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?


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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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Smart Puppy!

Rummuser and tammy have already seen this video on Montana’s blog, but I was impressed at how quickly Montana (my grandpup) learned. :)

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

I wish I could say I was always that smart!


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A Sad Goodbye?

The future of the large herbivores isn’t completely hopeless, but with all the poaching and habit loss they are being threatened.

This isn’t a cheerful subject, but the above cartoon was too brilliant not to share. I especially liked the aside at the bottom right, “Sorry, we were too busy taking selfies to notice.” As this Science Magazine article points out,

…without radical intervention, large herbivores (and many smaller ones) will continue to disappear from numerous regions with enormous ecological, social, and economic costs.

Now is the time to act boldly, because without radical changes in these trends, the extinctions that eliminated most of the world’s largest herbivores 10,000 to 50,000 years ago will only have been postponed for these last few remaining giants.

Are you more hopeful than I am?


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Bless You, Gus and Kim

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Gus over at Kim’s Life at Golden Pines. At the time Kim wrote,

He has increasingly more difficulty getting around than before, and needs us to help him more. … But Gus keeps trying and there is no doubt he’s just as happy as he was the first day he came to us. That’s all that matters.

Gus has now passed on and Kim has written a touching tribute, Remembering Gus’s Lessons on Life. Bless you, Gus and Kim, for being such inspirations.


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I Have a Cold!


I have a cold, and I’m grateful. :) Why grateful? Because I started having headaches and stabbing pains around and in my left eye last week. Pains in the eye were one of the things I was supposed to tell the eye doctor about — the inflammed iris coming back? I didn’t think so because my vision wasn’t blurry and I didn’t have those black floaters I had had before, so I decided to wait to see if it got better. Nope. Friday morning the pains became intense, and they were definitely in the eye. Bless the eye doctor, she worked me in that afternoon. It wasn’t the iris, just viral conjunctivitis from a cold. Nothing to be done but wait until it got better. I can handle that. :)

Peace of mind helps a lot. So did a Mother’s Day card (along with a gift) from Torben and Kaitlin. This is the picture on it:

Sammy and Montana Mother's Day

That’s great for the old immune system too. In fact, the pains are mostly gone by now, and it’s been a great weekend. How was yours?


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Dilbert Cartoon:

A fellow comes up to Dilbert and says,

So, Dilbert, what else are you working on lately?

Dilbert answers,

I’d rather not say because you have a habit of misinterpreting everything you hear and then bad-mouthing it later.

In the final panel the fellow tells another person,

He basically said he’s too paranoid to talk to people.

I laughed out loud because I’ve known people who have misinterpreted and bad-mouthed other people — including me! Fortunately I was in a position to ignore it. Have you ever known people like that? Were you able to get out of their crosshairs?


Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 13 Comments