Thursday, December 6, 2012


Here's my opinion regarding a recent trend where men grow a stubble beard and actually go out in public fuzz-faced.  I think they look unclean.  I've heard young women say they think it looks masculine, rugged or cute.  This bristling appearance is bad enough while wearing work clothes or ratty jeans gut particularly foolish, even incongruent, when nicely clad otherwise.  Worst of all is the guy with sprouting face hair while dressed in formalwear.  Yuck!

I love it when somebody asks my opinion - because I always have one.  I am thrilled when I hear someone else express the same opinion as mine, especially when it is someone of intelligence, respect, accomplishment, even famous.  It happened this week and was caught on camera for the evening news.  Yep.

Famous entertainment industry people were on the Red Carpet at some big awards event.  One of the interviewers, a man I'd presume to be about thirty, was appropriately dressed for the occasion and doing a fine job of intercepting the most recognizable actors and actresses for comment.  One of the attendees was an easily recognized leading man who the interviewer enticed into a brief interview.  The interviewer was taken aback, however, when this actor's comment turned to the interviewer's appearance.

"What's this," he said as he put his hand on the interviewer's jaw, "forgot to shave?"  The interviewer sputtered.  "That's disrespectful," said the actor, referring to the interviewer's appearance.

Moments later the interviewer zeroed in on some other actor, not famous enough for me to recognize, but one whose face was densely stubbled.  His comments showed his relief to find someone else who hadn't found the occasion important enough to shave before stepping on the Red Carpet.  By now, the interviewer kinda reminded me of a naught boy who got caught peeing on the neighbor's tulips but felt justified because "Johnny did it, too!"

I have new respect for the movie actor originally interviewed.  He had not been on the top of my
"favorite" list before this interview, but he's #1 now.  He expressed his opinion in words clearly and succinctly, as I wish I had thought to do myself, when he described the interviewer's appearance "disrespectful."

Nancy yTe \

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Roy Dale Thatcher
born: 19 August 1923 died: 28 October 2012
US Army

Today is Veteran's Day. 11 November 2012 

Nine days ago my family attended the funeral of our last surviving WWII veteran.  He is now laid to rest in the foothills of the Ozarks, in a recently established Missouri Veterans Cemetery in Springfield, Missouri.  Its resemblance to Arlington Cemetery in Washington DC is amazing.  Already, there are rows upon rows of flat, white headstones identifying each American Patriot.  Beside Roy, three veterans were laid to rest the same day.  With Marine Corps escort, a gun salute, taps, flag folding and presentation, my brother was deservedly honored.

I've known Roy my entire life as he is eight years my senior.  For more than eighty years, whether near or far, he has been my protector and mentor, along with our brothers Lewis, Clarence and Ralph. Roy's life had three major strikes even before I was born: he was scalded with boiling water, confined with meningitis and restricted with asthma.  He had a rabbit, roller skating chicken and talking crow.  He played football, the guitar and whistled loud enough to hurt your ears, he was artistic and could build anything from an orange-crate racing car to a Jelly Bean Train. He could knit, crochet and embroider, though he rarely mentioned those talents.  His military service took him across Africa, to England, D-Day in France and the Battle of the Bulge to guarding prisoners at the war's end, then to Paris to play guitar with an armed forces band while waiting for a ship to bring him past the Statue of Liberty and, finally, home to Illinois. He called himself a ditch digger while employed by Northern Illinois Gas Company although ditchdiggers don't usually have a company car with a driver.  But, when he took off his business suit and put on blue jeans, Roy was a farmer.

For thirty years we met at Roy and MaryLou's farm for our Thatcher Family Reunion.  There were chickens and cows, horses and mules, rabbits, guinea pigs, dogs, cats and even goats.  We climbed aboard his wagon for hay less hay rides. We enjoyed the music of Roy and nephew Roy and anyone else with a song to sing or instrument to play.  We stuffed ourselves at the buffet filled with casseroles, salads and desserts, all washed down with soda from the pop machine.  We played games, jumped in the pool to cool off, rode horses, released balloons, and received gifts made by our talented relatives.  Roy took pride and joy in hosting this annual family event, so much so that he survived a heart attack long enough to host the 30th annual Reunion where he picked up his guitar to entertain us with music as he had done so many times before. 

A short, personal note can be included on the veteran's flat, white military headstone. His wife and children gave this serious consideration and concluded the appropriate note on Roy's headstone should read:   See you at the Reunion.

Nancy yTe      

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


The autumn equinox eased in this September, as it often does, with cool mornings and summer-like temperatures each afternoon.  Calendars clicked past the first day of fall and I haven't seen a hummingbird since.  I do believe they saw it coming and quietly sneaked away.  But I did notice the crispness in the air.  Did you?

Even the ducks are reacting.  I can hear them congregating at Pigeon Creek.  They have chatty quacks when they gather at the water's edge, then squawk like a hallelujah chorus once they take flight - making way for the arrival of bald eagles.  We have already spotted a few eagles flying over the creek.  Hopefully, there will be many more to come as it wasn't so many years ago when sighting a Bald Eagle, our powerful and graceful national symbol, was rare. To protect them, people didn't mention spotting one - their species had diminished and become dangerously vulnerable to humans.  Now neighbors shout to neighbors, "The eagles are back.  They were flying this morning.  Did you see them?"  Everyone living along our creek continues to keep a watch for them - as well as other birds and wild species.

Autumn wraps around us like a silk cape, cool and protective.  Take a deep breath and feel the air's transition from last week's oppressive summer heat to a refreshing breath of energy.  Autumn is the time to harvest rewards of a growing with haystacks, shocks of corn and pumpkins-a-plenty, with beekeepers honey, black walnuts and apples by the bushel. Farmer's markets at town squares offer the season's best varieties of vegetables for a pot of autumn soup - perhaps, green cabbage soup this week and Tortellini soup with squash and carrots next. Mmmmm good....

I love to see autumn colors: green and gold, red, orange and brown.  They are my favorites.  I love the sound of rustling leaves, the earthy smell of autumn in the air and the feel of cool autumn breezes on my face.  Life is SOooo good....

How does autumn feel to you?  Tell me.  I'd like to know.
Nancy yTe \

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


The air is gentle and warm as our van glides up steep hills, around snaking curves and dips into valleys with rivulets of blue water.  It is the last week of summer 2012 when we drive through the beautiful and breathtaking Ozark mountains in northwest Arkansas in search of 'art.' 

The artistic and historic Eureka Springs is our home base. We travel out to experience art and meet artists each day.  At Crystal Bridges, Alice Walton's newly opened art gallery in Bentonville, we explore its unique architecture and extensive galleries.  On the last day of summer we visit (and delight in) Terra Studios, home of the glass art, Bluebirds of Happiness, in Fayetteville. Then,  passing nearby to Springdale, stop at Shiloh Museum of the Ozarks.

Some of our favorite trips included cemeteries, battlefields and war museums.  We are American history nuts.  One cannot help but notice people of the Civil War era lived hard and difficult lives yet spoke and wrote with gentle sophistication.  I was sure the Civil War battle of Shiloh was in Tennessee.  Who would expect Shiloh to be in Arkansas?  Yet, here it is.  We parked next to the Cooper Barn with its fresh hay stack and old wagon just inside the open doors.  Shiloh grounds included three other outbuildings and two homes: the Searcy House, with updates and additions, remains livable, as does an 1850s log cabin.  Original house and cabin furnishings are on display in the museum.  The Shiloh Museum appears quite new and well organized with information and items from prehistoric to pre-Civil War, to present times.

A battle took place in this little part of the country - then called Shiloh - later renamed Springdale.  Hardscrabble people tried to make a living on hardscrabble land before and after the great war.  Jane Page lived in Shiloh.  She wrote a letter to her son John Page and family which is a prime example of the tough determination and gentle humanity these people possessed.  "Dear Son and Daughter: I embrace the present opportunity of writing you a letter to let you know that I am still in the land of the living and enjoying very good health and I do hope these few lines may reach you and find you all enjoying the same great blessing ... your father fell victim in time of the great war ... killed by Federal forces on the 4th day of March 1865 ... He had nine or ten balls passed through his body.  So scared and disturbed was everybody that I had to stay with him in the woods all day by myself with my apron spread over his face ..."  A large painting depicts Jane in this death scene. The letter relates news of family and neighbors, descriptions of events and current status.  "If you want to come back to this country to live you can buy land very cheap here now.  It is very low in consequence of the scarcity of money ... everything is very scarce here and times is hard, hard, very hard ... I remain your affectionate mother until death."  There is sadness in the facts but no meanness; no hate.  "The war has entirely ruined our country, but I think it will build up again in the course of time.  The people seems to be in good spirits and are trying to rebuilt ..."  14 November 1866.

People of this era expressed themselves without hubris.  They made their point without being scurrilous, foul-mouthed or vulgar.  Although poorly educated, they were conscious of using their very best language skills while being honest, forthright and persuasive.  Not only is this true of Jane Page but also of Mary Boykin Chesnut, A Diary from Dixie, repub. 1976 and other Civil war letters quoted by DeAnne Blanton and Lauren M. Coor in They Fought Like Demons, pub.2002.  I shall always appreciate the articulation revealed in original letters, publications and transcripts of our early American history - Bless them!  I fear the current general public has no pride in education and communication.  I, for one, hope the pendulum will begin to swing back from the current low educational standards to a 'step up and stand tall' expectation of personal pride and national academic achievements....
What do you think?  I'd like to know...  Nancy yTe \

Sunday, September 16, 2012


The junk drawer is every household's treasure trove.  There is never the 'right time' to clean one out as it is a sacred place for the 'might need that some day,' 'this is still usable,' and other potentially important trinkets, mementos and stuff.  It is the perfect repository for anything and everything, like the keys that don't open anything.  It is the 'go to' place when you need an odd electric plug, screw driver, picture hook or rubber band.

I just cannot sit here twiddling my thumbs as I watch "Sunday Morning" (a favorite television show) with its magazine' style short stories.  Surely, I can clean one junk drawer in 90 minutes - can't I?

As I begin sorting stuff, I listen to the history of Antietam, the Civil War battle, September 17, 1862: death, cemeteries. I'm finding those little packets of flower food that arrive with floral bouquets.  Do I put them in the pile to keep, stow elsewhere or throw away?  If I didn't use them when those cut flowers were alive, why would I keep them now?  I'll put them in the 'keep' pile - just in case... but the empty purse-size hand sanitizer goes in the trash - definitely.

The pile of 'stow elsewhere' is growing with a package of razor blades, several snap clothes pins, a deck of cards and a ball of twine - as I learn about a "polka dot" artist from China.  I found US postage stamps that are probably still good - but when will I need 39-cent stamps?  Here's an artistic treasure: 18" of chain link from a 1970s swag lamp that no longer exists.

What a surprise! I found a favorite pair of sunglasses that went missing about 2008.  I'm going to keep the envelopes of flower seeds till spring - and the loose coins, too.  "Sunday Morning" is reviewing the lives of rock and singing groups with nostalgic music memories as I ink-test a bundle of pens; half are old and dry.  There is a gracious and lovely letter received from a dear neighbor, now deceased.  I think I'll put it in my box of memorial cards, along with Puddles' dog tags (she was our pet many years ago). How did these things end up in a junk drawer?

I will definitely dispose of the $17 in the bank envelope.  I am thinking brunch: corned beef hash with two eggs over easy and biscuits with gravy.  My (now neat) junk drawer contained even more treasures than I expected as "Sunday Morning" fades to commercials. 

When is the last time you cleaned your junk drawer? 
What treasures did you discover?  I'd like to know. 
Nancy yTe \

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Sunday morning.  Newspapers are fat with inserts and coupons to be clipped - so I'll run to get scissors and start clipping.

Scissors.  Isn't that a funny word?  Scissors have been an important tool in my life.  I admired my mother's dexterity in cutting thread and cloth, paper, herbs or a bouquet of flowers.  It is remarkable how many kinds of scissors there were in the house where I grew up.  My mother had dressmaker scissors, pinking shears, buttonhole scissors and kitchen shears as well as stork-shaped Chatelaines.  My dad's one-piece Egyptian-style garden scissors were used for trimming beds of iris and tulips.  He also had twig cutters and branch loppers, tin snips and some he called 'sheep shears,' though we never had any sheep.

After I learned to hold scissors and cut scraps of cloth or paper, I spent many hours cutting out paper dolls and baby doll clothes before advancing to making my own clothes, cutting fancy doilies, decoupage or paper silhouettes.  There is such pride in creating something interesting from plain cloth or paper.

Twice, I got in a bit of mix up with scissors.  Once while holding sharp scissors, I stabbed myself in the thigh as I pulled a chair up to sit on.  Another time, although I was a good speller, I couldn't remember how to spell scissors.  It didn't look right after writing it a dozen times, so I tried to look it up in a dictionary.  How do you find a word in the dictionary when you cannot spell it?  I looked up 'shears' in the Sears Roebuck & Co. catalog.

Scissors found.  Time to clip the coupons - although it is a useless exercise.  Reviewing the last batch, I crumple those out of date to make room for the new ones.  I have good intentions for enjoying a discount, thrift and economical household management.  The reality is, coupon clipping is just a ritual - perhaps a subconscious need to ply scissors - as I am too old for cutting out paper dolls.

Scissors.  Do they bring back memories for you?  Tell me.  I'd like to know.
Nancy yTe \

Monday, September 3, 2012


Today is Labor Day.  For working folks, it is a day of rest; the last holiday of summer.  For children, it is a puzzlement.  There are no presents, no lamb or turkey and no costume-clad character to associate with the day.  Labor Day is rather like a 'bonus' holiday; a day to celebrate the economic and social contributions of workers.

This can be a day to relax and enjoy the fruits of one's achievements, if possible - a time to evaluate and reflect upon the value of one's own life and labor.  Being an American holiday, there is always much to be grateful for.  How we choose to evaluate our job opportunities and choices is for each individual to decide.

I have listed the most notable jobs in my lifetime in two columns: 'Worst' and 'Best.' The worst job I ever had was being a waitress.  I didn't last a week.  Being a clerk, then typist in a secretarial pool weren't wonderful either.  I had to step up to something more challenging and rewarding - so I got married and had a gaggle of children.

The best job I had was being an old-fashioned wife and homemaker: washing, ironing, cooking. cleaning, caring for children, coffee klatching and volunteer work with other housewives.  In business, I enjoyed being the 'kingpin' secretary to a dozen doctors.  Later, feeling effective and rewarded, I put years of business experience to work as a marketer of hospital health services.  Finally, teaching business, marketing and ethics to college students was my most personally rewarding employment - though the pay was totally inadequate.

I must note, too, that Labor Day is the beginning of political parades, conventions, debates and speeches in preparation for November's elections.  Politics:  Now there's a job I don't want!

How about you?  What rewards have you gleaned from your labors?
~Nancy yTe~

Friday, August 31, 2012


Eyes fill with tears - as
the flag-covered casket holds
our Vietnam veteran 
   Haiku by Nancy yTe

Arthur Burr Thatcher
26 Sep 1946 - 25 Aug 2012
Son, brother, nephew, cousin, father, friend,
United States Marine
Rest in peace, dear Arthur....

Monday, August 20, 2012


How Lucky can a Lucky Charm be?

Call it wishful thinking or plain old superstition but people have been putting faith in tokens and charms since the beginning of time.  A token represents some wish, fact, desire, event or emotion.  It is a symbol of portent, something that tangibly signifies authority, validity, faith or hope.

People invest power in objects used as charms for good luck, success, safety or health.  Whether foolishness or faith, it is empowered by the person and becomes an important reminder of hope and faith.  Thus, people empower themselves with charms.  Those who think they are lucky, tend to be lucky as they find items and win prizes or games of chance.  Lucky people notice lucky things like a coin on the path, beautiful scenery or a winning business deal.  Then, they cheerfuly and gratefully credit their lucky charm for their good fortune.

A person empowers a token, it becomes powerful then returns its power upon request. The lucky charm charm you carry is a constant reminder of your power and confirmation of faith, luck and gratitude.

Over the years, I have carried many charms and tokens - sometimes more than one at a time.  There is a marble at the bottom of my purse to ensure I haven't 'lost all my marbles' - the result of a lecture attended while studying behavioral science many, many years ago, and a reminder to think rationally.  There's a bird feather in my wallet as a reminder of the freedom I enjoy.  And, I carry a coin awarded for community service which reads, "To thine own self be true" as a reminder to live and share a positive lifestyle.

What tokens have you empowered - a wedding ring, lucky coin, four-leaf clover, photograph, souvenir or religious symbol?  To succeed in living life is the goal.  To use charms as reminders is a good thing.  Success can be yours.  So, reach for your lucky charm and watch those good things happen.
~ Nancy yTe~

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


August 15, 2012.  May we all take one minute to remember my cousin, Julia Child, The French Chef.  She is 100 years old today.

None of us would have known of Julia, except that she appeared on television.  We loved her instantly - in spite of her middle age, plain looks and oddly high-pitched voice that crackled.  We knew nothing of French cooking and she made cooking appear enjoyable.  So, we bought her book, tho only a few of us ever learned to make even one entree from Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  I didn't realize Julia Child was my cousin until I saw her family tree in Noel Riley Fitch's biography, Apetite for Life, pub. 1999.  Julia and I have a mutual great, great, great... grandfather from about 1600 - the era of Mayflower and Plymouth Colony.

Julia's height genetics (she was 6'2") is especially interesting as one of her (not my) great, great... grandfather's is listed as the red-haired Captain Myles Standish, who stood just 5' (an maybe an inch more) and was sarcastically called "Captain Shrimp" while he was responsible for the militia at Plymouth, Massachusetts.  But, everyone was shrimpy short in those days.  It took 200 years and ten generations before Julia's grandfather grew taller than 6'.  Although height was one of Julia's outstanding characteristics, she was the shortest of her siblings.

Did you see the movie "Julia-Julia" with Meryl Streep?  I found the portrayal of both Julia and Paul, her husband, as a loving, supportive couple to be delightful.  People are still asking if she took any military secrets to the grave with her as both she and Paul worked for the OSS (later CIA) during WWII.  As I heard it, she took an oath never to speak of her OSS work - and she never did.

100 hugs and kisses to you, Julia....  HAPPY BIRTHDAY ! ! !
~ nancy yTe~

Monday, August 13, 2012


...and let the fresh air in...

After a six-week run of temperatures setting new all-time records, 90 degrees feels quite comfortable. There have been few cars on the road as humans dash between air-conditioned home and stores with no dilly-dallying between.  Farm animals stand like statues under shade trees.  Household pets are as quiet and lethargic as their owners.

Today I am going to allow myself to relax on the patio, under the umbrella, with a cup of coffee and the newspaper.  I may even write a letter or snap a few photos.  It is difficult to believe we are now a week into August and this is the first time since mid-June the patio beckons.  Certainly relaxing on the patio has been a morning ritual in years past - when temperatures didn't climb to levels of discomfort until noontime.  Sitting in my own back yard feels like the 'great escape' after being locked up indoors with the air-conditioner running.

2012 has been a record-setting year across the entire United States.  My Arkansas home is right in the middle. Certainly we are accustomed to 100 degree summer tempertures for several days in a row - not several weeks in a row.  Let me remember to be grateful.  I do have A/C.  My mother's knoll-top farm house, just an hour east of my home, was designed to welcome every little breeze but it was just an old 8" one-speed fan that stirred the hot air when there was no brreeze.  Hot was definitely hot!

At last, with a bit of fresh air moving gently and tolerable temperatures, the wilted garden, encouraged by a nice splash from the garden hose, is willing to bloom out for the birds and butterflies and bumblebees that stop to say 'good morning.'

So, OPEN THE WINDOW, George...  real life is still going on out here....    Nancy yTe \

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Your mind is a Garden
Your thoughts are the Seeds
You can grow Flowers
Or you can grow Weeds.
~Spice of Life~

This little poem made thoughts pop into my head like champagne bubbles.  Did it tickle your mind, too?

I'm sure the poem means different things to different readers.  I love that it tells us we are unique and different - though the same and how we can think and be productive in so many different ways....

Millions of people plant seeds and grow beautiful flowers.  Certainly my Thatcher family did as they were nurserymen for several generations.  My siblings and children grow beautiful gardens.  I've tried but, it just isn't my cup of tea.  Perhaps I'm the Thatcher who can grow weeds.

The poem, to me (perhaps in self defense) is more about learning, thinking, evaluating, reorganizing and presenting seeds of thought in a different kind of garden.  For many years I labeled my scribbles 'Seeds of Hope.'  Even in writing, however, I have produced more weeds than flowers....

The message reminds me of multi-talented people like my dad, who was not only the typical working man, but an athlete, a gardener and an artist.  During the winter months, he played ping pong in the basement recreation room he designed and built with recessed lighting (years before such rooms and lighting existed elsewhere).  He forced crocus and tulip bulbs to bloom in the coal bin for fresh flowers on Mother's dining room table.  He painted pictures on the cement walls, including one entire wall depicting trees and a stream of water with strategically placed Peter Pan characters.  Not all the figures began as Peter Pan, however.  One resembled the nymph in the White Rock advertisement, the c.1895 drawing of Phyche by artist, Paul Thurmann.  Another was reminiscent of the famous nude painting by Paul Emile Chabas in 1912, entitled "September Morn."  All were clad in Peter Pan costumes for Dad's mural, however.

If seeds are thoughts we grow in our minds, cannot all the seeds become beautiful in some form?  Does music come from seeds of thought - symphonies, ballet, jazz and ballads?  Or, consider recipes as magic seeds transforming pumpkins into pies, grapes into wine or wheat into bread.  

Can seeds of imagination become inventions - like 'the wheel,' cars, airplanes, space ships, typewriters, pianos or iPods?  Familiar structures must have begun as seeds of thought: caves, homes, Sears Tower, Statue of Liberty, Washington Monument and the Vietnam Wall.  Even weeds produce beautiful flowers in spite of themselves, as cow pastures with Texas Bluebells or the white Queen Anne's Lace and bright orange Butterfly Roost gracing highways.

I leave it to you  to interpret this lovely poem to reflect yourself as the gardener in whatever creative and beautiful form you choose.  Whether hybrid or weed, may your seeds grow with love.

Tell me about your garden.  I'd like to know.... 
~ Nancy yTe ~

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Sally Ride has been our hero and role-model in this modern world where female heroes and role-models are rare - and, all too soon, we are losing the few we have come to admire, appreciate and respect.  It was just one month since we lost Sally Ride, at age 61, to pancreatic cancer.

By June 18th 1983, we came to know and love Sally Ride as America's first female astronaut in space.  All of America watched the lift-off that day.  Observers at Cape Canaveral and those watching via television shouted, "Ride, Sally Ride" as NASA's Challenger STS-7 made its way skyward.  She was, at age 32, the youngest American astronaut to enter space.  The following year, she was again a crew member aboard the Challenger STS-47-G.

Ride was fascinated by math and science, particularly astrological physics and electron laser physics and she was atheltic, being a nationally ranked tennis player.  Sally was one of the 8,000 people who responded to an ad seeking applicants for the space program.  She helped NASA develop the Space Shuttle's robot arm and was the first to use the robot arm to retrieve a satellite in space.  After 343 hours in space, she served on several NASA review panels and advisory boards.  She wrote five books about space for adolescent children.  A song Mustang Sally, had been written years before Ride was an astyronaut but the tune became synonymous with her NASA fame, so everyone knew and sang the lyrics "...ride, Sally ride."

Sally Ride dedicated herself to encouraging young people in the study of science and math.  She established courses, curriculum and a school to this end.  She invented a camera to fly with the shuttle, taking photographs for school students: EarthKAM and MoonKAM.  She was a leader, a teacher and explorer.

She has left Earth one more time.  But, Look up and you may see her still - right there in Heaven - where she has flown before - and where her star will always shine brightly.

"Ride, Sally Ride"  

Thursday, July 12, 2012


The downpour of rain came so fast and heavy, gutters overflowed and the temperature plummeted.  It was a welcome relief.  People lost count of the times temperatures exceeded record highs during the past three weeks.  Only the old folks can recall last time it was so hot for so long.  We were cautious in our use of water and, living on the edge of the woods, appreciated the county burn ban.

It was the last week of June when thermometers on both my east porch and west patio registered more than 100 degrees each afternoon.  All activity indoors and out slowed or stopped.  The rabbits, deer and fox disappeared into woods by mid-morning.  I hid in my air-conditioned house with Daphne and Galaxy - my cats.  Even so, the oppressive heat took its physical toll as my energy and ambition melted.  My brain went foggy.  Being dull-minded may not be unusual but my awareness of it was somewhat frustrating.

So, a neighbor and I took a little movie matinee break. The weatherman predicted 'scattered showers' but we didn't put much faith in it becasuse he had offered the same expectation for several days previous - with nary a drop.  We marveled with excitement when a few raindrops splatted on the windshield as we drove to town.  We were encouraged and hopeful.  Our expectations soared when, as we watched The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel on the screen, thunder rolling and crashing overhead.  Imagine our surprise and disappointment to walk out the door into bright, hot sunshine with not a single drop of rain anywhere in sight.

Today, ten days into July, the afternoon temperatures have cooled down to the upper-90s.  It is comfortable to sit on the porch or patio, to read the newspaper or write a letter and relax.  The grass didn't crunch underfoot when I filled the bird feeders this morning.  Sad and droopy plants are actually perked up and showing off their colorful blooms once again.  All is well with the world.  It's like the song from the movie Oklahoma:  "Oh, what a beautiful morning.  Oh, what a beautiful day." - Makes me want to sing ! 

So, how's your day?  I'd like to know....
~Nancy yTe~

Saturday, June 30, 2012


The Area Art Club show was today - a perfect day to attend the 34th annual show.  The steaming parking lot was full of cars so the cooler indoor temperature was a welcome relief.  Carloads of people kept arriving in spite of record heat temperatures.  Cheerful ladies greeted everyone at the door.  The display room was lighted perfectly so one's eyes were drawn to the splashes of color in framed artwork on table displays, easels and especially those  hung on rows and rows of display panels. Slowly reviewing each piece, one could feel the anticipation and expectation of discovering something new and really special.  Art Shows are fun.

My town is filled with artistic talent.  Last week's newspaper featured young artists who attend local schools and recently won art awards.  They were impressive.  The town is also known for its retiree population and it, too, includes an abundance of artistically talented folks.  Today's show included a wide variety of art styles and medium - if that is the correct art terminology - acrylic, water color, oil, pencil, photography and mixed media.  Some works were as large as murals; some as tiny as a postage stamp.  Art shows can surprise you.

Ribbon and certificate awards had been attached by judges.  The Best of Show, depicting a flamenco dancer was located prominently.  Attendees were invited to 'judge' the nearly two hundred pieces of artwork with one vote for their choice.  This 'People's Choice Award' would go to the artist whose work received the most votes at the end of the day.  That kinda makes the attendee take some responsibility - and feel important.  Art shows can make you feel intelligent and valuable.

 I often encourage people to sing out loud or to get up and dance.  Today I recommend you not only sing and dance but take yourself to visit an art gallery, too.  Whether you prefer oil, pencil or sidewalk chalk, whether you visit the Louvre, Crystal Bridge or a local show, your thinking and your life may take on more color and joy as a result.  If you decide to just sit on your veranda, or just go fishing, that's OK, too.  It is up to you to choose whether to view the amazing artistry of man in a gallery or the spectacular reality of God's creations in nature.  Either way, it is like a visit to the art gallery - in technicolor, 3D or reality.  Art can be beautiful.

Nancy yTe \

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Good News!  There is help to stop unnecessary energy drain.  Although we are often our own worst enemy in stealing time and wasting precious energy, we can slow the loss by instituting a few tried and true tricks to stave off life's frustrations.

Here is good news.  By incorporating this business discipline into personal living,you reap great benefits.  Putting off or taking on too many tasks drains time and energy while RSVP ASAP works like a charm.  Yes, take immediate action to phone calls, written requests and things that need your attention.  Don't put them off.  Don't make a note, simply Do It Now.

Quick responses actually save energy and relieve frustrations.  Fold the laundry, feed the cat or load the dishwasher, etc.  These rote activities with unthinking repetitions are perfect opportunities to think, plan an review the joys of today, tomorrow or a lifetime.

Consider color.  Color is powerful.  Color is a form of energy.  When you observe it or think 'in color,' you absorb its comfort, happiness and serenity.  Try it!

In order to ensure energy tomorrow, start today by making up your bed ASAP.  Really.  Retiring to a neatly made bed brings you better sleep and peace of mind.  Each evening, take a few minutes to review your day.  Make a note of five positive things you want to remember about the day.  This exercise stimulates your memory while warding off Alzheimer's.  Now, take a deep breath and sleep in peace.

You'll look better, feel better and be more energized with 7-8 hours of sleep.

Trouble falling asleep?  Noise, lights, getting up and worry interfere with sleep.  Flip the switch on noise.  Need bathroom breaks?  Strategically install dim night lights as necessary.  Worried?  Write it down before retiring.  Tense?  Try drifting off as you imagine packing your suitcase for a trip to Hawaii or a ski lodge or -- Outer Space.

Prepare to face each day energized and revitalized!  I did.  And it works!

Nancy yTe\

Monday, June 18, 2012


Oh, to be able to get out of bed, step into the shower, don clothes and walk out the door!  Where did all that 'normal' go?

The first priority, after hip surgery, is to get back to 'normal' - meaning to feel healthy, mobile, social and happy.  To get 'normal,' doctors, nurses and therapists encourage and prod patients into relearning how to sit, stand, wash, eat, dress - all those things accomplished with ease last week.

"You can do it...," they insist.
"Just one more step up - or down...."
"Stand up straight..." becomes a mantra.

Recovery isn't easy but thanks to guidelines and encouragement from family and friends, it becomes reality.  Ultimately, it is up to the patient to determine the outcome, to do the work and to succeed.  In my case, I reached into my Bag of Tricks and pulled out an old Good Advice standard:  Do the Thing and You Will Have the Power.

Do the Thing was one of my motivational seminars.  Many years ago, I presented life-skill seminars to adults whose lives had been disrupted and who sought direction to create better, more comfortable lives.    Do the Thing has lead to great successes in three easy steps: Think - weigh the positives and negatives in order to Plan your path with confidence, then Act on your decision - and you will Succeed.

With years of practice, Do the Thing has served me well in securing employment, academics, the arts, relationships and life.  Just last week, still sluggish from surgery, I invited a group of women to join me for an afternoon - which meant I had to clean house, go shopping, prepare food and act as hostess.  It was exhilarating and exhausting just to think about it, but I confidently put Do the Thing into action one more time....

We all enjoyed a beautiful afternoon filled with friendship, MahJongg, food and laughter!

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Everyone wants to be happy. Happiness is more precious than gold. We want to hang out with the happy people - and be like them... How can we get happy, too? Let's begin by asking happy people how they got that way - then shamelessly copy them.

Happiness is attitude. It's all up to you! Abraham Lincoln said, "People are about as happy as they decide to be..." So, when you open your eyes each morning, your happiness is your decision. With a new day comes a clean slate to create your own pictures, acknowledgements and accomplishments. Take time to really see the people around you, to smell the roses and taste that breakfast coffee. Every small awareness adds happiness to your brain's pleasure monitor. Take a minute to identify five (at least five) things you are grateful for at this very moment; a shower, family, pets, job to go to, clothes to wear. As a result of this precious minute of review, tense muscles relax as energy expands; you will be encouraged to notice the beauty and friendliness in the world around you. Treat yourself to the same admiration and appreciation you have for a best friend (Woman's World 2/27/12).

Happiness is physical. Happy people do not slump or slouch. They stand tall. Here's how: Stand and stretch upward from the top of your head - bringing yourself to your full height. With chin and shoulders relaxed, you feel lighter, your walk is smoother. The easy flow of movement creates a feeling of confidence, relaxation and happiness - it makes you want to smile. Being more aware of the beauty and joy in ordinary things makes you feel like dancing to the sound of music. Use all your senses. Happiness is the fragrance of shampoo or smell of a new car, it is kisses and hugs of a loved-one. With little encouragement, a feeling of happiness insists on expanding your horizons. Want another healthy excuse for happiness? Laughter, even giggling, lowers blood pressure and improves the immune system (AARP Feb/Mar 2912).

Success is happiness. Happiness is contagious. People are drawn to happy people. M. R. Kopmeyer says, "Radiating personal magnetism is a technique which surely should be used by everyone who wants to be popular and successful." He says there are three ingredients to radiating success: 1. Generate an inner 'glow,' 2. Radiate an outer 'glow,' 3. Smile with your eyes! Begin by learning to generate and feel a 'glow' within yourself by imaging these elements: alertness, excitement, exhilaration, anticipation, confidence and emotional power. Practice these feelings until you can draw upon them at will. With practice, you will feel an aura of magnetism surround you. Practice the powerful technique of projecting your magnetic personality to influence and attract others. To 'smile with your eyes,' be sincere and genuine in your desire to smile. (We all recognize a phony smile when we see one.) You have to feel a smile before you can express it.
Kopmeyer, M.R., Thoughts to Build On, pub.1970

Looking for happiness? It is in you, in front of you, all around you. Like everything in life worth achieving, happiness has always been within your reach....practice, practice, practice. Want to multiply your happiness? Share it ...

Are you happy? Tell me about it. I'd like to know.


"Smile and the World smiles with you...." is what one wise old saying tells us.

You feel better and everyone around you feels better when you smile. Try it. You'll like it.

A fitness guru recently suggested smiling while doing exercises and especially during your 30-minute-a-day walk. He said it doesn't burn any more calories, but it makes you feel lighter....

Creative people believe inspiration and problem-solving is often sparked by something they find to be amusing. (Prevention; May 2011)

Laughter is good for your health. It loosens up all the tight facial muscles and tightens up loose body muscles while stirring up brain chemicals to boost your mood.

Humorous TV shows and videos were recommended therapy for patients suffering pain during illnesses and recovery because patients who could laugh required less pain medication.

Laughing lowers blood pressure, according to another study cited in AARP magazine (Mar 2012) and laughing out loud is more beneficial than just giggling.

Families laughted together while watching Jim Henson's "The Muppets" on television - mine did. Different family members, of different ages, also have individual preferences of humor. Some prefer the oldies, like "Laurel and Hardy" or "The Three Stooges" while the younger folks prefer the cartoon-generated humor of Disney characters and LooneyTunes, or "SpongeBob SquarePants" and Nickelodeon's "Dinasaur Train."

There's a reason newspapers devote an entire page of 'comic strips' in each addition. Everyone wants (and needs) a daily bit of humor - and newspapers drtbr oy i[ daily. (Some people even read comics second....)

The person who can smile and laugh will be happier and healthier than the person who does not.
A gathering of people of good humor can accomplish great things because good begets good.
So, smile at the world and it will want to smile right back at ya.....

Want to learn to smile with your eyes? I'll tell you how in my blog "Visualize Your Success."

What's your experience with smile power? Tell me. I'd like to know.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Our world is filled with beautiful animals and obnoxious smells. Sometimes the two are entwined. Skunk is the best example of this dichotomy. Even the scales of justice are out of kilter in this matter - Lady Justice is blindfolded. Her sight thus impeded, she sees no beauty and must weigh skunk findings based on smell. One day, you, too, may have to weigh the facts, although you'd rather run away with everyone else.

There are mildly undesirable smells, like souring milk or stinky diapers and unpleasant smells like the Koi pond gone scummy. Chemical and burning smells are often powerful and overwhelming - and so is skunk stink. It is hard to appreciate the beauty of a sleek and shiny, black and white skunk when its repulsive odor invades your olfactory senses - a problem everyone deals with at least once in their life.

After one whiff, skunk smell is cataloged in some mysterious brain cells which allows people to recognize the unforgetable odor on every new encounter. How quickly we forget these beautiful animals are quiet and solitary, mind their own business and don't interefere with people. They eat insects and field mice, making human life more comfortable. A skunk's defense system is to stand its ground by posturing in a threatening manner before spraying - which doesn't work with automobiles! Being early risers, they begin roaming highways and byways in the wee hours. When they play 'chicken' with motor vehicles, they often lose, leaving their beautiful dead carcass befouled by their own distinguishable (and lingering) aroma to mark their foolishness.

"Hold your breath," is the command of one traveler to another when recognizing skunk stink. While that works for a few moments while traveling, a car-and-skunk or dog-and-skunk encounter requires a different resolve. Once sprayed, nobody will come near you, your dog or your car. Your spouse doesn't want the vehicle near your home as children and dogs run as far away from you as they can get. You are shunned!

There is hope. Here is a simple and easy recipe to use on clothes and inanimate objects: Stir together one quart of peroxide with one small box of baking soda and add one teaspoon of dish detergent. Spray or pour on skunky area. This will not hurt cars or grass. For your dog/animals, douse and soak in a mixture of tomato juice and vinegar (one large can of juice with one cup vinegar). For people, Compassionate Action Institute recommends using Carbolic soap and water followed by a lot of rinsing in clear water.

Living at the edge of a preserve, skunk are regular visitors. They are quiet, slow and graceful neighbors. Their right to exist here is not challenged. Just once in twenty years did we have to holler, "Skunk" because my beautiful black and white cat wanted a closer look at the visiting skunk. (Perhaps she thought it was her cousin come to visit...)

I still think skunk are beautiful animals. So, it is my job to simply respect them and to appreciate their true beauty....

What is your skunk experience. Tell me. I'd like to know....

Monday, March 5, 2012

'COOL' an essay

There are a lot of 'bad' words in popular use that need to be eliminated from the English language. 'Cool' is about the worst of the bunch! It is frustrating when politicians interject 'look' in their speeches, and disturbing when people say 'seen' for saw, when they use I or me incorrectly or say don't when they mean doesn't. But, to consider getting rid of the worst 'bad' word, let us begin with 'cool.'

As a reader, writer and proud English language communicator, I am appalled at the frequency with which 'cool,' this useless, misused and overused word, is spoken. I am flabbergasted when intelligent and educated people flagrantly or casually mouth it. It is no longer just the ignorant, uneducated and unfortunate using 'cool' to mean anything, everything and, consequently, nothing at all. I am reminded of Andy Rooney's explanation of people using "obscenities... dumb people do it because they can't think of what they want to say and they're frustrated. A lot of smart people do it to pretend they aren't very smart - want to be one of the boys." Cool has become an obscene word. It's time for a replacement!

Yes, there are correct uses for the word 'cool.' According to the American Heritage Dictionary of English Language, cool refers to something moderately cold. It indicates the feeling of coolness due to lowered temperature. It is something calm and controlled. Cool means dislike or disdain; bold or impudent. It may be the metaphor of colors like blue or green. In slang, cool means indifferent, aloof or excellent. The list goes on: less intense, slowed down, to be kept waiting, a state of composure. It is synonymous with collected, unruffled, nonchalant and detached. None of these definitions seem to fit the common usage of 'cool' as we hear it in today's popular vocabulary.

'Cool' is not a good word. It means anything a speaker wants it to mean while the listener if left to assume the speaker is saying something meaningful - sort of. Won't we all, speakers or listeners, feel better about ourselves when we use real and appropriate words to express important thoughts, fantastic ideas, exciting experiences and true feelings?

Tell me what you think. I'd like to know.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Do you want to be a success? Everyone does.

What, exactly, do you want to succeed in doing or being: concert pianist, CEO, farmer, teacher, artist, composer, actor, inventor, cook, parent, politician, just being rich or simply being a loving human being? Your success is up to you. Here are five suggestions designed to help you reach your goal:

1. Describe your success in detail. Imagine successful people who reached similar goals. What did they do to become successes? Notice how they look, stand, speak, dress and move. Imgine yourself as a successful person and copy all the good and positive things you see in others. Learn to speak, move and dress in a like manner. Seek the education needed to succeed in your field then practice, practice, practice whether piano, public speaking or attitude. Yes, attitude. It is not always what you do but how you present yourself that determines success. Build the image in your mind of yourself as that successful person you are working to become.
2. The road to success always begins with a burning desire. If you don't know where your goal is, you'll end up somewhere else. Keep focus on your goal as you gather information, absorb knowledge, meet the people who can help you. Join the clubs, groups or organizations which enhance your own steps toward success. Dress the part, gain the knowledge and stay alert to opportunities.
3. Reinforce your dedication to succeed on a daily basis. Keep your burning desire hot by establishing a mantra and an image you can hear and see every day. Keep a token or a picture of success in your wallet or purse... One young man, determined to be a pilot and astronaut, kept a feather in his wallet and in his pocket and as his doodles while he studied and focused on his goal until he succeeded.
4. Practice... visualize your success, see it, feel it, wear it, develop it, mean it! If you want to be an actor, visualize yourself being interviewed on the red carpet or on television. How do you move, walk, sit? Do you dress the part? How do you intend to appear to others if your goal is to be a doctor or politician? Practice being the person you imagine as your successful self. Be ready.
5. Reach for the brass ring... When opportunity presents itself, grab it... The knock of opportunity may be loud and persistent or faint and timid. Sometimes you will need to be knocking on doors. Success doesn't arrive as a surprise package; it is a distinguishment sought and earned.

Alas, in a lifetime expectancy of about eighty years, you may have time to be a success in several arenas. I know one successful lawyer who is also a successful politician is a licensed pilot; a pediatrician I worked with was also a Black Belt in martial arts and an award-winning photographer. Perhaps 6. should be an encouragement to expand and diversity your successes. The lawyer and doctor did, I did, and so can you!
Tell me about your road to success. I'd like to know.

Monday, February 27, 2012


Everyone wants to be happy. It is so much better than the alternative. Why do some people appear so much happier than others? Where do they find all that happiness? How can you feel happier? Abraham Lincoln said, "People are about s happy as they decide to be..." So, if you'd like to experience happiness, here's how:

Happiness is sweet, like a beautiful dessert, a cupcake, fluffy meringue or banana split piled high with whipped cream. Happiness begins with the sight of something delicious, the anticipation of tasting it and the awakening of your taste buds with the first bite. Mmmm, happiness is good.

Happiness is hearing the music that makes you want to get up and dance. It is the catchy tune that repeats itself in your head as you move through your day; the sound of children giggling or the bubbling waterfall. Happiness is hearing a loved-one's voice. Your brain cannot think two tings at the same time so you can decide to replace worry with music. Aha.

Happiness is seeing the beauty all around you; in the color of a robin's egg, a newly unfolded leaf, the everchanging clouds in a blue sky or recognizing a friendly face. I overheard a lady saying, "My husband always wears a smile so my heart begins to beat with a happy rhythm the moment he walks in the door." Start a trend. Smile when you greet people or look into a mirror. Smiles are contagious.

Happiness is something warm and fuzzy like chicken soup or a warm blanket. Those are the things that make us feel loved when we receive them and loving when we give them to others. Either way, it is happiness. Consequently, happiness is a two-way street. When we learn to be a happy recipient, we can be even happier giving.

Happiness is everywhere. Take just one hour to count the things that could, should, can and do make you happy. You will be surprised. The happiness you can encounter in one entire day may overwhelm you with joy. Remember: The people who find enough delights to laugh aloud seven times each day are the most productive, content, admired, appreciated and happiest people you can ever know. Are you one of them? Why not? Start now.

Tell me what makes your life happy. I'd like to know.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


A 3-legged stool supported John Glenn in his many successes - or so I've heard. I am a student of the 3-legged stool school. Everyone needs a sturdy base in order to succeed. Do you have one? If not, you can design your own or give this one a try. Whether learning something new, describing something old or planning for the future, a 3-legged perspective makes good sense of your purpose and mission. Consider, for example Belief as faith, hope and charity; Humanity as thought, word and deed; Success as plan, action and outcome.

I was not surprised to learn that John Glenn, a man to admire, respect and appreciate, offered us his 3-point guide to an amazing and successful life. Now reaching his 91st birthday, he credits his long life to, "Attitude, Exercise and having a Purpose." - and since this 3-legged stool works for him, it may work for you, too.

Instinctively, I ran off to review Glenn's biography. I needed to know When, where and how he applied this wisdom in his life successes? Someone, in recent years, had the audacity (or, perhaps it was humor) to ask, "What on Earth has John Glenn done...?" Here's a quick review: pilot (1941); joined US Army (1941) the US Navy (1942), reassigned US Marine Corps (1943); flew 59 combat missions over South Pacific; patrol missions in North China; flight instructor (1948); 63 combat missions in Korea; joined NASA (1949) as astronaut; flew first supersonic flight (1957); earned 5 Distinguished Flying Crosses; 5th person in space; 3rd American in space; 1st American to orbit Earth (1962). He circled 3 times while all the residents of Perth turned on all their luminaries to become the "City of Light" as he flew overhead in 1962 - and again on his last orbit in 1998 when he was the oldest man (age 77) to fly in space.

Both feet on the ground, John Glenn is a Freemason and Elder of his church. He married and has two children. He was elected US Senator (D-Ohio) 1974-1990. American females were disappointed to learn Glenn testified (1962) to exclude women from NASA's astronaut program but, apparently, later changed his mind as Sally Ride was the first women in space (1983) and Eileen Collins piloted a US space craft (1995).

Without doubt, John Glenn had an 'atttude' of determination to fly, serve his country and to represent his Ohio neighbors in the US Senate. He revealed himself as a 'real' person in interviews and cameo television appearances. He has put attitude, exercise and purpose to exceptional good use.

We missed the 50th anniversary of John Glenn's orbit of Earth, but wouldn't it be wonderful if everybody turned on lights to celebrate his 91st birthday on 18 July 2012 - just as Perth did during his 1962 orbit and also his 1998 space flight? A 3-legged stool worked for John Glenn. Remember, if you don't have one of your own, you have Glenn's permission to copy his - and I hope you find Attitude, Exercise and Purpose a sturdy and reliable guide in your successes. Google John Glenn to learn more - or stop by to peek at the John Glenn scrapbook my 2nd grade son Glenn and I put together in 'real time.'

Don't forget to tell me about your 3-legged stool. I'd like to know.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Happy Birthday Charles Dickens. The English reading /speaking world is celebrating this prolific writer's 200th birthday throughout 2012. No doubt, celebrating two hundred years requires a huge lot of cake and dangerous collection of candles!

Charles' birthday celebration was brought to my attention the other evening when I was surfing television channels and came upon Charlie Rose interviewing a panel of writers, actors and historians in England and America who are familiar with Dickens' writings, life and history. I became fascinated as Rose's guests described fascets of Charles Dickens' writings as though they knew him personally - perhaps having sat down to lunch with him just yesterday....

Dickens was born on 8 February 1812 and died 9 June 1870. Is it possible this penman was just 58 years of age? He had published sixteen or more novels, a large number of short stories, a few plays and several non-fiction books. He became internationally famous during his own lifetime - an unexpected accomplishment! It seems Dickens wrote many of his novels and short stories serially, in monthly installments - a style and means of publication new to the reading populace. With developing a seriel style came his writing technique of suspense which caught the reader mid-drama, making them anxious to read on to the next issue; a 'tease' now known as the 'cliff hanger.'

Dickens' books were so popular, they have never gone out of print. They are filled with realism, personalities, fantasy, comedy, intrigue, history and social awareness. He presents the everyday man with whimsical, unforgetable names. While it is not uncommon for writers to interject their personal life into their stories, Rose's experts stated without reservation that Charles Dickens' life is prominent in all his writings. It is significant to note Dickens was the catalyst for England and the world to establish and to safeguard copyright laws. Authors, songwriters and artists are grateful.

R.S.V.P. to your invitation to celebrate 200 years with Charles Dickens this February. Don't wait till Christmas to read or see The Christmas Carol. Pick up a copy of The Adventures of Oliver Twist, The Tale of Two Cities or Great Expectations and reacquaint yourself with this master storyteller. (Google Charles Dickens/ Wikipedia/ list of Notable Works).

Remember, if you are invited to one of Dickens' birthday parties in England, California, Texas or New York, enjoy the cake and beware the candles.

Which Charles Dickens writing is your favorite? Tell me. I want to know.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Even with a watch on my wrist, I'm never exactly sure what time it is. Clocks in my house (and in my town) rarely agree. Although I depend on a lighted clock-radio throughout the night, it never reveals the same time showing on the cable box nor on the large battery-powered clock on the opposite wall. Just yesterday that large wall clock showed ten minutes before twelve as the room began to brighten with first light of dawn and it was, in fact, nearer seven a.m. than midnight or noon. The AA battery was exerting all its noisy power to push the minute hand up - without success.

Moving into the kitchen to brew a pot of breakfast coffee, a glance at the faithful battery-run kitchen clock showed me the correct time. The clock on the fireplace mantle is too small for my old eyes to read though the time (I am sure) is correct. My great-grandmother's 1857 chiming clock hasn't been wound in a decade - so it consistently reads 2:02 while a hugely oversized silver pocket watch, resting decorously on a bookshelf, its hands at 2:54, has refused to budge a minute in the past three months. There is also an indoor-outdoor thermometer with a solar clock, guaranteed correct by international standards, but which prefers Pacific Standard Time thus reading two hours behind Pigeon Creek's real time. Now is the time for coffee - nonetheless.
In childhood, time moves slowly. 'Just a minute' is too long to wait, 'later' may never arrive and 'tomorrow' is a fantasy - too nebulous to understand or touch. Somewhere during adolescence, time begins to make some sense. It becomes a reliable measurement of place, energy, event and accomplishment. Adult lives depend on calendars, clocks and timetables, usually with positive results. In retirement, it is sad to say, people become sluggish while time speeds up. Once again, 'just a minute' may be too long to wait, 'later' often arrives while snoozing and 'tomorrow' totally depends on whether the retiree wakes up the next morning, finds energy, has a desire to accomplish something (anything) or has the ability to evaluate whether the reward is worth the effort. Aaaah, time!

Lost time is never found again - Benjamin Franklin
I must govern the clock, not be governed by it - Golda Meir
Time is a commodity that ticks along whether the batteries are working or not - Nancy yTe
(________Your thoughts on time go here_____________________)

Tell me what you think. I'd like to know.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Jack & Jill, Lewis & Clark, Romeo & Juliet, or Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers flash to mind as people who go together quite naturally. Each pair reminds me of a husband and wife at some time in their life. And, like the song People who need People says, humans who want and need other people are the luckiest people in the world.

Valentine's Day is the ideal holiday to express that appreciation for another person. As children, we delivered a stack of valentines to classmates, then we became more selective in our friendships and to whom we gave our heart - paper or real - siblings, dear friends or lover.

Simple lives become complicated with knowledge, career, responsibility and life. Relationships, whether spouse, family, neighbors and friends, become gems of lasting value. We have but a few occasions designed to honor special relationships each year; birthdays or anniversaries serve us well but Valentine's Day is like winning first prize or enjoying ice cream with your cake.

My stack of Valentines is ready for delivery to children, siblings, grand children and friends. These are, after all, the people I dearly love and who complete my 'togetherness' with life. They are the reliable constants, the peanut butter & jelly, pen and paper or Laurel & Hardy (that was my husband and me in comic togetherness) who do love me in return.

Because you are my friend, I wrote "Be Mine" on a BIG RED HEART and emailed it you. In the event my valentine didn't make it to your inbox - I offer this Haiku:

Softer than sound
The butterfly sings her song
Of Valentine kisses.
Nancy yTe \

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Red hearts and roses, messages on sugar candies and sweet kisses. Valentine's Day is all about loving thoughts and affection. Whether sweetheart or lover, parent, child, classmate or friend, get out some red construction paper, white paper doilies and carefully craft your words because it is time to say "I love you." ...

Heartfelt love has been around since the beginning of time. Valentine's Day began in the third century A.D. One story tells us the heart became a symbol of this celebrated day when a martyr named Valentine, rejected by his mistress, was so broken-hearted he "took a knife to his chest and sent her his still-beating heart as a token of his undying love." I don't know the truth of this tale and definitely do not recommend copying this martyr's act. Nonetheless, hearts, red hearts in particular, are a symbol of affection and of Valentin's Day.

This day was definitely associated with romantic love in the Middle Ages when the tradition of courtly love flourished - according to Geoffrey Chaucer. By the mid 1800s Valentine cards were hand made - the sentiments hand written and poetic: "Weddings now are all the go. Will you marry me - or no" or "My dearest miss, I send thee a kiss."

Valentine's Day continues to be celebrated around the world. In the U.S., stores are stocked with cards, red roses, fuzzy teddy bears, pink frosted cupcakes and heart shaped boxes of chocolates. Young and old love being the Valentine expeditor as well as recipient. A tradition in Denmark and Norway is celebrated as a special Valentine's Day dinner with a loved one. In Saudi Arabia, in 2008, there was a religious ban on the sale of Valentine's Day items as the day was considered un-Islamic. Red items were removed from shops but love being what it is, the ban created a black market of roses and wrapping paper ....

My heart is overflowing with warm affection for my friends, neighbors, acquaintances and fellow bloggers. I wish each of you a fist full of Valentines this February 14th and send this special wish to you:

Be Mine - X O X O X

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


The year 2012 arrived precisely on schedule. The crowd, numbering a million or more, shouted out "three - two - one" as the sparkly ball dropped at Time Square in New York City - and the new year began. It dawned bright and beautiful with hope, love, peace and harmony.

One more time, a door of opportunity has opened - just for you. So, what will you do with it? What are your plans? What is your New Year's resolution?

Whether you plan to lose weight, quit smoking, or become wealthy, you will need a plan. Your resolution, based on the sincere review of your experience and expectation, can move forward from a firm base. Added bonuses may include health, wealth and happiness. Reports are that people who have resolved and have successfully quit smoking found increased energy, clearer thinking, more positive attitudes and enhanced self respect, esteem and ambition as a result - not to mention financial savings from smoking products (and cleaning costs to remove the stink of pollution).

Jim Rohn, author of The Miracle of Personal Development, wrote "What you become is far more important than what you get."

2012, I resolve to set moderate goals; to be informed and harmonious with life and to take more photographs. I plan to work more diligently on attitude, to observe and appreciate the beauty all around me. Like Aesop's turtle, I plan to set a steady pace and win my race.