Sunday, December 3, 2023

"The Spirit of Christmas"


It's that time of year again, and for many people, "It's the most wonderful time of the year." (From a song by Andy Williams) What makes it so wonderful?

It could be because of the spirit of Christmas! What is the spirit of Christmas?

Is it the decorations?

We often enjoy reading Pal's thought of the day.

There are several colorful decorated trees outside the welcome center in historic Abingdon, Virginia.

Is the spirit of Christmas fellowship?

Going with others to the world-famous Barter Theatre in Abingdon...

to see a Christmas play is a great way to get into the spirit of Christmas.

Also, many people enjoy having a Christmas meal or refreshments with loved ones- 

Most people like to give gifts at Christmas-

These gifts don't need to be expensive. The Antique Barn in Abingdon, for example, has really nice gifts for really great prices! You could give gifts that you make yourself. You could give people something that you already have that you don't need. I have received gifts that are family heirlooms, which I really cherish. You could give someone a gift of your time, like organizing a closet for them.

When it comes to giving to charities, we're always careful since they are not always honest. We mostly give locally. We give food and other pet supplies to our local animal shelter which is run by the sheriff's department.

The decorations, fellowship, sharing and giving are a large part of Christmas, but, of course, without Jesus, the Christ Child, there would be no spirit of Christmas.

And, because of  Jesus, we can conclude that, the true spirit of Christmas is love.

"Infinite Love Is the Only Truth: Everything Else Is Illusion" -David Icke

"May the true spirit of Christmas shine in your heart and light your path." -Holy Hope

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas-From Our Home to Yours

Positive thought: "For it is in giving that we receive" -Saint Francis of Assisi

Thanks for visiting! Until Saturday, January 6, 2024, Becky

Saturday, November 11, 2023

"The Importance of Being Thankful"


With Thanksgiving Day fast approaching, I started thinking more about the importance of being thankful. Especially during this time of year, I like to contemplate the things in my life for which I am truly grateful. 

One thing that I am feeling thankful for right now is that I'm finally getting to write this blog post! I'm running a bit late with my post since I've been working on a pet portrait which was due yesterday. Just in the nick of time, I finally finished it! It must have been okay, since the ones who commissioned the portrait seemed to love it! Happy! Thankful!

Pastel Portrait of Cute Dog

I even have a thankful journal that I write in at the end of every day. My journal entries range from simple things like being thankful for a beautiful, sunny day or being thankful that I am still able make some calculations using a pencil and paper (I can cypher like Jethro who often does cyphering on one of our favorite television shows, "The Beverly Hillbillies," a '60's American sitcom.) instead of using a calculator.

In my journal, I write about important things, too, like being thankful that the vet's less-than-positive diagnosis for one of our beloved cats has changed- We researched healing our cat. We even contacted a psychic who is a reiki master that did long-distance reiki on her. Greg, who is a natural healer, continues healing her periodically. In addition, we contacted the prayer group at Julie Green Ministries to pray for our fur baby. (FYI- ) 

Doing all of the above seems to be working because she has made a remarkable recovery for which we are truly grateful! (The power of prayer, positive thinking and doing, and being thankful for her healing all worked together for a positive outcome.)

For a better life, author Eldon Taylor says to say, "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you." and to smile.

Being thankful is really important since it opens the door for even more wonderful things to come into our lives. In fact, you can be thankful in advance for things you hope to manifest in your life!

We have a pretty painting of a colorful arrangement of vegetables that my father, Bill Botts, did when he first started painting. It hangs in our kitchen, along with a plaque above it, with the word "thankful." These are colorful, everyday reminders for us to always be thankful for our blessings, not just one day a year, but all year.

Happy Thanksgiving!

For a positive memoir about living life in Southern Appalachia, check out Becky's book, "Down Memory Lane" which is on Amazon in both the Kindle and paperback versions. For more information, please see the widget above.

Positive thought: "Try to stay positive, and thankful, and believe that things will get better!" -Becky Arnott

Thanks for visiting! Until Saturday, December 2, 2023, Becky


Sunday, October 8, 2023

"Happy Fall!"


I really love early fall, with all of the beautiful bright colors of the season.

~"When autumn moves with silent step across the summer scene, she weaves a vivid fabric to cover the woodland green. Over the quiet countryside, in glorious array, over the field and meadow, she spreads her bright display." -From "The Pageantry of Autumn" by Alexa Kirsten

There are, of course, colorful leaves on the trees-

and brightly colored flowers in people's yards  and beside the road-

Colorful produce greets you outside your grocery store or roadside stand-

All of these cheerful colors-the reds, oranges, and yellows, can help us feel happier. 

Also, this can be a great time to walk, in a park, or even your own back yard. Did you know that walking can actually "reduce negative thoughts and boost self-esteem"? -From Farm Bureau

Just recently, Greg and I visited Jonesborough, Tennessee which is about an hour from where we live. There, we met two of Greg's family members at The Black Olive for a delicious lunch-

Cheese Calzone


The Black Olive, Jonesborough, Tennessee

Then, we got to enjoy a really entertaining storyteller at the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough. The storyteller was Donald Davis who was from Western North Carolina. (Our relatives that went with us are from that same area.) He made us laugh, and, of course, laughter is good for us all. It can be very healing, and make us happier!

Colorful Fall Decorations Outside the International Storytelling Center

International Storytelling Center

(Of course, we don't have to go out somewhere to laugh and feel happier. We can watch funny TV shows on television, watch funny DVD's, or funny videos on the Internet. We can even read funny stories in books, etc.)

~"People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be." -Abraham Lincoln

Outside the Crystal Raven store in Jonesborough-

Happy Fall, Y'all

~Recommended Reading- "Down Memory Lane" by Becky Arnott. "Down Memory Lane" is a true nostalgic memoir about growing up and growing older in Southern Appalachia. It is on Amazon in both the Kindle and paperback versions. Please see the widget above for more information.

Positive thoughts: "Who will remember that skies are gray if he carries a happy heart all day." -Author Unknown, and, "You happy up the world. The world thanks you." -Cheryl Gaines, Hallmark Writer
Thanks for visiting! Until Saturday, November 4, 2023, Becky

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Celebrating and Having Fun!


August is Greg's and my special month since our wedding anniversary and Greg's birthday are both in August. So every August, we really celebrate and have fun. August was even more special this year since we had a milestone anniversary, and Greg had a milestone birthday.

~"Let's have some fun!"-Jesse Kelly

The celebrating began when special relatives sent us special balloons, candy, and other treats for our anniversary which is during the first week of the month.

Near the end of the month, our cat Kallie had fun playing with the balloons after they were past their prime. (Supervised, of course!)

A few days later, some members of my side of the family came to our house to help celebrate Greg's birthday.

Waiting in the kitchen...

for our little buffet meal,

complete with a special dessert.

Then, a couple of days later, we celebrated with two members of Greg's side of the family.

Betty and Greg

Since Betty's birthday is close to Greg's, we celebrated her birthday, too, at Pisgah Inn in North Carolina at lunchtime.

Mike and Greg Waiting to Go Get Some Birthday Desserts in Asheville, North Carolina 

Later in "our" month, Greg and I went on a little trip to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee which was a lot of fun.

We really enjoyed lunch at Huck Finn's Catfish-

The delicious food was served family-style. We even had hush puppies left over for supper at home.

There is so much to see and do in Pigeon Forge. 

What a wonderful way to celebrate! (Gatlinburg and Sevierville are also great!)

~Positive Feature-
To live a more positive life, you might want to get this "special edition" of "Real Simple" magazine at your local newsstand, "The Power of Positivity." It features articles on "The Science of Smiling" and "Make your Own Luck," as well as others.

~Cute Dog Feature-


Recently, Greg and I were outside our local convenience store when we ran into a nice couple visiting from Maryland which is to the north of our state of Virginia. They had a super-cute dog, a Shih Tzu, named Rip. I touched its fur, which really felt more like cotton than fur. It would really be neat to have a little dog like this, but there's no way our three cats would tolerate that!

 You never know what or who you might encounter when you go out. Life is truly an adventure!

~Book Feature-
If you like retro, and would like to take a positive walk down memory lane, you might want to check out my latest book, "Down Memory Lane" by Becky Arnott. Please see the widget above for more information on Amazon for both the paperback and Kindle editions.

Beautiful Mountain View from Pisgah Inn

For a list of United States flag holidays, visit this website- 

Celebrate and have fun!

Positive thought: "Happiness is not by chance, but by choice." Jim  Rohn
Thanks for visiting! Until Saturday, October 7, 2023, Becky

Sunday, August 6, 2023

"Positive Thoughts, Ideas"


This is a really busy, important month for Greg and me. We're celebrating a big birthday and a big anniversary, etc., but I still wanted to take time to share some positive thoughts and ideas with you today.*

Here are some positive thoughts-

~"What I love most about my home is who I share it with."-Unknown

~"Even busy bees stop and smell the roses."-Unknown ( I'm working on this one!)

~"Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."-Abraham Lincoln

~"Happiness is not a destination, it's a way of life."-Unknown

Here are some unique, fun ideas-

This is something that is relatively new to me, but it might be worth exploring-going to YouTube and watching and listening to the different hertz frequencies. I've only tried it briefly a couple of times, so I haven't really had time to form an opinion about its value.

However, one person, after watching one of the hertz videos, said, " is very powerful, and is healing my truly changes your negative attitudes into positive...."

To access the hertz frequency videos on YouTube, go to YouTube and search for "hertz frequencies."

Otherwise, the only thing I know about the hertz frequencies is that Greg and I have two grounding mats that connect us to the frequency of the earth which is 7.83 hertz.

The Earth-7.83 Hertz

Our cats even seem to enjoy being on our downstairs grounding mat.

~"Work hard, be yourself, and have fun."-Michelle Kwan

For something else that's really fun, also on YouTube, is an old novelty song, a catchy little tune, that my mother used to sing to me when I was little. It was passed down to her from her mother. It's called "Mairzy Doats." Just search online for "Mairzy Doats," and you'll find singers singing it on YouTube. Also on YouTube, there is one video, "Sheet Music Singer" that has the words to this song written out.

Children seem to love this cute little song, but it's really for children of all ages! This is good old-fashioned fun that's sure to put a smile on  your face, and a spring in your step! Enjoy!

 For a gift for someone or as a gift for yourself, please check out my newest book, which is a positive memoir about my life in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, "Down Memory Lane." Just click on the widget above for more information about my book on Amazon.

*Disclaimer: Becky Arnott is not responsible for anything negative that might happen as a result of anything that is written in this or any other blog post on "The Art of Positive Living" blog.

Positive thought: "You are a living magnet. What you attract into your life is in harmony with your dominant thoughts."-Brian Tracy
Thanks for visiting! Until Saturday, September 2, 2023, Becky

Sunday, July 2, 2023

"Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness"


In two days, we, here in the United States, will be celebrating a special holiday in various ways, with cookouts, picnics, parades, and fireworks, thanks to those brave men who fought for our liberty 247 years ago. On July 4, 1776, our great country, the United States of America, became independent, free from the rule of the British Government.

Before we became a free country, in 1775, Patrick Henry, the great orator, gave his famous speech, "I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death." His speech helped encourage others to fight for independence.

The following photograph shows two items (in our memorabilia room) that we treasure- an old post card that depicts a painting by American artist, John Trumbull, entitled "Declaration of Independence" and...

a booklet from the Cato Institute which contains the "Declaration of Independence" and the "Constitution of the United States of America."

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."~ From the "Declaration of Independence"

This means that we can live our lives freely and happily, but, at the same time, it doesn't mean that we are free to live recklessly and cause harm to others, etc.

We are free to choose our path in life, our profession, our spouse, where to live, how to spend our free time, etc.

Here are some quotes to encourage us to live our lives more positively-

~"Why fit in when you were born to stand out."- Dr. Seuss

~"God doesn't make junk."- From the "Bible"

~"Hope Encouragement Love" - Julie Green Ministries

~"Stars are meant to sparkle. Let yourself shine!"-"Woman's World"

"It may not always be easy, convenient, or politically correct to stand for truth and right, but it is the right thing to do. Always." -M. Russell Ballard

Big Stone Gap, Virginia-

Showing Its Patriotic Colors

"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it." -Mark Twain

Here is a powerful, touching video on YouTube about the history of the United States and our national anthem- (Enjoy!)

Positive thought: "When it is dark enough, you can see the stars." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thanks for visiting! Until Saturday, August 5, 2023, Becky

Saturday, June 3, 2023

Optimistic About the Future


In these tumultuous times, we need to be, more than ever, optimistic about the future.

We need to be and stay positive; we need to look at what's good in life.

When I look around where I live, I see entrepreneurs opening businesses, like the new milkshake and baked goods shop in Abingdon, Virginia, named Shaked!

Love the Logo!

Love the Ice Cream, Too!

FYI-Shaked!, 284 W. Main Street, Abingdon, Virginia

Also in Abingdon, a new convenience store, Royal Farms, is now being built.

A couple of days ago, Greg and I visited Warriors Path State Park in Kingsport, Tennessee. While there, we saw the newly renovated marina with a new restaurant and upgraded boat docks. Lots of other people were also there. They seemed happy, enjoying the warm weather.

Greg on the Deck of the Marina

While there, we took a stroll around the park,

"And what is so rare as a day in June?"-James Russell Lowell

and we were lucky enough to see this deer-

that didn't seem to mind that people were around.

Last month, for the first time, we visited Grayson Highlands State Park, about an hour's drive from our house in Southwest Virginia.

The altitude is so high there that most of the leaves were not out yet, but it was still very picturesque-

Black bears and even wild ponies reside there. 

The world is so beautiful. We just need to take time and enjoy it, by ourselves and/or with the people we love.

Also, when you look for the good, you are bound to find it.

I'm optimistic about people because, for the most part, they know what's really going on.

I was recently in a beauty shop, and the people there were discussing current events, and they seemed really savvy about things.

"...know the truth, and the truth will set you free."-John 8:32

"You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time."-Abraham Lincoln 

Many people are attending church or watching services on television or on the Internet, and they know the power of prayer.

I just like to always remember that love overcomes hate, light overcomes darkness, and that positive is more powerful than negative.

We are truly in a spiritual battle of good versus evil for our souls and for the soul of our nation and even for the soul of the world, but we are winning. 

Good always wins!

Thankfully, we have a bright future ahead of us. We just need to keep the faith!

Positive thought: "The greatest power that God has given to any individual is the power of prayer."-Kathryn Kuhlman

Thanks for visiting! Until Saturday, July 1, 2023, Becky


Saturday, May 6, 2023

The Good Old Days


I'm so glad you are here for my first blog post on this first Saturday of the month. I plan to have every "The Art of Positive Living" post on the first Saturday of every month from now on. I will post my blog, "Spirit Photographs," on the third Saturday of each month.

I've been thinking a lot about the subject of my post for today, something that is close to my heart, the good old days, since my newly revised book, "Down Memory Lane,"* is about the good old days!

Although we perhaps romanticize days in the past, there is much we can learn from the positive aspects of those days.

And, here are many of them-

~People were very patriotic.

"I pledge allegiance to the flag...."

~People read books, had hobbies, and played board games.

~School students were generally well-behaved. Those few who weren't, were disciplined. The worst thing that I can remember when I went to school was that one boy had to be sent home because his hair was too long in the back.

~Most people graduated from high school, and many went on to higher education.

~People dressed nicely. Here's an excerpt from a chapter in my book that Greg wrote - "Personal appearance was important. Most people looked neat and well-groomed. Shirt tails were tucked in and shoes were shined....Most people looked fit and trim."

~People were honest. If they found a missing wallet, they'd return it. Also, they kept their word. If they said they were going to do something, they would do it. If they found out they couldn't do it, they'd let it be known.

"Do what you know to be right." -David Icke

~Religion was important to most people.

~In fact, two of my high school graduation gifts were two small gold crosses that two different people gave me. 

~People were generally complimentary to each other. They tried to make people feel good about themselves. Things like this mean a lot to others.

~People helped their friends, relatives, and neighbors when needed.

~One day, Greg and I were at a garage, and a woman who was a receptionist there was so nice. She was pleasant and very efficient. She seemed happy, and she made you feel better by just being around her. 

~Most television shows and movies were G-rated. They were good, decent. quality shows. The characters set a good example. The good guys won. There was a moral to every story.

~People were industrious, hard-working, and ambitious. Most kept the same job or profession their whole lives. My grandfather was a doctor who truly cared about other people, and he charged his patients very little.

~The man was the breadwinner, and his wife stayed home and kept house and cared for their children.

~Families had fun times together, like going on picnics with made-from-scratch dishes like homemade potato salad or fresh green beans.

~Most leaders were honest and respected.

~Music was harmonious.

~In the early days, all food was organic.

How does life today compare to the good old days?

Thankfully, we generally stack up pretty well overall, but, of course, there is plenty of room for improvement. Any areas in which we are lacking can be turned around. Anywhere that we're falling short can be remedied with some positive planning and some work, but it can be done, individually and/or by people working together.

If we do that, then we can then truly say, "The good ol' days are being made right now." -From Blue Bell Ice Cream commercial

Coincidentally, I just recently found out about a really neat festival, the "Good Old Days" street festival in Pacific Grove, California this weekend. There will be a parade, a pie-eating contest, and much more! It sounds like fun!

Appalachian Author Feature: Linda Hudson Hoagland  


Linda Hoagland lives in Southwest Virginia. She is a talented author who has won several writing awards for her poetry, short stories, and books. Some of her book titles are "Snooping Can Be Dangerous," "The Backwards House." and "The Best Darn Secret." Do these sound intriguing! If so, be sure and check out her work. 

Also, Linda makes beautiful angel afghans that are for sale. If you are interested in these, contact her at 

*For more information about my book, "Down Memory Lane," please see the widget above. It's available on Amazon in both the paperback and Kindle versions.

Positive thought: "We are all here to 'practice being godlike'-to treat others how we'd like to be treated." -From "Tools for Freedom"

Thanks for visiting! Until Saturday, June 3, 2023, Becky 

Sunday, April 9, 2023

Inspirational Thoughts


Here are some positive, inspirational thoughts, etc. to consider-

Spring symbolizes "rebirth, joy, and love...." and that "good always triumphs over evil, light over darkness, life over death."- Twinkl USA

Especially in today's world, we just have to believe, and to think and feel positively.

Remember, "It's always darkest before the dawn."- Thomas Fuller

"Unlock the power of 'instead'! What if instead of imagining the worse-case scenario, you pictured the best? What if instead of worrying, you wished? What if instead of bracing yourself for the bad, you opened your heart to the good? Great and wonderful things happen every single day." "Woman's World" magazine

"It's Time to Pray"-

"If you spend your time praying for people instead of talking about them, you'll get better results."- Jaron Alexander

"Everything Will Be Okay"- Dana Perino

Interesting, intriguing website-

"Expect a miracle. Miracles happen everyday."- Unknown

In my newly revised memoir, "Down Memory Lane,"* I write about, among a lot of other things, memorabilia. I like to collect and to keep things that are special to me, things that remind me of the best, the special times in my life. 

One of those things is my-

 cell phone.

To anyone else, this just looks like an old beaten-up phone, but to me, it's special. I only carried it with me when I'd go away from home, but that cell phone went through a lot. It got run over by a car when it fell into the street. It had scuff marks, but it kept on working. It even rode all the way on top of the trunk of my car for several miles, after I had accidentally left it there. It was dropped several times, and I even had to tape the back of it to hold it together.

Because of what all it had been through, and survived, I call it my miracle phone. It served me well, and it never let me down, so I felt it deserved a special place among my memorabilia when I was forced to retire it.

How many of us or the people in our lives would have that much tenacity, would go through all of that, and still be that loyal and giving?

How to stay warm on a cold spring morning?-

Our Mitzi seems to have the right idea!

Small Business Feature: Hoot Books Publishing

Victoria Fletcher is the owner of successful Hoot Books Publishing where she not only publishes books, but she also offers other services such as proofreading, website design, as well as many other services. She publishes books for people all over our country.

In addition, she is a highly acclaimed Appalachian author, with such books as "Daily Dose of Encouragement," as well as many others.

FYI- and

Just like spring, the Easter lily symbolizes new beginnings. It also symbolizes hope. And, I hope you had a very happy Easter.

*For more information about my book, "Down Memory Lane," please see the widget above.

~ Here's a special, important note about my blog, "The Art of Positive Living,"-Starting next month, I'll be publishing my "The Art of Positive Living" blog post only on the first Saturday of each month, so I'll have more time to write another book that I hope to have published by early fall. I have several other projects that I'm working on, as well. I'll continue to publish my "Spirit Photographs" blog post the third Saturday of each month.

Positive thought- "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." -John 3:16
Thanks for visiting! Until Saturday, May 6, 2023, Becky