Friday, November 5, 2010

Seriously, now...who falls for this?

I must get an e-mail similar to the one below at least 4 times a week. Seriously, now...who falls for this stuff? Obviously many people do if thousands of cretins continuously spam this crap.

Oh, and by the way...
  • You did not overpay the IRS $186.30
  • Neither Steve Jobs nor Bill Gates is going to send you a check for $100 for passing on an e-mail
  • Your friend or relative most likely did not get robbed in London and does not need an emergency loan of $1,000 wired to the account included in the e-mail
  • You did not win the Irish Sweepstakes
Enjoy your day...and remember the adage: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't.

Hello my dear,
I wish to contact you personally for a business transaction/Investment proposal of GBP£10,000,00 (Ten Million British Pounds Sterling) hopefully that you will respond
positively to this investment proposal.
I need a reliable, honest and capable person who will be able to handle this transaction. hence I am contacting you, and I believe that you will never turn down my request. I am the chief executive of cooperate,Halifax Bank of Scotland, United Kingdom.
With your sincere assistant and co-operation, we can finalize this transaction, and be rest assured that this deal is worth taking and highly profitable. At this moment, I will not issue the details of this transaction until your positive response is granted.
For further correspondence regarding this business proposal, send your
response to E-mail :( for more details or
ring me on E-mail for further discussion on this.

Thanks for your attention.
Kind regards.
Mr.Peter Cummings.
Chief executive cooperate,
Bank Of Scotland Plc.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

We Simply Must Get A Handle On This...

I posted this video for KidsTerrain. It is a remarkable story of courage. Share the message...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Natural Living Expo

Join me Saturday at 5:00 p.m. for a free workshop on "Living A Flourishing Life" at the Natural Living Expo in Sturbridge, MA.

Sturbridge Host Hotel, Cheshire Ballroom.

And while you're at the Expo, please stop by and say hello....I'll be at the Adam Beck Institute booth #607.

Have a joyful day everyone. And remember to live a flourishing life.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A 24-Hour Creative Blitz

I am thrilled to be participating again in the CreateAthon, a 24-hour blitz on Thursday–Friday, September 23rd & 24th, aat Smith & Jones.

This year’s CreateAthon clients include: Dunbar Community Center, People First Food Pantry, Special Education Surrogate Parent Program, Rainbow Child Development Center, The Bridge of Central MA, Inc., Habitat for Humanity, Males Advocating Change, Music Worcester and Central MA South Chamber of Commerce.

About CreateAthon: CreateAthon is a 24-hour creative blitz in the name of charity — Smith & Jones is one of the select few New England agencies to participate in this annual event, offering their marketing and creative services to local non-profit agencies.

Have a joyful day everyone...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It Will Distract Them?

I usually tend to stay out of the political fray on this blog, but this one I can't pass up...

Regarding the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT), Marine General James Amos told the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday, "I'm concerned that a change now will serve as a distraction to Marines who are tightly focused at this point on combat operations in Afghanistan."

Does he really think that these remarkable, brave men and women who serve our country, who face gunfire, IEDs, airstrikes, and Lord knows how much more horror on a daily basis can actually be knocked off kilter -- thereby negatively impact troop morale, unit cohesion, and order -- all because a fellow soldier could live truthfully by openly acknowledging he or she is gay?

Please....give our brave men and women more credit...Honestly...

Enough said...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Effective Communication and Conflict

Conflict is a critical event in the course of a relationship. Conflict can cause resentment, hostility, and perhaps the ending of that relationship. However, conflict can be productive and lead to deeper understanding, mutual respect, and closeness.

Do you shy away from conflict? Which of the following statements may reflect your approach to conflict?

• My underlying anger may get out of control.
• To me, conflict is an all-or-nothing situation.
• I find it difficult to face conflict because I feel inadequate.
• I have difficulty positively asserting my views and feelings.

*Excerpt from Live A Flourishing Life

Have a joyful day everyone...

Friday, September 17, 2010

Book Launch Saturday, Sept. 18

Join me on Saturday, September 18 for the official book launch of Live A Flourishing Life, at Alternatives For Health Herbal Apothecary, 426 Main Street, Sturbridge, MA from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Hope to see you there!

Can't attend? You may order signed copies of the book directly from The Reed Edwards Company!

Have a joyful day everyone. And remember to live a flourishing life.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Book Launch Event

Join me on Saturday, September 18, from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. at Alternatives For Health Herbal Apothecary located at 426 Main Street in Sturbridge, MA for the official launch of my new book Live A Flourishing Life.

I am thrilled that Sarah and Bill Widmeier have generously offered their fabulous store for this event.

What is this new book about? To live a flourishing life is to live an examined life. To do so, you begin by exploring, recognizing, and understanding the habits and attitudes that serve you, and those that do not serve you. And then, step-by-step, you make a determined effort to change those attitudes and behaviors by developing a doable action plan.

I've melded my three professions — philosophy instructor, resilience coach, and writer — to create Live A Flourishing Life. The workbook includes numerous exercises and quizzes to help you dig deep into your life story to uncover and discover long-standing attitudes and habits that influence your life.

If you cannot attend the event, the book is available at their shop and online exclusively through The Reed Edwards Company.

Have a joyful day everyone.

Friday, September 10, 2010

September Is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

On September 1, President Barack Obama signed a Presidential Proclamation declaring September as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. In his proclamation, President Obama stated, “One of the greatest responsibilities we have as a Nation is to safeguard the health and well-being of our children. We now face a national childhood obesity crisis, with nearly one in every three of America's children being overweight or obese.”

That statistic is staggering. Childhood obesity has been a growing problem for decades, afflicting children nationwide with certain racial, ethnic, and regional kids more severely affected. And research has shown that obesity can be influenced by environmental and behavioral factors, such as unhealthy eating and too little physical activity. (To learn more about the effects of nutrition on behavior, see our webinar, Nutrition and Behavior Problems in Children and Adolescents presented by Dr. James M. Greenblatt, M.D.)

Earlier this year, the First Lady Michelle Obama announced the "Let's Move!" initiative to combat childhood obesity. The President, too, created a Task Force on Childhood Obesity to, as he stated, “marshal the combined resources of the Federal Government to develop inter-agency solutions and make recommendations on how to respond to this crisis.” The Task Force produced a report containing a comprehensive set of recommendations that “will put our country on track for solving this pressing health issue and preventing it from threatening future generations.”

During his statement, President Obama added that the “report outlines broad strategies to address childhood obesity, including providing healthier food in schools, ensuring access to healthy affordable food, increasing opportunities for physical activity, empowering parents and caregivers with better information about making healthy choices, and giving children a healthy start in life.”

The web site, offers detail information about these recommendations and as well as information and resources on how to help children eat healthy and stay active.

“Our history,” said the President, “shows that when we are united in our convictions, we can safeguard the health and safety of America's children for generations to come…. When we work together, we can overcome any obstacle and protect our Nation's most precious resource -- our children. As we take steps to turn around the epidemic of childhood obesity, I am confident that we will solve this problem together, and that we will solve it in a generation…. I encourage all Americans to take action by learning about and engaging in activities that promote healthy eating and greater physical activity by all of our Nation's children.”

Have a joyful day everyone. And remember to live a flourishing life.

Written for KidsTerrain, Inc. Reprinted here with permission.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

What's New at Reed Edwards

News About The Reed Edwards Company

My publishing company has widened its focus. Along with book publishing, Reed Edwards is
now distributing select authors' books and related products and we are
expanding our editorial and publishing services.

In addition, Reed Edwards is now offering the Live A Flourishing Life lecture, workshop and coaching series. Visit and bookmark the web site to stay up-to-date on the schedule of programs.

Have a joyful day everyone...

Come Armed With Fire Extinguishers

I believe freedom of speech and freedom of expression are fundamental and sacred rights.

In "On Liberty" John Stuart Mill wrote "...there ought to exist the fullest liberty of professing and discussing, as a matter of ethical conviction, any doctrine, however immoral it may be considered." However, Mill also introduced a concept that became known as the harm principle: "...the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others." In essence, the basis of the harm principle is making good, moral choices.

Perhaps Pastor Terry Jones skipped morality and ethics class that day....

His plan to hold "Burn-A Koran Day on Saturday, September 11 defies clearly moral judgment and the harm principle. Jones and his band of misguided followers actions will be detrimental to the safety of our troops, to our citizens, to people around the globe. Recall the international outrage those Danish comic strips caused a few years back.

Those who wish to protest Pastor Terry Jones' horrific Burn-A-Koran Day should come to the event armed, not with guns or hatred in their hearts, but with fire extinguishers.

Heck, let's go one step further and hold "Put Out The Fire" rallies across the nation.... Organize a rally in your community...organize a march of folks armed only with fire extinguishers and peace in their hearts.

Have a joyful day everyone. And remember to live a flourishing life.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Why Is It That...

Why is it that...
  • Superman could stop bullets with his chest, but always ducked when someone threw a gun at him?
  • if man evolved from monkeys, we still have monkeys?
  • buttered bread always lands on the butter-side down, and a cat always lands on its fee?
  • it is necessary to nail down the lid of a coffin?
I'm just wondering, that's all...

What are you wondering about?

Have a joyful day everyone. And remember to live a flourishing life.

Friday, September 3, 2010

About Friends...

Friendship is an art, and very few persons are born with a natural gift for it.
~ Kathleen Norris

My grandmother used to tell me that if I had one true friend in life, that was the ultimate blessing. My life, then, is truly blessed for I have several wonderful friends.

Aristotle wrote there are three kinds of friendship....

1. Friendship based on utility. This type of friendship changes according to circumstances. With the disappearance of the "usefulness" of this friendship, the friendship breaks up.

2. Friendship based on pleasure. These friendship are regulated by feelings, and the chief interest is in momentary pleasure. As affection changes, so does the friendship.

3. Perfect friendship is based on goodness and mutual knowledge and respect. These friends spend time with each other, contribute to the other's happiness and vice versa. Friendship of this kind is permanent.

The Roman philosopher Cicero believed that in order to have a true friendship with someone one must have complete honesty, virtue, and trust...and friends do things for each other without expectation of repayment.

Ask yourself, who is that one friend in your life who meets Cicero's standards? How much love do you carry in your heart for that person?

Now ask yourself, when was the last time you spent quality time with this friend? When is the last time yo spoke, rather than texted, IM, or communicated through social media?

If the answer is less than 3 days, pick up the phone. Call your friend. Hear his or her voice...and make a solid date to see one another within the next 10 days.

"There was a definite process by which one made people into friends, and it involved talking to them and listening to them for hours at a time." ~ Rebecca West

Have a joyful day everyone. And remember to live a flourishing life.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

School Lunches and Childhood Obesity

Earlier this year, Food Network’s chef Jamie Oliver launched a televised food revolution about saving America’s health by changing the way you eat. Oliver stresses that parents must find out what their child is eating at school, and urge schools to switch from processed to fresh food.

Alarmed by the rising obesity rates and the amount of junk food being served to kids at school in his native Great Britain, Oliver met with then-prime minister Tony Blair back in 2005. He issued a challenge: Fix the dismal state of hot lunches. The School Food Trust was born, with its motto, “Eat better. Do better.” By 2008, the British government initiative swapped fried fare for wholesome vegetables, and began providing ongoing training to school kitchen staffs, slowly transforming how British kids eat.

Oliver saw parallels to the United States, with its epidemic of childhood obesity, “the increase of Type 2 diabetes being diagnosed among young adults and even children, and the vending-machine mentality of many school lunchrooms in this country. What we eat affects everything: our mood, behavior, health, growth, even our ability to concentrate,” said Oliver. “A lunchtime school meal should provide a growing child with one-third their daily nutritional intake.”

To drive the point home, this year at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology, findings were presented comparing school lunch vs. lunch from home. The results were eye-opening. Compared with kids who brought lunch from home, those who ate school lunches:

* Were more likely to be overweight or obese (38.2% vs. 24.7%)
* Were more likely to eat two or more servings of fatty meats like fried chicken or hot dogs daily (6.2% vs. 1.6%)
* Were more likely to have two or more sugary drinks a day (19% vs. 6.8%)
* Were less likely to eat at least two servings of fruits a day (32.6% vs. 49.4%)
* Were less likely to eat at least two servings of vegetables a day (39.9% vs. 50.3%)
* Had higher levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol

New research funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture finds that children who eat school lunches that are part of the federal government’s National School Lunch Program are more likely to become overweight.

Now, the USDA is partnering with First Lady Michelle Obama to fight this childhood obesity epidemic among America’s school children. The First Lady released the results and recommendations of The White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity report, which stated that more than 30 percent of American children, ages 2 to 19, are overweight or obese. The report recommends serving healthier foods in schools.

The National Student Lunch Program supplies meals to about 30 million children in 100,000 public and nonprofit private schools, according to the USDA.

The fact that federally funded school lunches contribute to the childhood obesity epidemic is disconcerting, although not altogether surprising,” said Daniel L. Millimet, whose research expertise is the economics of children, specifically topics related to schooling and health.

Joy Bauer, MS, RD, CDN, best-selling author of Joy Bauer’s Food Cures: Treat Common Health Concerns, Look Younger and Live Longer, agrees. “Without a doubt, balanced nutrition is key for kids to maintain concentration academically. Every school lunch should offer both complex carbohydrates and lean proteins-a turkey-breast sandwich on whole wheat bread is a simple and perfect example of this — to boost brain and staying power, level moods, and keep blood sugars on an even keel. In other words, a plain bagel, with nothing else, can produce volatile spikes in blood sugars and can set up kids for a crash.”

Have a joyful day everyone. - Rita
Visit my website at

*Written for Reprinted with permission.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Live A Flourishing Life Workshops

Do you want to live a better life − a life where stress is reduced and managed; a life replete with loving friendships; a life guided by optimism and courage? In other words, a life that flourishes?

To live a flourishing life is to live an examined life. To do so, you begin by exploring, recognizing, and understanding the habits and attitudes that serve you, and those that do not serve you. And then, step-by-step, you make a determined effort to change those attitudes and behaviors by developing a doable action plan.

My workshops and private coaching sessions offer insight and assistance, enabling you to work through the obstacles that stand in your way, and guide you towards actionable, positive changes that will affect all areas of your life.

To learn more about Live A Flourishing Life workshops and private coaching, contact me directly via e-mail at or visit and click on Workshops/Coaching.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Multi-tasking Miasma

It is not surprising that modern day life is often referred to as the “culture of distraction.” We are bombarded with information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And yet, most of us cannot get enough. We channel surf, search the Web, talk and text, drive and text, drive and talk, drive and talk and text. It is no wonder we are driven to distraction!

Not only are we less focused, we are not present-moment oriented. And in our efforts to skim through volumes of information, we truly miss out on quite a bit by paying only partial attention.

*Excerpt from Live A Flourishing Life

Have a joyful day everyone...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Key to Stress Management

The key to stress management is being able to recognize your body’s response to emotional conditions and then to take steps to minimize or alleviate the stress triggers.

A good tool is to keep a stress-awareness journal. This will help you recognize where your body stores tension. The more aware you become of your body’s reaction to stress, the better you will be able to take steps to reduce the stress and metabolize the harmful buildup of stress hormones in your body.

Have a joyful day everyone...

*From Live A Flourishing Life

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Kaizen! Breaking tasks down into small, incremental steps…

Kaizen is a Japanese management concept for incremental (gradual, continuous) change (improvement); breaking tasks into small, manageable steps. Kaizen is also a way of life philosophy based on making little changes on a regular basis. Kaizen is about finding new, creative, and effective ways to improve one’s life…from tackling the mundane to managing our stress, to attaining our life vision.

Learn how to put Kaizen in action in your life... Live A Flourishing Life.

Have a joyful day everyone...

*From Live A Flourishing Life

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Words of Wisdom

Human flourishing involves the rational use of one’s individual human potentialities, including talents, abilities, and virtues in the pursuit of his freely and rationally chosen values and goals.
~ Edward W. Younkins

From Live A Flourishing Life

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Live a Flourishing Life

I've a new book coming out next month... Live A Flourishing Life is the result of melding my three professions -- adjunct Philosophy professor, stress management and resilience-building trainer, and writer.

In June, Bay Path College (where I teach Philosophy) tapped me to teach a Stress Management course in their One-Day-A-Week Saturday Program. Since this was the first offering of the course, I was literally writing the workbook as we went along.

However... I did not want the book to be solely a classroom text. And so I created Live A Flourishing Life for anyone to use on one's own, or together with private coaching sessions, or workshop/lecture. The book includes a progressive relaxation and mindful breathing techniques CD Relax and Flourish. (Pre-publication offer....order now and save 25%!)

What qualified me to write this book and offer these programs?

Since 2008, I have been working as a stress management trainer for WorkTerrain, presenting programs throughout the Commonwealth to organizations and municipalities via Dept. of Industrial Accidents grants. (To learn more about WorkTerrain's Safety Programs go to

And for the past six years, I have been working with Dr. Ron Breazeale as he developed the "Duct Tape Isn't Enough" resilience training and coaching program, initially developed for First Responders, and now being offered nationwide. (To learn more about Resilience Coaching programs go to

Details on the Live A Flourishing Life workshop/lecture series and coaching sessions in future blogs postings.

Have a joyful day everyone...

Monday, August 2, 2010

Teaching Kids About Food

While we tend to think of summer foods as hot dogs, hamburgers, and barbecue chicken, parents should take these months to get their kids involved with understanding proper nutrition. A great way to do this is to teach them how to cook. Rather than rely on fast food and the above-mentioned summer staples, web sites such as Cooking With Kids and the Food Network’s Cooking For Kids are great resources for turning your picky-eaters into gourmands. And the benefits will be multifold.

In the past decade numerous studies have been conducted linking nutritional disorders with behavioral and learning problems in children. Research shows that children with iron deficiencies sufficient to cause anemia are at a disadvantage academically. Other studies suggest that iodine, iron, folate, Vitamin B12, zinc, and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may play a significant role in the development of the brain and in cognitive functions.

Dietary deficiency concerns are not a worldwide problem; any child may be vulnerable to the maladies of poor nutrition due to dietary behaviors. To detail this critical issue, KidsTerrain turned to Dr. James M. Greenblatt, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Walden Behavioral Care in Waltham, Massachusetts, to create a webinar to help parents understand the critical link between proper nutrition and behavior in children and adolescents. Nutrition and Behavior Problems in Children and Adolescents explores the link between dietary deficiencies and to compromised health, intelligence, and basic social skills.

For more information on this program or to view the webinar, go to

Have a joyful day everyone. - Rita
Visit my website at

*Written for Reprinted with permission.

Monday, June 7, 2010

This Week's Thought To Ponder....

"If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk?"
~ Albert Einstein

Have a joyful day everyone. - Rita
Visit my website at

Saturday, June 5, 2010

How Social Media Savvy Are You?*

When it comes to children’s Internet safety, most parents are not savvy enough. And it is not because we aren’t hip, hep, cool, phat…choose your jargon…it’s simply that new social web sites seems to appear with the blink of an eye.

What can you do to protect your child without infringing too much on his or her perceived rights? It’s as simple as A B C: Ask, Believe, then Check.

Ask your child about the social media sites they belong to. Ask how often they visit the site. Ask what personal information they post. Ask about their Internet friends.

Believe that your child is telling you the truth. Believe that your child is careful. Believe that your child knows the dangers of Internet predators. Then….

Check your child’s postings. Friend them on Facebook; follow them on Twitter; join their MySpace page. And remember due diligence: new social media sites pop up almost daily, so you must stay on top of this. is an excellent resource web site.

Most importantly, talk with your child regularly about Internet safety (without being too much of a nudge so they won’t tune you out). Points to reiterate when conversing:
  • Safety is first and foremost. Remind them to never post personal information such as full name, home address, phone numbers, places they go … anything that would help someone identify them or locate their whereabouts when they are not at home.
  • Remind them that whatever is posted is there for all the world to see….and sometimes long after it is has been deleted too.
  • And remind them it is never right to cyberbully. And if someone is cyberbullying them, that it is okay and safe to tell you about it.
Be savvy; keep kids safe.

Have a joyful day everyone. - Rita
Visit my website at

*Written for Reprinted with permission.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

More Ponderisms... (yes, again!)

I blame my love of ponderisms on my philosophy education. As I said to the accreditation reviewer during my sophomore years of college: Where else can you sit around discussing whether a rock has a mind and get a college degree?
  • If money doesn't grow on trees then why do banks have branches?
  • Why is "bra" singular and "panties" plural?
  • Can a hearse carrying a corpse drive in the carpool lane?
And here's one from our 40th president:
It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.

Have a joyful day everyone. - Rita
Visit my website at

Friday, May 28, 2010

More Ponderisms....

Here are a few more thoughts to ponder...

  • If you're driving at the speed of light and turn on your headlights, what happens?
  • How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?
  • What disease did cured ham actually have?
  • Why is it that people say they "slept like a baby" when babies wake up like every two hours?
  • Why are you 'in' a movie, but you're 'on' television?
Have a joyful day everyone. - Rita
Visit my website at

Monday, May 24, 2010


verb [ trans. ]
think about (something) carefully, esp. before making a decision or reaching a conclusion.

Ponderisms -- Observational humor.

Jerry Seinfeld is renown for this type of humor, as was the late George Carlin.

Here are a few of my favorites....
  • I used to eat a lot of natural foods until I learned that most people die of natural causes.
  • Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, "I think I'll squeeze these dangly things here, and drink whatever comes out?"
  • Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle?
  • How do you know when you're out of invisible ink?
  • Have you ever imagined a world with no hypothetical situations?
Love ponderisms? Share yours with me!

Have a joyful day everyone. - Rita
Visit my website at

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bullying Legislation, At Last…*

A comprehensive anti-bullying legislation is, at last, law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is now, however, up to the schools, the parents, and the kids themselves to take all the necessary steps to eliminate bullying from our schools, our streets, and cyberspace.

I’ve written numerous blogs on this topic, beginning with the 2006 suicide of Megan Meier, who hanged herself three weeks before her fourteenth birthday. It took more than a year of prodding and prompting by Meier’s parents to get an investigation into the matter. Megan’s suicide was attributed to cyber-bullying through the social networking website MySpace. Lori Drew, the mother of a classmate of Meier, was later indicted in 2008. But in 2009, Mrs. Drew was acquitted on the basis that there “are no laws making the cyber-bullying, harassment and abusive actions” of Mrs. Drew a felony.

In 2009, 11-year-old Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover was found by his mother hanging by an extension cord on the second floor of their Springfield, MA home. The boy had been bullied and taunted daily at school, yet despite the pleases of his mother, nothing worthwhile was done to prevent this from continuing to happen to the boy.

The last straw seems to have been the suicide of 15-year-old Phoebe Prince of South Hadley, MA. Her death prompted a vociferous call for action. Four months later, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed the new legislation (one, I might add, with some teeth), includes anti-bullying initiatives in student handbooks, classroom instruction, and strict new rules for reporting incidents of bullying. The law includes:

  • training adults on how to identify, prevent, and manage incidents of bullying
  • new reporting requirements for all school staff to “fully and swiftly detail any instance of bullying or retaliation to the appropriate school official”
  • directs the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to establish statewide academic standards that include instruction in bullying prevention and requires schools to provide age-appropriate instruction on bullying prevention

Each school district is also required to provide targeted professional development to all teachers, administrators, athletic coaches, bus drivers, and custodians on the prevention, identification, and appropriate response to bullying incidents.

Will all this help? While laws will not stamp out bullying altogether (we need only look at the vast majority of laws continuously broken to know this to be true), laws can reduce drastically the number of incidences and give victims of bullying much needed protections.

Have a joyful day everyone. - Rita
Visit my website at

*Written for Reprinted with permission.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Today's Word(s) "Re"-Defined....

The impetus for today's "Re"-defined phrase:

SACRAMENTO — Angered by increases in tuition and cuts in state financing, thousands of students, parents and faculty members protested across California on Thursday at colleges, universities and even elementary schools to plead for help with the state’s education crisis.

No Child Left Behind "Re"-defined = All Children Left Behind

Have a joyful day everyone. - Rita
Visit my website at

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Hypocrisy: Today's Word "Re"-Defined

Hypocrisy "Re"-Defined = Kyl-Roberts

In the wake of the massive BP oil spill, Senate Republicans are disowning the catchphrase “Drill, Baby, Drill,” claiming that Republicans never endorsed it. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) attempted to distance themselves and their party from the phrase yesterday, pretending not to know who popularized it, and dismissing the slogan as something from “two, three years ago”:

“That was not a Senate Republican phrase,” Kyl said. “I think there was a candidate that used that. I think our phrase was ‘drill here, drill now,’ meaning here in the United States and as quickly as oil and gas leases are going.”

Roberts said Republicans were always uneasy with the catchphrase.

“I don’t know about the slogan. The slogan was what, two, three years ago and basically we had a lot of opposition to it anyway.”

Have a joyful day everyone. - Rita
Visit my website at

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Celebrating Birthdays...

Why is it that so many people say, "I'm too old to celebrate my birthday anymore." That makes no sense to me, just like having a huge birthday bash for a one-year old makes no sense to me either. It's not like anyone remembers their first birthday, or their second, third or fourth birthday for that matter. I think it makes sense to celebrate more with each passing year, particularly as we get older.

Today is my 55th...and the official celebration began this past Saturday when my sweetie brought me coffee in bed (that's usually my loving task), and the little treats and surprises have been nonstop ever since, culminating with a get-together with friends this weekend. (Actually, the celebrating started a few weeks ago when my friend Richard treated me to the theatre.)

My loved ones understand that I embrace life, particularly now that I am walking the downside of the hill. This shift in my perspective hit home when I turned 48. Up to that year I felt I could always double my age and see the to be 80, 86, even 90. But 96? Not so much so...and now 110? Why would I want to?

The older I get, the more young at heart I feel. I rarely fret the missteps. I refuse to give up my dreams. I am not afraid to be silly. As George Bernard Shaw said, "Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children."

Celebrate your birthday with vigor each year. Don't let the kids have all the fun.

Have a joyful day everyone. - Rita
Visit my website at

Monday, April 19, 2010

Words "Re"Defined...

A few weeks ago someone asked me to give them an example of redundancy.
Redundancy, I said, is living in a mobile home and vacationing in an RV.

So I thought I start a new feature called Words "Re" Defined. Today's word is:

Hedgehog: Goldman Sachs' VP Fabrice Tourre.

Do you have your own unique definitions? Share them with me via the contact form at

Have a joyful day everyone. - Rita "Re"
Visit my website at

Saturday, April 17, 2010

About Apologies....Part Two

Several people commented on yesterday's blog entry via my Facebook page. I'd like to address one comment in particular. Ljo Aktiv wrote:

"What if there is supposed to be apologies from both parties and only one has given their apology? (Even if some people have said it is not a proper apology.) Isn't the other party who is being apologized to obligated to offer a counter apology for their part that started this whole explosive exchange of words? Just curious how this whole etiquette thing works in situations like this!"

Good question, Ljo. In The Last Lecture Pausch stated that if someone owes us an apology, we should not let that be the focus. Our focus, rather, should be on who we owe apologies to because of what we have done. He further explained that some people may not respond to our sincere apologies, but more often than not, most do later down the road. People need to be at that right emotional place.

Have a joyful day everyone. - Rita
Visit my website at

Friday, April 16, 2010

About Apologies...

There's been quite the brouhaha in my tiny town lately about what constitutes an apology, so I thought I'd share some insights I gleaned while reading Randy Pausch's book, The Last Lecture. (Video of lecture below.)

In the chapter "A Bad Apology is Worse Than No Apology” Pausch writes a “bad apology is worse than no apology” and that when we hurt each other – intentionally or unintentionally, it is like an infection in our relationship. So, no apology would be like letting the infection continue and the Real Apology would be like the antibiotic. The reason a bad apology is worse is because “it is like rubbing salt in the wound.” Examples:
  • ‘I’m sorry you feel hurt by what I have done.’ This type, he states, indicates that you are not really wanting to put medicine on the wound)
  • ‘I apologize for what I did, but you also need to apologize to me for what you’ve done.’ ( You really wanting an apology and not asking for one).
A proper apology, Pausch writes, has three steps:
    1. What I did was wrong.
    2. I feel badly that I hurt you.
    3. How do I make you feel better? ( pg. 162, The last Lecture, by Randy Randy Pausch, 2008)

Pausch made me think of the halfhearted attempts I have made, where I have not been as sincere as I should have been with my apologies. Even more disconcerting is the thought that I may have offended someone without knowing it, for I know at times I can be brusque.

To be responsible and accountable for one's words and actions, to apologize well and to remember to do it when warranted is vital to maintaining strong, sincere, and healthy relationships.

Thank you, Randy, for this valuable life lesson.

Have a joyful day everyone. - Rita
Visit my website at

Randy Pausch was a professor of computer science and human-computer interaction and design at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In September 2006, Pausch learned that he had terminal pancreatic cancer. He gave an upbeat lecture entitled "The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" on September 18, 2007 at Carnegie Mellon, which became a popular YouTube video and led to other media appearances. He then co-authored a book called The Last Lecture on the same theme, which became a New York Times bestseller. Pausch died of complications from pancreatic cancer on July 25, 2008.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Believe It Or Not, You Can Read This....

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdgnieg.The
phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde
Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the
olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit
pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a
porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by
istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

Amzanig huh?

Have a joyful day - Rita
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Monday, April 12, 2010

My Beef With The News...

Those folks who know me really well know I am famous for talking back to the television. And lately, I find myself saying, "Don't you newscasters know the meaning of news?"

By definition, "news" means "a report of recent events; previously unknown information."
Webster (thankfully) confirms what what I thought....previously unknown information. So, why is it, then, oftentimes the nightly news (11:00 p.m.) is nothing more than a rehash of the Afternoon Report ( 12:00 p.m.) the evening news at 5:00 and 6:00 p.m., followed by the morning news (6:00 a.m.).

Okay...I'm sure some of you are thinking, "Man, Rita, you watch way too much news."
Guilty. Truth be told, I'm a news junkie. I crave new information. And like most junkies I need my fix. But recycled news is akin to having a drink at lunch, spitting it back in the glass, and drinking it again with dinner, then before going to bed, and once more first thing in the morning.

Would some news director out there kindly explain to me how it is that within an eighteen-hour time frame, only the same 3 or 4 events happened in my state, in the country, in the world? Honestly...nothing else occurred? Nothing? Granted, I'm no math wiz, but isn't that a statistical improbability?

Maybe John Verrilli or Andrew Vrees can explain this to me? Or, since I'm a consumer of news, maybe I should give a shout out to Hank?

"Help Me, Hank!

Have a joyful day - Rita
Visit my website at

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Never Too Old...

A friends forwarded this to me and I just had to share it with all of you.

An elderly couple walked into the lobby of the Mayo Clinic for a checkup and spotted a piano. They've been married for 62 years; the gentleman will be 90 this year.

"To remain young while growing old is the highest blessing." -- Unknown

"Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul." ~Samuel Ullman

Today's questions: How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?

Have a joyful day - Rita
Visit my website at

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Benefits Of Soy Candles

A study by researchers at South Carolina State University found that "paraffin-based candles — the most popular kind — emitted toxic chemicals like toluene and benzene." Most traditional candles are made from paraffin wax which is nothing more than refined crude oil.

Soy candles burn healthy without carcinogens or toxins and they burn longer than petroleum-based wax. Soy candles are soot free—they don’t create smoke or leave black soot behind. And they are environmentally friendly and biodegradable.

I'm fortunate to live near Sturbridge Candle Company. Their candles do not contain harmful dyes and are made from 100% soybean wax. Owner and candlemaker Joyce Stocks creates the most amazing scents too!

If you are in the Sturbridge-Brimfield area, make it a point to stop at the Sturbridge Candle Company (which, by the way, is home to the Green Thumb Florist too). They are located on Route 20 in Brimfield, ab0out 1 mile over the Sturbridge line.

And if you are not in the area, visit their web site, and have these terrific candles shipped directly to you. Check out their soy soap, too. Smooth and silky on the skin.

Have a joyful day - Rita
Visit my website at

Friday, April 9, 2010

Thoughts On Teaching...

Since I first began teaching back in 1978, (Whoa! That even stopped me in my tracks!), I had a great appreciate for those students who chose to go back to school in their later years. I met such a person at Miami University while doing my teaching assistantship. Her name was Barbara, she was 20+ years older than the rest of the students in the class (as well as me).

I think I learned more from Barbara than she did from me, specifically in regards to life lessons. I was awed by her dedication, drive and discipline.

Today I am so grateful to be an adjunct teacher in the One-Day-A-Week Saturday program at Bay Path College. Once again I am surrounded by remarkable women -- women who juggle an intense and rigorous program, as well as full-time jobs and raising children.

If you've been thinking about going back to school, do so. It is never too late. All that is holding you back is you.

"We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves." -- Galileo Galilei

Enjoy your day....Rita

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Who Really Said It....

One of the more memorable lines from the play and movie Steel Magnolias spoken by the character Clairee Beklcher was the following: "That which does not kill us makes us stronger." Do you know who really wrote those words?

Post your favorite quote from Steel Magnolias. Here's a few more I liked!

Ouiser Boudreaux: I'm not crazy, I've just been in a very bad mood 40 years!

Shelby: Well, we went skinny dipping and we did things that frightened the fish.

[about the new mayor's wife dancing]
Clairee Belcher: Looks like two pigs fightin' under a blanket.

Enjoy you day....

Answer: Friedrich Nietzsche

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Thoughts on Obstacles

I view any obstacle that gets in my way as an opportunity to learn something new. Here are a few other perspectives on the topic...

"Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal." -- Author Unknown

"If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere." -- Frank A. Clark

"Obstacles don't have to stop you.If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it." -- Michael Jordan

"The obstacle is the path." -- Zen Buddhist Saying

...and my personal favorite

"A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles." -- Christopher Reeve

Have a joyful day!

Photo source:

Monday, April 5, 2010

Raising $$ For Cancer Research

As many of you know, I have been involved with the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life for several years...first as a team member, later as team captain. This year I joined the Big Dog Bandits team for the Southbridge, MA Relay For Life.

The American Cancer Society Relay For Life is more than just an event to me. It is personal. In the past two years cancer took the lives of my beloved brother John and my dear friend Lydia -- and during this small window of time, too, several friends and relatives began fighting their own battles with cancer.

Every year the list of people for whom I walk grows larger and larger. But I believe that one day events like Relay For Life will no longer be necessary, and that the folks who had participated over the years gather simply to remember, to memorialize the efforts of years past.

I hope you'll consider supporting my efforts by making a donation via my Personal Page At Relay or, if you are local, by joining my Relay For Life team. My publishing company, The Reed Edwards Company, will be donating $3.00 from every direct sale from now until June 18, when Relay begins.

Together, we have the power to help create a world where cancer can no longer claim another year of anyone’s life.

Have a joyful day.


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Thoughts on Vision

"People only see what they are prepared to see." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens." -- Carl Jung

"The most pathetic man in the world is someone who has sight, but has no vision."
Helen Keller

"Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe." -- Oprah Winfrey

"Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them--a desire, a dream, a vision." -- Muhammad Ali

Have a joyful day - Rita
Visit my website at

Friday, April 2, 2010

Thoughts On Success

"Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire." -- Arnold H. Glasgow

"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit." -- Albert Schweitzer

Have a joyful day - Rita
Visit my website at

Thursday, April 1, 2010

In The Words Of Maslow

"If you deliberately plan to be less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you'll be deeply unhappy for the rest of your life."-- Abraham Maslow

Abraham Maslow was born April 1, 1908 in Brooklyn, New York to Russian-Jewish immigrants. His career in psychology ultimately led to his becoming a founder of the Humanistic Psychology movement and the author of such familiar concepts as the hierarchy of needs and self-actualization.

Have a joyful day - Rita
Visit my website at

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Thought of the Day - Ayn Rand

"Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision." -- Ayn Rand

About Ayn Rand: Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum, Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter. She is known for her two best-selling novels and for developing a philosophical system she called Objectivism.

Rand immigrated to the United States in 1926. She worked as a screenwriter in Hollywood and had a play produced on Broadway. She first achieved fame with her novel The Fountainhead, which was followed by her best-known work, the philosophical novel Atlas Shrugged.

Have a joyful day - Rita
Visit my website at

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Thought Of The Day

"If your happiness depends on what somebody else does, I guess you do have a problem." -- Richard Bach

Richard David Bach, born 23 June 1936, is widely known as the author of the hugely popular 1970s best-sellers Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, and others. His books espouse his philosophy that our apparent physical limits and mortality are merely appearance.

Have a joyful day - Rita
Visit my website at

Monday, March 29, 2010

Celebrating the Birth of Rene Descartes

On March 31, 1596, Rene Descartes was born in La Haye, Touraine, France.
His initial interest was legal studies, but Descartes turned instead to mathematics, physics, and philosophy.

The father of modern philosophy, the basic strategy of his philosophical method of doubt was to defeat skepticism on its own ground. Descartes began this by systematically doubting everything he had ever learned, and then accepting as true only that which could not be denied. He recommended the approach in a famous thought:

"If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that
at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things."

Have a joyful day - Rita
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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Thought Of The Day

"If you are not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're playing it safe." -- Woody Allen

Have a joyful day - Rita

Visit my website at

Monday, January 25, 2010

Celebrating Our 3rd Anniversary

Our pubco, The Reed Edwards Company is celebrating its 3rd year in business. As a thank you to all of your who helped us reached this milestone we are offering a 30% savings on our books when you order direct from us at

We love to hear that you've enjoyed our books and recommend them to others. So why not give someone an inexpensive gift of a good story? You know our motto: Recommend, don't lend! Book sales put dollars in authors pockets and give us the capital to publish more new writers.

And speaking of new writers... As we move into our next year we hope to bring you two, new exciting and compelling authors.
(More on them at a later date!)

So if you've enjoyed Painting The Invisible Man, Sweet Bitter Love, and Far East Of The Sun, I hope you'll consider giving a copy to someone as a gift.

Just visit We accept credit cards via your payment is safe and secure.

PS. Check out our inspirational refrigerator magnets!
PPS. Feel free to pass this sale notice to your friends and family!