Actually, We ARE Deserving!

How many times have we coveted something; a new car, a fabulous spa day, a trip to Madrid, bling-y jewelry, a handmade pair of soft leather boots, etc.? And how many times have we then thought, ‘oh no; that’s not for me—I don’t deserve that.’

Even when I’m in a grocery store and walk by a free sample table of some food I love, I automatically say, ‘oh, no thank you.” WHY? Why can’t I just take that delicious cupcake/slice of pizza/crunchy strip of maple bacon/etc., and just enjoy it?

I’ll tell you why in my case; I carry around a party-pooper voice in my head that says, ‘oh, I don’t think you really need that, do you?’ As if I’m not worthy enough somehow to enjoy a free cupcake. And where does that get me? Cupcake-less, that’s what!

Whenever this happens, I walk away, full of self-righteousness about not accepting something I might have enjoyed, right along with that sick feeling of ‘I really wanted that!’ What earthly purpose does it serve for us to act like some up-tight Puritan walking away from America’s first Thanksgiving (and probably delicious) dinner?

Of course there are some things we ought to back away from; a rattlesnake in a bad mood, an angry driver, poison ivy, a bear trap, piranha, spoiled meat, a nail gun you’ve never used before, and so on. You get the picture.

But denying ourselves these little harmless pleasures is counter-productive. Why not take that free cupcake at the grocery store? Why not accept a compliment? Why not look in the mirror and say “hiya, beautiful!”? Why not allow yourself a treat now and then? Why not take a little break on a busy day and do something just for YOU?

And when you do allow yourself a treat, then inhale it, enjoy it, live deeply with it and smile about it because you know you deserve it.

As for me, I’m going to go get myself a nice cupcake.

Angels in the Clouds

Today I looked up in the sky

And saw two angels winging by—

The clouds had shaped into both of you

I wonder if others had seen you, too.

But I know that in my heart of hearts

That vision is where understanding starts.

I know you watch and are near to me,

Even though I will not get to see

You as you were on Earth when we were together

But I know we are bound by an unseen tether

That keeps us close, but with a light and loving Hand,

And memories of love and joy for years; how grand!

I know those angel-shaped clouds were meant for me

Though I am now one, I was once one of three—

Those who go on before us

Make a loving path in faith and trust for us

I could not tell if those angels were you,

All I know is that what I saw was true.

 

 

Dumbledore’s Pensieve

If you are a Harry Potter nerd like me, you will recognize Professor Dumbledore (Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witches and Wizardry) and his pensieve. The pensieve was a stone bowl into which Dumbledore could empty some of his thoughts as needed. As he said to Harry Potter, “I sometimes find, and I am sure you know the feeling, that I simply have too many thoughts and memories crammed into my mind.”

Easy for him! I often wish that I had my own pensieve in which to empty some of my own thoughts. Some of them bother and nag 24/7, and it’s hard to get them out of my head.

Why is it that our worst fears, worries and doubts will rattle around in our heads, yet the good ones seem to evaporate when we need them the most? At the end of the day we seem to recap all of the bad things we said or did, and don’t give credit to the good things we’ve done.

Then there are the deadly “what ifs:”

  • What if the house burns down because I didn’t unplug the fan?
  • What if one of the cats gets out of the house and we can’t find him/her?
  • What if that light we keep on in the office all night suddenly bursts into flame?
  • What if I don’t notice that I picked up a tick and get Lyme Disease?
  • What if that one mouse the cat caught means that there are many more?
  • What if that nagging pain in my side is some kind of cancer?
  • What if my computer gets hacked and someone steals my idea for a great book?

….and the What Ifs keep marching along. Oh, for a pensieve!

Then I finally remembered this lovely old tune by Irving Berlin:

“When I’m worried and I can’t sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep counting my blessings!

When my bankroll is getting small
I think of when I had none at all
And I fall asleep counting my blessings!

I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads
And one by one I count them as they slumber in their beds
So if you’re worried and you can’t sleep
Count your blessings instead of sheep
And you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings!”

Believe it or not, it helps. Besides, I couldn’t for the life of me find a pensieve on Amazon!

 

 

Could You Use a Few Jokes?

I have always been a fan of Garrison Keillor, and loved his “Prairie Home Companion” shows. Every so often, I share some of his jokes with you. I hope that they make you laugh as much as I did this morning! WARNING: Some of them are real groaners. Enjoy!

“What does your father do for a living?
He is a magician. He cuts people in two.
Do you have any brothers or sisters?
Yes, one half-brother and one half-sister….”

Adam and Eve were naming animals. Adam saw a big creature with a horn on its face and said, “What shall we call this one?”
“Why don’t we call it a rhinoceros”?
“But, why?”
“Because it looks more like a rhinoceros than anything we’ve seen so far.”

Did you know Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz could have gone back home —- she did have a debit card with her? But there were no banks in Oz, that’s why she kept crying out “ATM! ATM!”

Three businessmen on a plane. First guy says, “That suit looks great on you. You must be a Harvard man.” Second guy says, “Yes, thank you. I did go to Harvard. And with that classy briefcase, I would guess that you went to Yale.” First guy says, “Yes, I am a Yale man.” They both look at the third guy, and they say, “You must have gone to University of Oklahoma.” Third guy says, “Why yes, I did. How could you tell?”  “We saw your class ring when you picked your nose.”

It got cold in Minnesota and the nudist camp put out a sign, “We are open but we are clothed”.

There was a midget who joined a nudist colony but he was asked to leave because he kept poking his nose into everybody’s business.

They found a big hole in the wall around the nudist camp. The police are looking into it.

 

Pablo Picasso surprised a burglar at work in his studio. The burglar got away, but Picasso told the police he could do a rough sketch of what he looked like. On the basis of his drawing, the police arrested a mother superior, a washing machine, and the Eiffel tower.

The man and wife walked out of divorce court in Mississippi and the man said, “Stop crying. So we got a divorce—–You’re still my cousin!”

So there was the robber who broke into the public radio station and stole a hundred thousand dollars worth of pledges.

 

Doctor, do you realize you have a suppository behind your ear!
I know, and somebody’s got my pen and I’m not sure I want it back.

I wrote a single entendre but it wasn’t funny at all, so I put two of them together…if you know what I mean.

A little old man shuffled slowly into an ice cream parlor and pulled himself slowly, painfully, up onto a stool. After catching his breath, he ordered a banana split.
The waitress asked, ‘Crushed nuts?’
‘No, arthritis.’

 

What did God say after creating man? — He said, I can do better than this.  —-

Why is divorce so expensive? —–Because it’s worth it.

A man thanked God for giving him a wife and he asked God, “Why did you make her so beautiful?”
The Lord said, “So you could love her, my son.”
The man said, “But why did you make her so stupid?”
“So she could love you, my son.”

Marriage is like a deck of cards.
You start out with two hearts and a diamond; and you end up wishing you had a club & spade!

Do you really believe your husband when he tells you he goes fishing every weekend? Maybe he is having an affair.
I know he’s fishing because he never comes back with any fish…

 

How many gorillas does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Only one, but it takes a lot of light bulbs!

 

A young lady came home from a date, rather sad. She told her mother, “Jeff proposed to me an hour ago.”
“Then why are you so sad?” her mother asked.
“Because he also told me he was an atheist. Mom, he doesn’t even believe there’s a hell.”
Her mother said, “Marry him anyway. Between the two of us, we’ll show him how wrong he is.”

There was a terrible car accident. A woman was lying in the street, covered in blood. Someone in the crowd shouted, “Call a priest!”
The woman opened her eyes and said, “I’m a Unitarian.”
“Then call a math teacher!”

 

A woman hiking in Yellowstone Park was chased by a grizzly bear and she ran to a ranger station where she was arrested by park rangers. It’s illegal to run through the park with a bear behind.

What should you do if you’re attacked by a gang of clowns?
Go for the juggler.

What’s the worst thing about living on O street?
Having to go a block to P.

Cross country skiing is easier if you live in a small country.

What do mountains talk about?
A range of topics.

Why can’t you starve to death in the desert?
Because of all the sand which is there.

Why doesn’t the Gingerbread Man wear shorts? —
Because he has crummy legs.

How do the Amish hunt?
They sneak up on a deer and build a barn around it.

There is a beautiful white bear in the zoo who, some days, is very playful and friendly and other days he just lies in a dark corner and doesn’t move. He’s a bipolar bear.

So this musical chord walks into a bar wanting to get a drink. The bartender looks at the chord and says, “I’m sorry. I cannot serve you. You’re A minor”.

Julius Caesar walks into a bar. “I’ll have a martinus,” he says. The Bartender gives him a puzzled look and asks, “Don’t you mean a ‘martini’?”
“Look. If I wanted a double, I’d have asked for it!”

A man walks into a bar and orders a Manhattan. The drink comes and he sees a piece of parsley floating in the glass.
“What in the world is this?”
The bartender says, “Central Park.”

Two hydrogen atoms walk into a bar.
One says, “I think I’ve lost an electron.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, I’m positive.”

A Chihuahua, a Doberman and a Bulldog are in a bar having a drink when a great-looking female Collie comes up to them and says, “Whoever can say liver and cheese in a sentence can have me.”
So the Doberman says, “I love liver and cheese.” And the Chihuahua says, “Liver alone . . . cheese mine.”

The engineer walked in and found his wife, an English major, in bed with another man. He said, “Why, Susan, I’m surprised.” She said, “No. I am surprised. You are astonished.”

A guy liked to go in to Boston Friday night for fresh scrod and one night his favorite fish restaurant was closed so he hailed a cab. He asked the cabdriver: “Do you know any place where I can get scrod?” The cabbie said: “A lot of guys have asked me that in all kinds of ways, but this is the first time anyone has ever used the pluperfect subjunctive!”

An 82-year-old Boston man went to the doctor to get a physical and came home to his wife and said, The doctor told me I have a hot mama.”
His wife said, “I think he meant heart murmur.”

 

Knock Knock.
Who’s there?
I like Herbie.
I like Herbie who?
I like Herbie Hind.

Knock! Knock!
Who’s there?
Lilac.
Lilac Who?
Lilac a politician, and you just might get elected!

Knock knock.
Who’s there?
I’m a schizophrenic.
I’m a schizophrenic who?
So am I.

Knock knock
Who’s there?
Interrupting pirate.
Interrupting —
AAAARRRR.

Knock knock
Who’s there?
Hank.
Hank who?
You’re welcome.

Knock knock.
Who’s there?
Smell mop.
Smell mop who?
Ewww. I don’t want to.

Knock knock.
Who’s there?
Owls go.
Owls go who?
Yes they do.

Knock knock.
Who’s there?
Cows go.
Cows go who?
No, cows go MOO.

Will you remember me in an hour?
Yes.
Will you remember me in a day?
Yes.
Will you remember me in a week?
Yes.
I think you won’t.
Yes, I will.
Knock, knock!
Who’s there?
See? You forgot me already!

In what state was Abraham Lincoln born?
Naked and screaming like the rest of us.

Two women friends had gone for a girl’s night out. They were drunk, walking home, and they needed to pee, so they stopped in the cemetery.
One of them had nothing to wipe with, so she thought she would take off her panties and use them.
The other friend didn’t want to ruin her panties, but she was lucky enough to squat down next to a grave that had a wreath with a ribbon on it.
They went home and the next day one of the women’s husbands called the other and said, “These girls’ nights have got to stop! My wife came home with no panties!!”
“That’s nothing” said the other husband, “Mine came back with a card stuck to her butt that said…..
“From all of us at the Fire Station. We’ll never forget you”

(GIRL): Excuse me, do you sell rabbits here at the pet shop?
OWNER: We do. Would you like a fuzzy white rabbit or a fuzzy black rabbit?
(GIRL): I don’t think my python really cares.

 

How do you find a vegan at a dinner party?
Don’t worry, she will find you.

There’s a new study saying that vegans are more likely to go blind? It’s from reading all of those tiny ingredients lists.

How many vegetarians does it take to eat a hamburger?
One if nobody’s looking.

Have you heard of the garlic diet?
You don’t lose much weight, but from a distance, your friends think you look thinner.

It was two years ago I got married and we got a new dog.
The dog is still happy to see me.

I haven’t spoken to my wife for 18 months: I don’t like to interrupt her.

An archeologist makes the best husband because the older his wife gets, the more interested he is.”

 

 

What We Will Be Remembered For?

Ever wonder what we will be remembered for? Will we do something amazing and life-changing, such as finding a cure for cancer? Will we write a book that will inspire people? Will we teach others so well that they will go on to teach others? Will we create something of monumental importance to our planet? Will we become a voice for others who cannot speak for themselves?

Perhaps we will be the person who raises an incredibly kind and loving child. Maybe we will hold out a hand to someone who desperately needs acknowledgement. We might donate our time reading to seniors in rest homes who have no families or visitors. Or we could just strive to make our time here on the planet count.

My heroes have been family members, teachers, friends, and so on. There isn’t a famous person among them, but they have left indelible marks on my heart. There is my former English teacher, Ray Lord, who encouraged me to try out for our school musicals. I wasn’t a particularly good scholar and I was dismal in athletics, but I fell deeply in love with theater. Being in those wonderful shows changed my life and gave me a “tribe” in which to belong.

Miss Gladys Churchill was another hero of mine. When I met her, she was in her 80s and I was nine yeas old. Besides my grandmother, I had never met anyone as old as she was. Visiting her was like visiting the queen in her palace. She lived in a small space, but it was filled with her Victorian furniture, mementos from her family and friends, fragile china tea cups and so on.

Our visits were straightforward; she talked, I listened. She told me about her family, her jobs, her views on life and also how young ladies should act. She gave me advice that I still remember (and use) to this day.

The first time I visited her with my brand new purse (the first one I ever owned), she told me about the “necessaries” that every young lady should keep in her purse. I remember these two “rules” the most:

“A lady always carries an extra pair of white gloves, just in case. Keep them in the bottom of your purse, and cover them with a handkerchief. Keep a spare handkerchief so that you don’t spoil the one over your gloves.”

“A lady never “roots” in her purse.”

Of course, the only time I ever wore white gloves was to the Easter Sunday services, but I remembered to put my clean handkerchief over them. To this day I do not grope around in my purse in public. Funny what we keep, isn’t it?

So, in our lifetimes will we be heroes, mentors, teachers, peace makers, friends, advocates? What will we be remembered for? When I think of this, I remember my mother once saying that, when she died, her tombstone should read, “She hath done what she could.”

May we all do what we can, whether or not we are remembered.

 

 

Fathers’ Day

Happy Fathers’ Day to all the dads out there! My hope and prayer for you all is that you know how loved you are, how important you are to all who love you, and what a profound difference you make in the lives around you.

This being my first Fathers’ Day without my father, I remember him and thank him in my heart for all he did for me. I thank him for being the kind of man who grew and changed with the years, and who sought knowledge as eagerly as a plant seeks water.

My dad came from a childhood where his mother showed him constant and unfailing love. His father, for reasons of his own, could not. When dad was young, his father never ruffled his hair and told him he was a good boy, played with him or encouraged him in any area. Dad grew up with trust issues that didn’t resolve themselves until much later in life.

I watched my dad throughout the years, and was proud of him for his efforts to grow and change and rise above the dysfunction of his father. I watched as he read all he could about healthy living. He believed, as so many do now, that a plant-based diet was the best way to go for good health.

When Mom was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, she took many medications and infusions to help. Dad put her on the “cancer free” diet; basically no sugar, no processed foods, no dairy, very little meat and no artificial anything. The main diet is fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, small portions of organic meat, and the like (look this up; it’s a real deal). Because of this, Mom lived a lot longer than she would have on just the medications.

Because of how he had lived as a boy, he decided that marriage was not for him. His parents’ marriage was constantly in an uproar, and fights were frequent. We have laughed over the circumstances that lead him to marry Mom and adopt me when I was four years old.

Here’s what happened:

He was sitting in a waiting room in Philadelphia, getting ready for his interview to be a radio announcer. While he sat there, he found a Maine newspaper and idly began to read it. There was a tiny ad in the classifieds for a television cameraman/announcer in the new station, WTOO, in Bangor, ME.

Without thinking, he got up, told the receptionist that he had to leave, and drove all the way up to Bangor, ME. Not only did he get the job, but he met my mom, who at the time was hosting a TV swap show.

A few months later, they began dating. Mom was in the process of a divorce, and she was understandably nervous about starting a new relationship. When she let Dad meet me, I liked him right away. He often showed up at our apartment with bags of groceries because he thought we were both too thin.

Months later, Mom was offered a new and better-paying job in Portland, ME. Although she was already falling in love with Dad, she told him that this was an opportunity that she had to take to make a better life for me.

I can’t imagine the mix of feelings he had to have had at that moment. He told me years later that he might have been able to walk away from one of us, but not both of us. So he grabbed my mom by the shoulders, took a deep breath and said this following “romantic” proposal: “All right, goddamnit, I’ll marry you.”

Needless to say, this was a family joke for years. We have all felt that this was no coincidence; it was a meant-to-be.

So on this first Fathers’ Day without Dad, I remember him for so much. I will always love him for marrying my mom and adopting me. I will always be grateful for all he taught me and for how much he loved me and my mother. He was truly a father who fathered and did it well.

Thank you, Dad. I love you.