The One About Not Seeking Machiavelli’s Approval

Here’s something fun for a Thursday morning…

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Sometimes failure is a good thing.

It would seem, if the result of this short personality test is to be believed, that I am no good at being ruthless and self-serving.

In fact, I am someone who Machiavelli would not approve of.

Yes, with a score of 42 out of 100, I got a F- in unethical behavior.

Meaning, I guess, that it’s time for me to do a bit of navel-gazing and align my chakras by paying heed to the random delightful wisdom found here.


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Snow Is Falling, Books Are Calling

The snow has arrived.  It’s falling like salt drifting down from the sky.  Everything is covered in white, slightly sparkly.

Contented, I am enjoying the slow pace of Winter days.

Coinciding with the snow’s arrival is the end of mold and pollen, my archenemies.  My eyes are feeling less itchy, and combined with prescription eye drops, I know longer look like a drunk rabbit.  That is, my eyes aren’t pink & bloodshot, rimmed in red.

I’ll enjoy this itchy-eye respite for as long as it lasts, because I know that Spring weather will change everything.

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In the meantime I’m going to start reading for pleasure.  I didn’t do much of that last year, for whatever reason.  But this year, as I move forward, I’ve decided that I’m going to make a point of reading for pleasure, and I’m going to do it with a plan.

I’m following Modern Mrs. Darcy’s 2016 Reading Challenge as my guide.  With one exception [“a book published this year”], I’m choosing my books from the piles of books that are strewn throughout our home.

To wit, my first book, which will satisfy the “a book you should have read in school” criteria, is: Footsteps in the Dark by Georgette Heyer.

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This may seem like an unusual choice, but when I was in college here in the USA majoring in English, I did my study abroad at the University of Exeter in Devon, England.  My official independent research paper was on Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple series.

Georgette Heyer was a contemporary of Agatha Christie.  Back then I didn’t have the time to read any Heyer mysteries, being forced as I was to focus on Miss Marple, star of 12 novels + 20 short stories.

But now, in light of this challenge, and with all the time in the month of January to make it happen, I’m going to read a Georgette Heyer mystery.

Just because I can.

The One About Kismet & Guidelines For A Contented Life


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OVER THE YEARS, like most introspective people who I know, I’ve adopted all sorts of different versions of what I call the rules of life.

And sometimes babbled about them on this blog.

WHILE I LIKE my rules of life and feel that they apply in general, I’m self-aware enough to know that I need something visual + succinct to encourage me to face each day with quiet resolve.

That’s where I believe practical guidance comes into the picture. 

LATELY I’VE BEEN following the ideas that you see in the above photo;  I call them guidelines for a contented life.  I don’t know who wrote them, but when I first read them while browsing in T.J. Maxx, a discount store that I rarely go into, I liked them.

Now I ask you, what could be better than stumbling upon inspiration on sale?!

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Here’s A Thought: Healthy Meals, Happy Life

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 I found an interesting infographic, from Cooks Smart, that talks about meal planning and the ways in which it can help a family live a better life.

It struck a chord with me because I’ve cooked more this winter than in the past three years combined.  For reasons related to good health, boredom and a husband who’ll eat [without complaint] whatever I dream up, I’ve gone back into the kitchen.

And I’m loving it.  Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 4.15.39 PM

I grew up around parents and aunts who enjoyed making meals.  Healthy meals.  Fancy meals.  Fast meals.  Exotic meals.  But meals created by using real ingredients and following recipes, written or oral, passed down through the family.

There was a sense of history associated with those shared recipes.  Back then we connected through food.

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 However today I hesitate to even mention that I like to cook, here or in real life.  Many women who I know see it as passé or pointless.

Most of the women really.

Better to eat a Lean Cuisine “like a normal person” one of them told me.  Why waste time cooking?

Another told me she cooks on holidays only.  That way she can use her fancy plates and silverware and glassware.  Everyday [thankless] cooking is not for her, she said.  Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 4.14.11 PM

But I like the stress free everyday sort of cooking that I do.  I follow some recipes [more or less].  Or I wing it to see what happens when I throw some ingredients together.

Either way, I believe, that with the right attitude cooking is creative fun that leads to healthy meals– and, maybe even, a happier life.

 [Image sources here and here.]

Of Writing Prompts & Morning Walks

Here’s a fact about me: I read my horoscope once in a while, but not for the reasons that you might imagine.

No, I read my horoscope to get writing prompts.

On the days when I read my daily horoscope, I save the ones that I think will challenge me to think about my life in a new way.  Then on a future day when I cannot think of what to say, I peruse my horoscopes and use one as a way to start writing.

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To wit, here’s a horoscope from who knows when that got me thinking over the weekend.

Use your energy wisely to work with the natural currents instead of trying to control them. It’s not your job to eliminate the clouds; the sky will clear on its own.

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What did I get thinking?  I decided that even though I’ve almost always been a morning blogger, I’m going to change my posting schedule to the afternoon for the month of March.

You see, I’d like to use my energy in a different way.  I want to go for a walk outside each day, and mornings around here have the least amount of vehicle traffic.  [No sidewalks here.]

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So instead of plopping down in front of my computer, typing my morning away– I’m going to be propelling myself out the front door, trudging my morning away.

Which means that you, my gentle readers, will just have to wait until I’m done being healthy each morning, and [hopefully] regain enough energy thereafter to sit down and pursue my passion for flapdoodle and twaddle write my blog posts.

Guess we’ll see how this all works out together, won’t we?