a tickle of words to create smiles

Archive for March, 2012

Bath Day

I have so many ideas stirring in my head for the upcoming week on which I plan to post here; but, this weekend I want to keep this blog fun by telling you what I did today. I helped bathe my puppy-dog, Sasha. It has been over 5 weeks since her last bath; and, she was starting to smell like, well, a dog. (warm laughter) She appeared clean, as she is mostly a pampered house pup, but she had a distinct odor. My husband and I cannot seem to have children, so Sasha fills that role/void in our lives. She is going on 4 years old (in late June) and has the intelligence level of a human toddler. 

She is quite smart (as all who have pets say of their beloved animal friends). Really, she is. We often joke that we have the female version of Marley (from the book & movie, Marley and Me). We did not even have to utter the word bath. She knew! Usually she does not object to getting a bath; but, today she went straight for her crate, where she feels safe, secure and where she could avoid the bath. Well, Sasha loves praise. So, all I had to do is say is, “Sasha is such a good girl, she wants to take a bath now.” Sasha is grinning and wagging her tail as she comes out of her crate and heads to the bathtub. I think she knew all along she would get a little extra attention, so she went through this conjured up routine of not wanting a bath on purpose. 

Many would think, dogs cannot scheme like that. Oh, really? Well, I am here to let you know that many can and do. I have had Sasha since she was 9 weeks old; and, I created a dog who can think independently by playing games where she had to make decisions, like get your favorite toy and find Mommy or Daddy. Sasha and I often play games like hide-n-seek and tag. She is pretty good at it, too. Seek and find toys/treats is another favorite game of hers.

Once she was in the bathtub, she was compliant. She enjoyed getting lathered up, the warm water and the rinse off. My role on bath day is to dry her off. Sasha is really quite the “ham” when it comes to getting dried-off. She rolls around in the towels and plays peek-a-boo with them. She gets into her play stance with her romp in the air, head to the ground and front legs stretched like she is taking a bow. Then she pounces the towels and noses under them. She then gets up shakes and wags her whole body as I manage to wrap a large towel around her to dry her. Oh yes, Sasha loves this part of bath time. What an amazing day we had! 


Kind words can be short and easy to speak,
but their echoes are truly endless.
~ Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa is one of my favorite people who I delight in quoting. Most of her words are filled with love and wisdom that speak to my heart. Love and kindness are a standard I try my best to live in my thoughts, words and actions. One of the best ways to engage in conversations with someone you do not know is to express kindness to him or her. Today, when I was at Costco, I complimented a woman on her purchase of colorfully foiled chocolate eggs. They were truly beautiful.

She immediately gave me a warm smile and we enjoyed a brief, but joyful conversation. As she left the store, she seemed to be a bit happier than before we had our conversation.  I wonder how the rest of her day went. I was happier. It made picking up more frozen vegetables and Greek yogurt a bit more pleasant. The quick reminder in all this is, whenever you can, seize the opportunity to deliver genuine kind words to everyone you encounter in your day. You never know how far those words will carry onward. I am sending forth my warm wishes to each of you who are reading this, joy and delight for the rest of your day, week, and weekend.

Favorites Change

For some reason today, I decided to look at some of my old journals and read through them. I came across a list of favorites (as a nineteen year old). It is amusing to see what I really liked twenty years ago.

(when I was 19 years old):

listening to music
drawing, sketching, painting
playing piano and flute
puppies and kittens
my car
wearing nice clothes
working on puzzles
making someone happy
ice cream
board games
music boxes
countdown to New Years
a warm bed
the beach/ocean
my stereo
my music collection
willow trees
Spring flowers
a good book
a light breeze on a warm night
wrapped gifts
happy people
a full moon
city lights
talking on the phone
good friends
sitting in a Jacuzzi
birthday cakes
a juicy tart apple
ceramic/porcelain masks
playing Canasta
a warm bath
a good drive
tropical fish
amusement parks
science fiction (Star Trek)
Greek/Roman mythology
soft white clouds in a clear blue sky
feeding seagulls
sound of crickets
sweet scents
hardwood floors
large windows
riding in airplanes
fruity drinks

Do I have favorite things now? Do I even show favoritism? Honestly, I have to answer yes. In this time of my life, my favorites have expanded to include all things and events that are positive and promote love, peace, and tranquility in the world. My favorite activities are those that create joy. I enjoy being around positive people. Natural environments and all the living things that live in them bring bliss to my heart like seashores and waterfalls, puppies and butterflies, rainbows and summer showers.

I still enjoy drawing and painting. I am surprised I did not mention writing among my past favorites. I have filled several journals and diaries with various meandering thoughts, quotes and even poetry. I suppose if blogging was available back when I was nineteen, I would have had blogged two or three times a day. Exploring my favorites past and present has allowed me to see how I have grown and matured. Looking at my past writing has me exploring old feelings as well, but I will save those discoveries for another day. I would like to invite you to share what were your favorites? How have they changed? Did you make any discoveries by doing this?

Master the Moment

Most people have heard of living in the moment and enjoying that moment as a remedy to worries of yesterday and tomorrow; however, people can do more than that. People can master the moment by deciding how they are going to be before that moment comes. As with any event in our lives whether positive or negative, we can decide how to be before an event occurs.

Currently, when people move into any moment,  it is rare that they predetermine their states of being. They wait to see what the moment contains and provides. Then they respond or react by being something: sad, happy, angry, delighted, disappointed, or elated.  Suppose they considered how they were going to be when they moved into that moment. For example, suppose they decide to be loving or compassionate, no matter how that moment showed up. Is it possible that it would make any difference in the way people experience that moment? Of course it would!

It is when you decide how you are going to show up before the moment shows up that you have begun to move in to mastery. You have learned to master the moment, and that is the beginning of mastery of living. When you decide ahead of time that  your inner state of being is going to be peaceful, loving, compassionate, kind, sharing and forgiving, no matter what, then the outer world loses its power over you.

In the New Testament of the Holy Bible, in Paul’s letter to the Romans, chapter 12, verses 9 – 14, apostle Paul said, “Let love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor. Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the holy ones, exercise hospitality. Bless those who persecute [you], bless and do not curse them.” Anticipate one another in showing honor. Anticipating the moment and showing up in love honors God and it honors humanity. After all, you are a human, being.



Togetherness is the sense of being close to another person emotionally and physically. When a person is in the presence of another person, there is a definite connection and a field of energy. If it is a benevolent connection then it is togetherness. In kindergarten children learn to play nicely together and to share. Through this continued nurturing, teamwork is developed in children and beyond into adulthood.

Two are better than one: they get a good wage for their labor. If the one falls, the other will lift up his companion. Woe to the solitary man! For if he should fall, he has no one to lift him up. So also, if two sleep together, they keep each other warm. How can one alone keep warm? Where a lone man may overcome, two together can resist. A three-ply cord is not easily broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Two or more are, indeed, better than one; however cooperation and mutual respect are also necessary components for successful outcomes of teamwork and other forms of togetherness. Where there is agreement, there is harmony and success in any endeavor or project. 

Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them. Matthew 18:19-20

Ultimately, togetherness is more than meeting of the minds, it is mutual love and respect for each other. Togetherness will contribute to creating peace and harmony on earth.

Above all, let your love for one another be intense, because love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8

Spring Cleaning Thine Spirit

I, then, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call  you have received, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, 3, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace: 4 one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 

23 and that you be renewed in the spirit (of your minds), 24 and put on the new self, created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of the truth.  25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK the TRUTH, each one to his neighbor, for we are connected (members one of another). 26 BE ANGRY but DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun set on your anger, 27 and do not leave room for evil thoughts (the devil). 28 The thief must no longer steal, but rather labor, doing honest work with his [own] hands, so that he may have something to share with one in need. 29 No foul language should come out of  your mouths, but only such as is good for needed edification that it may impart grace to those who hear it.

 32 BE KIND to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another, as God has forgiven you in Christ. (Eph 4:1-6, 23-29,32)  

Each spring as the Easter season approaches, there is a period of time (Lent) where people prepare their heart and souls through meditation and fasting, as did Jesus did prior to His crucifixion and resurrection. This is the perfect time of the year to do some “Spring Cleaning” in our inner spaces in addition to our physical environments. It is a wonderful time for reflection, meditation and prayer as the days grow longer, the temperatures get warmer and flowers start blooming. Meditation and reflection is a fabulous way for people to examine their purpose. Are we doing everything we can to be love for others? How can we do more to forgive and help ourselves and others (as we have been forgiven)? How can we do less (affliction of stress on ourselves and others)? Nature’s renewal is the perfect setting for spiritual cleansing. I invite you to look inward with love and compassion as you clear out the cobwebs of hurt and regret from your heart. In the book of Ephesians, Paul offers a prayer that is befitting for this..

13 Wherefore I ask that ye may not faint at my tribulations for you, which are your glory. 14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, that ye may be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inward man; 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; to the end that ye, BEING ROOTED and GROUNDED in LOVE, 18 may be STRONG to apprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the LOVE of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye may be filled unto all the fulness of God. 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 unto him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all generations for ever and ever. Amen. (Eph 3:13-21)  

Ode to Renewal…Day by Day

Ode to Renewal…Day by Day
(inspired by 2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
By: Angela Kowitz Orobko, Ed.D.

Discouraged we are not; rather, although our outer self is wasting away,
Our inner (wise) self is being renewed day by day.

For this momentary affliction of pain and grief
Will be replaced by God’s glory and relief;
As we go on day by day…

…we look not to what is in the physical plane;
but, to what is invisible (which may seem inane);
As we go on day by day.

For what is visible is temporary, transitory…
But what is unseen is forever, the eternal story.
As we go on day by day.

We are renewed with each passing day.
As the sun each morning lights our way.
And the darkness of the night before,
a temporary contrast, we can endure.

As we go on day by day.

Glorify God: Take Care of Your Body

“Do you not know that your body is a temple from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.”

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

It is important that people take care of their bodies for many reasons. First of all by getting enough sleep, exercise and nourishing foods, people are able to fulfill the physical needs of their bodies in order to best serve (God and others). (I know I am guilty at times for not providing my body its basic needs.)

Sleep provides people with the opportunity to rejuvenate their energy levels and to process nutrition and circulate it around the body to rebuild cells in our body that people wore out through the day. While people rest and sleep the body has full opportunity to remove waste and to restore equilibrium. Yet, the first basic need people sacrifice when time is short, is sleep (or when worries prevent them from sleeping aka insomnia). Consider taking a mindful look at your schedule; are you allotting yourself enough time to sleep as well as, to unwind and relax before bedtime so you can get to sleep?

The Harvard Women’s Health Watch suggests six reasons to get enough sleep:

1. Learning and memory: Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation. In studies, people who’d slept after learning a task did better on tests later.

2. Metabolism and weight: Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.

3. Safety: Sleep debt contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime. These lapses may cause falls and mistakes such as medical errors, air traffic mishaps, and road accidents.

4. Mood: Sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness. Too little sleep can also leave you too tired to do the things you like to do.

5. Cardiovascular health: Serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat.

6. Disease: Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. Keeping up with sleep may also help fight cancer.

More details on the importance of SLEEP.
Importance of sleeping in human life.

(What helps me to get enough sleep is to plan my day accordingly. I know I am not a morning person, so I my work activities around my “prime time”, which is that time of the day when I am most focused and alert. I know that if I need to be up at a certain time, I need to be in bed 8 to 9 hours prior to that appointed time. Reading in bed with low-level lighting helps me to fall off to sleep quickly. Many experts do not encourage reading, but it helps me. Each of us has an idea what works and does not work for them. Exercising right before bedtime is not a good idea as it boosts energy levels to the point where one will not be able to fall asleep.)

Exercise not only helps strengthen muscles and builds stamina in people, but it is re-energizing and a mood-lifter. As people exercise, their hearts are working a little more to circulate their blood that is carrying oxygen to every part of their body. Increased circulation in a person’s body provides the oxygen (minerals and nutrition) to all the cells (muscle, nerve, skin, and fat cells) in one’s body where energy is made via metabolism. This process lifts a person mood. People can actually go into an exercise routine a bit sluggish and tired, and ten minutes into it feel a second wind. After their exercise routine, they feel more energetic. That energy can now be used in positive ways. People will also find they are able to focus more clearly with as little as ten minutes of aerobic exercise.

Through the course of a day, people encounter various stresses, such as incessant worry over things they have little control, which can increase their heart rates and blood pressures. Exercise helps people attain a balance as the mood-lifting processes of exercise seem to ease worry. As with sleep, however, when time is short, exercise becomes less of a priority in one’s life. Exercise is often eliminated from one’s daily routine. This is unfortunate, because, it really does not have to be. With a little creativity, one can include exercise into their daily routine.

It is not too difficult to increase the amount of activity in one’s day. Here are some examples to get you thinking. Use music in the background when you work at the computer and at the end of each song, stand up and march in place for a few minutes. Use an egg-timer at work, set it for 50 minutes, and then at the end of 50 minutes, take a 10 minute break to walk and move around. Each time you take or make a phone call, get up and walk around. Use the stairs instead of the elevator and park further away from the entrance of a building. Instead of sending a memo to someone in your office building via e-mail, deliver that message in person (and if you wish, you can still follow-up with an e-mail). When possible, when running errands that are a short distance from your home (1 to 2 miles), use a bicycle or walk. As you become more and more active, you will build up your stamina and feel better. These little things may inspire you to take a Tai Chi or Zumba class once a week. Along with exercise, people need nourishment.

More on the Importance of Exercise
BBC on Healthy Living

People need a steady amount of nourishment throughout their day to fuel their bodies, starting with a generous breakfast with a balanced amount of protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. How much you need consume and exactly what you need to eat will vary from person to person depending on your height, weight and medical history. Skipping meals or overeating will cause people to become unbalanced and they will feel sluggish. Over time this can cause unhealthy conditions and illness. (I find when I eat a balanced diet of protein, non-fat dairy, fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and a limited amount of healthy fats like olive oil, I feel energetic and satisfied. I rarely feel hungry when I consume these every 3 to 4 hours during the course of my work day. If I want an occasional treat of chocolate or ice cream, I do not deprive myself.) Balance is key when it comes to giving one’s body the proper nutrition to maintain one’s health.

Nutrition Information

Practicing self-care is not only practical to maintain/improve people’s overall physical well-being and health; but, it is also provides people with a solid foundation for their mental and spiritual well-being. It is not selfish to put your basic needs first. On the contrary, it is vital to take care of yourself in order to serve God and others.

Self-care helps us to better serve God

Value of Wisdom…

She (wisdom) is a tree of life to those who grasp her, and one is happy who holds her fast.

Proverbs 2:18

As people grasp and hold onto wisdom, the tree and foundation of life, they will find themselves happy. Wisdom comes from clarity and comprehension of all the activities and events in our lives. The challenging part is recognizing the wisdom that comes from trying to comprehend the events in our lives. Some lessons in life are either too complicated or so simple that we often miss the wisdom from them. Keeping our hearts and our minds open to seeing things differently will permit us to have clarity.

For every given moment in our lives, we have been given the power of choice. We can choose action or inaction. Through reflection we can see consequences and rewards for every choice we make. When our choices promote love and kindness, the echoes of these positive choices are endless. So are the echoes of indignation and negative choices. A chain of events will be set in motion. Whether it will be a positive chain or negative chain depends on our choices and our reflection of the wisdom we gain from the events in our lives.

There are so many choices we make daily. Most decisions we do not even think about. Consider and truly reflect upon all the choices we make every day. Will you choose to interact with others and the world in a positive or negative way? Will you smile more? Will you worry about things for which you have no control? Will you use your money on something that will give you immediate gratification; or, will you share it toward a worthy cause? Will you share your time with others, use it productively, or waste it on something frivolous? Will you use paper or plastic bags at the grocery store; or, will you have the foresight to bring reusable bags with you? Will you reuse items in your household that you would normally toss into the garbage and give them a new purpose? Perhaps if we reflect more on each choice, we may gain more wisdom.

Creating Time

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

Ecclesiastes 3:1,2

Everything has its appointed time; some call it Divine timing. People’s attitude about time is unique to each person. Time may seem fleeting or lethargic depending on the situation. Time is allotted to every aspect of our lives, as the verse suggests: a time when we are born, when we die, when we celebrate, when we cry, and it goes on and on as with our own imagination. There is a time for every thing imaginable or not as defined by God. However, how we choose to look at time is our choice. With that I would like to invite each of you to check out The Creating Time Mega Event... www.artellaland.com/time.html three weeks to change the way you see time forever!

I’m a featured contributor in the book, Creating Time: Using Creativity to Reinvent the Clock and Reclaim Your Life written by Marney K. Makridakis and I’m so inspired by this event!

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