Crazy Weather

The weather here has again been unusually springlike for January. It was sunny with a high of 54°F here yesterday.


We may get some snow later in the week, but it should be nothing like the blizzard conditions back East. We wish them luck! Their crazy weather is in the wrong direction.


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Yay, Montana!

Montana, with a little help from Torben, has been working hard on her blog. Here she is checking to make sure he’s transcribing her thoughts correctly.


Yay, Montana! Yay, blogging!

And thank you, Torben, for helping her, and Kaitlin for sending me the picture.


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A Different Approach

In a comment on Friday’s post, Ursula wrote,

When you are in the thick of what life throws at you (good and bad) you hardly go into scientific mode analyzing “opportunity”, “how can I grow and learn from this”. Like Tammy I believe it better to go with the flow and not observe yourself all the time. If and when life wants to teach us a lesson I am sure it’s perfectly able to do so without constant supervision and us monitoring our navel.

Not surprisingly, I look at it differently. I remember a workshop I attended years ago. We were doing a role model exercise and one woman was supposed to be verbally attacking me, and I was supposed to get angry and lash back. Say what? The leader was all set to analyze my inability to express anger, but I just looked at him. Well, no. That wasn’t quite it. In a situation like that I would try to slip into the observing mode and notice what the situation was, what I was feeling, what I thought the woman wanted, and what outcome I wanted from the situation. Then I would try to respond accordingly. Oh, yeah. That works too.

The leader than started talking about the benefits of maturity. That word sounds too judgmental to me, but I do like the way my preferred method works — when I manage to use it!

Another time I was in a group discussing Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication. Whenever I talked about thinking, someone would say, “You’re speaking from your head, not from your heart!” Uh. In Myers-Briggs terms I’m on the borderline between Thinking and Feeling, so I like to do both at the same time. Why would I have to choose?

Anyway, it works for me. What about you?


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Reframing is a way of changing the way you look at something and thus changing your experience of it.

Rummuser did a great job of reframing recently. In Tantalus he wrote about a week full of disappointments. In Little Bits Of Happiness (responding to tammy’s post of the same name), he says the disappointing week was a good reminder of how good his life usually is. It’s full of blessings. So the experience of the disappointment was changed — he had put it into perspective and it had a bigger meaning.

I’m a big fan of reframing. Sometimes I do it with positive statements and questions:

What’s the opportunity here?
How can I learn and grow from this?
How will this make a good blog post? (Yay, blogging!)

And if I’m hit with a big challenge, one I’m not too thrilled about, there is always my favorite prayer:

Thank You, Lord, for the opportunity. I sure hope You know what You’re doing!

A sense of humor never hurts.

What about you? Do you/how do you reframe in your life?


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A Visit From Winter

After several days of spring-like weather, Wednesday was a gray, snowy day. But the sun came out again yesterday.


Andy plowed the road up in the mountains, and the maintenance men plowed the driveways down here. Even though the temperature was below freezing, the snow in the sunshine started to melt.

Andy got a somewhat late start because driving up on the highway Wednesday, going only about 30 miles an hour because of the snow, the windshield suddenly developed a big crack.


We’re still scratching our heads over how that could have happened. Do you have any ideas?


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Three Comics

John Hambrock understands political promises:

With permission. The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee

John Hambrock/Used with permission.
The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee

Those of us who aren’t good joke tellers can relate to Elmo in this Blondie comic:

Used with permission.

Used with permission.

And most of us would agree with Calvin’s father about sensational broadcast news:

Has anything tickled your funny bone lately?


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Friendly Police?

How do you feel about your local police? My experience with our police department has been great. The station is only about a block away, and I used to go there often to get the key to the animal shelter. The shelter isn’t open all the time, and if you were on the volunteer list you could get the key from the police dispatcher and go over to let the dogs out to play and/or to work on their socialization skills so they had a better chance of being adopted.

Also, when our power went out late one night the police dispatcher was the person to phone. She was very friendly and helpful. She checked to make sure it wasn’t just a circuit breaker in our apartment, and that other lights in our complex were out. She then phoned the emergency crew, who found the problem and fixed it.

Not all people are that lucky, I know. What has your experience been?


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Yay, Happiness!

In a recent comment on one of her posts, Ursula wrote

My dear Jean, please do stop deluding yourself: Happiness is NOT a “practice”. Spiritual or otherwise.

Happiness is a by-product of daily life, a surge, a fleeting moment, a gift. And those fleeting moments can be found in the most mundane and unremarkable tasks. Not least because that which you do on auto pilot gives you freedom to let your spirit roam.

Yes, happiness is a by-product, a gift. And our attitude and how we focus our energy and attention greatly increases the chances for those experiences to spring forth. The practice comes in paying attention, getting to know ourselves deeply, and in the choices we make every day.

Letting our spirits roam? If that isn’t sacred time, I don’t know what is. See Slipping Into Sacred Space and Are You Spending Enough Time Doing Nothing? Happiness is probably not related to spirituality for most people, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t for me. As usual, one size doesn’t fit all. Forget trying to fit everyone into the same mold and celebrate differences, I say. Yay, differences! Yay, happiness!

tammy’s post little bits of happiness is on the same subject. Yay, tammy!


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A Heart-Warming Day

Yesterday was a great day here. First I read Ursula’s friendly comment on my post, then I read tammy’s comment at Montana Moments. Either one was enough to put a smile on my face for the rest of the day.

Montana Moments is a new blog written by Montana — one of my granddogs — with the help of Torben. This particular post was how she and Sammy (aka Sambuca) were outside getting some exercise when Montana thought Sammy might be lost. She couldn’t see him.


But it was all right, he had just been hidden behind some bushes.


Whew! She also wrote that she had been doing so well with her activity monitor that Torben and Kaitlin were going to increase her goal. I wrote some lame comment about how that wasn’t very motivating, just to show I was listening and following her blog. tammy, on the other had, knows how to talk to dogs:

dearest little montana!
you’re such a thoughtful puppy to even worry about sammy.
many puppies are just self centered. only interested in catching their own tails and chewing stuff.
and here you are. searching for your brother. now that is what i call a lady.
and as to your ‘goals of activity’ . . . if i’m understanding it all . . .
be thankful your parents haven’t put you on doggy ritalin!!!
it sounds like they’re letting you work off your energy in a safe way!!! GOOD LUCK!
GOOD GIRL!!!! there. i said it.
if you want to hear it more often . . . just call me. i’m always happy to say it to any puppy! XOXO

Thanks, tammy, for the big grin I wore for the rest of the day.


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Quotes and Cartoons

In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal column, Don’t Do It Mr. Romney*, Peggy Noonan wrote

He’d have been a better president than Obama. That’s not nearly enough.

Whether or not she’s right about Romney, that line succinctly expresses her main idea: America needs a lot more from a candidate than just “Vote for me, the other guy is even worse.”

But this post isn’t about politics and America’s need for good leadership. It’s about the power of a good quote or a good cartoon. Some people hate quotes — they think they demonstrate laziness/lack of thinking. I love ones that express ideas simply and go straight to my heart and brain.

What about you?

* This link may only work for subscribers.


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