Holiday Focus

We’ve spent our lifetimes being programmed by others as to what Christmas is.  We are all barraged daily with messages from elevator music to junk mail, and heaven help anyone who watches TV.  There is a reason they call it “programming”  and it starts with $.

Well here is a Holiday message from Ethel.  Imagine a group of people, together, (with the TV off) sharing a meal and themselves.

Thank thee Lord, for food prepared,

Thank Thee, Lord for love that’s shared.

Bless Thou the Cup,   Bless Thou the Bread

Thy Blessings, Lord, upon each head.


Best wishes, and let this spirit be the guide for your holidays . . .


A Machine Called Ethel

Or John, or Nina, or Arch  . . .

We usually begin our days in bed, warm, comfortable, in a fetal position, and don’t want to stir.   But like it or not, it’s time to get up, and to make it a bit easier, next time try a yogic way.

Wiggle your toes. No, no, no, not your feet, just your toes. And so slightly, hard to detect, almost just an inward movement, but move your toes, and as you lie there, so comfy, in just a moment or two, you’ll notice that your fingers are also moving. And again, not your hands, but oh, so slightly, the finger muscles move.

You didn’t tell them to move, and so, as your attention has shifted to your fingers, if you back-track a bit, you’ll see that now your feet are also moving. Yes, your feet, as well as the toes have awakened.

And knowing that YOU didn’t tell your fingers, much less your feet, to move, and are beginning to wonder what’s going on, for, surprise, surprise, you see that your hands are getting in on the ‘game’ and without consciously moving anything but your toes, you find that fingers, feet and hands are also in motion.

What is happening??   Well, what we’re seeing is the proof that our body is one unit, and when we flipped the ‘ON’ switch at one point, the entire  ‘machine’  became alive and ready for action.

Think about it. When we walk briskly, who tells the arms and legs how to swing to maintain the body’s balance? . And it’s not just us humans, either, for who tells a beautiful horse, with four legs how to run so safely and beautifully. Animals all have Four legs to move, and with no stumbling or getting mixed up with ‘which leg (legs?)  to manage.  Yet, from birth on, they remember their biological beginnings, and know how to make the right moves. Same with all other ‘machines’, no matter if they have legs, wings, fins or whatever, they somehow KNOW how to manage them.

A few years ago I published a small booklet called “A Machine Called Ethel”. and told of other ways our bodies work so marvelously with no orders from their human owners.

Oh, okay, you mention the Higher Power who dwells within??? Well that’s another story, and for the nonce, we’re talking about waking up  the machine that the Higher Power uses.

Think of your tongue. It floats there so innocently.  So forgotten, and yet, it knows how to behave perfectly as we use it when we talk. eat. chew, swallow, and move the food from side to side to find other teeth. All at the same time. And then think of that one muscle, said to be one of the strongest muscle in our entire body, the Jaws. and how quietly they sit there waiting for their Power to be needed and used.

Once you get thinking, consider how (at the same time) we breath. cough, sniff, sneeze and talk. Going deeper, how our stomach, intestines, heart, lungs, etc, etc. all do their jobs with no prompting from us, because, anyway, we wouldn’t know what to tell them.  And would really be in trouble if our pancreas waited for us to tell it when and how much Insulin to send forth.   Or, for heavens sake,   what would we tell our liver to do? Or the Bone Marrow, or tell the brain to get into gear’? Or to tell what muscles to ‘jump’ in alarm at some sharp unfamiliar sound?

Waking up in the morning is just one way that we can consciously watch the Machine called Ethel, Joe, Bill, Henry, take over. with no prodding coming from us.

We are machines . . . and are fortunate, (Blessed) if we become aware and acquainted with the Boss of the whole Thing. The Boss I call The Source.


It’s Not Just Nail Polish Anymore

A cosmetic-counter version of the Swiss Army Knife . . .

     The kid’s fingertips that glowed in the dark on Halloween night, reminded me again of the many other uses there are for Nail Polish and how it should be a standard part of every household ‘fix-it-kit’. And I would bet that as many bottles of Clear polish are in men’s tool kits than at women’s make-up tables.

     My husband, was a real handyman around the house and before he ever knew or thought of colorless polish, he kept one of my nail polish bottles on his shop bench, and didn’t care what color it happened to be.

   But when he was installing a screw into something, he would coat that screw liberally with nail polish, immediately tighten it into place and, to be doubly sure, he’d also ‘paint’ the head of the screw.

   When he became aware of colorless stuff, he would cover the heads of nails and screws on most everything he saw, for it kept rust, dust, and other kinds of stains away.

    I once had a pair of metal salt and pepper shakers at my stove, but as they were often left damp, in a day or two there would be stains where they stood. But I found that with one good clean up, followed by a coat of colorless polish on the bottom of the shakers, left staining a thing of the past.

    I find the Clear is great for a fingernail that has a roughness that nothing but growing out will eliminate.   And, it’s the answer, if you happen to have one of those fingernails that ‘layers’, and is not only unattractive, but is always ‘catching’ on clothes, and forever forming another loose layer. Keep it covered well with colorless nail polish and let the nail grow out. Might take a month or two, but it’s worth the trouble and what other choice is there?

   If you keep a bucket in your garage for measuring liquids needed in the garden, mark off, on the inside, various lines with bright polish, so you will know when you’ve reached a gallon, pint, quart, cup or whatever is needed. It works, and the time spent putting those lines where they are needed, saves you hours of time and frustration, later on.

     The Clear polish will fill in the dents on the top of wooden furniture, and if you coat the brass handles and knobs around the house with the clear polish they’ll never tarnish. Mix a bit of vinyl dust with the clear polish to repair any scratches on your vinyl flooring. Nice.

    My husband would have grabbed onto the new Glow-in-the-dark polish, for it spells the end of fumbling in the middle of the night, trying to find the Remote to turn OFF the TV or music when sleep came, leaving the programs going on forever. I’ve found that a few daubs on the Remote’s edges, as well as painting the On and Off buttons are godsends. Betcha more bottles are sold for such purposes than for finger or toe nails. Or even Halloween.

    Touch up the loose ends of a rope, string, or cord on a window blind to keep them from fraying as well as mending small cuts or tears in window screens.  And the Glow polish is a wonder in helping you find the key-hole of your car in the dark of night, too.

   When the knobs on your dresser or cabinets become loose, dip the screws into clear polish before tightening them and they will stay firm for a long time.

  Never tried it myself, but was told to use acetone polish remover to repair burns on wooden furniture. I think they were referring to hot ashes accidentally dropped from a burning cigarette, but of course, no one   smokes any more, so cancel that one.

   All together, I think we’ve found more uses for both Clear and Glow nail polish than the makers imagined. Or maybe they did, and left it to us to find out what we have right at our fingertips.

Yeah, yeah I know this is a repost, but I just found some new uses for nail polish so I posted it again!!  : )

The Ten Commandments For Happiness

I’m no expert on ‘How to be happy’, but . . .

If we live long enough we get tossed around a bit. . . until we finally realize it’s our choice of whether to be happy or depressed.  So, here are Ten Commandments for happiness. I keep the list where I see it off and on, and the words have made a difference for me. And, Ethel being Ethel, I added an Eleventh.

1. Take time to work.   Each day you have 24 hours to use, two hands that need something to do. Work answers both.  Everyone needs the sense of satisfaction of a job well done, whether for money or not. and ever since Eleanor Roosevelt set the pattern, our First Lady’s have all done volunteer work. And you’ll sleep like a saint when, as your tired body crawls into bed at night, knowing, “Today I saw a need and tried to help.”

2. Take time to play.  It is the secret of youth and while youth in years cannot remain, youth in spirit is ageless. The old, familiar words still ring true. “There are ‘old’ young people, and there are ‘young’ old people.” Take your pick.

3. Take time to read. The wisdom and humor of people from all ages and climes are in books, free of charge, from any library shelf. Oh, take time to read, for a home (or life) without books can be sterile and empty. What a difference a book makes.

4. Take time to think. The Mind is a Power source and the power I speak of is the power to master and control our own lives. Milton knew all about that back in 1666, when he said: ‘The Mind can make a Heaven while in Hell, or a Hell while in Heaven”.

5. Take time to worship. It’s the perfect road to real joy. And it doesn’t mean sitting bored on some church bench, though it can happen there. But it can also happen  any place and no matter what task you are busy with. I keep remembering that Adam, Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, et al, had no fancy clothes or buildings for worship. In times of labor, play, relaxing, or in a crowd, no one will know what your mind is doing. Worship.

6. Take time to make friends. There is no life as barren as one so full of busy-ness that no time is found for friendship. Lover, spouse and ‘significant’ other, often come and go, but friends are friends before, during and after such changes. Make them. Keep them.

7. Take time to love. It is the most sacred sacrament life can offer, and if you limit your love life to the sexual aspect, you’re missing a lot. There are so many other kind of love, all the way up to Agape, and marriages flounder unless young love develops and reaches into deeper realms. Marriage without sex would be boring, but marriage for sex only is doomed from the start.

8. Take time to laugh. It is Balm of Gilead for life’s burdens. A great big hearty laugh that rocks the room is so healing it relaxes places you didn’t know were tense.

9. Take time to dream.   Dreams lift you to the stars, and never apologize for your dreams. because there isn’t one single accomplishment on earth, from going to the moon, to writing a sonnet, that didn’t begin with ‘just a dream’.   Bless your dreams.

10. Take time to plan. It is a secret seed for all the rest. You know the adage, one that is found , at eye level on many a bathroom mirror, “If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.”

11. Turn Off the D___ TV. It’s hypnotic with false laughter, people giggling and trying to discuss subjects they no nothing about. Games after games, obviously doing whatever can be found, because, somehow those daily 24 hours must be filled, and we end up with at least 22 hours of pure trash that no one wants or needs.   Turn it Off and find out what YOU think. And what YOU want and don’t want your children to think is important..

Yes. all the above are good, and some are easy and some aren’t, and while they might not make a new person of us, they’ll make the most of the kind of person we  already are. And isn’t it great that we have the control (see No.4 above). Especially over that choice (or curse) of today that can be cured just by  pressing the OFF button.  What and when to view is up to each of us.  Let’s not let someone else choose how to fill our days.  .