Looking through a large kitchen window facing my backyard, I mindlessly wash dishes while my eyes take in the outdoor activities. Birds line up on a shepherd’s hook patiently awaiting their turn at a feeder. Butterflies busily flutter from blossom to blossom. Bees hover over the fountain and then stop to get a sip of water. I reach across the clutter on my kitchen counter for a basket containing gifts from my husband. He knows me too well – he knows I’m an information junkie. I pull out the binoculars he bought for me and zoom in on a feeder. Yes, just as I thought – there’s a new visitor to my yard. Carrying the basket of gifts outside, I thumb through the pages of the bird book he gave me and say in amazement, “How about that!” as I identify the little bird. Looking across the yard I see a black speck on a white chair. The speck is actually a butterfly – a Pipevine Swallowtail to be exact. And just how do I know that? My thoughtful hubby included a book on butterflies, too. He knew I would say, “I wonder what kind of butterfly that is?” So, tonight when my husband comes home from work and finds a pile of dishes in the sink, I’ll just have to say, “It’s all your fault!”
#1 – You Need to Know
Knowing that I post a lot of lists on ways to improve life, I hesitate to post yet another one. But when I remind myself that the premise of this blog is “sharing and encouraging joy in life,” I feel good about sharing another thought-provoking list. From Marc and Angel Hack Life is this list of 11 Things Everyone Needs You to Know. Below are the 11 “things” to tease your thoughts, but do give yourself a gift and read the entire article – it’s not very long at all:
1. You never really know how much the people around you are hurting.
2. The most important trip you will likely take in life is meeting others half way.
3. Relationships don’t create happiness, they reflect it.
4. Compassion comes back around.
5. Timing is everything.
6. Actions are the loudest form of communication.
7. A healthy relationship keeps doors and windows open.
8. People are more what they keep silent than what they say.
9. What others say and do is often based entirely on their own self-reflection.
10. Sincerity is giving without expectation.
11. Not every relationship is meant to last forever.
#2 – Short Stuff
Being short and only getting shorter, I have difficulty stirring tall stockpots for an extended amount of time. My arm gets so tired from being raised above shoulder height. Step stools never work, because they don’t allow me to work on adjacent burners without having to step up and down. Here’s a good idea and another thoughtful gift from my hubby. He bought me a massage step. Massage therapists use these when they work on larger clients. For me, a massage step provides a strong stable platform to stand on and to move about on when I’m cooking. No more dead-arm stirring and shoulder aches for me. If you’re short and need a lift, here’s the link to where my hubby purchased my massage step.
#3 – Uplifting
In certain areas around the small town of Águeda, Portugal, umbrellas decorate the skies. This colorful art installation is not only beautiful to look at, it also provides shade from the warm summer sun. Click here to see more photos.
#4 – The Power of Words
In its brief 1:47 minutes, this video depicts the power of words and how words can be a gift to others. “Change your words. Change the world.”
#5 – The Most Useful Gift
I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity.
Have a fabulous weekend!