Thunder, Lightning.

It’s not just the little ones that want to run under the covers during a thunderstorm. It’s pretty scary for everybody, even when you’re indoors.

Trying your best to calm a child through one isn’t always easy and even more difficult once you lost power (it happens.)

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We’re always talking about the weather, but it was time to go beyond the temperature and what to carry with us when its raining. Mainly because I wasn’t able to explain this intimidating force of nature to myself, much less a child. I think we all know at the very least, that it’s dangerous to be outside at the time.

I knew thunder was loud and frightening, but does it always follow that flash of lightning? Thankfully, the Weather Wiz Kids had us covered, like an umbrella. You’ll find the answer to the question under Thunderstorms along with the causes, patterns and helpful safety tips. We also learned a new math game we can play during the next storm to find out how far away it is from us.

Also, try saying cumulonimbus clouds really fast? Soft Schools has more facts about them. Ever heard of Upward Lightning? Find it in this list of 10 Natural Phenomena You Have To See To Believe.

When the lights finally came back on, we sang about electricity leaping toward the ground / lightening is the flash of light / thunder is the sound:





It wasn’t Mother’s Day, my birthday or even Christmas and yet, someone sent me a beautiful surprise.  Good friends don’t need a reason or an excuse to do something nice for you, do they?

Some weeks ago I had casually shared how much I always wanted an old-fashioned pen (after being reminded during a period piece on television.)

Then, on a random afternoon,  a feather pen, heart-shaped stand and ink made its way here.  It was totally unexpected and really made my day.  To my utter delight, a package of special paper was also part of their thoughtful gift.

19025003_800637813437719_7515497085339831705_oIt puts a smile on my face every time I see it displayed on my writing desk.  I also cannot wait to begin practicing the fading art of penmanship.

I plan on sending letters, greeting cards and invitations just like our ancestors once did (my parents, actually.)  I might even use it to pen short cover letters for business correspondence.  Well, why not?

A major bonus is that the young ones around me (who are just learning how to write period) will witness an adult trying hard to get better at something similar.  In this case, calligraphy.  The inadvertent lesson that it’s never too late to pick up a new hobby.

For some, receiving a hand written note in the mail might in turn make their day as well, so it just may be the type of gift that will keep on giving.  I know that I appreciate a personal touch. Speaking of, if you happen to know someone who’s equally enthusiastic about writing instruments and/or stationary, this is a superb gift idea for sure.  I’m beyond thrilled to have received it myself, can you tell?

Now on a more personal note:  I know that other Spanish translations for the word pen include “bolígrafo” as well as “lapicero.”  But, that’s not part of the lyrics my mother used to sing to me:

Pollito, chicken,
Gallina, hen,
Lápiz, pencil
And pluma, pen


No more, “At least.”

Every human being on this planet has gone through some thangs.   If you’re at a stage where some difficult circumstances are behind you, perhaps you also know that it’s only until the next dilemma arises.  I read somewhere that we should never be surprised when problems come actually.  To simply greet them with a smile and say,

Well, hello.  I’ve been waiting for you.”

As if to say hard times are inevitable, perhaps unavoidable and bad stuff happens sometimes. Tis, life.

So, when I came across this video short Brené Brown on Empathy, I thought it would be a good idea to watch it.  (Like I said, it’s short and as I hoped, I learned something new.)  Not just the difference between empathy and sympathy which admittedly had always confused me, but how to respond when someone chooses to share whatever it is they’re going through with someone else.

“At least …” was always my go-to reply but I was unaware of this pattern.  I thought it was a good thing to focus on that silver lining Brown states we’re attempting to place on what we just heard.  Going forward, I do plan on simply saying that I’m glad they told me.  This would be true because I would hate for anyone I know not to be able to get something off of their chest.  I think just being available to listen might ease their burden.

Another personal revelation was the realization that I don’t like to share or divulge too much about myself with friends and it’s simply because I feel that it’s not anyone else’s concern or problem (to fix whatever it is that I’m going through.)

stuckI see now that I was making assumptions and being unfair to myself by thinking I might be a bother in this way.  Especially since it’s not with any expectation of them resolving the issue for me, but to simply lend an ear, in the way I genuinely would for another.  To resist the urge of thinking I will sound like I’m complaining instead of explaining.  Is that possible?

Lastly, the empathy video reminded me of something else I read during a PSYCH 101 course on how to approach a person experiencing the loss of a loved one.  It was simply a topic that piqued my curiosity because frankly, I never knew how to treat that delicate situation when it ultimately came around.   I gained helpful insight on how to appropriately comfort or console a person in this case (the details of which will comprise a separate post.)

For now, I’m pleased to report that if you ever share your troubles with me, you will not hear me say “at least,” at last!