Random Acts of Kindness

Right now, with so much uneasiness going on, this day has come at the perfect time. Today is Random Acts of Kindness Day, and in fact, there is an entire organization dedicated to random acts of kindness, and you can get involved.

So, what does it mean to be kind to someone? It can really come in so many forms, here are a few examples: opening a door, saying thank you, bringing a sick person soup, giving someone a hug who needs it, buying someone lunch, donating blood, giving someone your full attention, sending someone a message you don’t talk to often or even smiling at someone. You can find even more here. Kindness has so many shapes and forms, and we too often forget this. So today, I highly encourage you to try one, two or even more of these today, and see how it makes you feel. Spread the joy, we will all be happier for it.

Grouches Need Love Too

Sometimes in life we have bad days, maybe we have even been called a grouch. When you are having a grouchy day the last thing we want to do is deal with people, however, if a person can help alleviate some of the stress, then maybe it can help. First, let’s define what a grouch is, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary it is, “a habitually irritable or complaining person”. Does this definition fit you? Or perhaps you just have an off day from time to time, but have been called grouchy.

Today is the day to do a favor for that grouchy person in your life. Why, because it is National Do A Grouch A Favor Day, and because it is the right thing to do. If you can turn someone’s frown upside down why wouldn’t you want to, it will reward them, and you.

Lake Oroville Making History

Northern California is making national news again, this time, for Lake Oroville. For the last five years California has been in a record drought, with lake levels the lowest they had ever been. In January of this year, Sacramento, California had the wettest January on record with 9.92 inches of rain. February has continued the trend with the mountains near the Oroville Dam getting between 10 and 20 inches of rain between Wednesday February 8th and Friday February 10th. Residents of the towns surrounding the Oroville Dam were told they were safe, until they were all evacuated from their homes late Sunday, February 12th. While the Dam continues to hold strong, they had to open the emergency spillway for the first time ever, partly because of the spillway having damage, and partly due to the lake overflowing the banks of the dam. That is right, Lake Oroville was at more than 100% capacity.

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Here are a couple of interesting statistics regarding Lake Oroville, and the dam, to give you better perspective. According to Lake Oroville’s website, it is one of the largest reservoirs in California, at over 3,500,000 acre feet. One acre foot of water equals 326,000 gallons of water. The dam itself is 770 feet high, the tallest in the U.S. and has been around since 1968.

A Heart Transplant To Touch The Heart

Needing an organ transplant can be challenging, especially when the donation needed is a heart. It is especially heartbreaking when the heart needed is for a child. With sadness, happiness can come, but it does take time. A story of sadness, turns to happiness, back to sadness and then into inspiration for one family in Massachusetts.

Meet Claire Joan Brennan, (or Joni as she loving came to be known as) who as a toddler was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, a condition caused by a virus that weakens the heart muscle and by age five needed a heart transplant. She miraculously received the transplant, a week after her parents were told she needed it, and lived a filled life, with a loving family, until she passed away at age 24. She graduated from college, took a trip to Hawaii celebrating that achievement, and lived every day to the fullest, despite having a chronic illness that could knock her down at any moment.

It is people like Ms. Brennan, who make it a little easier on the people who lose their loved one. She lived not just for her, but also for her family, and the person whose heart she was given. You realize that when you read the loving tribute her sisters wrote for her. Out of the sadness of has come remembrance, and inspiration. I don’t know about you, but just reading this story makes me want to live life a little fuller, and I thank her for that.

Clean Out That Computer

I don’t know if you are like me, but I always tend to put off cleaning my computer until, well, much longer than I should. And when we clean it out, how many of us just delete files thinking that is good enough? We are wrong. There are so many steps we leave out, so I found this article on how to maintain your PC. Mac folks, I found an article for you too.

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Best practices for a clean computer recommend a “clean out” at least twice a year. Do it today?  Why wait? You can also invest in an external hard drive to download files, and remove anything you are not currently using.  Just another good way to help clean things up, and have a back-up.  And last of all, keeping computer surfaces clean is important too, get rid of dust all around your computer, monitor and keyboard!!

Happy Birthday President Lincoln!

It was on this day in 1809 that one of our most notable president’s was born, Abraham Lincoln. He is well known for beginning the process that led to the end of slavery, but here are some other cool facts about him: He wanted women to be able to vote in 1836; his cat ate at the White House dinner table; Lincoln kept important documents inside of his hat, and he was photographed with John Wilkes Booth (who later assassinated him) at his second inauguration. There are many more interesting facts that you can find here.

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Author Stephen Harrigan published “A Friend of Mr. Lincoln” in 2016, a great read and factual fiction, written from the perspective of Lincoln’s friend, a fictional poet, Cage Weatherby.  The story takes place in the 1830’s and 1840’s when Lincoln was a circuit-riding lawyer, and member of state legislature, looks  and also looks at his courtship of Mary Todd and the nuances of his friendships during that time. For anyone who is a fan of Lincoln this is a must read.

Greatest Inventions Of The 21st Century

Today is National Inventors Day, so I thought I would look at the most important inventions of the 21st Century. I found this list, from the Telegraph, and unsurprisingly technology was the theme. From iPods and iPhones, to Firefox, the Kindle and driverless cars, we are all effected by something on this list.  Short, sweet and to the point, as the list speaks for itself, enjoy!

Honoring Thurgood Marshall

February is Black History month, and while there have been so many amazing leaders; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Marcus Garvey and Frederick Douglass to name a few, I am going to focus on Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court Justice. Appointed in 1967 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, “Marshall expanded his role in righting the Constitution in the very hall that he had challenged it”.

In fact, he had been in front of the Supreme Court 32 times, and was victorious in 29 of those instances. One of his most notable cases was Brown v. Board of Education where, “the Court unanimously ruled that ‘separate but equal’ public schools for black and whites were unconstitutional”. Justice Marshall served until his retirement in 1991, and passed away two years later. He was replaced by another African-American, Clarence Thomas.

Clean Out The Cupboard

The month of February is canned food month, so it got me thinking about donations, and food drives. We often donate canned foods during the holidays, but it is equally important to donate throughout the year if possible. Interfaith Ministries is a place that low-income, needy and homeless can go to get assistance. There are locations all over, including one right here in Modesto, Inter-Faith Ministries, that you can donate those canned goods you are not using. They accept other items like clothing, household items, and you can volunteer too. Each location appears to be a little different, but the worthy cause is consistent throughout. I encourage you to check your pantry and cupboards, I know I plan to.

National Kite Flying Day

Today is National Kite Flying Day, which I find interesting since it is February, but with the recent winds and warmth we have been having here, I might just get out there today, provided the rain stays away. It got me thinking though, no not about Mary Poppins, but about how to successfully fly a kite, so I went to the internet. I found this video which is supposed to helps you learn how not only to fly, but how to fly it safely.

Weather prohibits flying a kite? Save this information for National Kite month in April!!!