Lighten up Mondays

Happy sunshine faceGrandpa was telling his young grandson what life was like when he was a little boy.

“In the winter, we’d ice skate on our pond. In the summer, we could swim in the pond, and pick berries in the woods. We’d also swing on an old tire my dad hung from a tree on a rope. And we had a pony we rode all over the farm.”

The little boy was amazed and sat silently for a minute or two. Finally he said, “Granddad, I wish I’d gotten to know you a lot sooner!”

Research: create a world without Alzheimer’s


Brittany Mosser, from the Washington State Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, summarizes her attendance at the Alzheimer’s International Conference in this Part 1 segment and Part 2 which can be accessed to the right of the page once you’ve clicked on the full version of her article.

Originally posted on ALZWA Blog:

By Brittany Mosser

aaic2012_2The Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) is the world’s largest forum where researchers and practitioners from around the world come together to share research results, discuss theories, and collaborate. Last year, AAIC saw exciting announcements about studies suggesting that changes in the sense of smell may indicate the presence of dementia and updates on clinical trials for new medications. This year, AAIC will be held in Washington, D.C. and includes the Dementia Care, Research, and Practice Track to focus on how we currently treat Alzheimer’s, care for caregivers, and respond to the impact of dementia on our broader community. This portion of the conference will explore what are we doing to address the impact of Alzheimer’s now, how well are we doing it, and how can we do it better.

I am incredibly excited to be attending AAIC this year because I feel the urgency for these…

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Tree of Life

I’m going to once again look to Dr. Bernie S. Siegel, and quote directly from a page in his book, 365 Prescriptions for the Soul.

Tree of Life CStand tall and proud.  Remember your roots!  Be content with your natural Beauty.  Drink plenty of water.  Enjoy the View!  – Illan Shamir, Advice from a Tree

If we are busily performing deeds but never stop to reach up for knowledge and wisdom, our tree of life will have no branches and many roots.  Without branches, how can it move and respond with the winds of life?  Or if we accumulate great knowledge but perform no deeds, then we are like a tree with many branches but no roots, and we will be blown over by the winds of fortune.

We must see that our tree of life contains both wisdom and deeds.  Then our branches will spread and our deep roots will provide support and nourishment.  We will be able to survive the storms and droughts that life presents us.

Lighten up Mondays

Happy sunshine faceOn an overseas flight, a lawyer and an older man were in adjoining seats. The lawyer asked the senior if he’d like to play a little game. The older man was tired and told the lawyer he just wanted to sleep.

But the lawyer insisted the game was lots of fun. “Here’s how it works,” he said, “I’ll ask you a question, if you can’t come up with the answer you have to give me a dollar. Then it’s your turn to ask me a question, but if I can’t answer it, I have to give you $20.”

The senior figured if he just got this over with, maybe he could get some sleep, so he agreed to play.  The first question from the lawyer was, “How far apart are the earth and the moon?” Continue reading

Complimentary words from a literary agent

I'm not done yet!

I’m not done yet!

Many of you know I’ve been trolling for an agent since mid-February. Each rejection I receive is a form rejection so said e-mail doesn’t say anything about my writing per se, or the subject matter. The common thread of these rejections is as follows, from a recent rejection I received:

Thanks for sending me REQUIEM FOR THE STATUS QUO.  I wish I could represent every book I enjoy. Because my resources are limited, I can only devote my energy to projects that I feel passionate about, and I’m sorry to say that your book isn’t right for me.  I greatly appreciate having had the opportunity to read your work, and I wish you all the best in finding the right agent and getting published.

I follow many agents on Twitter; one such agent is Janet Reid who also runs her infamous Query Shark site where writers’ query letters are critiqued, criticized, and cut to pieces. Janet runs a flash fiction contest every once in awhile, providing 5 words that must be used within a 100 words or less story. The 5 words can be used in whichever form we choose, but they must be used, and there’s a short window of time in which to submit the piece.  These were the words for the most recent contest posted over the weekend:


Here was my submission:

Gloria never dressed to draw attention; her style was more Quaker Gray than Newfangled Bright, so it was a stretch parading around in a matching orange blouse and pants. A this point, however, she was ready to tear herself away from them.

She looked forward to replacing the wrist bangle she currently sported so beautifully, with a Star Wars-type ankle dongle. Gloria didn’t know how her old man would take to the addition, but he always was kinda kinky; ten to one odds he’d get turned on by her new look.

“Inmate 563214, you’re free to go.”

Okay, now the exciting part. Continue reading

Lighten up Mondays

Happy sunshine faceHospital rules state that patients checking out must have a wheelchair.

One day a newly graduated nurse assistant came into the room to find an elderly man fully dressed. He was sitting on the bedside chair with a piece of packed luggage at his side, all ready to go.

When he was shown the wheelchair, he was adamant that he was fully capable of walking himself to the parking lot.  But the assistant told him rules were rules, so he relented and let her wheel him out.

In the elevator, the assistant asked the elderly man if his wife was coming to meet him.

“I don’t think so,” he replied, “It takes her awhile to change her clothes, so she’s probably still upstairs in the bathroom taking off her hospital gown and getting dressed.”

A cure for the workaholic

There just aren’t enough hours in the day.

Stack of office papersYour To-Do list seems to grow longer with every passing day.

Your daily or weekly “free” time gets shorter and shorter.

Cluttered office deskYou juggle so many tasks and responsibilities, you’re starting to lose track of the important things in your life.

Take the following test to determine if you’re a workaholic.  Does this scenario, or a scenario like it, sound all too familiar?

If it frustrates you that they don’t allow laptops on a Ferris wheel, you may be a workaholic.  – Dr. Donald E. Wetmore

How’d you do?Ferris wheel

Lighten up Mondays

Happy sunshine faceMany weddings take place during the summer months. Here’s some humor for the young and old alike:

A minister was called to a local nursing home to perform a wedding. An anxious old man met him at the door. The pastor sat down to counsel the future groom and asked a few questions:

  • “Do you love her?”                               “I guess.”
  • “Is she a God-fearing woman?”         “Don’t know.”
  • “Then why are you marrying her?”  “She can drive.”

* * * * * *

A husband and wife were at a party chatting with some friends when the subject of marriage counseling came up.

“Oh, we’ll never need that,” said one of the women.  “My husband and I have a great relationship.  He was a communications major in college and I majored in theater arts.”

My nation’s symbol

Bald eagleHow much do you know about the Bald Eagle? Here are some facts to add to your knowledge:

  • Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson served on the committee that picked the eagle for the national seal. (Franklin wanted the turkey);
  • Bald eagles have few natural enemies and only live in North America;
  • They get their white head and tail feathers between the age of 4 and 5 years old;
  • Bald eagles are not, and never were, bald. The term comes from when “bald” meant “white-headed”;
  • Their maximum speed: 40 mph or over 100 mph while in a dive;
  • They can lift roughly half their body weight;
  • The bald eagle is no longer considered endangered, only threatened;
  • The only other kind of eagle in North America is the golden eagle;
  • Bald eagles mate for life, but if one dies, the survivor will accept a new mate;
  • It is a felony to shoot an eagle.

American flag fieldHappy Birthday United States of America!

July 4, 2015

Lighten up Mondays

Happy sunshine faceHere’s a myth to ponder, covered in a parable:

Once, in the 1820’s, a little boy named Sam was playing in the yard behind his house. In the course of his activities, he knocked over the outhouse. Sam was upset and worried that he would get into a heap of trouble so he ran into the woods, not coming out until after dark.  His dad was waiting for him when he got home.

“Son, did you knock over the outhouse this afternoon?”

“No, pa,” Sam lied.

“Well, let me tell you a story,” said the father. “Once, many years ago, George Washington received a shiny new axe from his father. Excited, he tried it out on a tree, cutting it down. With dismay, George realized it was his mother’s favorite cherry tree, and like you, Sam, he ran into the woods. When the young man returned, the father asked if he had cut down the cherry tree, to which the son responded, ‘Father, I cannot tell a lie. I did indeed chop down the tree.’ Since Washington was honest with his father, the son was spared punishment.

“So, Sam, did you knock down the outhouse?”

“Pa, I cannot tell a lie, I did indeed knock down the outhouse.”

With that, Sam’s father put him over his knee and applied the paddle to his rump.

“Pa, I told you the truth, why did you spank me?”

“Because George Washington’s father wasn’t in the tree when he chopped it down.”

How’s Karma treating you?

Dahlia flower globeGood Karma for Mrs. Sherman. If you think what you do – great or small – has little effect on the world at large, think again.  The attached article by author Brad Meltzer tells a story that will make you a firm believer in the theory that the order of the universe isn’t random, it’s prescribed and you are one of the prescribers. (Please read this very brief commentary, then read Mr. Metzer’s fabulous article as a treat for your efforts.)

Here’s an excerpt from Mr. Meltzer’s article in which Brad illustrates the best lesson of all:

When you do something good in the world, it brings out the good in others. And it always, eventually, spreads good elsewhere.

Wouldn’t you rather be an instrument for good, rather than evil?  If you aspire to make an impact on the world, what kind of imprint are you leaving? Are you waiting for the right time to do something grandiose to benefit mankind, or are you doing important deeds on a daily basis, regardless of how small?

You might say, “I always do good things for others but rarely get to see the impact of those good actions.”

Continue reading

Lighten up Mondays

Happy sunshine faceSome puns make you wanna scream. I hope these make you laugh:

  • I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.
  • He drove his expensive car into a tree and found out how the Mercedes bends.
  • Those who jump off a Paris bridge are in Seine.
  • A cardboard belt would be a waist of paper.
  • He wears glasses during math class because it improves division.
  • Two peanuts were walking in a tough neighborhood and one of them was a-salted.
  • Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He’s all right now.
  • When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, UCLA.
  • It was an emotional wedding. Even the cake was in tiers.
  • Those who throw dirt are sure to lose ground.
  • When the waiter spilled a drink on his shirt, he said, “this one’s on me.”

Cheers everyone, and have a great week!

Test your ice cream knowledge

Ice cream coneWith summer upon us, we’re sure to stock our freezers with some sort of frozen confection: ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet, ice cream bars.  My oh my, the possibilities are absolutely astonishing!  The latest issue of Food Network Magazine provides some tasty statistics for your educational entertainment.  The next time you have a family gathering, test your guests’ preferences; see how close they come to the Food Network fans’ tastes:

Casual vs addictive ice cream eater: 74% have at least one carton of ice cream in their freezer right now … 6% have at least four!

Ice cream sundaeFavorite toppings: fudge at 57%; caramel at 20%; other (?) at 18%; and butterscotch at 5%.

Types & cones: scooped ice cream 74% and soft-serve 26%; waffle cone 61%, sugar cone 28%, and cake cone 11%.

Plain or fancy: 55% prefer ice cream with stuff in it (like chocolate chips); 45% like it unadulterated.  Continue reading

Caregivers: take a bow

1st place ribbon - CopyApplause. Please, please, please read the attached mini-article written by a 30-something year old blogger who is taking care of her mother who has Alzheimer’s.

I’ve written about how important it is to do good things, say nice things, and appreciate the people around you. There’s a group of people out there that could really use some of those good vibes: family caregivers. You encounter them everywhere you go. You may not know they’re caregivers, but believe me, if you build them up, rather than tear them down, you will have done a very good thing.  You might be just the person she/he needs to get through a very trying day.

The next time you leave your house, set out to make someone’s day. Don’t rely on some other stranger to do it; it’s up to you. 

Lighten up Mondays

Happy sunshine faceMeanings of some commonly used words that have a cynical bent to them:

  • Cigarette: A pinch of tobacco rolled in paper with fire at one end and a fool at the other.
  • Divorce: Future tense of marriage.
  • Lecture: An art of transferring information from the notes of the Lecturer to the notes of the students without passing through the minds of either.
  • Conference: The confusion of one man multiplied by the number present.
  • Conference room: A place where everybody talks, nobody listens, and everybody disagrees later on.
  • Compromise: The art of dividing a cake in such a way that everybody believes he got the biggest piece.
  • Tears: The hydraulic force by which masculine will-power is defeated by feminine water power.
  • Dictionary: A place where success comes before work.
  • Classic: A book which people praise but do not read.
  • Smile: A curve that can set a lot of things straight.
  • Office: A place where you can relax after your strenuous weekend.
  • Yawn: The only time some married men ever get to open their mouth.

I told you they were cynical.

What are you: a builder-upper or a tearer-downer?

Every day, and every encounter during each day, we have the opportunity to do good, or to do bad; to improve upon someone’s day, or ruin it for them.

Right now, or at the end of this day, think about the opportunities presented to you.  Now think of what you allowed to come forth.

Did you let a car get into your lane when a person was trying to get out of a business parking lot on a very busy street while you were in a hurry, and perhaps running late, and therefore had every reason not to stop for five seconds to allow that car into the flow of traffic?

Depending upon how you acted in that situation, the driver of that car felt this way:

Happy man

or the driver of that vehicle felt this way:

Sad manHe may even have felt this way: Swearing man

which would eventually make him feel this way:

Depressed man

How did you fare today?

  • Just for today, let go of anger.
  • Just for today, let go of worry.
  • Just for today, give thanks for your many blessings.
  • Just for today, do your work honestly.
  • Just for today, be kind to your neighbor and every living thing.

And do it again tomorrow and the next day.

Lighten up Mondays

Happy sunshine faceYou might notice this time of year that policemen are being more attentive and good and ready to hand out tickets to offending drivers.  Check out these two instances:

A driver tucked this note under the windshield wiper of his automobile.  “I’ve circled the block for 20 minutes.  I’m late for an appointment, and if I don’t park here I’ll lose my job.  Forgive us our trespasses.”

When he came back he found a parking ticket and this note: “I’ve circled the block for 20 years, and if I don’t give you a ticket, I’ll lose my job.  Lead us not into temptation.”   And here’s another one … Continue reading

12 Lessons Learned From a Debut Author |

12 Lessons Learned From a Debut Author | I’m a debut novelist so I latched onto the attached article pronto! In writing this article, Anne A. Wilson managed to describe emotions I’ve been experiencing for the past several months.

Female writer with streak of gray hairWhat makes Anne’s story even more relatable for me, a somewhat older novelist, is that Ms. Wilson wrote her first novel six years ago at the age of forty-three.  That’s not the novel that actually got published, but herein lies my point: it took years for her to write a publishable book.  Also, Ms. Wilson had no creditable writing education or experience when she decided to write a novel.  Like me, she was “starting from scratch.” Continue reading

Lighten up Mondays

Happy sunshine faceVisiting his parents’ retirement village in Florida, my middle-aged friend, Tim, went for a swim in the community pool while his elderly father took a walk.

Tim struck up a conversation with the only other person in the pool, a five year-old boy.  After awhile, Tim’s father returned from his walk and called out, “I’m ready to leave.”

Tim then turned to his new friend and announced that he had to leave because his father was calling.

Astonished, the wide-eyed little boy said, “You’re a kid?”

If you don’t wanna walk, how about hip hop?

Hip HopCanadian high school dance teacher Shirley Clements, performs with her students at a Hip-Hop competition!  This amazing woman has inspired countless dancers throughout the years and continues to inspire every day!

60 YEAR OLD KILLS HIP-HOP ROUTINE.  I hope you enjoy this fabulous dance routine to Bruno Mars’ song, Up Town Funk You Up.  Most likely this woman will never have to walk around any shopping malls if she keeps up this level of activity.

Click on the link, turn up the volume, and enjoy!

Two legs and a good pair of shoes

We should ALL be walking, even people with dementia.

Walking womanThat’s all you need! Walking is one of the least expensive modes of exercise you’ll ever find. Correction: you need legs, good shoes, and room to walk. The good news is that even if you don’t live in a neighborhood where walking is appropriate, you can walk around the mall; you can walk the perimeter of your apartment or house; you can walk up and down the corridors of your building; you can walk in place … I know, boring, but you get the idea … WALK!

Walking is one of the best weight-bearing exercises us humans can do to protect our bones.  At a recent doctor’s appointment, I bragged to my doctor that every week I do Bar Method exercises, yoga, weight lifting, and recumbent bike … and every once in a while I walk.  She said, “The only weight-bearing exercise in that list is walking.  Get out there and walk!” Continue reading

Do little, rather than nothing

I’ve written about this topic before: Positive community activism; Spineless inaction: the bystander effectYour positive imprint on mankind.

And I’m writing about it again, but I’m going to let Dr. Bernie S. Siegel be my mouthpiece on this one because he addresses the importance of making a difference in the lives of others in this excerpt from: 365 Prescriptions for the Soul. Here’s the selection verbatim: Continue reading

Making a List of What’s Going Right


Great, gentle advice on how to redirect ones focus when it’s stuck in Negativity-ville.

Originally posted on Dementia Journey by Deborah Shouse:

I started my gratitude practice as my mother was wading into dementia, as a way to stay connected, compassionate, and sane. The more I notice the good things, the happier I seem to be. I really resonated with this blog from my friend Karen Rowinsky and I wanted to share it with you.

 Making a List of What’s Going Right

From Guest Blogger Karen Rowinsky

Feeling overwhelmed?

Can’t catch a break?

Nothing seems to be going your way?

If you are having one of those days, weeks, or months, this tip is for you.

gloomyInstead of reciting to yourself, or others, the list of events that are stressing you out, try documenting the things that are going right.

Start with real things that are going right like:

  • Even though my head hurts, my feet don’t.
  • I don’t know where the mortgage payment will come from but at least no one…

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Lighten up Mondays

Happy sunshine faceThe summer job:  An 18-year old girl arranged interviews at several day-care centers. At one meeting, she sat down on one of the kiddie seats, no simple task for most people. The interview went well and at the end, the day-care director asked the standard question, “Can you give me one good reason why we should hire you?”  The teenager said, “Because I fit in the chairs.”  She got the job. Continue reading

The value of green

Green canopy of leavesHere’s a very quick blog entry that I’m providing to get you started on your long-weekend.

For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver.  – Martin Luther

Lighten up Mondays

Happy sunshine faceI can not tell a lie; today is my birthday, so I’m putting myself out there with some advancing age birthday humor that all of us can enjoy because all of us are advancing in our age:

You know you’re old when:

  • In a hostage situation, you are most likely to be released first
  • You and your teeth don’t sleep together
  • People call at 9 p.m. and ask, “Did I wake you?”
  • You begin every other sentence with, “Nowadays …”
  • The clothes you’ve put away until they come back in style, come back in style
  • Things you buy now won’t ever wear out
  • There’s nothing left to learn the hard way
  • “Getting a little action” means you don’t need to take a laxative
  • When getting lucky means you find your car in the parking lot
  • When happy hour is a nap (actually, for me, it would be: when happy hour begins at 4)
  • When you realize that caution is the only thing you care to exercise

Birthday CakeNone of us should complain about getting older because it’s proof that we’ve done something right so far ’cause we’re still around!


Your positive imprint on mankind

Our perspective of the world and all its needs can be very humbling.  Many times we witness the need but can’t do much about it.

Earthquake devastationThe earthquakes in Nepal and the world-wide response to that tragedy is startling and heart-warming at the same time.  The massively horrible weather in parts of the United States with its past winter snow and torrential downpours – and the recent spring incursion of hurricanes and tornadoes – almost paralyzes the remainder of us because we have so little to offer in response, other than a monetary donation to a charitable response organization.

Is that really the case?  Do we feel that because we can’t offer hands-on assistance in extremely serious and urgent circumstances as outlined above, we have nothing at all to offer a very exigent world?

Continue reading

What Would Wilma Flintstone Do?


Please, all my followers need to read this article from a very hilarious blogger – also a published author – whom I follow. You will not regret it.

Originally posted on notquiteold:

Two Sundays ago, as we lingered over a sixth cup of coffee, we happened to look out the window and realized that we had company.

bear 4-26-15

We were very excited to see our visitor.  Although we were glad that he didn’t knock on the door, and he may have lumbered around the patio just a bit too long.

It is terrific to live so close to nature. That being said, we vowed to take down all the bird feeders the next day.

We had a ton of yard work to do, so we spent the afternoon raking and cleaning up winter debris – and those of you who live in a more temperate climate may be in disbelief that winter clean-up is done in April in northwest Connecticut – but yeah, and in our winter coats too.

After the bear sighting, we had a plan to stick together that day. But…

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Lighten up Mondays

Happy sunshine faceHaving just moved into his new office in Whitehall, (United Kingdom) the pompous, newly promoted Lieutenant Commander Rodney Grant (Royal Navy) was sitting at his desk when Leading Seaman Jones knocked on his door.

Particularly aware of his new position, the new pompous commander quickly picked up the phone, told the seaman to enter, then said into the phone, “Yes, Admiral, I’ll be seeing him this afternoon and I’ll pass along your message.  In the meantime, thank you for your good wishes, sir.”

Feeling as though he had sufficiently impressed the young Jones, he asked, “What is it you want?”

“Nothing important, sir,” Jones replied, “I’m just here to connect up your new telephone.”

Why wrinkles are a very good thing

Here’s a direct quote from Dr. Bernie S. Siegel’s 365 Prescriptions for the Soul.  I’ll let his, and John Kenneth Galbraith’s words, say it all:

Older man happyIf wrinkles must be written upon our brows, let them not be written upon the heart. The spirit should never grow old. – John Kenneth Galbraith

When you wash something, it can come out wrinkled. That’s life! Just remember, if God puts you through the wringer it’s because you’re worth laundering. If I were given the choice between dying young and developing wrinkles, the answer would be clear to me. I choose life, come what may, regardless of old age and wrinkles. Continue reading