Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014 - New Year's Eve

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

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

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

Keep it simple.
Make it personal.
Be realistic.

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

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

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

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

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

Nancy yTe \

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nancy yTe \

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


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

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

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

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

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

Nancy yTe \

Thursday, April 25, 2013


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

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

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

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

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

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

Nancy yTe \

Friday, April 5, 2013


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

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

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

Nancy yTe \

Thursday, March 28, 2013


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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Just in case you didn't know, lists are the secret ingredient for a happy, healthy and successful life.  Sort of...

I like lists.  I write and use lists on a daily basis.  While they take time, they also save time.  Everybody needs lists.  Who doesn't rely on a 'to do' list?  They make me think - and save energy.  OK, you may keep lists in your head but I have to write mine down or end up wasting time, patience and money.  I feel both happy and successful as I click off each accomplishment.  Experience has shown me that life, organized with lists, pays bonus minutes for pleasure and relaxation.  (At this time in my life, I need every minute I can get.)

My bonus minutes are spent on music, friends, words and ideas.  All that good stuff showed up this week in a skinny printing of Chicken Soup for... which includes lists entitled 'Dare To...' and 'It's Never too Late to...,' contributed by Meiji Stewart.  Wow - lists with a potential to stimulate happier, healthier, more successful stuff in my already beautiful life.

Dare to... Ask for what you want.  Holy smackaroos!  I had to take a moment to think of what I want.  What do I want?  Do I want something enough that I would ask for it?  My enlightenment: Of course, this would be the first item on the list.  Of course, I do ask for what I want on a daily basis - as I start every day asking God, my higher power, to protect me and guide me through the day.  With that request in good hands, there is little else I might want.

Dare to... Believe in yourself; Follow your heart's desire; Join in more; Make new friends and Be zany.  With these five dares bundled into one, I feel confident to join with a friend to attend art classes.  Since both she and I come from families with artists, this new adventure shouldn't be too far off the mark.  I've wanted to try out my artistic genes for years - after all, I won a "Best in Show" for my artwork in 7th grade - seventy years ago.  Certainly I plan to join in whole heartedly to make new friends in the art classes.  I believe 'in' is 'in' and I couldn't keep myself from being zany - even if I tried.

That's as far as I've gotten on today's 'to do' list ;- but there is a whole lot more to Stewart's lists.  I'm sure more of it will show up on the NancyPtahDaa blog site at a later date.  Dare to... Hope.

Do you make lists?  Do you dare to Believe, Follow, Join, Be....  Tell me.  I'd like to know.

Nancy yTe \

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Okay.  It's official.  I may be 'a hoarder.'  I suspected as much when I was overwhelmed with cleaning out a closet filled with research notes, files and stories of family history, genealogy and biographies.  The closet  contains a paper trail accumulation of forty years.

Family genealogy requires thousands of hours of reading, research and writing - just ask any genealogist or biographer.  Additionally, I spent weeks and months mindlessly transcribing data from the 5" floppy disks of the 1970s to 3.5" floppies - which are now outdated as well.  Fortunately, I retained binders of hard copies.  Transferring all 250 of my (now obsolete) 3.5" floppies to 'flash drive' will be time consuming, frustrating and overwhelming.  So, I give up.  It's either update or clean out my genealogy closet.

I'm not a hoarder in all aspects of life or home, thankfully.  I can clean out a dresser or a clothes closet in one day.  True, with piles of 'keep' 'toss' and 'donate,' I have been known to take back a jacket or scarf from the 'donate' pile.  I say with confidence, however, those things earmarked for 'trash' are trashed.  So, a day in the clothes closet is a simple task while a year in my genealogy 'stacks' hasn't yielded an extra inch of space.

I now have some degree of sympathy for hoarders depicted on that popular television show.  I hear myself using their same excuses and explanations: All these files are important and usable; I will need each of them - eventually; I didn't realize they were getting out of control; I am overwhelmed with trying to organize and downsize; and especially, I don't want help with my files because I need to review every scrap of paper and make painful decisions about 'keep' 'toss' 'or 'donate.'  I don't plan to write any more biographies but that may change if I can get organized because there are at least three more fantastic people with great life stories - worth writing.

When all is said and done, my mess still fits back in the closet.  It doesn't necessarily overflow into other rooms or impact other functions of my house.  Maybe, if I hide it and don't acknowledge it, as the hoarders on television do, I'll move to the next level of hoarding or, perhaps, I was never 'a hoarder' - just a writer with too much bibliography research. 

Do you stockpile stuff?  Tell me about it.  I'd like to know.

Nancy yTe \


Monday, March 11, 2013


Habits are a blessing - and a burden.  It is Spring.  Ready or not, it is time for spring cleaning.  I am looking forward to enjoying the result of rooms freshly cleaned from ceiling to baseboard.  A bedroom is always a good place to begin 'airing out.'  The vision of bedding hung on a clothesline is the perfect picture of nostalgia in springtime.  What fun to empty closets and dressers, to sort and reorganize to perfection.  I can hardly wait to see the showplace I plan to create.

All this cleaning, dusting, scrubbing and redecorating requires planning, ambition, energy and dedication.  There is no doubt I enjoy the planning part.  I just cannot help myself.  I can picture coordinated boxes, compartments and containers for shoes, clothes, scarves and jewelry.  I have a mental image of the colorful new pictures I'll hang on the walls and chachka strategically placed on dressers and night stands.  Yes, planning is definitely my favorite part of spring cleaning.

It is going to take some ambition to transform the winter bedroom into a vision of spring.  I have accomplished this miracle many times in my past life.  I remember closets emptied into boxes and piled about the room as I hauled a six foot stepladder and dragged the stiffened drop clothes in readiness to paint closet walls.  It takes at least two days before paint dries in closets and it is safe to refill with newly sorted clothes. Of course the smell of paint lingers for days - and even weeks in the clothes that were hung there.  Meanwhile, it is time to clean out dresser drawers - though the weather is now sweet and inviting - like butterfly kisses on winter-pale faces.  The patio beckons with its cushioned furniture and shade umbrella; plants are beginning to bloom and birds call "good morning" as they flit to and from the feeders.

The closet is completed and I am without energy to move to the next room.  I've used up all my 'dedication' on one closet, so it's time to enjoy the season.  I'll just grab my camera and a cup of coffee before I join the other colorful birds on the patio.  Perhaps next year, when the spring cleaning hub bites me, I'll remember to begin in a smaller closet.

Are you bitten by the spring cleaning bug?  Tell me about it.  I'd like to know.

Nancy yTe \

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


I have come to believe in the three-legged stool metaphor.  Certainly I have used it to teach models of success in business, and as a design for personal achievement in Life Skill lectures.  This old milking stool concept has been around for many years.  It reappears in every topic, whether political, personal, religious, scientific of philosophical.
   Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
   Physical, mental, spiritual. 
   Faith, hope, charity.
   Morning, noon, night.
   Red, white and blue.
   Me, myself and I.

Our United States was based on this philosophy.  The three branches of government were designed for balance of power to ensure that no one person or branch could have too much power.
   Legislative branch,
   Judicial branch,
   Executive branch.

Social Security was described and depicted to the American public as a three-legged stool.  Designed as a working citizen's insurance, Social Security is one leg to maintaining minimum life necessities following retirement.  Private and business pensions make up the second leg while personal savings and investments is the third.

Did you know this same metaphor was employed by football coaches who told their teams games are played and won with knowledge, mechanics and sportsmanship; insisting if one leg is weak, the stool will topple?

McDonald's milking stool consists of the business, the franchisees and the suppliers, according to the late Ray Kroc who brought the golden arches to fame and fortune.

President Reagan's three-legged stool consisted of free enterprise, strong defense and pro-family social policies.  Currently, some people believe his three-legged stool is being replaced by a Pogo stick as the single area of interest is the springboard for political advancement. 

Nonetheless, with so many successes, I maintain this metaphor, when designed and used for good, is a model for balance and stability, so
  Identify goal, map route succeed, take action to achieve your goal. 
   Work, enjoy life, share your success with others.
   See the beauty around you, laugh often, dance-dance-dance.

Tell me your experience with the 3-legged stool metaphor.  I'd like to know.

Nancy yTe \

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Except for Valentine's Day, I've always thought of February as cold, uneventful and boring.  That was, until this year.  What happened?  When did February, with its snow drifts and overcoats don a party hat and dancing shoes to make merry all month long?

This February started right out with a tongue-twister event as Punxsutawney Phil made a grand appearance on Groundhog Day.  People showed up at this little town in Pennsylvania on a freezing cold morning as a troupe of men in tuxedos and silk top hats pulled Phil, an otherwise non-descript groundhog, out of its hibernation tree to see if the critter could cast its own shadow.  Can you believe real people put faith in the weather prediction of this rodent?  Though skeptical, I, too, want to believe Phil's prediction of "an early spring."  Dare I note Pennsylvania, along with half dozen other east coast states, got blasted by a blizzard before the month was out?

And  then there was the Super Bowl - that annual event football fans look forward to all year long.  I'm not sure whether the attraction is the game, the food or the half-time show but all were highly touted events this year in New Orleans; especially with brothers being rival head coaches of the competing teams.  Isn't that taking sibling rivalry to the extreme?

The stadium emptied just in time for New Orleans' famous Mardi Gras to begin.  Streets were noisy with colorful parades.  Jazz and blues filled the air.  Every instrument in the city joined in the celebration before Lent begins.  The event, all gold and purple, green and sparkles is a feast for the eyes as well as the ears.  Party masks and tons of strings of beads are worn by revelers as they shout and dance in the excitement of a traditional New Orleans' Mardi Gras.

Chinese New Year got its share of revelry as well.  Here comes another colorful February event.  This one is celebrated all over the world with red lanterns, brightly colored clothes, gifts, dancing in the streets and fireworks.  2013 is the year of the snake.  I will celebrate quietly with American Chop Suey and a fortune cookie (also of American origin) even though I am a Monkey, according to the Chinese calendar, and must wait till 2016 for my special year.  

February also went to the dogs on the 12th and 13th with the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.  Some feisty little black dog (I don't recall the breed) named Banana Joe won the Best of Show.  My favorite dog didn't make it to the finals but I thought Banana Joe was a personable and eye-appealing winner. 

The Constitution of the United States is celebrated on the 12th then Ash Wednesday as Lent begins.  George and Abraham's birthdays are celebrated separately and jointly as Presidents Day. There are two Flag Days, the 18th and the 24th, so Valentine's Day is almost lost among February's most important celebrations and birthdays - like Helen's Ruth G's and mine on the 23rd.

February wasn't a very cold month this year (and I am glad) but it has been a very busy month.  I found time to host and play MahJongg, have friends in to visit and, hopefully, I'll get my driver's license renewed.  As always, Valentine's Day is my favorite, so I'll ask you one more time:  Will you be my Valentine?   X O X O X

How did you celebrate February?  Tell me.  I'd like to know.

Nancy yTe \

Monday, February 4, 2013


We take the most important room in our homes, the bathroom, for granted.  Every family member, without a second thought, uses it on a daily basis.  Yet, only 100 years ago most houses were not equipped with flushing toilets, hot and cold running water, a shower, bath or tub.  So, people did what comes naturally in the outhouse, the woods or some secluded spot.

Civilizations developed ways to deal with human excrement.  I read that even in 3000 B.C. there were some indoor toilets with rainwater pipes to underground drains and cesspools.  Ancient Romans had elaborate water systems, including sewage drainage systems,  They had public toilets with rows of seats cut into marble ledges where water below carried away their refuse.  These public baths and public toilets were social and business meeting places where people paid to use the facility.  Yes, they did.  Humans, it seems, were not sufficiently impressed with sanitation to find human waste a problem. 

Improvement began in the 16th century.  People did not shower or bathe with any regularity but did learn to use chamber pots; some being emptied out a window or on the street.  As more people lived in towns and communities, rules and laws for health and sanitation were established.  In England, for instance, people relied on outdoor pits, dug at a distance of an arrow's shot from a residence.  It took many years for some areas of Europe and America to modernize.

My parents' newly built four room farmhouse was at the top of a knoll in Arkansas.  It had no accommodation for a bathroom, no electricity or running water.  It was the summer of 1949 and we began to 'modernize' the farm with electrical wiring, well pump with lines to bathroom, kitchen and a septic system.  As workers, we found relief only in ritual visits to the outhouse.  You see, my mother had never lived without electricity, running water or a fully-functioning bathroom and she wasn't about to start here.  Neighbors stopped by to see what we were doing.  They said, "You'll never get water pumping to the top of that knoll."  But the delivery truck arrived with toilet, sink and bathtub - in pink porcelain.  In about 1960 my sister and I visited our mother at the farm - and took pleasure in dismantling the old oak outhouse.

I take the two bathrooms in my house and the innumerable public rest rooms elsewhere for granted.  I expect cleanliness, flushing toilets, running water and quality toilet paper, too.  I haven't seen a 'real' Arkansas outhouse in thirty years and I don't own a chamber pot - never did.  So much for potty training. 

Do you remember outhouses and chamber pots?  Tell me.  I'd like to know.

Nancy yTe \

Monday, January 28, 2013


I live in a backward world that turned up-side-down as well.  I'd like to blame old age, but I think today's dilemma was real at every age.  To begin my day, in the darkness of night, I squinted my eyes to make out the digital numbers on my alarm clock.  Either I wasn't getting them in focus, which happens with glaucoma and AMD, or my clock had gone goofy.  Had I just fallen asleep or was I five hours late waking up?  I had purposely been waking in the middle of the night to watch Australian Open tennis matches this week but winners were declared and trophies awarded.  I had no need to watch.  Perhaps I'm the one who had gone goofy instead of the clock.

I got up, turned on the light and put on my glasses.  It didn't help.  The clock showed the time as EE:S.  That's not funny.  The law of rational life indicates there is a reason for everything.  With that in mind, I discovered Daphne, my fat, old orange-striped cat, had knocked the clock over so that 5:33 appeared to be EE:S - am or pm?

Upside down wasn't enough.  I headed right into backward.  Unusual Ozark temperatures have confused us this January.  High temps filled some days then dipping very low some nights.  While the 'official' reading for today is 66' my porch thermometer read 74' so I made my way to the white wicker chairs with flowered red cushions on my veranda and occupied one long enough to complete today's crossword puzzle.  It was delicious fun.  It is January and snow should be on the ground, a nip in the air and icicles dangling from gutters but I sat warm and comfy with pen and puzzle in hand.

Mild winters are nice.  Green spikes are poking up out of the ground.  Crocus and jonquil won't be far behind.  Plants stored in basements, garages and greenhouses are awakening early.  My neighbor's shamrock plant is bursting with Irish green and dainty blossoms.  My hibiscus and snaky purple plant beg for water as their branches and tendrils try to grab my arm when I walk by them.  I tell them it is too early to go out and bask in the sun tho I do feel sorry for their garage confinement.  I also feel guilty because I enjoyed absorbing today's sun without them.  Maybe I'll provide them with a plastic greenhouse for next year - maybe.

So the season is backward and my clock was upside-down.  I don't know why I'm surprised.  That's how most of my retirement life has been.  Without calendar, clock and TV, I'd never know the day, date, season or time - and, for the most part, don't really care.  I promise, however,  to be grateful next time I make out the correct time on my digital clock, through squinting eyes, especially if 5:33 a.m. is right-side up.

Have you ever had an up-side down day?  Tell me about it.  I'd like to know.
Nancy yTe \         

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


If you've made it through the first half of January,  it's time to have a party.  Gather up some friends or neighbors or colleagues and get social.  Maybe you want to start with one friend, neighbor or colleague, or just a few people rather than the entire neighborhood, but have a party.  It makes no difference if you play cards, watch a football game or just chat. I read somewhere that having a party not only makes you feel physically energized but mentally alert as well.  Who knew?

A New Year typically begins with resolutions, good intentions and positive thinking.  Mine did.  My resolution was so simple: Put a positive spin on anything I ponder and say.  Like my 101 other philosophies of life, this one should be a snap.  However, like other philosophies, it requires real interaction with other real people before its real value sparkles.  I like sparkle.

So, throw a party.  Women invite friends in to try out a new recipe.  Men invite friends to tinker in the workshop or to go fishing.  I enjoy inviting people over to celebrate a holiday, try out new ideas or play MahJongg.  Whatever your reason, invite people to join you.  Make it a party.   You may be surprised to learn that you will not only feel happy but be healthier when you do.  I read an article (AARP/2013) indicating people who institute simple, yet healthy resolutions have experienced major health improvements.  I'll vote for that.

Yes, Keep it simple: Get up, get dressed, get out; Join a group; Do one thing at a time; Smile with your eyes; Adopt a pet; Be a volunteer; Talk on the phone; Listen to your favorite music; Learn something new; Do the thing and you will have the power; Enjoy whatever you are doing right now; Laugh; Dance and Have a party.

Nancy yTe \]

Thursday, January 3, 2013


It's a new year.  Now is your opportunity to resolve to have a happy, hearlthy, successful year.  The key is good planning.  What better time to begin than today?

You took a giant step toward change if you wrote a personal summary of last year - recognizing strengths and weaknesses.  You discovered successes you want to repeat and discomforts you want to eliminate.  Perhaps you identified something you particularly want to do, learn, accomplish or become.

Here is the key to succeed in your new year's resolution:  You need a goal, a plan, a timetable and, most of all, expectation of success.  Here's how I see it:

Life consists of a few general categories: Health, Ambition, Self Esteem; Relationships and Finances (in no particular order).  Each requires your attention to keep balance in everyday living.  To succeed, you need to identify your goal specifically, realistically, in time increments, measurable and attainable.  Example: Lose 10 pounds during 2013 at a rate of 1 pound per  month.  Action for January: eliminate ice cream (or chocolate or soda pop or white bread); locate alternate food plans, exercise or event to implement subsequent months; and keep a daily weight/food/activity chart.  Reward your January success: one dark chocolate Eskimo bar (savor it).

For best results, keep a chart with your successes of weight, food intake and activity (scale 1-10 daily) throughout the year. People who see their improvement on a chart feel more successful. They also see the benefit of daily graphs for each general category listed above.  Individuals are surprised how improvement in one life area has a positive effect in other areas of their life.

While keeping your goal and timetable firmly in place, you may want/need to adjust your success plan. After all, you cannot drive from the east coast to the west coast without making adjustments for flat tire, snow storm, detour, etc., along the way.  The destination remains the same.  Run into a glitch? Don't beat yourself up. Rather, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again... That's from a song - isn't it?

Begin your plan for success today.

Nancy yTe \


I hope you were able to take an inventory, so to speak, of your year 2012.  It may seem an unnerving task - rather like going to the dentist. However, life is more often filled with good acts given and received.  We can rediscover ourselves as we tally up the past year.  You probably won some challenges and saw others as less rewarding.  Both were opportunities to learning and succeed.

So, start tallying.  You've accomplished more than you might expect.  If you weren't shredded by a tornado or flooded by hurricane Sandy and survived the most recent 'End of the World' scare, you can top your list with these three blessings.  Certainly giving your old neighbor a ride, volunteering for a charitable organization, and donating time, energy, money or expertise counts. 

Be sure to give yourself credit for your Random Acts of Kindness. They are my favorite.  They kinda take the bitter edge off having done something stupid.  I seem to do a lot of stupid acts, like throwing the wrong bag of stuff in the garbage or dropping a check in the mailbox - sans an envelope, but paying the fast food lunch tab of the guy behind me at the drive-thru made me feel good.  

Inventories are only valuable when put to good use.  You add up all the things you have enjoyed, survived, conquered, appreciated and learned in 2012 so you see clearly what to improve, to eliminate or to accomplish.  Now is the time to invest in your self with your 2013 New Year's Resolutions.

Nancy yTe \