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Hammocks Make Me Happy

No, it’s not “National Hammock Day,” but today I’m talking about hammocks, anyway, just because they make me happy!

One of my favorite pictures of me with my Dad is this one that was taken around 1965:

Dad and me in our back yard – 1965

Today my friend, Becky, sent me a photo of me that she took while we were having a Zoom call and I was enjoying my new hammock swing .

Me in 2020 talking to my friend on a Zoom call

Between 1965 and 2020, there have been plenty of other hammock pictures, so I set out to create a little collage of some of my favorites… What fun memories!

Do you have a favorite hammock picture?

Embrace Your Geekness Day

Embrace Your Inner Geek

Today is a day that’s MADE FOR ME! Embrace Your Geekness Day! I am a geek every day, so it’s great to have a day that celebrates “Geekness” (and I also like it that “Geekness” isn’t even a real word!)

Of course, there are a lot of different definitions for what it really means to be a geek.. someone who like techie stuff.. someone who likes to dress in silly costumes.. someone who is kind of the opposite of “cool”.. someone who likes crazy holidays that most people have ever heard of… all of those definitions apply to me.

When I was young, I was insecure about my geekiness. Of course, I wished I was “popular” instead of the weird kid who preferred to hang out in the library at recess rather than play outside. But now, I realize how freeing it is to just be myself… I’m much happier enjoying my quirky personality than trying to be “cool.”

Here’s a quote by CS Lewis:

“Be weird. Be random. Be who you are. Because you never know who would love the person you hide.”

Another variation:

“Don’t Change So People Will Like You – Be Yourself and the Right People Will Love the Real You”

So yeah, I’m a proud geek! How about you?

Happy Umbrella Cover Day

Umbrella Cover Day
Covered by an umbrella hat under my new umbrella hammock swing

As owner of National Carpe Diem Day, one of my self-assigned responsibilities is to let you all know about interesting and quirky “celebration days” throughout the year.

umbrella hammock
My new umbrella hammock

Right after I bought this fun umbrella hammock swing, I discovered that today, July 6th, Is “Umbrella Cover Day.” I’m choosing to be creative in interpreting this as a day to have umbrella’s cover us rather than celebrating the covers of the umbrella, which apparently was the actual intent.

By the way, today is also International Kissing Day, but for those of us who are single and social distancing, let’s focus on umbrellas. Stay positive, people!

Yes, there is actually an Umbrella Cover Museum in Peaks Island, Maine… the only Umbrella Cover Museum in the whole world! Nancy 3 Hoffman wrote this book and is the director and curator of the museum and I’m guessing, the one who originated the special day! Here’s a picture of her book and as you see, she also enjoys umbrella hats, like me, so it’s not JUST about the umbrella covers.

What I love about these special days, my new bright green palm-tree-like hammock, Nancy’s middle name (3!), the museum, and umbrella hats is that they are all whimsical!

Whimsical is defined as “playfully quaint or fanciful behavior or humor.” Yes, whimsy is definitely something that makes me happy!

The description of Nancy’s book says the museum “celebrates the mundane in everyday life” and finds “wonder in beauty in the simplest of things.” Wow! That is exactly the essence of what I’d like to capture with my Carpe Diem Day philosophy!

I think umbrellas themselves are very fun and can be so colorful and unique. I just heard a story about how the Queen gets color coordinated umbrellas and is using them to keep the social distance guidelines. (I’m very interested in the Queen these days because I’ve been watching, The Crown.)

The Queen’s pretty color coordinated umbrella helps her maintain protection!

And, of course, I’ve always loved cute little beachy, colorful cocktails adorned with little umbrellas!

I’m going to have to check out Nancy 3’s book and see if I can maybe even get an interview with her, but for now, I’m relaxing, happily covered with my whimsical umbrellas.

Introducing Kazi – My adopted flamingo from Sarasota Jungle Gardens

Kamikaze “Kazi” #38 from Sarasota Jungle Gardens

I’d wanted to blog about this on National Pink Flamingo Day, but I’m afraid I’m a day late. But that’s OK because what it says on that site is to celebrate by putting out of those cheesy lawn ornaments.. but what I’m about to reveal is much better. Flamingo-lovers out there, rejoice, because now you can adopt your own real-live pink flamingo! (Note: A bunch of other animals are available for adoption as well.)

While I was in Sarasota, I really wanted to see the flamingos at Sarasota Jungle Gardens, but, of course, it was closed like everything else because of Covid-19.

However, I found out for a $50 donation, I could adopt my own flamingo!! I help the Gardens, adopt a flamingo, and they take care of it! How cool is that?

Not only are they taking complete care of Kazi, but they sent me a great packet of information about flamingos, a Certificate of Adoption, a flamingo magnet, an 8×10 photo of Kazi and a personal letter, even congratulating me on my “Carpe Diem Day Movement!” (I told them that flamingos were my Carpe Diem Day mascot!)

Adopt a flamingo
Kazi from Sarasota Jugle Gardens

This is a wonderful opportunity and I can’t wait to visit Kazi when I get back to Sarasota.

Happiness Quotes

Setting up my “Carpe Diem Correspondence Corner”

I’ve been gaga about “happiness” for awhile now! One of my goals this week was to set up a “Carpe Diem Correspondence Corner” to write cards and letters (the old fashioned way!)

I even splurged on an old-fashioned sealing wax kit since I had one of these when I was a kid.

Even then, sealing wax was considered “old-fashioned” but back then (in the 60’s and 70’s), before email or personal computers, the way we communicated was through good ol’ snail mail! We couldn’t even make out-of-state phone calls without being reminded to “keep it short” because of the long-distance charges.

Now we have such a variety of ways to communicate and I love them all, but it’s fun to do things the old fashioned way sometimes, so one of my goals this year is to send more cards and letters through the mail.

I love that Dollar Tree has such a great variety of cards, stationary supplies, and fun, little doo-dads that make me happy. I found the little book, “Do more of what makes you happy” there and it has a bunch of happiness quotes. This is a perfect little gift for a friend who’s always collecting quotes. But before I send it off, I’ll capture the quotes here:

  1. Savor the moments that are warm and special and giggly. ~ Sammy Davis, Jr.
  2. If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. ~Katharine Hepburn
  3. All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt. ~Charles M. Schulz
  4. Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. ~George Bernard Shaw
  5. Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein
  6. Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Take the moment and make it perfect. ~Zoey Sayward
  7. You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. ~Mae West
  8. Nothing is impossible. The word itself says “I’m Possible!” ~Audrey Hepburn
  9. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. ~Lao Tzu
  10. Be Silly. Be Honest. Be Kind. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
  11. Make each day your masterpiece. ~John Wooden
  12. Impossible is just an opinion. ~Paulo Coelho
  13. Start each day with a positive thought and a grateful heart. ~Roy T. Bennett
  14. A #2 pencil and a dream can take you anywhere. ~Joyce Meyer
  15. Always believe something wonderful is about to happen. ~Author Unknown
  16. One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure. ~William Feather
  17. It’s time to start living the life you’ve imagined. ~Henry James
  18. Be the change that you wish to see in the world. ~Mahatma Gandhi
  19. Do more of what makes you happy. ~Author Unknown
  20. Everything you can imagine is real. ~Pablo Picasso
  21. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. ~Joann Wolfgang von Goethe
  22. What you do today can improve all your tomorrows. ~Ralph Marston
  23. In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity. ~Albert Einstein
  24. Live each day as if it’s your last. ~David Nicholls
  25. The best dreams happen when you’re awake. ~Cherie Gilderbloom
  26. Believe you can and you’re half way there. ~Theodore Roosevelt
  27. Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened. ~Dr. Seuss
  28. Happiness is a warm puppy. ~Charles M. Schulz
  29. The best revenge is massive success. ~Fank Sinatra
  30. It’s kind of fun to do the impossible. ~Walt Disney
  31. Be Yourself; Everyone else is already taken. ~Oscar Wilde
  32. The power of imagination makes us infinite. ~John Muir
  33. Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. ~Maya Angelou
  34. Light tomorrow with today. ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  35. Do small things with great love. ~Mother Teresa
  36. Nothing can dim the light which shines from within. ~Maya Angelou
  37. Be BOLD, Be ITALIC, but never regular! ~Author unknown.
  38. I believe that if one always looked at the skies, one would end up with wings. ~Gustave Flaubert
  39. The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all ~Walt Disney Company

I love these! Do you know of others? What would be YOUR happiness quote?

My Staycation in Beautiful Superior, Colorado

One of the unexpected benefits of the stay-at-home policies is that I’m recognizing how much there is to do and see in my pretty home town of Superior, Colorado.

I’ve been playing the Superior Together Challenge scavenger hunt put on by The Town of Superior, and having so much fun!

The first mission was to write what Superior means to me in three words.

Home Sweet Home – I travel a lot but feel so grateful that my home is in Superior, Colorado, sweetly nestled between cultural Denver and scenic Boulder.

One of the missions that I had trouble with was the one in which we were supposed to find a piece of litter found in Superior and dispose of it properly. It was so hard to find any litter in Superior! This town is unbelievably clean!

Yes, litter is hard to come by, but I have been finding little painted rocks with inspirational messages!

Superior, Colorado inspirational painted rocks
Inspirational messages on painted rocks are found instead of litter in Superior, Colorado

My neighborhood is so beautifully landscaped and litter-free that it’s almost surreal. In a time when there are so many people hurting, I recognize how wonderful it is to live in this community. I’m so grateful to all the people who work hard to keep it so safe and beautiful.

The video I made this week for the isolated seniors (as a volunteer for Seniors With Skills) are pictures I’ve taken as I’ve walked on the trails of Superior.

I’ve been much more observant of my surroundings since the Covid-19 crisis and also more aware of what a privileged life I’ve led. I’m so grateful to live in this community that demonstrates kindness and care for one another.

Since I’ve been walking all the Superior Trails, I’ve been creating my own “scavenger hunt” of things in my community that make me happy! Come join me!

Create a Walking Scavenger Hunt

If you want to have a “Carpe Diem Mindset,” first you might want to figure out things that bring you happiness and joy. For me, three things I love are walking, sunshine, and playing games – like scavenger hunts!

Now that it’s summer and there’s plenty of sunshine, I’m creating my own “scavenger hunt” by walking the trails in my neighborhood and hunting for things that make me happy… and it turns out there are SO many things I’m finding!

To start this adventure, I found a map of my neighborhood at the Town of Superior’s Website that had all the walking trails marked:

Superior Trail Map
Superior Trail Map

Every day, I’m hitting the trails and taking pictures, looking for things that make me smile.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Purple Flowers!
Painted Rocks with Inspirational Messages
Signs Congratulating Graduating Seniors
“Mutton Mowers” – Goat Grazing to Mitigate Noxious Weed
Beautiful scenery
Kids and Dogs!
A TireSwing!
Lovely Parks!

What things can you find that make you smile?

I’m grateful to the Town of Superior and all the people who make this area such a wonderful place to live.

I also thank Walk2Connect and Walk With a Doc for all their inspirational and motivational encouragement to keep walking!

Happy Carpe Diem Day! (observed)

Loving my back yard at this time of year

Before my kids and friends gifted me with National Carpe Diem Day on my 60th birthday (February 26, 2020), I had planned on making May 30th the date to celebrate National Carpe Diem Day.

As many people have reminded me, every day should be Carpe Diem Day observed, because the whole point of “Carpe Diem” is to seize every day!

But when you register for a “National Day” you need to pick a specific day, and I think May 30th is a wonderful day to have a party because I love, love, love my Colorado home during this time of year. My lilacs smell like the sweetest perfume, my irises are in bloom, too, so purply and pretty, and my lawn is lovely green (thanks (so much!!) to housemate, John!)

Wish I could capture the perfume of these lilacs

Of course, Corona spoiled my plans for a big 60th birthday bash, but birthday fanatic that I am, I had celebrated for 60 weeks, leading up to the big day! How fortuitous! (Also, rain is in the forecast today, so had I planned a big outdoor party, I’d be stressing about the weather.)

One other stroke of luck for me: Another mini-GISH (Greatest International Scavenger Hunt) is scheduled for today! It is gamified goodness! I love it. (I’ll try and write another quick post for those who might want to join me!)

Besides it being a beautiful time of year, the other reason for this being a personal “Carpe Diem Day” for me is that it’s the day my brother died in a car accident in 1997 and my world changed.

I know we are all experiencing a lot of grief, sadness and loss these days. But grief can also make us realize how much we take for granted. It can make us want to make the most out of our lives and to savor the relationships and love we have. I don’t want to waste a minute with negative feelings.

But, of course, part of life is sadness, pain, and grief, and we can’t help but feel sad when people we love are feeling sad.

I learned a great new word this week from the Word Nerd: Saudade.

I’ve been reading a lot about this Portuguese word and there’s not a direct English translation, but I like this description best:

While the aches may be real for who and what have passed through life, the love that remains is what to truly hold onto.

So today here are ways I hope to observe Carpe Diem Day:

  • I will make an announcement about this new Website (despite my embarrassment at how it’s not really ‘ready’ for prime time).
  • I will enjoy accomplishing some GISH goals
  • I will enjoy the feeling of saudade as I watch the slideshows from my 60-Week party
  • I (am already) enjoying my beautiful surroundings
  • I’ll say a prayer that our world will be united in fighting the virus, ending social injustice, and finding peace and happiness in each day.
  • I’ll plan for some new fun adventures (virtual and otherwise) in the months to come!

Carpe Diem!

So long, Sarasota

My lyrics to the tune of “Shallow” – sung by Brian Thulson

My time here in beautiful Sarasota is nearing an end.

Here are some of the good things I’m grateful for during this unexpected lockdown:

  • My friend, Becky, for sharing her lovely home and life with me
  • My friend, Brian, for singing Shallow (with my rewritten lyrics!)
  • The beautiful weather I’ve enjoyed the whole time I’ve been here
  • The gorgeous beaches, sunsets, trees, birds, moon, water, parks of Sarasota
  • Hosting a virtual dance party
  • Taking part in Seniors with Skills video chats
  • Zoomba!
  • Long phone calls with friends
  • Long walks
  • Making new friends
  • My family
  • Getting my Mom on Zoom!
  • My friends that joined my Carpe Diem GISH Scavenger Hunt Team!
  • Virtual games
  • Virtual dates with my new virtual man friend, Gregg
  • Getting cards and letters in the mail from Jackster, Michael B, Sonja, and Lisa
  • Creating my CarpeDiemDay Website
  • Learning iMovie and all the slideshows I made
  • Getting Gregg’s CD in the mail
  • Learning Spanish (Conversation Exchange with Jhonny, Conversa, Duolingo, Stella, reading with Becky, Pimsleur)
  • Netflix (Binging on Unorthodox, Tiger King, After Life)
  • Online grocery shopping
  • Chocolate
  • Book Club and CD Club with Gregg
  • Reading positive stories about all the people helping others
  • Adopting a flamingo from Sarasota Jungle Garden
  • Snuggly little Jack
  • Arbor Day Tree Slideshow prize of a Blue Spruce
  • Getting interviewed for a podcast
  • Helping Sara Dance get introduced to Zoom
  • Agile coaching with Becky
  • PacoPita, the Parrot

Carpe Diem Day Music Playlist

So, I put together a sampling of “Carpe Diem” songs today.. you know, songs that make you want to live life fully!

I’m doing a LOT of experimentation these days with WordPress, Music Apps, Playlists, Videos, and a multitude of applications to edit, share, etc.

Here’s my playlist and I’m hoping others will be able to collaboratively add to it, so giving this a try!

https://music.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLw_5FdJ4J3SI-93GYWX6a2V51b_EKEgxi