Sometimes When Life Gets Hard, You Just Gotta Dance

And another… cause dancing babies are just the best.


Bus Passengers Pass the Hat to Help Woman See Dying Mom on Vancouver Island

Photograph by: North Shore News , file photo  Read more:

Photograph by: North Shore News , file photo

A West Vancouver bus driver and passengers on an express bus to Horseshoe Bay are being hailed as Good Samaritans after they stepped up to get a woman to Nanaimo to see her dying mother on Mother’s Day. The bus was heading from downtown Vancouver to the Horseshoe Bay ferry when an accident on the Lions Gate Bridge closed the bridge to traffic. The driver had just announced to passengers that the bus would be rerouted over the Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing when he was approached by a woman asking if the bus would still make it in time for the 12:30 p.m. ferry to Nanaimo. When the bus driver said he didn’t think so, the woman “broke down in tears,” said Gareth Rowlands, manager of the West Vancouver Blue Bus transit system. She told the driver she’d got a phone call saying her mother – who was in hospital in Nanaimo – likely only had a few hours to live. The woman told him she only had enough money to travel by ferry.

Hearing that, another woman on the bus took up a collection from fellow passengers and managed to come up with enough money for the approximately $90 floatplane fare from Vancouver to Nanaimo. The bus driver then drove the bus to drop the woman off near to the floatplane base in Vancouver Harbour before continuing on to the Second Narrows.

“Many small people, in many small places, do many small things, that can alter the face of the world.” -Anonymous


Alice Herz-Sommer, Holocaust Survivor at 108 – A Century of Wisdom

At 108 years old, Alice Herz-Sommer is the world’s oldest survivor of the holocaust. During WWII she survived a Nazi concentration camp in Prague while most of her family was exterminated. But through it all she was smiling and thankful and looked for the good. She still plays piano every day, a lifelong talent she credits as saving her from the war.

Using raw video from a Tony Robbins interview with Alice in her London apartment last year, Nourish Creative combined it with archival footage to tell her inspiring story. The video cannot be embedded so please watch here: Alice’s life and the joy she transcends is an inspiration. “All that complain, this is terrible… it’s not so terrible.” – Alice Herz-Sommer

You can also read the book by Caroline Stoessinger, A Century of Wisdom – Lessons from the Life of Alice Herz Sommer)


50 Inspiring Children’s Books with a Positive Message

“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”―Dr. Seuss

Here is a list of some favorite children’s books that contain poignant, powerful messages. (in alphabetical order)

1. A Bad Case of the Stripes by David Shannon

2. All I See Is Part Of Me by Chara M. Curtis

3. An Awesome Book! by Dallas Clayton

4. An Awesome Book of Thanks! by Dallas Clayton

5. Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg

6.Buddha at Bedtime: Tales of Love and Wisdom for You to Read with Your Child to Enchant, Enlighten and Inspire by Dharmachari Nagaraja

7. Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Jane Dyer

8. Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are by  Dr. Seuss

9. Enemy Pie by Derek Munson

10. Fancy Nancy Poet Extraordinaire by Jane O’Connor, Robin Preiss Glasser

11. Have You Filled A Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud

12. I Believe in Me:  A Book of Affirmations by Connie Bowen

13. I Think, I Am! by Louise L. Hay

14. If the World Were a Village by David J. Smith

15. Iggy Peck Architect by Andrea Beaty

16. Incredible You! 10 Ways To Let Your Greatness Shine Through by Wayne Dyer

17. Ish by Peter H. Reynolds

18. Limu: The Blue Turtle by Kimo Armitage

19. Limu the Blue Turtle and His Hawaiian Garden by Kimu Armitage

20. Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

21. LMNO Peas by Keith Baker

22. My First Oxford Book of Poems by John Foster

23. My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss

24. Mr. Men 40th Anniversary Box Set by Roger Hargreaves

25. Not a Box by Antoinette Portis

26. On My Way To A Happy Life by Deepak Chopra

27. Oh The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss

28. One by Kathryn Otoshi

29. One Love by Cedella Marley

30. Only One You by Linda Kranz

31. Peaceful Piggy Meditation by Kerry Lee Maclean

32. Press Here by Herve Tullet

33. Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun:  Having the Courage to Be Who You Are by Maria Dismondy

34. Stand Tall Molly Lou Mellon by Patty Lovell

35. Thank You, World by Alice McGinty

36. The Dot by Peter Reynolds

37. The Gift of Nothing by Patrick McDonnell

38. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

39. The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

40. The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper

41. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

42. The North Star by Peter H. Reynolds

43. The Three Questions (Based on a story by Leo Tolstoy) by Jon J. Muth

44. The Very Fairy Princess by Julie Andrews & Emma Walton Hamilton

45. The Weaver by Thacher Hurd & Elisa Kleven

46. The Yellow Tutu by Kirsten Bramsen

47. We are all Born Free by Amnesty International

48. You Be You by Linda Kranz

49. You Can Be Anything by Gary Craig

50. Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth


Thought for the Day

Kentucky Man Buys Out Entire Kmart Store, Donates it All to Charity

When Rankin Paynter learned that the Kmart in his Kentucky town was closing, he decided to buy everything that remained on the store’s shelves — and give it all away. Four cash registers and six-and-a-half hours after his shopping spree began, the benevolent businessman walked away with $200,000 worth of inventory and gave it all over to Clark County Community Services, a nonprofit that helps families in Winchester, KY, facing crisis situations.

“It’s time to give back,” the “Summer Santa” told the news source. Judy Crowe of Clark County Community Services was blown away by Paynter’s generosity and reported that it was the single largest donation her organization has ever received. She also said that this is the first year her organization will have enough coats, hats and gloves to provide all the children it serves during the winter.


Going Strong at Ninety-Three!

Master Tao Porchon Lynch is the oldest yoga teacher, being ninety-three years old, and a ballroom dancer. She has just been crowned The Oldest Living Yoga Teacher by the Guinness Book of World Records. Wow!

Visit Master Tao’s website to learn more about this special woman.



The Found Essay: Letter from a Mother to a Daughter

“My dear girl, the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through. If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don’t interrupt to say: “You said the same thing a minute ago.” Just listen, please. Try to remember the times when you were little and I would read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep. When I don’t want to take a bath, don’t be mad and don’t embarrass me. Remember when I had to run after you making excuses and trying to get you to take a shower when you were just a girl? When you see how ignorant I am when it comes to new technology, give me the time to learn and don’t look at me that way. Remember, honey, I patiently taught you how to do many things like eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair, and dealing with life’s issues every day. The day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through. If I occasionally lose track of what we’re talking about, give me the time to remember, and if I can’t, don’t be nervous, impatient, or arrogant. Just know in your heart that the most important thing for me is to be with you. And when my old, tired legs don’t let me move as quickly as before, give me your hand the same way that I offered mine to you when you first walked. When those days come, don’t feel sad—just be with me, and understand me while I get to the end of my life with love. I’ll cherish and thank you for the gift of time and joy we shared. With a big smile and the huge love I’ve always had for you, I just want to say, I love you, my darling daughter.”


Thought for the Day

“Don’t forget to love yourself.” – Soren Kierkegaard

Disabled Vet Walks Again, Loses 100lbs. with Yoga

Arthur Boorman was a disabled veteran of the Gulf War for 15 years and was told by his doctors that he would never be able to walk on his own, ever again. He stumbled upon an article about Diamond Dallas Page doing Yoga and decided to give it a try — he couldn’t do traditional, higher impact exercise, so he tried DDP YOGA and sent an email to Dallas telling him his story. Dallas was so moved by his story that he began emailing and speaking on the phone with Arthur throughout his journey – he encouraged Arthur to keep going and to believe that anything was possible. Even though doctors told him walking would never happen, Arthur was persistent. He fell many times, but kept going.

His story is an inspiration that we cannot place limits on what we are capable of doing, because we often do not know our own potential. In less than a year, Arthur completely transformed his life. If only he had known what he was capable of, 15 years earlier.


Why Can’t We Be Friends?

Photo of the Day

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” – Mae West

Wild Gorillas Groom U.S. Tourist in Uganda

A troop of wild mountain gorillas recently turned a typical ecotourism encounter upside down when the animals paid a visit to a tented camp in Uganda’s Park. Video footage shows baby and adult gorillas approaching U.S. tourist John J. King II, sitting with him, and even grooming him as he sits in quiet amazement—right next to a giant male silverback gorilla. “These gorillas were interacting with me just like I was one of their own, and it happened completely naturally,” King said. “Who knows why it happened?” Local rangers were also stumped, telling King that, while baby gorillas sometimes interact with humans, the rangers had never known adult animals to take such an interest.

“It was a total gorilla high going back to camp the evening after observing… and we were ready to go home the next day,” said King, who’s from Massachusetts. But “around 6 o’clock the next morning, one of the expedition members in the tent next to ours said, ‘Hey John get up, you won’t believe it.’” King said that he wasn’t particularly scared to see the gorillas in the camp, because the same animals had been so gentle the day before. He merely sat down by the path and prepared for some very close-up photography. “It was one of those experiences that the more you think about it, the more you begin to absorb just how special it was,” King said. “We want to share it, and we hope that this might be a way we could raise awareness and maybe somehow benefit the gorillas and the local communities that do all this work while themselves living on the edge of poverty.”


At 102, Female WWII Veteran Keeps Doing Good Deeds

It’s all about “mitzvah,” said Bea Abrams Cohen as she sought to explain one possible secret to her longevity. The meanings of the Hebrew word include an act of human kindness or a good deed. That’s what Cohen, age 102, has spent a lifetime doing. “Pay back. It works,” said the chatty centenarian, who served her country during World War II and has worked for more than seven decades supporting the U.S. military and philanthropic organizations.

A resident of Westchester, Cohen is believed to be California’s oldest female veteran. “I don’t want anyone to ever forget our veterans,” Cohen said. “They are our heroes.” Born Bea Hirshkovici in Bucharest, Romania, on Feb. 3, 1910, Cohen had two older siblings. Her father died when she was 3, and her mother eventually remarried a Romanian widower with nine children. He lived in Fort Worth and sent for her family, who arrived in America in 1920. Cohen took her stepfather’s name and became Bea Abrams. Nine years later, the family moved to Los Angeles.

Cohen vividly remembers Dec. 7, 1941, the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, prompting the United States to enter World War II. “I was at the Pantages Theatre,” she recalled. “The lights went on, the screen went black, and they said, ‘We’re at war.’ ” Her first contribution to the war effort involved trapping black widow spiders and sending them to USC, which had a program collecting the strong webs for use as cross-hairs in submarine periscopes. Cohen enrolled in a class to learn about riveting and later went to work at Douglas Aircraft Co. in Los Angeles, producing munitions and war supplies. “She became a real-life Rosie the Riveter,” Bonfilio said, referring to the icon that represents the thousands of female factory workers who contributed to the war effort. Cohen chuckled as she recalled how her diminutive stature — today she is less than 5 feet tall — would require her to stand on a box to do certain tasks. But she loved her work, she said. “I wanted to pay back for being an American,” Cohen said.

Cohen enlisted in the U.S. Army and as a private first class was sent to England. Her duties included working in the communications department with top-secret mimeographed documents — and kitchen patrol. She returned to Los Angeles in 1945, where she met her husband, Ray Cohen, a Marine gunnery sergeant who had been imprisoned on Corregidor Island in the Philippines for more than three years. Less than three months after meeting, the couple married and raised two daughters. Cohen became involved with a local group for former prisoners of war, as did her husband, who died in 2003. She joined the Jewish War Veterans Auxiliary and became its chairwoman for child welfare. She made lap blankets for veterans and was involved with the United Cerebral Palsy/Spastic Children’s Foundation for 35 years, taking the kids on trips to Disneyland.

While volunteering at the Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, she met Chief Master Sgt. Jason Young, who served 28 years in the Air Force and had just returned from Vietnam. He helped Cohen secure resources for the children’s trips and build a small park for them. Cohen’s vivacity was contagious. “Here I am returning from Vietnam…. I had issues, emotional issues,” said Young, 68, whom Cohen admiringly calls “Chief.” “I kept to myself. When I saw this woman doing what she was doing, caring for others, it kind of got me out of my shell. She helped me to be better able to be around people, to function.”

Cohen became legally blind in 1990, but that didn’t slow her down. She continues to do upholstery, one of her favorite pastimes and a skill she would like to teach fellow veterans. “Bea has always been a giver,” said 84-year-old World War II veteran Stephen Rosmarin, who has known Cohen for more than six decades. “She’s been doing great work and hasn’t stopped. She gives us all that energy to keep going.”

Cohen was busy supporting veterans one recent morning at the VA’s Sepulveda Ambulatory Care Center in North Hills. She helped Ontic, a Chatsworth aerospace manufacturing company, and the Quilts of Valor Foundation, a nonprofit veterans support organization, present dozens of quilts to former service members. “I’m really impressed with you,” Marilyn C. Miller, 72, a retired Army specialist, told Cohen. “Might I live as long as you. Do you do anything special?” “The power of prayer,” Cohen replied, and explained that every time she gets into a fix, God sends her “an angel.”


30 Secret Heroes of American History Revealed in New Book

Jonathan Letterman (left) is credited with saving and treating countless wounded men during the Civil War after devising modern methods of medical organization on the battlefield.

Jonathan Letterman (left) is credited with saving and treating countless wounded men during the Civil War after devising modern methods of medical organization on the battlefield.

Need a good book to read? How about this: “Secret Heroes: Everyday Americans Who Shaped Our World,” by Paul Martin. This book is a remarkable collection of stories that spotlight 30 unknown champions, explorers, inventors, and innovators who were forgotten in the pages of American history textbooks.

Instead of George Washington, we learn about the tailor who saved his life…twice. The overlooked Americans in Secret Heroes all had an impact on their world (and the modern world), says the author, former Executive Editor of National Geographic Traveler. The illuminating stories include:

  • Hercules Mulligan, the New York tailor and spy who saved General Washington.
  • Jimmie Angel, the gold-seeking bush pilot who, in 1933, discovered the world’s highest waterfall in Venezuela (now called Angel Falls).
  • Carl Akeley, a pioneering taxidermist who killed a leopard with his bare hands and inspired Africa’s first national park.
  • Eliza Scidmore, who – after twenty-four years of lobbying –convinced the government to plant thousands of cherry trees in Washington, D.C.

Some other characters Martin brings to life include Henry Beachell, whose invention of “miracle rice” fed and supported Asia; Cynthia Ann Parker’s steadfast endurance of 24 years of Native American captivity and Jonathan Letterman, whose medical organization on the battlefield revolutionized the treatment of wounded soldiers and saved countless lives during the Civil War.

“There really are two large categories of heroes,” Martin said of his book’s title. “Most of us think of someone as a hero who risks his or her life when there is some immediate danger — a soldier rescuing a fellow on the battlefield. But the other type of hero is one who simply perseveres, who overcomes overwhelming odds, even if it might take an entire lifetime.”