Share Your World – January 9, 2017

Share Your World – January 9, 2017

If you lost a bet and had to dye your hair a color of the rainbow for a week, what color would it be?

Right now I’d probably go with lime green, as the Seattle Seahawks are in the playoffs.

At any other time of the year, I’d probably go with purple because it’s my favorite color. I don’t know how I’d look with purple hair, but it couldn’t hurt to find out.

(This color would wash right out if I didn’t like it, right?)

If you could choose one word to focus on for 2017, what would it be?


I’ve decided that 2017 is the year I actually focus on my writing instead of continuing to say, “Someday I’m going to devote the time and effort necessary to hone my writing skills and actually write some pieces worthy of being put out into the internet world.”

What was one thing you learned last year that you added to your life?

Never take friends for granted.

I really learned this lesson a long time ago, but last year it was reinforced for me a few times over.

If life was ‘just a bowl of cherries’… which fruit other than a cherry would you be..?

Pineapple, a delightful combination of sweet and tart (although I’d have to work hard on the sweet part).

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful for more of the same last week and am looking forward to more of the same next week.

And I hope everyone has a great upcoming week!

© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown

Last Week’s Links

‘Mysterious power over humanity’: How cats affect health

Have you ever thought about all those cat videos you seen whenever you check Facebook? In this article for CNN Alice Robb talks with Abigail Tucker, author of The Lion in the Living Room: How Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World, about:

the disturbing similarities between cats and lions, the reason cats failed to uphold the Rabbit Suppression Act of 1884, and the somewhat baffling question of why people put up with them.

How We Got From Doc Brown to Walter White

Eva Amsen on “the changing image of the TV scientist”:

The change in TV offers insight into the image and impact of scientists today, say communication scholars. Although recent headlines may have been dominated by people who bend scientific facts into the molds of their personal ideologies, surveys reveal a deep public esteem for scientists. Viewers now want and demand their scientists to be realistic, and what the viewer wants, Hollywood delivers. As a result, scientists on screen have evolved from stereotypes and villains to credible and positive characters, due in part to scientists themselves, anxious to be part of the action and the public’s education.

You’re an Adult. Your Brain, Not So Much.

A look at how the human brain matures and when the brain can be considered mature. Investigation in this area might have profound implications on policy issues such as when people are old enough to vote or to be held accountable for committing crimes.

Praise Is Fleeting, but Brickbats We Recall

Have you ever wondered why you and other members of your family remember experiences so differently? This article explains why: “almost everyone remembers negative things more strongly and in more detail” than they remember positive experiences.

Why time management is ruining our lives

“The quest for increased personal productivity – for making the best possible use of your limited time – is a dominant motif of our age,” writes Oliver Burkeman.

Personal productivity presents itself as an antidote to busyness when it might better be understood as yet another form of busyness. And as such, it serves the same psychological role that busyness has always served: to keep us sufficiently distracted that we don’t have to ask ourselves potentially terrifying questions about how we are spending our days.


© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown

Share Your World – January 2, 2017

Thanks to Cee for this week’s challenge, Share Your World – January 2, 2017.

Would you prefer to receive a unicycle, bicycle, tricycle or motorcycle?

I’m so out of shape that I’ll probably never be able to ride a bicycle for much distance again in my life. So last summer my husband and I bought battery-powered bikes. The battery provides the umph to get up hills. I was hoping we’d be able to ride the bikes around right away, but riding this bike is so different than riding an ordinary bicycle that I never got comfortable enough to ride it very far before the end of summer. Next spring we’ll take them out again, and I hope to get proficient enough to enjoy riding around the area during the summer and fall.

What is one thing you’d like to accomplish this year?

I am determined to work on my writing this year. To help actualize this goal, I have signed up for a 52-week challenge of publishing something (we choose whatever kind of writing we want to do) every week during 2017. We’re just now completing week 1, but so far I’ve kept up!

What was one of the highlights of 2016 for you?

2016 ended up being a topsy-turvy year for us. I think the highlight was the fact that it ended. There were also a couple of other highlights at the end of the year: spending Thanksgiving week in Long Beach, WA, with our daughter (even if it did rain almost all week) and having our daughter spend Christmas Eve/Day with us. But I’m glad to be in 2017 now.

Would you prefer to fly a kite or fly in a hot air balloon?

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to ride in a hot air balloon. I keep dropping hints, but so far none of them have materialized.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am grateful for the start of a new year, with new opportunities. I’m looking forward to trying to keep up with my goals for reading and writing throughout 2017.


© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown

Share Your World – 2016 Week 52

Thanks to Cee for this week’s challenge Share Your World – 2016 Week 52.


What’s your favorite ice-cream flavor?

I only get one? Impossible!

I have various favorites:

  • chocolate (alone and in combination with other good stuff)
  • mocha (esp. jamocha almond fudge)
  • blueberry
  • pumpkin
  • peppermint (seasonal)
  • salted caramel hazelnut

If you were to treat yourself to the “finer things” what would you treat yourself to?

Like a lot of other people, I’d want someone to cook and clean for me, if funds were unlimited.

view from airplane

But my biggest “finer thing” is travel, especially international travel (although I still have a lot of things left to see in the U.S. before I’m through). I want to go back to Ireland, and to Stonehenge, and to Italy, and …

Have you ever been drunk?

Yes, a couple of times back in my college and early adult days. Honestly, it’s not an experience I have any intention of repeating. I can’t understand why people would frequently and voluntarily make themselves feel that awful, and the next morning is even worse.

Complete this sentence: My favorite supposedly guilty pleasure is…

Dark chocolate. And ice cream. And dark chocolate ice cream.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

We had a wonderful Christmas weekend (if we leave out the horrible Seahawks game), and I’ve enjoyed kind of lounging around this week. But I’ll be glad for the start of the new year, when we will focus on eating more healthily and I will try to get back into the groove of serious reading and writing.

I hope everyone has a good week. And Happy New Year!


© 2016 by Mary Daniels Brown

News you can use: Infographic walks you through 10 questions to detect fake news | The Seattle Times

Can this infographic help students spot a phony news article? Test it out with your students, kids or friends and let us know in the comments.

Source: News you can use: Infographic walks you through 10 questions to detect fake news | The Seattle Times

Check out the PDF in this article. This exercise isn’t just for students.

Carrie Fisher, a Princess, a Rebel and a Brave Comic Voice – The New York Times

She entered popular culture as a princess in peril and endures as something much more complicated and interesting. Many things, really: a rebel commander; a witty internal critic of the celebrity machine; a teller of comic tales, true and embellished; an inspiring and cautionary avatar of excess and resilience; an emblem of the honesty we crave (and so rarely receive) from beloved purveyors of make-believe.

Source: Carrie Fisher, a Princess, a Rebel and a Brave Comic Voice – The New York Times

Share Your World – 2016 Week 51 – Favorite Holiday Edition

Thanks to Cee for this week’s challenge, Share Your World – 2016 Week 51 – Favorite Holiday Edition.


What is your favorite holiday?

Age has made me appreciate every day instead of favoring some days over others. However, I guess I can say that I now enjoy Christmas Eve a whole lot since we’ve moved to Tacoma and can spend the evening with our daughter. For many years she lived in Washington state while we lived in St. Louis, but since we’ve retired to Tacoma we get to see her often, especially on Christmas Eve/Day.

What types of food is associated with your holiday?

We usually have roast beef, although occasionally we’ll go with lamb or turkey. Confession: we usually get the food from Trader Joe’s and only have to heat it up. But right now our daughter is in the kitchen using the food processor to make cranberry relish. Later she will be making mashed potatoes with purple (my favorite color) potatoes. Life is good.

Do you travel for your holiday?

Nope. We have it right in my living room.

Is it a religious or spiritual holiday?

Only in the sense that celebration of love and family is spiritual.

Is there a gift exchange?

Oh yes.

How long does the celebration last?

About 24 hours, from Christmas Eve afternoon to Christmas Day afternoon.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Each and every new day.


© 2016 by Mary Daniels Brown

Last Week’s Links

We may be able to tap into our memories from infancy

Our inability to remember incidents from the first two or three years of life is known as infantile amnesia. It’s possible that such memories are lost, but some recent research suggests that we might be able to recall those memories with proper prompting. The research was done on rats, and much more research is necessary to discover whether the results apply to humans as well. If they do, it may be possible to devise ways to block out traumatic early memories.

Writing our life story — memoir or autobiography?

Put simply an autobiography tends to be a linear record of the events of our life and requires attention to the accuracy of the memories and the detail of each event while a memoir is more free form and is usually based around a theme or themes that have meaning for us in some way.

This article offers some advice on how to write about personal experiences in a way that connects them “with the bigger picture of human experience or history.”

Telling Their Life Stories, Older Adults Find Peace in Looking Back

Whether they are writing full-blown memoirs or more modest sketches or vignettes, many older people … are telling their life stories. Some are taking life-story writing classes at local colleges, libraries and adult learning centers, while others are hiring “personal historians” to record oral histories or to produce videos that combine interviews, home movies and family photos. Some opt to write a “legacy letter,” which imparts values to the next generations.

This article explains how autobiographical writing can help people gain perspective on their lives and come to acknowledge and understand how past experiences have shaped their lives.

Can a Rosy Outlook Ward Off Illness?

Some recent research suggests that optimistic women tend to live longer than less optimistic ones. This article is informative nut just for these research results, but for its look at how to interpret research reports. Learn why these study results are limited by the participant pool and why they may or may not be applicable to people generally.

© 2016 by Mary Daniels Brown

Share Your World – 2016 Week 50

Thanks to Cee for this week’s challenge, Share Your World – 2016 Week 50.


What is your favorite smell? What memory does it remind you of?

I have always loved the smell of lilacs. Since they bloom in late spring, they are among the flowers that herald the coming of summer. When I wanted lilacs in my wedding bouquet for my June 5th wedding, my mother cut some of the last fresh blooms and kept them in her refrigerator for about a week so they’d last just that bit longer. I think I also like them because my grandmother had lilac bushes, and during much of my life I had a lilac bush that was started with a rooting from her bush.

What type of pet do you have or want to have?

I have always been a cat person: all my pets have been cats. But right now I don’t want to have any pet. We are trying to do some major traveling during our early retirement, and a pet would seriously complicate that aim. So, at least for now, we are petless by choice.

Are you usually late, early, or right on time?

I am so afraid of being late that I end up being early (sometimes even ridiculously early) for everything. That’s why I almost always have a magazine or book with me, so I can read, especially if I’m so early that I have to go somewhere or sit in the car for a while.

For recharging, would you rather meditate, swim, walk, listen to music, write, read, yoga, qigong other?

For clearing my head, walking is my best activity. Writing helps me to figure out and understand what I think or feel about something, but that’s such an active undertaking that I don’t think of it as “recharging.” The same is true of reading for me. It’s such a participatory activity that I don’t think of it as “recharging,” although I admit that it often does teach me something new.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m looking forward to next weekend’s Christmas Eve celebration with my husband and daughter.

Have a good week, everyone.

© 2016 by Mary Daniels Brown

Share Your World – 2016 Week 49

Thanks to Cee for this week’s challenge, Share Your World – 2016 Week 49.


What do you value most in a friendship?

Not too long ago I had to break off a close friendship because the other party did not demonstrate one quality that I require in a friend: reciprocity. My philosophy of friendship is that when I’m at the top of the wheel of life and you’re at the bottom, I’ll do whatever I can to help you about. But I also assume that, when that big wheel of life turns, leaving you at the top and me at the bottom, you’ll do likewise for me. My former friend was a taker: I did all the giving and she did all the taking. When I was on the wheel’s downturn, she had neither the time nor the inclination to help me out with a sympathetic ear or a caring pat on the back.

I finally had to break off the friendship because she neither respected nor appreciated me. So I guess those are two more qualities I value in a friend: respect and appreciation. But reciprocity still tops my list, because friendship requires mutual respect and appreciation.

Do you prefer eating the frosting of the cake or the cupcake first? Do you prefer a specific flavor?

I break the cupcake roughly in half horizontally and eat the bottom first. I save the part with the frosting to savor last.

Have you ever been in a submarine? If you haven’t, would you want to?

Yes, I have been in a submarine, but it was not submerged. A few years ago we toured a former WW II submarine on display at one of the piers at San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf. I was glad to see the interior, but I was also very glad to emerge at the other end.

I am slightly claustrophobic, and I also have a primal aversion to anything requiring me to go under water for more than a few seconds. I can put my face into the water to swim, but I’m not going all the way under for anything. For these reasons, being in a submarine under water is my personal vision of hell.

If 100 people your age were chosen at random, how many do you think you’d find leading a more satisfying life than yours?

Not very many. Retirement has been good to me. I love where I live (in the Pacific Northwest, where I can see the mountains and the ocean), and I now have few obligations to do anything I don’t want to do. I love my life.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Yesterday was our daughter’s birthday. All her life we have put off Christmas preparations until after her birthday so that she wouldn’t feel ignored on her special day. Even though she’s now well into adulthood, we still wait to start doing Christmas. Now that we’ve celebrated her birthday, I can begin to get into the Christmas spirit.

So let me expend my best wishes to everyone who observes a holiday at this time of year.

I hope everybody has a great week!


© 2016 by Mary Daniels Brown