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

Lighten up Mondays

Happy sunshine faceA Polish immigrant went to the Department of Motor Vehicles to apply for a driver’s license.

First, of course, he had to take an eye test.

The DMV employee showed him a card with letters. On the very bottom row were these letters:


“Can you read those letters, sir?”

“Read it?” the Polish man replied, “I know the fellow!”

Decision making roadblocks

I like what I like.  How many times have you been asked to choose between one thing and another, you choose the thing, and then you’re asked, “What made you choose that?”  If you’re the mother of Not Quite the Plan‘s author, your answer is, “I like what I like.”

Person with question markI love the example of this mini-dilemma found in the attached article.  The blog author’s mother, I’ll call her Mrs. Mom, cuts to the chase; she doesn’t waste any time deliberating; she simply knows what she likes: she doesn’t like the cat that keeps jumping on her lap, but she does like fudge bars.  Mrs. Mom has dementia.  Perhaps because of her condition, the decisions she makes are far less complicated than they used to be.  Her measuring rod: I like what I like.

Weighing the pros and cons is a very important step in the decision making process, but oftentimes we get hung up on the P & C list and fall into the paralysis by analysis quagmire.  The list doesn’t have to be multiple pages long and it doesn’t have to be perfected before we take the first step.  What’s the worse that could happen? Let’s look at the possibilities. Continue reading

Lighten up Mondays

Happy sunshine faceSome humorous anecdotes about women and men, and the balance of power:

Husband tries to make his wife feel better: Susan was having a tough day and after returning home she started complaining. She said to her husband, “Nobody loves me…nobody cares for me…the whole world hates me!”

Her husband, watching TV, said casually, “That’s not true dear. You are not famous enough that the whole world would hate you. Some people don’t even know you.”

The most evil thing: “Cash, check or charge?” I asked after folding items the woman wished to purchase. As the woman fumbled for her wallet I noticed a TV remote control in her purse. “Do you always carry your remote with you?” I asked. “No,” she replied, “but my husband refused to come shopping with me so I figured this was the most evil thing I could do to him.”

The power of women: There were 11 people – ten men and one woman – hanging onto a rope that came down from a helicopter. They all decided that one person should get off because if they didn’t, the rope would break and everyone would die.

No one could decide who should go so finally, the woman gave a really touching speech saying how she would give up her life to save the others because women were used to giving up things for their spouses and children, giving in to men’s wishes, and not receiving anything in return.

When she finished speaking, all the men started clapping.

Male assertiveness: A mild-mannered man was tired of being bossed around by his wife so he went to a psychiatrist for help.  The psychiatrist said he needed to build his self-esteem. He gave the man a book on assertiveness which the man read on the subway home.

The man stormed into the house and walked up to his wife. Pointing a finger at her he said, “From now on I want you to know that I am the man of this house and my word is law! I want you to prepare me a gourmet meal tonight, and when I’m finished eating it, I expect a sumptuous dessert afterward. Then you’re going to draw me a bath so I can relax. And when I’m finished with my bath, guess who’s going to dress me and comb my hair?”

“The funeral director?” responded his wife.

Sexual intimacy in memory care


Today, 4/22/2015, Mr. Rayhons was found not guilty of third-degree sexual abuse of his wife. Please read a comment I posted on this article with an update that occurred during the trial process relating to the roommate’s depiction of the evening in question.

Originally posted on Baby Boomers and More:

Love birdsThe attached New York Times article by Pam Belluck addresses the ambiguous loss experienced by men and women whose spouses are still alive, but not fully there.  More specifically, it addresses the need for intimacy that still exists for the spouse without cognitive decline, and that can also exist for the spouse with the decline.

It is a well-known fact that advancing age doesn’t mean the end of desire for sexual intimacy.  Whether in the privacy of ones home or in a long-term care housing situation, sex is alive and well.  Even people with varying degrees of dementia maintain the desire for intimacy.  What the above NY Times article so carefully exposes, however, is that sometimes the act of consent for such intimacy can be a subjective one when viewed by a third party.

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Lighten up Mondays

Happy sunshine faceEarth Day is this week, April 22nd, 2015.  I’ve managed to find some some humor to spread in honor of our planet’s day:

Amusing Earth Anagrams:

  • Global Warming is an anagram of “Ball going warm”
  • The causes of global warming is an anagram of “Foul gases gleam with carbon”
  • Greenhouse Effect is an anagram of “Huge trees offense”

The day an environmentalist dies:

An environmentalist dies and reports to the pearly gates. St. Peter checks his dossier and says, “Ah, you’re an environmentalist, you’re in the wrong place.” Thinking that heaven could never make an error, the environmentalist reports to the gates of hell and is granted entrance. Continue reading

Sexual intimacy in memory care

Love birdsThe attached New York Times article by Pam Belluck addresses the ambiguous loss experienced by men and women whose spouses are still alive, but not fully there.  More specifically, it addresses the need for intimacy that still exists for the spouse without cognitive decline, and that can also exist for the spouse with the decline.

It is a well-known fact that advancing age doesn’t mean the end of desire for sexual intimacy.  Whether in the privacy of ones home or in a long-term care housing situation, sex is alive and well.  Even people with varying degrees of dementia maintain the desire for intimacy.  What the above NY Times article so carefully exposes, however, is that sometimes the act of consent for such intimacy can be a subjective one when viewed by a third party. Continue reading

Lighten up Mondays

Happy sunshine faceThe tax man cometh:

There are two things you need to know about taxes: the filing deadline is April 15th and when you write your check, just make it out to China. – David Letterman

Tax day is the day that ordinary Americans send their money to Washington, D.C. and wealthy Americans send their money to the Cayman Islands. – Jimmy Kimmel

The U. S. Senate is considering a bill that would tax Botox. When Botox users heard this they were horrified. Well, I think they were horrified, it’s difficult to tell. – Craig Ferguson

I’m not going to pay taxes. When they say I’m going to prison, I’ll say, no, prison costs taxpayers a lot of money. You keep what it would have cost to incarcerate me, and we’ll call it even. – Jimmy Kimmel

65% of people say that cheating on your taxes is worse than cheating on your spouse. The other 35% were women. – Jay Leno

When it comes to taxes, there are two types of people. There are those that get it done early, also called psychopaths, and then the rest of us. – Jimmy Kimmel

Guilty as charged.


Setting aside our perceived limitations

Movie director clapboardEarlier this year, Richard Glatzer, co-director of the award winning movie, Still Alice, died at the age of 63 after battling ALS for four years.  It would have been unfortunate if he had gone with his first reaction when approached to adapt Lisa Genova’s novel into a movie.  (Evidently, he almost turned down the project.)  Fortunately for us, he did not.  One article on this subject indicated that it was Glatzer’s personal connection to independence-robbing illness that gave Still Alice a greater authenticity.

From what I understand, Mr. Glatzer used one finger – using a text-to-speech app – to communicate every directive.  I don’t have to know anything about film directing to understand that doing so with his “limitations” would have been extraordinarily clumsy and time consuming.  I wonder if his decision to accept the project was made in part because he believed he was the best person for the job.  Did you see the movie?  Wouldn’t you agree?

Leaping over a hurdleYet all of us are faced with far less daunting struggles than those experienced by Mr. Glatzer and we cave in to our well-honed ability to find every reason not to pursue a task that requires exceptional action on our part.

I’m ashamed of all the excuses I’ve come up with to postpone – or to avoid entirely – new ventures that required more of me than I was willing to give.  Ugh – I grieve those lost opportunities when I think of the benefit to me and others such ventures would have provided.  But crying over spilled milk won’t undo the past.

Going forward I can commit to seizing new opportunities and disregarding the emotional and physical hurdles in my path.

I can, but will I?

Will you?




Lighten up Mondays

Happy sunshine faceThis week marks the start of the Major League Baseball season so I’m throwing some sporty jokes your way:

On June 26th, 1985, at Jack Russell Stadium in Clearwater, Florida, organist Wilbur Snapp played Three Blind Mice following a call by umpire Keith O’Connor. The umpire was not amused and saw to it that Mr. Snapp was ejected from the game.

Here’s a quote attributed to the late, great Babe Ruth: “It took me seventeen years to get 3,000 hits in baseball.  I did it in one afternoon on the golf course.”

One morning in elementary school, the students were in their geography class where the teacher wanted to test the students on their knowledge of U.S. cities and states.

The teacher asked the class, “Does anyone know where Pittsburgh is?”  Francis raised his hand and said, “Yeah, Pennysylvania.”  The teacher replied, “Very good Francis.  Now, can anyone tell me where Detroit is?”

Rachel raised her hand, “That’s in Michigan.”  The teacher again replied, “Very good.”

Trying to confuse the children the teacher asked, “Where’s Kansas City?”  Ross raised his hand and said, “Oh, oh, pick me.  I know!”

The teacher said, “OK, Ross.  Where is Kansas City?”

“Last place!”