Look For The Good!

Thank you, and be Safe!

Thank you for those who work for healthy communities.

2020 has been a challenging year for everyone, and more challenges lie ahead as we confront more sickness and deaths from Covid-19.  As a community  we need to work everyday to take care of those around us. We are all in this together, and as individuals, families and communities it is necessary and important to follow the rules so everyone is safe. Our freedoms are not being infringed upon as we work together as a community for one big effort. Cooperation make us one. I am surprised on my walks to see groups or children wearing masks as they run around and play outdoor games together. Do they want to wear masks as they play outside? I am sure they are thankful to have each other, and be outside with their friends.

thank you
Live each day with gratitude and look for the good.

I wake up each day with gratitude for a new day, my family, friends, the sunshine, and the beauty of the Earth. I am thankful for the healthcare workers, mail carriers, and people who work with positive energy for peace and justice.  Look for the good, it is there! I know I am lucky, and I hope you are lucky too!

I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness–It’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.” Brene Brown

Yes, we are tired of stay safe rules , but I thought this was a very comprehensive list, and I hope you might get some new ideas. I copied it from an article in Ecowatch.com  Please be safe and look for the good.

  1. Always mask up when indoors and around people who don’t live in your household.
  2. Always mask up when outdoors and unable to maintain physical distancing.
  3. Use either disposable masks or a multi-layer tightly woven cotton mask. Single-layer kerchiefs are insufficient.
  4. When you mask up, make sure it fits your face and covers both nose and mouth. Wash or sanitize your hands after touching or removing the mask.
  5. Remember that masks are not a substitute for physical distancing.
  6. Maintain at least six feet of distance between you and others outside of your household.
  7. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  8. Avoid motions that transfer organisms from your hands to your face. Your mouth, nose and eyes have mucous membranes that are potentially receptive to these organisms.
  9. Clean frequently touched surfaces. Wipe-ups are wasteful, use bleach, water with rags instead.
  10. Do as much as possible outside and keep interactions with others short.
  11. Fortify ventilation systems for more frequent air exchanges. Air should be coming from the outside!
  12. Curtail in-person holiday celebrations with those not in your household

Enjoy, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Kindness Matters

World Kindness Day 2020

A smile is an international way to show kindness. Smile today!

kindness
November 13, is World Kindness Day

World Kindness Day is a global day that promotes the importance of being kind to each other, to yourself, and to the world. This day, celebrated on November 13 of each year, has the purpose is to help everyone understand that compassion for others is what binds us all together. This understanding has the power to bridge the gap between nations.

Non-violent November

Victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance” Diwali celebration

These are challenging times as Covid-19 continues to harm our communities and families. To make things worse we are living in a time of misinformation and darkness. Many refuse to accept the truth. As the American election takes place it is my wish we move out of the darkness of lies and fear into a new beginning of hope, science, understanding and truth.

It is a hard when we have an American president that doesn’t see reality and truth. Somehow, and it will be hard, we must accept the results of the election with non-violence and hope for a better world. Every vote must be counted, our democracy depends on it, and then we must accept the results. Important November days to celebrate and look forward to with hope:

November 1, World Vegan Day

November 3, American Election Day

November 10, World Science Day for Peace and Development

November 11, Veterans Day

November 13, World Kindness Day

November 14  Diwali “Victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance”.

November 15, America Recycles Day, make it a day to reuse and reduce

November 26, Day of gratitude, Thanksgiving Day

Below the Actions for Happiness people have a calendar for New November with many good suggestions to try something new:

Hope
New November

Optimistic Outside October

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” Anne Frank

None of us knows the future, and at this moment in time it is hard not to be fearful about it. We can’t shake this awful pandemic, and we are in the middle of an important election. The next month is full of uncertainty. We have leaders scaring us about the future and telling us the” Mob” and violence are going to take over. Some elected officials share lies and conspiracy theories. They say they won’t follow the rules and leave office if they don’t win? With all this what is there to be afraid of?

I got several pieces of mail this week telling me the “Mob” is taking over if I don’t vote for certain candidates? Who is this mob? Does frightening people get you to vote for them? I hope not. I wonder if I am part of the “Mob” because I want equal rights, justice, clean air and water for everyone? Confusion and fear are the goals of these people. Our mental and physical health are both at stake with this silly rhetoric.  Don’t listen to it!

We must do better than this. Choose instead to be hopeful and optimistic. Don’t feed this fear, instead feed optimism. Start each day with a positive action. See some ideas below. Also, everyday get outside and enjoy the beauty of October.

 When you are optimistic you and look at your days with hope instead of fear. Optimism wins and helps you see beyond fear for a better future and a better world. The Actions for Happiness group has thirty-one suggestions and ideas to help us be optimistic. See their ideas below:

https://www.actionforhappiness.org/media/922208/october_2020.jpg

Wishing you an optimistic and outside October!

September Searching

Searching for Truth

This Actions for Happiness post is about self-care and telling the truth! Living in a pandemic we need self-care and we need truth.

Climate march in New York City
We must demand a higher standard for telling the truth, don’t believe everything you hear!

Part of self-help September is telling the truth, but what do you do when you have elected officials that lie, lie and lie some more, and citizens that believe their lies? People that lie are unhappy, they can’t accept reality.  These are strange times with a pandemic, and the need for correct information is enormous. When elected officials have a misunderstanding of the truth, and create alternative facts, and others don’t correct and challenge them we are in big trouble. If we don’t have a set of facts to agree on, people searching for truth make things up and spread theories about what they believe might be true. This is like ancient people trying to make sense of what they don’t understand. We need to have a base of facts to work from and we have lost that. Yes, I misled the U.S.

Democracies can not survive without understanding what is really happening. That is why we have universities, scientists,  news media and newspapers to search out the truth. In order to function as citizens in our society and in our democracy, we need to have a common basis of facts.

This is not ancient times, we have science, we have a hard working journalists and educators that are masters at getting the facts correct. At this time in history we all need a active commitment to always tell the truth. Start with telling the truth yourself, and demand truth-telling from all your acquaintances. Telling the truth is easy, demand it from everyone!

How do you start to search for truth?

  • Get the facts and be open minded. We often think we are correct when we aren’t.

  • Do additional research, read newspapers, and ask questions.

  • Make sure your sources are credible.

  • Ask yourself, does this make sense?
  • Never spread things unless you know the source and check at least 2 more sources. Facebook, friends, family, and Fox talk shows, are not reliable sources.

 

From September of 1939:

All I have is a voice

To undo the folded lie,

The romantic lie in the brain

Of the sensual man-in-the-street

And the lie of Authority

Whose buildings grope the sky:

There is no such thing as the State

And no one exists alone;

Hunger allows no choice

To the citizen or the police;

We must love one another or die.  By W. H. Auden

Ten more self-care ideas to get you through the pandemic from the Washington Post. Read here.

Here is the Actions For Happiness calendar for September. An important part of self-care involves telling the truth and never spreading falsehoods. 

Superior Views, Summer 2020

Extra fresh? Extra wet? Extra extra? Extra beautiful? Extra Great? Extra gitchy? Extra deep? Extra wide? Extra voluminous? Extra fishy? Extra rocky? Extra clean? Extra cold? Extra Superior?” @Lake Superior (twitter)

monarch butterfly
Monarch on goldenrod

Yes, extra Superior! A world pandemic is still raging, elected leaders incite violence, forest fires and hurricanes are constant, but no drama on Lake Superior. By  August the lake has warmed and the contrast between the cold lake and warm air isn’t so extreme causing less drama. This lack of drama makes the big lake more peaceful as the gentle waves ripple to shore.

The loons call, and the eagles screech from their tree towering over the lake.  The hummingbirds like little fairies hover and suck nectar from the last of the plants as they prepare for  their long journey south.

Frittilary butterfly in July
August garden on Lake Superior.

Plants are turning brown, and yellow golden rod dominates. Blooming plants were early this year so they lose energy and turn brown sooner. Only a few butterflies remain, they have been replaced by grasshoppers, and like the birds the chipmunks are already busy preparing for winter.

July was a perfect time to indulge in watching butterflies and monarch caterpillars. Every new caterpillar was a celebration. Unfortunately, something else found them to be joyful food, and they disappeared.  We suspect the chipmunks. Their numbers were too many this year, and they seemed to be watching my treasured caterpillars as much as I was!  Every new butterfly I see I hope they were one of my precious fat caterpillars.

hummingbid sits at feeder
Female ruby-throat hummingbird

Surprisingly,  in July the lake had a harder time keeping us cool from the hot humid summer south of us, but August brought 70 degrees days while a hundred miles south it was a hot humid 90 degrees.

On to September and more change, turning leaves and intense beauty! Extra beautiful!

 

Altruistic August!

spread a ripple
smile!

Kindness and smiling create a ripple, spread them now!

Smile: A Poem by Spike Milligan
Smiling is infectious,
you catch it like the flu, When someone smiled at me today, I started smiling too.
I passed around the corner and someone saw my grin. When he smiled I realized I’d passed it on to him.
I thought about that smile, then I realized its worth.
A single smile, just like mine could travel round the earth.
So, if you feel a smile begin, don’t leave it undetected. Let’s start an epidemic quick, and get the world infected!

Become mindful how your actions affect others? Smile, turn down the music, sweep instead of leaf blow, turn off your car instead of idle, pick up litter,  control your dog, follow the driving rules, and wearing an a mask is an act of kindness. Thirty-one actions below for acts of kindness:

During August the idea is to do one or more acts of kindness daily. Let’s spread a wave of kindness all around the world. 

 

Plastic-free redo!

July is plastic-free month
Work to reduce your plastic footprint

The last 3 months have been a real setback to plastic-free living, but now some of the confusion settling down, and we can start to renew commitments to reduce plastic. 2020 which should have been a success story for plastic reduction became a total disaster with all the medical waste, and businesses sliding backward on their commitment to reduce and recycle plastic bags. I was in shock when stores wouldn’t let me use my reusable bags or let me refill my containers, but there is no evidence reusables cause Covid, but be sure to wash them!

Even with Covid cases soaring, we know more, and have learned better ways to be safe. It took about a month of trying different store policies until we were able to come down just right with grocery stores where we felt safe, and had store policies I could tolerate. We all know everyone should wear masks, wash hands and respect everyone’s space.

buy in bulk
Reuse and refill your own bottles

I am still able to fill my containers, but not in the quantities I could before the pandemic.  By using refillable containers over the years I have kept from using thousands of plastic items. I feel good about that,7 and will someday be back to serious plastic-free living. Plastic is poisoning us. It is in our water, air, and in our food, and it is important to reduce the harm we do to ourselves, wildlife and the Earth.

Reuse as much as possible and avoid using single-use plastic products. Recycling plastic has become questionable in many communities. therefore refuse and reusing plastics are the best practices to work towards. It could be much easier if manufacturers would do their part in cutting down on plastic! Below are the principles I never had to abandon, so far, during the pandemic, and I hope they are suggestions to help you reduce your plastic footprint also:

  1. Never purchase products in Styrofoam. If you purchase meat, use the fresh meat counter.  Also, avoid black plastic, which like Styrofoam is hard to recycle.
  2. Cook your own meals instead of using take-out. Challenge yourself to make meals from products that came in paper, metal or bulk, and without plastic packaging.
  3. Always travel with a reusable filled water bottles.
  4. Never use baggies. Put sandwiches and leftovers in reusable containers.
  5. Choose glass bottles instead of plastic.
  6. Never use single-use masks or gloves. Reuse!
  7. There is no evidence Covid-19 is spread by reusable bags, shop stores that let you use reusable bags and work to reduce plastic.
  8. Survey your trash. Is it full of plastic? What can you change?
  9. Good luck!

 

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July Kindness

Acts of kindness are very powerful!” Sonja Lyubomirsky

kindness
Kindness creates a ripple, spread it now.

Science is finding that being kind pays off. New studies show kindness makes people healthier and happier. Kindness can stop some illnesses, and could create more antiviral genes. What could be better during a pandemic?  So smile, donate your time and  money, help others, and wear a mask.

Here are some science based ways kindness is good for your health.

The Action For Happiness calendar is below. Make July better than the past 4 months, and stay healthy.