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keen sense of humor helps us to overlook the
unbecoming, understand the unconventional,
tolerate the unpleasant, overcome the
unexpected, and outlast the unbearable."
Graham, American Minister & Author (1918 --)
From the Inside Out...
During Difficult Times
the Weed War (2)
Brea Pitch Lake
Stess at Work
What a Site!
Leap on Life
Dismantling Our Walls
BE the World
You Want to See!
the humor in
difficult situations can shift
our awareness to a
healthier perspective that
facilitates eventual clarity.
From the Inside Out
we laugh during difficult times? As I reflect upon my own laughter
meter in recent weeks, I realized that I have had several moments
of weeping and many moments of laughing.
reminded me that laughing and crying are on the same continuum
both designed to offer release and relief. During tough times we
may think that laughter is inappropriate or an indication that we're
not as serious as we "should" be.
belief is that it is in tough times that laughter is especially
helpful to move us from intense introspection to connection with
others, perhaps through service and outreach. Laughter is about
connection, and I can't think of a better time to connect outside
of self than during difficult times.
go ahead and laugh and weep simply because you can.
And, if you need a jumpstart, here are some ideas to help get you
with a friend: Call the one person you know will absolutely
laugh no preliminary conversations needed; just laugh.
for laughter in each day: A funny incident, a thought, a billboard,
a commercial, whatever helps you smile.
to other people laughing and then join in: This is great in
parking lots, grocery stores, wherever people gather.
a laughter exercise: Simulate laughter to stimulate laughter.
Example: Smile 5 times in 5 seconds; next do this while watching
yourself in a mirror.
and laugh: Granted, this may draw some interesting looks from
observers. As you are walking at a leisurely pace, simply repeat
a laughing word like "ha" with each step. Change the pace
of your walk and the pace of the laughing word. You can do this
audibly or silently - you'll be smiling either way!
friends over and begin storytelling: You'll learn new things
about each other and share some laughter plus the connection will
is a good time to re-connect with levity and lightheartedness:
Fly a kite, play ball, paint, sing silly songs, take a child for
a walk, visit a senior and get them talking about the "good
old days", laugh out loud simply because you can.
with each other and connect with the "spirit of laughter"
so that you experience all that laughter can be for you. The spirit
of laughter is part of your spiritual health and is wonderfully
infectious, contagious, universal, fun, free and uplifting
ideal for difficult times.
MSW is a laugh therapist
author of the email course:
for the Healing Heart"
and the book: Tee
Hee Moments: Remembering to Laugh
When You're Having One of Those Days
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WIN THE WEED WAR (Part 2)
There are a few more techniques you can use "battle
strategies" if you will to be the winner in the annual
Cover your ground. Cultivate plants close together or grow winter
ground cover in areas that typically suffer from weed invasion.
A thick mass of plants not only is attractive but also shelters
the soil from direct sunlight, making it more difficult for weed
seeds to prosper.
Old-fashioned elbow grease. Weed every couple of weeks throughout
the growing season in order to stay in control of the weed situation.
If you're going to get down and dirty, use a comfortable knee cushion
or try pads to lessen the impact of weeding on your body. You can
also try an upright tool such as the Weed Hound, which prevents
excessive bending or body strain.
Solar-powered soil. Solarization uses heat to disinfect your
soil. If you have a large planting bed or area of lawn that you
want to reseed, till the area to clear all vegetation. Then water
the area until it is saturated. Wait 24 hours, then cover with clear
3- to 6-mil plastic sheeting. Bury the edges of the sheeting to
seal it. Let the soil cook for four to six weeks, then remove the
plastic. If any weeds appear, till them lightly without disturbing
the soil. Wait a few days for the soil to cool, then start planting.
This method helps get rid of many soil-borne diseases as well.
Kiss my grits. You can try a natural weed control such as WOW!
(WithOut Weeds), which is made from a byproduct of corn. It acts
as a pre-emergent, best applied during the spring, killing weeds
before they germinate. A second application at the end of the growing
season helps kill weeds that sprout late in the summer and go to
seed in the fall. Its nontoxic formula is safe, and it even releases
nitrogen into your soil.
I.D. your weeds. If you can identify the sprouting menaces in
your yard, you can control their reseeding habits better. Annual
weeds complete their growing cycle from seed to plant in a few months,
then die. Unfortunately, they can leave behind thousands of babies
if they go to seed, so always try to remove annuals before they
drop seeds. Perennial weeds usually live for at least three years
and are more difficult to banish, so at first sighting remove them
Time is tight. If the weeds are starting to grow, but you don't
have the time or energy to pull them up at the moment, suffocate
the weeds by covering them with a block of wood or piece of plastic.
Better yet, use a few large decorative stones, a work of art, or
a birdbath. At least you'll stop the weeds from spreading so you
can tackle them when you have time.
Off with their heads. To stop weeds from spreading, pluck off
their flower heads before they drop seed. This technique can be
especially helpful with weeds which love to provide generation after
generation of weeds.
Don't go too low. To help discourage weed germination in your
lawn, avoid scalping with your mower. A buzzed lawn not only kills
the grass in that spot, it allows light to reach the weed seeds
and gives them the opportunity to sprout and run amok. Raising your
mower blade also helps promote extra root growth in your lawn, making
it harder for weeds to get a foothold.
Homes & Gardens
& Home MSN.com
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A stones throw from the sparkling blue Gulf of Paria, on Trinidad's
southwest coast, lies one of the strangest wonders of the world.
Pitch Lake is a dark mass of imperceptibly moving asphalt near the
little village of La Brea that burbles, hisses and occasionally
spits fire. The lake is 300 feet (90m) deep at its center with a
surface like elephant skin. According to legend, Sir Walter Raleigh
discovered the lake in 1595 and used the asphalt to caulk his ships.
The lake was formed millions of years ago, and it's believed that
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seeped. Churned up and down by underground gases, the oil and mud
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PETS REDUCE STRESS AT WORK
It's nearly 5 p.m. and like clockwork, Mozez and Argyle are spread
across John La Croix's desk at a law firm. "They know when
it's time to go home," says La Croix, who has brought the litter
mates to work ever since they were frisky kittens. Argyle
the cat makes himself comfortable on John La Croix's desk at a law
office in Boulder, Colo. Studies show that having pets at work lowers
stress levels. La
Croix isn't the only animal shuttle at Withers, Seidman & Rice.
Three dogs, two more cats and two birds share the office.
at work appears to be a welcome trend in many cities. "A lot
of people have been telling me they bring their animals to work,"
says Jan McHugh, executive director of the local humane society.
The trend is most noticeable in the high-tech industry, where dogs
have become part of a casual-office culture. Recent studies show
what high-tech industry leaders have been saying for years: Having
pets at work lowers stress levels and makes employees more productive.
the animals around makes the office more homey and comfortable,"
says Janet McLachlan, a paralegal who says a 12-year-old pit bull
named Sophie was the reason she took the job with Withers, Seidman
& Rice. "Being a law office, there's a lot of stress and
deadlines, and having animals around allows you to take a break,
pet them and that makes you feel better."
in the workplace isn't a new concept, but it's unusual when the
animals outnumber the people, as they do at the cozy, two-story
law firm. Most of the office animals belong to Mary Lee Withers
and her husband, attorney Ed Withers, and all were rescued from
a hard life of abuse and neglect. Sophie was the first animal to
come to work. Then came Libby, a 14-year-old sheep dog mix, who
Mary felt was too old to be outside in the winter's cold. Then came
Finley, a 2-year-old mixed breed showing chow features. The newest
addition is Emmy Lou, a skittish longhair black cat who slowly is
pets obviously benefit from the arrangement, but so do the attorneys
and their clients. "I'm not a big animal lover and I usually
don't like cats," says Bill Alexander, a client of the law
firm. "But when I go in to sign papers, the animals have a
calming effect and I always feel a helluva lot better than when
I came in." The enjoyment and relaxation that clients, attorneys
and staff experience mirrors scientific studies of the physiological
and mental health benefits of having animals around.
for allowing pets at work:
* Poll employees before adding a new policy.
* Appoint someone to keep a daily "attendance"
sheet of office animals.
* Have a written pet policy.
* List animals (i.e. insects) that aren't welcome in the
* Require employees to document their pet's health status.
* Have guidelines for unacceptable behaviors and consequences.
* Designate an outdoor area for walking dogs.
* Accommodate employees who have allergies with a pet-free
American Heart Association recently highlighted a study that suggests
pets can significantly reduce high blood pressure associated with
highly demanding careers.
Marshall, Scripps Howard News Service
microwaves really cook
food from the inside out?
Laughing It Off
people never seem motivated to participate, but are just content
to watch while others do the work.
are called "Spec Taters".
Some people never do anything to help, but are gifted at finding
fault with the way others do the work.
are called "Comment Taters".
Some people are very bossy and like to tell others what to do, but
don't want to soil their own hands.
are called "Dik Taters".
Some people are always looking to cause problems by asking others
to agree with them. It is too hot or too cold, too sour or too sweet.
are called "Agie Taters".
There are those who say they will help, but somehow just never get
around to actually doing the promised help.
are called "Hezzie Taters".
Some people can put up a front and pretend to be someone they are
are called "Imma Taters".
Then there are those who love others and do what they say they will.
They are always prepared to stop whatever they are doing and lend
a helping hand. They bring real sunshine into the lives of others.
are called "Sweet Taters"!!!!!!
by John of Mohave Valley, Arizona
Often called "The Wheatgrass Place"...
this site is a natural health learning center offering a program
of body purification, nutrition and rejuvenation through the use
of fresh raw fruits, vegetables, juices, nuts, grains, beans, chlorophyll-rich
by Jean in Lake Chapala, Ajijic, Mexico)
Enter accented font characters ...
such as café, naïve, façade, mañana,
by holding down the Alt key and entering number combinations on
the Num pad. Here's a printable table showing the Mac, Windows,
and HTML codes for common accent marks encountered in English
Look at THAT!
NEW LEAP ON LIFE
About 18 months ago Stumpy came to...
The International Kangaroo Society with an amputated
hind leg. Tammie and Larry Rogers run this sanctuary located, not
in the wilds of the Australian outback, but just outside Columbus,
Ohio. Doctors decided the leg needed some kind of spring device
similar to the one used by Para Olympian Thomas Bourgeois. The solution
was a custom-made prosthesis that boosts power each time she jumps.
Joyful Lifestyles: Weekly Insights
DISMANTLING OUR WALLS (Part
we discussed last week, emotional flashbacks influence us to form
personal meanings that may be distortions of reality. In his film
Deconstructing Harry, Woody Allen profoundly describes
this occurrence: We expect the world to adjust to the distortion
beliefs often originate from childhood perceptions. We developed
these beliefs based on how we interpreted early experiences. As
young children we had limited experience and, therefore, took
our interpretations as absolute truth.
my parents had very exacting standards. My response to these standards
may have been to try to be perfect. Blaming my parents for my
perfectionism would be a natural assumption. But, suppose I had
a brother or sister who had no interest in perfection. In fact,
sloppiness and laziness were their claim to fame. Same parents,
different interpretations. So, I cant blame my parents for
my perfectionism ... I have to take responsibility for my interpretation.
that responsibility doesnt mean blame. It simply means we
made a choice at an early age about how to interpret our experiences
... perhaps the best choices we could make at that time. Since
WE chose our INTERPRETATION, we can change our mind and make another
choice now. We can create new, positive experiences to heal the
(Next week: Moving Beyond Irrational Thinking)
your eyes and imagine youre 6 or 7 years old again. Ask
your child Why did I put up my first wall? Did someone
let me down? Did I feel I could never live up to expectations?
Was there so much pain around I felt I couldnt fix it? Trust
yourself and let the words flow.
Chelle Thompson ~
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What Is Possible … By choosing new perspectives,
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Editor . Chelle Thompson ~~~ Associate Editor . Geri Merrill
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