I wish I did but I don’t. The Hubbs, on the other hand, seems to dream vividly and often.  Often those dreams come up in conversations as we try to understand just what they mean.

Sometime ago I picked up a copy of  “The Dream Book,” by Betty Bethards.  I admit that I was a little skeptical becuase it was just a little bit “boogly-boogly,” nearly bordering on the supernatural.  But the more I’ve used the glossaries contained therein, the more I’ve come to understand what our dreams are trying to say to us. (find the book at http://www.amazon.com/ or http://www.innerlight.org/)

We spend 1/3 of our lives asleep. Do you really think that your job anxieties, family conflicts, and daily struggles just slip away when you’re sleeping? To the contrary … the images that come to us .. funny, bizarre, scary and surreal .. all have meaning and can be useful tools to better understanding.

Case in point: The Hubbs is dreadfully afraid of heights. Just talking about getting up on a ladder will cause him to break a sweat. I can actually watch the panic as it transforms him.  Recently he dreamt of being in a tall building, near the window (something he’d never do) and the window’s glass was shattered.  Turning away from the window he saw a staircase but the staircase was rickety and swaying. The image was so disturbing to him that he repeatedly woke himself up. The dream came back.  We sat down with the book and put the images together:

  • Large building: A large building represents a tremendous energy source; it suggests you have great opportunities, tremendous potential and a large destiny to fulfill.
  • Glass, shattered: Shattered glass represents the breaking of illusions.
  • Stairs: Stairs represent direction in life; note direction .. if going up, right direction, if going down, wrong. Make up your mind and get on with it.

When he pondered the symbols, he realized that a recent decision point had left him feeling unsettled and uncharacteristically anxious.  He considered the fact that the decision was not in his best interests and that if he instead steered away from it he’d realize a better fit for his comfort level.  That’s exactly what he did, too.  The change in him was nearly immediate.  I noticed not only was he more rested but that he just simply felt more at ease because he finally understood what was picking at him. 

Dreams give us more than we might imagine.   They offer us insight into our deepest fears, our highest hopes and our secret desires.

What are your dreams trying to tell you?

 

Categories: Attitude, Gratitude, Life Lessons, Love, Men, Opinion, Personal, Products I love, Relationships, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Wisdom, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

What are you really saying?

There’s always a little truth behind the words “just kidding,”  a little knowledge behind “I don’t know,” a little emotion behind “I don’t care,” and a little pain behind “I’m ok.”

For every time I’ve heard hurtful words followed by “just kidding,”  I know you meant it but don’t have the guts to be honest.

For every time I’ve heard the words “I don’t know” from someone who knows better, I know you’re lying because your eyes are looking everywhere but in mine. 

For every time I’ve heard the words “I don’t care” just know that it’s going to take a few more tries to convince me.  

For every time I’ve heard the words “I’m ok” know that I feel your pain and see you reassuring yourself with those words.

 So .. what are you really saying?

Categories: Determination, Friendship, Life, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Random, Relationships, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 23 Comments

Tune it in?

 
 
“Happiness does not depend on circumstances… it is an attitude. It’s like finding your favorite radio station, we can tune into it at any time.” – Anonymous


I love this quote and the photo below (from the 1988 film, “Big,” starring a young Tom Hanks and a well established Robert Loggia).

The movie tells the story of a young boy who wishes to become ‘big’ because it seems that everything good can only happen when you’re ‘big.’ (older).   He gets his wish and more… and wakes up in an overwhelming world where nothing is familiar and not much is … fun.

That quote and the photo remind me that how we look at something reveals more about us than it does the issue being examined.

Often we make a problem bigger and more powerful than it is by the attention we give to it.

This quote reminds me to slow down and be more patient .. to push away the petty stuff cluttering my days and embrace the joy that is already there …waiting for me.

    I wonder if my living room could accommodate a giant piano from FAO Schwartz?

image from cbc.ca

Categories: Determination, Faith, Family, Friendship, Gratitude, Humor, Life, music, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Random, Relationships, Self Discovery, Share, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Wisdom, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Panera Cares: The question is .. will we?

Last night my local news featured a story on The Panera Bread restaurant chain having opened its third “Panera Cares” cafe in Portland, Oregon.  Two others were opened in the past year: one in Dearborn, MI (near Detroit) and the first in St. Louis, MO.   These cafes have the same food choices on the menu as all other Paneras with one difference: there are no prices listed. Meals aren’t free, rather a “pay what you can” concept has been introduced.  I heard the reporter state that while most customers pay what would be considered the regular price, many pay more so as to give something back.  Any extra monies are given to local job training programs benefiting at-risk youth.

“There are a lot of folks out there who question whether this could ever work. In many ways, this is a test of humanity,” said Ron Shaich, the company’s founder.

I do enjoy the variety of Panera’s menu and while some items are too calorie-laden for me, I am happy to support a company that tries to do something for the greater good.  Give me that over a 30 ounce “Trenta” any day of the week.

For more information visit their website or watch the video below:

Categories: Attitude, Charity, Food, Gratitude, Life, News, Patriotic, Personal, Products I love, Relationships, Share, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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