Friday, February 5, 2010

January 28 to February 5

Feb 5 -  Make someone laugh - "The most wasted of all days is one without laughter."  ~e.e. cummings  It's early Friday morning and every DC news station is sensationalizing the impending snow.  Better stock up on supplies because we might be snowed in for months!  As my husband was getting ready for work this morning we were watching TV and he started poking fun at all the newscasts and dramatization of the impending weather.  He's a pretty funny guy and had me laughing until there were tears coming out of my eyes.  As I looked at him I had a silent moment of gratitude - I am so blessed that I have a husband that makes me laugh, what a gift.  

My mom has been battling cancer for over ten years now and people will ask me how I feel about that.  Aside from the fact that it sucks?  How I feel is that it's my job to make her laugh.  Whenever I get on the phone with her I, who am not very funny, somehow manage to turn myself into Chelsea Handler and have her laughing from the beginning of the conversation to the end.  It's music to my soul.

Feb 4 - Recommend a good book - This good karma moment is brought to you by my friend Debby Ross.  In the fall Debby loaned me a bunch of books and among them was a book that easily makes my all time favorites list, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.  I don't know where I was when this book was on the NY Times bestseller list for 100 weeks in 2007 but I'm very happy that Debby took the time to bring it to my attention.  The book is not only a compelling story but it gave me yet another chance to contemplate gratitude in reference to my own childhood and parents.  The book also had a magnificent ripple effect as it was the catalyst to put all of those grateful thoughts on paper and give my mom and dad a Thanksgiving Day gift - a letter entitled Thanks Mom & Dad that I used to begin my November 2009 La Muse newsletter.

Feb 3 - Buy from a local artist - I'm not really one for buying souvenirs on vacation but if I do buy something it's usually something small and useful.  Something that I'll see often and will remind me of where I've been.  I haven't had a real salt & pepper shaker set for quite a while, we've been using those $.99 cardboard ones you get in the grocery store, so I thought this might be just the kind of item to bring home from our Key West holiday.  We were down at the sunset celebration at Mallory Square a few days ago when I saw this cute salt & pepper set with hand painted scenes of Key West by a local artist.  I was going to purchase them but Darryel reminded me that I wouldn't want to carry them around all night.  Yesterday he saw another set in a souvenir store and asked me if I wanted to get them.  "Should I purchase these mass produced, made in China items or go back to Mallory Square?"  Needless to say we went back to Mallory Square and now I am the proud owner of my very own hand painted Key West salt and pepper shakers.     

Feb 2 - Tip the hotel housekeeping staff - In general I'd say I am a good tipper.  I consistently tip at least 20% at restaurants and am always sure to tip the bellman, taxi driver, gas station attendant (when I'm in NJ where they pump it for you), black jack dealer, postman, yada yada.  But for some reason I am pretty lax on tipping housekeepers in hotel's unless I am asking for extra services.  So today, as we were checking out of our hotel my 'good karma' conscience got the best of me and I said to myself "Self, why don't you leave the housekeeper a couple of bucks."  And so I did.  :)

NOTE:  In case you are looking for guidance on this subject this is what has to say:  "While tipping a chambermaid is not obligatory, it's a nice gesture.  Tip a maid $3 per night in an upscale hotel, $1 per night in other hotels. If you stay for a week, a bit more (perhaps $5 to $7 a night) is appropriate."

Feb 1 - Return someone's personal property -Amazing karma for the day! This story starts out ..."So I lost my phone this morning."  It's almost comical because anyone who knows me knows what a stretch this is NOT.  Darryel and I were visiting the Southernmost Point in Key West and  I took a picture with my phone, put it down to grab my coffee...and proceeded to get up and walk away.  It wasn't until 20 minutes later that I realized I hadn't put it back in my pocket.  Lucky for me I lost my camera a few months ago (ok, this isn't the lucky part) and it taught me a great lesson - label everything with identification!  The lucky part is that I have a big label on my phone with my husband's phone number on it (he's the responsible one).  A very kind gentleman called and returned my phone.  Thank you Bolina & Thank God for good people!

 Thanks Bolina!!

Jan 31 - Tip a street performer - In Key West today at the Sunset Celebration.  I knew it was fate when his tip bucket read "Tips Good Karma."

Jan 30 - Don't put your seat back on an airplane with tight quarters - Today was my first experience with Noname Airlines (if you can't say something nice...:).  I travel quite a bit and have had my fair share of sitting in coach, at times over 12 hours worth of it!  This is where being 'vertically challenged' comes in handy.  At 5'4" I can pretty easily move around and make myself comfortable in most tight quarters, today was the exception.  As I tried to slide into my window seat I found I had to shimmy over with my knees facing the seat in front of me as the back of my leg slid along my seat bottom.  "Uh oh."  I immediately realized that this aircraft had the smallest seat pitch of any that I'd ever been on.  My poor husband is 6 feet tall and was practically in the fetal position.  To make matters worse, the people that were sitting in front of us immediately put their seats back as soon as they sat down and the flight attendants never made them bring them upright, not even during take off or landing.  Now I have to admit, this good karma moment was made possible by my husband, Darryel.  As soon as we were airborne I said to him "Put your seat back to give yourself a little more room."  He said "No, I can't do that to the people sitting behind us."  I said "Seriously?  I can!"  And then I got 'the look' from him.  You see, the people sitting behind us were in the very last row - the one that doesn't go back.  "Ugh, ok, ok."  As I sat there NOT putting my seat back and practically eating my knees I said to myself "this definitely deserves a good karma mention." 

Jan 29 - Remember our soldiers serving overseas - Last Saturday I closed the store a little early to have dinner with friends.  I was turning off the last of the lights and my friends were waiting for me in the store when a gentleman walked in with a few bags loaded to the brim with various toiletries, munchies and hand written notes.  It was a funny scene as my friends looked at the gentleman like he had three heads, "What is this guy doing with all of these bags?"  It immediately registered with me and I looked at him and said "For the soldiers?"  Yep.  I started sending items to our soldiers overseas back in 2004 when a friend was serving in Iraq.  It's something I've continued to do, even after he returned, using the program.  La Muse has been a drop off point for those wishing to contribute since the day I opened the store.  I remembered this particular gentleman and said "Didn't you come to drop off items around this time last year?"  He said yes, he had, it's something he does on his birthday every year.  As I wished him a happy birthday I thought about what a neat present it is to give the gift of service to yourself. 

Jan 28 - Bring some home cooking to a friend - During the winter time I make lots of things in my slow cooker.  Soup, stews, Italian sauce, chili, even whole chickens.  Since I'm only cooking for two I generally end up with lots of left overs - which I either have to freeze or end up eating for a week.  Why not share?  Yesterday I made a killer split pea soup.  Don't you love split pea?  It's such a wonderful winter time comfort food.  Nothing like split pea and some crusty French bread!  As I was packing up the last of it to put into the freezer I remembered one of my neighbors and thought she'd enjoy some home made soup too.  I was right!  

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