Sunday, August 2, 2020

How to Be Happy in Today's World


During this challenging time in today's world, we can still be happy where we are, right now.

"Don't wait for everything to be perfect before you decide to enjoy life."
-Joyce Meyer

"The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts."
-Marcus Aurelius

I have to be vigilant with my thoughts. I can't let little things be turned into big things, and let them ruin my day.

I have around me little notes to remind me to stay on track, like-
"Happy, Happy, Happy!"
-Phil Robertson, "Duck Dynasty"
(Just seeing this quote makes me smile.)

Don't depend on anyone else for your happiness.

"When we approve of ourselves rather than seeking approval from others, we find happiness."

It is also important to spend our time with people who make us feel accepted and comfortable. If  anyone is physically or emotionally abusive, run, don't walk away!

Don't ever apologize to anyone for who you are! You are unique, one of a kind. (Remember-"God doesn't make junk!"-Shashank Rai)

"You are beautiful for you are fearfully and wonderfully made."
-Psalms 139:14

-We need to believe in a power higher than ourselves, and believe that God will get rid of the evil forces in our lives, and that the good will be victorious.

Don't believe everything you are told on the mainstream news. Be well informed and have different sources for your news so you can come up with your own conclusions. For example, balance television news with talk radio news. Share your newfound knowledge with others.

If you don't like what's going on around you, make a positive difference by signing petitions, having truly peaceful demonstrations, calling your congressmen, or signing up to help with elections, etc. Vote in person!

Don't ever let anyone take away your rights or force you to do anything against your will!

Whatever you enjoy doing, try to do more of that. For example, I really enjoy photography, so I take lots of pictures, not only at home, but whenever I go out. I always have a camera nearby.

Helping other people and animals will not only make them happy, but it will make us feel good about ourselves, and thus we become happier. Our kindness can range from holding a door open for someone to giving someone a special gift that we made ourselves to volunteering at an animal shelter.

Sincerely complementing people when you're out is something you might like to do, and it's so easy. Telling someone that their ring is really pretty or that they are doing a good job or that you appreciate them just might make their day go a lot better.

Just yesterday, Greg and I were in a store, and I told a woman that her dog was cute, and it seemed to please her. She looked really happy, and she wanted to know if I wanted to hold it. I said that I liked taking pictures of animals, and that instead of holding it, that I'd like to take its picture. She loved the idea.

Buster with His Adoptive Mom

The woman waved and told us to have a good day as she was leaving. We'd made a new instant friend.

We must remember that we're here on earth to try to make life happy for ourselves and others, not to tear it down and destroy the people in it!

Everyday, I try to visualize harmony and peace for everyone, and that the old normal makes a swift comeback! In the meantime, let's be happy, happy, happy!

"To whomever is reading this, I hope something wonderful happens to you today."
-Karen Salmansohn

Positive thought: "Happiness is an adventure. Set out on it."
Thanks for visiting! Until Sunday, September 6, 2020, Becky

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

How Can We Make a Difference?

Many people are wondering what we might do to help with the situation that we all find ourselves in right now in this country. How can we make a difference?

Something that Greg and I are trying to do is to support small business all that we can, especially locally since many are struggling right now.

(Food for thought: Why were the big chain stores considered essential, and allowed to open when most of the small businesses were not?)

Small businesses might include restaurants. The following four restaurants are in Abingdon, Virginia:

Greeko's Grill & Cafe, Serves Authentic Greek Food, Inside or Out

Bella's Has Delicious Italian-Style Food

Pal's is a real success story. The first Pal's opened in Kingsport, Tennessee in the 1950's, and now there are 29 Pal's in East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. Their architecture is unique, and they always have a daily message on their signs. A large American flag flies over each Pal's. One of their menu items is Frenchie fries.

North Carolina is not that far from where we live, so we go there occasionally. This restaurant had just reopened the day we were there. They remodeled while they were shut down.

Besides restaurants, there are other types of small businesses:

This garden shop also has food items for sale. It would be a great place to buy Christmas gifts.

We found a pretty old Victorian-style floor lamp here in Abingdon for a bargain price.

I got three items here in Hansonville, Virginia for only $11.00, totally! Many small businesses operate in this antique mall.

This is one of the three items I bought, and it was handmade!

If it's vitamins and herbs you need, this is the place!

The woman who owns this sewing shop did a nice job making us a couple of valances out of some old fabric that we already had.

Statuary, anyone? Here's a nice piece at "11-W Concrete &Statuary" in Blountville, Tennessee.

Besides shopping at small businesses, we listen to talk radio to find out what's really going on, and then we share our newfound knowledge with others. Another good resource is .

We also work to get rid of ineffective political leaders via recall elections, and we actively work to help the good guys win political office.

Positive Thought: "When it rains, look for rainbows. When it's dark, look for stars."-Author Unknown
Thanks for visiting! Until Sunday, August 2, 2020, Becky

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Back to Nature

"Evergreen Home and Garden Showplace," Kingsport, Tennessee

"And what is so rare as a day in June? Then, if ever, come perfect days."
-James Russell Lowell

What a wonderful time of year! June is my favorite month, and I try to embrace its beauty for as long as it lasts.

Being in nature is good for us, and we need its influence throughout the year. Being indoors too much can be detrimental to our mental and physical well-being.

You don't have to go far to enjoy nature. You could just open the door and walk outside.

Notice how this tree is not perfectly symmetrical, and yet it has a graceful beauty. In fact, nothing in nature is perfect, including people, yet in our own unique way, we are beautiful, too, part of God's world.

One could go to a park and sit on a bench and contemplate nature, walk, jog, or ride a bike.

The "Greenbelt" in Kingsport, Tennessee

Some parks have neat playground equipment.

Some parks are educational, like this "Veteran's Memorial Park" in Abingdon, Virginia.

Dining outside might make your food even tastier!

Visiting "Evergreen" in Kingsport

Planting Flowers

Growing Vegetables

Working on indoor projects outside can make the project more fun.

Even having a calendar with pretty nature scenes like this "Wild & Wonderful Virginia" calendar can make life more enjoyable. Also, nature DVD's and videos on the Internet are good.

However, nothing is as good as being in the great outdoors because it helps our "chi" or life force.

"Today, just take time to smell the roses, enjoy those little things about your life, your family, spouse, friends, job. Forget about the thorns, the pains, and problems they cause you and enjoy life."
-Bernard Kelvin Clive

Positive thoughts:  

(At "Evergreen")

Thanks for visiting! Until Sunday, June 5, 2020, Becky

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Signs of the Times


Thanks so much for your kind words about this blog, "The Art of Positive Living," and about my other blog, "Spirit Photographs."

The virus (COVID-19) has taken over so much of our lives that it's hard to ignore. It's on television, the Internet, the radio, and on signs when you go out, etc.

I became intrigued with some of the signs that I had seen, and I photographed many of them.

Most are self-explanatory-

The above photograph reminds me of an episode of the classic television show, Allen Funt's "Candid Camera" in which people were to step on the dark squares only.

This man said he was wearing his social-distancing shirt.

Positive thought: "Tame birds sing of freedom. Wild birds fly."-John Lennon
Thanks for visiting! Until Sunday, June 7, 2020, Becky

Sunday, April 5, 2020

"Living Positively in an Uncertain World"



(From the Abingdon, Virginia Food City)

What a beautiful time of year!

You can enjoy the beauty of nature wherever you are, your own yard, a neighbor's, on the way to town. "And heaven and nature sing."-From "Joy to the World"-Jennifer Karen Watts/Simon Elliott Varga

Something unexpectedly wonderful might happen, like a neighbor's duck running through your front yard.

Being at home can be a real blessing. Greg and I love our home. We are currently enjoying fixing up our old house. We've done a lot already, but there's still more to do to keep us busy. I learned from  Mama that keeping busy was important for your mental, physical, and emotional well being. (Rest is important, too, however. Moderation in all things!)

Having or developing a hobby is a good thing.

I started art as a hobby, and now I sell my work. I enjoy photography and writing as well as art.

Greg is happiest when he is gardening. Spring and summer are his favorite times of the year.

"I am in charge of how I feel, and today I choose happiness."

Living positively in an uncertain world can be a challenge, but it's not impossible.

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference."
-"Serenity Prayer"-Reinhold Niebuhr

Although some churches are not having services as usual, some churches are being very innovative, like having drive-in services with the church-goers in their vehicles and the minister using a microphone. Also, some local ministers are connecting to their congregations by having virtual church online. Plus, there are some really great ministers on television like Joel Osteen. There might even be some other creative ways to connect with each other and God. And, of course, we can all pray wherever we are.

Remember, light always overcomes the darkness.

Besides staying busy, especially doing things I love to do, and faith, I have other ways to help me feel good every day.

These include:
-Exercise (Remember to check with your doctor before starting exercise.) I enjoy walking, using the trampoline, and dancing. Even just one minute of dancing can raise your spirits!
-Funny DVD's
-I enjoy emailing with people when I can't be with them.
-There are certain websites I like that have positive messages:

Having a sense of humor helps. Just yesterday, I told Greg during lunch that I hadn't seen our cat, Kallie, all morning, and I wondered where she was, and without hesitation, Greg said, "I think she's upstairs practicing social distancing." Also, I love receiving funny forwarded emails.

My personal motto is, "Be positive, but be prepared." Greg and I have had for several years a survival area in each of the houses in which we've lived. This special area has come in handy lately, due to the current shortage of supplies. However, it wasn't perfect, and we're working to correct its flaws.

Especially during this time in all of our lives, we need to support small businesses, at home and online, including those on Etsy.

Also, if you enjoy the paranormal, please check out my book, "Photographic Encounters of the Spirit Kind." (See "Have you read Becky's book?" above.) Thank you!

A Message from One Homeowner to the World

Even with an impending storm, these sheep are calm and serene, and in the distance, birds are singing their sweet spring songs.

"The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it."-C. C. Scott

My brother, Nick, recently sent me an email with a pretty photograph of a bird's nest with blue bird's eggs that he and his wife had found in their yard. He said that "It's a good reminder that life goes on." Amen, Brother!

    (At Food City)

Positive thought: "Life is short. Make it sweet."-From a banner at the bakery at Food City, Abingdon, Virginia
Thanks for visiting! Until Sunday, May 3, 2020, Becky

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Celebrating in Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee

(At Cootie Brown's)

Greg and I are really enjoying being back home in the Southern Appalachians, near places that are familiar to us since we've lived in this general region most of our lives. I'm originally from Southwest Virginia and Greg, from East Tennessee. Right now we're living in Virginia, but we're just a stone's throw away from East Tennessee. We love where we live now. It's a nice central location for nearby Abingdon, Bristol, Kingsport, and Johnson City, as well as several small towns, some of which we've yet to explore.

February is usually a month of celebration for us, not only because of Valentine's Day, but because it's also my birth month.

We started celebrating early this year, when the "Tri-Cities Storm Tracker 5" weather team came to the new Food City in Abingdon, Virginia the first of the month. It was food and fun.

Getting Autographs from the Storm Tracker 5 Weather Team
(Greg Arnott Photo)

Then, came Valentine's Day-

We decided to celebrate by going to a new (to us) restaurant in Abingdon.

 We loved the arty look on the outside of "Luke's Cafe."

The inside was just as interesting-

It had a retro decor featuring celebrities from the past such as James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, and even Al Capone!

And, the food was very tasty!

Since we were so full from lunch, we decided to wait and have dessert somewhere else later...

like Anthony's Desserts.

We're so glad we decided to stop by. The place was all dressed up for Valentine's Day, and the shelves were full of goodies.

We decided to divide a piece of this luscious-looking berry cream cake, and we weren't disappointed. 
It was absolutely delicious!

After being out all day, celebrating, we later celebrated at home with valentines and flowers.

A couple of days later, came the birthday celebration...

at Cootie Brown's in Bristol, Tennessee.

We met with some family members to celebrate my cousin's and my February birthdays.

Cootie Brown's is a fun place to go, and the food is great!

They even let us bring in our own birthday cake!

Before leaving, we had to get some of  Cootie's famous key lime pie to take home with us.

And, a big wish of mine came true the last day of February when we finally got a big snow. I really enjoyed taking pictures of the beautiful snow-covered landscape around us.

One of Our Cats, Mitzi, Looking Out the Window at the Snow

Winter has come.
 "...can spring be far behind?"
-Percy Bysshe Shelley

Spring has already sprung at "Evergreen" in Kingsport, Tennessee!

Spring begins March 20 this year. Happy spring, everybody!

Positive thought: "Make each new day a celebration of life."-Pinterest
Thanks for visiting! Until Sunday, April 5, 2020, Becky