Blogging · Good News Day · nonfiction · stories

Good News Day

Hope everyone has a great and positive week!

About once or twice a month I will be having a “Good News Day”. This is when I post only good news stories from around the world. Everyone needs a good dose of good news during these trying times, so my aim is to provide you with just that.

Reading good news not only puts a smile on your face it restores your faith in humanity just a little bit at a time. So, read on and I hope you enjoy my picks for today!

Now, who could resist that face? Cutest Cadbury Bunny!

Personally, I’m all for saving the bees and this smart idea is wonderful!

Glowing Fishing Nets Could Help to Save Endangered Sea Animals

https://www.happy-headlines.com/blog-posts/glowing-fishing-nets-could-help-to-save-endangered-sea-animals

Jesse Senko working with fishers in Baja Sur California, Mexico. Photo courtesy of Arizona State University

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/nation-tree-seed-centre-indigenous-communities-1.6400008

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Great news for Canadians! I love it when we get together to do great things!

There you have it for today. I do hope you enjoyed my first post on Good News Day! Do YOU have any good news you would love to share? Go ahead and use the comment section and have a great day!

Blogging · Meditation types · nonfiction

Mindfulness Meditation

Today I will be talking about Mindfulness Meditation, what it is and how to do it. This is a first in a series where I will write about ten types of meditation, explain a bit what they are and how to apply them to your life. My post on the different types can be found here.

Mindfulness meditation is a method of paying attention to your present moment experiences with curiosity, openness, and willingness to be in that specific time without judgment. It incorporates breathing sensations and teaches how to turn one’s attention back to the experience when distractions arise. This method of meditation teaches you to slow down racing thoughts, let go of negativity, and calm both your mind and body. 

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

To get started, all you need is a comfortable place to sit, three to five minutes of free time, and a judgment-free mindset. Remember, meditation is a practice, so it’s never perfect. You are ready to begin now just as you are!

A timer (preferably with a soft, gentle alarm) can help you focus on meditation and forget about time—and eliminate any excuses you have for stopping and doing something else. A timer isn’t necessary but it does help keep track of how long you meditate as I have found you can lose track of the time easily. Some people meditate for longer sessions, but even a few minutes every day can make a difference.

Personally, I do this type of meditation quite often, especially at night when I am trying to sleep and my mind is racing full tilt! It helps calm my mind and my body so I can fall asleep. So, how to do it…….

If you are not lying in bed trying to fall asleep, or it’s in the middle of the day, you can find a comfortable place to sit in a chair or on the floor with your head, neck, and back straight but not stiff. It’s also helpful to wear comfortable, loose clothing so you’re not distracted. But being that this practice can be done anywhere for any amount of time, a dress code is not required.

Okay, now that you’re comfortable, concentrate on your breathing. Become aware of your breath, feel your belly rise and fall as the air enters your nostrils and leaves your nostrils. When thoughts come up in your mind, don’t ignore or suppress them. Simply note them, remain calm, and use your breathing as an anchor. Imagine your thoughts as clouds passing by; watch them float by as they shift and change. Repeat this as often as you need to while you are meditating.

If you find yourself getting carried away in your thoughts—whether, with worry, fear, anxiety, or hope—observe where your mind went, without judgment, and just return to your breathing. Don’t be hard on yourself if this happens; the practice of returning to your breath and refocusing on the present is the practice of mindfulness.

As you practice mindfulness meditation, it helps to find ways to bring mindfulness into your everyday life, especially on those days when life is too busy to carve out a minute alone.  Everyday activities and tasks provide plenty of opportunities for mindfulness practice.

A few examples:

  • Brushing your teeth: Feel your feet on the floor, the brush in your hand, and your arm moving up and down.
  • Doing dishes: Savor the feeling of the warm water on your hands, the look of the bubbles, and the sounds of the pans clunking on the bottom of the sink.
  • Doing laundry: Pay attention to the smell of the clean clothes and the feel of the fabric. Add a focus element and count your breaths as you fold laundry.
  • Driving: Turn off the radio—or put on something soothing, like classical music. Imagine your spine growing tall, find the half-way point between relaxing your hands and gripping the wheel too tightly. Whenever you notice your mind wandering, bring your attention back to where you and your car are in space.
  • Exercising: Instead of watching television while on the treadmill, try focusing on your breathing and where your feet are as you move.
  • Getting kids ready for bed: Get down to the same level as your kids, look in their eyes, listen more than you talk, and savor any snuggles. When you relax, they will too. 

Regular practice of mindfulness meditation has benefits for your physical as well as your mental health. I can attest to this part. Mostly with my mental health.

  • It can help reduce stress
  • Lower heart rate
  • Help your body resist illness
  • Gives you better sleep

It’s important to remember that even a few minutes each day can be beneficial. Just a few minutes of being present can reap significant benefits. Even if you don’t do it every day, it’s a practice you can keep coming back to when you need it.

Photo by Nicole Avagliano on Pexels.com

Blogging · nonfiction

Get A Hobby!

Have you ever told someone that they need a hobby? Or have you heard someone say ‘that person needs a hobby!’? More than likely they said that because they or the other person were down, depressed, or mentally exhausted or exhaustive.

The idea behind having a hobby is to relax and spend some quality time with themselves, or even as a group activity that you do with people you enjoy being around.

Photo by Mateusz Dach on Pexels.com

So what counts as a hobby? A hobby can be any activity done regularly during spare or leisure time for pleasure. Whether you do something creative, athletic, academic, or something more individualized, what really matters is that it is something you find meaningful and enjoyable. Hobbies can range from spending quiet time alone, visiting or eating with others, communing with nature, playing sports, and even vacationing. When we dedicate time to voluntarily engage in pleasurable activities, research shows our mental health can flourish.

But I don’t have time!

That is something I hear a lot and I’ve even said a few times. In a world that glorifies work and/or studying so many people think they have no time for a hobby. There are however a few things you can change to find that ever-elusive time!

Rather than trying to find ‘hobby time’ every day, try thinking of time in weeks to discover extra time hidden in your schedule. Dedicate a few hours to something you enjoy each week. Still struggling to find time for fun? Take a step back and say ‘no’ (or delegate) to lighten your load and make space for hobbies.

There are many times during the day we may find ourselves in autopilot mode. It’s easy to lose track of time doing mindless things like checking social media or watching television. Tune in to how you’re spending downtime, whether it’s in the morning or evening, and consider how you might use that time to indulge in something you enjoy.

Photo by Steve Johnson on Pexels.com

So, start a new hobby or get back to an old one. The extra benefits are great! Your mental and physical well-being will improve so much.

For instance, you will reduce stress. Just doing something you enjoy (you don’t have to be an expert at it) helps you relax. You will also enhance your overall feeling of well-being.

If you are more extroverted join group activities. Doing a hobby doesn’t have to be something you do alone. Find other people or groups that enjoy doing what you do. You just might find yourself with some new friends which is a bonus!

Maybe your hobby can be done out in nature. Talk walks, hikes, alone or in a group. Nature has always been known for its healing and stress-relieving abilities. As little as ten minutes out in nature can lead to improved mood, focus, and overall wellbeing.

Photo by Edu Carvalho on Pexels.com

A hobby doesn’t have to be expensive. Taking a walk in nature, or visiting a library to find a book that you enjoy, even museums are usually free to get in. Maybe meditate or do yoga, or something else physical. I bet if you really thought about it you could find a dozen things to do for little to no money.

The important thing is to find something that helps you lead a life that is less stressful. You’ll thank yourself later.

Blogging · nonfiction

Positive Thinking: What is it and How can it help you?

I’m a great believer in the power of positive thinking. So, what is the definition of “positive thinking”? According to Merriam-Webster, it is……a feeling or way of thinking that affects a person’s behavior.

Photo by Binti Malu on Pexels.com

It’s hard to think positively all the time, especially in today’s world of chaos, war, and Covid. It’s exactly at these tough times when we need it the most. Thinking positively about yourself colors your perspective on the outside world. It can’t help but overflow outward.

It doesn’t mean you won’t face some dark and hard times. You will. We all do. It just means it won’t be quite as dark, quite as hard as it could be. Staying positive is hard work. I work on it every day. The benefits are well worth it. That doesn’t mean you ignore reality or make light of problems. It simply means you approach the good and the bad in life with the expectation that things will go well.

What are the benefits of thinking positively? (There really are no downsides to staying upbeat.)

Some physical benefits may include:

  • Longer life span
  • Lower chance of having a heart attack
  • Better physical health
  • Greater resistance to illness such as the common cold
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Better stress management
  • Better pain tolerance
  • The mental benefits may include:
  • More creativity
  • Greater problem-solving skill
  • Clearer thinking
  • Better mood
  • Better coping skills
  • Less depression
Photo by Ivan Bertolazzi on Pexels.com

This all sounds great. My own personal experience is it does help in a lot of those things. I think mileage may vary as everyone is wired differently.

Ok, we get that it’s very good for you to think positively but how do we get started? What do we do? HOW do we do it?

Well for one, smile more! Sounds simple right? It isn’t. Trust me on that one! They say that even if you put a fake smile on your lips while doing difficult things helps. Find the humor in things.

Put a more positive spin on bad situations. This is one area I’m always working on. I get frustrated because physically I can’t do some things I used to do with ease when I was younger. Now I struggle. When I find myself getting frustrated I smile (there’s that fake smile again) and say to myself, “well at least I can still do this, might be slower at it, or need help with it but eventually it does get done!”

Photo by Nandhu Kumar on Pexels.com

Focus on your strengths. Each day for a week, think about one of your personal strengths, like kindness, organization, discipline, or creativity. Write down how you plan to use that strength in new ways that day. Then, act on it. People in a study who did that boosted their happiness and lowered their symptoms of depression at the end of the week. Six months later, those benefits were still going strong.

With practice, you can add more positive thoughts to your life and enjoy the benefits that come with optimism.

These are just a very few things you can practice. In later posts, I’ll go into more detail about some other things you can do to practice positive thinking but I think this is a good start.

Do you do anything to practice positivity? Let me know!

Blogging · nonfiction · strength

The Strength of Music

This past week has been darker than most. My heart goes out to the people of Ukraine. It also goes out to the people of Russia who don’t want this war any more than the people of Ukraine do.

With all this pain in the world, it was hard for me to come up with an uplifting subject for my weekly post here. Then I thought, music! Music is so strong. It resonates with everyone. Music can be soothing, healing, calming or it can be passionate, thrilling, and forceful.

Photo by Marius Masalar on Unsplash

Music is also very personal. It has many genres, so there is something for everyone. I don’t know a single person who doesn’t like music, do you? They might like one type of music over another but what ties us all together in this world is music.

Some of the benefits of listening to music:

  • Help you rest better
  • Lift your mood
  • reduce stress
  • Improve your overall health

Did you know there are professional Music Therapists? Yes, it’s true! These are people who are trained to help you find ways to use music for your mental health. This type of therapist learns how to use music-making and listening to help people understand and process their emotions.

But you don’t necessarily need a therapist. You can also use music on your own to improve your mental well-being. I think a lot of us do this already.

Photo by FPVmat A on Unsplash

The best music for stress reduction is the kind that works for you. Find something with an upbeat rhythm, something like 60 beats per minute is recommended. Many people also find that Celtic, Native American, and Indian string or flute music tends to have a calming effect.

Again, it’s personal. Find what works for you! I think this is the best kind of research, try different genres, something you haven’t heard before, or something you thought you wouldn’t like. You might surprise yourself with what you find.

Create a mood playlist. If you’re feeling down, anxious, or upset, find a track that expresses how you feel. Feel those emotions and let the lyrics resonate with you. Then, gradually shift your listening choices so that the music takes you into a happier or calmer place. This is a popular technique used by music therapists.

Who hasn’t been hurt or angered and then listened to music that supports that feeling? I know I have. Just don’t let yourself linger in that dark mood. Slowly start introducing more uplifting and calming music to your rotation. Soon you feel better and happier and can look at a situation with fewer strong feelings clouding your judgment.

Photo by Mohammad Metri on Unsplash

Just remember, music can be a powerful tool in your mental health toolbox but it’s not a replacement for a trained therapist if you have a deeper need. Never be ashamed to need mental health!

Have you used music to heal yourself?

Blogging · Meditation types · nonfiction

Meditation: What kind is best for you?

Meditation sounds like some New Age stuff but it’s been around for thousands of years. During my research, I’ve come across over a dozen different mediations. So, what is Meditation and how can it help you?

Photo by Vie Studio on Pexels.com

Personally, mediation used to help me through migraines. I used to get them almost every week when I was a teenager. I didn’t know about ‘Meditation’ back then, this was in the late sixties, early seventies. Most people never even heard of meditation back then, I know I didn’t. It was later in life when I learned what I had been doing is a form of meditation that helps with pain.

Thankfully I haven’t had a migraine for many years now. I still meditate though, just for different reasons. Now, I use it to stay calm in stressful situations. It has also helped me find peace with the passing of my late husband. It’s certainly not a ‘cure’ for things but it definitely helps keep you calm and centered.

 Meditation has been shown to be helpful in taming stress and anxiety, reducing cardiovascular risk factors, managing chronic pain, and improving sleep.

I won’t go into specific details about each and every type of meditation in this post. I will write a post for each type of meditation going forward. Right now this is a sort of introduction to it.

Do you have to dedicate hours to meditation to achieve any benefits from it? NO, you don’t. Even as few as five or ten minutes will work. I have found it just takes practice. Like most things in life, if you want to become proficient in something, you practice it.

Photo by Spencer Selover on Pexels.com

Do you need to have a specific place to be able to meditate? NO, you don’t. That’s one of the wonderful things about this, you can literally do it anywhere! Hell, I’ve done it in the bathroom. It’s just anywhere you can find that is quiet and lets you concentrate. You don’t have to sit cross-legged on the floor with your hands doing that “ohmmmm” thing and emptying your mind. I find it almost impossible to completely empty my mind so I believe it’s not about perfection, it’s about training our minds not to wander so much. Just sit or stand relaxed and focus inside your mind and body.

Bottom line, which form of meditation is right for you? Answer: Whichever works for you! Whichever one you will do! Relax and experiment until you come up with what feels right for you and which fits with what you need. I don’t really think there is a wrong way of doing it.

In the coming months, I will write about various different types of meditation and how they can help you. Below is a list of types of meditation I will discuss in further detail in future posts. I will also discuss what beginners can do to start! If you are interested in any particular one feel free to let me know and I will make sure it moves up the list!

  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Transcendental meditation
  • Cultivation practices
  • Guided imagery
  • Movement meditation
  • Future visualization meditation
  • Gratitude meditation
  • Forest bathing (my personal favorite)
  • Body scan meditation

Photo by Tina Nord on Pexels.com

If I find any others in future research that sounds interesting I will add them to the list. Hope you will join me in discovering how many ways you can do meditation to help yourselves be the best you can be!

Blogging · nonfiction · writing

A New Old Blog

I’ve been blogging for a long time now. The last few years were tough for me and lots of other people. Almost three years ago my husband died and I was in a dark place for a while. Then Covid came along. I slipped further into a dark place.

Pixabay

I stayed active on Facebook but not much else. All the dark news. The dark politics. It seemed like everywhere I looked there was darkness.

I got tired of darkness. By nature, I’m usually a very optimistic person but the last few years drew me to a place I didn’t want to be. So, I took a hard look at what I DID want and decided I had enough of dark and dreary.

A couple of friends kept asking me when I was going to start writing again. Or if I was going to continue blogging, or both. Thank you for being such good friends. Especially my best friend, Linda. She had faith in me, even when my faith was gone. So, I decided to come back to blogging. I missed it too. I missed having some sort of purpose to get up every morning, besides my dog, Sam, and my cats.

So here I am!

The blog may be old but I’m changing directions with it. It’s going to be light, airy, and full of positivity. There will be sections on meditation, zen, and just all around chilling out. The more I think of things the more I will add to the blog. Oh, there will also be an advice column! Hey, I’ve lived a relatively long life (yeah I’m old), I’ve experienced a lot, good and bad. I’m also opinionated. Ha! Plus, my friend Linda put this idea in my head so blame her!

We are going to have fun while being positive! Believe me, this is NOT going to be your normal “feel good” blog! Not with me at the helm. LOL Nope, this is going to center on fun, lightness, and love. Love for self, love for animals, love for others.

There will also be stories. Stories of hope, of light, of new beginnings, and maybe, just maybe a few with a slightly supernatural feel. So those of you (Marlene, wink wink) who enjoyed my story writing, these are dedicated to you!

Photo by Monique Laats on Pexels.com

If you have any suggestions, or ideas to make this blog full of love let me know! I have a contact page which you can find on the top of my blog. This will also work for questions for the advice column. Ask any question about anything, if I don’t know a good answer I’m sure I could help you find one. Don’t be shy! If you prefer to ask anonymously you can! No judgments.

Let’s be a beacon of peace in a world of turmoil!

Blogging · stories · Truth or Fiction · writing

Truth or Fiction

To my few (and I do mean few) loyal readers, thank you for stopping in every week. As for last weeks story, it was……false!

Not to say I haven’t heard ghostly footsteps before, or even seen them! Just not like I said in my story. One day I will write about how it came about that I actually saw them. Just not today. Or last week. ha!

Anyway, on to this weeks story. Is it Truth or Fiction? You tell me.

 

via Pixabay

 

 

 

A Good Deed

 

She had heard from a friend about a dog in need. Everyone knew how much she loved animals and this friend was very concerned about this dog. It was her friends’ neighbors dog. Tied up in the backyard with a heavy chain. No food, no water…in the middle of summer. Also, they were having an unusually hot summer, even for this hellish place.

Her friend said she tried talking to the neighbor and offered to take the dog off his hands. But no go. The neighbor wasn’t giving up the dog even if it was painfully (for the dog) obvious he wasn’t taking proper care of it. Half the time this guy wasn’t even home. Who knows how often, if ever, the dog got fed and watered. Her friend said she had been living next door for six months and never saw the dog off the chain. Once she thought she heard the man beating the dog but by the time she got outside the man was gone and the dog was shaking and crying. She felt terrible for days afterward.

The friend reported the man to the Humane Society but no one ever came to investigate. Short staffed they told her. So that’s why she told her story to her, in tears, not knowing who else to turn to.

That same night, after her friend’s tear-filled story, she went to see the dog for herself. She wasn’t sure what she expected but it sure wasn’t the pitiful sight she saw. The man should be shot! Treating any animal this way. She peered over the back fence and in the bright moonlight could make out the form of the dog cowering away from her as far as its heavy chain would let it. It didn’t bark, didn’t whine, didn’t make a sound. Which made the sight of it all the more powerful in her eyes.

She pulled out the small binoculars from her pants pocket and held them up to her eyes with one hand while she stood unsteadily on the stool she brought with her just for this reason. It was 2 am in the morning and the small breeze touching her cheek was still on the hot side. Even at night, there was no relief of the unrelenting heat. The neighborhood was quiet and dark. Just a few street lights dotted the overgrown alley she had parked in. She was glad the dog didn’t bark but her heart broke knowing it didn’t bark because it had probably been beaten too often for doing just that. She slowly looked around the backyard. No doghouse, no tree or bush for shade in the middle of the day. She didn’t see any water or food dishes which made her angry. Just the poor dog chained up with a chain that was stuck in the ground with a heavy metal stake.

As she looked at the dog, her breath sucked in and tears formed in her eyes and ran down her cheeks. Taking that closer look she could see the dog was in pain. It must be in terrible pain she thought to herself. She couldn’t see the chain that was around its neck. She couldn’t see it as it was embedded in its neck! Oh my god! The chain had been wrapped around its neck so tight that it wasn’t even visible! It clearly wasn’t hidden by rolls of fat either as the dog clearly looked malnourished and skinny.

From what she could see in the moonlight the dog was a beagle or of beagle mix. It was medium in size but so skinny it broke her heart. Tonight was to have been just a reconnaissance sort of mission. Now though, she knew she had to get that dog tonight! If she could do anything about it that poor animal was NOT spending another moment in that yard with that chain and in such misery. She was going to rescue it tonight.

She stepped down off the stool and went to the back of her car. From the trunk, she pulled out a set of bolt cutters. She had put them in her car earlier. She had learned a long time ago to go to these rescues prepared for emergencies. This definitely was an emergency situation. She tossed them over the fence then thought….”How am I going to climb over the fence with a dog in my arms?” This was more of a two-person operation but she was by herself and there was no one she could call at 2 AM.

Her mind worked furiously to come up with a solution to her problem. Even if she could call someone she didn’t want one of her friends to chance getting caught helping her and being arrested for stealing. No, she had to do this on her own and it had to be tonight!

Her eyes spotted the two old blankets she had in her car. She always kept one or two for picking up injured animals from the side of the road. Which she had done a few times.

What if she fashioned some kind of sling? She could put the dog in the sling and with her hands free, climb back over the fence. Perfect! She grabbed the bigger of the two blankets and quickly tied two opposite corners together and slung it over her shoulder. Now, back to the rescue.

Stepping onto the stool she grabbed the top of the wooden fence and hauled her body over the top and dropped the few inches to the ground. She stood to make sure nothing was changed in the quiet of the night then when she was satisfied with the silence she grabbed the bolt cutters and walked quickly to the dog. Her heart broke as the dog just whimpered and shook and strained on his chain. It must be in so much pain from the embedded chain yet still tried to get away from a potential threat.

She crouched down in front of the dog and slowly held out her hand for it to sniff. Softly talking to it she took her time so as not to scare the dog further, even though she could be caught at any time. The dogs fear was palpable. It was heartbreaking. She slowly reached in her pocket for a dog treat. A nice soft one, as she didn’t know how well it could eat just yet. The dog stopped whining but still shook with fear as it sniffed the treat. Its hunger overcame its fear and it took the treat from her hand and ate it with a few chomps. It whimpered a bit, either from the pain of swallowing or from gratefulness of having something to eat. She wasn’t sure.

The woman took precious seconds to pet and reassure the dog in soft words as she slowly lifted the bolt cutters and cut the chain. The dog winced a bit when it was done but moved closer to the woman in seemingly understanding of what the woman was about. She gently and slowly lifted the dog in her arms, all the while talking in soft warm tones to it to reassure it. She settled the dog in the sling and cradled it to her body as a mother would cradle a baby.

She picked up the fallen bolt cutters and walked quickly to the back fence. Now came the tricky part. Getting over the fence with the dog without hurting it any further. Taking a deep breath she gave a little jump and grabbed the top of the fence. She never really was very athletic and in that instant regretted it. She was determined though and with anger still burning in her heart for the mistreatment of the dog she hauled her body to the top of the fence and threw a leg over. The dog whimpered either in pain, fear, or both but didn’t struggle in the sling.

Once her leg was over the fence the rest was easy. She did manage to scrape her forearms climbing over the fence but didn’t even feel it for the adrenaline coursing through her body. Once over the fence, she grabbed the bolt cutters and stool and as fast as she could she tossed them in the trunk and closed it. She ran to the passenger side of the car and settled the dog on the passenger seat still inside the sling. Closing the door as softly as she could she quickly made her way to the drivers’ side, slid in and turned the car on and drove out of the alley.

She didn’t seem to breathe until she was safely inside her garage with the door down. No matter how many times she rescued an animal there was always that chance she could get caught. The adrenaline rush seemed to leave her then and she broke down crying. The dog in the passenger side whimpered and tried to crawl into her lap. It seemed to understand and appreciate all she had done for it.

Even though it was in pain, hungry and scared it sensed that she had just done a good thing for it and was trying to make HER feel better. Animals are like that. Full of love given the chance. Now, this dog had that chance.

 

 

 

 

 

Is this story Truth or Fiction? Have you ever rescued an animal in need? If so tell me about it! 

Blogging · stories · Truth or Fiction · writing

Truth or Fiction

Hello everyone and welcome to another week of Truth or Fiction. The comments and guesses were split last week. Was the story true or fiction?

Truth! Yes, it really did happen. I was living in Texas at the time with the ex. We lived next to a field of cows and yes, one cow was having trouble giving birth so we helped it out as it was a life or death situation for the poor cow. The only difference in the story was my ex actually did the turning of the calf. We did use dish soap and one of our dogs alerted us to the cow. According to the rancher, the dish soap didn’t harm the cow or calf. I didn’t think it would (it was my idea) as most of it seemed to come out of the cow with the birth.

About the only redeeming quality of my ex was that he was good to animals. His marriage skills needed the work.

Thank you once again to those of you who joined me last week. Now, let’s see what this week’s story is about.

 

Pixabay

 

Lessons To Learn

 

“The way you flirt is shameful.”

I laughed, “That wasn’t flirting. That was just being friendly.”

“You always do that to get your way. Flirt. It’s second nature to you.”

“I wasn’t flirting!”

Turning my chair towards my co-worker, I frowned and wondered what got her panties in a twist this morning. Millie was usually so cheerful and upbeat but today she seemed to complain about everything. I saw her eyes fill up with tears and her lower lip tremble. Yes, definitely something was wrong with her.

“Millie? What’s wrong? Why are you crying?”

She turned away from me and her shoulders hunched over her desk. Walking over to her I put my hand on her shoulder and asked her again what was wrong.

“Everything!”, she cried. “My whole life is a mess and nobody cares.”

Usually, I run away from such dramatics. Stresses me out but this was Millie and since coming to work for this company she has always been a constant source of smiles and cheerfulness. Until today. Something had to be seriously wrong for her to turn into this mess of tears and drama.

“Come on, Mill, tell me what’s going on.”

“I’m in love and I hate it!” And with that statement, she went into full-blown, snot forming, eye swelling, red nose crying.

“Well, usually being in love is a good thing. So, I take it he doesn’t reciprocate your feelings?”

“I don’t know!”, she wailed. “I’ve never talked to him.”

That statement set me back a second. Never talked to him? Who was this love of her life and why in hell has Miss Never Knew a Stranger never talked to him? The mystery deepens.

“Ok, hold on a second. You are in love with someone you never talked to? Am I correct?”

Snuffling into her kleenex she nodded her head.

“Um, Mill…is this a real person? Or is this a character in one of your favorite books?” I was just checking for accuracy because with Millie it could be either.

“Of course he’s real.” And with that statement, she went off into another round of tears.

“OK, ok. Just wanted to make sure I got my facts straight.” I patted her shoulder and the tears slowed down. “So tell me why you two have never talked and where you met this man.”

“We haven’t met. That’s the problem. I see him every morning in the coffee shop I stop at on the way to work. He’s cute and I love him.” She looked at me, almost like she was challenging me to say something smart-alecky. I didn’t.

I could see this man meant a lot to her even if they never exchanged a word.

“Why don’t you start a conversation? You always do here. You never seem to have nothing to say to anyone who comes in the office.”

“This is different. I don’t love the people who come into the office so I don’t worry if I look like a fool to them.”

“Ahhh, I see.” I did too. It’s always just a little harder to talk to someone if you’re always worried about how they view you.

“I want to be like you. I want to be able to flirt and not care what others think. I want to flirt with HIM but I don’t know how.”

With that statement, the tears started to flow once again. Then an idea came to me.

“Millie, what if I teach you how to flirt? You could flirt with him and win his love!” I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it but I needed to stop the tears again. Good thing it was a slow day at work or this could have gotten really embarrassing fast.

“Is something like that teachable?” Millie asked with doubt in her voice. Hell if I knew, but if it stopped her from crying I’d give it a shot. I thought to myself, well how hard could it be? A slow smile at him, a longish look. Sure that’s teachable, wasn’t it?

We would soon find out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok folks, is this story true or is it fiction? Let me know! Do you think flirting is something that can be taught? Or is it something someone is born with? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blogging · stories · Truth or Fiction · writing

Truth or Fiction

Welcome, everyone! Last week’s story seemed to be a mind game as only one person guessed right. It was FICTION. Yeah, I wish it had been true. I’ve always wanted to stay in a big fancy haunted house but I haven’t. One person, Bill, did pick up that the main character grew up in a place that was haunted, just as I did. So good on you, Bill! Unfortunately, that was the only truth in the whole story and really, I didn’t put it there intentionally. Just seemed a good addition to the story.

Now let’s get going on the next edition of Truth or Fiction. Is it true or a figment of my imagination?

 

Pixabay

 

Giving a Helping Hand

 

Her dog Molly kept pacing the living room and whining. She shushed her once but the pacing just got more frantic. What on earth was wrong with the dog? Molly was usually such a good companion and would lay quietly at her feet but not today. She’d never get those columns of numbers added right with Molly distracting her.

“What is it, Molly? What’s wrong?”

Molly faced the front door and whined. Maybe she needed to go out? Sighing heavily, she pushed herself out of her chair and opened the front door. The sunshine blinded her for a minute and the heat of the afternoon surrounded her, making her instantly regret leaving the air conditioning behind as the door closed behind her.

She hoped Molly wouldn’t take too long to finish her personal business as she needed to get those numbers added and the account books finished for her favorite client. Accounting paid the bills and playing with numbers was always fun.

She smiled as she looked around for Molly. The countryside was brown and dry but the trees still showed a bit of green. This summer had been unduly hot and dry and the usual beauty of the surrounding fields and trees were dulled with brown grasses slowly dying of thirst. She moved to the country after her divorce. It was just her and Molly, her German Shepherd and constant companion. She enjoyed the quiet of the country after the heartbreak she endured in the city last year. Here, she was able to heal and even grow happy again. Just her and Molly.

Thinking of Molly…where was she? Looking around her ears finally picked up the sound of a cow lowing. She knew a ranch owned the fields next to her and they ran cows on them. She had to teach Molly not to be afraid of the cows when she first moved here. Now Molly usually ignored them. They weren’t fun to play with. As she scanned the field for Molly the mooing of the cow seemed more frantic. Almost painful.

Under a large tree, she spotted Molly, once again frantically pacing back and forth in front of a large mound. No, wait, it wasn’t just a mound it was a heifer. She was laying down and making those awful, pain filled mooing sounds. She called for Molly but the dog refused to leave the cow’s side. Something must be wrong, she thought. Molly was acting frantic and the sounds coming from the cow were almost sounding like screams.

Scrabbling over the wooden fence dividing her front yard from the field she ran to where Molly and cow were. What she saw made her suck in her breath and widen her eyes. The cow was laying on her side, her belly swollen huge with pregnancy. She could see the distress in the cows’ eyes as she once again let out that distressing moo/scream. Even to her untrained eye, she could see the heifer was trying to deliver her calf but something was wrong.

She needed to call someone. Who? She couldn’t just leave the poor suffering animal to die. Something was wrong with the birth and she needed help desperately. When the cow gave another loud moo and turned her head to look at her, she could see the pleading in its eyes. She needed to do something fast. The cow didn’t have time to wait for someone. She needed help now!

“Think girl, think! What should I do?”

Then she remembered an article she read a long time ago. When she was much younger she thought about becoming a vet and so she read anything she could on animal care and what should be done if a dog was having a breech birth. She was certain this is what was happening to the cow. The calf needed to be turned so it could come out the right way.

She thought, “Well, a birth is a birth, it can’t be that different from a dog could it?” 

Racing back to the house she wondered what she could use as a lubricant. She needed to stick her hand inside the cow and turn the calf. It wasn’t going to be easy but she had to try. Coming to stop inside the kitchen she frantically looked around. Butter? She didn’t have enough. Her eye fell on the brand new bottle of dishwashing liquid. That would make her hand slippery! She grabbed the bottle and a spare bath towel she had left over the kitchen chair earlier that day and sped back to the cow and Molly.

Molly hadn’t left the cow’s side. It was as if she knew what was going on and knew the cow needed her. Molly laid next to the cow and whined comfort to it.

“Good girl Molly. You keep comforting her while I see what I can do on this end.”

Taking a deep breath she quickly opened the bottle of dishwashing soap and spread a thick layer over her arms and hands. She tried to ignore the large strong hoofs and the sticky puddle of blood as she slowly shoved one hand into the cow. She could feel the calf and yes she had guessed right. It was a breech birth. The calf needed to be turned. It should come out head and front feet first and this one was turned just enough it wasn’t coming out that way.

She was going to need both hands to turn the calf. She wasn’t strong enough one-armed to do it. The cow seemed to know she was trying to help as the mooing stopped and the cow lay still, only once lifting her head to look at her. As if saying, “You can do this.”

Slipping her other arm inside she managed to find the front legs and grasp them. She didn’t need to move them far just a few inches to the side to line them up to the opening so hopefully, the mother had enough energy to push it out.

She felt the head and the front legs and gave a tug on the legs. At first, she didn’t think it was going to work, but then with one great effort, the mother cow pushed while she tugged and suddenly she had a newborn calf in her lap. She took the bath towel and wiped the gunk from the calf’s eyes, nostrils and mouth so it could breathe. Normally, the mother did this but this mother was too tired and so appreciated the help.

She didn’t know she was crying until Molly came over and first licked her tears then started to lick the calf. Those had to have been the most intense, emotional minutes of her life. She dragged the calf who was laying on the towel over to the mother’s head to show her that her baby was alive and well. The mom started licking it and making snuffling sounds.

“Come on Molly. We still need to call the rancher and let him know what happened so he can check up on mother and baby. Plus I need a shower.” 

Later that day the rancher stopped by to thank her for helping the cow and to let her know that both were healthy and fit.

“Well, Molly. A good deed was done today. Let’s just hope there will be no repeat!”

 

 

 

 

Ok, folks. Was this based on truth? Or was it a complete piece of fiction? What would you have done if you came across an animal in need like in the story?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blogging · Mi Vida Loca · nonfiction

63 Things I’ve Learned in 63 Years

Hello everyone! Yes, I know it’s been a very long time since I posted anything. Since early March, actually. Why? Because life sometimes has a way of making me so tired. Things have straightened out a bit since then. I’m at a new ‘normal’ around here.

Quick catch up, then I’ll get to this new post. Most of you will remember the health problems of the husband in the past few years. First colon cancer, got that beat as he is now officially three years cancer free! Then he had a stroke in late October of last year. He’s still getting over that one. There have been a few stays in the hospital for pneumonia here and there but he seems to be stable now. Thank goodness. Time to breath!

Life can be hard but I keep plodding along. As for me, I’ve had a terrible bout of insomnia since May. So yeah, I get kind of tired.

I’m back now. I do hope to stick around too. I don’t know how often I will post, I’m going to try for once a week and go from there. As to what I will post? Who the hell knows. We’ll see what happens.

Now, the reason for this post. Today is my birthday! Yeah, ok, keep the cheering down. I’m sixty-three today. Shit, that seems like such a big number! I hope to see sixty-four. My body feels like it’s ninety-three while my mind feels twenty-three yet. I’m young at heart people with an old woman’s outlook. Ha!

Anyway, my friend Mer had her 44th birthday last month and she came up with a post with 44 things she learned in her 44 years. So, thanks Mer, I’m stealing your idea!

Let’s get this party started!

63 Things I’ve Learned in 63 Years

  1. No matter how broke you are….treat yourself sometimes
  2. Age is a state of mind, not a number
  3. A pet can save your sanity
  4. Never just settle for a life partner, you won’t be happy and neither will they
  5. Accept yourself….no other opinion means more
  6. Drink lots of water
  7. Life is going to throw you some curve balls….Learn to go with it, it all works out in the end
  8. Getting hurt is part of life
  9. Don’t trust someone your dog doesn’t like!
  10. Life is damn short—-Live it!
  11. Don’t hold grudges
  12. If you have a life partner always have some of your own money tucked away, have your own bank account
  13. If there is something you’ve always wanted to do….Do it! (Unless it hurts you or someone else)
  14. Don’t be afraid to have your own ideas or beliefs, you don’t need to be the same as everyone else
  15. Don’t be afraid of growing older, some of it sucks but some of its great.
  16. It’s necessary for your wellbeing to say NO sometimes
  17. Trust your gut instinct
  18. Don’t do something or be someone to just please the family. They don’t live your life. You do!
  19. If someone lies to you…..they will keep lying to you
  20. Don’t be peer pressured or family pressured into having kids. If you don’t want them, don’t have them. The world will do just fine.
  21. Once a cheater, always a cheater. Same goes for a spouse abuser. They won’t change no matter how much you think they will.
  22. Act silly sometimes
  23. You can’t herd cats very well
  24. Always carry extra undies in your purse when traveling. (sorry guys, don’t know what you would do) That way when your luggage is lost you have clean undies for the next day. No one wants to put on the same undies two days in a row.
  25. Also, when traveling keep extra cash on your person.
  26. If you’re on a diet, don’t burn vanilla scented candles
  27. Coffee is the worlds apology for making you get out of bed
  28. Whoever decided grocery shopping online and delivery service was a good thing should be given an award! I love it!
  29. Music really does soothe the soul
  30. Be impulsive sometimes, it can lead to wonderful things
  31. Tell the people who you love that you do love them. It might be the last chance you get
  32. You don’t need a lot of friends
  33. What friends you do have, let them know you appreciate them
  34. Always use a grammar and spell check when writing…..saves some embarrassment
  35. Read different things, even if you don’t think you will like the genre, sometimes you will be pleasantly surprised
  36. Keep a positive attitude, it will bring about positive things in your life
  37. You don’t need to be religious to be a good person
  38. Swearing is not unladylike
  39. Sometimes have a resting bitch face saves you from having to actually BE a bitch
  40. There is nothing wrong with eating your favorite comfort food sometimes
  41. I love my attitude
  42. No matter how much advice you can give a person, they will only take what they think they need and not what they actually need
  43. People usually don’t want that advice anyway, they just want to vent
  44. I’ve learned that being unhappy with my life at times was my own fault and only I could change it
  45. I’m fascinated by dragonflies
  46. I still believe in that Christmas magic can happen
  47. I have a young child’s awe of Mother Nature
  48. I’ve learned that being the ‘quiet one’ is not a personality flaw
  49. I’ve come to accept that I will never be thin and that’s ok with me
  50. I know now that my happiness lies in me, not someone or something else
  51. Making a list this long is damn hard!
  52. I love challenging my mind. I think that’s what keeps me young
  53. I prefer silence over noise or talking
  54. You can learn a lot about someone just by observing them
  55. I don’t forgive easily
  56. I never forget either
  57. People are generally nice given a chance
  58. There are always exceptions to the rule
  59. I still prefer animals over people
  60. Trying to win approval from my mother was a lifelong difficulty and never truly achieved
  61. I’m hard to love but worth the effort
  62. If you were looking for deep, inspirational things from me you probably didn’t get it ….hahahaha
  63. Maybe next year I will be wiser….I’ll be older, so there is that small chance

 

Don’t count on it!