The Sunshine Factor

where sunshine is a way of life


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Happy New Year!

Hello, dear friends!

I wish you the best of a new year, all the joy and safety and health one can hold.¬† ūüôā

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We’re in¬†a brand new year, and with it brings the anticipation of new things to come! Sunshine Factor is about to experience growth and renewal in an exciting way!¬† In a couple of hours¬†I’m closing the curtain here for a few days, and Sunshine Factor will be reborn on January 4th with the launch of Stanton Sunshine Magazine.¬†
Don’t worry! You won’t miss a thing! Head over to Stanton Sunshine’s Facebook page and click “like” to keep up with the latest launch news, and I’ll see you again January 4th!
Happy New Year!
Debb


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Exciting New Project!

I’ve been bursting¬†at the seams for quite awhile now, wanting to tell you about a new project I am developing. I can wait no longer – today is when I introduce you to my new “baby”.

In the new year, The Sunshine Factor blog will join a new website.¬† The blog will still be around but be just one part of something much larger and better!¬† Look for a countdown next month…

The new website will be written by me and contributed to by writers, photographers and storytellers.   It will have some of your old favorites like humanizing stories, poems, and recipes.  Bursting in on the scene will be new regular features and columns, sure to become new favorites.

Here is where you, my reader, comes into the picture.¬† I am looking for writers who can contribute¬†specified works to the project, writers and photographers who are interested¬†in seeing a great new site become FABULOUS!¬† Unfortunately, I cannot pay you literal cash for your contributions, but our reward will be seeing another strong community be built in the name of inner sunshine, wonderful works of art, and a real sense of accomplishment.¬† It will be something that you will tell your friends and family about.¬† Nothing will be able to stop us!¬† ūüôā

I’m forming a group of interested parties who I will¬† contact as a group via email.¬† I will set forth the writing guidelines needed and describe the various columns and features of which you may want to take a part.¬† Please consider this valuable opportunity…

I’m also looking for members to form an advisory panel that I will consult with.¬† I would like the staff of my new site to include more than just me.!¬† Together we can be strong!¬† United!¬† Solid!¬† Enjoying our literary world!

Please fill out the form below, which will take two, maybe three seconds.   It is a lightning-quick way to invest your time into something great.  Thank you for your consideration!

Sincerely,

Debb Stanton

 

P.S. The full credit for the beautiful photo above is: © T for openphoto.net


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Everything New (well, almost everything)!

Mall of America interior

Mall of America interior (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have many things ready to become new to our house and life pretty soon.

1)¬† My business looks to be¬†thriving; I won’t be sure until mid-March, but so far I’m thankful for you folks who have visited my shops and maybe even purchased something.

2)¬† Our new cat Rachael hasn’t arrived at the Stanton’s yet due to how we wanted to get her medical care at the vet before we bring her home.¬† We pick her up this Saturday.¬† ūüôā

3)¬† I’ve been asked to represent my department at work for a special study they are doing.¬† This involved going to the other corporate office (the one that’s next to the Mall of America) last week for a training meeting, and today I am starting my workday out there for a half hour meeting.

4)¬† Remember I told you my good friend Patti is moving away this year?¬† Well, March 7th most of her furniture is being moved¬†to us where we will give it a good home.¬† I bought practically a whole house’s worth of furniture, and I am so excited!¬† I feel like I’m going to be re-nesting!¬† ūüôā

Items 2 and 4 will take the most getting used to, but it’s fun!¬† It’s almost like another New Year already!

You just never know what a month or two can bring!¬† In preparation for what may occur, keep on smiling!¬† ūüôā


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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 ūüôā

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR HUSBAND!

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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Ode to Sandra: A New Year’s story

New Year’s Day reminds me of my dear sister.

Although I’m a writer,

I have never had a concrete writing-each-day-in-a-diary or journal practice.

Back when I was 7 or 8

I received my first diary for Christmas,

and I can still remember the simple notation

I made on January 1st.

“Played with my new doll.

Walked down the street to Clancy Park with Sandra

to see if the ice rink was ready to skate on yet.”

Such innocent words,

full of hope and love.

Sandra was three years older than I,

so I thought it was fabulous

that SHE would invite ME for a walk.

I had to grab those great chances when I could.

Now that she’s dead and gone,

I of course wish I could make another memory with her.

I miss her most of all

when I do use a journal

and even now when I am blogging most of my words.

She had encouraged me in my writing

and had even bought me a book on publishing children’s stories.

Maybe she could see something in me

that I wasn’t aware of yet.

I miss Sandra terribly

and hope that other people can be close to their siblings

while they have the chance.

 

God's artwork

God’s artwork


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Prayer Poem For the new year

The text of an ancient Jewish prayer alongside...

The text of an ancient Jewish prayer alongside a poem by Gustav Gottheil. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear God,

I look out at the white snow in this below-zero place,

wearing my all-white, terry cloth-lined bathrobe to signify a fresh new slate.

The year is new

but most of my hopes and dreams have been with me forever.

I still want to follow in your footsteps

(you know how my own can falter sometimes)

and at the same time,

learn how to be a better person.

I still want corruption and violence to cease,

mental illness understood and treated,

and your peace to be accepted and taken in by all

and practiced by all.

Let your love light our way

and bring us out of the darkness.

 

The year 2012 was a very good year for me;

I didn’t realize there would ever be a year like that.

I didn’t want 2012 to end for this reason,

but I know that time marches on.

 

Lord, as I march forward in my life

give me clear direction for my new dreams

and while marching to a different drummer

still follow you.

I dedicate 2013 to your glory.

Amen.


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recipe: Hopping John (black-eyed peas)

English: Ham hock and black-eyed peas

English: Ham hock and black-eyed peas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve learned¬†last year that black-eyed peas are a Southern dish¬† associated with good luck.¬† I give you this recipe from The Joy of Cooking cookbook.

HOPPING JOHN

Bring to a boil in a large covered saucepan:

1-1/4 cups dry black-eyed peas

4 cups water

After boiling 2 minutes, remove pan from heat and let stand 1 hour.  Add:

1-1/2 cups chopped onions

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper

1 minced clove garlic

1 bay leaf

After bringing to a boil, cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.  Stir in:

8 oz coarsely chopped salt pork

Simmer another hour, uncovered, stirring frequently.  Remove the salt pork and the bay leaf.  Slightly mash the pea mixture.

Season to taste.

Serve with boiled rice.  (I think I will be using the Hopping John as the starch of the meal and serving it with pork chops and vegetables.)


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Resolutions? Not!

Calendar Page for July. Detail from Harley MS ...

Calendar Page for July. Detail from Harley MS 4425, Roman de la Rose (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s this time of year, more than any other, that resolutions take center stage in conversations or brainstorming.  Advertisers take advantage of this and provide us with endless solutions of how they can help us achieve the things we resolve to do or change about ourselves.   No wonder we get tired of seeing commercial after commercial for fitness clubs and diet organizations.

As you might recall from earlier posts, I now have intentions – things I intend to pursue or work on.  I even limit those to two at a time.   But resolutions, for me, a recovering perfectionist, are harmful.  Let me tell you about how resolutions have been in my life.

January 1st was always a fun day for me, as I would incorporate MANY new practices into my day.  I’d go to bed that night pleased with myself that I had achieved so much.  Ah, but that was only a facade.  The real tests would come after the first day of the new year was over with.

I’d feel bad if I didn’t read a daily devotional book every single day, and worse yet, I’d often try to catch up and read two weeks’ worth of pages.

After a week or two of exercising every single day,  I would just stop and give up.

“Oh well [sigh].”  I often said that when giving up on something I couldn’t be “perfect” about.

Granted, it’s good to have ideas for ways you would like to change, but the danger comes in when you use those plans as a weapon against yourself or as an impossible measuring stick.

Weight loss diets are exactly like resolutions – they can make you feel like a failure if you can’t be perfect about it.   Is this what we want for ourselves?

If you’re like me, you need to be patient with yourself and realize you are only one person, and you can’t change overnight – or at least, make changes that are long-lasting.

Any time of year is a good time to practice a new (or desired) skill – any time that you feel like it – yes, even July 21st.