Saturday, December 31, 2011

Day #445 Setting Goals

I’ve never been one for New Year’s Resolutions. When I wrote a column for the Atlanta Writer’s Club EQuill, I came up with resolutions (all related to writing, of course), but for the most part, resolutions and I just don’t get along.

Years ago I went to a therapist who ran me through an exercise in which I was to describe various subjects she suggested – a field, a stream, a valley, some mountains, a cave, and so on. Each of these, she told me afterwards, was supposed to represent some aspect of my life. When she asked me to describe the mountains, which supposedly represented the goals in my life, I couldn’t see any. I knew there were mountains there, far away, but they were covered with clouds all the way down to their base.

Doesn’t say much about me as a long-range planner, does it?

When I wrote my first book, I had no idea it would turn into a series. When I first decided to keep bees, I didn’t think much farther than a hazy (cloud-covered) notion of getting honey some day and saving the environment in the meantime. Instead, I just enjoyed the process of planning for them, of writing this blog, of installing them on my deck. I simply enjoyed the process each and every day.

For 2012, though, I’ve decided to set some goals – sort of. I’m going to go visit friends I haven’t seen in quite a while.  I’m going
Ø  to Florida to see Karen & Dan
Ø  to Lumberton to see Trish
Ø  to Vermont to see Shar & Greg
Ø  to the Raleigh area to see Annie, and a little farther down that road, to see Kathi

I’ll be busy in 2012.

If you want to visit me, be sure you call first! No telling where I’ll BEE.

BEEattitude for Day #445:
       Blessed are those who stay in touch with old flowers, for they shall find welcoming nectar at the end of their flight.

The teeny details:
my books: Please buy them from an independent bookstore or directly from my website.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Day #444 The Penultimate Day of the Year

Penultimate. Don’t you love that word?

The first time I ever heard it was on public radio years and years ago. I think the announcer was talking about the penultimate day of a month, but maybe I was listening on December 30th of that particular year.

This morning I got to wondering where the word came from, so, of course, I looked it up. It’s a word from the late 17th century. Somebody—don’t you wonder who?—came up with this variation of the Latin word paenultimus, which is a combination of paene, which means almost, and ultimus, which means last.

So, on this penultimate day of 2011, the bees and I wish you a lovely ending to this year and a glorious beginning to the next one.

BEEattitude for Day #444:
       Blessed are those who delight in the sounds of buzzing, for they shall have their ears filled with glory.

The teeny details:
my books: Please buy them from an independent bookstore or directly from my website.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Day #443 Be a Bee in the Sistine Chapel

Wouldn’t it be fun to be able to fly like a bee?  Well – there’s a really cool website that makes it possible for you to fly around the Sistine Chapel exactly the way a bee could, zooming in on all the bright and beautiful colors. I’m sure a bee would be confused by them, since they look like so many lovely flower-shades.

Here’s the site:

Just move your mouse the direction you want to look. Use the (+) to zoom in and the (-) to move away.


BEEattitude for Day #443:
       Blessed are those who share the wonder, for they shall find even more wonder.

p.s. from Fran: Thanks to my friend, artist Mikki Root Dillon, who sent me the link. 

The teeny details:
my books: Please buy them from an independent bookstore or directly from my website.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Day #442 Silver Sneakers

Bees don’t need an exercise program. They work hard all their life long. Once they start flying out to forage, they simply don’t stop except at night. They must be in great shape.  Unlike me.

But now I find that there’s an exercise program for us old farts – it’s called Silver Sneakers, and I’m going to try it out next month.

Today I visited a gym up the road a ways. I’ve never been in a fitness center in my whole life. I’m not against exercise, it’s just that I could never figure out why somebody would pay to go to an exercise place when they could just walk around the neighborhood three or four times a week.


The trouble is, I haven’t been walking around my neighborhood even once a week. There are some big noisy dogs who get out of their yards periodically. I don’t want to take the risk.

There aren’t any dogs at the fitness center.

There’s a sauna, though. And a dance-exercise class (an easy one designed for people who have trouble running upstairs).

I’m starting next week. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

BEEattitude for Day #442:
       Blessed are those who dance through life, for they shall have healthy hearts.

The teeny details:
my books: Please buy them from an independent bookstore or directly from my website.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Day #441 A December 26th Tradition

Every year, on the day after Christmas, I sit down and hand-write my thank-you letters. With a pen. On paper. On the 27th, I put them in the mail.

Yes. Snail Mail. With a stamp.

I have a friend on the West coast who hasn’t written a letter in five years – or so she told me in an email. “Email is so much faster,” she said (that is, she typed).  Nancy is trying to talk me into tweeting, but I’ve remained a dinosaur where that is concerned.

Who says that every communication has to be instantaneous? It seems the whole world is beginning to think that way. Instant everything. Books (like Bleak House that I blogged about recently) used to be doled out in monthly installments, giving people a chance to talk about the latest chapter for four weeks before the next one came out. Letters from the Old Country used to take months to get to the colonies (if they made it at all what with the dangers of sailing across the Atlantic). Letters were written to be worth reading at the other end, because the writer knew that the reader would treasure the words, unfold and refold the paper, hold it and feel a connection, however tenuous, across the miles.

Nowadays, it’s the tweet. What, I ask you, is worth treasuring there?

Bees need instantaneous communication. When a queen dies, the entire colony must know about it within moments. They have to get busy creating a new queen. Their survival depends on it.

But whose survival, may I ask, depends on knowing what Person A ate for breakfast?

My friend (and I told her I was going to blog about this) sends Christmas cards, with a one-page (both sides) summary of everything she and her family have done all year – the kids, the grandkids, the vacations, the business trips. Each year, before I read it, I always skip to the end to see if she penned a personal note to me. (She never does, but I keep hoping.) “Dear Friends” her letter begins, and I know I’m pretty far down on the list, with a last name that starts with S.

Want to bet I get a letter from her after she reads this blog ?

BEEattitude for Day #441:
       Blessed are those who tell what needs to be told, for they shall keep the hive healthy.

p.s. from Fran – love ya, Nancy! Write me!

The teeny details:
my books: Please buy them from an independent bookstore or directly from my website.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Day #440 Night Sight - Moon, Venus, Jupiter

All you have to do this evening to see an amazing sight is to walk outside after sunset and look to the west.

The moon, with earthshine illuminating the vast bulk of it, will be joined by Venus and Jupiter in one of those spectacular shows that most of us miss -- first because they're not a daily occurrence, and secondly because most of us don't look up at night sky.

Here's the story from NASA Science News. You'll learn what the Da Vinci Glow is.

Enjoy the sight!

BEEattitude for Day #440:
       Blessed are those who look up in wonder, for they shall see miracles.

The teeny details:
my books: Please buy them from an independent bookstore or directly from my website.