Friday, February 25, 2011

Keys to Healthy Relationships

As I ponder over the years of relationships, I got to thinking on why they work or not work.

1. Trust
When one is mindful of another person and there is a mutual understanding and sharing of values, trust should not be an issue.  Only when there are inconsistencies, a gut instinct, and the hair standing up on the back of ones neck, that you may want to ask very specific questions.

2. Communication
Good communication is key on the key-ring to having successful relationships.  Understanding the way one communicates in very important.  A great tool is

3. Do Your Part
Take care of ones job whatever that is in our working agreement, (food, household stuff, kids clothing and stuff,  etc.) and my partner holds up his end of the deal (outside house stuff, anything slimy, family moral and fun, etc.).

4. Appreciate
When you have a partner you really love, than it is important to appreciate them and let them know that you are excited to be with them.   A love note or special some thing every once in a while will add depth to the relationship.  Doing some thing to show your appreciation other than on a holiday, birthday, or anniversary will add to the overall banking account of love.

5. Have Some Fun
Hang loose...chill out...bungee jump...go to an amusement park and act like teenagers even if the body objects.  Have fun being with each other.

6. Say, " I am Sorry."
When you are wrong, be quick to admit it.  Even when you unintentionally hurt another person.  Saying, "I am sorry," goes along way in the relationship bank account.  Never let your pride get in the way of your relationships.

7. Forgive
Since no one is perfect...say I forgive you, then forget it, and move on.

Last note, if you have love take care of it, if you do not...may love find you.

The Forsythia Bloomed!

If you would like to force the Forsythia to bloom fill a vase with warm water.  Cut branches on a severe angle, removing all blossoms below the water line and placing them in the vase immediately.
Change the water from time to time and they will last about two weeks and sometimes longer.
Enjoy a little sunshine on a gray day!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Inspector #57

My dad was putting on a new pair of pants today that he has had for a while, a Christmas present from years past, and as he reached in the right pocket he found a small piece of read...

...thank you inspector # 57.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Shredding has many different meanings.  In music, the term "shred" refers to a type of guitar playing, in computing it means the destruction of data files, and in whitewater navigation; it refers to an inflatable craft.  I found it an interesting rabbit trail.  If you would like more information about shredding, go to   
I never realized the many uses for the word "shred" until I decided to write about it for my blog,  Personally, I find shredding therapeutic.  Usually at the end of January every year I would shred the "stuff" I no longer needed to hang onto like copies of old bills, old statements(past 7 years), old tax records, etc..  I am working my way back to being more paper efficient.  I am happily shredding this year.  It may take me a while to get through the stack this year because I have been out of sorts for a bit and have not been shredding.  However, I am having some fun now shredding away to my hearts delight.  It is almost as much fun as popping bubble wrap.  I like the large bubble wrap.  Try it some time.  It is therapeutic as well.

If you have, a few stacks of paperwork that you have not gone through recently check out what you need to keep and shred the rest.  Below are a few links to aid you in knowing what to keep and what to shred.


Monday, February 21, 2011

A Thing For Chairs

The photograph of the wall of chairs is from the Carnegie.  They have a superb collection of chairs and more.  Check it out next time you are out and about.

The following are two delightful and informational books about chairs: 
Henry David Thoreau wrote, "I had three chairs in my house; one for solitude, two for friendship, three for society." In "Chairs: A History," furniture historian Florence de Dampierre presents a wonderfully readable and visually stunning exploration of chairs and their place in culture through the ages. Along with hundreds of gorgeous photographs — many taken specifically for this book — de Dampierre fills these pages with fascinating information and anecdotes, tracing the chair's emergence in ancient Egypt and examining various forms of seating from classical Greece, the Roman Empire, and the Renaissance era, to the classic designs of today. From thrones to divans, straight-back to overstuffed, Baroque to Bauhaus, this beautiful volume will delight anyone who's ever taken a seat and wondered where it came from.  "Beyond Necessity: Chairness and the Myths of Function" by Edward S. Cooke Jr., Charles F. Montgomery Professor of American Decorative Arts, Yale University.  Cooke explores the American fascination with the chair, extending the discussion beyond its simple ergonomic and functional dimension to consider the quality of "chairness." Key to this investigation is to recognize how chairs evoke memories, reinforce hierarchies, structure our lives, and provide sculptural and aesthetic dimensions far removed from sitting.

And a little whimsy...a short video giving new meaning to "folding chair."

I hope that the next time you sit in a chair, purchase a chair, or are offered a seat; you pause for a moment and think about the meaning of "chair."

Have a seat and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Waiting for Spring

I think everyone is looking forward to Spring.  I do not  want to go straight to Summer.  I like Spring.  Waiting for the seasons to change is at times difficult, especially, if one feels as if they have been stuck in a season for a long time.  Many feel like the Winter has been too long this year, I feel like wise.

It you want a little taste of Spring, fill a vase with warm water.  Then using a pair of shears cut some Forsythia branches and place in the warm water.  In a few days to about a week depending on where your bush is located they will bloom with bright yellow flowers.  It maybe early to force the Forsythia to bloom, but it may add a little color to your life if it works.  Pick some for a friend and pass on the sunshine.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Vincent Van Gogh

It is a beautiful crisp starry night out.  Upon coming into the house I thought of Vincent Van Gogh 's painting Starry Starry Night.  Here is a video with his art work and Don McLean's tribute song to the artist.  Enjoy!

Crown of Thorns

One of my favorite photographs from my adventure to Phipps is 'The Crown of Thorns,' the Euphorbia Milii Plant, from the desert room.
When I was there this past week it was in bloom as it blooms more often in winter, something I find comforting.  In several spots along the branch, clusters of small red blossoms bloom.  Aren't they the most perfect red, like blood droplets from the savior's head.  

O Sacred Head Now Wounded is an old hymn that I am mindful of today.  Below are the words of the song and following the lyrics is a video from the singing group
2nd Chapter of Acts

"O Sacred Head, Now Wounded"
by Paul Gerhardt, 1607-1676

1. O sacred Head, now wounded,
With grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded
With thorns, Thine only crown.
O sacred Head, what glory,
What bliss, till now was Thine!
Yet, though despised and gory,
I joy to call Thee mine.

2. Men mock and taunt and jeer Thee,
Thou noble countenance,
Though mighty worlds shall fear Thee
And flee before Thy glance.
How art thou pale with anguish,
With sore abuse and scorn!
How doth Thy visage languish
That once was bright as morn!

3. Now from Thy cheeks has vanished
Their color, once so fair;
From Thy red lips is banished
The splendor that was there.
Grim Death, with cruel rigor,
Hath robbed Thee of Thy life;
Thus Thou has lost Thy vigor,
Thy strength, in this sad strife.

4. My burden in Thy Passion,
Lord, Thou hast borne for me,
For it was my transgression
Which brought this woe on thee.
I cast me down before Thee,
Wrath were my rightful lot;
Have mercy, I implore Thee;
Redeemer, spurn me not!

5. My Shepherd, now receive me;
My Guardian, own me Thine.
Great blessings Thou didst give me,
O Source of gifts divine!
Thy lips have often fed me
With words of truth and love,
Thy Spirit oft hath led me
To heavenly joys above.

6. Here I will stand beside Thee,
From Thee I will not part;
O Savior, do not chide me!
When breaks Thy loving heart,
When soul and body languish
In death's cold, cruel grasp,
Then, in Thy deepest anguish,
Thee in mine arms I'll clasp.

7. The joy can ne'er be spoken,
Above all joys beside,
When in Thy body broken
I thus with safety hide.
O Lord of life, desiring
Thy glory now to see,
Beside Thy cross expiring,
I'd breathe my soul to Thee.

8. What language shall I borrow
To thank Thee, dearest Friend,
For this, Thy dying sorrow,
Thy pity without end?
Oh, make me thine forever!
And should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never,
Outlive my love for Thee.

9. My Savior, be Thou near me
When death is at my door;
Then let Thy presence cheer me,
Forsake me nevermore!
When soul and body languish,
Oh, leave me not alone,
But take away mine anguish
By virtue of Thine own!

10. Be Thou my Consolation,
My Shield when I must die;
Remind me of Thy Passion
When my last hour draws nigh.
Mine eyes shall then behold Thee,
Upon Thy cross shall dwell,
My heart by faith enfold Thee.
Who dieth thus dies well.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Woof! Woof!

On Friday, February 11, 2011 at the Latrobe Country Club, Action for Animals Humane Society will be holding its fifth annual fundraiser, Love is in the Air.  The annual event celebrates the bond between humans and animals.  This year's event is sponsored by Smail Automotive located in Hempfield Township.  The evening includes hors d'oeuvres, a cash bar, and silent auction.  Love is in the Air begins at 6:00pm.  Reservations begin at  $50 dollars and books with availability.  For more information call 724-539-2544.  

Saturday, February 5, 2011

More Photographs From Phipps









Koi in the Orchid Room



Friday, February 4, 2011

A Few Photographs From Phipps







Wednesday, February 2, 2011

No Shadow! Yippee!

According to Phil, Spring is around the corner and warmer weather will be on the increase.
I think the country as a whole is hoping Phil's prediction is true.
I know I'll be glad to see more of the sun and warmer temperatures.
Happy Groundhog Day!