Monday, June 25, 2012


I am reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin .  This book is helping me to find ways to implement a shift from what may be my genetic predisposition to be pessimistic (50% of a happiness factor) to acknowledge the good things in my life I already have (20% of a happiness factor) and influence my attitude (30% of a happiness factor).

Here are the good things I alread have:  a lovely home, a caring husband, a smart son, creative and supportive friends, pretty good health for my age, abilities to read, write, express ideas, all five senses, abilities to walk, swim, exercise.

Taking on some specific happiness actions today will be:  going to Mt. Lemmon, celebrating my hubby's 60th today with him and our son, watching UA Baseball team in the College World Series.

What good things in life do you have and what actions can you take today to shift your attitude toward happiness?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Huck Finn at the Phoenix Art Museum

My hubby and I were in Phoenix for two days and we made a visit to the art museum to see their newest exhibit:  Paper, Paper, Paper.  I highly recommend it and it is showing there until mid-September, see for more information.

As we we were walking out into the lobby, I saw this Norman Rockwell drawing of an iconic American folk hero, Huck Finn.  Unfortunately, in order to get the photo on hubby's Android phone camera, we had to accept the glare and reflection of a person standing in the lobby, but, in a way, it works, I think.  I hope you enjoy it and consider reading some Twain during the summer months.  Here's a line about Huck during his summer with Pap:

"It was kind of lazy and jolly, laying off comfortable all day, smoking and fishing, and no books nor study."

Sunday, June 10, 2012

the little things

It's not our favorite thing to do, but this weekend we dug into cleaning out the garage and our closet.  Thrift shops benefited from our effort and we did, too, in a way because before we started our task we were getting stuck with the gloomy economic news around the globe, the U.S., Arizona and our our life.
I don't really have anything profound to report as a result of our cleaning out, but we started a huge task (didn't finish it) and feel better that we, at least, did what we could in two days. 

Our motivation was a kick in the pants by four legged creatures who, we think, were transported into our garage from our father-in-law's garage and have made their nests around and inside our house.  These mice are not singing cute Disney songs but pooping and peeing around the corners.  We have a stray gray cat that we hoped would be fattening up on their demise but it seems Mr. Cat prefers doves to mice.
So, because of the mice, we did a tough job and so the little things in life sometimes generate results.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

painting a town

Today, on CBS' "Sunday Morning", I saw a great story about a guy, recently widowed, in his mid-70's, who lives in Glouster (spelling?), Ohio.  I have been to that town with a friend.  It's a sweet place.  He said, however, that many of the houses and small businesses (cafes, hardware store) haven't been painted in years, so he decided to repaint his town.  He started with the fire hydrant and then bridge walls.  Gradually, he moved down the block and painted homes, then businesses.  Other folks joined him, and even the high school kids got into the rhythm.  If  people didn't know how to paint, they hung awnings, put up hinges on doors.  He said, quite simply and eloquently, that "when people add a fresh coat of paint, their hearts change color, too."  What a wonderful legacy he is creating.

So, I am thinking to myself today, what can I do to, metaphorically, to "paint my town?"  And, as it happens, this week I am starting my new volunteer gig at the public library as a reading partner.  So, instead of painting, I am encouraging kids (and their parents, I hope), to "turn a new page" and read.

So: what can/are you doing to "paint your town" or help it "turn a new page"?