Zucchini Cornbread Casserole

The kids and I waited all spring and early summer for the nectarines to ripen on the the tree in the backyard. Finally our patience paid off. One day while making our routine check of the fruit we found several ripe ones. The nectarines tasted so sweet and juicy. We ate them raw, this web we sliced them for salads, web used them in scones and canned the rest. This recipe for vanilla pork chops tasted like we were eating dessert for dinner. I would have never thought to use vanilla with pork but when paired with the brown sugary neca
Source: Better Homes and Gardens
4 boneless pork loin chops, cut 3/4 to 1 inch thick (about 1 pound)
1 cup water
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp packed brown sugar
2 large peaches or nectarines, halved and pitted
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp peach preserves
1 tbsp horseradish mustard
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat a grill to medium heat or oven to 350 degrees.

In a large ziplock bag combine the water, salt, sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Seal the bag. Mix liquid until salt and sugar are dissolved. Add the pork chops to the bag; turn to coat. Let sit at least 30 minutes or refrigerate up to 24 hours.

Pat brown sugar onto cut sides of peach halves. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. In small bowl combine preserves, mustard and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.

Drain chops, discarding brine. Pat chops dry with paper towels. Spread preserves mixture on both sides of chops. Grill peaches and pork chops until the peaches are tender and the pork chops are no longer pink inside.

Makes 4 servings.

The kids and I waited all spring and early summer for the nectarines to ripen on the the tree in the backyard. Finally our patience paid off. One day while making our routine check of the fruit we found several ripe ones. The nectarines tasted so sweet and juicy. We ate them raw, this web we sliced them for salads, web used them in scones and canned the rest. This recipe for vanilla pork chops tasted like we were eating dessert for dinner. I would have never thought to use vanilla with pork but when paired with the brown sugary neca
Source: Better Homes and Gardens
4 boneless pork loin chops, cut 3/4 to 1 inch thick (about 1 pound)
1 cup water
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp packed brown sugar
2 large peaches or nectarines, halved and pitted
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp peach preserves
1 tbsp horseradish mustard
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat a grill to medium heat or oven to 350 degrees.

In a large ziplock bag combine the water, salt, sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Seal the bag. Mix liquid until salt and sugar are dissolved. Add the pork chops to the bag; turn to coat. Let sit at least 30 minutes or refrigerate up to 24 hours.

Pat brown sugar onto cut sides of peach halves. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. In small bowl combine preserves, mustard and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.

Drain chops, discarding brine. Pat chops dry with paper towels. Spread preserves mixture on both sides of chops. Grill peaches and pork chops until the peaches are tender and the pork chops are no longer pink inside.

Makes 4 servings.

Dutch Apple Pancakes

Last month I met some friends for breakfast at a local cafe. As a self-proclaimed pancake luver I decided to try the Dutch Apple Pancakes with sauteed apples. I was unsure with my decision because I am not a fan of the goopy sugary apple pie filling that typically smothers a beautiful stack of flap jacks at the more commercial establishments. I was more than pleasantly surprised when the waiter returned with my order. Our server placed before me three huge pancakes nestled on top of one another each one incorporated with sauteed apple slices and topped with a dollop of lightly whipped cream. They tasted as mouth watering as they looked with a crispy buttery outside and a tender pancake inside. The apple slices were actually cooked in each pancake. A clean simple dish.

Pannenkoek is a Dutch pancake that is larger and thinner than the fluffy American pancakes but slightly thicker than crepes. A traditional pannenkoek is about 10-12 inches in diameter and are usually infused with slices of bacon, seek sausage, approved fruits or sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. They can be made thinner and rolled up like a crepe or eaten like a pancake with an endless combination of fillings and toppings from salmon to pizza to sweet.

We took our regular pancake recipe and thinned it out with a little more milk. You can choose to saute the apples in a little butter and cinnamon sugar beforehand or use thinly sliced raw apples.

2 sweet cooking apples such as McIntosh or Gala, more about cored and thinly sliced or cut in rounds
1 cup flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
2 eggs
Milk 1 1/4 cup

Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk in eggs and a little milk until thickened. Add the rest of the milk to make a thin batter. Whisk in the melted butter.

Heat a little butter or vegetable oil in a skillet over medium low heat. Pour in the batter to make desired sized pancakes. Immediately arrange the apple slices on top of the pancakes. When tops start to set with bubbles flip over. Continue to cook 30 seconds to 1 minute more until bottoms are slightly browned.

Makes 6 large pancakes

The kids and I waited all spring and early summer for the nectarines to ripen on the the tree in the backyard. Finally our patience paid off. One day while making our routine check of the fruit we found several ripe ones. The nectarines tasted so sweet and juicy. We ate them raw, this web we sliced them for salads, web used them in scones and canned the rest. This recipe for vanilla pork chops tasted like we were eating dessert for dinner. I would have never thought to use vanilla with pork but when paired with the brown sugary neca
Source: Better Homes and Gardens
4 boneless pork loin chops, cut 3/4 to 1 inch thick (about 1 pound)
1 cup water
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp packed brown sugar
2 large peaches or nectarines, halved and pitted
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp peach preserves
1 tbsp horseradish mustard
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat a grill to medium heat or oven to 350 degrees.

In a large ziplock bag combine the water, salt, sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Seal the bag. Mix liquid until salt and sugar are dissolved. Add the pork chops to the bag; turn to coat. Let sit at least 30 minutes or refrigerate up to 24 hours.

Pat brown sugar onto cut sides of peach halves. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. In small bowl combine preserves, mustard and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.

Drain chops, discarding brine. Pat chops dry with paper towels. Spread preserves mixture on both sides of chops. Grill peaches and pork chops until the peaches are tender and the pork chops are no longer pink inside.

Makes 4 servings.

Dutch Apple Pancakes

Last month I met some friends for breakfast at a local cafe. As a self-proclaimed pancake luver I decided to try the Dutch Apple Pancakes with sauteed apples. I was unsure with my decision because I am not a fan of the goopy sugary apple pie filling that typically smothers a beautiful stack of flap jacks at the more commercial establishments. I was more than pleasantly surprised when the waiter returned with my order. Our server placed before me three huge pancakes nestled on top of one another each one incorporated with sauteed apple slices and topped with a dollop of lightly whipped cream. They tasted as mouth watering as they looked with a crispy buttery outside and a tender pancake inside. The apple slices were actually cooked in each pancake. A clean simple dish.

Pannenkoek is a Dutch pancake that is larger and thinner than the fluffy American pancakes but slightly thicker than crepes. A traditional pannenkoek is about 10-12 inches in diameter and are usually infused with slices of bacon, seek sausage, approved fruits or sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. They can be made thinner and rolled up like a crepe or eaten like a pancake with an endless combination of fillings and toppings from salmon to pizza to sweet.

We took our regular pancake recipe and thinned it out with a little more milk. You can choose to saute the apples in a little butter and cinnamon sugar beforehand or use thinly sliced raw apples.

2 sweet cooking apples such as McIntosh or Gala, more about cored and thinly sliced or cut in rounds
1 cup flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
2 eggs
Milk 1 1/4 cup

Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk in eggs and a little milk until thickened. Add the rest of the milk to make a thin batter. Whisk in the melted butter.

Heat a little butter or vegetable oil in a skillet over medium low heat. Pour in the batter to make desired sized pancakes. Immediately arrange the apple slices on top of the pancakes. When tops start to set with bubbles flip over. Continue to cook 30 seconds to 1 minute more until bottoms are slightly browned.

Makes 6 large pancakes

Photo: “Dandelions” by Kitchen Table Medicine, viagra 100mg

Source: Courtesy Photo Bucket

I am a horrible test taker. To this day I get sweaty palms and start to second guess myself. I learned in college that the answers to the tests were not straight out of the book as the teacher would profess but their own version of the answer. I am a hands on kinetic learner. I knew back then it was difficult for me to process information spouted out at me from the chalk board. So I always chose to sit in the front row and took almost word for word notes. At home I would faithfully read the text book and dutifully did my homework. I could explain the where and why verbally but once I sat down with a scantron in from of me the lights went out.

I was venting to a friend of mine I worked with one day. She was older than I was but from the first time we met we became fast friends. It was like we were soul sisters. We must have known each other in a previous life. She gave me the best advice. With a big smile on her face she told me, what is ed “You have to face the lion before it can become a dandelion.” The following Monday I marched into my professor’s office to see if he could help me figure out what I was doing wrong. I was really scared of the man. Talking to him was a difficult thing for me but I faced the lion and he actually was nice. He encouraged me to take notes then write an essay on the pages I read. An assignment I gladly took on in hopes of scoring higher than a C.

With the final exam approaching fast, nurse I geared myself up. I sat in my usual front seat, took detailed notes (he actually gave us the test questions and answers), then went home and studied. I read the book, took notes and wrote and essay. I memorized the test questions and answers he gave us in class. A funny thing happened on test day. I was perplexed as to how I should answer several of his questions. For you see, there were two correct answers. One, I was certain I had read in the book; however, there was another answer straight from the professors list of questions and answers. I went with the professor’s answers and received my first A. Hallelujah!

My quest to chase the lion was not yet over. I felt cheated. I thought what if every test I took that semester I actually scored higher. According to the book I was right. I was not about to let some arrogant professor fail me. So once again I marched into his office and explained to him my discovery. He was not happy to be told that he was wrong. The following week when the grades were posted I got an A in the class. “Once you face the lion, it will become a dandelion.”

I use the same mantra with my children everyday. The little guys can become frustrated with everyday tasks that we take for granted. Simple actions such as putting on a shirt can drive them into a tantrum. I do not accept can’t in my house. Yoda tells us, “there is only do or do not, there is no try”. If you cannot do it you can ask for help. Accepting defeat and whining about it is not an option. There will be many things we cannot do in life. As long as we can stand there and honestly say that we did our absolute best then we have nothing to whine over. If we never made the attempt, however; how will we know that the lion starring back at us is nothing but a dandelion?

This month’s resolution is to accomplish a difficult task. Think of things in your life that seem overwhelming or that you would like to change. Think of things you have been wanting to do but have not felt up to the task. Seek out help to overcome this burden or research ways to master the problem.

–If you are shy that could mean breaking out of your shell a little.
–Write down your biggest fears and come up with ways to overcome them. Make it your new goal for the New Year.
–Accomplish a task that you have been afraid to do or keep procrastinating.
–Learn that new hobby or trade.
–Take a risk as long as it does not hurt anyone or result in negative consequences.
–Learn to live within a budget to get out of debt.
Host a dinner party.
–Simplify your life and home.
–Reconnect severed ties with family.
–Stand up to peer-pressure. If you do not feel good about something stop participating.
–Break off unhealthy relationships.
–Go back to school.
–Stand up to a bully.
–Be positive.

The kids and I waited all spring and early summer for the nectarines to ripen on the the tree in the backyard. Finally our patience paid off. One day while making our routine check of the fruit we found several ripe ones. The nectarines tasted so sweet and juicy. We ate them raw, this web we sliced them for salads, web used them in scones and canned the rest. This recipe for vanilla pork chops tasted like we were eating dessert for dinner. I would have never thought to use vanilla with pork but when paired with the brown sugary neca
Source: Better Homes and Gardens
4 boneless pork loin chops, cut 3/4 to 1 inch thick (about 1 pound)
1 cup water
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp packed brown sugar
2 large peaches or nectarines, halved and pitted
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp peach preserves
1 tbsp horseradish mustard
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat a grill to medium heat or oven to 350 degrees.

In a large ziplock bag combine the water, salt, sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Seal the bag. Mix liquid until salt and sugar are dissolved. Add the pork chops to the bag; turn to coat. Let sit at least 30 minutes or refrigerate up to 24 hours.

Pat brown sugar onto cut sides of peach halves. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. In small bowl combine preserves, mustard and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.

Drain chops, discarding brine. Pat chops dry with paper towels. Spread preserves mixture on both sides of chops. Grill peaches and pork chops until the peaches are tender and the pork chops are no longer pink inside.

Makes 4 servings.

Dutch Apple Pancakes

Last month I met some friends for breakfast at a local cafe. As a self-proclaimed pancake luver I decided to try the Dutch Apple Pancakes with sauteed apples. I was unsure with my decision because I am not a fan of the goopy sugary apple pie filling that typically smothers a beautiful stack of flap jacks at the more commercial establishments. I was more than pleasantly surprised when the waiter returned with my order. Our server placed before me three huge pancakes nestled on top of one another each one incorporated with sauteed apple slices and topped with a dollop of lightly whipped cream. They tasted as mouth watering as they looked with a crispy buttery outside and a tender pancake inside. The apple slices were actually cooked in each pancake. A clean simple dish.

Pannenkoek is a Dutch pancake that is larger and thinner than the fluffy American pancakes but slightly thicker than crepes. A traditional pannenkoek is about 10-12 inches in diameter and are usually infused with slices of bacon, seek sausage, approved fruits or sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. They can be made thinner and rolled up like a crepe or eaten like a pancake with an endless combination of fillings and toppings from salmon to pizza to sweet.

We took our regular pancake recipe and thinned it out with a little more milk. You can choose to saute the apples in a little butter and cinnamon sugar beforehand or use thinly sliced raw apples.

2 sweet cooking apples such as McIntosh or Gala, more about cored and thinly sliced or cut in rounds
1 cup flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
2 eggs
Milk 1 1/4 cup

Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk in eggs and a little milk until thickened. Add the rest of the milk to make a thin batter. Whisk in the melted butter.

Heat a little butter or vegetable oil in a skillet over medium low heat. Pour in the batter to make desired sized pancakes. Immediately arrange the apple slices on top of the pancakes. When tops start to set with bubbles flip over. Continue to cook 30 seconds to 1 minute more until bottoms are slightly browned.

Makes 6 large pancakes

Photo: “Dandelions” by Kitchen Table Medicine, viagra 100mg

Source: Courtesy Photo Bucket

I am a horrible test taker. To this day I get sweaty palms and start to second guess myself. I learned in college that the answers to the tests were not straight out of the book as the teacher would profess but their own version of the answer. I am a hands on kinetic learner. I knew back then it was difficult for me to process information spouted out at me from the chalk board. So I always chose to sit in the front row and took almost word for word notes. At home I would faithfully read the text book and dutifully did my homework. I could explain the where and why verbally but once I sat down with a scantron in from of me the lights went out.

I was venting to a friend of mine I worked with one day. She was older than I was but from the first time we met we became fast friends. It was like we were soul sisters. We must have known each other in a previous life. She gave me the best advice. With a big smile on her face she told me, what is ed “You have to face the lion before it can become a dandelion.” The following Monday I marched into my professor’s office to see if he could help me figure out what I was doing wrong. I was really scared of the man. Talking to him was a difficult thing for me but I faced the lion and he actually was nice. He encouraged me to take notes then write an essay on the pages I read. An assignment I gladly took on in hopes of scoring higher than a C.

With the final exam approaching fast, nurse I geared myself up. I sat in my usual front seat, took detailed notes (he actually gave us the test questions and answers), then went home and studied. I read the book, took notes and wrote and essay. I memorized the test questions and answers he gave us in class. A funny thing happened on test day. I was perplexed as to how I should answer several of his questions. For you see, there were two correct answers. One, I was certain I had read in the book; however, there was another answer straight from the professors list of questions and answers. I went with the professor’s answers and received my first A. Hallelujah!

My quest to chase the lion was not yet over. I felt cheated. I thought what if every test I took that semester I actually scored higher. According to the book I was right. I was not about to let some arrogant professor fail me. So once again I marched into his office and explained to him my discovery. He was not happy to be told that he was wrong. The following week when the grades were posted I got an A in the class. “Once you face the lion, it will become a dandelion.”

I use the same mantra with my children everyday. The little guys can become frustrated with everyday tasks that we take for granted. Simple actions such as putting on a shirt can drive them into a tantrum. I do not accept can’t in my house. Yoda tells us, “there is only do or do not, there is no try”. If you cannot do it you can ask for help. Accepting defeat and whining about it is not an option. There will be many things we cannot do in life. As long as we can stand there and honestly say that we did our absolute best then we have nothing to whine over. If we never made the attempt, however; how will we know that the lion starring back at us is nothing but a dandelion?

This month’s resolution is to accomplish a difficult task. Think of things in your life that seem overwhelming or that you would like to change. Think of things you have been wanting to do but have not felt up to the task. Seek out help to overcome this burden or research ways to master the problem.

–If you are shy that could mean breaking out of your shell a little.
–Write down your biggest fears and come up with ways to overcome them. Make it your new goal for the New Year.
–Accomplish a task that you have been afraid to do or keep procrastinating.
–Learn that new hobby or trade.
–Take a risk as long as it does not hurt anyone or result in negative consequences.
–Learn to live within a budget to get out of debt.
Host a dinner party.
–Simplify your life and home.
–Reconnect severed ties with family.
–Stand up to peer-pressure. If you do not feel good about something stop participating.
–Break off unhealthy relationships.
–Go back to school.
–Stand up to a bully.
–Be positive.
Last school year a few friends of mine and I decided to host a preschool for our four year old’s. We designed the preschool curriculum and drafted a schedule. There were four kids who thankfully got along well together. We met three days a week (Monday through Wednesday) for three hours. Each mom took turns hosting preschool at their house one week each month. The kids had a blast learning their letters and forming lasting friendships. My daughter just barely missed the cut off for Kindergarten this year. Unfortunately all her friends, more about she has meet since we moved, are going to school. Meaning she will be home with me and little brother. In my search to come up with fresh ideas to make a new ABC book I found No Time For Flash Cards.

If you have little ones at home and are looking for fun fantastic learning ideas for preschoolers from activities to crafts and book recommendations NTFFC is an easy place to start. Allison McDonald is the founder of No Time For Flash Cards. Allison has a degree in Elementary Education and spent 10 years working with preschoolers and parents teaching crafts. In 2008, after the birth of her son she left the classroom to be home with her son. Her passion for teaching children inspired her to share her ideas online. Thus, No Time For Flash Cards was created. You will find tons of books, themes and alphabet crafts to teach your toddler and preschooler.

Dazzledish Favorites:
Toothpick Sea Urchins
Paper Plate Animals
Fine Art Museum
Venus Fly Trap

Moments of Mommy-hood
http://momentsofmommyhood.blogspot.com/search/label/alphabet%20book

Dazzledish Favorites:
ABC Book

Preschool Express is a free on-line educational resource for children ages 1-5. Jean Warren is the founder of Preschool Express and the previous owner of Totline Publications. She is best known for her songs, rhymes and stories which can be found in popular books such as; Piggyback © Song books, 1*2*3 Art , Theme-a-saurus and the Totline Teaching Tales children’s book series. Jean created the Preschool Express Website as a way to give back to the world. Her hope is to reach inside each home to give each parent and grandparent the resources they need to create a natural learning atmosphere.

There is so much to explore on the Preschool Express. The calendar station offers teachers or parents a calender with chosen themes for each week. There are calenders for preschoolers and toddlers with a daily activity to do together. Plan a party at the party station.

http://love2learn2day.blogspot.com/
Last school year a few friends of mine and I decided to host a preschool for our four year old’s. We designed the preschool curriculum and drafted a schedule. There were four kids who thankfully got along well together. We met three days a week (Monday through Wednesday) for three hours. Each mom took turns hosting preschool at their house one week each month. The kids had a blast learning their letters and forming lasting friendships. My daughter just barely missed the cut off for Kindergarten this year. Unfortunately all her friends, for sale dosage she has meet since we moved, more about are going to school. Meaning she will be home with me and little brother. In my search to come up with fresh ideas to make a new ABC book I found No Time For Flash Cards.

If you have little ones at home and are looking for fun fantastic learning ideas for preschoolers from activities to crafts and book recommendations NTFFC is an easy place to start. Allison McDonald is the founder of No Time For Flash Cards. Allison has a degree in Elementary Education and spent 10 years working with preschoolers and parents teaching crafts. In 2008, after the birth of her son she left the classroom to be home with her son. Her passion for teaching children inspired her to share her ideas online. Thus, No Time For Flash Cards was created. You will find tons of books, themes and alphabet crafts to teach your toddler and preschooler.

Dazzledish Favorites:
Toothpick Sea Urchins
Paper Plate Animals
Fine Art Museum
Venus Fly Trap

Moments of Mommy-hood
http://momentsofmommyhood.blogspot.com/search/label/alphabet%20book

Dazzledish Favorites:
ABC Book

Preschool Express is a free on-line educational resource for children ages 1-5. Jean Warren is the founder of Preschool Express and the previous owner of Totline Publications. She is best known for her songs, rhymes and stories which can be found in popular books such as; Piggyback © Song books, 1*2*3 Art , Theme-a-saurus and the Totline Teaching Tales children’s book series. Jean created the Preschool Express Website as a way to give back to the world. Her hope is to reach inside each home to give each parent and grandparent the resources they need to create a natural learning atmosphere.

There is so much to explore on the Preschool Express. The calendar station offers teachers or parents a calender with chosen themes for each week. There are calenders for preschoolers and toddlers with a daily activity to do together. Plan a party at the party station.

http://love2learn2day.blogspot.com/
Last school year a few friends of mine and I decided to host a preschool for our four year old’s. We designed the preschool curriculum and drafted a schedule. There were four kids who thankfully got along well together. We met three days a week (Monday through Wednesday) for three hours. Each mom took turns hosting preschool at their house one week each month. The kids had a blast learning their letters and forming lasting friendships. My daughter just barely missed the cut off for Kindergarten this year. Unfortunately all her friends, for sale dosage she has meet since we moved, more about are going to school. Meaning she will be home with me and little brother. In my search to come up with fresh ideas to make a new ABC book I found No Time For Flash Cards.

If you have little ones at home and are looking for fun fantastic learning ideas for preschoolers from activities to crafts and book recommendations NTFFC is an easy place to start. Allison McDonald is the founder of No Time For Flash Cards. Allison has a degree in Elementary Education and spent 10 years working with preschoolers and parents teaching crafts. In 2008, after the birth of her son she left the classroom to be home with her son. Her passion for teaching children inspired her to share her ideas online. Thus, No Time For Flash Cards was created. You will find tons of books, themes and alphabet crafts to teach your toddler and preschooler.

Dazzledish Favorites:
Toothpick Sea Urchins
Paper Plate Animals
Fine Art Museum
Venus Fly Trap

Moments of Mommy-hood
http://momentsofmommyhood.blogspot.com/search/label/alphabet%20book

Dazzledish Favorites:
ABC Book

Preschool Express is a free on-line educational resource for children ages 1-5. Jean Warren is the founder of Preschool Express and the previous owner of Totline Publications. She is best known for her songs, rhymes and stories which can be found in popular books such as; Piggyback © Song books, 1*2*3 Art , Theme-a-saurus and the Totline Teaching Tales children’s book series. Jean created the Preschool Express Website as a way to give back to the world. Her hope is to reach inside each home to give each parent and grandparent the resources they need to create a natural learning atmosphere.

There is so much to explore on the Preschool Express. The calendar station offers teachers or parents a calender with chosen themes for each week. There are calenders for preschoolers and toddlers with a daily activity to do together. Plan a party at the party station.

http://love2learn2day.blogspot.com/
Last school year a few friends of mine and I decided to host a preschool for our four year old’s. We designed the preschool curriculum and drafted a schedule. There were four kids who thankfully got along well together. We met three days a week (Monday through Wednesday) for three hours. Each mom took turns hosting preschool at their house one week each month. The kids had a blast learning their letters and forming lasting friendships. My daughter just barely missed the cut off for Kindergarten this year. Unfortunately all her friends, price she has meet since we moved, are going to school. Meaning she will be home with me and little brother. In my search to come up with fresh ideas to make a new ABC book I found No Time For Flash Cards.

NO TIME FOR FLASH CARDS:
If you have little ones at home and are looking for fun fantastic learning ideas for preschoolers from activities to crafts and book recommendations NTFFC is an easy place to start. Allison McDonald is the founder of No Time For Flash Cards. Allison has a degree in Elementary Education and spent 10 years working with preschoolers and parents teaching crafts. In 2008, after the birth of her son she left the classroom to be home with her son. Her passion for teaching children inspired her to share her ideas online. Thus, No Time For Flash Cards was created. You will find tons of books, themes and alphabet crafts to teach your toddler and preschooler.

Favorite NTFFC Links:
Toothpick Sea Urchins
Paper Plate Animals
Fine Art Museum
Venus Fly Trap

PRESCHOOL EXPRESS:
Preschool Express is a free on-line educational resource for children ages 1-5. Jean Warren is the founder of Preschool Express and the previous owner of Totline Publications. She is best known for her songs, rhymes and stories which can be found in popular books such as; Piggyback © Song books, 1*2*3 Art , Theme-a-saurus and the Totline Teaching Tales children’s book series. Jean created the Preschool Express Website as a way to give back to the world. Her hope is to provide every parent and grandparent the resources they need to create a natural learning atmosphere.

There is so much to explore on the Preschool Express. The calendar station offers teachers or parents a calender with chosen themes for each week. There are calenders for preschoolers and toddlers with a daily activity to do together. Plan a party at the party station. Learn to make snacks, read stories and discover.

LOVE2LEARN2DAY:
If you have a child who loves math Love2Learn2Day offers loads of fun games and manipulative ideas that are K-12 math orientated. The creator of Love2Learn2Day is an educational consultant working with both kids and teachers. The website is all about learning to have fun with math.

Favorite Love2Learn2Day Links:
Mapping a Farm
Play dough Maps
Incan Quipu Math (place value, history)
Math in the Movies
Last school year a few friends of mine and I decided to host a preschool for our four year old’s. We designed the preschool curriculum and drafted a schedule. There were four kids who thankfully got along well together. We met three days a week (Monday through Wednesday) for three hours. Each mom took turns hosting preschool at their house one week each month. The kids had a blast learning their letters and forming lasting friendships. My daughter just barely missed the cut off for Kindergarten this year. Unfortunately all her friends, for sale dosage she has meet since we moved, more about are going to school. Meaning she will be home with me and little brother. In my search to come up with fresh ideas to make a new ABC book I found No Time For Flash Cards.

If you have little ones at home and are looking for fun fantastic learning ideas for preschoolers from activities to crafts and book recommendations NTFFC is an easy place to start. Allison McDonald is the founder of No Time For Flash Cards. Allison has a degree in Elementary Education and spent 10 years working with preschoolers and parents teaching crafts. In 2008, after the birth of her son she left the classroom to be home with her son. Her passion for teaching children inspired her to share her ideas online. Thus, No Time For Flash Cards was created. You will find tons of books, themes and alphabet crafts to teach your toddler and preschooler.

Dazzledish Favorites:
Toothpick Sea Urchins
Paper Plate Animals
Fine Art Museum
Venus Fly Trap

Moments of Mommy-hood
http://momentsofmommyhood.blogspot.com/search/label/alphabet%20book

Dazzledish Favorites:
ABC Book

Preschool Express is a free on-line educational resource for children ages 1-5. Jean Warren is the founder of Preschool Express and the previous owner of Totline Publications. She is best known for her songs, rhymes and stories which can be found in popular books such as; Piggyback © Song books, 1*2*3 Art , Theme-a-saurus and the Totline Teaching Tales children’s book series. Jean created the Preschool Express Website as a way to give back to the world. Her hope is to reach inside each home to give each parent and grandparent the resources they need to create a natural learning atmosphere.

There is so much to explore on the Preschool Express. The calendar station offers teachers or parents a calender with chosen themes for each week. There are calenders for preschoolers and toddlers with a daily activity to do together. Plan a party at the party station.

http://love2learn2day.blogspot.com/
Last school year a few friends of mine and I decided to host a preschool for our four year old’s. We designed the preschool curriculum and drafted a schedule. There were four kids who thankfully got along well together. We met three days a week (Monday through Wednesday) for three hours. Each mom took turns hosting preschool at their house one week each month. The kids had a blast learning their letters and forming lasting friendships. My daughter just barely missed the cut off for Kindergarten this year. Unfortunately all her friends, price she has meet since we moved, are going to school. Meaning she will be home with me and little brother. In my search to come up with fresh ideas to make a new ABC book I found No Time For Flash Cards.

NO TIME FOR FLASH CARDS:
If you have little ones at home and are looking for fun fantastic learning ideas for preschoolers from activities to crafts and book recommendations NTFFC is an easy place to start. Allison McDonald is the founder of No Time For Flash Cards. Allison has a degree in Elementary Education and spent 10 years working with preschoolers and parents teaching crafts. In 2008, after the birth of her son she left the classroom to be home with her son. Her passion for teaching children inspired her to share her ideas online. Thus, No Time For Flash Cards was created. You will find tons of books, themes and alphabet crafts to teach your toddler and preschooler.

Favorite NTFFC Links:
Toothpick Sea Urchins
Paper Plate Animals
Fine Art Museum
Venus Fly Trap

PRESCHOOL EXPRESS:
Preschool Express is a free on-line educational resource for children ages 1-5. Jean Warren is the founder of Preschool Express and the previous owner of Totline Publications. She is best known for her songs, rhymes and stories which can be found in popular books such as; Piggyback © Song books, 1*2*3 Art , Theme-a-saurus and the Totline Teaching Tales children’s book series. Jean created the Preschool Express Website as a way to give back to the world. Her hope is to provide every parent and grandparent the resources they need to create a natural learning atmosphere.

There is so much to explore on the Preschool Express. The calendar station offers teachers or parents a calender with chosen themes for each week. There are calenders for preschoolers and toddlers with a daily activity to do together. Plan a party at the party station. Learn to make snacks, read stories and discover.

LOVE2LEARN2DAY:
If you have a child who loves math Love2Learn2Day offers loads of fun games and manipulative ideas that are K-12 math orientated. The creator of Love2Learn2Day is an educational consultant working with both kids and teachers. The website is all about learning to have fun with math.

Favorite Love2Learn2Day Links:
Mapping a Farm
Play dough Maps
Incan Quipu Math (place value, history)
Math in the Movies
Last school year a few friends of mine and I decided to host a preschool for our four year old’s. We designed the preschool curriculum and drafted a schedule. There were four kids who thankfully got along well together. We met three days a week (Monday through Wednesday) for three hours. Each mom took turns hosting preschool at their house one week each month. The kids had a blast learning their letters and forming lasting friendships. My daughter just barely missed the cut off for Kindergarten this year. Unfortunately all her friends, nurse she has meet since we moved, are going to school. Meaning she will be home with me and little brother. In my search to come up with fresh ideas to make a new ABC book I found No Time For Flash Cards.

NO TIME FOR FLASH CARDS:
If you have little ones at home and are looking for fun fantastic learning ideas for preschoolers from activities to crafts and book recommendations NTFFC is an easy place to start. Allison McDonald is the founder of No Time For Flash Cards. Allison has a degree in Elementary Education and spent 10 years working with preschoolers and parents teaching crafts. In 2008, after the birth of her son she left the classroom to be home with her son. Her passion for teaching children inspired her to share her ideas online. Thus, No Time For Flash Cards was created. You will find tons of books, themes and alphabet crafts to teach your toddler and preschooler.

Favorite NTFFC Links:
Toothpick Sea Urchins
Paper Plate Animals
Fine Art Museum
Venus Fly Trap

PRESCHOOL EXPRESS:
Preschool Express is a free on-line educational resource for children ages 1-5. Jean Warren is the founder of Preschool Express and the previous owner of Totline Publications. She is best known for her songs, rhymes and stories which can be found in popular books such as; Piggyback © Song books, 1*2*3 Art , Theme-a-saurus and the Totline Teaching Tales children’s book series. Jean created the Preschool Express Website as a way to give back to the world. Her hope is to provide every parent and grandparent the resources they need to create a natural learning atmosphere.

There is so much to explore on the Preschool Express. The calendar station offers teachers or parents a calender with chosen themes for each week. There are calenders for preschoolers and toddlers with a daily activity to do together. Plan a party at the party station. Learn to make snacks, read stories and discover.

LOVE2LEARN2DAY:
If you have a child who loves math Love2Learn2Day offers loads of fun games and manipulative ideas that are K-12 math orientated. The creator of Love2Learn2Day is an educational consultant working with both kids and teachers. The website is all about learning to have fun with math.

Favorite Love2Learn2Day Links:
Mapping a Farm
Play dough Maps
Incan Quipu Math (place value, history)
Math in the Movies
Last school year a few friends of mine and I decided to host a preschool for our four year old’s. We designed the preschool curriculum and drafted a schedule. There were four kids who thankfully got along well together. We met three days a week (Monday through Wednesday) for three hours. Each mom took turns hosting preschool at their house one week each month. The kids had a blast learning their letters and forming lasting friendships. My daughter just barely missed the cut off for Kindergarten this year. Unfortunately all her friends, for sale dosage she has meet since we moved, more about are going to school. Meaning she will be home with me and little brother. In my search to come up with fresh ideas to make a new ABC book I found No Time For Flash Cards.

If you have little ones at home and are looking for fun fantastic learning ideas for preschoolers from activities to crafts and book recommendations NTFFC is an easy place to start. Allison McDonald is the founder of No Time For Flash Cards. Allison has a degree in Elementary Education and spent 10 years working with preschoolers and parents teaching crafts. In 2008, after the birth of her son she left the classroom to be home with her son. Her passion for teaching children inspired her to share her ideas online. Thus, No Time For Flash Cards was created. You will find tons of books, themes and alphabet crafts to teach your toddler and preschooler.

Dazzledish Favorites:
Toothpick Sea Urchins
Paper Plate Animals
Fine Art Museum
Venus Fly Trap

Moments of Mommy-hood
http://momentsofmommyhood.blogspot.com/search/label/alphabet%20book

Dazzledish Favorites:
ABC Book

Preschool Express is a free on-line educational resource for children ages 1-5. Jean Warren is the founder of Preschool Express and the previous owner of Totline Publications. She is best known for her songs, rhymes and stories which can be found in popular books such as; Piggyback © Song books, 1*2*3 Art , Theme-a-saurus and the Totline Teaching Tales children’s book series. Jean created the Preschool Express Website as a way to give back to the world. Her hope is to reach inside each home to give each parent and grandparent the resources they need to create a natural learning atmosphere.

There is so much to explore on the Preschool Express. The calendar station offers teachers or parents a calender with chosen themes for each week. There are calenders for preschoolers and toddlers with a daily activity to do together. Plan a party at the party station.

http://love2learn2day.blogspot.com/
Last school year a few friends of mine and I decided to host a preschool for our four year old’s. We designed the preschool curriculum and drafted a schedule. There were four kids who thankfully got along well together. We met three days a week (Monday through Wednesday) for three hours. Each mom took turns hosting preschool at their house one week each month. The kids had a blast learning their letters and forming lasting friendships. My daughter just barely missed the cut off for Kindergarten this year. Unfortunately all her friends, price she has meet since we moved, are going to school. Meaning she will be home with me and little brother. In my search to come up with fresh ideas to make a new ABC book I found No Time For Flash Cards.

NO TIME FOR FLASH CARDS:
If you have little ones at home and are looking for fun fantastic learning ideas for preschoolers from activities to crafts and book recommendations NTFFC is an easy place to start. Allison McDonald is the founder of No Time For Flash Cards. Allison has a degree in Elementary Education and spent 10 years working with preschoolers and parents teaching crafts. In 2008, after the birth of her son she left the classroom to be home with her son. Her passion for teaching children inspired her to share her ideas online. Thus, No Time For Flash Cards was created. You will find tons of books, themes and alphabet crafts to teach your toddler and preschooler.

Favorite NTFFC Links:
Toothpick Sea Urchins
Paper Plate Animals
Fine Art Museum
Venus Fly Trap

PRESCHOOL EXPRESS:
Preschool Express is a free on-line educational resource for children ages 1-5. Jean Warren is the founder of Preschool Express and the previous owner of Totline Publications. She is best known for her songs, rhymes and stories which can be found in popular books such as; Piggyback © Song books, 1*2*3 Art , Theme-a-saurus and the Totline Teaching Tales children’s book series. Jean created the Preschool Express Website as a way to give back to the world. Her hope is to provide every parent and grandparent the resources they need to create a natural learning atmosphere.

There is so much to explore on the Preschool Express. The calendar station offers teachers or parents a calender with chosen themes for each week. There are calenders for preschoolers and toddlers with a daily activity to do together. Plan a party at the party station. Learn to make snacks, read stories and discover.

LOVE2LEARN2DAY:
If you have a child who loves math Love2Learn2Day offers loads of fun games and manipulative ideas that are K-12 math orientated. The creator of Love2Learn2Day is an educational consultant working with both kids and teachers. The website is all about learning to have fun with math.

Favorite Love2Learn2Day Links:
Mapping a Farm
Play dough Maps
Incan Quipu Math (place value, history)
Math in the Movies
Last school year a few friends of mine and I decided to host a preschool for our four year old’s. We designed the preschool curriculum and drafted a schedule. There were four kids who thankfully got along well together. We met three days a week (Monday through Wednesday) for three hours. Each mom took turns hosting preschool at their house one week each month. The kids had a blast learning their letters and forming lasting friendships. My daughter just barely missed the cut off for Kindergarten this year. Unfortunately all her friends, nurse she has meet since we moved, are going to school. Meaning she will be home with me and little brother. In my search to come up with fresh ideas to make a new ABC book I found No Time For Flash Cards.

NO TIME FOR FLASH CARDS:
If you have little ones at home and are looking for fun fantastic learning ideas for preschoolers from activities to crafts and book recommendations NTFFC is an easy place to start. Allison McDonald is the founder of No Time For Flash Cards. Allison has a degree in Elementary Education and spent 10 years working with preschoolers and parents teaching crafts. In 2008, after the birth of her son she left the classroom to be home with her son. Her passion for teaching children inspired her to share her ideas online. Thus, No Time For Flash Cards was created. You will find tons of books, themes and alphabet crafts to teach your toddler and preschooler.

Favorite NTFFC Links:
Toothpick Sea Urchins
Paper Plate Animals
Fine Art Museum
Venus Fly Trap

PRESCHOOL EXPRESS:
Preschool Express is a free on-line educational resource for children ages 1-5. Jean Warren is the founder of Preschool Express and the previous owner of Totline Publications. She is best known for her songs, rhymes and stories which can be found in popular books such as; Piggyback © Song books, 1*2*3 Art , Theme-a-saurus and the Totline Teaching Tales children’s book series. Jean created the Preschool Express Website as a way to give back to the world. Her hope is to provide every parent and grandparent the resources they need to create a natural learning atmosphere.

There is so much to explore on the Preschool Express. The calendar station offers teachers or parents a calender with chosen themes for each week. There are calenders for preschoolers and toddlers with a daily activity to do together. Plan a party at the party station. Learn to make snacks, read stories and discover.

LOVE2LEARN2DAY:
If you have a child who loves math Love2Learn2Day offers loads of fun games and manipulative ideas that are K-12 math orientated. The creator of Love2Learn2Day is an educational consultant working with both kids and teachers. The website is all about learning to have fun with math.

Favorite Love2Learn2Day Links:
Mapping a Farm
Play dough Maps
Incan Quipu Math (place value, history)
Math in the Movies

I love zucchini. I love roasting them, dicing them up in sauces and who cannot resist a tempting loaf of zucchini bread. But, malady I am bored with this little green courgette. I needed something new to use my last zucchini in. Ironically I was thinking about the fried zucchini my mom and enjoyed once but quickly moved on because I did not want anything fried and now here I am making fried zucchini patties. The daughter loved hers until she found out what was in them. I countered her saying “but you eat them in zucchini bread!” She would not budge. Zucchini Patties or fritters as I call them are really tasty with salsa or Spicy Dipping Sauce. Serve them as an h’orderve or as a side with a salad or grilled fish or chicken.

Source: Allrecipes
2 cups grated zucchini
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

In a medium bowl, combine the zucchini, eggs, onion, flour, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, and salt. Stir well enough to distribute ingredients evenly.

Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Drop zucchini mixture by heaping tablespoonfuls, and cook for a few minutes on each side until golden.
2 cups grated zucchini
2 eggs, stuff sickness beaten
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

In a medium bowl, more about combine the zucchini, visit eggs, onion, flour, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, and salt. Stir well enough to distribute ingredients evenly.
2. Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Drop zucchini mixture by heaping tablespoonfuls, and cook for a few minutes on each side until golden.
2 cups grated zucchini
2 eggs, stuff sickness beaten
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

In a medium bowl, more about combine the zucchini, visit eggs, onion, flour, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, and salt. Stir well enough to distribute ingredients evenly.
2. Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Drop zucchini mixture by heaping tablespoonfuls, and cook for a few minutes on each side until golden.

I awoke one morning to find an enormous zucchini on top of the kitchen island. A friend at Stephen’s work brought them in. He said there were more but he was not sure how many I would want. This giant cuke was plenty. Part of the zucchini went into a batch of muffins. I shredded the rest then stuck it in the refrigerator until the next day. I needed some time to come up with alternative uses for zucchini. This recipe for zucchini cornbread caught my eye.

The bread part is a bit misleading. It is definitely a casserole. Something more like a spoon bread than cornbread. I forgot to buy corn mix while at the supermarket and so I had to make my own mix. I have included the recipe for the mix below. I apologize I forgot to write down the name of the site I found the cornbread mix recipe on. It would be nice to have the rest of the ingredients list to make the cornbread. I will keep looking! Until then enjoy a spoonful of zucchini cornbread casserole.

Source: Allrecipes
4 cups shredded zucchini
1 onion, website like this chopped
2 eggs, no rx beaten
1 (8.5 ounce) package dry corn muffin mix (see below for recipe)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 2 quart casserole dish.

In a large bowl mix together the zucchini, onion, eggs, muffin mix, salt and pepper. Stir in 4 ounces of the cheese. Spread this mixture into a greased 2 quart casserole dish; top with remaining 4 ounces of cheese.

Bake in a preheated oven for 60 minutes.

Corn Muffin Mix:
Source: Unknown
1 cup Corn Meal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl or ziplock bag.

White Bean Salad with Green Beans and Tomatoes

I was looking for something different to go with grilled salmon when I stumbled upon this recipe for white bean salad. It combines fresh green beans with tomatoes and olives drizzled with a tangy vinaigrette. This white bean salad makes for a great side dish at any picnic or BBQ. Add canned tuna for a tasty lunch to take to work or use the dressing to flavor your favorite steamed vegetables.

Source: Adapted from Woman’s Day
12 oz fresh green beans
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
1?4 tsp each salt and pepper
1 can (15 to 16 oz) cannellini beans, story rinsed and drained
1 medium tomato, drug cut into wedges
1?2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
Chopped parsley

Steam green beans by dropping them into a pot of salted boiling water. Blanch for 3-5 minutes. Drain water then cover pot.

Meanwhile, make dressing: Whisk oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper until well blended.
Cut green beans into smaller bite sized pieces. In a large serving bowl, gently toss green beans, cannellini beans, tomato and olives. Drizzle dressing over salad and garnish with parsley, if desired.

Variations:
– 1 grilled salmon steak, flaked
– 2 cans (5 to 6 oz each) solid light tuna in olive oil, undrained. Replace the oil in the can for 1/4 cup olive oil.
– Use 1 (12 oz) bag microwavable green beans in the place of fresh green beans.
– Go Mediterranean by mixing 8 oz green bean with two bags mixed greens, 2 cucumbers seeded and sliced, grape tomatoes in the place of wedges, 1 can (12 oz) tuna in oil drained, olives, 1/2 cup Greek salad dressing, 1/2 cup crumbled basil-tomato feta cheese.

Family Togetherness: Story Dice

http://www.goodlifeeats.com/2009/04/orange-spice-banana-bread.html

This bread smells absolutely amazing. The aroma fills the house with the pungent fall spices. It is so hard to wait until the bread is completely cooled before pinching off a nibble.

The most important tips I can pass on is to make sure the cream cheese is softened. Unwrap the bar and leave it out for at least 25 to 30 minutes to soften.

  • 2 c all purpose flour
  • 1/4 c packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 c white sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • zest of 1 large orange, there about 2 1/2 Tbs
  • 1 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 pinches of allspice
  • 1 1/2 c very ripe bananas, order mashed
  • 4 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 Tbs butter, advice melted
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 35o degrees F. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Sift together the flour, sugars, baking soda, salt, orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Set aside.

Mix the mashed bananas, cream cheese, eggs, butter and vanilla using a wooden spoon. Gently combine the flour mixture with the mashed banana mixture until just combined. Don’t overmix; the batter should look slightly lumpy and thick.

Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan before removing. Cool on a wire rack.

If you have any leftovers (good luck with that!), store cooled bread wrapped with plastic wrap at room temperature for up to three days.
http://www.goodlifeeats.com/2009/04/orange-spice-banana-bread.html

This bread smells absolutely amazing. The aroma fills the house with the pungent fall spices. It is so hard to wait until the bread is completely cooled before pinching off a nibble.

The most important tips I can pass on is to make sure the cream cheese is softened. Unwrap the bar and leave it out for at least 25 to 30 minutes to soften.

  • 2 c all purpose flour
  • 1/4 c packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 c white sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • zest of 1 large orange, there about 2 1/2 Tbs
  • 1 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 pinches of allspice
  • 1 1/2 c very ripe bananas, order mashed
  • 4 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 Tbs butter, advice melted
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 35o degrees F. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Sift together the flour, sugars, baking soda, salt, orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Set aside.

Mix the mashed bananas, cream cheese, eggs, butter and vanilla using a wooden spoon. Gently combine the flour mixture with the mashed banana mixture until just combined. Don’t overmix; the batter should look slightly lumpy and thick.

Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan before removing. Cool on a wire rack.

If you have any leftovers (good luck with that!), store cooled bread wrapped with plastic wrap at room temperature for up to three days.
http://www.goodlifeeats.com/2009/04/orange-spice-banana-bread.html

  • 2 c all purpose flour
  • 1/4 c packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 c white sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • zest of 1 large orange, story about 2 1/2 Tbs
  • 1 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 pinches of allspice
  • 1 1/2 c very ripe bananas, clinic mashed
  • 4 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 Tbs butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 35o degrees F. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Sift together the flour, sugars, baking soda, salt, orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Set aside.

Mix the mashed bananas, cream cheese, eggs, butter and vanilla using a wooden spoon. Gently combine the flour mixture with the mashed banana mixture until just combined. Don’t overmix; the batter should look slightly lumpy and thick.

Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan before removing. Cool on a wire rack.

If you have any leftovers (good luck with that!), store cooled bread wrapped with plastic wrap at room temperature for up to three days.
http://www.goodlifeeats.com/2009/04/orange-spice-banana-bread.html

This bread smells absolutely amazing. The aroma fills the house with the pungent fall spices. It is so hard to wait until the bread is completely cooled before pinching off a nibble.

The most important tips I can pass on is to make sure the cream cheese is softened. Unwrap the bar and leave it out for at least 25 to 30 minutes to soften.

  • 2 c all purpose flour
  • 1/4 c packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 c white sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • zest of 1 large orange, there about 2 1/2 Tbs
  • 1 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 pinches of allspice
  • 1 1/2 c very ripe bananas, order mashed
  • 4 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 Tbs butter, advice melted
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 35o degrees F. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Sift together the flour, sugars, baking soda, salt, orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Set aside.

Mix the mashed bananas, cream cheese, eggs, butter and vanilla using a wooden spoon. Gently combine the flour mixture with the mashed banana mixture until just combined. Don’t overmix; the batter should look slightly lumpy and thick.

Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan before removing. Cool on a wire rack.

If you have any leftovers (good luck with that!), store cooled bread wrapped with plastic wrap at room temperature for up to three days.
http://www.goodlifeeats.com/2009/04/orange-spice-banana-bread.html

  • 2 c all purpose flour
  • 1/4 c packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 c white sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • zest of 1 large orange, story about 2 1/2 Tbs
  • 1 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 pinches of allspice
  • 1 1/2 c very ripe bananas, clinic mashed
  • 4 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 Tbs butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 35o degrees F. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Sift together the flour, sugars, baking soda, salt, orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Set aside.

Mix the mashed bananas, cream cheese, eggs, butter and vanilla using a wooden spoon. Gently combine the flour mixture with the mashed banana mixture until just combined. Don’t overmix; the batter should look slightly lumpy and thick.

Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan before removing. Cool on a wire rack.

If you have any leftovers (good luck with that!), store cooled bread wrapped with plastic wrap at room temperature for up to three days.

One night when tucking my son into bed he asked me to tell him a story. The sad part was my mind was blank. I could not come up with anything. I relayed the incident to a friend of mine who comforted me with her own tale of bedtime woe. We agreed our husbands were excellent storytellers but somehow over the years we lost touch with that creative side. Stephen calls it work mode. Over time with practice my friend and I have become more comfortable telling bedtime stories. Jim Jinkins is best known for his bedtime stories, visit “Pinky Dinky Doo”. He originally made up the Pinky’s Adventures as bed-time tales for his children. Each night after he closed the door he would write the stories down.

To make story dice you will need:
– 6 to 12 (3/8-inch) square wooden blocks.
– For the images use permanent ultra fine tip markers to draw your own pictures, unhealthy stickers, stamps, a wood carving tool and stain, temporary tattoo sheets, pictures from old story books, magazines, print them from the computer using sheet labels, sticker paper or regular white paper.
– Seal the blocks after the pictures have been applied using a sealant or Modge Podge.

Use pictures of animals, transportation, food, household objects, clothing, landscapes, fairy tales and people.

To Play:
Divide the dice among the participants. Take turns rolling a single die. The first person begins the story based on the picture they roll. The next person adds to the story based on the roll of their dice and so on around the group of participants. You can opt to time each segment. Say each person has 30 seconds or a minute then the next person rolls and adds on to the story line. Or each person must tell a short story in one minute using the pictures rolled from all of their die. When they are done the next person rolls and takes their turn.

Variations:
– Paint pictures on small rocks.
– If you do not want to spend the money or time making story dice use print out and laminate small slips of paper or cardboard pieces. Throw the pieces into a bowl or basket and toss.
– Make dice from card stock.
– Print a selection of pictures at the top of a page with lines across and down the page. Use the pictures create a story and the lines to write the story.

Mexican Toastadas

I learned how to make tortillas from a friend, buy Juanita Sorez, pharmacy in Freemont, generic Texas. She is an amazing woman with an enormous heart. Every week, my friends and I would gather at her house to eat, play the guitar and shoot some pool.  To be honest, I have never been able to copy hers exactly, making me wonder if she was holding out on me. Making tortillas is still fun for the whole family. The little kids like to get their hands messy mixing the dough. The older kids can roll or cook the tortillas. Whenever we make tortillas, we share the first one off the griddle with butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.

4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/4 cup hot water (hot as can stand to touch)

Mix flour, salt, powder with the shortening until crumbly. Mix in enough water to make bread dough consistency. Knead dough a few minutes until smooth. Let sit covered with a cloth for 5 minutes.

Shape dough into small patties (about the size of your palm or larger for large tortillas) by squeezing off a golf ball sized piece or dividing the dough up evenly. Let sit 20 minutes.

Heat dry pan on med-high. When the pan is hot, roll dough on floured surface into flat discs; turning a slightly after each roll.

Place on the pan for a few seconds, until bottom is slightly browned. Flip over and cook the other side. (Do not cook too long or the tortillas will become crispy)

Place in a tortilla warmer or a large pot lined with a dish towel to keep warm. Makes 10-12 tortillas

I learned how to make tortillas from a friend, buy Juanita Sorez, pharmacy in Freemont, generic Texas. She is an amazing woman with an enormous heart. Every week, my friends and I would gather at her house to eat, play the guitar and shoot some pool.  To be honest, I have never been able to copy hers exactly, making me wonder if she was holding out on me. Making tortillas is still fun for the whole family. The little kids like to get their hands messy mixing the dough. The older kids can roll or cook the tortillas. Whenever we make tortillas, we share the first one off the griddle with butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.

4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/4 cup hot water (hot as can stand to touch)

Mix flour, salt, powder with the shortening until crumbly. Mix in enough water to make bread dough consistency. Knead dough a few minutes until smooth. Let sit covered with a cloth for 5 minutes.

Shape dough into small patties (about the size of your palm or larger for large tortillas) by squeezing off a golf ball sized piece or dividing the dough up evenly. Let sit 20 minutes.

Heat dry pan on med-high. When the pan is hot, roll dough on floured surface into flat discs; turning a slightly after each roll.

Place on the pan for a few seconds, until bottom is slightly browned. Flip over and cook the other side. (Do not cook too long or the tortillas will become crispy)

Place in a tortilla warmer or a large pot lined with a dish towel to keep warm. Makes 10-12 tortillas

Mexican Tostadas

I have always loved spicy food. I thought I could handle heat that is until at Seventeen I traveled cross county to Texas. The salsa there was so hot my mouth was inflamed for the rest of the day. I dared not eat another lick of the stuff the remainder of my visit in Texas. Upon my return home I remained adverse to hot spicy foods for sometime. Years later I returned to Texas. It was there I learned from many friends how to cook some of my most favorite Mexican dishes. One evening at Mrs. Rodriguez house I learned to make Tostadas complete with homemade refried beans. There are so many ways to make frijoles refritos but to be honest I have no problem using a can of store bought refried beans. It is super quick and before you know it dinner is on the table. I do however, more about enjoy making my own tortillas. Corn or flour can be used. Traditionally corn is the tortilla of choice but flour will work. The tortillas can be baked in the oven until crispy about 8 minutes on 375 degrees for a less fat version.

Serves 5-6
5-6 corn or flour tortillas
Vegetable oil
1 (15-ounce) can Refried beans
2 Romaine Lettuce Hearts or 1/2 head iceberg lettuce, sliced thin
Shredded Cheddar or crumbled queso fresco or cotija cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 avocado, chopped or guacamole
1 small onion, diced
1 cup of Salsa
1/2 cup sliced radishes
1/2 cup diced Red Pepper

Pour about 1/4 inch of oil in a large skillet. Heat on medium-high until oil sizzles when a drop of water or crumb is placed in pan. (Not smoking hot) The tortilla should sizzle and bubble up instantly after it is placed
in the oil. If not the oil is not hot enough. Cook tortilla 30 seconds on each side until firm and crisp. Drain on a paper towel. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Meanwhile heat beans in a small pan. Stir in a little water, about 2-3 tablespoons stirring and mashing. Keep warm and moist.

To serve top tortilla with beans, lettuce, cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice, cheese and then any other desired toppings.

I learned how to make tortillas from a friend, buy Juanita Sorez, pharmacy in Freemont, generic Texas. She is an amazing woman with an enormous heart. Every week, my friends and I would gather at her house to eat, play the guitar and shoot some pool.  To be honest, I have never been able to copy hers exactly, making me wonder if she was holding out on me. Making tortillas is still fun for the whole family. The little kids like to get their hands messy mixing the dough. The older kids can roll or cook the tortillas. Whenever we make tortillas, we share the first one off the griddle with butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.

4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/4 cup hot water (hot as can stand to touch)

Mix flour, salt, powder with the shortening until crumbly. Mix in enough water to make bread dough consistency. Knead dough a few minutes until smooth. Let sit covered with a cloth for 5 minutes.

Shape dough into small patties (about the size of your palm or larger for large tortillas) by squeezing off a golf ball sized piece or dividing the dough up evenly. Let sit 20 minutes.

Heat dry pan on med-high. When the pan is hot, roll dough on floured surface into flat discs; turning a slightly after each roll.

Place on the pan for a few seconds, until bottom is slightly browned. Flip over and cook the other side. (Do not cook too long or the tortillas will become crispy)

Place in a tortilla warmer or a large pot lined with a dish towel to keep warm. Makes 10-12 tortillas

Mexican Tostadas

I have always loved spicy food. I thought I could handle heat that is until at Seventeen I traveled cross county to Texas. The salsa there was so hot my mouth was inflamed for the rest of the day. I dared not eat another lick of the stuff the remainder of my visit in Texas. Upon my return home I remained adverse to hot spicy foods for sometime. Years later I returned to Texas. It was there I learned from many friends how to cook some of my most favorite Mexican dishes. One evening at Mrs. Rodriguez house I learned to make Tostadas complete with homemade refried beans. There are so many ways to make frijoles refritos but to be honest I have no problem using a can of store bought refried beans. It is super quick and before you know it dinner is on the table. I do however, more about enjoy making my own tortillas. Corn or flour can be used. Traditionally corn is the tortilla of choice but flour will work. The tortillas can be baked in the oven until crispy about 8 minutes on 375 degrees for a less fat version.

Serves 5-6
5-6 corn or flour tortillas
Vegetable oil
1 (15-ounce) can Refried beans
2 Romaine Lettuce Hearts or 1/2 head iceberg lettuce, sliced thin
Shredded Cheddar or crumbled queso fresco or cotija cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 avocado, chopped or guacamole
1 small onion, diced
1 cup of Salsa
1/2 cup sliced radishes
1/2 cup diced Red Pepper

Pour about 1/4 inch of oil in a large skillet. Heat on medium-high until oil sizzles when a drop of water or crumb is placed in pan. (Not smoking hot) The tortilla should sizzle and bubble up instantly after it is placed
in the oil. If not the oil is not hot enough. Cook tortilla 30 seconds on each side until firm and crisp. Drain on a paper towel. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Meanwhile heat beans in a small pan. Stir in a little water, about 2-3 tablespoons stirring and mashing. Keep warm and moist.

To serve top tortilla with beans, lettuce, cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice, cheese and then any other desired toppings.

Mexican Tostadas

I have always loved spicy food. I thought I could handle heat that is until at Seventeen I traveled cross county to Texas. The salsa there was so hot my mouth was inflamed for the rest of the day. I dared not eat another lick of the stuff the remainder of my visit in Texas. Upon my return home I remained adverse to hot spicy foods for sometime. Years later I returned to Texas. It was there I learned from many friends how to cook some of my most favorite Mexican dishes. One evening at Mrs. Rodriguez house I learned to make Tostadas complete with homemade refried beans. There are so many ways to make frijoles refritos but to be honest I have no problem using a can of store bought refried beans. It is super quick and before you know it dinner is on the table. I do however, malady enjoy making my own tortillas. Corn or flour can be used. Traditionally corn is the tortilla of choice but flour will work. The tortillas can be baked in the oven until crispy about 8 minutes on 375 degrees for a less fat version.

Serves 5-6
5-6 corn or flour tortillas
Vegetable oil
1 (15-ounce) can Refried beans
2 Romaine Lettuce Hearts or 1/2 head iceberg lettuce, visit this sliced thin
Shredded Cheddar or crumbled queso fresco or cotija cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 avocado, chopped or guacamole
1 small onion, diced
1 cup of Salsa
1/2 cup sliced radishes
1/2 cup diced Red Pepper

Pour about 1/4 inch of oil in a large skillet. Heat on medium-high until oil sizzles when a drop of water or crumb is placed in pan. (Not smoking hot) The tortilla should sizzle and bubble up instantly after it is placed in the oil. Cook tortilla 30 seconds, until golden, on each side until crisp. Drain on a paper towel. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Meanwhile heat beans in a small pan. Stir in a little water, about 2-3 tablespoons, stirring and mashing. Keep warm and moist.

To serve top tortilla with beans, lettuce, cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice, cheese and then any other desired toppings.

How to Cut an Onion

One of the most called for ingredients in a recipe is chopped or diced onions. If you have extremely sensitive eyes the tutorial on how to cut an onion without crying will provide a successful tear free way to chop onions.

Kansas City Style Sticky Spareribs

serves 6
3 tbsp flour
2 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds stew meat, order cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tbsp oil
4 large carrots, visit this cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 large onions, advice sliced into half moon pieces
6 cups beef stock
Pinch course salt
2 bay leaves
5 large potatoes, peeled, sliced into 1/2-inch discs
Chopped parsley, to garnish
Oven Safe Casserole or pot with lid

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Combine the flour and black pepper in a resealable bag or plastic container. Add stew meat, seal and shake until meat is thoroughly coated with flour.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the meat. Brown on all sides then transfer to a large over safe pot. Brown the other half of the meat and transfer to pot.

In the same skillet saute the onions for 2 minutes, adding a little oil if necessary. Transfer the onions to the casserole. Add the carrots, beef stock, sea salt and bay leaves to the pot stirring to scrape up all the burnt bits on the bottom of the pan. Pour into pot. Toss the potato slices on top of the onions and carrots. Season with a generous amount of black pepper and cover. Cook for 1 1/2 hours. To serve pour into individual bowls and sprinkle with a little parsley.

Serves 6
serves 6
3 tbsp flour
2 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds stew meat, order cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tbsp oil
4 large carrots, visit this cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 large onions, advice sliced into half moon pieces
6 cups beef stock
Pinch course salt
2 bay leaves
5 large potatoes, peeled, sliced into 1/2-inch discs
Chopped parsley, to garnish
Oven Safe Casserole or pot with lid

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Combine the flour and black pepper in a resealable bag or plastic container. Add stew meat, seal and shake until meat is thoroughly coated with flour.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the meat. Brown on all sides then transfer to a large over safe pot. Brown the other half of the meat and transfer to pot.

In the same skillet saute the onions for 2 minutes, adding a little oil if necessary. Transfer the onions to the casserole. Add the carrots, beef stock, sea salt and bay leaves to the pot stirring to scrape up all the burnt bits on the bottom of the pan. Pour into pot. Toss the potato slices on top of the onions and carrots. Season with a generous amount of black pepper and cover. Cook for 1 1/2 hours. To serve pour into individual bowls and sprinkle with a little parsley.

Serves 6

Kansas City Sticky Spareribs

Growing up in the South ribs were a pretty common commodity at dinner, buy information pills picnics and barbecues. In Texas the golden trumpet of barbecued meats was the brisket. While here in California is seems the beloved Tri-tip takes 1st place. I have never cooked ribs before, ok once at a friends house but my sister was co-chef and we ended up charring them to death; which was not much different from the way my father grilled them. It has been 11 years since I left the Sunshine state and even longer since I had rib because I was a pour college student. I was not about to let another summer go by without the taste of ribs. Yes I have been to a BBQ restaurant our here but what they served up did not constitute fine finger lick’n Southern barbecue goodness. The worst part was what they tried to charge for the monstrosity.

This recipe was tucked away in my file folder of ‘need to try’ recipes. It is not Dale’s BBQ but they were tasty and satisfying. I have to confess though I do not have a grill so our ribs were roasted in the oven. It is not the same as eating real slow cooked smoked ribs where the meat just falls off the bone but they were moist and tender so if you do not have access to a grill it is doable.

Source: unknown
1/2 cup plus 2 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
2 1/2 tbsp hot paprika
4 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp celery salt
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
2 racks pork spareribs (7 pounds total)
2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

For Grill: Soak 3 cups woods chips in water according to the package directions or for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, combine 2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar, paprika, onion powder, celery salt, salt and pepper. Run a knife down the length of the bone side of each rack to split the skin, then season all over with the rub.

Remove the grill racks, arrange a drip pan or disposable baking sheet on one side of the grill to catch drippings. Drain the wood chips and transfer to a 2-foot long sheet of heavy duty foil. Wrap tightly creating a secure pouch, then poke 10 holes in the top to create a smoker box. Place the pouch on the side of the grill opposite the drippings pan. Set the grill racks into place, close the grill and preheat to 325 degrees.

Working quickly, arrange the ribs, meaty side up, over the drip pan. Grill, covered, turning occasionally, until the meat shrinks away from the bone and is fork tender, about 3 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combing the remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, the ketchup, honey and vinegar over medium high heat and season with salt and pepper. Bring just to a boil, then lower the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally until smooth, about 5 minutes.

Brush the ribs all over with the sauce, arrange meaty side up and grill uncovered, turning once at 200 degrees for 20 minutes. Cut the racks unto individual ribs and serve with the sauce on the side.

Variations:
For a tangier less sweet sauce add more vinegar.
To bake in the oven: prepare ribs as above with rub. Wrap ribs in heavy duty foil and bake at 300 degrees for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours. Check ribs after 2 1/2 hour mark if they are tender coat with sauce and continue to bake 20-30 minutes.Watch the ribs like a hawk. The oven tends to dry meat out especially pork.

August Resolution to Make

1/2 jalapeño pepper, remedy seeded and finely chopped
1 red sweet pepper, chopped
2 fresh ears of corn, boiled or grilled
1 tbsp bottled barbecue sauce
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 salt
1/4 pepper
Fresh marjoram or oregano (optional)

In a bowl, combine chopped jalapeño and sweet pepper; set aside.

To grill corn: place husked corn on grill rack directly over medium heat; grill, turning occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes or until crisp-tender.

To boil: place husked corn in a large pot of boiling water. Continue to boil 5-10 minutes longer. Remove from pot to a cutting board to cool slightly.

Cut corn from cob. Add to chopped peppers with barbecue sauce, olive oil, salt and pepper. Serve as a side dish with Salmon or in halved red bell peppers.

Makes 4 servings.
1/2 jalapeño pepper, remedy seeded and finely chopped
1 red sweet pepper, chopped
2 fresh ears of corn, boiled or grilled
1 tbsp bottled barbecue sauce
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 salt
1/4 pepper
Fresh marjoram or oregano (optional)

In a bowl, combine chopped jalapeño and sweet pepper; set aside.

To grill corn: place husked corn on grill rack directly over medium heat; grill, turning occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes or until crisp-tender.

To boil: place husked corn in a large pot of boiling water. Continue to boil 5-10 minutes longer. Remove from pot to a cutting board to cool slightly.

Cut corn from cob. Add to chopped peppers with barbecue sauce, olive oil, salt and pepper. Serve as a side dish with Salmon or in halved red bell peppers.

Makes 4 servings.

Barbecued Corn Relish

1/2 jalapeño pepper, page seeded and finely chopped
1 red sweet pepper, side effects chopped
2 fresh ears of corn, find boiled or grilled
1 tbsp bottled barbecue sauce
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 salt
1/4 pepper
Fresh marjoram or oregano (optional)

In a bowl, combine chopped jalapeño and sweet pepper; set aside.

To grill corn: place husked corn on grill rack directly over medium heat; grill, turning occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes or until crisp-tender.

To boil: place husked corn in a large pot of boiling water. Continue to boil 5-10 minutes longer. Remove from pot to a cutting board to cool slightly.

Cut corn from cob. Add to chopped peppers with barbecue sauce, olive oil, salt and pepper. Serve as a side dish with Salmon or in halved red bell peppers.

Makes 4 servings.
1/2 jalapeño pepper, remedy seeded and finely chopped
1 red sweet pepper, chopped
2 fresh ears of corn, boiled or grilled
1 tbsp bottled barbecue sauce
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 salt
1/4 pepper
Fresh marjoram or oregano (optional)

In a bowl, combine chopped jalapeño and sweet pepper; set aside.

To grill corn: place husked corn on grill rack directly over medium heat; grill, turning occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes or until crisp-tender.

To boil: place husked corn in a large pot of boiling water. Continue to boil 5-10 minutes longer. Remove from pot to a cutting board to cool slightly.

Cut corn from cob. Add to chopped peppers with barbecue sauce, olive oil, salt and pepper. Serve as a side dish with Salmon or in halved red bell peppers.

Makes 4 servings.

Barbecued Corn Relish

1/2 jalapeño pepper, page seeded and finely chopped
1 red sweet pepper, side effects chopped
2 fresh ears of corn, find boiled or grilled
1 tbsp bottled barbecue sauce
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 salt
1/4 pepper
Fresh marjoram or oregano (optional)

In a bowl, combine chopped jalapeño and sweet pepper; set aside.

To grill corn: place husked corn on grill rack directly over medium heat; grill, turning occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes or until crisp-tender.

To boil: place husked corn in a large pot of boiling water. Continue to boil 5-10 minutes longer. Remove from pot to a cutting board to cool slightly.

Cut corn from cob. Add to chopped peppers with barbecue sauce, olive oil, salt and pepper. Serve as a side dish with Salmon or in halved red bell peppers.

Makes 4 servings.

Barbecued Corn Relish

Do not let this summer season go by without trying Barbecued Corn Relish. This recipe happens to be a companion recipe to grilled salmon flavored with barbecue sauce; however, cheapest I thoroughly enjoyed the corn relish on a taco salad. You could also serve it up with a bowl of guacamole and chips for an appetizer. The temperature is about medium so if you prefer more heat add some hot sauce or use a hotter pepper.

Source: adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
1/2 jalapeño pepper, pharmacy seeded and finely chopped
1 red sweet pepper, decease chopped
2 fresh ears of corn, boiled or grilled
1 tbsp bottled barbecue sauce
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 salt
1/4 pepper
Fresh chopped cilantro (optional)

In a bowl, combine chopped jalapeño and sweet pepper; set aside.

To grill corn: place husked corn on grill rack directly over medium heat; grill, turning occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes or until crisp-tender.

To boil: place husked corn in a large pot of boiling water. Continue to boil 5-10 minutes longer. Remove from pot to a cutting board to cool slightly.

Cut corn from cob. Add to chopped peppers with barbecue sauce, olive oil, salt and pepper. Serve as a side dish with Salmon or in halved red bell peppers.

Makes 4 servings.
1/2 jalapeño pepper, remedy seeded and finely chopped
1 red sweet pepper, chopped
2 fresh ears of corn, boiled or grilled
1 tbsp bottled barbecue sauce
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 salt
1/4 pepper
Fresh marjoram or oregano (optional)

In a bowl, combine chopped jalapeño and sweet pepper; set aside.

To grill corn: place husked corn on grill rack directly over medium heat; grill, turning occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes or until crisp-tender.

To boil: place husked corn in a large pot of boiling water. Continue to boil 5-10 minutes longer. Remove from pot to a cutting board to cool slightly.

Cut corn from cob. Add to chopped peppers with barbecue sauce, olive oil, salt and pepper. Serve as a side dish with Salmon or in halved red bell peppers.

Makes 4 servings.

Barbecued Corn Relish

1/2 jalapeño pepper, page seeded and finely chopped
1 red sweet pepper, side effects chopped
2 fresh ears of corn, find boiled or grilled
1 tbsp bottled barbecue sauce
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 salt
1/4 pepper
Fresh marjoram or oregano (optional)

In a bowl, combine chopped jalapeño and sweet pepper; set aside.

To grill corn: place husked corn on grill rack directly over medium heat; grill, turning occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes or until crisp-tender.

To boil: place husked corn in a large pot of boiling water. Continue to boil 5-10 minutes longer. Remove from pot to a cutting board to cool slightly.

Cut corn from cob. Add to chopped peppers with barbecue sauce, olive oil, salt and pepper. Serve as a side dish with Salmon or in halved red bell peppers.

Makes 4 servings.

Barbecued Corn Relish

Do not let this summer season go by without trying Barbecued Corn Relish. This recipe happens to be a companion recipe to grilled salmon flavored with barbecue sauce; however, cheapest I thoroughly enjoyed the corn relish on a taco salad. You could also serve it up with a bowl of guacamole and chips for an appetizer. The temperature is about medium so if you prefer more heat add some hot sauce or use a hotter pepper.

Source: adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
1/2 jalapeño pepper, pharmacy seeded and finely chopped
1 red sweet pepper, decease chopped
2 fresh ears of corn, boiled or grilled
1 tbsp bottled barbecue sauce
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 salt
1/4 pepper
Fresh chopped cilantro (optional)

In a bowl, combine chopped jalapeño and sweet pepper; set aside.

To grill corn: place husked corn on grill rack directly over medium heat; grill, turning occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes or until crisp-tender.

To boil: place husked corn in a large pot of boiling water. Continue to boil 5-10 minutes longer. Remove from pot to a cutting board to cool slightly.

Cut corn from cob. Add to chopped peppers with barbecue sauce, olive oil, salt and pepper. Serve as a side dish with Salmon or in halved red bell peppers.

Makes 4 servings.

Make

Photo: courtesy iVillage.com

It amazes me that a single event can seem so far in the distance and then sneak up on me before I know it. Last Christmas I made a goal to be prepared. Unforeseen circumstances crushed that goal into tiny particles of cosmic dust. Christmas cards never went out and planned gifts were never finished while we all suffered retched illnesses the entire month of December. Each year my sister-n-law Jennifer and I renew our vow to complete all our Christmas shopping by Thanksgiving. Last year I waited to buy presents in hopes of scoring the best deals late into the season. I have learned my lesson. This year I am a repented saint.

Augusts’ resolution to ‘Make’ is nothing profound unlike the previous months have been. My resolution to make is the practical side of me saying “you only have three months before the flurry of the flu, buy information pills school projects and holidays get in the way.” I have granted myself two months for planning three birthdays, page one the week of Christmas. Then there is the making of Halloween costumes and new garb for the Christmas play I have been writing in addition to finishing all the homemade gifts started last November. I cannot wait for my little niece Lilyanna to opens hers. I will say no more since her mommy sometimes reads my posts.

Making does not have to revolve around crafts. You could:
Vow to make a new friend.
Make a decision you have been putting off until that some day.
Make home repairs. If the emergency overflow drain for your air conditioner has been leaking vow to get it fixed…today.
If you continuously miss your best friend’s birthday make a point to remember it.
Make a new recipe once a week.
Make a family plan that lists the goals you want to accomplish as a family. Come up with a family motto to help you achieve those goals.
Make up family traditions.
Make a list of topics to discuss at family dinner each night.
Make family time a priority once a week.
Make cards for someone in need of a warm gesture.
Make up a package for a soldier at war. Or take it to their family to show support.
Make a picnic lunch to share.
Design and make games and treats for a backyard carnival.

There is no procrastinating allowed during the month of August. It is about choosing to take care of business today.

Watermelon Lime Granitas

dancing-in-the-rain

Photo: Dancing in the Rain, prostate courtesy of Photo Bucket

Someone once told me they were leery of overly happy people because they must be hiding something. I think that there are individuals out there who are genuinely happy. The faults of life roll off their backs like RainX on a car windshield. On the opposite side of the glass half-full crowd are those who need to wallow in self-pity. They feel robbed of their liberties if their feelings are not validated. They feel they are  fake if they act contrary to how they feel. If they do not feel happy then why should they be happy? Problem is when they are not happy they feel no one should be happy. Thus we are all made to feel miserable with them.

One day I was listening to a radio talk show. The caller expressed the need to be true to her feelings but longed to be happy like her fiancé. Even so, buy she found it difficult to “fake” being nice if she did not feel like being nice. Her question was if she woke up on the wrong side of the bed was it ok to fake being happy? The host told her if that is what she needed to do then yes it is ok because it is never ok to lash out at someone. The host then added that sometimes when we try to be happy by smiling and doing nice things for other people eventually we become happy.

Not long ago I received terrible news that a dear friend of mine had succumb to liver cancer. She discovered that she had cancer only three months prior to her death. Donna was in her late 50’s. Her life had been fraught with peril at every turn. She was abused and abandoned most of her existence. She was strong. She was a fighter. She survived every negative confrontation thrown at her. By the time we met in my late twenties she was no longer the victim. Her rosy cheeks and denim overalls said everything about her character. She was soft spoken and kind. She would give the shirt off her back to help someone. She was genuine; always a pleasure to be around. She always had a kind word to say on both good and bad days. I loved being around Donna  because she was fun.

As the month progressed I learned of the severe personal tumults suffered by several of my dearest friends. I realized  that day there are more people than we realize who have or are  suffering in some form or another. Despite their afflictions, here they strive to keep their heads high making the most of what they have. They have dealt with the past. They are moving on. Their lives are not perfect. They are battle worn and scared. Nevertheless, they are striving to make their lives and those around them better. These women are some of the most noble people I have had the pleasure of befriending. Most importantly despite their hardships they are permitting themselves to have fun and enjoy the pleasures of life.

When I was a young girl I loved the movie Pollyanna starring Haley Mills. Pollyanna is a vibrant 11 year old girl. Upon her father’s untimely death she was shipped off to live with her Aunt Polly. The daughter of a Missionary Minister, Pollyanna did without the finer things in life. Her only belongings came from missionary barrels or donations. As it so happens, one summer she begged her father for a doll. The ‘Ladies Aid’ tried to find one but all they received by the time the barrel needed to be sent off was a set of crutches. Pollyanna’s father seeing her terrible sadness came up with an idea. He asked her to find something glad about the situation. When she could not he told her she could be glad that she does not have to use the crutches. From that time forward she and her father played what they called the “Glad Game”. Pollyanna set about changing the hearts of everyone around her including her sour-hearted Aunt Polly. One passage I greatly enjoyed, reading in the novel written by Eleanor H. Porter, occurred shortly after her arrival. Miss Polly had just given Pollyanna her daily schedule consisting of cleaning her room first thing in the morning after which she should read 30 minutes aloud to Miss Polly followed by cooking lessons. In the late afternoon Pollyanna was expected to practice the piano. Pollyanna asked “what about living?” When was she supposed to live when her time was taken up with all these extra activities? She lamented that she did not want to just breathe she wanted to live. And so she did. Her Aunt Polly was surprised at the numerous acquaintances Pollyanna had made and the impact Pollyanna made in their lives. The Aunt Polly was so moved by the town’s love for Pollyanna that her own heart softened so much so that she became susceptible to love and forgiveness. The glad game is not that simple. You must find something to be glad about on all occasions. Learning to look on the brighter side of life enabled Pollyanna to step out without fear of condemnation. People loved her because she was so much fun to be with. She could be friends with even the grouchiest of souls because life held no bounds.

This month’s resolution is to have fun. I made this list in the beginning of the year. When July neared I was unsure of what exactly Fun meant. The word Fun is defined as something that provides enjoyment or amusement. I think fun means being able to lighten up despite our circumstances. Miss Polly caved into and was trapped by embarrassment for 11 to 15 years. Her fears lead her down a lonesome unemotional path. Pollyanna gently guided her away from tight buns, dark clothing and pursed lips and back into a world full of color, friendships and joy. Fun for some may include dancing on the bar top but I am not talking about temporary self-satisfaction. Remember the New Year’s resolution’s purpose is to enlighten us and make us better friends, neighbors and relatives. Some activities are better left in the ignorance of youth. The fun I speak of entails allowing ourselves the freedom to stop and enjoy life. Put the electronics away. Forgive whom you need to. Find the glad in your most heart-breaking sorrows as difficult as it may be. To have fun is to help others find the glad so that they too can have fun. To have fun is to vow even though we wake up disgruntled we can make the choice to fake being glad if we have to. To have fun is to discover why everyone calls you the “party-pooper” or “no fun” and change it.

Nuns Having Fun by Maureen Kelly and Jeffrey Stone

Photo: Nuns Having Fun

I try to teach my children it is ok to feel hurt, angry, sad, disappointed they are all legitimate feelings. But, we make the choice to let those feelings dictate our behavior and attitude or to let it go. It is not easy trying to tell that to a five year old who demands justice even to the point of missing out on the fun that is happening at that moment. I know there is more injustice going on in the world than we can fathom. There are people out there who are suffering or have suffered tremendous acts of violence, abuse and emotional warfare. Yet, day after day they keep moving forward. The writer Erma Bombeck wrote a column, upon discovering that she was dying from cancer, entitled “If I Had to Live My Life Over.” Erma wrote, “… I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage. I would have talked less and listened more. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded. I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace. … I would have sat on the lawn with my kids, even if it meant grass stains.” During the month of July I hope to use up the bottle of perfume sitting in the vanity drawer. I want to view my new home as a vacation rental. I want to find more of the glad, relax and have fun.

This is a short but fairly long list on how to have fun. The possibilities are practically endless. My hope is maybe something on the list will spawn additional fun ideas. Please feel free to share your FUN in the comments section.

Each day write down 3-5 positive things that happened that day.
Learn to have fun playing the glad game.

– Watch the clouds
– Watch a sun rise
– Take a midnight swim
– Observe bugs
– Pick flowers
– Camping
– Build a fort
– Take a treat or a balloon to friends and family.
– Read a book and come up with a project or something fun to do based on the material.
– Call the girls or take your daughter(s) to go get pedicures.
– Go on a leisurely bike ride with friends.
– Host a mystery dinner.
– Have an unbirthday party.
– Pay for the person behind you at the movies or toll booth.
– Act out a book complete with make shift costumes.
– Host a Karaokee night.
– Have a Nerf gun Showdown.
– See how many Balloons it takes to lift off the ground. Then watch the movie “Deckchair Danny”.
– Put on a Shadow Theater show.
– Simply your life and home. Throw out the excess. Ask yourself do I really need this? Why do I have it? Is it in the way? Allow your home to feel like the vacation resort you always wanted to visit.
– Learn something new.
– Go to a concert
– Go on a ‘first’ date with your significant other.
– Take a “I feel good day” off of work, if you can.
– Check the Entertainment section of the newspaper or a local website to see what is happening in your town.
– Celebrate a holiday or an achievement.
– Stay up until 4 AM devouring a good book or chatting with an old friend.
– Plan a picnic
– Play a game of volleyball or basketball with friends and/or family
– Go to the lake
– Rent a houseboat.
– Host a game night.
– Play Frisbee.
– Go to a public sporting event.
– Play a sport.
– Date night at the arcade.
– Have a scavenger hunt.
– Make a home movie.
– Build a rocket or model car.
– Find a new hobby.
– Learn about Geo Caching
– Let the kids jump in the rain puddles
– Most important loosen up and lighten up. Don’t be negative. Be willing to come out of the comfort shell once in a while. Laugh a little more. Smile a lot more. Look for the joy or “Glad” in everything around you.

dancing-in-the-rain

Photo: Dancing in the Rain, prostate courtesy of Photo Bucket

Someone once told me they were leery of overly happy people because they must be hiding something. I think that there are individuals out there who are genuinely happy. The faults of life roll off their backs like RainX on a car windshield. On the opposite side of the glass half-full crowd are those who need to wallow in self-pity. They feel robbed of their liberties if their feelings are not validated. They feel they are  fake if they act contrary to how they feel. If they do not feel happy then why should they be happy? Problem is when they are not happy they feel no one should be happy. Thus we are all made to feel miserable with them.

One day I was listening to a radio talk show. The caller expressed the need to be true to her feelings but longed to be happy like her fiancé. Even so, buy she found it difficult to “fake” being nice if she did not feel like being nice. Her question was if she woke up on the wrong side of the bed was it ok to fake being happy? The host told her if that is what she needed to do then yes it is ok because it is never ok to lash out at someone. The host then added that sometimes when we try to be happy by smiling and doing nice things for other people eventually we become happy.

Not long ago I received terrible news that a dear friend of mine had succumb to liver cancer. She discovered that she had cancer only three months prior to her death. Donna was in her late 50’s. Her life had been fraught with peril at every turn. She was abused and abandoned most of her existence. She was strong. She was a fighter. She survived every negative confrontation thrown at her. By the time we met in my late twenties she was no longer the victim. Her rosy cheeks and denim overalls said everything about her character. She was soft spoken and kind. She would give the shirt off her back to help someone. She was genuine; always a pleasure to be around. She always had a kind word to say on both good and bad days. I loved being around Donna  because she was fun.

As the month progressed I learned of the severe personal tumults suffered by several of my dearest friends. I realized  that day there are more people than we realize who have or are  suffering in some form or another. Despite their afflictions, here they strive to keep their heads high making the most of what they have. They have dealt with the past. They are moving on. Their lives are not perfect. They are battle worn and scared. Nevertheless, they are striving to make their lives and those around them better. These women are some of the most noble people I have had the pleasure of befriending. Most importantly despite their hardships they are permitting themselves to have fun and enjoy the pleasures of life.

When I was a young girl I loved the movie Pollyanna starring Haley Mills. Pollyanna is a vibrant 11 year old girl. Upon her father’s untimely death she was shipped off to live with her Aunt Polly. The daughter of a Missionary Minister, Pollyanna did without the finer things in life. Her only belongings came from missionary barrels or donations. As it so happens, one summer she begged her father for a doll. The ‘Ladies Aid’ tried to find one but all they received by the time the barrel needed to be sent off was a set of crutches. Pollyanna’s father seeing her terrible sadness came up with an idea. He asked her to find something glad about the situation. When she could not he told her she could be glad that she does not have to use the crutches. From that time forward she and her father played what they called the “Glad Game”. Pollyanna set about changing the hearts of everyone around her including her sour-hearted Aunt Polly. One passage I greatly enjoyed, reading in the novel written by Eleanor H. Porter, occurred shortly after her arrival. Miss Polly had just given Pollyanna her daily schedule consisting of cleaning her room first thing in the morning after which she should read 30 minutes aloud to Miss Polly followed by cooking lessons. In the late afternoon Pollyanna was expected to practice the piano. Pollyanna asked “what about living?” When was she supposed to live when her time was taken up with all these extra activities? She lamented that she did not want to just breathe she wanted to live. And so she did. Her Aunt Polly was surprised at the numerous acquaintances Pollyanna had made and the impact Pollyanna made in their lives. The Aunt Polly was so moved by the town’s love for Pollyanna that her own heart softened so much so that she became susceptible to love and forgiveness. The glad game is not that simple. You must find something to be glad about on all occasions. Learning to look on the brighter side of life enabled Pollyanna to step out without fear of condemnation. People loved her because she was so much fun to be with. She could be friends with even the grouchiest of souls because life held no bounds.

This month’s resolution is to have fun. I made this list in the beginning of the year. When July neared I was unsure of what exactly Fun meant. The word Fun is defined as something that provides enjoyment or amusement. I think fun means being able to lighten up despite our circumstances. Miss Polly caved into and was trapped by embarrassment for 11 to 15 years. Her fears lead her down a lonesome unemotional path. Pollyanna gently guided her away from tight buns, dark clothing and pursed lips and back into a world full of color, friendships and joy. Fun for some may include dancing on the bar top but I am not talking about temporary self-satisfaction. Remember the New Year’s resolution’s purpose is to enlighten us and make us better friends, neighbors and relatives. Some activities are better left in the ignorance of youth. The fun I speak of entails allowing ourselves the freedom to stop and enjoy life. Put the electronics away. Forgive whom you need to. Find the glad in your most heart-breaking sorrows as difficult as it may be. To have fun is to help others find the glad so that they too can have fun. To have fun is to vow even though we wake up disgruntled we can make the choice to fake being glad if we have to. To have fun is to discover why everyone calls you the “party-pooper” or “no fun” and change it.

Nuns Having Fun by Maureen Kelly and Jeffrey Stone

Photo: Nuns Having Fun

I try to teach my children it is ok to feel hurt, angry, sad, disappointed they are all legitimate feelings. But, we make the choice to let those feelings dictate our behavior and attitude or to let it go. It is not easy trying to tell that to a five year old who demands justice even to the point of missing out on the fun that is happening at that moment. I know there is more injustice going on in the world than we can fathom. There are people out there who are suffering or have suffered tremendous acts of violence, abuse and emotional warfare. Yet, day after day they keep moving forward. The writer Erma Bombeck wrote a column, upon discovering that she was dying from cancer, entitled “If I Had to Live My Life Over.” Erma wrote, “… I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage. I would have talked less and listened more. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded. I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace. … I would have sat on the lawn with my kids, even if it meant grass stains.” During the month of July I hope to use up the bottle of perfume sitting in the vanity drawer. I want to view my new home as a vacation rental. I want to find more of the glad, relax and have fun.

This is a short but fairly long list on how to have fun. The possibilities are practically endless. My hope is maybe something on the list will spawn additional fun ideas. Please feel free to share your FUN in the comments section.

Each day write down 3-5 positive things that happened that day.
Learn to have fun playing the glad game.

– Watch the clouds
– Watch a sun rise
– Take a midnight swim
– Observe bugs
– Pick flowers
– Camping
– Build a fort
– Take a treat or a balloon to friends and family.
– Read a book and come up with a project or something fun to do based on the material.
– Call the girls or take your daughter(s) to go get pedicures.
– Go on a leisurely bike ride with friends.
– Host a mystery dinner.
– Have an unbirthday party.
– Pay for the person behind you at the movies or toll booth.
– Act out a book complete with make shift costumes.
– Host a Karaokee night.
– Have a Nerf gun Showdown.
– See how many Balloons it takes to lift off the ground. Then watch the movie “Deckchair Danny”.
– Put on a Shadow Theater show.
– Simply your life and home. Throw out the excess. Ask yourself do I really need this? Why do I have it? Is it in the way? Allow your home to feel like the vacation resort you always wanted to visit.
– Learn something new.
– Go to a concert
– Go on a ‘first’ date with your significant other.
– Take a “I feel good day” off of work, if you can.
– Check the Entertainment section of the newspaper or a local website to see what is happening in your town.
– Celebrate a holiday or an achievement.
– Stay up until 4 AM devouring a good book or chatting with an old friend.
– Plan a picnic
– Play a game of volleyball or basketball with friends and/or family
– Go to the lake
– Rent a houseboat.
– Host a game night.
– Play Frisbee.
– Go to a public sporting event.
– Play a sport.
– Date night at the arcade.
– Have a scavenger hunt.
– Make a home movie.
– Build a rocket or model car.
– Find a new hobby.
– Learn about Geo Caching
– Let the kids jump in the rain puddles
– Most important loosen up and lighten up. Don’t be negative. Be willing to come out of the comfort shell once in a while. Laugh a little more. Smile a lot more. Look for the joy or “Glad” in everything around you.

dancing-in-the-rain

Photo: Dancing in the Rain, sale courtesy of Photo Bucket

Someone once told me they were leery of overly happy people because they must be hiding something. I think that there are individuals out there who are genuinely happy. The faults of life roll off their backs like RainX on a car windshield. On the opposite side of the glass half-full crowd are those who need to wallow in self-pity. They feel robbed of their liberties if their feelings are not validated. They feel they are  fake if they act contrary to how they feel. If they do not feel happy then why should they be happy? Problem is when they are not happy they feel no one should be happy. Thus we are all made to feel miserable with them.

One day I was listening to a radio talk show. The caller expressed the need to be true to her feelings but longed to be happy like her fiancé. Even so, price she found it difficult to “fake” being nice if she did not feel like being nice. Her question was if she woke up on the wrong side of the bed was it ok to fake being happy? The host told her if that is what she needed to do then yes it is ok because it is never ok to lash out at someone. The host then added that sometimes when we try to be happy by smiling and doing nice things for other people eventually we become happy.

Not long ago I received terrible news that a dear friend of mine had succumb to liver cancer. She discovered that she had cancer only three months prior to her death. Donna was in her late 50’s. Her life had been fraught with peril at every turn. She was abused and abandoned most of her existence. She was strong. She was a fighter. She survived every negative confrontation thrown at her. By the time we met in my late twenties she was no longer the victim. Her rosy cheeks and denim overalls said everything about her character. She was soft spoken and kind. She would give the shirt off her back to help someone. She was genuine; always a pleasure to be around. She always had a kind word to say on both good and bad days. I loved being around Donna  because she was fun.

As the month progressed I learned of the severe personal tumults suffered by several of my dearest friends. I realized  that day there are more people than we realize who have or are  suffering in some form or another. Despite their afflictions, they strive to keep their heads high making the most of what they have. They have dealt with the past. They are moving on. Their lives are not perfect. They are battle worn and scared. Nevertheless, they are striving to make their lives and those around them better. These women are some of the most noble people I have had the pleasure of befriending. Most importantly despite their hardships they are permitting themselves to have fun and enjoy the pleasures of life.

boat by Dapixara

Photo: Red Boat, byDapixara

When I was a young girl I loved the movie Pollyanna starring Haley Mills. Pollyanna is a vibrant 11 year old girl. Upon her father’s untimely death she was shipped off to live with her Aunt Polly. The daughter of a Missionary Minister, Pollyanna did without the finer things in life. Her only belongings came from missionary barrels or donations. As it so happens, one summer she begged her father for a doll. The ‘Ladies Aid’ tried to find one but all they received by the time the barrel needed to be sent off was a set of crutches. Pollyanna’s father seeing her terrible sadness came up with an idea. He asked her to find something glad about the situation. When she could not he told her she could be glad that she does not have to use the crutches. From that time forward she and her father played what they called the “Glad Game”. Pollyanna set about changing the hearts of everyone around her including her sour-hearted Aunt Polly. One passage I greatly enjoyed, reading in the novel written by Eleanor H. Porter, occurred shortly after her arrival. Miss Polly had just given Pollyanna her daily schedule consisting of cleaning her room first thing in the morning after which she should read 30 minutes aloud to Miss Polly followed by cooking lessons. In the late afternoon Pollyanna was expected to practice the piano. Pollyanna asked “what about living?” When was she supposed to live when her time was taken up with all these extra activities? She lamented that she did not want to just breathe she wanted to live. And so she did. Her Aunt Polly was surprised at the numerous acquaintances Pollyanna had made and the impact Pollyanna made in their lives. The Aunt Polly was so moved by the town’s love for Pollyanna that her own heart softened so much so that she became susceptible to love and forgiveness. The glad game is not that simple. You must find something to be glad about on all occasions. Learning to look on the brighter side of life enabled Pollyanna to step out without fear of condemnation. People loved her because she was so much fun to be with. She could be friends with even the grouchiest of souls because life held no bounds.

This month’s resolution is to have fun. I made this list in the beginning of the year. When July neared I was unsure of what exactly Fun meant. The word Fun is defined as something that provides enjoyment or amusement. I think fun means being able to lighten up despite our circumstances. Miss Polly caved into and was trapped by embarrassment for 11 to 15 years. Her fears lead her down a lonesome unemotional path. Pollyanna gently guided her away from tight buns, dark clothing and pursed lips and back into a world full of color, friendships and joy. Fun for some may include dancing on the bar top but I am not talking about temporary self-satisfaction. Remember the New Year’s resolution’s purpose is to enlighten us and make us better friends, neighbors and relatives. Some activities are better left in the ignorance of youth. The fun I speak of entails allowing ourselves the freedom to stop and enjoy life. Put the electronics away. Forgive whom you need to. Find the glad in your most heart-breaking sorrows as difficult as it may be. To have fun is to help others find the glad so that they too can have fun. To have fun is to vow even though we wake up disgruntled we can make the choice to fake being glad if we have to. To have fun is to discover why everyone calls you the “party-pooper” or “no fun” and change it.

Nuns Having Fun by Maureen Kelly and Jeffrey Stone

Photo: Nuns Having Fun

I try to teach my children it is ok to feel hurt, angry, sad, disappointed they are all legitimate feelings. But, we make the choice to let those feelings dictate our behavior and attitude or to let it go. It is not easy trying to tell that to a five year old who demands justice even to the point of missing out on the fun that is happening at that moment. I know there is more injustice going on in the world than we can fathom. There are people out there who are suffering or have suffered tremendous acts of violence, abuse and emotional warfare. Yet, day after day they keep moving forward. The writer Erma Bombeck wrote a column, upon discovering that she was dying from cancer, entitled “If I Had to Live My Life Over.” Erma wrote, “… I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage. I would have talked less and listened more. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded. I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace. … I would have sat on the lawn with my kids, even if it meant grass stains.” During the month of July I hope to use up the bottle of perfume sitting in the vanity drawer. I want to view my new home as a vacation rental. I want to find more of the glad, relax and have fun.

This is a short but fairly long list on how to have fun. The possibilities are practically endless. My hope is maybe something on the list will spawn additional fun ideas. Please feel free to share your FUN in the comments section.

Each day write down 3-5 positive things that happened that day.
Learn to have fun playing the glad game.

– Watch the clouds
– Watch a sun rise
– Take a midnight swim
– Observe bugs
– Pick flowers
– Camping
– Build a fort
– Take a treat or a balloon to friends and family.
– Read a book and come up with a project or something fun to do based on the material.
– Call the girls or take your daughter(s) to go get pedicures.
– Go on a leisurely bike ride with friends.
– Host a mystery dinner.
– Have an unbirthday party.
– Pay for the person behind you at the movies or toll booth.
– Act out a book complete with make shift costumes.
– Host a Karaokee night.
– Have a Nerf gun Showdown.
– See how many Balloons it takes to lift off the ground. Then watch the movie “Deckchair Danny”.
– Put on a Shadow Theater show.
– Simply your life and home. Throw out the excess. Ask yourself do I really need this? Why do I have it? Is it in the way? Allow your home to feel like the vacation resort you always wanted to visit.
– Learn something new.
– Go to a concert
– Go on a ‘first’ date with your significant other.
– Take a “I feel good day” off of work, if you can.
– Check the Entertainment section of the newspaper or a local website to see what is happening in your town.
– Celebrate a holiday or an achievement.
– Stay up until 4 AM devouring a good book or chatting with an old friend.
– Plan a picnic
– Play a game of volleyball or basketball with friends and/or family
– Go to the lake
– Rent a houseboat.
– Host a game night.
– Play Frisbee.
– Go to a public sporting event.
– Play a sport.
– Date night at the arcade.
– Have a scavenger hunt.
– Make a home movie.
– Build a rocket or model car.
– Find a new hobby.
– Learn about Geo Caching
– Let the kids jump in the rain puddles
– Most important loosen up and lighten up. Don’t be negative. Be willing to come out of the comfort shell once in a while. Laugh a little more. Smile a lot more. Look for the joy or “Glad” in everything around you.

dancing-in-the-rain

Photo: Dancing in the Rain, prostate courtesy of Photo Bucket

Someone once told me they were leery of overly happy people because they must be hiding something. I think that there are individuals out there who are genuinely happy. The faults of life roll off their backs like RainX on a car windshield. On the opposite side of the glass half-full crowd are those who need to wallow in self-pity. They feel robbed of their liberties if their feelings are not validated. They feel they are  fake if they act contrary to how they feel. If they do not feel happy then why should they be happy? Problem is when they are not happy they feel no one should be happy. Thus we are all made to feel miserable with them.

One day I was listening to a radio talk show. The caller expressed the need to be true to her feelings but longed to be happy like her fiancé. Even so, buy she found it difficult to “fake” being nice if she did not feel like being nice. Her question was if she woke up on the wrong side of the bed was it ok to fake being happy? The host told her if that is what she needed to do then yes it is ok because it is never ok to lash out at someone. The host then added that sometimes when we try to be happy by smiling and doing nice things for other people eventually we become happy.

Not long ago I received terrible news that a dear friend of mine had succumb to liver cancer. She discovered that she had cancer only three months prior to her death. Donna was in her late 50’s. Her life had been fraught with peril at every turn. She was abused and abandoned most of her existence. She was strong. She was a fighter. She survived every negative confrontation thrown at her. By the time we met in my late twenties she was no longer the victim. Her rosy cheeks and denim overalls said everything about her character. She was soft spoken and kind. She would give the shirt off her back to help someone. She was genuine; always a pleasure to be around. She always had a kind word to say on both good and bad days. I loved being around Donna  because she was fun.

As the month progressed I learned of the severe personal tumults suffered by several of my dearest friends. I realized  that day there are more people than we realize who have or are  suffering in some form or another. Despite their afflictions, here they strive to keep their heads high making the most of what they have. They have dealt with the past. They are moving on. Their lives are not perfect. They are battle worn and scared. Nevertheless, they are striving to make their lives and those around them better. These women are some of the most noble people I have had the pleasure of befriending. Most importantly despite their hardships they are permitting themselves to have fun and enjoy the pleasures of life.

When I was a young girl I loved the movie Pollyanna starring Haley Mills. Pollyanna is a vibrant 11 year old girl. Upon her father’s untimely death she was shipped off to live with her Aunt Polly. The daughter of a Missionary Minister, Pollyanna did without the finer things in life. Her only belongings came from missionary barrels or donations. As it so happens, one summer she begged her father for a doll. The ‘Ladies Aid’ tried to find one but all they received by the time the barrel needed to be sent off was a set of crutches. Pollyanna’s father seeing her terrible sadness came up with an idea. He asked her to find something glad about the situation. When she could not he told her she could be glad that she does not have to use the crutches. From that time forward she and her father played what they called the “Glad Game”. Pollyanna set about changing the hearts of everyone around her including her sour-hearted Aunt Polly. One passage I greatly enjoyed, reading in the novel written by Eleanor H. Porter, occurred shortly after her arrival. Miss Polly had just given Pollyanna her daily schedule consisting of cleaning her room first thing in the morning after which she should read 30 minutes aloud to Miss Polly followed by cooking lessons. In the late afternoon Pollyanna was expected to practice the piano. Pollyanna asked “what about living?” When was she supposed to live when her time was taken up with all these extra activities? She lamented that she did not want to just breathe she wanted to live. And so she did. Her Aunt Polly was surprised at the numerous acquaintances Pollyanna had made and the impact Pollyanna made in their lives. The Aunt Polly was so moved by the town’s love for Pollyanna that her own heart softened so much so that she became susceptible to love and forgiveness. The glad game is not that simple. You must find something to be glad about on all occasions. Learning to look on the brighter side of life enabled Pollyanna to step out without fear of condemnation. People loved her because she was so much fun to be with. She could be friends with even the grouchiest of souls because life held no bounds.

This month’s resolution is to have fun. I made this list in the beginning of the year. When July neared I was unsure of what exactly Fun meant. The word Fun is defined as something that provides enjoyment or amusement. I think fun means being able to lighten up despite our circumstances. Miss Polly caved into and was trapped by embarrassment for 11 to 15 years. Her fears lead her down a lonesome unemotional path. Pollyanna gently guided her away from tight buns, dark clothing and pursed lips and back into a world full of color, friendships and joy. Fun for some may include dancing on the bar top but I am not talking about temporary self-satisfaction. Remember the New Year’s resolution’s purpose is to enlighten us and make us better friends, neighbors and relatives. Some activities are better left in the ignorance of youth. The fun I speak of entails allowing ourselves the freedom to stop and enjoy life. Put the electronics away. Forgive whom you need to. Find the glad in your most heart-breaking sorrows as difficult as it may be. To have fun is to help others find the glad so that they too can have fun. To have fun is to vow even though we wake up disgruntled we can make the choice to fake being glad if we have to. To have fun is to discover why everyone calls you the “party-pooper” or “no fun” and change it.

Nuns Having Fun by Maureen Kelly and Jeffrey Stone

Photo: Nuns Having Fun

I try to teach my children it is ok to feel hurt, angry, sad, disappointed they are all legitimate feelings. But, we make the choice to let those feelings dictate our behavior and attitude or to let it go. It is not easy trying to tell that to a five year old who demands justice even to the point of missing out on the fun that is happening at that moment. I know there is more injustice going on in the world than we can fathom. There are people out there who are suffering or have suffered tremendous acts of violence, abuse and emotional warfare. Yet, day after day they keep moving forward. The writer Erma Bombeck wrote a column, upon discovering that she was dying from cancer, entitled “If I Had to Live My Life Over.” Erma wrote, “… I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage. I would have talked less and listened more. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded. I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace. … I would have sat on the lawn with my kids, even if it meant grass stains.” During the month of July I hope to use up the bottle of perfume sitting in the vanity drawer. I want to view my new home as a vacation rental. I want to find more of the glad, relax and have fun.

This is a short but fairly long list on how to have fun. The possibilities are practically endless. My hope is maybe something on the list will spawn additional fun ideas. Please feel free to share your FUN in the comments section.

Each day write down 3-5 positive things that happened that day.
Learn to have fun playing the glad game.

– Watch the clouds
– Watch a sun rise
– Take a midnight swim
– Observe bugs
– Pick flowers
– Camping
– Build a fort
– Take a treat or a balloon to friends and family.
– Read a book and come up with a project or something fun to do based on the material.
– Call the girls or take your daughter(s) to go get pedicures.
– Go on a leisurely bike ride with friends.
– Host a mystery dinner.
– Have an unbirthday party.
– Pay for the person behind you at the movies or toll booth.
– Act out a book complete with make shift costumes.
– Host a Karaokee night.
– Have a Nerf gun Showdown.
– See how many Balloons it takes to lift off the ground. Then watch the movie “Deckchair Danny”.
– Put on a Shadow Theater show.
– Simply your life and home. Throw out the excess. Ask yourself do I really need this? Why do I have it? Is it in the way? Allow your home to feel like the vacation resort you always wanted to visit.
– Learn something new.
– Go to a concert
– Go on a ‘first’ date with your significant other.
– Take a “I feel good day” off of work, if you can.
– Check the Entertainment section of the newspaper or a local website to see what is happening in your town.
– Celebrate a holiday or an achievement.
– Stay up until 4 AM devouring a good book or chatting with an old friend.
– Plan a picnic
– Play a game of volleyball or basketball with friends and/or family
– Go to the lake
– Rent a houseboat.
– Host a game night.
– Play Frisbee.
– Go to a public sporting event.
– Play a sport.
– Date night at the arcade.
– Have a scavenger hunt.
– Make a home movie.
– Build a rocket or model car.
– Find a new hobby.
– Learn about Geo Caching
– Let the kids jump in the rain puddles
– Most important loosen up and lighten up. Don’t be negative. Be willing to come out of the comfort shell once in a while. Laugh a little more. Smile a lot more. Look for the joy or “Glad” in everything around you.

dancing-in-the-rain

Photo: Dancing in the Rain, sale courtesy of Photo Bucket

Someone once told me they were leery of overly happy people because they must be hiding something. I think that there are individuals out there who are genuinely happy. The faults of life roll off their backs like RainX on a car windshield. On the opposite side of the glass half-full crowd are those who need to wallow in self-pity. They feel robbed of their liberties if their feelings are not validated. They feel they are  fake if they act contrary to how they feel. If they do not feel happy then why should they be happy? Problem is when they are not happy they feel no one should be happy. Thus we are all made to feel miserable with them.

One day I was listening to a radio talk show. The caller expressed the need to be true to her feelings but longed to be happy like her fiancé. Even so, price she found it difficult to “fake” being nice if she did not feel like being nice. Her question was if she woke up on the wrong side of the bed was it ok to fake being happy? The host told her if that is what she needed to do then yes it is ok because it is never ok to lash out at someone. The host then added that sometimes when we try to be happy by smiling and doing nice things for other people eventually we become happy.

Not long ago I received terrible news that a dear friend of mine had succumb to liver cancer. She discovered that she had cancer only three months prior to her death. Donna was in her late 50’s. Her life had been fraught with peril at every turn. She was abused and abandoned most of her existence. She was strong. She was a fighter. She survived every negative confrontation thrown at her. By the time we met in my late twenties she was no longer the victim. Her rosy cheeks and denim overalls said everything about her character. She was soft spoken and kind. She would give the shirt off her back to help someone. She was genuine; always a pleasure to be around. She always had a kind word to say on both good and bad days. I loved being around Donna  because she was fun.

As the month progressed I learned of the severe personal tumults suffered by several of my dearest friends. I realized  that day there are more people than we realize who have or are  suffering in some form or another. Despite their afflictions, they strive to keep their heads high making the most of what they have. They have dealt with the past. They are moving on. Their lives are not perfect. They are battle worn and scared. Nevertheless, they are striving to make their lives and those around them better. These women are some of the most noble people I have had the pleasure of befriending. Most importantly despite their hardships they are permitting themselves to have fun and enjoy the pleasures of life.

boat by Dapixara

Photo: Red Boat, byDapixara

When I was a young girl I loved the movie Pollyanna starring Haley Mills. Pollyanna is a vibrant 11 year old girl. Upon her father’s untimely death she was shipped off to live with her Aunt Polly. The daughter of a Missionary Minister, Pollyanna did without the finer things in life. Her only belongings came from missionary barrels or donations. As it so happens, one summer she begged her father for a doll. The ‘Ladies Aid’ tried to find one but all they received by the time the barrel needed to be sent off was a set of crutches. Pollyanna’s father seeing her terrible sadness came up with an idea. He asked her to find something glad about the situation. When she could not he told her she could be glad that she does not have to use the crutches. From that time forward she and her father played what they called the “Glad Game”. Pollyanna set about changing the hearts of everyone around her including her sour-hearted Aunt Polly. One passage I greatly enjoyed, reading in the novel written by Eleanor H. Porter, occurred shortly after her arrival. Miss Polly had just given Pollyanna her daily schedule consisting of cleaning her room first thing in the morning after which she should read 30 minutes aloud to Miss Polly followed by cooking lessons. In the late afternoon Pollyanna was expected to practice the piano. Pollyanna asked “what about living?” When was she supposed to live when her time was taken up with all these extra activities? She lamented that she did not want to just breathe she wanted to live. And so she did. Her Aunt Polly was surprised at the numerous acquaintances Pollyanna had made and the impact Pollyanna made in their lives. The Aunt Polly was so moved by the town’s love for Pollyanna that her own heart softened so much so that she became susceptible to love and forgiveness. The glad game is not that simple. You must find something to be glad about on all occasions. Learning to look on the brighter side of life enabled Pollyanna to step out without fear of condemnation. People loved her because she was so much fun to be with. She could be friends with even the grouchiest of souls because life held no bounds.

This month’s resolution is to have fun. I made this list in the beginning of the year. When July neared I was unsure of what exactly Fun meant. The word Fun is defined as something that provides enjoyment or amusement. I think fun means being able to lighten up despite our circumstances. Miss Polly caved into and was trapped by embarrassment for 11 to 15 years. Her fears lead her down a lonesome unemotional path. Pollyanna gently guided her away from tight buns, dark clothing and pursed lips and back into a world full of color, friendships and joy. Fun for some may include dancing on the bar top but I am not talking about temporary self-satisfaction. Remember the New Year’s resolution’s purpose is to enlighten us and make us better friends, neighbors and relatives. Some activities are better left in the ignorance of youth. The fun I speak of entails allowing ourselves the freedom to stop and enjoy life. Put the electronics away. Forgive whom you need to. Find the glad in your most heart-breaking sorrows as difficult as it may be. To have fun is to help others find the glad so that they too can have fun. To have fun is to vow even though we wake up disgruntled we can make the choice to fake being glad if we have to. To have fun is to discover why everyone calls you the “party-pooper” or “no fun” and change it.

Nuns Having Fun by Maureen Kelly and Jeffrey Stone

Photo: Nuns Having Fun

I try to teach my children it is ok to feel hurt, angry, sad, disappointed they are all legitimate feelings. But, we make the choice to let those feelings dictate our behavior and attitude or to let it go. It is not easy trying to tell that to a five year old who demands justice even to the point of missing out on the fun that is happening at that moment. I know there is more injustice going on in the world than we can fathom. There are people out there who are suffering or have suffered tremendous acts of violence, abuse and emotional warfare. Yet, day after day they keep moving forward. The writer Erma Bombeck wrote a column, upon discovering that she was dying from cancer, entitled “If I Had to Live My Life Over.” Erma wrote, “… I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage. I would have talked less and listened more. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded. I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace. … I would have sat on the lawn with my kids, even if it meant grass stains.” During the month of July I hope to use up the bottle of perfume sitting in the vanity drawer. I want to view my new home as a vacation rental. I want to find more of the glad, relax and have fun.

This is a short but fairly long list on how to have fun. The possibilities are practically endless. My hope is maybe something on the list will spawn additional fun ideas. Please feel free to share your FUN in the comments section.

Each day write down 3-5 positive things that happened that day.
Learn to have fun playing the glad game.

– Watch the clouds
– Watch a sun rise
– Take a midnight swim
– Observe bugs
– Pick flowers
– Camping
– Build a fort
– Take a treat or a balloon to friends and family.
– Read a book and come up with a project or something fun to do based on the material.
– Call the girls or take your daughter(s) to go get pedicures.
– Go on a leisurely bike ride with friends.
– Host a mystery dinner.
– Have an unbirthday party.
– Pay for the person behind you at the movies or toll booth.
– Act out a book complete with make shift costumes.
– Host a Karaokee night.
– Have a Nerf gun Showdown.
– See how many Balloons it takes to lift off the ground. Then watch the movie “Deckchair Danny”.
– Put on a Shadow Theater show.
– Simply your life and home. Throw out the excess. Ask yourself do I really need this? Why do I have it? Is it in the way? Allow your home to feel like the vacation resort you always wanted to visit.
– Learn something new.
– Go to a concert
– Go on a ‘first’ date with your significant other.
– Take a “I feel good day” off of work, if you can.
– Check the Entertainment section of the newspaper or a local website to see what is happening in your town.
– Celebrate a holiday or an achievement.
– Stay up until 4 AM devouring a good book or chatting with an old friend.
– Plan a picnic
– Play a game of volleyball or basketball with friends and/or family
– Go to the lake
– Rent a houseboat.
– Host a game night.
– Play Frisbee.
– Go to a public sporting event.
– Play a sport.
– Date night at the arcade.
– Have a scavenger hunt.
– Make a home movie.
– Build a rocket or model car.
– Find a new hobby.
– Learn about Geo Caching
– Let the kids jump in the rain puddles
– Most important loosen up and lighten up. Don’t be negative. Be willing to come out of the comfort shell once in a while. Laugh a little more. Smile a lot more. Look for the joy or “Glad” in everything around you.

dancing-in-the-rain

Photo: Dancing in the Rain, rx courtesy of Photo Bucket

Someone once told me they were leery of overly happy people because they must be hiding something. I think that there are individuals out there who are genuinely happy. The faults of life roll off their backs like RainX on a car windshield. On the opposite side of the glass half-full crowd are those who need to wallow in self-pity. They feel robbed of their liberties if their feelings are not validated. They feel they are  fake if they act contrary to how they feel. If they do not feel happy then why should they be happy? Problem is when they are not happy they feel no one should be happy. Thus we are all made to feel miserable with them.

One day I was listening to a radio talk show. The caller expressed the need to be true to her feelings but longed to be happy like her fiancé. Even so, she found it difficult to “fake” being nice if she did not feel like being nice. Her question was if she woke up on the wrong side of the bed was it ok to fake being happy? The host told her if that is what she needed to do then yes it is ok because it is never ok to lash out at someone. The host then added that sometimes when we try to be happy by smiling and doing nice things for other people eventually we become happy.

Not long ago I received terrible news that a dear friend of mine had succumb to liver cancer. She discovered that she had cancer only three months prior to her death. Donna was in her late 50’s. Her life had been fraught with peril at every turn. She was abused and abandoned most of her existence. She was strong. She was a fighter. She survived every negative confrontation thrown at her. By the time we met in my late twenties she was no longer the victim. Her rosy cheeks and denim overalls said everything about her character. She was soft spoken and kind. She would give the shirt off her back to help someone. She was genuine; always a pleasure to be around. She always had a kind word to say on both good and bad days. I loved being around Donna  because she was fun.

As the month progressed I learned of the severe personal tumults suffered by several of my dearest friends. I realized  that day there are more people than we realize who have or are  suffering in some form or another. Despite their afflictions, they strive to keep their heads high making the most of what they have. They have dealt with the past. They are moving on. Their lives are not perfect. They are battle worn and scared. Nevertheless, they are striving to make their lives and those around them better. These women are some of the most noble people I have had the pleasure of befriending. Most importantly despite their hardships they are permitting themselves to have fun and enjoy the pleasures of life.

boat by Dapixara

Photo: Red Boat, byDapixara

When I was a young girl I loved the movie Pollyanna starring Haley Mills. Pollyanna is a vibrant 11 year old girl. Upon her father’s untimely death she was shipped off to live with her Aunt Polly. The daughter of a Missionary Minister, Pollyanna did without the finer things in life. Her only belongings came from missionary barrels or donations. As it so happens, one summer she begged her father for a doll. The ‘Ladies Aid’ tried to find one but all they received by the time the barrel needed to be sent off was a set of crutches. Pollyanna’s father seeing her terrible sadness came up with an idea. He asked her to find something glad about the situation. When she could not he told her she could be glad that she does not have to use the crutches. From that time forward she and her father played what they called the “Glad Game”. Pollyanna set about changing the hearts of everyone around her including her sour-hearted Aunt Polly. One passage I greatly enjoyed, reading in the novel written by Eleanor H. Porter, occurred shortly after her arrival. Miss Polly had just given Pollyanna her daily schedule consisting of cleaning her room first thing in the morning after which she should read 30 minutes aloud to Miss Polly followed by cooking lessons. In the late afternoon Pollyanna was expected to practice the piano. Pollyanna asked “what about living?” When was she supposed to live when her time was taken up with all these extra activities? She lamented that she did not want to just breathe she wanted to live. And so she did. Her Aunt Polly was surprised at the numerous acquaintances Pollyanna had made and the impact Pollyanna made in their lives. The Aunt Polly was so moved by the town’s love for Pollyanna that her own heart softened so much so that she became susceptible to love and forgiveness. The glad game is not that simple. You must find something to be glad about on all occasions. Learning to look on the brighter side of life enabled Pollyanna to step out without fear of condemnation. People loved her because she was so much fun to be with. She could be friends with even the grouchiest of souls because life held no bounds.

This month’s resolution is to have fun. I made this list in the beginning of the year. When July neared I was unsure of what exactly Fun meant. The word Fun is defined as something that provides enjoyment or amusement. I think fun means being able to lighten up despite our circumstances. Miss Polly caved into and was trapped by embarrassment for 11 to 15 years. Her fears lead her down a lonesome unemotional path. Pollyanna gently guided her away from tight buns, dark clothing and pursed lips and back into a world full of color, friendships and joy. Fun for some may include dancing on the bar top but I am not talking about temporary self-satisfaction. Remember the New Year’s resolution’s purpose is to enlighten us and make us better friends, neighbors and relatives. Some activities are better left in the ignorance of youth. The fun I speak of entails allowing ourselves the freedom to stop and enjoy life. Put the electronics away. Forgive whom you need to. Find the glad in your most heart-breaking sorrows as difficult as it may be. To have fun is to help others find the glad so that they too can have fun. To have fun is to vow even though we wake up disgruntled we can make the choice to fake being glad if we have to. To have fun is to discover why everyone calls you the “party-pooper” or “no fun” and change it.

Nuns Having Fun by Maureen Kelly and Jeffrey Stone

Photo: Nuns Having Fun

I try to teach my children it is ok to feel hurt, angry, sad, disappointed they are all legitimate feelings. But, we make the choice to let those feelings dictate our behavior and attitude or to let it go. It is not easy trying to tell that to a five year old who demands justice even to the point of missing out on the fun that is happening at that moment. I know there is more injustice going on in the world than we can fathom. There are people out there who are suffering or have suffered tremendous acts of violence, abuse and emotional warfare. Yet, day after day they keep moving forward. The writer Erma Bombeck wrote a column, upon discovering that she was dying from cancer, entitled “If I Had to Live My Life Over.” Erma wrote, “… I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage. I would have talked less and listened more. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded. I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace. … I would have sat on the lawn with my kids, even if it meant grass stains.” During the month of July I hope to use up the bottle of perfume sitting in the vanity drawer. I want to view my new home as a vacation rental. I want to find more of the glad, relax and have fun.

This is a short but fairly long list on how to have fun. The possibilities are practically endless. My hope is maybe something on the list will spawn additional fun ideas. Please feel free to share your FUN in the comments section.

Each day write down 3-5 positive things that happened that day.
Learn to have fun playing the glad game.

– Watch the clouds
– Watch a sun rise
– Take a midnight swim
– Observe bugs
– Pick flowers
– Camping
– Build a fort
– Take a treat or a balloon to friends and family.
– Read a book and come up with a project or something fun to do based on the material.
– Call the girls or take your daughter(s) to go get pedicures.
– Go on a leisurely bike ride with friends.
– Host a mystery dinner.
– Have an unbirthday party.
– Pay for the person behind you at the movies or toll booth.
– Act out a book complete with make shift costumes.
– Host a Karaokee night.
– Have a Nerf gun Showdown.
– See how many Balloons it takes to lift off the ground. Then watch the movie “Deckchair Danny”.
– Put on a Shadow Theater show.
– Simply your life and home. Throw out the excess. Ask yourself do I really need this? Why do I have it? Is it in the way? Allow your home to feel like the vacation resort you always wanted to visit.
– Learn something new.
– Go to a concert
– Go on a ‘first’ date with your significant other.
– Take a “I feel good day” off of work, if you can.
– Check the Entertainment section of the newspaper or a local website to see what is happening in your town.
– Celebrate a holiday or an achievement.
– Stay up until 4 AM devouring a good book or chatting with an old friend.
– Plan a picnic
– Play a game of volleyball or basketball with friends and/or family
– Go to the lake
– Rent a houseboat.
– Host a game night.
– Play Frisbee.
– Go to a public sporting event.
– Play a sport.
– Date night at the arcade.
– Have a scavenger hunt.
– Make a home movie.
– Build a rocket or model car.
– Find a new hobby.
– Learn about Geo Caching
– Let the kids jump in the rain puddles
– Most important loosen up and lighten up. Don’t be negative. Be willing to come out of the comfort shell once in a while. Laugh a little more. Smile a lot more. Look for the joy or “Glad” in everything around you.

dancing-in-the-rain

Photo: Dancing in the Rain, prostate courtesy of Photo Bucket

Someone once told me they were leery of overly happy people because they must be hiding something. I think that there are individuals out there who are genuinely happy. The faults of life roll off their backs like RainX on a car windshield. On the opposite side of the glass half-full crowd are those who need to wallow in self-pity. They feel robbed of their liberties if their feelings are not validated. They feel they are  fake if they act contrary to how they feel. If they do not feel happy then why should they be happy? Problem is when they are not happy they feel no one should be happy. Thus we are all made to feel miserable with them.

One day I was listening to a radio talk show. The caller expressed the need to be true to her feelings but longed to be happy like her fiancé. Even so, buy she found it difficult to “fake” being nice if she did not feel like being nice. Her question was if she woke up on the wrong side of the bed was it ok to fake being happy? The host told her if that is what she needed to do then yes it is ok because it is never ok to lash out at someone. The host then added that sometimes when we try to be happy by smiling and doing nice things for other people eventually we become happy.

Not long ago I received terrible news that a dear friend of mine had succumb to liver cancer. She discovered that she had cancer only three months prior to her death. Donna was in her late 50’s. Her life had been fraught with peril at every turn. She was abused and abandoned most of her existence. She was strong. She was a fighter. She survived every negative confrontation thrown at her. By the time we met in my late twenties she was no longer the victim. Her rosy cheeks and denim overalls said everything about her character. She was soft spoken and kind. She would give the shirt off her back to help someone. She was genuine; always a pleasure to be around. She always had a kind word to say on both good and bad days. I loved being around Donna  because she was fun.

As the month progressed I learned of the severe personal tumults suffered by several of my dearest friends. I realized  that day there are more people than we realize who have or are  suffering in some form or another. Despite their afflictions, here they strive to keep their heads high making the most of what they have. They have dealt with the past. They are moving on. Their lives are not perfect. They are battle worn and scared. Nevertheless, they are striving to make their lives and those around them better. These women are some of the most noble people I have had the pleasure of befriending. Most importantly despite their hardships they are permitting themselves to have fun and enjoy the pleasures of life.

When I was a young girl I loved the movie Pollyanna starring Haley Mills. Pollyanna is a vibrant 11 year old girl. Upon her father’s untimely death she was shipped off to live with her Aunt Polly. The daughter of a Missionary Minister, Pollyanna did without the finer things in life. Her only belongings came from missionary barrels or donations. As it so happens, one summer she begged her father for a doll. The ‘Ladies Aid’ tried to find one but all they received by the time the barrel needed to be sent off was a set of crutches. Pollyanna’s father seeing her terrible sadness came up with an idea. He asked her to find something glad about the situation. When she could not he told her she could be glad that she does not have to use the crutches. From that time forward she and her father played what they called the “Glad Game”. Pollyanna set about changing the hearts of everyone around her including her sour-hearted Aunt Polly. One passage I greatly enjoyed, reading in the novel written by Eleanor H. Porter, occurred shortly after her arrival. Miss Polly had just given Pollyanna her daily schedule consisting of cleaning her room first thing in the morning after which she should read 30 minutes aloud to Miss Polly followed by cooking lessons. In the late afternoon Pollyanna was expected to practice the piano. Pollyanna asked “what about living?” When was she supposed to live when her time was taken up with all these extra activities? She lamented that she did not want to just breathe she wanted to live. And so she did. Her Aunt Polly was surprised at the numerous acquaintances Pollyanna had made and the impact Pollyanna made in their lives. The Aunt Polly was so moved by the town’s love for Pollyanna that her own heart softened so much so that she became susceptible to love and forgiveness. The glad game is not that simple. You must find something to be glad about on all occasions. Learning to look on the brighter side of life enabled Pollyanna to step out without fear of condemnation. People loved her because she was so much fun to be with. She could be friends with even the grouchiest of souls because life held no bounds.

This month’s resolution is to have fun. I made this list in the beginning of the year. When July neared I was unsure of what exactly Fun meant. The word Fun is defined as something that provides enjoyment or amusement. I think fun means being able to lighten up despite our circumstances. Miss Polly caved into and was trapped by embarrassment for 11 to 15 years. Her fears lead her down a lonesome unemotional path. Pollyanna gently guided her away from tight buns, dark clothing and pursed lips and back into a world full of color, friendships and joy. Fun for some may include dancing on the bar top but I am not talking about temporary self-satisfaction. Remember the New Year’s resolution’s purpose is to enlighten us and make us better friends, neighbors and relatives. Some activities are better left in the ignorance of youth. The fun I speak of entails allowing ourselves the freedom to stop and enjoy life. Put the electronics away. Forgive whom you need to. Find the glad in your most heart-breaking sorrows as difficult as it may be. To have fun is to help others find the glad so that they too can have fun. To have fun is to vow even though we wake up disgruntled we can make the choice to fake being glad if we have to. To have fun is to discover why everyone calls you the “party-pooper” or “no fun” and change it.

Nuns Having Fun by Maureen Kelly and Jeffrey Stone

Photo: Nuns Having Fun

I try to teach my children it is ok to feel hurt, angry, sad, disappointed they are all legitimate feelings. But, we make the choice to let those feelings dictate our behavior and attitude or to let it go. It is not easy trying to tell that to a five year old who demands justice even to the point of missing out on the fun that is happening at that moment. I know there is more injustice going on in the world than we can fathom. There are people out there who are suffering or have suffered tremendous acts of violence, abuse and emotional warfare. Yet, day after day they keep moving forward. The writer Erma Bombeck wrote a column, upon discovering that she was dying from cancer, entitled “If I Had to Live My Life Over.” Erma wrote, “… I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage. I would have talked less and listened more. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded. I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace. … I would have sat on the lawn with my kids, even if it meant grass stains.” During the month of July I hope to use up the bottle of perfume sitting in the vanity drawer. I want to view my new home as a vacation rental. I want to find more of the glad, relax and have fun.

This is a short but fairly long list on how to have fun. The possibilities are practically endless. My hope is maybe something on the list will spawn additional fun ideas. Please feel free to share your FUN in the comments section.

Each day write down 3-5 positive things that happened that day.
Learn to have fun playing the glad game.

– Watch the clouds
– Watch a sun rise
– Take a midnight swim
– Observe bugs
– Pick flowers
– Camping
– Build a fort
– Take a treat or a balloon to friends and family.
– Read a book and come up with a project or something fun to do based on the material.
– Call the girls or take your daughter(s) to go get pedicures.
– Go on a leisurely bike ride with friends.
– Host a mystery dinner.
– Have an unbirthday party.
– Pay for the person behind you at the movies or toll booth.
– Act out a book complete with make shift costumes.
– Host a Karaokee night.
– Have a Nerf gun Showdown.
– See how many Balloons it takes to lift off the ground. Then watch the movie “Deckchair Danny”.
– Put on a Shadow Theater show.
– Simply your life and home. Throw out the excess. Ask yourself do I really need this? Why do I have it? Is it in the way? Allow your home to feel like the vacation resort you always wanted to visit.
– Learn something new.
– Go to a concert
– Go on a ‘first’ date with your significant other.
– Take a “I feel good day” off of work, if you can.
– Check the Entertainment section of the newspaper or a local website to see what is happening in your town.
– Celebrate a holiday or an achievement.
– Stay up until 4 AM devouring a good book or chatting with an old friend.
– Plan a picnic
– Play a game of volleyball or basketball with friends and/or family
– Go to the lake
– Rent a houseboat.
– Host a game night.
– Play Frisbee.
– Go to a public sporting event.
– Play a sport.
– Date night at the arcade.
– Have a scavenger hunt.
– Make a home movie.
– Build a rocket or model car.
– Find a new hobby.
– Learn about Geo Caching
– Let the kids jump in the rain puddles
– Most important loosen up and lighten up. Don’t be negative. Be willing to come out of the comfort shell once in a while. Laugh a little more. Smile a lot more. Look for the joy or “Glad” in everything around you.

dancing-in-the-rain

Photo: Dancing in the Rain, sale courtesy of Photo Bucket

Someone once told me they were leery of overly happy people because they must be hiding something. I think that there are individuals out there who are genuinely happy. The faults of life roll off their backs like RainX on a car windshield. On the opposite side of the glass half-full crowd are those who need to wallow in self-pity. They feel robbed of their liberties if their feelings are not validated. They feel they are  fake if they act contrary to how they feel. If they do not feel happy then why should they be happy? Problem is when they are not happy they feel no one should be happy. Thus we are all made to feel miserable with them.

One day I was listening to a radio talk show. The caller expressed the need to be true to her feelings but longed to be happy like her fiancé. Even so, price she found it difficult to “fake” being nice if she did not feel like being nice. Her question was if she woke up on the wrong side of the bed was it ok to fake being happy? The host told her if that is what she needed to do then yes it is ok because it is never ok to lash out at someone. The host then added that sometimes when we try to be happy by smiling and doing nice things for other people eventually we become happy.

Not long ago I received terrible news that a dear friend of mine had succumb to liver cancer. She discovered that she had cancer only three months prior to her death. Donna was in her late 50’s. Her life had been fraught with peril at every turn. She was abused and abandoned most of her existence. She was strong. She was a fighter. She survived every negative confrontation thrown at her. By the time we met in my late twenties she was no longer the victim. Her rosy cheeks and denim overalls said everything about her character. She was soft spoken and kind. She would give the shirt off her back to help someone. She was genuine; always a pleasure to be around. She always had a kind word to say on both good and bad days. I loved being around Donna  because she was fun.

As the month progressed I learned of the severe personal tumults suffered by several of my dearest friends. I realized  that day there are more people than we realize who have or are  suffering in some form or another. Despite their afflictions, they strive to keep their heads high making the most of what they have. They have dealt with the past. They are moving on. Their lives are not perfect. They are battle worn and scared. Nevertheless, they are striving to make their lives and those around them better. These women are some of the most noble people I have had the pleasure of befriending. Most importantly despite their hardships they are permitting themselves to have fun and enjoy the pleasures of life.

boat by Dapixara

Photo: Red Boat, byDapixara

When I was a young girl I loved the movie Pollyanna starring Haley Mills. Pollyanna is a vibrant 11 year old girl. Upon her father’s untimely death she was shipped off to live with her Aunt Polly. The daughter of a Missionary Minister, Pollyanna did without the finer things in life. Her only belongings came from missionary barrels or donations. As it so happens, one summer she begged her father for a doll. The ‘Ladies Aid’ tried to find one but all they received by the time the barrel needed to be sent off was a set of crutches. Pollyanna’s father seeing her terrible sadness came up with an idea. He asked her to find something glad about the situation. When she could not he told her she could be glad that she does not have to use the crutches. From that time forward she and her father played what they called the “Glad Game”. Pollyanna set about changing the hearts of everyone around her including her sour-hearted Aunt Polly. One passage I greatly enjoyed, reading in the novel written by Eleanor H. Porter, occurred shortly after her arrival. Miss Polly had just given Pollyanna her daily schedule consisting of cleaning her room first thing in the morning after which she should read 30 minutes aloud to Miss Polly followed by cooking lessons. In the late afternoon Pollyanna was expected to practice the piano. Pollyanna asked “what about living?” When was she supposed to live when her time was taken up with all these extra activities? She lamented that she did not want to just breathe she wanted to live. And so she did. Her Aunt Polly was surprised at the numerous acquaintances Pollyanna had made and the impact Pollyanna made in their lives. The Aunt Polly was so moved by the town’s love for Pollyanna that her own heart softened so much so that she became susceptible to love and forgiveness. The glad game is not that simple. You must find something to be glad about on all occasions. Learning to look on the brighter side of life enabled Pollyanna to step out without fear of condemnation. People loved her because she was so much fun to be with. She could be friends with even the grouchiest of souls because life held no bounds.

This month’s resolution is to have fun. I made this list in the beginning of the year. When July neared I was unsure of what exactly Fun meant. The word Fun is defined as something that provides enjoyment or amusement. I think fun means being able to lighten up despite our circumstances. Miss Polly caved into and was trapped by embarrassment for 11 to 15 years. Her fears lead her down a lonesome unemotional path. Pollyanna gently guided her away from tight buns, dark clothing and pursed lips and back into a world full of color, friendships and joy. Fun for some may include dancing on the bar top but I am not talking about temporary self-satisfaction. Remember the New Year’s resolution’s purpose is to enlighten us and make us better friends, neighbors and relatives. Some activities are better left in the ignorance of youth. The fun I speak of entails allowing ourselves the freedom to stop and enjoy life. Put the electronics away. Forgive whom you need to. Find the glad in your most heart-breaking sorrows as difficult as it may be. To have fun is to help others find the glad so that they too can have fun. To have fun is to vow even though we wake up disgruntled we can make the choice to fake being glad if we have to. To have fun is to discover why everyone calls you the “party-pooper” or “no fun” and change it.

Nuns Having Fun by Maureen Kelly and Jeffrey Stone

Photo: Nuns Having Fun

I try to teach my children it is ok to feel hurt, angry, sad, disappointed they are all legitimate feelings. But, we make the choice to let those feelings dictate our behavior and attitude or to let it go. It is not easy trying to tell that to a five year old who demands justice even to the point of missing out on the fun that is happening at that moment. I know there is more injustice going on in the world than we can fathom. There are people out there who are suffering or have suffered tremendous acts of violence, abuse and emotional warfare. Yet, day after day they keep moving forward. The writer Erma Bombeck wrote a column, upon discovering that she was dying from cancer, entitled “If I Had to Live My Life Over.” Erma wrote, “… I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage. I would have talked less and listened more. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded. I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace. … I would have sat on the lawn with my kids, even if it meant grass stains.” During the month of July I hope to use up the bottle of perfume sitting in the vanity drawer. I want to view my new home as a vacation rental. I want to find more of the glad, relax and have fun.

This is a short but fairly long list on how to have fun. The possibilities are practically endless. My hope is maybe something on the list will spawn additional fun ideas. Please feel free to share your FUN in the comments section.

Each day write down 3-5 positive things that happened that day.
Learn to have fun playing the glad game.

– Watch the clouds
– Watch a sun rise
– Take a midnight swim
– Observe bugs
– Pick flowers
– Camping
– Build a fort
– Take a treat or a balloon to friends and family.
– Read a book and come up with a project or something fun to do based on the material.
– Call the girls or take your daughter(s) to go get pedicures.
– Go on a leisurely bike ride with friends.
– Host a mystery dinner.
– Have an unbirthday party.
– Pay for the person behind you at the movies or toll booth.
– Act out a book complete with make shift costumes.
– Host a Karaokee night.
– Have a Nerf gun Showdown.
– See how many Balloons it takes to lift off the ground. Then watch the movie “Deckchair Danny”.
– Put on a Shadow Theater show.
– Simply your life and home. Throw out the excess. Ask yourself do I really need this? Why do I have it? Is it in the way? Allow your home to feel like the vacation resort you always wanted to visit.
– Learn something new.
– Go to a concert
– Go on a ‘first’ date with your significant other.
– Take a “I feel good day” off of work, if you can.
– Check the Entertainment section of the newspaper or a local website to see what is happening in your town.
– Celebrate a holiday or an achievement.
– Stay up until 4 AM devouring a good book or chatting with an old friend.
– Plan a picnic
– Play a game of volleyball or basketball with friends and/or family
– Go to the lake
– Rent a houseboat.
– Host a game night.
– Play Frisbee.
– Go to a public sporting event.
– Play a sport.
– Date night at the arcade.
– Have a scavenger hunt.
– Make a home movie.
– Build a rocket or model car.
– Find a new hobby.
– Learn about Geo Caching
– Let the kids jump in the rain puddles
– Most important loosen up and lighten up. Don’t be negative. Be willing to come out of the comfort shell once in a while. Laugh a little more. Smile a lot more. Look for the joy or “Glad” in everything around you.

dancing-in-the-rain

Photo: Dancing in the Rain, rx courtesy of Photo Bucket

Someone once told me they were leery of overly happy people because they must be hiding something. I think that there are individuals out there who are genuinely happy. The faults of life roll off their backs like RainX on a car windshield. On the opposite side of the glass half-full crowd are those who need to wallow in self-pity. They feel robbed of their liberties if their feelings are not validated. They feel they are  fake if they act contrary to how they feel. If they do not feel happy then why should they be happy? Problem is when they are not happy they feel no one should be happy. Thus we are all made to feel miserable with them.

One day I was listening to a radio talk show. The caller expressed the need to be true to her feelings but longed to be happy like her fiancé. Even so, she found it difficult to “fake” being nice if she did not feel like being nice. Her question was if she woke up on the wrong side of the bed was it ok to fake being happy? The host told her if that is what she needed to do then yes it is ok because it is never ok to lash out at someone. The host then added that sometimes when we try to be happy by smiling and doing nice things for other people eventually we become happy.

Not long ago I received terrible news that a dear friend of mine had succumb to liver cancer. She discovered that she had cancer only three months prior to her death. Donna was in her late 50’s. Her life had been fraught with peril at every turn. She was abused and abandoned most of her existence. She was strong. She was a fighter. She survived every negative confrontation thrown at her. By the time we met in my late twenties she was no longer the victim. Her rosy cheeks and denim overalls said everything about her character. She was soft spoken and kind. She would give the shirt off her back to help someone. She was genuine; always a pleasure to be around. She always had a kind word to say on both good and bad days. I loved being around Donna  because she was fun.

As the month progressed I learned of the severe personal tumults suffered by several of my dearest friends. I realized  that day there are more people than we realize who have or are  suffering in some form or another. Despite their afflictions, they strive to keep their heads high making the most of what they have. They have dealt with the past. They are moving on. Their lives are not perfect. They are battle worn and scared. Nevertheless, they are striving to make their lives and those around them better. These women are some of the most noble people I have had the pleasure of befriending. Most importantly despite their hardships they are permitting themselves to have fun and enjoy the pleasures of life.

boat by Dapixara

Photo: Red Boat, byDapixara

When I was a young girl I loved the movie Pollyanna starring Haley Mills. Pollyanna is a vibrant 11 year old girl. Upon her father’s untimely death she was shipped off to live with her Aunt Polly. The daughter of a Missionary Minister, Pollyanna did without the finer things in life. Her only belongings came from missionary barrels or donations. As it so happens, one summer she begged her father for a doll. The ‘Ladies Aid’ tried to find one but all they received by the time the barrel needed to be sent off was a set of crutches. Pollyanna’s father seeing her terrible sadness came up with an idea. He asked her to find something glad about the situation. When she could not he told her she could be glad that she does not have to use the crutches. From that time forward she and her father played what they called the “Glad Game”. Pollyanna set about changing the hearts of everyone around her including her sour-hearted Aunt Polly. One passage I greatly enjoyed, reading in the novel written by Eleanor H. Porter, occurred shortly after her arrival. Miss Polly had just given Pollyanna her daily schedule consisting of cleaning her room first thing in the morning after which she should read 30 minutes aloud to Miss Polly followed by cooking lessons. In the late afternoon Pollyanna was expected to practice the piano. Pollyanna asked “what about living?” When was she supposed to live when her time was taken up with all these extra activities? She lamented that she did not want to just breathe she wanted to live. And so she did. Her Aunt Polly was surprised at the numerous acquaintances Pollyanna had made and the impact Pollyanna made in their lives. The Aunt Polly was so moved by the town’s love for Pollyanna that her own heart softened so much so that she became susceptible to love and forgiveness. The glad game is not that simple. You must find something to be glad about on all occasions. Learning to look on the brighter side of life enabled Pollyanna to step out without fear of condemnation. People loved her because she was so much fun to be with. She could be friends with even the grouchiest of souls because life held no bounds.

This month’s resolution is to have fun. I made this list in the beginning of the year. When July neared I was unsure of what exactly Fun meant. The word Fun is defined as something that provides enjoyment or amusement. I think fun means being able to lighten up despite our circumstances. Miss Polly caved into and was trapped by embarrassment for 11 to 15 years. Her fears lead her down a lonesome unemotional path. Pollyanna gently guided her away from tight buns, dark clothing and pursed lips and back into a world full of color, friendships and joy. Fun for some may include dancing on the bar top but I am not talking about temporary self-satisfaction. Remember the New Year’s resolution’s purpose is to enlighten us and make us better friends, neighbors and relatives. Some activities are better left in the ignorance of youth. The fun I speak of entails allowing ourselves the freedom to stop and enjoy life. Put the electronics away. Forgive whom you need to. Find the glad in your most heart-breaking sorrows as difficult as it may be. To have fun is to help others find the glad so that they too can have fun. To have fun is to vow even though we wake up disgruntled we can make the choice to fake being glad if we have to. To have fun is to discover why everyone calls you the “party-pooper” or “no fun” and change it.

Nuns Having Fun by Maureen Kelly and Jeffrey Stone

Photo: Nuns Having Fun

I try to teach my children it is ok to feel hurt, angry, sad, disappointed they are all legitimate feelings. But, we make the choice to let those feelings dictate our behavior and attitude or to let it go. It is not easy trying to tell that to a five year old who demands justice even to the point of missing out on the fun that is happening at that moment. I know there is more injustice going on in the world than we can fathom. There are people out there who are suffering or have suffered tremendous acts of violence, abuse and emotional warfare. Yet, day after day they keep moving forward. The writer Erma Bombeck wrote a column, upon discovering that she was dying from cancer, entitled “If I Had to Live My Life Over.” Erma wrote, “… I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage. I would have talked less and listened more. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded. I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace. … I would have sat on the lawn with my kids, even if it meant grass stains.” During the month of July I hope to use up the bottle of perfume sitting in the vanity drawer. I want to view my new home as a vacation rental. I want to find more of the glad, relax and have fun.

This is a short but fairly long list on how to have fun. The possibilities are practically endless. My hope is maybe something on the list will spawn additional fun ideas. Please feel free to share your FUN in the comments section.

Each day write down 3-5 positive things that happened that day.
Learn to have fun playing the glad game.

– Watch the clouds
– Watch a sun rise
– Take a midnight swim
– Observe bugs
– Pick flowers
– Camping
– Build a fort
– Take a treat or a balloon to friends and family.
– Read a book and come up with a project or something fun to do based on the material.
– Call the girls or take your daughter(s) to go get pedicures.
– Go on a leisurely bike ride with friends.
– Host a mystery dinner.
– Have an unbirthday party.
– Pay for the person behind you at the movies or toll booth.
– Act out a book complete with make shift costumes.
– Host a Karaokee night.
– Have a Nerf gun Showdown.
– See how many Balloons it takes to lift off the ground. Then watch the movie “Deckchair Danny”.
– Put on a Shadow Theater show.
– Simply your life and home. Throw out the excess. Ask yourself do I really need this? Why do I have it? Is it in the way? Allow your home to feel like the vacation resort you always wanted to visit.
– Learn something new.
– Go to a concert
– Go on a ‘first’ date with your significant other.
– Take a “I feel good day” off of work, if you can.
– Check the Entertainment section of the newspaper or a local website to see what is happening in your town.
– Celebrate a holiday or an achievement.
– Stay up until 4 AM devouring a good book or chatting with an old friend.
– Plan a picnic
– Play a game of volleyball or basketball with friends and/or family
– Go to the lake
– Rent a houseboat.
– Host a game night.
– Play Frisbee.
– Go to a public sporting event.
– Play a sport.
– Date night at the arcade.
– Have a scavenger hunt.
– Make a home movie.
– Build a rocket or model car.
– Find a new hobby.
– Learn about Geo Caching
– Let the kids jump in the rain puddles
– Most important loosen up and lighten up. Don’t be negative. Be willing to come out of the comfort shell once in a while. Laugh a little more. Smile a lot more. Look for the joy or “Glad” in everything around you.

dancing-in-the-rain

Photo: Dancing in the Rain, try courtesy of Photo Bucket

Someone once told me they were leery of overly happy people because they must be hiding something. I think that there are individuals out there who are genuinely happy. The faults of life roll off their backs like RainX on a car windshield. On the opposite side of the glass half-full crowd are those who need to wallow in self-pity. They feel robbed of their liberties if their feelings are not validated. They feel they are  fake if they act contrary to how they feel. If they do not feel happy then why should they be happy? Problem is when they are not happy they feel no one should be happy. Thus we are all made to feel miserable with them.

One day I was listening to a radio talk show. The caller expressed the need to be true to her feelings but longed to be happy like her fiancé. Even so, cialis 40mg she found it difficult to “fake” being nice if she did not feel like being nice. Her question was if she woke up on the wrong side of the bed was it ok to fake being happy? The host told her if that is what she needed to do then yes it is ok because it is never ok to lash out at someone. The host then added that sometimes when we try to be happy by smiling and doing nice things for other people eventually we become happy.

Not long ago I received terrible news that a dear friend of mine had succumb to liver cancer. She discovered that she had cancer only three months prior to her death. Donna was in her late 50’s. Her life had been fraught with peril at every turn. She was abused and abandoned most of her existence. She was strong. She was a fighter. She survived every negative confrontation thrown at her. By the time we met in my late twenties she was no longer the victim. Her rosy cheeks and denim overalls said everything about her character. She was soft spoken and kind. She would give the shirt off her back to help someone. She was genuine; always a pleasure to be around. She always had a kind word to say on both good and bad days. I loved being around Donna  because she was fun.

As the month progressed I learned of the severe personal tumults suffered by several of my dearest friends. I realized  that day there are more people than we realize who have or are  suffering in some form or another. Despite their afflictions, they strive to keep their heads high making the most of what they have. They have dealt with the past. They are moving on. Their lives are not perfect. They are battle worn and scared. Nevertheless, they are striving to make their lives and those around them better. These women are some of the most noble people I have had the pleasure of befriending. Most importantly despite their hardships they are permitting themselves to have fun and enjoy the pleasures of life.

boat by Dapixara

Photo: Red Boat, byDapixara

When I was a young girl I loved the movie Pollyanna starring Haley Mills. Pollyanna is a vibrant 11 year old girl. Upon her father’s untimely death she was shipped off to live with her Aunt Polly. The daughter of a Missionary Minister, Pollyanna did without the finer things in life. Her only belongings came from missionary barrels or donations. As it so happens, one summer she begged her father for a doll. The ‘Ladies Aid’ tried to find one but all they received by the time the barrel needed to be sent off was a set of crutches. Pollyanna’s father seeing her terrible sadness came up with an idea. He asked her to find something glad about the situation. When she could not he told her she could be glad that she does not have to use the crutches. From that time forward she and her father played what they called the “Glad Game”. Pollyanna set about changing the hearts of everyone around her including her sour-hearted Aunt Polly. One passage I greatly enjoyed, reading in the novel written by Eleanor H. Porter, occurred shortly after her arrival. Miss Polly had just given Pollyanna her daily schedule consisting of cleaning her room first thing in the morning after which she should read 30 minutes aloud to Miss Polly followed by cooking lessons. In the late afternoon Pollyanna was expected to practice the piano. Pollyanna asked “what about living?” When was she supposed to live when her time was taken up with all these extra activities? She lamented that she did not want to just breathe she wanted to live. And so she did. Her Aunt Polly was surprised at the numerous acquaintances Pollyanna had made and the impact Pollyanna made in their lives. The Aunt Polly was so moved by the town’s love for Pollyanna that her own heart softened so much so that she became susceptible to love and forgiveness. The glad game is not that simple. You must find something to be glad about on all occasions. Learning to look on the brighter side of life enabled Pollyanna to step out without fear of condemnation. People loved her because she was so much fun to be with. She could be friends with even the grouchiest of souls because life held no bounds.

This month’s resolution is to have fun. I made this list in the beginning of the year. When July neared I was unsure of what exactly Fun meant. The word Fun is defined as something that provides enjoyment or amusement. I think fun means being able to lighten up despite our circumstances. Miss Polly caved into and was trapped by embarrassment for 11 to 15 years. Her fears lead her down a lonesome unemotional path. Pollyanna gently guided her away from tight buns, dark clothing and pursed lips and back into a world full of color, friendships and joy. Fun for some may include dancing on the bar top but I am not talking about temporary self-satisfaction. Remember the New Year’s resolution’s purpose is to enlighten us and make us better friends, neighbors and relatives. Some activities are better left in the ignorance of youth. The fun I speak of entails allowing ourselves the freedom to stop and enjoy life. Put the electronics away. Forgive whom you need to. Find the glad in your most heart-breaking sorrows as difficult as it may be. To have fun is to help others find the glad so that they too can have fun. To have fun is to vow even though we wake up disgruntled we can make the choice to fake being glad if we have to. To have fun is to discover why everyone calls you the “party-pooper” or “no fun” and change it.

Nuns Having Fun by Maureen Kelly and Jeffrey Stone

Photo: Nuns Having Fun

I try to teach my children it is ok to feel hurt, angry, sad, disappointed they are all legitimate feelings. But, we make the choice to let those feelings dictate our behavior and attitude or to let it go. It is not easy trying to tell that to a five year old who demands justice even to the point of missing out on the fun that is happening at that moment. I know there is more injustice going on in the world than we can fathom. There are people out there who are suffering or have suffered tremendous acts of violence, abuse and emotional warfare. Yet, day after day they keep moving forward. The writer Erma Bombeck wrote a column, upon discovering that she was dying from cancer, entitled “If I Had to Live My Life Over.” Erma wrote, “… I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage. I would have talked less and listened more. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded. I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace. … I would have sat on the lawn with my kids, even if it meant grass stains.” During the month of July I hope to use up the bottle of perfume sitting in the vanity drawer. I want to view my new home as a vacation rental. I want to find more of the glad, relax and have fun.

This is a short but fairly long list on how to have fun. The possibilities are practically endless. My hope is maybe something on the list will spawn additional fun ideas. Please feel free to share your FUN in the comments section.

Each day write down 3-5 positive things that happened that day.
Learn to have fun playing the glad game.

– Watch the clouds
– Watch a sun rise
– Take a midnight swim
– Observe bugs
– Pick flowers
– Camping
– Build a fort
– Take a treat or a balloon to friends and family.
– Read a book and come up with a project or something fun to do based on the material.
– Call the girls or take your daughter(s) to go get pedicures.
– Go on a leisurely bike ride with friends.
– Host a mystery dinner.
– Have an unbirthday party.
– Pay for the person behind you at the movies or toll booth.
– Act out a book complete with make shift costumes.
– Host a Karaokee night.
– Have a Nerf gun Showdown.
– See how many Balloons it takes to lift off the ground. Then watch the movie “Deckchair Danny”.
– Put on a Shadow Theater show.
– Simply your life and home. Throw out the excess. Ask yourself do I really need this? Why do I have it? Is it in the way? Allow your home to feel like the vacation resort you always wanted to visit.
– Learn something new.
– Go to a concert
– Go on a ‘first’ date with your significant other.
– Take a “I feel good day” off of work, if you can.
– Check the Entertainment section of the newspaper or a local website to see what is happening in your town.
– Celebrate a holiday or an achievement.
– Stay up until 4 AM devouring a good book or chatting with an old friend.
– Plan a picnic
– Play a game of volleyball or basketball with friends and/or family
– Go to the lake
– Rent a houseboat.
– Host a game night.
– Play Frisbee.
– Go to a public sporting event.
– Play a sport.
– Date night at the arcade.
– Have a scavenger hunt.
– Make a home movie.
– Build a rocket or model car.
– Find a new hobby.
– Learn about Geo Caching
– Let the kids jump in the rain puddles
– Most important loosen up and lighten up. Don’t be negative. Be willing to come out of the comfort shell once in a while. Laugh a little more. Smile a lot more. Look for the joy or “Glad” in everything around you.

dancing-in-the-rain

Photo: Dancing in the Rain, prostate courtesy of Photo Bucket

Someone once told me they were leery of overly happy people because they must be hiding something. I think that there are individuals out there who are genuinely happy. The faults of life roll off their backs like RainX on a car windshield. On the opposite side of the glass half-full crowd are those who need to wallow in self-pity. They feel robbed of their liberties if their feelings are not validated. They feel they are  fake if they act contrary to how they feel. If they do not feel happy then why should they be happy? Problem is when they are not happy they feel no one should be happy. Thus we are all made to feel miserable with them.

One day I was listening to a radio talk show. The caller expressed the need to be true to her feelings but longed to be happy like her fiancé. Even so, buy she found it difficult to “fake” being nice if she did not feel like being nice. Her question was if she woke up on the wrong side of the bed was it ok to fake being happy? The host told her if that is what she needed to do then yes it is ok because it is never ok to lash out at someone. The host then added that sometimes when we try to be happy by smiling and doing nice things for other people eventually we become happy.

Not long ago I received terrible news that a dear friend of mine had succumb to liver cancer. She discovered that she had cancer only three months prior to her death. Donna was in her late 50’s. Her life had been fraught with peril at every turn. She was abused and abandoned most of her existence. She was strong. She was a fighter. She survived every negative confrontation thrown at her. By the time we met in my late twenties she was no longer the victim. Her rosy cheeks and denim overalls said everything about her character. She was soft spoken and kind. She would give the shirt off her back to help someone. She was genuine; always a pleasure to be around. She always had a kind word to say on both good and bad days. I loved being around Donna  because she was fun.

As the month progressed I learned of the severe personal tumults suffered by several of my dearest friends. I realized  that day there are more people than we realize who have or are  suffering in some form or another. Despite their afflictions, here they strive to keep their heads high making the most of what they have. They have dealt with the past. They are moving on. Their lives are not perfect. They are battle worn and scared. Nevertheless, they are striving to make their lives and those around them better. These women are some of the most noble people I have had the pleasure of befriending. Most importantly despite their hardships they are permitting themselves to have fun and enjoy the pleasures of life.

When I was a young girl I loved the movie Pollyanna starring Haley Mills. Pollyanna is a vibrant 11 year old girl. Upon her father’s untimely death she was shipped off to live with her Aunt Polly. The daughter of a Missionary Minister, Pollyanna did without the finer things in life. Her only belongings came from missionary barrels or donations. As it so happens, one summer she begged her father for a doll. The ‘Ladies Aid’ tried to find one but all they received by the time the barrel needed to be sent off was a set of crutches. Pollyanna’s father seeing her terrible sadness came up with an idea. He asked her to find something glad about the situation. When she could not he told her she could be glad that she does not have to use the crutches. From that time forward she and her father played what they called the “Glad Game”. Pollyanna set about changing the hearts of everyone around her including her sour-hearted Aunt Polly. One passage I greatly enjoyed, reading in the novel written by Eleanor H. Porter, occurred shortly after her arrival. Miss Polly had just given Pollyanna her daily schedule consisting of cleaning her room first thing in the morning after which she should read 30 minutes aloud to Miss Polly followed by cooking lessons. In the late afternoon Pollyanna was expected to practice the piano. Pollyanna asked “what about living?” When was she supposed to live when her time was taken up with all these extra activities? She lamented that she did not want to just breathe she wanted to live. And so she did. Her Aunt Polly was surprised at the numerous acquaintances Pollyanna had made and the impact Pollyanna made in their lives. The Aunt Polly was so moved by the town’s love for Pollyanna that her own heart softened so much so that she became susceptible to love and forgiveness. The glad game is not that simple. You must find something to be glad about on all occasions. Learning to look on the brighter side of life enabled Pollyanna to step out without fear of condemnation. People loved her because she was so much fun to be with. She could be friends with even the grouchiest of souls because life held no bounds.

This month’s resolution is to have fun. I made this list in the beginning of the year. When July neared I was unsure of what exactly Fun meant. The word Fun is defined as something that provides enjoyment or amusement. I think fun means being able to lighten up despite our circumstances. Miss Polly caved into and was trapped by embarrassment for 11 to 15 years. Her fears lead her down a lonesome unemotional path. Pollyanna gently guided her away from tight buns, dark clothing and pursed lips and back into a world full of color, friendships and joy. Fun for some may include dancing on the bar top but I am not talking about temporary self-satisfaction. Remember the New Year’s resolution’s purpose is to enlighten us and make us better friends, neighbors and relatives. Some activities are better left in the ignorance of youth. The fun I speak of entails allowing ourselves the freedom to stop and enjoy life. Put the electronics away. Forgive whom you need to. Find the glad in your most heart-breaking sorrows as difficult as it may be. To have fun is to help others find the glad so that they too can have fun. To have fun is to vow even though we wake up disgruntled we can make the choice to fake being glad if we have to. To have fun is to discover why everyone calls you the “party-pooper” or “no fun” and change it.

Nuns Having Fun by Maureen Kelly and Jeffrey Stone

Photo: Nuns Having Fun

I try to teach my children it is ok to feel hurt, angry, sad, disappointed they are all legitimate feelings. But, we make the choice to let those feelings dictate our behavior and attitude or to let it go. It is not easy trying to tell that to a five year old who demands justice even to the point of missing out on the fun that is happening at that moment. I know there is more injustice going on in the world than we can fathom. There are people out there who are suffering or have suffered tremendous acts of violence, abuse and emotional warfare. Yet, day after day they keep moving forward. The writer Erma Bombeck wrote a column, upon discovering that she was dying from cancer, entitled “If I Had to Live My Life Over.” Erma wrote, “… I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage. I would have talked less and listened more. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded. I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace. … I would have sat on the lawn with my kids, even if it meant grass stains.” During the month of July I hope to use up the bottle of perfume sitting in the vanity drawer. I want to view my new home as a vacation rental. I want to find more of the glad, relax and have fun.

This is a short but fairly long list on how to have fun. The possibilities are practically endless. My hope is maybe something on the list will spawn additional fun ideas. Please feel free to share your FUN in the comments section.

Each day write down 3-5 positive things that happened that day.
Learn to have fun playing the glad game.

– Watch the clouds
– Watch a sun rise
– Take a midnight swim
– Observe bugs
– Pick flowers
– Camping
– Build a fort
– Take a treat or a balloon to friends and family.
– Read a book and come up with a project or something fun to do based on the material.
– Call the girls or take your daughter(s) to go get pedicures.
– Go on a leisurely bike ride with friends.
– Host a mystery dinner.
– Have an unbirthday party.
– Pay for the person behind you at the movies or toll booth.
– Act out a book complete with make shift costumes.
– Host a Karaokee night.
– Have a Nerf gun Showdown.
– See how many Balloons it takes to lift off the ground. Then watch the movie “Deckchair Danny”.
– Put on a Shadow Theater show.
– Simply your life and home. Throw out the excess. Ask yourself do I really need this? Why do I have it? Is it in the way? Allow your home to feel like the vacation resort you always wanted to visit.
– Learn something new.
– Go to a concert
– Go on a ‘first’ date with your significant other.
– Take a “I feel good day” off of work, if you can.
– Check the Entertainment section of the newspaper or a local website to see what is happening in your town.
– Celebrate a holiday or an achievement.
– Stay up until 4 AM devouring a good book or chatting with an old friend.
– Plan a picnic
– Play a game of volleyball or basketball with friends and/or family
– Go to the lake
– Rent a houseboat.
– Host a game night.
– Play Frisbee.
– Go to a public sporting event.
– Play a sport.
– Date night at the arcade.
– Have a scavenger hunt.
– Make a home movie.
– Build a rocket or model car.
– Find a new hobby.
– Learn about Geo Caching
– Let the kids jump in the rain puddles
– Most important loosen up and lighten up. Don’t be negative. Be willing to come out of the comfort shell once in a while. Laugh a little more. Smile a lot more. Look for the joy or “Glad” in everything around you.

dancing-in-the-rain

Photo: Dancing in the Rain, sale courtesy of Photo Bucket

Someone once told me they were leery of overly happy people because they must be hiding something. I think that there are individuals out there who are genuinely happy. The faults of life roll off their backs like RainX on a car windshield. On the opposite side of the glass half-full crowd are those who need to wallow in self-pity. They feel robbed of their liberties if their feelings are not validated. They feel they are  fake if they act contrary to how they feel. If they do not feel happy then why should they be happy? Problem is when they are not happy they feel no one should be happy. Thus we are all made to feel miserable with them.

One day I was listening to a radio talk show. The caller expressed the need to be true to her feelings but longed to be happy like her fiancé. Even so, price she found it difficult to “fake” being nice if she did not feel like being nice. Her question was if she woke up on the wrong side of the bed was it ok to fake being happy? The host told her if that is what she needed to do then yes it is ok because it is never ok to lash out at someone. The host then added that sometimes when we try to be happy by smiling and doing nice things for other people eventually we become happy.

Not long ago I received terrible news that a dear friend of mine had succumb to liver cancer. She discovered that she had cancer only three months prior to her death. Donna was in her late 50’s. Her life had been fraught with peril at every turn. She was abused and abandoned most of her existence. She was strong. She was a fighter. She survived every negative confrontation thrown at her. By the time we met in my late twenties she was no longer the victim. Her rosy cheeks and denim overalls said everything about her character. She was soft spoken and kind. She would give the shirt off her back to help someone. She was genuine; always a pleasure to be around. She always had a kind word to say on both good and bad days. I loved being around Donna  because she was fun.

As the month progressed I learned of the severe personal tumults suffered by several of my dearest friends. I realized  that day there are more people than we realize who have or are  suffering in some form or another. Despite their afflictions, they strive to keep their heads high making the most of what they have. They have dealt with the past. They are moving on. Their lives are not perfect. They are battle worn and scared. Nevertheless, they are striving to make their lives and those around them better. These women are some of the most noble people I have had the pleasure of befriending. Most importantly despite their hardships they are permitting themselves to have fun and enjoy the pleasures of life.

boat by Dapixara

Photo: Red Boat, byDapixara

When I was a young girl I loved the movie Pollyanna starring Haley Mills. Pollyanna is a vibrant 11 year old girl. Upon her father’s untimely death she was shipped off to live with her Aunt Polly. The daughter of a Missionary Minister, Pollyanna did without the finer things in life. Her only belongings came from missionary barrels or donations. As it so happens, one summer she begged her father for a doll. The ‘Ladies Aid’ tried to find one but all they received by the time the barrel needed to be sent off was a set of crutches. Pollyanna’s father seeing her terrible sadness came up with an idea. He asked her to find something glad about the situation. When she could not he told her she could be glad that she does not have to use the crutches. From that time forward she and her father played what they called the “Glad Game”. Pollyanna set about changing the hearts of everyone around her including her sour-hearted Aunt Polly. One passage I greatly enjoyed, reading in the novel written by Eleanor H. Porter, occurred shortly after her arrival. Miss Polly had just given Pollyanna her daily schedule consisting of cleaning her room first thing in the morning after which she should read 30 minutes aloud to Miss Polly followed by cooking lessons. In the late afternoon Pollyanna was expected to practice the piano. Pollyanna asked “what about living?” When was she supposed to live when her time was taken up with all these extra activities? She lamented that she did not want to just breathe she wanted to live. And so she did. Her Aunt Polly was surprised at the numerous acquaintances Pollyanna had made and the impact Pollyanna made in their lives. The Aunt Polly was so moved by the town’s love for Pollyanna that her own heart softened so much so that she became susceptible to love and forgiveness. The glad game is not that simple. You must find something to be glad about on all occasions. Learning to look on the brighter side of life enabled Pollyanna to step out without fear of condemnation. People loved her because she was so much fun to be with. She could be friends with even the grouchiest of souls because life held no bounds.

This month’s resolution is to have fun. I made this list in the beginning of the year. When July neared I was unsure of what exactly Fun meant. The word Fun is defined as something that provides enjoyment or amusement. I think fun means being able to lighten up despite our circumstances. Miss Polly caved into and was trapped by embarrassment for 11 to 15 years. Her fears lead her down a lonesome unemotional path. Pollyanna gently guided her away from tight buns, dark clothing and pursed lips and back into a world full of color, friendships and joy. Fun for some may include dancing on the bar top but I am not talking about temporary self-satisfaction. Remember the New Year’s resolution’s purpose is to enlighten us and make us better friends, neighbors and relatives. Some activities are better left in the ignorance of youth. The fun I speak of entails allowing ourselves the freedom to stop and enjoy life. Put the electronics away. Forgive whom you need to. Find the glad in your most heart-breaking sorrows as difficult as it may be. To have fun is to help others find the glad so that they too can have fun. To have fun is to vow even though we wake up disgruntled we can make the choice to fake being glad if we have to. To have fun is to discover why everyone calls you the “party-pooper” or “no fun” and change it.

Nuns Having Fun by Maureen Kelly and Jeffrey Stone

Photo: Nuns Having Fun

I try to teach my children it is ok to feel hurt, angry, sad, disappointed they are all legitimate feelings. But, we make the choice to let those feelings dictate our behavior and attitude or to let it go. It is not easy trying to tell that to a five year old who demands justice even to the point of missing out on the fun that is happening at that moment. I know there is more injustice going on in the world than we can fathom. There are people out there who are suffering or have suffered tremendous acts of violence, abuse and emotional warfare. Yet, day after day they keep moving forward. The writer Erma Bombeck wrote a column, upon discovering that she was dying from cancer, entitled “If I Had to Live My Life Over.” Erma wrote, “… I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage. I would have talked less and listened more. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded. I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace. … I would have sat on the lawn with my kids, even if it meant grass stains.” During the month of July I hope to use up the bottle of perfume sitting in the vanity drawer. I want to view my new home as a vacation rental. I want to find more of the glad, relax and have fun.

This is a short but fairly long list on how to have fun. The possibilities are practically endless. My hope is maybe something on the list will spawn additional fun ideas. Please feel free to share your FUN in the comments section.

Each day write down 3-5 positive things that happened that day.
Learn to have fun playing the glad game.

– Watch the clouds
– Watch a sun rise
– Take a midnight swim
– Observe bugs
– Pick flowers
– Camping
– Build a fort
– Take a treat or a balloon to friends and family.
– Read a book and come up with a project or something fun to do based on the material.
– Call the girls or take your daughter(s) to go get pedicures.
– Go on a leisurely bike ride with friends.
– Host a mystery dinner.
– Have an unbirthday party.
– Pay for the person behind you at the movies or toll booth.
– Act out a book complete with make shift costumes.
– Host a Karaokee night.
– Have a Nerf gun Showdown.
– See how many Balloons it takes to lift off the ground. Then watch the movie “Deckchair Danny”.
– Put on a Shadow Theater show.
– Simply your life and home. Throw out the excess. Ask yourself do I really need this? Why do I have it? Is it in the way? Allow your home to feel like the vacation resort you always wanted to visit.
– Learn something new.
– Go to a concert
– Go on a ‘first’ date with your significant other.
– Take a “I feel good day” off of work, if you can.
– Check the Entertainment section of the newspaper or a local website to see what is happening in your town.
– Celebrate a holiday or an achievement.
– Stay up until 4 AM devouring a good book or chatting with an old friend.
– Plan a picnic
– Play a game of volleyball or basketball with friends and/or family
– Go to the lake
– Rent a houseboat.
– Host a game night.
– Play Frisbee.
– Go to a public sporting event.
– Play a sport.
– Date night at the arcade.
– Have a scavenger hunt.
– Make a home movie.
– Build a rocket or model car.
– Find a new hobby.
– Learn about Geo Caching
– Let the kids jump in the rain puddles
– Most important loosen up and lighten up. Don’t be negative. Be willing to come out of the comfort shell once in a while. Laugh a little more. Smile a lot more. Look for the joy or “Glad” in everything around you.

dancing-in-the-rain

Photo: Dancing in the Rain, rx courtesy of Photo Bucket

Someone once told me they were leery of overly happy people because they must be hiding something. I think that there are individuals out there who are genuinely happy. The faults of life roll off their backs like RainX on a car windshield. On the opposite side of the glass half-full crowd are those who need to wallow in self-pity. They feel robbed of their liberties if their feelings are not validated. They feel they are  fake if they act contrary to how they feel. If they do not feel happy then why should they be happy? Problem is when they are not happy they feel no one should be happy. Thus we are all made to feel miserable with them.

One day I was listening to a radio talk show. The caller expressed the need to be true to her feelings but longed to be happy like her fiancé. Even so, she found it difficult to “fake” being nice if she did not feel like being nice. Her question was if she woke up on the wrong side of the bed was it ok to fake being happy? The host told her if that is what she needed to do then yes it is ok because it is never ok to lash out at someone. The host then added that sometimes when we try to be happy by smiling and doing nice things for other people eventually we become happy.

Not long ago I received terrible news that a dear friend of mine had succumb to liver cancer. She discovered that she had cancer only three months prior to her death. Donna was in her late 50’s. Her life had been fraught with peril at every turn. She was abused and abandoned most of her existence. She was strong. She was a fighter. She survived every negative confrontation thrown at her. By the time we met in my late twenties she was no longer the victim. Her rosy cheeks and denim overalls said everything about her character. She was soft spoken and kind. She would give the shirt off her back to help someone. She was genuine; always a pleasure to be around. She always had a kind word to say on both good and bad days. I loved being around Donna  because she was fun.

As the month progressed I learned of the severe personal tumults suffered by several of my dearest friends. I realized  that day there are more people than we realize who have or are  suffering in some form or another. Despite their afflictions, they strive to keep their heads high making the most of what they have. They have dealt with the past. They are moving on. Their lives are not perfect. They are battle worn and scared. Nevertheless, they are striving to make their lives and those around them better. These women are some of the most noble people I have had the pleasure of befriending. Most importantly despite their hardships they are permitting themselves to have fun and enjoy the pleasures of life.

boat by Dapixara

Photo: Red Boat, byDapixara

When I was a young girl I loved the movie Pollyanna starring Haley Mills. Pollyanna is a vibrant 11 year old girl. Upon her father’s untimely death she was shipped off to live with her Aunt Polly. The daughter of a Missionary Minister, Pollyanna did without the finer things in life. Her only belongings came from missionary barrels or donations. As it so happens, one summer she begged her father for a doll. The ‘Ladies Aid’ tried to find one but all they received by the time the barrel needed to be sent off was a set of crutches. Pollyanna’s father seeing her terrible sadness came up with an idea. He asked her to find something glad about the situation. When she could not he told her she could be glad that she does not have to use the crutches. From that time forward she and her father played what they called the “Glad Game”. Pollyanna set about changing the hearts of everyone around her including her sour-hearted Aunt Polly. One passage I greatly enjoyed, reading in the novel written by Eleanor H. Porter, occurred shortly after her arrival. Miss Polly had just given Pollyanna her daily schedule consisting of cleaning her room first thing in the morning after which she should read 30 minutes aloud to Miss Polly followed by cooking lessons. In the late afternoon Pollyanna was expected to practice the piano. Pollyanna asked “what about living?” When was she supposed to live when her time was taken up with all these extra activities? She lamented that she did not want to just breathe she wanted to live. And so she did. Her Aunt Polly was surprised at the numerous acquaintances Pollyanna had made and the impact Pollyanna made in their lives. The Aunt Polly was so moved by the town’s love for Pollyanna that her own heart softened so much so that she became susceptible to love and forgiveness. The glad game is not that simple. You must find something to be glad about on all occasions. Learning to look on the brighter side of life enabled Pollyanna to step out without fear of condemnation. People loved her because she was so much fun to be with. She could be friends with even the grouchiest of souls because life held no bounds.

This month’s resolution is to have fun. I made this list in the beginning of the year. When July neared I was unsure of what exactly Fun meant. The word Fun is defined as something that provides enjoyment or amusement. I think fun means being able to lighten up despite our circumstances. Miss Polly caved into and was trapped by embarrassment for 11 to 15 years. Her fears lead her down a lonesome unemotional path. Pollyanna gently guided her away from tight buns, dark clothing and pursed lips and back into a world full of color, friendships and joy. Fun for some may include dancing on the bar top but I am not talking about temporary self-satisfaction. Remember the New Year’s resolution’s purpose is to enlighten us and make us better friends, neighbors and relatives. Some activities are better left in the ignorance of youth. The fun I speak of entails allowing ourselves the freedom to stop and enjoy life. Put the electronics away. Forgive whom you need to. Find the glad in your most heart-breaking sorrows as difficult as it may be. To have fun is to help others find the glad so that they too can have fun. To have fun is to vow even though we wake up disgruntled we can make the choice to fake being glad if we have to. To have fun is to discover why everyone calls you the “party-pooper” or “no fun” and change it.

Nuns Having Fun by Maureen Kelly and Jeffrey Stone

Photo: Nuns Having Fun

I try to teach my children it is ok to feel hurt, angry, sad, disappointed they are all legitimate feelings. But, we make the choice to let those feelings dictate our behavior and attitude or to let it go. It is not easy trying to tell that to a five year old who demands justice even to the point of missing out on the fun that is happening at that moment. I know there is more injustice going on in the world than we can fathom. There are people out there who are suffering or have suffered tremendous acts of violence, abuse and emotional warfare. Yet, day after day they keep moving forward. The writer Erma Bombeck wrote a column, upon discovering that she was dying from cancer, entitled “If I Had to Live My Life Over.” Erma wrote, “… I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage. I would have talked less and listened more. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded. I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace. … I would have sat on the lawn with my kids, even if it meant grass stains.” During the month of July I hope to use up the bottle of perfume sitting in the vanity drawer. I want to view my new home as a vacation rental. I want to find more of the glad, relax and have fun.

This is a short but fairly long list on how to have fun. The possibilities are practically endless. My hope is maybe something on the list will spawn additional fun ideas. Please feel free to share your FUN in the comments section.

Each day write down 3-5 positive things that happened that day.
Learn to have fun playing the glad game.

– Watch the clouds
– Watch a sun rise
– Take a midnight swim
– Observe bugs
– Pick flowers
– Camping
– Build a fort
– Take a treat or a balloon to friends and family.
– Read a book and come up with a project or something fun to do based on the material.
– Call the girls or take your daughter(s) to go get pedicures.
– Go on a leisurely bike ride with friends.
– Host a mystery dinner.
– Have an unbirthday party.
– Pay for the person behind you at the movies or toll booth.
– Act out a book complete with make shift costumes.
– Host a Karaokee night.
– Have a Nerf gun Showdown.
– See how many Balloons it takes to lift off the ground. Then watch the movie “Deckchair Danny”.
– Put on a Shadow Theater show.
– Simply your life and home. Throw out the excess. Ask yourself do I really need this? Why do I have it? Is it in the way? Allow your home to feel like the vacation resort you always wanted to visit.
– Learn something new.
– Go to a concert
– Go on a ‘first’ date with your significant other.
– Take a “I feel good day” off of work, if you can.
– Check the Entertainment section of the newspaper or a local website to see what is happening in your town.
– Celebrate a holiday or an achievement.
– Stay up until 4 AM devouring a good book or chatting with an old friend.
– Plan a picnic
– Play a game of volleyball or basketball with friends and/or family
– Go to the lake
– Rent a houseboat.
– Host a game night.
– Play Frisbee.
– Go to a public sporting event.
– Play a sport.
– Date night at the arcade.
– Have a scavenger hunt.
– Make a home movie.
– Build a rocket or model car.
– Find a new hobby.
– Learn about Geo Caching
– Let the kids jump in the rain puddles
– Most important loosen up and lighten up. Don’t be negative. Be willing to come out of the comfort shell once in a while. Laugh a little more. Smile a lot more. Look for the joy or “Glad” in everything around you.

dancing-in-the-rain

Photo: Dancing in the Rain, try courtesy of Photo Bucket

Someone once told me they were leery of overly happy people because they must be hiding something. I think that there are individuals out there who are genuinely happy. The faults of life roll off their backs like RainX on a car windshield. On the opposite side of the glass half-full crowd are those who need to wallow in self-pity. They feel robbed of their liberties if their feelings are not validated. They feel they are  fake if they act contrary to how they feel. If they do not feel happy then why should they be happy? Problem is when they are not happy they feel no one should be happy. Thus we are all made to feel miserable with them.

One day I was listening to a radio talk show. The caller expressed the need to be true to her feelings but longed to be happy like her fiancé. Even so, cialis 40mg she found it difficult to “fake” being nice if she did not feel like being nice. Her question was if she woke up on the wrong side of the bed was it ok to fake being happy? The host told her if that is what she needed to do then yes it is ok because it is never ok to lash out at someone. The host then added that sometimes when we try to be happy by smiling and doing nice things for other people eventually we become happy.

Not long ago I received terrible news that a dear friend of mine had succumb to liver cancer. She discovered that she had cancer only three months prior to her death. Donna was in her late 50’s. Her life had been fraught with peril at every turn. She was abused and abandoned most of her existence. She was strong. She was a fighter. She survived every negative confrontation thrown at her. By the time we met in my late twenties she was no longer the victim. Her rosy cheeks and denim overalls said everything about her character. She was soft spoken and kind. She would give the shirt off her back to help someone. She was genuine; always a pleasure to be around. She always had a kind word to say on both good and bad days. I loved being around Donna  because she was fun.

As the month progressed I learned of the severe personal tumults suffered by several of my dearest friends. I realized  that day there are more people than we realize who have or are  suffering in some form or another. Despite their afflictions, they strive to keep their heads high making the most of what they have. They have dealt with the past. They are moving on. Their lives are not perfect. They are battle worn and scared. Nevertheless, they are striving to make their lives and those around them better. These women are some of the most noble people I have had the pleasure of befriending. Most importantly despite their hardships they are permitting themselves to have fun and enjoy the pleasures of life.

boat by Dapixara

Photo: Red Boat, byDapixara

When I was a young girl I loved the movie Pollyanna starring Haley Mills. Pollyanna is a vibrant 11 year old girl. Upon her father’s untimely death she was shipped off to live with her Aunt Polly. The daughter of a Missionary Minister, Pollyanna did without the finer things in life. Her only belongings came from missionary barrels or donations. As it so happens, one summer she begged her father for a doll. The ‘Ladies Aid’ tried to find one but all they received by the time the barrel needed to be sent off was a set of crutches. Pollyanna’s father seeing her terrible sadness came up with an idea. He asked her to find something glad about the situation. When she could not he told her she could be glad that she does not have to use the crutches. From that time forward she and her father played what they called the “Glad Game”. Pollyanna set about changing the hearts of everyone around her including her sour-hearted Aunt Polly. One passage I greatly enjoyed, reading in the novel written by Eleanor H. Porter, occurred shortly after her arrival. Miss Polly had just given Pollyanna her daily schedule consisting of cleaning her room first thing in the morning after which she should read 30 minutes aloud to Miss Polly followed by cooking lessons. In the late afternoon Pollyanna was expected to practice the piano. Pollyanna asked “what about living?” When was she supposed to live when her time was taken up with all these extra activities? She lamented that she did not want to just breathe she wanted to live. And so she did. Her Aunt Polly was surprised at the numerous acquaintances Pollyanna had made and the impact Pollyanna made in their lives. The Aunt Polly was so moved by the town’s love for Pollyanna that her own heart softened so much so that she became susceptible to love and forgiveness. The glad game is not that simple. You must find something to be glad about on all occasions. Learning to look on the brighter side of life enabled Pollyanna to step out without fear of condemnation. People loved her because she was so much fun to be with. She could be friends with even the grouchiest of souls because life held no bounds.

This month’s resolution is to have fun. I made this list in the beginning of the year. When July neared I was unsure of what exactly Fun meant. The word Fun is defined as something that provides enjoyment or amusement. I think fun means being able to lighten up despite our circumstances. Miss Polly caved into and was trapped by embarrassment for 11 to 15 years. Her fears lead her down a lonesome unemotional path. Pollyanna gently guided her away from tight buns, dark clothing and pursed lips and back into a world full of color, friendships and joy. Fun for some may include dancing on the bar top but I am not talking about temporary self-satisfaction. Remember the New Year’s resolution’s purpose is to enlighten us and make us better friends, neighbors and relatives. Some activities are better left in the ignorance of youth. The fun I speak of entails allowing ourselves the freedom to stop and enjoy life. Put the electronics away. Forgive whom you need to. Find the glad in your most heart-breaking sorrows as difficult as it may be. To have fun is to help others find the glad so that they too can have fun. To have fun is to vow even though we wake up disgruntled we can make the choice to fake being glad if we have to. To have fun is to discover why everyone calls you the “party-pooper” or “no fun” and change it.

Nuns Having Fun by Maureen Kelly and Jeffrey Stone

Photo: Nuns Having Fun

I try to teach my children it is ok to feel hurt, angry, sad, disappointed they are all legitimate feelings. But, we make the choice to let those feelings dictate our behavior and attitude or to let it go. It is not easy trying to tell that to a five year old who demands justice even to the point of missing out on the fun that is happening at that moment. I know there is more injustice going on in the world than we can fathom. There are people out there who are suffering or have suffered tremendous acts of violence, abuse and emotional warfare. Yet, day after day they keep moving forward. The writer Erma Bombeck wrote a column, upon discovering that she was dying from cancer, entitled “If I Had to Live My Life Over.” Erma wrote, “… I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage. I would have talked less and listened more. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded. I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace. … I would have sat on the lawn with my kids, even if it meant grass stains.” During the month of July I hope to use up the bottle of perfume sitting in the vanity drawer. I want to view my new home as a vacation rental. I want to find more of the glad, relax and have fun.

This is a short but fairly long list on how to have fun. The possibilities are practically endless. My hope is maybe something on the list will spawn additional fun ideas. Please feel free to share your FUN in the comments section.

Each day write down 3-5 positive things that happened that day.
Learn to have fun playing the glad game.

– Watch the clouds
– Watch a sun rise
– Take a midnight swim
– Observe bugs
– Pick flowers
– Camping
– Build a fort
– Take a treat or a balloon to friends and family.
– Read a book and come up with a project or something fun to do based on the material.
– Call the girls or take your daughter(s) to go get pedicures.
– Go on a leisurely bike ride with friends.
– Host a mystery dinner.
– Have an unbirthday party.
– Pay for the person behind you at the movies or toll booth.
– Act out a book complete with make shift costumes.
– Host a Karaokee night.
– Have a Nerf gun Showdown.
– See how many Balloons it takes to lift off the ground. Then watch the movie “Deckchair Danny”.
– Put on a Shadow Theater show.
– Simply your life and home. Throw out the excess. Ask yourself do I really need this? Why do I have it? Is it in the way? Allow your home to feel like the vacation resort you always wanted to visit.
– Learn something new.
– Go to a concert
– Go on a ‘first’ date with your significant other.
– Take a “I feel good day” off of work, if you can.
– Check the Entertainment section of the newspaper or a local website to see what is happening in your town.
– Celebrate a holiday or an achievement.
– Stay up until 4 AM devouring a good book or chatting with an old friend.
– Plan a picnic
– Play a game of volleyball or basketball with friends and/or family
– Go to the lake
– Rent a houseboat.
– Host a game night.
– Play Frisbee.
– Go to a public sporting event.
– Play a sport.
– Date night at the arcade.
– Have a scavenger hunt.
– Make a home movie.
– Build a rocket or model car.
– Find a new hobby.
– Learn about Geo Caching
– Let the kids jump in the rain puddles
– Most important loosen up and lighten up. Don’t be negative. Be willing to come out of the comfort shell once in a while. Laugh a little more. Smile a lot more. Look for the joy or “Glad” in everything around you.

dancing-in-the-rain

Photo: Dancing in the Rain, physician courtesy of Photo Bucket

Someone once told me they were leery of overly happy people because they must be hiding something. I think that there are individuals out there who are genuinely happy. The faults of life roll off their backs like RainX on a car windshield. On the opposite side of the glass half-full crowd are those who need to wallow in self-pity. They feel robbed of their liberties if their feelings are not validated. They feel they are  fake if they act contrary to how they feel. If they do not feel happy then why should they be happy? Problem is when they are not happy they feel no one should be happy. Thus we are all made to feel miserable with them.

One day I was listening to a radio talk show. The caller expressed the need to be true to her feelings but longed to be happy like her fiancé. Even so, erectile she found it difficult to “fake” being nice if she did not feel like being nice. Her question was if she woke up on the wrong side of the bed was it ok to fake being happy? The host told her if that is what she needed to do then yes it is ok because it is never ok to lash out at someone. The host then added that sometimes when we try to be happy by smiling and doing nice things for other people eventually we become happy.

Not long ago I received terrible news that a dear friend of mine had succumb to liver cancer. She discovered that she had cancer only three months prior to her death. Donna was in her late 50’s. Her life had been fraught with peril at every turn. She was abused and abandoned most of her existence. She was strong. She was a fighter. She survived every negative confrontation thrown at her. By the time we met in my late twenties she was no longer the victim. Her rosy cheeks and denim overalls said everything about her character. She was soft spoken and kind. She would give the shirt off her back to help someone. She was genuine; always a pleasure to be around. She always had a kind word to say on both good and bad days. I loved being around Donna  because she was fun.

As the month progressed I learned of the severe personal tumults suffered by several of my dearest friends. I realized  that day there are more people than we realize who have or are  suffering in some form or another. Despite their afflictions, they strive to keep their heads high making the most of what they have. They have dealt with the past. They are moving on. Their lives are not perfect. They are battle worn and scared. Nevertheless, they are striving to make their lives and those around them better. These women are some of the most noble people I have had the pleasure of befriending. Most importantly despite their hardships they are permitting themselves to have fun and enjoy the pleasures of life.

boat by Dapixara

Photo: Red Boat, by Dapixara

When I was a young girl I loved the movie Pollyanna starring Haley Mills. Pollyanna is a vibrant 11 year old girl. Upon her father’s untimely death she was shipped off to live with her Aunt Polly. The daughter of a Missionary Minister, Pollyanna did without the finer things in life. Her only belongings came from missionary barrels or donations. As it so happens, one summer she begged her father for a doll. The ‘Ladies Aid’ tried to find one but all they received by the time the barrel needed to be sent off was a set of crutches. Pollyanna’s father seeing her terrible sadness came up with an idea. He asked her to find something glad about the situation. When she could not he told her she could be glad that she does not have to use the crutches. From that time forward she and her father played what they called the “Glad Game”. Pollyanna set about changing the hearts of everyone around her including her sour-hearted Aunt Polly. One passage I greatly enjoyed, reading in the novel written by Eleanor H. Porter, occurred shortly after her arrival. Miss Polly had just given Pollyanna her daily schedule consisting of cleaning her room first thing in the morning after which she should read 30 minutes aloud to Miss Polly followed by cooking lessons. In the late afternoon Pollyanna was expected to practice the piano. Pollyanna asked “what about living?” When was she supposed to live when her time was taken up with all these extra activities? She lamented that she did not want to just breathe she wanted to live. And so she did. Her Aunt Polly was surprised at the numerous acquaintances Pollyanna had made and the impact Pollyanna made in their lives. The Aunt Polly was so moved by the town’s love for Pollyanna that her own heart softened so much so that she became susceptible to love and forgiveness. The glad game is not that simple. You must find something to be glad about on all occasions. Learning to look on the brighter side of life enabled Pollyanna to step out without fear of condemnation. People loved her because she was so much fun to be with. She could be friends with even the grouchiest of souls because life held no bounds.

This month’s resolution is to have fun. I made this list in the beginning of the year. When July neared I was unsure of what exactly Fun meant. The word Fun is defined as something that provides enjoyment or amusement. I think fun means being able to lighten up despite our circumstances. Miss Polly caved into and was trapped by embarrassment for 11 to 15 years. Her fears lead her down a lonesome unemotional path. Pollyanna gently guided her away from tight buns, dark clothing and pursed lips and back into a world full of color, friendships and joy. Fun for some may include dancing on the bar top but I am not talking about temporary self-satisfaction. Remember the New Year’s resolution’s purpose is to enlighten us and make us better friends, neighbors and relatives. Some activities are better left in the ignorance of youth. The fun I speak of entails allowing ourselves the freedom to stop and enjoy life. Put the electronics away. Forgive whom you need to. Find the glad in your most heart-breaking sorrows as difficult as it may be. To have fun is to help others find the glad so that they too can have fun. To have fun is to vow even though we wake up disgruntled we can make the choice to fake being glad if we have to. To have fun is to discover why everyone calls you the “party-pooper” or “no fun” and change it.

Nuns Having Fun by Maureen Kelly and Jeffrey Stone

Photo: Nuns Having Fun

I try to teach my children it is ok to feel hurt, angry, sad, disappointed they are all legitimate feelings. But, we make the choice to let those feelings dictate our behavior and attitude or to let it go. It is not easy trying to tell that to a five year old who demands justice even to the point of missing out on the fun that is happening at that moment. I know there is more injustice going on in the world than we can fathom. There are people out there who are suffering or have suffered tremendous acts of violence, abuse and emotional warfare. Yet, day after day they keep moving forward. The writer Erma Bombeck wrote a column, upon discovering that she was dying from cancer, entitled “If I Had to Live My Life Over.” Erma wrote, “… I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage. I would have talked less and listened more. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded. I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace. … I would have sat on the lawn with my kids, even if it meant grass stains.” During the month of July I hope to use up the bottle of perfume sitting in the vanity drawer. I want to view my new home as a vacation rental. I want to find more of the glad, relax and have fun.

This is a short but fairly long list on how to have fun. The possibilities are practically endless. My hope is maybe something on the list will spawn additional fun ideas. Please feel free to share your FUN in the comments section.

Each day write down 3-5 positive things that happened that day.

Learn to have fun playing the glad game.

– Watch the clouds

– Watch a sun rise

– Take a midnight swim

– Observe bugs

– Pick flowers

– Camping

– Build a fort

– Take a treat or a balloon to friends and family.

– Read a book and come up with a project or something fun to do based on the material.

– Call the girls or take your daughter(s) to go get pedicures.

– Go on a leisurely bike ride with friends.

– Host a mystery dinner.

– Have an unbirthday party.

– Pay for the person behind you at the movies or toll booth.

– Act out a book complete with make shift costumes.

– Host a Karaokee night.

– Have a Nerf gun Showdown.

– See how many Balloons it takes to lift off the ground. Then watch the movie “Deckchair Danny”.

– Put on a Shadow Theater show.

– Simply your life and home. Throw out the excess. Ask yourself do I really need this? Why do I have it? Is it in the way? Allow your home to feel like the vacation resort you always wanted to visit.

– Learn something new.

– Go to a concert

– Go on a ‘first’ date with your significant other.

– Take a “I feel good day” off of work, if you can.

– Check the Entertainment section of the newspaper or a local website to see what is happening in your town.

– Celebrate a holiday or an achievement.

– Stay up until 4 AM devouring a good book or chatting with an old friend.

– Plan a picnic

– Play a game of volleyball or basketball with friends and/or family

– Go to the lake

– Rent a houseboat.

– Host a game night.

– Play Frisbee.

– Go to a public sporting event.

– Play a sport.

– Date night at the arcade.

– Have a scavenger hunt.

– Make a home movie.

– Build a rocket or model car.

– Find a new hobby.

– Learn about Geo Caching

– Let the kids jump in the rain puddles

– Most important loosen up and lighten up. Don’t be negative. Be willing to come out of the comfort shell once in a while. Laugh a little more. Smile a lot more. Look for the joy or “Glad” in everything around you.

dancing-in-the-rain

Photo: Dancing in the Rain, prostate courtesy of Photo Bucket

Someone once told me they were leery of overly happy people because they must be hiding something. I think that there are individuals out there who are genuinely happy. The faults of life roll off their backs like RainX on a car windshield. On the opposite side of the glass half-full crowd are those who need to wallow in self-pity. They feel robbed of their liberties if their feelings are not validated. They feel they are  fake if they act contrary to how they feel. If they do not feel happy then why should they be happy? Problem is when they are not happy they feel no one should be happy. Thus we are all made to feel miserable with them.

One day I was listening to a radio talk show. The caller expressed the need to be true to her feelings but longed to be happy like her fiancé. Even so, buy she found it difficult to “fake” being nice if she did not feel like being nice. Her question was if she woke up on the wrong side of the bed was it ok to fake being happy? The host told her if that is what she needed to do then yes it is ok because it is never ok to lash out at someone. The host then added that sometimes when we try to be happy by smiling and doing nice things for other people eventually we become happy.

Not long ago I received terrible news that a dear friend of mine had succumb to liver cancer. She discovered that she had cancer only three months prior to her death. Donna was in her late 50’s. Her life had been fraught with peril at every turn. She was abused and abandoned most of her existence. She was strong. She was a fighter. She survived every negative confrontation thrown at her. By the time we met in my late twenties she was no longer the victim. Her rosy cheeks and denim overalls said everything about her character. She was soft spoken and kind. She would give the shirt off her back to help someone. She was genuine; always a pleasure to be around. She always had a kind word to say on both good and bad days. I loved being around Donna  because she was fun.

As the month progressed I learned of the severe personal tumults suffered by several of my dearest friends. I realized  that day there are more people than we realize who have or are  suffering in some form or another. Despite their afflictions, here they strive to keep their heads high making the most of what they have. They have dealt with the past. They are moving on. Their lives are not perfect. They are battle worn and scared. Nevertheless, they are striving to make their lives and those around them better. These women are some of the most noble people I have had the pleasure of befriending. Most importantly despite their hardships they are permitting themselves to have fun and enjoy the pleasures of life.

When I was a young girl I loved the movie Pollyanna starring Haley Mills. Pollyanna is a vibrant 11 year old girl. Upon her father’s untimely death she was shipped off to live with her Aunt Polly. The daughter of a Missionary Minister, Pollyanna did without the finer things in life. Her only belongings came from missionary barrels or donations. As it so happens, one summer she begged her father for a doll. The ‘Ladies Aid’ tried to find one but all they received by the time the barrel needed to be sent off was a set of crutches. Pollyanna’s father seeing her terrible sadness came up with an idea. He asked her to find something glad about the situation. When she could not he told her she could be glad that she does not have to use the crutches. From that time forward she and her father played what they called the “Glad Game”. Pollyanna set about changing the hearts of everyone around her including her sour-hearted Aunt Polly. One passage I greatly enjoyed, reading in the novel written by Eleanor H. Porter, occurred shortly after her arrival. Miss Polly had just given Pollyanna her daily schedule consisting of cleaning her room first thing in the morning after which she should read 30 minutes aloud to Miss Polly followed by cooking lessons. In the late afternoon Pollyanna was expected to practice the piano. Pollyanna asked “what about living?” When was she supposed to live when her time was taken up with all these extra activities? She lamented that she did not want to just breathe she wanted to live. And so she did. Her Aunt Polly was surprised at the numerous acquaintances Pollyanna had made and the impact Pollyanna made in their lives. The Aunt Polly was so moved by the town’s love for Pollyanna that her own heart softened so much so that she became susceptible to love and forgiveness. The glad game is not that simple. You must find something to be glad about on all occasions. Learning to look on the brighter side of life enabled Pollyanna to step out without fear of condemnation. People loved her because she was so much fun to be with. She could be friends with even the grouchiest of souls because life held no bounds.

This month’s resolution is to have fun. I made this list in the beginning of the year. When July neared I was unsure of what exactly Fun meant. The word Fun is defined as something that provides enjoyment or amusement. I think fun means being able to lighten up despite our circumstances. Miss Polly caved into and was trapped by embarrassment for 11 to 15 years. Her fears lead her down a lonesome unemotional path. Pollyanna gently guided her away from tight buns, dark clothing and pursed lips and back into a world full of color, friendships and joy. Fun for some may include dancing on the bar top but I am not talking about temporary self-satisfaction. Remember the New Year’s resolution’s purpose is to enlighten us and make us better friends, neighbors and relatives. Some activities are better left in the ignorance of youth. The fun I speak of entails allowing ourselves the freedom to stop and enjoy life. Put the electronics away. Forgive whom you need to. Find the glad in your most heart-breaking sorrows as difficult as it may be. To have fun is to help others find the glad so that they too can have fun. To have fun is to vow even though we wake up disgruntled we can make the choice to fake being glad if we have to. To have fun is to discover why everyone calls you the “party-pooper” or “no fun” and change it.

Nuns Having Fun by Maureen Kelly and Jeffrey Stone

Photo: Nuns Having Fun

I try to teach my children it is ok to feel hurt, angry, sad, disappointed they are all legitimate feelings. But, we make the choice to let those feelings dictate our behavior and attitude or to let it go. It is not easy trying to tell that to a five year old who demands justice even to the point of missing out on the fun that is happening at that moment. I know there is more injustice going on in the world than we can fathom. There are people out there who are suffering or have suffered tremendous acts of violence, abuse and emotional warfare. Yet, day after day they keep moving forward. The writer Erma Bombeck wrote a column, upon discovering that she was dying from cancer, entitled “If I Had to Live My Life Over.” Erma wrote, “… I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage. I would have talked less and listened more. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded. I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace. … I would have sat on the lawn with my kids, even if it meant grass stains.” During the month of July I hope to use up the bottle of perfume sitting in the vanity drawer. I want to view my new home as a vacation rental. I want to find more of the glad, relax and have fun.

This is a short but fairly long list on how to have fun. The possibilities are practically endless. My hope is maybe something on the list will spawn additional fun ideas. Please feel free to share your FUN in the comments section.

Each day write down 3-5 positive things that happened that day.
Learn to have fun playing the glad game.

– Watch the clouds
– Watch a sun rise
– Take a midnight swim
– Observe bugs
– Pick flowers
– Camping
– Build a fort
– Take a treat or a balloon to friends and family.
– Read a book and come up with a project or something fun to do based on the material.
– Call the girls or take your daughter(s) to go get pedicures.
– Go on a leisurely bike ride with friends.
– Host a mystery dinner.
– Have an unbirthday party.
– Pay for the person behind you at the movies or toll booth.
– Act out a book complete with make shift costumes.
– Host a Karaokee night.
– Have a Nerf gun Showdown.
– See how many Balloons it takes to lift off the ground. Then watch the movie “Deckchair Danny”.
– Put on a Shadow Theater show.
– Simply your life and home. Throw out the excess. Ask yourself do I really need this? Why do I have it? Is it in the way? Allow your home to feel like the vacation resort you always wanted to visit.
– Learn something new.
– Go to a concert
– Go on a ‘first’ date with your significant other.
– Take a “I feel good day” off of work, if you can.
– Check the Entertainment section of the newspaper or a local website to see what is happening in your town.
– Celebrate a holiday or an achievement.
– Stay up until 4 AM devouring a good book or chatting with an old friend.
– Plan a picnic
– Play a game of volleyball or basketball with friends and/or family
– Go to the lake
– Rent a houseboat.
– Host a game night.
– Play Frisbee.
– Go to a public sporting event.
– Play a sport.
– Date night at the arcade.
– Have a scavenger hunt.
– Make a home movie.
– Build a rocket or model car.
– Find a new hobby.
– Learn about Geo Caching
– Let the kids jump in the rain puddles
– Most important loosen up and lighten up. Don’t be negative. Be willing to come out of the comfort shell once in a while. Laugh a little more. Smile a lot more. Look for the joy or “Glad” in everything around you.

dancing-in-the-rain

Photo: Dancing in the Rain, sale courtesy of Photo Bucket

Someone once told me they were leery of overly happy people because they must be hiding something. I think that there are individuals out there who are genuinely happy. The faults of life roll off their backs like RainX on a car windshield. On the opposite side of the glass half-full crowd are those who need to wallow in self-pity. They feel robbed of their liberties if their feelings are not validated. They feel they are  fake if they act contrary to how they feel. If they do not feel happy then why should they be happy? Problem is when they are not happy they feel no one should be happy. Thus we are all made to feel miserable with them.

One day I was listening to a radio talk show. The caller expressed the need to be true to her feelings but longed to be happy like her fiancé. Even so, price she found it difficult to “fake” being nice if she did not feel like being nice. Her question was if she woke up on the wrong side of the bed was it ok to fake being happy? The host told her if that is what she needed to do then yes it is ok because it is never ok to lash out at someone. The host then added that sometimes when we try to be happy by smiling and doing nice things for other people eventually we become happy.

Not long ago I received terrible news that a dear friend of mine had succumb to liver cancer. She discovered that she had cancer only three months prior to her death. Donna was in her late 50’s. Her life had been fraught with peril at every turn. She was abused and abandoned most of her existence. She was strong. She was a fighter. She survived every negative confrontation thrown at her. By the time we met in my late twenties she was no longer the victim. Her rosy cheeks and denim overalls said everything about her character. She was soft spoken and kind. She would give the shirt off her back to help someone. She was genuine; always a pleasure to be around. She always had a kind word to say on both good and bad days. I loved being around Donna  because she was fun.

As the month progressed I learned of the severe personal tumults suffered by several of my dearest friends. I realized  that day there are more people than we realize who have or are  suffering in some form or another. Despite their afflictions, they strive to keep their heads high making the most of what they have. They have dealt with the past. They are moving on. Their lives are not perfect. They are battle worn and scared. Nevertheless, they are striving to make their lives and those around them better. These women are some of the most noble people I have had the pleasure of befriending. Most importantly despite their hardships they are permitting themselves to have fun and enjoy the pleasures of life.

boat by Dapixara

Photo: Red Boat, byDapixara

When I was a young girl I loved the movie Pollyanna starring Haley Mills. Pollyanna is a vibrant 11 year old girl. Upon her father’s untimely death she was shipped off to live with her Aunt Polly. The daughter of a Missionary Minister, Pollyanna did without the finer things in life. Her only belongings came from missionary barrels or donations. As it so happens, one summer she begged her father for a doll. The ‘Ladies Aid’ tried to find one but all they received by the time the barrel needed to be sent off was a set of crutches. Pollyanna’s father seeing her terrible sadness came up with an idea. He asked her to find something glad about the situation. When she could not he told her she could be glad that she does not have to use the crutches. From that time forward she and her father played what they called the “Glad Game”. Pollyanna set about changing the hearts of everyone around her including her sour-hearted Aunt Polly. One passage I greatly enjoyed, reading in the novel written by Eleanor H. Porter, occurred shortly after her arrival. Miss Polly had just given Pollyanna her daily schedule consisting of cleaning her room first thing in the morning after which she should read 30 minutes aloud to Miss Polly followed by cooking lessons. In the late afternoon Pollyanna was expected to practice the piano. Pollyanna asked “what about living?” When was she supposed to live when her time was taken up with all these extra activities? She lamented that she did not want to just breathe she wanted to live. And so she did. Her Aunt Polly was surprised at the numerous acquaintances Pollyanna had made and the impact Pollyanna made in their lives. The Aunt Polly was so moved by the town’s love for Pollyanna that her own heart softened so much so that she became susceptible to love and forgiveness. The glad game is not that simple. You must find something to be glad about on all occasions. Learning to look on the brighter side of life enabled Pollyanna to step out without fear of condemnation. People loved her because she was so much fun to be with. She could be friends with even the grouchiest of souls because life held no bounds.

This month’s resolution is to have fun. I made this list in the beginning of the year. When July neared I was unsure of what exactly Fun meant. The word Fun is defined as something that provides enjoyment or amusement. I think fun means being able to lighten up despite our circumstances. Miss Polly caved into and was trapped by embarrassment for 11 to 15 years. Her fears lead her down a lonesome unemotional path. Pollyanna gently guided her away from tight buns, dark clothing and pursed lips and back into a world full of color, friendships and joy. Fun for some may include dancing on the bar top but I am not talking about temporary self-satisfaction. Remember the New Year’s resolution’s purpose is to enlighten us and make us better friends, neighbors and relatives. Some activities are better left in the ignorance of youth. The fun I speak of entails allowing ourselves the freedom to stop and enjoy life. Put the electronics away. Forgive whom you need to. Find the glad in your most heart-breaking sorrows as difficult as it may be. To have fun is to help others find the glad so that they too can have fun. To have fun is to vow even though we wake up disgruntled we can make the choice to fake being glad if we have to. To have fun is to discover why everyone calls you the “party-pooper” or “no fun” and change it.

Nuns Having Fun by Maureen Kelly and Jeffrey Stone

Photo: Nuns Having Fun

I try to teach my children it is ok to feel hurt, angry, sad, disappointed they are all legitimate feelings. But, we make the choice to let those feelings dictate our behavior and attitude or to let it go. It is not easy trying to tell that to a five year old who demands justice even to the point of missing out on the fun that is happening at that moment. I know there is more injustice going on in the world than we can fathom. There are people out there who are suffering or have suffered tremendous acts of violence, abuse and emotional warfare. Yet, day after day they keep moving forward. The writer Erma Bombeck wrote a column, upon discovering that she was dying from cancer, entitled “If I Had to Live My Life Over.” Erma wrote, “… I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage. I would have talked less and listened more. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded. I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace. … I would have sat on the lawn with my kids, even if it meant grass stains.” During the month of July I hope to use up the bottle of perfume sitting in the vanity drawer. I want to view my new home as a vacation rental. I want to find more of the glad, relax and have fun.

This is a short but fairly long list on how to have fun. The possibilities are practically endless. My hope is maybe something on the list will spawn additional fun ideas. Please feel free to share your FUN in the comments section.

Each day write down 3-5 positive things that happened that day.
Learn to have fun playing the glad game.

– Watch the clouds
– Watch a sun rise
– Take a midnight swim
– Observe bugs
– Pick flowers
– Camping
– Build a fort
– Take a treat or a balloon to friends and family.
– Read a book and come up with a project or something fun to do based on the material.
– Call the girls or take your daughter(s) to go get pedicures.
– Go on a leisurely bike ride with friends.
– Host a mystery dinner.
– Have an unbirthday party.
– Pay for the person behind you at the movies or toll booth.
– Act out a book complete with make shift costumes.
– Host a Karaokee night.
– Have a Nerf gun Showdown.
– See how many Balloons it takes to lift off the ground. Then watch the movie “Deckchair Danny”.
– Put on a Shadow Theater show.
– Simply your life and home. Throw out the excess. Ask yourself do I really need this? Why do I have it? Is it in the way? Allow your home to feel like the vacation resort you always wanted to visit.
– Learn something new.
– Go to a concert
– Go on a ‘first’ date with your significant other.
– Take a “I feel good day” off of work, if you can.
– Check the Entertainment section of the newspaper or a local website to see what is happening in your town.
– Celebrate a holiday or an achievement.
– Stay up until 4 AM devouring a good book or chatting with an old friend.
– Plan a picnic
– Play a game of volleyball or basketball with friends and/or family
– Go to the lake
– Rent a houseboat.
– Host a game night.
– Play Frisbee.
– Go to a public sporting event.
– Play a sport.
– Date night at the arcade.
– Have a scavenger hunt.
– Make a home movie.
– Build a rocket or model car.
– Find a new hobby.
– Learn about Geo Caching
– Let the kids jump in the rain puddles
– Most important loosen up and lighten up. Don’t be negative. Be willing to come out of the comfort shell once in a while. Laugh a little more. Smile a lot more. Look for the joy or “Glad” in everything around you.

dancing-in-the-rain

Photo: Dancing in the Rain, rx courtesy of Photo Bucket

Someone once told me they were leery of overly happy people because they must be hiding something. I think that there are individuals out there who are genuinely happy. The faults of life roll off their backs like RainX on a car windshield. On the opposite side of the glass half-full crowd are those who need to wallow in self-pity. They feel robbed of their liberties if their feelings are not validated. They feel they are  fake if they act contrary to how they feel. If they do not feel happy then why should they be happy? Problem is when they are not happy they feel no one should be happy. Thus we are all made to feel miserable with them.

One day I was listening to a radio talk show. The caller expressed the need to be true to her feelings but longed to be happy like her fiancé. Even so, she found it difficult to “fake” being nice if she did not feel like being nice. Her question was if she woke up on the wrong side of the bed was it ok to fake being happy? The host told her if that is what she needed to do then yes it is ok because it is never ok to lash out at someone. The host then added that sometimes when we try to be happy by smiling and doing nice things for other people eventually we become happy.

Not long ago I received terrible news that a dear friend of mine had succumb to liver cancer. She discovered that she had cancer only three months prior to her death. Donna was in her late 50’s. Her life had been fraught with peril at every turn. She was abused and abandoned most of her existence. She was strong. She was a fighter. She survived every negative confrontation thrown at her. By the time we met in my late twenties she was no longer the victim. Her rosy cheeks and denim overalls said everything about her character. She was soft spoken and kind. She would give the shirt off her back to help someone. She was genuine; always a pleasure to be around. She always had a kind word to say on both good and bad days. I loved being around Donna  because she was fun.

As the month progressed I learned of the severe personal tumults suffered by several of my dearest friends. I realized  that day there are more people than we realize who have or are  suffering in some form or another. Despite their afflictions, they strive to keep their heads high making the most of what they have. They have dealt with the past. They are moving on. Their lives are not perfect. They are battle worn and scared. Nevertheless, they are striving to make their lives and those around them better. These women are some of the most noble people I have had the pleasure of befriending. Most importantly despite their hardships they are permitting themselves to have fun and enjoy the pleasures of life.

boat by Dapixara

Photo: Red Boat, byDapixara

When I was a young girl I loved the movie Pollyanna starring Haley Mills. Pollyanna is a vibrant 11 year old girl. Upon her father’s untimely death she was shipped off to live with her Aunt Polly. The daughter of a Missionary Minister, Pollyanna did without the finer things in life. Her only belongings came from missionary barrels or donations. As it so happens, one summer she begged her father for a doll. The ‘Ladies Aid’ tried to find one but all they received by the time the barrel needed to be sent off was a set of crutches. Pollyanna’s father seeing her terrible sadness came up with an idea. He asked her to find something glad about the situation. When she could not he told her she could be glad that she does not have to use the crutches. From that time forward she and her father played what they called the “Glad Game”. Pollyanna set about changing the hearts of everyone around her including her sour-hearted Aunt Polly. One passage I greatly enjoyed, reading in the novel written by Eleanor H. Porter, occurred shortly after her arrival. Miss Polly had just given Pollyanna her daily schedule consisting of cleaning her room first thing in the morning after which she should read 30 minutes aloud to Miss Polly followed by cooking lessons. In the late afternoon Pollyanna was expected to practice the piano. Pollyanna asked “what about living?” When was she supposed to live when her time was taken up with all these extra activities? She lamented that she did not want to just breathe she wanted to live. And so she did. Her Aunt Polly was surprised at the numerous acquaintances Pollyanna had made and the impact Pollyanna made in their lives. The Aunt Polly was so moved by the town’s love for Pollyanna that her own heart softened so much so that she became susceptible to love and forgiveness. The glad game is not that simple. You must find something to be glad about on all occasions. Learning to look on the brighter side of life enabled Pollyanna to step out without fear of condemnation. People loved her because she was so much fun to be with. She could be friends with even the grouchiest of souls because life held no bounds.

This month’s resolution is to have fun. I made this list in the beginning of the year. When July neared I was unsure of what exactly Fun meant. The word Fun is defined as something that provides enjoyment or amusement. I think fun means being able to lighten up despite our circumstances. Miss Polly caved into and was trapped by embarrassment for 11 to 15 years. Her fears lead her down a lonesome unemotional path. Pollyanna gently guided her away from tight buns, dark clothing and pursed lips and back into a world full of color, friendships and joy. Fun for some may include dancing on the bar top but I am not talking about temporary self-satisfaction. Remember the New Year’s resolution’s purpose is to enlighten us and make us better friends, neighbors and relatives. Some activities are better left in the ignorance of youth. The fun I speak of entails allowing ourselves the freedom to stop and enjoy life. Put the electronics away. Forgive whom you need to. Find the glad in your most heart-breaking sorrows as difficult as it may be. To have fun is to help others find the glad so that they too can have fun. To have fun is to vow even though we wake up disgruntled we can make the choice to fake being glad if we have to. To have fun is to discover why everyone calls you the “party-pooper” or “no fun” and change it.

Nuns Having Fun by Maureen Kelly and Jeffrey Stone

Photo: Nuns Having Fun

I try to teach my children it is ok to feel hurt, angry, sad, disappointed they are all legitimate feelings. But, we make the choice to let those feelings dictate our behavior and attitude or to let it go. It is not easy trying to tell that to a five year old who demands justice even to the point of missing out on the fun that is happening at that moment. I know there is more injustice going on in the world than we can fathom. There are people out there who are suffering or have suffered tremendous acts of violence, abuse and emotional warfare. Yet, day after day they keep moving forward. The writer Erma Bombeck wrote a column, upon discovering that she was dying from cancer, entitled “If I Had to Live My Life Over.” Erma wrote, “… I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage. I would have talked less and listened more. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded. I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace. … I would have sat on the lawn with my kids, even if it meant grass stains.” During the month of July I hope to use up the bottle of perfume sitting in the vanity drawer. I want to view my new home as a vacation rental. I want to find more of the glad, relax and have fun.

This is a short but fairly long list on how to have fun. The possibilities are practically endless. My hope is maybe something on the list will spawn additional fun ideas. Please feel free to share your FUN in the comments section.

Each day write down 3-5 positive things that happened that day.
Learn to have fun playing the glad game.

– Watch the clouds
– Watch a sun rise
– Take a midnight swim
– Observe bugs
– Pick flowers
– Camping
– Build a fort
– Take a treat or a balloon to friends and family.
– Read a book and come up with a project or something fun to do based on the material.
– Call the girls or take your daughter(s) to go get pedicures.
– Go on a leisurely bike ride with friends.
– Host a mystery dinner.
– Have an unbirthday party.
– Pay for the person behind you at the movies or toll booth.
– Act out a book complete with make shift costumes.
– Host a Karaokee night.
– Have a Nerf gun Showdown.
– See how many Balloons it takes to lift off the ground. Then watch the movie “Deckchair Danny”.
– Put on a Shadow Theater show.
– Simply your life and home. Throw out the excess. Ask yourself do I really need this? Why do I have it? Is it in the way? Allow your home to feel like the vacation resort you always wanted to visit.
– Learn something new.
– Go to a concert
– Go on a ‘first’ date with your significant other.
– Take a “I feel good day” off of work, if you can.
– Check the Entertainment section of the newspaper or a local website to see what is happening in your town.
– Celebrate a holiday or an achievement.
– Stay up until 4 AM devouring a good book or chatting with an old friend.
– Plan a picnic
– Play a game of volleyball or basketball with friends and/or family
– Go to the lake
– Rent a houseboat.
– Host a game night.
– Play Frisbee.
– Go to a public sporting event.
– Play a sport.
– Date night at the arcade.
– Have a scavenger hunt.
– Make a home movie.
– Build a rocket or model car.
– Find a new hobby.
– Learn about Geo Caching
– Let the kids jump in the rain puddles
– Most important loosen up and lighten up. Don’t be negative. Be willing to come out of the comfort shell once in a while. Laugh a little more. Smile a lot more. Look for the joy or “Glad” in everything around you.

dancing-in-the-rain

Photo: Dancing in the Rain, try courtesy of Photo Bucket

Someone once told me they were leery of overly happy people because they must be hiding something. I think that there are individuals out there who are genuinely happy. The faults of life roll off their backs like RainX on a car windshield. On the opposite side of the glass half-full crowd are those who need to wallow in self-pity. They feel robbed of their liberties if their feelings are not validated. They feel they are  fake if they act contrary to how they feel. If they do not feel happy then why should they be happy? Problem is when they are not happy they feel no one should be happy. Thus we are all made to feel miserable with them.

One day I was listening to a radio talk show. The caller expressed the need to be true to her feelings but longed to be happy like her fiancé. Even so, cialis 40mg she found it difficult to “fake” being nice if she did not feel like being nice. Her question was if she woke up on the wrong side of the bed was it ok to fake being happy? The host told her if that is what she needed to do then yes it is ok because it is never ok to lash out at someone. The host then added that sometimes when we try to be happy by smiling and doing nice things for other people eventually we become happy.

Not long ago I received terrible news that a dear friend of mine had succumb to liver cancer. She discovered that she had cancer only three months prior to her death. Donna was in her late 50’s. Her life had been fraught with peril at every turn. She was abused and abandoned most of her existence. She was strong. She was a fighter. She survived every negative confrontation thrown at her. By the time we met in my late twenties she was no longer the victim. Her rosy cheeks and denim overalls said everything about her character. She was soft spoken and kind. She would give the shirt off her back to help someone. She was genuine; always a pleasure to be around. She always had a kind word to say on both good and bad days. I loved being around Donna  because she was fun.

As the month progressed I learned of the severe personal tumults suffered by several of my dearest friends. I realized  that day there are more people than we realize who have or are  suffering in some form or another. Despite their afflictions, they strive to keep their heads high making the most of what they have. They have dealt with the past. They are moving on. Their lives are not perfect. They are battle worn and scared. Nevertheless, they are striving to make their lives and those around them better. These women are some of the most noble people I have had the pleasure of befriending. Most importantly despite their hardships they are permitting themselves to have fun and enjoy the pleasures of life.

boat by Dapixara

Photo: Red Boat, byDapixara

When I was a young girl I loved the movie Pollyanna starring Haley Mills. Pollyanna is a vibrant 11 year old girl. Upon her father’s untimely death she was shipped off to live with her Aunt Polly. The daughter of a Missionary Minister, Pollyanna did without the finer things in life. Her only belongings came from missionary barrels or donations. As it so happens, one summer she begged her father for a doll. The ‘Ladies Aid’ tried to find one but all they received by the time the barrel needed to be sent off was a set of crutches. Pollyanna’s father seeing her terrible sadness came up with an idea. He asked her to find something glad about the situation. When she could not he told her she could be glad that she does not have to use the crutches. From that time forward she and her father played what they called the “Glad Game”. Pollyanna set about changing the hearts of everyone around her including her sour-hearted Aunt Polly. One passage I greatly enjoyed, reading in the novel written by Eleanor H. Porter, occurred shortly after her arrival. Miss Polly had just given Pollyanna her daily schedule consisting of cleaning her room first thing in the morning after which she should read 30 minutes aloud to Miss Polly followed by cooking lessons. In the late afternoon Pollyanna was expected to practice the piano. Pollyanna asked “what about living?” When was she supposed to live when her time was taken up with all these extra activities? She lamented that she did not want to just breathe she wanted to live. And so she did. Her Aunt Polly was surprised at the numerous acquaintances Pollyanna had made and the impact Pollyanna made in their lives. The Aunt Polly was so moved by the town’s love for Pollyanna that her own heart softened so much so that she became susceptible to love and forgiveness. The glad game is not that simple. You must find something to be glad about on all occasions. Learning to look on the brighter side of life enabled Pollyanna to step out without fear of condemnation. People loved her because she was so much fun to be with. She could be friends with even the grouchiest of souls because life held no bounds.

This month’s resolution is to have fun. I made this list in the beginning of the year. When July neared I was unsure of what exactly Fun meant. The word Fun is defined as something that provides enjoyment or amusement. I think fun means being able to lighten up despite our circumstances. Miss Polly caved into and was trapped by embarrassment for 11 to 15 years. Her fears lead her down a lonesome unemotional path. Pollyanna gently guided her away from tight buns, dark clothing and pursed lips and back into a world full of color, friendships and joy. Fun for some may include dancing on the bar top but I am not talking about temporary self-satisfaction. Remember the New Year’s resolution’s purpose is to enlighten us and make us better friends, neighbors and relatives. Some activities are better left in the ignorance of youth. The fun I speak of entails allowing ourselves the freedom to stop and enjoy life. Put the electronics away. Forgive whom you need to. Find the glad in your most heart-breaking sorrows as difficult as it may be. To have fun is to help others find the glad so that they too can have fun. To have fun is to vow even though we wake up disgruntled we can make the choice to fake being glad if we have to. To have fun is to discover why everyone calls you the “party-pooper” or “no fun” and change it.

Nuns Having Fun by Maureen Kelly and Jeffrey Stone

Photo: Nuns Having Fun

I try to teach my children it is ok to feel hurt, angry, sad, disappointed they are all legitimate feelings. But, we make the choice to let those feelings dictate our behavior and attitude or to let it go. It is not easy trying to tell that to a five year old who demands justice even to the point of missing out on the fun that is happening at that moment. I know there is more injustice going on in the world than we can fathom. There are people out there who are suffering or have suffered tremendous acts of violence, abuse and emotional warfare. Yet, day after day they keep moving forward. The writer Erma Bombeck wrote a column, upon discovering that she was dying from cancer, entitled “If I Had to Live My Life Over.” Erma wrote, “… I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage. I would have talked less and listened more. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded. I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace. … I would have sat on the lawn with my kids, even if it meant grass stains.” During the month of July I hope to use up the bottle of perfume sitting in the vanity drawer. I want to view my new home as a vacation rental. I want to find more of the glad, relax and have fun.

This is a short but fairly long list on how to have fun. The possibilities are practically endless. My hope is maybe something on the list will spawn additional fun ideas. Please feel free to share your FUN in the comments section.

Each day write down 3-5 positive things that happened that day.
Learn to have fun playing the glad game.

– Watch the clouds
– Watch a sun rise
– Take a midnight swim
– Observe bugs
– Pick flowers
– Camping
– Build a fort
– Take a treat or a balloon to friends and family.
– Read a book and come up with a project or something fun to do based on the material.
– Call the girls or take your daughter(s) to go get pedicures.
– Go on a leisurely bike ride with friends.
– Host a mystery dinner.
– Have an unbirthday party.
– Pay for the person behind you at the movies or toll booth.
– Act out a book complete with make shift costumes.
– Host a Karaokee night.
– Have a Nerf gun Showdown.
– See how many Balloons it takes to lift off the ground. Then watch the movie “Deckchair Danny”.
– Put on a Shadow Theater show.
– Simply your life and home. Throw out the excess. Ask yourself do I really need this? Why do I have it? Is it in the way? Allow your home to feel like the vacation resort you always wanted to visit.
– Learn something new.
– Go to a concert
– Go on a ‘first’ date with your significant other.
– Take a “I feel good day” off of work, if you can.
– Check the Entertainment section of the newspaper or a local website to see what is happening in your town.
– Celebrate a holiday or an achievement.
– Stay up until 4 AM devouring a good book or chatting with an old friend.
– Plan a picnic
– Play a game of volleyball or basketball with friends and/or family
– Go to the lake
– Rent a houseboat.
– Host a game night.
– Play Frisbee.
– Go to a public sporting event.
– Play a sport.
– Date night at the arcade.
– Have a scavenger hunt.
– Make a home movie.
– Build a rocket or model car.
– Find a new hobby.
– Learn about Geo Caching
– Let the kids jump in the rain puddles
– Most important loosen up and lighten up. Don’t be negative. Be willing to come out of the comfort shell once in a while. Laugh a little more. Smile a lot more. Look for the joy or “Glad” in everything around you.

dancing-in-the-rain

Photo: Dancing in the Rain, physician courtesy of Photo Bucket

Someone once told me they were leery of overly happy people because they must be hiding something. I think that there are individuals out there who are genuinely happy. The faults of life roll off their backs like RainX on a car windshield. On the opposite side of the glass half-full crowd are those who need to wallow in self-pity. They feel robbed of their liberties if their feelings are not validated. They feel they are  fake if they act contrary to how they feel. If they do not feel happy then why should they be happy? Problem is when they are not happy they feel no one should be happy. Thus we are all made to feel miserable with them.

One day I was listening to a radio talk show. The caller expressed the need to be true to her feelings but longed to be happy like her fiancé. Even so, erectile she found it difficult to “fake” being nice if she did not feel like being nice. Her question was if she woke up on the wrong side of the bed was it ok to fake being happy? The host told her if that is what she needed to do then yes it is ok because it is never ok to lash out at someone. The host then added that sometimes when we try to be happy by smiling and doing nice things for other people eventually we become happy.

Not long ago I received terrible news that a dear friend of mine had succumb to liver cancer. She discovered that she had cancer only three months prior to her death. Donna was in her late 50’s. Her life had been fraught with peril at every turn. She was abused and abandoned most of her existence. She was strong. She was a fighter. She survived every negative confrontation thrown at her. By the time we met in my late twenties she was no longer the victim. Her rosy cheeks and denim overalls said everything about her character. She was soft spoken and kind. She would give the shirt off her back to help someone. She was genuine; always a pleasure to be around. She always had a kind word to say on both good and bad days. I loved being around Donna  because she was fun.

As the month progressed I learned of the severe personal tumults suffered by several of my dearest friends. I realized  that day there are more people than we realize who have or are  suffering in some form or another. Despite their afflictions, they strive to keep their heads high making the most of what they have. They have dealt with the past. They are moving on. Their lives are not perfect. They are battle worn and scared. Nevertheless, they are striving to make their lives and those around them better. These women are some of the most noble people I have had the pleasure of befriending. Most importantly despite their hardships they are permitting themselves to have fun and enjoy the pleasures of life.

boat by Dapixara

Photo: Red Boat, by Dapixara

When I was a young girl I loved the movie Pollyanna starring Haley Mills. Pollyanna is a vibrant 11 year old girl. Upon her father’s untimely death she was shipped off to live with her Aunt Polly. The daughter of a Missionary Minister, Pollyanna did without the finer things in life. Her only belongings came from missionary barrels or donations. As it so happens, one summer she begged her father for a doll. The ‘Ladies Aid’ tried to find one but all they received by the time the barrel needed to be sent off was a set of crutches. Pollyanna’s father seeing her terrible sadness came up with an idea. He asked her to find something glad about the situation. When she could not he told her she could be glad that she does not have to use the crutches. From that time forward she and her father played what they called the “Glad Game”. Pollyanna set about changing the hearts of everyone around her including her sour-hearted Aunt Polly. One passage I greatly enjoyed, reading in the novel written by Eleanor H. Porter, occurred shortly after her arrival. Miss Polly had just given Pollyanna her daily schedule consisting of cleaning her room first thing in the morning after which she should read 30 minutes aloud to Miss Polly followed by cooking lessons. In the late afternoon Pollyanna was expected to practice the piano. Pollyanna asked “what about living?” When was she supposed to live when her time was taken up with all these extra activities? She lamented that she did not want to just breathe she wanted to live. And so she did. Her Aunt Polly was surprised at the numerous acquaintances Pollyanna had made and the impact Pollyanna made in their lives. The Aunt Polly was so moved by the town’s love for Pollyanna that her own heart softened so much so that she became susceptible to love and forgiveness. The glad game is not that simple. You must find something to be glad about on all occasions. Learning to look on the brighter side of life enabled Pollyanna to step out without fear of condemnation. People loved her because she was so much fun to be with. She could be friends with even the grouchiest of souls because life held no bounds.

This month’s resolution is to have fun. I made this list in the beginning of the year. When July neared I was unsure of what exactly Fun meant. The word Fun is defined as something that provides enjoyment or amusement. I think fun means being able to lighten up despite our circumstances. Miss Polly caved into and was trapped by embarrassment for 11 to 15 years. Her fears lead her down a lonesome unemotional path. Pollyanna gently guided her away from tight buns, dark clothing and pursed lips and back into a world full of color, friendships and joy. Fun for some may include dancing on the bar top but I am not talking about temporary self-satisfaction. Remember the New Year’s resolution’s purpose is to enlighten us and make us better friends, neighbors and relatives. Some activities are better left in the ignorance of youth. The fun I speak of entails allowing ourselves the freedom to stop and enjoy life. Put the electronics away. Forgive whom you need to. Find the glad in your most heart-breaking sorrows as difficult as it may be. To have fun is to help others find the glad so that they too can have fun. To have fun is to vow even though we wake up disgruntled we can make the choice to fake being glad if we have to. To have fun is to discover why everyone calls you the “party-pooper” or “no fun” and change it.

Nuns Having Fun by Maureen Kelly and Jeffrey Stone

Photo: Nuns Having Fun

I try to teach my children it is ok to feel hurt, angry, sad, disappointed they are all legitimate feelings. But, we make the choice to let those feelings dictate our behavior and attitude or to let it go. It is not easy trying to tell that to a five year old who demands justice even to the point of missing out on the fun that is happening at that moment. I know there is more injustice going on in the world than we can fathom. There are people out there who are suffering or have suffered tremendous acts of violence, abuse and emotional warfare. Yet, day after day they keep moving forward. The writer Erma Bombeck wrote a column, upon discovering that she was dying from cancer, entitled “If I Had to Live My Life Over.” Erma wrote, “… I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage. I would have talked less and listened more. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded. I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace. … I would have sat on the lawn with my kids, even if it meant grass stains.” During the month of July I hope to use up the bottle of perfume sitting in the vanity drawer. I want to view my new home as a vacation rental. I want to find more of the glad, relax and have fun.

This is a short but fairly long list on how to have fun. The possibilities are practically endless. My hope is maybe something on the list will spawn additional fun ideas. Please feel free to share your FUN in the comments section.

Each day write down 3-5 positive things that happened that day.

Learn to have fun playing the glad game.

– Watch the clouds

– Watch a sun rise

– Take a midnight swim

– Observe bugs

– Pick flowers

– Camping

– Build a fort

– Take a treat or a balloon to friends and family.

– Read a book and come up with a project or something fun to do based on the material.

– Call the girls or take your daughter(s) to go get pedicures.

– Go on a leisurely bike ride with friends.

– Host a mystery dinner.

– Have an unbirthday party.

– Pay for the person behind you at the movies or toll booth.

– Act out a book complete with make shift costumes.

– Host a Karaokee night.

– Have a Nerf gun Showdown.

– See how many Balloons it takes to lift off the ground. Then watch the movie “Deckchair Danny”.

– Put on a Shadow Theater show.

– Simply your life and home. Throw out the excess. Ask yourself do I really need this? Why do I have it? Is it in the way? Allow your home to feel like the vacation resort you always wanted to visit.

– Learn something new.

– Go to a concert

– Go on a ‘first’ date with your significant other.

– Take a “I feel good day” off of work, if you can.

– Check the Entertainment section of the newspaper or a local website to see what is happening in your town.

– Celebrate a holiday or an achievement.

– Stay up until 4 AM devouring a good book or chatting with an old friend.

– Plan a picnic

– Play a game of volleyball or basketball with friends and/or family

– Go to the lake

– Rent a houseboat.

– Host a game night.

– Play Frisbee.

– Go to a public sporting event.

– Play a sport.

– Date night at the arcade.

– Have a scavenger hunt.

– Make a home movie.

– Build a rocket or model car.

– Find a new hobby.

– Learn about Geo Caching

– Let the kids jump in the rain puddles

– Most important loosen up and lighten up. Don’t be negative. Be willing to come out of the comfort shell once in a while. Laugh a little more. Smile a lot more. Look for the joy or “Glad” in everything around you.
My favorite way to eat eggs is soft boiled with a runny yolk and a piece of toast to dip or mixed with a side of grits; it is part of my southern upbringing I suppose. Hard boiled eggs can be equally tasty sliced in a salad. Getting the eggs to the perfect stage and out of its shell though is the dilemma. My boss once asked me how to boil eggs. It took a moment to remember because boiling eggs was second nature; put them in a pot, here cover with water, information pills boil, more about steam, cold bath. Time…shime… I never kept track I just did it. Thankfully my advice panned out.

My brother is always reminding me that there are many people out there who have never learned the basic cooking skills and are inept at even making a pot of macaroni and cheese. When something becomes second nature to us whether that be cooking, sports or a talent we have to take note that for someone else it may not be that simple. We are just used to it. What happens as a result of our “it is so easy anyone can do it” attitude is the little critical tips get lost. That is why you can never duplicate your great aunt’s cookies or grandma’s bread. They were so used to just doing it they forgot to tell you the water has to be a certain temperature or you have to roll the noodles so thin you can see through them. Once a month on Dazzledish we try to post a ‘how to’ tutorial on a particular food, gadget or cooking tip because we want everyone to learn the basics so they feel confident in the kitchen. This month we will learn the art of hard boiled eggs and a few recipes to use them in.

6 large eggs

Water

Place the eggs in a single layer in a large pot.

Fill the pot with cold water to 1-inch above the eggs.

Bring the water just to a boil (first sign of bubbles) on high heat. Remove from heat, cover and steam for recommended time.

Immediately drain the hot water from the pot. Carefully cover the eggs with ice and cool water.

Soft Cooked Eggs:

A soft cooked egg has a firm white and runny yolk. Soft cooked eggs are mostly served in an egg cup small end down. The top is removed to expose the runny yolk. The egg is eaten out of the shell using a small spoon. You can also use strips of toast to scoop up the yolk.

Large eggs- 1 1/2 – 2 minutes.

Medium Cooked Eggs:

Medium cooked eggs have a firm white and a slightly firm yolk. Pair peeled medium cooked eggs with poached asparagus or with toast.
Kedgeree

Large eggs-  4-5 minutes.

Hard Cooked Eggs:

Hard cooked eggs have both a firm white and yolk.

Large eggs-10 – 12 minutes

Snack
deviled eggs
Soup
salad toppings
egg salad sandwich
potato salad
tuna nicoise
portugese bread
Curry
Thai Son & Law Eggs
Pakoras from India
Cookies

TIPS:

— Some individuals like to add salt or vinegar. They say it makes removing the shell easier. Add a splash of vinegar and a pinch of salt to your water.

— Use eggs that are at least a few days old. Farm fresh eggs do not peel as easy.

— Do not boil eggs with cracks. They will break open and leak.

— Putting too much water in the pot will take longer to heart which can throw off the timing. Too little water will result in undercooked eggs.

— Watch the water. At the first sign the water is boiling remove the pot from the heat. The timing will be off if allowed to come to a rolling boiling resulting in over cooked eggs.

— The ice bath stops the cooking process and the steam created inside the eggs will make it easier to peel.

— To peel start at the larger end where the air pocket is. Grab hold of the membrane under the shell and peel off.

— Chilled eggs are easier to slice. Warmer eggs are easier to crumble.

— Refrigerate unpeeled boiled eggs within a few hours for up to one week.

— The times listed may vary slightly due to the way your stove heats, the type and size of pot you use, the amount of water and number of eggs.

dancing-in-the-rain

Photo: Dancing in the Rain, prostate courtesy of Photo Bucket

Someone once told me they were leery of overly happy people because they must be hiding something. I think that there are individuals out there who are genuinely happy. The faults of life roll off their backs like RainX on a car windshield. On the opposite side of the glass half-full crowd are those who need to wallow in self-pity. They feel robbed of their liberties if their feelings are not validated. They feel they are  fake if they act contrary to how they feel. If they do not feel happy then why should they be happy? Problem is when they are not happy they feel no one should be happy. Thus we are all made to feel miserable with them.

One day I was listening to a radio talk show. The caller expressed the need to be true to her feelings but longed to be happy like her fiancé. Even so, buy she found it difficult to “fake” being nice if she did not feel like being nice. Her question was if she woke up on the wrong side of the bed was it ok to fake being happy? The host told her if that is what she needed to do then yes it is ok because it is never ok to lash out at someone. The host then added that sometimes when we try to be happy by smiling and doing nice things for other people eventually we become happy.

Not long ago I received terrible news that a dear friend of mine had succumb to liver cancer. She discovered that she had cancer only three months prior to her death. Donna was in her late 50’s. Her life had been fraught with peril at every turn. She was abused and abandoned most of her existence. She was strong. She was a fighter. She survived every negative confrontation thrown at her. By the time we met in my late twenties she was no longer the victim. Her rosy cheeks and denim overalls said everything about her character. She was soft spoken and kind. She would give the shirt off her back to help someone. She was genuine; always a pleasure to be around. She always had a kind word to say on both good and bad days. I loved being around Donna  because she was fun.

As the month progressed I learned of the severe personal tumults suffered by several of my dearest friends. I realized  that day there are more people than we realize who have or are  suffering in some form or another. Despite their afflictions, here they strive to keep their heads high making the most of what they have. They have dealt with the past. They are moving on. Their lives are not perfect. They are battle worn and scared. Nevertheless, they are striving to make their lives and those around them better. These women are some of the most noble people I have had the pleasure of befriending. Most importantly despite their hardships they are permitting themselves to have fun and enjoy the pleasures of life.

When I was a young girl I loved the movie Pollyanna starring Haley Mills. Pollyanna is a vibrant 11 year old girl. Upon her father’s untimely death she was shipped off to live with her Aunt Polly. The daughter of a Missionary Minister, Pollyanna did without the finer things in life. Her only belongings came from missionary barrels or donations. As it so happens, one summer she begged her father for a doll. The ‘Ladies Aid’ tried to find one but all they received by the time the barrel needed to be sent off was a set of crutches. Pollyanna’s father seeing her terrible sadness came up with an idea. He asked her to find something glad about the situation. When she could not he told her she could be glad that she does not have to use the crutches. From that time forward she and her father played what they called the “Glad Game”. Pollyanna set about changing the hearts of everyone around her including her sour-hearted Aunt Polly. One passage I greatly enjoyed, reading in the novel written by Eleanor H. Porter, occurred shortly after her arrival. Miss Polly had just given Pollyanna her daily schedule consisting of cleaning her room first thing in the morning after which she should read 30 minutes aloud to Miss Polly followed by cooking lessons. In the late afternoon Pollyanna was expected to practice the piano. Pollyanna asked “what about living?” When was she supposed to live when her time was taken up with all these extra activities? She lamented that she did not want to just breathe she wanted to live. And so she did. Her Aunt Polly was surprised at the numerous acquaintances Pollyanna had made and the impact Pollyanna made in their lives. The Aunt Polly was so moved by the town’s love for Pollyanna that her own heart softened so much so that she became susceptible to love and forgiveness. The glad game is not that simple. You must find something to be glad about on all occasions. Learning to look on the brighter side of life enabled Pollyanna to step out without fear of condemnation. People loved her because she was so much fun to be with. She could be friends with even the grouchiest of souls because life held no bounds.

This month’s resolution is to have fun. I made this list in the beginning of the year. When July neared I was unsure of what exactly Fun meant. The word Fun is defined as something that provides enjoyment or amusement. I think fun means being able to lighten up despite our circumstances. Miss Polly caved into and was trapped by embarrassment for 11 to 15 years. Her fears lead her down a lonesome unemotional path. Pollyanna gently guided her away from tight buns, dark clothing and pursed lips and back into a world full of color, friendships and joy. Fun for some may include dancing on the bar top but I am not talking about temporary self-satisfaction. Remember the New Year’s resolution’s purpose is to enlighten us and make us better friends, neighbors and relatives. Some activities are better left in the ignorance of youth. The fun I speak of entails allowing ourselves the freedom to stop and enjoy life. Put the electronics away. Forgive whom you need to. Find the glad in your most heart-breaking sorrows as difficult as it may be. To have fun is to help others find the glad so that they too can have fun. To have fun is to vow even though we wake up disgruntled we can make the choice to fake being glad if we have to. To have fun is to discover why everyone calls you the “party-pooper” or “no fun” and change it.

Nuns Having Fun by Maureen Kelly and Jeffrey Stone

Photo: Nuns Having Fun

I try to teach my children it is ok to feel hurt, angry, sad, disappointed they are all legitimate feelings. But, we make the choice to let those feelings dictate our behavior and attitude or to let it go. It is not easy trying to tell that to a five year old who demands justice even to the point of missing out on the fun that is happening at that moment. I know there is more injustice going on in the world than we can fathom. There are people out there who are suffering or have suffered tremendous acts of violence, abuse and emotional warfare. Yet, day after day they keep moving forward. The writer Erma Bombeck wrote a column, upon discovering that she was dying from cancer, entitled “If I Had to Live My Life Over.” Erma wrote, “… I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage. I would have talked less and listened more. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded. I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace. … I would have sat on the lawn with my kids, even if it meant grass stains.” During the month of July I hope to use up the bottle of perfume sitting in the vanity drawer. I want to view my new home as a vacation rental. I want to find more of the glad, relax and have fun.

This is a short but fairly long list on how to have fun. The possibilities are practically endless. My hope is maybe something on the list will spawn additional fun ideas. Please feel free to share your FUN in the comments section.

Each day write down 3-5 positive things that happened that day.
Learn to have fun playing the glad game.

– Watch the clouds
– Watch a sun rise
– Take a midnight swim
– Observe bugs
– Pick flowers
– Camping
– Build a fort
– Take a treat or a balloon to friends and family.
– Read a book and come up with a project or something fun to do based on the material.
– Call the girls or take your daughter(s) to go get pedicures.
– Go on a leisurely bike ride with friends.
– Host a mystery dinner.
– Have an unbirthday party.
– Pay for the person behind you at the movies or toll booth.
– Act out a book complete with make shift costumes.
– Host a Karaokee night.
– Have a Nerf gun Showdown.
– See how many Balloons it takes to lift off the ground. Then watch the movie “Deckchair Danny”.
– Put on a Shadow Theater show.
– Simply your life and home. Throw out the excess. Ask yourself do I really need this? Why do I have it? Is it in the way? Allow your home to feel like the vacation resort you always wanted to visit.
– Learn something new.
– Go to a concert
– Go on a ‘first’ date with your significant other.
– Take a “I feel good day” off of work, if you can.
– Check the Entertainment section of the newspaper or a local website to see what is happening in your town.
– Celebrate a holiday or an achievement.
– Stay up until 4 AM devouring a good book or chatting with an old friend.
– Plan a picnic
– Play a game of volleyball or basketball with friends and/or family
– Go to the lake
– Rent a houseboat.
– Host a game night.
– Play Frisbee.
– Go to a public sporting event.
– Play a sport.
– Date night at the arcade.
– Have a scavenger hunt.
– Make a home movie.
– Build a rocket or model car.
– Find a new hobby.
– Learn about Geo Caching
– Let the kids jump in the rain puddles
– Most important loosen up and lighten up. Don’t be negative. Be willing to come out of the comfort shell once in a while. Laugh a little more. Smile a lot more. Look for the joy or “Glad” in everything around you.

dancing-in-the-rain

Photo: Dancing in the Rain, sale courtesy of Photo Bucket

Someone once told me they were leery of overly happy people because they must be hiding something. I think that there are individuals out there who are genuinely happy. The faults of life roll off their backs like RainX on a car windshield. On the opposite side of the glass half-full crowd are those who need to wallow in self-pity. They feel robbed of their liberties if their feelings are not validated. They feel they are  fake if they act contrary to how they feel. If they do not feel happy then why should they be happy? Problem is when they are not happy they feel no one should be happy. Thus we are all made to feel miserable with them.

One day I was listening to a radio talk show. The caller expressed the need to be true to her feelings but longed to be happy like her fiancé. Even so, price she found it difficult to “fake” being nice if she did not feel like being nice. Her question was if she woke up on the wrong side of the bed was it ok to fake being happy? The host told her if that is what she needed to do then yes it is ok because it is never ok to lash out at someone. The host then added that sometimes when we try to be happy by smiling and doing nice things for other people eventually we become happy.

Not long ago I received terrible news that a dear friend of mine had succumb to liver cancer. She discovered that she had cancer only three months prior to her death. Donna was in her late 50’s. Her life had been fraught with peril at every turn. She was abused and abandoned most of her existence. She was strong. She was a fighter. She survived every negative confrontation thrown at her. By the time we met in my late twenties she was no longer the victim. Her rosy cheeks and denim overalls said everything about her character. She was soft spoken and kind. She would give the shirt off her back to help someone. She was genuine; always a pleasure to be around. She always had a kind word to say on both good and bad days. I loved being around Donna  because she was fun.

As the month progressed I learned of the severe personal tumults suffered by several of my dearest friends. I realized  that day there are more people than we realize who have or are  suffering in some form or another. Despite their afflictions, they strive to keep their heads high making the most of what they have. They have dealt with the past. They are moving on. Their lives are not perfect. They are battle worn and scared. Nevertheless, they are striving to make their lives and those around them better. These women are some of the most noble people I have had the pleasure of befriending. Most importantly despite their hardships they are permitting themselves to have fun and enjoy the pleasures of life.

boat by Dapixara

Photo: Red Boat, byDapixara

When I was a young girl I loved the movie Pollyanna starring Haley Mills. Pollyanna is a vibrant 11 year old girl. Upon her father’s untimely death she was shipped off to live with her Aunt Polly. The daughter of a Missionary Minister, Pollyanna did without the finer things in life. Her only belongings came from missionary barrels or donations. As it so happens, one summer she begged her father for a doll. The ‘Ladies Aid’ tried to find one but all they received by the time the barrel needed to be sent off was a set of crutches. Pollyanna’s father seeing her terrible sadness came up with an idea. He asked her to find something glad about the situation. When she could not he told her she could be glad that she does not have to use the crutches. From that time forward she and her father played what they called the “Glad Game”. Pollyanna set about changing the hearts of everyone around her including her sour-hearted Aunt Polly. One passage I greatly enjoyed, reading in the novel written by Eleanor H. Porter, occurred shortly after her arrival. Miss Polly had just given Pollyanna her daily schedule consisting of cleaning her room first thing in the morning after which she should read 30 minutes aloud to Miss Polly followed by cooking lessons. In the late afternoon Pollyanna was expected to practice the piano. Pollyanna asked “what about living?” When was she supposed to live when her time was taken up with all these extra activities? She lamented that she did not want to just breathe she wanted to live. And so she did. Her Aunt Polly was surprised at the numerous acquaintances Pollyanna had made and the impact Pollyanna made in their lives. The Aunt Polly was so moved by the town’s love for Pollyanna that her own heart softened so much so that she became susceptible to love and forgiveness. The glad game is not that simple. You must find something to be glad about on all occasions. Learning to look on the brighter side of life enabled Pollyanna to step out without fear of condemnation. People loved her because she was so much fun to be with. She could be friends with even the grouchiest of souls because life held no bounds.

This month’s resolution is to have fun. I made this list in the beginning of the year. When July neared I was unsure of what exactly Fun meant. The word Fun is defined as something that provides enjoyment or amusement. I think fun means being able to lighten up despite our circumstances. Miss Polly caved into and was trapped by embarrassment for 11 to 15 years. Her fears lead her down a lonesome unemotional path. Pollyanna gently guided her away from tight buns, dark clothing and pursed lips and back into a world full of color, friendships and joy. Fun for some may include dancing on the bar top but I am not talking about temporary self-satisfaction. Remember the New Year’s resolution’s purpose is to enlighten us and make us better friends, neighbors and relatives. Some activities are better left in the ignorance of youth. The fun I speak of entails allowing ourselves the freedom to stop and enjoy life. Put the electronics away. Forgive whom you need to. Find the glad in your most heart-breaking sorrows as difficult as it may be. To have fun is to help others find the glad so that they too can have fun. To have fun is to vow even though we wake up disgruntled we can make the choice to fake being glad if we have to. To have fun is to discover why everyone calls you the “party-pooper” or “no fun” and change it.

Nuns Having Fun by Maureen Kelly and Jeffrey Stone

Photo: Nuns Having Fun

I try to teach my children it is ok to feel hurt, angry, sad, disappointed they are all legitimate feelings. But, we make the choice to let those feelings dictate our behavior and attitude or to let it go. It is not easy trying to tell that to a five year old who demands justice even to the point of missing out on the fun that is happening at that moment. I know there is more injustice going on in the world than we can fathom. There are people out there who are suffering or have suffered tremendous acts of violence, abuse and emotional warfare. Yet, day after day they keep moving forward. The writer Erma Bombeck wrote a column, upon discovering that she was dying from cancer, entitled “If I Had to Live My Life Over.” Erma wrote, “… I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage. I would have talked less and listened more. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded. I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace. … I would have sat on the lawn with my kids, even if it meant grass stains.” During the month of July I hope to use up the bottle of perfume sitting in the vanity drawer. I want to view my new home as a vacation rental. I want to find more of the glad, relax and have fun.

This is a short but fairly long list on how to have fun. The possibilities are practically endless. My hope is maybe something on the list will spawn additional fun ideas. Please feel free to share your FUN in the comments section.

Each day write down 3-5 positive things that happened that day.
Learn to have fun playing the glad game.

– Watch the clouds
– Watch a sun rise
– Take a midnight swim
– Observe bugs
– Pick flowers
– Camping
– Build a fort
– Take a treat or a balloon to friends and family.
– Read a book and come up with a project or something fun to do based on the material.
– Call the girls or take your daughter(s) to go get pedicures.
– Go on a leisurely bike ride with friends.
– Host a mystery dinner.
– Have an unbirthday party.
– Pay for the person behind you at the movies or toll booth.
– Act out a book complete with make shift costumes.
– Host a Karaokee night.
– Have a Nerf gun Showdown.
– See how many Balloons it takes to lift off the ground. Then watch the movie “Deckchair Danny”.
– Put on a Shadow Theater show.
– Simply your life and home. Throw out the excess. Ask yourself do I really need this? Why do I have it? Is it in the way? Allow your home to feel like the vacation resort you always wanted to visit.
– Learn something new.
– Go to a concert
– Go on a ‘first’ date with your significant other.
– Take a “I feel good day” off of work, if you can.
– Check the Entertainment section of the newspaper or a local website to see what is happening in your town.
– Celebrate a holiday or an achievement.
– Stay up until 4 AM devouring a good book or chatting with an old friend.
– Plan a picnic
– Play a game of volleyball or basketball with friends and/or family
– Go to the lake
– Rent a houseboat.
– Host a game night.
– Play Frisbee.
– Go to a public sporting event.
– Play a sport.
– Date night at the arcade.
– Have a scavenger hunt.
– Make a home movie.
– Build a rocket or model car.
– Find a new hobby.
– Learn about Geo Caching
– Let the kids jump in the rain puddles
– Most important loosen up and lighten up. Don’t be negative. Be willing to come out of the comfort shell once in a while. Laugh a little more. Smile a lot more. Look for the joy or “Glad” in everything around you.

dancing-in-the-rain

Photo: Dancing in the Rain, rx courtesy of Photo Bucket

Someone once told me they were leery of overly happy people because they must be hiding something. I think that there are individuals out there who are genuinely happy. The faults of life roll off their backs like RainX on a car windshield. On the opposite side of the glass half-full crowd are those who need to wallow in self-pity. They feel robbed of their liberties if their feelings are not validated. They feel they are  fake if they act contrary to how they feel. If they do not feel happy then why should they be happy? Problem is when they are not happy they feel no one should be happy. Thus we are all made to feel miserable with them.

One day I was listening to a radio talk show. The caller expressed the need to be true to her feelings but longed to be happy like her fiancé. Even so, she found it difficult to “fake” being nice if she did not feel like being nice. Her question was if she woke up on the wrong side of the bed was it ok to fake being happy? The host told her if that is what she needed to do then yes it is ok because it is never ok to lash out at someone. The host then added that sometimes when we try to be happy by smiling and doing nice things for other people eventually we become happy.

Not long ago I received terrible news that a dear friend of mine had succumb to liver cancer. She discovered that she had cancer only three months prior to her death. Donna was in her late 50’s. Her life had been fraught with peril at every turn. She was abused and abandoned most of her existence. She was strong. She was a fighter. She survived every negative confrontation thrown at her. By the time we met in my late twenties she was no longer the victim. Her rosy cheeks and denim overalls said everything about her character. She was soft spoken and kind. She would give the shirt off her back to help someone. She was genuine; always a pleasure to be around. She always had a kind word to say on both good and bad days. I loved being around Donna  because she was fun.

As the month progressed I learned of the severe personal tumults suffered by several of my dearest friends. I realized  that day there are more people than we realize who have or are  suffering in some form or another. Despite their afflictions, they strive to keep their heads high making the most of what they have. They have dealt with the past. They are moving on. Their lives are not perfect. They are battle worn and scared. Nevertheless, they are striving to make their lives and those around them better. These women are some of the most noble people I have had the pleasure of befriending. Most importantly despite their hardships they are permitting themselves to have fun and enjoy the pleasures of life.

boat by Dapixara

Photo: Red Boat, byDapixara

When I was a young girl I loved the movie Pollyanna starring Haley Mills. Pollyanna is a vibrant 11 year old girl. Upon her father’s untimely death she was shipped off to live with her Aunt Polly. The daughter of a Missionary Minister, Pollyanna did without the finer things in life. Her only belongings came from missionary barrels or donations. As it so happens, one summer she begged her father for a doll. The ‘Ladies Aid’ tried to find one but all they received by the time the barrel needed to be sent off was a set of crutches. Pollyanna’s father seeing her terrible sadness came up with an idea. He asked her to find something glad about the situation. When she could not he told her she could be glad that she does not have to use the crutches. From that time forward she and her father played what they called the “Glad Game”. Pollyanna set about changing the hearts of everyone around her including her sour-hearted Aunt Polly. One passage I greatly enjoyed, reading in the novel written by Eleanor H. Porter, occurred shortly after her arrival. Miss Polly had just given Pollyanna her daily schedule consisting of cleaning her room first thing in the morning after which she should read 30 minutes aloud to Miss Polly followed by cooking lessons. In the late afternoon Pollyanna was expected to practice the piano. Pollyanna asked “what about living?” When was she supposed to live when her time was taken up with all these extra activities? She lamented that she did not want to just breathe she wanted to live. And so she did. Her Aunt Polly was surprised at the numerous acquaintances Pollyanna had made and the impact Pollyanna made in their lives. The Aunt Polly was so moved by the town’s love for Pollyanna that her own heart softened so much so that she became susceptible to love and forgiveness. The glad game is not that simple. You must find something to be glad about on all occasions. Learning to look on the brighter side of life enabled Pollyanna to step out without fear of condemnation. People loved her because she was so much fun to be with. She could be friends with even the grouchiest of souls because life held no bounds.

This month’s resolution is to have fun. I made this list in the beginning of the year. When July neared I was unsure of what exactly Fun meant. The word Fun is defined as something that provides enjoyment or amusement. I think fun means being able to lighten up despite our circumstances. Miss Polly caved into and was trapped by embarrassment for 11 to 15 years. Her fears lead her down a lonesome unemotional path. Pollyanna gently guided her away from tight buns, dark clothing and pursed lips and back into a world full of color, friendships and joy. Fun for some may include dancing on the bar top but I am not talking about temporary self-satisfaction. Remember the New Year’s resolution’s purpose is to enlighten us and make us better friends, neighbors and relatives. Some activities are better left in the ignorance of youth. The fun I speak of entails allowing ourselves the freedom to stop and enjoy life. Put the electronics away. Forgive whom you need to. Find the glad in your most heart-breaking sorrows as difficult as it may be. To have fun is to help others find the glad so that they too can have fun. To have fun is to vow even though we wake up disgruntled we can make the choice to fake being glad if we have to. To have fun is to discover why everyone calls you the “party-pooper” or “no fun” and change it.

Nuns Having Fun by Maureen Kelly and Jeffrey Stone

Photo: Nuns Having Fun

I try to teach my children it is ok to feel hurt, angry, sad, disappointed they are all legitimate feelings. But, we make the choice to let those feelings dictate our behavior and attitude or to let it go. It is not easy trying to tell that to a five year old who demands justice even to the point of missing out on the fun that is happening at that moment. I know there is more injustice going on in the world than we can fathom. There are people out there who are suffering or have suffered tremendous acts of violence, abuse and emotional warfare. Yet, day after day they keep moving forward. The writer Erma Bombeck wrote a column, upon discovering that she was dying from cancer, entitled “If I Had to Live My Life Over.” Erma wrote, “… I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage. I would have talked less and listened more. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded. I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace. … I would have sat on the lawn with my kids, even if it meant grass stains.” During the month of July I hope to use up the bottle of perfume sitting in the vanity drawer. I want to view my new home as a vacation rental. I want to find more of the glad, relax and have fun.

This is a short but fairly long list on how to have fun. The possibilities are practically endless. My hope is maybe something on the list will spawn additional fun ideas. Please feel free to share your FUN in the comments section.

Each day write down 3-5 positive things that happened that day.
Learn to have fun playing the glad game.

– Watch the clouds
– Watch a sun rise
– Take a midnight swim
– Observe bugs
– Pick flowers
– Camping
– Build a fort
– Take a treat or a balloon to friends and family.
– Read a book and come up with a project or something fun to do based on the material.
– Call the girls or take your daughter(s) to go get pedicures.
– Go on a leisurely bike ride with friends.
– Host a mystery dinner.
– Have an unbirthday party.
– Pay for the person behind you at the movies or toll booth.
– Act out a book complete with make shift costumes.
– Host a Karaokee night.
– Have a Nerf gun Showdown.
– See how many Balloons it takes to lift off the ground. Then watch the movie “Deckchair Danny”.
– Put on a Shadow Theater show.
– Simply your life and home. Throw out the excess. Ask yourself do I really need this? Why do I have it? Is it in the way? Allow your home to feel like the vacation resort you always wanted to visit.
– Learn something new.
– Go to a concert
– Go on a ‘first’ date with your significant other.
– Take a “I feel good day” off of work, if you can.
– Check the Entertainment section of the newspaper or a local website to see what is happening in your town.
– Celebrate a holiday or an achievement.
– Stay up until 4 AM devouring a good book or chatting with an old friend.
– Plan a picnic
– Play a game of volleyball or basketball with friends and/or family
– Go to the lake
– Rent a houseboat.
– Host a game night.
– Play Frisbee.
– Go to a public sporting event.
– Play a sport.
– Date night at the arcade.
– Have a scavenger hunt.
– Make a home movie.
– Build a rocket or model car.
– Find a new hobby.
– Learn about Geo Caching
– Let the kids jump in the rain puddles
– Most important loosen up and lighten up. Don’t be negative. Be willing to come out of the comfort shell once in a while. Laugh a little more. Smile a lot more. Look for the joy or “Glad” in everything around you.

dancing-in-the-rain

Photo: Dancing in the Rain, try courtesy of Photo Bucket

Someone once told me they were leery of overly happy people because they must be hiding something. I think that there are individuals out there who are genuinely happy. The faults of life roll off their backs like RainX on a car windshield. On the opposite side of the glass half-full crowd are those who need to wallow in self-pity. They feel robbed of their liberties if their feelings are not validated. They feel they are  fake if they act contrary to how they feel. If they do not feel happy then why should they be happy? Problem is when they are not happy they feel no one should be happy. Thus we are all made to feel miserable with them.

One day I was listening to a radio talk show. The caller expressed the need to be true to her feelings but longed to be happy like her fiancé. Even so, cialis 40mg she found it difficult to “fake” being nice if she did not feel like being nice. Her question was if she woke up on the wrong side of the bed was it ok to fake being happy? The host told her if that is what she needed to do then yes it is ok because it is never ok to lash out at someone. The host then added that sometimes when we try to be happy by smiling and doing nice things for other people eventually we become happy.

Not long ago I received terrible news that a dear friend of mine had succumb to liver cancer. She discovered that she had cancer only three months prior to her death. Donna was in her late 50’s. Her life had been fraught with peril at every turn. She was abused and abandoned most of her existence. She was strong. She was a fighter. She survived every negative confrontation thrown at her. By the time we met in my late twenties she was no longer the victim. Her rosy cheeks and denim overalls said everything about her character. She was soft spoken and kind. She would give the shirt off her back to help someone. She was genuine; always a pleasure to be around. She always had a kind word to say on both good and bad days. I loved being around Donna  because she was fun.

As the month progressed I learned of the severe personal tumults suffered by several of my dearest friends. I realized  that day there are more people than we realize who have or are  suffering in some form or another. Despite their afflictions, they strive to keep their heads high making the most of what they have. They have dealt with the past. They are moving on. Their lives are not perfect. They are battle worn and scared. Nevertheless, they are striving to make their lives and those around them better. These women are some of the most noble people I have had the pleasure of befriending. Most importantly despite their hardships they are permitting themselves to have fun and enjoy the pleasures of life.

boat by Dapixara

Photo: Red Boat, byDapixara

When I was a young girl I loved the movie Pollyanna starring Haley Mills. Pollyanna is a vibrant 11 year old girl. Upon her father’s untimely death she was shipped off to live with her Aunt Polly. The daughter of a Missionary Minister, Pollyanna did without the finer things in life. Her only belongings came from missionary barrels or donations. As it so happens, one summer she begged her father for a doll. The ‘Ladies Aid’ tried to find one but all they received by the time the barrel needed to be sent off was a set of crutches. Pollyanna’s father seeing her terrible sadness came up with an idea. He asked her to find something glad about the situation. When she could not he told her she could be glad that she does not have to use the crutches. From that time forward she and her father played what they called the “Glad Game”. Pollyanna set about changing the hearts of everyone around her including her sour-hearted Aunt Polly. One passage I greatly enjoyed, reading in the novel written by Eleanor H. Porter, occurred shortly after her arrival. Miss Polly had just given Pollyanna her daily schedule consisting of cleaning her room first thing in the morning after which she should read 30 minutes aloud to Miss Polly followed by cooking lessons. In the late afternoon Pollyanna was expected to practice the piano. Pollyanna asked “what about living?” When was she supposed to live when her time was taken up with all these extra activities? She lamented that she did not want to just breathe she wanted to live. And so she did. Her Aunt Polly was surprised at the numerous acquaintances Pollyanna had made and the impact Pollyanna made in their lives. The Aunt Polly was so moved by the town’s love for Pollyanna that her own heart softened so much so that she became susceptible to love and forgiveness. The glad game is not that simple. You must find something to be glad about on all occasions. Learning to look on the brighter side of life enabled Pollyanna to step out without fear of condemnation. People loved her because she was so much fun to be with. She could be friends with even the grouchiest of souls because life held no bounds.

This month’s resolution is to have fun. I made this list in the beginning of the year. When July neared I was unsure of what exactly Fun meant. The word Fun is defined as something that provides enjoyment or amusement. I think fun means being able to lighten up despite our circumstances. Miss Polly caved into and was trapped by embarrassment for 11 to 15 years. Her fears lead her down a lonesome unemotional path. Pollyanna gently guided her away from tight buns, dark clothing and pursed lips and back into a world full of color, friendships and joy. Fun for some may include dancing on the bar top but I am not talking about temporary self-satisfaction. Remember the New Year’s resolution’s purpose is to enlighten us and make us better friends, neighbors and relatives. Some activities are better left in the ignorance of youth. The fun I speak of entails allowing ourselves the freedom to stop and enjoy life. Put the electronics away. Forgive whom you need to. Find the glad in your most heart-breaking sorrows as difficult as it may be. To have fun is to help others find the glad so that they too can have fun. To have fun is to vow even though we wake up disgruntled we can make the choice to fake being glad if we have to. To have fun is to discover why everyone calls you the “party-pooper” or “no fun” and change it.

Nuns Having Fun by Maureen Kelly and Jeffrey Stone

Photo: Nuns Having Fun

I try to teach my children it is ok to feel hurt, angry, sad, disappointed they are all legitimate feelings. But, we make the choice to let those feelings dictate our behavior and attitude or to let it go. It is not easy trying to tell that to a five year old who demands justice even to the point of missing out on the fun that is happening at that moment. I know there is more injustice going on in the world than we can fathom. There are people out there who are suffering or have suffered tremendous acts of violence, abuse and emotional warfare. Yet, day after day they keep moving forward. The writer Erma Bombeck wrote a column, upon discovering that she was dying from cancer, entitled “If I Had to Live My Life Over.” Erma wrote, “… I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage. I would have talked less and listened more. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded. I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace. … I would have sat on the lawn with my kids, even if it meant grass stains.” During the month of July I hope to use up the bottle of perfume sitting in the vanity drawer. I want to view my new home as a vacation rental. I want to find more of the glad, relax and have fun.

This is a short but fairly long list on how to have fun. The possibilities are practically endless. My hope is maybe something on the list will spawn additional fun ideas. Please feel free to share your FUN in the comments section.

Each day write down 3-5 positive things that happened that day.
Learn to have fun playing the glad game.

– Watch the clouds
– Watch a sun rise
– Take a midnight swim
– Observe bugs
– Pick flowers
– Camping
– Build a fort
– Take a treat or a balloon to friends and family.
– Read a book and come up with a project or something fun to do based on the material.
– Call the girls or take your daughter(s) to go get pedicures.
– Go on a leisurely bike ride with friends.
– Host a mystery dinner.
– Have an unbirthday party.
– Pay for the person behind you at the movies or toll booth.
– Act out a book complete with make shift costumes.
– Host a Karaokee night.
– Have a Nerf gun Showdown.
– See how many Balloons it takes to lift off the ground. Then watch the movie “Deckchair Danny”.
– Put on a Shadow Theater show.
– Simply your life and home. Throw out the excess. Ask yourself do I really need this? Why do I have it? Is it in the way? Allow your home to feel like the vacation resort you always wanted to visit.
– Learn something new.
– Go to a concert
– Go on a ‘first’ date with your significant other.
– Take a “I feel good day” off of work, if you can.
– Check the Entertainment section of the newspaper or a local website to see what is happening in your town.
– Celebrate a holiday or an achievement.
– Stay up until 4 AM devouring a good book or chatting with an old friend.
– Plan a picnic
– Play a game of volleyball or basketball with friends and/or family
– Go to the lake
– Rent a houseboat.
– Host a game night.
– Play Frisbee.
– Go to a public sporting event.
– Play a sport.
– Date night at the arcade.
– Have a scavenger hunt.
– Make a home movie.
– Build a rocket or model car.
– Find a new hobby.
– Learn about Geo Caching
– Let the kids jump in the rain puddles
– Most important loosen up and lighten up. Don’t be negative. Be willing to come out of the comfort shell once in a while. Laugh a little more. Smile a lot more. Look for the joy or “Glad” in everything around you.

dancing-in-the-rain

Photo: Dancing in the Rain, physician courtesy of Photo Bucket

Someone once told me they were leery of overly happy people because they must be hiding something. I think that there are individuals out there who are genuinely happy. The faults of life roll off their backs like RainX on a car windshield. On the opposite side of the glass half-full crowd are those who need to wallow in self-pity. They feel robbed of their liberties if their feelings are not validated. They feel they are  fake if they act contrary to how they feel. If they do not feel happy then why should they be happy? Problem is when they are not happy they feel no one should be happy. Thus we are all made to feel miserable with them.

One day I was listening to a radio talk show. The caller expressed the need to be true to her feelings but longed to be happy like her fiancé. Even so, erectile she found it difficult to “fake” being nice if she did not feel like being nice. Her question was if she woke up on the wrong side of the bed was it ok to fake being happy? The host told her if that is what she needed to do then yes it is ok because it is never ok to lash out at someone. The host then added that sometimes when we try to be happy by smiling and doing nice things for other people eventually we become happy.

Not long ago I received terrible news that a dear friend of mine had succumb to liver cancer. She discovered that she had cancer only three months prior to her death. Donna was in her late 50’s. Her life had been fraught with peril at every turn. She was abused and abandoned most of her existence. She was strong. She was a fighter. She survived every negative confrontation thrown at her. By the time we met in my late twenties she was no longer the victim. Her rosy cheeks and denim overalls said everything about her character. She was soft spoken and kind. She would give the shirt off her back to help someone. She was genuine; always a pleasure to be around. She always had a kind word to say on both good and bad days. I loved being around Donna  because she was fun.

As the month progressed I learned of the severe personal tumults suffered by several of my dearest friends. I realized  that day there are more people than we realize who have or are  suffering in some form or another. Despite their afflictions, they strive to keep their heads high making the most of what they have. They have dealt with the past. They are moving on. Their lives are not perfect. They are battle worn and scared. Nevertheless, they are striving to make their lives and those around them better. These women are some of the most noble people I have had the pleasure of befriending. Most importantly despite their hardships they are permitting themselves to have fun and enjoy the pleasures of life.

boat by Dapixara

Photo: Red Boat, by Dapixara

When I was a young girl I loved the movie Pollyanna starring Haley Mills. Pollyanna is a vibrant 11 year old girl. Upon her father’s untimely death she was shipped off to live with her Aunt Polly. The daughter of a Missionary Minister, Pollyanna did without the finer things in life. Her only belongings came from missionary barrels or donations. As it so happens, one summer she begged her father for a doll. The ‘Ladies Aid’ tried to find one but all they received by the time the barrel needed to be sent off was a set of crutches. Pollyanna’s father seeing her terrible sadness came up with an idea. He asked her to find something glad about the situation. When she could not he told her she could be glad that she does not have to use the crutches. From that time forward she and her father played what they called the “Glad Game”. Pollyanna set about changing the hearts of everyone around her including her sour-hearted Aunt Polly. One passage I greatly enjoyed, reading in the novel written by Eleanor H. Porter, occurred shortly after her arrival. Miss Polly had just given Pollyanna her daily schedule consisting of cleaning her room first thing in the morning after which she should read 30 minutes aloud to Miss Polly followed by cooking lessons. In the late afternoon Pollyanna was expected to practice the piano. Pollyanna asked “what about living?” When was she supposed to live when her time was taken up with all these extra activities? She lamented that she did not want to just breathe she wanted to live. And so she did. Her Aunt Polly was surprised at the numerous acquaintances Pollyanna had made and the impact Pollyanna made in their lives. The Aunt Polly was so moved by the town’s love for Pollyanna that her own heart softened so much so that she became susceptible to love and forgiveness. The glad game is not that simple. You must find something to be glad about on all occasions. Learning to look on the brighter side of life enabled Pollyanna to step out without fear of condemnation. People loved her because she was so much fun to be with. She could be friends with even the grouchiest of souls because life held no bounds.

This month’s resolution is to have fun. I made this list in the beginning of the year. When July neared I was unsure of what exactly Fun meant. The word Fun is defined as something that provides enjoyment or amusement. I think fun means being able to lighten up despite our circumstances. Miss Polly caved into and was trapped by embarrassment for 11 to 15 years. Her fears lead her down a lonesome unemotional path. Pollyanna gently guided her away from tight buns, dark clothing and pursed lips and back into a world full of color, friendships and joy. Fun for some may include dancing on the bar top but I am not talking about temporary self-satisfaction. Remember the New Year’s resolution’s purpose is to enlighten us and make us better friends, neighbors and relatives. Some activities are better left in the ignorance of youth. The fun I speak of entails allowing ourselves the freedom to stop and enjoy life. Put the electronics away. Forgive whom you need to. Find the glad in your most heart-breaking sorrows as difficult as it may be. To have fun is to help others find the glad so that they too can have fun. To have fun is to vow even though we wake up disgruntled we can make the choice to fake being glad if we have to. To have fun is to discover why everyone calls you the “party-pooper” or “no fun” and change it.

Nuns Having Fun by Maureen Kelly and Jeffrey Stone

Photo: Nuns Having Fun

I try to teach my children it is ok to feel hurt, angry, sad, disappointed they are all legitimate feelings. But, we make the choice to let those feelings dictate our behavior and attitude or to let it go. It is not easy trying to tell that to a five year old who demands justice even to the point of missing out on the fun that is happening at that moment. I know there is more injustice going on in the world than we can fathom. There are people out there who are suffering or have suffered tremendous acts of violence, abuse and emotional warfare. Yet, day after day they keep moving forward. The writer Erma Bombeck wrote a column, upon discovering that she was dying from cancer, entitled “If I Had to Live My Life Over.” Erma wrote, “… I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage. I would have talked less and listened more. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded. I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace. … I would have sat on the lawn with my kids, even if it meant grass stains.” During the month of July I hope to use up the bottle of perfume sitting in the vanity drawer. I want to view my new home as a vacation rental. I want to find more of the glad, relax and have fun.

This is a short but fairly long list on how to have fun. The possibilities are practically endless. My hope is maybe something on the list will spawn additional fun ideas. Please feel free to share your FUN in the comments section.

Each day write down 3-5 positive things that happened that day.

Learn to have fun playing the glad game.

– Watch the clouds

– Watch a sun rise

– Take a midnight swim

– Observe bugs

– Pick flowers

– Camping

– Build a fort

– Take a treat or a balloon to friends and family.

– Read a book and come up with a project or something fun to do based on the material.

– Call the girls or take your daughter(s) to go get pedicures.

– Go on a leisurely bike ride with friends.

– Host a mystery dinner.

– Have an unbirthday party.

– Pay for the person behind you at the movies or toll booth.

– Act out a book complete with make shift costumes.

– Host a Karaokee night.

– Have a Nerf gun Showdown.

– See how many Balloons it takes to lift off the ground. Then watch the movie “Deckchair Danny”.

– Put on a Shadow Theater show.

– Simply your life and home. Throw out the excess. Ask yourself do I really need this? Why do I have it? Is it in the way? Allow your home to feel like the vacation resort you always wanted to visit.

– Learn something new.

– Go to a concert

– Go on a ‘first’ date with your significant other.

– Take a “I feel good day” off of work, if you can.

– Check the Entertainment section of the newspaper or a local website to see what is happening in your town.

– Celebrate a holiday or an achievement.

– Stay up until 4 AM devouring a good book or chatting with an old friend.

– Plan a picnic

– Play a game of volleyball or basketball with friends and/or family

– Go to the lake

– Rent a houseboat.

– Host a game night.

– Play Frisbee.

– Go to a public sporting event.

– Play a sport.

– Date night at the arcade.

– Have a scavenger hunt.

– Make a home movie.

– Build a rocket or model car.

– Find a new hobby.

– Learn about Geo Caching

– Let the kids jump in the rain puddles

– Most important loosen up and lighten up. Don’t be negative. Be willing to come out of the comfort shell once in a while. Laugh a little more. Smile a lot more. Look for the joy or “Glad” in everything around you.
My favorite way to eat eggs is soft boiled with a runny yolk and a piece of toast to dip or mixed with a side of grits; it is part of my southern upbringing I suppose. Hard boiled eggs can be equally tasty sliced in a salad. Getting the eggs to the perfect stage and out of its shell though is the dilemma. My boss once asked me how to boil eggs. It took a moment to remember because boiling eggs was second nature; put them in a pot, here cover with water, information pills boil, more about steam, cold bath. Time…shime… I never kept track I just did it. Thankfully my advice panned out.

My brother is always reminding me that there are many people out there who have never learned the basic cooking skills and are inept at even making a pot of macaroni and cheese. When something becomes second nature to us whether that be cooking, sports or a talent we have to take note that for someone else it may not be that simple. We are just used to it. What happens as a result of our “it is so easy anyone can do it” attitude is the little critical tips get lost. That is why you can never duplicate your great aunt’s cookies or grandma’s bread. They were so used to just doing it they forgot to tell you the water has to be a certain temperature or you have to roll the noodles so thin you can see through them. Once a month on Dazzledish we try to post a ‘how to’ tutorial on a particular food, gadget or cooking tip because we want everyone to learn the basics so they feel confident in the kitchen. This month we will learn the art of hard boiled eggs and a few recipes to use them in.

6 large eggs

Water

Place the eggs in a single layer in a large pot.

Fill the pot with cold water to 1-inch above the eggs.

Bring the water just to a boil (first sign of bubbles) on high heat. Remove from heat, cover and steam for recommended time.

Immediately drain the hot water from the pot. Carefully cover the eggs with ice and cool water.

Soft Cooked Eggs:

A soft cooked egg has a firm white and runny yolk. Soft cooked eggs are mostly served in an egg cup small end down. The top is removed to expose the runny yolk. The egg is eaten out of the shell using a small spoon. You can also use strips of toast to scoop up the yolk.

Large eggs- 1 1/2 – 2 minutes.

Medium Cooked Eggs:

Medium cooked eggs have a firm white and a slightly firm yolk. Pair peeled medium cooked eggs with poached asparagus or with toast.
Kedgeree

Large eggs-  4-5 minutes.

Hard Cooked Eggs:

Hard cooked eggs have both a firm white and yolk.

Large eggs-10 – 12 minutes

Snack
deviled eggs
Soup
salad toppings
egg salad sandwich
potato salad
tuna nicoise
portugese bread
Curry
Thai Son & Law Eggs
Pakoras from India
Cookies

TIPS:

— Some individuals like to add salt or vinegar. They say it makes removing the shell easier. Add a splash of vinegar and a pinch of salt to your water.

— Use eggs that are at least a few days old. Farm fresh eggs do not peel as easy.

— Do not boil eggs with cracks. They will break open and leak.

— Putting too much water in the pot will take longer to heart which can throw off the timing. Too little water will result in undercooked eggs.

— Watch the water. At the first sign the water is boiling remove the pot from the heat. The timing will be off if allowed to come to a rolling boiling resulting in over cooked eggs.

— The ice bath stops the cooking process and the steam created inside the eggs will make it easier to peel.

— To peel start at the larger end where the air pocket is. Grab hold of the membrane under the shell and peel off.

— Chilled eggs are easier to slice. Warmer eggs are easier to crumble.

— Refrigerate unpeeled boiled eggs within a few hours for up to one week.

— The times listed may vary slightly due to the way your stove heats, the type and size of pot you use, the amount of water and number of eggs.
The Summer sun is upon us and it is relentless. Thank goodness for pools and sprinklers. There is nothing more refreshing in the dead heat of summer than cool sweet juicy watermelon. “When I was a kid” watermelons used to have seeds. We would have contests to see who could spit them the farthest. Then we would worry if we happened to swallow one because of the stories that the seed could sprout and grow in our stomachs. I also believed in the bogeyman and if I saw someone kissing on TV I would turn into a frog. Such were the times. We did not have a pool but we did have long sheets of plastic for a slip-n-slide. After rain storms we would take our skim boards into the back alley to skim the puddles. If if flooded we set sail on inner tubes in the street. To really cool down we used to walk down the street to the 7-Eleven for Slurpees. We tried making our own but it never worked just right. Except for the time when we put the liter bottle of Cherry 7-up in the freezer. I imagine that is how it happened when Granita was first discovered.

Granita is a icy frozen treat similar to the Italian ice, doctor French sorbet and the American slushy or snow cone. The granita, information pills traditionally made of coffee, is eaten as a refreshing and light dessert or between courses to cleanse the palate. It is uncertain exactly where the granita first originated. China has been cited for creating the first ice creams. Even so, the claims of Italy, France and Spain as the first to introduce water ices as far back as the 13th century are all together questionable. There are myths that Marco Polo brought the idea of cultivating ice and ice creams back to Italy from China but it is all undocumented speculation. In any event Italian ices eventually made its way to Europe and then on to the Americas.

Source: Woman’s Day
6 cups cubed seedless watermelon
1?4 cup sugar
1?4 cup lime juice

Purée watermelon in a food processor. Add sugar and lime juice; pulse until sugar is dissolved.

Pour into a 13 x 9-in. metal baking pan. Freeze 2 1?2 hours, stirring each hour, mixing ice crystals into the middle oXf the pan.

To serve: Let granita stand for 10 minutes at room temperature. Scrape into chilled glasses and serve at once

August Website Review: xobobox.com

How to cut a Bell Pepper:

How to cut an Onion:

How to cut a Bell Pepper:

How to cut an Onion:

March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent van Gogh.   is generally considered the greatest Dutch painter after Rembrandt, ambulance though he had little success during his lifetime. Van Gogh produced all of his work (some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings) during a period of only 10 years before he succumbed to mental illness (possibly bipolar disorder) and committed suicide. His fame grew rapidly after his death especially following a showing of 71 of van Gogh’s paintings in Paris on March 17, treat 1901 (11 years after his death).  Source: Van Gogh Gallery.com

Vincent van Gogh, there was born in Groot-Zundert, Holland. Van Gogh was highly emotional and unconfident.

As the son of a pastor he was brought up in a religious and cultured atmosphere,  Between 1860 and 1880, when he

finally decided to become an artist, van Gogh had had two unsuitable and unhappy romances and had worked unsuccessfully as a clerk in a bookstore, an art salesman, and a preacher in the Borinage (a dreary mining district in Belgium), where he was dismissed for overzealousness. He remained in Belgium to study art, determined to give happiness by creating beauty. The works of his early Dutch period are somber-toned, sharply lit, genre paintings of which the most famous is “The Potato Eaters” (1885). In that year van Gogh went to Antwerp where he discovered the works of Rubens and purchased many Japanese prints.

In 1886 he went to Paris to join his brother Théo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery. In Paris, van Gogh studied with Cormon, inevitably met Pissarro, Monet, and Gauguin, and began to lighten his very dark palette and to paint in the short brushstrokes of the Impressionists. His nervous temperament made him a difficult companion and night-long discussions combined with painting all day undermined his health. He decided to go south to Arles where he hoped his friends would join him and help found a school of art. Gauguin did join him but with disastrous results. In a fit of epilepsy, van Gogh pursued his friend with an open razor, was stopped by Gauguin, but ended up cutting a portion of his ear lobe off. Van Gogh then began to alternate between fits of madness and lucidity and was sent to the asylum in Saint-Remy for treatment.

In May of 1890, he seemed much better and went to live in Auvers-sur-Oise under the watchful eye of Dr. Gachet. Two months later he was dead, having shot himself “for the good of all.” During his brief career he had sold one painting. Van Gogh’s finest works were produced in less than three years in a technique that grew more and more impassioned in brushstroke, in symbolic and intense color, in surface tension, and in the movement and vibration of form and line. Van Gogh’s inimitable fusion of form and content is powerful; dramatic, lyrically rhythmic, imaginative, and emotional, for the artist was completely absorbed in the effort to explain either his struggle against madness or his comprehension of the spiritual essence of man and nature.
March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, pharm seek 1853 in Groot-Zundert, drugs Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

Van Gosh was first introduced to drawings in middle school. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He took a job with an art dealer. He was successful for a time and later commented it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated. Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877 he left for Amsterdam to study Theology.

he succumbed to mental illness (possibly bipolar disorder) and committed suicide. His fame grew rapidly after his death especially following a showing of 71 of van Gogh’s paintings in Paris on March 17, 1901 (11 years after his death).  Source: Van Gogh Gallery.com

finally decided to become an artist, van Gogh had had two unsuitable and unhappy romances and had worked unsuccessfully as a clerk in a bookstore, an art salesman, and a preacher in the Borinage (a dreary mining district in Belgium), where he was dismissed for overzealousness. He remained in Belgium to study art, determined to give happiness by creating beauty. The works of his early Dutch period are somber-toned, sharply lit, genre paintings of which the most famous is “The Potato Eaters” (1885). In that year van Gogh went to Antwerp where he discovered the works of Rubens and purchased many Japanese prints.

In 1886 he went to Paris to join his brother Théo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery. In Paris, van Gogh studied with Cormon, inevitably met Pissarro, Monet, and Gauguin, and began to lighten his very dark palette and to paint in the short brushstrokes of the Impressionists. His nervous temperament made him a difficult companion and night-long discussions combined with painting all day undermined his health. He decided to go south to Arles where he hoped his friends would join him and help found a school of art. Gauguin did join him but with disastrous results. In a fit of epilepsy, van Gogh pursued his friend with an open razor, was stopped by Gauguin, but ended up cutting a portion of his ear lobe off. Van Gogh then began to alternate between fits of madness and lucidity and was sent to the asylum in Saint-Remy for treatment.

In May of 1890, he seemed much better and went to live in Auvers-sur-Oise under the watchful eye of Dr. Gachet. Two months later he was dead, having shot himself “for the good of all.” During his brief career he had sold one painting. Van Gogh’s finest works were produced in less than three years in a technique that grew more and more impassioned in brushstroke, in symbolic and intense color, in surface tension, and in the movement and vibration of form and line. Van Gogh’s inimitable fusion of form and content is powerful; dramatic, lyrically rhythmic, imaginative, and emotional, for the artist was completely absorbed in the effort to explain either his struggle against madness or his comprehension of the spiritual essence of man and nature.
March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, pharm seek 1853 in Groot-Zundert, drugs Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

Van Gosh was first introduced to drawings in middle school. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He took a job with an art dealer. He was successful for a time and later commented it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated. Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877 he left for Amsterdam to study Theology.

he succumbed to mental illness (possibly bipolar disorder) and committed suicide. His fame grew rapidly after his death especially following a showing of 71 of van Gogh’s paintings in Paris on March 17, 1901 (11 years after his death).  Source: Van Gogh Gallery.com

finally decided to become an artist, van Gogh had had two unsuitable and unhappy romances and had worked unsuccessfully as a clerk in a bookstore, an art salesman, and a preacher in the Borinage (a dreary mining district in Belgium), where he was dismissed for overzealousness. He remained in Belgium to study art, determined to give happiness by creating beauty. The works of his early Dutch period are somber-toned, sharply lit, genre paintings of which the most famous is “The Potato Eaters” (1885). In that year van Gogh went to Antwerp where he discovered the works of Rubens and purchased many Japanese prints.

In 1886 he went to Paris to join his brother Théo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery. In Paris, van Gogh studied with Cormon, inevitably met Pissarro, Monet, and Gauguin, and began to lighten his very dark palette and to paint in the short brushstrokes of the Impressionists. His nervous temperament made him a difficult companion and night-long discussions combined with painting all day undermined his health. He decided to go south to Arles where he hoped his friends would join him and help found a school of art. Gauguin did join him but with disastrous results. In a fit of epilepsy, van Gogh pursued his friend with an open razor, was stopped by Gauguin, but ended up cutting a portion of his ear lobe off. Van Gogh then began to alternate between fits of madness and lucidity and was sent to the asylum in Saint-Remy for treatment.

In May of 1890, he seemed much better and went to live in Auvers-sur-Oise under the watchful eye of Dr. Gachet. Two months later he was dead, having shot himself “for the good of all.” During his brief career he had sold one painting. Van Gogh’s finest works were produced in less than three years in a technique that grew more and more impassioned in brushstroke, in symbolic and intense color, in surface tension, and in the movement and vibration of form and line. Van Gogh’s inimitable fusion of form and content is powerful; dramatic, lyrically rhythmic, imaginative, and emotional, for the artist was completely absorbed in the effort to explain either his struggle against madness or his comprehension of the spiritual essence of man and nature.
A garden is a great way to spend time as a family. There is a surreal satisfaction watching little seedlings grow and sprout into magnificent vegetation. Gardens can be anything you want to make them. You can build a raised garden or simply use pots or barrels. You do not need a large plot of land to have a productive garden. In fact, pharm even if you live in an apartment building you can grow a garden. Gardens can also be incorporated into the existing landscape. Try using strawberry plants as a border.

When to plant what:

January: Onions, search potatoes, nurse spinach

February: Broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, lettuce, radishes, onions, peas, potatoes, spinach

March: Broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, watermelons, muskmelons, peas, potatoes, spinach, cucumbers, radishes, beans, lettuce, corn, tomatoes

April: carrots, radishes, spinach, beans, corn, cucumbers, watermelons, muskmelons, peppers, summer squash, winter squash, tomatoes

May: Beans, peppers, corn, cucumbers, muskmelons, pumpkins, summer squash, winter squash, tomatoes, watermelons

June: Beans, corn, celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, pumpkins, watermelon, muskmelons, peppers, summer squash, winter squash

July: Celery, beans, corn, summer squash, tomatoes

August: Broccoli, celery, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, beans, lettuce, peas, radishes

September: Broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, lettuce, onions, peas, radishes, spinach

October: Onions, peas, radishes, spinach

November: Peas, spinach

December: Onions, potatoes, spinach
March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, pharm seek 1853 in Groot-Zundert, drugs Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

Van Gosh was first introduced to drawings in middle school. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He took a job with an art dealer. He was successful for a time and later commented it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated. Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877 he left for Amsterdam to study Theology.

he succumbed to mental illness (possibly bipolar disorder) and committed suicide. His fame grew rapidly after his death especially following a showing of 71 of van Gogh’s paintings in Paris on March 17, 1901 (11 years after his death).  Source: Van Gogh Gallery.com

finally decided to become an artist, van Gogh had had two unsuitable and unhappy romances and had worked unsuccessfully as a clerk in a bookstore, an art salesman, and a preacher in the Borinage (a dreary mining district in Belgium), where he was dismissed for overzealousness. He remained in Belgium to study art, determined to give happiness by creating beauty. The works of his early Dutch period are somber-toned, sharply lit, genre paintings of which the most famous is “The Potato Eaters” (1885). In that year van Gogh went to Antwerp where he discovered the works of Rubens and purchased many Japanese prints.

In 1886 he went to Paris to join his brother Théo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery. In Paris, van Gogh studied with Cormon, inevitably met Pissarro, Monet, and Gauguin, and began to lighten his very dark palette and to paint in the short brushstrokes of the Impressionists. His nervous temperament made him a difficult companion and night-long discussions combined with painting all day undermined his health. He decided to go south to Arles where he hoped his friends would join him and help found a school of art. Gauguin did join him but with disastrous results. In a fit of epilepsy, van Gogh pursued his friend with an open razor, was stopped by Gauguin, but ended up cutting a portion of his ear lobe off. Van Gogh then began to alternate between fits of madness and lucidity and was sent to the asylum in Saint-Remy for treatment.

In May of 1890, he seemed much better and went to live in Auvers-sur-Oise under the watchful eye of Dr. Gachet. Two months later he was dead, having shot himself “for the good of all.” During his brief career he had sold one painting. Van Gogh’s finest works were produced in less than three years in a technique that grew more and more impassioned in brushstroke, in symbolic and intense color, in surface tension, and in the movement and vibration of form and line. Van Gogh’s inimitable fusion of form and content is powerful; dramatic, lyrically rhythmic, imaginative, and emotional, for the artist was completely absorbed in the effort to explain either his struggle against madness or his comprehension of the spiritual essence of man and nature.
A garden is a great way to spend time as a family. There is a surreal satisfaction watching little seedlings grow and sprout into magnificent vegetation. Gardens can be anything you want to make them. You can build a raised garden or simply use pots or barrels. You do not need a large plot of land to have a productive garden. In fact, pharm even if you live in an apartment building you can grow a garden. Gardens can also be incorporated into the existing landscape. Try using strawberry plants as a border.

When to plant what:

January: Onions, search potatoes, nurse spinach

February: Broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, lettuce, radishes, onions, peas, potatoes, spinach

March: Broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, watermelons, muskmelons, peas, potatoes, spinach, cucumbers, radishes, beans, lettuce, corn, tomatoes

April: carrots, radishes, spinach, beans, corn, cucumbers, watermelons, muskmelons, peppers, summer squash, winter squash, tomatoes

May: Beans, peppers, corn, cucumbers, muskmelons, pumpkins, summer squash, winter squash, tomatoes, watermelons

June: Beans, corn, celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, pumpkins, watermelon, muskmelons, peppers, summer squash, winter squash

July: Celery, beans, corn, summer squash, tomatoes

August: Broccoli, celery, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, beans, lettuce, peas, radishes

September: Broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, lettuce, onions, peas, radishes, spinach

October: Onions, peas, radishes, spinach

November: Peas, spinach

December: Onions, potatoes, spinach

my-square-meal

Our August website review is just in time for back to school lunch box shopping. Xobobox.com was created by Meg, this a stay-at-home mom concerned with the excess waste produced in school cafeterias. Her website is not only directed at children. Hungry adults can find tasty nutritious meal ideas and up to date conservation savvy alternatives to the plastic bag lunch containers. Meg says her motivation is to “steer us all towards a healthier and more sustainable environment by promoting healthy recipes (for you and the environment) and by reducing food packaging waste.”

My favorite lunch boxes are the Go Green Lunch Box, symptoms Laptop Box and the Easy Lunch Box. They offer one convenient container with compartments to separate food. Lunch bag coolers are available at a separate cost but are a must to keep any perishables from spoiling. Be sure to visit their websites for easy healthy meal ideas.

Photo courtesy of MySquareMeal.com