Lately I’ve been feeling like I am doing too much and just running around in circles. It helps to be able to laugh at myself, though. At least I’ll always be amused!

Word-art with a dog that says "Today is the day, I can feel it. Today I will catch that tail."

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

A few years ago, I bought a small water fountain to put on my front porch. It brightened up a shady area and made the house look more cheerful. Birds and chipmunks occasionally drank from it, although I didn’t often see them. Here’s a photo that I posted when it was still fairly new:

Small ceramic garden fountain decorated with butterflies and flowers, in a corner of my porch.

It didn’t have the best luck, however, in that it kept getting kicked over by pizza-delivery and package-delivery people. Last year, inevitably, a wing broke off one of the ceramic butterflies. I didn’t notice right away, and it was nowhere to be found. Buried forever in the bushes, probably.

I looked online for a replacement but didn’t see anything similar. Then winter came, and I didn’t think much about it. My husband surprised me at Christmas with a new fountain—a big sturdy one, much too heavy to kick over, with a pot to hold a seasonal plant. It sat in the box till spring came, and then we put it in the same area where the old one went.

We soon discovered that the new fountain had become a favorite gathering spot for small birds. They’ve been chirping and chattering to each other all the time, sounding much like office workers at the water cooler. The porch is certainly much livelier now!

Two birds drinking from a water fountain.

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

A few days ago, my husband and I looked up the origin of the word “skinflint,” just out of curiosity. We knew a flint was a rock that people kept in a fire-starting kit before matches were invented. But what might it mean to skin a flint, and how did that relate to saving money?

The explanation turned out to be quite simple: after a flint had been used for some time, it lost its sharp edges and became too dull to make a spark. Usually, people would throw away a dull flint and pick up another; it was nothing but a common rock, after all. But in large cities, a flint couldn’t be found in nature, so it had to be bought.

Some city-dwellers didn’t want to pay the tiny amount it would cost them to buy a new flint. Instead, they would keep on sharpening the same old flint again and again, until there was nothing left of it. That was how an overly frugal person came to be called a skinflint.

I was thinking about that in relation to the vast amount of consumer items we have nowadays. Before the modern era, people often had to repair and make do with worn-out stuff because most of their household items weren’t as easy to replace as a flint. Clothing had to be made by hand, as did many other things. It made sense to fix whatever reasonably could be fixed.

In today’s world, though, we have a lot of cheap little things that can quickly be replaced. When something goes wrong with one of them, maybe it just needs a simple repair, but often it’s not worth the trouble of keeping it going. Whatever the best choice may be, there’s generally no good reason to waste a lot of time and energy—either on fixing it or on worrying about the replacement cost.

Word-art that says "When things go wrong, don't go with them." -Elvis Presley

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

My daughter and her husband are going on vacation this weekend, leaving their dogs here. It’s always good to see how dogs enjoy simple little things, like going for a walk or taking a nap in the sun. They remind us to live in the moment and to keep it real, rather than letting our minds wander off into pointless worries about everything that isn’t perfect—which, of course, is everything.

Word-art that says "You were born to be real, not to be perfect."

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

This week I’ve been busier than usual and haven’t had much time or mental energy for blogging. Still, I sat down at the computer just now to write a Nurturing Thursday post. I’ve found that regularly taking the time to put together uplifting blog entries not only encourages others who may read them, but also replenishes my own energy. Even when the words don’t flow as easily as usual and the post is short, it’s a kindness to myself, setting aside space to create a little bright spot in my day.

Word-art that says "If you light a lamp for someone else it will also brighten your path."

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

I recently learned that more work was needed on something I did years ago. Although it wasn’t wrong at the time, the circumstances turned out to be different from what I had expected.

It wasn’t really much of a problem; there was a simple standard-form fix. Still, I felt like I had made an ignorant blunder when I was told about it, even though the person who told me was not at all critical and, in fact, helpfully offered to send me the form.

When it arrived in my email, I wasn’t sure that it was the right form; it looked as if it might be referring to something different. The sender had been rushing to catch up on a large backlog of work after having computer problems. I thought, oh well, it’s no big deal—if it should have been something else, it was a mistake that anyone in a hurry could easily have made.

Then I started to wonder—why had I been judging myself as anything less than capable?

Word-art that says "Never forget how wildly capable you are."

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

Early this morning, my husband went down to the boathouse for some friendly competition with another rower who also enjoys traveling to the regattas. After sprinting down the river a few times, he came home and still wanted to do something more outdoors.

We got our bicycles and went out for a long ride, about two hours, in the midday sun. That was enough of a workout for me! After getting lunch and cooling off for a while in the air conditioning, I decided this cartoon would be just right for today’s Nurturing Thursday post. Enjoy!

Word-art with a mouse exercising on a mousetrap that says "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

Since my husband started wearing a Fitbit regularly this year, he has been more interested in going out for walks in the evening. We usually walk all through the neighborhood, and often we take the same path along the sidewalks, but it doesn’t really matter which way we go. It’s just nice to get outdoors and enjoy a little fresh air and exercise.

Word-art that says "There is no path to happiness. Happiness is the path itself."

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

With this year’s unusually wet spring in most of the United States, there hasn’t been much sun in what seems like ages. Looking out the window at yet another chilly, dark afternoon with a steady drizzle, I decided that a sunny word-art would be just the thing to brighten up my blog. Enjoy!

Word-art that says "I thought I'd send some sunshine your way."

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

It’s actually Friday rather than Thursday, but oh well, stuff happens. This week, the stuff included computer problems both at work and at home, along with other assorted disruptions to my usual schedule.

I’m not going to complain, though. After seeing all the damage caused by recent tornadoes in this area, my little annoyances look totally trivial. And of course, just about everything has useful learning experiences in it somewhere, even if they are not obvious right away.

Word-art that says "Sometimes you win, sometimes you (lose, crossed out) learn."

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.