Random Stuff

Sharing This 'n That

A hodge podge of random, eclectic observations and tips from my neck of the woods to yours.  No formal structure here-- just sharing this 'n that with my appreciated blog family!

February 15, 2021

In the Mood for Thai-ish Vegan Meal?

If you like a Thai inspired meal, check out one of my vegan recipe posts by clicking here.  And whether you are a plant-based devotee or not, I hope you are willing to experiment around with recipes in a fun and bold way. That is, add/delete/change them to fit your preferred tastes and experience with cooking (even if not all that much experience!) 

Happy mid-February to all and let's all think spring, right?!!

February 3, 2021

Reminders for Older Folks

I retweeted this article on Twitter today and appreciated its wisdom (for all adults regardless of age) and its brevity, Hope you agree: 

My 2/3/21 Tweet:

All ages can benefit from the great reminders in this quick and #WorthwhileReading article. Thanks, @erikaandersen !

6 Things 60-Year-Olds Don’t Get via @forbes http://onforb.es/1dW0ZK4 (via @erikaandersen )

Remember folks -- No matter our age, God ain't finished with us just yet!

January 13, 2021

What the %#*^!# Heck, 2021?!?!

Most of us (if not all) parted ways with 2020 beyond exhausted and reeling from the pandemic, separation from our loved ones, the extreme nastiness of politics, our ever-changing new "normals," and so much more.  We also had lots of hope for the new year ahead of us and we needed that.

But then the horrors of January 6 happened.  Suddenly, it's getting more and more challenging to stay positive, but we must. We must also be there for each other more than ever.  No one holds an exclusive on the disgust, overwhelming stress and concerns brought on by these surreal times. We're all feeling it.

With all that said, I still wish you a very healthy, peaceful and Happy New Year.  May it end up being a good one for you and your families.  

Fortunately, the unfolding of this brand new year is still at its beginning,  We can and must do our individual parts to make it a good one for ourselves and others.  Let's hang onto the hope that 2021 brings our country and all of us far more positives than negatives.

December 31, 2020

So Long 2020 

Now that it's here, it's actually kind of hard to believe. Hey! 2020 - You can exit NOW! If only a brand new year would mean a magical and instant disappearance of Covid-19,  all the family losses suffered, all the illness, the unknowns,  the continued racial disparities (and  sickening number of racists among us still) and the widespread economic damage -- just to name a few.

Well, we don't have that much needed magic wand and we will start tomorrow and 2021 with the same challenges, concerns and messes that 2020 brought into our lives. We will also start it, however, with quite a few silver linings from the past year. 

One of my silver linings from 2020 is my becoming even more mindful of the powerful truth of the words in the photo to the right (happiness doesn't mean there are no storms in our lives - it just means we've learned to dance in spite of the rain.) Another is the daily reminder (thanks to all the excessive influx of bad news) -- that the present moment truly is all we have, there really are no guarantees for a tomorrow, we must live each moment to the fullest and practice gratitude more than ever for our lives and all our blessings.  What are some of yours?

Wishing each of you and your families a very happy, healthy, peaceful and brighter year ahead

December 22, 2020

Good Riddance 2020, Tough Goodbyes and Gratefulness

It's almost time to say goodbye to 2020 and I doubt there are too many folks around that will be sorry to see it exit.  Whew, right?!  This year brought us horrifically massive numbers of forever goodbyes for families all over the globe due to Covid and, of course, because of other illnesses and disasters as well.  For our little farm family another type of dreaded goodbye came in December when we had to say goodbye to our horse and donkey herd leader for 20 years, Jessie.  It was finally his time to cross Rainbow Bridge (well known to animal lovers world wide  and you can click here for a printable version of the poem). And, if time permits, I invite you to check out one of my more recent posts about our sweet boy before he passed by clicking here.

As excited as I am about saying "Good riddance!" to 2020, however, I am going to focus primarily on life's blessings and the silver linings that 2020 brought my way.  Gratitude is perhaps the most underrated and yet critically essential health habit for every one.  Grateful mindfulness should be practiced daily if not hourly as it helps keep us grounded with forward moving, productive attitudes and a healing awareness of all the good around us.  This is so important to do especially if we're living 90 mph days where our busyness can paralyze our ability to be still, to be grateful, to be mindful.

Jessie was certainly one of the biggest blessings in our lives  - his goofy and heart-warming smiles, the awesome trail rides we shared and all the countless ways he proved to be our teacher.  We will be forever grateful for his presence in our lives.

What's on your 2020 grateful list as we get ready to say "Adios amigo, Don't let the door hit you on the way out and Good riddance to 2020??

November 29, 2020

Jessie - Always the Teacher

This is our oldest and very lame Tennessee Walker, “Jessie,” king of our little horse and donkey herd. His days left on his earth journey are likely all too few, but his playfulness, determination, sweetness and courage will continue to inspire us the rest of our lives. 

It will never cease to amaze me how much animals can teach us if we take the time to let them and if we keep our minds open to their wisdom. 

November 27, 2020

The Trolling of the American Mind

I saw this on Twitter today and it is indeed a thought-provoking piece written in 2018 (and I agree with the suggestion that you grab a cup of coffee and something good to eat first): 

"The Trolling of the American Mind" -- This piece is so good you should print it on thick paper, pour a cup of your best coffee, grab some leftover pie and the nice pen for underlining, by @jon_rauch, fall 2018 https://www.nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/the-constitution-of-knowledge (via @RidT)

November 23, 2020

A Day of Thanks and a Time for Tough Decisions Nationwide

First and foremost, I send my warmest and heartiest best wishes of good health and happiness to all as we approach the start of our 2020 holidays. 

Many are struggling with  whether or not to participate in group Thanksgiving celebrations while many have found the decision not to do so heartbreaking, but a no-brainer to make.

Whatever your decision, I wish you a wonderfully fun virtual celebration with loved ones or a very safe group gathering.

It's more important than ever to guard our blessings with wise, albeit very tough decisions -- and -- to be gratefully and steadfastly aware of them. 

Blessings everyone??

November 11,  Veterans Day 2020

Veterans Day, UnKnowns and Those Priceless Little Things

First of all, heartfelt appreciation to all our living and deceased veterans - my brave deceased Dad and Granddad included. May the loyalty to your country and your courage motivate all of us to be the best we can be as family members, employees, employers, friends and citizens.

This is indeed a challenging time to be an American and to stay healthy in the midst of an all too rapidly growing pandemic. The massive amount of unknowns about all of it can be overwhelming IF we don't keep our nerves and common sense nailed down securely. Likewise, it is important to keep ourselves focused on the moment at hand (vs. the zillion what if future scenarious we can imagine or the unpleasant past memories that can (if we let them) take up permanent residency in our minds).   

I, of course, have no magic answers for our global and shared stresses, but I do know that one of my best de-stressing "tools" is taking time to think about and appreciate all the little things in my life.

 I am talking about those things we may not see as gems in our lives, but that we'd quickly learn if they disappeared that they were indeed,

Some examples of the little things in my life that I consider blessings would be:  

  • ?Trying to stay focused on my yoga with calming music in the background yet still hearing the barks of our 4-legged family member or way too loud volume on the TV show my hubby is watching;
  • ?the unexpected text, email or best of all -- a call -- from one of our grown kids checking in on us, sharing their day or other news or just to say a quick hello and I love you.  Ditto that about our truest and faithful close friends through the years;
  • ?talking with our amazing grandkids, sharing laughs, smiles and updates and feeling so blessedly more than ever connected with him or her at that moment. 

Give some thought to the little things in your life each day - some of which might actually get on your nerves actually  (e.g. someone's loud chewing, the way the dishwasher was loaded and so much more), but if all of our little things (pleasant or annoying) suddenly stopped forever -- well, that annoyance might be something down the road that we would give just about anything to hear or see just one more time -- Yet  another reason to think about the little things in our lives -- to be mindful of them in the first place, to help ourselves see many of them as blessings in disquise and to appreciate them perhaps just a bit more.

November 3 (Finally!), 2020

Whew, Right?!?

None of us at this point have any idea of the outcome of our 2020 election yet. And at the risk of sounding like I'm rushing time (our most precious gift of all), I must admit it sure feels good to soon know that we'll be beyond 11/3/2020. 

Just praying for our country that things do not get ugly (as we say in the south) in the aftermath of this election.  It's sad any of us even think of that as a possibility, but as wonderful as life itself is -- today's world is definitely a dangerous and scary one in many ways.

So -- no matter your party affiliation or your candidate choices, I wish us all peace, good health and open minds.   I also hope whatever the election results may be that we all do our part to spread lots more kindness and understanding around vs. judgmental and critical attitudes. Enough of the latter already, right?!

P.S. The photo is a woodburning and colored pencil creation of mine (crafting has been a big stress manager for me during these pandemic-controlled days). It depicts two of our wonderful 4-legged family members and reminds us of their amazing courage and strength.  Horses also do a great job at constantly reminding us to get over ourselves -- if we heed their endless lessons for we human souls that is. 

October 24,  2020

Yahoo - A Great Keep 'em Tied Shoestring Tip

Okay, folks - FINALLY, I found a way to tie my shoe strings so that they stay tied all day long.  This should work whether you prefer round or flat shoestrings made of cotton, polyester or other materials.  

The YouTube link to it is below. Just beware - this guy's intro is a bit long, but hang in there because the technique he shares (and clearly demos for us) works great.  

Please let me know if you like it as much as I do: https://youtu.be/4OB8fK28CvY

October 16, 2020

Sharing Life with a Dog or Cat?

If your home is as full of as many hairy seats, moving obstacles and always hungry mouths as ours is, then you will totally relate to this post (Click Here).

And, if not, it may just be a good reminder of why you have opted to be a humans only kind of residence.???

October 1, 2020

Sharing Daily Smiles Not Frowns

Well, October is upon us ready or not and wishing everyone a great month.  Our leaves will give us nature's very own unique and gorgeous canvas soon, pumpkin spiced coffees will be back in the headlines and our sweaters and jackets are being brought out of storage.  

Let's all of us ensure we share LOTS more smiles this month than we do frowns.  They cost us nothing and bring joy to others whether short term or held warmly in their hearts forever.

September 22, 2020

Helloooo Fall - GoodBye Summer

Well,  Fall has officially arrived and with it nature's colorful and  all-too-quick-to-disappear gorgeous tree canvas.  The leaves are already changing in our neck of the woods. The temps hovered in the 30's one recent night and in case we weren't paying enough attention to summer's departure, last night's nippy winds offered us yet another clear reminder.

Before we get knee deep into our fall activities and to do's, our sweet 23 yo Velvet gave me a great reminder about the little things in life -- which really are the big things in the long run.

Yesterday's reminder was that we must never be too busy, too big or too blind to see and more importantly -- to just stop --and smell the flowers as we navigate through our busy days. 

 Flowers come in all shapes and sizes, but each one is beautiful in its own unique way - just like we humans are. Happy Fall y'all!

September 15, 2020

Transplanting Ourselves and Plants

If you've ever moved or are a plant transplanter, I believe you'll enjoy our most recent Guest Contribution. Just click here or on the photo.

Setpember 7, 2020

Make Chickpea Burgers and Get a Workout

Check this recipe out which for me even included a surprise little workout.

Just click here or the photo for the link and sure hoping everyone has had a great and healthy Labor Day.

September 6, 2020

Happy Labor Day and Happy Eggplant Dish

Hoping everyone is in the midst of a safe, fun and Happy Labor Day weekend. We have been blessed with beautiful weather at our little mountainside farm - you know, a truly delicious kind of day and the kind that you yearn for on the hottest, wettest, snowiest and coldest of days. 

Wishing you a great Labor Day and a heartfelt and respectful thank you to all our American workers past and present. For a good recap of why we even have a Labor Day holiday and some history on its 1894 origin, just click here.

And as for the Happy Eggplant Dish, it obviously has absolutely nothing to do with Labor Day ??‍♀️.  Please click here, however, if you like this wonderful fruit and want to explore an easy and yummy way to roast it for a delicious meal.  This tasty, crispy topping with brown rice and broccoli is now one of our top 5 favorite meals in our plant-based household. 

If you try this, please let me know how you liked it and also how you may have tweaked it to be more to your liking.  

Be safe out there, thanks for coming by and oh yes - we all must vote, right?!?

September 3, 2020

Need a Tagalong Helper? Hello "Gita"

The future is here with this cute little personal assistant robot, "Gita" that rolls loyally along  behind you while carrying your stuff. Check it out by clicking here for a video clip of "Gita" in action.  I  wonder if she is a city gal that prefers smoother surfaces or a country gal at heart that can handle an adventurous romp on a bumpy gravel road?

If you have a few thousand to spare and are liking the idea of a personal assistant on wheels, you will be happy to know you can order yours today. The company is a domestic one in Boston and sure they'd be more than happy to answer all your questions. For starters, however, click the photo for the company's website or click here for the company's Q & A page.

August 23, 2020

If You Like PJ's and Goats -- and Goats in PJ's

Like so many folks, I am constantly fighting off the exhaustion that roots from all the deaths and tragedies around the world including all the daily disruptions and challenges of Covid-19.  Perhaps most exhausting, however, is the non-stop flow of bullying, unproductive and brutally nasty politics.  It is truly unbelievable that our democracy has been allowed to be so disrespected and severely damaged by the POTUS and so many others.  

So! Whenever rebooting is needed for putting the bounce back into my step and  to reconnect with my positive attitude, I do many things like walking or other exercise. I also always make sure that:

1.  I keep imaginary pocket smiles from past joyful moments in my backpocket at all times. These little goats I saw on Twitter and that are in the photo to the right gave me a new pocket smile to tuck away. We never know when our attitudes and/or moods may need a good kicking or rebooting, right?  Just click here or on the photo to enjoy a few minutes with these cuties; and 

2.  I count (and recount!) my blessings (i.e. #Gratefulness) which really does make a difference in my attitude, the quality of my days and with the quantity of my smiles.

Please share your rebooting tips in the comment section below and thanks as always for stopping by.

August 15, 2020

Sharing a Smile

There's nothing funny about Covid-19 and all the horrific losses, costs and overwhelming changes it's brought to our world in such a short time. Keeping our attitudes upbeat, however, and sharing as many smiles with one another as possible is more important than ever. Thanks for stopping by today to let me share a few with you.

August 13, 2020

The Little Budweiser Donkey

Please visit this blog's section called "Our Animal Friends" (a subsection of Smiles+). And, IF nows feels like a good time for a smile break, clicking here or on the photo below should give you a fun moment or two.  Enjoy!

A Smile from Little Hee Haw Farm Too!

August 10, 2020

One Cool Cat

Oh to be as calm and cool as cats (make that some cats!).?  

Click here or on the photo below to see Mr. or  Miz Cool in action.

August 8,  2020

Meeting Up with a Bear - What To Do and Not Do

Click the photo to your right to see a pretty good article and video on how we should react and not react if we ever meet up with a bear.

August 7, 2020

Upping the Odds for Weekend Fun

I learned many, many years ago that if I want to ensure all the planned fun "stuff" of a weekend really happens then I'd best put it down in my calendar. Yes, this may sound a bit too business-like or overkill for weekend plans especially since we typically only make calendar entries for our appointments, business meetings, conference calls and the like.

The reality, however, is that like all our other days, the weekend flies by and is over before we know it.  I finally figured out that if I just made calendar entries with reminder alerts for all the fun moments planned -- well -- they just had a far better chance of happening. Reminders are helpful as we live our fully packed days plus we get distracted and redirected during the weekends just as easily as during our working days.

So! If you feel too many weekends fly by and you did not go on that hike you had meant to do, that you never got around to making that overdue call to a family member or friend, to trying out that new recipe or whatever, then I strongly urge you to try my little trick.  If not the right solution for you then try something else - life's too short to not maximize every second of all our days including our work-free time, right?!

August 4, 2020

Staying in Touch -- Before It's Too Late

Here's one of the retweets I shared today on Twitter. For most of us more "senior" types, we've learned (some times, unfortunately, in a very painful way) to heed the good advice within the article cited. A reminder for all ages every now and then, however, is a good thing -- before it's too late.

My Retweet

So painfully true and not something you want to learn after it’s too late. 

‘Sometimes, you just don’t get another chance to say what is on your mind’: A colleague gone, a fence mended. @danicakirka has today’s @AP Virus Diary. http://apne.ws/EO4y8IJ (via @AP)

August 1, 2020 (Helloooo August!)

Grateful, Cocky or Something In-Between?

GRATEFUL:    adj; Feeling or showing appreciation; thankful

COCKY:           adj; Arrogant; overly confident; conceited

I'm starting to think there are often two very different extremes when it comes to the attitudes displayed by those blessed with not having been infected by Covid-19.  Most people I believe are beyond grateful as I am -- but, then again, who could be unthankful for not having this potentially deadly virus?  I've heard others, however, speak about Covid-19 with what comes across as a brash over-confidence claiming that it's all being overblown -- that it won't happen to them or their family.  

Is this a type of denial, arrogance or cockiness perhaps? Well, whatever its best label may be, such an attitude is disturbingly frightening to me when I hear remarks like:  "Covid-19 risks are being overblown by the media."; "If I or anyone else gets it, the symptoms will most likely be mild ones, if any."; "The death statistics can't be believed."'  "I'm not wearing a mask.". 

There is indeed all too much Covid-19 data confusion and a lack of steady, trustworthy leadership to help guide us through the ever-changing maze of information.  And, there are far too many unknowns as we live through day after day of this exhausting madness. There is no doubt, however, that our attitudes affect our choices, our health,  the quality of the living of our days and all those around us -- in a good or not-so-good way. 

What is your attitude about not being infected by Covid-19? 

~ Grateful, cocky, something in-between or perhaps all of the above ~

July 30, 2020

Self-Imposed Chains

We're all socially isolated to some degree in today's world by the pandemic whether we want to be or not. Are we, however, allowing self-imposed mental chains to entrap us as well?

I am not talking about legitimate mental diseases or incapacitations. I am referring to any negative emotions that we could free ourselves from IF we chose to do so -- like anger, frustrations, past hurts, excessive self-criticism, jealousies and the list goes on.

If any of these or other negative "chains" are messing with the quality of our days (and our relationships with others),  perhaps it's time to cut them away. Our choice.

July 26, 2020

Age Truly is JUST a Number

Whether you're feeling your age today or need an inspiring smile break (or both), this one should do it (thanks to an awesome friend who shared it and who always brings me smiles!). For viewing, just click on the photo below and give it a few seconds to load up.

Enjoy and let's all make time for lots of smile breaks in our days and at least a few moments of free for all, good-for-the-soul dancing!

July 21, 2020

Learning Technology "Dates"

Does learning new technology leave you feeling like this aggravated chap? 

In order to take advantage and to get our money's worth from software, apps, appliances and other electronic equipment, mobile devices and so on, we need to keep learning new stuff whether we want to or not.  Here's how I minimize my procrastination efforts and maximize the efforts spent on my learning technology "dates" in order to reap lasting and helpful benefits:

1. I prioritize and identify specifically what I need to learn and reserve time for it on my calendar and to do list (scheduled sooner than later and not on next year's calendar).

2. I set the learning stage for minimal (or zero) interruptions.  This includes trying to minimize noises and other distractions that would be fighting for my undivided atttention (and no doubt serve as procrastination enablers).

3. I  show up  for my technology "date" 100% focused on the mission at hand.

4. I commit to watching how to videos and practicing my newly learned skills as much as needed until it sticks.  The benefits reaped motivate me to schedule regular technology "dates"for myself.

5. One final roadblock to success that I must avoid is trying to learn too much on any one "date" so as not to overload the ol' brain and patience.  An overly ambitious agenda only leaves me exhausted and often overwhelmed.  I want to reap all  the benefits possible from my technology "dates," right?!

July 14, 2020

3 C’s for Navigating These Days

I read a short article in the AARP May 2020 Magazine (page 76).  AARP no longer offers their digital magazine service so there's no url address to share with you.  The brief article, however, -- "When It Comes to Health, Be cautious, Be Rational" -- was written by Catherine Alicia Georges, National Volunteer President out of Washington. D.C.   

It was a quick read with it's real value for me coming in the next to the last sentence:

"Let's practice calm, caution and common sense."  

Short mantra to consider adopting that is packed with wisdom in its few words.

July 13, 2020

Boosting Our Emotional Immune Systems

An interesting tweet was posted on July 13 by @HarvardBix about an article entitled "Make Yourself Immune to Secondhand Stress." 

Written by Shawn Achor and Michelle Gielan, it does a good job articulating the why's behind something we already know and experience most every day ---- How another person's mood usually positively or negatively impacts our emotions and sometimes our entire day.  Notice, too, how this very contagious mood "virus" is even more likely to infect us if it's someone we know well or have experienced good or bad times with previously.

With the pandemic having deeply rooted itself into our world and lives, it seems, it's more important than ever to acknowledge, protect and boost our emotional well being.  And, we need to be doing so as faithfully as we care for our physical wellness through exercise, adequate rest and diets.  If we're slacking on either due to our busy days, stress or whatever, I'd suggest there's never been a better time to MAKE the time to nurture ourselves with wise and consistent physical and emotional care - the payoff benefits us and everyone who is around us.

You can find the article by clicking here and if you choose to do so, please let me know what you think about its suggestions for boosting our emotional immunity.  What would you disagree with or add to its list?

Sample paragraph from the article:

"Inoculate yourself before going into work or stressful environments. For example, before we start our morning, the very first thing we do is think of three things we are grateful for that day. In this TED talk, you will learn the five positive psychology habits that help inoculate your brain against the negative mindsets of others:

  1. Writing a 2-minute email praising someone you know;
  2. Writing down three things for which you’re grateful;
  3. Journaling about a positive experience for two minutes;
  4. Doing cardio exercise for 30 minutes; or
  5. Meditating for just two minutes."

July 4, 2020

Happy Safe & Fun 4th of July Weekend

Wishing all a safe and super fun July 4th weekend.  If you're blessed to be celebrating with friends and family, what a gift in today's world --- Enjoy the special moments to the fullest! 

June 23 2020

Mucking Up The Home Office

The last few months have seen our home offices utilized more than ever due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  So if by now, your office or desk area is showing the aftermath of lots more activity, it's probably time to clean it up a bit.  Like mucking out a horse stall, to muck out our home office space doesn't take that long if we do it regularly enough. Plus, it feels dang good to stand back and look at a freshly cleaned horse stall with clean shavings spread around. Ditto when admiring the end result of our home office decluttering and reoganization efforts.

So, are you tired of all the papers spread around and the piles and other stuff that seem to multiply every day?

If so and you are ready to clean and spruce up your home work space, just click here for a quick list of suggestions for getting that ball rolling. 

June 21, 2020

Happy Dad's Day

To all the great and loving Dads still with us and those in our hearts forever ~ Happy Father's Day!

(P.S. ILY, Sug)

June 16, 2020

If attitudes are contagious, is the one we are showing right now going to benefit or harm whoever might "catch" it from us???  Will it  leave others feeling upbeat or not so much? Why or why not and more importantly, what attitude adjustments may be smart for us to make about now?

June 10, 2020

I was in a long line at 7:45 am today at the grocery store that opened at 8:00 for seniors only.  A young man came from the parking lot and tried to cut in at the front of the line, but an old lady beat him back into the parking lot with her cane.

He returned and tried to cut in again but an old man punched him in the gut, then kicked him to the ground and rolled him away.

As he approached the line for the 3rd time he said, "If you don't let me unlock the door, you'll never get in there."?

June 9, 2020

Muhammad Ali (1942-2016)—legendary boxer, activist, philanthropist.

“Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn’t matter which color does the hating. It’s just plain wrong.”

June 4, 2020

When this quarantine is over, let's not tell some people.

I stepped on my scale this morning.  It said: "Please practice social distancing. Only one person at a time on scale."

Not to brag, but I haven't been late to anything in over 6 weeks.

Day 37:  The garbage man placed an AA flyer on my recycling bin.

The dumbest thing I've ever bought was a 2020 planner.

(Note: Author(s) unknown, but these shared with me by a wonderful friend -- you know who you are, 306, and thanks!)