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A thought about Valentine’s Day


Back when I was in college, I remember Valentine’s Day as a day of extremes.  Deliveries lined the halls of the administration building, beautiful flowers waiting to be picked up by giddy young people in love. Those who weren’t involved in a relationship, but may have wanted to be, were completely depressed.


A loving reminder to those of you who are not involved in a relationship right now, and even those who are, that Valentine’s Day is not just for lovers, and it’s not just another day; it’s a day to celebrate love, and there are all kinds of love.  If you receive flowers and chocolates, congratulations.  Enjoy them.  If you don’t, go buy a valentine chocolate and bring it to someone who needs a smile, or go to the local animal shelter and give special love to an abandoned dog or cat whose heart and spirit may be broken.  There is always, always, always a lifting of the heart when we give from the heart!


Whatever your circumstance, enjoy the day.  It’s a gift, too.




Photo by Goban Saor: http://www.pxleyes.com/blog/2009/06/100-touching-photos-expressing-loneliness-and-solitude/


Photo by An Gobán Saor

via 100 Touching Photos Expressing Loneliness And Solitude.



Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!



The light of the soul should be a beacon for others

A personal thought…


I have seen so many quotes lately about how we should surround ourselves with positive people and walk away from negative people, and I really OBJECT to that point of view. I believe we should fill our hearts, minds, and souls with all things positive — by reading, thinking, listening, and learning — and then BE the ones who act as the lamp, ladder, or lifeboat for others, as the previous quote illustrated so beautifully. This doesn’t mean preaching and teaching, it means leading by the example of a loving heart.


Surrounding ourselves with a wall of positive people and neglecting those who most need inspiration and love actually deprives us of the most fulfilling thing there is in life, the gift of giving of ourselves. As today’s meditation said, “A sense of spiritual well-being warms us when we are selfless.”


I believe we should each be part of a circle of positive thinkers, yes, but we should all be facing outward, shining our light outward. Resist the notion of forming a wall of positivity that is only focused inward. The light of the soul should be a beacon for others.


I’d be interested in your thoughts…




Update – my reply to a number of comments on Facebook:


From the perspective of my age and stage, I believe that the process of maturity is helped along by selflessness. I know that I found myself getting more and more burdened and withdrawn and negative as I was constantly bombarded by news and negative circumstances of my own life, but what I was failing to do was balance all that negativity with positive. Hence, the birth of Curiosities. And what a difference it has made in my life, to flood my head with positive thoughts and positive things, even though I have to muck through so much negative to find the positive sometimes. It makes me less withdrawn and opens my soul to want to “give” to others…just a simple smile, if nothing else. I didn’t need to surround myself with positive people, I just needed to make sure that the negative in my life was balanced by positive. If that balance is maintained, then the negative doesn’t diminish the positive…it moves, kind of like the light from a candle in a dark room. Letting that inner light shine is what helps us grow and be fulfilled. Does that make sense?



TGIF, everyone!

it is friday


Leadership from the bottom up

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.
~ John Quincy Adams


if your actions inspire others


Interesting notion, isn’t it? John Quincy Adams was clearly not referring to positive thinking when he said or wrote that idea, but there is so much negative thinking in the world right now, it’s sometimes overwhelming and depressing, and I believe it’s going to take leadership from the bottom up, if there can be such a thing, to change that.


I’m on a mission, of sorts, to change my own thinking, and I’ve been sharing that process with whomever is interested. It’s actually working, for me. In a big way. And judging by the growing number of warm and encouraging emails and messages I’ve been receiving, many of you seem to be finding inspiration here, as well, which pleases me to no end. And those of you who share these images are spreading thoughtful content even further and are probably changing the lives of others in ways you don’t even know.


Individuals, as leaders. Bottom up. A growing army of positive thinkers on a roll.


Cool idea, Mr. Adams.


My thanks, to everyone who’s reading this, for joining me on this journey.





Hug time! Pass on to someone in need…



TGIF! And Happy February, everyone!

i love fridays


Fridays make me smile!



Highlights of additional posts on Pinterest


Visit Curiosities on Pinterest


Highlights of today’s posts on Pinterest


Visit Curiosities (aSmile4u) on Pinterest


Today’s Pinterest highlights

Be sure to visit Curiosities on Pinterest for posts about beauty, crafts, decorating, fitness, gardening, holidays, practical magic, needlework, and recipes:

Good morning, everyone!

A beautiful new day! Blue skies and merry sunshine here in Pennsylvania. :)



Personality Types

I was thinking about a comment left on one of my posts on Facebook tonight, “Too much sensitivity in your being.”  I don’t know whether the comment was directed to me or one of the other commenters, but this is actually right on target for me; I AM a sensitive soul, sometimes an overly sensitive one.  I assume that this sensitivity helps to shape my sites through the types of images I’m moved to post.  Hopefully, this sensitivity contributes in a good way.


Anyway, according to the Myers-Briggs personality test, my personality type is INFP.  The description for an INFP personality is below, and it absolutely screams “Janet” to me.  It’s got me totally pegged.  If you haven’t ever taken the test to find out which personality type you are, it’s incredibly interesting and I highly recommend that you do so.


INFP:  The Idealist (that is definitely me)
(Introverted / iNtuitive / Feeling / Perceiving)


“As an INFP, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit into your personal value system. Your secondary mode is external, where you take things in primarily via your intuition.


“INFPs, more than other iNtuitive Feeling types, are focused on making the world a better place for people. Their primary goal is to find out their meaning in life. What is their purpose? How can they best serve humanity in their lives? They are idealists and perfectionists, who drive themselves hard in their quest for achieving the goals they have identified for themselves.


“INFPs are highly intuitive about people. They rely heavily on their intuitions to guide them, and use their discoveries to constantly search for value in life. They are on a continuous mission to find the truth and meaning underlying things. Every encounter and every piece of knowledge gained gets sifted through the INFP’s value system, and is evaluated to see if it has any potential to help the INFP define or refine their own path in life. The goal at the end of the path is always the same – the INFP is driven to help people and make the world a better place.


“Generally thoughtful and considerate, INFPs are good listeners and put people at ease. Although they may be reserved in expressing emotion, they have a very deep well of caring and are genuinely interested in understanding people. This sincerity is sensed by others, making the INFP a valued friend and confidante. An INFP can be quite warm with people he or she knows well.


“INFPs do not like conflict, and go to great lengths to avoid it. If they must face it, they will always approach it from the perspective of their feelings. In conflict situations, INFPs place little importance on who is right and who is wrong. They focus on the way that the conflict makes them feel, and indeed don’t really care whether or not they’re right. They don’t want to feel badly. This trait sometimes makes them appear irrational and illogical in conflict situations. On the other hand, INFPs make very good mediators, and are typically good at solving other people’s conflicts, because they intuitively understand people’s perspectives and feelings, and genuinely want to help them.


“INFPs are flexible and laid-back, until one of their values is violated. In the face of their value system being threatened, INFPs can become aggressive defenders, fighting passionately for their cause. When an INFP has adopted a project or job which they’re interested in, it usually becomes a “cause” for them. Although they are not detail-oriented individuals, they will cover every possible detail with determination and vigor when working for their “cause”.


“When it comes to the mundane details of life maintenance, INFPs are typically completely unaware of such things. They might go for long periods without noticing a stain on the carpet, but carefully and meticulously brush a speck of dust off of their project booklet.


“INFPs do not like to deal with hard facts and logic. Their focus on their feelings and the Human Condition makes it difficult for them to deal with impersonal judgment. They don’t understand or believe in the validity of impersonal judgment, which makes them naturally rather ineffective at using it. Most INFPs will avoid impersonal analysis, although some have developed this ability and are able to be quite logical. Under stress, it’s not uncommon for INFPs to mis-use hard logic in the heat of anger, throwing out fact after (often inaccurate) fact in an emotional outburst.


“INFPs have very high standards and are perfectionists. Consequently, they are usually hard on themselves, and don’t give themselves enough credit. INFPs may have problems working on a project in a group, because their standards are likely to be higher than other members’ of the group. In group situations, they may have a “control” problem. The INFP needs to work on balancing their high ideals with the requirements of every day living. Without resolving this conflict, they will never be happy with themselves, and they may become confused and paralyzed about what to do with their lives.


“INFPs are usually talented writers. They may be awkard and uncomfortable with expressing themselves verbally, but have a wonderful ability to define and express what they’re feeling on paper. INFPs also appear frequently in social service professions, such as counselling or teaching. They are at their best in situations where they’re working towards the public good, and in which they don’t need to use hard logic.


“INFPs who function in their well-developed sides can accomplish great and wonderful things, which they will rarely give themselves credit for. Some of the great, humanistic catalysts in the world have been INFPs.”


The Sixteen Personality Types – High-Level.


Happy New Year!

Happy new year


Merry Christmas!



God bless our servicemen and -women

To those who wear my country’s uniform at Christmas, thank you. God bless.








For those who are interested in fitness hints and simple exercises like this one, I have begun adding posts to a Fitness board on Pinterest. The link to that board is:



Crocheted rainbow blanket

For anyone interested in needlework, I have recently set up a Needlework board on Pinterest. As an example, I just pinned an easy tutorial about how to crochet this beautiful rainbow blanket. The link to that board is:





A tribute to those lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School

“I just spent a few hours making this. I would be honored if you would post this to your page in remembrance of those lost.”
Denizen Dez Grimaldi



PocketQuotes Charms and Pendants

As you do your holiday shopping, keep PocketQuotes charms in mind. Each charm represents a quote posted here on Curiosities. Read more about PocketQuotes on the tab at the top of this page, or view the charms on my Pocket-Quotes.com website or on my EtceterasByDickens eBay store.

One of my favorite charms, and one of the best-sellers, is this “charming” sterling silver frog pendant:




Heigh ho, heigh ho, it’s back to work I go…


Some of you know that I am heading back into the world of the working after having taken a year and a half off as I got my Curiosities sites up and running. I am a freelance transcriber and transcribe primarily U.S. Senate hearings, but I work from home and on my own schedule. My Curiosities posts are extremely important to me, so I will be continuing my “work” (my posts) here, as well.


My first hearing takes place later this afternoon; wish me luck as I climb back in the saddle again. :)




The holidays are upon us…

Okay, back to work, here. :) The lights are up, the house is decorated (this is a picture of my favorite room in our house), the cards have been mailed, the gifts have been bought and wrapped, two kinds of fudge have been made, gingerbread cookies and snowball cookies are next on today’s agenda, but first I’m going to get some posts out. Busy as I’ve been, I’ve missed my posts, and I’ve missed YOU! ♥




A cozy rainy day

It’s a cozy rainy day. The earth takes nourishment as the moisture cools and replenishes the earth, and brings water directly to the plants and wildlife. The air smells rich and full. The sound of the rain is even more soothing than the roaring surf, more like a gentle brook.


In a conversation with Jim (my husband) a few weeks ago, I remarked about the fact that the eagles that I follow on videocam (Decorah eagles) seem to just take rain in stride. Even in the worst storms, with the nest 80 feet up in a tree rocking to and fro like the lullaby we all know (until we humans are sure the bows will break), they seem to just hunker down and ride it out. I pondered whether animals might actually view rainy days as days of peace. With everyone snuggled down, even the predators, for the most part, seem to take the day off. Our bird feeders are being visited by only a few souls, and only during the lulls. Wouldn’t it be nice to relax in the nest and be able to drop your guard for a just a little while and just “be”?


It’s a cozy rainy day, not an ugly one. Get cozy in your nest, whether that’s at home or at work, or get out your umbrella and go for a walk, or just go out and dance in the rain. :-)


I’ve got a window open next to my desk, and I’m about to settle in and work on today’s Curiosities posts to the sound of the rain.


Squirrel buffet INSIDE the birdfeeder

And this is the funniest thing that happened this week. We went out to survey the storm damage and came home to find this little squirrel INSIDE one of our birdfeeders. The lid must have been knocked loose during the storm, and this little guy climbed right in and didn’t know how to get back out. We had to put it on the ground and tip it over to coax him out.



Superstorm Sandy

This is just one of the downed trees that had our power down for five days.