26 • May 2018 • UPBEAT TIMES, INC.

IN A WORD: Living the Upbeat LifeGRUMBLE Weird Facts & Trivia - 6 by Marcia Singer ~

Q: I wish I could feel more upbeat and positive, but things bug me & get under my skin. I can’t see an easy way to fi x things, and so I tend to grum- ble a lot. ~ Anonymous

A : Grum- ble – sounds like the sur- name of a Charles Dicken character –maybe a

Thaddeous Q. Grumble?! He’s crotchety, pacing around the cottage, moping, com- plaining about this and that, muttering complaints to him-

self, or anyone else in earshot. In a low, surly voice. voce. Bah! Humbug!

Consulting my heftiest dictionary, I fi nd that the origin of the word ‘grum- ble’ is thought to be Dutch –not English: grommelen means “to mutter.”


back to our serious ques- tion about the tendency to be a complaining

grumbler, or grumbling com- plainer.

Surely it involves

having ideals (sometimes not fully recognized), while liv- ing in way less than ideally

Up To



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suited to you. Sotto And feeling

disempowered to do much about it. So in that light, here’s my response: First, identify what it is you value. Next, evaluate, assess what’s amiss.

Third, do something. Anything positive on behalf of what you value. Stand up for it, claim it. Every little bit counts.

How about some examples from my own grumble diary? At the time of this writing, Earth Day is a week away. The local turf is fl owering profusely, even in some of the nearby burn areas. Gorgeous! But what else do I see? –Peo- ple’s cigarette butts, on the streets, walkways , drat, even on hiking trails! So applying my formula for getting more upbeat and empowered about it –I identify that I value both harmless to our Mother Planet and our bodies. And I deeply value beauty. And cig butts, especially ones with fi lters, don’t look beautiful to me. Smoking them is not exactly healthful. And the butts pol- lute soil and water, and can take up to ten years to de- compose. Grumble, grumble.

So what’s amiss? Health, respect, beauty. What can I do –if anything? Pick up the discards and dispose of them properly? Report it? Educate about cellulose acetate fi lters? Help smokers quit?

Now that I’m getting my

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26 • May 2018 • UPBEAT TIMES, INC.

grumble on, and a good pro- tocol for not staying stuck there –I’ll tackle another ‘main complain’ of mine: “sound pollution,” noises that startle or unnerve me. For example, landscapers blower

machines. Or parents yelling at kids when I am shopping, or youngsters hollering in the library. What happened to the rule –certainly the expecta- tion –that everyone should be quiet in the library?? “Shhhh, use your indoor voices…“ In all closed, shared spaces like restaurants or department stores?

So beyond another sour rant, what steps can I take here? One, identify what’s important to me e.g. tranquili- ty, freedom from the physical discomfort that loud sounds cause me, an elder who can’t enjoy hollering shot.

within ear-

What’s ’off’ for me? Feeling safe to be in public spaces, and feeling that my needs matter. What can I do? –Keep ear plugs handy, for one thing –and I do! Write about my needs and insights. Get braver, share with holler- ers who are often unsuspect- ing of the effect they’re hav- ing. Ask a store manager to turn down the hip hop muzak while I shop –?! I used

to just grumble –mutter- ing un- der my breath –even fearful

of speak-

ing up. But when I do, some wonderful conversations take place. Two librarians and a variety of check out work- ers confessed how much they miss the old decorum too; have phones and computer- ization changed our culture so much, that younger gen- erations have never experi- enced sharing environments more quietly? Except maybe at Church –lol. How we’ve made it acceptable to have

... continued on page 31

Harissa is a fi ery hot condiment and seasoning from North Africa and the Middle East. It is a paste of dried red chilis, garlic, and olive oil, with other spices such as ground red pepper, caraway, cumin, coriander, mint and verbena.

FARMS & FARMERS Hawaii: approximate land area of 4,110,586 acres. Farmland is 1,121,329 acres or 27.3% of total land. Organic agriculture accounts for about 12,045 acres. Number of Farms: 7,521 Principle Farm Operators: Men: 5,715 Women: 1,806

The Candlenut Tree was designated as the state tree of Hawaii in 1959.

Among the largest and most historic ranches in the United States is Parker Ranch in Hawaii. Founded in 1847, the ranch currently spans approximately 150,000 acres on the Big Island.

In 1866 Charles Fleischmann and his brother

Maximilian founded the fi rst compressed yeast factory in the United States.

“No persons are more frequently

wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”

François de La Rochefoucauld “A good traveler has no fi xed plans and is not intent on arriving.” ~ Lao Tzu

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