2021: Hold My Beer and Watch This!

Are we going walk or run into 2022? I don’t know the answer to that question, but I am excited to go forward. There is so much to see and do in our wonderland of nature and in the towns and cities around Texomaland. How can we be thankful for everything we have at our fingertips? The snowbirds are going to blanket Hagerman pretty soon. I bet the eagles are well on their way to winter here. The nature around us evokes the very essence of spirituality—No one can avoid the beauty of Texomaland. At least, I know that I cannot imagine being anywhere else!

The Power Of Gratitude

When we focus on the positives in our lives, even when were going through really tough times, like the death of a loved one, a divorce, or a terminal illness, we have a better chance of coming through to the light at the end of a dark tunnel more mentally intact than when we entered it. That’s where gratitude journals come into play. I add time to its recipe.

I have been talking to some of my neighbors lately. We have a little food box for our little community in Sherwood Shores on the west side of Texoma. It is not a 501(c)3 registered charity. We have zero social services where I live for animal or human welfare. So we’ve been straggling along keeping it stocked for two years this month. The people that had been working it for the last six months have to step down for a while. And I am simply amazed at the people who want to step up.

My neighborhood has what I call undercover social workers. These are my neighbors, some of who do not have much more resources than the people who benefit from the Little Red Food Pantry sitting on the south end of our community center. People can take what they want when they want. People can drop off what they want. There’s no refrigerator. Just dry staples.

We’ve heard some great success stories, and it is really such a small thing. We only have 1,046 homes in Sherwood Shores according to our community nextdoor website. But we know this Little Red Box full of canned and dry goods is something people need to get over whatever mountain they have to climb. That’s gratitude.

I don’t know exactly when I learned this lesson in my life, but I decided at least 25 years ago that I was going to quit saying and thinking negative words. It wasn’t easy at first. Anytime a no word would pop up on the roads that run around in my brain, I had to train myself to think of something in my life with a yes word. I promise you, that tactic has saved me a whole river full of tears.

What is a Gratitude Journal?

Call me dense, but I had never heard of a gratitude journal until this morning. And I have internet service. This morning, I found out just what a gratitude journal is. And I discovered that I have been keeping a tight hold on a mental gratitude library in my own mind. And that in itself was extremely gratifying. Just finding out that because I am grateful for every little blessing in life, no matter how small, that I have been air-writing in a space-like gratitude bubble sitting on the top my spine for 25 years, lifted my spirits higher than I thought they could already get today. Being grateful for being able to be grateful is a wonderful realization. I was already feeling pretty good.

You can buy self-help books about the science of a gratitude journal. Personally, I do not think it is necessary to buy one, but I think I will go ahead and bite that bullet. I am not going to promote any of these books, because I have not read any and because I just now discovered them, but I love this promo for a how-to gratitude journal that popped up in a search:

“Designed to help people learn to let things go, this profanity-laced journal is filled with activities and inspiration to create a happier life.”

Is Laughing Really the Best Medicine?

Yes, it sure is! I can attest to that! I decided about a year ago this June, that I would watch a comedian everyday on YouTube. When I began giving myself permission to laugh, even when things were super tough, and even though I felt a little guilty and selfish about it, I sailed through them hard times. I remember reading in a psychology journal about 20 years ago, that some psychologists were prescribing comedic movies instead of antidepressants.

These doctors were not simply thinking of their patient’s well-being. They, of course, were conducting research. But I remember that study had great results. Laughing at something, and it can be anything, on a daily basis, just changed my whole perspective. I already had way too high of an opinion of myself. What egomaniac needs more ego stroking? That’s me. I admit, I am an egotistical female. Gratefulness and the gift of laughter have pretty much been my best friends for the last six years.

What should I write in my gratitude journal today? If I was going to keep one…After cutting negativity out of my language, and trying to think something positive all the time, and learning to laugh daily, I could easily write out a hundred things that I am grateful for in lickity-split time. Or maybe the question should be, 20 years ago, what would I have written in my gratitude journal? And I could easily write down about 25 things, there’s probably more, but my memory is fading with old age.

That is another thing about laughing. When I can laugh at myself, or maybe just see the reality in the futileness of whatever stupid thing I am doing, and consider if  really want to continue being stupid, it is really funny to me, and I find myself much happier. I just try not to break out laughing when I am in a store with strangers or anything like that. I cannot see the positive in everything because that is not my reality.

I am going to write down what I am grateful for today with pen and paper. I know me, and a daily gratitude journal is not a realistic goal. But I think for today, I want to feel the words pop out of my brain, crawl down my arm, and through my fingers pre-word processor era, and watch the ink dry as I write. It has been a long time since I watched myself do that, and since I really felt the words. And a long time since I have any serious writing with a pen and paper like some of my hero authors, like Twain and Hemingway, and someone not so well-known, William Least-Heat Moon. 

I want to thank Simon and Chris for being the best publishers that I have ever worked with, bar none! I am so grateful to be a part of LakeHub.

Happy Holidays Everybody!

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Fishing Report from TPWD (May 31)

GOOD. Water stained; 75 degrees; 2.36 feet below pool. Striped bass are good with bigger fish biting on topwater along the banks in the morning. When the morning bite tapers off, look for pods of threadfin shad midlake. Casting into these pockets of shad with swimbaits will land catches of stripers. Report by John Blasingame, Adventure Texoma Outdoors. Striped bass fishing is great on live shad with fish suspended in 50-65 feet of water around the islands. The shad spawn is still on as well, topwater baits and swimbaits are working early along rocky banks where the egrets are lined up. Crappie are fair on plastic jigs and minnows fishing brush piles in 12-15 feet of water. Use electronics to locate active fish then use a slow lift up to catch. Catfish are fair on cut shad and prepared baits fishing a couple reels up in 50-65 feet of water. Seeing a lot of small blues from the last couple years spawn and the occasional good keeper. Largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing is good on live shad along the south end of the lake off the bank in 5-10 feet of water on the big boulders. Topwaters early on the rocks are working as well. Report by Jacob Orr Lake Texoma Guaranteed Guide Service.

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