Let’s face it, life is hard. Relationships are work, raising children is work, and our careers place so much strain on us. We are pulled in many directions daily. Not to mention the losses we experience in our lives.
God gave us a way to deal with all of this stress which is simple and free. Laughter. He programmed us with it. When we have the ability to laugh at ourselves, we lower our stress level, enjoy what we do, and feel better.
Laughter also helps in situations of high stress. It can defuse confrontation and lead to a new friendship. Laughter is the medicine that you don’t need a prescription for.
“Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals.” From an article on HELPGUIDE.ORG.
It is important to learn the difference between laughing with someone as opposed to laughing at someone. And it is important to not take yourself so seriously that you cannot laugh at yourself.
I am blessed to have kids with a great sense of humor. When we are together the laughter doesn’t stop. I am usually the object of the laughter. The kids begin a dialogue about what I would do or say as they were growing up. They kid me about the way I dance and the fact that I am not coordinated enough to golf. It’s done with love and I feel blessed that we all can laugh about our lives.
It has been said, “A day without laughter is a day wasted”. Such a true statement. Laugher brings joy and happiness to your life no matter what sadness you are going through.
When my husband died, we were devastated. His death was unexpected. When the kids and I were together planning his memorial along with the tears was laughter as we reminisced about his life and quirks. With laughter, you can get through anything.
So, have a good laugh today, and make it a habit. You’ll feel better.
I have always loved the water. I think watching rivers flowing, ocean waves rolling onto the beach, and lakes with gentle ripples very relaxing. I also love to photograph them.
What scares me to death is the thought of getting into a rubber raft and riding over the rapids of a river. I just cannot imagine taking that kind of chance with my health. However, I don’t mind watching other people being foolish by riding the rapids.
I don’t think I was such a scaredy cat when I was young, but now at the ripe old age of (well much older), I readily admit my fears. And to be honest, once you become a parent, your priorities change. You are no longer responsible for only yourself. Someone depends on you for everything for many years. That may have been the beginning of my fear of reckless behavior.
Our lives are journeys that take us through childhood into adolescence and the terrible teen years bring us to the brink of young adulthood. Our perspectives change with each stage of our journey. What excites us and inspires us in one phase, often bores us or frightens us in a later phase.
What remains are our memories of the good times we spent in our earlier years and as we reminisce about them with our old friends we sheepishly admit to each other that we were just a little bit crazy attempting some of the things we did.
Have you ever known someone who keeps a buffer around themselves? They are friendly, but keep a safe distance from others. I am not talking about personal space. But emotionally distant. I often wonder what has happened to them in their development that makes them act in this way.
Our personalities are formed early in our development when we are small children. Our environment plays a big part in that development. Where we live, how we live, how our parents react to us and our interactions with outsiders to our families.
Without realizing what is happening, we store our experiences in our minds and hearts in the form of feelings. Some of us keep those feelings in a bubble of protection around us and often are not able to cross that barrier. Sometimes that is a good thing, sometimes not so much.
Our psyche is so fascinating to me. The ability of our minds to protect us is almost unbelievable and is one of the things that make us human. We were created to interact, support, help, and love each other whether or not we utilize a “safety bubble”.
To be a good mentor you must encourage, support, and develop a relationship which enables purposeful conversation with your mentoree. Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to have had wonderful mentors who made a lasting impression on my life.
Mentoring’s purpose is to develop particular skills in the mentored person and to facilitate problem-solving, and goal achievement. When you are a mentor you will also learn from this relationship. As this relationship grows, trust develops and the process becomes successful.
There are several ways to mentor. Informal mentoring happens spontaneously. Most people become mentors this way even in the workplace. However, there are many formal mentoring programs for working with kids, co-workers, church members, and just about any situation that we find ourselves in.
When I joined my quilt guild, I had never made a quilt before. I joined because I had always wanted to learn how to quilt. I walked into the meeting and was met by Donna and she had me sit with Anne. We spent that meeting doing charity work for our community. I learned how to tie a quilt. I was ecstatic! 🙂
Donna took me under her wing and became my mentor. I learned so much from her, and because of her mentoring, I became confident in my quilting. Now, I find myself helping newer quilters in the same way. Our guild has a Buddy Program for new members who are matched up with someone who has been a member. It’s our own type of mentoring program. It is a shame that the program is not utilized more often.
I would suggest becoming a mentor. You will receive so much from the experience.
I have always been fascinated with the tides of the ocean. I could sit on the beach or on a pier and watch the ocean for hours. There is nothing more relaxing to me. Depending on which beach I am on, the tides appear different. Sometimes I have to move my chair back several times as the tide comes in, or down closer to the water as the tide goes out.
Years ago, I visited Hawaii and noticed a difference between the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans as the tides changed. And when I was in the Caribbean I noticed the difference between the Atlantic and Caribbean where they meet. The changes in the color, clarity, and temperature of the water during the same time of year are amazing to me.
The tides of our oceans are attributed to the gravitational pull of the sun and moon which cause the water level to rise and fall but vary depending on where the moon and sun are in relation to the ocean as the earth rotates on its axis. This pull causes two bulges in the ocean on opposite sides of the earth. Since the moon is much closer, it has more power to pull the tides than the sun and it is the primary source creating tides.
This is a wonderful No matter how many times I observe these changes, I am still amazed at the creation of our planet, and feel very blessed to be able to enjoy the oceans changing tides.
It had been years since I was back to my hometown. After college, I had taken a job on the west coast, met my husband and that’s where we made our home. Over the years we had come back to visit my family so the kids could get to know their grandparents, but only once or twice a year. My parents had died fifteen years ago which is when my last visit to my hometown was.
I couldn’t believe that my boss had given me this client. I had thought my traveling days were over. After all, there have to be some perks when you stay with a firm for as long as I had been at mine. But, he did and here I was sitting on a plane on my way back to my roots.
I couldn’t resist the urge to drive by our old house. It still looked the same, but different somehow too. I had a vague feeling of longing as I sat in my car looking at the kids playing in the yard. I was remembering all the fun I had had playing there with my friends so many years ago. As I drove off to meet my client, I began wondering if any of them were left in town.
After my meeting, I checked into my hotel, changed and went to dinner. As I was eating I looked across the room and saw a woman looking at me. She seemed familiar, but I wasn’t sure. I walked over to her and realized that it was Janet, my best friend from my childhood. We hugged and filled each other in on all the years we had spent apart. It was just a wonderful surprise to my trip.
We decided to meet the next day for a late lunch before I had to catch my flight back home. As we sat together at lunch those vague feelings came back to me. The kind of feelings that let you know you always have a special tie to the home where you grew up. That there is something special about where you were raised and the friendships that came and went in your childhood that are like wearing a comfortable sweater that keeps you safe and warm.
We said goodbye with promises to keep in touch this time. As my plane took off I was a little sad to be leaving where I had grown up but was happy to be getting back to my husband and our home.
I recently thought about a long-lasting outcome of a decision I made when I was a teen that still impacts my life today.
I was never much of a joiner when I was younger. I never liked being told that I had to do something by someone else. I was a chubby little girl so my mother sent me to dance classes hoping it would get me more active. Needless to say, it failed miserably. I was uncoordinated, I hated the repetition of the dance steps. I hated wearing a leotard. So I quit.
The next thing my mother put me in was Girl Scouts. We met around the corner from our house in a church basement. At first, I thought it was fun. But it wasn’t long before I realized that it took a lot of dedication to earn the coveted badges for my sash. I earned a few, but then I lost interest. It wasn’t long before I gave that up too. Maybe I lost my taste for girl scouts because my little brother had to come with me because my parents were at work. You know how little brothers can be.
So I went along with my life of playing with barbies, going to school, and just being with my friends. I ice skated in the winter, roller skated, rode my bike, and spent many hours in the pool swimming. No matter what I did, I never joined any other clubs or groups.
As a teen, I finally decided to partake in a drum corps. A friend from school talked me into joining. It was the first time that I ever joined a group where I felt welcomed and at home. I made many long-lasting friendships during my years there one of whom, Pat is my son’s godmother.
So when I moved here to North Carolina, I joined a quilt guild. It has been the best thing I have ever done. I never would have joined had I not given the drum corps a try. It’s amazing how a decision in my teens made such an impact on my life now. We are always told growing up that what we do as teens can impact the rest of our lives; usually when we have gotten into trouble of some sort. I am happy that my decision impacted my life positively.
I have been exploring the origins of names of some quilt blocks that have been around for years. One of my favorite blocks is the Churn Dash.
The Churn Dash is one of the oldest 9-Patch quilt block patterns. It came about sometime between 1800 and 1849. The block got its name because it resembled the triangle and rectangle perimeter of the block to a butter churn and the center square to the stick or “dash” of the butter churn.
This was one of the first patterns that young girls learned. It’s simplicity of rectangles, triangles, and squares also provide a challenge for advanced quilters because it lends itself well to intricate designs.
A few years ago I participated in a block exchange. This was the block we used. I still haven’t put them together. I had actually forgotten about the blocks until today when I immediately thought about the churn dash after checking on the daily prompt.
I spent Easter with my family at my daughter Samantha’s home. My granddaughter Alannah got slime in her Easter basket. You heard me right, SLIME! Now, when I was growing up anything with a name like SLIME was considered nothing less than toxic. But this generation of munchkins is a new breed.
Alannah was sitting at the kitchen table playing with this green sparkling glowing sticky stuff. It was shaking and spreading all over the place. I touched it and got the heebee jeebies from it. YUK! She kept asking me if I thought it was pretty. After telling her no a dozen or more times I realized that she was not getting the answer she wanted from me and finally responded with a resounding yes.
The worst thing I can remember was silly putty. And all that was good for was copying the Sunday comics with. I vaguely remember my kids having something called slime now that I think about it. It was a fluorescent green runny substance that was made popular by a TV show.
Whatever happened to getting stuffed lambs and chicks in your Easter Basket with the candy the famous rabbit brought?
SLIME aside, we did have a wonderful day spent outside in the sunshine, warm temperature, and gentle breeze. The birds were serenading us and it was just the perfect family day.
Here’s a picture of the cardinal that joined us yesterday.
When a Cardinal appears in your yard it is a visitor from Heaven.