Are You Nice? Or… Are You Kind?

Dear Reader:

I know you must be thinking… ” Hum… yesterday’s post was about the difference between ” looking” or ” seeing” and now ” nice” or ” kind?” ” Is Becky on some kind of grammatical mission?”

No. ( ” NO is a complete sentence.” ) ***Popular quote by Annie Lamotte. Of course she simply means that we water down the power of the word when we add dangling participles or adverbs… whatever … to the comment.

Most of you readers know I have had a long love affair with words, their meanings and origins from day one. It is only now, however, that I have come to realize how some of our simplest words are more complex when used correctly. ( Look and See- Nice and Kind)

Monday morning found me scurrying around-three major items on my to do list and one appointment. By the time I got groceries and got home… it was 1:00 and GMA 3 was starting. The whole show was their big kick-off Cool To Be Kind – a year-long initiative.

I was starving and gobbling down some lunch as I watched the program. The first initiative was to send some of their young employees to Central Park to get volunteers to participate in acts of kindness.

Beautiful areas of Central Park

If you can pull yesterday’s show …watch how everyone in Central Park got pulled into the joy of giving… one girl went into a nearby coffee shop and bought coffee for a stranger-what was so nice was watching the expressions on the other customers faces… everyone was smiling … their day was made watching this one isolated act of kindness!

First, however, the question arose between applying the terms nice or kind to individuals… what term was more surface and which one had a deeper concept.

Nice and Kind are often used interchangeably to describe a friendly person. However there is an important distinction.

Nice typically describes a person who is pleasant or polite to others, while kind typically describes someone who performs good acts for others. Nice is passive; Kind is active.

Go back in time and remember how many times your parents ” warned” you ( as a child and adolescent) to ” be nice” at a relatives gathering or friend’s sleepover. Today we should direct our children and grandchildren to be kind… not just polite. Do something that shows your kindness in being helpful.

We only have to look to Jesus to see the best examples. Kindness is bestowed on us through the complete love and acceptance of His love through us. Jesus never stopped at just being nice… He actively made arrangements to feed the hungry masses listening to Him, to heal the blind and sick, to comfort those who mourned and accept everyone’s differences without judgment.

Niceness is pleasant , but it lacks conviction. Jesus’ kindness is selfless, compassionate and merciful- It is the act of kindness that He wished for His believers to follow- ” Love your neighbor” and spread kindness to everyone… go the extra mile.

GMA 3 even had one of their doctors share how being kind to others can affect your physical and mental health. Kind people have lower blood pressure issues, decrease in cortisol-a natural stress hormone. Kind acts produce good endorphins and increase connectivity that enhances relationships , thus lowering isolation. Kind people live happier and longer lives.

So until tomorrow…

Today is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh

After I got back from Mt Pleasant this past weekend…while checking my mail I was so excited to see a notecard from Joan… my son-in-law John’s multi-talented and kind mother!

I had sent her ( earlier) a combo get-well and Mother’s Day card-( Joan had fallen down her porch steps – when the railing broke) but thankfully escaped with bruises but no broken bones! Now here she was sending a personally illustrated notecard cover of a garden one finds in their dreams or wildest imagination! Breathtaking in its beauty. I just wanted to magically ” transform ” into that garden of serenity and awe-inspiring beauty !

And she didn’t stop there… she put another secret ” surcie” in too to pay forward … best example of the difference between nice and kind. Joan is both… magnified!

I want to jump in the pond and swim with the koi! Our multi-talented artistic Joan!!!
Finally! My first gardenia bloom! I smelled it before I saw it!!! Heavenly!

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You Can’t Ever Go Wrong When the Answer is Love…

The answer is still and again … LOVE!

Dear Reader:

On this Monday… I feel like just sticking to one simple thought… Love Always Wins!

” Love is the only rational act”

I love this particular quote from Tuesdays with Morrie... especially these days when it seems like we are living in an ” irrational” time period. A time when self-greed prevails over love and compassion for others.

Yet I do believe that love prevails in the end… I refuse to give up on that conviction! … Just as Mitch learns in the book from his old professor Morrie… ” As long as we can love each other… and remember the feeling of the love we had, we can die without really going away.”

” All the love we created is still there. All the memories are still there. We live on -in the hearts of everyone we have touched and nurtured while we were here.”

Even Einstein confirmed (under the Conservation of Mass Law) – Matter is neither created nor destroyed-Einstein saw matter as energy and if you have ever been in love… haven’t you felt so energized that you see the world sunny-side-up… glimmering and brimming with love and happiness? Our love remains behind to all we cared for and nurtured!

So until tomorrow…

I think it is time to start a new movement… Let’s Get Rational! Love Shows Us The way!

Today is my favorite day -Winnie the Pooh

My plants welcoming me back!

The hydrangeas are the most beautiful this year-everywhere!
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It’s Not What You Look At that Counts… But What You See…in Life

Dear Reader:

Have you ever thought about the difference between looking and seeing? Perhaps we all should because it dictates whether we live our lives superficially or take time to connect sights with deep-seeded meaning and understanding in and of our lives.

Seeing requires perception on the part of the person who is physically directing their eyes towards a sight… just looking ” surfacely” but not at a deeper level meaningfully…. not seeing connections made to link past experiences or create novel fresh ideas.

A fun example… Do you remember the scene when the Griswolds go on ” Vacation” … they arrive at the Grand Canyon … only to run over, barely glance at the ” big hole” , ) and start back towards the car when Ellen rebukes Clark for not even looking at it. Clark sighs , bops up and down two times… yells ” Done” ( he had looked, not seen, but looked at the Grand Canyon- check ! )

One of the greatest natural sights in the world and Clark just wanted to check if off on his vacation sights list. A ” sight” but no ” seeing.” He left behind a spectacle that has changed people’s lives in its magnificence and beauty! People who ” saw” the ” Big Canyon” and never forgot the experience!

Or ( if you happen to be a baby boomer) remember the Dick and Jane primary reading series?) ” Look” was the most frequented word in the series.

Obviously no difference was taught first graders about the words ” Look” and ” See”… we all grew up thinking they were synonyms!

So until tomorrow…

Not ” looking the good” but ” SEEING the GOOD! ”

Today is my favorite day- Winnie the Pooh

In Ben’s beautiful ” backyard”. Stopped by yesterday to help him send off lost and found golf balls to distributors… keeps him feeling needed! His job now! 💗
Susan Swicegood is so talented -made this beautiful arrangement for Kaitlyn
Kaitlyn’s front yard… so pretty!
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Life Brings You Home…

Dear Reader:

You know when you feel the pull of home… that quiet yearning to return to the beauty of your hometown, the terrific neighbors checking in on your home and gardens…. your flowers, plants, and trees ( your other set of “grandchildren”.) Such a nice thought… then add in the reality of upcoming medical appointments and procedures … sigh… but still it is time to ” return to normalcy.”

I am definitely ready to get a breakfast from Eva’s Restaurant-love their sausages… the best! ( Mandy spoiled me making breakfast every morning. )

One of my favorite areas in Summerville is Short Central Avenue. In 2001 while working on a street project… engineers discovered bricks dating back to the 1920’s! This discovery changed the whole outlook on the purpose and vision of the project.

The town decided to block the road from vehicles and create a pedestrian path that leads people from historic neighborhoods to the bustling town square.

Diverse shops , deli’s, restaurants, taverns offer cultural designs and tastes to visitors.

Another week down for students… and if they are like my grandchildren… they are ready for summer… the count-down begins.

Getting Closer-About two weeks-calendar count-down time!!!

So until tomorrow…

This will be my first thought upon returning home … and the garden always wins!

Today is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh

Even the loud-mouth Carolina wren weather! 😂
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Sometimes Good Things Fall Apart… So Better Things Can Fall Together

Dear Reader:

Haven’t we all experienced going through a really good period of time… so much so that we want to nestle down into its comfort and security and stay right there for a long satisfying time?

… Only to be unceremoniously dumped right back into reality and scrambling again to stay afloat?

By now we should know… life is filled with change-agents ready to pop up without a moments notice and pull the ” rug out from under us.”

It makes us feel sometimes that life imitates the old game show-Press Your Luck. Don’t you remember watching contestants pressing a lever that brought cars, merchandise, and money… but.. it could all be taken away in a second if a ” Whammy” popped up! Contestants would yell out” Big Money.. No Whammies” before they pressed the lever.


Haven’t we all gotten comfortable in a certain phase or stage of life and we want it to keep going… ” No Whammies!”

It isn’t until a life shake-up has come and gone… that we realize ( in retrospect) we had become complacent and no longer challenged by life -we needed a change…a new life that required our special strengths to help others.

I read an article that gave these five tips to landing where we belong …

* If you lack inspiration-shift the scenery

* Pay attention to what moves you

* What you do in your ” free” time is what you should do all the time

*When opportunity knocks… answer the door!

*Be ready to pivot when things don’t quite work

So until tomorrow… God is our ” Nudger” reminding us we are here for a purpose-to help others -not to wholly concentrate on our wants-the secret-combining the two!

Today is my favorite day -Winnie the Pooh

I have really enjoyed watching and walking through nature along the ponds and canals in Mandy’s neighborhood. When I got this photo after patiently waiting for the two geese to swim close by the lower deck… finally synchronized together… I was thrilled! Beautiful!

Mandy’s next door neighbor’s beautiful hydrangea bush!
R &R in my Winnie the Pooh T-shirt!
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What Makes You Come Alive?

Dear Reader:

This particular quote stopped me immediately as I was reading an article by Brene Brown yesterday. I marked my place in the article, closed the booklet, and started ruminating about my earliest fondest memories … a time when I felt truly alive and a contributor ( for the first time) to the world around me… no longer just a spectator.

I was eight years old… end of third grade school year… talent show time. Since I couldn’t dance or sing… I didn’t think much about it… but mother could tell I really wanted to do something in it.

She later told me that she found a soliloquy she had heard once and had made a copy of …It was about a little country girl’s funny ” take” on her crazy relatives living together on a farm.

I dressed in overalls, a red cotton kerchief, straw hat and kept one piece of straw in my mouth! *Having natural buck teeth just added to the imagery!

***I love Mary Cassett’s portrait… Girl in a Straw Hat

Even back then I could memorize easily and read ferociously … so mainly I just had to learn how to work on the timed gestures and laughter lines throughout the pantomime.

The first time the audience ( classmates) started laughing ( at a line I spoke) I was hooked. My adrenaline was racing and I intuitively realized I could do something to make others happy. I have never forgotten that moment!

Years later…as I faced my first eight grade social studies class… I asked them to prioritize their subjects from favorite to least favorite… social studies bottomed out-I had my work cut out for me!

So I told the students that the social studies books were just reference books-and that we were going to be” telling” stories… lots and lots of stories. I would start but soon they would be the storytellers… the historians. And we wanted to listen to historical music from different time periods during our lessons to set the stage for the historical events we would study.

I am happy to say by the end of the year social studies had left the bottom rung of the subject hierarchy… even for some students…reaching the highest tier. Storytelling… always the secret to success!

Think about it… what brightens your day and makes you feel alive like no other… what can you contribute to this old world who needs all of our strengths to keep it turning for all its inhabitants?

So until tomorrow… Make everyday a beautiful day by sharing your God-given talents with your fellow man… our ” time-share” humans who reside beside us during our gift of a life time capsule slice of life.

Today is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh

Mandy’s new bird bungalow
My Angelina/arch-angel
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Sending the Right Messaging to Ourselves…


Dear Reader:

Don’t we see more and more news on the escalating mental health crisis among Americans… especially our young adolescents?

First coronavirus was the targeted nemesis for this increase but now many other changes in our ” normal” daily activities tend to increase individual stress levels… like environmental issues resulting in destructive weather destroying homes and communities, inconsistencies in school learning styles, daily mass homicides at theaters, school classrooms, parks, workplaces, and recreational centers to name a few. Our children wonder where they can be safe and feel secure physically and physiologically … how can they fit in and not feel isolated?

Psychologists remind us that we all have intrusive thoughts – that we aren’t good enough- but some individuals get stuck.

The key to overcoming intrusive thoughts is to observe them for what they are and accept that they are there… But-you must refuse to allow them to dictate and control your life!

Helpful messaging is the key to overcoming anxiety. The most common thread is that you have to face your fears and REFUSE to allow your fears to win! Remembering this ” formula” and repeating it daily to yourself helps!



So until tomorrow… ” Miracles start to happen when you give as much energy to your dreams as you do to your fears.” -Kim Vincently

Today is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh

Even though we all know that Winnie’s fear of ” Heffalumps” and ” Woozles” is silly because they are imaginary… they are real to Winnie… his ” security blanket” against them is clutching his honey jar.

We need to realize that what may seem scary to you is not scary to me. But what always remains true is compassion and reassurance for each other.

Love Star petunias
My ” Easter” lily opened completely on Mother’s Day! Thank you Tommy and Kaitlyn for giving the gift that keeps giving… third season!!!
My new planter John and Mandy gave me is nestled in and getting acquainted with its new neighbors!

Eloise is getting ready to go with her girl cousins to Disney World next week… she is so excited!

A new Minnie Look!
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” Happily Ever After” is only as happy as You make it!

Dear Reader:

Have you ever thought how ” earth-shattering” ( downright devastating) a ” reality show” on Disney fairy tale movies would be …if transformed into ” What REALLY happened in this couple’s Ever After Story? ( Snow White, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Pinocchio, Rapunzel… etc. ( You get the idea! )

I am appalled just contemplating it. I can picture all those starry-eyed little girls and boys watching the Prince ditch Cinderella for one of her mean stepsisters who treacherously had head to toe cosmetic surgery to the point she didn’t even resemble her former self…or Little Red Robin Hood marrying the Wolf to split Grandmother’s inheritance. Talk about ” Innocence Destroyed?”

And even if no one is willing to cross that line … to date… magic, imagination, and dreams belong in fairy tales to brighten children’s lives to the possibilities of a brighter happiness from within… not destruction from a harsh reality stemming from uncontrollable outside forces.

Yes… today the Fairy Godmother would convince Cinderella that she was just as important and worthy as any other ” privileged girl” vying for the Prince’s attention. In other words… ” Own it… Own this ball tonight Cinderella!”

… and the only ” mirrors” in our lives… should not be nouns but we should always be looking to worthy others to ” mirror” their behavior and integrity for ourselves …as revealed in this earlier anecdote.

So until tomorrow… ” If the shoe fits… wear it” … we better be sure that the life we want to be remembered for ” fits” the person inside!

Tomorrow is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh

The most beautiful magnolia bloom on our walk with Winnie ( the dog) yesterday!
Mandy hung her bird chime from Mother’s Day!
Love my new kitchen towel Susan!
So true! Prayers for Moms Everywhere!
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Mirror Mirror on the Wall…

I Need a Mirror that Reflects my Soul… for that is the “ME” that has not grown ” OLD.”

Dear Reader:

How many of us have felt this same way…( in our perspectives on mirror images) as we live and experience the up’s and down’s of life…don’t we feel that our physical appearances should match our emotional and especial spiritual growth?

… And if this is so… shouldn’t we reflect a face or expression alive with gratitude and a slight smile conveying a deeper understanding of life and our place in it?

This past weekend … I had the opportunity to help Eva Cate and Jake make Mother Day ” surcies” for Mandy Saturday night while John and Mandy celebrated their anniversary out for dinner. We had fun… For Jake’s card ” You ROCK Mom” … we searched for a rock to put his name on for a paper-weight. Eva Cate drew a poster card for mom.

Jake’s Monarch butterfly
A bird’s tree house or perhaps bungalow

… The Turner family gave me a beautiful pink mandevilla… can hardly wait to put it in my garden!

Then yesterday evening… Tommy and Kaitlyn took me and Susan ( Kaitlyn’s mom-and niece Lily) out to eat at a new restaurant on Coleman in Mt Pleasant!

I have my new prayer beads on that Kaitlyn gave me for Mothers Day!

So until tomorrow… Rod Stewart sang ” Forever Young” ( one of my top five favorite songs) and I think we can achieve that …if we believe in achieving ” Soulfully Young.”

Tommy managed to find a Clemson Tiger Mothers Day card ! Happy Mother’s Day!

Today is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh

And even for us whose moms are in heaven… it is still home to us!
Tommy and Kaitlyn’s yard!!!

I hope everyone took time to remember the mothers in our lives and their gift of unconditional love! Happy Mothers Day!!!

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” Mothering” is Mother Like No Other…

Dear Reader:

Stop and think about it..what is the most appreciated and the most precious type of loving we can give and receive in our lifetimes. ” Mothering!”

” Mothering” is not restricted to gender, age, or even humans… it is a special bonding that reassures us God is watching over us and sends us ” who” we need , at any given moment, to feel comfort and belonging.

The ” act” of mothering includes physical contact and an immediate sensation that someone cares for us.

… And best of all … it is not restricted to mothers… anyone can ” mother” … even pets.

Pause a moment and think about a pet you had in your life who always sensed when you were down or upset. How many times did this pet give you a lick and a snuggle until your spirits lifted?

Now start remembering people in your life who ” mothered” you in the past. Perhaps it was a coach who threw his arms around you and encouraged you to forget one play or game gone array… that better times were coming. Perhaps it was a teacher patting you on the back … reminding you that you would do better on the next test!

Your ” mothering” might even have come from a complete stranger who ran over to check on you following a car accident and stayed with you until the police arrived… or perhaps it was the policeman , himself, who comforted you while waiting on an ambulance.

God gave us all this special gift of compassion… with no restrictions to gender, age, religion, race, ancestry or education… a ” magical” feeling of being uplifted when we need it the most.

God knew that the world needed more ” mothering” and uplifting than one segment of the population could provide alone… so ” mothering” is open to everyone. We should all find ourselves on each side of the experience-feeling ” mothered” and ” mothering ” another.

So until tomorrow… Happy Mother’s Day… Happy Everyone ” Mothering Day!

More Gerber blossoms
Bird’s eye view of back garden
Look at the intricate design in this lantana blossom… mind-boggling! God’s creation is awesome!

Happy ” Mothering” Day everyone! Share the love, hugs, and snugs! 💗

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