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WHATS IN THIS BLOG: • Palm Desert hiking • Joshua Tree hikes • The other side of happiness

TO ESCAPE THE COLD OF WINTER, I drove from Albuquerque to Phoenix to Palm Desert, where it’s usually 15-20 F degrees warmer. I was a temporary snowbird! Palm Desert is really a suburb of Palm Springs, California. It’s what you call low-desert because the altitude is close to sea level. But the mountains are impressive….. rising over 10,000 ft straight up from the sandy plain.

We took three hikes while we were in Palm Desert, and these are described below with pictures (to enlarge, click on a picture then hit back-arrow to return to blog). When I say we, I refer to Mary Ann my good friend from Kansas.… More

Here is a story about gratitude, and it appears in the Book of Luke, chapter 17. The story has some implications that got my attention. To summarize: • Ten lepers called out to Jesus, “Take pity on us.” • Jesus responded, “Go show yourself to the priests to confirm you are healed.” As they went they were healed. • One of them turned back, and fell at Jesus’ feet thanking him over and over.

• Then Jesus asked, “Where are the other nine?” • Jesus said to the one man, “Go on your way. Your trust and confidence that spring from your belief in God has restored you to health.”… More

I asked Shanessa’s daughter, who is 17, what are the secrets to greater happiness. She gave me a quick list: • More freedom. My parents are too strict. • More friends ‘liking’ my posts on Facebook. • Live more like the models and superstars in the checkout mags and on TV. • Date more often. • Nicer car. • More movies and less schoolwork. • An iPad.

At the other end of the age spectrum, I asked a heart doctor, who is probably 70 and jogs several times each week. He said Mindfulness was one secret for destressing and happiness. When I asked what Mindfulness was, he gave an example. When you first taste a glass of wine, you comment on it.… More

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