Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Merry Allston Massachusetts Christmas

So as loads and loads of college students move in and out of the greater Boston area, now comes the lovely time known as "Allston Christmas" where people moving in and out of the city of Allston (a suburb of Boston) leave the greatest stuff on the sidewalks for others to take.  I don't really see this system as stealing-especially because the stuff had "free" signs stuck to them (or were verbally given permission.) However, I also feel that if and when I move out I'll probably leave stuff on the street for people too, so perhaps it's a sort of strange exchange system. Anyway,  today my friend Olivia and I had a lovely time going up and down different side streets looking for random things that amused us or that we felt we needed.  I managed to score a wicker basket (which can be extremely useful), 2 books with most excellent titles ( "This Book Will Change Your Life: 365 Daily Instructions for Hysterical Living" and "Everything I Need to Know I learned from Peanuts." I have strong feeling the 365 days of hysterical living instructions will now be featured quite prominently in this blog.) I also picked up an ice cube tray that forms heart shaped ice cubes and best of all, a poster of Johnny Depp-I always quite liked quirky people.  My friend Olivia obtained another box, a book of watercolor paintings, some glow sicks, and a bag of CPR instructions and a whistle from the Boston Police Department. All in all I say it was a pretty good haul. Happy Allston Christmas Christmas!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Things that make me feel good inside

When I think of the things that make me feel good inside
I think of hot chocolate and family and friends around me
I think of seeing people happy with lots of joy in their faces
I think of how good it feels to love people and to be able to be loved back
I think of all these things and my life doesn't seem out of whack

Seeing people laugh and to watch kids play
Being part of a group of people having fun
Reading a book that's thought provoking
Listening to nice things that people say
All of this helps me to feel good in some way

To me there are so many things to feel good about
So many things that I see every day that make my spirit feel lighter
Whether those things happen because of the people I'm with or the actions I take
To be able help people feel good and happy and warm in side
Never ceases to help me feel good inside too

Friday, August 29, 2014

The happiness that comes from defying the odds

I listened to a presentation today by a man named Jonathan Sigworth who had been in a biking accident in India which caused him to become a quadriplegic. However, he didn't let this injury stop him and he learned to play sports like wheelchair rugby  and and he learned how to do daily living activities like getting out of bed and getting into his wheelchair by himself.  All this led him to start ESCIP Trust India. The goal of the organization is to show people that paralysis and quadriplegia doesn't have to completely ruin someone's life. The organization teaches people in wheelchairs how to perform basic daily living tasks and also provides them with mentoring and transitional living where groups of people with spinal cord injuries live in houses with their mentors to gain more experience with daily living tasks. What I've learned about this organization reinforces to me how the often the when facing difficult obstacles people become even more determined to live fuller and active lives. I think in that sense disabilities can become strengths. I know I don't usually advertise on this blog but I do so now because I see this organization as a wonderful thing that gives people a lot of hope and also happiness in helping them to have a better quality of life. They are a nonprofit organization that is in need of funds. If would like to check out their website, it is:  I like the title of a documentary on the site that reads: "Imagine a gift from your greatest nightmare." Even nightmares can become blessings-it's just a matter of seeking the blessings!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Another reason why I love dogs so much

"No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does." Christopher Morley

Quote from:

I quite agree with this quote. I've also found that throughout my childhood that my family's dog was a very good (and enthusiastic) listener. I'd tell the dog my secrets that I didn't want anyone else to know and of course telling my dog that he was a good dog-that was a prerequisite statement before anything else was said. I loved how my family's dog always seemed so excited. I found I never could feel really down when talking to my dog. There's nothing like an excited listener to lift one's spirits! 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fun world records

The Guinness Book of World Records was first published today in 1955. It got me thinking of fun world records I think would be fun to break. Here are a few:
  • Most questions asked in a Drive Thru visit-I can just imagine it: "would you like your burger well done? Do you want catsup  with your fries? Would you like a milkshake with your burger. would you like lettuce and tomato? ...I could go on....
  • Oldest gymnast: (Title currently held by 86 -year-old Johanna Quaas who still competes today.) Never mind the fact that I've never done gymnastics, if I have enough energy to do so at 87 I'll count myself lucky!
  • Longest time spent instant messaging: (4 days)- I think after 5 days I'd just as soon go out and talk to a human being -I like seeing people in person.
  • Card stacking-On June 18 2013 Bryan Berg created a model of the Eiffel Tower out of 75,000 cards.
  • Most carved pumpkins - over 1000 pumpkins were carved and put on display in Highwood Illinois in 2013. 
Maybe I'll break a record one day-I'm working towards giving the most hugs in a single day-I think I'd be pretty good at it! 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A smile quote -just because today's a day for smiling

"Peace begins with a smile." -Mother Teresa

It's Mother Teresa's birthday today, or rather it's the anniversary of her birth (she was born in 1910 so she'd be 104 if she was alive today.) I like what she said about a smile mostly because I really believe that when people smile life is better.  I know that as long as I can smile things are going to be all right.

Monday, August 25, 2014

A balanced diet

Just one fun quote for today: "Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie."- Jim Davis

I've been inspired by the quote above to list off all the things I think would be fun food groups. Never mind the fact that they may not be the healthiest, but they are fun anyway.
  • Chocolate-hey, it's healthy right- it's got some vitamin or other, and milk is good for you. 
  • Trail mix-it's got vitamins too (I'm quite fond of vitamins as you can tell) plus chocolate so the same benefits apply as mentioned above.
  • Egg rolls-they've got vegetables in them, plus they come in different varieties and they're nice for sharing!
  • Tea-I suppose drinks aren't really considered food but a cup of tea can solve everything I believe.
  • Pancakes-especially the pancakes my dad makes. I've been spoiled because now whenever I eat pancakes they never taste as good as the pancakes my dad makes. I guess  it's because I love making pancakes with him.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Finding a sense of peace

I went to Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire this weekend with my church.  I've been there with my church before and I've loved it because I love being out where things are quiet and there's lots of space. It felt so nice to be there  with some really wonderful people and I had a lot of fun. I felt really peaceful there and everyone was so kind and I'm really glad I met so many people that inspire me to want to be a better person.  I hope that everyone finds somewhere where they feel a sense of peace.  I hope everyone has somewhere where they feel at peace and are surrounded by people they care about. I can't think of a happier place to be than that.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

I'm a believer

I heard the song "I'm a Believer" by American Authors. I just like the song's message that things can get better!  Plus the music is so cheerful, I can't help but smile when I hear it!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Happy birthday to Claude Debussy

Claude Debussy was born today in 1862. He composed some of the most beautiful and peaceful music I've ever heard. I especially like the piece "Clair de Lune" that he wrote. It helps me relax and I hope it has the same effect on others.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

National Senior Citizens' Day

Today was declared Senior Citizen's day by Ronald Regan in 1988. Aside from my grandparents and great aunts and uncles (whom I love very much.) I had the privilege of knowing an elderly woman who showed me that getting older just means a measure of time.  When I was in college I used to volunteer for Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind in Washington, DC.  As a volunteer I visited and read to a woman named Mrs. Carter.  Her husband  had been in the military and so she'd traveled to the Philippines and China   She was 93 when I knew her and she didn't let anything stop her from doing whatever it was that she wanted to do. She even took me to see a ballet. (She did have enough sight to be able to make out shapes if she sat close to the stage and with the music she could pretty much get the idea of what was going on. She also cooked-she had her stove made up with buttons that were raised according to how hot she wanted the heat to be-it was pretty neat.  Mainly, I just liked talking to her. She always had something to say and something to teach me. From her I learned that listening can mean a lot to people, that memories should be shared, and most of all, that life should be lived to the fullest!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

An overture I love

the 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky was performed today for the first time in Moscow in 1882. Brief history lesson-the overture was meant to remind people of how Russia defended itself from Napoleon Bonaparte's invading forces. I like it because it's so triumphant and it makes me feel whatever "enemies" in the form of obstacles I might face, can be overcome as long as I work hard. Plus, it's nice to listen to something triumphant when I'm working hard, it makes things more fun. This piece especially is nice because it reminds me of fireworks which I also like because they are bursts of color and light. As long as there is color and light to make beautiful things in the world, I know that things will somehow eventually  be all right.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Happy National Aviation day!

It's Orville Wright's birthday which was named National Aviation Day by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939. I really do like flying on planes although I do get a bit nervous when a plane I'm on takes off but after that I like the idea that I'm flying up above the clouds and that I'm going somewhere fast.   I remember when I was younger I thought it was so nice to get a pair of plastic wings like the air hostesses. I remember once when I was small and my family was going to visit my grandparents in England and my brother, sister, and and I were allowed to visit cockpit to see the pilot. I remember thinking I'd never seen so many buttons (and yes I did have a strong urge to press all of them at once but somehow restrained myself!) Since we were just over the the Atlantic Ocean I remember thinking I'd never seen anything so blue. These experiences aside,  I'm glad there are planes to ride in because they can bring me closer to the people I love most. I can't help loving planes for taking me back home!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Maggie finally did the Ice Bucket Challenge!!!

I finally took the plunge (literally!) I and some other members of the Boston Skyline Chorus got buckets of ice dumped over our heads to raise awareness for ALS.  It was actually pretty fun.  There's something rather exhilarating about having a bucket of cold water thrown over one's head. I've seen people do it in cartoons to wake people up-I now have proof that the tactic really does work! What I liked best was that we were all doing something for a good cause. I hope that if you're reading this you'll decide to do the Ice Bucket Challenge too. To watch the Boston Skyline Chorus do it, see below follow this link (

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Greatest Healing power

"The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love." -Hubert Humphrey

The healing powers that friends have

I've found that whenever I'm feeling under the weather
I always feel better when my friends are around
Their encouragement is healing power enough
To help me recover even when the going gets really tough
As long as I have my family and friends even sickness can't really get me down

And when I do get better
It's a relief to come home to people who care for me
In every sense of the word care.
I feel healthier when they're around
No matter how sick doctors might think I am

I've been lucky in that I have been in good health
For much of my life
But I feel luckier still that  if ever I felt slightly less healthy
There was always someone to at least make my spirit well again

I hope everyone has friends to make them feel well again like that
Because friends and family can really be the best medicine
There ever has been
They're better than any pill, tonic or chiropractor
Because to me, love and friendship is all that really matters

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Life should have a little magic in it

I went to see a really nice movie with my family this evening called Magic in the Moonlight. It's all about this man  named Stanley played by Colin Firth who is a magician and surprisingly cynical about it. He is introduced to a woman named Sophie who claims to be so good that she can communicate with the dead and also predict the future.  Stanley sets out to prove that Sophie is a fraud and then finds that she helps him believe in something greater then himself.  I liked the movie not just because it had Colin Firth in it (which was my main reason for going in the first place)   but I also liked the idea that it presented that there is some magic in our lives in terms of things that are unpredictable and those things make life more of an adventure-which is what life is to me.  I like the fact that each day brings a promise of something new and in that way there's something for me to look forward to every day. Magic is nice that way.  :)

Friday, August 15, 2014

An interesting fortune cookie

Today my mum took my sister and I out for Chinese food which of course was followed up with fortune cookies at the end of the meal. I usually find the messages in fortune cookies kind of cryptic and maybe they're supposed to be as I guess their goal is to relate to everyone (or maybe no one at all-just to confuse us all.) Anyway, today I finally got a fortune cookie that I really didn't understand-it said, and I quote: "Q: What is contain it everything? A: Wisdom." I figure either this message is either trying to convey something deep and meaningful or someone was forced into making fortune cookies and finally just got fed up and started writing random things just for the heck of it. Maybe wisdom is contained somewhere in everything. I don't know but even if I didn't understand this fortune  cookie's message I still think fortune cookies are fun anyway.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Expression of gratitude

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."- John F. Kennedy

I am continually reminded of how so many people have been so kind and good to me throughout my life. I don't think I could do enough to thank my family, friends, and even complete strangers for helping me to live a good and happy life. In an effort to thank them all at once, I have sought to do things like keep this blog and generally be kind to people. I figure as long as my family is proud of me, and as long as I have good friends and I can enjoy life with, then I consider my life to be pretty good!


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Happy International Left Handers Day!!

Today is a day designated  to celebrate left handed people. I happen to be left handed myself so I feel like celebrating! I am always amazed when I find random stuff that cater to the needs of left handed people. I have owned a few left handed notebooks and have sat at a left handed desk at school once. I also more recently made an extraordinary discovery of a left handed birthday card for my equally left handed Dad. Although these are only a handful (pun intended!) I still think left handedness should be celebrated! Maybe I'll invent something else that's left-handed people friendly-I just have to figure out what that is. Anyway, hooray for being left handed!!

PS- Ok so the dumping ice bucket over my head didn't happen today but I still plan to do it -if all else fails I'll donate to ALS research.  

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Ice Bucket Challenge!

Today I heard about this most excellent challenge: the ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE!! Basically, it just involves challenging people to dump a bucket of Ice over their heads to raise money for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research. (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease is a degenerative disorder-to read more about it click here.) If someone challenges you to be part of the Ice Bucket Challenge (or you challenge yourself) then you have 24 hours to dump ice on your head or make a donation to an ALS fund ( Tomorrow I'm going to challenge myself to do it. (I wanted to do it today but I need to get someone to film me so I have proof I did it! The proof will be in tomorrow's posting on this blog!) If you're reading this, consider yourself challenged! I want ALS to just dang well go away and if throwing ice over myself will help, then I'll do that! Hope you will too!!

To read about the woman that started the challenge click here.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Hooray for roller rinks, light bulbs and sprinkler heads

Three  most excellent things happened in history today: the first roller rink was opened today in 1866 in Newport , RI, the sprinkler head was patented today in 1874 by Harry S. Parmelee, and in 1896 the electric lightbulb socket was also patented by Harvey Hubbell. ( Mr Hubbell had a most excellent name in my opinion!)
So because of inventions today

*Loads of kids and flowers have been given relief from the summer heat by having sprinkler  heads to run through.
*People have rinks to go roller skating in (thank goodness they got popular outside Rhode Island!)
*People have another way to turn lights off and on as thanks Mr. Hubble, lights are off the chain!

All in all I'd say it was a pretty good day in history!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Maggie goes on a boat

I've never sung at a wedding before (well, not professionally anyway.) Yesterday I got the chance to do that. The chorus that I'm a part of went on a cruise around Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. (The chorus goes on this cruise annually.) It happened that there was a wedding on board and we ended up singing "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" to the happy couple. Also, as per tradition, since the boat captain's son his in the armed forces we sang the anthems for the US Army, Navy, and Air Force while the captain directed us as he has done that in past years. It felt really good to sing like that because it seemed to mean a lot to the boat's captain and the bride and groom. Even if I didn't know them personally, it's nice that music is a gift that can be shared with everyone. Plus the boat ride in itself was really fun and afterwards we all went to one of the chorus member's houses and had a nice pot luck and played games, swam in the lake, and of course sang songs. All in all it was a lovely day out! 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Things that movies have taught me to be grateful for

 This evening just to get myself into a sillier mood so I can laugh and be happy, and just for fun I started counting my blessings based on disaster situations I've seen in movies. So if in future I feel like all else is failing, at least I can just be glad that:
  • I'm not in any danger of being eaten by zombies- being eaten doesn't sound nice.
  • I will never have to participate in the hunger games that require people to kill each other.
  • I'm not on a sinking ship-even being with Leo DiCaprio would not  make me feel better about being on a sinking ship.
  • I'll never get bitten by vampires-the idea never appealed to me
  • I'll never be attacked by a dinosaur/overly large and angry monster 
Even though perhaps acting in action/fantasy movies might be fun (I've always wanted to ride across the moon with E.T. for instance) I'm still glad the stories movies present are largely not reality and I can let movies characters handle situations and be glad it's not me dealing with them instead!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Happiness Is

I have found out that there is a "Secret Society of Happy People!" I am so excited about this!! They have a website- I liked the fact that the website had a section called "Happiness Is."  It inspired me to write this poem:

Happiness Is

Happiness is walking around with a smile on your face
Just because you've decided today is a good day
Happiness is treating yourself to something nice
Or just plain enjoying life
The beauty of it is that it can be felt by the whole human race

Being happy is important enough to be universally recognized
People write it into declarations since it's a human right
And some countries even measure their success by it
Everyone seeks it and it's the one thing that can always be found
Somehow I know things will be all right as long as happiness is around

I've found that there's always something to be happy about
Even if one's life feels like it's been turned inside out
At those times the really basic things come to mind
Like I can be happy I'm loved and that I can love
That thought picks me up whenever I feel down

I know I haven't touched on all of the things I think happiness is
And believe me, all those things would make a very long list
Even if I tried to describe everything -there'd always be something I'd  miss
But one thing I'll always know and no one can persuade me otherwise
Is that the best thing about happiness is that it exists!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

You know you're addicted to your smartphone/IPad when....

Just for fun....

You know you're addicted to your smarphone/Ipad when:
  1. You have so many apps on your phone that you keep getting those annoying messages saying your phone doesn't have enough space for more!
  2. When you use a regular computer you try running your hand across the computer screen to try and get it to work  and then feel rather frustrated when it doesn't work.
  3. You rely so much on Google maps on your phone that if your phone dies you really are lost.
  4. You can't go an hour without texting someone.
  5. You use your phoneTweet/update facebook about your every move.
  6. You give up texting and rely on snapchat as your only means of communication.
  7. You constantly check your e-mail on your phone even during meals.
  8. You consider your phone to be your camera.
  9. You have a customized ringtone for every single one of your friends.
  10. You can't imagine how you managed to survive before the smartphone was invented!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Good places to get lost

Since I make getting lost an art form, I thought I'd write about some interesting places to get lost-even if I haven't gotten lost in some of these places yet, thinking of them makes getting lost seem less intimidating.

  • Libraries-if I really get lost in them I can always find a good book to read until I can find a nice librarian to tell me how to get  wherever it was that I was trying to go. 
  • Aquariums-I did actually get lost in one once when I was really little-the upside to it was being able to all the cool animals there.
  • Boston -it's a very walkable city. Plus there's always something new to see. (And yes I have gotten lost here too.)
  • Ikea-as long as I manage to find Ikea meatballs I'm good!
  • A museum -especially Boston's Museum of Fine Arts- I don't mind getting lost there one bit!
Even if I do get lost a lot I've always found my way again-it makes life just that much more of an adventure!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Having fun!

"It's not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness."-Charles Spurgeon

I think it's funny how happiness is such a secret-it's just a matter of fun!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Happy Birthday to Louis Armstrong

It's Louis Armstrong's birthday and to celebrate the day of his birth I've written a list of songs here that he sang that make me feel good inside.

  • You Go To My Head - I find it to be very relaxing and rather pretty. (Listen here)
  • The Dummy Song-I just think it's funny! (Listen here).
  • What a Wonderful World-I just can't help but like it. (Listen here)
  • I'm in the Mood for Love-It makes me feel like dancing! (Listen here)
  • Summertime-He actually sang this as a duet with Ella Fitzgerald. It does remind of summer. (listen here).
  • La Vie En Rose-It's just so....smooth! (Listen here)
  • Dream a Little Dream-It's good to dream. (Listen here)
  • When You're Smiling- It's also good to smile.:) (Listen here)
  • A Kiss to Build a Dream On-Perhaps it doesn't entirely relate to the song's lyrics, but listening to it does remind me of how my parents used to kiss me goodnight as a child and I often felt as though I had better dreams as a result. (Listen here)
  • It Don't Mean a Thing (if it Ain't Got That Swing)- he really did have swing! (Listen here)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

What I'd tell kids

I heard that there's a new adaptation of the musical Into the Woods coming out as a movie over Christmas. I've only ever heard one song from that musical that I quite like. It's called Children will Listen and it's all about the spoken and unspoken messages adults send to children. If I could get a kid to listen to me I'd tell them to have fun, laugh a lot, be good to everyone because all we have in life is each other, and never give up!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

learning how to get down a mountain

My parents decided it would be a good idea to teach all their children how to ski, starting with me at age 5. Not having a lot of depth perception proved to be something of an advantage since I wasn't really scared of how far up I was since I had difficulty judging how far up I really was (all I knew was that I was "high up".) The tricky part was getting down the mountain, especially if there were a lot of people on the mountain because I had a hard time judging how close they were to me. To get over this, (and to stop myself from being scared,) I remember saying to myself  "All you have to do is get down the mountain, you don't have to look pretty doing it, you just  have to get down the mountain." With that idea in mind I gradually got down mountains and now enjoy skiing very much. I started thinking about it again now because there are times when I think about how, even if I'm scared or I have to do something that's hard, I just have to get down the mountain and things will be better. After all, going down a mountain at top speed makes me feel really good!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Things I'd put in a time capsule

I love learning about history and people's stories and so I love this radio piece that they do on NPR sometimes where people tell stories about a family member or friend and the stories are being collected and stored at the Library of Congress for historical preservation. I thought it was a pretty cool  that they save things like that for posterity. It makes me think of what I might put in a time capsule for people to find. Here are some of the things I'd put in it.
  • A newspaper-I always liked seeing things in print.
  • An IPhone so when technology gets more advanced I can look back and see how far we've come.
  • A teddy bear so I can remember to always be young at heart.
  • A CD & CD player-just so one is preserved!
  • A picture of my family just as a visual reminder that they're always with me.
  • A letter just saying what was happening that day and my hopes for the future.
  • A book-just because I like them.
  • A cooking recipe-just so I can look back and remember things I like to make. 
  • A printed out post from this blog just to see how much it evolves over time.
  • A DVD-maybe a cartoon or something that's funny just because laughter should be preserved!