Friday, September 30, 2011

This is my favorite quote by Henry Ford.   I do not like to ever say or think I can’t.  It is giving up.  I will say I won't, but not that I can't.  Life is a matter of choice and I usually like to pick my battles and save my energy for those things that are really important to me. When a battle is picked, I believe that I will be successful.  The question is what is important enough to expend valuable energy on and just do it.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

You're a Genius

Many years ago, I was told that if you can't spell you are very intelligent, so I have always said that I am very intelligent.  Life has been good to me by giving me spell check so my untalent  (spell check is saying not a word but I am making it a new one) does not show as much as it did years ago.  I took that piece of information and ran with it.  We are all a genius because God has given us very special talents.  I like to say God did not give me looks or money but He gave me patience and that is a great gift.  He was generous with other gifts too like creativity and foresight along with many other gifts.  What gifts has He given you?

Be happy and God Bless you.  
Stay In The Moment 

I have sung the praises of A New Earth Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle to anyone that would listen.  The book was a spiritual awaking for me.  Eckhart says you need to make friends with the present moment.  When your ego begins to control the situation, stay in the moment.  Ego hates the present moment and staying in the moment will rid you of your ego which can control your life and steals happiness and energy from you.  If you stay in the moment, it helps us rid ourselves of the constant stream of involuntary and compulsive thinking and emotions that rule us.  It is a long and continuous process, but worth it.  It is easy to fall back into the old ways so I need to continually tell myself to stay in the moment.  Just saying it in my head helps rid myself of that voice trying to cash in the "green stamps" (old negative thoughts that you carry around with you and that you are always ready to cash in).

He says that complaining is one of ego's favorite strategies for strengthening itself.  No one wants to hear our complaining and it give you no benefit in life.  You need to practice ridding yourself of complaining.  That is hard to do when it is deeply embedded in your life.  If you do not pull in the past and worry about the future, it makes the process easier.

He also says the ego identifies with having and never has enough causing unhappiness.  I have long said that things are not important.  I learned that when Eddie was a child and he broke something expensive that I loved after I had told him not to play ball in the house and that he was going break something.  He was so terribly sorry and I could see it upset him more than it did me.  I told him that it was just a thing and not important.  He was what was important and the lesson he just learned.  I have told myself many times since then that things are not important.  People are what is important.  This idea was a very necessary lesson in my life so that I could foster parent 31 children.  We have so much more than what we need and things begin to control our lives.

Great, great book.  Stay in the moment and God Bless you.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Lessons Learned in a Book

It seems that each decade I live, there has been an important book that had a profound effect on me due to the subject matter and how it translated to that time in my life.  I think we seek out reading material that we need at the moment.  In the 60's, I read a book called Down These Mean Streets by Piri Thomas, a Puerto Rican who grew up in Spanish Harlem in New York.  Because I lived in the Spanish ghetto in Milwaukee and worked with Spanish teens at the time, it opened my eyes to a new world this country girl did not know existed.  I later married a Puerto Rican and the book continued to have effects on me.  I later shared the book with my Puerto Rican son when he became a young man because of the subject matter.

In the 70's I read I'm Ok, You're Ok.  I took a Physiology class at Long Beach City College that actually used the book as a text book.  The 70's was the TA (Transcendental Meditation) era.  The book helped me reconfirm simple truths that life sometimes takes away from you.  

The 80's brought Maya Angelou's 3 auto biographies and she became one of my heroes.   Her books showed me that people can over come almost any adversity and become great people.  I read everything she publishes.

The 90's brought The Broken Arrow, a story of an Native American Single man adopting a Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Native American son.  It began my research on FAS.

2000 brought me A New Earth and it has become my 2nd bible.  It is the best spiritual book I have read and return to it often so I don't forget the important things I learned from it.  

It is too early to to say which book will be my pick for this decade.  I'll let you know in another 9 years.  I just have to keep reading.  Each book I read has something to offer me.  I have to finish anything I start though just in case there is some important information I will learn.  There is no such thing as a wasted education.  

What books have changed your life?  

Be happy and God Bless You.         

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Short and Sweet Today 

Everyone on God's earth has a lesson to teach us if we will open up and allow it.  Be humble and accepting of others.  You will learn and the world will be a better place for it.

Be happy and God Bless you.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Not feeling well today.  Went to doctor yesterday and have kidney infection so taking a day off from writing and will let the antibiotic work.  Tomorrow will be better.

Be happy and God bless you.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

To-Do Lists 

Up With The Chickens (Picture is of my son's families chickens.  I call them my grandchickens.  Staci keeps a blog on them called The Happy Henhouse.  You can visit that at: )

Well it is 6:00 in the morning and as usual my day is starting early.  I'm a morning person.  I get more done in the early AM than the rest of the day.  I'm also more creative in the early morning.  Guess my mind is as fresh as it is going to get then.  Now that I don't have to work, you would think I would sleep in, but that has never been the case.  No matter what time I go to bed at night, I still wake early.  Once my mind is active, I can no longer sleep.

I start my day with putting together my to-do list.  I found long ago that it helps me get things accomplished, but it also helps me get more done and at my age remember what needs to be done.  I'm now a lists person.  I have a grocery list always on my desk along with my to-do list.  My calendar is full of day-to-day things. I have started my Christmas gift list. My Christmas shopping is always done by Thanksgiving.  I have never been a procrastinator and am organized to a fault.  I thought upon retirement, I'd be a little less organized, but God made it a big part of me and so I embrace it as part of who I am.  It makes life simpler and less stressful.  I do not let the lists run my life though.  I love  new experiences and surprises.  Should a good opportunity arise to do something in the moment, I'll drop the list and do the fun, spontaneous or meaningful experience.  With more time on my hands, I find it helps fill the time.  Although, when I worked full time and had 6 foster kids in my home, I found it a necessary part of my day to help set priorities and meet all the demands of a day.  It works for me no matter what my day is like.  One special note though is that I always leave the things I hate to do to the last.  That has stayed constant.  That makes me human.

I laugh with my mom about getting things done because we both say "maybe we will do it, maybe we won't".  It is not really all that important that I get my living room vacuumed and it can wait until tomorrow.  But once it is on my list it will get done.  Maybe tomorrow, but it will get crossed off my list.  I don't know that this will work for everyone, but it sure works for me.

It is OK to be a procrastinator and unorganized.  I sure know a lot of people that are.  The fact that we are all different is what makes life more interesting.  What are you?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Things Are Not Always What They Seem

We are quick to judge or assume things before we know the real truths.  I realize each day just how much I do not know.  It is through experience, listening and reading I gain knowledge, but there is so much more to learn.  I’m not an expert in anything and learned long ago that people are out there doing the best they can at the moment.  I do not want to sit in judgment and surely do not know what is best for others.  I try to live by the “walking in another person’s shoes” philosophy.  How can we know what they are living, if we are not living the exact same thing?

Being a better person makes me want to constantly learn.  I’m hungry for new experiences and knowledge.  I continue to grow because of this need.  Growth is a very necessary part of our existence.  There can be no happiness without it.

I’d like to share a very personal story about my son Josh.  He came to me at 11 months old only weighing 11 pounds.  He was a fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) baby and coke baby.  His birth mother drank heavily and used coke while carrying him and after his birth.  She didn’t know if he had eaten the day he was taken from her.  He was lifeless in the crib and was taken immediately to the doctor.  He was placed in my foster home.  I loved him the minute he was put into my arms.  I always have felt that I gave birth to him that day.  He needed very special care, like a 3rd world nation starving child.  Until he was almost 3 years old he could only eat rice, soy formula, turkey and chicken because of what the starvation had done to his digestive system.  He did thrive though and gained weight immediately.  Of course, he became a learning experience immediately and I needed information that was not readily available.  We saw University of Iowa Hospital, doctors, doctors and more doctors.  School and AEA became a challenge because they set very low expectations for him.  I laughed when AEA told me he was working beyond his potential.  How can one work beyond their potential?  School said he would never learn beyond 7th grade math and yet own his own, he got his GED.  I have learned much and am still learning about FAS because life continues to be a great challenge for Josh and always will be.

I gleaned this information from the internet and it describes Josh almost 100%:

Symptoms of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

The list of signs and symptoms mentioned in various sources for Fetal alcohol syndrome includes the 52 symptoms listed below:
Hope you have learned something today.  Keep learning, read and grow.  You are welcome to share your own story.

Be happy and God bless you.

Monday, September 19, 2011

What Made Me Happy Today?

I like to think at the end of the day “what made me happy?”  It is often real small things and a repeat of the day before but they add up quickly.  I think Opra writes in a blessings journal and counts her blessings each day.  It is a great idea.  I’m sharing the things that made me happy today:

  • 2 little Chi’s that make me laugh more than once a day
  • Checking the last thing off of my to-do list for the day
  • Visiting my 86 year old mother
  • Reading
  • Watching an old black and white movie I really enjoyed
  • A long needed rain
  • Looking at pictures above my desk of grandchildren
  • Listening to Muddy Waters and B. B. King sing
  • Covering up in a warm blanket just laundered and smelling the freshness of it
  • Climbing into a clean bed with my little dogs.  We keep each other warm.
  • Fixing chicken enchiladas
  • Doing creative writing
  • Looking out my window at the birds I’m feeding
  • Looking out the window at the rabbits eating my mums that I guess I’m feeding
  • Picking fresh tomatoes and herbs from my garden

The list can get very long because I find happiness in such small things.  I need to thank God for all these small blessings (happiness) that He has made a part of my life.  What joy do you find in you day?

Be happy and God bless you.

3.  Show love daily so people know it exists.

Love is like air.  You can’t see it unless something is added like the wind blowing the trees or the air is polluted dirtying the air.  You can’t see love unless someone is showing it in someway.  Without showing you love someone by your touch, your communication, your gifts, your valuable time and attention, and respect, how can a person ever see or know it?  If you love someone, you must communicate that love many times a day so there is proof of that love making it visible and known.  Whether you are talking about loving a small child, a spouse or a friend, your saying “I love you” isn’t near enough. Say it often but then back it up:

  • Touch relays it quickly in a hug or a kiss.  Make those long hugs.  The longer the better.  
  • A warm kiss saying hello and good-bye
  • A simple meaningful gift that shows you put some real thought into it.  Don’t wait for special occasions.
  • Sing it
  • Help out with a chore or project
  • Spend quality time
  • Smile at them often.  Laugh with them often.
  • Make or share great food they love to eat (My mom's chicken and noodles always shows her love to us)
  • Make sure there are many more positive than negative communications or it won’t be believed
  • Call them by a special name only you share with them
  • Complement them on little things they do or how they look
  • Share of yourself and your time.  Give them 100% of your attention
  • Show complete respect for their views and ideas.  You don’t have to agree, but agree with their right to have their opinion
  • Listen, listen and listen some more
  • Make them know you enjoy their company 
What can we add to this list?  Share different ways you show your love.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Memories and Future Generations: (#21 on my list):

Each weekend I get one of my grandsons on Friday night and they spend the weekend with me.  I take them back on Sunday.  The sole purpose of this was to have quality one-on-one time with them, but there are many other benefits that we all get out of it.  I make it completely their weekend and focus on what is special to them.

Each grandson has their own likes and tastes, so I completely cater to their likes. On our drive home we discuss what he wants to do for the weekend.  Sam likes Chinese so we go to his favorite Chinese restaurant. He expects that each time now.  He loves what we call bird’s nests (some people call it a toad in a hole, but it is an egg in the middle of a piece of bread and fried).  I make it for him each morning for breakfast.  I tell him that someday when he makes it for his children he is to tell them that his grandma always made it for him.  We are making memories and sharing memories along with getting to know each other better. 

I get to know each of my grandsons more and more and love them for the fine young men they are becoming.  Sawyer loves Mexican so we do Mexican.  He loves chocolate donuts and cinnamon toast so I make sure I have all his favorite foods in the house to spoil him in small ways. They get to stay up late and the day in entirely their day.  They do not have to compete with their 3 other brothers.  Sawyer is the one that in my eyes is most like me.  My quiet thinker.

Saylor has a special diet and can’t have gluten or dairy so we make special recipes that he likes to help me fix.  We make Saylor brownies we invented that he loves and he gets what he loves and his brothers can eat what ever they want when it is his weekend giving all them a break also.  He is my Thespian.  His imagination is always working.  We like to spend time making costumes and tools for him to pretend with.  He also looks back on his memories at the age of 8 and says:  "Good times, good times!"  This tickles me so because he sounds like he is grown up and looking back over many memories.  He is the most affectionate (although they are all affectionate).  He hugs me and tells me over and over in a day how much he loves me adding to my "good times".

Both Saylor and Sal love to sit and go through old pictures and discuss the memory.  Sal is happy with just having Spaghettios and McDonald’s chicken nuggets so I cater to him by always having Spaghettios in the house and taking him to McDonalds where we sit and talk about his week.  He loves to bake with me also.  Both Sal and Saylor love to do crafts and play simple games on the computer.  They are always proud to take something they have made home to mama or papa and it is so much fun doing it together. Sal loves to collect so he is always looking for something to take home as a memory.

Grandmas are noted for food and memories and I’m no different.  Future generations will know me through the memories they share with their children and hopefully some of my wisdom that I have shared with them will carry on also. 

God watch over them, bless them and let them know much happiness.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Snow Covered Roses
(True Story)

Picture and poem by
Elaine Mercado

One early October day, I awoke to the morning’s light

 to a most beautiful and puzzling  sight.

My covenanted roses were covered with snow.

That would surely kill them and I loved them so.

As I looked at them, I realized that God’s plan was better than mine.

For His beauty was much more beautiful and divine.

When you think life seems to go against you

and you no longer know what is true.

Don’t fight the moment …. He knows what is best.

Remember my roses covered with snow and do not protest.

Trust in tomorrow and try to look at life with His eyes.

Your world may be filled with wonder and surprise.

Mercado's Life Lessons: At the age of 65, I think I have some wisdom and e...

Mercado's Life Lessons: At the age of 65, I think I have some wisdom and e...: At the age of 65, I think I have some wisdom and experiences that others may benefit from, so thought I would try and share some of them wit...
At the age of 65, I think I have some wisdom and experiences that others may benefit from, so thought I would try and share some of them with people daily.  I have started a life's lessons list for myself and try to live by it.  Much has been gleaned from books, training that I have been to or just plain old living and making mistakes and hopefully learning from them.  One of the best quotes I ever heard was from a training with Paul Burton and don't know where he gleaned it from but it has always stuck with me.  Insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting different results.  I try to not make the same mistake over and over again.  Some other lessons I will discuss in the future are: 

  1. You can’t change other people.  You can only change yourself.
  2. Stay in the moments.  Do not drag the past or the future into feelings.
  3. Show love daily so people know it exists.
  4. People can be conditioned to almost anything. 
  5. Do you want to be right or happy?  You usually can’t have both.  Pick.
  6. To pray is to listen.  Listen daily.  He is talking to you.
  7. It is much easier to be nice.
  8. Happiness comes from positive feelings.  Stay away from negative thoughts and people if you want to feel happy.
  9. “Fake it until you make it”.  Keep thinking or doing and it becomes true.
  10. Want and need.  They are two very different things.  Only consider the need.
  11. Anger is one of the 7 deadly sins.  It leads to greater sins. 
  12. All work is noble.
  13. Pride is a sin.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  God is always there to listen.
  14. Work gives self esteem 
  15. Read, read, read
  16. Know thyself and be true to yourself
  17. To-Do lists are a great tool to accomplish tasks
  18. Challenge is necessary in one's life to enrich it
  19. To gain control, release control
  20. Mistakes build character.  Go ahead and make as many as you can.  Shows you are growing.
  21. Make sure you leave some of yourself behind for future generations
  22. It is our duty to make this world a better place than when we came into it
  23. You are solely responsible for your happiness
  24. You must leave your comfort zone to grow 
I'm sure I will add to my list in time and expand on these in more detail on how I learned this lesson. 

Have a great day and be happy!  God bless you.