Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014 - New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve.  It's time to sum up the old year and plan for the new.

Have you written down your resolution for 2014?  While just 8% of resolutions are kept, did you know those people who do write down their wants and expectations are more likely to accomplish them?  What are your desires and hopes for this New Year?  Why not be one of the 8% !

Here is a bit of help - as gleaned from my stack of articles written on the subject - and my personal experience:

Keep it simple.
Make it personal.
Be realistic.

Exampe: "Be more considerate" can be a workable resolution in that it is simple, personal and realistic as you decide to design and implement it.  You may not change the world but you can make a positive difference in your own part of it.

Example: "Lose 10#" is a realistic resolution (while 100# or 10# @ month is not).  With a daily, weekly regimen to maintain your mental, physical and spiritual connection with your esolution, it can certainly be realized.  The desire is yours, the plan is yours and the reward if yours!

Example: "World Peace" seems to be a simple and personal desire, but it is not realistic beyond your own, small world and self - making "Be more considerate" a better choice.

My 2014 resolution is as simple as the engraving on a little silver heart I received as a Christmas gift: wish it; dream it; do it.  Of course, 'it' is whatever you or I want 'it' to be - from a little red wagon to a million dollars.  My 'it' is appreciation for today and for the people living in it; simple, personal, realistic.

I expect to be one of the successful 8%.  How about you?  Tell me of your 2014 resolution.  I'd like to know.

Nancy yTe \

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Saturday, May 18, is designated as Poppy Day in my town this year.  American Legion veterans with bouquets of red paper poppies will be posted at just two locations.  Donations are accepted for a poppy, as always, and used to buy small gifts of appreciation given to our veterans housed in nearby hospitals and nursing homes.

Poppy Day is my special day to remember American history and our veterans who shed their blood to ensure my American freedom.  As I grew up, World Wars I and II veterans were posted all over town collecting donations to support our veterans.  Add Korea, Vietnam, Granada and more middle East conflicts to the list of wars to which our veterans have been called to duty and shed more of their blood.  Personally, I've added Benghazi, Libya and our four recently murdered patriots to my Poppy day list.

Do you know of the Flanders fields' poppies?  Chemical warfare was used on our troops.  Lt. Col. John McCrae was a Canadian soldier, physician and poet.  He tended both Canadian and American soldiers, wounded and poisoned, in his small tent at the edge of a field where those who did not survive were buried.  McCrae's friend Alexis Helmer was killed 2 June 1915; McCrae performed the burial service himself. That evening as the doctor stood looking over the grave sites, he memorialized the scene in his poem, In Flanders Fields:

     In Flanders fields the poppies blow
     Between the crosses, row on row
     That mark our place, and in the sky
     The larks, still bravely singing, fly
     Scarce heard amid the guns below.

     We are the dead.  Short days ago
     We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,   
     Loved and were loved, and now we lie
     in Flanders fields.

     Take up our quarrel with the foe.
     To you from failing hands we throw
     The torch; be yours to hold it high
     If ye break faith with us who die
     We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
     In Flanders fields.

Poppy seeds, usually dormant, having been disturbed by rumblings of war, military vehicles, bombings, bloodshed, shovels and graves, were roused to put down roots and send up blooms - so fields of poppies, bright red poppies, bloomed as far as the doctor's eyes could see - becoming a symbol of the horror and bloodshed of war.  Remember - and buy a poppy!

Nancy yTe \

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


People say 'love you' more freely than in the olden days.  No, it wasn't a commonly used phrase.  How nice to end a phone conversation saying 'love you' instead of just 'good-bye' or end a letter with 'love you' rather than 'Yours truly.' 

One generation ago, to hear the simple words 'love you' was rare.  Can you imagine returning home from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, having been away a year or two or three and your father greeted you with a hand shake - no hug, no embrace, no 'love you.' But, that's how it was! Change came slowly.  Nothing good came from Vietnam but I think the ease with which we say 'love you' began with the Vietnam 'peace' and 'love' advocates.   

Perhaps we are too quick and not always sincere saying 'love you' yet it is more valuable than no acknowledgement.  Hearing these words took my friend Ralph by surprise when it came at the end of a wrong number phone call - and added real joy to his day.  Said sincerely to spouse, children, siblings or friends, the words convey pride, hope, respect and encouragement.  Even my WWII husband and brothers did, by the end of their lives, learn to hug their friends and say 'love you' to their children with a degree of ease. That was an adjustment more huge than their grandchildren can imagine!  

My life has been comforted by hearing and saying 'love you.' I do not automatically go beyond courteous words (I am from those olden days) but there are people I do especially want to share them with. There are times when even the most delicious greeting card is not adequate to the person. It takes a pen in hand to convey real sentiment. Blog, text and tweet just doesn't do it.

Perhaps the pendulum has swung too far in the 'love' direction with male chest bumps and female 'kissy-kissy.'  I view both as insincere and stupid...  If you want someone to feel more loved, just tell them the good things you are thinking about them, bake their favorite cookies for them, share your time and relax with them - just because you care. 

Have you ever wondered why people keep hand written letters?  They say 'love you' in terms more powerful than the words. Ask anybody, soldier, father, student or lover the value of a letter - especially one memorializing their affection with pen and ink.  
Love you, Nancy yTe \

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Spring has donned its best colors and attitude.  The season is for preparing a party, a prom, a social debut or, definitely, a new life adventure.  Why not be an integral part of it?  Why not dare to make it even bigger and better?  Be enterprising.  Dare to take on a new adventure or a new style - or both.  Be ambitious.  Be risky.

To be enterprising requires just two things: First is creativity to see ordinary things in a new way, then to take courage to reshape them - possibly to a personal and financial advantage.  What would you really like to invest yourself in?  Are you a homemaker, musician, architect, gardener, artist, inventor...?  Whatever you are, be enterprising.

See opportunity in all areas of your life.  You can influence, reshape and improve things and ideas.  An enterprising person is one who comes across a pile of wood or old horse shoes and sees it as a sculpture, or the baker who plucks a patch of Tiger lilies to use as garnish alongside a simple wedge of apple pie.  These are the people who dare to be enterprising.  What adventure or dream would you dare to expand?

I have decided to be enterprising in several directions this year.  Most have some relationship to color for, as I grow old, I have a need to see and feel and absorb more color.  It is my plan to join an organization designed to give aid to others as it encourages its own membership.  As an outsider, the group appears to be a blueprint for stability, adventure and creativity; its members are diverse and colorful individuals, so I will dive in rather than test the waters. (I'll let you know how that works out...)  I have also determined to try to create colorful artwork - certainly something I know nothing about but want to learn in order to 'reshape' ordinary things from color on paper to garden plants and home decor.  I think I'd like to organize and host a variety of events at my home and elsewhere - hopefully, in a new and different fashion.

Join me!  Dare to be enterprising - Dare to be the one who creates a better mousetrap.  Then, tell me about it - because I want to know.

Nancy yTe \

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Bhutan, one of the world's poorest nations, declares itself to have the Happiest people - happier than citizens of the US, Canada or the UK.  It is a nation where Happiness is the government's number one goal.  Bhutan's Gross National Happiness Index is a concept the UN would like to promote world-wide.

There is no happiness in complaining, moaning and griping.  I knew that while I was complaining and griping - and expecting someone else to make me 'all better.'  Fortunately, I know Happiness is within my self at all times - as accessible as breathing and thinking.  This time, with dumb luck, I also found a treasure of Happiness while reading about Bhutan, the tiny Himalayan country wedged between China and India.

The May 6, 2013 issue of Woman's World offered clues to Happiness as well.  Examples include:
-Hang out with happy people and your own happiness expands; Do something requiring extra effort and the reward is sweeter; Learn to breathe deeply and meditate; Concentrate on positive ideas or proverbs; believe in Karma - as do people of Bhutan.  Every kindness you do finds its way back to you - which is why paying forward with Random Acts of Kindness creates so much Happiness.

To keep a positive attitude can be as simple as reading inspirational messages.  Bhutan's roads are lined with flags with inspirational messages.  Write down your favorites, tack them up at your computer, on your bathroom mirror or refrigerator.  Consider:
-Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of Happiness and just be happy.
-Every minute you are angry, you lose sixth seconds of Happiness.
-The Happiest people don't have the best of everything, they make the best of everything.
-Everybody wants Happiness - nobody wants pain but you can't have a rainbow without a little rain.

I read that Happiness lights up your MRI scan.  I can only imagine the MRI of Bhutan would look like a 4th of July fireworks display.

I think I'll give up moaning and complaining - for now, at least.  Turn on my MRI - I'm ready to sparkle with Happiness. 

Nancy yTe \

Friday, April 5, 2013


The sun is shining today.  I'm filled with more energy and hope than I can muster on dark and dreary days.  Does sunshine effect you that way, too?  I'm going to use this day to Dream on...

I'm going to take this bright boost in determination to get something accomplished.  First, I'll gather up some vitamin D while sitting in one of the white wicker chairs where the morning sun shines the brightest on my porch.  I'll begin by setting a few goals - and writing my toDo list (so I don't forget).  Recently, I've put off making telephone calls, doing mundane chores and setting dates to meet with friends.  I'm going to start with my list of HaveTo things.  I need a dental appointment, a visit to my bank and a few items from the grocery store.  The WantTo will include setting dates to invite friends to my home - for the pleasure of their company.  My friends are interesting, talented and a joy to spend time with.  I feel 'enhanced' each time we get together as we learn new things, see the world more colorfully, laugh at our shortcomings, recognize our successes and become empowered to move beyond our usual comfort zones to dream, go places and try new things.

As the sun is warming the earth and encouraging leaves to burst forth from the trees, I find myself warming up to a healthy new week with the belief I, too, can burst forth feeling healthy and energetic - no more being a languishing lump.  I must take my own advice to 'get up, get dressed and get going.'  Yes, I have places to go, things to do and people to meet.  I hope you do, too!  Tell me.  I'd like to know....

Nancy yTe \

Thursday, March 28, 2013


You'll know it's Easter time if you walk through any store in your home town this week.  Of course this is traditionally a Christian celebration of resurrection.  It is also the perfect spring celebration of awakening, rebirth and renewal.  Crocus, hyacinth and jonquil bloom in the gardens as  baby rabbits and chicks are born and hatch, bringing hope of a new day and a new season with new life once again.  One feels a sense of faith as days grow brighter after a long and dark winter.  What a perfect time to celebrate with new hope, new ambition and a new hat.

Many years ago, weather permitting, people enjoyed the Easter parade of neighbors from home to church.  Perhaps the parade on 5th Avenue was more spectacular but ours was great fun. What ever happened to that special day for showing off new shoes, dresses, Sunday suits and hats dripping with ribbons and rosebuds?

Easter meant a big family dinner.  Our dining table was opened to its full length to accommodate old aunts and uncles.  Some years snow covered the ground and winter coats hid our new clothes.  Other years were so warm dyed eggs were hidden among the spring flowers blooming in Dad's gardens.  Collected from their hiding places, the eggs provided colorful decorations to the serving table where Mother carried huge bowls of food and the big, shiny ham.  The sight was a Norman Rockwell picture; the aroma, mouth-watering.

Oh, so many beautiful Easter baskets.  I do love the colors of this season.  I love hats and new clothes.  I love baby bunnies, too.  This year, living in the middle of nowhere, I thought I'd bring home a couple baby ducklings to raise as 'watch dogs' since they are a better alarm system than my cats can ever be.  Unfortunately, my ducky idea was vetoed - it may violate some covenant.  But, there is nobody to veto my pleasure in enjoying this year's family dinner, a basket filled with goodies, perhaps a bouquet of flowers and lots of jelly beans.  I still have three days to take a shopping trip to buy an Easter bonnet - just in case, with the remotest possibility, there will be an Easter Parade ... somewhere....

How do you remember Easter?  Tell me.  I'd like to know.
Nancy yTe\