Happy Relaxation Day!

Going Fishing!

I’ve been blogging daily on my other blog about things I’m grateful for. I try to pick out just one picture to blog about, but today was too hard because there were so many pictures that make me smile.

This morning, as I took a walk at Harper Lake in Louisville, I saw this father with his two little girls, fishing. It was just such sweet scene. The two little girls, ages 3 and 18 months, with their cute, colorful hats and outfits, mindfully learning to fish.

I’m always hesitant about taking pictures of children but when I asked this young father if it was OK, he said, “Of course!” and was very friendly!

Hopefully, you can see from the picture, how he is patiently teaching and encouraging these two little ones – it was such a Norman Rockwell-like moment. It really warmed my heart!

Though fishing may be a great way to spend “National Relaxation Day,” taking care of two toddlers is rarely “relaxing,” yet this father seemed to be enjoying the outing as much as the kids were.

Since my kids are grown and I’m retired, I get more than my share of relaxation! Sometimes I miss the days where I was the mother in a scene like this.

Instead, I can just enjoy, smile, enjoy the sights and scenery, and feel “relaxed” on this summer morning!

How are you relaxing today?

Sister Love for National Sister’s Day

I’m so grateful for the love from my sister, Michele.

I have lots of wonderful pictures of Michele, but I picked this one because when we have our hair the same length, we look so much alike, and people ask if we’re twins! That makes me happy, because I’ve always admired (OK, I’ll just say it…  been jealous of..) how pretty my sister is.

In the month of August, I want to blog daily about things I’m grateful for…  things that make me happy, things that I don’t want to take for granted. 

The most important thing I don’t want to take for granted is the love and acceptance I feel from the people I love most. 

Here’s a list of 63 Reasons I love Michele..  I made the list with 62 things last year for her 62 birthday, but since she just had her 63rd birthday, added one more: You listen to me!

63 Things I Love about You, Sis!

  1. You leave mints on my pillow when I visit
  2. You can find treasures at flea markets 
  3. You patiently teach me how to take better pictures
  4. You introduce me to your fun friends
  5. Tú hablas español conmigo
  6. You look out for me
  7. You laugh at my jokes
  8. You love to celebrate birthdays (including mine!)
  9. You find fun, creative, things to add to theme parties
  10. You keep yourself pretty and healthy
  11. You will talk to me while I’m walking
  12. You like learning new things
  13. You are empathetic of the troubles and joys of others
  14. You like surprises
  15. You love your Golden Retrievers
  16. You’re a caring mother, sister, daughter, wife, friend… and person!
  17. You love family
  18. You’re a great cook
  19. You send me pictures of purple flowers
  20. You are a talented photographer
  21. You are a founding member of The White Bathrobe Club (and include me in meetings!)
  22. You are very flexible with your yoga poses!
  23. You bring me joy
  24. You’re a talented gardener
  25. You are friendly and a popular neighbor
  26. You are playful
  27. You find the perfect presents for me
  28. You like the smell of lavender
  29. You’re relearning the piano!
  30. You like massages
  31. You’re great at interior design and home improvement
  32. You can confidently advise me on paint colors
  33. You love old books
  34. You love new books!
  35. You love bookstores!
  36. You’re smart
  37. You like to try new things
  38. You’re sentimental
  39. You can balance an oar on your chin!
  40. You influenced my early music tastes: James Taylor, Jim Croce, Van Morrison, Chicago, Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young
  41. You’re my confidante
  42. You’re a wonderful hostess
  43. You like celebrating goofy holidays
  44. You care for Veterans
  45. You’re patriotic
  46. You likes to play games
  47. You built a successful food photography business
  48. You’re a confident driver
  49. You’re a scuba diver
  50. You participated in my virtual Academy Awards Party
  51. You had a Royal tea party 
  52. You’re stronger than you realizes
  53. You’re continually improving yourself
  54. You’re respectful
  55. You’re insightful
  56. You introduced me to Ham/Apple/Brie Panini
  57. You surprise me with flowers and little gifts when I visit
  58. You make strong drinks that put me in a happy, mellow place
  59. You like holiday lights and decorations
  60. You are authentic
  61. You are creative
  62. You listen to me
  63. You are older than me!

All About Scotty Party

All About Scotty

Yesterday was the first in-person family get-together I’ve had in two years. Last summer, my youngest son, Scotty, had moved to Dayton, Ohio because of his job. Between that and all the Covid restrictions, this was the first time I was able to physically be with the people who are most important to me – my kids and grandkids.

Since I love a good theme party, I checked the “special days” on July 8th (Scotty’s birthday) and July 13th (the party day.. and his due date):

  • Be a Kid Again Day – July 8
  • Coca Cola Day – July 8
  • Math 2.0 Day – July 8
  • National Freezer Pop Day – July 8
  • National Ice Cream Sundae Day – July 8
  • National Milk Chocolate with Almonds Day – July 8
  • SCUD Day (Savor the Comic, Unplug the Drama) – July 8
  • Video Games Day – July 8
  • Embrace Your Geekness Day – July 13

Any of these would match Scotty’s personality!

However, the ultimate theme was just to have the party be “All About Scotty.” My youngest son unabashedly loves to be the center of attention. As a Mom, who has been missing having kids at home, I capitalized on the “Be a Kid Again” theme with plenty of low-budget party treats and games.

I enjoyed printing out photos of Scotty at various ages and told everyone to come dressed in his typical attire – sports shorts and a T-shirt and then we all held up one of the photos for an “All About Scotty” family portrait.

Baroness Susan Greenfield talks about the future of Alzheimer’s

Baroness Susan Greenfield talks about Brain Plasticity and the Future of Alzheimer’s in this interview with Carpe Diem Connections.

Dr. Susan Greenfield talks about Brain Plasticity and the Future of Alzheimer’s Disease

I’ve been looking forward to my interview with Baroness Susan Greenfield since I heard her speak at the Douglas Adams Memorial lecture in March.

Besides being a world renowned neuroscientist on the verge of discovering a cure for Alzheimer’s, she’s an interesting and entertaining speaker! She’s the epitome of what many of us yearn to be: highly intelligent, funny, and working on unraveling some of the biggest mysteries of the mind, including the meaning of consciousness.

She also is an entrepreneur. In 2013, she co-founded Neuro-Bio, a company that develops diagnostic tests and therapeutics to help in the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease.

In our interview, I asked Dr. Greenfield about her views on a cure. She mentioned the recent FDA approval of the controversial Biogen announcement of a drug claiming to slow down the progress of Alzheimer’s.

She expressed more hope and optimism about the approach and drug under development at Neuro-Bio. Though not available to the public yet due to regulatory phases, Dr. Greenfield indicated that, with fair winds, it might be “two years away.”

“We are on the case. It’s in the foreseeable future, ” she says.

I’m so impressed that a woman of this caliber would make the time to speak on my podcast. When I sent her the request, I hadn’t realized the extent of her achievements and fame.

What a honor for me to have personal time with someone of such status and influence. She is someone who is making breakthroughs in the treatment of one of the world’s most tragic diseases!

In preparing for our interview, I’ve learned so much myself about the brain and its adaptability.

I’m excited that there is hope for a cure for Alzheimer’s in the not-so-distant future and that we all can take control over maintaining a healthy brain by living life to our fullest potential!

Carpe Diem!

Alzheimer’s diagnosis motivates Dan Jaworski to fulfill his dream: Participate in the Kona Ironman

Dan Jaworski is fighting Alzheimer’s and participating in his dream of participating in the Kona Ironman.

“I thank God for the gift of TODAY – CARPE DIEM!” ~Dan Jaworski

When Dan Jaworski received a devastating diagnosis and a recommendation from his doctor to move forward on his bucket list, he knew what he needed to do.

“Within hours of my diagnosis, I contacted Sarah Hartmann at The IRONMAN Foundation. I am so grateful for this amazing opportunity to race Kona on October 9, 2021”

The month of June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month.

You can read more about Dan and his inspirational story here. His attitude of resilience and strength is the same “Carpe Diem spirit” that I saw in my friend Craig Dunham when he was faced with an ALS Diagnosis. It’s the reason I started CarpeDiemDay.com.

Rather than ask for money, Dan asked for 140 names – one for each of the 140.6 miles of the race – of others who are battling Alzheimer’s and related diseases.

His list of 140 names, along with notes and tributes are listed on his site. And despite not asking for money, he has currently raised over $70K in donations for the Alzheimer’s Association.

Gratefully, I don’t currently know anyone personally suffering from Alzheimer’s, but I certainly understand the devastation and fear most people would have in the face of such a diagnosis.

Dan’s optimistic attitude, his drive, tenacity, and resilient spirit will most certainly work in his favor in the coming months, both in his training and in his overall health.

Let’s follow his lead! Whether it’s participating in an Ironman, writing a book, or repairing a relationship, don’t wait. Follow your dreams.

Carpe Diem!

Carpe Diem: See Free Movie Today, May 6!

Information about how you can see feel-good movie Duty Free today, May 6, 2021

This morning’s blog post in honor of Older Americans Month is to let you know about this opportunity to check out the movie, “Duty Free” for free!  But hurry and sign up. It’s today!

The movie is SO up-my-alley!  It’s about a 75-year-old woman who gets fired from her job and her son helps her make and fulfill a bucket-list of dreams. (Very much aligned with my whole Carpe Diem Day message.)

I originally got a notice from AARP about a showing today at 6pm MT.  (I just love AARP’s Movie for Grownups series.)

However, I had a conflict for tonight (It’s the second session of my Agile Workshop that I blogged about all last month.)

I was disappointed for about 5 minutes until I continued reading my emails and saw that Encore.org was also offering a free viewing earlier in the day – at 3:30pm MT! 

So, to recap, there are TWO opportunities TODAY to see Duty Free for free!

At 3:30pm MT: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cirkel-presents-a-pre-release-screening-of-duty-free-tickets

At 6:00pm MT: https://local.aarp.org/aarp-event/movies-for-grownups-screening-duty-free-wzn83s63gg2.html

Happy National Orchid Day

Happy National Orchid Day, 2021

April is always such a mixed up month here in Colorado. We just get excited about the spring flowers when a snowstorm comes along again.

This year, I was prepared. I’d bought this beautiful orchid in the winter and I love how it cheers me up, no matter what the weather is outside. It makes me feel downright orchidaceous!

I knew that National Orchid Day was in mid-April and that the weather would be unpredictable.

Sure enough, even though my Spring garden is covered with snow, I have my indoor orchid to enjoy. I can still see my iris leaves peeking out and know that they usually survive these April snow showers.

It’s been a long cold season, and though I know I can never count on the weather here, there are undoubtedly warm days and plenty of flowers to look forward to in the months ahead.

Meaning with Shirley F. Rivera

In this episode of Carpe Diem Connections we’re discussing Meaning with Certified Ikigai Tribe Coach Shirley F. Rivera.

This week on Carpe Diem Connections, we’re talking about Meaning. This is the 10th and Final Key as defined by Action For Happiness.

I’m joined by my friend and certified Ikigai Tribe Coach, Shirley F. Rivera to discuss the meaning, purpose, and ikigai. All of these terms are somewhat related, but they describe the motivational feeling of fulfillment in life.

In this episode, Shirley talks about ways to discover your ikigai and describes the history and more about what ikigai is all about.

You can find out more about Shirley on her Website: https://www.shirleyfrivera.com/

Check out our YouTube video or listen to the podcast episode.

And as always, please feel free to tell us your thoughts on the Carpe Diem Connections Facebook Group.

Acceptance with Rebecca Burns

Becky Burns talks about her journey with self-acceptance.

In this week’s episode of my Carpe Diem Connections Podcast, I’m rejoined by my friend and Season 2 co-host, Becky Burns. In Season 3, I’ve been going through each of the 10 Keys of Happiness as defined by Action For Happiness. This week, we are talking about the 9th Key of Happiness: Acceptance.

In 10 Keys to Happier Living, the chapter on Acceptance really focuses on self-acceptance, which Becky and I agree seems to be a prerequisite to accepting others. A good place to start is understanding yourself by taking the VIA Character Assessment. (Amy Sargent talked about this in a previous episode about Emotional Intelligence.)

In this episode, Becky, in her wonderfully wise way, talks about her journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance over the years.

Becky has been a long-time student of Paramahansa Yogananda and recommends his teachings on meditation and spiritual living.

Check out our YouTube video or listen to the podcast episode.

And as always, please feel free to tell us your thoughts on the Carpe Diem Connections Facebook Group.

Emotion with Meghan Baskerville

Meghan Baskerville is my guest on Carpe Diem Connections, talking about Emotion.

The 8th of the 10 Keys to Happiness, according to the Action for Happiness Website, is Emotion.

My guest on this week’s Carpe Diem Connection podcast is Meghan Baskerville, a 29-year-old Communications student. I met Meghan virtually as part of the National Days Ambassador program.

Meghan is always supportive, friendly, and celebrating every day. Her pictures on social media are fun and spunky and her natural smile is contagious.

Meghan has lost over 100 pounds in the past year and she’s documented her weight-loss journey on social media.

In this podcast we talk a bit about social media and how our emotions are effected by others reactions or comments.

Come join us on the Carpe Diem Connections Facebook group and let us know your thoughts about how social media affects your emotions and happiness! I know that will give me a happiness boost!