HIGH FIVE !!!



In case you don’t know…

It’s National High Five Day!

Here’s a virtual one (because of distance and… because of you know what) for you and you and YOU!

I think we can all use a High Five about now.

Are any of us perfect? HELL. NO.

Is my way of handling LIFE necessarily your way? NOPE. And that’s okay. I think we’re all doing our best regardless of how that looks or is interpreted. Given enough time we find new ways and evolve. In the meantime I notice some crazy, er… I mean different, stuff going on.

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit some of that STUFF annoys me. But the people doing those annoying things believe in the certainty of their rightness as much as you and I! So what do you do with that? Let’s be good to one another. Choose kind over right, silence over diminishment.

Oh! Here’s another High Five!

Oh! And here’s another High Five!

HAPPY FRIDAY! Bits and Bobs

I was about to practice yoga and meditate. Then I thought about going back to bed! Not because I’m depressed or upset or anything but because I struggle with doing the things I know are good for me like everyone else! I’m also a little sore from working out at home, doing things that aren’t normally in my gym routine.

You know how Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka sings about wanting a Bean Feast (big English celebration with lots of food)? My inner song is that of an Egg Feast this time of year… A chocolate covered egg feast to be exact. Any kind will do but those Reese Peanut Butter Eggs… to die for. And I may just die of digestive distress if I don’t stop it!

The good news is I haven’t died from digestive distress but felt uncomfortable. Like most things we think are going to kill us we look back and realize it was another bump in the road. Not saying there aren’t some big bumps sometimes but we get over and past them if we don’t give up. I’ve ended up continuing to do what is good for me with the exception of eating too many Easter eggs. I’m getting better though. Maybe the novelty is wearing off? I hope!

Jack Black made his Tik Tok debut this week! I didn’t recognize it was him at first! If you don’t mind smiling and laughing, look it up. Seems there are 2 different versions. The better one is with the Aha song, Take On Me. Every time I think of it, it makes me smile. Thanks, Jack Black!

I also read on Echo that Wild Animals are Returning to City Streets! Okay, for real? Yes, for real!

With less human presence:

There are wild boar in the streets of Barcelona, Spain.

Deer wandering the metro train stations in Japan!

Puma in Santiago, Chile!

Wild turkeys in Oakland, California.

Any of us who have ever watched an apocalyptic movie have seen the animals re-inhabit the cities. But in only a few weeks! Jeff Goldblum was right. Nature finds a way…

Watched a few good movies this week on either Netflix or Amazon.

Radio Flash (an old school term for an electromagnetic pulse), is one I would watch again. I loved the strong, young female lead character/actress. Her character met with all kinds of obstacles I felt were realistic for the situation.

The Platform was extremely violent but I believe people will be violent to survive. It has a lot of statements to make but it’s up to you what those statements are. The direct said he left it open to interpretation.

The Last Days was a very different kind of apocalypse. No zombies, no apes, no rabid people. The antagonist was different. I liked that. The acting was good. I really liked it but it’s not super deep. Still it’s good. Oh yeah, the dialogue was in English but it is a Spanish film with Spanish subtitles. I was getting a Spanish workout/tutorial looking up the subtitles for fun!

Last, I’ve known for a long time I’m an INTJ (Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging) . While it’s true we need the power of good judgment, I often struggle with too much judgment. BUT I realize this and can temper it with awareness. I read something this week about not being judgmental of myself and the way I cope as well not being judgmental of the way others cope. I think that’s super wise advice.

It’s okay to have feelings. We’re human! There is NO SHAME in having feelings. There’s NO SHAME in letting them get the better of us at times. Distraction is good. I even wrote an article about distraction as a coping tool in reference to someone who wanted to cope with anxiety but didn’t want meditation advice. That’s fine. How about an in between awareness exercise?

Feelings don’t last. They are as impermanent as anything else.

Try this:

Say to yourself – I feel ________. (Notice it. Name it. ) Ahhh, there’s fear, anxiety, worry, judgment… you fill in the blank. Embrace it with compassion as if it were a hurting child. Feel it.

Next say to yourself – But right now, in this moment, I’m okay.

Then let it go or let it pass.

Repeat…

If you are truly not okay and need to respond, do so. But more often than not we realize that isn’t the case.

Whatever you choose… busy-ness, introspection or all the above, KNOW I’m cheering you on. Happy Friday!

Keepin’ On In Kentucky

Yesterday was lower body with selectorized dumbbells. Today, Jim retrieved our barely used TRX system from the shed and installed it. I gotta say… I didn’t really give them much of a chance when they were up at the old place. I got a pretty good, upper body workout with these this evening. It was fun to do something different! And my muscles feel like I did something different!

TRX Chest Press 3×10

TRX Chest Flys 3×10

TRX Rows 4×10

TRX Single Bicep Curl 3×10

TRX Tricep Extensions 3×10

TRX Standing Fallouts 3×10

This morning I practiced yoga and meditation.

Cooking happened.

And definitely laundry happened. There is always laundry.

This evening Jim and I took a walk.

Bottom Line: If you’re bored, get busy. If you’re unmotivated, get busy. If you’re depressed, get busy. If you’re worried, get busy.

We can’t let outer circumstances control our inner life. Occupy yourself in the ways you enjoy and find beneficial. If something needs a response, you will be able to respond with clarity and equanimity.

Today’s Lemonade

Oh! Those are cookies, you say! Yeah. And selectorized weights too! But I’m calling anything you do to stay up and motivated in the face of anxiety and challenges (Life’s Lemons)…. LEMONADE.

A friend on FB asked the question how people were handling anxiety, “No meditation, please.” I know meditation is the knee jerk, trendy answer for almost any problem these days making it seem cliche! I can accept it isn’t for everyone. BUT it shouldn’t be dismissed, I believe practiced consistently, it can be a valuable tool for whoever wants to use it. Most people answered staying busy and distracting oneself. And that’s certainly a valid tool as well.

Sitting around worrying certainly never helped anyone. So, WHAT lemonade did you make today? WHAT did YOU do? Maybe what we did might give someone else ideas on how to help themselves through this challenging time.

Here’s what I’ve been doing:

1) Working out at home. Not my first choice but it will get us through until we can go back to our second home – the GYM. It was amazing how wiped out the dumbbells and weights were online and in the stores. I went looking for sets of 40 and 50 lb dumbbells which were completely obliterated and found these selectorized dumbbells on the back of a low shelf. Your body weight works too! How lucky is that!

2)Yes, yoga and meditation. That’s a given for me. I swear by them. Lots of free yoga online. I recommend Lesley Fightmaster Yoga and Yoga with Kassandra. For subscription yoga, $15/month unlimited, I recommend Bryan Kest Power Yoga. All can be done at any experience/ability level. Yoga truly meets you where you’re at. Also many local yoga studios, I’ve noticed, are offering streaming yoga during this time of social distancing. Today Bryan Kest offered an affirmation during a guided meditation for anxiety. “I am calm. I am peaceful. And I feel safe.” It doesn’t matter if you are or not or if you believe it. Said internally and focused on often enough, you are actively rewriting your program. If you have time right now, a lot of us are home, what do you have to lose trying it? At the very least yoga and meditation might distract you.

3) Cooking and washing dishes. When you’re cooking more “home food” as my Indian friends call it, you naturally create more dirty dishes. No bacteria or virus has much of a chance on these dish pan hands.

4) Baked chocolate chip cookies. I have an unconscious mentality toward being prepared which means a lot of things to a lot of different people. To me: Prepared = Chocolate chips, flour, sugar……

5) Went for a walk with my husband and adult son. Walking (running if you do that) can improve almost any situation and if not the actual situation, it improves one’s mental outlook and perspective. I promise you, it does.

6) Stopped at Kroger on the way home. I’m happy to say I observed that people were still polite and willing to work with one another. And that’s what we need. Goodwill and Cooperation!

Be heard and help someone feel better! How are you making lemons into lemonade?

9

Simple, Wholesome, Therapeutic

EGGS!!!

The symbol of fertility, creation and new life, one of the hallmarks of Spring, Easter, Ostara – right up there with the hare (Easter Bunny)!

Here I am making egg salad. It’s such a simple and wholesome dish, so yummy, so reminiscent of times past. Throughout the ages, even the most simple of people had chickens and/or eggs. My relatives of the past, country people, came up with a zillion ways to use eggs! Eggs over easy remind me of weekend breakfasts made by my Dad. That was his specialty and time to shine. Soft boiled eggs made by my Mom to encourage eating during a bout of chicken pox. And egg salad… creamy, loaded with full fat mayonnaise egg salad.

I don’t recall my Mom making egg salad a lot but every now and then we would stop at Frisch’s or Woolworth’s for lunch and I would excitedly order an egg salad sandwich. That was back when people ate at home most of the time. McDonald’s was a novelty. Even getting a pizza back then was, according to my Grandparents, eating I (long i)- talian and Was super special.

These days, people eat out all the time. These days, I make egg salad with light mayonnaise. The memories are the same though – eggs, egg salad, chocolate eggs, the cutest, handmade dresses for Easter made for me by my Grandmother, new, patent leather shoes, planning Spring and Summer wardrobes from catalogues, finally playing outside again in the sunshine and that special shade of green Spring is known for.

HAPPY SPRING, EVERYONE!

Ignite your inner sunshine. Hang onto that shine! Your fire and energy may be what’s needed to light someone else’s. Sunshine lifts and inspires. We are strong, resilient and shiny! Always remember that.

HAPPY FRIDAY – May I Offer You Tea and a Biscuit?

I’ve learned much from my Indian friends. One of the best things is how much afternoon chai and a biscuit can improve the complexion of almost any day. It’s a calming delight, a respite from worry, a mental constitutional… I highly recommend it!

And when you’re finished with that, (I hope you turned off the news and social media during tea time) go on your daily physical constitutional. Fresh air, movement and hopefully sunshine do wonders for the heart, the mind and immunity. Be immersed in where you are.

You know, even a few minutes of meditation, will help restore calm and perspective. Watch the breath, thoughts, emotions. Let them come and watch them go.

NOW is the perfect time to learn a new way of handling the stresses of life. They come, we do what we practically can, we let them go.

Whatcha’ Gonna Do?

Worry and fear incapacitate us individually and as a whole. Unreasonable reactions instead of responses give a false sense of control which in the long run does little else than interfere with the reasonable efforts – everyday people trying to keep their everyday amount of groceries and supplies on hand. Then there’s interfering with health workers who need masks to care for the ill. Masks won’t keep us well unless they’re available to keep the all ready ill from spreading their illness.

Be aware and recognize fear and worry before they take over. Let your fear be the catalyst for compassion and cooperation – caring and sharing. It’s hard. I feel the influence to be scared too. I can let it take me over and prepare for a bunker existence like I did before Y2K or I can buy only what I would normally buy so everyone has a chance at some toilet tissue! Let’s remember that life is constant change – our day to day lives, the Earth’s life and the lives of viruses. All of it adjusts and adapts. It’s part of the natural way of things.

Hang in there!

You’re not alone.

WE WILL get through this.

Kvetching and You Know It…

If you’re kvetching and you know it…

Bake some treats!

If you’re kvetching and you know it…

Bake some treats!

If you’re kvetching and you know it.

And you really don’t want to blow it,

If you’re kvetching and you know it..

Bake some treats!

Or do ANYTHING for someone else.

Helps me!

One day last week my son’s truck appeared to need a new muffler – muffler pipe lying on ground midway suspended by the rear clamp. Took it to Meineke this week to learn that someone rolled under there and zip zap cut the converter off with a saw and within a minute was gone with his catalytic converter. That’s how they do it! Very quick. A $1900.00 repair on a truck worth about the same. Worked fine before but now it’s ruined.

I learned catalytic converters contain palladium and platinum which currently has a higher market value than gold. This kind of theft is rampant in Louisville and just about everywhere. I had no idea.

This happened in the parking lot where my daughter lives. Her condo association won’t even do a mass email alerting her neighbors about what happened and how they can attempt to protect their vehicles. So aggravating. Makes you wonder what else has happened that HOA prefers not to share.

We’ve discussed a door to door campaign alerting the neighbors:

1) Park close together and not separate making underneath, side access more difficult.

2) Keep vehicles with higher profiles in the garage if possible.

3) Park near lights.

4) Keep garage and outdoor lights on. In her case, if most people did this, her community would be really well lit and bright.

There are things like cages you can have welded over the catalytic converter but they aren’t foolproof. They can cut that off too. It will only slow them down. Or welding the converter to the frame but that can cause problems with noise and the frame flexing. VIN# engraved on the converter can help where IDs are required to sell them but many states don’t require that. In Louisville, where we live, the thieves take their booty over to Indiana where the junkyard pays them around $50 – enough for a little bit of drugs. The junkyard resells it to places that harvest the precious metals inside for $200-$300. Then you pay $1900.00 to replace what was a perfectly fine catalytic converter. If you drive too much without it, it will damage the engine.

That’s today’s Meaning Muse PSA…

Even if you’re not kvetching, do nice things for other people. It helps make the world a better place.

Can I Get An Intervention, Please?

Happy Birthday to me!

Happy Friday to YOU!

As you can see above, I have liberally celebrated my birthday and my recent lasik surgery with many pairs of sunglasses. Haven’t been able to wear sunglasses for years…. I’m calling that collage, “The Many Eyes of Denise.” Oh! Somebody help me!

It started with 50s/60s catseye sunglasses. Next was 80’s oversized, fancy lady sunglasses. Vintage sunglasses styles on EBay introduced me to the concept of NOS (New, Old Stock). It’s literally old stock, true vintage that have never been used. Amazingly, there is plenty of NOS out there. And now that I know it, I’m all about it. Hahaha…….. like a crazy person.

Now I’m fresh off watching – Who Killed Malcolm X? Great show. I learned a lot about the man and the history of those times. Malcolm X pulled no punches, was a super charismatic speaker and had a lot of style. I’ve heard, “Behind every great man is a great woman.” Malcolm X had Betty. I studied a little about her after watching the show and learned she not only survived after her husband’s assassination, she finished her education, became a college professor and raised their children while doing all that.

Guess what? Now I want a pair of Malcolm X, browline Clubmasters. Guess what? I ordered a pair. I just don’t have them yet or I would have worn them in the collage.

When will it stop?!?!

When I stop looking at sunglasses on EBay and share a few pairs of these sunglasses with my daughters.

HAPPY FRIDAY, EVERYONE!

Here’s to a sunny weekend…

So we can all wear our sunglasses!