I was having one of those lacklustre Covid days when a Winnie the Pooh quote popped into my head - “Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.” That was me. Just going along doing nothing and not bothering. It made me smile and think about other Winnie the Poohisms, some profound, some heart warming, some amusing. Following is a sampling for your enjoyment.
“A hug is always the right size.”
“Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”
“A little consideration, a little thought for others makes all the difference.”
“Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.”
“I don’t feel very much like Pooh today," said Pooh.
"There there," said Piglet. "I’ll bring you tea and honey until you do.”
“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”
“Did you ever stop to think and forget to start again?”
“Any day spent with you is my favorite day. So today is my new favorite day.”
“You can't help respecting anybody who can spell TUESDAY, even if he doesn't spell it right; but spelling isn't everything. There are days when spelling
Tuesday simply doesn't count.”
“I’m not lost for I know where I am. However, where I am may be lost.”
“You can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”
“How do you spell 'love'?" - Piglet
"You don't spell it...you feel it." - Pooh”
The things that make me different are “the things that make me Me.”
“Oh, Tigger, where are your manners?” “I don’t know, but they are probably having more fun than I am.”
”When you do the things you can do, you will find a way.”
“Some have brains and some haven’t…and there it is.”
Comments are welcomed.
Here’s the thing. For nearly a year we have been living in a Twilight Zonesque reality. Life as we knew it has become obscured by the horrific global pandemic. We have come to live by new rules of conduct hoping to flatten the curve of Covid infections and stop the spread. This necessary new lifestyle has affected people in many different ways. Some of us have coped better than others. One of the positives has been finding fun and being grateful for any interactions with other humans. Have you discovered how much fun it can be to get groceries or go to the pharmacy? Even a dental appointment to get teeth cleaned is quite the social event.
Looking at the little things through a lens of gratitude and humor is a happiness booster. At least it’s true for me. I think the current reality is fodder for humor. In fact, I find myself seeing humor in things that would have gone on unnoticed in “normal” times.
The other day I thought it would be fun to check out Buzz Feed’s quizzes. There were all sorts from the bizarre to actually serious. I came upon this one I hat to share. As can be surmised from the blog title this one involves pizza, specifically pizza toppings. Did you know that the Great Pizza Prognosticator can tell you your mother’s name by the toppings you choose? This is one goofy questionnaire. Truth be told, I don’t believe the Pizza Prophet will replace the magic 8 Ball any too soon. Go ahead, Take the quiz for some chuckles. Then order a pizza.
Click here... BuzzFeed link to Quiz.
Or copy and paste the link below...
With Valentine’s Day approaching I thought this article in the Farmer’s Almanac was a kind of interesting read.
Valentine’s Day just a week away, is one of the busiest times of the year for florists. Did you know that, according to the National Retail Federation, a third of the $20 billion spent in 2020 on Valentine’s Day was on flowers? A lot of this likely went to the staggering 250 billion roses produced for the holiday each year.
Have you ever wondered why we send romantic partners red roses and not, say, snapdragons? Sure, roses are beautiful and smell wonderful, but it’s more than that: All flowers actually have their own unique meanings and symbolism dating back centuries.
The “secret language” of flowers can be traced to the creative endeavors of ancient peoples. Myths, folklore, sonnets, and plays of the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, and Chinese are filled with flower and plant symbolism. Even fans of Shakespeare can attest to the Bard’s love affair with using flowers for deeper meaning in his work.
In the Victorian era, flowers were often used to express thoughts and feelings that couldn’t be said out loud. In fact, most households had guidebooks to help decipher each missive’s true meaning.
This brings us back to roses. Depending on their color, roses can mean many things. The traditional red rose signifies “love,” while dark crimson roses are tied to mourning and grief. Pink roses mean “happiness,” and white ones say, “I’m worthy of you.” Yellow roses from a romantic partner—possibly alluding to “jealousy” or “infidelity”—could spell trouble.
Of course, the traditional symbolism of a flower means far less these days. Most people just appreciate a beautiful bouquet, especially of their favorite flowers.
Roses are red
Violets are blue.
That’s as far as I got-
Whatever. Have a Happy Valentine’s Day.
Comments are welcomed.
Tomorrow is Ground Hog Day. There is only so much one can say about GH Day, so I decided to reprint my previous blog. Curious that groundhogs have become meteorology mavens. At the least it is all fodder for fun and that’s a good thing.
The truth of the matter is February 2 is the half way mark between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Whether Punxsutawney Phil, Ontario’s Wiarton Willie, Nova Scotia’s Shubanacadie Sam, New York’s Staten Island Chuck, Georgia’s General Beauregard Lee, Toronto’s Dundas Donna or who ever your local rodent is, and whether or not he/she sees his/her shadow , spring is still 6 weeks away. Oh well, it’s all in fun anyway.
This groundhog business got me wondering about it’s origin.
Groundhog Day has its roots in the ancient Christian tradition of Candlemas, when clergy would bless and distribute candles needed for winter. The candles represented how long and cold the winter would be. Germans expanded on this concept by selecting an animal–the hedgehog–as a means of predicting weather. Once they came to America, German settlers in Pennsylvania continued the tradition, although they switched from hedgehogs to groundhogs, which were plentiful.
The first official Ground Hog Day celebration was Feb. 2, 1887 in Punxsutawney, PA. It was the brain child of local newspaper editor, Clymer Freas, who sold a group of business men and hunters known as the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club on the idea.
Nowadays, the yearly festivities in Punxsutawney are presided over by a band of local dignitaries known as the Inner Circle. Its members wear top hats and conduct the official proceedings in the Pennsylvania Dutch dialect. They supposedly speak to the groundhog in Groundhogese. (Do you suppose Groundhogese is an accredited language one can study for university credit?)
If that isn’t enough, you might like to know groundhogs are sometimes called whistling pigs. Sleeping is the groundhog’s favorite activity. Groundhogs are vegetarians which gardeners and farmers probably know all too well. Groundhogs are the Frank Lloyd Wrights of the rodent world. Their burrows consist of a number of rooms – an eating room, a sleeping room, a nursery and a waste room (bathroom). There you have it. A few groundhoggy facts you may never have wanted to know.
We will await the Marmot’s prognostication and hope no one has a Bill Murray event.
Comments are welcomed.
If you’ve been reading this blog the past couple of weeks you are aware of me lamenting about lack of motivation, inertia and general weariness. Thank you Covid-19. Last week I used Newton’s first Law of Motion as a metaphor for this situation. “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”
Let me take a moment to explain what is meant by an “unbalanced force.” Say you are walking across a room while carrying a glass of water . As you walk the water remains as is in the glass. It’s not sloshing around nor does the water level change. Then you bump into something and the water spills. Obviously, the water is no longer “at rest.” Bumping into something while walking was the force that caused the water to spill or move. Hope you get the idea.
Now, here’s what happened. I was having a phone conversation with a friend and colleague. We compared notes on how difficult the pandemic was for everyone, not just us. Then she told me she had signed up for a Coursera course which I might be interested in. She said we could take it together. Although I was not very enthusiastic I agreed to check it out. While browsing the Coursera site, searching for this particular course, I took note of the seemingly infinite course selections. I not only signed up for the course with my friend, but also found another one to dive into.
I must thank my friend. She was the unbalanced force that got this body at rest back into motion. I feel more light-hearted and am enjoying my brain cells dancing around again.
There are two morals to this story:
One: To paraphrase Jimmy Dean, we can’t change the direction of the wind, but we can adjust our sails for a better journey.
Two: Even during uncertainty and when nothing is sure, there is still hope and possibility.
Comments are welcomed.
As I was kicking around thoughts of writing a children’s book, I had a mix of story lines and other realizations. Nothing of real substance came up. Although it seemed to be a good idea to consult with my soon to be 14 yr. old granddaughter. She is very imaginative and has written some cool stories of her own throughout her young years. What better resource than conferring with one who is living infinite plot lines in real time? Since a meeting with K is TBD, I am temporarily setting this writing exercise aside.
Back to other notions and understandings. I feel the biggest thing that is plaguing me is flat-lining motivation. I’ve never scored high as a self-starter. I’ve always been at my best when collaborating with one or two others. This has become less viable the longer the pandemic goes on. Consequently, I find myself slogging around in passivity and inertia. Are you, too, feeling weariness from all that has been going on for nearly a year? From what I hear weariness is a very widespread state of being. What do we do? We have two options. We can do something or do nothing.
It seems easier to continue to do nothing, or very little. For our mental health going down that road is not the best choice. This brings to mind Newton’s first Law of Motion, commonly referred to as the Law of Inertia. It is stated as: an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. It seems to me that remaining passive, unmotivated, bored is not the better choice. Often we can get jolted back into motion by a negative force.
This brings us to the do something option. This also brings me back to my original dilemma. What force will I seek to get me going again in a positive way? Since I began writing this, I had a chance to talk with my granddaughter about a story. She is taking my request under advisement. I will not hold my breath. In the meantime, I am looking into taking a neuroscience course with a friend. That is, at least the start of doing something. And that’s the important thing – to just begin. Continue to watch this space.
Comments are welcome.
Here we sit in lockdown part 2. Is lockdown (like love) lovelier the second time around? Hell, no. With sequels there’s often a lot of the same from the original. Other times we get a entire new story line. The Covid sequel is not unlike the original. We definitely need a new script.
Like most, I’m tired of my role. I have to say I played it rather well the first time around. It has now gotten old and tired. I’ve been racking my brain for something new, for a little pizzazz. As I await that inspiration. I reckoned I could revisit my rag bag of attempted hobbies. That, perhaps, was not the most useful idea. My history with hobbies was about abject failure. The crafts I tried I actually did rather well. The problem was lack of sustained interest. I would take on a particular project, complete it and immediately lose interest in it. So much for that idea. Once again one of those “you shoulds” was in my face. For more decades than I care to admit, people have told me I “should” write a children’s book. Once again my immediate reaction was no way. Then I considered our current situation. I allowed myself to play with the possibility. After all I was looking for inspiration a sign, a way to infuse more meaning and joy into each day.
I have nothing definitive to share at this moment. Still, as Rachel Maddow says, “Watch this space."
We did it. We passed through that wrinkle in time and find ourselves in the year 2021. I’d love to let those days of auld lang syne be forgot and never brought to mind. Sadly, it doesn’t quite work that way. So let’s move on with hope and possibility in our hearts and a little Irish blessing to begin better times.
“ALWAYS REMEMBER TO FORGET THE TROUBLES THAT PASS AWAY.
BUT NEVER FORGET TO REMEMBER THE BLESSINGS THAT COME EACH DAY.”