Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Mindset ~ kindness

This morning, I read advice in the Ask Amy column about helping a child deal with stress before bedtime, but I like the suggestion for adults as well.  How would my mindset change if I pondered these questions at the end of every day?
  1. “What was your least favorite part of this day?” (negative)
  2. “What was your favorite part of the day?”  (positive)
  3. “How did you show kindness today?”  (very positive)
At the very least, I would be more focused on positive things at bedtime:  something I enjoyed about the day, plus some kind thing I did.  As Amy says, "These questions at the end of each day will help [me] to modulate [my] behavior during the day and put [my] own story into context at night."

The photo above, which I found online, is one I've seen several time.  It was originally with a story about a man who took off his shoes (they look like sandals) and gave them to a homeless yound woman with no shoes.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Monday Mindfulness ~ more happiness

Click calendar to enlarge it.
It's the third week of this year, so it's time to pull up another seven days from the Happiness Calendar.

Jan. 15 ~ Make something happen for a good cause.
Jan. 16 ~ Take a different route today and see what you notice.
Jan. 17 ~ Put a worry into perspective and try to let it go.
Jan. 18 ~ Get outside and notice five things that are beautiful.
Jan. 19 ~ Eat healthy food which really nourishes you today.
Jan. 20 ~ Have a friendly chat with a stranger.
Jan. 21 ~ Switch off all your tech two hours before bedtime.

Yesterday's happiness suggestion was "Get back in touch with an old friend you miss."  I called my friend Hamilton in Chattanooga, and we talked for almost two hours.  I emailed her links to this blog, to the website for the Crown Center where I live, and to my Facebook page, so now she and I are FB friends.  I took the photo above last spring out by our gazebo, but it's snowing out there tonight as I set this up to post in a couple of hours.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sunday Stories ~ sisters

Although it wasn't a favorite novel, Five Fortunes by Beth Gutcheon did take me back to a memory from junior high school.
"Carter and Rae, arm in arm in their sweat clothes, were singing 'Sisters ... Sisters ... Never were there such devoted sisters...'  Apart from the fact that Carter was eight inches taller and thirty years younger than Rae, they were quite convincing" (p. 68).
I remember the lyrics a bit differently:  "There were never" instead of "Never were there."  So I googled and found here that my memory of the lyrics was correct.  I also discovered it was sung in the 1954 movie "White Christmas," helping me find a photo for this post and also date the story this passage evoked for me.

Ada Rentfro and I met on our first day of 7th grade at East Side Junior High School in Chattanooga.  I found that link showing the school many years before we arrived there in the fall of 1952, but Mr. Tallant was our principal, just as he was in the 1940s.  Ada and I met because we were in the same homeroom, which included both R and S, for Rentfro and Setliffe, our family names.  We also sat near each other in band and orchestra classes with Mr. Baker and Mrs. McClearen, respectively.

I don't remember WHY we did it, but I do remember borrowing an accordian and learning to play it, so Ada and I could go onstage in front of the whole school to sing "Sisters, Sisters."  Yes, once I was able to play and sing at the same time!  I think we were in 8th grade when we sang.  After graduating, we went on to Chattanooga High School, where we once again played in band and orchestra together.  Here's a high school photo of me holding my bassoon.

Now for the good part of this story.  I was tall, and Ada was short.  The top of her head was just about at my shoulder.  There was a comic strip called Mutt and Jeff, one tall, one diminutive, as you can see in this picture.  Our friends called us "Mutt and Jeff," especially after we stood on stage side by side to sing our song.

In Beth Gutcheon's novel (see quote above), one of the women was eight inches taller than the other.  And the two in the book were singing OUR song, the one Ada and I bravely belted out in junior high school.

Ada and I were the same age, with our birthdays only a month apart.  I remember the fun times when we sang, played in musicals, marched in the band during halftimes, and even beyond school.  She was in my wedding, we both worked at Sears for a time after high school, and we knew each other's children — her five and my three.  We'd meet for lunch to laugh and talk, even though we lived across town from each other, and stayed friends until the day she died in 1992, when we were only 52 years old.  I still miss you, Ada.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Caturday ~ extra treats for kitties

  • Oct 29 is National Cat Day
A quick search tells us that
  • March 28 is Respect Your Cat Day
  • May 30 is International Hug Your Cat Day
  • June 15 is World Catnip Awareness Day
  • June 25 is Take Your Cat to Work Day
  • August 8 is World Cat Day
  • Sept 1 is Ginger Cat Appreciation Day
  • Oct 16 is Feral Cat Day
  • Oct 27 is National Black Cat Day.
I have a theory as to who is behind all of this. — by Sandra Boynton

Okay, Sandra Boynton may have done a quick search for all these dates, but I — Clawdia — am announcing it to the world on this special Caturday!  Yay, me!   (No, I don't care that it isn't October. I'm still a cat, aren't I?  And I'm black.  Why is this Caturday special?  Because I'm special, and I'm a cat.)

Clawdia, 'til next time  >^..^<

Friday, January 12, 2018

Beginning ~ with a decision

Do One Thing Different: And Other Uncommonly Sensible Solutions to Life's Persistent Problems ~ by Bill O'Hanlon, 1999, psychology
I came to the solution-oriented approach by a very personal route.  In 1971, I decided to kill myself.  Now, this may seem like a strange introduction for a book designed to inspire you, but that's where it all began for me.
These are not the first lines of the book, since they are near the bottom of the third page.  But this feels like where the book begins.  The author even calls these words "a strange introduction for a book."  At the beginning of the first chapter (on page one) is this epigraph.
Chapter 1
From Liabilities to Possibilities

Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living.  But
the (over)examined life makes you wish you were dead.
Given the alternative, I'd rather be living. — Saul Bellow
"Makes you wish you were dead" connects with what I think of as the beginning, where O'Hanlon says, "I decided to kill myself."  Yes, definitely a connection there.  And I definitely want to keep reading to find out how to "move quickly from stuck to smooth sailing in all aspects of [my] life."

Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays. Click here for today's Mister Linky.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Replace cemeteries with forests

Five years ago, I wrote on this blog Recycle in Peace (notice the R.I.P.).
Once you might have been buried under a tree. Now you can BE the tree. How would you like to grow into a tree after you die? This is a Bios Urn, a completely biodegradable urn that contains a single tree seed. When planted, the tree seed is nourished by and absorbs the nutrients from the ashes. The urn itself is made from coconut shell and contains compacted peat and cellulose. The ashes are mixed with this, and the seed placed inside. Because ashes are a good source of phosphorus, cremated remains serve as good fertilization for trees. You can even choose which type of tree you'd like to grow! So which would you prefer — leaving behind a tree or a tombstone?
I still think it's a great idea and plan to be cremated so I can either be buried this way or have my ashes scattered for lots of living plants to grow.
What do you think?  Isn't this is a great idea?

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Wednesday Words ~ just be you

On Monday, I shared a pig in a hammock (by Sandra Boynton) with the words:  "Just BE."  Today, I'm expanding on that idea, as you can see.  What do you want to be?  Right now, I mean.  Possible answers include some that are shown here, like:
  • be kind
  • be determined
  • be loving
  • be thoughtful
  • be generous
What does being yourself need more of right now?
  • be sassy
  • be persistent
  • be bold