World UFO Day

Ah, yes…. On this day in 1947, the great Roswell incident took place. We are left with a question… to classify or declassify?

(Photo by Michael Herren)

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Impossible Things Are Happening!

 

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”

— Walt Disney (1901-1966)

American entrepreneur and cartoonist

Sir Ronald and I have been most honored in our lives to meet some phenomenal artists. Graham Denison is one of the greats. Even more impressive is the fact that he is an amazing person. Back in his early days as an artist, he worked as a Disney cartoonist…. And MINNIE MICKEY © Disney. 20” X 20”, this recent original 20”x20” acrylic painting of his gives us a smile as he reflects on his professional beginnings. Check out his website DenisonArt.com and see (or purchase) an amazingly timeless work of original art. Thank you Graham! And keep on keepin’ on!!!!!

(Painting by Graham Denison   https://denisonart.com/)

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Wisdom

“I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.    My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.”

— Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

American statesman; 16th President: 1861-65; assassinated following Civil War

(Photo by Caleb Fisher)

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Choices

 

 

“I discovered I always have choices and sometimes it’s only a choice of attitude.”

— Judith M. Knowlton

American Author

 

(Photo by Damian Siodlok)

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Hope… and Hope Some More

“Don’t ever lose hope. Every time it appears the world will stop spinning it turns on for another millennium.”

— Cathy Burnham Martin

Author, voiceover artist, and dedicated foodie

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Hmmmm…. Funny!

Sometimes it’s more challenging than others to see the humor in a situation. But I do believe it helps us to step back and take a deep breath. And if we can find our happy place, we can be healthier. As a great believer in attitude over aptitude, I also believe in never squelching anyone’s ability to think happier.

“Funny is an attitude.”

— Clerow “Flip” Wilson, Jr. (1933 – 1998)

American comedian and actor

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The Tests of Time

“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.”

— Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900)

Irish poet & playwright

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Happiest Birthday wishes to the best mother in (or out of) the world!

Thank you to my dear mother, Glenna Burnham. You have been my role model, my guiding light, and my rock. You celebrated my successes and caught me whenever I fell. You have been a great blessing to me and so many others! You have beautifully touched countless lives. You have led the way to successfully choosing to live a life based on faith, family, love, service, and a positive attitude.

I was honored to build a “thank you” video for you, for you deserve every possible accolade and blessing. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMXf4C_R6qUwmpBE4CpT_Hg Words and photos do not begin to express my love and gratitude. Your impact will be fabulously felt for generations yet to come. Enjoy every bit of your blessed 92nd birthday celebrations… your birthday week… your birthday month! YOU are the best!

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Anniversary Joy

“My parents blessed me with directives to think, to be aware of my choices and their repercussions. They were always trying to teach me how to think, rather than what to think.”
― Cathy Burnham Martin, from 2019’s “Encouragement: How to Be and Find the Best”

They enjoyed over 70 years together. This day marks their wedding day in 1950. My mother is still with us. In fact, tomorrow, we celebrate her 92nd birthday. I have been amazingly blessed. May we all aspire to be a bit more like those we admire most.

(Photo is from my parents’ garden wedding reception on June 24, 1950, at 44 South Mast Street in Goffstown, New Hampshire.)

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Congratulations Class of 1972

Each year, people celebrate the anniversary of our graduation from high schools and colleges. The high school commemorations are, perhaps, most poignant for we may well have spent 12 years in school with many of those students… or even 13 years if we also went to kindergarten together.

This is the year for my high school class to celebrate our 50th. We graduated nearly 200 students from Goffstown High School in New Hampshire. We were the Redskins (now the more “PC” Grizzlies), enjoying success in everything from athletics and academics to theatre and music.

Upon graduation, our chosen Class Motto was “We go forward to a great perhaps,” from a quote by poet Francois Rabolais. Rather than celebrating where we had been, it referenced the start of a great adventure with great unknown results. Interestingly, as adults we learn that each decision, each step, and even each day carries the same opportunity.

Our class song now seems even more appropriate, indicating how slowly we humans tend to evolve. While we represented the generation championing independent thinking and encouragement of diversity and differences, we were in the midst of great social change, many protests, and the Vietnam War. Heralding from the 1968 Off-Broadway musical revue, “Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris,” the lyrics of our Class Song seem every bit as poignant 50 years later, as Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine reminds us of man’s inhumanity to man.

“If we only have love
Then tomorrow will dawn
And the days of our years
Will rise on that morn

If we only have love
To embrace without fears
We will kiss with our eyes
We will sleep without tears

If we only have love
With our arms open wide
Then the young and the old
Will stand at our side

If we only have love
Love that’s falling like rain
Then the parched desert earth
Will grow green again

If we only have love
For the hymn that we shout
For the song that we sing
Then we’ll have a way out

If we only have love
We can reach those in pain
We can heal all our wounds
We can use our own names

If we only have love
We can melt all the guns
And then give the new world
To our daughters and sons

If we only have love
Then Jerusalem stands
And then death has no shadow
There are no foreign lands

If we only have love
We will never bow down
We’ll be tall as the pines
Neither heroes nor clowns

If we only have love
Then we’ll only be men
And we’ll drink from the Grail
To be born once again
Then with nothing at all
But the little we are
We’ll have conquered all time
All space, the sun, and the stars”

So, as with all of us, the Class of ’72 has endured 50 years filled with love and losses, successes and failures, magic moments, and much mayhem. Many of us are gone. Many of us remain. The paths that we followed and the trails that we blazed still remain. The lives that we have touched reflect the ever-widening ripples of time. While we humans still have a long way to grow, we can and should celebrate the great ride we have and do experience… always.

Bravo, many thanks, and much love to all.

(Photo from Goffstown’s 1972 Nisa’tin yearbook)

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Family Time

How lovely to be able to spend the weekend with family! Adam, Caiti, and little Adaline are all merely marvelous! At just 20 months she truly has grown into a conversant, comprehending, and intuitive little person!!! And come this October, she will grow into a beautiful big sister! Blessings must always be counted. Gratitude should always be expressed. Papa and Nana most assuredly count them among our richest blessings, and we are eternally grateful for the love and happiness they bring into our lives daily.

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She Sells Seashells by the Seashore

National Seashell Day is celebrated on the first day of summer every year. This is a time to admire this remarkable aspect of Nature. I do not recall a time when I didn’t collect seashells when I visited a beach somewhere. My grandfather had made jewelry from seashells. I adorned various items with seashells… from baskets to picture frames. I enjoy large ones and small ones… neutral shades and vivid colors. I have marveled at the artistic talents of folks who turn shells into fantastic works such as realistic-looking cakes and tortes to a massive, sprawling octopus. Such a pleasure to walk along a beach on a peaceful day, pausing to pick up and examine some precious shell the waves have tossed ashore. Sure, there have been times when a storm may have cast clusters of live starfish or live scallops up onto dry land, and I gleefully take some time to gently cast them back into the sea.

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Angels Among Us

See these sweet little fawns! Well, our friends Rickie Johnson Sr. and his wife Claire Cavanaugh Johnson found them huddled under a section of fence at our ranch in NC. But Mama never returned. One doe came by with her own fawn, but simply ignored them. They realized the mother must have been the doe whose body was at the side of the road, struck down by a vehicle. With nightfall, our friends moved the babies into our barn for both warmth and protection from the various predators. With the door open in daylight, the young ones could venture out. Sadly, even bottles of milk were rejected. And still no hope from the various animal rescue organizations that are all swamped. But Rickie and Claire kept trying to feed the little deer… to no avail. Another group of deer came by and saw the struggling young ones. Blessedly, they did not ignore the emergency situation. One of the does started nudging the little fawns towards the woods. It worked. A successful adoption! Now Rickie and Claire will get to watch the little babes grow up! Just more proof that all heroes do not wear capes. Thank you Rickie and Claire!!!!!

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Happy Father’s Day!

Greetings and gratitude to all the fathers out there! Whether you are a birth father, stepfather, grandfather, great-grandfather, or father figure, we salute you! Of course, my hubby calls Father’s Day the holiest day of the year, but he is an original wise guy. In seriousness, fathers are more important in families than some folks seem to realize. It takes love and a long-term commitment. Fathering requires patience, wisdom, and strength someone may not even realize they have inside. As with most things, a sense of humor helps, too! Faith and family provide a powerful foundation for children. Many of us have been blessed with wonderful fathers. Many have not. If your Dad loved you and tried his best, that is enough. You were blessed. I was blessed, too. And I proudly say that my Poppy was the greatest Dad ever. I hope you feel the exact same way about your Dad. It does not mean that they were perfect. (There was only one perfect person.) Today we pay tribute to every father and say “thanks” for being the best you could be. Happy Father’s Day!

(The picture is my hubby, Ron Martin, with grandbaby Adaline last weekend.)

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Practice, Practice, Practice

“Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better.”

— Pat Riley (1945 – )

Former NBA coach and player

(Image by Gerd Altmann)

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National Flip-Flop Day

Pick your favorite color… and material. Wear them to the beach or the park. Wear them grocery shopping or bar hopping. While I am not a fan of seeing them on passengers in airports, I do understand they are super simple. (Golly, remember when folks used to dress up to fly somewhere? Whew!) But after a long winter and spring, it’s time to let the summer sizzle. Come on! Ditch the closed-toe shoes. Let those tootsies wiggle!

(Photo by Peggy Choacair)

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Character

“Be it good or bad, when we display strong character, we will find immediate supporters and detractors.”

— Cathy Burnham Martin – American author, voiceover artist & dedicated foodie

(Image by Gino Crescoli)

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Nature Photography Day

I love looking at Nature’s beauty and drama…. sometimes delicate and serene… sometimes awesome and overwhelming. But always so much bigger than we are. And fascinating! So, today we salute nature through photography and those who dedicate their lives to capturing the glory on film.

We likely know the work of some of the “greats.” Think of amazing landscape photographers like Max Riva from the Netherlands or America’s Ted Gore… National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore, adventure photographer Jimmy Chin, the world-famous Marina Cano, and the utterly amazing landscape photographer Marc Adamus. I love it all! When I capture a scene or a moment, I do so merely with my cell phone, although I have dreamt of an “eyebrow camera” since childhood, so I could instantly snap any scene I see. We need not be famous, nor professional. We simply need to enjoy. The video hails from our ranch in North Carolina, where the deer are plentiful. (And I never tire of photographing them.) So, if you’ve taken a nature photo lately that you’d be willing to share, go ahead and do so. Sharing the beauty is a great way to salute Nature Photography Day.

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National Strawberry Shortcake Day

Yum! If a super strawberry dessert deserves its own day, a strawberry shortcake wins my vote. Always a crowd-pleaser on a summery day, slice up those fresh berries (and mash more than half of them to up the juiciness). I add no sugar but sprinkling the slices with sugar will most definitely bring out the juice. Pile your mashed berries along with some slices between the layers of cake and top with more slices. Freshly whipped cream can (and should) be in between layers as well as on top. I mean, why not!?! Oh, you like vanilla ice cream? Sure, add that also, if you like. Make a true shortcake (like a large, cakepan-sized biscuit) or split regular-sized biscuits or angel cake or pound cake or whatever you prefer. Strawberries are a scrumptious superfood, so indulge away!  And this is Flag Day, so add some blueberries, if you’d like, and give your shortcake the ol’ red, white, and blue treatment!

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Perspective

 

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”

— Robert Brault (approx. 1939 – )

American author

(Photo by Manuel Barroso Parejo)

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National Peanut Butter Cookie Day

Any way you make ‘em, I just know these are melt in your mouth yummy. Mom rocked these… straight out of the original Betty Crocker Cookbook. I’ll share a couple of my old recipes here. First, my 1970 recipe card. Oh, and when the word is “shortening,” I assure you that this means Crisco. Not the way I cook today, but it sure made great cookies.

Peanut Butter Cookies

1 c shortening

1 c sugar

1 c firmly packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 c peanut butter

1 tsp vanilla extra

3 c flour

3/4 tsp baking soda

Cream shortening in a large mixing bowl; gradually add sugar, beating well.  Add eggs; beat well.  Add peanut butter and vanilla; blend well. Add flour and soda, blending well. Shape dough into 1″ balls; place 3 inches apart on greased cookie sheets. Gently flatten with fork dipped in flour, making a crisscross pattern on each. Bake at 350ºF for 10 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool. Makes 6 dozen.

In the 1960’s and early 70’s I used creamy peanut butter. I assure you that since first switching to extra crunchy peanut butter, I never looked back. Here’s a truly Super Simple rendition from my 1974 recipe card.

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

1/4 c butter, softened to room temp

½ c packed brown sugar

1 large egg

1 (12‑oz) jar peanut butter (chunky or creamy)

1 vanilla or yellow cake mix

Combine ingredients in order given, blending completely after each addition.  Shape into 1″ balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Flatten with a fork in a criss‑cross pattern.  Bake 8‑10 minutes at 350ºF. Cool on wire racks. Makes 4-5 dozen.

I also have been known to add all sorts of extra goodies… from chocolate chips and coconut flakes to roasted pepitas and sunflower seeds. In whatever manner you may make them in the 21st Century, if your taste buds are at all like mine, a few scrumptious warm cookies never get to finish cooling on the wire racks!

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Smile!

 

“A cloudy day is no match for a sunny disposition.”

William Arthur Ward (1921 – 1994)

American writer and poet

As quoted in my “Healthy Thinking Habits” chapter in  “A Healthier You!”

(Photo by Stephen Leonardi)

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You’ve GOT This!

 

“Do or do not. There is no try.”

— Yoda

Legendary Jedi Master in “Star Wars” films

 

(Photo by Riku Lu)

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National Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Day

‘Tis the season to enjoy fresh rhubarb. If you are a fan, that is. And I am indeed a fan… from raw straight out of the garden to cooked down into a sauce. Strawberries prove to be the perfect companion as they impart a melt-in-your-mouth sweetness to the crazy sour tartness of rhubarb. In a pie, this combo is one of hubby’s favorites. He wanted one for Christmas, but I’d run out of frozen rhubarb. Now fresh rhubarb flourishes, so I could bring on the pie. Enjoy it warm out of the oven with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for a lusciously decadent treat.

Cathy’s Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie  

4 c rhubarb, thick stalks cut in half lengthwise; all sliced into ½” pieces

2 c strawberry slices (thick or thin, your preference)

¼ c lt brown sugar (or substitute)

1 (6-oz) sugar-free strawberry Jell-O

2 T instant tapioca

2 T flour

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

½ tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp orange zest

¼ tsp salt

¼ – ½ tsp almond extract, optional

Pastry for 2-crust (9 or 10” pie), fresh or frozen

2 T cold butter, cut into tiny pieces

For glazing the crust:

Either 2 T milk & 2 T sugar

Or

1 large egg yolk, beaten with 1 tsp water

In large bowl, combine sugar, tapioca, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, zest & salt; toss well with berry-rhubarb combination till coated; sprinkle extract over top and toss well again. Pour into prepared pastry shell. Dot with butter. Cut 2nd pastry into ½ – ¾” strips and weave a lattice top for pie.  Fold ends under at edges; press to seal; crimp edges. Brush lattice with milk; sprinkle with sugar OR brush with egg yolk wash.

Bake at 400ºF for 20 min.  Reduce heat to 350ºF and bake additional 25-35 min till crust is golden and filling is thickened & bubbly.   Cool on wire rack to desired temperature. (Cooling allows juices time to thicken.)

Tip: Depending on your oven, you may need to protect crust edges with foil for last 10 min to prevent from getting too dark.

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National Best Friends Day

 

“A real friend walks in when the rest of the world walks out.”

— Walter Winchell (1897 – 1972)

American newspaper gossip columnist

 

We are richer than rich when we have best friends.

We need not agree with our best friends, but we’ll always have each other’s back.

They love us when we’re unlovable.

They encourage us if we’re ever in doubt.

They get us through the toughest times.

They remind us that we are indeed worthy.

They respect us for who we are.

If best friends get separated and reunite, it’s as if we were never apart at all.

 

Thank you, thank you, thank you… to best friends everywhere!

(Photo by Tyler Nix)

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National Chocolate Ice Cream Day

Not that we need an “official” holiday to indulge, but any excuse to visit an old-fashioned ice cream parlor is a good excuse! Or simply load up a bowl at home… enjoy au natural or loaded with your favorite toppings from nuts and hot fudge sauce to berries and whipped cream. Oh, and if Happy Hour is more your style, let’s make a float! For Family Friendly, simply omit the alcohol.

Thin Mint Chocolate Float

2 oz Vandermint Liquer, Bailey’s Irish Crème, Malibu Spiced Rum, or other favorite to mix with chocolate

2-3 crushed Thin Mint cookies

2 scoops favorite chocolate ice cream

Vanilla cream soda

Pour alcohol in glass; sprinkle with 1/3 cookie crumbs. Top with ice cream and 1/3 crumbs. Pour cream soda over to desired fullness & sprinkle with remaining crumbs.

Any other instructions needed? Wait! What??!!? Don’t we all hoard our favorite Girl Scout cookies in the freezer?

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It’s PAW… Pet Appreciation Week

Starting the first Sunday in June each year is Pet Appreciation Week. The American Veterinary Medical Association created PAW in 1981 to create awareness of the importance of pets in our lives and to appreciate them for everything they do to enrich our lives. They definitely keep us busier, healthier, and happier! So, this week we can show our appreciation for those wagging tails, jingling collars, and gleeful meows but giving them some extra cuddle and playtime, a pet massage, and an extra treat. This is also a good time to choose other activities that focus on them, watching their favorite TV show with them or playing their favorite music, or scheduling their annual health check-up.

(Dog photo by Richard Brutyo; Cat photo by Yerlin Matu)

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National Cancer Survivors Day (& Month)

Hubby goes in for his 2nd 6-month PT scan next month after enduring the grotesquely challenging esophageal cancer treatment, which included lengthy chemo and the maximum radiation dosing a human body can endure. We remain confident his tests will still show his body to be free of cancer. Why are we confident? Because it’s the best choice.

I had always thought that hitting the 5-year cancer-free goal defined being a cancer survivor. Au contraire! The National Cancer Institute is the authority when it comes to defining cancer terms.  Officially, when it comes to cancer, a person is considered to be a survivor “from the time of diagnosis until the end of life.” If you are among the millions who are currently living with cancer, please take a moment to give yourself some credit. Whatever your path, it’s far from easy. None of us gets out of this Life alive, but cancer delivers a distinctly challenging path.

So, bravo to everyone who has received the chilling diagnosis and has survived or is still alive! YOU are a Survivor! Even if you are currently still living with it and fighting it, congratulations! You ARE a Survivor. Today (June 4th), for the entire month of June, and always… we salute you!!!

(Photo courtesy of National Cancer Institute)

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National Hug Your Cat Day

Feline fans know that the love of a cat is amazingly impressive. They play, they hunt, they follow, they croon, they preen, they purrrrrrr, they nap, they bring us gifts they have worked to collect, and they adore their humans. The loving “head butt” of a cat says it all. A cat will knowingly and ceaselessly woo someone who is not a fan of cats. And when a cat looks you in the eye, we can assure them that we understand by looking straight back and very slowly blinking our eyelids. While we show them daily that we love them, too, June 4th is a special day to give them an extra hug… or 9. That’s purrrfect, too!

 

“Way down deep, we’re all motivated by the same urges.

Cats have the courage to live by them.”

— Jim Davis (1945 – )

American cartoonist, “Garfield”

(Cat hug photo by Brett Jordan; Cat with butterfly by Karina Vorozheeva)

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National Audiobook Appreciation Month

A few years ago, I learned to produce my first audiobook and wondered why I had not done this 20 years earlier. They are fun to make, and I have recorded them for several types of books and various authors. They are available on sites like Amazon, Audible, Kobo, Google Play Books, Storytel, and Scribd. Told through a somewhat soulfully introspective view, I have now released my first novel in audiobook format. “Destiny of Dreams… Time Is Dear” tells the true story of my Armenian family’s struggle to survive and escape the genocide that occurred in the waning years of the Ottoman Empire. While poignant and revealing, the telling remains brutally honest. Violence is not salacious, but it is indeed horrific. If you can handle a heart-wrenching story, you may well appreciate mine. Many have said it’s particularly timely as it mirrors the continuing examples of man’s inhumanity to man, occurring still around the world. As with all my titles, “Destiny of Dreams… Time Is Dear” is also available in print and digital formats. But this is Audiobook Appreciation Month, and I most definitely appreciate the opportunity to provide information and entertainment in this ever-expanding format.

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National I Love My Dentist Day

I love my dentist today and every day. Dentists follow the difficult to maneuver paths to keep our smiles healthy, fix any broken teeth, apply fillings to cavities, and relieve any toothaches. It is at the dentist’s office that we are reminded of the vital importance of dental hygiene, as they work to help us chew normally and smile beautifully.

Say thanks to your dentist today, if you can. Mine is Dr. Larry Puccini. And Doc, thanks for being ever thoughtful and resourceful, kind and caring. The expertise and professionalism of you and your team are remarkable. I know I speak for all who have benefitted from your services when I say that you are deeply appreciated. Thank you!

(Photo by Pfüderi)

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National Say Something Nice Day

Kind words cost us nothing, but they just could mean the world to someone else. With likable folks, it’s easy to find positive things to say. That becomes a bit more challenging with any miserable person in our midst. Typically, crabby folks do not even realize that they are observed as cranky and miserable with their skepticism, criticism, and constant ire. It can sometimes seem daunting to see something worthy of appreciation in them. But we can do it! There is always something sweet, even when deeply hidden.

Today, June 1, is the annual day focused on saying something nice to everyone. Let’s do it! Let’s put aside tough realities and find something genuine and nice to say to everyone we encounter.

This can end up feeling fun. More importantly, looking for and expressing “the positive” truly makes us happier and healthier people. Woo-hoo! Win-Win!

Thank you for reading my post. You just shared your precious time with lil’ ol’ me. And I appreciate that. I appreciate you.

(Photo by Niek Verlaan)

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Please Step Out of the Vehicle!

Let’s end the month with a bit of levity, with a nod of apology to all my friends who have served in law enforcement. This story so fondly reminds me of my dear mother-in-law, I simply had to share it.

A lovely, mature woman got pulled over for speeding… and the conversation begins.

Woman: Is there a problem, officer?

Officer: Ma’am, you were speeding.

Woman: Oh, I see.

Officer: Can I see your license, please?

Woman: I’d give it to you, but I don’t have one.

Officer: Don’t have one?

Woman: Lost it, 4 years ago for drunk driving.

Officer: I see… Can I see your vehicle registration papers, please?

Woman: I can’t do that.

Officer: Why not?

Woman: I stole this car.

Officer: Stole it?

Woman: Yes, and I killed and hacked up the owner.

Officer: You what?!?

Woman: His body parts are in plastic bags in the trunk if you want to see.

Now the officer looks at the woman as he slowly backs away to his car and calls for back- up. Within minutes 5 police cruisers have encircled her car.

A senior officer slowly approaches the car, clasping his half-drawn gun.

Senior Officer 2: Ma’am, please step out of your vehicle!

The woman steps out of her car.

Woman: Is there some problem sir?

Senior Officer: One of my officers told me that you have stolen this car and murdered the owner.

Woman, sputtering: Murdered the owner?

Senior Officer: Yes, would you open the trunk of your vehicle, please?

The woman opens the trunk, revealing nothing but an empty trunk.

Senior Officer: Is this your car, ma’am?

Woman: Oh, yes. Here are the registration papers.

She hands him her documents, and the Senior Officer is quite stunned.

Senior Officer: My officer claims that you do not have a driving license.

The woman digs into her handbag, pulls out her license, and hands it to the Senior Officer. He examines the license and looks quite puzzled.

Senior Officer: Thank you, ma’am. My officer said you didn’t have a license, that you stole this car, and that you murdered and hacked up the owner.

Woman, with wide eyes: Bet the liar told you I was speeding, too.

 

(Smile. But, noooooo…. I do not recommend trying this!)

(Image by Mohamen Hassan)

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Observe Memorial Day

Tears fill my eyes each and every time I hear the song, “God Bless the U.S.A.”

“And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.”

— Lee Greenwood (1943 – )

American singer and songwriter

On Memorial Day, especially, we pause to remember and honor all military personnel who sacrificed their lives for our freedom. Each one was first someone’s son or daughter, parent, sibling, neighbor, spouse, or friend. I give thanks that such strength exists.

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Let’s Cool the Divisiveness

“We need to stop being so hyper-focused on gender, race, age, and sexual stereotyping. Live and let live for crying out loud. From my perspective, we’ve gone so overboard with attempts to not insult someone or stereotype something about them that divisiveness is now the rule… far too often.”

― Cathy Burnham Martin, American author, voiceover artist & dedicated foodie

From 2017 book: “The Bimbo Has Brains: And Other Freaky Facts”

(Image by Gerd Altmann)

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National Hamburger Day!

Pick a burger, any burger… fresh or frozen. Today is the day to dig in! Choose your favorite, be it a basic burger or the cheesiest possible. Perhaps you like some of the nation’s regional flavor twists or a simple BBQ-style. Others must decide to lean toward spicy or mild, beef or a meat combination, or a preferred veggie burger. For me, I often opt for a stuffed or even double-stuffed variety. That said, here’s my own rendition from 2009. Still worthy today.

Super Simple Mushroom-Stuffed Burgers

1 T olive oil

1-1½ c sliced button or baby portabella mushrooms (cut, if large)

½ c finely chopped sweet onion

1 lb ground beef

2 T steak sauce (any variety)

1 T freshly ground black pepper

½ c shredded Swiss cheese (or other fave)

Sauté mushrooms & onions in olive oil over medium heat for 2 minutes; set aside to cool to room temperature. Combine beef, steak sauce, and pepper; shape into 8 (4”) patties. On 4 patties, divide mushroom mixture and cheese, not quite to edges. Top with remaining patties, pinching edges to seal well; flatten slightly, keeping edges sealed. Grill on medium hot grill for 2-3 minutes per side for medium-rare, 3-4 minutes per side for medium. Serve on toasted buns with your choice of toppings such as bacon, lettuce and tomato slices, and whatever condiments you enjoy.  I find them particularly tasty simply topped with a spicy mustard and crispy fried onions. Of course, a generous slice of extra cheese and some sliced pickles never hurt! Makes 4 burgers.

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Be Astounding!

“If we did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves.”

— Thomas Edison (1847 – 1931)

American inventor & businessman

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National Paper Airplane Day

Fly! Fly! Fly! Every May 26th comes this simple day of fanciful fun for children and adults. If you like folding your own paper airplanes, you may know the whimsical term “aerogami,” a nod to origami, the Japanese art of paper folding. So have fun folding and flying. If your competitive spirit flutters, you may enjoy also knowing that today’s competitions tend toward 2 basic paper airplane flight categories… distance and time in the air.  Have fun in flight!

(Image by Febrian Spaputra)

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Know Thyself

“Master the perception principle.  Learn to know yourself.  Know the real person deep within you.”

— Norman Vincent Peale (1898 – 1993)

American Protestant clergyman and author

from his best-selling book, “The Power of Positive Thinking”

(Photo by Katrina Wright)

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Fanaticism

 

“A fanatic is someone who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.”

— Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

British statesman, soldier & author; former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

From an article in the “New York Times,” July 5, 1954

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