Posted in Breaking News

Good News

Did you see this breaking news?

Yes! Wonderful!

Here are a few pics from my marriage ceremony with Robert back in 2016.

Daughters Amy and Sarah

Beautiful memories. And now it seems that our marriage will be protected.


P.S. But WHY, tell me why, would 36 Republican senators vote AGAINST codifying gay marriage? Against Robert and me being married? What is their reasoning?

Posted in Breaking News

Shoe Selling! (Funny & Not So Funny)

Did you see this CRAZY story in the news?

When I first read it, I laughed out loud. And thought about my old sandals. Here they are. I’ll sell them to you for a mere $500. A DEAL!

But then when I thought about it a bit more, the humor sort of leaked and lessened. 200 grand! Think how many homeless meals (for just one example) that amount could provide.

P.S. …


Posted in Breaking News, Where Happiness Finds You

Breaking News–Sir Riboclavin’s Castle!

Buddy Riboclavin (see #3 in yesterday’s Five Friday Happy Bringers) just sent more pics from his Irish holiday.

And.  He.  Is.  Staying.  In.  A.  Castle.

I just assumed he would be lodging at Ireland’s equivalent to Motel 6 or Sleep Inn.  But no–a real, live castle!  It’s called Ashford Castle.  When Ribo told me where he was staying, I hooted and asked him to find a throne or something to sit on and snap a pic, but so far these are what I’ve gotten:

I wanna be in a castle!  With a moat around it.  Maybe sitting outside in tweed, drinking mulled cider or grog.

Or perhaps wearing this:

Maybe listen to some music:

Rustle around a bit:

Eat a huge turkey leg:


If you have a moated castle, let me know ASAP.  Thank you.

Posted in Breaking News

The Twins! The Twins! They’ve Arrived! They’ve Arrived!

Last night at 9:34 and 9:35 Younger Daughter Emily finally gave birth to the much-anticipated TWINS!

Welcome, Welcome. Sweet Little Ones!

Mathew Anthony Olliff met the world first, weighing in at 6.1 pounds and measuring 19 inches.

Madison Noel Olliff yelled hello one minute later, tipping the scales at 4.9 pounds and lining up at 17.5 inches.

Don’t they just look so very intelligent?

We have things to do:

And places to go:

So look out, world!

And look! I’ve already won an award:

(Oh, by the way, Mom Emily and Dad Travis are doing well.)

[More later (much, much more, I’m sure).]

Posted in Breaking News, Encouragement

Symbolize Materialize!

I know that sounds somewhat Harry Potterish.  But I NEED A SYMBOL!

Let me back up.

I have always found the subject of symbolism fascinating.

Dove as a peace symbol


Venus (female)

Dollar sign

Olympic rings

I bet you know what they all stand for, right?  No?  Can’t quite place the last one?  (Hint: “Purple Rain”)  (Follow-up to preceding hint:  I would say that Prince is a strange character, but that would make me hypocritical after yesterday’s affirmation, so I won’t.)  Symbols are ubercool–instant communication without words.

Don’t ask me why, but for some reason I looked up “symbol” on, and here’s a sampling of what I got:

Symbol:  A friend added in Facebook strictly for use in a Facebook game.  ”I got several collectible tree gifts from my symbol friend.”

Symbol:  Superfly guy.  ”Symbol soars through the air hollerin’ with decked out 3′s and 7′s.”

Huh?  What?

Symbol demon:  Person who irritates everyone with cryptic symbols in his/her text messages.  ”Dude! Look at this message – ‘hey WRUD now…coming for DNR2NTE?….TLK2UL8R…CU L8R’ –  this guy is a symbol demon!”

Am I getting old?

After about twenty minutes, and wondering if nearly EVERY word in the English language really has some sexually explicit meaning, I left Urban Dictionary and went to, where a symbol is (a bit boringly defined after UD as) “a visible sign or representation of an idea; anything which suggests an idea or quality, or another thing, as by resemblance or by convention; an emblem; a representation; a type; a figure; as, the lion is the symbol of courage; the lamb is the symbol of meekness or patience; the golden eagle is a symbol of Neal.”  (Okay, that last part might not have been there.)

Finally, here’s the point of this posting:  I WANT A SYMBOL FOR THE BLOG.  Someone suggested Mr. Happy

… but he’s more of the mascot for the blog.  So help!  Give me a few suggestions for a symbol which will represent the focus of NealEnJoy: Exploring and Encouraging a Healthy Life Marked with Joy.

Thanks!  I look forward to reading about/seeing some of your suggestions ASAP.  I always love getting comments and ideas from you guys.

Posted in Breaking News, Joy in Nature, Savannah Joy

Happy Earth Day 2012 — Part Two

One of the most FUN aspects of living in the beautiful city of Savannah GA is enJoying the wide variety of festivals and events celebrated in the city (Savannah Music festival, Jewish Food Festival, Asian Festival, that big green one in mid-March, etc.). Well yesterday heralded another great celebration–Earth Day 2012–held in Savannah’s living room, Forsyth Park.

Let’s be honest–so often we take this amazing planet for granted, like air, and forget that our Earth is alive–and continually giving us life. Indeed, our JOY as humans is inseparable from the health of our planet. I love the Native American proverb, “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”

I hope you take the time this week to reflect on the beauty and generosity of our planet–and to consider ways to make her healthier and happier.

Yesterday morning, I arrived at Savannah’s Forsyth Park about eleven, and the place was already packed with Earth Day-ers. For some reason (which I should probably discuss with my therapist) I headed straight for the little alligator and the big owl.

Confession: I stopped at the next tent initially because I saw a book being prominently featured, Holy Sh**: Managing Manure to Save Mankind by Gene Logsdon. (Should I start using it as a text in my comp classes?) I met a very cool guy named Andy Schwartz, founder and compost chief of Grow.Eat.Repeat., a Savannah-based sustainability organization.

Check out his fascinating and encouraging website at Andy also has a blog, so we’re blog brothers!

Next I ran into my buddy, the always hip, happy and upbeat Ellie Covington. (I want Ellie to help me buy some hats.)

Still sort of meandering aimlessly around the park (a major life strategy of mine), I saw these girls wearing tutus and fresh from their 5K run. Sometimes I don’t ask questions–I just try to go with the flow.  (I noticed their breast cancer awareness ribbons, and then it hit me that they had participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.  I plan to run in it next year … or maybe walk.)

(I think they thought I was famous. I might have told them I was.)

Walking around a corner I literally bumped into Mrs. Helen Cobham who asked if I wanted to play a game and win some vegetable or flower seeds. (Actually I misunderstood and thought she said vegetables or flowers, not just seeds. And I don’t have a yard. But wanting to be nice on Earth Day and all, I thought, why not?) In the game I had to name at least two of earth’s cycles in order to win a prize.

Okay, now listen, let me tangent talk a bit and explain an issue I’ve had all my life. If someone asks me a question out of the blue, I go blank, like Lady Gaga at a beef gorging festival, or answer quickly and foolishly before thinking. For example, in the 8th grade by a MIRACLE OF GOD, I made it to the one-word final of the class spelling bee. I was given the word, “Georgia.” I knew I had won as I immediately jumped up and down and blurted out “J.E.O.R.G.I.A.”! Face beet red. But really, J and G are sort of alike.

Earth’s cycles? Hmmm. All I could think of was the word “motorcycle” at first and then the “cycle of life” and finally the “cycle of seasons,” which I knew HAD to be the right answer, so I yelled, “THE SEASONS!!,” like Oprah shrieking for her audience members to feel under their seats for a new Ipad. Helen looked at me with pity, and at the same time a man nudged me and pointed at the game poster board (I got the impression he thought HE was about to win a truckload of vegetables and wanted the competition gone). Looking at the board, I saw that the cycles (nitrogen, carbon, oxygen, etc.) were actually written in various sentences there. End result:

(Which, when all is said and done, makes me feel a little better about the spelling bee.)

Feeling on a winner’s high, I kept going, stopping in awe (really) at Elizabeth Conlon’s amazing display of herbs and vegetables growing from a tower planter device:

Take a look at Elizabeth’s tower gardens at

Here I am with two fun and friendly bread and pasta makers:

One of my favorite stops was a short visit with gentle-spirited and wonderfully encouraging (as well as talented) Matthew Cooper and his didgeridoos, the grand instruments in the pics below.

Listen to his music at

At one point I saw an empty tent booth, decided to take advantage of it, and offer a service of my own:

Oh, my service?

All I can say is I know a WHOLE lot of folks who are going to be sorry one of these days.

Seriously, I LOVED the message of the festival: let’s all take part in the loving care of our planet.

A hardworking fun group of eco-students from Savannah State:

Oh and I won the door prize!

(Helicopter rides available soon … with famous blogger.)


P.S.  If I missed any vendor that I visited with, and you would like your info added, please share it in the comment section, and I will make amends.

For those who are interested, I’m including a wonderful poem, “Planet Earth.”

Planet Earth

It has to be spread out, the skin of this planet,
has to be ironed, the sea in its whiteness;
and the hands keep on moving,
smoothing the holy surfaces.

‘In Praise of Ironing’, PABLO NERUDA

It has to be loved the way a laundress loves her linens,
the way she moves her hands caressing the fine muslins
knowing their warp and woof,
like a lover coaxing, or a mother praising.
It has to be loved as if it were embroidered
with flowers and birds and two joined hearts upon it.
It has to be stretched and stroked.
It has to be celebrated.
O this great beloved world and all the creatures in it.
It has to be spread out, the skin of this planet.

The trees must be washed, and the grasses and mosses.
They have to be polished as if made of green brass.
The rivers and little streams with their hidden cresses
and pale-coloured pebbles
and their fool’s gold
must be washed and starched or shined into brightness,
the sheets of lake water
smoothed with the hand
and the foam of the oceans pressed into neatness.
It has to be ironed, the sea in its whiteness;

and pleated and goffered, the flower-blue sea
the protean, wine-dark, grey, green, sea
with its metres of satin and bolts of brocade.
And sky – such an O! overhead – night and day
must be burnished and rubbed
by hands that are loving
so the blue blazons forth
and the stars keep on shining
within and above
and the hands keep on moving.

It has to be made bright, the skin of this planet
till it shines in the sun like gold leaf.
Archangels then will attend to its metals
and polish the rods of its rain.
Seraphim will stop singing hosannas
to shower it with blessings and blisses and praises
and, newly in love,
we must draw it and paint it
our pencils and brushes and loving caresses
smoothing the holy surfaces.

From Planet Earth: Poems Selected and New, by P.K. Page
Copyright © P.K. Page, 2002

You can also hear the poet read her work: