Sitting here in my breakfast room, savoring a second cuppa, Charlie is impatiently waiting for the morning walk. He’s always in it for himself, the tail wag and lopsided grin are a red herring covering up his real opinion of us. The mornings are so cold we use the excuse that it will chill his feet if he goes out before the sun warms the road. I have spent the past few days getting into the 2015 mindset, like most other people; putting away the Christmas finery, and putting the house back into its normal condition.


The holidays were great, with family arriving for a Danish Christmas feast on the 22nd. I had made several Danish dishes, such as frikadeller, a meal patty, a ton of cookies, and a number of side dishes. The decorations went low-key this year, suitable for a country-style celebration. Santa and his sleigh ran down the center of the long table, with an army of nutcrackers at his rear, and a hand carved farm scene on the buffet.

Unfortunately, I awoke that morning with an ugly eye infection which took us to the ER. I have become quite friendly with the staff there, as 2014 took me there to celebrate my birthday. They even wrote “Happy Birthday” on the large schedule board in the room to make me feel at home. You can’t ask for more. But this eye infection was so bad the resident ER doctor sent me to the ophthalmologist in the afternoon, just as the party was to begin. Fortunately our two daughters are expert party-givers, so they took over while we were gone. Now that’s the way to give a party!

I gave Dr. Advice an iPad for Christmas, even though he is not computer literate (yet). The battery function seemed slow so we took it to the Apple store, which is a most interesting operation. First of all, if the product is so wonderful, why are there so many people waiting in line for hours to get them fixed? You obtain an appointment online, but when you arrive, there are great numbers of people seemingly with the same appointment.

Once fixed, I was asked to put in his ID and password, which was a good idea, except I forgot to bring the paper I wrote it on. After spending 3 hours to get that far, we left and went out for lunch.

I never make New Year’s Resolutions because I would break them by January 2nd, but to those who do make them, good luck. We all need a certain amount of introspection if only to make us try harder.

The weather has warmed, my coffee has cooled, and Charlie is still doing his Jack Russell best to go for his walk. See you later.



“Harlequin” by KSR

We have all been told repeatedly that the key to a good relationship is to understand clearly just what the other person wants. That sounds pretty easy, except that the other person frequently doesn’t know what the heck he really wants. This makes it difficult because all his wants then begin to contradict or compete with each other. This difficulty does not lessen the importance of understanding those wants. Husbands and wives have spent lifetimes trying to figure out just what makes the other one tick. Jane Austen said that “One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.”

No one likes to think they’re average, least of all below average. When asked by psychologists, most people rate themselves above average on all manner of measures including intelligence, looks, health, and so on. Self-control is no different; people consistently overestimate their ability to control themselves. This over-confidence can lead one to assume that they’ll be able to control themselves in situation in which it turns out, they can’t.

All of us have a finite amount of self-control we can exert each day. Self-control is difficult and energy depleting, and each time we exercise self-control during the course of a day, we have less remaining for later in that day–making us more susceptible to those habits we are trying to change. People naturally vary in the amount of self-control they have, so some will find it more difficult than others to break a habit.


Some studies have shown that it takes only 21 days to form a habit. I think it depends on the habit. So-called “good” habits probably take longer to form than do the “bad” ones. It would be interesting to know who came up with the 21 day number. Probably the same one who gave us the “5-second “rule for grabbing stuff off the floor after dropping it. Habit can be equated with New Year resolutions. How long has it taken most of us to break a few hastily made new habits this year? It’s better not to make any, thereby relieving yourself of a certain guilt trip.

We only have the capacity to focus on a limited number of things at a given moment, and sometimes when we concentrate on one thing, we are often completely blind to other things–even if it’s a woman dressed in a gorilla suit right in front of us. We need to form the habit of connectivity. At the end of the day, we all want the same thing. We want to be loved and be happy.