Archive for Bizarre!

Take Your Dog to Work Day

Take Your Dog to Work Day is, for some reason, the first Friday after Father’s Day. And this year, that’s today, June 24th.

This day isn’t such a big deal for me, since I work mainly from home and occasionally at my farm. For others, the people and their dogs, this is a real treat.* For one thing, the dog doesn’t have to stay behind, left to fend for itself without the pack. And, when the people go to work, they get to enjoy the same, loving companionship they have available at home. It’s a win-win!

In fact, many companies today are permitting – and even inviting – their employees to bring their dogs to work every day. Research, and evidence from those forward-thinking organizations, tells us that instead of being distracting and disruptive, the presence of dogs in the workplace decreases the amount of stress and the number of sick days, and increases creativity and productivity. Really, with those results, why would business owners ever do it any other way?

If you work for one of those companies, I’m truly happy for you. If you don’t, my question for you is this: What can you bring to work every day that increases both the quantity and quality of your work, while making it easier for you to go your job every day?

This thing could be something tangible like having your favorite iTunes playlist readily available. Or, it could be something intangible – but extremely important – like knowing your values and remembering to honor them with your actions.

Either way, I highly recommend this practice. Since our places of work are where we spend the majority of our time, it makes sense to me that we do whatever we can to find joy and meaning there.

I’d love to hear the thing or things that you take with you that make the work portion of your life more pleasurable. I’m sure I could learn some new (dog) tricks from you!

PS For more information on this topic, check out American Express’ article here.

 

*Or, as we say at my house when say treat but don’t want Little Bit (pictured above) to know that, the word is T-R-E-A-T.

 

 

How Do You Feel About World Peace?

When you hear someone make a reference to ‘world peace,’ what goes through your mind? 

– Gosh, I hope I get to see that in my lifetime;
– What are you, some kind of hippie-peace-freak from the 60s;
– I don’t see that happening – ever;
Or do you simply think,
Whatever?

Rather than being in the doom-and-gloom perspective, or even the critical or apathetic perspectives, I find myself closer to the “Polyanna” end of the spectrum. Although I don’t go all the way to thinking it will happen during my lifetime, I’d love to be proven wrong on that.

It is a pretty big dream, I’ll admit. And maybe it won’t ever happen. Who knows? I certainly don’t.

What I do know, however, is that it definitely won’t happen, if we don’t do one very important thing:

Be the change.

Yeah, I know we hear that a lot these days. But to me, it’s more than just a platitude. I think of it as more of a call to being and a call to action. It’s a call which, should we choose to answer it, invites each of us to do our part in the noble quest for World Peace. What an opportunity.

And if it’s an opportunity in which you want to participate, then in the words of Dr. Seuss, “Today is your day!

It’s World Peace Day, 2014.

The grassroots movement of World Peace Day was started in 1997 by a man named Don Morris. Maybe you’ve heard of Mr. Morris by a different name. He also goes by “Peaceguy.”

Peaceguy wrote a prayer, which is posted below. It’s beautiful and moving; inspiring and motivating. In it, he makes many important points. I believe that praying this prayer, using it as a mantra, or simply reading it often, is one of the ways we have a chance of making the grand and exquisite vision of World Peace a reality. And at the end of the prayer, he points out another way, his most vital point of all:

To change the world, we must change ourselves.

There’s that message again.

Here is Peaceguy’s Prayer.

May the people on this planet be changed.
Changed from hatred to love,
Changed from greed to giving,
Changed from selfishness to selflessness,
Changed from apathy to action,
Changed from jealousy to joy over someone’s accomplishments,
Changed from intolerance to acceptance,
Changed from being destructive to being constructive,
Changed from fighting to peace,
Changed from killing to protecting life,
Changed from censorship to freedom,
Changed from ignorance to education,
Changed from fearing our differences to rejoicing our variety.

May we each take it upon ourselves to feed the hungry, cure the sick,
House the homeless, educate the illiterate, love the unloved,
Compete to do the right thing instead of winning at any cost,
Make heroes that teach our children to
Make the world a better place instead of glorifying violence and war,
Stand up and speak out against things that are wrong
Instead of sitting back and waiting for someone else,
Demand honesty from our governments,
Demand honesty from ourselves.

May we each take responsibility for our own actions
And realize that by refusing to change ourselves,
We condone all the evils in the world.
If one person changes they teach others by example,
Who in turn change and teach more,
One person becomes as a pebble rolling down a mountain,

Picking up more pebbles as it continues,
Becoming an avalanche of change.

It can happen, it must happen, it will happen.

I’m just about to reach the “too long” mark for this post (or maybe I’ve already passed it). I don’t want to run you off before you finish it (and miss the treats at the end, so I’ll do my best to wrap it up.

I plan to become a part of World Peace Movement, to get on the “Peace Train,” in the words of Cat Stevens. But I’m going to start small. Maybe I’ll make some origami peace cranes as Peaceguy suggests (and gives instructions for) on the World Peace Day website. Or maybe my gesture will be something even simpler, such as driving with my headlights on, as he also suggests.

Frankly, I think what matters more than what we do, is that we do something. I also think it matters that, while we’re doing that something, we do it with the vision of World Peace in hearts and our minds.

So this is my plan: tomorrow – maybe even today – I will make my own unique contribution in an effort to one day bring about World Peace.

Are you with me? I hope you are, whether it’s on November 17, December 17, or sometime in 2017. I promise you’ll be in good company.

In fact, here’s a message from some astronauts at the International Space Station:

And here’s a message from Cat Stevens/Yusef Islam who was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:

Call me a Polyanna, but I think we can do it.

And so did Margaret Mead. It was she who said,

Never believe that a few caring people can’t change to world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.

Amen and Peace!

Make a Difference Day!

Hey! I’m posting this on October 24th, in the hope that you’ll read this post by October 25th, just in time to catch the wave of…

Make a Difference Day!

I know that a lot of these “special” days are often just for fun, but this one’s for real.  Surprisingly, Make a Difference Day has been around for over 20 years. It was started by USA Weekend along with Points of Light. It’s the nation’s largest day of service, and it always falls on the fourth Saturday of the October.

I wonder if that has something to do with the weather. But I digress!

It’s kind of sad that we need a day named Make a Difference Day to get us out there helping each other en masse. But what’s even sadder is that most of us, myself included until very recently, don’t even know about it!

So that’s my mission with this blog post. No philosophizing, no life story, no spiritual concept to ponder, although I could certainly do any of those here. Nope! Just a public service announcement about this truly special day, an opportunity to do something that improves the life of a neighbor – a neighbor you know or one you just haven’t met yet.

Not sure what to do?

Just go to the Make a Difference Day website, and you can find something fun and close to home. No matter where you live, I feel pretty sure that there’s some project you can join in on. Just go to USA Weekend’s website, or the Points of Light website and do a quick search.

Been wanting to get a project started? Gather some people in your community, and get it going!

I’ll be spending most of my day driving to and then performing a wedding, so I won’t be able to do one of the official Make a Difference Day projects here in the Atlanta area. But I’m making a commitment to you right here and now, that I’ll do my darnedest to make a difference everywhere I go. For one, I certainly hope I make a difference for the couple I’m marrying, but I’m getting paid for that, so I can’t count it as a volunteer project. But, I could pay for the coffee of the person behind me in line. I could offer my neighbor who doesn’t drive a lift to the grocery store and back. And/or I could simply give a smile to all those whose paths I cross.

So, regardless of your plans for Saturday, October 25th, I hope you’ll join in. If you have children and you live in the Atlanta area, there’s a group just for you. It’s called Pebble Tossers (I love that name), and you can check it out here. If you’re sans kids, just check out main website. And I think I read that they even have a Facebook page!

Who knows?

Maybe doing these things, big or small, will feel so good to us, we’ll start making a difference for our neighbors (two-legged and four-legged) on other days, too. 🙂

And please, do share this post widely so we can also spread the word! My Sun Deck Kwan Yin would greatly appreciate your pitching in. Thank you from both of us.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

 

Happy Ag Day

Although the day varies from year to year, in 2014, National Agriculture day is today!

According to the National Agriculture Day website,  Ag Day, as it’s more commonly called, is organized by the Agriculture Council of America. It’s a day to “recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture. Every year, producers, agricultural associations, corporations, universities, government agencies and countless others across America join together to recognize the contributions of agriculture.”

In the past, I wouldn’t have given this date much thought. It’s not that it wasn’t worthy of thought, it’s just that now, thanks to the generations of farmers in the Brinson family, and the generosity of my father, I own a farm. It’s called Brinson’s Race and the pictures above and below are of the cotton field. For pictures of other parts of the farm, check out the website, www.BrinsonsRace.com.

farm cotton trees

But, back to Ag Day…

Whether or not you have a farm, I invite you to join me in honoring this day. In fact, here are a just a few suggestions to get you started:

  1. Spend a little time to better understand how fibers are produced, and what life is like for those who produce it, 
  2. Encourage the kids in your life to at least consider agriculture as a career, or
  3. Eat well today, and as you do, think about all that goes into bringing that food to your table.

Happy Ag Day!


Richard Nixon and Reading Cards

It’s the 21 of February, and I have two things to report.

1. It was on this date in 1972 that Richard Nixon (the 38th President of the United States of America) visited the People’s Republic of China.

This was significant for a number of reasons, not the least of which was that it was the first time in history that a United States president had visited China. Regardless of what one thinks of Nixon now, it must be recognized that, before the weeklong visit, during which he met with Chairman Mao himself, China was considered a foe. Afterward, however, if not a friend, China was at least considered an ally against the Soviet Union. This was a momentous occasion, and is still thought to be a turning point in the Cold War. In fact, at the time, it was called “the visit that changed the world.” Read more about this historic visit in the National Security Archive.

2. On a lighter note, February 21st is also Card Reading Day.

The meaning of this unusual day is unclear, but I can make a few assumptions, and I’m sure you can, too. I am guessing that it probably started as a day related to the reading of Tarot cards, although I can find no evidence of that on almighty Google. Or perhaps the greeting card industry secretly started it as a marketing campaign, although I find no evidence of that, either.

What I do know is that it’s fun and sometimes enlightening to use Tarot cards from time to time.  Here’s one easy way to do that: My Daily Tarot. It’s also fun, especially now, in the time of electronic communication, to receive an actual card in the mail.

So, today I plan to send at least a couple of cards. I know, I know. The people receiving them won’t get to read them on Card Reading Day, but I’ll bet they’ll appreciate them just the same.

How will you honor Card Reading Day? Get out old cards you’ve saved because they were special to you at the time? Get a Tarot Card reading? Or maybe you’ll just play some Solitaire and call it good enough.

Regardless of what you do, have fun!

Love Your Pet Day

 

It’s Love Your Pet Day!

While I need no special day to remind me to love my pets, I’ll always welcome a day to share pictures of them with you. Below are a few favorites some of the pups I’ve loved (we’ll wait for another day to post the kitties):

Here’s my Papa, teaching Max to “Speak!”

Here’s my Papa, teaching Max to “Speak!”

Here I am (at about 9 y. o.), playing cards, with my longhaired Chihuahua Carlos is"helping.”

Here I am (at about 9 y. o.), playing cards, with my longhaired Chihuahua Carlos is”helping.”

My “scribbled” rendering of Dogberry.

My “scribbled” rendering of Dogberry.

My “scribbled” rendering of Little Bit.

My “scribbled” rendering of Little Bit.

Sure, they have their sibling rivalry..,

Sure, they have their sibling rivalry…

 

... but, of course, they love each other, too... but, of course, they love each other, too. 

And although it hardly ever happens…

And although it hardly ever happens…

 

... sometimes they'll even be cute on cue!

… sometimes they’ll even be cute on cue!

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed these pictures. Don’t forget to love your pet(s) today – and every day!

National Chocolate Mint Day – Let’s Celebrate!

There’s a National Chocolate Mint Day?  Who would’ve thunk it?

As far as I can tell, there are two camps when it comes to chocolate mint, or if you prefer, mint chocolate.  The first camp is made up of the people who detest this celebrated combo.  The second camp is made up of those who love it.  I, for one, used to be in the first camp, but am now in the second!

Lately, I’ve been enjoying the occasional Peppermint Pattie, especially on road trips when I need a pick-me-up.  But if those aren’t your thing, there are many other ways to celebrate the day.

You could find a Girl Scout and get some Thin Mints, go to the movies and have some Junior Mints, or just go to the market and buy some Andes or After Eights.  If cookies and candy don’t appeal to you, there’s always ice cream of the mint and chocolate chip variety.  And, if you’d rather celebrate this day after 5:00, so to speak, you can always have a Grasshopper Martini or make hot chocolate and add some Peppermint Schnapps.

Surely, there’s something here that appeals to you, unless of course, you are in the first camp.  And if that’s the case, I recommend you try this special delight one more time, in honor of the day.  Who knows?  You might be like me and need to change camps!

 

It’s Get A Different Name Day!

Like your name? Great.

Don’t like your name? Then today is your day – it’s Get a Different Name Day!

Believe it or not, Get a Different Name Day is a copyrighted holiday. It’s for people whose parents stuck them with names like Anita Martini,  the first female reporter to be allowed in a major-league locker room, or the real people listed on Buzzfeed, such as Bud Light and Jurassic Park. (Warning: the crudeness level of the Buzzfeed post is high.)

If you fall into unfortunate category, you may want to check out how to legally change your name. Find the instructions on this wikihow page. If you just want to use this day to have a little fun, then check out what your hooker name might be at this link. Or to find your possible hilbilly name, go to this link. but if you don’t like what you get, don’t blame me!

In fact, even better than those links, think a minute about what name you’d like to have – legally or just for the day? What might that be? I’ve always thought it would be nice to be named Savannah. That’s not to say I don’t like the name I was given. Somehow, Laura Luck Overstreet fit me just fine.

What about you? Did your parents play a dirty trick on you? Does your name not fit who you are? What name would you rather write on your nametag? Let me know – I’d love to hear! And, if you want me to start calling you that, say so, and I’ll do my best! 

Now, go out and enjoy the rest of Get A Different Name Day!

Public Sleeping Day – A Top Ten List

I don’t know who wrote this, maybe David Letterman, but I think it’s quite clever.  I hope you enjoy it, especially in light of the fact that today is Public Sleeping Day…

The Top Ten Things To Say When Caught Sleeping At Your Desk

10. “They told me at the Blood Bank this might happen..”

9. “This is just a 15 minute power nap they raved about
in the time management course you sent me to!”

8. “Whew! Guess I left the top off the Whiteout. You
probably got here just in time.”

7. “I wasn’t sleeping! I was meditating on the mission
statement and envisioning a new business strategy.”

6. “I was testing my keyboard for drool resistance.”

5. “I was doing a highly specific Yoga exercise to
relieve work-related stress. Are you discriminatory
toward people who practice Yoga?”

4. “Darn! Why did you interrupt me? I had almost figured
out how to handle that big accounting problem.”

3. “Did you ever notice sound coming out of these
keyboards when you put your ear down real close?”

2. “Who put decaf in the wrong pot?!?”

AND THE NUMBER ONE best thing to say if you get caught
sleeping at your desk……..

1. Raise your head slowly and say, “… Amen.”

It’s Create A Vacuum Day

Before you go thinking that I’m suggesting we all create vacuum cleaners today, hear me out.  That’s not what I’m talking about, unless of course, you want to do that!

What I’m suggesting is that, in honor of Create A Vacuum Day, we clear out some space, whether it be physical or emotional.  Surely there is something – an item or a negative thought pattern  – you’d like to re-gift, recycle, or just plain get rid of.  There are certainly those things for me.  And in addition to my feeling good about doing one or all of those things, something else good will come of it.  How do I know?

Perhaps you’ve heard the idiom, “Nature abhors a vacuum.”  This is a statement attributed to and debated by many very smart men, including Aristotle, Galileo, and Isaac Newton, to name a few.  The idea is that nature requires spaces to be filled with something.

For example, if you have a glass that is full of water, and you pour the water out, it seems as though the glass is empty.  But, in fact, it is not.  It is full – of air!

Therefore, I am thinking that we could use this special day to create a vacuum in our lives, so that something we prefer or even deeply desire can rush in, like air into an “empty” glass.  What do you think?  What will you get rid of?  And what is it that you’d like to rush into the space that you create???