Good People Doing Good Things — Today’s Youth

I’ve been doing ‘good people’ posts for nearly four years now!  My first one was in February 2017, and I try my best to consistently find new and interesting ‘good people’ every Wednesday.  For the fourth time in as many years, and due largely to circumstances beyond my control (a mega cat fight that lasted intermittently for hours and resulted in injuries to both humans and cats!), I am unable to write a fresh one tonight, so I am re-playing one from July 2018 … one of the more popular ones I’ve done thus far. 


Dessi-2Desmond Sieburth, nicknamed Dessi, lives in Pasadena, California.  Sieburth, a young bird conservationist, explains, “I got into birding when I was eight years old, after making a bird feeder.” Sieburth’s frequent birding expeditions soon led him to the unfortunate truth that populations of many types of birds are declining, thanks to factors including deforestation. So, he decided to help. To start, he made nesting boxes for the western bluebird, which typically make their nests in dead tree cavities—and he has been building and monitoring his homemade nesting boxes ever since. Last year, 21 boxes produced 163 fledglings.

In an effort to further preserve and create bird habitats, especially in urban settings, and to educate others about helping birds, Sieburth created an organization called Protecting Our Birds. He says that teaching Californians about the threatened and endangered birds right in their backyards—such as the California condor—is his passion. “Microtrash, lead ammunition, and habituation are the main threats to the California condors.”

DessiSieburth, who joined the Pasadena Audubon Society at age eight, also contributes to several Audubon newsletters. He regularly leads bird walks for kids and adults, and has presented on bird habitats before Audubon chapters, schools, and libraries, reaching close to 1,000 people. And, over three years of participating in Audubon’s “Big Photo Day”—an annual event that calls on birders to photograph as many species of birds as they can in a day, with each photo fetching a donation—he has raised more than $1,500 to protect a local watershed and wildlife corridor. The American Birding Association named Sieburth 2015’s Young Birder of the Year for his tireless efforts.

Sieburth’s plan for the future is to expand his conservation efforts globally—he already uses his Protecting Our Birds website to emphasize the importance of supporting bird-habitat-friendly coffee plantations in South and Central America. It was hardly a surprise to learn that when he grows up, he wants to be an ornithologist.   His website is amazing … you really should take a minute to check it out!


Isabella-WillowIsabella and Willow Poschman are 12-year-old twins who are out to save the endangered species of the world.  They have been involved in animal conservation ever since second grade, when they saw a film called “The Elephant in the Room.” Isabella promptly wrote letters to President Barack Obama, President Xi of China, and President Kenyatta of Kenya, urging leaders to do whatever they could to end the ivory trade. Since then, the twins have gathered signatures for an online petition version of that letter—signed by children in almost all 50 states and in more than 60 countries—and founded Kids Saving Elephants. Their organization not only educates kids and adults around the world about the plight of African elephants, but also raises funds to help fight the ivory trade. Isabella and Willow have also raised thousands of dollars by selling handmade elephant greeting cards, as well as lemonade and cookies, at the Aspen Music Festival, and throughout summers at the Aspen Saturday Market.Willow-letterSome of the twins’ most recent actions include sending letters to the Wall Street Journal and to Elle Décor magazine—one was published in Elle Décor’s September 2016 issue— beseeching editors to not feature elephant tusks and other endangered species in their spreads. Alongside a visiting conservationist from Kenya, they also recently presented to 120 of their fellow students at Aspen Middle School. Isabella and Willow now plan to hone this presentation and make it available online to schoolkids around the world. They also continue to fundraise via their elephant cards, which they plan to start selling online and at a couple of local stores.

Willow, who is currently an intern at a wildlife rehabilitation center in Silt, Colorado, as part of a sixth-grade mentorship program, plans to be a big-cat scientist when she grows up. This is according to the twins’ mom, Maureen, who adds, “Willow may become a best-selling author first, in order to help fund her wildlife conservation efforts.” Maureen says Isabella “wants to become a Broadway actress.”


Hannah-TestaAt age 12, Hannah Testa founded Hannah4Change to fight for issues that affect the planet and all of its animals. One of her most successful fundraisers—a movie night that attracted more than 300 guests and raised several thousand dollars for the nonprofit Save the Horses—led to the then-10-year-old Testa being featured on CBS News. She has since presented to thousands of children and adults (including Georgia governor Nathan Deal) on one of the biggest threats to wildlife—plastic pollution—and practical ways residents can reduce their “plastic footprint.” She has also made videos outlining the need to protect some of her other favorite animals, orcas and rhinos, and has presented at rallies and protests in the name of saving orcas. Additionally, Testa sells homemade cookies, through which she has raised $1,500 for elephant conservation.

Hannah-2Testa says her current mission is to make her native Forsyth County “the greenest county in Georgia, through education and awareness. This includes educating businesses as well as schools to become more green by using less single-use plastic products and to recycle as much as possible.” When this jack-of-all-trades conservationist grows up, she says she is interested in “working for the UN, where I can be in a position to truly make a difference in this world.”


In light of recent rolling back of environmental regulations here in the U.S., I worry about the future of this planet.  But with kids like Dessi, Isabella, Willow and Hannah, maybe … just maybe there is hope yet.  I applaud these four young people, and all the rest whom I haven’t yet discovered.

Jolly C-c-cold M-m-monday!

Good Monday morn, my friends!  Oops … looks like Joe slipped on the icy sidewalk … I salted it, but I guess I missed a couple of places!  Hope you’re okay, Joe … come in and warm up!  Brrrrrrr … it’s so cold … I’m ready for Spring!  And speaking of which, it is only a short 60 days until Spring arrives!  Well, another weekend has come and gone … why is it they go so fast?  Anyway, to start the new week Joyful and I have baked up a few sweet treats and found a few things to kick the week off with a smile, while Jolly went in search of ‘toons.  So, help yourself to a fresh-baked treat and a cuppa something warm, and let’s start this week off right!


And who doesn’t love Pooh?

yawn-poohToday is National Winnie the Pooh Day, in honour of author A.A. Milne’s birthday in 1882.  Milne’s lovable Pooh Bear, as he was fondly called, is a fictional bear inspired by a black bear named Winnie. Winnie lived at the London Zoo during World War I. The author’s son, Christopher Robin, would visit the bear often and named his own teddy bear after her and a swan named Pooh.

Pooh1This friendship inspired a collection of books starting with Winnie-the-Pooh in 1926. E.H. Shepard beautifully illustrated the books.  Their adventures took them and millions of children through the Hundred Acre Woods. Each character played a unique role in the books. Whether the wisdom of Owl or Rabbit leading the group awry, a celebration ensued and the story’s characters became beloved around the world. 

In the 1960s, Disney bought the rights to the Winnie-the-Pooh characters dropping the hyphen from Pooh’s name. The illustrations were a bit different, too.

Pooh-headerMilne’s stories have been translated into over 50 languages and are considered classic children’s stories today.  National Winnie the Pooh Day has been observed since at least 1986, though nobody seems quite sure who the originator of the day was.  Today is also Martin Luther King Day, but I will have a separate post on that later today.


My kind of job!

A U.S. website is offering $500 for an unusual short-term job: a “professional binge watcher” willing to watch Netflix and eat pizza.  BonusFinder, a website dedicated to reviewing and offering deals for legal gambling sites, said the “professional binge watcher” will be called on to watch and review three series on Netflix while eating pizza takeout from various locations.

The selected candidate will be required to review each series based on story and plot lines, “Netflix and Chill” suitability, acting quality and cheesiness, satisfaction of episodes and series endings.  The person will also rate the pizzas they sample for appearance and color, base texture and taste, topping ingredient quality, flavor, cheese gooeyness and value for money.

The “professional binge watcher” will be paid $500 for completing the tasks.

Now, if I watched television, I would certainly apply for this job, for I do eat pizza!  However, I find that television typically bores me and I need to be doing something with my mind … that, coupled with my near deafness make television pretty much taboo for me.  But, if any of you guys are interested, you can apply on BonusFinder’s website.


And now, for some fun & funny ‘toons!

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"Between you and me, I thought the whoopie cushion on the throne gag was hilarious."

“Between you and me, I thought the whoopie cushion on the throne gag was hilarious.”

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Our friend Hugh has been under the weather, so Maxine brought him a little something to cheer him …

Feel better, dear Hugh!  We love you!!!  💖💖💖


And of course there must be a cute critter video.  Since our friend David likes parrots, and since today is his birthday, but don’t let on that I told you …


I hope you all have a decent week, and that you can keep those smiles all week long.  Hey, how about sharing a few of them, too?  Everybody could use a bit of good cheer these days!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly and Joyful!

Jolly Monday Returns!!!

Well my friends, once again it’s {drumroll} Monday!  Yes, the weekend has gone … but there’s some good news … only 5 more days ‘til the next one!  Hey!  Who threw the tomato???  Our apologies for skipping Jolly Monday last week, but we’re back this week with some stories, toons and a critter video that we hope will help you start the week with a smile!  So, grab a snack and a nice warm drink, and let’s see what we can find.


Yummy or Yucky?

McDonald’s is selling a sandwich made of Spam topped with crushed Oreo cookies Monday in China in an attention-grabbing move that has raised eyebrows.

Global brands from restaurants to automakers sometimes roll out offbeat products to appeal to Chinese tastes in the populous and intensely competitive market.

This is undoubtedly one of them.

“I thought it was delicious,” said a comment signed Feifei Mao Enthusiast on the Sina Weibo microblog service. “Is that because I love McDonald’s too deeply? Or is something wrong with my taste?”

The sandwich is made of two slices of Spam, a product of Hormel Foods LLC, and Mondelez International’s Oreo cookies, topped with mayonnaise.

Spam-Oreo-burger

McDonald’s Corp. said the sandwich was part of a series of “members only” promotions to be released on Mondays in China.

“There is no need to release unnecessary products,” said a comment left on the company’s microblog account. It received more than 2,000 “likes.”

McDonald’s said it planned to sell no more than 400,000 of the “Lunchmeat Burgers.” It wasn’t clear how many have been sold or how many people who flooded social media with scathing comments had eaten one.

“When you hate someone but have to invite him to dinner, you can ask him to eat McDonald’s Oreo lunchmeat burger,” said a separate comment on Sina Weibo.


A century old tradition …

The headline caught my eye … “Celebrate 100 Years of Sawing People in Half!”  Um … okay.  Turns out that one hundred years ago next weekend, an English magician called Percy Thomas Tibbles literally and laboriously sawed through a sealed wooden box that contained a woman.

It was a sensation and has since become one of the best known magic tricks, performed with all manner of tools and varying degrees of blood – always involving someone cut in half and nearly always with them miraculously put back together.

I’m happy to say that I never saw this trick performed.  Heck, as a child I was freaked when my uncle, an amateur magician, pulled a coin out of my ear!  But, I gather this is a very popular ‘trick’.  According to The Guardian

On Sunday 17 January, the Magic Circle will mark the centenary of sawing someone in half, an illusion as iconic, its president Noel Britten said, as pulling a rabbit out of a hat.

It has a “rich and fascinating” history, Britten said, although the reasons for its almost instant popularity in 1921 may not be the noblest. Suffrage was the hot topic of its day so was it “for every person who thought it was great that women were getting the vote there were other people who thought it great that a woman was being put in a box and sawn in half?”

The US magician David Copperfield will show viewers round his magic museum in Las Vegas and talk about his interpretation, using a huge “death saw” which cut through him after he failed to escape the table.

The evening will also see Debbie McGee, the partner of the late Paul Daniels on stage and in life, recounting her experiences of being regularly dismembered. “Debbie has been sliced, diced, cremated, crushed, divided and decapitated more than most so has a great story to tell,” said Britten.

Details of how to watch the Facebook streamed event will be on the Magic Circle Unlocked Facebook page.

Personally, I’ll pass … I’m just really not a fan of blood ‘n guts!


And after that, I think we need some ‘toons, don’t you?

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And we can’t end Jolly Monday without a cute animal video …


Well, folks, let’s hope for a calmer week this week than last, shall we?  Remember to share those beautiful smiles … we all need them right now!  We hope you have a good week … keep safe and warm!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly and Joyful!

Winding The Year Down With Good People

Well, it’s the last ‘good people’ post of 2020, and I’ve got a great bunch for you to wrap up this otherwise chaotic year!

Kleenex tissues


One homeless man … a ton of courage

Keith Walker is a 53-year-old homeless man in Atlanta, Georgia.  On December 18th, he was near the W-Underdogs animal shelter when he realized that the building was engulfed in flames.  Walker is an animal lover, his own dog Bravo being the only constant in his life.  He did what many of us would not have done … he rushed into that building and saved every single animal there!

“I was nervous as hell, I’m not going to lie. I was really scared to go in there with all that smoke. But God put me there to save those animals. If you love a dog, you can love anyone in the world. My dog is my best friend, and I wouldn’t be here without him, so I knew I had to save all those other dogs.”

Says the shelter’s founder, Gracie Hamlin …

“He is my guardian angel. Even the firefighters didn’t want to handle the dogs. They called animal control, but Keith was already in the building pulling out the cats and dogs until they were all safe.”

Great job, Mr. Walker … a two-thumbs-up for him!  But the story doesn’t quite end there.

keith-walkerAs word of Walker’s bravery spread, a GoFundMe campaign was launched to make life a little more certain for “The Atlanta Animal Shelter Hero” and his sidekick, Bravo.  So far, more than $52,000 has been raised.  Mr. Walker has been homeless for many years, and the campaign’s founder has vowed that all monies taken in will be put toward making a better future for the man who risked his own life to save the lives of helpless animals.  In the words of one donor …

“…Mr. Walker, you’re an extraordinary gentleman, risking life and limb to save not only dogs, but the cats in the shelter as well, which would have been far more difficult. I can’t wait to see you on the news in a fresh apartment with a new start. You’ve earned it, man.”

I second that.


Retired and busier than ever

John Hobson is a 93-year-old retired Air Force Colonel who likes to stay busy.  This year, Hobson occupied himself by handcrafting close to 100 walking sticks, the proceeds of which he donated to a local Ohio charity outreach group, the Xenia Area Fish Food Pantry.

john-hobsonTo sell his wares, Hobson set up a roadside stand in his front yard. The price was beyond reasonable: $3.00 each, or a food pantry donation.  Not surprisingly, the senior whittling-wonder was sold out in just a few days, having earned about $600.  Wanting to do more, Hobson and his family set up a GoFundMe page which has since raised $9,565 in cash for the Xenia Area Fish Food Pantry. All told, donations from the sale of the walking sticks, the GoFundMe campaign, and additional donations made in Hobson’s name total close to $16,000.

“We have been told by the pantry that a $1 donation generates five pounds of food. That means that we have helped the pantry be able to distribute about 40 tons of food to the Xenia community! What a massive blessing to those in need during this very difficult time.” – Mr. Hobson’s granddaughter, Jenny Denen.

Hobson says knowing that he’s still able to help others in need in a meaningful way just makes him feel good.  Oh, if only everyone in the world felt that way, what a wonderful world we could live in!


Jumping right in there … again … and again

You may remember a few days before Christmas when I told you about the trials and tribulations in the UK   , and how France was not allowing trucks to enter from the UK and trucks were backed up for miles. Some 1,500 truckers were stranded just a few days before Christmas.

APTOPIX Virus Outbreak Britain

Well, a group of Sikh volunteers put their heads and hands together and handed out thousands of meals to stranded truckers in Kent.  Members of Khalsa Aid International dished out 1,000 pizzas and 1,500 bowls of curry and pasta to truck drivers in the days running up to Christmas.

But within hours of leaving the location on the M20 on Christmas night they got a call from flood-ravaged Bedfordshire—and set off the very next day. They sourced four tons of sand and set about filling and distributing 1,000 sandbags by the end of the day.

Sikh-volunteers

Says Indy Narwal, a senior volunteer at the Slough-based aid group …

“Sikhs are very giving people, and after such a bad year, we want to do all we can to help. If they need more help in the future, we’ll be back.”


No big deal … it’s only a kidney

skully-whiteSkully White owns a gourmet hotdog stand, Lullys Food Experience, in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada.  Tim Hiscock has been a regular customer at Lullys for several years now, but until last year, Skully did not even know Tim’s name.  That all changed late last year when Tim’s wife called Skully …

“He was a customer for almost three years before I knew his name.  One day his wife called me up and said he had some medical issues and I wasn’t supposed to feed him without her permission.”

Hiscock’s issues became a crisis in May 2019 when his diabetes led to advanced kidney failure.  Late last year, it was determined that Tim would need a new kidney, and when Skully heard the news, he immediately volunteered to donate one of his.

These things, of course, take time.  Turned out that White was a match and could donate a kidney to Mr. Hiscock, but complications arose, and then came the pandemic.  Long story short, the transplant took place on December 14th and both gentlemen are doing well, though White is chafing at the restriction on lifting anything over 10 pounds for three months!

skully-and-timWhen asked why he would donate a body part to a near stranger, Skully replies …

“It’s such an easy thing.  It shouldn’t scare anyone … You have two kidneys and by the time you die, you won’t even have used half of one. People live all the time with one kidney.”

On Lullys’ Facebook page, the hotdog stand says it now offering free foot-longs for life to anyone who follows in White’s footsteps. White hopes the campaign will convince others to give a kidney to save a life.


Toys, toys, toys!

mike-judy-sullivanMike and Judy Sullivan, both retired, recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary!  When Mike, a 72-year-old, 26-year army vet retired, he and Judy signed up for a woodworking club. It started as a hobby, but after witnessing the yuletide happiness their handmade playthings brought local families, it became their new vocation. Seven years on, the pair continues to churn out toys at a pace that would give Santa’s elves a run for their money.

This year, the pandemic meant many families didn’t have funds to cover non-essentials, which made the Sullivans’ mission more important than ever. Mike and Judy embraced the challenge, creating and distributing close to 1,400 toys that included animal figures, puzzles, and trucks, to name just a few.

sullivan-toysThe Sullivans’ toys made their way to a local kindergarten class, Coachella Valley Rescue Mission, a food pantry, and other charitable organizations—all of them free of charge (including postage for items sent out of state as far as Indiana and Texas).

Mike and Judy say they plan to continue making toys as long as they’re able.

“We’re both in good health and are able to be out here six to seven days a week for eight to 10 hours. It’s so much fun, it feels like home here in the shop working things out.”


Yes, my friends, there really are good people out there doing things to help others every single day.  You don’t have to even look very far … in fact, some of you I know could just walk into the bathroom and look in the mirror to see a ‘good people’.

good people

Jolly New Year Monday!

Happy Monday morn, my friends!  Come on in out of the cold … just toss your coats over there … Jolly is the coat keeper for the day!  This is always a weird week, I think.  Christmas is over, all except the cleaning up, putting away, etc., and it’s a short week, with New Year’s Eve on Thursday.  When I laboured outside the home, I always hated this week … trying to catch up from the previous week, but not really being able to because most people took a vacation week, and I couldn’t get the answers I needed.  I’m very much a creature of routine, and when my routine is wrecked two weeks in a row, I tend to get rather dark ‘n grumpy.  This year, however, I’m trying to be laid back … with everything else happening in the world, the small stuff really just doesn’t much matter.

So, did you all have a nice holiday?  I know many of you, especially in the UK where very strict lockdown regulations are in place, missed spending the holiday with your families or friends, but hopefully by next holiday season things will be vastly improved.

So, if it’s Monday it must be time for some humour to start the week out, right?  Grab a snack – Joyful wouldn’t let me in the kitchen, so I have no idea what she’s cooked up this morning – and we’ll go in search of a few chuckles.

tea              baconJollys girlfriend Joyful

good-xmas-donuts-2     juice boxes


The secret to a longer life?  Math!

Kane_TanakaI found this both interesting and the last bit highly humorous.

The world’s oldest person, Kane Tanaka, turns 118 on Saturday.  She was born in 1903, and lives in a nursing home in Japan, where she wakes up at 6 a.m and enjoys playing board games. Her secrets to longevity: eating good food and practicing math.

Practicing math???  Whoa … I better stop using the calculator on my phone to add 2+2 and start using my noggin a bit more, yes?


Uh-oh Santa … should’a stuck with the reindeer!

An unidentified Northern California man thought it would be cool to dress as Santa Claus and deliver candy canes to children in his community … via a motorized parachute.  Neighbors say he flies around the neighborhood often in his vehicle, but this time there was a bit of a hitch … ol’ Santa got entangled in a set of electrical wires!

He flew into a maze of power lines and wound up suspended in them, according to a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman.

Santa-wires

The man, who wasn’t identified, was not injured. Video from the rescue shows the red-white-and-blue aircraft dangling overhead as Santa sat fastened to the pilot seat. Neighbors watched from the ground as crews worked.

Santa-wires-2Power was shut off during the rescue to about 200 customers in the Rio Linda area, according to Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District spokesman Chris Vestal.

“It’s unfortunate, but we all need to remember that there’s still a lot of good out in the world, there are people doing good things and to look at the brightness of the holiday season.”

“W/o a scratch & full of good cheer we made sure Old St. Nick will use his reindeer when he sees you later this year,” the fire department said in a tweet after the incident.


So, how about some New Year’s themed ‘toons?

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"I told the downstairs neighbors they had to take their tree down by New Year's."


And, I have a few cute pictures to share with you …

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The highlight of my life the past month or so has been a pair of grey squirrels that appear every morning outside my ‘office’ (kitchen table where I write this blog) window.  After a couple of days watching their antics, I started putting a handful of unsalted, unshelled peanuts out every morning for them, which they take great joy in.  Then, wanting to give them a more nutritious diet, I did some research and ordered a bag of “Critter Crunch” from the Audubon Society, which they also enjoy, but they still prefer the peanuts.  They hop all around the patio, jump from the wrought iron rocking chair to the top of the grill, to the handlebars of Miss Goose’s bicycle!  They are beginning to trust me a bit more, I think, and I smile every time I see them through my ‘window on the world’.  Their latest antic is teasing one of our cats, Pandi.  If she is sitting in the windowsill, they jump up on the outside window ledge and … I swear I think they laugh at her!  Her tail twitches, then quivers, she bats at the window, and the squirrels just sit there.  It is, truly, the highlight of my day.  So, I went in search of a cute squirrel video for this week’s Jolly Monday …


Well, my friends, it’s that time … time for us all to be about our appointed chores.  But take heart … it’s a short week!  Meanwhile, as you go about your week, please take time to lend a helping hand wherever you can, and share those gorgeous smiles with people who look like they need one.  Have a safe and happy week.  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly and Joyful!

Happy Boxing Day!!!

This Boxing Day post has become somewhat of an annual tradition here at Filosofa’s Word.  Occasionally I ponder doing a new one, but this one pretty much covers all the bases, so why re-invent the wheel?   So please join me in wishing all our friends in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the UK the very Happiest Boxing Day!!!


BoxingNo no no no no … not that kind of boxing!  Boxing Day is on December 26th, the day after Christmas, and it is a bank holiday in the UK and Canada.  A brief bit about the origins of Boxing Day …

There are a few competing stories for the origin of the name, and while none are definitive, the one that seems most commonly accepted is that the day after Christmas was when servants of the wealthy were given time off to visit their family, as they were needed to work on Christmas Day. Each servant would be given a box to take home with food, a bonus and gifts. In Britain, it was a custom for tradespeople to collect “Christmas boxes” of money or presents on the first weekday after Christmas as thanks for good service throughout the year.

boxing-day

Now, that said, last year our friend rawgod gave me his explanation of the Canadian celebration of Boxing Day, at least in his household as a child …

“Each year an xmas tree was brought to the house, often on xmas eve. All the decorations were brought out of storage, and hung to decorate the tree. In those days baubles were not made of plastic, but rather blown glass. They were very delicate, and much too easily broken, as my poor bum learned every year. Moving on, the tree was the centrepiece of our home xmas day, and the next day, we put all the unbroken decorations into their special boxes so they could survive to the next xmas. By suppertime everything was boxed, and stored–thus Boxing Day.”


And this is what my house looks like on this Boxing Day!boxing-day


So how do our friends up north and across the big pond celebrate Boxing Day?  I went ‘in search of …’ and came up with some fun things, though I strongly suspect that most people spend the day recuperating from Christmas.  Let’s look at a few …

There is an annual barrel rolling race in Grantchester, Cambridgeshire

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Until 2004 when the UK imposed a ban on fox-hunting, it used to be a tradition on Boxing Day.  Last year, Colette commented that legal or not, fox-hunting …

“As for fox hunting (despite tradition, I hate it), it still occurs. Meets go out following scent trails by people sent up ahead. The hounds are supposed to follow that and eventually find the people. Horses follow. But the hounds very often find real foxes which they tear to shreds if found. I am opposed to this horrific practice. The whole industry (and it is a lucrative industry) is a travesty akin to Bear Baiting or Cock Fighting, both long outlawed in Britain.”

Boxing-Day-2.jpgI understand that sports are big on boxing day, with horse racing and football.  But remember that what they call ‘football’ is actually what we in the U.S. refer to as soccer.  I asked one of my friends across the pond once, when he mentioned ‘football’ if he was referring to the kind with an ovoid pigskin ball where large people try to kill one another, or the kind that is played with a geometric-patterned black & white ball.  I was informed in no uncertain terms that he was referring to ‘real’ football and that what we called football was but a cheap knock-off. I never made that mistake again!

soccerAnd then there is shopping.  One article I read compared Boxing Day shopping with Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, in the U.S.  Apparently all the stores have huge sales.  But my question here is … who has any money after Christmas?

shoppingAnd so, to our friends across the big pond, however you spend Boxing Day, I hope it is a fun and/or relaxing day for you!  Happy Boxing Day!!!

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🎄 Jolly Monday Before Christmas 🎄

holly-4‘Twas the Monday before Christmas,

And all through the world,

The pandemic was raging,

Causing heartache and pain. 

Hey, I never said I was a poet, now did I?  But it is the Monday before Christmas, so I suppose I could shoot for something a bit cheerier, yes?  Lemme try again …

holly‘Twas the Monday before Christmas,

Poor Santa was drunk,

He fell from a rooftop,

And landed on a skunk.

Okay, okay … sheesh, everyone’s a critic … you’re a tough audience this Monday morning!  How ‘bout we skip the poetry, then, and go straight for some snacks and a few fun cartoons, shall we?


We figured since it is the Monday before Christmas, we should have some holiday-themed cartoons …

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And, we found some funny holiday memes over at Phil’s Phun, too!

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And what would a Jolly Monday be without a cute animal video, eh?  Jolly & Joyful found this one for your viewing pleasure!  I’d like to know how the guy got the cat to lie still while he wrapped him up!  My cats would shred me if I even tried it!  😼😼😼😼😼


We three wish you the Happiest of Holidays this week.  Y’know, one of my friends has taken me to task for celebrating Christmas as a secular holiday, but … there are so many people like myself who are not Christian, but yet celebrate the holiday.  My neighbors, Maha & Ali are Muslims, yet they celebrate Christmas, even have a tree, and we will be sharing our Christmas dinner with them … and vice versa!  I don’t think one has to be committed to Christianity to celebrate the holiday … each of us in our own way.  For me, it is about the camaraderie, the lights, the festive atmosphere … and yes, cookies! 🍪 Why can’t we all put aside our differences for a bit during this season and just enjoy life … live and let live.  Please?  Oh, and by the way, share an extra smile this week, for despite the joy of the season, it’s been a tough year and many people are homebound, won’t be seeing their family for the holiday … give someone a reason to smile back at you, okay?  Much love and many hugs from Filosofa, Jolly, and Joyful!

Good People Doing Good Things — Big Things, Little Things

Good Wednesday morning, friends!  You know what I love most about Wednesdays?  I get to go in search of good people to write about.  Well, technically I do this post on Tuesday night, but still … it’s such a relief after writing about the … er … not-so-good people that I mostly write about during the week.  This week’s batch of good people is exceptional, I think.


Pay it forward … or backward

I absolutely love the ‘pay it forward’ concept that has played out in big and small ways over the past decade or so.  A couple of weeks ago in Brainerd, Minnesota, one man started a pay-it-forward movement that lasted nearly three days!

It was at the Dairy Queen on December 3rd, that a man at the drive-thru told the cashier he would like to pay for the order of the car behind him.  The store manager, Tina Jensen, was so excited that she personally delivered the good news to the woman in the second car.  The woman was stunned, and when Ms. Jensen asked if she would like to keep the chain going and pay for the car behind her, she readily agreed.

And so it went, throughout the day.  Jensen says, “One lady, she was so excited, she threw us a 20 dollar bill almost in tears. ‘Are you serious. This is really going on?’ I said, yep, you are about 125 cars into it. She said, ‘For real, can you believe this?’”

The longest chain this drive-through ever experienced was 15 to 20 cars, but I think this year, with the pandemic raging, people confined to their homes, and the Christmas season upon us in a fashion different from any we’ve ever known, people’s hearts are maybe just a little bit bigger right now.

Tina posted about it on Facebook, and people started driving to the restaurant just so they could participate—all day Friday, and most of Saturday, they kept coming, and paying the tab for the person next in line.  The record ended up at over 900 cars, with $10,000 in sales from selfless customers who passed up the opportunity to take a free meal for themselves.  Folks … THIS is what humanity is about … a small thing, sure.  But dammit … it’s a big thing, too!  Here … have a tissue

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A few good cops

The police get a bad rap sometimes, and over the past several years, some police have certainly earned that bad rap.  But we mustn’t paint all police officers with a broad brush, for some have hearts of gold.  Such was the case in Orlando, Florida last week, when police officers surprised over 200 children in need with Christmas presents on Saturday.

Orlando-copsThe Orlando Police Department collected the names of children in need from local churches, counselors and community centers to bring smiles to kids’ faces this Christmas. The department’s officers and staff donated the money to buy the toys and personally delivered the gifts to the children at their homes. Officer Marcus Hyatt said the gift-giving helps to build trust with the community and “close the gap because so often law enforcement is portrayed a certain way.”

“When I opened up gifts on Christmas day, it just brought so much excitement for me. I waited all year for it, so to see another kid have that expression, it just means the world to me. People need to know us, they need to trust us. Part of bridging that gap is being more visible in the community. Showing people we’re human, showing people we care.  People don’t get a chance to see us handing out gifts, us having positive conversations with people. People don’t get a chance to see that we are human just like them.”

Orlando-cops-2Thumbs up to the officers who participated in this toy drive … thank you, Officers!


A return ‘good people’

Nearly a year ago, my good people post of January 1st, included a piece about a man named Michael Esmond.   You probably don’t remember, but last year around this time, Michael, a 73-year-old veteran and owner of a pool installation company in Gulf Breeze, Florida, paid the past due utility bills for 36 families in Gulf Breeze, spending a total of $4,558.  Some of those families would have lost their electricity had it not been for Michael Esmond, so although $4,558 may not seem like a lot, it may have been a lifesaver to some.

michael-esmondThis year, Michael is back on my radar.  With the pandemic and related restrictions, many have lost their jobs and are struggling to pay their bills, and in September, Hurricane Sally hit the area, causing damage to homes and businesses.  Once again, Michael Esmond stepped up to the plate … it cost him a bit more this year, but because of him, 114 families can rest a bit easier, knowing their gas and electricity bills are paid.

Last year, Esmond paid the utility bills of 36 households in his community, this year it was 114, to the tune of $7,615.40.

“This year to me probably is more meaningful than last year with the pandemic and all the people out of work having to stay home. Hurricane Sally slammed us pretty good and hurt a lot of people. We still have a lot of the blue roofs here, where they’re just covered with tarps. I have been down on my luck like people are today, where I had trouble paying bills and raising three daughters. The gas company shut the gas off and we didn’t have any heat. That’s probably one of the biggest motivators for me, because I’ve been there.”

Thumbs up to Michael Esmond … a good people working hard and sharing the fruits of his labour.


Good Critters — These three lions

Every now and then, I add a piece about animals doing good deeds, whether toward their fellow critters or humans.  This story from 2005 is not new, but it just came to my attention this week and I thought this was maybe the best animal story I’ve heard all year, so I’m sharing it.

In 2005, in Ethiopia, a group of men kidnapped a 12-year-old girl in order to marry her forcibly to a member of their community. A week later, the girl was found in the jungle under the protection of three lions. It turned out that when the lions saw the men beating the girl, they kicked away the intruders and guarded her. When the police found the little girl, the lions retreated. However, they went back to the jungle only when the girl safely returned home.

3-lionsIn her testimony, she said that lions protected her until the police came.  Take a lesson from these three lions, hoomans!

Jolly HollyDay Monday!

hollyGood … {is it really?} … Monday morning, friends.  It’s been somewhat of an exhausting weekend here … how was yours?  I had to actually physically go out shopping yesterday, which of course meant I had to wear a mask for nearly two hours … damn near impossible for a severe asthmatic!  By the time I left the store, I was near to passing out, sweating as if it were summer instead of a mere 35° (F), and I still, some 9 hours later, haven’t quite recovered.  Now I remember why I just stay home … simpler and for me, healthier.  I’ll be happy when the holidays are over.  But anyway, here it is Monday morning, and Joyful and I have been hard at work preparing a few holiday-themed treats for you today!  Sorry guys, no bacon today … I thought I had some in the freezer, but … oops, I forgot I used the last of it in the bacon-ranch chicken last week!   So, grab a bowl, a plate, and a cuppa, and then we’ll try to start this week out with a chuckle, ‘k?


A holiday ‘good people’ …

I reported on a similar story last year about this time.  It seems that Christmas brings out the best in people — some people, anyway.

Last week, in Bristol, Tennessee, somebody walked into a Wal-Mart store and spent $65,000 … not on purchases for him/herself, but to pay off every outstanding lay-a-way balance for all customers!  Now, I remember when my three children were young, I would choose their gifts for Christmas in October and put them in lay-a-way, paying $5, $10, or maybe $15 as often as I could, just hoping to be able to pay off the balance before Christmas.  So, I can imagine the joy, the relief of some parents, knowing that their kids’ Christmas is take care of.

Somebody with a huge heart did a great thing for these families this Christmas.  Doesn’t it warm your heart, just thinking about it?


holly-4Singing potties???

There’s more than one way to sell a toilet, I guess.

An Indiana portable toilet company shared a festive video of what it calls ” a world record for the most animated faces on a single holiday light display.” Service Sanitation posted a video to Facebook showing 32 portable toilets adorned with animated faces “singing” the song “Hallelujah.” “The Jingle Johns have officially set a world record for the most animated faces on a single holiday light display,” the post reads.

I have to admit, it brought a smile to my face … they’re actually kinda cute, don’t you think?  For toilets, that is.

A Guinness representative said the record-keeping organization does not monitor records involving animated faces in holiday light displays, and Steve Dykstra, director of marketing for the company, clarified the feat was not an official Guinness World Record, but the company considers it to be a world record because they could not find any other videos online to dispute the claim.


And now, how about some fun ‘toons ‘n memes, courtesy of Phil’s Phun?

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I think people are bored this holiday season, and I somewhat get that … the pandemic has put paid to holiday parties, in-person shopping, and many of us just aren’t really in the mood for the usual festivities.  But some people have used their time stuck at home to come up with some rather strange ideas for Christmas trees …

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And last, but not least, today’s cute animal video … if only hoomans were more like critters …


And for our friend Hugh, who has been laid low for a while but is, I hope, on the mend now …

holly-2Love you, Hugh!!!  Get well and feel better!  We miss you!


And on that note, you must go do what you must go do, while I must go do … laundry.  Sigh.  It never ends, does it?  Please, friends, share those beautiful smiles I see with others this week.  This is not, by any stretch, the most joyous holiday season we’ve seen, and I can tell you that many people are depressed right now.  Give them a smile … it costs you nothing and might give them a reason to share a smile or two, too!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly, and Joyful!

Jolly Monday … Widout Gwammie!

It’s funny how Monday sort of creeps up on you, isn’t it?  I mean, just yesterday it was Friday, the start of the weekend, and now the weekend is gone?  Where did it go?  I don’t remember it!  I had big plans to clean out my closet over the weekend, but … only thing I did was open the door and throw yet another package into it!  I had plans to wrap some presents I need to send across the pond for Christmas … they are somewhere in my clos … oh no, wait, they are in a stack at the foot of my bed … still not wrapped!  Sigh.  Can I get a do-over on the weekend, please?  I must get these cards addressed tonight so Chris can mail them on her way to work in the morning.  Sigh.  I’m tired.  Can I just go to bed and start over on January 20th, please?

jollyGwammie … GO TO YOUR ROOM!!!  Okay fwiends … enuf of her whining … Joyful made some yummy things for you an’ I went over to Phil’s Phun and found some funnies, so Imma send Gwammie to her room until she can be nice, okay?  GO GWAMMIE … you’re spoilin’ da fun for our fwiends!  Me ‘n Joyful will finish Jolly Monday an’ you can go pout ‘n whine.

Okay, fwiends … Joyful worked weally hard on da snacks, so we hope you likes ‘em.  Gwab a snack an’ we’ve got lots o’ toons ‘n other stuff to make you laugh!

First, some ‘toons from Unca Phil … he lives in a pwace called Oz, ‘cept it’s weally called Oztralia.

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Wasn’t dey fun?  Gwammie found some funny (weally, weally bad 🙄 ) jokes before she got all pouty …

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Isn’t dis picture neat?  It’s somewhere in Japan an’ dey had a LOT of s-n-o-w!!!!

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An’ Joyful found us a cute animal video ‘bout a kitty who makes a doggie feel better.


We hopes you liked Jolly Monday an’ we’re sowwy ‘bout Gwammie … she don’t usually get like dis, but she’s tired and don’ feel so good, ’cause she’s weally upset dese days, we think it’s about da ‘lection an’ dat weird guy dey call da Donald, or summat like dat.  Until next Monday, we all send you our love ‘n hugs!