Now What?

Throughout this entire, long, drawn-out, nasty campaign for the Presidency of the United States I have kept opinions to myself. I would not engage in ANY political discussions with anyone: family, friend, coworker or stranger in line at the grocery store. I even kept my mouth shut watching the third presidential debate with my husband beside me on the couch, knowing we were each biting our individual tongues so as not to insult each other — you could say our political leanings differ.

My belief has always been that the decisions we make in the voting booths are ours to use as we see fit. We all do our homework, or not, on the issues and candidates from local, to state, to federal levels of government and then cast our votes accordingly. And although we may do the intellectual homework, I believe when it comes down to the actual flipping of the lever or filling in the bubble sheet, we actually vote from an emotional perspective including those who say they “vote for the most qualified candidates regardless of party affiliation.” It’s all emotional.

We have beliefs and thoughts we hold dear to our hearts, grounded in our life experiences, good, bad or otherwise. The day before the election I re-posted the meme below, and although this morning I am having a tremendously difficult time not being despondent, I’ve decided to revive my daily gratitude blog. My hope is that by acknowledging the day-to-day things for which I am grateful, I will find my way through the next four years with grace, understanding and respect for beliefs, decisions, and opinions that are different that my own.

My “thank you” today is for this platform on which I can share my words and hope that readers will find what they need here.


Bloggers with thoughts:



I Got Skills!

keep-calm-i-got-skillsMad skills. Crazy good skills. Skills that help other people. Skills that I’ve really enjoyed developing over the course of my life so far. Am I a master at any one of them? I’m not sure I’d call myself a master of any of them; although there are a few that I so thoroughly enjoy, that maybe one day I’ll be referred to as an expert.

If I could choose to be a master of any skill in the world, and one I do so enjoy, it’s public speaking. I know that for most people having to get up in front of a group causes nausea, sweating, memory lapses, hyperventilation; all kinds of reactions! Regardless of the size of the group or whether or not the group members are known to the speaker, it is documented as one of the biggest fears of a human being.

After I make any sort of presentation I’m asked, “How do you do that?” “Were you nervous?” “You make it look so easy!”

I learned very early on, in fifth grade actually (thanks, Mrs. Fontana), that the key to speaking in public is to be prepared! That means, know your “lines” and practice, practice, practice. It helps too, if you’re somewhat passionate and excited about what you’re doing. There are any number of life hacks (tips for how to do something difficult, more easily) on-line for how to speak in public. Just Google and you’ll have pages of ideas and suggestions for overcoming your fear, some of them are quite good. But I’ll go back to the advice from my fifth grade teacher every time: know our lines and practice, practice, practice.

Today’s thanks goes out not only to Mrs. Fontana, but to everyone who has given me the opportunity to practice!

Other Bloggers With Skills:

Cat Chat

I just came across this draft of a post from 2013 that I never published.  I still like it, so here it is.  Our cat still sits atop the jelly cupboard every day, perhaps with the hope of a reply from the faces in the picture…who knows really what cats are thinking?

The Weekly Photo Challenge, Dialogue, prompted me to find pictures I’ve taken of our cats.  I often see Bubba, sitting on top of the jelly cupboard staring into this framed print.  He does it for several minutes at a time and occasionally will make a few small meows into the reflection.  I’m not sure if its the dog, the cow, or the blonde haired girl in the picture or “the other cat” he sees, that’s most interesting to him.  Nothing, not even treats in the window, will tear him away from his friend in the picture!

bubba dialogue


Nosey Delights: Vegetable Garden

I’ve written before about favorite smells; summer = Coppertone, Christmas = gingerbread cookies.  Today when I got home from I walked over to our garden to one of my favorite smells, fresh as can be zucchini, summer squash, cucumbers, and…the first ripe tomato of the season!  Thanks today to my husband for planting and tending such a bountiful garden!

First Tomato

Todays haul

 Nosey Delights

Can’t Stand Me: The Video

What do you find more unbearable: watching a video of yourself, or listening to a recording of your voice? Why?

The sound of my voice on a recording never sounds like what I think it does, and these days I certainly am not thrilled to see myself on camera.  So which to choose?

The first time I really took a good look at myself on video I was student teaching, which would make it almost thirty years ago.  Videotaping was a new idea then as a way to give feedback to teachers.  One of those big, clunky video cameras would be mounted on a tripod in the back of the classroom, so it would be “unobtrusive”.  At first the kids would all be goofing around in front of the lens but would quiet down pretty quickly.

video cameraWe’d be taped for roughly twenty minutes then have a “feedback” back session with our supervising teachers.  Watching the tape was never comfortable; seeing the kids who weren’t paying attention to the carefully constructed lesson that I thought would change their lives–yikes.    The number of times I heard and say myself saying “um” or “uh” was ridiculous.  Seeing yourself without any editing or special lighting, in all the glory that is an elementary school classroom…priceless.

I’m grateful for the chance to have had the kind of feedback that a video tape offered.  It’s served me well throughout my public speaking and teaching career, not to mentioned the few appearances I’ve had on the local television news.  So today my cooperating teachers who did the videotaping and feedback get the thank you shout!

Others You Might Enjoy:

Vending Wishes, Aromatherapy Dreams

Soft drinks, electronics, nutrient-free snacks — you can get all of those from a vending machine. But what type of vending machine is sorely needed but doesn’t yet exist? Share your automated retail fantasies with us!

During my training to be a life coach I found aromatherapy I always kind of knew about it, but because the training happened in one of those nice community spaces that has yoga, tai chi, massage therapy, gong workshops; there was also a gift shop!

EssentialOilsMarch132013900-850x563I love the smells of the gift shops that are chock full of essential oils, self-help books, candles, meditation music and batik scarves.  It is always peaceful to walk into such a place and I feel an immediate sense of calm come over me.

Imagine wigging out over some craziness or other at work; you go to your break room and instead of putting in your dollar bill for a package of peanut buttervending machine M & M’s to calm yourself down, you could choose a little plastic container of lavender oil to put on your desk?  Or how about, rather than grabbing the third cup of coffee or a Red Bull, you could get some Sweet Orange or Basil oil to rub on your temples or inside of your wrists for a pick-me-up that won’t make you crash!

One of the other women in my coaching class turned me on to the aromatherapy approach to managing stress, so she is the recipient of today’s Thank You!  Maybe someday there will be vending machine with easy access to the calming influence of aromatherapy!

Vending Coolness:

Groundhog Week? No, Not Again

If you could relive the past week, would you? Would you change anything?

NO.  Nothing.

It was a busy week, at home and at work.  Demanding both emotionally and energetically.  By the time Friday came along I was looking forward to an overnight getaway with my sisters to celebrate a birthday.  New dress was bought, sassy new haircut, and an oil change so I could drive the ninety minutes to the spa in Connecticut; everything was ready.  Except me.

By the time FRIDAY came along, I was spent!  Found myself sick as a dog and not able to go for my hour-long massage, dinner out and a little gambling.  Thirty-six hours in bed watching Lifetime TV and drinking tea helped, a lot.

There were good things last week, don’t get me wrong.  Moments of productivity at work.  Quiet moments at home with my husband.  Swinging on my porch swing in the warm sun and breeze.

Today I’d like to thank a friend of mine who gave me some good advice.  “It’s over. You can’t go back and live it again.  So, be sure that you’ve done all you could to live without regret at the end of every day.”regret

Would I live it over again.  No. 

Would I change anything?  No, nothing.


Blogging Groundhogs: