Kindness

I love the writing of Brian Vaszily! Recently I read an article on his Intense Experiences web site which told story of kindness, and it prompted me to replace my little green “life reminder note” with a yellow post-it bearing the message: Respond to anger with kindness.

What a powerful statement. If you read the article you’ll see exactly how it can be so powerful. And it can apply to anger of all kinds… anger with yourself, other people, or a situation. I’m hoping by keeping that sentiment in my view at all times (on my life reminder note which hangs right by my computer screen), I’ll incorporate it into my life and make this world a better place.

That’s not food, that’s what food eats!!

I’m happy to report that in the past year, we spent more money on produce than meat. Yeah!! I found this little tidbit as I was doing our tax stuff, looking at the various reports in Quickbooks. Our biggest expense is taxes, followed by food and then mortgage. I could probably spend less on food but I think it’s one of life’s great pleasures and I would rather not skimp too much in that area. Plus we like to eat freshly prepared food instead of packaged stuff, which tends to be cheaper because it’s not real food. For some reason it seems less ingredients = higher price. The other day I was shopping for prunes… the ones with preservatives cost less than the one that was just prunes and nothing else. Go figure!!

The title for this post came via Trav, from Red Foreman on That 70s Show… one of our favorite shows a while back. When Red was faced with eating a salad for dinner, that’s what he said. Heheheh! It’s become a regular joke around here when the subject turns to veggies.

Something to think about

My friend Jane sent this to me (thanks, Jane!!) and I thought it was very good and wanted to share…

Paradox of Our Times

Today we have bigger houses, but smaller families
More conveniences, but less time

We have more degrees, but less common sense
More knowledge, but less judgment

We have more experts, but more problems
More medicine, but less wellness

We spend too recklessly
Laugh too little
Drive too fast
Get too angry too quickly
Stay up too late
Read too little
Watch TV too much
And ponder too little

We’ve multiplied our possessions,
but reduced our values

We talk too much, love too little and lie too often

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life
We’ve added years to our lives, but not life to our years

We have taller buildings, but shorter tempers
Wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints

We spend more, but have less
We buy more, enjoy it less

We’ve been all the way to the moon and back
But have trouble crossing the street to meet our neighbors

We’ve conquered outer space,
But not inner space

We’ve split the atom
But not our prejudice

We write more, learn less, ———————- plan more, but accomplish less
We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait,
We have higher incomes , but lower morals

We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies
But have less communication

We are long on quantity,
But short on quality

These are the time of fast foods and slow digestion
Taller people, and short character

More leisure and less fun …..more kinds of foods …… but less nutrition
Two incomes …..but more divorce
Fancier houses …. but more broken homes

That’s why I propose , that as of today , you do not keep anything for special occasions, because every day you live is a special occasion.

Search for knowledge , read more , sit on your front porch and admire the view without paying attention to the time.
Spend more time with your family and friends , eat your favorite foods, and visit the places you love.

Use your crystal goblets…do not save your best perfume for best…throw a party for no good reason.

Life isn’t only about survival … It’s about joy.

Do not delay anything that adds laughter and joy to your life.

Remove from your vocabulary phrases like “one of these days “ and “someday”
Let’s write that letter we thought of writing “one of these days “

Let’s tell our families and friends how much we love them.

It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye!

I love playing carnival games. I know they’re a ripoff, but it’s fun anyway. Here’s a page which tells you how to improve your odds against the carnies:

Blifaloo.com – Beat Carnival Games

I especially like playing the games where you toss money onto a plate and win whatever it landed in… I don’t know why. It’s not like I need any more kitchen stuff, that’s for sure!! I think part of the attraction is you can play a lot, since they normally use dimes. Is that still true? It’s been so long since I’ve been to a carnival… maybe they make you use quarters now. If so, I’ll not be playing that one! Who else likes the carnival? Leave a comment or send me an email and we’ll make plans to go.

I Have Become… Comfortably Numb

Well, I haven’t, but my fingertips have. Trav’s brother got me an acoustic guitar for my birthday!!! What a surprise. I had talked about getting one, and he went and got one for me. Very exciting! I’ve been following an online lesson for beginning guitar – trying to master those lessons before I try anything more and get discouraged. I’m hoping to have a bit of callouses on my fingertips before my trip to Arizona, maybe I can play a little something! The only thing I can play right now is scales and the first little bit of Dueling Banjos (hehehe) … I have a whole list of songs I want to learn, though. I hope I can do it –  my fingers are kind of short and don’t seem to curl just right yet. Practice, practice, practice!

Trav found a neat site to help me study… Chordbook! It has chord fingerings, a tuning tool and a bunch of other cool stuff. Thanks, dear! And thank you very much, Steve!! 🙂

Shrinky Dinks, anyone?

The other day I found this very interesting craft – you use #6 plastic to make a design and then shrink it in the oven. Very cool! This morning I noticed the sprout containers are #6, so when it’s empty, I’m going to see what I can make from the package. Should be interesting!

Do It Yourself Shrinky Dinks

Happy 18th Birthday!!

18th Birthday CakeBleys turned 18 today. Yay!! Welcome to the adult world. This is the cake we had for lunch. 🙂 We were trying to figure out how old those candles are, because after we blow them out, we pluck the candles from the cake, suck the cake and frosting off the end, and then wash them and put them back in in the cupboard for the next celebration. I’m thinking they’re at least 5 years old, maybe more. They still work great, though!

Tonight we’re going out to dinner with his Gramma Pris, down to Captain Jack’s in Tarpon Springs. They have awesome Mango BBQ Shrimp, which is what Bleys wants for his special dinner. Afterwards we’ll take a stroll across the bridge over to the heart of Tarpon Springs, Dodecanese Avenue, which has a whole bunch of greek shops and restaurants. Then we’ll come home and eat more cake!! Other than that, not much is going on – he wants to “lounge” for his birthday. Monday he’s going to the county offices to register to vote and for (gulp) the Selective Service. Should be fun!

New home for my blog

We’re in the process of switching our web sites to a new web host, where the database is faster. Because I was using the built-in blog on the old host, I don’t get to keep the design. But I like the new one pretty well and will be tweaking it to make it just right. And I have to put the pictures back, but that’s no big deal. It will be nice having control over my stuff, though… I was kind of being held hostage by using the built-in stuff on the old host! I couldn’t upgrade or add anything, so this is a good thing. I can mess up my blog in all kinds of new and different ways! 🙂

My Next Job… Meteorologist!

Not really, but it’s fun to pretend. The weather here in Florida can get pretty wacky. I’m currently reading a book about it, and the author states there are really no “average” weather patterns to be discerned from Florida’s records… it’s too unpredictable at any time of year to get any really good data. So I had to take this article with a rather large grain of salt:

Predict the Weather Without a Forecast

Recently we bought a weather radio, which is supposed to sound an alarm in case of hazardous weather. Luckily it hasn’t done anything yet, and hopefully we’ll never know if it works. But it’s good to be prepared in the tornado capital of the country.

100 Years Ago

I’m cleaning out my email, and found another gem from my Dad….

This will boggle your mind, I know it did mine!
The year is 1907. One hundred years ago.
What a difference a century makes!
Here are some  statistics for the Year 1907:
************************************

  • The average life expectancy was 47 years.
  • Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.
  • Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
  • There were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads.
  • The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
  • The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower!
  • The average wage in 1907 was 22 cents per hour.
  • The average  worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
  • A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, a dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.
  • More than 95 percent of all births took place at home.
  • Ninety percent of all doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION! Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press AND the government as “substandard.”
  • Sugar cost four cents a pound.
  • Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.
  • Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.
  • Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
  • Canada! passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.
  • Five leading causes of death  were:
    1. Pneumonia and influenza
    2. Tuberculosis
    3. Diarrhea
    4. Heart disease
    5. Stroke
  • The American flag had 45 stars.
  • The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was only 30!!!!
  • Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and ice tea hadn’t been invented yet.
  • There was no Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.
  • Two out of every 10 adults couldn’t read or write.
  • Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.
  • Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores. Back then pharmacists said, “Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect  guardian of health.”
  • Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help.
  • There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE ! U.S.A. !

Try to imagine what it may be like in another 100 years. (Personally, I just hope we’re still here by then.)

Time, revisited

My Dad recently sent me a link to a very interesting site – Thanks, Dad!! 🙂

World Clock

The whole site is great. I really like this guy’s ideas, especially some of them in his article Letting Go of Doing and the suggestion of thinking of our lives in days rather than years, because a day is a lot easier to get a handle on. And I used the Life Expectancy Calculator and it said I’ll live to be 90, if I’m lucky! I guess it’ll be a while before I become a number on the clock.

Finally, a day off

I’ve been working so much the last week I haven’t had time for much else. Today I got to take some time and go do stuff I’ve been wanting to do – I had a very full and fulfilling day! I spent some of my birthday money on a 7 comic book series called The Gunslinger Born… Stephen King has continued the Dark Tower series with the story of how Roland became a gunslinger. I already looked at the first one – the pictures are beautiful and the extra stories are awesome.

I also did a bunch of running around… one stop was at the vet to get cat food. They have so many cats there, it’s just wonderful. There’s a couple I would bring home if we needed more kitties. We buy special food at the vet because our cats are so fat, and it’s working! Stripe has already lost a little more than a pound since we switched. And they seem to like it so it’s all good.

The rest of my stops were Auto Zone for oil for the car, Bed Bath & Beyond just to browse (I looked at silpat silicone baking mats but they were too expensive at the moment) and also checked out Bells Home Outlet and didn’t buy anything at either store! That’s gotta be a record. After that I went to get litter at Pet Food Warehouse and then decided to check out the hardware store at the other end of the shopping plaza. That was the best stop of the day!!! As I went in, I read a sign that said “No other dogs” and I was like, “Hmm, I wonder what that’s about.” And the moment I stepped in I understood. Laying in the middle of the aisle were three St. Bernards!! They didn’t even react when I came in, just kinda looked up at me. And of course, I had to go see them. What sweet dogs, they were really nice, and so soft. One of them was really old, and he had the biggest paws I’ve ever seen on a dog. They were just HUGE!! The guy said that dog was living on love, so I hope I gave him an extra day on this earth with the love he got from me today. 🙂

After that I stopped at the library to give them some magazines to sell – they have a table where you can buy magazines for a quarter. I love being able to recycle AND help the library! Plus I’m trying to dejunk our house some, it’s starting to get cluttered and I want to take care of it before things get out of control. If I’m not using something, it’s getting donated, recycled or pitched! I have to be very careful not to be too much of a packrat, I just love to collect things I think may be useful someday.

Then I came home, helped cook dinner, watched the second to last episode of Hell’s Kitchen, did the dishes, went out and weeded a little bit for the papaya and mango plants I have to go in the ground and then watched a little more of “The Astronaut Farmer” with Trav. Now I’m posting here and still hope to play a little WordTopia, if anybody’s around (sometimes later at night there’s nobody to play with).

So that’s my busy, busy day. Tomorrow it’s back to work. Thanks for reading!

Does Time Exist?

Birthdays tend to bring about thoughts of time (I’m turning 40… my life may be half over… etc.) so I thought it was very appropriate that I found this article today:

Time May Not Exist

I love thinking about questions like where did the universe come from? Where is it expanding to…? It boggles the mind. Fun to think about, though. If you believe this article, then questions about the universe don’t really apply, because if there is no time, there’s no beginning and no end, right? It has always been and always will be.

This site also led me to another, very fascinating site which sucked up a lot of my “time” today. I should have been working, but hey, it was my birthday! So I only feel a little guilty…

LiveScience.com

I found the various Top 10 lists very interesting. Oh and now I’ve discovered they have quizzes so I’m off to see how smart I am. 🙂 Enjoy!

Navigating by the Stars

I’ve always had it in my head that the world might go to total crap one day (nuclear bomb or some other major destructive disaster) and I want to be prepared. So, I’ve been collecting different things I think will help in that situation. For instance, this year for my birthday, I asked for and received a slingshot. I figure if we were desperate for food, we could get a rabbit or squirrel or something. We go out and shoot small rocks at a paper target, and a lot of times I have to say… “We’re gonna starve!!!” But we’re getting better with practice. Now if the targets would just stay still like the excellent paper rabbits and turkeys Trav draws, we’re all set!

Today I acquired another tool – how to navigate by the stars. This site has a really great tutorial on identifying important constellations and how to tell which way is north.

http://www.quietbay.net/Science/astronomy/nightsky/

It only takes a few minutes to complete and it’s really fun. And potentially useful for when you want to make those midnight trips to Georgia. On foot. Because you heard there’s critters up there you can get with your slingshot. 🙂

Simple Meals

I love to cook, but sometimes it does get to be a chore… all the prep work, the actual cooking, and then the cleanup. So I was delighted to find this list the other day…

101 Simple Meals Ready in 10 Minutes or Less

Some of the ideas are great and I can’t wait to try them. I’m thinking these will be good for lunches, too. Often I just take a quick break in the middle of the day to have a bite to eat. One of my favorite quick lunches is “Cheesy Rice Stuff”. I heat some coconut oil in a pan and throw in a bit of garlic and onion. When that’s soft, I add some brown rice and a handful of mozzarella cheese and stir it until the cheese melts. Drop in some chopped parsley, roasted red pepper and salt, and it’s lunch! Mmmmm.

The Bathroom Diaries

I love to travel, and found this site which could be very useful on the road… The Bathroom Diaries. They have a great database of bathrooms around the world – rated for cleanliness, safety, and handicap access. This would be great on a cell phone (if I had one hehe) but also nice if you’re able to plan ahead. They even list the bathrooms in Antarctica!

Let’s Have Another Tea Party

Happy Independence Day! Today is the day we celebrate our independence from Britain and her king. I propose we get rid of another King George. But we shouldn’t wait until December… we should do it now. I could go on and on about the illegal and just plain strange things our king has done but I won’t in this post. It’s a day to appreciate our great country – it’s the best in the world! I’m lucky to live here and I show my appreciation by paying my taxes and especially by voting. Voting is a very important civic duty every citizen should fulfill. I think things would be different, and better, if citizens paid more attention to what our leaders are doing. Anyways, Happy 4th of July!! Hope you had a wonderful day. 🙂

Pucker Up, Baby!

Mamoncillo fruitTo keep life interesting, I like to try all kinds of food. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t! 🙂 This week’s adventure is a package of Mamoncillo fruit from the produce department. As I was checking out, the cashier asked me, “What is that? I never heard of that before.” I shrugged and said I didn’t know, but I was dying to find out. So right there at the checkout, I poked a hole in the saran wrap, took one out and tore open the skin to reveal what looked like a lychee fruit (it turns out they are related). I popped it in my mouth to have a taste, which I would describe as very mild and kind of like an orange. There’s not much pulp in there – it’s mostly seed.

I did some research to see what I could do with them, and found that most people eat the pulp and then toast the seeds, like sunflower or pumpkin seeds. So I’ve been diligently sucking the pulp off, scraping off every last bit with my teeth and fingernails, and saving them so I can toast a batch to see what that part tastes like. I tasted a raw seed and it was mealy and kind of woody. Here’s my seed collection so far (I’m about halfway through):

Mamoncillo seed collection

Also in the picture is my rock collection and a picture taken of Trav and I a few months after we got together. Anyways, I’ll report on the toasted seeds when I make them.

Oh and the subject of this post is due to the legend that girls in the Caribbean learn to kiss by eating this fruit! hehehe