Monday, March 30, 2009


Mr. Froggie photo from my Etsy shop Most of us have probably heard the platitudes: “Laughter is the best medicine.”; “Laughter is good for the soul” and others similar to these.
I’ve never given it a lot of thought but lately with prodding from my online friends and my daughter I’ve been considering things. Most of these prodding’s fall in the range of “tell us seven (or ten, or five) things about you that no one knows.
So I’ve been thinking and last night while trying to drift of to sleep it occurred to me “I like to make people laugh and I like to hear people laugh”. Now most of this laughter comes from telling on myself, or about something happening in my life, or just making merry about a difficult situation that’s been taken a little too seriously. It’s definitely not telling jokes cause I’m not much good at that!
I’m not sure where this comes from. My mother always told me I have a weird sense of humor. According to her I'm like her mother in the humor department. So I guess maybe I take after my Grandmother Clough. It’s true I find humor sometimes where others do not. For example I think it’s funny how I can get lost because I’m not paying attention to where I am or I decide to try a different route. Once when exiting a freeway I almost hit the guardrail because I wasn’t paying attention, I laughed but the passengers didn’t.

Or I could tell you about the time as a sophomore in high school when I put the entireBoy was I embarrassed pin from my Etsy shop varsity football team on the run. It was very embarrassing at the time but is now a funny memory with the passing of the years. Then there was the time I was setting up our computer training room for a workshop I was to present. Not my normal routine! I had turned on the laptops but couldn't figure out how to turn on the PC's (a task I do everyday at my desk but for the life of me I was so nervous I couldn't get it!). In a panic I was getting ready to call our regular trainer and confess to her when it finally dawned on me "Just push the power button on the CPU!" I told the trainer about my panic later and we both had a good laugh.

Once when my invalid mother was living with me we (the home aids and nurses who took care of her while I was at work) were surprised and happy that she was drinking a lot of water. Something she normally didn’t do, she hated our water. All of a sudden I started laughing because I realized what might have happened. You see I always made her cream of wheat or something similar to it for her breakfast and I always added a lot of cinnamon to it. That morning I think I might have grabbed the bottle of red pepper instead and that was why she was so thirsty. Of course we flushed her with a lot of water but she didn’t complain.
Mr. Froggie showing one of my moods at workThere are things that have happened that when told to my friends bring a smile, maybe a chuckle but which give me a real belly laugh. Even several months later when I think about it I want to break out in a loud, throw the head back laugh, but mostly I settle for a chuckle, a smile, or even a silent inside laugh. After all I wouldn’t want the other people on the bus to think I had lost it! And I certainly wouldn’t want to go into a long story explaining my laughter. Chances are they wouldn’t see what was so funny about it anyway.
My dad used to get us to laugh at the dinner table. I was raised with six brothers and we would all try and keep from even cracking a smile when dad started his fake laugh. He would start to laugh about nothing in Mr. Froggie always makes me laughparticular it was just his goal to get us to laugh. And he always succeeded. We kids would start out biting our lips, then the giggles would start and then before you knew it we were convulsed with side splitting laughter just from his infectious laugh. We loved it of course. I think we slept better on those nights. I know a good solid laugh will always help me sleep better.
Laughter is good for easing tension as long as it is either at something and not someone or with someone and not at someone. Maybe that’s why clowns are so beloved, they make up laugh with them or at least a good one does. Comedians too! Favorites of me and my dad’s were Red Skelton, Jackie Gleason, Bill Cosby, Carol Burnett and many others.
I’m considered by most to be a very serious person but I consider it a good day when I’ve made someone laugh!
Smile and the world smiles with you, put a little humor in someone’s world today, tickle their funny bone and you’ll feel better for it!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Life's Treasures

To me one of the most important types of treasures are friends. Friends come in all styles and from all walks of life. Some start out as family and wind up as friends, some start as friends and then become the start of a family. Some start out during our school days and where once they were “bosom buddies”, “friends for ever”, they became disconnected or just lose track of each other. Some we meet in person, some through correspondence, others at least nowadays we met online. But wherever they come from and however long they last, a short time or a lifetime, friends can be real gems, something to treasure. A friend can cry with us or help us to sing when we really feel like crying. A friend can make us laugh and forget our cares and woes for a minute. A friend can drop a note at just the right time to encourage us. A friend can push us in the right direction even when it seems they are being harsh on us. I remember a good friend I had when I worked in San Francisco, she took me to lunch once when I was going through a very rough time in my life. As we sat talking I was blaming everyone and everything else for my lot in life. She made me face myself and accept the responsibility for my life. It was hard, I actually hated myself when she was finished but to this day I say she was used of God to make me look in the mirror and see what I had become and where I was headed. It was a direct result of that meeting that I turned my life around and gave my heart to God. A friend can be a treasure indeed.

Speaking of treasures – In my last post I mentioned treasuries on Etsy. I thought I would write a little about them. Etsy is an online marketplace for all things handmade, for supplies, and for vintage (20+) items. Whatever you might be looking for from pillows to original art to a gift for a co-worker or just a quirky fun object to brighten up your day, you’re sure to find it on Etsy.
One thing they let both buyers and sellers do is showcase the work of others. You select 16 items from the vast array of wares, 12 of them will be the main treasury and 4 will be alternates. Arrange then the way you like and then when the opportunity arises, type in your title and load up your selections. Others will come in and look at the items and leave comments. A treasury lasts for 2-3 days. They are so much fun to do and you get a “feel good” feeling for encouraging and promoting others. I've placed a couple of treasuries I have made in the past here in this post. Etsy uses some of these treasuries for their home page. Of course the frosting on the cake is to have your treasury make the front page. But even without that they are still a joy to make. The next best thing is to have someone put one of your items in their treasury!
Every time I start searching for items to put in a treasury I am amazed at the variety of items offered on Etsy.
To find the treasuries go to Etsy’s homepage, look on the left-hand side scroll down to the Explore box and you’ll find the word Treasury. Click on that and you’ll see a list of treasuries (333+) to choose from. Be prepared though you could lose track of time once you start viewing them!

Encouraging others – to me that’s what life is all about!