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.
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
A few months ago I mused about “bird’s eye” view perspectives since a residency change afforded me a more “up close and personal” observation from my office. Delightfully this was the beginning of a fabulous time with my new feathered friends…and one seriously persistent squirrel. Bet some of you long-time birdwatchers know what’s coming next but first a little background for those not so familiar with what a squirrel will do for food. Spring brought lots of hummers to the feeder prominently positioned in my patio garden. From my cozy corner...read more
Summer is the time for outdoor meals and from years of experience, potato salad seems to be one of those fundamental dishes that shows up at most food-centric events. Proof of that conjecture is supported with a reference to the “emotional ties of potato salad” in the book, 14,000 Things to Be Happy About. And my gut instinct tells me that most folks typically prepare their mother’s potato salad recipe with a claim that it’s the best. I can attest to that claim when I saw what appeared to be my mother’s potato salad at this year’s Easter...read more