Simplify – To simplify our lives can give our lives more meaning and quality. “Live Simply” is simply fabulous…follow some great advice and apply some terrific methods to simplify our over-complicated messy lives! ūüôā¬† I, for one, want my days to be easier and peaceful.¬† This is one heck of a way to go down that path. Bonus:¬†Doesn’t cost a penny!

Change The Code

How to Live a Minimalist Lifestyle

If you want to live a more minimalist lifestyle to try and simplify your life I applaud your decision. You are going against the mainstream in doing this.

The mainstream says that more is better. Be busy all the time. Spend your money on useless stuff.

Those of us who enjoy minimalist living eschew this philosophy.

We want more time for ourselves and those close to us.

We know that less is more.

We may like certain items but they have meaning and purpose.

It is okay to be quiet and still.

So what is it about living a minimalist lifestyle that appeals to you?

I encourage you to examine your personal core values. Are your really ready to make some wholesale changes to your current lifestyle?

You may have to dig deep in order to do this. To let go of certain ingrained…

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Something to Smile About

Let’s smile a bit, shall we!?

http://www.wimp.com/catowl/ – a beautiful video of a friendship between an owl and a black cat. Watch this video and you‚Äôll enjoy this immensely — if you appreciate friendships!

Good Friends - My Richard and Our Friend Christine in 2009

Good Friends – My Richard and Our Friend Christine in 2009

Aren’t we lucky?  We all have the ability to have friends.  People are out there who do care for each other.  Even animals and birds as shown in the video above…  I hope you see the fun and friendship that we saw when we watched the video.

We just finished watching an interview between Piers Morgan and the Dalai Lama on CNN.¬† What a joy to see a man who sees something to smile about ‚Äď one way or another.¬† We watch http://www.ted.com and you will find talks on Ted that will blow your mind; including several incredible discussions with the Dalai Lama and many other very spiritual, intelligent, THINKING people.¬† ‚Ķanother recommended web-site that we both highly recommend.¬†

Richard and I received a gift of love from friends in Santa Monica (you know who you are!) this past week that literally put us both in tears.  Thank you for your love and caring to us when we most need it…we cried, and through the tears, smiled, and remarkably, I hand wrote a letter to them.  No typing or email thank you for this…you deserved a handwritten letter of gratitude.  I was a bit rusty at the beginning of writing the letter, but eventually got the hang of it again!  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  You are miracle friends.

Today, we searched for something to smile about, and surprisingly, we found quite a few things to smile about.  We’ll keep working on this! 

Food has been a problem for us over the past 3 years…Richard has now lost about 40 pounds and I’ve lost about 60 pounds.¬† Friends and family have been helping out – yet another thing to smile about!¬† My cousin Mark went to the only place we know that sells mizithra cheese (the Spaghetti Factory) and bought two packages to use over noodles.¬† It’s the one things we find that we can eat without getting ill.¬† He’s shipping that to us in an ice container – and refuses to allow us to give him financial¬†¬†payment.¬†

So, there is much in our lives to be grateful for.  Sometimes we just forget to look around closely for happiness.  I know I’m going to work on this . . . I will have nothing to lose!

“Lingering…”

This is NOT a fun way to linger

This is NOT a fun way to "linger", but unfortunately, it's very similar to the way my body looks these days.

In a way, we can say that “we’re all dying,” and “we’re all lingering.”

The word “lingering” intrigues me.¬† In our case, it means that we’re hanging on to dear life for all we have.¬† That’s our medical version of lingering…we are just hanging on in hopes for . . . . and then there’s a huge gap there…’cause I don’t know what we think is going to happen…

I think we’d get up off our boney butts (if we¬†could) and take some kind of action.

The difficulty in lingering is that it’s a time in our lives¬†when we aren’t going forward or backward.

We are sitting still in the midst of a human sunami.  It reminds me a little of times that I have spent visitng people in nursing homes.  Those elders in our communities and yes Рmembers of our families Рare just lingering. 

Usually lingering does not involve much other than laying down on a bed or sitting in a chair.¬† I call it “warehousing.”¬† Our bodies, spirits, interests, personalitiies, beliefs, expressions…the very essence of who we are is just sitting there in limbo waiting.¬† Waiting for what – we don’t know.¬† If we knew the future, I doubt there would be many people lingering.¬†

Through my lifetime I have rarely lingered or just “hung out.”¬† I am used to working and doing things every waking minute.¬† This lingering thing is not interesting or restful for me at all.¬† As I feel my body shutting down, I literally can feel the “force” of life moving away.¬† On one hand it really irritates me, but on the other hand, I think that perhaps this is a lesson in my life that I’m learning and that there is a higher purpose to it than I realize.¬†

Maybe I should have taken more time out through my lifetime to simply linger in a field of flowers.¬† Maybe I should do that now.¬† Now that the federal government has agreed with my doctors that I have a “chronic” problem or¬†have what is¬†considered an incurable disease and shouldn’t be working, it is time to find that field of flowers to linger within for a bit?!¬†

All of these feelings are completely duplicated in my husband, Richard.¬† Having the same poisoning has given us many of the same symptoms.¬† Uranium and tungsten poisoning is basically a heavy metal that lingers in our bodies¬†(jeez, there’s that word “linger” again!).

In our case, these particular heaviest of heavy metals cannot be chelated or removed from our systems, so they continue lingering.  As time moves on, the heavy poisons move through the cells of our bodies, eat out the bottom of one cell, grab on to another, linger for awhile there doing their damage, and repeats the cycle over and over and over again until our organs just wear the heck out. 

Then the lingering is over. 

There is no dignity in this kind of dying process, believe me.¬† We try with difficulty to keep our sense of humor…

I have moments of hysterical laughter…for instance, the other night on late night night programming there was a stupid ad for weight loss pills at the mere cost of $19.95 per bottle “guaranteed to make you thinner!”

* * * * *

I can produce our own ad…”just¬†add a little sprinkle of this heavy metal poison on one meal a day for a month and we guarantee you¬† will lose 60% of your body weight…only $8.95 a bottle…but wait…act fast, we’ll double your order if you call us in the next 15 minutes! . . . just think…two bottles for the price of one!¬† This is an offer you simply can’t refuse . . .

Meantime, we’re lingering.¬† Jeez, I gotta get a hobby!

Welcome to Our Home

American Flag

American Flag

 My Top Ten Wishes for Politicians in the USA

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Election year.  Gobs and gobs of money is being spent on campaigns.  Private funds, public funding . . . and on and on .

While all the money is being spent, babes in arms being kissed, and promises are made, I often wonder about the truthfulness and just how much it all means to the average “John or Jane Doe.”

– – –

I have ten wishes for the candidates this year to fulfill while they are flitting from state to state, meeting to meeting, and spending suitcases of money in order to assure themselves the honored position of whatever they are running for…¬†

– – –

I would like to see each of our candidates do and say things that show just who they really are.¬† All applicants for this job should be realistic and honest.¬† Don’t tell us that you will make pigs fly (that’s one of my favorite ones!).¬† Just say and do some believable things,okay?

– – –

  • Drop by¬†our place (which is an RV, by the way) and join¬†us for dinner – we’ll share a box of Kraft macaroni and cheese¬†and canned beans.¬†
  • Do the dishes after dinner.¬† Lucky you – there aren’t many dishes to wash ’cause¬†we usually¬†use paper plates.
  • Tell us about the last time you balanced your own checkbook and worried whether or not if you would have enough to make ends meet at the end of the month.¬† By the way, did you get it balanced correctly?
  • Take a telehone call from a bill collector at 7:30 p.m. – have to ask that bill collector to “pipe-down” and stop yelling and being so nasty.
  • Call our mortgage company to see if you can renegotiate our mortgage interest rate and/or monthly payment.
  • Wear the same clothing at least 10 times in a month.
  • Get to the check-out counter at the grocery store and realize you don’t have enough money in your bank to cover the cost of the groceries you purchased.
  • Have a chronic and fatal disease and go to a clinic to be told there is nothing that they can do for you…you’re just stuck with it…and your health insurance cancels your policy.
  • Be a teacher in the “no child left behind” system and be forced to pass an illiterate child to the next grade because you have no choice…
  • Be robbed and raped in your own home. When you call 9-1-1, they put you on hold for 20 minutes.¬† The responding officer recommends that you buy a big, mean dog, and tells you that they don’t believe there’s a chance in the world that the perpetrator will be caught.¬† (By the way,¬†it’s in an apartment that doesn’t allow pets anyway; unless of course, they count rats as pets).

– – –

You Are Welcome to Drop By to Visit Anytime – To Share Dinner or Just to Visit and Chat

(On A Good Day, We Might Have Some Ice Cream for Dessert!)

Barack Obama - You Are Cordially Invited to Visit

Barack Obama - You Are Cordially Invited to Visit

Mitt Romney - Come On By For Dinner

Mitt Romney - Come On By for Dinner

Memory Bears

 
I hope that you will drop by here to find out about Bonnie’s Memory Bears…
 
Here’s my letter to my sister-in-law this morning…¬† but before you read it, here’s a little background…Richard and I have returned to Quartzsite, Arizona.¬† This little “town” is more or less a wide spot in the road between Phoenix and Los Angeles.¬† Not much goes on here for about 9 months out of the year.¬† But, then for 3 months each year, the place is filled to the brim with¬†RVers – trailers, Fifth Wheelers, campers and hundreds of thousands of people – trading, bartering, and selling/buying rocks.¬† It’s a lot of fun for so many people.
 
Richard and I have come back to Quartzsite for the last of our days.¬† Call it the “boomerang” effect or whatever, it’s appropriate we live out what we have left here where we know the washes, the valley of the saquaroes, where the best cold beer is and when the best time is to drop by Silly Al’s for a good home-made pizza.¬† We keep in touch with our family and friends on this blog mostly…and we watch out for each other.¬† We wish we had more time left, but with the poisoning running around through our systems the way it has, the loss of weight, and everything else, it’s painfully obvious our days are numbered not by years anymore.¬† Here’s this morning’s letter to my sister-in-law and good friend…
 
—-
Good morning Angela – when you’re through reading this email, click on the link above and you’ll meet Bonnie – she makes bears for people who have lost someone who they loved – usually made from the material of something like a blanket or piece of clothing that the person wore and loved.¬† She calls them “Memory Bears.”¬† I follow her blog.¬† At first I thought it seemed a bit nutty, but as I read her blog, I began to understand that it’s a unique “ministry” such as Bonnie calls it – – and can really help children all the way to old people in keeping the memory of someone we love alive in our hearts…
 
Herc's Quilt

Herc's Quilt

After all these years, as you know, I still have hung on to Hercs patchwork blanket that we got him when Herc was here between January 1st and the day he died.¬†¬†Towards the end of¬†January there was an auction and potluck held out at the little park across the street from the Quartzsite Town Hall.¬† We all went because it was a chamber event and as director of the chamber of commerce, I had “duty” whenever there was an event that the chamber sponsored.

 
It was a beautiful day out,¬†with¬†a typical small town potluck . . . the tables were filled with¬†tons of casseroles, homemade salads, deviled eggs, and a big BBQ.¬† During lunch we were entertained by¬†a kind of homely bunch doing country music (remember; I didn’t have much to chose from here!).¬† At 4 p.m. sharp, ¬†the auction began.¬†
 
You know, I think that’s the last time I saw Herc really eat much or smile – –¬†¬†it was one of those recognizably “good days”¬†– he ate quite a bit, and you could tell he was relaxed and enjoying the sun and outdoors that afternoon at the park.¬†
 
By then, most of the town people knew¬†Herc and he was dying of cancer, and he had made quite a few friends in the community.¬†You know Herc…he was usually on first name basis with anyone he met within hours of meeting…
 
Herc's Quilt and "Deli" the Cat

Herc's Quilt and "Deli" the Cat

It was an afternoon of smiles, pats on the back, handshaking between neighbors, and just a darned good day in many ways.

 
When the auction started, your brother (and my crazy husband!) Richard was on one side of the bandstand and I was on the other.¬† A patchwork blanket came up for auction that was made by Hercs cousin’s sister-in-law (one of the Sanderson’s relatives).¬† I started bidding on it, several other people bid on it, and a guy on the other side of the bandstand were all bidding on it…I was determined to get that damned blanket, so I just kept the bidding going until it got ridiculously high.¬† And, I won the item.¬†
 
The reason I wanted that patchwork quilt was because I wanted to give it to Herc.¬† He needed something “personal” in the room he had at our place, and since he was usually laying around on the couch or in bed, I thought that quilt was perfect for him.¬†
 
Once I won the quilt, it was time to “pay the piper.”¬† Herc went over with me when I walked over to pay for it and pick it up at the end of the auction.¬† I turned around and handed it to him and told him to consider it his because, it was our gift to him and I knew he didn’t want anyone else to have it because it was made by his family (small darned world . . . we had commented on that several times!).
 
Herc’s eyes swelled up with tears of thanks, and we hugged.¬† Seconds later, Richard showed up, stomping mad.¬† “I bid on that quilt, and some lady on the other side of the bandstand got it…I really wanted to get it for Herc,” he whined.¬† Just then he noticed Herc and saw that Herc had the quilt in his hands.¬† The light dawned for Richard, and he realized “that lady” he bid against was me all along!¬† We all got a good laugh about it, and Herc treasured that blanket to the night he died.
 
Through the last 15 years we have held onto the blanket.¬† Today I’m feeling just a little selfish about it.¬† I’m thinking of parts of that quilt being made into memory bears for¬†family might be just the right thing.¬† Perhaps¬†we could use¬†some ¬†Memory Bears¬†to remind us all that Herc had a soft side to him, and share in keeping his important¬†memory alive.¬†
 
What do you think?¬† Shall we do it?¬† I have a feeling that you’ll say “yes.”
 

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday

 

Today, being Easter Sunday, I did a little morning reading about some of the traditions and background of this day of celebration.¬† It’s expressed beautifully right here – http://www.fisheaters.com/customseastertide2.html

– – – –

There is much symbolism to this feast day.¬† I really enjoyed reading about it and learning about an important event such as this — the history and images are fascinating.¬† The twelve chains tying Satan down throughout the year was a particularly interesting part of the story. Much of the symbolism is very beautiful – such as the butterfly, lilies and decorated eggs.¬† Each symbol has history and meaning to it…give yourself a little time today and find out about the history of this celebration!

– – – –

I’m definitely not a Catholic, but years ago I had a most unique job as the director of marketing for St. Vincent de Paul Charities in Phoenix.¬† I felt honored to have the job – and was amazed that they paid me a darned good wage to do the work.

– – – –

I set up television and radio interviews, developed marketing materials for charity events, planned and carried out the charity events, collected monies from more than a few “big wigs” of Phoenix, and generally just made sure that St. VIncent de Paul in Phoenix had the funding to continue feeding and caring for the poor in the community.¬†

– – – –

helping people in our neighborhood

Helping hands - we can all be here for our neighbors and the needy

Today is Easter Sunday and many people will be sitting down to a feast with their family.  I hope that as we do this, we all remember the people in our neighborhood and in our lives who are in need at this very moment.

– – – –

Send a good thought and blessing out to them Рor take it just a step further, and donate your afternoon to serving food or cleaning up at a St. Vincent de Paul shelter near you.

– – – –

If you seriously want to do what is needed, you’ll look around and find something meaningful that YOU can do to help others through an organization in your area…

– – – Happy Easter Sunday to everyone!¬† Make this a day in which you can help another person and add just a little more meaning to our own lives while we’re at it!