It happens.

bird poop on car hood

Occasionally, here at Shiny Bits of Life World Headquarters, we must deal with things that aren’t very shiny.

Sometimes things just happen that cause a loss of time, energy, money and/or relationships.

A very small pain hit my car the other day. (Do cars feel pain?)

I had taken the car for some brake work to a local repair shop. When I came to pick it up, there were tar-like splotches across the hood and roof. A flock of birds had perched on the tree above my car and left their mark.

It took me about an hour of hard scrubbing to remove the birds’ artwork.

Why? What was the purpose of that event?

I will never know.

My pain – or my car’s pain – is so minor compared to what many people face. But here are a few responses that helped me.

  1. I was thankful that it was such a minor incident. One hour of scrubbing is a small drop in the pond of my life.
  2. I was thankful that I have a car that could receive the birds’ offerings.
  3. Letting my negative feelings toward the unseen flock of birds pass through my mind as quickly as possible minimized my pain.

Here’s a rhetorical question (since few people comment on blogs anymore)… what have you found that has helped you deal with bad stuff that just happens?

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My favorite month

Aspen leaves in the mountains of Colorado during September

September is my favorite month.

After a long hot summer, the cool days are such a wonderful change.

Leaves are starting to change, at least in North America. (I missed that during the five years I lived in Africa.) Growing up in suburban Washington DC, I loved the rich variety of colors falling around me.

My birthday hits this month. Though I’m not huge on birthday celebrations, it’s still a fun day.

School starts. Or it did during my childhood… that was before school began in August. I always enjoyed going back to class and friends, even though it meant the pain of homework.

Enjoy your September!

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Happy Father

My dad died 30 years ago this month.

I miss him.

A few weeks back, I dreamed I was traveling home from somewhere, and my dad picked me up. I told him how great it was to see him.

I don’t put much stock in dreams, but that was a great dream – and a nice thought to wake up with, circling around the corners of my consciousness.

I miss sharing my kids with him. He loved kids, and I know he would have loved mine (as well as the kids of my sisters – and the dogs of my brother).

I am sad he never got to know my wife. She met him very briefly as a brain tumor was taking over his life.

I’m sorry I never got his advice on some of the more adulting things I’ve traveled through over the last 30 years.


If your dad is alive today, give him a hug. Tell him how much you love him.


My dad was about the age I am today in this photograph.

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I am thankful

303-TJS license plate - huge, hanging from the store celiing

Trader Joe’s is in Colorado. I’m thankful. They’ve been with us for a while now (two or three years), and they are a mighty fine store.

Decent value pricing, often healthy ingredients, a wide variety of flavors not available at the big chain supermarkets – and tasty food.

Even though I’m an anti-junk mail person, I love their flyers. Creative writing abounds. And they are effective – I often buy stuff as a result. One time I even cut out the little built-in shopping list and checked the stuff I wanted and bought most of the items the next time I was in the store.

The only thing about Trader Joe’s I’m happy/sad about is that there is one on my way home from work… it’s all too easy to┬ámake a detour and buy little snacks I really don’t need.


Take time to be thankful today for something in your life. It worked for me. (I was going to write a complainy blog post – but I listened to my own blog post from last week, Positive.)

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