The Sunshine Factor

where sunshine is a way of life


Hubby’s Birthday!

Dave and I are having a wonderful day off work together today!  It’s about 8 degrees but the sun, finally out, is delicious!  We went out for coffee this morning at Caribou, went shopping, then I treated him to lunch at the Mexican restaurant where we had our wedding reception…while he relaxes this afternoon I have some projects to work on (hopefully).  Tonight we will finish his big day with supper out and a slice of his miniature cake from Maid of Scandinavia.

It’s so wonderful to spend a day with my husband, whom I love so much!  Like an unexpected treat, to be with him on a Monday!   🙂




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Last Call For January Birthdays! And More!

English: Gmail logo

English: Gmail logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello everyone!

With the new magazine set to roll out shortly (see Countdown in the right sidebar), and Debb and her editor working very hard to put out a top-notch premiere issue, I’m putting out a “last call”.  No, not one to fill up on your favorite drinks before the bars close.  🙂  I am wanting to make sure I didn’t miss out on anyone’s January birthday.  If you have not contacted me yet with news of your birthday or someone else’s January birthday, please write me today:

And believe it or not, I am already laying out the February issue.   If you have ANYTHING you want to share (the sky is the limit), contact me at with your suggestions or proposals, and I will be sure to consider them.   I consider this blog and my future magazine to be my community.  I hope you feel comfortable to call it YOUR community as well…that is why I look forward to hearing from you.  🙂  The more our community interacts with each other, the more interesting our community will be…


“The Courteous Curator”

(see the post so-named for an explanation)


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Birthdays In All Months!

Sretan rođendan - Happy Birthday

Sretan rođendan – Happy Birthday (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay, now this birthday thing is filling my heart and mind!  Whenever your birthday is, or if you want some famous people listed, I hope you will write to me and let me know the info.  I can then start a personal database and write future birthday columns even before the new website is revealed.  Please do not worry, the database will be for myself only, and I will use it just for keeping track of our community’s birthdays.  I will not embarrass you at all.

I hope you will contact me before the next Happy Birthday to You song is sung to you.  🙂

I’ve noted on the contact page and it goes for this too, that my email address has now changed.  Please write to:





Yoooo-Hooo! All January Birthday People: Please Check In

who has a January birthday?  Let Sunshine Factor know

who has a January birthday? Let Sunshine Factor know

Howdy doody,

The new website that The Sunshine Factor will be a part of in January, has space for me to have a birthday column. If you or anyone you know (or know of, such as a figure in history) has a birthday in January, please consider letting me know. When you are letting me know, you can use either their last name or last initial. If it’s someone else’s birthday, you can mention, if you would like, your relationship to them. (My dad’s birthday is January 13, and I still celebrate it even though he lives in heaven now — so I would say, “my father, Richard (or Richard L), January 13th.”)

I have a habit of praying for people who I know are celebrating birthdays, even if I knew them as a child. It helps me feel close to them. I would love to also celebrate you or someone in your life.

Thank you,

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September 6th

Dave’s Aunt Betty was born on September 6.  She has passed on, but we remember her always.

My childhood friend Cindy was born on this day, and Laurie was born on the 14th.  I wish these ladies well – haven’t seen or spoken to them in years.

My memory always holds people’s birthdays in my heart.  Most likely, I will remember your birthday too, if I am told when it is.  🙂

I do sometimes wonder why I can remember Cindy’s parents’ phone number (from grade school!), my number in Michigan until I moved away, and Laurie’s number and Laurie’s folks’ number…

Anyone out there with a September birthday, too?



Poetry Saturday: Happy Birthday Again!

English: Breat Cancer ribbons

English: Breast Cancer ribbons (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many August twenty-fourths ago
I lost my dear sister to cancer

Then on that same day four years ago
I received my breast cancer diagnosis

August 24
is my second birthday of the year
I got a second chance at life
so I can call it a rebirth.

The only problem is
Sandra couldn’t be cured of her cancer

So now I live life for both of us
waiting patiently to see her again in heaven

Trying to live fully
so that my life counts

Forgetting the bad and the have-nots
and remembering with gratefulness the haves and the good

Happy 4th Birthday!


A New Month – Happy August!

English: Poster promoting early diagnosis and ...

English: Poster promoting early diagnosis and treatment for cancer, showing a rooster crowing at sunrise. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of my favorite months is July, and I never liked August much, as it was too hot for my tastes. Then, when my sister died of cancer in August of 1994, it really became a dreaded time of year for me.

No longer! 🙂 I became a cancer survivor in the month of August, and this month it will mark four years. Can you believe it? I am so very grateful. And it’s amazing, the 24th of August, the day my sister died, is the exact date of my cancer survivorship! Something bad was replaced with something very good!

Another item for celebration is this blog turns one year old this month! Already!

Oh, and one more thing. You probably know how I liken the first of each month to New Year’s Day. New month, new adventures, new things to learn. Well, as a kid I always was eager to get back to school in September. I always loved to shop for school supplies in August. (And to this day, Office Depot remains one of my favorite spots; I still like looking at new supplies…) So this really seems like a new year for me! 🙂

I wish you all a most happy and loved August!


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Birthday Cards

This year I received some very special birthday cards.

I received two from my mom and dad.

Dave and our cats gave me two.

One friend gave me a very beautiful card with a photo on it suitable for framing-

a bright red cardinal.

My Facebook page was full of greetings.

Last but certainly not least,

I received two email birthday cards.

They both made me smile,

and the one with the talking squirrel

(like our character Vernon)

made me laugh for minutes upon minutes!

(I’m afraid that I will wear out the play button

on my computer if I don’t stop rereading those two cards!)

Thank you my dear friends

for being in my life

and really gracing my life

with your presence.

I’m glad to still be here!  🙂





Debbie and Her Listing

Tell me now, if you know
is Debb listing
or is she listing?

Is Debb listing all her blessings
or is she listing to one side like a boat does?

She is doing both
She had a very fun birthday and weekend

Her mom came to visit from out of town
and great fun was had by all

There was more than one celebration going on
so now Debb is happily exhausted
she might even list to one side
and be a little off balance

Have my readers been listing lately?
Are they thankful too
or a little off balance
or both?

No matter what kind of listing you do
Both forms of it are good
Listing what we’re thankful for makes us appreciate more
being a little off balance can eventually broaden your perspective


Happy July!

Lake Michigan - Landsat Satellite Photo

Lake Michigan – Landsat Satellite Photo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You may have read that I am crazy about the first day of every month. First days are like a miniature New Year’s Day, when we get a new clean slate and have another chance to work hard and at the same time enjoy ourselves.

July is the month of my birth, so I am really happy when July 1 arrives. Even before cancer, I loved birthdays, mine and everyone else’s, and I never got depressed over an upcoming birthday. Now A.C. (after cancer) I love birthdays even more. They are proof that I have a life, that I am still alive and have not missed out on anything. My birthday is a wonderful time in which to count my blessings…and thank God. 🙂

Thinking of July reminds me of the sweet cherries that my dad raised in his orchard in Michigan (and the peaches…and the apples…and the apricots…and the pears!) and how the National Cherry Festival was always held during the week of my birthday. My mom would take us kids to downtown, we would set up our folding chairs to wait for the parade, and I would take my birthday money and buy myself more Nancy Drew books. How convenient that I had something to do (read) while waiting hours for the parade! 🙂 I didn’t receive an allowance, and the fact that I used the very occasional money to buy Nancy Drew books…well, does that explain why I love books more than practically anything?! 🙂

My dad could not go to the parades with us, as he was busy in the orchard during that time of the summer. He hired migrant workers to pick the cherries; he didn’t have shaker machines. If I recall correctly, July, August, and September, he often worked 18 hour days in the orchard (the peaches came in late August).

Thinking of July also reminds me of Lake Michigan, one of the Great Lakes. We lived very close to it. My best sunburns were achieved there on the beach, as if memory recalls correctly, I was down at the water all day, every day. 🙂  In my mind, I can still hear the slap of the water on the innertube I was floating in and the smell of the lake water that was occasionally splashed onto the magazine I was reading while floating.  🙂

Oops, I digressed again. Thank you for taking a trip down Memory Lane with me. I do hope that even if your birthday is not in July, that you have a phenomenal month. 🙂



Ah yes

my favorite day of the week

why is this so?

I was born on a Friday

and lately,

on Fridays I remind people

“be sure to send in your favorite posts of the week.”

Friday is like the crest of the wave

before it crashes back into the sea.

A day right at the brink of a week-end

and Friday frivolities begin.   🙂


Expecting a House Guest

I’m just elated lately — we recently found out that Dave’s mom is taking the eight hour Amtrak train ride to St. Paul for my birthday next month.   I usually see her once a year, with me taking the train to see her and catch up.  However, this year she is taking the train and is so looking forward to meeting our new cat Rachael and seeing our house full of “new” furniture.  YAY!   One of our decks, the long one at the back of the house, was scheduled to be replaced in September or October, but our man thinks it can be fully installed by the time of Lee’s visit.   This is great, because she loves to sit on the deck with her coffee in the morning.

And I am doubly thrilled because Lee is the only mother I have left.  My own mother passed away in 2000.


Happy One Week Birthday, Story Squared!

Today I feel like happiness in the flesh, like a proud parent of a wonderful “child”.

The story that Eric and I have created and add to every day (  has now been in the WordPress blogosphere for one week.

This is a big deal, for the joy in writing it is immense, and I want to cherish AND recognize each moment.

I can’t help but reread each entry several times, it amuses me so.

I need to thank each of its readers and followers — thank you for tuning in and liking our story.

Here’s to even more smiles and laughs and joy – cheers!



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Happy Birthday, Mom!

English: Pink roses in the garden

English: Pink roses in the garden (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unidentified pink hybrid tea roses against lea...

Unidentified pink hybrid tea roses against leaves and sky. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


It’s your birthday again
but you’re not here to celebrate
you live in a perfect place
very far away – and I miss you very much

If you were still here
you wouldn’t believe our weather:
snowstorm in April
Sandra would have seen her birthday
covered in snow!

you were the original “lady in pink”
I’m sure you’re feeling in the pink now
and loving those heavenly roses

Happy Birthday!


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Happy Birthday Eric!


Bday2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today my friend, a wonderful storyteller and poet, has a birthday. You can send birthday greetings to Eric when you find him on his blog,  (This message was not commissioned by Eric, but I couldn’t resist. I love birthdays, mine or other people’s, and I don’t think birthdays should go by unnoticed:  life is so short.  Hope this post is okay with you, Eric.  🙂 )










Happy Birthday To My Love

English: A chocolate birthday cake

English: A chocolate birthday cake (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You are obviously not 13 anymore, but I had to picture a chocolate birthday cake 🙂



Another year has gone by

To recap all that happened, it would be hard to try

Times of despair

Times to care

But most of all Love

Sent straight from above

A woman who adores you

You even avoided the flu

You’re blossoming like a flower

Here it is, now is the hour

I hope you have a great, great day

The past has to stay away

God bless your new year

Your Dear is ever here, never fear.

(XX OO to RA)

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Happy Birthday to my dad Richard!

Written in Latin, Polish and German. Discovere...

Written in Latin, Polish and German. Discovered in 1827 by Josef Chmel. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My German reading and writing dad Richard passed away in 1991, and today was his birthday.

I imagine in Heaven they don’t measure time, and he is probably oblivious to the goings-on down here.

Heaven is where his physical body, that was so hard-working and strong, was able to take a rest, and now he has a spiritual body.

The man was very wise, and his favorite books of the Bible were Psalms and Proverbs.

As I’ve mentioned before, Dad was a great story teller.   He had a vivid imagination to boot.

He loved the out of doors, nature and animals.

As a child, he told me time and time again to “write it down.”  Even though he meant write down the time and date someone left a phone message, that instruction has served me well.  Especially now that I’m a writer and it is helpful to write down ideas before I forget them.

His very-strong work ethic, love of God and wisdom are what I try to emulate.

His youngest daughter, she with the same bone structure, eyes, nose, humor and imagination as he, waits for the day she can see him again.