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A nice way to wake up. August 4, 2013

Posted by ourfriendben in Ben Franklin, wit and wisdom.
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Silence Dogood here. If, like me, our hero and blog mentor Benjamin Franklin’s maxim “Early to bed, early to rise” doesn’t exactly resonate with you, every little thing you can do to make getting out of bed in the morning a more pleasant experience is a good thing.

One of the most pleasant ways I’ve found is to hang crytals in the window. I don’t mean crystals like quartz, but rather, faceted glass like the crystals on a chandelier. You can use real chandelier crystals from antiques stores or flea markets, or, as I did, buy modern versions in gift shops or New Age shops. The advantage of buying them in gift or New Age shops is that they come in colors, they’re highly faceted (which is critical, as you’ll see), and they’re often pre-strung for hanging with smaller crystals on the string.

I have three crystal strands, one amber, one purple, and one pinkish-rainbow-colored, hung one on the other in an East-facing window. And when the morning light hits them, they cast dozens of beautiful rainbow droplets of light on the walls and ceilings of the room. This continues for several hours, and I can make the droplets spin and dance over the room if I gently push the lowest crystal once to set the strands moving. All three crystals are highly faceted, since the more facets, the more rainbows each crystal throws off.

This is a beautiful, entertaining, inexpensive light show. Since my goal is to motivate myself to get up and moving, my crystals are in a window in my home office rather than the bedroom. I need to get on the computer and start writing, after all, not have yet another excuse to dawdle in bed enjoying colorful patterns on the walls and ceiling. But think how magical it would be for a child to wake each (sunny) morning to rainbow splashes on his or her bedroom walls and ceiling! If your child’s bedroom has East-facing windows, I’d highly recommend it.

Meanwhile, back to working on the “healthy, wealthy and wise” part of old Ben’s maxim…

‘Til next time,


WWBD? September 4, 2011

Posted by ourfriendben in Ben Franklin, wit and wisdom.
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As most of you know, our hero and blog mentor here at Poor Richard’s Almanac is the great Benjamin Franklin, whom we consider to be one of the brightest and wisest men who ever lived. Dr. Franklin is the West’s answer to Confucius, and we’re sure he would have been regarded as a Buddha had he lived in India rather than America.

Ben Franklin’s knowledge of human nature and its contradictions, its capacity for folly and heroism, its strengths and weaknesses, its silliness and seriousness, its love of worldly pleasure and comfort and its longing for the eternal, remains unsurpassed. Ben knew people. He understood people. So he was able to speak directly to people’s minds and hearts. That’s why if a Colonial family had one book, it was the Bible, but if they could manage two books, one was the Bible and the other was Ben Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack. They knew they could rely on Old Ben to steer them right.

To this day, we here at Poor Richard’s Almanac try to keep Ben’s wisdom in mind when confronting the situations life presents to us. In every situation, we ask ourselves, What would Ben do?

Tempted by some bauble or treat when your budget’s tighter than tight? “A penny saved is a penny earned.”

Starting to think you’re special? “A man wrapped up in himelf makes a very small bundle.”

Slacking off on putting stuff away as piles of clutter are taking over? “A place for everything, everything in its place.”

Using your house as a parking space, to grab some food, sleep and shower before rushing off to your ‘important’ work and ‘real’ life? “A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.”

Madder than hell? “Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one.”

Tempted to gossip, to spill the beans? “A small leak can sink a great ship.”

Catch yourself whining and complaining? “Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.”

Always taken by surprise by life? “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

Wavering over making the effort to reach out, to do the good thing? “Do good to your friends to keep them, to your enemies to win them.”

And on and on. Ben Franklin has good advice to offer for every human situation. Living Ben’s way means living in harmony with your fellow men, keeping out of debt and distress, and growing as a person throughout life. Sounds like a good plan to us!