What a Time to Be Alive!

That expression, usually uttered sarcastically, often while shaking one’s head, has long amused me. I thought that perhaps I should have a category of posts here to which that expression could apply. This category might have also been labeled ‘just when you thought you had seen it all’ or maybe even ‘someone’s got a little too much time on their hands.’ But since it’s mu blog, I’m going with a head shaking, ‘what a time to be alive!’

Without further delay, here it is a category where you may find random or surprising, ‘stranger than fiction’ things. May these posts distract you on a day when you need a distraction (because some days we do.)

Yes, I know this is silly and sometimes silly is just what the Doctor ordered!

And who knows? Perhaps some of the peculiarities here will inspire YOU to try something random or surprising!

Lots of folks agree that at times in our lives, a new hobby can be really beneficial. Perhaps you should consider THIS new hobby!

What a time to be alive!

You’re welcome!



This cactus developed was feeling droopy, but the prognosis is good!

Remember that you aren’t alone on this journey and there’s no shame in asking for help. Remember that this site is searchable. Just click on the magnifying glass at the top of the page.

There are over 450 posts here, so whether you’re on a specific quest or if you’re just filling time, there’s something positive here for you. And for private answers to specific questions, remember that you can CONTACT us!

Change is challenging and you don’t need to do it alone. DFTYA!

Two Words

Someone is drinking coffee from a cup you gave them.

Someone walked by their fridge smiled as they saw your photograph.

Someone saw a car like yours and smiled.

Someone is wearing a scarf today that you gave them.

Someone is chuckling over your post on social media.

Someone thought of you when they laughed at a TV show last night.

Someone heard a song on the radio and thought of you.

Someone just watered a plant you gave them and smiled.

Someone just used a skill you taught them.

Someone’s reading a book you lent them.

Someone is telling a funny story you told them.

Someone is laughing (again) about a text you sent them.

Someone is safe because you changed their wiper blades.

Someone is eating today because you donated to a charity.

All of those things could be happening today without you even knowing it! So, just in case you’re wondering today (or any day)…

Someone wrote a blog post hoping you know something really important…


You may want to share this post with people who matter to you. I just did.

#Superbowl 2020!

POTENTIAL SILLY POST WARNING: On the day after millions of people tune in to watch the SuperBowl I thought we might look at things in a slightly different way. So here are some photographs, each of which draw attention to a superb owl!


First, this might remind us that there at least two ways to look at any situation or set of circumstances. Second, these are some awesome creatures and we ought to be awed by nature on a regular basis. It’s good for us!

#SuperbOwl2020 Eaurasian eagle owl in flight

Please don’t forget that there at least two ways to look at look at things – Super Bowl or Superb Owl.

#SuperbOwl2020 Ural owl

And please be sure to make time to spend time in nature. You’ll surely see something awesome or maybe superb!


Thanks for taking a few moments to enjoy these photos and thanks for taking good care of you.

I Pressed On

Perhaps you have also recently seen this on a social media platform. If you rearrange the letters in the word DEPRESSION, you can spell I PRESSED ON.

I love words and scrambling or jumbling them. So, this post caught my attention immediately. My first impression was that it was clever and perhaps significant that those letters could be arranged to form that word and that phrase.

I quickly shared it on at least one social media platform. And I probably felt clever for posting it (though doing so requires no special skills.) We do tend to “keep score” on social media and it feels good to get lots of likes or shares.

A few weeks later I noticed the post again and I experienced a different feeling. This time, I saw the post while I was feeling depressed. Rather than feeling encouraged by the post, I felt as if my depressed feelings were being invalidated. I was quite surprised and immediately wondered if other depressed folks felt that way when I shared the post.

I was tempted to remove the post, but it had been a while and it was no longer near the top of my feed. So, I guessed that chances were slim that anyone was going to see it now. I also realized that, like so many things in life, the action – in this case the post – shouldn’t be judged in a vacuum.

Every comment, action, word, or deed can only be fairly understood in context. The intentions of the speaker, writer, doer, or poster change significantly influence the message or action. So, I am going to hope that other folks would give me the benefit of the doubt and assume that I meant no harm or judgment. I only intended to encourage and support.

Assuming best intentions can drastically reduce strife, stress, and probably even blood pressure! If everyone can try to consistently pause and assume best intentions, we will find ourselves less likely to be offended (and less likely to be unfriended!)

Thanks for listening and DFTYA!*





*Don’t Forget That You’re Awesome!

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

I don’t review books, but I canNOT stop talking about this book. The images and the words are all created by Charley Mackesy. If I hit the lottery today (and that’s unlikely since I almost never play) I would buy a warehouse full of these books and distribute them to adults and children everywhere.

I fell in love with a few pages of the book that I found on social media and started sharing them while I waited for my copy of “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse” to arrive. I’ve shared the pages at seven treatment groups in three days. I’ve shared the images on social media and with co-workers.

Last night when I arrived home I discovered that the book had arrived and even after a 15 hour day, I had to read it before I went to bed. I smiled and wept and wiped my nose from cover to cover.

This book is a new “Pooh,” a claim I wouldn’t make lightly. And while the characters are a curious and clever boy and his animal companions, this book may be even more obviously written for adult readers, too.

After you read it, you will likely agree that it ought to be “prescribed” to plenty of people you know. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse speaks to the child who wanders within each of us. You will likely find yourself relating to each of the characters over the journey of the book and perhaps different characters each time you read it. (Yes, you will surely read it more than once!)

I’m certain that I am not yet ready to read it aloud to friends. simply I think it will take a least a few more readings before I can maintain my composure all the way through. But these are soul-filling and happy tears.

May I suggest that you save time (and reduce your carbon footprint) by purchasing a few copies. You will surely think of people who “need to read this” as you first encounter the simple sketches, hopeful moments, and powerful truths. So, save extra shipping or extra shopping and stock up now.

Charley Mackesy has brought us an instant classic and so very much more. He has brought us hope, a kinder world into which we can retreat, and quite possibly a kinder world in which we can all live outside the covers of his delightful book.

I guess I need to buy a lottery ticket.




If you haven’t yet heard of the 5-Headed Dragon, BESOCHEMPS, you’re either new here, or I haven’t been doing my job. (Please don’t scroll away yet – we aren’t a cult and this discussion about a 5-Headed Dragon is neither frivolous or foolish.)

Over twenty years ago I began serving brave folks intent upon reclaiming their freedom from their hellish relationship with tobacco. It seemed logical to asked the group to share their personal experiences and I attempted to recall mine. I had been “smober’ for over 10 years but it took more than 25 quit attempts before I found a quit that I could live with. I had started smoking (despite already being asthmatic) at age 12 at church camp. (Holy smokes?) Eventually I developed a 3-pack per day habit. (And on days when drinking or other drugs were in play, I could smoke 4 packs per day.) So I had plenty of experiences to share with the brave folks in my groups.

I had always been a fan of Creature Double Feature and a great friend turned me on to Dungeons and Dragons when I went away to college. And so the beast was birthed – a Dragon with five heads, one representing each of the five motivators:

A depiction of BESOCHEMPS, the 5-headed dragon. This is a very helpful way to look at and better understand the complex relationships we often call addictions.
This stunning and sobering depiction of the 5-Headed Dragon, BESOCHEMPS, was created by the very talented Santiago Bautista. Each of the heads is different and influential to varying degrees. Subsequently, each person has a unique relationship with their substance of choice.

Around the room I started to see eyes open wide as people started to see their foe more clearly. This BESOCHEMPS model was a better way to help people see their relationship with tobacco. Anecdotally, lots of folks started having more success quitting smoking. This “fictional” beast was real enough to help thousands of smokers. They were able to use it for their own good and for the good of the people who loved them.

When compared to the US unassisted quit rate (people quitting on their own) people using BESOCHEMPS had a quit rate six or seven times higher! And for some of us “soot-suckers,” adding medications can boost quit rates even higher. Please remember that this site is searchable and you can learn more about each of the “heads” of the “dragon.” And depending upon where you are located, you can attend QuittersWin groups where folks “speak dragon.”

PROLOGUE: The BESOCHEMPS model of addiction has been used to successfully address every sort of illicit substance use, and even compulsive behaviors that aren’t directly related to a substance (gambling, binge-spending, cutting, etc.) The dragon has helped brave folks reclaim their freedom in substance use treatment settings, hospitals, faith-based organizations, mental health settings, academic institutions, community based groups, and correctional facilities. For more information or to request a private response to questions, please feel free to CONTACT me.

BESOCHEMPS has helped countless individuals break out of the prison of addictions.

You deserve to be free.

You don’t need to do it alone.


Solstice and Solace

Some people say that today is the “shortest day of the year.” Technically it’s the day of the year (if you live in the northern hemisphere) when there are fewer hours and minutes of daylight than any other. So in actuality, today will be neither longer nor shorter than yesterday. And while this cold and dark time may seem bleak or even lifeless, this is a season of great hope.

Today, and in this season, everything around us – the cold, the dark, the quiet – speaks of the cyclical nature of all things. Our memories of the cool crisp autumn air – just a short time ago makes us reach back to the time when those brilliantly colored leaves, dancing on a breeze, were mere buds on their branches, glowing a bright green. Ah, and there we are again reminiscing about a season past when life burst from the cold earth; a season past and sure to come again, the spring just around the corner, waiting to thrill and intrigue us once again.

Especially in the stillness and cold of the season, may we each find peace in the darkness, hope in the certainty that brighter days are absolutely ahead, and generosity of spirit to share our warmth and light with others.

Tidings of comfort and joy to you and yours at this wonder-filled time of the year.


As a child I remember being stunned first by the beauty of the rows of pristine white stones arrayed in lines on the lush green grass when my family visited Arlington National Cemetery. The markers seemed to radiate in every direction for as far as I could see and fell into rows no matter which way I looked! But a moment later, as I took in the beauty, I was overwhelmed by the solemn realization that each of these stones, so beautiful, marked the graves of the dutiful.

“Freedom isn’t free,” we’ve heard the phrase, perhaps more times than we can count, but have we counted the cost of our freedom? Can we count the cost? Where would we even begin? How do you tally a price that was paid in the time, sweat, pain, blood, and lives of veterans over the span of generations? How would we count the tears of their loved ones?

Let us all be dutiful about expressing gratitude to those who served and who suffer to this day because of their service in defense of our freedom – especially, but not only today!

If you’re battling an addiction, let us seek our freedom with the fierce and courageous determination of the men and women who have sacrificed for the sake of freedom. In doing so, perhaps we pay tribute to them.

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