Planning your next vacation

Joten Heim

This couple is planning their next vacation to Joten Heim.

Norwegians know it as Jötunheim, one of the Nine Realms of the World Tree, home of the ancient race of Giants, the Jötunn, of Mimir, and the well of wisdom, of Loki, the shape shifter and trickster, of Thrym, who stole Thor’s magic hammer Mjölnir. It is a frozen place of deep dark forests and jagged mountain peaks covered in ice. The giants who live there are of two kind, the rock giants and frost giants, for the fire giants live in Muspelheim.

Joten Heim possesses several strongholds including Utgard-Loki, which is made of snow blocks and icicles so big you cannot see the top. If you go there, you’ll find that nothing is as it appears, that it is impossible to distinguish between dreams and reality.

If you want directions, all we can say is that it is near Asgard and Midgard, and beyond the realm of order, a primordial place of chaos, magic, and untamed wilderness, and not on a map.

If you are planning your next vacation, we suggest that you make it Stressless.

Mischief Night

Mischief Night is an informal holiday the day before Halloween when children and teenagers engage in pranks and vandalism, i.e., knocking over the outhouse, smashing pumpkins, dog poop in a bag at the doorstep. Other names include, Devil’s Night, Goosey Night, Moving Night, and Cabbage Night.

The costumes are made (or more likely bought), the kids are itchin’ to get out of the house; it is not Halloween, but Halloween Eve, a night made for mischief, for ambitious kids who jump the gun on the fun as soon as it’s dark.

Mom and dad are out buying candy, thinking it’s dandy we’ll have the house for ourselves. But who would have guessed that a ghost would show up, knowing it’s almost Halloween.

Why did he come, where was he seen, this Halloween Eve? At the bar in the den looking for boos, then to the ice box in the kitchen for a little dessert?

And what does he like?

Ice cream, of course.

Shop Traditions Furniture for Stressless recliners

Maybe it’s cold out there

Maybe it’s cold out there.

Maybe one can’t scurry or hurry a bit, ’cause of the ice. Why even the mice will stay in a hole, and birds know ’tis better to go to the ground than to be found out in the snow.

Baby it’s cold out there. And you’re thinking, you’re not ready, even a little unsteady.

Can’t find my socks, can’t find my shoes. Don’t want to face the bitter wind. Asking myself, is the aspirin still on the shelf, can this lousy weather be more unkind. Is that the Grinch, doing his grin, imagining me on my back in a heap of snow?

Maybe you are thinking of staying at home. Don’t want to roam to far.

Don’t know if the car will start. Now, where did I leave my coat, not in the closet, says the wife wisely attired in fleece pajamas and fluffy slippers, saying I tossed it downstairs last night. Out on a bender, high as a kite, when did I get home, I can’t remember..

Now I am feeling the start of a sore throat, someone upstairs is saying I’m not too smart. Better to stay in bed. Besides, the windshield is covered in ice, so let’s think about this twice.

This whole thing was a bad idea, from beginning to finish, and top to bottom. Saying it’s autumn won’t change a thing. It’s cold here, like in Canada. Quit your whining, says the wife. Get back in bed, find the remote, turn on the TV, your favorite show is going to start.

Now isn’t it nice to stay home?

This rock is my home

seagulls on a rock in Canada
seagulls on a rock in Canada

Steven B. Seagull

It is a great thing, in this workaday world of ours, to be something a little above the common flock of ordinary seagulls, to curiously want something more, but then, too, curiosity is not without its inconvenience.

I was quite content sitting on a rock for hours surrounded by other noisy gulls, waiting for a ship to sail by with its daily catch, hoping that one or two fish might slip overboard. But wanted something more, and, not incidentally noticing the unbearable smell of seagull guano, it came to me, like rain upon a sandcastle, that if I found my own rock, I could take better stock of my situation, and have less competition for a crab that might happened to wander by.

So, I left, searching for a rock to call home.

Your best place to find a place to sit in Kansas is Traditions Furniture.

Q: Why are seagulls called seagulls?
A: Because if they flew over the bay, they’d be bagels

Q: What animal did God create before the seagull?
A: The beagle.

Q: What do you call a seagull that has a black belt in karate and a red belt in jiu-jitsu?
A: Steven Seagull

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Happy Easter

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An Easter Blessing

What does one say this Easter, an Easter like no other? Doctors and nurses are busy treating patients suffering with the Coronavirus, stores and schools are closed, churches are empty of congregants but full of hope and prayer.

Still, we are blessed. Blessed with the thought that the worst is behind us. With the thought that #weGotThis. And we will beat this virus by staying home, by wearing a mask when in public, by limiting our social interactions, by keeping our distance when interacting, by not shaking hands, by washing our hands, and praying for a better day.

To your family from the families at Traditions Home, Happy Easter.

We will be back. Soon we hope. Until then, enjoy this time at home with your love ones. Count your blessings. Stay safe. Keep your distance. Say a little prayer. Show a little kindness to those who protect us, serve us, and keep us healthy.

The Mighty Oak

“The oak sleeps in the acorn, the bird waits in the egg, and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs.” James Allen  

Outside the window where I work grows a mighty oak. It gives me shade from the morning sun. It’s also home to a family of squirrels who happily run along its outstretched boughs and gather acorns in the fall. But oak trees, like human inspiration, have irregular cycles of boom and bust. Boom times, called “mast years,” occur every 2-5 years, with few acorns in between. In the absolute bust years, the squirrels move on, but they always come back.

One year, many years ago, when my son was born, a tiny acorn grew, and I have not the heart to stop it from growing up, though there is no room for two.

Pardon me, but I can not help but insert an old proverb here:

“Large streams from little fountains flow, Tall oaks from little acorns grow.”

 

oak trees along the roadside

Stickley Furniture comes from Appalachian and Adirondack forests, made with oak trees sustainably grown.

Why kindness is good

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Try a Little Kindness

You got to try a little kindness
Yes show a little kindness
Just shine your light for everyone to see

Glenn Campbell had a number one hit a few years ago that was titled Try a Little Kindness.  The lyrics always brought a smile to my face. The song made me feel good. And afterwards I tried harder to be kind to others, to hold the door open when entering or leaving, to smile at someone who needed a smile, to say a nice word to a stranger.

Why is kindness so good for you? You don’t have to be a skeptic to believe in kindness.  Here are the scientific reasons why the giver of kindness reaps the benefit of his or her kindness.

1. Kindness releases feel-good hormones. How do you know? Just look at the smiles on everyone’s faces including yours:)

2. Kindness eases anxiety. Worry, concern, apprehension, and fear pile on like bricks, while kindness eases the load.

3. Kindness warms your heart. Literally, the act of kindness releases oxytocin which causes the release of a chemical called nitric oxide in blood vessels, which dilates (expands) the blood vessels, keeping your heart healthy.

4. Kind people live longer. It stands to reason that a healthy heart promotes a long life. What’s more kindness develops long-lasting friendships so you have someone with whom to share that long life. Isn’t that sweet?

5. Get Stressless. Kindness reduces stress. Stress is normal. Stress can be related to finances, work, relationships, and other life problems that pop up on a daily basis. Stressless recliners are a proven way to naturally reduce stress. Relax, put your feet up, stretch out your back, the recliner does the work.

Or as Tinker Bell would say, “All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.” And pixie dust is the kindness we spread around for joy.

Now you have time to think of your next good deed.

Get Stressless

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Oh, the place you’ll go in a Stressless chair

[Join us next Friday, Nov. 8th for Norwegian delicacies, French wines, European beer and a lot of fun, from noon to 7 pm. Register to win a Stressless chair and ottoman.]

Oh, the places you’ll go in a Stressless chair
You’ll see great sights
Like Timbuktu and the Taj Mahal
You’ll soar to heights
Like an eagle in flight
Go by day, go by night
It matters not
In a Stressless chair

Oh the places you’ll see
Like the Eiffel Tower in Grand Pareé
Might I suggest
A glass of wine
A Chablis or Merlot
From a grape that grows on a sunny hill
On the hills of Bordeaux
You know…
The wine they drink
In small cafes
On the Rue de Rennes in Montparnasse
You know the place
Where we first met
Years ago

Recline and relax
You’ll know what I mean
When you sit and you breathe
The air above Madagascar
You’ll know how it feels
On a safari on the Kalahari
Listen you’ll hear
A lion roar or an elephant trumpet
Stranger still is the hyena cry
And the baboon that laughs
By the light of the silvery moon

Now, close your eyes
You’ll see I’m right
It is not so far
As the grocery store
On the very next block

And to think
The simplest thing
Is the strangest thing
You’ll do it right here
In a Stressless chair

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San Miguel

Just before the sun went down,
When the sun burned brightest,
I was drinking my favorite Spanish wine
Composing a whimsical line or two,
Dreaming of a change of scene,
Of a hill in Spain called San Miguel
Where couples gather in sadness and sorrow
To say goodbye to another day,
And hope for a better tomorrow

Stressless aha moment #74

granada-la-ermita

Where to go

Visit the Alhamabra for sure, but just before the sun goes down, head to Granada’s northeastern hills, and visit the tiny Ermita de San Miguel Alto (Hermitage of San Miguel), known for its sweeping views of city, the winding streets of the Albaicín neighborhood, the ancient Alhambra fortress, and beyond to the distant and often-snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountains.

In Kansas, for Stressless recliners, visit Traditions Furniture in Overland Park, and Traditions Home in Wichita.

 

Arriba, abajo, al centro y adentro! 

Glasses up, glasses down, to the front and bottoms up!

wine-3823_Playful#26

Falling in love again

The year is winding down, the morning air is cool and crisp, the coffee warm against my hands, the leaves, golden, brown and red, are falling again; funny how thoughts waft into your head – Marlene Dietrich’s Falling in Love Again, Yves Montand’s Falling Leaves, Frank Sinatra, It Was A Very Good Year, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Memories, Kurt Weill and Max Anderson’s September Song, and on and on…

Falling in love again with Stressless