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.
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
I’m a passionate sports fan. Baseball and basketball are my favorites with allegiance to the local teams. So yes, I was painfully disappointed when the Dodgers couldn’t clinch the World Series and figured when Kobe injured his Achilles it would be a few years for the Lakers to be in contention for an NBA title. Both teams admittedly are testing my patience! My love for sports began at an early age and typical of most sports fans, I can really get into the excitement with lots of yelling and screaming. What’s a bit unusual is how I watch the...read more
How did we get to the month of May already? That means Mother’s Day is just around the corner. The commercial success of this holiday is impressive–Americans spend $14.6 billion on gifts including $671 million on cards and $1.9 billion on flowers. There are about 122.5 million phone calls on the second Sunday of the month and about 152 million Mother’s Day cards are sent every year. Beyond the business side, Mother’s Day has some unique footnotes that add to the special recognition it deserves. Did you know that every sweater worn by...read more
After intently watching a bird poking around in my flower garden, several questions came to mind. What does a bird see from that point of view? What is it like to be that close to the ground? How does it feel to be a tiny creature and someone like me is standing nearby? At what point does a bird feel the need to fly off? I was equally curious to see if my curiosity about what I would call a microscopic definition of a “bird’s eye view” would be shared by any writers on the internet since the phrase is typically referring to an aerial view of...read more
I want to be a tree when I grow up. Or at least personify the magical qualities of trees. Just like people, trees come in all shapes and sizes. They have many different colors and like people, offer a bounty of gifts—flowers, fruits, leaves and more. As I write this, I’m reflecting on how trees have come and gone in my life. During my childhood years, I spent hours up in the walnut tree just outside my bedroom. I told that tree everything and then some. When we moved across the freeway to a home without trees to climb, I turned into a beach...read more