The Joy of Simplicity

yearbookheader-2From http://www.123inspiration.com

Have you ever seen that image of Dale Irby, a retired physical education teacher from Dallas (Texas) who has sported the same outfit in every yearbook photo for forty years? It started out back in 1973, then his wife dared him to do it again the next year…

I absolutely adore that image. I find the simplicity of Dale’s outfit so beautiful. It reminds me so much my dear husband whose outfit hardly ever changed over the almost 20 years I knew him. It reflects so well the philosophy of minimalism and simplicity we are trying to instill in our children. Unnecessary possessions are unnecessary burdens. There is great freedom in simplicity of living.

Minimalism in my view is not about owning nothing, but about nothing owning us. It is about removing unnecessary distractions to allow us to focus on what really matters. It is about just being yourself. If someone does not appreciate our true beings, why spending money on the things we don’t need just to impress them?

The world we live in is not friendly to the pursuit of minimalism. Its tendencies and relentless advertising campaigns call us to acquire more, better, faster, trendier and newer. The journey of finding simplicity requires consistent inspiration.

Do you like simplicity in your life?
What is your source for inspiration?

From http://om.symphonyoflove.net

THE END

Friday Giggle

“Fathers in today’s modern families can be so many things.”
Oliver Hudson

Silent Love…

Silent love…. That feels so much like my dad…

My dad was not mute  – he simply hardly ever talked. I mean, hardly ever talked about things that really mattered. May be, it was only with me. Probably, it was only because of my gender. No, he did not mind my gender. I suspect he simply did not know how to talk to me, because I was of a different gender. All the gender-based stereotypes did not make it easier for him either.

He probably thought (or was told) that women knew better how to bring up daughters, that women knew better what makes girls happy – after all, they are the same gender, they are from the same planet Venus. I wondered about that sometimes. We seemed to be from very different planets with my mum. In fact, at times it felt like we were from completely different galaxies.

Mother and teenage daughterFrom http://www.sheknows.com/

Interestingly enough, it seemed to be obvious to everyone else that I was a true daddy’s daughter from the moment I was born into this world. I looked like him, I saw the world like him, I was quiet like him. Even my hot temper and tendency to over-react or get over-agitated over minor things, I bet,  came from him, as well as my rebellious free-thinking mind.

I also never behaved like a ‘typical’ girl. Things that mattered to other girls, like pretty dolls and fancy dresses, were hardly ever touched in my room. Shopping, cooking and girlish chats never interested me either.

In fact, all females in my family were puzzled and not sure what to do with me. My nanna’s announcement on my 30th birthday expressed that frustration so well: “Eureka. Finally I got it – you are simply not a girl. We thought you’ll eventually turn into one once you settle with family and children. Alas, it only made you worse…”

I could not stop laughing: it took 30 years for the nurture to finally give up on changing my nature…

Girl

Though my dad hardly ever talked, I could always feel a very strong invisible bond between us. Looking back I can clearly see now how much he was trying to do for me, quietly, silently, behind the scene, like a true guardian angel. I can clearly see now, how much he influenced me as a person,  shaping my nature without forcing me into a stereotypical mould. I can clearly see now how he was trying to give me choices in life – choices to ensure I’ll be happy. I can clearly feel his silent love…

From http://www.dailywaffle.co.uk

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War is Evil, War is the Devil…

WarFrom http://komitet.net.ua

War is evil
War is the devil
War is between politicians
War is about religions
War is destruction
War is not construction
War is depression
War is an obsession
War is fighting
War is killing
War is sorrow
War is no tomorrow
War is explosions
War is confusions
War is blood
War brings tears like a flood
War makes you cry
War makes you die
War is death all around
War makes you die on your own ground
War is fire
War is not to admire!
War is creed
War is between your own breed
War is cruel
War cost a lot of fuel
War is amputations
War is mutilations
War last forever
I wonder if it ends in Heaven
War is only release
For those who are killed
It means ‘PEACE’

Славянск, разрушенияFrom http://glavred.info/

Thinking of my dear relatives who got caught in the current civil war in Ukraine: some of them forced to leave their houses and all their belongings to move to a safer part of the country, others – stuck in the war zone, hiding in rural areas as all towns and cities are being shelled and bombed with lots of peaceful civilians (including women and children) killed or mutilated. A beautiful peaceful coal-mining town that was full of smiles and laughter when I was spending my summer holidays there as a child is now in the middle of the war zone full of grief, pain and tears. Still struggling to believe that… 😦

When will those who are still living get some peace? 😦

From http://ria.ru

THE END

Are you alright?

This song touched my heart with its simplicity. Sometimes life takes you away from people who were once close to you. You slowly drift apart, drowning in the sea of everyday routine. Every now and then however you ask yourself: “I wonder how he/she is? Is he/she alright? If not, is there anything I can do for her/him?”

Or even worse – you suddenly learn that this person went through a very tough patch in life and you were not there for her/him. You had no chance to help or at least share the pain and now it is too late… You did not know, but that does not make that lump of bitter guilt inside you any smaller.

Even when you are trying to keep in touch with people who were once close to you, it often ends up in a superficial polite conversation about work, family, children, weather and lots of routine trivial things, while the most important questions go unanswered and often unasked. No words can hide the awkwardness and emptiness that speaks…

Are you alright? Do you have someone whom you can tell anything that worries you, anything that comes to your mind? Do you have someone to give you a hug whenever you need one?

From http://www.ultimate-guitar.com

Have a wonderful week and keep smiling 🙂 

THE END

Tears of a clown

From http://www.deviantart.com

Old and tired he lives alone
The world forgot the love he shown.
A tear rolls down his saddened cheek
Once strong willed now getting weak.

Another chapter in his book
What did he write? Let’s take a look!
He wrote of goodness in mankind
And peace on earth within his time.

When love was pure and innocent
In God we trust that’s what it meant.
Our flag flown high we all were proud
Sat back relaxed and watched the clouds.

I closed the book to his surprise
Not looking up he did ask why.
There’s too much good in this book
You will not get a second look.

No one will spend the time to read
They want violence, crime, sex and greed.
The thousand goods that you have done
They’re all forgotten one by one.

You have to have an evil deed
And only one is all you need!
Rename the title as to read
You’ll be remembered guaranteed.

Once a clown his smile now gone
With tears of life and face withdrawn.
I hear him speak, a quiet voice
“Don’t mankind know~~ they have a choice.”

From Our Poetry Corner


From http://dzpal.deviantart.com

“You ever have that funny friend, the class-clown type, who one day just stopped being funny around you? Did it make you think they were depressed? Because it’s far more likely that, in reality, that was the first time they were comfortable enough around you to drop the act. The ones who kill themselves, well, they’re funny right up to the end….

Here’s how it works…

1. At an early age, you start hating yourself. Often it’s because you were abused, or just grew up in a broken home, or were rejected socially, or maybe you were just weird or fat or … whatever. You’re not like the other kids, the other kids don’t seem to like you, and you can usually detect that by age 5 or so.

2. At some point, usually at a very young age, you did something that got a laugh from the room. You made a joke or fell down, and you realized for the first time that you could get a positive reaction that way. Not genuine love or affection, mind you, just a reaction – one that is a step up from hatred and a thousand steps up from invisibility. One you could control.

3. You soon learned that being funny builds a perfect, impenetrable wall around you – a buffer that keeps anyone from getting too close. The more you hate yourself, the stronger you need to make the barrier and the further you have to push people away. In other words, the better you have to be at comedy.

4. In your formative years, you wind up creating a second, false you – a clown that can go out and represent you, outside the barrier. The clown is always joking, always “on,” always drawing all of the attention in order to prevent anyone from poking away at the barrier and finding the real person behind it. The clown is the life of the party, the classroom joker, the guy up on stage – as different from the “real” you as possible. Again, the goal is to create distance. You do it because if people hate the clown, who cares? That’s not the real you. So you’re protected. But the side effect is that if people love the clown … well, you know the truth. You know how different it’d be if they met the real you…

But there’s more. The jokes that keep the crowd happy – and keep the people around you at bay – come from inside you, and are dug painfully out of your own guts. You expose and examine your own insecurities, flaws, fears – all of that stuff makes the best fuel…

Did you ever have that funny friend, the class-clown type, who one day just stopped being funny around you?… Be there when they need you, and keep being there even when they stop being funny. Every time they make a joke around you, they’re doing it because they instinctively and reflexively think that’s what they need to do to make you like them. They’re afraid that the moment the laughter stops, all that’s left is that gross, awkward kid everyone hated on the playground, the one they’ve been hiding behind bricks all their adult life. If they come to you wanting to have a conversation about their problems, don’t drop hints that you wish they’d “lighten up.” It’s really easy to hear that as “Man, what happened to the clown? I liked him better…”

From Cracked


Rest in peace, Robin. The countless moments of joy and laughter you gave to others will never be forgotten…


From http://simono1968.wordpress.com

THE END

Have a Happy Giggly Friday :-)

“Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it.”

Bill Cosby


From http://www.scip.be

As the saying goes, “laughter is the best medicine…but if you laugh for no reason you need medicine”. So give yourself plenty of reasons to laugh – then you won’t need any other medicine.
😉 

Most popular tags for this image include: kids, laughing, laughter, muslim kids and muslims laughing
From http://weheartit.com

Have a Happy Giggly Friday

🙂

THE END

Lemon Beauty

Anger2
From http://www.zdorovieinfo.ru

“Do you have any lemons?” asked Victoria reading one of the popular women’s magazines.

“Lemons? In the middle of Russian winter? What do you need lemons for?” I wondered.

“Not me, but you. You always were more adventurous. Let’s trial this on you first.”

“Me? Trial what?”

“The best beautifying detox treatment”

“Beautifying you say? Then you need milk not lemons.”

“Why milk?”

“Don’t you remember – Cleopatra used to beautify herself by bathing in milk. I wonder what my folks will think if they spot me in a bathtub full of milk,” I giggled.

From http://www.care2.com

“No, no. Milk is out of fashion now. Besides, how are you going to get so much milk to your bathtub, without even mentioning the cost? Lemons are the way to go now … and apple vinegar,” said Victoria with authority in her voice.

“So are you expecting me to bathe in a bathtub full of apple vinegar juggling lemons?” I laughed.

“No, no. You don’t need a bathtub at all – you can stay in bed watching TV.”

“That sounds better. What about lemons and vinegar?”

“It is very simple – we’ll get you wrapped in a sheet soaked in vinegar, then will cover you with lots of warm blankets. You’ll need to stay like that for a few hours drinking a cup of hot lemon drink every ten minutes. I’ll get the drinks ready for you.”

“You must be joking! Where did you get these crazy ideas from?” I laughed.

“Not crazy at all. Look at this article – all Hollywood stars are doing that.”

“They must be growing lots of lemons in Hollywood then!”

“Come on. You try that first and then I’ll have a go,” said Victoria.

From http://janasjournal.com

I completely forgot about this conversation, when Victoria came to my place with a bag of lemons.

“Look, I’ve spent all my monthly income on these lemons. You surely can’t say no to such sacrifice. No one else is at home – perfect timing. You go first. Where do you have spare sheets?”

“That’s not my cup of tea, Victoria,” I tried to object.

“What tea? You won’t be getting any tea – only lemon drinks. Come on, it won’t take long – only a few hours.”

Ignoring my objections, Victoria pulled out an old sheet and soaked it in apple vinegar. Five minutes later I was all naked, wrapped in the stinky wet sheet, trying to warm up under a pile of blankets. Victoria turned the TV on.

“Enjoy while I get the first lemon drink ready,” she said disappearing in the kitchen.

“Enjoy! Do you really think it is enjoyable to be wrapped in that stinky sheet?” I shouted to her.

“Beauty requires sacrifices,” responded Victoria with authority in her voice, bringing me the first cup of hot lemon drink.

Lemon drink was nice and it did help me to warm up a bit. The second drink was OK. After the third cup I had enough.

“Look, I had enough of these lemon drinks.”

“Beauty requires sacrifices,” repeated Victoria. “Still 10 more cups to go”.

“Ten more cups!!!”

“Yep, wait here, I’ll make another cup of lemon drink,” she said disappearing in the kitchen.

After three more cups I could not tolerate this any longer.

“Victoria, I can’t drink it anymore. I’m bursting.”

“Hm, that’s a bit of a problem. This article does not say anything about that. You’ve done one hour only. You need to wait for another hour. Beauty requires sacrifices,” she said disappearing in the kitchen.

девушка с лимономFrom http://krasotavnytri.ru

After three more cups I could not wait any longer. As soon as Victoria disappeared in the kitchen to make another cup of lemon drink, I jumped out of bed and, still wrapped in the wet sheet, rushed into the hall to get to the toilet.

To my horror, right at that moment the front door flew open and my brother came in with all his mates from engineering Uni. Without a word, I dashed past them into the bathroom and locked the door. A few minutes later the whole flat burst with roaring laughter: the lads discovered the copy of the women’s magazine with that ‘beautifying’ article….

That night dad joined us for dinner.

“You look particularly beautiful tonight,” he said to me with a wink, “Would you like another lemon?” he asked, taking a lemon out of his pocket…

I could not stand lemons for the rest of the year and women’s magazines – for the rest of my life after that day.

From http://pikabu.ru

THE END

Clock this: One can do good in any field of endeavor

“One can do good in any field of endeavor.”

( from ‘A writer’s Diary’ by Fyodor Dostoevsky, 1876 )

Trevor Baylis OBE - Supporter of The Climate Change Challenge
From http://www.climatechangechallenge.org/

Clock this: My life as an inventor
by Trevor Baylis

(excerpts)

“Our factory in Cape Town opened in 1995… The words BayGeb Power Manufacturing blared out from a white board in bright-blue lettering three feet high. BayGen is short for Baylis Generators and it was the first time I’d had my name emblazoned on anything…

I had been party to all the plans and knew we were setting up a multi-racial factory employing people of different abilities. But none of our discussions had prepared me for the emotion of seeing our grand plan in action. On the same production line were people of all colours and talents. It was a totally integrated workplace – black, white, brown, male, female, English, Afrikaans, Xhosa… The limbless working next to the blind, deaf people in partnership with the able-bodied, wheelchairs and crutches among the benches, the feeble co-operating with the strong…

It was very humbling. The girl smiling at me there is blind. The bloke sitting at the bench – deaf. Those two guys pushing the heavy trolley have only got two legs between them…

All of them worked with rhythmic precision, chatting and laughing. A few singing along to a Freeplay radio (the name we gave to clockwork radio)…

The factory is partly owned by Disability Employment Concerns, an agency sponsored by the Liberty Life Foundation. They are responsible for training the 35% of the workforce who have handicaps. All the workers – able-bodied and disabled – earn the same and their rates compare well with other factories…

As I walked along the line and chatted to the people making the radios I was overwhelmed by their warmth towards me. “This is the first job I’ve had since I lost my arm,” said one young man clasping my hand in his. “I can go one better,” said the blind girl sitting next to him. “This is the first time anyone ever employed me”…

Walking around the plant was like a tonic. People in Africa have a wonderful capacity for laughter and enjoyment, whatever they are doing. In Britain, we may be better off, but our lives seem harsher and more embittered by comparison. There was more undistilled delight there that morning than I’d met in a long time, and for me it was a reawakening.”

From http://ashleaturner.blogspot.co.nz/

The Clockwork Radio
created by Trevor Baylis

This extremely clever ‘wind-up radio’ was developed by the British inventor ‘Trevor Baylis’ for Third World countries where affordable energy is scarce or non-exsistent. This radio uses no batteries and does not need any electricity to run it. It is powered by an internal clockwork generator, which when fully wound up provides enough electricity for long periods.

The clockwork product is not a new invention. The Victorians used this mechanical system quite extensively. Their clockwork toys incorporated this mechanism. What is innovative is the way in which ‘Baylis’ has used this simple but effective means of creating electricity to both help the people of the Third World and to develop a product which is selling extensively in Western Europe.

The radio has been personally endorsed by Nelson Mandella.

Photo courtesy of Freeplay FoundationFrom http://cuso-vso.netfirms.com

THE END