Worthwhile Things I’ve learned- Personally or Vicariously

1.  Own a cast iron skillet. Or several. And learn how to properly use and care for them.

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2a.  Life is too short for mediocre coffee and poor wine. Buy the best you can afford.

2b. Even if it is just for you.

2c. Especially if it is just for you!

2d. Sometimes a $2.99 bottle of wine can surprise you ( in a good way). Don’t be a snot- more $$ does not necessarily equal better.

3.  If you aren’t just collecting friends like a teenager seeking validation, Facebook is really awesome.

4.  Temperature is relative- move from California to a colder clime and you’ll make fun of family for wearing sweaters when the mercury drops to 60 there. Return, and you’ll go right back to doing the same thing.

5.  A hybrid car is sooooo worth it.

6.  If you can make spaghetti sauce, baked chicken, and muffins from scratch you will never hunger and save big bucks.

7.  Real friends stay with you until the tow truck arrives (inebriated or not), or until your parents/spouse/friend can get there with spare car keys.

8.  Everyone should own at least one Hawaiian shirt. You never know when a party might break out.IMG_5604_2

9.  Electric kettles are the best!

10. So is plain, black tea. And freshly brewed iced tea.

11. Screen time is overrated. People are underrated.

12. Mom Advice that is everywhere, but we don’t appreciate until later: “The days are long but the years are short.”

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Be This Person!

13. You need a community- humans are social creatures. Join and meet regularly with at least one spiritually/socially edifying group be it a church, synagog, club, society, etc.

14. Stop being so offended by everything, people . It offends me.

15. Spend time with people who lift you up and make you want to be a better person- spiritually, mentally, emotionally. And in turn, BE that person with everyone who spends time with YOU.

16. Pop your own popcorn in a heavy pot. It’s an entirely different species than microwaved stuff.

17. Everyone thinks they are the most interesting person in the world on Pinterest. They are all wrong. I am. I can prove it:  https://www.pinterest.com/DDWJ/

18. A trick I learned from a dear and darn near holy woman: carry candy in your purse to always have on hand to share with your friends’ little ones. Guaranteed favorite adult status!

19. If you want to try something new every day (need to get yourself out of a rut? Overcome anxiety? Or just looking for some good, clean fun?) but don’t know where to start, start small. Pick one small project- a new book, decorate an area you have neglected, try a new cuisine. Don’t start with large or grandiose projects (Re-landscape front yard! Read the complete works of Shakespeare!). I guarantee you will be surprised how uplifting it can be to simply repaint your front door.

 

The Good on The Web

It’s common knowledge that The Intertoobz is both a gateway to knowledge AND a portal to Hell. It all depends on where we allow ourselves to travel down the Information Highway.

If admitting this brings you down and now you need a pick-me-up, go hit the search engines and look up “random acts of kindness.” Here… I’ll do it for you:

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We all look out for friends and strangers each and every day, but I love how some kindhearted souls have shared how much joy they experienced when completing a list of RAOKs challenges. Some ridiculously easy, simple, kind actions are right there. Here is the Net at its best. On your screen. And we can play, too! all we have to do is just pick one.

One blogger took her children and turned her birthday into a day of good deeds- one for every year. Very sweet, simple and a great learning experience for her kids!

I borrowed one of her small ideas- my son wrote the note and we left a bottle of soap in the laundromat near our house. Thanks for the inspiration, TicklesToGiggles.blogspot.com! (links to the original birthday article)

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The oldest New Year’s story of all

Perspective, faith in humanity, forgiveness, overcoming setbacks… if you need a shot of any of these, here it is:

Cycling in the South Bay

When I saw my friend lying on the pavement, unmoving, and a massive smash in the side of the SUV that had just hit him, I went into a kind of shock. It wasn’t the shock of inaction, it was the shock of unconscious action. We got the distraught driver out of the roadway, hovered over Michael until the EMS arrived, and directed traffic so that one disaster didn’t become two.

As it happened, the terrible physical injuries that my friend sustained were only part of the problem. As he lay on the pavement wondering whether he would live or die, the recurrent thought that ripped to the surface of his consciousness was, oddly, this: “I’ve got to quit my job.”

The accident happened five years ago. We had been in the saddle all day, and on the final climb up Old Topanga from Seven-Minute, Michael had ridden away from the…

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