Taking Things for Granted

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Amen to that. Food, shelter and safety for starters.


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Leaky Roof

We had 1.05″ of rain Friday! Unfortunately after 25 years the roof of the battery house has a leak — Andy thinks the post-fire construction might have disturbed something — so he’s starting to investigate where it’s coming from and what to do about it.



It’s not as if he doesn’t have other things to do, but life is seldom perfect.

On that same note, when I first tried to include the above pictures I received error messages:

Error message

I had a similar problem writing yesterday’s post, but somehow managed to get around it. So this time I recreated the pictures, called them something else, and uploaded them. Who knows what’s going on with WordPress? Again, life is seldom perfect.

Any little hiccups in your life?


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Life in the Universe

The following video is best skipped if you’re not interested in whether or not there are other forms of life in the universe that are capable of making contact with us.

I enjoyed its graphics and the reminder of how small we are compared to the rest of the universe, and how short our lifespans are compared to the age of the universe and of even just our earth. But I like Larry Gonick’s The Cartoon History of the Universe even more.


It’s a fun way of putting things in perspective and not taking us humans too seriously. Do you ever get interested in subjects like this?


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I laughed when I saw a full-page ad with just these words in the Wall Street Journal a few months ago. (The following page talked about the company paying for the ad, but I had never heard of it.) And I laughed again when Stephen Hawking recently warned

  1. Humans will make the earth uninhabitable for themselves within a thousand years (that long?) so we will have to start colonizing space if we want to survive; and
  2. Computers with artificial intelligence will overtake humans sometime in the next hundred years, and humans won’t survive if the computers’ goals aren’t aligned with ours.

Apparently Hawking agrees with the ad — technology will save us if it doesn’t kill us first. I can’t get too upset about it because (1) predictions about the distant future are notorious for being wrong, and (2) I won’t be around nearly long enough to see what happens. So the best thing to do is laugh.

What do you think?


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Admiration and Thanks

As I’ve said before, Fightin’ the Fibro is one of my favorite blogs. FibroFacialGal doesn’t write often, but I’m always impressed by her whimsical pictures and her posts.

The above picture was from last month’s if my head explodes. The “gnawing, burning, grinding pain” had been going on for six weeks, and she was reaching the limit of her endurance — she was afraid she would start lashing out at people. She writes,

Wisely, I think, I have opted to isolate myself from humanity for a bit until things settle down.

I admire her so much for that. I’ve known a lot of people who do lash at others when even little things go wrong.

Her latest post i didn’t believe him but i sure do now is about the philosophy of one of her college professors:

What you think makes your life.

She didn’t believe him at the time, but she’s now a true believer. And she has had plenty of chances to practice as she’s dealt with fibromyalgia for over 20 years.

I see my role as an active one: to learn all I can, advocate for myself, and make considered and intentional choices given the information at hand. And then learn to let it go (the hardest part!). All I can do is try, and the effort usually reaps some lasting rewards.
One of the most difficult things I have dealt with in this chronic illness journey has been the poor treatment of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals and systems. There have been so many tests of what to do, say, or how to respond. So many times I needed reminders that all I can control is me, my thoughts, and actions. Nothing more. Anyone else’s ignorance needs to not be my problem or responsibility. A biggie.

I can control only how I react, or if I choose to at all. My choice, no matter what happens around me. I have a choice and say in what I take in and what I make of it. I have to remind myself of this fact, more than I would like to admit.

She ends by thanking her professor, adding,

I didn’t believe you then, but I sure do now. Life is funny like that.

I want to thank you, FibroFacialGal, for being such an inspiration. I admire you so much.


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Yay, Hugs!

It’s been known for years that hugs are good for the immune and cardiovascular systems. And, of course, they don’t always have to come from other humans.

So after I caught this last cold, I thought I would boost my own immune system with a teddy bear. The brown one is 18″ long and is super cuddly. The little one is to keep Teddy company when I’m not there. It warms my heart just to see them together. Definitely good medicine.


What, if anything, do you do to bolster your immune system?


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I drew the first version of this cartoon over 20 years ago. The lab was downsizing and both Andy’s and my jobs (in different divisions) were in danger of disappearing. Needless to say, there was a lot of tension at work. So in addition to my wearing my “Life is uncertain, eat dessert first” T-shirt, I looked around and asked,

What’s the opportunity here?

Of course — to become an expert on stress management. Even then people knew that stress can be healthy and put a lot of joy and satisfaction in our lives if we handle it well. And our attitude makes a big difference — people who thrive on stress think of themselves as challenged rather than as threatened and helpless.

So I was surprised by this TED video — the speaker, a health psychologist, says she had been teaching people that stress is always bad for you, and it was only recently that she saw the light.

I did like the part about oxytocin relaxing our blood vessels — that explains why altruism is so good for people — but the effect of oxytocin is more complicated than she says. I’ll talk about this in another post.

Anyway, what about you? Do you have enough stress/excitement in your life? Do you have too much? Just the right amount?


Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 6 Comments


I received an email from Kaitlin today with the header I guess it is spring … She included these pictures.





Sammy doesn’t look exactly overjoyed in the picture, but I’m glad the weather was nice enough for them to enjoy their backyard. (These pictures, plus a few more, can be found on Montana’s blog.)

The story was different up in the mountains —- Andy says they had
about 3 or 4 inches of new snow, and he saw two traffic accidents on the way up because of the slipping and sliding. By the time he left the snow had mostly melted. He did build a fire in the woodstove to warm up the house after so many cloudy days.

It’s been cool and rainy down here the past couple of days — great sleeping weather, but it’s supposed to be sunny and warm up to the 60’s starting today.

What’s it like where you are?


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Mountain Lions

KB isn’t the only one living in mountain lion country — although we haven’t taken great videos like she has!

A few nights ago here in town a fellow let his beagle out into his backyard, and the dog immediately charged something in the bushes. The fellow heard a huge howling, figured the dog was attacking a cat or some other small animal, and rushed over to separate them. When he reached into the bushes he touched a full-size mountain lion on the shoulder. Fortunately the lion let go of the dog and ran off. The dog was seriously injured and needed to be taken to the emergency vet in Santa Fe 35 miles away. The dog is now back home and is expected to recover. The fellow is still recovering from the shock.

Since then we’ve heard another dog was killed by a mountain lion in another part of town, so dog owners have been warned to be careful.

My favorite mountain lion story is the fellow who went up in the mountains years ago to hunt wild turkeys. He was peacefully sitting with his back resting on a log, blowing his turkey whistle, when a mountain lion pounced on him from behind. The fellow said he didn’t know who was the most startled, him or the lion. The lion ran off and the fellow never tried that again.

Do you have to be careful about any animals where you live?


Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 11 Comments

Weather Forecasts


This fellow reminds us of our favorite meteorologist from years ago. He would tell what was going on — where the jet stream was and what the weather patterns were — so we could judge for ourselves if we believed the official forecast. And when the current weather was completely different from what had been predicted, he would mention it. One day when it was particularly off he said,

One thing about the weather, it sure is unpredictable.

We still miss him and think of him fondly.

Do you pay much attention to weather forecasts? Do you find them helpful?


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