Good People


I’m a Dolly Parton fan.

I don’t actually know much of her music. The most popular tunes, yes, and I like them – especially Jolene. But I’m not familiar with much else.

I’ve seen two of her best-known movies many, many times. 9-5 influenced my perspective on corporate culture. Even though it was made decades ago, I still find little nuggets of business wisdom in it each time I watch. Doralee is a heckuva lot smarter than people give her credit for. Steel Magnolias? Always a good option when you want to curl up with a lovely, bittersweet story that has some really funny moments. The “laughter through tears” lines is one of Truvy’s best.

But – while I respect her musical talent and enjoy her acting, that’s not what I appreciate the most about her.

What I admire, what makes me a fan, is her authentic hopefulness. She radiates genuine positivity. She’s not blindly cheerful; she knows the difference between the good, the bad, and the ugly, and she’s not afraid to speak her mind. But she chooses to focus on constructive outcomes.

For example, her Imagination Library, which mails a book to children every month from birth to kindergarten. As an extension of this work, she recently started a weekly bedtime story video series, Goodnight With Dolly. If you’re finding it hard to sleep these days, I recommend tuning in. Her voice is sweet and comforting, and the books she reads are hopeful and kind. Even if you don’t have any young-uns in the house, I’m sure you’ll be welcome.

She’s also self-aware, emotionally intelligent. She knows who she is, her skills and talents, but also her flaws. She doesn’t hide who she is, and she knows that she’s not perfect. That type of sincerity is refreshing.

When acknowledging her flaws, she often uses humor. It’s not directed at others; she points it at herself, and there’s a kindness in her humor, an element of forgiveness. We laugh with her because we see ourselves in that moment. We share those same thoughts about our own flaws or the things we do, and we’re grateful for the chuckle instead of the judgment. Dolly’s laughing with us, not at us.

I just learned that Dolly released a new song, When Life Is Good Again. It’s intended to address the COVID-19 situation, but the underlying message of respect and love is universal. It’s a nice little something to go along with this morning’s cuppa, a reminder that goodness and kindness, trust and hope still exist; that caring about each other is an essential element in moving forward, and that each moment of doing so is worthwhile.

Good Life People


If you think about a U.S. military funeral, you probably think of Taps.

Taps originated as a bugle call to tell soldiers it was lights out, time to go to sleep. The 24-note Taps that we’re familiar with today originated from a Civil War bugle call called Extinguish Lights, which was a French tune. General Daniel Butterfield wanted something a little different, and so he and a brigade bugler, Oliver Wilcox Norton, revised it. Their version was made the official version after the Civil War.

This year, many of the traditional Memorial Day tributes have been cancelled. However, “Taps Across America” gives us a creative option to recognize those who’ve fallen in service to our country.

At 3:00 p.m. local time, you’re invited to sound Taps from your front yard, your balcony, your driveway – wherever you are. The idea is Steve Hartmann’s (of CBS Evening News). More details can be found at this link:

I don’t know how to play a bugle or a trumpet, so I won’t be able to sound Taps. However, I will step outside at 3:00 today and listen. Perhaps one of my neighbors will play. If not, I will still appreciate that moment, knowing that there are people elsewhere who are playing.

During that time, I’ll think about the meaning of those 24 notes. I’ll think about duty, and honor, and sacrifice. I’ll remember what today represents. And I’ll gratefully share in this collective spirit of thanks – of sincere, heartfelt respect and appreciation – for those who’ve given all.

Animals Good


It’s Friday; let’s start the weekend with a happy Llama story.

In southwest Wales, A Llama named Max is assisting in the delivery of food packages to people who are social distancing. The area has roads that can be difficult for trucks to travel on, and Max has turned out to be a helpful (and eco-friendly) solution.

The locals are delighted by the delivery experience. Max is enjoying the exercise and the attention. As the saying goes, lemons to lemonade. Or in this case, llemonade.

Here’s a cuppa of appreciation for you, Max. Carry on.

Animals Good


The University of Pennsylvania recently started a program to train dogs to detect COVID-19 in humans. Similar programs are underway in other countries.

Dog noses have up to 300 million scent detectors (humans have around six million). These sensitive snouts allow them to sniff out volatile organic compounds created by certain cells.

Trainers hope that the first group of COVID-19 sniffing dogs will be ready to go to work by July. They can then help with detecting the virus in asymptomatic people, which may aid in efforts to minimize public exposure to the illness.

I’m sure those good doggos would appreciate some treats. I can’t give them one, but I can dedicate today’s cuppa to them. Here’s to the 1,000,000,000 reasons – and now one more – that dogs make the world a better place.

Animals Good


There’s a Llama named Winter who may end up being the hero we need.

Humans have one type of antibody. Llamas have two. One of those is smaller than human antibodies.

Scientists have had success using those smaller antibodies to fight against viruses such as MERS and SARS. They’ve seen similar results in COVID-19 cell cultures, using Winter’s antibodies.

Much more work is needed, but the scientists are moving toward clinical trials. The hope is that, although a permanent cure is unlikely, a vaccine could offer the ability to protect from infection for several months.

Even if Winter does end up being a hero, I doubt that she’ll ever have a building named after her, or be given a medal, or that we’ll celebrate an annual holiday in her honor. But I can certainly dedicate a cuppa to her today.

Good People


It’s Giving Tuesday Now day.

Today’s cuppa is a reminder that social distancing doesn’t have to mean emotional distancing.

If you have the means, there are thousands of organizations you can choose from to offer financial support.

If you’d rather donate time or other resources and are looking for an organization that needs your help, the lists and details may be useful in getting you started.

The main website link is

There’s also a website specifically dedicated to North Texas giving:

Here’s to generosity – of kindness, of compassion, of spirit, and hope, and grace, and love.

Good Pets


We have 3 cats.

Tom, Catcher of Lizards, belonged to somebody who didn’t want him, so we took him in. He now takes his job as alarm clock very seriously, never missing a day. He also takes great pride in his snuggling skills and purring talents.

Tiger was adopted from a litter of kittens. He’s the Ice Cream Sentinel. He’s a Giver, willing to sacrifice his own health for ours by eating our ice cream, saving our cholesterol counts. (Don’t worry, there’s no kitty saliva in our Rocky Road. He gets his own bowl. And yes, I know ice cream isn’t good for cats. But he’s almost 14 years old, so he gets to have a small scoop now and then.)

Bandit, Seeker of Boxes, was adopted from the local animal shelter. He’s the one peeking out from a box on today’s cuppa cup. He believes in the statement if it fits, I sits. His definition of “fits” is questionable, but he’s quite confident in his body image, no matter his choice of box.

If you love your cats as I do, feel free to share your pictures and stories here. You may also want to check out the Lanai Cat Sanctuary ( A little bit of Heaven on Earth.