I Am…Cards

I am…thankful

Today is Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. It is a day when I usually sleep in, take a walk, watch the Macy’s Holiday Day parade, visit family and friends, cook and eat lots of food, watch a little football and some years go to the movies. This year I won’t be doing any cooking.

During the dinner meal is a wonderful  time for everyone including children to share what they are thankful for. I am grateful for the wonderful meal that is being prepared for me. I have lots more to be thankful for including the birth of my granddaughter 3 months ago. Since my dinner is being taken care of by someone else I went to Safeway and participated in their Hunger Bag program by making a purchase to support local food banks. I also sent a floral arrangement to decorate the home I will be celebrating in.

Research shows that thankful people are happier. The Institute of HeartMath has recognized that being thankful improves the heart’s rhythmic functioning, which helps us to reduce stress, think more clearly under pressure and heal physically. Doesn’t that sound good? Remember it is physiologically impossible to be stressed and thankful at the same time.

Being in a state of thankfulness is doable. Let’s build a strong muscle of thankfulness. The more we work this muscle the stronger it gets. Here are a couple of ways to develop and grow this muscle. Today Thanksgiving would be a great day to start a gratitude journal. Write down what happened each day that you are thankful for.

On a daily basis, tell someone how thankful you are for something. Could be their friendship. Tell fellow employees, friends, family, and even perfect strangers! Let’s help make this a world of grateful, thankful giving and receiving people.

If you are taking a walk you could add saying out loud what you are thankful for. Doing this first thing in the morning will lead to your having a positive day.

How will you be celebrating Thanksgiving this year? Whether you practice a traditional Thanksgiving celebration or are making new traditions and memories, I wish you a very happy and healthy holiday!

Quotes on Thanksgiving:

“Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude.” – E.P. Powell

“Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day.” – Robert Caspar Lintner

“Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.” – W.T. Purkiser

It’s Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day

Actually it was Feb 18th. For some reason my blog did not post. Here is what I think about this special day.

I am sure there are a lot of kids out there who would enjoy having ice cream for breakfast. I could see putting some on a warm waffle and watching it melt.

Looks like this special day started by in the 1960’s one winter when a mother, Florence Rappaport from New York was trying to deal with her six children’s boredom from the cold and snow outside. The kids were getting restless. She decided to ask if they would like ice cream for breakfast. I am imagining they were thrilled with the idea. And it is no surprise that her children remembered the next year to celebrate this day again. Thus a tradition was born.

This Day is now celebrated world-wide. Celebrations have been as small as a family –style gathering to large parties.  Why not get out more than just ice cream. How about adding some real whipped cream, chocolate syrup, and maraschino cherries?

Bottom line. Take this opportunity to spend the morning enjoying time with family and or friends. Especially if you can get everyone to put down their phones and connect with each other.

So why not celebrate Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day this year? I am thinking some butter pecan. Yum.

By |February 18th, 2016|Affirmations, I Am...Cards, Inspirational, positive thinking, uplifting|Comments Off on It’s Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day|

I am…a writer

Last Saturday I attended the first Sierra Writers Conference which was held in Grass Valley, CA. I had never been on the Sierra College campus before and a got lost trying to find the building where the event was held. Light rain was falling so reading signs wasn’t as easy as hoped for. All that said I still arrived before the program started. Actually it started at time the schedule stated. And it ended on time as well. I like that they respected our time and/or that they were impeccable with their word. I found several fellow members of Gold Country Writers were in attendance. I was fortunate enough to sit with them at start of program. They were in the first row and there were only two seats left when I showed up.  Color me lucky.

Program started with a keynote speaker who has written four novels as well as screenplays.  He pointed out that self understanding leads to writing ideas. I especially loved this quote “In dance there are no mistakes only Solos” and then we broke into workshops. I had four to pick from: Poetry, Script Writing, Fiction and Young Adult Novels. There didn’t seem to be one that held my interest so I stayed in the main building for speaker in that room. It was cold outside too and a little wet. This gave me another reason to just stay where I was. Speaker in main room was Kim Culbertson who writes fiction books for Young Adults. She was a very enthusiastic speaker. One comment she made that I had figured out is to read lots of books on the subject your writing about. I am writing my second book. This one on Letting Go and I have several books on this topic in my house to look at. I find they helped me to organize the chapters and points I want to be sure to cover. Her books are published by Scholastic. She noted that when you self-publish you can control your title and cover. Not an option for her and she is okay with that.

After this breakout round we had time for a snack before attending another workshop. I had to decide among another four: Mysteries, Inspirational, Non-fiction and Memoir. This time I had two that thought I would like to attend: Non-fiction or inspirational. I decided on inspiration. I learned the name of a couple of publishing companies in my area that handle spiritual writing. And I heard again that having an editor is very important. So glad I have one I love working with.

Final part of conference was back in main auditorium. There was a three member panel to talk about publishing and answer our questions.  They brought up the Writer’s Market Guide: The most trusted guide to getting published. I had never heard of this book before. Inspirational writing workshop also mentioned it. Sounds like a book I should seek out at the library.

All and all I think this was good event. A chanced to learn more tools for being a published, receive encouragement to keep writing and an opportunity to connect with other authors.

I hope they have another one next year.

Here’s to more writing and finishing my book this Spring.

 

I am…an extra

A first for me. I was an extra in a movie. I had to travel to Cameron Park to be in Mama’s Boy the Movie. My girl friend is on the crew and she posted in Facebook that they needed lots of extras for the movie. Their big ask was for individuals in their late teens to early twenties for school scenes. I certainly didn’t qualify to be a student but there were two scenes I was able to be in. The graduation and outside the hospital.

I received an e-mail late the night before changing the time I was to arrive and where to park. I had to be in a parking lot at a church by 11:30 to catch shuttle to location. I was challenged with road construction and yet I managed to arrive right on time. Here is the funny thing we were thinking a shuttle like vehicle would show up when this fellow in a Camry stops at church as driver to shuttle us to location. I was on the first trip over to location along with three others. I guess he gets credit for how many people he carries as we each had to give him our first name which he wrote down on a clipboard. Next step was to stand in the shade as it was going to be a very warm day and wait to read release form, sign on check in sheet, show our ID and leave our email address. Then it was back to the shade to wait. Then they decided to let us go sit by swimming pool under umbrella picnic tables. This is when the real waiting started. They said it looked like they were on schedule and after lunch at 1pm we would start filming. Well, 1:00 went by and we weren’t called. It was after 2:30 before they came and took several people to be part of graduation ceremony. I feel really lucky to get to visit with a friendly group of people while waiting to be called into filming. So this gal comes out and asks us if we have any funny stories from graduation. Then she asks when attending this graduation who would we be? I responded: Grandmother to a student.  Back to waiting and around 2:45 a fellow comes over wants to know if we would like to wait inside an air-conditioned room. To which we all say yes. We follow him and pick up bottles of water and snacks on the way. Big sigh as I walk inside. We knew it was very warm outside but so comfortable when we got inside. Then we offered us the leftover food from crew lunch. They had salad, pulled pork, tortilla chips, salsa and artichoke dip. I had a little salad. Then the call finally came for all of us to follow my friend into the graduation scene. I was directed to stand in a row along with other extras behind everyone who was seated. Then they put a row of four chairs behind an empty row of chairs. Next thing you know my friend tells this gentleman next to me to go sit down. Then she tells me to sit next to him, then Cheri a gal I met while waiting is directed to sit next to me and finally another fellow sits next to her. Here is the fun it turns out I was sitting right behind the lead character’s family. His mother, father and brother.  They came and sat in that empty row in front of us.

After the shot my girl friend said she could see my face framed behind the family so it looks like I will be in the film. We had a short break and then went out in front of the building to be friends standing outside the hospital looking up at room where Kelly the lead character is staying. Some people were given flowers to hold, signs with message like Home Run Kelly, and balloons. I was given two star shaped balloons. One was gold and the other was blue. I was standing on side but gal on a ladder was moving us around and she asked me to move sideways. I moved a little to the edge of a planter where ground cover roses were growing. Being up on a ladder she couldn’t see that I had an obstacle next to me. She asked me to move more to my right which I did but my skirt got caught on the roses for a minute. I ended up standing right next to the flag pole. We rehearsed talking among ourselves, seeing Kelly in the window, cheering and then chanting his name.  We did a couple of takes and they even had crew join the clip so the crowd would look even larger. The director came and stood in front of me along with two other members of the crew.

I have no idea when this movie will be released. There is more filming. The next day Gary Bushey who plays Kelly’s baseball coach will be on set. They only want students for tomorrow so I won’t be attending. Then next week there is a scene at a church in Rocklin CA but I am out of town so will miss that as well.  This was my big day and after lots of sitting around waiting I did get to be part of this movie. One of those first time experiences off the bucket list.

I have heard the comment “Do something new every day”. I certainly accomplished that today.

I am…peaceful

Prayer flags

Prayer flags

How about that message for starting the week? Focus on being filled with peace and radiating peace to everyone you meet.

This week starts with today being International Day of Peace as established by the United Nations. One can go back to Sept 1982 to observe the first such day. This year’s theme is ” Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All”. The U.N. General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and people.

On Saturday the 19th I went to a Playing for Peace Festival. It was held at the Spiritual Center for Positive Living in Cameron Park, CA. There were four bands that performed two of them being The Random Strangers and Ascension.  Plus, speakers on peace like Buddhist Monk, Geshe La Tsultrim and Reverend Dr. Patti Weber. It was a very warm afternoon but I enjoyed volunteering at the entrance table and being part of this lively event.

How can we help to raise the focus on peace in the world? We could demonstrate peace in our own life. Are you with me on this?

Namaste.

Quotations on Peace:

“Watch your manner of speech if you wish to develop a peaceful state of mind. Start each day by affirming peaceful, contented and happy attitudes and your days will tend to be pleasant and successful.” – Norman Vincent Peale
“Ballots are the rightful and peaceful successors to bullets.” – Abraham Lincoln
“A smile is the beginning of peace.” – Mother Teresa

“Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek but a means by which we arrive at that goal.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

 

 

Arrrr you a Pirate?

Today I am…a pirate. ARRRR

Yarr! Let’s celebrate. Where is my eye patch? Mention of this day and I thought of Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean and I was just in a program with Mary Morrissey and during week Nine we had a lesson from point of view of a pirate named Jack. We were encouraged to stay the course, face the storm, do it afraid and go for the dream which we affirm as Jack the pirate would with an “Arrr”. Anyway, with Talk Like A Pirate Day you are encouraged to inject pirate-themed words and noises into everything you say. Talk like a pirate at home, at work, with friends, on the phone and to everybody you meet; top it off by dressing like a pirate, too!

ARRRR you ready?

Quotes on Pirate:

 . “The average man will bristle if you say his father was dishonest, but he will brag a little if he discovers that his grand-father was a pirate.” – Bern Williams
 

. “Even pirates, before they attack another ship, hoist a black flag.” – Bela Kiraly

. “Life’s pretty good, and why wouldn’t it be? I’m a pirate, after all.” – Johnny Depp

 . “There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” – Walt Disney

 . “Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates.” – Mark Twain from Life on the Mississippi

I am…reading (Read a Book Day)

Read a book day, really. How about read a book every day. I don’t read  a whole book every day and I doubt that is the intent of “Read a Book” day. I do spend some time each day reading a book. That seems to centerI-am-transforming-book, entertain, and expand my mind. Reading to my grandson is something I look forward to doing. Haven’t gotten the opportunity yet but I have given him some fun books. One with a finger puppet of a giraffe. His baby shower theme was giraffe and he has lots of them as stuffed animals.

Ok, back to reading. I started to laugh when I saw read a book. Funny, I have several books I am reading at the same time. One for a class I am taking, another on meditation, one on using social media for marketing, a couple on letting go to help me with writing my latest book. And I get emails on a regular basis for free e-books which I download to my Kindle fire. There are so many places one can find books to read besides the traditional book store. I already mentioned online. There is your local public library. There is a lending library in the community where I live. They also loan books on tape another fun way I  to listen to books. Twice a month I take a three hour drive so having a book on tape helps the time to pass quicker, plus I am entertained. You can find books at garage sales, yard sales and friends of library sales. Lots of book finding options.

The intent of Read a Book Day is to get people reading. Could include reading something that inspires you, reading to children, donating a book to children’s school library or to host a book reading party. How do you plan to spend this day? I plan to take some time today to relax and read. I hope you have something to read that feeds the soul and the mind?

Quotations on reading a book:

A book is a dream that you hold in your hand.- Neil Gaiman

If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should adsk him what books he reads.-Ralph Waldo Emerson

There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all. – Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him. – Maya Angelou

I am…camping

What you see when camping

What you see when camping

We did lots of this when I was growing up. My favorite memory is when I got to sleep on my own inside our one wheel trailer. My dad made a tent over it. Then I grew too big and didn’t fit in it anymore. My brother got to sleep in the trailer next. We went to parks in northern California. Standish-Hickey State Recreation area was our favorite place to camp at. Each day we hiked a long trail down to the North Fork of Eel River to swim and eat lunch. Several years later they put in a road and campsites on the other side of the river which made reaching the river much easier. I read lots of books during those vacations.

When I got married we spent almost every summer camping, hiking and back packing in Yosemite. I like being to be outdoors in the fresh air. In the summer time we would also ride bicycles around the Valley. It wasn’t so much fun over the memorial day weekend in 1980 because of the Mammoth Lake 6.0 earthquake. Rocks were falling off the walls and onto trails and roads. Some of these rocks were the size of pickup trucks. The park actually closed the exit for awhile to clear and make roads safe to travel on. I remember our family riding bicycles to El Capitan meadow as we had another after shock. I was in the lead and thought the car ahead of me was moving. Turns out I was actually seeing the earth rolling up and down from the aftershock. One winter my husband and I cross country skied out to Glacier Point and camped overnight. It was very foggy as we arrived there but during the night I woke to moonlight. Zipped open the VE24 tent to see a full moon over Half Dome. It was a spectacular sight.

I have lots of fond memories from my camping trips. Like singing around the campfire and roasting marshmallows to make smores. Oh, and let’s not forget the smelly stuff I would lather on to stop mosquitoes from biting. This was especially important during a hike to a lake early one spring in Yosemite high country. And then there is sunscreen also lathered on before hiking. I found how important that was one year as I got the back of my ears sun burned on a hike to Water Wheel falls. I had pulled my hair back into a pony tail and neglected to put enough sunscreen on the that area. Very uncomfortable. Lesson learned.

I think the following John Muir quote is so true. “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity…” – John Muir. Here’s to spending time going home. I am…camping. How about you?

Light hearted Quotes on camping:

“Some national parks have long waiting lists for camping reservations. When you have to wait a year to sleep next to a tree, something is wrong.” – George Carlin

Camping is nature’s way of promoting the motel business. – Dave Barry

I am…patient

My bookkeeping clients are always telling me I am a patient instructor when teaching them to use accounting software. I don’t really notice that I am demonstrating patience but I am able put them at ease by not rushing the training process. Thus they learn with ease. I calmly sit beside them as I instruct and watch them follow the steps to make and record entries within the program. I give them time to write notes is they want to. I do remember one client once that kept talking and talking through the process and part of we wanted to just say please press the enter button so we can move on. I mentally released that thought, took a deep breath and they finished the step when they were ready.

Another way I seem to demonstrate patience is in dealing with the client folder of questions and un-reconciled issues. They put the things that make them anxious in the “Joy Folder” and wait for me to come and quietly resolve them. Putting problems in there makes them comfortable patiently waiting for me to arrive. This folder sometimes include things like a letter from the IRS. That seems to scare them when in most cases I find reading the letter over there is an easy answer to what it all means.

Patience promotes better health. That means it reduces anxiety and helps keep blood pressure under control. Making patience a heart healthy habit that sustains us. I like the sound of that.

Final thought: Where have you demonstrated patience today?

Quotes on patience:
Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Patience is the companion of wisdom.” – Saint Augustine

“Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow-that is patience.” – Author unknown

“The keys to patience are acceptance and faith. Accept things as they are, and look realistically at the world around you. Have faith in yourself and in the direction you have chosen.” – Ralph Marston

“Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping your gears.” – Barbara Johnson

Beacons of Light being honored

National Lighthouse Day honors and commemorates a beacon of light that symbolizes safety and security for boats at sea.

On August 7, 1789, through an Act of Congress, the Federal Government took over responsibility for building and operating our nation’s lighthouses. The government recognized the importance to ships at sea to find safe harbor during fog and storms. Over the years, lighthouses have saved many ships, and an untold number of lives.
Throughout maritime history, Lighthouses have shined their powerful, sweeping lights through the fog and storms, allowing ships of all kinds to find their way back to port during inclement weather. With the advent of radar and GPS technology, lighthouses have taken a back seat in guiding ships to port. However, they remain the universal symbol of safe harbor to ships and communities that rely upon the sea for their livelihood.

The last lighthouse I saw was Point Arena in Northern California. I did not climb up inside as my mother wasn’t able to climb the steps with me.

Lighthouses no longer shine a beacon of safety and security but we can be that beacon of light? Spreading joy and hope to those we find in need. I am…a beacon of light.

Have you been a beacon of light for someone you met or know? I hope so. We can all shine our light and raise the vibration in our community.

Quotes on Lighthouse:

“We are told to let our light shine, and if it odes, we won’t need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shining- they just shine.” Dwight L. Moody.

“A fallen lighthouse is more dangerous than a reef.” – Proverb

“Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save, they just stand there shining. – Anne Lamott