8 Good Things


21 Best Places to Go in 2021: Because We’re Ready to Plan Again

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Great information! Thank you Maria! ~ Dawn S.

I also appreciate your 8 Good Things newsletter — it is a ray of light in these Trumpian times. ~ Jeff W.

Best COVID help email I’ve seen yet. Well done and hope you and your loved ones are well. ~ Michael D.

Thank you so much for this wonderful and positive reading material list. Too many groups I’m on keep sending doomsday links and emails and just instilling all sorts of fear out there. But I love the silver lining in your 8 good things. Time to stop and reassess. ~ Maria K.

I can’t think of a better time for your 8 good things. ~ Jim B.

Your opening comments in this edition, as well as your line "Let there be a pandemic of compassion, love, and gratitude" made me a bit emotional and hopeful this morning. I look forward to reading 8 Good Things every other week. Thank you! ~ Erin F.

Thank you so very much today’s 8 Good Things posting. The inspiration and depth of thought is as truly amazing as it is healing during these oddly configured times. ~ John H.

Really well curated & done. Brava. ~ Steven P.

This is an especially good “8 Good Things!” I didn’t know that you were studying with Jack Kornfield. I’ve read several of his books. Thanks for sending this, Maria. ~ Mike M.

Loved your 8 good things today. ~ Brenda S.

Your 8 Good Things email always brings me joy whenever I get the chance to read it. ~ Gabrielle A.

Just your newsletter - Masters of Love. Your articles make me stop and think! I often evaluate my actions and it opens my eyes how to live better. Thank you for sharing these articles. ~ Betty M.

Maria,  I just can’t get over how good this is. I am so glad you do this! ~ Mark J.

Love it Maria. Always a GREAT read to jump start the weekend. Have a great one!~ Matt R.

Once again, thank you so much for the very nice articles. I printed out the one on Senior Health. Also, the story on Doris Day is quite touching. ~ Mark M.

Your newsletter is sooooooo goood. ~ David V.

Always a good read on a Friday. Thx Maria. ~ Matt R.

Thank you so much for your 8 Good Things. I always enjoy reading them. Thank you, especially for your commentary on Agnes Varda. ~ Mark M.

I am loving your newsletter and insightful articles on Self-Care and Self-Awareness. You are doing incredible work. ~ Erahm C.

I enjoy a lot your newsletter. It is one of the few newsletter I normally end up clicking on something. I often show it as well-made newsletter. ~ Jorge P.

Gratitude to Maria Baltazzi for sharing this article [Live Like a Stoic] in her weekly 8 Good Things email. Especially worth signing up for in today's trying times. ~ Morgan R.

I particularly found the content of [21 Weird Ways the World Changes in Autumn] very interesting, practical and useful. 3 [Live Like a Stoic], 4 [Fall Asleep Instantly with This Breathing Technique], and 5 [Try Any of These 33 Habits of Happy and Successful People] were particularly applicable for my worldview and circumstances. ~ Ian R.

Great read. You touched upon some good topics. Thanks. ~ Matt R.

Nice hearing about all your adventures. I love what you are doing.~ Marci K.

Thanks, Maria! I love Brene Brown. Thanks for the suggesting the meditation app. I loaded it on my phone and will try it this weekend. ~ Amy C.

Hi, Maria. Or should I say hi DOCTOR! Big, big congrats! Always love seeing 8 Good Things and what awesome news along with this latest set. ~ Eric R.

Congratulations on your PhD! You are certainly racking up lifetime achievements. And, thank you for including me on your mailing list. I enjoy your 8 Good Things. ~ John. V

Congratulations, Maria, on your doctorate. Enjoyed your letter and love the 20-secs to courage. ~ Loyelle E.

Great newsletter this week. Fabien’s book looks good. ~ Ethan Z.

Love you. Such great info you share. Xo ~ Brenda L.

My favorite newsletter yet!! Thank you ;-) ~ Allison C.

I enjoy your newsletter. ~ Mary T.

I loved the articles and especially the ones you did for “LightWorkers.” ~ Mark M.

Great article on Thought Trains, Maria! I teach Bible study class to a group of high school kids each Wednesday morning. I’m going to use this! ~ Nathan D.

I always enjoy and learn from your emails, thx. ~ Noelle F.

Maria…I LOVE your newsletter. Your faithful reader. ~ Gary F.

I enjoy your newsletters and end ended up watching both “Before the Flood” and “The Way” as a result of your newsletters. Thanks so much for the recommendations and sharing these meaningful flicks! I look forward to reading more of your musing and inspirations. ~ Diane C.

Thank you, Maria! The sleep info very timely ;-) ~ Sylvia V.

Dear Maria, thank you for all you do, it is wonderful. ~ Dean A.

Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience. ~ Mike P.

Hey Maria! Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your Friday emails. Lots of great positive energy to the end the week.~ Randy S.

Hi, Maria. This is just great reading, thank you very much. ~ David M.

Awesome… ~ Matt R.

My husband just forwarded me your email/newsletter. Wow!!! Very impressive. ~ Milica G.

Amazing, amazing. I just love getting these email newsletters. ~ Ursula R.

Good one MB. Love ur work. ~ Kirk W.

Cool! Thx Maria ~ Bob M.

I love these. Thank you for doing them. ~ Carla J.

Really enjoyed this, Maria!! ~ Lynda W.

Maria, such great material in here. It’s awesome. ~ David V.

:)) <3 ~ Steven P.

LOVE LOVE LOVE Maria ~ Jim B.

Thank you Maria. As always, so very good and uplifting. ~ Carla J.

Wonderful!!!!! ~ Steven S.

So glad you send these every week! I always look forward to receiving them. ~ Steve F.

I wish you knew how much I look forward to these Friday emails.  Thank you so much for including me. ~ Maria K.

I LOVE IT!!! ~ Fernando M.

It is a breath of fresh air to see someone working consciously to curate and create opportunities to uplift and inspire others, we need more of that in this world. ~ Kathryn D.

Really enjoy these positive Friday posts. Sorely needed these days. ~ Craig S.

Love your work, Maria. ~ Anthony H.

Thoroughly enjoying the new insights that come with each of your Friday emails. ~ Ian R.

Another great read on a Friday, Maria, thank you. ~ David M.

Thanks for this, Maria!  Keep 'em coming!  Just reading about these ideas and journeys makes me less stressed.  So THANK YOU!!  :-) ~ Meredith F.

 
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21 Best Places to Go in 2021:

Because We’re Ready to Plan Again

January 1, 2021

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Hello Sojourners! Happy 2021! 

This year we are launching a new look for 8 Good Things. We would love to read what you think. Ultimately, we are here for YOU! We value your feedback.

While many of us are happy to dropkick 2020 and leave it far behind, I would like to offer another perspective — a perspective that embraces the positive that did come out of this past year. Only when we welcome the past and present lessons can we make for a better and brighter future. 

Overall, I do believe that our collective consciousness rose by quite a bit this past year. We learned to be kinder, more gracious, and open toward one another. We realized that we do not have to continue working as we have been, opening the door to being productive wherever we have an internet connection instead of being chained to a desk inside four white walls. We learned to be better stewards of our planet. We learned about social justice and the value of treating each other as brothers and sisters. We made more effort to connect with those we love and those we have forgotten about in our daily busyness. We found ways to spend more time in nature, spend more time with family and friends, spend more time breaking bread and having drinks, albeit most often virtually. So, all in all, I think there were many blessings to count in 2020. The hope and the prayer are not to experience another pandemic, or crisis of any sort, to appreciate the good we have now and can create in the future. So, I raise a glass to a happier, healthier, and more conscious 2021.

Please share 8 Good Things with your family, friends, and colleagues. It may brighten up someone's day. Perhaps, even help somehow live life a little better.

8 Good Things is a curated newsletter of inspirational and informational articles, videos, and quotes. If my thoughts about an article or video interest you, please click the ‘source’ button (e.g., NEW YORKER) to learn more. If you come across a story you would like me to consider sharing, please send it to explorer@sojourn-intl.com. This newsletter comes out once every three weeks. 

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5 Ways to Make 2021 Your Reset Year

It is that time of year. However, to state the obvious, this year, that annual reset is even more vital. Suggestions in this article: stay centered, find and give support, value inner peace and quiet, raise your spiritual I.Q., and practice detachment. Learn more from Dr. Deepak Chopra.

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How to Work EFT Into Your Well-Being Routine – Morning, Noon, & Night

If you were wondering about EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) or wanting to incorporate them into your 2021 wellbeing regime, this is a good article to get you started. EFT is an easy way to help remove emotional blocks and reduce stress. However, the key and brilliance of these techniques, like meditation and exercise, is found in consistency. 

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The Top 10 Insights from the “Science of a Meaningful Life” in 2020

The Greater Good team names the most provocative and influential findings published during the past year. Top of the list: rich and varied experiences may be an overlooked key to a good life. My recommendation for 2021 is to seek psychologically rich experiences. The ones that pique your curiosity, give you a sense of awe, somehow transform you. Life is not the number of moments you live in. It is the number of moments you live in that count. Also, check out Some of the Most Inspiring Moments from 2020.

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21 Best Places to Go in 2021: Because We’re Ready to Plan Again

In the last edition of 8GT, we highlighted National Geographic’s best destinations for 2021. In this edition, here are the picks from one of our fav travel magazines. For those in the U.S. who are not quite ready to get on an international flight, several places in our country are featured, including the quaint wine country town of Healdsburg in my California home state. 

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How to Plan a Safari in the Time of COVID-19, According to an Expert

 Africa is “my heart” place in the world. I have been to that continent more than anywhere else. Each and every time I go there, it stirs a profound connection to our earth and all its beings. If the land of the Big 5 (most of them are endangered!) is on your travel hit list, and you are comfortable to travel, now is an excellent time. After all, safaris are inherently social distancing friendly. More than that, everyone I know who spent time in the African bush is forever transformed. It is genuinely a life-changing experience that you will ALWAYS treasure. 

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Explore Africa

The Sojourn Explorers team can help you plan a spectacular trip.

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The Important Places

As we begin a new year, a beautiful poetic reminder on living life is told through a son’s reflection about his father as they journey down the Colorado River. “May you always remember the path that leads back, back to the important places.” (9:44 minutes video) 

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The 50 Best TV Show on Netflix

If you stayed up a little too late last night, drank a bit too much, or just want to curl up and binge watch TV, here are some suggestions. My favs are The Crown and The Queen’s Gambit. Also, the best movies on Amazon Prime, TV shows and movies on Disney+ and Hulu.  

Good Thing 8

Paul McCartney's ‘Find My Way’ is the First Music Video Off His New Album Recorded in Quarantine

This article is for you Beatles fans. I love that McCartney is seventy-eight years and still “rocking on” in his eighteenth solo album, literally. He plays all the instruments and sings all the vocals. Use this as inspiration to keep it going, regardless of age, in 2021. 

Sojourn Programs

At the end of last year, I began doing LIVE meditations on Insight Timer. Come sit with me! You can also join my Insight Timer Circle. Meditation is our wellbeing silver bullet.

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Also, last year, I started writing video content for a new mindfulness productivity app, Centered. The app is designed to help you reach a Flow State while you work. You can use the app to organize your day’s tasks. They play music to keep you focused as you work, or tune into your own playlist. At the start of each day, the app offers videos with productivity tips, inspiring quotes, and mindfulness techniques to help you work smarter. Check it out and let me know what you think. 

Sojourn Getaways

Camino De Santiago  |  Spain

September 19th – 28th, 2021

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Taste what it is like to carry the pilgrim’s symbol pointing you toward Santiago, a scalloped shell, on your backpack, and wish others who are also following The Way, a Buen Camino. We have thoughtfully curated a transformative journey covering the last 100 kilometers of the Camino’s most popular route, The French Way. We chose this route because it is doable for almost anyone, no matter their age.

Picture Perfect Holistic Safari  |  Zambia + Malawi

November 8th – 19th, 2021

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We have partnered with our Zambia + Malawi specialist to curate and guide a photographic safari that combines everything you want in an African adventure through a mindfulness lens. Please join me for this unique small group sojourn. It will give you something to look forward to this year!

Arctic Quest  |  North Pole

Launches 2023

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This pioneer’s adventure to the North Pole in a modern airship is getting a lot of attention. It is one of the most extraordinary and unique travel experiences you will ever have in your life. Some travel dates are already selling out! The airship has eight cabins and can accommodate up to sixteen passengers. Prices will go up the closer we get to the launch in 2023. If you are interested, book now.

Mpingo Ridge Lodge  |  Tarangire National Park  |  Tanzania

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I love this lodge. It sits on a ridge overlooking the bush. Watching the sun setting from your balcony as you hear sounds of elephants trumpeting in the distance is a slice of heaven. Tarangire National Park is where you come to see large herds of elephants and weirdly stunning baobab trees.

Special Guest Invitations | Through March 2022

Twenty-five percent discount for stays of four nights or more.

Fifty percent discount on the second night for stays of two or three nights.

First child (5-15yrs) sharing a room with one or more adults is complimentary.

Honeymoon Special

Groom’s first night is complimentary. The bride enjoys a fifty percent discount with a minimum five-night stay. 

The Great Elephant Adventure  |  Kenya

Amboseli National Park + Laikipia Plateau +  Maasai Mara 

12 Days  |  You Choose Your Dates

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The Kenyan bush is an awe-inspiring sensory landscape that is humbling to experience. The most iconic way to do it is to move every few days and set camp like the old explorers, except with more creature comforts. We are offering an extraordinary photographic mobile safari camp experience that can be curated to your desires. This adventure is perfect for families and small groups.

Sojourn Cares

Between May 17th and Thanksgiving, 2020, I walked 1000 Charity Miles for Stand Up To Cancer. I took to the foothills in my Los Angeles backyard and walked almost every day to support patients and caregivers with COVID-19. Since I began keeping track of my walking a few years ago, I have logged over 4560 Charity Miles for cancer awareness. In December, I became a spokesperson for Stand Up To Cancer. On Christmas Day, I pledged to walk another 1000 Charity Miles. We still have cancer. We still have COVID. I still can walk, thank God.

My fundraising page from the last 1000 miles is still open. Every donation is meaningful to those in need. Bless you, for caring.

Funny

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They say, “laughter is the best medicine,” and we needed a good dose of it last year.  Here is a reprise of 2020 in cartoons.

Picture Perfect

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Great Conjunction Dazzles Stargazers Around the World

In case you missed seeing it for yourself or want to relive the moment, check out these photos.

Art & Science of Happiness

in Action

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Best Possible Self

One, take a moment to imagine your life this year. What is the best possible version of yourself imaginable? Consider your relationships, health, career, academics, hobbies. What would have to happen in these areas of your

life to make it the best year ever?

Two, for fifteen minutes, write non-stop about how you imagine your best 2021 going. Focus on your brightest future, be specific about what happens, and let your imagination soar.

Three (optional), do this writing activity every day for two weeks.

Why This Works: Thinking this way helps you see what is possible and restructure your priorities toward the goals you want to reach. It increases awareness of yourself and the control you have over your life.

Time Required: 15 minutes  |  Frequency: As much as you want

Thoughtful

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

~ C.S. Lewis

“I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.”

~ David Bowie

Stay safe. Stay well.

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PhD, Conscious-Centered Living  |  MFA, Film

Emmy-winning TV Producer, Happiness + Mindfulness Teacher,

Transformational Travel Ambassador, Seven Continent Marathon Walker

ABOUT

Every three weeks, we bring you eight big ideas to help you live better.

Each edition selects topics that reflect The Sojourn Experience’s desire to serve the greater good, both inwardly and outwardly. We are a conscious-centered company with three portfolio brands. The first is Picture Happiness: Take a Shot, which focuses on the art and science of happiness and mindfulness. The second is Sojourn Explorers, which curates transformational travel experiences to extraordinary places around the globe. Part of the money for each trip goes to nonprofit organizations we support. The Sojourn Media Group looks to create partnerships with writers, producers, and directors to get their projects sold to production companies and various platforms.

Special thanks to Astrid Martin, article and video content research, and Michael Tobias, editorial review and formatting, for their ongoing contributions to 8 Good Things.

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Let us know your favorite things from this week.

Share how your perspective changed this week.

We will not sell, distribute or lease your personal information to third parties unless we have your permission or are required by law to do so. For more information, please visit our Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe Sojourn, Inc. 7095 Hollywood Blvd 843 Los Angeles, California 90028-8912 United States

Join for more 8 Good Things
  • Before opting into our newsletter, please take some time to review our Privacy Policy.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Great information! Thank you Maria! ~ Dawn S.

I also appreciate your 8 Good Things newsletter — it is a ray of light in these Trumpian times. ~ Jeff W.

Best COVID help email I’ve seen yet. Well done and hope you and your loved ones are well. ~ Michael D.

Thank you so much for this wonderful and positive reading material list. Too many groups I’m on keep sending doomsday links and emails and just instilling all sorts of fear out there. But I love the silver lining in your 8 good things. Time to stop and reassess. ~ Maria K.

I can’t think of a better time for your 8 good things. ~ Jim B.

Your opening comments in this edition, as well as your line "Let there be a pandemic of compassion, love, and gratitude" made me a bit emotional and hopeful this morning. I look forward to reading 8 Good Things every other week. Thank you! ~ Erin F.

Thank you so very much today’s 8 Good Things posting. The inspiration and depth of thought is as truly amazing as it is healing during these oddly configured times. ~ John H.

Really well curated & done. Brava. ~ Steven P.

This is an especially good “8 Good Things!” I didn’t know that you were studying with Jack Kornfield. I’ve read several of his books. Thanks for sending this, Maria. ~ Mike M.

Loved your 8 good things today. ~ Brenda S.

Your 8 Good Things email always brings me joy whenever I get the chance to read it. ~ Gabrielle A.

Just your newsletter - Masters of Love. Your articles make me stop and think! I often evaluate my actions and it opens my eyes how to live better. Thank you for sharing these articles. ~ Betty M.

Maria,  I just can’t get over how good this is. I am so glad you do this! ~ Mark J.

Love it Maria. Always a GREAT read to jump start the weekend. Have a great one!~ Matt R.

Once again, thank you so much for the very nice articles. I printed out the one on Senior Health. Also, the story on Doris Day is quite touching. ~ Mark M.

Your newsletter is sooooooo goood. ~ David V.

Always a good read on a Friday. Thx Maria. ~ Matt R.

Thank you so much for your 8 Good Things. I always enjoy reading them. Thank you, especially for your commentary on Agnes Varda. ~ Mark M.

I am loving your newsletter and insightful articles on Self-Care and Self-Awareness. You are doing incredible work. ~ Erahm C.

I enjoy a lot your newsletter. It is one of the few newsletter I normally end up clicking on something. I often show it as well-made newsletter. ~ Jorge P.

Gratitude to Maria Baltazzi for sharing this article [Live Like a Stoic] in her weekly 8 Good Things email. Especially worth signing up for in today's trying times. ~ Morgan R.

I particularly found the content of [21 Weird Ways the World Changes in Autumn] very interesting, practical and useful. 3 [Live Like a Stoic], 4 [Fall Asleep Instantly with This Breathing Technique], and 5 [Try Any of These 33 Habits of Happy and Successful People] were particularly applicable for my worldview and circumstances. ~ Ian R.

Great read. You touched upon some good topics. Thanks. ~ Matt R.

Nice hearing about all your adventures. I love what you are doing.~ Marci K.

Thanks, Maria! I love Brene Brown. Thanks for the suggesting the meditation app. I loaded it on my phone and will try it this weekend. ~ Amy C.

Hi, Maria. Or should I say hi DOCTOR! Big, big congrats! Always love seeing 8 Good Things and what awesome news along with this latest set. ~ Eric R.

Congratulations on your PhD! You are certainly racking up lifetime achievements. And, thank you for including me on your mailing list. I enjoy your 8 Good Things. ~ John. V

Congratulations, Maria, on your doctorate. Enjoyed your letter and love the 20-secs to courage. ~ Loyelle E.

Great newsletter this week. Fabien’s book looks good. ~ Ethan Z.

Love you. Such great info you share. Xo ~ Brenda L.

My favorite newsletter yet!! Thank you ;-) ~ Allison C.

I enjoy your newsletter. ~ Mary T.

I loved the articles and especially the ones you did for “LightWorkers.” ~ Mark M.

Great article on Thought Trains, Maria! I teach Bible study class to a group of high school kids each Wednesday morning. I’m going to use this! ~ Nathan D.

I always enjoy and learn from your emails, thx. ~ Noelle F.

Maria…I LOVE your newsletter. Your faithful reader. ~ Gary F.

I enjoy your newsletters and end ended up watching both “Before the Flood” and “The Way” as a result of your newsletters. Thanks so much for the recommendations and sharing these meaningful flicks! I look forward to reading more of your musing and inspirations. ~ Diane C.

Thank you, Maria! The sleep info very timely ;-) ~ Sylvia V.

Dear Maria, thank you for all you do, it is wonderful. ~ Dean A.

Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience. ~ Mike P.

Hey Maria! Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your Friday emails. Lots of great positive energy to the end the week.~ Randy S.

Hi, Maria. This is just great reading, thank you very much. ~ David M.

Awesome… ~ Matt R.

My husband just forwarded me your email/newsletter. Wow!!! Very impressive. ~ Milica G.

Amazing, amazing. I just love getting these email newsletters. ~ Ursula R.

Good one MB. Love ur work. ~ Kirk W.

Cool! Thx Maria ~ Bob M.

I love these. Thank you for doing them. ~ Carla J.

Really enjoyed this, Maria!! ~ Lynda W.

Maria, such great material in here. It’s awesome. ~ David V.

:)) <3 ~ Steven P.

LOVE LOVE LOVE Maria ~ Jim B.

Thank you Maria. As always, so very good and uplifting. ~ Carla J.

Wonderful!!!!! ~ Steven S.

So glad you send these every week! I always look forward to receiving them. ~ Steve F.

I wish you knew how much I look forward to these Friday emails.  Thank you so much for including me. ~ Maria K.

I LOVE IT!!! ~ Fernando M.

It is a breath of fresh air to see someone working consciously to curate and create opportunities to uplift and inspire others, we need more of that in this world. ~ Kathryn D.

Really enjoy these positive Friday posts. Sorely needed these days. ~ Craig S.

Love your work, Maria. ~ Anthony H.

Thoroughly enjoying the new insights that come with each of your Friday emails. ~ Ian R.

Another great read on a Friday, Maria, thank you. ~ David M.

Thanks for this, Maria!  Keep 'em coming!  Just reading about these ideas and journeys makes me less stressed.  So THANK YOU!!  :-) ~ Meredith F.