What does your house smell like?

        The other night I was thinking about what my house smells like.  We had a visitor over and I really wanted to know what our house smelled like to them.  Every one's house or apartment has a unique smell to it.  Sometimes it is a temporary smell  like something they were cooking or maybe they were just cleaning and the house smells like bleach.  But behind all of the transient odors there is a unique house smell for everyone.  Some of them maybe hardly noticeable while others may be down right difficult to deal with.  There may be the deep entrenched pet odors mixed with a touch of moth balls. Maybe it is the house that walk into and you know immediately that they have cats.  When it comes to other peoples house odors we can usually identify them pretty easily.  However when it comes to our own houses it is really difficult to pin down that unique odor.
       It wasn't until several years had passed after I moved out of my parents home that I could finally smell their house smell.  All the years that I lived there I never knew the smell of my own house.  This of course does not take into account the obvious years that we had a cat.  This past summer I think I figured out the mystery of being able to smell your own house.  We were away for about a month with no one staying at our house during this time.  When we arrived back home there was no food or people smell to interfere with the true house smell.  For once I was able to experience my house odor as if I was a stranger visiting for the first time.  Overall I would say my house smelled pleasant but a bit stale, presumably from having the windows shut for so long.  I was happy to know that my house didn't have any funk smell to it like some houses I have been in before.
      You see in my previous lifetime I was a paperboy and had the opportunity to visit many different house each week.  My paper route was made of about 50 to 60 houses and each week I had to knock on their doors and collect money for the newspaper.  Sometimes I didn't have to even step inside the persons house to get a whiff of the house odor.  After doing thing job for a while I was able to figure out the difference between cooking odors and regular house smells.   The cooking odors were usually the most enjoyable especially if someone was baking a cake or preparing and Italian dish.  They were the worst when the person was cooking fish or some funky vegetables.  There were a few people's homes who always had a fishy smell.  Those were the houses that I tried my best to avoid entering. 
      During the winter and when it was raining it was difficult to avoid entering some of my customers homes.  They were for the most part okay but there were a few homes that just killed my olfactory nerves.  Like the one house that reeked of cigarettes and full ashtrays.  The lady was so nice but I just wanted to get out of there fast.  There was another house which just smelled like humid mustiness mixed with bad foot odor.  I used to think that maybe some of my customers didn't take the time to clean there homes.  Or maybe they were just unaware of the unpleasant aroma emanating from their homes.  Whatever the case it always made me wonder about my own house smell.
       What I found out it that as long as you keep a clean home and you take time to air it out once in a while you will be just fine.  Another important point in keep your home fresh is to use an over the stove ventilation fan.  This is even more important if your are cooking fish, onions, garlic, some types of vegetables and greasy foods.  Every once in a while it is nice to burn a scented candle or to do some baking.  Those are some great ways to freshen up the smell of your home.  Just remember that deep down below all of the external odors is your homes true smell. 

#odor, #smells, #badsmell , #whatsthatstink , #youstink , #baking , #cooking , #fishy

What is the meaning of Life?

Today I will be alert to any sign of happiness, and I will clear the way for it to spread. This is one sentence of a daily mediation that I read today.  The word happiness sticks out and reminds me of something I read last night in Readers Digest.  I was reading an article about the Dalai Lama and a trip he took to a mountain ski area in the US.  It was a great story and I suggest that you read it when you have the time. For now I don't want to retell the story but just share a part that really touched me.  At one part the Dalai Lama is seated in a ski lodge restaurant with many monks and his hosts from the States. They are enjoying some hot tea and cocoa when one of the waitresses sat down next to the Dalai Lama and asked him a question. She asked him, "What is the meaning of life?" He was very impressed by this question and assured her that she was the first person to ask this question of him on his journey. He answered, "The meaning of life is happiness." He continued and said to her, "Hard question is not "What is the meaning of life?" No, hard question is what make happiness? Money? Big house? Accomplishment? Friends? or.......Compassion and good heart?" At this the waitress thanked him and then went back to her tasks in the restaurant.  I agree the simple and easy answer to the meaning of life is happiness.  The much more difficult question regarding what makes happiness may be different for all of us.  The Dalai Lama does not point her in one particular direction but he does provide some clues.  There is something about him mentioning having compassion and a good heart.  Maybe this truly is the key to happiness.  To have concern for the suffering and misfortunes of others. To show kindness and love towards the people you meet and encounter every day in your life. Maybe these are the obvious keys to our own happiness.  How can something that is seemingly so simple be so profound?  If we begin each day by asking ourselves what can be done to show compassion towards the people in our lives we are off to a good start.  This is not a religious thing, or a G-d thing, this is a living beings thing.  Putting out love and compassion to those around me is the way I choose to live today. 
#buddhism #compassion #meditation #relax #breathe

THE Power of MUSIC!!!

Okay so not everything I write is going to be about dissent, politics, or the like.  I wanted  to reflect on a thought that came to mind this morning as I was listening to Pandora radio on my phone while neatening up my house.  I like to think about this in terms of how I felt when a song by Radiohead started streaming.  I was downstairs vacuuming the floor when the song "High and Dry" came on.  This happens to be one of my favorite Radiohead songs.  What I like about the song besides the words is the contrast between the verse and chorus.  How the song can be calm at first and then it builds up.  To me the song has allot of energy and just makes me want to sing.  To go back to the title of this post "The Power of Music" I would like to refer to the way music has a power over us.

It is not like a hypnotic power where we are under its total control.  It is more like a gentle persuasive power that can change our moods for the better or worse.  Music can bring us back to our childhood, remind us of a lost love, or just get us pumped up while exercising.  We might be sitting in traffic listening to the radio when a song from our teen years comes on.  Immediately we are transported back to that time in our heads.  We may start thinking about high school, old friends, driving around in our first car, or maybe a concert we went to in the past.

As a matter of fact right now as I right this I am listening to Pandora radio. The station I have on is Radiohead.  So they were just playing a Coldplay song which is another group I enjoy.  Sometimes I will get to hear an old song that makes me nostalgic or they will play something from a newer artist that I have never heard before.  I enjoy listening to new music and giving them a chance.  Some groups that I have discovered on Pandora have been artists like Phoenix, Arcade Fire, Lana Del Ray, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The xx, and many others.  

Certain types of music go well with specific activities.  For me if I am working out in the gym music with a heavy beat and fast tempo get me pumped up.  Music from groups like Slayer, Rage Against the Machine, Metallica, and the likes will definitely get me going. But I sometimes like to throw some old rap or hip hop into the mix.   If I need to concentrate on writing, or while I was studying in college I would often listen to music with no words or very little words.  Classical, new age, some world music comes to mind.  Artists like Enya, and Niyaz are very relaxing a help me concentrate more on being creative.  Good music can also make a meal more enjoyable.  A nice relaxing classical or jazz album playing lightly in the background can make mealtime a more peaceful experience. 

Now everyone has there own likes and dislikes and special music that touches their soul.  That is the point to make.  Music can touch your soul and make you feel alive. I cannot count how many times I would be in my car or sitting at home and a great song would some on.  I would suddenly be thrust into the music.  My feet would start moving to the beat as if I had a bass drum attached to my desk.  I might start playing air guitar and singing along with the music.  If no one was around I might go into a dance routine that I thought would rival any professional dancer.  You know when you here a song with a good dance beat. Maybe it is some techno or hip hop or some trance music.  Its possible that you've never even heard the song before but for some reason the beat has got you hooked.

All I know is that the days I listen to music are better days for me.  My mood is better, I tend to be more creative, and I have more energy.  So for those days that your not feeling it or you are having trouble getting motivated I suggest throwing on some of your favorite tunes.  Let the tunes get you out of your funk.

#radiohead , #U2, #Coldplay , #Pinkfloyd , #the80's , #Nirvana , #Pandora , #love , #enya , #Niyaz

Obamacare: There is no way to half-socialize healthcare

Healthcare for everyone and Universal Healthcare. These are two phrases and terms that have been thrown around by the public for many years now.  This has also been President Obama's mission since getting into office.  With the rollout of our supposed Universal Healthcare system this year, people have been crossing their fingers and hoping that it will work out well for them.  Those who do not have health coverage are hoping that they will be able to get an affordable plan on the so-called "open marketplace". That is if they can get the website to work for them.  Those that already have decent insurance are hoping that nothing changes with their plans. As was promised by Obama and his administration.  Those who have poor coverage hope that the coverage will get better.  The lower class hopes that their government-subsidized health coverage improves and allows them access to better healthcare providers and facilities.  There are also those people out there that hope the plan fails miserably whether or not they have health insurance.  Then there are people like me who wonder, "How can you have half-socialized national healthcare?"
          I am not sure how we can have some people in this country with their own private insurance and then some people with state-based plans.  Or wait maybe this isn't really like the socialized medicine we see present in countries like Canada, England, or France. By definition Socialized medicine is a term used to describe and discuss systems of universal health care—that is, medical and hospital care for all at a nominal cost by means of government regulation of health care and subsidies derived from taxation.[1] 
So as many of the talking heads sit there on their cable TV shows and radio shows and bash and or support the program no one on either side has come up with any alternatives.  It is my belief that the people that bash Obamacare are the ones that are getting money from the side that is losing out as a result of the new health regulations.  Look at who is losing the money and you will find a money trail leading to lobbyists and PR firms that are out there putting funds behind the bashers.
   Politics is all about money and if you do not see this you are truly living with blinders on. If you want to read more about this check out the book titled "THE LOBBYISTS", by author Jeffrey Birnbaum.

Come to think of it I have never heard so many people complain about something that is supposed to help people. When people seemingly complain about things that don't make sense to the common good of a society you have to start asking questions.  But then again I could understand some of the complaints.  Since most things that are government run are usually not that efficient.  Hey, have you seen how fast a letter can get from New York to California?  Pretty efficient if you ask me.  The government is supposed to act in the interests of the majority of its people not for a few deep-pocketed special interest groups.  

#obamacare, #healthinsurance #openmarket #healthcareforall #medicareforall