Friday, July 29, 2011


You will never be younger than you are today. So, why not be the happiest, healthiest person you can be - for today - and this week - and this year ... It isn't easy to stay at the peak of beauty and productivity as years add up but it is possible to stay Young at Heart.

My family elders set healthy standards and practiced healthy habits in their lifetimes. I did not. I was not althletic, I had a sweet tooth and I smoked cigarettes. Now, years later, I'm trying to make up for my youthful carelessness. I not only read a lot about healthy lifestyles but try to incorporate them into my life - with some success, if I say so myself. tells us that in order to stay "Young at Heart" we need to fill up life with good food and fun, good exercise and friends, good thinking and attitudes. Modern print media is hell-bent on serving us a menu of Healthy Living. Sounds good to me. I'll take a full platter of the good stuff!

Suggestions gleaned by Nancy yTe:
-Get up, get dressed and get out - and you will feel healthy.
-Keep only cheerful friends - grumblers weigh you down.
-Keep on learning - if you don't use it (your brain, that is) you'll lose it.
-Count your blessings. If you don't have any handy, go find some!
-Laugh every day and often - because there is so much stuff to laugh about.
-Be ALIVE while you are alive - if you shed a tear, endure and move on.
(If you've never felt sorrow, how can you know when you feel joy?)
-Surround yourself with positive thoughts till they overflow onto others.
-Take a trip - a little walk around the block or to the mall; visit a friend or travel the world.
-Do NOT take guilt trips - they cause only pain.
-ALWAYS tell people you love that you love them. It is an investment that pays Gazilllions in dividends to the giver and to the receiver.
-If you cannot go out to greet the world, bring the world to you via your computer. It is a gift box filled with people, places, nature, love and life.

If you want to be happy, be ~ Leo Tolstoy
Do the thing and you will have the power ~ M. R. Kopmeyer
The best way to cheer yourself up is to cheer someone else up ~ Mark Twain
People are as happy as they make up their minds to be. ~ Abraham Lincoln.

Did you try one or two of my suggestions?
What was your reward? Tell me - I'd like to know.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


What is your dream? Is there something you've always wanted to do? Some place you've always wanted to visit? Some thing you've always wanted to learn? Somebody you've always wanted to meet? Now is a good time to make your dream come true.

First, define your dream so you know where you're going - or you could end up somewhere else. Design a plan of action, a road map to take you to your destination. Set a time table to accomplish each leg of your journey. Think ahead. Consider 'what if' and be prepared for detours. Keep a journal of your experience - a log of your accomplishments.

Do you want to learn to cook like Julia Child; be a blacksmith like Ira Carpenter; grow flowers like Luther Burbank; climb Mt. Everest like Edmund Hillary; play tennis like Serena Williams or paint like Grandma Moses? Success may not be 'easy' but it can be 'simple.'

My nephew wanted to play a dulcimer. Following many successful years creating big, beautiful, diverse structures, his bride encouraged and joined him in this new pursuit. After practice and more practice, their musical talents reward them with pleasure and accomplishment.

Stephen King wanted to be a writer. He began at an early age by reading, reading, reading and writing, writing, writing. He was an 'overnight success' after nearly thirty years. His dream came true.

When my multi-talented sister decides to accomplish a project, she gathers up her tools and her imagination to craft beautiful, unusual and diverse things - from real gardens to paper flowers, from jewelry to greeting cards, photographs to magazines and quilts to stepping stones - there is no stopping her!

The succeessful journey to making your dream come true begins with "A Desire to Succeed." M. R. Kopmeyer, one of my favorite inspirational authors, wrote "Be Prepared" and "Do the Thing and You Will have the Power." It is amazing how much you can accomplish by applying these two simple statements as your mantra. Use them to make your dream come true - and let me know how it worked for you. I want to know.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Today is the Perfect Day for ... Indulging in something special? ...Appreciating someone or something? ...Accomplishing something? ...All of the above, perhaps?

With a moment's notice I can make a very long list. So long, that it cannot be accomplished in just one day: Phoning a friend... Ice Cream... Gratitude... Dancing... Reading a book... Doing laundry... Laughing... Bird watching... Getting out water colors and dabbling... Playing music... Writing a letter... Sharing a joke... Setting new goals (or just one new goal)... Inviting a friend to tea... Singing... Journaling about this day (and every day)...

As the old gent said, "It's a good day when I wake up and my name isn't in the Obituaries." It becomes a Perfect Day when you add something enjoyable and rewarding, like performing or receiving a Random Act of Kindness.

I had a business-owner friend who took pleasure in performing random acts of kindness. His business kept him working from dawn till dark but he joined a small group of friends for coffee one evening each week. The topic was always about living the best life one could and sharing the lessons of success to help others. So, my friend saw it as an opportunity to extend kindness when he found a stranger in need of assistance or someone whose cat was up a tree. Then, like the Lone Ranger, he'd just ride off into the sunset. My experience with his kindness occurred one dark evening when I was the last person to leave our meting. I might have been vulnerable or stranded if my car didn't start, but I turned the key and my little Pontiac was ready to go. As I glanced around, I saw my friend's truck idling at the stop sign where he waited until I had safely exited the empty parking lot. Isn't that the type of kindness that makes a perfect day? He never mentioned the event but I remembered it, with gratitude, every time our little group met for coffee!

Perhaps a Perfect Day is one that reminds us of kindness and relationships, gratitude and serenity. "Nothing is worth more than this day," wrote Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Perhaps this day is what we decide to make of it... What do you think? I'd like to know.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Go ahead. Pour a cup of coffee. Enjoy the fragrance and the flavor. Coffee is good for you. It stimulates brain cells. Here's an idea... Why not be a barista?

Coffee is a commodity that falls in and out of favor with health professionals, social graces and economic availabilities. I recall the first time I heard coffee was dangerous for human consumption. The warning coincided with my new-found pleasure of drinking it. While ignoring any danger signs, coffee shifted back into the healthy column. Believing it could keep the consumer mentally sharp and alert, people kept drinking it and coffeehouses popped up from coast to coast. Health professionals no longer limit patients to two cups a day. Actually, one health magazine (Aug 2011) stated women 65 or older who drink three or more cups a day were 33% less likely to experience a decline in verbal fluency than their one-cup-a-day counterparts. - confirming this is a good time to be a barista!

Coffee plays an important role in our social expectations. It is routinely served to clients or guests and it is commonly available for business meetings. Coffee klatches were vital in managing child care and community interactions while raising 'boomers.' Every housewife was a barista - and didn't know it. In the 21st century, men, wives and mothers, pick up drive-thru coffee in paper cups and conduct business, social and community interactions by cell phone.

Coffee has been at the center of political and economic disturbances, too. The first coffee house documented was in Istanbul in 1555. Coffee houses in Europe became gathering places for people of all walks of life to discuss trades, arts, finance, theater, politics; solving problems and, sometimes, causing them. Coffee became the drink of choice in America when tea was taxed and thrown into the sea. The cost of coffee fluctuated from, "Brother, can you spare a dime," during the Great Depression to a $10 Latte four-score years later. Currently, poor harvests and increasing demand has elevated coffee to its hightest price in fourteen years, according to a June 2011 business magazine, but cost isn't stopping consumption. Branded coffee and coffee houses continue to earn impressive profits.

It is intereting to note a 3-day training class to become a barista is $1425. Here is my theory: If the aroma while making coffee is beneficial to one's brain cells, and drinking coffee stimulates brain function, should that $1425 be deducted on the IRS tax form as a busines expense, educational investment or as health insurance? What do you think? I'd like to know.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Don't you love being an American? Doesn't your heart swell with pride when you see the flags lined up on a parade route, the county square and the veteran's cemetery? What are your thoughts when the night sky lights up with fireworks?

Independence Day usually falls on a warm day in July with a clear evening for celebration - just right for flying the stars and stripes, joining a parade and enjoying a barbeque. Does everyone's menu include hot dogs, hamburgers and potato salad? How about iced tea and popsicles? The perfect topper, of course, is the fireworks!

Over many years, Independence Day has been celebrated by my family because it is one of those benchmark dates in our family's history. You see, my husband (who was in the Navy at the time) and I met on July 3rd. I won't tell you the year. Before that evening with our friends ended, my future husband invited me to join him to watch the fireworks display the following evening. I said 'yes' and we were together ever after. OK - the year was 1950 and we were married the following year.

Our family has attended fireworks displays or watched them from our back yards in Illinois and in Arkansas. We celebrated most of them with family and friends at barbeques with hot dogs, hamburgers and potato salad. These past few years the area I reside in celebrates Independence with a 2-3 day schedule of activities called Red, White and Blue held June 24-26 in 2011. There are, among other activities, a street parade, auto show, rodeo, music and art festivals and a turtle race, topped off with a fireworks display on the beautiful ASU college campus where the fireworks are more impressive every year.

Like everything else in the economy, the cost of Red, White and Blue is expensive and although local businesses contribute generously to the event, attendees purchase lottery tickets for a 'one-of'a-kind' pendant, designed and created by a local jeweler and valued, this year, at $7,000. We purchased a bunch of tickets. We did not win the pendant but the fireworks gave us a spectacular return for our donation. We will be flying our Red, White and Blue flag of Stars and Stripes on July 3rd and 4th. We may even invite a few friends over as we cook up some hot dogs and carve a tasty watermelon for the occasion. Let Freedom Ring!

God Bless our Patriot soldiers from 1776 - and all the Minutemen (and women) who have guarded our independence and freedom to this day. Don't you love being an American? Does your heart swell with pride when you see the American flag flying? Does the Fourth of July, with fireworks bursting in air, hold special meaning for you? Tell me how you celebrate Independence Day and Freedom. I'd like to know.