The Appreciation Factor

All things Appreciation: Things to appreciate and the Ways we look at, Show and Think about Appreciation.

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Thankful Thursdays September 24th Edition

Happy September everyone (and a goodbye, to the official end to summer – sigh…).  Today I have SIX great links to share with you as we transition into fall’s cooler and shorter days. 

Sit back and enjoy these latest links that make me smile on this Thankful Thursday — (My tribute to stories and videos that exemplify appreciation, those that have moved me, and other people making a difference.)

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Goodbye Lovely Summer

Alas summer has ended and fall has started today.  I’m a little sad.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of fall.  I appreciate the feeling of starting anew (sort of second new year if you will), the changing leaves, the pumpkins, Dia de los Muertos, football games, the Head of the Charles Regatta and even that soft oversized sweater.

But oh the sweet days of summer when all seems right in the world. Visions Memories of languid days spent on the beach, sunsets, tans and swimming, oh glorious swimming in the ocean. (The last I will miss the most.)

So just a quick tribute and farewell to my favorite season with a picture collage and quote.

“By all these lovely tokens September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather And autumn’s best of cheer.”
~ Helen Hunt Jackson

Summer 2015 RecapFrom Left to Right, Top to Bottom Row by Row:
Row 1: 1. Let the games begin. Heading to MV on the boat,  2. An understated Memensha Sunset,  3. An unexpected surprise in nature uncovered during a walk,  4. SUP for 2 hours!
Row 2: 1. Dinner trying to escape,  2. Caught and enjoyed by sunset,  3. The Ag Fair flower exhibit,  4. Sunrise on vacation (Yes! One of my 101 goals accomplished!)
Row 3: 1. Beetlebung with Blanc De, Blue and the lanterns,  2. Found art on the beach,  3 & 4. Fireworks captured in August (the best time)
Row 4: 1. Waning July sunset,  2. SPOTTED! Art on the unexpected palette (Read More),  3. A last Monarch butterfly this past Sunday 9/20,  4. Ferry Goodbyes (The wake on the last trip this summer.)


Oh what a season you’ve been.  Thanks summer. Can’t wait to see you again next year.

 – TAF


What’s in a Hello, Howdy, Wave, or A Smile – It’s All That’s Needed

As many of my followers and some visitors know, I’m on an exercise kick (186 days as of this post — looks like I am going to get to 200. Read more about it here.) As of late, I’ve been making this Hihappen remotely, and unlike at home, I see many more people out on the road. However, what I thought would happen has not.

Most people I pass on the road simply don’t all say “hi” or acknowledge me, their fellow walker/runner. What?!  I was so surprised.  This, what I almost think of as a phenomenon, got me thinking – Why don’t we always acknowledge strangers?

I think that in this day and age, and especially with today being the anniversary of 9/11 which reminds us that it can all change in a moment, that the simplest kindness can go a long way.  I’d also like to think that deep down we really all do appreciate our fellow-man – whether we always agree with one another or not.


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Mike the Mailman Just Went Postal on Our Hearts – A Repost Courtesey of the Kindness Blog


As I’ve extolled the beauty/benefits of Thank You Notes, I have to love it when someone who usually would should receive them takes the time to send one of his own. It’s clear Mike is a true class act. I wish him the best.

Sigh… I remember when I had a great mailman whom I genuinely looked forward to seeing and who genuinely seemed to love his job and the customers on his route.

This is from a new blog, the Kindness Blog that I discovered this week – you’ll likely see more links from them via future Thankful Thursday’s issues –it’s THAT good!. Many thanks to them for sharing more of the good in this world. We can all be reminded of kindness and gratitude each day.

Have you ever received a thank you note from your mailman or someone in customer service OR someone you would typically be thanking? What was the occasion? Please shared I’d love to hear.

Originally posted on Kindness Blog:

“For as long as I have lived in my house, (I) always thought the Mailman was very nice. He put this in the mailbox.

Mike the Mailman Just Went Postal on Our Hearts.Reminds me that there are good warm people in all walks of life.”

~ by g3tyasum

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Thankful Thursdays August 27th Edition

Happy August everyone.  Today I have three great links to share with you that will help beat the heat and hopefully inspire you. For me these three really talk to empowerment when we provide and show our support/belief in others.

So sit back and enjoy these latest links that make me smile on this Thankful Thursday — (My tribute to stories and videos that exemplify appreciation, those that have moved me, and other people making a difference.)

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Beach Etiquette – When close is TOOclose

Oh the joys of summer and crowded beaches.  Before you hit the sand with your cooler, fav beach chair and sunscreen (which should have been listed first!), do you know your beach etiquette?

I’ve ranted about shared my thoughts on this topic before, but in the Triple H (Hazy, Hot and Humid) days of August beach etiquette seems to disappear as space becomes limited, patience runs thin, and dare I say the feeling of entitlement of beach space rises.

For those not in the know:

Beach Etiquette: Allowing the proper amount of space between bathers on a beach. Ideally a minimum of 5 feet on each side.  See photo

Optimal Space


Now I know that in August (or even in July for that matter), space on the beach is at a premium, but I’m amazed as the sheer lack of consideration some families and groups can show when it comes to how close they choose to sit and/or set up their chairs and towels next to other beach-goers – especially singles and couples.
They just don’t seem to have or follow beach etiquette.


On a personal note, I have felt overly afflicted by the lack of  beach etiquette and often find myself crowded by large numbers of people. It’s almost as if as a solo beach-goer there’s a neon arrow above my head saying – “HEY BIG GROUPS GET AS CLOSE AS YOU CAN TO ME. I WON’T MIND BECAUSE I’M ALONE TODAY.”

This is of course not true, but it does seem that I have an above average knack for finding myself in situations where, despite how empty or how much available space is on the beach, that couples, groups and families seem to gravitate to me and put their things down within 2-3 feet of me. (No I’m not exaggerating.)

That said however, I’ve been talking to others who travel to the beach solo and they too have noticed this phenomenon. Solo beach-goers do seem to be encroached upon more often than groups. REALLY!

Do you find yourself “attracted” to the single on the beach and
tend to set up your things by him/her or do you look for a spot that has good clearance?

I think many some do this as they worry less about disrupting or annoying the single person, but would think twice if the group was larger OR, maybe I am over thinking this and in truth, they’ve given it no thought or simply like that spot. Regardless it’s a challenge that I face each summer and it’s seemed even more challenging this one.

Here are some examples I saw just this week. (You be the judge):

I was stunned to see this group set up less than a foot away from complete strangers. (And there was plenty of beach space not too far away.)

I was stunned to see this group set up a foot away from complete strangers. (And there was plenty of beach space not too far away.)


Here a group sat practically on top of a couple! I would have likely said something and/or moved.

*Note while you cannot see it – there was lots and lots of space for people to spread out just a little further to the right and to the left.

Now I know many of you will say, “What’s the big deal?” or even, “Do you own the beach?”  (Hey I’ve even been asked this by these offenders, when I’ve diplomatically asked them if they could move over a bit, or candidly said, “Don’t you think you’re a little close?”)  NO, I don’t own the beach, but I do find this to be a personal space/common courtesy issue, and what I refer to as beach etiquette.

I think it comes down to appreciating the personal space of others. Sure the beach can be crowded and perhaps 5 feet isn’t always available, but sitting on top of someone can’t be fun for you either.


Perhaps it’s also because I’m such a beach person – getting on the beach around 11/11:30am and staying there until 6pm – and I greatly appreciate my time there to disconnect which is why it’s so upsetting.  I’ll have come early to pick out the perfect spot and am happily reading or relaxing in my personal space, only to find myself suddenly in the middle of yelling kids, rowdy adults, and the drama they’re openly sharing.  It’s not fun.

If this doesn’t seem like a big deal to you, another way to look at it is this:  Would you casually sit next to someone at a table without asking if you could sit there or if the seat was taken?  It’s the same courtesy you would show in these instances, just in a beach setting.


Here are 5 tips I’ve come up with to help you follow good beach etiquette:

  1. Be considerate of the single bather.  Perhaps they don’t want to enjoy your vacation, screaming kids, in-laws, crazy drinking buddies or your tales of the “wild night” you had last night.
  2. If asked if you can move over – remember it’s just a request – it’s not an ultimatum, nor an encroachment on your civil liberties.  It’s a question and it gives those you’re putting your stuff “on top of” the option to move if they must. (Personally I can get annoyed if I have to move.  I’ve been there longer and then feel pressured to move simply due to a lack of beach etiquette.)
  3. If there is a lot of space on the beach, kindly do not crowd the single/double beach goers. There’s clearly room for everyone, so why not find a bigger spot where you can spread out?
  4. For the single beach goer – AVOID open spots by the entrances. While tempting, these seem to be a magnet for large families/groups to park their stuff – likely because there’s so much of it and they don’t have to walk any farther.
  5. Also for the single beach goer – Try to spread out your belongs in a long of a line as possible – it gives you room to move if encroached upon. (Note: I have considered one of those fences or cones – don’t laugh! – but that did seem to be going a bit over the top! ;)  )


What do you think?  Do agree with following beach etiquette or are you a park your stuff where you please kind of beach goer?
Have you been the victim of bad 
beach etiquette? (I’m especially curious if you go solo, if you find yourself a victim more often.)


Shore to Please

LtoR: Belmar, Wildwood, Atlantic City

Left to Right: Belmar, Wildwood, Cape May

I’m a Jersey girl, born and raised. While I don’t live there anymore, I’m still fiercely loyal to my great home state and have to say, “People… if you would just drive 15 mins past Newark Airport you’d start to see why it’s called the Garden State!  We have some beautiful towns with lush lawns and farms.  I’d also like to add that it is “NEW” Jersey, not simply “Jersey,” and “No. We DO NOT all have an accent.” See NJ Pride.  I warned you. 

Today is all about my appreciation of a specific 127 miles of New Jersey.


It’s Better Than it’s “Reputation”

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