The Game of Life – If you can’t win, be creative!

Don’t you feel that sometimes life is like playing a game. And it can be especially difficult when you feel like you’re missing part of what you need in order to play the game well.

By pschubert

However, I like to think that for us ‘creative types’, we compensate for our game playing shortcomings with a most magnificent imagination. Changing (in our minds) the game more to our liking.

At least part of the time. As needed. Upon occasion. Every now and then. (Okay, sometimes more than we should!)

So stay creative, my friends. Keep your imagination alive and well. After all its what kids do best when they’re playing games. It works well for them!

Have a good day and better tomorrow,

~ Penny

Our Masks of Acceptability!

By Natureworks

No matter how beautiful and colorful, a mask is still something you hide behind. Wouldn’t it be grand and wonderful if we felt secure enough to reveal all the parts of ourselves to other people? Our deepest concerns and worries. Our greatest hopes and desires, so that we might be supported, encouraged and empowered to become all that we can be.

But too many of us never do. Fear of being hurt or even worse – spurned, rejected and ignored – keeps us within carefully constructed facades. Our “acceptable” masks. The ones we feel safe in wearing. The masks we spend a whole life improving upon.

Proportionately speaking, the probability is, the more well crafted our “masks of life” become, the less capable we are of fulfilling our own personal hopes and dreams.

Within the safety of our masks, (and some of our masks are so well conceived they become works of art we present to others – impenetrable and yet transparent), we become seemingly predictable, agreeable; illusions of what others think we should be. Very acceptable and very stagnant – An entropy of life. Not who we had meant to be at all … in the beginning of things … when we first started out!

Take off your mask of acceptability!  You - the person beneath the mask – are really quite amazing. No more hiding.

Time to live!

~ Penny

Celebrate the Difference – YES!

Sometimes, someone (unexpectedly) gets it absolutely correct! I applaud Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas Sportscaster, Dale Hansen for getting it 100% correct with his commentary regarding Michael Sam and the people of our country because THAT’s what this country is all about – An excellent reminder to celebrate the rich diversity of our cultures, backgrounds, and beliefs! This is truly what makes us great!

Thank you Dale!

~ Penny L Howe

Cuddling with Franky and Jonny from the cold!

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Baby it’s cold outside!

To say the least! Very very cold and so this morning in a fluffy warm robe and with one of my “guys” I cuddle (with Franky) to stay warm!

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Franky’s brother (Jonny) is keeping my feet warm. Between the two of them they average 25 lbs each, so there’s a lot of fur to help me stay warm and in this cold weather I am appeciative!

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For all of you dealing with wintry cold weather this week, stay safe and warm, for all of you who are somewhere warm and wonderful (lucky you!) Enjoy.

Everyone have the best ‘rest of the week’ that you can!

Penny

ps – the middle photo is new. the top and bottom photo’s with all the snow are older shots of some snowy times with my guys. I know that in many parts of the USA, right now you are dealing with lots of snow so decided to include these photos! Average temperature here has been in the single digit for the past few weeks so definitely brrrrrrrrr!

What do we do next? We bloggers, We artists, We people …

In the digital world of today … how do we not just survive but thrive?

Credit line: © Ale1969 | Dreamstime.com

It’s Tuesday, so what do we know today? We know we have things we have to do – And we know we have things we want to do – We know there is some information we want or need to know more about – and far more information that we don’t have a clue about (what-so-ever, except it’s messing us up a lot) because it’s too much to deal with (emotionally speaking). And “way” too much of the information is negative, isn’t it (TMI- Right?) But, there you go, the above sums things up nicely, I believe.

So what do we do next?

First, understand the nature of the online world; behind the scenes what is going on. Here’s the truth – Many (almost all) corporate/government entities are “crowd sourcing” (gathering information) to create digital profiles. In a nutshell finding out all about you. You’ve made it possible. You’re one of the hundreds of millions online exposing yourself through many little data bytes circulating the airwaves.

And the “Big Boys” of the planet want to know all about you either as a consumer (to potentially buy their product) or as a citizen of their country (How you feel about your country, the issues, your concerns the politicians, etc. Research that will help them raise money and/or potentially influence you to get your vote OR making sure you aren’t doing something subversive, detrimental to your country’s well being.)

Like it or not that is what’s going on, right now. Data collecting of a volume inconceivable for most of us to imagine and each entity (depending on the quality of their “industry cloud capability”) is efficiently organizing the data into a variety of profiles for current or future reference. Is it the big brother era? Well sort of. But we’ve made ourselves willing partners in this intrusive aspect of the online experience, whether we know it or not!

Meanwhile you’re busy doing your own gathering of information, gathering as a citizen and a consumer yourself. So how do you handle all of this information and your awareness of everyone else’s information gathering.

Short of something really bad happening (meteor strike, large solar flare, etc.) all this data is going to continue to be gathered (and much of it circulated). Just a fact and there will be lots of “talk” because that’s what talk shows (in all media – News programs, etc.) do – and much of it is negative because “viewership” (that’s you) goes up when they (talk show hosts and their “expert” guests) talk about ‘what’s wrong’.

So the talk shows are going to talk about all sorts of never-ending stuff that will complicate you life and view of things (if you listen too much) even more. But let’s forget that for right now and get back to you and where you are.

Woman News  Credit line):  © Bowie15 | Dreamstime.com

Turn your computer off and think about your goals, needs, wants and desires. Consider how you might achieve them. View online connections as “how” they may help you. Be specific here. Everyone is giving “advice”, suggestions and in many cases “selling something”. So your main focus should be why you’re on line.

  1. To be Entertained
  2. To Find out information on a subject
  3. To Buy something
  4. To Sell something
  5. Socially connect with other people
  6. Promote Yourselves (through various social networks)
  7. Use any combination of the first six reasons you’re online to assist you in accomplishing your own goals

So where you go next is to make a plan of action to more effectively use your connectivity. Arrange the above reasons and allot a time period (yes – a little discipline is required here).

  • If you’re a student researching – stick to getting the info. before you “game play” or check out the latest trending YouTube video.
  • If you’re an artist, search for “like minded” creative individuals who will help you nourish your creative goals.
  • If you’re selling something, learn about your perspective customers. And how to reach them (online and off).
  • if you’re a professional in an industry and are job searching, focus on those companies and their background so you’re well informed about the company and their goals before you submit a resume! And yes they will be using the internet to check “you out” this process can take many months – so be prepared for this one.
  • If you’re buying something (take the extra time to check out the source before your purchase – be a smart consumer.)
  • If you want to be entertained – go for it, there’s all sorts of fascinating things waiting to be viewed/listened to – out there.
  • and if you just want to “hang”, be social with others, start a blog, join Facebook, learn how to Tweet or find a social media platform that fills this need.

But don’t forget your offline world. Organize your time so your online time has a sense to it with very specific timelines.

Credit line : © Nihonjapan | Dreamstime.com

The most important thing to do with your online world of connectivity is to stay in command of both the offline and online you. You need to stay in control of the amount of “data” your mind allows entry to. Integrate this brave new world of communication so it works for you on your adventures through life … not against you!

Have a great day,

~ Penny

Happy thoughts to comfort and warm you!

While drinking my first cup of coffee this morning, I began to actually notice the things around me. The vividly blue sky, the chill air outdoors, (signaling the change in seasons).  and as I noticed each thing, I decided today was a good day to spend dwelling on happy thoughts to comfort and warm – so when the stress of the day’s activities began to build, I’d have happy thoughts to sustain me.

So here’s a few (happy thoughts) to share as we move closer to the weekend:

Credit line: © Nataliya Yakovleva | Dreamstime.com

“We are part of the digital world. This means we can instantly send happy thoughts, such as saying thank you, I love you, hugs, kisses, thinking of you, I think you’re wonderful, and we can even take a little bit of time to “create something”  whenever the happy mode takes us, and share it with others!”

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“And even though we are a part of the technologically enhanced world, we can still only be in the current day. Make the most of today – it’s the one your actually living in. It’s ‘your day’ to make of it what you will!”

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“The sweetest thought I can think of right now is how much I enjoy my online and offline connections with family & friends and how incredibly lucky I am to have both!”

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Have a good Thursday/Friday, remember to think lots of happy thoughts!

A happy, colorful and snugly photograph to leave you with!

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Much love to you,

~ Penny

I’m just one American – A letter to the President of our great country, USA!

“Dear Mr. President Obama,

This is Penny, yes one of your constituents. I’m having a problem right now, along with most of us other 300 million citizens.

I’m just one American out here in Washington state … but I’m worried. I’m hoping you can help me understand what’s going on.

As I was taught (in school) about the governing process (in our democratic country), our wise founding fathers  set up a counter system of checks and balances to make sure that each branch could (if needs be) check the actions of others. This was done to insure that no part of the government had too much power.

And as I understand it, each of our elected representative’s main job is …

DEFINITION OF Elected Representatives (Senators, Congressmen): Those individuals voted to REPRESENT their local constituents (me and others)

… to help (the duly elected (voted for) TWICE President of the U.S.A. – that’s you) GOVERN our country.

“So WHY, Mr. President is one tiny group of Elected Representatives (see definition up above) in fact one person in particular … holding our Government and the people of the Great United States of America hostage?

Usurping his own elected position by carrying out his own private agenda at the wishes of a very few other people. And doing this at the expense of the American people – BY STOPPING THE GOVERNING PROCESS ITSELF!

Please, answer me. I need an answer. More to the point, I need you the chosen leader of this country to figure out what to do! Soon!”

Thank you,
Very troubled in Washington,
Penny L Howe

(Just Penny’s “two cents” worth here)

… and yes I am fully cognizant and aware (politically) of what’s ‘actually’ going on, how it happened, and why. I am being focused with my letter to the President to create (hopefully) a stronger message! I love my country and fellow Americans (all of you) very much, Thanks, Penny

Family, Friends and others that are important.

Marsh Warbler Family

Marsh Warbler Family

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Those that matter – that would be all of us!

Those we think about the most – those nearest and dearest to us.

Those we miss – the one’s no longer here for us to love and cherish (but we do have our wonderful memories, no one can take those away).

Those that matter – every single one of us.

Those that do make a difference – there are more than you might think.

Those that really care – many, many more than you might think.

Those that we love and acknowledge as important and special in our lives – our family, our friends, people making a difference – YOU!

Why does this matter –  because we need each other, all of us, every day. To fill in the missing pieces, shore up the weak areas, support, laugh with, share, guide, be there. To make that needed difference, to encourage, to applaud, to be there in those moments. You know when.

And so, on this, my Sunday morning, I thank you – for me, you are one of the important people in my life and … you matter to ME!

Have a great rest of your Sunday, stay cool, hang out, chill, create! Do-do that voodoo that you do so well – my friends!

- Penny

Blogging for our lives – filling creative needs and desires!

Credit line: © Alexaldo | Dreamstime.com

Blogging (in it’s truest form) is three separate things rolled into one. I) A palette or template for us to create or view (feeding the creative soul). II) A method of communicating our thoughts, emotions and creative endeavors (sharing our creative souls) and III) a conduit for directly connecting with other like minded people (helping us to fill our need for uncritical companionship (mostly, lol) so we don’t feel so alone in the “life” of things.)

All forms of social media “online”, do accomplish one or more of these. However it does seems as if blogging has the ability to combine all three better than any other Internet media platform. Most especially, the “alone-ness” that all of us have (more or less).

The truth is, In spite of all the connectivity (online) – we are lonely today. Disenfranchised from many traditional connections that used to be a part of daily routines that we, our parents and their parents grew up with. And a sad true is that while the online connections ease these lonely feelings, they can also foster them.

It’s safer (emotionally) and easier to communicate from a screenCredit line: © Dario Lo Presti | Dreamstime.com (computer, iphone, etc.). The quick “Twitter and Facebook” FIX and the more leisurely blog interactions remind us we are not alone and that we can instantly share our thoughts and opinions about what others are saying and doing while we also present new thoughts and ideas continuously adding to whole “instant connectivity” of things.

The result of which is when we aren’t doing this “instant connecting” we’re lonelier. Why? Because for those brief bursts of interactions we did feel “connected” a part of a larger whole. Having a voice, making a difference, no matter how small. And that … well, it’s very important to us. To be heard. To “matter”. And so the addictive “online” personality develops within us – feeding our soul while longing for even more!

So where do we go with this? I’m thinking we need to keep blogging and being creative and sharing and interacting. We, social media active people are the next step towards a global unity … commonness of cause. In the bottom line of things, we are making a difference and … it is extending into the offline world even as we are continuing to create, connect and Credit line: © Alexmillos | Dreamstime.comvoice our concerns and needs.

We (that’s you too) are making a “huge” as in H-U-G-E difference! So my wonderful blogging friends, please feel good about your blogging and our blogging community. Keep creating and sharing and reaching out! I’m loving it and many, many others are too!

I hope you’re having a excellent weekend of things (rainy here – but I love the rain so am thoroughly enjoying the sounds of rain falling while I write this post to you! :)

~ Penny