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 \