BLOG 172—Dolly and Jemma

With my words, I hope to throw some oblique light upon your life.
I want to inspire you to see life in a different and/or better way.

*** Remember, to read past blog posts, go to >>
*** If you are reading this through Facebook, check out my blog on my website.
*** If you are not my Facebook friend, yet, please, befriend me.
*** The happiness I am experiencing in my life is a marvelous thing!
*** Going where I want, when I want, and seeing wonderful places and people, too. (But no longer alone, Beth is by my side.)
*** I will have places to show you and tales to tell.
*** Secrets to unfold and good news!
*** I want to thank my wonderful wife Beth for her superb editing and adding to the blog each week.




As you might know, Beth and I help take care of some animals. I would not say, own the animals. They live for themselves, with no ownership involved. Jemma, being a dog, naturally goes after cats, which Dolly is one.

At first, Jemma would go after Dolly whenever she could, I started introducing them and they get along well now. I wouldn’t call it a friendship, but they get along. Dolly even rubs up against Jemma as cats do.

Why can’t humans find the same way to get along?

With new people, show warmth, love, and respect. Do things because you want to, and not because you think you have to. Care for this new person like you would yourself.

If you approach others with ingenuity, you will attract people who want to connect genuinely. Among them will be your future true friends.

Here are some ways to find friendship >>

  1. Attend workshops/courses on subjects you care about.
  2. Volunteer.
  3. Go to parties and gatherings.
  4. Visit gyms and clubs.
  5. Find online communities.


1—Realize your fear of meeting people is in your head.
The first step is to develop a healthy mental picture of meeting new people. Many of us see meeting new people as a scary event. We are concerned about making a good impression, whether the other person will like us, and how to keep the conversation going. The more we think about it, the scarier it seems. Shyness toward others is actually a result of fear.

2—Start small with people you know with current friends.
If you haven’t been socializing much, meeting a whole bunch of new people may seem intimidating. If so, start small first. Lower the difficulty of the task by starting with your circle of friends, people you are familiar with.

3—Connect with ingenuity
Don’t think too much about how the situation “might” be. Before you meet people, you can work on the presentation aspects such as how you look, what you say, and “how” you say things, but don’t obsess about them. These actions don’t sincerely define the friendship. What defines friendship is the connection between you and your new friend.

4—Be yourself
Don’t change yourself to make new friends.
That’s the worst thing you can do.
Why do I say that?

Just be yourself. Potential new friends will know you as you, and they’ll use that to decide if they want to take the friendship a step further, as you might. It’s all about being you. The truest friendships are built with both parties accepting each other for who they really are.

5—Get yourself out there where people are.
Join one of the computer groups. There are many interest groups, such as groups for entrepreneurs, aspiring authors, jugglers, vegetarians, board-game lovers, cycling enthusiasts, etc. Pick out your interests and join those groups.

Also, attend workshops or courses. These serve as central avenues that gather like-minded people as you. People are looking for people, are you the one?

Go to a local library function. Most libraries have scheduled authors nights or special programs. Just going to a library for books, you can introduce yourself to the person reading the same type books and possibly start up a friendship.

In fact, that is how Beth and I met, at the McCormick library, where she was working. Now we are together for life!

Go to parties. Parties such as block parties, birthday parties, Christmas/new year/celebration parties, housewarmings, functions/events, etc. Probably a place where you’ll make a high quantity of new friends but not necessarily quality relationships. A good way to meet more people nonetheless. Remember, friends have friends.

The internet is a great way to meet new people. Some of my best friendships started online. Check out online forums on your interest topics. Participate constructively and add value to the discussion. Soon, you’ll get to know the people there better.

6—Take the first step
Once you are out there with people around you, someone has to make the first move, you? If the other party doesn’t initiate a talk, take the first step to say hi. Then, get to know each other a little better! Share something about yourself, and then give the other party a chance to share about him/her.

7—Be open

Be open-minded.
Don’t judge.
You know nothing of them, they know nothing of you.
Change that.

Sometimes you may have a preset feeling of the kind of friend you want. Maybe someone who is understanding, listens, may have the same hobbies, watches the same movies, has a similar educational background as you, etc.

8—Get to know the person
What motivates/drives him/her?
What are his/her passions in life? Goals? Dreams?
What does he/she do to get money?
What are his/her hobbies?
What has he/she been up to recently?
What are his/her upcoming priorities/goals?
What does he/she value the most?
What are his/her values?

9—Be there for them
A friendship is a supportive union between two people. Be there for your friends where and when you can. Do any of your friends need help currently? Is there anything you can help them with? How can you better support them?

Treat this new friend with emotional generosity. Give because you want to, not because you feel obliged to. I find that the satisfaction I get from helping others and knowing they are better off is a reward greater than anything I can get in return.

10—Make the effort to stay in touch
There are so many ways to stay in touch with someone these days. Willingness to make the effort is what separate great friends from hi-bye friends. The strength of your relationship is not measured by how frequently you meet, Just keep up that connection.




Inspirational quotes and motivational sayings have an amazing ability to change the way we feel about life and can change our thinking.

This is why I find them so interesting, challenging, and important on our path to joy and happiness and finding ways to inspire ourselves as well as others.

Inspirational quotes and ideas provide us with a quick and timely burst of wisdom to get our focus back, offering the inspiration needed for the day or occasion.

I hope to inspire you with my words.

Words have power.

At any age, you can (and should) make changes to make your life better.

You see, the way you think and feel about yourself, including your beliefs and expectations about what is possible for you, determines everything that happens in your life. It all derives from your quality of thinking.

When you improve the quality of your thinking,
you change the quality of your life—sometimes instantly!

Just as positive words can make someone smile, and/or, a well-timed amusing quote can make someone laugh, your own thoughts react to the world in real-time. You have this control!

In fact, you have complete control over only one thing in the universe — Your Thinking — and that’s where motivational quotes come in!

To keep your motivation, you have to use each day as an opportunity for improvement, to be better, and to get a little bit closer to your goals. It might sound like a lot of work—and with your busy schedule—next to impossible. But you can do it!

Self-talk is so important—THINK RIGHT!

Motivational words, yes, they’re just words.

But they’re positive words; they will keep you on track.
Remember, you are only as young as the last time you changed your mind.

Keep your thoughts and self-talk fun and productive and always reaching for advancement.




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

The holy passion of Friendship is of so sweet and steady and loyal and enduring a nature that it will last through a whole lifetime, if not asked to lend money.”
Mark Twain

There is nothing like puking with somebody to make you into old friends.”
Sylvia Plath

A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”
Elbert Hubbard

Friends give you a shoulder to cry on. But best friends are ready with a shovel to hurt the person who made you cry.”

It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like ‘What about lunch?’”
A. A. Milne

Most of us don’t need a psychiatric therapist as much as a friend to be silly with.”
Robert Brault

True friends don’t judge each other, they judge other people together.”
Emilie Saint-Genis

Love is blind. Friendship closes its eyes.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.”
Linda Grayson

You can always tell a real friend: when you’ve made a fool of yourself he doesn’t feel you’ve done a permanent job.”
Laurence J. Peter

A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked.”
Bernard Meltzer

Tis the privilege of friendship to talk nonsense, and to have her nonsense respected.”
Charles Lamb

A true friend stabs you in the front, not the back.”
Oscar Wilde

One good reason to only maintain a small circle of friends is that three out of four murders are committed by people who know the victim.”
George Carlin

Friendship is like peeing in your pants. Everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warm feeling inside.”
Robert Bloch

Friends are those rare people who ask how we are, and then wait to hear the answer.”
Ed Cunningham

We’ll be best friends forever because you already know too much.”

When you’re in jail, a good friend will be trying to bail you out. A best friend will be in the cell next to you saying, ‘Damn, that was fun.’”
Groucho Marx




5/14—The one-year anniversary of the day Beth and I met at the McCormick, SC library. As you might know, for about six years I was living in my van and traveling all over the US, mainly going to national parks and wilderness areas, as I wrote my weekly blog to inspire people (YOU!)

I would go to libraries to get online and to charge my things. Beth happened to be working at the McCormick library when I went in. I asked her where I could plugin.

And Beth’s version of the events that day:

On May 14 in 2021, a normal Friday afternoon at the library, one week before I was to retire, this skinny man dressed in mismatched shorts and a flamboyantly colored shirt, breezed in asking for a place to plug in his laptop. I pointed to a place with an outlet, he turned around and smiled at me with big white teeth and the most beautiful smile and I felt it shoot straight into my heart. I am not kidding. I knew instantly that he was going to mess up all of my retirement plans.”

Need I tell you?, on 2/22/22 at 2:22pm we were married.
We are both very happy about our life together.

5/15One of our cats was after and playing with something. I rushed over to see what it was and if I could save it. The Green Anole lizard was very happy for my help, I released him (or her?) out in the woods.

Anolis carolinensis or green anole is a tree-dwelling species of anole lizard native to the southeastern United States and introduced to islands in the Pacific and Caribbean. The one we found was in South Carolina, of course.

A small to medium-sized lizard, the green anole is a trunk-crown ecomorph and can change its color to several shades from brown to green.

(Hi Phyllis, are you there?)

5/16—Today I went to Costco and bought a big freezer for us. Do you know what is coming? From what I am hearing there will be more shutdowns and food might be difficult to obtain in the future. I do not want to scare you, and things will be changing, you must stay on top.

Over the last months, we have gathered enough food to last us at least six months. Our cupboards are full (what a strange word – cup-boards, how was the word developed?) All the essentials to live, plus some pleasure food. Frozen meats and things, that’s why the new freezer.

Also, as you might know, I built four above-ground gardens to grow our veggies. I used 24 free pallets to construct the gardens. I used two on each side and one on each end. I used 2-inch drywall screws to hold each side together. See the photos?

Sitting on the one complete above-ground garden.

I cut each pallet on one side of the center board, each 22 inches wide. Then, after they were put together I used plastic to secure them inside so that nothing can fall through. The bottom you want to leave open so that worms and creepy crawlies can get into the dirt and make it better. Used pallets are usually free, will you build?

Then, I found a local guy who cuts his own wood, I bought eight 8-foot pieces to go on top of the sides. This made things very solid, it will not fall apart. I will be staining the new wood that goes on top, and painting the lower, pallet parts, a forest green. You will see photos in the future when it is complete.

Each side is 22” high, great to sit on, and watch plants grow.

Once you have your above-ground gardens built, start to fill them with grass clippings, branches, dead trees, and other natural materials. Finally, the last six inches, fill in with good dirt. This will eventually compost down to give you great soil.

Once again, perhaps something that you might do?

Yes, there will be changes upcoming, and I am not trying to scare you. People have said to me, “What about the times when you cannot get food?” The thing is, at times like this, people are very likely to help each other; to feed your neighbor. I will, anyway—will you?

Along with the food gathering, we are putting away spare cash, as opposed to keeping it in the bank. I hear about a crash coming up and banks will not give money, save how you can now. Save large bills, and also small bills and change. There may be a time when someone can not break a bigger bill. There may also come a time when money is no longer accepted and bartering will become the standard of trade.

So, some things to gather and have at hand >>

  • Six months’ worth of food.

  • At least $1000 cash on hand.

  • Six months of medication that you currently take.

  • At least 25 one-gallon containers of water.

  • Don’t forget your pets! They will need food, too.

I am not trying to scare you, I am hoping you might join what we are doing and put things aside. People have asked me what can they do when there is no food. Like I wrote before, I think people will help each other as, perhaps, things get bad in the world. I will help how I can, anyway.

Summer has come to fruition today. “On a side note, the word “fruition” came into my mind somehow. I have never used that word and did not clearly know what it meant. I used it correctly, good to know.” Are you using new words, too?

Back to summer. The heat is coming on this week. Beth says she will be turning on the air conditioning. I can get through any heat, but I must work with Beth. The electric cost to run the AC is quite high, I think. Do you have any ideas to find coolness without using AC?

5/18—Worked more on the above-ground gardens. I put 2×6” wood on top, which greatly secured each entire structure. For these projects I do, often, at first, I don’t know how to accomplish what I envision. Then I combine the knowledge I have of doing other projects, and things turn out well.

This is like the first book I wrote, “Juggling with Finesse”. Having no idea how to get a book together and then published, I just kept learning and going. I had no classes in writing, let alone scripting a book.

I’ve always been good at organizing, I think I got that from juggling. I remembered how to paste up a page from high school graphic arts class, so I put each individual page together for the book. I received waxed back text of what I wrote from a printing company, then cut this and added the photos and drawings where they go.

This self-published book found success, selling over 25,000 copies worldwide. I’ve been told by people that I advanced the juggling world much with my personal juggling and writing the books that I did. This way people will remember me after I am long dead?
My legacy?

As I’ve written before >>

You just have to find a way that will work for you.
Thinking in this way will greatly improve your confidence and you are sure to find more success in your life.




When you are watching TV.
When you are cooking something on the grill and have time.
Start lifting weights.
Start with lighter ones, then increase as you gain strength.
Here are some benefits you will find >>

Brings you a positive mind.
Improved Bone Health.
Better Cardiovascular Health.
Increase your confidence.
Increased Energy Levels.
Lower Abdominal Fat.
Improved Mood.
Better Flexibility and Mobility.
Elevated Body Image.
Enhanced Brain Health.

Please, let me know how your lifting goes.



This week we took on the task of watching over 3 dogs (two of which are Great Danes) and 4 horses. We will take good care of them for our “neigh”bors, who are away on vacation. We are very excited to be able to help out.

Next week you will read of horse tales (tails?) and dog adventures.




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