Reboot to a Positive Mindset: Give Yourself 5 Min/Day.

Surely everyone has 5 minutes to spare! And if you use them first thing in the morning, you can nudge yourself into a more positive mindset for the day. This way of starting out gets you away from dwelling all the time on what’s wrong. Before you start the busyness of...

Pandemic Time on my Hands!

My name is Carol and I am an addict. Isn’t that’s what it’s called when you’re struggling to pass Level 37 and you say to yourself, “I’m sure I can do better next time.”? Then you repeat the phrase after every attempt until an hour rolls by, then 90 minutes, then… The...

A Fox at the Backdoor: Rest for a Tired Brain

It all started with a blur, “Was that the neighbor’s cat?” Something about this blur was different, though. Was it darker? Longer? Yeah, probably a cat. Next day: “Wait, what? Is that a fox?” We spent the next week scrambling for our phones, but not fast enough as she...

Loss of Freedom Brings Rewards: s-l-o-w is good!

What I learned by staying at home: I’ve been a spoiled brat most of my life, doing whatever I felt like doing whenever I felt like to doing it. My new habit is to ask myself, “Do I need that?” Do I need it, NOW?” Mostly the answer’s been “No!” and I like this trend!...

Laughter Softens the Onslaught of Bad News

  I begin April 1 like any other workday, at my desk waiting for inspiration. I reach for the light and… someone’s staring back. My husband is apparently sitting quietly in the next room, waiting, because as soon as he hears laughter, a voice yells, “April...

Stay-at-Home #2: Time to Notice the Little Things

I’m acutely aware of babbling these days. Not the soothing babbling brook kind, but the sound of my own voice — droning on and on and on. As people hunker down in their own cocoons under Stay-at-Home orders, the growing silence has made me aware of my own voice more...

Adapting to Stay-Home Orders: Home Sweet Home

Witness our Happy Tree, my husband’s brilliant idea to amuse all the children coming out of the woodwork in our neighborhood. He stapled a collection of stuffed heads and masks to the street side of this huge fir out front and we can watch as the little ones point and...

“Stay Home!”: Slowing Down Because of Free Time

Excuse me as I desperately search for an upside — any silver lining will do — to the collective fears swirling around the globe. As I look at my April calendar on the wall, it comes to me: a mandate to stay home means a mandatory slowdown for most of us. Without all...

Bad Hair Day: The Importance of Hair On Trial

I thought long and hard, “What can I blog about that would help lighten our collective moods?” Laughter always helps me forget my troubles, if only for a minute or two. To that end, I hereby lay my dignity on the line with my own bad hair day. The weight of worry...

Coronavirus: Use 1915 Remedies, If You Dare!

The panic that’s been set off by the Coronavirus drew me back, once again, to the 100-year-old advice I have sitting on my very own book shelf. A Physician in the House, “written in plain language” by J. H. Greer, M. D. 1915. I’ve been thinking: what did my grandma do...

Emotions on Display: Tears for all Occasions

I watched and wept in awe at the sight of my newborns for the very first time. I sobbed with relief when THAT call came to publish my first book. I’ve wept with despair when my government let me down. I cried with pride when, turns out, I was right after all. An...

Free at Last: Purging Makes Room for New Ideas

This is what I call freedom! The last of my purging was done this week, so my brain has plenty of room now to grab new ideas floating by. The weight of all that stuff is off my back at last. Not in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine feeling such satisfaction from an...

Positive Perspective: Repelling the Dark Side!

“Ignorance is bliss,” is something my mom said more than once. I used to laugh whenever she referred to this old saying, thinking how could anyone NOT want to know what was going on around them? My curiosity would be killing me! Well, I’m not laughing now. Information...

On Being a Homebody: What’s Wrong With Home?

“Beam me up, Scotty!” “The Transporter Bay is ready, Captain.” Until these notions become household words — or until I make it through Apparition class at Hogwarts— I’ll remain the homebody that I am, spending my time and resources fluffing my own little stationary...

New Year: Looking Forward to 20/20 Vision in 2020!

Today begins a very special new year. Ahead is a unique opportunity to re-adjust the vision of my life to 20/20 — in 2020. Much contemplation will be in order as I put together my list of New Year’s Resolutions! I’m energized and inspired every January 1 because...

Gifts from the Heart: Creative Gifting at it’s Finest!

Oh, how lucky can a person be? I’m surrounded by creative souls that keep my sense of awe alive. I have a tiny family — four in all — but both my husband and two children have wonderfully creative spirits. Oh, I know I’m creative with words, but it’s just not as...

Loss: Compounded by the Holidays

I won’t be popular with this thought, but Christmas is celebrated with such fervor that sometimes the season feels more like a job to me instead of the pleasure it’s supposed to be. The pressure to “celebrate” comes from the assault early on of goodies, lights, music,...

Sleep, Oh Precious Sleep: The Ultimate Comforter

Why, oh why, does anyone resist their bed? How on earth can they resist the lure of such comfort at the end of the day? It’s so puzzling when someone tells me they don’t want to waste the time. WHAT? Don’t they know how important it is? All I have to do is...

Halloween: Grab Fun When You Can!

October’s Moment is here, Halloween. Even though it’s early, here’s a little something I found to entertain the neighbors throughout the month. I’m remembering past celebrations and all the ghoulish high jinx we sprang on the neighbors. A giant stuffed spider rigged...

Thank You for Your Passion, Greta Thunberg

I’ve got Greta on my mind. I haven’t been able to think of anything else since I watched Greta Thunberg’s passionate speech about global warming at the United Nations this week. I’m inspired by her passion, her eloquence, her lack of BS and political correctness. In...

Relief from Persistent Bad News: Carrot Art

Just picture its simplicity. A little carrot doing its own thing and nary a mole in sight! I keep this simple little image from my garden in front of me as a reminder to s-l-o-w d-o-w-n and c-a-l-m d-o-w-n. No matter how bad the latest news is, even the tiniest bit of...

Mass Shootings: What is left to say?

I have nothing to say. The sadness I feel after the latest mass shootings this week is profound, and the corner of my brain that stores words of wisdom and relief is empty. That my own government merely stands by with “thoughts and prayers” is criminal, and I am...

Downside of Social Media: Anonymity Gives Us Courage

“People were rude and judgmental, not providing respectful discussion or criticism. I was going to clean up the comments but people were too rude and it was better to just wipe it from the earth.” This reply came from the administrator of a Facebook group when I asked...

Fun Overpowers Fear: Driving Into Surgery

Imagine seeing your young, scared child driving himself down the hall to surgery? What a brilliant idea. Hospitals are getting wise. At Doctors Medical Center in Modesto CA small children have the choice of riding a gurney to the operating room or driving a mini car....

Tradition of Fireworks vs Common Sense

He was crawling around the roof doing a homeowner’s favorite job — cleaning out gutters — when he spotted it. Surprise surprise, THERE’S A HOLE IN MY ROOF THE SIZE OF A BASKETBALL!!! Withered remains of a Bottle Rocket were nearby the rim of charred shingles. This was...

Loss: When Good Neighbors Move

My neighbors have up and moved. I tried my best to convince them they’d never find neighbors like us again… and yet they persisted. We moved into this neighborhood 5 years ago, and the warmth of this couple has radiated across the street ever since. Oh, the borrowing...

Laughter: Developing a Positive Attitude Takes Time

  I don’t regret it! I have no regrets about making people think about the important stuff. A new book is percolating inside my head, and in an effort to do some research, I asked folks to think about things they don’t usually take the time to do. Some seemed...

Using the Power of Art for a Better Day

“Good morning, Ladies!” These 3 words—whispered or merely in my head— is what begins my day on a positive note. And some mornings I need some help in that direction. Bad moods linger longer than I want sometimes, and I often have trouble shaking a really bad dream....

Mother’s Day: A Great Opportunity to Connect

Another’s Mother’s Day is coming up and this year I’m lucky. I get to be with both my children—AT THE SAME TIME! It’s a feat not easily accomplished when grown children leave town and scatter all over the place, but Christy and Jesse still live within driving...

Too Many Decisions Suck the Life Right Out of You.

Behold my husband’s side of the closet. Lesson learned: life is simpler with only 14 things to pick from. Decisions still have to be made I guess, but at least one corner of your life would be simpler. And when your household mantra has become “nothing’s easy”,...

Loss of Friends: Moments of Lonely

I don’t want to move anymore! The patience it takes for that whole process has “left the building!” I keep reminding myself that the upside to settling in a new town is the opportunity to explore and to meet new people but, darn, I miss my old people! The loss I’ve...

Love/Hate: Tumbling Down the Tech Rabbit Hole

I love my iPhone. I hate my iPhone. Negotiating between devices, apps and icons, spins my head faster than Regan’s in the bone chilling movie, The Exorcist. But I am determined and shall soon be smart once again. ha I know deep down that the upsides far exceed my...

Ears Need a Break: The Value of Silence

Look what I found on my walk this week! With the enthusiasm of a rare bird sighting, I rounded the corner and saw my neighbor tidying up her small patch of grass with the gentle clickity click of manual mowing. The silence, or nearly so, was music to my ears. I love...

Self-Confidence Boost: Letters of Recommendation

I opened a file this week that kicked me in the butt. Income tax time in my house is for culling and shredding the past year, but this old file will remain in tact for the rest of my life. It reminds me of the good stuff. “Resumes” contains Letters of...

CPR: Saving Lives is Complicated!

Yesterday I saved some dummy’s life. In a two-hour CPR class I learned that “CPR is violent.” This, the instructor’s first sentence, was startling. The compression it takes to keep blood flowing to the brain can cause injuries but, as per his handout, “While...

The Urge to Purge: Organizing Makes Life Easier

I can’t remember exactly when I first felt the urge to purge. Maybe I was trying to find someone’s phone number in the Mt. Everest of paper piles. Or maybe it’s when I first got interested in Feng Shui 10 years ago. Whatever it was, the challenge and...

Enjoying Your Own Creativitiy: Acrylic Paint Pouring

My daughter started it all. Christy is an artist who temporarily put down her brushes and started pouring paint onto the canvas instead. The fascinating art form of Acrylic Paint Pouring seems like great fun, but really challenging. Some of the pieces she’s produced...

“Worry Wears Worse than Work” (1915)

The science may be wrong and I laughed when I read it, but even 104 years ago they knew that “worry” eventually takes its toll. The following is excerpted from the chapter called WORRY in a little treasure of a book I inherited, A Physician in the House by Joseph...

Conquering the Slippery Slope of FOMO

I’ve felt it myself so there’s no more denying what I originally scoffed at, FOMO (internet slang for Fear of Missing Out). **Anxiety that you are missing exciting events that other people are experiencing, especially caused by things you see on social media.** This...

Smiles Matter and Won’t Cost You a Dime!

To be avoided if possible: perfect gifts, kitchen slavery, mandatory cheerfulness. “Friends and family” is a familiar phrase this time of year, but not everyone has family or friends that can or even want to spend time together. Advertising and social media makes it...

Cheerfulness: Its Influence Upon Heath (1915)

“The brain of an irritable person is overcrowded with blood and that of itself is a cause of disease. It’s most important, then, that we cultivate happy dispositions; dispositions which make others comfortable; dispositions which laugh at slight troubles and accept...

Milestone: 10,000 Books and Counting

Numbers don’t lie. But in case they do, I double checked. My book, Emerging from the Heartache of Loss, has now sold 10,134 copies. Now this 10,000 milestone won’t rock the publishing world, but it’s rocking mine. To think that I had a part in helping 10,000 hearts to...

VOTE: Priority #1 This Week

It never before felt so good to vote. I’ve never felt so desperate to get us all on a track beyond name calling and rock throwing. Voter turnout is always discouraging, and I’ve wondered how different the outcome would be if 99% of us voted for the people and measures...

The Case for Smiling: Do It More!

A smile says, “Welcome.” A smile says, “You matter.” Moods can shift dramatically with this simple gesture — both for the smiler AND the smilee. I know this for sure because when I see someone smiling at me, my face automatically smiles back. And I feel more relaxed....

Changing Perspective Calms the Rage

Avoiding the subject of politics this week is tough for me. I’ve got it on my mind… a lot. However, in keeping with my blogging vow to uplift instead of bitch, I have no choice but to try and avert my attention to the “glass-is-half-full perspective. It ain’t easy,...

Knowing Someone Cares is Like Gold

“You can tell if someone really cares what you’re going through. They are watchful enough to know when to leave you alone and helpful enough to assure you that you’re not. Your lousy day can change with the smallest of gestures: someone asking how you’re doing and...

Making Time for Unexpected Visitors: Pig Alert!

Picture this: Suddenly there’s a pig in your backyard. You don’t know where it came from. You don’t know where it’s going. Quick, grab the phone. Never mind that you’re still in your jammies. That was the scene from my couch yesterday at 7:00 AM. Mid-sip morning...

Weeding Out Habits: Make Room for Change

Habits dig ruts so slowly you don’t even realize it. Pretty soon you’re doing the same thing in the same way all the time… year after year after year. And when a behavior becomes automatic, the decision-making part of your brain starts snoozing. It’s why we can so...

Coming Out of the Closet: Me & My SmartPhone

Coming out of the closet is part of my master plan. I’m coming out of the “flip-phone” closet by getting my very first smartphone. Welcome to the 21st century—15 years late! It’s not that I’m a computer-phobe. I’ve been a Mac fan since day one, love my desktop...

Tech-ing yourself to death!

“I saw a guy at the Starbucks today. No iPhone, no tablet, no laptop. He just sat there, drinking coffee. Like a psychopath.” To whomever mixed these words together, thank you for your genius.