I’ve Got The Joy…

When I was a little girl, I remember singing that song, “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart.”  It was such a cheerful tune and lighted up my soul as I sang along with all my friends and we clapped our hands in the happiness of the moment.  Can you recall a time like that in your life, when your face hurt because you were smiling  so hard, but you just couldn’t stop?  Or has time erased some of what was once so easy to bring to mind?  It isn’t hard these days to lose sight of our inner child, the one who craves the simple sound of a song.  So here, I hope you’ll find a pocket full of joy to fill your day with just enough of that tune to see you through whatever is your need.  Stop for a moment.  Breathe deeply.  And soon, you may be singing of joy as well.


Wellness Wednesday, October 17, 2018

I took a 10 day break from social media challenge. That’s why I haven’t been posting. It’s interesting the things I learned about my habits.

First, I’ve been wasting a LOT of time watching what I now refer to as junk food for the eyes. I’m unsubscribing to half of the people I’ve been following, because, although they might be entertaining, they’re empty calories.

The second thing I learned is how much I really enjoy reading, and my time on social media was taking away from that. I’ve actually read three books during that time and have started a fourth!

Third, I wasn’t aware how much this was affecting my mental health. I would get caught up in politics or man’s inhumanity to man, and I was getting depressed. It was affecting my mood and my motivation.

I am back on social media now, but am very selective as to what I choose to watch and/or engage in. If I can keep from falling back, I know I’ll be much happier. And if I can’t seem to keep away from the darker side, I might have to divorce myself from it altogether. Time will tell.

What are you doing to improve your mental health today?

A Pocketful of Joy to Fill Your Day

Wellness Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Breakfast was this bowl of noodles made with miso and veggie broth, frozen mixed veggies and broccoli.

Dinner is a Light Line vegan hot dog (the only kind Dr. Esslesten approves of) with spicy mustard and Trader Joe’s sauerkraut. Yum!

What foods are you nourishing your body with today?

A Pocketful of Joy to Fill Your Day

Memories Monday, October 1, 2018

Twenty nine years ago, I got word that my father died. Had he lived, he’d have been 96 years old this past February. He had been a lifetime smoker, only having given it up about 10 years before his death. He told me once that smoking was the only freedom the Japanese didn’t take from him. Isn’t it odd that this one freedom is what led to the lung cancer that finally took his life.

I have shared a few things about my father. About his 3 1/2 years as a POW of the Japanese in WWII, about some of the atrocities he suffered, about how my mother was his nurse when he finally got back to the states, to an Army hospital outside Philadelphia.

What I didn’t tell you is how hard it was with him as my father. We were not allowed to scream or squeal, and he would hoard food to the point of it spoiling, yet we weren’t allowed to eat it. I understand that now, but as a child who grew up hungry because my father spent so much money on alcohol to drown his memories, all I knew was fear and deprivation.

As we became adults, we began to know of the horrors he suffered and I was able to forgive him. I really believe he didn’t know what he was doing, or at least he had no control.

He began to heal through the years, and actually became a really decent man. I love my dad and the sacrifices he made to help keep our country free. He taught us to stand for the National Anthem, hand over heart for the Pledge of Allegiance, to not park in handicapped spaces, respect for our elders, and so much more. I’m glad he’s in a place of peace now, where he doesn’t have to suffer any longer.

If you’d like to know a little of his story, read Behind Japanese Lines by Ray Hunt. He was my father’s friend since they met after having both escaped the Bataan Death March.

In memory of Walter DeHaas Chatham, Jr., February 1, 1921-October 1, 1989.

What memories are you cherishing today?

A Pocketful of Joy to Fill Your Day

Wellness Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Lentil barley stew with potatoes, carrots, onion, broccoli, and snow peas in veggie broth and seasoned with onion powder, garlic powder, turmeric, freshly cracked black pepper and herbes de provence.

That’s what’s for dinner! Delish!

What healthy things are you choosing to do on this Wellness Wednesday?

A Pocketful of Joy to Fill Your Day

Wellness Wednesday, September 24, 2018

Since yesterday was her 65th birthday, with her permission, I thought I’d share with you a few of my memories of my sister Sally.

I love this picture of her with her children. Kelli and Tony are standing, and Jan, Sally, and Becky are seated.

When we were little, Sally and I used to make up all kinds of skits that we would practice and then perform for our family. They were always centered around a dancer and a klutz, because she was graceful, and well, I was a klutz. (I still am!) They were just silly little things, but we had fun doing them.

When Junior died, I had family members calling me and saying, “Betty Jean, come home.” I knew they meant the best for me, and it was really hard to help someone who lived 2800 miles away. But Sally called and just cried with me. She was also the only member of the family from Florida who was able to come to the funeral. She is who taught me it was ok to be angry. To feel my feelings.

I’m grateful for the special bond we have, despite our totally opposite political views. We’re still sisters. And I love her more than there are words to express.

What memories are you cherishing today?

A Pocketful of Joy to Fill Your Day