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