Happiness IS You. . .


That phrase, that famous quote from Jim Rohn, that truly hits home with me:

"Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present."

Isn't that the truth.

The title of this blog is "Happiness IS You. . ."

Because it is.

Every part of why you are happy, or why you are not happy, has to do directly with YOU.

With your choices,

Your decisions,

Or lack thereof.

There's another quote that comes to mind as well.  One from Buddha:

Again. . .

All roads point back to us, as individuals.

So often, we blame our happiness or the lack of our happiness on our surroundings.

Our "circumstances".

But if we were to take a moment to just pause,

To think.

We would see that our decisions, choices, actions are what has led us to the circumstances we are currently in.

Meaning, if we don't like them, then well. . .

It's time to make different decisions, choices & actions.

What continues in our lives is only that which we allow.

Isn't it time we step up and do more than speak about what we want in our lives?

It's time we realize, accept and take responsibility for the fact that

Happiness IS you!

It is your choice, in your power to create, it is your journey.

We have the wonderful ability to create both our outcomes and incomes.

Take back your life and choose happiness!

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Tears for Mocha this Evening. . .


Tonight, I write with a heavy heart.  

We knew that it wouldn’t be much longer, but didn’t realize just how close it was.

What?” you ask.

My cat, Mocha, is 18 years old.  She has been living with kidney disease for a few years now.  However, we have been able to keep it under control.  

About 3 months ago, her weight dropped significantly.  As in, way low.  Her ability to control her bowel movements had seemed to have completely disappeared, and because of her kidney’s, things had gotten “messy”, so to speak.  We took her in for a check-up and a full panel of bloodwork.  

She was down to 4.13 pounds.

A skeleton.

The bloodwork presented only anemia and arthritis.   No progression of the kidney disease.  The only thing they couldn’t rule out was Myeloma (cancer of the bone marrow), and the only way to know if she had that was to do a bone aspiration.  A procedure which is extremely invasive and painful, which I refuse to put her through.  Forget the cost factor of the procedure.

One option was to control her arthritis with steroids to keep her comfortable and put her on a strictly boiled chicken thighs diet!  No cat food, ever again.  This helps with stools and of course, cats love “human food”, chicken.  

The other option?  

To put her to sleep.

This decision was a no brainer to me.  

And it has been a couple of months now. . . almost.

I am happy to say that for a short period of time, she seemed to be responding a bit better.  The weight hasn’t come back, but her stools were not so loose anymore and she seemed to be able to make it to her litter box.

I am unhappy to say that now, things have digressed again.  Her stools are still better, but her ability to control her bowels has left her again.  This is no quality of life for her as a cat, or for us as her family.  

I do not think that she is in pain, but she certainly isn’t “happy”.  She moves so slowly and gingerly and seems to have lost the zest for her life.

Her poor paws and tail smell of urine and feces when she cannot make it to her box and she goes wherever she is standing.  I apologize for the graphic details, but what we deal with is real.  It is life.  I have the courage to speak boldly, truthfully and completely, always.  Even when it isn't always "pretty".

I weep even now as I write about it.

I had made the decision over this weekend that this week I will have her laid to rest.  

Tonight, as I again tenderly and carefully bathed only her tail and feet, as she is so fragile, and I am afraid a full bath would put her in shock, I prayed she would "go"  here at home.

On her own.  

In my arms.

As I dried her feet and tail after the bath just an hour ago, I wrapped her snuggly in a towel and laid her frail body on my bed, ever so gingerly.

I cried.

I told her, “It’s ok.  You can go.”

She was so still.

And that is where she is right now still.

I got up, and came to my computer.

I knew this is what I wanted to write about tonight.

My heart.

Breaking and bleeding for a part of my family.

A part that has been with me for literally HALF of my entire life.

18+ years now.

She is resting now on my bed.

And I will return to her as soon as I finish this wrenching piece of writing.

These words that are pouring out of my heart and to you through my fingers.

I do pray she goes on her own peacefully.

I feel like she will.

Please pray for a peaceful journey for Mocha.

And healed hearts here in my home.

Samantha came and joined me as I lay Mocha on the bed this evening after her “sponge bath”.

And we wept together.

Tonight, Samantha will sleep with me.

And we will pray blessings over our precious Mocha.

God's speed to you all.


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Shrimp have never been known as powerful creatures, but the Peacock Mantis Shrimp is not an animal that you want to mess with.  (And, for the record, the Peacock Mantis Shrimp is technically a crustacean.)

This colorful little guy has two fist-like limbs called "dactyl clubs," and he can punch aquarium glass hard enough to shatter it without injuring himself at all!  In addition to being an awesome skill, the chemical makeup of the Peacock Mantis Shrimp's dactyl clubs may have some scientific significance for future architecture and material synthesis.  (The main ingredients in the fists of the Peacock Mantis Shrimp are chitin and some crystallized calcium phosphate).

The Peacock Mantis Shrimp can "punch" at a speed of over 50 miles per hour and uses its strength to break the shells of mollusks.

Aquarium owners, in addition to experiencing glass broken by the Peacock Mantis Shrimp, have complained about its aggressiveness and its tendency to eat the other aquarium members.

The bottom line?  The Peacock Mantis Shrimp is awesome, but leave it in the Indo-Pacific where it belongs.

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Sure, cynics can argue that the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a faddish, self-promoting waste of water, and people shouldn't need a stupid meme to convince them to fight life-threatening diseases. They can also bite their damn tongues, because that stupid meme has raised more than $50 million for people like Anthony Carbajal and his family.

Could we have done it without the celebrities? Without the water? Without covering Amy Schumer in an entire can of clam chowder? Yes, undoubtedly. But we didn't. So if some celebrities and a bunch of your Facebook friends want to jump on the bandwagon, let them. Turns out their money can still be used for research and drug development even if you don't feel it was given with the purest intentions.

Anthony, who has seen ALS claim his loved ones and now has to prepare for it to destroy him, too, doesn't really have the luxury of judging.

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Richard Attenborough, who was honored for his helming and production of the 1982 Oscar best picture “Gandhi” but was best known to American audiences for his role in Steven Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park” and its first sequel as park creator John Hammond, died on Sunday, his son tells BBC News. He was 90.

The stocky British filmmaker was awarded a life peerage by Queen Elizabeth II in 1993 for his stage work and for his efforts behind and in front of the camera to promote British cinema.

While Attenborough had been a prominent character actor in his native country since the early 1940s, he also achieved much as a producer, motion picture executive and cultural impresario. At various times he was chairman of the British Film Institute, Channel 4, Goldcrest Films, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and Capital Radio and a director of the Young Vic and the British Film Institute. In the late ’70s, he helped preserve and restore London’s Duke of York Theater.

A career in film directing began in 1969 with an adaptation of Joan Littlewood’s biting musical satire “Oh! What a Lovely War.” Few of his directing efforts achieved the stature of “Gandhi,” which he had championed for more than 20 years. But there were noteworthy attempts to deal with historical and biographical subjects including “Cry Freedom,” about South African apartheid; “Chaplin,” a biography of the immortal screen comic; and “Shadowlands,” based on William Nicholson’s play focusing on British writer C.S. Lewis.

“I have no interest in being remembered as a great creative filmmaker,” he once said. “I want to be remembered as a storyteller.”

Despite more than 50 years as a stage and screen actor — including supporting roles in adventure pics “The Flight of the Phoenix” (1965) and “The Sand Pebbles” (1966) and “Doctor Dolittle” (1967) — it was only in 1992 that Attenborough achieved widespread international recognition for his starring role in “Jurassic Park,” the largest-grossing film ever at the time. (Later acting credits included Kenneth Branagh’s “Hamlet” and the Cate Blanchett starrer “Elizabeth.”)

In the late 1950s, in an effort to enhance the quality of his movie assignments, Attenborough united with writer-director Bryan Forbes to create Beaver Films. Their first effort, 1960’s “The Angry Silence,” was a sharply defined working-class drama, part of the new generation of realistic British films. In addition, Beaver produced “The League of Gentlemen,” “Whistle Down the Wind,” “The L-Shaped Room” and “Seance on a Wet Afternoon” between 1961 and 1964. The last film, in which Attenborough co-starred with Kim Stanley, brought him the British Academy Award along with his work in “Guns at Batasi.” The positive reception for “Seance” in the U.S. coupled with his supporting role in hit WWII actioner “The Great Escape” in 1963 led to a career as a Hollywood character actor starting with “The Flight of the Phoenix” (1965) and “The Sand Pebbles” (1966).

In 1967 he appeared in the big-budget musical “Doctor Dolittle,” which brought him a Golden Globe for supporting actor.

With the help of British actors including Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson, John Mills and Michael Redgrave, Attenborough was able to persuade Paramount Pictures to bank his debut directing effort, an adaptation of Joan Littlewood’s WWI fantasia “Oh What a Lovely War.” Though not a financial success in the U.S., the film was honored with a Golden Globe and six British Academy Awards.

Attenborough continued to act in films through the early ’70s in such efforts as “David Copperfield,” “A Severed Head,” “Loot” and the chilling “10 Rillington Place,” in which he played a mass murderer. By 1972 he had the money to shoot biographical adventure “Young Winston,” based on the early life of Winston Churchill. The pic was well received, but his next film, 1977’s “A Bridge Too Far,” sported an international name cast but was a $25 million flop.

To produce and direct his next film, a biography of the life of Indian pacifist leader Mohandas K. Gandhi, Attenborough beat the bushes for 20 years and redoubled his efforts only after Lean abandoned a similar project. He turned down an offer to be associate director of Britain’s National Theater, mortgaged his house, sold his cars, pawned his paintings, took on a number of subpar roles in films such as “Brannigan,” “Rosebud” and “Ten Little Indians” and made a poor directing choice in “Magic” for producer Joseph E. Levine, basically done as a favor to interest Levine in financing “Gandhi.”

With the help of Goldcrest Films and Indian’s National Film Development Corp., Attenborough had financing in hand by the end of the 1970s. He passed on several prominent actors such as Alec Guinness and Dustin Hoffman to cast a highly regarded Royal Shakespeare Company actor, Ben Kingsley, who was part Indian.

The film copped eight Oscars, including two for Attenborough as best director and for producing the best picture. Attenborough detailed his struggle to make the film in a book, “In Search of Gandhi,” published in 1982.

In 1985, he was named chairman of Goldcrest just after he completed work on a failed film adaptation of the Broadway musical “A Chorus Line.” His next film, also a personal project, was “Cry Freedom,” the story of British journalist Donald Woods (played by Kevin Kline) and South African activist-martyr Steven Biko (a role for which Denzel Washington received a supporting actor Oscar nomination).

His 1992 biopic “Chaplin” was less successful, though Robert Downey Jr. drew a deserved Oscar nomination for best actor. The following year Attenborough directed Anthony Hopkins and Oscar nominated Debra Winger in “Shadowlands,” which proved both a commercial and critical success.

That was the same year Attenborough’s face finally become familiar across America (and the world) in “Jurassic Park,” Spielberg’s monumental blockbuster based on Michael Crichton’s novel. It was his first acting assignment in 13 years and led to further work in front of the camera: He played Kris Kringle in John Hughes’ remake of “The Miracle on 34th Street” for the Fox Network, and over the next several years appeared in roles in Kenneth Branagh’s “Hamlet,” the Cate Blanchett starrer “Elizabeth” and telepic “The Railway Children” (2000). In 2006 he appeared in “Welcome to World War One,” a documentary about the making of “Oh! What a Lovely War.”

Attenborough was still directing, too. In 1996 he helmed “In Love and War,” starring Chris O’Donnell and Sandra Bullock in the story of the young Ernest Hemingay and a nurse he loved after he was injured in WWI. His 1999 film “Grey Owl” starred Pierce Brosnan as a Canadian fur trapper who became a conservationist. Attenborough attempted a film that, like “Gandhi,” carried a sociopolitical message, but Variety called the direction “old fashioned.”
After an absence of eight years, Attenborough directed the sentimental tale “Closing the Ring” (2007), starring Christopher Plummer and Shirley MacLaine.

In May 2012 Attenborough teamed with Martin Scorsese and Anthony Haas to develop the film “Silver Ghost,” a drama based on the true story of the founding of Rolls Royce. Attenborough was to direct, but he was in rapidly declining health after suffering a stroke in 2008 that left him in a wheelchair.

The oldest son of an Anglo-Saxon scholar and university administrator, Attenborough was the eldest of three sons. (Brother David is a naturalist behind many acclaimed BBC documentary series). His mother, the former Mary Clegg, was the daughter of art historian Samuel Clegg.

Born in Cambridge, he was already involved in amateur theatrics by his teens. In 1940 Attenborough won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, making his professional debut while still a student in a production of Eugene O’Neill’s “Ah Wilderness!” In 1942 he made his screen debut in Noel Coward’s “In Which We Serve,” directed by David Lean.

RADA honored him with the Bancroft Medal for fine acting in 1942 and, upon leaving school, he made his West End debut in Clifford Odets’ “Awake and Sing.” Significant roles in productions of “Twelfth Night” and “Brighton Rock” followed before Attenborough enlisted in the Royal Air Force, becoming part of its film unit. He also flew film reconnaissance missions over Germany during the war.

In 1946 he signed a contract with producers John and Ray Boulting. He reprised his stage role in the film version of “Brighton Rock,” followed by “The Guinea Pig” in 1948 and “The Gift Horse” in 1952.

His film career sputtered in the 1950s: Projects like “Eight O’Clock Walk” and “The Baby and the Battleship” were abysmal. So he returned to the stage in “To Dorothy, a Son,” “Double Image” and Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap” (appearing in the original cast as Detective Sergeant Trotter), which became England’s longest-running show.

Beginning in 1956, the film side picked up when he appeared for the Boultings in a series of social satires including “Private’s Progress” and “I’m All Right, Jack.”

His autobiography “Entirely Up to You, Darling” was published in 2008.

Attenborough was married in early 1945 to actress Sheila Sim, with whom he had three children, Jane, Charlotte and Michael, all of whom worked in the performing arts.

Upon hearing about his death, Steven Spielberg issued the following statement about Attenborough: “Dickie Attenborough was passionate about everything in his life – family, friends, country and career. He made a gift to the world with his emotional epic “Ghandi” and he was the perfect ringmaster to bring the dinosaurs back to life as John Hammond in ‘Jurassic Park.’ He was a dear friend and I am standing in an endless line of those who completely adored him.”

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