What a rush!  Is it just me or does practicing gratitude put you in a better mood?  Not a giddy with joy, not a bursting with light mood, it is more a feeling of introspective optimism.   I feel good when I have been charitable, feel happy when I am kind, and feel best when I have made a positive impact on someone, no matter how trivial.  For the most part, when feeling grateful, I feel fortunate, but it is a sharpened, more superior feeling than that. It isn’t about feeling more special because I am healthy or that in some ways better off than others, it is about recognizing the absence of things worse and feeling good about my situation.

I will make more time for gratitude, it is a key to happiness.

What are you most grateful for?


“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” —Gilbert K. Chesterton




It Could Be True

[I am not being paid for my viewpoint but if you want too…]

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Like those Ginsu(sp) Knives that chop and slice and dice. Oh wait, that is what knives do.  Like that foreign lottery you won without ever buying a ticket; just wire Mrs. Baksha Abba $1,200 and you will receive the $7 million you have coming to you and of course, there is always beachfront property 30% below market price.

Some things are truly good.  Like…

  • Twix Ice Cream Bars, Papermate Ink Joy Pens, and Washi Tape
  • Arizona Cardinals Football star Larry Fitzgerald, Triscuit Fig & Honey Crackers, and that first cup of morning coffee


  • Barack Obama, Italy, and lobster rolls
  • The admiration of a dog, Fall in New England, and Neil Young
  • The great people working on cures for cancer, Alzheimer’s, and MS.


  • Clean healthy air, the end to endangered species, and clean oceans.

My imagination went a bit wild.  But wait that last one is actually true.  Cleaning oceans is a thing.  At 18 years old, Boyan Slat came up with a revolutionary method to rid the oceans of the world of plastic.  I don’t know about you, but at 18 I was pretty much thinking only of myself.  This is extraordinary! Work has begun. Check out the link. http/www.theoceancleanup.com 

ocean cleanup

Thank you Boyan Slat! 

Dedicated to you:  Shawn Langwell, Jamie Ebersole, Amber Preece, Mary-Kaye Soderlind, and Mr. McGee (the sweet dog in the picture below).


Happy Birthday, Jeff Lowy.

Follow me, true good happens.  Mankind amazes. We’ve got some living to do.





Are French Fries the New Red Dye Number 2

Sometimes sharing an idea helps me determine if it is, in fact, a good one.  Sometimes sharing gives me the incentive I need to do something I find difficult or taxing.  In some cases, it is because I want to share the idea or activity with friends.  For example, I started an exercise work out in the park and friends joined me as I led a routine that got us all out and exercising.

I have always been self-motivated, I am usually like a dog with a bone in regards to most tasks but with some things I need an extra push.  For me, telling my friends is usually what “tips the cookies out of the jar.”  Take giving up french fries for one month; if everyone knows I have vowed not to eat them, I can’t very well get away with eating them, even alone, I would feel guilty and have to confess my cheat.  I am not just making an example to get a point across here, I am actually giving up french fries for one month!  I read somewhere that eating french fries takes days off of your life expectancy.  Makes sense, yet I still eat the salty, tasty side dish.  In addition to eliminating fries, I am eliminating chips.  No chips of any kind!  I do expect you to be watching.  Carrots and Salsa anyone?

There are other reasons I share, I find joy in being with friends.  I love making crafts but find I have been more inclined to put things off.  So I have put together a schedule of craft sessions and have invited friends over a couple days each month to join me in the making of things.  Different friends attend according to their schedules.  It is much more enjoyable in groups.  We learn from each other and I am spreading my wings, making things I may not have made otherwise.

First, it was etching designs on stemless wine glasses and candle vases, this was the set up:Craft Party Prep

Then came silk screened tee shirts:tee shirt

And I am excited to use my craft supplies:craft supplies closet

This next Sunday we will be silk screening designs on tea towels.  These are the other sessions I have scheduled that take us right up to the end of the holiday season:

September – Rag Rug Making and Rosemary Rum Punch

September – Mod Podge Trinket Dishes and Margaritas

October – Sinus Clearing Shower Melts and Sparkling Pomegranate Punch

November – Mercury Glass and Mojitos

November – Soap Making and Spiced Sangria

December – Gift Tags and Grinch Punch

December – Stocking Suffers and Jingle Juice

December – Cookie Exchange/decorating gift boxes/end of sessions party and Eggnog Mudslides

We make a lot of interesting handmade things to take home, give as gifts or keep.  We laugh, we eat, we drink.  We get our “craft on” and we have girl time.

…And now you know what you are getting for Christmas.



Go on, get your craft on!

Mind Over Matter


Until today, I guess I sorta kinda believed in using my mind to alter a feeling, at least to an extent. I remember complaining to a friend that I was freezing while walking to her house.  She told me that it was all in my head and that if I thought it was really cold it would be really cold but if I thought it is actually warmer I would begin to feel warmer.  At the time I thought she was berserk. My 12-year-old brain had not quite learned that concept. Now I am not so sure. I have talked myself down from shivering cold to just plain cold.  I have talked myself down from something tasting awful to tasting palatable. I have even convinced myself I can do things I never thought I could.  Have I developed magical powers?  Have I evolved into a higher thinking being? Or is it indeed all in my mind?

What is all of this drivel about you may ask?  This morning I woke up a tad groggy, made my coffee in my Keurig and sat down to read over my emails with my piping hot cuppa joe.  Well,  I think I was about half of a cup in when I thought, hmmm, this tastes a bit weak, maybe I used a leftover pod from the day before… ew, gross!  I took another sip and as I did, I looked down into the cup.  Clear liquid! Hot water.


For ten minutes I was sipping hot water thinking I was drinking coffee, albeit weak coffee.

Wow, I thought, why spend the money when you can just imagine you have a hardy cup of coffee?  Or to take it further, rather than buying lobster, how about codfish dipped in butter; I can use my newly evolved powers to convince myself I am eating delicious, fresh Maine lobster!  What else can I do?  Today, perhaps my car will be a Porsche,  it will not be 110 degrees, it will be a perfect 85 degrees, my husband will be…  He will be himself, shame on you!  I know you were thinking of some hot celebrity .

I am excited about this new found superpower, now I just need a name for myself, Einstein is taken, Super Woman, gone.  I am open to ideas.

If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee. Abraham Lincoln

or more appropriately:

I like coffee because it gives me the illusion that I might be awake.   Lewis Black


You may not think of Arizona when you think of incredible live music but that would be a misconception, an underestimation, a mismanagement of fact.  You don’t have to believe what you read here but there is no mistaking what you can hear below.

I was wowed by these three bands at The Elks Theater in Prescott, Arizona this past weekend.

Walt R and Blain L

Give a listen to Walt Richardson who has been performing beautiful, inspirational,  reggae rock music in AZ  for so long he is an Arizona Music Hall of Fame icon and should be classified a State Treasure.  His song, What Happens To Me brought tears to my eyes; it is heartfelt, personal and full of wisdom.

The Cheektones have a bunch of good songs but this one, Sweet should be at the top of the charts.

Blaine Long, a singer, songwriter (you may have seen him on The Voice) and Rosas Del Rey blew us all away performing their incredible, original songs. Good Time Friend should be a huge hit!

Drew Hall played lead guitar for each band and is so impressive, it is hard to believe he isn’t a household name.

I would love to hear what you think after you’ve listened to the music.


In the midst of hardship, it was the music that restored my soul. Ji-Hae Park


One day back in 1989 I walked over to put a sympathy card on a co-worker’s desk after the loss of one of her relatives.  She worked in the same building but in a different section of the building.  On the way to her desk, I noticed a photo of two Yorkshire Terriers on another co-worker’s desk.  I stopped at the desk with the photos of the dogs and left a sticky note that read:  if you ever need someone to watch your dogs, I love Yorkies and would be thrilled to watch them.  A week or so went by and I got a call from the dog owner.  She was considering re-homing one of the two dogs as the two were not a good fit.  She asked if I would like to talk to her about taking one of the dogs.  I was excited about the prospect and asked if I could take the dog for a trial weekend to see if we were “a good fit.”  She agreed we were and I became the owner of Rascal, a two-year-old, male, 13 pound, Yorkie.

Rascal 4

Halloween Rascal

I was 31 and single and had a pretty active social life as well as a somewhat regular routine at the gym.  How I was going to work for 8 hours a day, go to the gym, go to Happy Hour with friends, out on dates, and now walk a dog several times a day?  But of course, where there is a will, there is a way.  I knocked off the aerobic portion of my gym routine and instead, came directly home and walked Rascal for two miles every day.  I also walked him in the morning and lived close enough to frequently come home over my lunch hour to take him out.  If I was going to be late or wanted to go out after work, my lovely neighbor, Irene, who was retired and home all day would come and pick Rascal up.  I couldn’t take advantage of her too often, nor did I want to.

Rascal & Irene

Rascal’s Grammy

As for my social life, I couldn’t go directly out after work on any regular basis, I had Rascal to come home to and took that responsibility very seriously and actually couldn’t wait to get home to him.  As it turned out, I missed many Happy Hours, walked a lot and went to the gym on a much more regular basis.  I drank less, partied less, grew more responsible, got very healthy, and had the most loving dog anyone could ask for.

Rascal 2

Rascal enjoying the cool grass

Rascal was with me for 17 years.  I had to put him down at the very old age of 19.  He was not in any pain according to his Veterinarian but he was incredibly fragile and couldn’t easily get around, he couldn’t see, could barely hear and I owed him the dignity of letting him go, I definitely waited longer than I should have. It was without question, the hardest thing I ever had to do.  I have always given him credit for changing the course of my life because prior to getting him, I was surely on the wrong path.

Twelve years and three dogs later, I still look at Rascal’s picture every single day.  He still gets credit for being the best thing that ever happened to me.  Dogs have a way of making you a better person.  If it is feasible for you to do so, don’t wait, there are lots of dogs needing homes.  I believe you will be happier for it.

Rascal & Fiste

Rascal and his best buddy, Fiste

Rascal 3

Rascal the best dog ever!

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”– Josh Billings (humorist)



With my 60 Days to 60 blog, I had a clear mission, to chronicle the 60 days leading up to my 60th Birthday.  Man, those were 60 really great days.  Now, however, the birthday has come and gone but of course, I still have some living to do.  I guess a revamp is in order.  Check back in a day or so for the new name but more of the same.  I hope you will continue to follow, share and comment on my posts.

Santa Monica Ferris Wheel

Above is a photo I took of the Ferris Wheel at Santa Monica Pier where I visited with family earlier this month.  Like me, the Ferris Wheel has come a long way.



You might have guessed:   The Ferris Wheel is named after its inventor, George Washington Gale Ferris Jr., who unveiled the first Ferris wheel in Chicago in 1893.