As you can see, I’m not at my desk right now. I’m up in the tree (house). It’s where I do my best thinking—where ideas take root and branch out before I know it. It is here where the magic happens. Who knows what my imagination will come up with next. What little thought will get my attention and become worthy of words to express it. Thank you for going “out on a limb” with me to share the adventure of yet-to-be-determined motivating messages. Ta-da!
P.S. For those curious whether ta-da is a word, indeed it is according to Webster’s Dictionary. In the formal sense it means an imitative sound of the musical flourish or fanfare of a French Horn. In the more urban usage, it means a final proclamation, an exclamation to substitute a lot of words, especially when excited, happy, surprised. One source claims it was first used in 1926 although it doesn’t state how, and other info states its origins go further back with a connection to yoga and a certain pose called Ta-da-sana. Some consider it slang. I consider it the most magical verbal punctuation. On a grander scale, I like to think of life as one big ta-da.
For those old enough to remember, does the television show Queen for a Day ring a bell? According to Wikipedia, it originated on New York City’s Mutual Radio Network in April 1945 and moved soon after to Los Angeles where it was broadcasted until 1957. NBC and later ABC television aired the program until 1964. I can still see Jack Bailey, a vaudeville magician opening the show by asking the audience if they would like to be “queen for a day” followed by interviews with each of the four women vying for that day’s crown. After telling...read more
Shark Tank celebrated its tenth season on television this year. Even with a marketing degree, I’ve learned plenty about leveraging equity, difficulties getting “shelf space” and a host of other issues that could make or break a deal between an interested investor and a hopeful entrepreneur. What I enjoy most, though, are the back stories—what prompted the idea and what’s been done getting it to market. Often when a deal is struck, the business owner is overcome with emotion—feeling that all the effort finally paid off. On the flip side are...read more
In 1968, singer-songwriter Joe South introduced his hit song, “Games People Play”. Half way around the world, Leslie Scott had a different take on the word: games. Based on a lively family activity using children’s wooden building blocks purchased from a sawmill in Takoradi, Ghana, Scott founded what today is known as Jenga. If you’re not familiar with this game named for a Swahili word, kujenga which means “to build,” players take turns removing one block at a time from a tower constructed of 54 blocks. Each block removed is then...read more
Need a pick-me-up? There’s an app for that! Or you can find the GoodNewsNetwork.org (GNN) online. Either way, just as the name implies, you are in for a heap of good stuff from good news, to good talks, to features such as quote of the day and “this day in history.” I intentionally set out to find a site like GNN when I grew tired of the increased negativity so often expressed on typical social media platforms. At first I just read the two or three featured good news stories of the day to get my day off to a great start. Before long, I found...read more
Picture it: I’m taking my morning walk and happened upon one of those speed indicator machines. You know, they flash wildly if you’re going above the posted speed limit. My thoughts raced faster than my legs could go, answering my first curious question—that walking speeds could not be monitored. Drat! That would have been fun! Then I started having a mental dialogue with the machine (what are they called anyway???) wondering if people for the most part really do slow down or whether they just ignore them since there is no real reprimand of...read more
Today is Valentine’s Day. It’s estimated that $3.3 billion will be spent on flowers for loved ones and every year, more than 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolates are sold across the country. February 14th is the second largest card giving day of the year, just after Christmas. I’d say this qualifies as a “love” day for sure, however, what about all the other days in February? Being a Libra, I’m into balance and feel it’s important to spread that love around. If you need a nudge, here are a few more opportunities to share the...read more
My New Year greetings begin with a story about a gift card, a conversation and a dream come true. Not knowing the amount on a gift card, I was thrilled that twenty five dollars remained after my purchase. In casual conversation with the cashier, she commented how she’d love a gift card from that store. The moment to hand it to her passed before I took action. If something is meant to be, another opportunity will present itself. Driving to my next errand, I pondered the idea of creating happy surprises for others and a simple plan took...read more
There’s a tradition in Iceland that’s worth noting—books are exchanged as Christmas Eve presents. Recipients then spend the rest of the night in bed reading them and eating chocolate! The custom is part of a season called Jolabokaflod, or “’The Christmas book flood’. It’s a fitting name since Iceland publishes more books per capita than any other country, and sells most of them September through November when people are getting ready for the holidays. Chocolate and reading sound like quite the team even though I’m not a chocolate lover. Some...read more
Thanksgiving is a mere two weeks away—that big feast day filled with cultural and family traditions that include lots of conversations and laughter along with sports viewing, shopping, and naps. Want to add a little something different to this year’s mix of turkey day festivities? How about dazzling folks with some tasty turkey trivia? Your “dish” can be both informative and entertaining! In 1953, a decision-maker at Swanson miscalculated the number of frozen turkeys it would sell that year by 26 tons. Someone else used their imagination and...read more
On my way to writing a column about reminders, I stumbled onto some fascinating information about recycling. Did you know that recycling existed as far back as the caveman days? Now it certainly wasn’t as we know it today with green bins and special trucks to pick them up, but the general philosophy seems to have been in place hundreds of thousands of years ago according to a conference at Tel Aviv University in Israel. Tel Aviv archaeologist, Ari Gopher reasoned that our prehistoric ancestors learned to recycle the objects they used in their...read more