Most of us have to work at being healthy. We have to develop good habits if we want a strong immune system. We have had a long cold/flu season starting in October of last year through this February. I have had my share of colds during it. My husband is trying to get over a nasty bug. I’ve been fixing him chicken noodle soup and such. Tonight I served baked chicken, potato, carrots and cut up fresh fruit (antioxidants). We even sprinkled garlic which has antimicrobial and antiviral properties (something I learned on the internet today) over our food. When I feel a cold coming on, I take vitamin C and try to get plenty of rest. Plenty of rest helps fight off infections. Drinking plenty of water helps to wash toxins out of our bodies. It also helps to moisten our mouths and nasal passages which probably helps us deal with congestion and sore throats better. Washing your hands frequently helps one avoid germs in the first place or spreading your germs to others.

It is important to keep warm and dry. I learned that lesson while in Florida a couple of years ago. While I was there, I didn’t have an umbrella with me. I ended up having to walk through a monsoon to get back to the hotel where my husband and I were staying. I used to think that getting deathly sick in a rainstorm only happened in romance novels while riding on horseback. On that Florida trip, I got to buy some polka dot goulashes. I think I was wanting to relive my childhood when I bought them. We are only young once, but it doesn’t hurt to pretend.

Time for bed. I must get my healthy sleep. (I’m a little too old to call it my beauty sleep!)

RainierMay you have a happy Valentine’s Day. May your day be full of of Valentines from people who love you for who you are. May you let go of any anger you’ve been holding on to. May you love yourself. No one is perfect, but you are loved just the way you are. May you be inspired to do something for yourself and others. May you enjoy some down time, time to goof off, time to explore, time to learn, see or do whatever you want. May you enjoy the simple joys of life. If you are disorganized like me, may you be inspired to straighten part of your house up . . . and get satisfaction from doing so, or just throw the dust to the wind. Enjoy a candlelight dinner with a tablecloth. (Flameless candles might be appropriate.) Enjoy some cheesecake with fresh strawberries. A box of chocolates. You can do it! 

Love,
Rainier, Mr. Gray, Aunt Patty, Joy and Noel from Flip, Flap, Try . . . A Cardinal’s Journey

P.S. If Valentine’s Day is over, no problem. Pick another day.

“Often people attempt to live their lives backwards. They try to have more things or more money, in order to do more of what they want so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want.” — Margaret Young.

It is popular to think of an owl being wise. In Ancient Greece theOwl owl was often associated with the goddess Athena who became associated with arts and wisdom, so owls became associated with wisdom. If I were to use an owl as a character in one of my books, I would probably have it say, “Whooo are you?” We all need to ask this question of ourselves periodically in our lives as we continue to have experiences, grow, and change. What do you need to do? A couples of days ago, I needed to pay my bills. (It felt good to get all the checks in the mail.) I also mailed another a Valentine’s Day card to my husband who’s been working out of town. (We must nurture our relationships.) I exercised and scheduled some doctor appointments. (Health.) Taking time to work on blog. (To promote my business.) I am sure you can think of many things you can do in order to work towards having what you want. Some hospice patients in a study on wisdom were asked what they wanted. Some said, “To enjoy everyday life. To cherish the gifts of life.” ( I’m assuming they were referring to the gifts you don’t need money to buy.)

I hope you were able to garner a nugget of wisdom from my blog. An older and wiser acquaintance of mine suggested, with a twinkle in his eye, the owl character in my book could say, “I don’t give a hoot!” (Humor. What would we do without it?)

Ground Hog DaySuper Groundhog Day. Light snowflakes were falling at 7:28 a.m. this morning in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania when the famous groundhog emerged from his tunnel. A group of men all decked out in black coats and top hats were present as one of them held Punxsutawney Phil high up in the air with one hand while another gentleman read an announcement to a crowd of thousands of fans. Phil didn’t see his shadow . . . which means an early spring. The crowd cheered.

Groundhog Day falls midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Saying it is a clear day only if the groundhog sees his shadow is a German tradition. My husband’s ancestors are from Lithuania and Germany. Also, he is a naturalist who grew up in Pennsylvania. All which make Groundhog Day his favorite holiday. I need to ask Hallmark to make some happy Groundhog Day cards.

Is the 02/02/2020 Super Bowl overshadowing Groundhog Day? Not if you are from my household. Though, I did enjoy watching Hallmark’s kitten bowl.

Bottom line, it is nice to have holidays or events to cheer about. Take the time. Don’t let work or your bothers overshadow it. Life’s too short.

It’s a new day, a new year and a new decade! What is your 2020 vision? To refresh our memories, the definition of vision is:

  1. The faculty or state of being able to see.
  2. The ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom.

I would also like to refresh our memories of the definition of envision. It means: to imagine as a future possibility; visualize. 

The occipital lobe, in the back of our heads, is responsible for vision and actually visualizing scenes never actually witnessed before. I think visualizing with wisdom is key to success. We need to figure out what steps we need to take to reach our goals. Taking the first step is monumental. It marks the moment you decide you are going to reach your goal. 

Athletepole vaulters have used visualization for a long time to build their strength, confidence, and results. The pole vaulter imagines him or herself clearing the bar even before he/she starts running towards it.  

What successes do you see, hear, smell, taste, and/or feel yourself reaching? You can ask for help. Celebrate your successes no matter how small. Learn from your mistakes. May you have a happy and healthy new year!

 

Sometimes we have to play catch up. I got behind in my blogs. Being behind in blogs is not unheard of. I am sure you know of others who have fallen behind in blogging. Apologies are made. All is forgiven. The blogger starts blogging again. Life gets hectic sometimes. We have to rush or push ourselves to get things done. Then comes the well earned holiday time off. Sometimes we plan to get a lot done on a holiday. During these days off we still need to decide what is most important to do with our time. Hopefully taking breaks, spending time with family, and doing somethings just for fun, become more of a priority. Working in some to do’s which mean a lot in the long run, like having a photo taken of you and your spouse and/or family which you can plan to include in your Christmas cards, become a priority as do holiday traditions. So, be wise. Enjoy your holidays to their fullest. Then round them out with some catch up tasks. You’ll be more refreshed and be able to look at them in a new light. Enjoy your holidays . . . catching up with family, friends and tasks.

Sometimes we need a project manager to come into our lives and ask us “So, what is holding you back? What is the next step you need to take to get things moving? When are you going to get this step done?” I had a task which needed to be done that I had been putting off. I was afraid of the possible problems I would have to deal with in order to get it done. I ran into some problems the previous time someone else and I tried to begin working on this project. Also, being somewhat disorganized, I knew it was going to take some time straightening up to find info I had collected previously. Fear was holding me back. Also, other tasks had been competing for my time. With a push from a project manager, I looked for some open time on my schedule. I had a car appointment lined up. I knew I would have some quiet time as I waited for the work on my car to get done. I grabbed my iPad to take with me to the appointment. While in the waiting room, I was able to search my emails and to my surprise, was able to find the info I needed without having to try to connect with someone on the phone. It was the key info I needed to get the ball rolling on the project. I then made a plan of action, what I was going to do if this or that was or wasn’t going to happen on my way to reaching my goal. The next day, I was able to reach my goal. I was glad I had a little push from a project manager. Thank you, Project Manager.

Childhood fears are real to a child. My husband used to think there were lions in his bedroom closet. His dad told him, that if a lion came into his bedroom, he would grab it by it’s tail and fling it out the window. He doesn’t have that fear any more. In adulthood, he doesn’t seem to have any fear of animals, though, as a former park naturalist, he knows enough about wild animals to keep a respectful distance from them.

As adults, we may have fears, such as, fear of public speaking or fear of not getting our taxes done on time. It’s good to have a plan of how we can work to get over our fears. The sooner the better. That way the fear won’t keep lingering over us. There are toastmaster groups you can join to practice speaking in front of a group and it’s not too early to start thinking what you will need to complete your taxes. What fears are you facing? What steps can you take to help you take hold of your fears and fling them out the window? I wish you safe travels on your journey down the yellow brick road of life. I hope you run into a kind Aunt Patty, a resourceful Rainier and many other helpful characters along the way.

My husband and I recently had a chance to play trivia at a library. I told the librarian who was in charge of the game I was bad at trivia. She responded with “Then we’ll all be bad together.” Her comment made me feel welcome.

We all have memories tucked away in the neurons of our minds. They just need a little jarring to recall them. In college, I took food and nutrition courses, so I may have a chance at answering food related questions, I tell myself. My husband tends to know history. I had no idea George Bush used to be head of the CIA. He did. Music and movies, we’re both not so good at.

There was one music question to which I did know the answer, “What did momma say she would buy her baby if the looking glass gets broke.” I recall my sister Brenda, who was a music major in college when I was in high school, coming home and sharing a lullaby she had learned with me. I recall liking it so much, the rhyming and all, I took to memorizing it. I used to strum my folk guitar while singing it. The title is Hush Little Baby. The answer is cart and goat.

September is the month to remember, if you grew up hearing Simon and Garfunkel songs like me. If something is important to us, we tend to remember it, at least with a little jarring of our minds, and perhaps a hint or two, for those of us not so good at trivia.

The anniversary of my mom’s birthday is September 7th. Even though that cart and goat ran away, I still love my momma anyway.

 

DirectionsI had to get to the airport early today. Being summer, it was good driving weather, except for being dark since I had to leave the house before sunrise. However, I made the mistake of thinking I was following the On Star directions when the voice said “turn left”.  Unfortunately the left turn wasn’t exactly when I heard the voice say it. It was a few seconds later. There had been a slight left curve in the road and I thought to myself, this left turn was easy. A split second later, I had to suddenly brake and quickly turn the steering wheel a sharp left, as there were road sign arrows pointing left in my face! Did I mention it was dark, and it was the middle of the night.  I was a little tired and probably not at my top thinking ability. Fortunately I was able to stay on the road and didn’t hit anyone. So much for trusting modern technology. Hopefully, I won’t make that mistake again.

It seems there is a learning curve for just about everything we do. Like it takes longer and more energy to follow a recipe for cooking/baking the first time. Sometimes the recipe even warns you to read all the directions first. Yes, I am the type of person who reads an appliance manual completely before operating it the first time. I realize most people just jump right in, then go back to the instructions if they run into a problem. When it comes to machines, it is best to know how to turn something off before you start it. My dad taught me this.

Navigating through life can be challenging. We have lots of decisions to make and pretty much a finite time to make them. Also, tasks usually take longer and more energy than we anticipate. When I take time to just sit and relax for a moment, I usually remember something else I need to do. Some of the things I remember when I do so turn out to be high priority things such as family matters, or somewhat immediate matters such as remembering there are clothes in the washer which need to be switched to the dryer. So, do the best you can, that’s all any of us can do. The most important thing is to take breaks to have more time to reflect and come up with wiser decisions and plans. That way, you can more easily navigate the curves life throws you.