Tuesday, November 25, 2014
561 - Have a Sunday newspaper festival! Recently, I got a Sunday New York Times at a local book store. Since we already get the Akron Beacon Journal and the Cleveland Plain Dealer, I had a real newspaper jamboree! It was so much fun to get so many different perspectives and to appreciate so many topics and styles of writing. As a result of all this newspaper happiness, I am now a Sunday New York Times subscriber. Sometimes it takes me until Tuesday to get through all the papers, but I have a great time!
562 - Make a list of simple things that make you happy. I got this idea when I was going around in a big revolving door and feeling happy about it. Other simple things that make me happy:
a hard boiled egg
a good rock
interesting light outdoors
any sock monkey
making lots of green lights in a row
interesting bumper stickers
563 - Write each day's best event in an engagement calendar. At the end of the month, you can review the highlights of the interesting things you did and even pick out the best one!
564 - If you are picking up someone on their birthday, decorate the inside of your car. You can even put signs on the outside that say things like, "Honk! It's Sam's Birthday". This is a wonderful, festive, and unusual way to celebrate!
565 - Keep an eye out for vanity license plates. Sometimes it's a real challenge to decipher what the letters mean. The best place to do this is in a parking lot when you are walking so you don't get too distracted while driving. My favorite -- PEACE2U.
566 - Listen carefully when a child explains something. This is a real privilege, and you might learn something new and unusual!
567 - Take photographs of where you live in all kinds of weather and various kinds of light.
568 - Surprise someone with tickets to a special event. You could even make it a surprise adventure!
569 - Take photographs from an airplane window. There are even sunrise and sunset opportunities above the clouds!
570 - Learn how to knit or crochet, or both! It is very calming to do interesting repetitive motions, and you can create some great projects!
Thursday, October 2, 2014
554 - When you are going to be shopping in many places to try and find something, take photographs of the items you are considering. I am looking for a new end table, so took many photos of the ones that are under consideration. This way I can take my time and eliminate a lot of confusion
555 - Tip an excellent server extravagantly. When I was a waitress in high school, a gentleman tipped me more than the bill! I was thrilled, and I still remember him and how happy that made me feel. Every once in a while, I leave a giant tip because I know how that can brighten up a day and create a wonderful memory.
556 - If you have to make an important decision, quiet your mind and see if you can get some wise guidance from the Universe. This has worked for me many times in my life.
557 - Memorize a funny joke and tell it to all kinds of people all day long! I don't have a good memory for jokes, but I can remember one if I tell it enough times. What could be more hilarious than a really funny joke -- it lightens everyone up.
558 - Make up your own joke. Here are some of mine: What do you eat if you are feeling low? Cheerios! What do you eat if you are feeling dumb? Smarties! What do you eat if you are feeling broke? Good and Plenties! I bet you can think of much better jokes than those. Give it a try!
559 - Try this for a conversation starter -- "what do you like to do for fun?" That is much better than "what do you do?" because sometimes a person might not be working or doesn't like their job. When you ask about fun, most people brighten up and are more than happy to tell you. You might even get some new ideas of things to do for fun. I consider this to be my number one research question.
560 - Serve someone you love a meal in bed. This can be a really romantic way to say, "I love you". If children are involved, you never know what might be on the tray! This is a very memorable activity.
Saturday, August 30, 2014
548 - Use photo apps to change your photographs to make them more impressive. There are a lot of apps out there to play with! My grandson, Nate, brightened this photo up for me to use as a screen saver on my phone.
549 - Use candles to create an inspired atmosphere. Whether you are feeling meditative or romantic, one or more candles can really set a mood.
550 - Send cards often to your friends who are having health problems. It's so frustrating to not be able to cure people you love, but doing the tangible act of sending a card is a wonderful way to let them know you are thinking about them. It also makes you feel like you have done a little something.
551 - Wear pajamas when you get together with your friends in the evening. My daughter, Maribeth, was a member of the "Big Boy Club" that used to meet at a local Bob's Big Boy. The rules were simple -- after 10 p.m., calories didn't count; have salty then sweet foods; and most importantly: wear pajamas.
552 - Start or join a book club. This is a wonderful way to get to know people. As you all share your reactions to various books, your personalities and philosophies are revealed bit by bit in wondrous ways. Friendships really thrive in a book group setting. It's also a fun way to widen your reading horizons. Your book club can meet at a library, other locations, or in private homes.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
541 - Take a series of photographs of the sunrise. These are some of the photos I took in Ocean City, Maryland last week. Every morning I got up to greet the sun. It was a terrific way to start the day.
542 - Try a week, or even a day, without TV. You might be surprised at how much time it frees up and what other fun things you can do instead.
543 - Name your Super Powers and let them shine! We all have things at which we excel -- kindness, lovingness, and compassion are just a few. You could even start developing a new Super Power to your own advantage and for the benefit of other people.
544 - Take an interesting course online. There are all kinds of courses available. Some of them are even free and often you can go at your own speed.
545 - Get your car detailed every once in a while. It's fun to have an interior that is spotless, just like when you first got it. If you have an older car, a detail will revive it's spirits. If you don't want to pay to have someone super clean the inside and/or outside of your car, grab some car cleaning supplies, paper towels, and some cotton swabs and go to town.
546 - Celebrate! Many occasions can be happily celebrated with a lot of fun and fanfare. Some balloons and crepe paper streamers make for a great celebratory environment, and you can make signs, have a cake, drinks, and other refreshments. Once my Dad refused an invitation to our house to celebrate his birthday because he didn't want a lot of fuss. I promised him it would be low key, and he agreed to come. So I had a cake that said, THIS IS NOT A CAKE, and had the neighborhood kids come over to sing happy birthday. He actually relaxed into it all and had a great time. Thank heavens!
547 - Honor a memory in a tangible way. Once, when I was having a rough time, my friend, Sally, told me, "Carol, you exist in a purple globe of love!". That was absolutely the most spirit lifting thing she could have said to me. Soon after that, I was at an arts and crafts show and saw some gorgeous purple round glass ornaments, so I got one for both of us. It's a wonderful reminder of our friendship and the way we reach out to each other.
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
529 - Pick some fruit at a local farm or orchard. This is my grandson, Nate, who recently went strawberry picking with my other grandson, Andrew, my daughter, Maribeth, and me. We filled four buckets of strawberries on our fun expedition. We had enough for ourselves, and to give away, too.
530 - Save your ticket stubs so you can review them whenever you want to remember the good times you have had. This is particularly effective when you are feeling a little low.
531 - Take photographs of old buildings in your town before they get torn down. Everyone's area changes every now and again, and having photos of buildings that were once significant in your life can be very interesting.
532 - Make a list of smells you love. Here are some of my favorites: old books, popcorn at a theater, Jergen's hand lotion, onions being sautéed in a pan, clothes when they first come out of a dryer; a newborn baby, Chanel #5, lemons being squeezed, the smell in the air after you have been cleaning, a homegrown rose, gasoline, and the smell of home made fudge. What are some of your favorite smells?
533 - Write a note or love letter in invisible ink. Then you will have the fun of explaining what they can do to read it!
534 - Buy a pair of red cowboy boots! Wearing red cowboy boots makes any occasion special.
535 - Get a variety of fun return address labels. This is also a very thoughtful and unusual gift.
536 - Attend Little League baseball games. Even if you do not have a child or grandchild playing, it is really fun to watch the boys and girls as they try their best on the field. Anything can happen!
537 - Buy a really good paper cutter. They are not very expensive and are very handy when you need a straight cut or have a lot of paper cutting to do. I don't know how I would exist in this world without mine.
538 - Get a pen pal. In these days of so much electronic communication, it is fun to get a personal letter in the mail. Getting to know someone, especially from a different culture, is a fascinating endeavor.
539 - Go to a drumming circle. Most drum circles have extra drums and other percussion instruments if you don't have your own. Being in a drum circle is very powerful, calming and relaxing. There are drum circles in most communities.
540 - Participate in a murder mystery event. This is where one or more murders take place in front of your eyes, and then you track clues to see if you can figure out who the murderer is. Actors portray the characters in the murder mystery. There is a fun sense of anticipation and camaraderie at these events. There are even murder mystery games you can buy to play with your friends.
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
521 - Take a photograph of some of your kitchen cupboard shelves. Everything may look very familiar to you now, but in the future your photo/s may bring back wonderful memories. I collect Fiesta ware, and these are some of my treasures. These shelves look different now, even a few weeks later, because I went to the outlet store of Homer Laughlin and bought more square dishes!
522 - Make cupcakes using fun paper baking liners. My friend Rose, and my daughter Maribeth, make fabulous cupcakes and often use unusual paper baking cups.
523 - Make a fun-filled basket to donate for a fundraiser.
524 - If you're a reader and usually read one type of book, branch out and try something different. You can get ideas from your local librarian, your family and friends, and the internet. For example, if you like to read mysteries, you might try some science fiction. You might surprise yourself and find a really great read or a new author to follow!
525 - Find the lowest price of gas possible. There are even apps which have the prices of gas in your area. That way you can triumph even more easily. Keep an eye on gas prices so you can make an educated guess as to the cheapest gas available. I enjoy driving my car even more when I am traveling with a reasonably priced tank of gas and pass a much higher priced gas station.
526 - Learn how to play a harmonica. There are kits that have a harmonica and instructions. Practice while you're alone. You can even play along with music you like. Harmonicas are great -- we even have a harmonica club in our area.
527 - Take a photograph in your neighborhood of a building that is about to be torn down. A couple of years ago, I took lots of photographs of King School before it was demolished. The building held memories of my childhood years, my children went there, and my husband taught there for 37 years, too!
528 - Go to a drumming circle. Usually there are extra percussion instruments there and you don't need to have any particular musical skills to join in. A drumming circle is loud and rhythmic, but oddly peaceful.
Saturday, April 26, 2014
511 - Take a photograph of a young artist showing off their artwork! This is my grandson, Andrew, and he was chosen to be in a local art show. His piece is called, "Bugs in a Jar". Hooray!
512 - If you are an adult and have gotten a "boo boo", try using a fun kids bandage.
513 - Go see a documentary instead of a regular movie.
514 - Check out an animation festival.
515 - Get two unusual stones that are alike. Leave one for a stranger to find and keep the other one.
516 - Buy lots of greeting cards and separate them by type. Then you will be ready for any occasion.
517 - Find out how something was invented. The internet can usually satisfy your curiosity about almost anything.
518 - Take photographs of covers of books you have enjoyed.
519 - Try Origami - the Japanese art of paper folding.
520 - Some people sing in the shower, but have you ever tried dancing in the shower?
"Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid." -- Basil King
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Photo by Michael Chritton from the Akron Beacon Journal
502 - Notice and document unusual weather events! The above photograph features snow rollers which appeared all over the Akron, Ohio area recently. I have never seen anything like them in my whole life! They are formed when snow is slightly wet and packable and very windy conditions occur. They range in size from about 12 inches to 2 feet. My husband, Tom, and I went to the site of the photograph to see this phenomena for ourselves. The field where they were looked like an extraterrestrial landscape! Later that day, I saw another grouping of them in the middle of a traffic roundabout. I was so excited, I kept driving around the circle! Imagine my happy amazement when I arrived home later that day to see them in our side yard! I must admit I ruined the magical terrain with footprints as I took photographs to remember them by.
503 - If you are intrigued by something and are having trouble finding other people who are also interested, form a club! Most libraries will let you reserve a room for free for meetings. Then you can post flyers and advertise it. I know a woman who put together a club for people who like to make altered books. Now they get together once a month and have fun doing altered books together. In our close circle of friends and family, some of us have formed a "Bad Girls Club". We haven't ever done anything really bad, but once in a while we declare a meeting and make jokes about just how bad we are!
504 - Eat in different places in your house. Who says you always have to eat at the kitchen or dining room table? Try putting a tablecloth on the floor of your living room and having a meal there. For those of us who enjoy four seasons, a picnic on the floor might be a fun way to remember that outdoor picnics are around the corner.
505 - If you are a tea drinker, and have lots of different kinds of teas, mix up your tea bags so the next cup of tea will be a mystery!
506 - Play with Legos® -- most children have all different kinds, and would be happy to have a Lego® fun fest with you!
507 - Write words on rocks with a permanent pen and line them up to form a poem or an interesting sentence. You could even put magnetic strips on them and put them on your refrigerator.
508 - Play with a Zen meditation sandbox. These are small trays filled with sand that come with some little stones and a rake to make different patterns with. It is very calming to rake the sand and place the stones in different configurations.
509 - Organize your books by category. If you're feeling really wild, you could alphabetize them, too!
510 - Have a photo mug made. These are not very expensive and are available at most drugstores. If there is a baby in your family, these mugs would be hugely appreciated. You can also have mugs made from photographs of your personal artwork!
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
501 - Hire a musician for a private concert! My Dad and I are big fans of Tina Bergmann, who is a widely known and highly regarded hammered dulcimer player. So for a Christmas present, I gave my Dad a session with Tina. She put on a really fantastic foot-stomping show. We invited family and a lot of our friends. It was the best present I ever gave him.