Picture House Shines Bright

Filed Under All Posts, Carine Fabius, Group Posts | 6 Comments

REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Wrapping up the holiday theme—sharing what bring us joy—Carine tells a story of illumination

Sometimes joy simply comes from watching others experience joy. Someone I know sent me a link to a short article about the Sun City Picture House, a movie theater that was recently opened in one of Haiti’s worst slums, thanks to the efforts of actresses Olivia Wile and Maria Bello. The article quotes Bello saying, “We had 200 kids that [opening] night with little bags of popcorn and juice. Their parents stood in the back, watching them have some joy for the first time.”

When the task at hand seems overwhelming, doing the bit that you can, can have a huge impact. The thought of distressed Haitian people being able to watch a fun movie made me so happy. Good job, ladies!

Kibble Karma

Filed Under All Posts, Miscellaneous, Prudence Baird | 10 Comments

Prudence shares an easy way to help millions of dogs and cats

Some days I get nothing done. Oh, I cook & clean up, chauffeur & scrub, fluff & fold, but I am not part of the solution to the manifold challenges our world, our society, our country faces.

This changed when my friend Marsha insisted I daily log onto Freekibble.com to help one of the six- to eight-million* dogs and cats languishing in shelters get their daily dose of kibble. I mean, if you are on death row, you still gotta eat, right?

And until we figure out how to stop the pooch & puss overpopulation problem that has as many as four million beasties euthanized annually*, the good folks at Freekibble donate ten kibble chunks per game for every person who plays the website’s super-fun and challenging Bow-Wow Trivia Quiz and Meow Trivia Quiz. The angelic sponsor of Freekibble appropriately named Halo, Purely for Pets®, that markets natural & nutritious pet food and is co-owned by none other than Ellen Degeneres.

So until these homeless shelter animals find “their forever homes,” Freekibble.com helps me get my daily good karma points, no matter how trifling the other parts of my life are.

*Humane Society of the United States statistics

From Farm to Heart

Filed Under All Posts, Cathy Fischer, Group Posts | 7 Comments

Joy to the world, Cathy unearths her recipe for it

What brings me joy, year-round, is my local farmer’s market. What a feast for the senses—all six of them!

1) I see… a bounty of color and beauty.
2) I hear… people talking passionately about food, sharing recipes and wisdom from the farm.
3) I smell… fresh greens, damp dirt, flowers and sugar (from the waffle seller).
4) I taste… sweet fruit ripened on the vine, spicy hummus and rich almond butter.
5) I touch… everything. Is it soft enough, hard enough, ready now?

The sixth sense? A connection to the Earth, a sense of community, a reminder that food comes from the soil and not the supermarket—and an appreciation for life.

Find happiness at a farmer’s market near you. Check out Local Harvest’s zip code search, and even if you have to wait until spring—go local!

Belly Laughs

Filed Under All Posts, Group Posts, Humor | 7 Comments

Connie shares this joyful minute and fifteen seconds to brighten up your holiday

Cheers, to one and all, and joyous felicitations of the season.

If you’re just not feeling it this season, may I suggest you immediately watch this video:

May you be blessed with more belly laughs in the coming year.

The Inspiration of Others Inspires Me

Filed Under All Posts, Group Posts, Melissa Howden, Miscellaneous | 7 Comments

Oh My Darlin’ (Clementine), daily painting #137 by John Farnsworth

Get a daily dose of uplift, courtesy of Melissa and friends

To keep my cheer flowing year-round, I find great daily joy in two free email subscriptions.

A Daily Poem
Hosted and curated by Garrison Keillor, The Writer’s Almanac can also be heard daily on NPR. I read the poem each morning while the coffee brews.
The Writer’s Almanac >>

A Daily Painting
I also subscribe to a daily painting by a noted Southwestern painter John Farnsworth. Having painted himself into a corner with horses—a subject he’d become known for—John hit a creative wall. To reignite his creativity, John began doing one painting a day and posting it on his website. Every day I am eager to see what John has created. Waiting to see the painting reminds me of the fifty-cent surprise bags we used to get as kids at the Trading Post when on vacation, only better.
A Farnsworth A Day >>

Winter Comes Again

Filed Under All Posts, Christie Healey, Group Posts | 7 Comments

fresh snow piled high along a cleared walkway besides a house

A neighbor’s kindness brings warmth to Christie’s Minnesota winter

The promise of a blanket of snow thrills me and fills me with… hope. The world outside becomes quieter and quieter as the snow deepens, it is time to go inside and contemplate the year past and the year to come. When the sound of a snow blower interrupts my thoughts, I look out and see my neighbour Scott making sure the entire sidewalk around my house is cleared. I am reminded what a privilege it is to receive and give help. We all feel and do better when we take care of one another. I promise to give and ask for more help this coming year. Who can imagine what new growth will appear when the snow melts in the spring?

A Baby Named Jesus

Filed Under All Posts, Health, Politics, Prudence Baird | 29 Comments

Prudence’s personal story provides a morality tale for America today

This is a story about a baby I call Jesus. No, not that Jesus—the other one, pronounced “Hey, Zeus.”

I admit this may not be his name and he may not be a he; I don’t know. All I know is that somewhere out there in the world is a teenager I call Jesus and his birth certificate is almost identical to my son’s. And what better time to have a Jesus story than now—on the eve of the holiday season that culminates with the birthday celebration of a man so many Americans claim to know personally, the other Jesus, Jesus Christ.

Jesus (the Hey Zeus one) was born April 6, 1995, at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles—the same hospital, the same day, the same hour as my second and last child, Casey. The reason I know about Jesus is that my labor and delivery nurse helped bring him into this world. Read more

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