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Welcome to Mirth and Motivation!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: RARE


“Our time here is magic! It’s the only space you have to realize whatever it is that is beautiful, whatever is true, whatever is great, whatever is potential, whatever is rare, whatever is unique in. It’s the only space.” Ben Okri

Weekly Photo Challenge: RARE - Saffron Spice, Heirloom Tomatoes, White Eggplant and more...

Weekly Photo Challenge: RARE – Saffron Spice, Heirloom Tomatoes, White Eggplant and more…

 Weekly Photo Challenge: RARE - Saffron Spice, Heirloom Tomatoes, White Eggplant and more..

Weekly Photo Challenge: RARE – Saffron Spice, Heirloom Tomatoes, White Eggplant and more..

To glean 1 lb (450 g) of dry saffron requires the harvest of 50,000–75,000 flowers; a kilogram requires 110,000–170,000 flowers.[43][44] Forty hours of labour are needed to pick 150,000 flowers.[45] Stigmata are dried quickly upon extraction and (preferably) sealed in airtight containers.[46] Saffron prices at wholesale and retail rates range from US$500 to US$5,000 per pound, or US$1,100–11,000/kg. In Western countries, the average retail price in 1974 was $1,000 per pound, or US$2,200 per kilogram.[4] In February 2013, a retail bottle containing 0.06 ounces could be purchased for $16.26 or the equivalent of $4,336 per pound or as little as about $2,000/pound in larger quantities. A pound contains between 70,000 and 200,000 threads. Vivid crimson colouring, slight moistness, elasticity, and lack of broken-off thread debris are all traits of fresh saffron. Wikipedia

For this week’s photo challenge on the subject of RARE, I chose to go with foods that are not so common and that we buy or receive as gifts, occasionally, or that we would all like to have sometimes. My precious loose Saffron in the center photo was a gift from a friend in India and from what I read online, 90% or more of this hard to cultivate spice comes from Iran, Kashmire in India, Spain and a few other places. My ground Saffron is from Spain and is the popular La Mancha PDO variety. That tiny bottle cost a lot and I have to admit that I rarely use it because it is pricey and should be used for special occasion dishes.

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Reflections: 10 Tips on Giving Up Blaming


“All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you.” Wayne Dyer

Reflections: 10 Tips on Giving Up Blaming - Take Responsibility

Reflections: 10 Tips on Giving Up Blaming – Take Responsibility

You are the one who ate the junk food.
You are the one who didn’t say no!
You are the one who took the job
You are the one who stayed in the job.
You are the one who chose to believe them.
You are the one who ignored your intuition.
You are the one who abandoned your dream.
You are the one who bought it.
You are the one who didn’t take care of it.
You are the one who decided you had to do it alone.
You are the one who trusted him.
You are the one who said yes to the dogs Jack Canfield

In 2010, Dr Neil Farber wrote a seminal book on the subject of blaming: The Blame Game: The Complete Guide to Blaming: How to Play and How to Quit, and the book became a bestseller because it struck a nerve with so many of us.  I would hazard a guess that if everyone got a copy of the book, they would find a pretty good list of some of their blame game tactics in it. While the jury is out on whether this is an innate or learned trait, what is clear is that we start pretty early in childhood letting others take the blame for our mishaps. As we grow up, our approach becomes more sophisticated and insidious. Gossip, false accusations, finger-pointing and even libel and slander are all examples of the fallout of the blame game which gives us some inkling that it can become a dangerous tactic that hurts everyone. There are times when blame is appropriate but that is not the point of this piece. The point is about all those times we assign unwarranted blame to others.

According to Dr Farber, we do it for a variety of reasons/impulses; innate behavior, coping mechanism, avoiding responsibility, choosing internalized instead of externalized options, an easy way out, fear of success, and/or our negative programming. Plus, we use a number of approaches to blame everyone from our family, to our government, on to total strangers who cross or don’t cross our path. When we wish to deflect blame from ourselves and inflict it on others,  our style could be subtle, unintentional, blatant, casual, secretive or deceitful. Each time we blame others, we fan the fire of this disruptive behavior and it can escalate. STOP!

How can we put the brakes on? As Jack Canfield aptly suggests in the fantastic book; The Success Principles(TM) – 10th Anniversary Edition: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, we have to own our stuff. Every action YOU take in life begins with Your decision to choose A over B. As the block quotes above and below explain, you chose to do X and now you must work at following through with solution Y.  We go through life making decisions that inform how we view the world and sometimes our decisions work in our favor and at other times they don’t. Instead of blaming others and wallowing in self pity, we can find the lessons and humor in our outcome and learn from them.  Life is full of missteps and foibles that teach us life lessons on the road to adulthood, give us options to choose, and help shape our character. The sooner we learn to take responsibility and get into solution mode, the sooner we are able to move on.


As Dr Farber explains it, there are ways we can begin to help ourselves stop all that blaming and finger pointing : 1. Acknowledge that you have control; 2. Take Responsibility  3. Realize failures are steps to success; 4. Judge others favorably; 5.  Empathize with others – externalize. If we take time to consider these tips, we would realize that it all begins with taking ownership for our stuff and also recognizing that mistakes are a human quality and not always intentional. If we would give each other the benefit of the doubt, we would reduce the number of instances of finger pointing.  Just like the story of the boy who cried wolf, the more we blame, accuse and finger point, the less credible our script becomes. Eventually, folks will just tune you/us out. Find your voice, own your stuff and get out there and make a difference. The rest of the tips are below.

READ: The Blame Game: The Complete Guide to Blaming: How to Play and How to Quit by Neil Farber, M.D., Ph.D.
The Success Principles(TM) – 10th Anniversary Edition: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Jack Canfield with Janet Switzer


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Motivation Mondays: RELAXATION


“Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer. ” William S. Burroughs

Motivation Mondays: RELAXATION

Motivation Mondays: RELAXATION

Business Insider: Usain Bolt’s key to winning

I’ve learned over the years that if you start thinking about the race, it stresses you out a little bit. I just try to relax and think about video games, what I’m gonna do after the race, what I’m gonna do just to chill. Stuff like that to relax a little before the race. Usain Bolt


What’s the rush? RELAX! Today is National Relaxation Day and I’ve spent a good chunk of it running around like a chicken without a head. The day started with some early morning stress but, I went to a yoga class to de-stress and then walked into the house around 12:30pm to find out that the carpet installers brought a hideous carpet that looked like it belonged on a pedestrian pathway. After an urgent call and consultation with the store, I had to take a swatch with me and drive over there to find a more suitable color. One of my kids who has a keen eye for color came with me, and we spent the next 2 hours trying to find the right color, at the right price, and that was available immediately in the warehouse. Meanwhile, the house had been stripped naked of its carpeting and everything was somewhere else. Oy! I bet some of you know this story well, and have lived it from prior experience, right?

As I drove back home, I started reflecting on the day. What do we do when things take a sharp turn away from what we expected? How do we find a way to regroup, relax and de-stress? While my little story might not be the ultimate stress inducing event in the world, the thing about stress is that we feel it anyway. It doesn’t matter if the trigger is minute or momentous, we feel the elevation in our blood pressure, and the tightening in our throat and muscles. If we go on pure emotion, we end up having a meltdown. If we can create a bit of distance from the unsettling event unfolding before our eyes, and try to gain a positive, results oriented perspective, the level of stress decreases. I was watching an interview on the triple 100M Olympic champion, Usain Bolt, in which he made the comment listed above and his point resonated. WE can choose to have a melt down or find a way to shift gears and get into solution mode. The choice is ours to make.


The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for July and August 2016 are:

07/04 –  1 Canada Day,  4 Independence Day – July 4th, 4 New Moon
07/11 –  11 World Population Day, 14 Bastille Day
07/18 –  18 Nelson Mandela Day
07/25 –  25  Thread the Needle Day,  30 International Friendship Day & Anti-Trafficking Day

08/01 –  2 New Moon, 5 Summer Olympics begin in Rio, 07 Friendship Day & Sisters Day, 07 International Forgiveness Day,
08/08 – 08 Peace Festival, 09 Book Lover’s Day, 09 World’s Indigenous Peoples, 12 International-Youth-Day, 13 International Lefthander’s Day, 14 Tisha B’av,
08/15 –  15 Assumption of Mary, 15 National Relaxation Day, 18 Full Moon, 18 Bad Poetry Day, 19 Nat’l Aviation Day &
World Humanitarian Day
08/22 –  22 Be An Angel Day, 22 National Tooth Fairy Day, 26 National Dog Day, 26 Women’s Equality Day, 27 Global Forgiveness Day
08/29 –  29 National Heroes’ Day, 29 More Herbs, Less Salt Day, 30 Toasted Marshmallow Day


Are You Looking for Ways to Stay Creative in 2016?

– Join the Daily Post Post-a-day or Post-a-week Challenge.




— Join the BlogHer Writing Lab


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