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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.



Predictions you might be glad didn’t come true

Posted on January 14, 2021 | 0 comments

We all know what did happen in 2020. Any thoughts about what didn’t? To answer that question, I checked out the list Bob Larkin compiled of far-out 2020 predictions made during the last century that were for the most part a “no-show.” For example, podiatrists might have something to say about how Richard Clement Lucas lectured in 1911 that the human foot would turn into one big toe. I think personal helicopters sound a lot more promising. However, just as Popular Mechanics was way off with its 1949 prediction that computers would weigh 1.5...

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Candles have a way of lighting up December holidays

Posted on December 12, 2020 | 0 comments

What scent sums up the holiday season for you? Is it the aroma of your favorite foods? A certain plant? Or something symbolic of the celebration? A number of behavioral studies have demonstrated that smells trigger more vivid emotional memories and are better at inducing that feeling of “being brought back in time” than images. That seems to be true since people tend to mention memories of some kind when they talk about their favorite holiday foods. The three major holidays celebrated in December are Hannukah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa. They all...

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A different Thanksgiving? Still plenty to be thankful about

Posted on November 15, 2020 | 2 comments

What do you like best about autumn? In a new survey, 56 percent of the respondents claimed that autumn is their favorite time of year citing the changing colors of the leaves, feeling the chill in the air, and drinking hot chocolate as the top three reasons. Thanksgiving and getting ready for December holidays also contribute to people being nostalgic about, and eager for the season as well. In Southern California, it tends to take a little longer before we see evidence of fall features, yet by November the days are shorter, the temperatures...

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Charming critters you likely never knew existed

Posted on October 11, 2020 | 0 comments

Scientists in Hong Kong are tickled pink to report that rare pink dolphins are making a comeback appearance in its waterways because COVID-19 shut down high-speed ferries between Hong Kong and Macau in March. These animated animals are also making a stylish splash since sorbet pink is a trendy color choice for fall 2020. With a little bit more research, turns out there are a dozen-plus animals that could join in this season’s fashion parade. Following are a few of my fascinating favorites. Not overly crazy about salamanders? Then check out...

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Earthly intelligence can yield far-out solutions

Posted on September 10, 2020 | 0 comments

Beer, fungus, and murals all have something in common. That’s right. Each is an uncommon resource for a new, innovative, and eco-friendly invention. How could that be? The answer is as easy as one, two, three. First, to avoid unused beer going stale outside Adelaide in South Australia, folks are feeling a bit giddy that closed restaurants are donating up to 40,000 gallons of beer each week to the local water treatment plant. Gaseous fuels produced by fermentation can be converted to a biogas which in turn can be used as electricity to power...

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Terrific Tech Trivia

Posted on August 14, 2020 | 2 comments

Today’s column calls for a little bit of this, that, and the other thing. Typically, some people cook with a little of this and a dash of that or garden with the same kind of flair. Me? I like to write about a some of this or a few tidbits about that for the reader to tuck away for future reference or to simply enjoy in the moment. So, today’s this and that is technology trivia.  First up are fun facts about one of the biggest 2020 blockbusters—Zoom, the  digital meeting place we’ve all come to appreciate for bringing us in touch...

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Accept challenges and build resilience

Posted on July 26, 2020 | 3 comments

Setbacks and situations that require finding new ways of facing those challenges go with the business of living life. Currently, to say we’re in uncertain times is an understatement. What is certain though is that the importance of resilience cannot be overstated. If that is not a strength or could use a booster shot, there are simple skills to help develop a more resilient response to the ups and downs of life. For example, studies show the importance of pushing beyond the limits into something that is difficult or uncomfortable. By sticking...

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Spark your curiosity

Posted on June 20, 2020 | 0 comments

Did curiosity really kill the cat? Probably not. Fueled by the desire to know more, some of the most intelligent and innovative figures of the past were insatiably curious—Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, and Leonardo da Vinci. Today, countless others would agree that curiosity has a wide range of benefits from personal growth to professional success. Why be curious? Because curiosity keeps the mind active and strong, and it enhances focus, productivity, and motivation. It also boosts listening skills for better conversations and reduces...

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Peace of mind formula

Posted on May 16, 2020 | 2 comments

You know what M & M’s are…and you’ve probably used a 3M product. How about the 4M’s formula for pandemic stress relief? During recent segments on the Today Show and MSNBC, psychiatrist Sue Varma presented a 15-minute mental health habit designed to motivate and energize caregivers with the practice of mindfulness, meaningful engagement, mastering and movement.  Right now, we’re all caregivers—to ourselves and for our families. We’re also keeping an eye on neighbors, friends, and coworkers albeit at a distance. The stress of...

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A good belly laugh in to get through difficult times

Posted on April 9, 2020 | 1 comment

Hi there! While your regular columnist, Cheryl Russell, is out on one of her many walks above and beyond the usual, thought I would jump into her desk chair and share a few words on her laptop before she returns. Best if I start with an introduction: I’m Cheryl’s Laughter Yoga class T-shirt. Until this thing called sheltering, for more than 11 years, I was out like clockwork every Monday morning…that is me or one of my look-alike cousins. Now suddenly I’m stuck in her closet with no place to go. Getting pretty bored just hanging out. Bet you...

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