Saturday, August 6, 2016

Thursday, February 4, 2016

After Downton Abbey: Some fun shows and documentaries you might enjoy as much as I did...

Bye, bye Crawley family! It's been a blast!
And just like that, my beloved Downton Abbey has ended! On TV it is still airing in the US once a week. But, since we do not pay for TV channels anymore and only watch what we can stream, I pre-ordered Season 7 after Christmas and binge-watched it in 3 days upon its arrival. It ended very satisfactorily, but I'm also sorry to say goodbye to these characters.

What then for entertainment? We're still in the middle of very overcast, cold, rainy days here in the Pacific Northwest. Time to search for fun backups.

I will admit that none of them, sadly, have measured up to Downton, in my opinion. But there are some very fun documentaries out there that make you feel as if you're still in that world, or even centuries before it.  Here are some fun shows and documentaries I've discovered over the last few months to make me miss Downton Abbey (only slighty) less. All are available for streaming on Netflix or Amazon Prime. None of them are boring, I promise.  At least, I didn't think so...

While waiting for Downton season 7 to arrive I began watching Agatha Christie's Poirot, a show I've had in my Netflix queue for ages. David Suchet excellently plays Christie's fastidious Belgian sleuth. This is a show I don't normally binge-watch, but it is a fun show with a slower pace. This show has been running since 1989, with about 8 episodes per season. I'm only on Season 2.

(Amazon Prime)
Once Downton Abbey concluded, I watched the special features included on the DVDs, and then this one hour documentary about the manners and etiquette of the time. It is hosted by Alastair Bruce, consultant on all things Edwardian to Downton Abbey. From gloves to posture, nothing is overlooked. 

(Amazon Prime)
I love fashion and its history. Dr. Lucy Worsley takes you on a tour in this documentary of the evolution of British fashion in the monarchy. It affected more than you think. It also made me appreciate the comfortable clothes of today!

 (Amazon Prime)
Although I liked the doc on fashion better, this one is also interesting. I saw this one many months ago and understand the importance of the "royal bedchamber" more in an historical context. Producing a male heir was everything!

(Amazon Prime)
Speaking of male heirs, there's the story of Henry VIII--the spoiled, fearsome, played-by-his-own-rules king who was a spectacular failure when it came to fathering a healthy male heir. (His son, Edward VI died at 15.) Despite his 6 wives, 2 of which he beheaded, he did father Elizabeth I, one of the most memorable monarchs in British history. 

After getting a thorough knowledge of Henry VIII, Elizabeth, starring Cate Blanchett in her first starring role, made a lot more sense.  She's fabulous in this movie, holding her own with such presence while sharing screen time with Geoffrey Rush and Richard Attenborough. This movie does have an R rating, but it was also made in 1998, more like today's PG-13.
(Amazon Prime)
The silent character in Downton Abbey is, of course, the house itself, 
which is actually Highclere Castle. This documentary (which can also be found on YouTube) is a lot of fun, and hosted by the house's current owners, Lord and Lady Carnarvan. Yes, those Carnarvans, descendants of the Lord Carnarvan who funded the excavation of King Tut's tomb in 1922. That fabulous green wallpaper in the drawing room? A wedding present to the couple by the bride's father. You also learn about the monumental task of maintaining a huge country estate.

(Amazon Prime)
Another country house that has survived for over 500 years is Althorp, the childhood home of Princess Diana and her final resting place after her death in 1997. In this documentary Diana's younger brother, Charles, current owner of the house and it's earldom, shares the history of the estate and the Spencer family. Very interesting and fun.

(Amazon Prime)
The most surprising documentary I saw on England's country houses was about Lord Montagu of Beaulieu (pronounced "bew-lee.") Like Highclere and Althorp, Lord Montagu tried to come up with innovative ways to fund his estate's upkeep. The lengths he went to are amazing. I had never heard of Beaulieu until I saw this documentary. Nor did I know that over 1500 country houses were torn down after WWII because they were too expensive to run, making the remaining homes very special indeed. 

(Amazon Prime)
If you like shows that are a bit more intense, you might enjoy this 3-part mini-series. Be forewarned, there is a bloody scene in the first episode, but overall, it is pretty good with a satisfying ending. I've seen David Tennant in 4 different movies and he is one of those chameleon actors who is very good in every role. 

(Amazon Prime)
Currently I'm in the middle of episode 5 of BBC's Poldark, based on the book series by Winston Graham. I had never heard of the books until recently and the reviews say that the show is pretty faithful to them. It's about Ross Poldark, who, upon returning to Cornwall after fighting for Britain in the War of Independence, must reorder his life, his home, and business.  There are 8 episodes in Season 1 and they've kept my attention so far. 

Other British shows I've enjoyed over the last few years:
(Netflix or

(Amazon Prime)
(Amazon Prime)

I have NOT enjoyed, for various reasons:
Mr. Selfridge
Last Tango in Halifax

I enjoy shows that keep a good pace, have interesting characters and storylines and are not intense. Favorite current American show? Undoubtedly, The Good Wife. That's for another blog post. 

Happy watching!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Branson, the Holidays, and the Skin Saga!

What's this? It's almost February 2016! I've been promising myself for weeks that I'll write an updated blog post and time has continued to skip on by.

My excuse for being so neglectful of my blog can only be described as "The Skin Saga."

For some unknown reason, shortly after Thanksgiving, my chronic eczema went into high gear. My arms and legs were covered in painful, itchy, red blotches. My face, neck and hairline were extremely dry. All of this was inexplicable, as my habits and diet hadn't changed. After a couple of weeks with no improvement I desperately went to the dermatologist and left with no answers and little compassion. That night I sobbed. My sweet hubby made an appointment for me with a doctor in Portland he'd heard good things about, but that was still weeks away.

I decided to try a new tactic and go to the local health food store. The manager pointed me in the direction of some herbal supplements which I've been taking faithfully, twice a day, since then. My skin has improved greatly since then. I'm still dealing with dryness and some flareups on my arms, but my legs, which were painful, discolored, and sensitive to warm water, are back to normal. Thank goodness. I was suffering.

Days before my appointment in Portland I printed up the (gulp) seventeen pages of forms I was required to fill out ahead of time. There were pages of personal and psychological questions, a week's food diary, and multiple wavers. I try to give all physicians the benefit of the doubt, but the wavers raised some red flags. As a person who believes you should "go with your gut," I cancelled the appointment. One week later I have no regrets.

When the time comes to see a dermatologist again, I will go to someone else. In the meantime, I'm careful about what I eat, I take my herbal supplements and continue to try to stay one step ahead of the problems. Sometimes I'm more successful that others, but the saga did make a hermit out of me for the last 2 months. Quite a change after months of travels and adventures.

Speaking of adventures, let's back up a bit to early November. After giving Eric "carte blanc" on the Branson decision, he went ahead with the plans. After four trips in the year, what's one more, right?

I won't say the trip was without its bumps. We endured some delayed flights, severe air turbulence, and had to change hotel rooms because of some game room noise down the hall, but the vacation itself was wonderful.

We are lucky to have generous friends who recommended shows they thought we would enjoy and accompanied us to many of them. That was invaluable, because there are so many choices!

Friday afternoon we went to our first Branson show and saw The Duttons, a family of fiddlers, singers, dancers, and jokesters. They have their own theater on the city's main street (think of a smaller version of the Vegas Strip) and their own hotel behind it. Here's a quick promo video I found on YouTube:

They were a lot of fun and extremely talented.

That night we saw Jim Stafford.  I must admit, I had never heard of Jim Stafford, but Eric had and he was pretty excited to be able to see him in person. Jim Stafford also has his own theater. It was a silly show with silly songs and Eric was thrilled he got to meet Jim and take a picture with him:
(REMEMBER: You can click on any photo and see it full-sized. Click the "X" in the top right corner to return to the post."
Jim was a very nice man and we were happy to get a collection of his songs for Eric's dad as a Christmas gift. He loved it.

The next morning, Saturday, we finally got to see the famous Andy Williams Moon River Theater! There is much significance to this theater and it was the one we were excited to see the most. Andy Williams owned it and performed there for many years until the end of his life. Jimmy Osmond runs it now and has maintained it beautifully.

Eric and I spent the morning and evening there. In the morning there was a "Breakfast At Tiffany's" event, with breakfast in the gift shop and a fun meet-and-greet with the Osmond Brothers. We also went to a show of Jimmy Osmond's, with much music dedicated to Andy Williams. A very talented young man from the UK named Charlie Green also performed as well as a silly comedian/magician named Chipper Lowell. As usual, Eric was the lucky volunteer who was called up on stage!

Jimmy Osmond, me, Merrill, Eric, and Jay

That evening we saw the Osmond Brothers perform their Christmas show, along with the lovely Lennon Sisters, Janet Lennon's granddaughters, and magician Rick Thomas. It was fabulous!

Selfie of me and my adorable hubby that evening.

The Lennon Sisters are darling! L-R Mimi, Janet, and Kathy with me in the back. And in the wayyyy back is Merrill Osmond, filling up his Diet Dr. Pepper. LOL

Sunday was church and that evening we saw Clay Cooper's country show. It was fun and rowdy!

Monday morning we were back at the Duttons' theater, this time to see a morning show with singer, George Dyer. He was very good and sang a lot of showtunes from Broadway and films. Love me some showtunes!

 Monday we saw The Hughes Brothers' Christmas show. We had been hearing incredible things about this show and when we saw it, we knew why. It was SO good!  The five Hughes brothers, their wives and children comprise the largest performing family in the entire world!

But it wasn't just about quantity, but quality. Words do not do this show justice, but if you're ever in Branson during the holidays, don't miss it!  Below is a 6-minute look at the Hughes Family.

Monday night selfie at The Hughes Brothers Theater

A collage of some of my photos during this incredible show.

My photo of the finale. What an amazing, talented, admirable family!

So are you noticing a trend?  All of these performers are up there on stage with their families. Many of them run theaters together as families, even bringing their kids into show business at a young age. The kids are often home-schooled and learn an amazing work ethic, cooperation, and other life skills, all in a family setting.

Guess what we got to do on Tuesday morning? We got to sleep in! The one and only show we attended that day was at 2pm, when we saw the group SIX. Six (out of ten) performing brothers. They were great! We bought their CD of spiritual songs and it is beautiful. Here's their promo video:

Eric and me at the post-show meet-and-greet with SIX, including their proud papa, 2nd from right. A funny tidbit, Curtis, the youngest brother, at far left, was sitting in front of Eric at church the previous Sunday and they were chatting before the service. We had no idea we would be seeing him perform in two days. LOL

We had Tuesday night open and we kept it open. It was time to rest and recharge a bit. I think I was in bed by 7pm!

Wednesday was our last full day in Branson. We went to a morning show of the Bretts, another wonderfully talented performing family.
Like all of the other performances, half of the Bretts' show was dedicated to Christmas music. What made theirs unique was that it was set in the 1940s, with songs especially from that time period. This was much appreciated by the veterans in the audience, as it was Veterans Day weekend which had just passed.

Eric and I were so impressed with the continuing themes of "God and Country" that permeated throughout every show. Veterans were recognized at each performance, too, and thanked for their service. Everything we saw was very family oriented and wholesome--all good things that are lacking so much in today's entertainment.

On Wednesday night we saw the Osmond Brothers' Christmas show one last time, said farewell to our friends, and stayed up late packing and winding down from an unforgettable week. Thankfully, our return trip home was much smoother than the one a week before.

Thanksgiving and Christmas were quiet. My skin problems kept me from decorating much this year and presents were kept to a minimum, most of which we bought during our travels.

Eric worked on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. We spent Christmas Eve with his family, eating a yummy dinner at a local hotel and had a quick gift exchange at his parents' house.


We have so much to be grateful for in our lives. Our "wall of fame" in the family room is a fun reminder of 2015's adventures (plus a few adventures from previous years.)

Recognize some of these? In addition, there's my autographed Gene Kelly pic, a signed photo of me and lovely Linda Eder, more Osmond photos, including Donny & Marie.
As we look forward into this new year, we already know it will be a little quieter than the one before, which is very much OK.  Not every year will bring 5-6 trips, but they can bring love, growth, gratitude and fun. I am so very grateful for my sweet hubby, Eric! With him, there's never a shortage of those things.

We wish a Happy New Year to our family, friends, and anyone stopping by here to visit.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Two Months of Journeys

What an adventurous summer!

After our June visit to Utah, Eric and I went again in August. This time it was to attend BYU Education Week. I wish I could express how much I love this event. After I graduated BYU in 1994, my mom and I went to Education Week for several years. Eventually its dates began to overlap into school starting when we were both teaching for LAUSD, so we stopped.

In 2013, I decided to attend Education Week again for the first time in over 10 years. It was still as wonderful as ever! My mom went too. Last year I attended alone, and, even by myself, it was still great. I'm thrilled that Eric decided to go with me this year, along with a dear couple we became close to on our cruise, who we were able to spend a lot of time with.

BYU Education Week is truly for the life-long learner, which is me to a tee. I'm a school nerd and proud of it.  I love going to interesting classes and learning new things. Education Week invites speakers and authors who are leaders in their fields and for 5 days you can go to classes on a wide variety of subjects for around $70..for the entire week. Not your typical vacation, but a way to charge yourself up, educationally and spiritually, depending on the classes you choose to attend. Best of all, you have complete control over your schedule.

I didn't get a lot of photos, because it isn't that kind of a trip, but here are a few to commemorate the week:

Eric and me at the Marriott Center, waiting for the Tuesday devotional to begin.

Every year at Education Week, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks at a devotional.  This year it was Elder Neil L. Anderson. For those of us who live out of state and do not have many opportunities to hear an apostle speak in person, this is pretty special.

Another fun thing during Education Week:  Famous LDS artists are asked to showcase their work in the art department of the BYU Bookstore. I was a little starstruck meeting Robert Boyd, my favorite LDS artist/photographer, this year.  His work is so beautiful!  Visit his website HERE.

On Saturday, after Education Week was completed, Eric and I went to Salt Lake, did some shopping, and visited Temple Square. Photos do not do it justice, nor do they express the wonderful spirit that abides there, but this is the best I could do, taken from the 10th floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building while we were waiting for a table at the Garden Restaurant.

Last day in Provo! We went to The Bombay House, my favorite restaurant there. Best Indian food ever!!

Despite a harrowing drive on the way to Utah, with a 4 hour delay on day 1 because of wildfires, our drive home was nice and smooth. We listened to talks on CD by our mutually favorite Education Week speaker, S. Michael Wilcox. If you ever attend Education Week and he is there, go listen to this spiritual giant of a man. We were so impressed!

Shortly after returning home from Utah, I made plans for a solo road trip to California to visit family. I hadn't been since last November, but something told me to get there as soon as possible. I have a 97-year old cute grandma who I needed to see, along with spending time with my mom, niece and nephew. And, although my grandma is in fairly decent health for her age, I decided to heed that prompting and go.

I stayed in California for about 2 weeks, spending an afternoon with my grandma, helping my mom with the house whenever possible, and with babysitting my brother's children, which my mom does once or twice a week. I also got to attend church for 2 Sundays and go to lunch with two good friends from high school. A few days before leaving my mom and I went on some shopping trips, where I helped her pick out some new church clothes. On my last Saturday there, we went to the local airport and had breakfast with my mom's brother, Uncle Beto.

It was a very good trip, even though I didn't visit any of my usual CA haunts, like Disneyland, the Norton Simon Museum, or the Arboretum. It was very hot and I was extremely glad I had my own car, which gave me a lot of freedom. And it was fun to shop in an area with so many shopping choices (unlike our town in WA.)

My mom and I went to a production of Guys and Dolls at the Glendale Centre Theatre, a wonderful, family-owned theater-in-the-round that is very close to our hearts. I hadn't been there in a few years. The play was great!

On Monday nights my mom attends an "empty nesters" Family Home Evening, which I tag along to when I visit. Here I am with 2 amazing ladies I've known since we joined the Church in 1986, Afton and Helen. Afton was celebrating her birthday that night! I love these ladies.

We saw a lot of my brother's cute kids, who are 7 and 5.
I can hardly believe the way time has flown!
 Here they are with my mom and her doggie right before an evening walk.

With my Uncle Beto. He loves his toys and going on new adventures!

To make things a little easier, I broke up my return drive into 3 days instead of 2. It was nice to be home in the arms of my cute hubby and back in my own house.

These past few months I've been enjoying a new hobby! It's one reason I've been such a slacker in updating this blog.

Coloring. Yes, you read that right.

I've never fancied myself much of an artist when it comes to drawing, but I have always loved coloring. I also like to hop from hobby to hobby once in a while, whether it be reading, writing, photography, and now...coloring. Whichever hobby I'm in, I like to immerse myself in it.

After doing a little research I bought my first coloring book for grown-ups...Enchanted Forest. (Click to see its link on Amazon.) I've been using some colored pencils, but mostly Pentel markers, which are very good, and Crayola markers, also good and more reasonably priced.  After nearly completing my first coloring book, I moved on to "Creative Cats," and I have the soon-to-be-released Lost Ocean on order.

Some pages I completed from the Enchanted Forest book.

Taking Before and After photos is fun.

My favorite (and personal best) from the Enchanted Forest book.

The nice thing about the Creative Cats book is that every picture is on its own sheet of paper. And that it was less than $5!

I like the way this one turned out. Sometimes I start with the kitty cat, sometimes with the background. But is is fun to breathe life into the picture. My personal rule for the eyes is to pick a color for them that is not used anywhere else.

Negative space can be powerful.

My personal favorite and best of the ones I've completed from Creative Cats.
Mary Engelbreit's art and color palette was my inspiration here.

Some people will find this a silly hobby, others will not have the patience for it, and there are many kinds of books available for different preferences. I like the ones with detailed nature and animal pictures over the abstract designs.  And even though I'm not a really patient person by nature, I find myself getting lost in this hobby. It's very relaxing, and great for use while traveling.

What's next?
This has been an unbelievable year of traveling, with more trips this year than I've ever had in my life in such a short time. We've also made some great friends who feel like we've known them for ages, and have had some great experiences as a couple. (Our 5 year anniversary was in August!)

And we have one more trip in 2015 before taking a major hiatus from all the traveling and laying low for awhile.  Should be fun!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Spiritual Inventory Pt. 2: HAPPINESS...Real vs. Counterfeit

Does there ever seem to be a running theme in things you see online?

This morning, for me, it seems to be "happiness" and "priorities."  The wheels started to turn and it got me thinking.

When I saw the phrase "counterfeit happiness," it really got me thinking.

Counterfeit: "made in exact imitation of something valuable or important with the intention to deceive or defraud."

In other words, something that is counterfeit, like counterfeit happiness, can be very, very convincing. So convincing that we may not even realize it.

Allow me to back up.

When I first woke up this morning, I heard a short three minute podcast about the world's view of what should make us happy. Success, personal glory, wealth, possessions. Pretty shallow, right? And most of us would look at that list and agree that, no, those are not the things that cause true, lasting happiness. After all, there are plenty of people who have achieved those things and became even more unhappy because of them. (The joke, of course is..."let me test that theory!" But, in all seriousness, we already know the answer.)

But when I started to think about the phrase "counterfeit happiness," which I read in a Deseret News article a while ago, I thought of things which "appear" to create happiness that are very easily attained or consumed (for most of us.)

I will be the first to admit that unhealthy food has given me much counterfeit happiness over the years. It's easy to get, it's inexpensive, and it's everywhere in a variety of tempting shapes and colors.  I even used the counterfeit happiness of junk food to overshadow the true UNhappiness of being quite overweight. Talk about a vicious cycle.

Of course, changing weight means you need to buy more clothes to accommodate your changing body, right? More counterfeit happiness. I love new clothes. I love shopping. But I'm trying hard to love them less.

I know I'm not the only one who has been sucked into this vortex. Advertisers prey on our insecurities and tell us what we must have in order to be happy. (Like all of the happy, healthy, thin people with alcohol and cigarettes in magazine ads. The happy mom giving her happy, healthy kids junk food. The list is endless, right?)

Remember when you were a kid and achieving happiness was so easy? My mom's two best friends when I was a kid had all boys. Me and seven boys. We would play baseball. We would dig a hole in the backyard, just for the sake of digging a hole. We would draw on the sidewalk with chalk. We would race our bikes. We would have the dog pull us in our Radio Flyer wagons. We would play with the garden hose. We would play with Play Dough and cheap watercolors. We would pick lemons from our tree and blackberries in the neighbors' yard. Such simple things. And we were happy.

The real question is why does happiness seem harder to achieve as we get older?

I think the answer is found in two things. We compare ourselves with others too much and we often look for happiness externally instead of internally.

The Comparison Game. That is a dangerous game to play, yet we all do it with one thing or another. We walk into someone's house and we immediately compare it to ours. The size, the level of cleanliness, the location, the yard. Women, especially, do that little "head to toe" evaluation of another woman when we see each other. (Not always, but we do it.) At church we compare kid behaviors, marriages, Sunday clothes, callings, etc.

What makes The Comparison Game so damaging is that, even when we are doing it knowingly, we do it unfairly. We compare others' bests to our worsts.

I remember one time our Relief Society presidency went to visit a sister who had not attended church in a while. She felt inadequate and flawed, she said. And she courageously said she was especially intimidated by me. My gosh. I felt terrible.This poor sister was causing herself such anguish by comparing my bests to what she perceived as her worsts. She only saw "Sunday Kristie" and, to her, that was the whole picture. I had to assure this sister that what she saw with me and everyone else on Sunday was our bests. Our "onstage selves."

My "backstage self" is my own version of everyone else's. Monday through Saturday my life is pretty ordinary. She wasn't seeing me do laundry, cleaning out cat poops, putting my husband's lunch together, taking out the trash, struggling with my blotchy skin, sighing every time I get on the scale, and deciding which groceries not to get so I can stay within the budget.

Facebook has created a world a little bit like our Sunday selves. Most people post things that show them at their best. My profile picture is when my husband and I were in Las Vegas in April. I was slimmer and tanner than I am right now. Is it an honest representation of me? Yes. It's me at my honest best. Is it me every day, and even this very moment? Not so much.

People post themselves on vacation, especially right now in the middle of summer. Right now three different sets of friends are in Hawaii, three are in Europe, and several are doing exciting road trips and family reunions.

What am I doing right now? Sitting here in sweats and a silly-looking headband, with legs that need to be shaved and feet that need a pedicure, expounding on happiness.

And that's OK! We've had three great trips this year (unprecedented for us) and I'm very grateful for them. And even if we didn't, it's still OK. We are not in a contest to see whose life is the most exciting.

Last example with The Comparison Game. Purses. For about ten years I wouldn't give a second glance to any purse unless it was a "name brand." They provided me with a delightful counterfeit happiness that I could toss over my shoulder and take anywhere. Once I discovered the "magic of eBay" I could indulge this more and spend much less. About two years ago my husband challenged me to go one year without buying a new purse. I accepted the challenge. And I was successful! There was no tangible prize except that somewhere within that year I realized that a purse is a purse is a purse! It's a bag where you keep your stuff and that's it. Lesson learned. (It only took me until I was forty-three, and if you see me with a name brand purse it is one I bought before the 1 Year Challenge. LOL)

External vs. Internal. Earlier today I found this fantastic article on the difference between "true and fake (counterfeit) happiness. Thank you, for expressing this so succinctly:

1.  "Fake happiness" is all about pursuing "pleasure."
2.  "True happiness" is all about the "education of the soul" ... and wanting to grow into one's highest potential.

In more detail:
1. "Pleasure" is all about immediate gratification.  It often includes lack of moderation, lack of insightful judgement, and lack of awareness of long-term consequences. Pleasure is impulse-driven in your choice-making. Pleasure brings a temporary blip of joy, which is unsatisfying in the long run.
2.  "Happiness" often has a time-delay until that "feel good high" kicks in, but it creates "long term joy." It is about being "growth-driven" in your choice-making. You surround yourself with people and experiences which increase your soul's self-development--hence the joy lasts as long as you last--because the joy created becomes an integral part of who you are as a unique, thriving individual.

OK. True happiness sounds like a lot of work.

Or maybe not.

Here is the conclusion I've come to today:

Pleasure, in moderation, is fine. Eat that ice cream cone. Buy those cute sandals. And then...move on from those things. The minute you tell yourself that you must have ice cream every day or that you need those sandals in all available colors in order to be happy, you are "pursuing pleasure." (Believe me, I can relate to both of these situations.)

Happiness, besides being a conscious choice, is less about pursuit and more about discovery.  Discover it in things you have already accomplished. Discover it in the joy you can bring to others: service, a smile, a phone call. Discover it in standing for five minutes in the sunshine. Discover it in spending time with your family. Discover it in your faith and in counting your blessings.

Happiness awaits discovery in the simplest of things.

Discover it, embrace it, multiply it, share it.  Then watch the ordinary become extraordinary.