Monday, June 30, 2014

Yes I can light a fire in a time of need

"How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?"-Anonymous
This quote resonates with me because the last time I tried to light a fire I did use up a whole box of matches but as I remember the fire did get lit in the end. (In a fireplace of course with lots of people around me to make sure I didn't burn anything down!) Now you know one more thing about me -I can indeed light a fire even if it does take me a while to do it. If a disaster ever strikes and I manage to get hold of a whole box of matches, at the very least I am confident I can (eventually) light a fire! There's hope for me yet! Even if it takes me a while to start a fire, it's comforting to be told by Smokey the Bear that only I can prevent forest fires!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Maggie's Minions

I finally have MINIONS!! I am so excited about this! (Ok I made them in an art class I took but still, I now have minions!) If you haven't seen the Despicable Me movies, minions are little yellow beings that basically do whatever these movies' main character named Gru (an evil mastermind who attempts to steal odd things in an attempt to rule the world) wants them to do. They also have minds of their own which kind of irritates Gru at times but I can't help loving them!  So I made a whole army of little minions to help me create all sorts of havoc when I feel like it! My only regret is that my minions are just clay figures. However, if they were real  and I could imagine myself as a leader of the Minions this is how I'd interact with them:

Minions unite! Ok so maybe stealing the moon didn't quite work out the way we wanted but don't worry I have a  brand new plan! (Minions ooh and ahh) Instead of stealing the moon, this time we steal.... drum roll please (Minions start stomping their feet loudly) a SPACESHIP! (Minions cheer excitedly). Yes! We'll steal the model spaceship from the museum down the street! (Minions say oh looking disappointed) Aw, come on, cheer up! If we pull off the space ship heist then we'll steal those bumper cars from the fair that you all love so much. That way you can bump into each other day long...or at least until I figure out what to steal next! (Minions cheer excitedly and start celebrating.)

Maybe I let my imagination run away a bit there but at least I now have Minions to run away with me!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Life is full of comedy

"Life literally abounds with comedy if you just look around you." -Mel Brooks

Today is Mel Brooks' birthday and I think he's right in saying comedy is everywhere. I find I laugh at least once every day, whether it's about something on the radio or TV or something someone says or does, I just like finding that funny thing to laugh at. My challenge to you is to find a way to laugh every day. To help you on this quest here is a joke:

Two physicists are traveling in a hot-air balloon and suddenly realize that they're lost. They shout down to a guy in the meadow, "Where are we?"
The guy thinks for a bit and then replies, "You're in a hot-air balloon."
One physicist says to the other, "Well, he's definitely a mathematician."
"Why do you say that?"
"Well first of all, he took a while to think up a response. Second of all, his answer is logical. Third of all, it's completely useless."


Friday, June 27, 2014

Happy Birthday to Helen Keller

"While they were saying among themselves it cannot be done, it was done." Helen Keller

Helen Keller was born today in 1880. I like her statement above because I think it's meant to help excite people into not listening to anyone who says you can't do something good that you really want to do. Don't let the bastards grind you down! If you want something badly enough, go for it! I'm rooting for you because I have faith in you and I know that you can do whatever good thing it is that you want to do!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

First movie

Today in 1896 the first movie theater  in the US opened in New York charging 10 cents to see a show. I'm not sure what the first movie shown in it was but I do wish it still only cost 10 cents to see a show in a theater. I know that with things like Neflix and Youtube I can pretty much watch whatever I want but there's something nice about watching movies in a theater. I like the atmosphere, after all, jokes seem funnier and scares seem scarier when lots of people are laughing (or screaming) with you. The first movie I ever remember seeing in a theater was Disney's Aladdin when I was seven. I remember thinking it was the greatest thing especially because I liked (and still like) people singing and dancing on screen. Plus the picture seemed so big it was like I was in there with the characters. It was.... fun! I hope everyone gets to see at least one movie in a theater just because everything seems just that much better on the big screen!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The blessings of old friends....

"It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them."-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Everything is more fun when its done with a group.  I don't condone doing potentially harmful things but I am all for having new experiences that may be a tad dangerous but can be fun and/or lead to positive results. I hope that if you take risks you do it with a friend. At the very least it ensures that someone is there to take pictures/tell stories about these adventures-everything gets better in the retelling!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Having fun at work...and helping others smile while you're at it!

I read about 2 people just recently who make their jobs more fun and help people have a better day too. One was a woman who is a flight attendant who decided to deliver her traditional pre-flight safety speech in a way that is funny and educational see below. I do like being safe but I think I'd pay more attention if she was giving this speech!

The second story I read was about a woman who is a crossing guard in Newtown Connecticut dances and plays music when she's directing traffic. I think every day should involve a little dancing as an expression of happiness. Plus it clearly makes others feel good which is an added bonus!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Just because I went to the beach today...

Since I went to the beach today I felt like writing this poem

I love the beach so much
Because I like watching the waves
And the birds go by
There's something soothing about it
I find

I like hearing little kids shout
As the waves go in and out
Sometimes going in the water is fun too
Although I have to admit it is ruddy cold!

I like the picnics and digging in the sand
And looking for shells to take home
And holding starfish in my hand
It's just nice to do things like that

So these things are why I like the beach so much
I feel at peace there because it's fun
And people are happy and it's a place where life is particularly good
What's not to love?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Music to travel by

So I'm on a road trip with my family now and it got me thinking about music I like to listen to when I travel. If you are traveling as well, I think the following songs are fun to listen to . 
  • Ain't No Mountain High Enough-Marvin Gaye- I'm a big fan of rocking out and singing in the car, just because I can, and this song is great to rock out to. Plus it's about traveling to someone you love (or at least telling them you'll always be there for them.)
  • I Will Survive-I like rocking out to this song as well and sometimes on long car trips when I think the trip will never end, it's a fun way to say to myself that yes, I will indeed survive!
  • I want you back -I like listening to it when I'm going to visit a friend or family member because to me it's about going back to someone who loves you.  (I like listening to Colbie Callat's version best for some reason-although the Jackson 5 version is nice too.)
  • Leaving Hogwarts-I always liked Harry Potter and this song makes me think of him going on the train so I like it.
  • Home to me-Josh Kelly Just because everyone should have someone to come home to. Whether it's a pet or a person, it's always nice to have a welcoming party!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Happy Solstice!

It's the longest day of the year! I'm excited because it means extra hours of sunshine. (As it happens to be a beautiful day today as well!) I can always do with a bit more sunshine, even if it means the day is hot, sunshine to me is like promise that (even when things are good) there are better things to come. I once went to Stonehenge in England the day before the summer Solstice  and there were already a group of modern druids there. I'm rather glad they celebrate the sun. It's bright and cheery and it gives light-I think that's a nice a thing as any to celebrate! By that logic, every day can be cause for celebration when the sun shines and even it's not immediately there, there's always hope it will come out soon. With those things in mind my life seems better!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Things I like to do again and again

Things I do again  and again

There are things I like doing again and again
Like telling people I love them
Just so I'm very sure they'll never forget
Because love is something that shouldn't be forgotten

I like listening to songs over and over too
Especially happy ones that make me smile
Now those are songs I don't mind getting stuck in my head
There are some songs worth playing on repeat like that

I like rereading books I've read
Because with each read I find out interesting plot twists that missed before
I also like going back to places I've been sometimes
Because I see so much more in going back there than I once did

Don't get me wrong, I'm all about new experiences too
But there's also a part of me that loves history-everything has a past
And sometimes it's good to look back
Because however far I go, it's always lovely to come home again!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Zany things I've wanted to do

Because I'm just in a plain silly mood (and I think it's healthy to be in such moods sometimes) I thought of some of the more zany things I've thought about doing just because they're fun/funny. Maybe some day I'll do some of these things just for the fun of it! The list of zany things I've actually thought about doing includes:
  • Riding in a bathtub down some stairs. (Ok I only wanted to do it because I saw a cartoon character do it and it looked fun-I don't really want to do it in reality as it probably would cause me more bodily harm than I'd care to experience!)
  • Getting a lifetime supply of trail mix. I don't want to gorge myself on it because that would spoil all the fun. I'd just like the satisfaction of knowing I could have it on hand whenever I wanted it! Plus it would be good for disaster situations as in a pinch I think I could live off the stuff depending on what's in the mix.
  • Figuring out how to strap enough helium balloons to a chair (with a safety belt of course) so that it flies a short distance.
  • Riding on a flying trapeze- I like the idea of being able to fly through the air-as long as there's a thick safety net underneath it! It looks fun-maybe I'll actually do this someday. 
  • Flying into space-I think seeing the earth from a distance is probably is really beautiful. Plus I'd like to be able to float, now that would be fun!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A group of elephants have their own private "World Cup"

I saw this clip on the Huffington Post's website and I couldn't help sharing it. Apparently elephants get football (er soccer) fever too. I don't know who actually ended up winning this particular game but they all look like they're having fun!

Hooray for awesome elephants and the World Cup of course!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The moment!

As I've mentioned in the past, I'm part of a chorus that's an all female barbershop style musical group and it's really fun! One of the new songs we're learning is called "This Is The Moment"  and it's from the musical Jekyll and Hyde. The song is all about how this man has been working on experiment and it's finally time to test it out. It's a bit melodramatic but I still like the song because it's very hopeful and it makes me think of how good it feels to put a lot of effort into my work and it's exciting to finish something big, to reach a goal, regardless of the outcome. Once I've finished a big project I do end up feeling like doing something like singing (and at times act on that impulse!) to let off steam. Succeeding with some big project makes me want to work harder for the projects yet to come and it shows me that I can get it done! I hope this song inspires you as well. I believe everyone can do so many great things and even though I may not know you personally, I still feel like cheering you on in whatever you set out to do. I hope you have many "moments" of success. As always, I wish you all the very best!

If you are interested in listening to the actual song, see below

Monday, June 16, 2014

A well spent day....

"A well-spent day brings happy sleep".-Leonardo da Vinci
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Whenever I have a really good day I do find that I sleep better that night. Even if today wasn't the best day, if I also find that if I can think of the good things that happen each day it helps too. Oh the power of positive thinking! Anyway, I had a good day today so now I'm going to bed. Night everyone! Sending loads of positive thoughts to you all and if it's night where you are, I hope that you sleep really well! 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Songs for my Dad

Since my Dad likes music (and particularly good music at that) I thought I wanted to write about some of the songs that make me think of him and that I think he likes quite a bit.

  • What a Day for a Day Dream-Lovin Spoonful-I was in the car with my Dad once and this song came on the radio and he started singing away to it and I couldn't help joining in. (Listen here)
  • Smooth-Santana (feat. Rob Thomas)-My dad was working on an old British sports car (one of his hobbies is buying old cars and fixing them up so they're like new-he's really good at it!) outside our house and listening to this song on CD - since then I've found that I've liked that song more because of this. (Listen here).
  • The Hunting Song -Tom Lehrer-I think at one point it was used as the theme song for the Red Green Show which is this most excellent TV program from Canada. My dad likes to hunt and I just think the song is really funny. (Listen here.)
  • The James Bond Theme-My Dad has always liked James Bond movies. Plus, I think the music is classy and I think my Dad is classy too! (Listen here).
  • You Go To My Head-Louis Armstrong-My Dad has always liked jazz music and this song makes me think of  my parents in general as they're always in my heart. (Listen here).

Happy Father's Day everyone! To my Dad: I love you ever so much.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Just a short note

This is just a note to say I hope you had a great Saturday!! Best wishes to all! :)

Friday, June 13, 2014


I find that movie musicals have always made me feel happy, I just like watching people sing and dance. Sometimes when I'm feeling really happy I wish I could start bursting into song and people would just as randomly join in. (Granted, I have been known to sing in random places when I feel especially moved to do so.) Anyway, for your viewing pleasure, here are some songs from musicals I particularly like.

Hushabye Mountain-I like this song because even if they didn't sing to me, my parents always made a point of tucking my siblings and I into bed each night just so we all could fall asleep knowing that we were very much loved.

Make em' Laugh-It's always good to make people laugh.

Pure Imagination -life is so much better with a lot of imagination in it!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

All the beauty in Anne Frank

"Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy." -Anne Frank

Anne Frank was born today in 1929. I like her and I suppose many do because she was so positive despite living in difficult circumstances. She shows me even now that happiness can be found anywhere. The fact that sometimes I have to really search for happiness somehow makes it seem that much better when I find something to feel good about. Like today, it was raining but then the sun came out and I actually did feel better. Something like that, that might seem so small on any other day, is literally a bright spot in my life. I like finding beauty in everyday things. Plus, there's always the hope for other things yet to come and all that keeps me going. With those things in mind I am indeed happy!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Must Haves

"Just living isn't enough, one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower." Hans Christian Andersen

I like this quote and since ti's all about things that make life worth living, it got me thinking about other things that I feel like I must have in my life. The list is as follows:
  •  My family and friends, my dog, and people in general-I don't know where I'd be without you as I care about all of you so very much.
  • God-I like believing that something is watching out for us, it makes me feel good inside.
  • Music (especially by Train, Bobby Darin, American Authors, Norah Jones, Stevie Wonder, Chopin, Beethoven, and of course the song "Happy" by Pharrell Williams!) 
  • A wind-up radio-if all else fails at least I can listen to it! 
  • Some good books to read (on tape or in print it doesn't matter, I just like reading!)
  • Dark chocolate-hey-it's good for you! It's got vitamin something-or-other in it!
  • Tea and/or hot chocolate-they're nice to wake up to in the mornings.
  • Dancing-it's just!
  •  At least one nice dress/outfit-just so I can have a sense of satisfaction (at least in my head) that people are wondering where I'm going, because I am  indeed going places!
  • This blog-because I love it!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

I love Judy Garland as she loves Michigan too!

It's Judy Garland's birthday and if she were alive today she'd be 92. I found a song today that she sang in the movie Easter Parade that I feel a special connection to as it's called "I Was Born in Michigan." It's so funny to me that I found that particular song because I was in fact, born in Michigan and my family still owns a farm there. As I've said before, I do love Boston but I also do love going back to Michigan as the song says. That song reminded me how Judy Garland helped make so many people happy and I always liked how she sang and danced. Now I have one more reason to like her, she reminds me of home!

Monday, June 9, 2014

If you knew you couldn't fail...,,

"What great thing would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?" – Robert H. Schuller          

To me the quote above is kind of like a challenge of sorts. I've decided right here, right now, just because, that I'm going to do my best to live each day with the idea in my head that I can't fail in doing whatever I intend to do.  It's true that things might not turn out exactly the way I want but at the very least I'll know that I did my best. After all, my best is something I know for sure that I can always do!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Maggie gets an accent unexpectedly

 I have finally found something that I can do without knowing that I do it.  Yesterday I was in the car with some friends who were driving me home and my mum called. I answered and just told her I was on my way home and would call her back. When I finished the call my friends were staring at me and said that I had suddenly acquired a very British accent when talking to my mum (as she's British) and it disappeared just as abruptly when I got off the phone and started talking to them again. It just seemed so funny to me that I didn't notice the change. I like the fact that I have that accent even if it only comes in short spurts. It reminds me that my family is always with me, even in the way I speak. I hope that everyone has the opportunity to find out something nice about themselves that's unexpected like that. To me those discoveries make life more fun!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Most colorful picture of stars in the universe!!

The idea of a picture being worth a thousand words has been proven true! The latest picture from the Hubble Space telescope was released recently and apparently it's the the most colorful deep space image ever taken. When I saw it, it made me feel really happy to see all those lights and to know that we're all part of a universe that can produce so much beauty.  I like to think that everyone lives under the same stars and so perhaps they unite everyone in that way. That thought makes me feel closer to my family and the people I care about most. It is one more reason why I've always liked the stars!

Photo from:

Friday, June 6, 2014

A lovely day for a picnic!

I haven't had a picnic in quite a while and so as a way of getting together with two of my friends who I hadn't seen in a while, we decided to have a picnic on Boston Common. It was lovely just to catch up with my friends while sitting and watching kids playing or people walking their dogs and just having a good time. Since I grew up on a farm I've always liked wide open spaces. Plus, where we were sitting we had an excellent view of Boston's Prudential Center and surrounding buildings. As much as I love my home I know that Boston will always have a place in my heart as well because it is such a beautiful city and I have really wonderful friends here. I hope everyone has some place special like that, at least a place they find beautiful and somewhere where they belong. Everyone deserves to have that I think.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Hard work pays off!

I'm happy to report that I've recently been listed as one of the authors of an article that's published in an academic journal. I realize I've "published" a lot of things myself through this blog but to have my name in print like that makes me feel particularly happy. In a previous job, I was one of a group of researchers on a project examining focus groups on women's opinions on the latest changes in mammography screening guidelines. I'm writing about this article now because I just found out very recently that the article had been published. I just feel proud that I was part of research that might help others in terms of getting better care for women with breast cancer. The fact that it got published means a lot to me. I hope everyone has the opportunity to have their work recognized or at least can stop and take a few minutes to feel proud about something they've worked hard for and celebrate that work. I hope you also have people to celebrate with you when you do that great work-it makes the achievement seem that much better!  Even though I might not ever know about the great things you'll do, I still feel proud of you and everyone who reads this just because I believe everyone has the ability to do so much good, which keeps me believing that no matter what might happen, there is always hope for us. As for me, I'd like to publish more and someday I hope to be the lead author on an article. I think it would be cool.

If you are interested in reading the article I've discussed in this post please follow this link: .

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Love never forgets

I saw this clip below and I had to share it. It's about a man who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's who wanted to buy flowers for his wife for Mother's Day (as he had done every year). He got lost trying to get the flowers but somehow he knew nothing was going to stop him. Two policemen eventually found him two miles away from his home trying to walk to a store. Instead of taking him right home, the policemen took him to the store and not only helped him pick out the flowers but they also helped him pay for them too. I liked the story because it shows that love can be instinctual. Love doesn't forget and the fact that the two policemen didn't hesitate to help the man get the flowers shows how one person's love can touch many other people's  lives  for the better. Just as love can withstand illness, it can also be infectious!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The greatest pleasure

"The greatest pleasure of life is love." -Euripides

I like this quote just because I know that I am happiest when I'm with people I care about.  I figure as long as I keep these people and the love I have for them in my mind, I have every reason to be happy. (Of course listening to the song "Happy" also always helps as I love it too!)

Monday, June 2, 2014

Unexpected gifts

Today I was given two unexpected gifts. First, I was given a scarf and  although I was given it as it's part of the uniform for the Liberty Belle Chorus I joined recently, a choir member had an extra scarf that she said she didn't need so she gifted it to me so I wouldn't have to buy one. It was a nice surprise because the scarf is pretty and I didn't expect to get one today. Also, another member of the choir who had traveled abroad recently (and who I'd asked if she could bring me back a postcard) brought me back not one, but 3 cards along with  a magnet and chocolate. All of that has been a wonderful start to this week. It's unexpected things like that that make life seem so much better because they are such lovely surprises. In this case, being given those things reemphasizes to me how kind and generous people can be. I'm forever grateful that I've made so many good friends in the chorus (including my friend Kathryn in the picture below). Being part of the group is like a gift in itself as it's so much fun and we make beautiful music together as a barbershop chorus. If you would like to have the chorus perform for you, please go to this website:

Me wearing my new scarf taking a selfie with my good friend Kathryn

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Walking with friends

"Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light."-Helen Keller

I've found this quote to have a lot of truth in it. I know that when I'm going through something that isn't so easy, being able to go through support from other people makes things a great deal easier. Just the presence of a friend either in person or through messages or phone calls, has made all the difference t my life, especially in times that seemed less bright than others. I've been very lucky in that I've always had support from many people to help me with everything I've done and everything I have faced in my life. I may not be able to physically walk with you dear reader but I believe that I am with people I care about, in spirit because I feel that people I care about (including you) are always in my heart. So if you are facing something that is difficult please know that I am thinking of you and I want you t know that you aren't alone. I believe in you and whatever it is that you're dealing with, in my heart I feel that we all have so much strength in us and so I believe you can and will get through this difficulty. I wish you the very best.