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Will You Honor the Bonfire in Your Heart?

Tomorrow is May Day. It’s also Beltane, a holiday that you may not be familiar with unless you’re from County Limerick or County Wicklow in Ireland, where the Beltane tradition has been constant from the earliest writings in Irish literature. Beltane/May Day marks the midpoint between the spring and the summer solstice, a time where the earth starts producing food, flocks start producing babies, and the heavy summer work of providing for the community and putting up for the cold months of winter begins in earnest.

Humans have observed and celebrated the changing of the seasons throughout recorded history, and that continues today. The winter holidays are wrapped around the winter solstice. Easter, Passover, and Carnival occur near or on the spring solstice. Summer solstice in June is when school winds down and vacations ramp up, and the fall solstice is when vacation season winds down and school ramps back up. Toss in an election, a spooky holiday and a food-laden one,...

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How Many Plates do You Have Spinning?

In Latin, the word for spring is “ver.” Add an “nal” to it and you get a word that translates to “of the spring.” Tonight at precisely 11:06 Eastern time, the northern hemisphere moves into spring with the official-sounding term “vernal equinox.” Day and night are each approximately 12 hours long on the vernal equinox, meaning that for a moment, at least, we can say we’re living in balance.

There are a lot of ways our lives can get out of balance. Sometimes we don’t realize we’ve over-committed ourselves until several important deadlines coincide, making it tough to make time for anything but those commitments. Sometimes a person in charge of an important project gets sick and you get deputized to pick up their workload, along with your already full one. Sometimes we think we want something – job, relationship, child, whatever – and then when we get it, realize that the responsibilities and time commitment...

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Ready...Set...Share on Giving Tuesday!

Unless your eyes are just now opening for the very first time today, you already know today is Giving Tuesday. Today’s newsletter is short and sweet – if you’ll be giving today, please share the link to the organization you’re supporting. If you give at other times of the year, share the link. If you’ve got a group you’d like to give to and are waiting for the perfect time, share the link. 

If you're on Linked In, share your links here:

If you're on Facebook, share your links here:

Whether you give time, talent, or treasure, please share the group, organization, or cause you support. And on this Giving Tuesday, please remember to give to yourself, too. Here are three episodes of the world’s second-shortest podcast to help you remember that you matter, too.

Are you giving away your own power? Here’s a Tiny Bite for that!

Need to stop...

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Do Your Words Really Matter?

In the United States, Thursday is Thanksgiving Day. In the early 1600’s, when the first Thanksgiving celebration featuring Englishmen in the New World happened, “giving thanks” was how people expressed their gratitude for surviving a tough year, or for bringing in a bountiful harvest.

The tradition of “giving thanks” was, and still is, a big part of the Wampanoag tribe, who were part of the early celebrations, though not quite as the story is told now. In the middle 1800’s, when the Civil War had ended and President Lincoln was looking for a way to bring the nation back together, Thanksgiving was cemented as a national celebration designed to reflect, gather, and share a communal, traditional meal. The “traditional” meal itself was made up at the time, as was the pastoral story of the early dinners with Pilgrims and tribesmen.

It was called Thanksgiving. Would we still celebrate it if it had been called Gratitude Day or Appreciation...

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Fruits, Veggies, Nakedness, and Being on Stage

Are you afraid to stand up in front of an audience and give a presentation? Most people are, including some professional speakers. There you are, unguarded, vulnerable, and relying on your memory and your personality to move the audience to think in a new way, act in a new way, and hopefully not throw rotten fruits and veggies at you!

There’s a word for the fear of public speaking – glossophobia. Nearly half of adults are affected by it, at least a little bit. Why it’s so common isn’t known yet, except researchers postulate that it could be rooted in the primal fear of being seen by predators. You never know who might be lurking in that audience, just waiting to pounce!

In reality, audience members want speakers to succeed. They’re on your side, not against you, so instead of imagining everyone as naked, try imagining they’re all your very best friend, that person you could say anything to and they would still love you. Use your imagination to...

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Got Big Plans for Halloween Tonight?

Full disclosure – today’s post is just for fun. OK, you’re right – fun is important for team cohesion, stress relief, and for mental wellbeing, so today’s newsletter might be useful, too.

And it’s mainly for fun, and yes, there’s a prize involved!

Do you love Halloween? I love Halloween – always have. Mom made our costumes because she loved Halloween, too. My two brothers and I were all sorts of craziness as we headed off to school on costume day, and as soon as I was old enough, I helped Mom with the make-up and accessories. There was that one year when I was sent home because my I Dream of Jeanie outfit was deemed too risqué for 5th grade, so I put on a pink t-shirt under the top, tucked it into the harem pants, and went right back and won a prize in the costume contest.

Fast-forward to adulthood, when Halloween got even more fun when the candy came with a side of adult beverages and semi-suggestive fun. (Yes, the leopard...

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Do You Know Who Your Vet Tech Is?

What do they do, these vet’s assistants?

They have the best job ever!

All day with kittens and puppies they play

Getting wags and kisses – so clever!

You’d almost pay to have their day

It just sounds so life-giving…

Vet technicians are almost magicians

Turning snuggles into a living!

What you don’t realize with those stars in your eyes

Kisses aren’t all they are getting.

Listen up, listen well – get a clue

And you’ll find out what techs really do!

Welcome to Veterinary Technician Week, a week that recognizes those who support veterinarians in caring for pets. There's a lot of misunderstanding about what vet techs do - let's clear that up, shall we?

Vet technicians – what people think they do:

  1. Play with kittens and puppies all day
  2. Assist the veterinarian with all the fun things they do
  3. Play with kittens and puppies some more

Vet technicians – a partial list of what they really do:

  1. Check on animals hospitalized overnight,...
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Tackling a Touchy Topic Today

Today is the day for an observance you probably don’t know about. By the end of this newsletter, I hope you’ll be planning ways to make this day a better one for you and those you love before October 10th 2024. Today’s observance is all about something I work with veterinary teams to improve – mental wellbeing. Welcome to World Mental Health Day 2023.

First observed in 1992, there’s been a great need in our society for decades longer than that to eliminate the stigma around mental illness. When most of us were growing up, those with different mental abilities were considered “slow” or “nuts” or just plain “weird.” We’ve made a lot of progress as research has identified different mental diseases and conditions, instead of lumping everyone into the same category and “slow learner” classes in school.

Around the world, one in 8 people suffers some sort of mental illness or condition that sets them apart...

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What Dogs Teach You About Leadership

Do you have a dog? Two? More? Are you dogless and get your dog love from friends’ dogs? Or maybe you’re someone who just doesn’t see the appeal of dogs?

If you love dogs, you’ll probably love this article. If not, read on anyway because there’s probably something here for you despite your distaste for this nearly-perfect being. (Oops…my bias is showing!)

In the early part of the 20th century, Will Judy, the editor of Dog World Magazine, who was a WW1 veteran and an ordained minister, devoted his life to helping people understand what he saw as a spiritual bond between humans and dogs. Of dogs, Will Judy wrote, “The most loyal thing in the world is your dog. Whether you come home from Congress or from jail, whether you have lost your fortune or made a million, whether you return home dressed in fashion’s heights or in rags, whether you have been hailed as a hero or condemned as a criminal, your dog is waiting for you with a welcome...

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Do You Want to Experience Joy

Today, can you focus on spreading joy? Can you find ways to delight people you don’t know, probably won’t ever be friends with, and show them you see and appreciate them? 

Why, you ask? Hang on – I’ll spill the beans. First, full disclosure – one of my current dogs is a therapy dog, the third one I’ve had the privilege of living with in my 40+ years of owning dogs. There’s something quite special, calming, and joyous about a therapy dog that they’re born with. You can train behaviors – therapy dogs are born with a heart and ability to connect that’s stronger than the normal dog. 

There’s a holiday today inspired by a therapy dog. Since 2017, August 22nd has been designated as “Never Bean Better Day,” named after Bean, a medium-sized Golden Retriever who lived and warmed hearts in Morgantown PA.  If you saw the Animal Planet show “The Haunted” Bean played Riley, the dog who could...

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