Friday, December 30, 2011

300 - Fun Things to Do!

300 - Instead of making New Year's Resolutions this year, declare a theme for your year! My theme for 2012 is going to be "Exploring Possibilities". I thought of "Health and Wellness", but that sounded a little boring, so I decided that if I explore lots of possibilities, that can include health, fun, nutrition, adventures -- just about anything. And if I want to declare a theme for each month, or even week, or day, then I will. Themes are very flexible, while resolutions just beg to get broken and often end up to be disappointing. Who wants to start out a brand new year like that? If you do come up with your own theme, please do share by clicking on the comments section.

Since I want to eat more happy foods this year, and I was looking for a New Year's greeting, the above sign that I found at our local health food store was just perfect synchronicity.

I have always liked the term "possibilitarian", which was coined by Norman Vincent Peale to mean a person who sees the possibilities in almost any situation. So I will be a possibilitarian for the year of 2012 for sure!

My daughter gave me this calendar for Christmas before I had even told her of my 2012 theme. Hooray!

"The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible." - Arthur C. Clarke

Wishing you a wonderful year of good health, fun adventures, and lots of possibilities!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

299 - Fun Things to Do!

299 - Start a "Fun Adventure Journal"! This does not have to be like scrapbooking, with fancy papers, and amazing lettering. The simpler the approach the better, because you want to be able to come home from some event with some ticket stubs, a program, perhaps some photographs, and just tape or glue them into a notebook quickly. I chose a bright, flowered holographic three ring notebook, so I can add lots of pages. I have only been doing this for less than a week, and I have already chronicled four adventures! I can only imagine how much fun it will be to look at in six months. It will be a great way to lift my spirits if I am feeling a little low -- a reminder that fun things do happen, and will happen again!

My friend Jean and I had a great adventure going to downtown Akron's Holiday Fest at Lock 3. Our friend from Zentangle Club, Bob Williams, has a cottage there and is selling wonderful ornaments, jewelry, and switchplate covers through the holidays. One of my friends is going to get a wonderful surprise soon!

I had a wonderful mystery evening with my son Kevin. He surprised me with dinner and a trip to a local play, called "It's a Wonderful Life; A Radio Play". It was so fun not to know what was going to happen, and to have the evening unfold. One of our friend's sons was in the cast, so that made it even extra interesting. Now that he's married and has his own children, I really value time spent alone with him. This was the evening that gave me the idea for a fun adventure book -- I just looked at our tickets and our program and couldn't bear to think of throwing them away!

Before I even got the idea for the "Fun Adventure Journal", I took my grandsons, Nate and Andrew, to see "The Muppets" movie on the first day it was released. We had a really hilarious time. They are 6 and 8 years old, and half the fun of watching a movie with them is watching them watch the movie. Then I recently went to see the movie again with my dear friend, Owen, who is in his older youth, like me. I think we laughed even harder than the boys did!

I hope you consider making a "Fun Adventure Journal" to record all the fun adventures you will be having in 2012!

Please click on "comments" to add your ideas for fun things to do, or to leave a message. It's great to hear from you.

Monday, December 26, 2011

298 - Fun Things to Do!

298 - Put fun happy birthday notes in places where the celebrating person can find them unexpectedly. My daughter, Maribeth, recently surprised me with happy birthday greetings all over our house. When we went out for a birthday breakfast, even the hostess, the waitress, and other celebrants handed me these wonderful star birthday notes with their own messages. Thank you, Maribeth!

Friday, December 23, 2011

296 - 297 - Fun Things to Do!

296 - If someone sends you flowers, but won't get to see them, take a photograph to show them later. These are flowers my Dad sent to me for my birthday for the first time ever! He has given me many presents over the years, but this uncharacteristic gift arrived to my delight, and I wanted him to be able to see how beautiful they are.

297 - Think about what is happening next that is going to be fun, creative, or meaningful for you. Make sure it's on your calendar! If you don't have anything coming up, it's up to you to create an event!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

295 - Fun Things to Do!

295 - Watch an incredible YouTube on gratitude -- Louie Schwartzberg - Gratitude. If you pass this along, you will be giving an incredible gift! One of the quotes from it is -- "May everyone you meet today be blessed by you." And the cinematography is unbelievable!

294 - Fun Things to Do!

Kaleidoscope FUN Challenge #62 Pool 3

294 - Go to and enjoy an ever changing kaleidoscope extravaganza! Move your arrow to cause even more excitement.

Your comments are welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, December 12, 2011

291 - 293 Fun Things to Do!

291 - Introduce your flowering friends to your real friends with a photograph! Here's Amanda, my fabulous red amaryllis for the holiday season. Amos is still in bud form, but it is fun watching him grow -- amaryllises grow so fast that you if you leave the house, when you come back, there will be some exciting progress made in your absence. My previous amaryllis was Amy and she gave us nine blossoms!

292 - Create art journal entries. You can add little doodles and pictures to your journal entries that pertain to the topic or not. It's fun to also add some color and texture with different art materials. One year I kept a collage journal. In the evenings, I would paste in tickets, images, and things of interest from the day, and the next morning I would write around everything. It was fun and the most interesting and lively journal I ever kept.

293 - Have a word of the day exchange with a friend by email. You can send the word with or without an explanation and with a response being optional.

Thanks to Janet from for these last two terrific ideas!

290 - Another Fun Thing to Do!

290 – Name your teams! I realized recently, as my dentist was carefully adjusting my new front tooth, that I have many teams that help keep me up and running.

1. The family team – always loving me, having fun with me, around for all the holidays, steady in adversity, the best team ever!

2. The friendship team – wow and wowee! what a magnificent group of all different kinds of people! Fun, serious, silly, loving, some are even very carefully chosen family.

3. The church team – what would I do in this life without my amazing church family at Unity Chapel of Light? The first time I attended, I knew I had found my spiritual home! Hooray!

4. The plumbing team – bless the plumbers who do maintenance around our house and sometimes rescue us during emergencies!

5. The electrician’s team – what would we do without light? Thank you to all the electricians, who have helped keep us in the light over the years, and safe, too!

6. The yard team — it is such a relief to know that this wonderful group descends on our yard during the Spring, Summer, and Fall, to keep it well groomed, while I get to do the fun gardening and flowers part!

7. The postal team — through rain, snow, and sleet they come with our packages and mail! Our regular mail carrier is cheerful and fun, and we are grateful for his substitutes, too!

8. The retail team – what would we be without the places we go to get the things we need like food, clothes, office supplies (I would be bereft without office supplies!), home maintenance needs, etc.?

9. The online team — my ability to do keyword searches and emails! and everything else! and all the wonderful blogs and websites that help keep me up and running. Yippee!

10. The automotive team — thank heavens there are people who know about the mechanics of car engines! I would have to buy a new car every six months if I were in charge of repairing my own car. And when you find an honest and reasonable mechanic — hallejuah!

11. The dental team — thank you for the teeth that you have kept presentable and operational. To all the dental assistants, hygienists, dentists, oral surgeons — I extend deep gratitude for your care.

12. The health team — for all the years, since birth, of tests, operations, check-ups, eye-exams, conversations, prescriptions, encouragement — I wouldn’t have made it this far without you!

I have just mentioned a few of the teams that are such essential parts of my life. Just thinking of them is amazing to me. I bet you have lots of teams, too!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

269 - 289 Holiday Fun Things to Do!

269 - 288 Fun Things to Do for the Holidays!

269 - Write love letters to your friends and families. You can write on special holiday paper, or decorate your own. This might be their favorite present of all!

270 – If you’re a kid, it’s always fun to get your photograph taken with Santa, but you could surprise someone with a picture of yourself with Santa as your grown-up self! Since my birthday is Christmas Eve, I have told my children since they were teen-agers that if they gave me a photo of them with Santa, that would be the best birthday present ever, so I have a wonderful collection of my kids with Santa from babyhood on way into their thirties. This year, I surprised myself by hopping onto Santa's knee and having a friend take a picture -- a wonderful birthday present to me!

271 – Give coupon books for chores you are willing to do or talents you are willing to share.

273 – Get a carload of people together and drive around and see the holiday lights. Some papers publish a list of the best lights, so you can plan a route in advance.

274 - Have a Christmas Caroling party and sing around your neighborhood. You can even have each person pick someone they would like to surprise, and carpool to various locations. Assisted Living places always welcome cheerful Carolers, and the happy responses can make anyone’s holiday season get brighter!

275 - Give the gift of an adventure! This could be hiking some trails, going to a local brewery, attending a program at an art museum, taking a class together – just think about what that person enjoys and do a little research about what is available in your area.

276 – Make your holiday cards. You can go all out, and make very expensive and fancy creations that will be amazing to send out, but you can also make lovely expressions of joy and peace with simple materials very effectively, too. Or even a combination of both!

277 – Keep your eye out for tickets to events and then check around to make sure your recipient would likely be available. Here’s the best part, you might be the one to accompany your friend or family member on this adventure! This doesn’t have to be a high dollar event either – I recently got tickets to one of the best concerts I have ever attended (Alex Bevan) for $10.00!

278 – Give a magazine subscription. If you are low on money, or need a last minute gift, this is perfect. You can gift wrap the current issue of the magazine, with a note that a subscription is coming. Then, after the first of the year, you can, send in that subscription card when you have some more funds.

279 – A gift certificate for a manicure and/or a pedicure is always a fun gift to give.

280 – A full body massage gift certificate is a really thoughtful and much appreciated gift. After the holidays, everybody needs a massage! For economy, you can get gift certificate at local massage schools.

281 – Create your own luminaries to line your front walk. Just use brown lunch bags, put in a little sand or kitty litter, and a candle. Or you can use plastic milk jugs, cut out the front part on the other side of the handle, put in the sand or kitty litter and you are ready to go. We have whole neighborhoods that do this, and it is fabulous!

282 – Bake cookies with children! If you don’t have any of your own, borrow some, or see if you can invite yourself over when the cookie baking action happens. What is more fun than watching a child decorate a cut-out cookie? Getting to eat it, after they joyfully offer you their magnificent creation!

283 – Make your own gift tags. These are easy and fun to make, with cardstock, stamps, markers – whatever supplies you might have around the house.

284 – Write in a journal during the holiday season. Even if you usually are not prone to writing in a journal, this is a great time to do some spontaneous writing, and capture your gift ideas, memories, and whatever else pops into your mind. Next year, this might be a wonderful reference for you.

285 – Write a holiday letter to your friends to let them know what has been happening during the past year. I love to get these letters for the updates, and fun of having more than just a card. Bless the holiday letter writers!

286 – Adopt a family that may not have a Christmas without you. You might even make it a family project.

287 – Pick a special charity and donate your time and/or money. Some charities get a lot of attention during the holidays, and there are others who need us, too.

288 - Eliminate a tradition! If you have been celebrating the holidays for many, many years, you may have developed so many traditions that every year they make your head spin! This might be the year to eliminate a complicated tradition and slow down the pace of your holidays! Or you might do it one more time, take lots of photographs, and put it to rest. You might even replace it with a more simple holiday activity that can be different each year.

289 – Take time during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season to have some quiet time, to relax, and enjoy what you believe the season to really be about. For me, outside of the obvious things that we all celebrate, it is a season of love and expressions of joy and caring. I love the decorations, carols, lights, and all the happy activities. Spending too much money, getting frazzled, feeling way too busy – those are things I am not too fond of during the holiday season. So I try to slow down whenever I can, and give a lot of thought to how I spend my time and money. I am always on the lookout for ways to make the holidays special that are a reflection “Happy Holidays” and not “Hectic Holidays”.

Please add your ideas by clicking on “comments” below. We can help each other have the best holiday season ever!

Friday, November 25, 2011

268 Fun Things to Do!

268 - Make a collage candle. Rae Payne, from "The Art of Collecting Yourself" - started an Illuminata Intentional Art Circle for the holiday season. Check out the website for detailed information. The basic idea is to do little art projects throughout the holidays to keep in happy spirits. The first project was a collage candle, with a theme of whatever intention you might have for the holidays. My two basic intentions are LOVE and CALM ENERGY -- if I can manage those two, I know I will have terrific results! I think my family and friends will benefit, too. I made the collage into a cylinder so I can put it on another candle later.

There is an image of one of the men from the Blue Man Group, drumming into hot pink paint -- that's for fun energy, and a big purple bubble, a kaleidoscope image, and the words at the bottom are: "Using your spare time to pursue what gratifies you can be as rewarding as any dream job." (It is my opinion that even a dream job can get dreamier when we do creative and fun things, too!)

The poem in the middle is by Brian Andreas - AWAKENING In those days, we finally chose to walk like giants & hold the world in arms grown strong with love & there may be many things we forget in the days to come, but this will not be one of them.

I was happy to include Mary Engelbreit from my page-a-days - "A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place" since I just moved my art studio and office back home and I am dealing with temporary chaos! Also appearing are some of the cast from "The Muppet Movie" for more fun.

Thank you, Rae, for a wonderful start to the 2011 holidays!

Friday, November 18, 2011

262 - 267 Fun Things to Do!

262 - Take photographs while you're moving. I love the memory of my sofa sitting on our front lawn during the process of the moving of my art studio and office back home. There was a book of photographs once about a red sofa where it was taken all over the world and put in unusual places, like on the tops of mountains, in the middle of streams, on the tops of roofs -- it was hilarious. This is as close as I could come!

263 - Wake up to music. Lately, I have added music to my morning routine. (See #117 if you want to see more about my very unusual wake-up ritual!) It's fun to stay under the covers, and just appreciate some lively music for a while. It seems to get into my system and energize me a bit and make me feel a little cheerful. Right now, I am listening to Alternative music, but that could change at my whim!

264 - Try a wild new flavor of ice cream! For many of you, that might seem like a simple thing, but I spent many years of my life with chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate chip -- only! I even worked at an ice cream parlor in high school, but even that didn't make me more daring. In the last few years, I have been exploring the miracles of all kinds of ice cream. A while back, I had Butterfinger™ ice cream with Butterfinger™ sprinkles! Does it get better than that? I am willing to do more exploration in the name of happiness ice cream research!

265 - Try counting your blessings on a beaded bracelet. This would be a great thing to do any time, but if you were having a rough day, you could silently count some of your blessings on your bracelet, and I am betting that you would feel a lot better in a hurry.

266 - If you see a quotation you really like, take a photograph of it. I am developing a new presentation on "The Power of Quotations" -- on walls, church signs, bumper stickers, in books, everywhere. I even write down quotations sometimes from people when they are being interviewed on talk shows.

267 - When some big change is happening in your life, try introducing other little changes that are fun. Sometimes the big changes are not fully our choice, but we can coordinate to do other things that will amuse and empower us.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Certified Zentangle Teachers all over the world did Zentangles, and Zentangle inspired art beginning at 11:11 a.m. or 11:11 p.m. and posted their creations on their Zentangle Yahoo group and on their Facebook page. I am also hoping that some members of the Zentangle Club of N.E. Ohio joined in the celebration of this unusual date. The Certified Zentangle Teachers were also honoring Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, the founders of Zentangle, because of the recent passing of Rick's mother. It is Veteran's Day and we remember with deep gratitude all the sacrifices that our Veterans have made, and are making, for our country. See for more information about Zentangles.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Free WRAP Webinar on November 10!

WRAP is the Wellness Recovery Action Plan, which is amazing in itself -- with wellness tools, daily planning, identifying triggers, early warning signs, when things are getting worse, and even a crisis and post crisis plan. Now there is a new initiative of the Copeland Center called WRAP PALS (Peers Advocating, Supporting and Listening) which really energizes WRAP and empowers relationships. Even if you don't know anything about WRAP, you can find out about the basics, and learn about how it can combine with families and friends for terrific results. You can register at

Friday, November 4, 2011

253 - 261 Fun Things to Do!

253 - Take photographs of people you love with their pets. Here are Andrew and Nate, our grandsons, with their beloved boxer, Woody, who is a gentle and wonderful dog.

254 - Combine fun things to do! If two of your fun things are to take a walk and you also like to go to the movies -- walk to the movies! If you love to have a cup of tea, and you also enjoy talking to a friend, make a cup of tea and call a friend on the phone. Better yet, make arrangements in advance so your friend can make a cup of tea, too!

255 - Listen closely when children speak and write those priceless gems down! Often when a child says something memorable, we think we will remember it all our lives, and then two weeks later, we can only remember fragments, if anything at all. Recently, Nate and Andrew were working on a Zentangle project (see, and Nate yelled out, "Yippee Yo Yo YO!" I was really excited because I have been sticking with hooray, yippee, and yahoo for years now and thanks to Nate, I have a new happy exclamation. Of course, I was very casual and didn't let him know that I going to be blatantly stealing his phrase in the future.

256 - Give a new Mom or Dad a blank book so they can record all the amazing baby triumphs along the way. This could turn out to be the most priceless possession of their baby's childhood.

257 - If you are going to be making changes in your house or apartment, or before you move in, take some before and after photographs. Here is a photograph of part of my second floor where I will be creating my new art studio. Soon it will be a hub of creative activity and fun!

258 - Buy tickets for someone you love. A friend of mine just bought tickets for his wife's birthday to "Jersey Boys". I hope he put "from your Ohio boy" on the birthday card! There are free and low cost tickets available everywhere if you pay attention to the newspaper and local bulletin boards. Community theaters, local libraries and art museums have lots events that are fun, interesting, and either free or very low cost. Taking someone out for an adventure is a VERY fun thing to do, and if there are not exactly tickets for the event, like a lecture at the library, you could design your own and present them.

259 - If you are trying to decide whether to donate something or not, take a photograph of it and send it on it's way. That way someone else can have the full benefit of it, and you will still have the memory of it, but it won't take up any more room and get in your way!

260 - Take a photograph out of an airplane window. I just missed a sky sunset with this one, but it's still beautiful.

261 - Go to the library, look through some cookbooks, and pick out an interesting recipe. Make out a list of ingredients you need, and go directly to the grocery store and get them. Then go home immediately and try out the recipe. This is great good fun, especially for those of us who collect recipes and then forget them. It is important to do the library, grocery store, cooking part all together so you can have the full blast of new recipe excitement. It would be acceptable to get the recipe at home and then proceed, but maybe not quite as exciting.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

247 - 252 Fun Things to Do!

247 - Keep your eyes on the sky! The other day I was heading into a local library to teach a Zentangle class when I looked up and saw a big Z formed by clouds in the sky. I knew that I meant I was going to have a great time, and even brought the coordinating librarian out to take a look. I think it is amazing that no matter what is going on in our lives, we often have the beauty of the sky, which is often like free performance art!

248 - Read Dr. Seuss books out loud very loud, with an audience or not! Dr. Seuss books are not just for children and can cheer up anyone, any time. This is especially effective if you are alone and can just let loose. If you don't have any Dr. Seuss books, the library has plenty to share with you.

249 - Have a little silliness in your environment. I got my flamingo with sunglasses at a very high end art show. I was not distracted by the more serious art, because I knew when I saw this, that she would brighten my world. Dare I tell you that parts of her glow in the dark?

250 - Wake up to music. I have been listening to a boring alarm for many years, when I recently remembered that the alarm also has a music feature. Now I wake in a much more friendly way and feel a lot more motivated to get into my morning routine. You can have a gentle classical music wake up or burst out of bed dancing to some rock and roll or electronica -- whatever you like!

251 - Decorate your envelope when you write a letter. There are artists who really go to extravagant lengths to send out amazing envelopes. Magazines even sponsor contests for art envelopes. You can use stamps, stickers, drawings, words -- whatever you like to create a little buzz for your envelope as it makes it's way from your location onward.

252 - Send postcards for no reason. My friend Martha likes to send art post cards every now and again. It's fun to see one appear in the midst of my regular mail with her friendly note. Thank you, Martha!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Zentangle Challenge #44 - Tangled on the Inside

The challenge this week is to do a tangle (or tangles) within a tangle. This was another one of those fun ones to think about -- tangle options kept popping up in my head for a few days. I knew I wanted to do "Rick's Paradox" for the tangle string, and then settled on "Crescent Moon" for the inside part. I love "Rick's Paradox" because it is so fun to do, and I remember Rick teaching it when I went to get certified as a Zentangle teacher -- what a fabulous memory! And I usually teach "Crescent Moon" first in a class. It is so fun to see how happy participants get as their tangle unfolds. It's a tangle that gives people confidence right away as they start their marvelous Zentangle journey.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

241 - 246 Fun Things to Do!

241 - Donate to a worthy cause! Back in 1985, Peter Toth carved a magnificent Native American image, Chief Rotaynah, in Akron, Ohio. It is right on one of our major streets in front of a school. It is a beloved landmark in our area. Because of natural causes, it is starting to disintegrate, and the 3,000 lb. feathers recently had to be removed for safety reasons. Other repairs are being made. There is a fund drive to get enough money to get stronger wood for Peter to carve, so it will last longer next time. Peter Toth has carved "Gentle Giants" in all 50 states, and in some states, more than one. There are all kinds of worthy causes, and it is fun to think that you can make a difference with even a small donation, and by educating others in hopes that they will join your venture!

242 - Have an "even though" day. If you are feeling a little low energy, or not in a very good mood, try this: "Even though I don't feel like working in the yard, I am going out there for one hour." "Even though I don't feel like writing those thank you notes, I am going to write just two." "Even though my boss was snippy to me this morning, I am going to do a great job on this project." When I have an "even though" day, it usually energizes me, and lifts my spirits. I don't have to say "even though" very many times to get myself back in the groove.

243 - Try a day without a watch. There are plenty of ways to find out what time it is -- on your computer, on your cell phone, in your car. You can even ask a stranger -- who knows, you might strike up an interesting conversation. It's fun to pretend that you don't have any deadlines. I find that I often work more effectively when I am not checking my watch frequently and I always manage to get my work done and where I am supposed to be on time. If you can believe this -- there are actually people out there who never ever wear a watch! Oh my!

244 - Declare a holiday for yourself with a theme! Every once in a while, I wish I could have a whole day to do some of things I hardly ever get a chance to do. I think I will get a jar and put strips of paper in it so I can reward myself once in a while with a whole day of things like: reading, putting my CDs into iTunes, having a Spa day, a day of complete freedom to do whatever I want, looking through old photographs, taking an aimless drive, going out of town to an unusual event, etc. Then when I can manage a day to myself, I will pull a strip of paper and have a blast!

245 - Enter a contest! My friends and I went to the movies recently and afterwards, just to be really wild, we went out to Friendly's to get ice cream. They have a "High Five" contest now. If you send them a photo of your high five, they will give you a coupon for a free sundae. Now that's my idea of a really terrific contest, where you automatically win just by entering! My friend Maria took a picture of Jean and me in high five position over the remnants of our ice cream orgy!

246 - Choose a mascot for a project! - I am moving my art studio and office back home, and it is quite an adventure. My friend Mary Ellen gave me this wonderful crow because she knows I love crows and she said it looks like it is poised for action! When I look at it, I not only feel the power of a crow ready for flight, but also the power of friendship. Thank you, Mary Ellen!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Zentangle Challenge #43 - Sunflowers

This week's challenge was suggested by Penny from South Africa, where they have Bandana Day, which is run by the Sunflower Fund. This is an organization founded in support of their bone marrow registry for people who have leukemia. Every year, sunflower bandanas are sold and the proceeds go to the Sunflower Fund. Our sunflowers this week, which are coming in from all over the world, are in honor of South Africa's Sunflower Fund and people everywhere who are struggling with leukemia. I am dedicating my sunflowers to the memory of my best friend from my childhood, Mary Elizabeth Kettlewell, who died of leukemia when I was 12 years old. My daughter, Maribeth is named after her and it pains me to know that, while progress has been made, there is still no cure. Sunflowers remind me of happy memories, hope, renewal, and possibility. Please go to to visit the other entries -- just click on each name. Entries will be coming in until 10 p.m. EST on Saturday. I would also be so pleased if you left a greeting here by clicking on "comments" below.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

236 - 240 Fun Things to Do!

236 - Take a hike with a child or children. I recently took a rambunctious hike with Andrew and Nate, my two lively grandsons, and hiking will never be the same for me again! My daughter, Maribeth, thought of a scavenger hunt for them, which made observing things along the trail even fun. She even had a backpack filled with snacks and drinks. Everything is better when viewed through the eyes of a child. If you don't have a child handy, perhaps you could borrow a friends' or a neighbors' child -- if you like hiking, you will like it even better in the company of a kid or kids!

237 - Go to the movies where all you know is the title and a vague recollection that it is a good movie.

238 - Dance in the shower! My friend Christine happily reported this idea and being a fun tester, I am here to report that it is hilarious and energizing! If you need to watch your balance, I would suggest hanging onto something with one hand though!

239 - Take your shower with your eyes closed. This is a fun way to really appreciate the feeling of the water spraying down on your and all the soapy motions. Again, hold on to something if you lose your balance easily.

240 - Take pictures of people in a silly cutout. I never miss an opportunity to take advantage of painted cutouts -- the resulting pictures are always terrific. Andrew is on the left, Maribeth - center, and Nate is on the right.

Great Quotation!

Be bold and mighty forces will aid you. -- Basil King

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Zentangle Challenge #42 - Hope

This week's Zentangle challenge is "hope" in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I wanted to do something that radiated light, but also incorporated pink, which is the color of the pink ribbon for breast cancer. This is also a sun, which has always symbolized hope to me, especially in a sunrise which signifies hope to me always.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Secret of Life

I have discovered the secret of life -- a whole lot of hard work, a lot of sense of humor, a lot of joy, and a whole lot of tra la la. -- Kay Thompson (creator of the Eloise books for children, and actress)

Those are my friends, Craig and Kathy, at a Laughing Club of N.E. Ohio World Laughter Day event. They know the secret of life!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Zentangle Challenge #41 - Duo Tangle - Jonqal/Opus

This week's Diva challenge was another tangle combination - Jonqal is the straight one, and Opus is the curvy one. It was fun to think about for a few days, and today I finally got a chance to play with it. I was almost all done, when for some reason I checked the instructions for Opus again. My memory had failed me, so I had to start all over! Having to do another Zentangle is not the worst punishment in the world -- just another excuse to listen to classical music and go off into a world of peace, calm, and meditation. Hooray for Zentangles! Check out to see entries from around the world. Just click on each name and be delighted! You can also get the directions for the two tangles there.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

234 - 235 Fun Things to Do!


234 - I recently met a delightful college student who told me that she does Origami, and when she is taking a class that is a little challenging, she hides an Origami paper crane somewhere in the classroom so she can see it every time she arrives. I wanted to hug her and jump up and down when she told me that, because it is one of the most original and creative fun things to do I have ever come across in my 1,000 Fun Things to Do challenge! It wouldn't have to be a college classroom either, you could put a paper crane in all kinds of places. Paper cranes signify peace and hope. Hooray!

235 - Take up bricking! I had a wonderful conversation with a gentleman recently who collects bricks, and he calls that "bricking". He has been collecting for years, and he and his wife have a 3 foot wide walkway paved with the bricks he has collected. He told me all kinds of interesting information about bricks. For example, bricks on a street are vitrified to stand the heavy use. Vitrified means that the brick is exposed to extra heat to give it a glasslike substance. He also said that you can tell really old bricks because they are have raised lettering on them, while newer ones are engraved. Buildings are usually made with regular bricks, but sometimes with vitrified bricks. I always enjoyed bricks, but now I enjoy them even more!

If you have any fun things to add or any remarks, please click on comments. I would love to hear from you!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Zentangle Challenge #40 - Pinwheels for Peace!

There is an amazing website called Pinwheels for Peace. It originally started as an art installation organized by two high school teachers in Florida. They used the project as a way to teach kids how to express their feelings about the world and what's going on in it. Since then, it's grown from 500,000 pinwheels the first year to 3.5 million last year!! On September 21 of this year, millions of pinwheels were revolving for peace! Last week's challenge on was in memory of 9/11 and was an international response of love. This week's challenge is a wonderful follow up -- peace! If you go to the Diva's blog, just click on each name for challenge #40, and you will see exciting entries from around the world. Thank you, again Diva Laura, for another week of Zentangle inspiration.

Monday, September 19, 2011

231 - 232 Fun Things to Do!

231 - Make a foamie house -- with a child, or by yourself! Usually foamie houses come with lots of little pieces, and no directions except a couple of pictures, so they can be a little challenging. Where's the fun in that, you might ask. The big fun comes when you finally figure out what odd part goes where, and the house is finally standing on it's own, ready to decorate with foam stickers, and foam pieces that need to be glued on! Here are our grandsons, Nate and Andrew, with our triumphant Happy Halloween House. There was another fun part -- the house was on sale half price! Hooray!

231 - Do bunny ears behind someone's head when they're getting their picture taken! If you look closely in this picture, Andrew (on the right) is doing bunny ears behind Nate's head, and his own head, too. If you even more closely, you will see that Nate is doing bunny ears behind the Halloween house!

220 - 230 Fun Things to Do!

220 - Ride on a ferry to an island! My friends, Linda, Rose, Kathy and I (foreground to background) took a ferry to Kelley's Island recently as the beginning of a day long adventure we will never forget.

221 - Buzz around on a golf cart that is not on a golf course. On Kelley's Island, there seemed to be more golf carts than cars, and it was a slow and friendly way to tour the island.

223 - Go to a winery for a tasting. It's fun to have a little sip of different kinds of wines. I bought a bottle of Shiraz at Mon Ami Winery on Catawba Island for my Dad and had to be sure it would be good enough for his refined tastes!

224 - Get a glimpse into a stranger's wedding. We got to see three different weddings in various stages. Of course, the most exciting thing is spotting the beautiful bride. We even got to see the bride and groom posing for pictures. It's even fun to be driving down the street and see a wedding party coming out of a church.

225 - Try something you think is impossible! What's the worst that could happen? You might not achieve it exactly the way you might have hoped, but I bet you would learn some interesting things along the way! And if you did do your impossible goal -- that would be a hoot and a holler, wouldn't it?

226 - Write something that is bothering you on the bottom of your shoe and then stomp your foot! Thanks to Lizzie for this great idea!

227 - Take photographs of your shoes. Your shoes have a lot of memories in them, and in ten years, you won't have them any more. I bet it would be interesting to look back at that pair of shoes you wore to your brother's wedding, for an important job interview, or when you proposed to your girlfriend!

228 - Take a spontaneous road trip! Plan an afternoon or a day and take off by yourself, or with friends, and explore some new territory. I know someone who loves to take off in his car and just meander around for a couple of hours, making turns here and there, with no destination in mind. He loves to see where he will end up. Then he uses a map to find his way back home.

229 - Photograph a flower when it is not at it's peak! Sunflowers are always fascinating to me, in all their stages of development. This one is the sunflower stalk that the deer left alone, so it is very precious to me.

230 - Take pictures of your garden every year. Even though the deer ate the main stalks of every single plant in my sunflower garden except one, the remnants of the plants they left sprouted sunflowers! Here is my miracle sunflower garden - 2011!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Zentangle Challenge #39 - Love is All You Need

In a response to the ten year anniversary of 9/11, this week's challenge is about love. Love is an antidote to hate, and also for all the love that was shown by firefighters, police officers, other rescue people, and how ordinary people in a disastrous situation helped each other, often reaching out to complete strangers. 9/11 is a reminder to us all about how precious life is, and how fleeting, and to keep love in our hearts for each other always.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

218 - 219 Fun Things to Do!

218. Take a picture of a sunflower, especially one you've grown yourself! After two years of having vegetable gardens ravaged by deer, I looked on the internet to find deer resistant flowers to plant. I was thrilled to find that deer do not like sunflowers. Apparently, they must not like the sunflowers when they are in bloom, but they sure like the leaves and the stalks as they are growing! After the deer dined on my sunflower garden time and time again (even after I put out deer repellant and hung soap from hooks), I was left with one lone tall, untouched sunflower! Here it is in all it's majesty! But miracles started happening with the short nibbled down leftover sunflowers -- buds started appearing on the stems, even though the main stalks had been eaten! So I may have a sunflower garden with more than one sunflower after all!

219. Create a songbook! This morning I was getting ready for the day, when from nowhere, I started singing -- "Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day!" and I knew that I was going to have a terrific day! I was thinking how much I love that song, and how many songs mean so much to me. Then I remembered getting the lyrics to some of my favorite songs on the internet, so now I am going to create a songbook with the lyrics to songs that have been so meaningful to me over the years. It will be fun to gather them, to review them, and even to sing a few now and again when I am by myself.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

213 - 217 Fun Things to Do

213. Have a slow/busy day! This weekend was hectic, and today is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. with lots of work responsibilities and a Zentangle ( class. It will be a great day, but a busy one, and while I was in the shower, I was trying to figure out how to get everything done without feeling overwhelmed. So today will involve classical music, cups of tea, reading break, perhaps a short walk and whatever little snippets of calm and peaceful short activities I can sandwich into the busy busy busy.

214. Appreciate your shower! I don't know what it is about having water cascade down upon my head, but it often gives me ideas, eases my anxieties, or lifts my spirits somehow! I usually leave a shower invigorated in one way or another! Someone once asked me -- who is in the shower with you? I thought that was an unusual question until I realized that sometimes when we are worried about something, or someone, we think about those situations and people while we are in the shower. That simple question has helped me clear my shower out so I can have full enjoyment without the company of other people's words or worry about things over which I have no control. There are times, however, when the shower is the perfect place to come to unexpected solutions to problems that seemed unsurmountable before. Hooray for the shower!

215. Look at your baby pictures! We were all darling babies once and most of us have pictures to prove it. You might want to frame one of your childhood pictures, or even do a collage frame with several of them. Honor your babyhood!

216. Go to the drive-in movies. I hope you still have some in your area. What a fun thing to do on a summer's night! Pack up some goodies, fill up your car with friends, or have a romantic date, and head on out to the biggest screen of all!

217. Eat at a drive-in restaurant. Root beer stands and hamburger joints still have drive-in restaurants all over the country. It's fun to eat in your car, listen to some music, and enjoy the company of fellow car diners.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Zentangle Challenge #37 - Kiss My Grids!

My friend Jean Rogers, who is also a CZT (Certified Zentangle Teacher), just had knee replacement surgery. She just got home from rehab yesterday, so tonight we had a picnic dinner and did the Zentangle challenge for this week together. Even though we were in the same room, we sure came up with very different interpretations -- which was a big part of the fun of our Zentangle evening! The challenge this week was to put a grid on a string (the string creates the area where you put your tangles, which are the patterns). Jean and I both love grid tangles, so we we really enjoyed seeing how our Zentangles developed. Jean named her creation, "What's New Pussycat?" and added color with watercolor pencils. I even created two new tangles -- Pleez on the bottom, and Flex on the top -- at least they are new to me! Thank you, Laura for another great challenge!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Zentangle Extravaganza!

Zentangle® Extravaganza
Sat., Sept. 10 & Sun., Sept. 11, 2011
Highland Tower Party Room
900 W. Market St. – Highland Square

9 – 9:15 a.m. – Sign in – (register in advance by 9/7 with Carol Bailey Floyd – 330-414-3505) Zentangle experience required for all classes except Tickle Me Pink!

9:15 - 10:15 – Beginning Zentangle instruction (ages 7-107) – Carol Bailey Floyd, CZT $15.

10:30 – 12 p.m. – Design Your Own Tangles! With inspiration from magazines, photos, and our surroundings, we will capture tangle patterns, name them anything we want, and incorporate them into a wondrous Zentangle tile. Carol Bailey Floyd, CZT $15.

12 – 1 p.m. – Bring your lunch, or join us for an Aladdin’s party tray – love offering.

1:15 p.m. – 3 p.m. – Tickle Me Pink! – A fun way to explore the application of Prisma color pencils with Bob Williams, graphic designer. He will demonstrate applying color, gradually enhancing Zentangles, on B&W Xerox photos, colorizing laser and inkjet prints. $20.

3:15 – 5 p.m. Decorate a Wine Glass Participants will receive a wine glass, a black painting pen and have access to other colors. Sparrow Kelley, CZT, will teach some new tangles for customizing a unique keepsake. $20.
1 – 1:15 – Registration – Sunday, September 11

1:15 – 3:00 p.m. A Zentangle Fairyland - Create fun environments where fairies can play! You can decide if your fairies want color, sparklies, or a more traditional Zentangle approach! Carol Bailey Floyd, CZT $20.

3:15 – 5:00 – Zendala – A mandala is a sacred circle. Discover the fun of creating its relative the Zendala, with a surprisingly simple technique that produces dazzling results!
Estelle Goodnight, CZT $20.

CZT = Certified Zentangle Teacher - see to learn about Zentangles
Additional PARKING across from Walgreen’s – call 330 414-3505 to be buzzed in

Monday, August 29, 2011

205 - 212 Fun Things to Do!

205 - Get an ice cream cake for a birthday celebration!

206. Get an ice cream cake for no reason at all!

207. Walk barefoot in the grass.

208. Go to the library and borrow music you would usually not choose. Then have a little music festival while you are doing your chores!

209. Start accumulating a list of books you want to read, and then take it to the library and have them order what they don't have. A new stack of books is always fun!

210. Make a list of books as you read them, and start a rating system, or write a short review. Your family and friends will thank you!

211. Look at the negative space formed by clouds -- that blue sky around the clouds forms designs, too!

212. Check out the front ends of cars -- they are usually friendly or fierce! I heard of this when a college professor assigned this exercise to a photography class. This is my VW Beetle, Molly -- a very smiling and friendly car!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Salute to Borders Books and Music

I have loved to read ever since forever. I worked in bookstores for 20 years -- over 12 of them at two different Borders in N.E. Ohio. First I worked at the Bookhound, a mystery bookstore, owned by my sister, Barbara Hiney, and after a brief stint at an advertising agency, returned to being a bookseller at Pickwick Books in Fairlawn. Unfortunately, Borders came to town, just a mile or so away, and that was soon the end of Pickwick. I am a fan of independent stores, and was really sad to witness the demise of Pickwick Books, but I also have to admit that being a booklover, I am thrilled when there are thousands of books in one huge place.

For a long time, Borders was very community oriented, with lots of activities in the store to appeal to children and adults. We had a program coordinator to keep things hopping. Local authors could be assured of signings, and placement of their books on our shelves. Borders was a second home to me, with family, friends, and people I hadn't seen for a long time popping up here and there to make my shifts more fun and interesting. My fellow employees were well-versed in books and music and had many areas of expertise that made them reliable sources of information and recommendations.

I just realized that this is a little like a fairy tale because Borders was the big bad wolf who came to town and killed Pickwick, and then Barnes and Noble came to town about 1/2 mile away and took about 30% of Borders' business right away! Then Borders opened a store in the neighboring community of Medina, and that took even more business away! Finally, Borders #63 had to let go all of their part-time employees -- and that meant I lost a job that meant the world to me. I had started working in the mental health field by then and traveling some, but I was still trying to hang in there with Borders. I landed a job with Borders in N. Canton for over 2 years before my other jobs became too time consuming.

Let me tell you what I loved about Borders. When I opened the door to Borders at the beginning of each shift, I never knew what to expect -- I knew I would get to have interesting conversations with not only the customers, but with my fellow employees. And I loved the enormous quantity of books, and knowing what was new, and being able to talk to people about books. We also had a large music department that kept me on my toes, musically speaking.

One day a man came in and was looking for a book of poetry. When he and his wife were courting, they used to go down by a river, and he would read to her from this book. She had just passed away, and was in the funeral home next door to Borders, and he wanted to put that book in her casket! We didn't have it and I was panic stricken. I called every book store in town, even the used ones, but I couldn't find it. Finally, I gave him a print-out of the information, which he carefully folded up and put in his pocket. He told me that he had gone on to make a lot of money, but when he proposed to her he could only afford to give her an engagement ring that he bought at the dime store. Later he bought her a magnificent diamond ring. In her later days, she would only wear the dime store ring.

There was one woman who came in once a week and bought a stack of books. She had taken a speed reading course, and it was always fun to see if I could come up with new ideas for her each week. One morning, one of our regular customers showed up with warm Krispy Kreme glazed donuts for the opening crew!

Another time, a volunteer from hospice came in and asked for some music that people could listen to as they passed. She said that one woman's husband used to be a violinist, and that this volunteer had played violin music for her as she was in her final days.

Not every day had incredible stories like that, but I never knew which one would. I did story hour there for many years, and loved to look out into the sea of children as I read wonderful, fun stories to them. Sometimes I dressed up as Winnie the Pooh, or Cat in the Hat or a Berenstain Bear -- the kids really believed I was those characters.

We used to have an art wall where local artists could have a chance to show their creations -- sometimes for the first time ever. I facilitated THE ARTIST'S WAY by Julia Cameron a lot of times, some writing groups, and other events there. The cafe was a great place for people to get together, or have some time by themselves. I know one man who did most of his studying for nursing school there and another who conducted a lot of his real estate business from the cafe.

I was so grateful to have the chance to work at Borders in N. Canton. It was a different environment because it was not in my neighborhood any more. My co-workers were terrific. One manager was a retired school teacher who studies Abraham Lincoln among other things. Another went on to teach art.

One time I was at the Philadelphia Airport, with an unexpectedly long layover, and there was a Borders store there to save the day -- just one book, a rocker, and I was a happily detained traveller. I was recently at the airport again, and I hoped to go to that Borders one more time (closing dates for all Borders are in September), but I was so sad to see the black curtain, with the Borders sign lit up in the background. It just seemed symbolic to me of the extreme sadness of the whole closing.

There are Borders employees who are hanging in to the very end to help get their stores closed up. They have been through a lot. Some of them were full-time once, but got their hours cut and lost their benefits. Many of my friends who worked at Borders never could even afford to have cars. A lot of Borders employees work there because they love books, music, and people. I send them best wishes and much gratitude as they look for new jobs and opportunities.

Goodbye, Borders Books and Music -- thanks for the memories.

201 - 204 Fun Things to Do!

201. Identify the trees in your neighborhood. Most of us got that assignment when we were little kids. We got tree identification books and roamed around looking at leaves and even making a notebook. I bet there are trees in your area that have been unnoticed by you. Go out and make friends with them!

202. Hug a tree! I know this is not for everyone, but there is something very comforting about hugging a tree. I love palm trees, but since they don't grow in Ohio when I get near them when I travel, I have to show my appreciation. If someone is with me to take a picture, all the better!

203. Make up a word. Sometimes we make up words by accident, and sometimes on purpose. I remember when I was dating my husband Tom how hard I laughed when he was ordering pizza and he told them he wanted to place a "gorder" -- that is a to go order. The other day my daughter was describing being all bunched up in bed, so she had to "uncrankle" herself to get up. I was driving down the street and saw an streak of a cloud in an arc, and thought of a "cloudbow".

204. Issue fun points. If you know someone who is having a rough time, or is feeling a little low, you can give them fun points. For example, if someone has just changed jobs and they are making the adjustment, you could give them 25 fun points to spend any way they want. They are in charge of how they spend their fun points -- it might be 3 points for going to a lecture at the library; 2 points for getting ice cream; 2 points for 1/2 hour of reading, etc.

205. Give yourself fun points! The other day I had a really tough meeting, so I gave myself 20 points. The first thing I did was head to the movies to spend 3 points, because that is one of my most fun and relaxing things to do. I was discussing the pros and cons of one movie over another with the manager of the movie theatre, and told him that I'd had a really bad afternoon. He said -- would your day be any better if you got a free movie ticket? So there I was in a fun movie, eating ice cream (2 more points), just a few hours after a crummy meeting, spending a few of my fun points with a much improved mood and attitude.

Monday, August 15, 2011

192 - 200 Fun Things to Do!

192. Do a week of surprises for someone! Someone I love is a school administrator who has to go back to school two weeks before her two children do, so I knew she would be feeling a little low. I surprised her with a week's worth of wrapped gifts -- one to open each day -- starting on Sunday with a book of quotations I had collected over the years. Each day's gift was numbered and wrapped differently and Thursday's gift was from her children. It was fun to think of this idea, fun to give to her, and I bet it was fun for her to have a little something fun to open up each day as she eased back into the more serious world of school administration!

193. When you're stuck in traffic, blow bubbles out of your car window. My friend Ruth told me that her daughters, Kylia and Kari used to love to do that and see people's reactions.

194. Get a fun tattoo! I will probably never get a tattoo, except a temporary one, but I sure have fun looking at other people's tattoos. Even the serious ones get my attention. If a person is willing to tell me any stories about their tattoos, I will listen until they are tired of talking. It's a meaningful decision to get a tattoo, but they don't all have to be serious! I was at a coffee shop in line behind a woman and just happened to look down, when I started laughing, she turned around and I just had to ask permission to take a photograph of her leg. When I went to my grandson Andrew's baseball picnic, little did I know that I would be able to add to my collection of fun tattoos when I noticed that one of the baseball Dads had a very humorous leg!

Hooray for fun tattoos!

195. Do a taste test! The other day, I was trying to decide which mustard to use with my hot dog, when I got an idea to try every kind we had in the refrigerator. I love love love mustard -- well, yellow mustard, not so much unless there are lots of raw onions with it and a great hot dog underneath. So I got out Grey Poupon - Dijon; Stadium mustard; Horseradish mustard, and Wasabi mustard. It was a really fun adventure to finally really compare them all in the same time period. There was a clear winner -- Grey Poupon -Dijon! Although, if you are at a baseball stadium with a crowd of people, and you get a great big hot dog there and slather it with Stadium mustard, then that's the very best (at the time). Dijon would be out of place at a baseball game! I also tried chocolate chip ice cream all over my county for a couple years at every opportunity until I found what I thought was the very best. It turned out to be the homemade chocolate chip ice cream at Mary Coyle's right in my neighborhood, where I used to work when I was in high school!

196. Dance with a child at a wedding! This is Erin, who was Maid of Honor at her sister Sara's wedding, out on the dance floor with a young dancer.

197. Watch children dancing. Any time you have a chance to watch a child or children dancing, stop everything else you are doing and appreciate the splendor!

198. Ask someone what they like to do for fun. It's a great conversation topic to find out what other people like to do for fun, and maybe they will give you some unusual ideas. They might also be interested in what you like to do for fun, too!

199. Call someone long distance. With unlimited calling plans, in some instances it's not quite the thrill it used to be to call someone long distance. It still is a lot of fun to talk to someone you don't get to see very often especially if you can surprise them with an unexpected call.

200. Take a photograph of a fun drink! Usually when I order lemonade, it might be good, but usually it is not unexpected. Imagine my delight when I got a carafe of fresh squeezed lemonade all to myself when I was on vacation. I just had to celebrate the occasion!