Good intentions revived with SimpleJoysofLife.com after 4 years

 - by Jean

Back in 2011, I set out to start this blog, SimpleJoysofLife.comย (still makes me smile seeing those words) and I’m not sure what happened. I had every intentions to make it the best blog I’ve ever put out. Through the years I’ve thought often about picking up where I left off but I didn’t, I got distracted with other aspects of life. ย So much has happened in the last 4 years and I can’t very well backtrack and write about them as though it just happened, so I will do the next best thing…..just start anew and fulfill my good intentions. ย  I’m very happy and excited to start it up again, it’s good timing now, perhaps not so much before. Stay tuned. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Chris Cornell’s Singing is like Being in Love

 - by Jean

I checked out the latest single by Chris Cornell titled “The Keeper” that’s currently shown on his website. I have always been a fan of Chris Cornell and every time I hear his voice singing, it touches me so deeply within. I don’t know what it is about his voice, it’s like magic!

Hearing Chris Cornell’s singing is like being in love

Being in love is the closest description I can give to how I feel when I listen to Chris Cornell sing. If you’ve ever been in love, you know the feeling I am describing….

The feelings of being in love

To me, it’s like you feel this deep consuming warmth that permeates your heart center and reaches deep within to touch your very soul. And every time you breathe in, it’s as though the entire world stands still and quiet and all you notice is that feeling of love and oneness. When you focus your attention on that very feeling, you notice that it expands like the love energy will literally burst and shoot out into the universe. Maybe that’s what stars really are…bits of expanded love energy in the sky. And the more you stay still and feel that incredible love, a tear rolls down your cheek. It’s magnificent, it’s the most beautiful thing to witness and experience.

Chris Cornell AudioslaveAnd hearing Chris Cornell sing feels that way to me. Just the way he uses his voice is absolutely amazing, such a gift to the world. I had the opportunity to see Chris Cornell in concert years ago up in Philly when he was the front man for Audioslave. That was one of the best shows I had ever been to and I have been to A LOT of concerts in my day. I really wish I was fortunate enough to see him on his solo tours but tickets sell out super fast for them. Chris Cornell’s first solo album titled “Euphoria Morning” is still one of my all time favorite albums. I wish I had seen him on that tour. Chris Cornell’s second album titled “Carry On” was introduced to me by this guy I dated years ago and I really like it a lot too.

This new single “The Keeper” does not disappoint at all and touches me deeply, I like it a lot. ๐Ÿ˜

The Art and Skill of Merging Lanes

 - by Jean

I am a self proclaimed Expert Merger! What is an “Expert Merger” you may ask? Well I’ll tell you!

no traffic merging I’m very skilled at merging my car into driving lanes on the road! ๐Ÿ˜€ Whether it’s on ramp, off ramp, traffic or not…well, I guess if there’s no traffic, then there’s no need to “merge”, I think merging lanes is a skill that not a lot of people have mastered.

How do I make such bold claims? Because I’m on the road driving behind these non-merging drivers and feeling the frustration of their hesitancy in merging lanes.

Merging Lanes is a Joy!

Today I was driving on an off ramp from a highway that merged onto another highway. In fact, this highway I was getting onto was at a split with yet another highway so it can be a bit confusing to some who’s never driven on it. But lucky for me, I navigate that road often enough to know what to do. Unfortunately, I ended up behind someone who I will categorize as a “non-merger”.

merging lanes Not only was this non-merger going super slow but they were straddling both lanes trying to decide which one they are suppose to take while oncoming traffic was fast approaching. For me, I didn’t need to merge over to the other highway but I wanted to be on my way and not get stuck behind a non-merger.

This is where Expert Merger strikes again!

As soon as the non-merger moved over more than half way with their lane straddling, I saw the opportunity to speed up and go around them! With a glimmer of joy in my eye, I seized this opportunity and I was on my way to my destination which I believe was me going home from the gym. I saw in my rear view mirror all the people wanting to be in my lane but unfortunate for them, the non-merger had delayed their attempts at merging lanes too.

In that brief delightful moment, I felt a smile form on my face. I was on my way and avoided a potential accident situation with non-mergers.

The Art and Skill in Merging Lanes

merging lanes Perhaps not just a skill, there is an art form in merging lanes. Not only do you have to be observant and aware of your surroundings, you usually have only a second or two to make a decision and then go go go with it! Timing is important and anticipating where your car at the current speed is able to merge into the speed and space of the oncoming traffic is an art form. It’s amazing how the brain can calculate through it’s senses all the information necessary to successfully perform such tasks as merging lanes.

See the opportunity and seize the moment, that, to me works in merging lanes and in other things in life ๐Ÿ™‚ Smile the next time you’re merging lanes too!

Taking Time to Smell the Roses

 - by Jean

roses I can’t help it, I love flowers, especially roses! So whenever I am within 20 feet of these beauties, I will “stop and smell the roses“.

Sadly, a lot of the fresh cut roses you find in stores don’t offer up much of a scent. I’m not sure why that is, whether the scent has been hybrid cross-bred out of the modern day versions….or maybe I just sniff the cheap ones at the grocery store. ๐Ÿ˜›

Nevertheless, I am not opposed to taking the time to smell the roses at the stores. And I don’t just sniff one bunch, I’ll sniff them all until I find a rose that has even a slight scent. The scent of roses is very intoxicating. It is also said that the rose scent can have uplifting qualities for your spirit. The energy level of roses and their scent is rated very high so smelling a nicely scented one can make you happier, more joyous!

Aside from the lovely scent, roses are a beauty to behold. Looking at them makes me smile and such beauty must be captured on film…..well, digital these days! ๐Ÿ˜œ Check out my series of gorgeous roses pictures from the store and at home.

Roses sold at the store

These were at the local Sam’s Club:

roses

Taken at Costco I believe on a different day:

roses

My aunt’s rose bush outside of her house, these smells soooooo good and are so pretty:

roses

More store displayed roses at Sam’s Club, they really have some pretty looking roses but most of them have no scent:

roses

Roses I actually had at home

roses As much as I like taking pictures of the gorgeous bunches of roses at the store, every once in awhile, I like to splurge and buy myself some roses. It’s much nicer when I get them sent to me or brought to me by a guy…what girl doesn’t love roses, right? ๐Ÿ˜

 

 

Hey look, I actually bought some at some point:

roses

Roses were sent from FTD to my house and they were absolutely breathtaking!!:

roses

Closeup of the roses sent from FTD:

roses

Roses in the wild

Sometimes I take walks around the neighborhood where I live and there is a house that has these beautifully scented roses right along the sidewalk. Even though the house is on a dead end street, I’ll still walk up that way just to smell the roses. Here are some pictures I’ve taken through the years of roses I find in the wild.

This was taken in Denver in a rose garden:

single rose

This also was taken in Denver in a community rose garden:

single rose

The Single Rose

And lastly, the simplicity and beauty of the single rose. These are close up pics from bouquets of the past…Oh how I love thee!

I love the way the water beads on this rose:

single rose

Beautiful pink rose in ambient lighting:

single rose

This rose was a part of a bouquet that was sent to me via FTD after my trip to Denver:

single rose

This rose along with a huge bouquet of other flowers came on my birthday from a friend. It was ordered from FTD but was arranged and delivered by a local florist:

single rose

Delicate and classy pale pink rose, this picture has been one of my favorites for decades, I refer to it as the perfect rose:

single rose

I hope you have enjoyed my pictures and that maybe it will inspire you to take a little time to go smell the roses too or go buy some flowers for someone you care about! ๐Ÿ˜˜

The Joys of a Sharp Kitchen Knife

 - by Jean

I love food and really enjoy cooking. One thing that is a pet peeve of mine is a dull kitchen knife! To me, it is very hard to be efficient and get things prepped for a meal when you’re using a dull knife. In fact, it is easier to slip and cut yourself with a dull kitchen knife as opposed to a sharp kitchen knife. Why? Because with a dull kitchen knife, the blade can slip off the item you’re cutting and potentially slice your finger whereas a sharp kitchen knife will cut the item with more ease so there is no slippage. But don’t get me wrong, I have cut myself on sharp kitchen knives before but that’s usually because of user error or trying to rush through cutting something.

Super find on a great kitchen knife set

Years ago, I had picked up a super big Calphalon kitchen knife set in a large knife block at the old Hecht’s/Macy’s for a fantastic discount! It was originally a $600+ kitchen knife set retail and with their super sale and added bonus coupons, I ended up walking away with it for $128!! It’s got so many kitchen knives and slots for extra knives too so I can grow my set through the years and that’s exactly what I did.

How I discover the Furi Kitchen Knife Sharpener

furi kitchen knife sharpener

After awhile, the blades do get a bit dull and with good knives, you still have to have them sharpened, preferably by a professional. One day back in 2007, I was browsing through on Amazon.com and was reading reviews on knife sharpeners and decided to give the Furi Kitchen Knife Sharpener a try. It was less than $30 bucks at the time and there were a lot of good reviews on it.

It arrived quickly and I tested it out on one knife to start just to make sure it wouldn’t ruin my knife. I was amazed with about 8 passes of the knife through it’s diamond fingers, my dull 8″ chef’s knife was very sharp and was able to slice through a tomato with total ease! Yay! ๐Ÿค—

No more dull kitchen knives again!

kitchen knife sharpening with furi

It was so easy to do, I open up the Furi knife sharpener to expose the sharpening mechanism. The unit has a rubber bottom that grip well to my cutting board or counter so it doesn’t slide off while in the sharpening process. I firmly hold the sharpener with my left hand and I basically pull the kitchen knife towards me in its entirety from the base to the tip over the diamond fingers. It’s designed so that both left and right handed users can use this unit just by flipping out the correct corresponding side for sharpening and grip. It is fast and easy to use and sharpens my dull kitchen knives in a matter of seconds. I love it and I love having sharp kitchen knives again. In fact, just today I sharpened a couple of knives before cutting celery, onion, and tomatoes and was thrilled once again over the joys of a sharp kitchen knife!

And because the Furi Knife Sharpener is so compact in size and light weight, I often take it with me along with a chef’s knife in a case to other people’s house where I know I would be preparing food. That’s how much I love a sharp kitchen knife! And if they are nice to me, I usually end up sharpening their kitchen knives too since it’s so easy to do! If you’ve never sharpened your knives in the kitchen, get a Furi Knife Sharpener and you’ll know the joys of a sharp knife as well!