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.
What was I thinking weather-wise to plan a mountain getaway Thanksgiving weekend? When I booked the cozy cottage in Idyllwild, I believed our usual SoCal fair weather would prevail. Instead the 10-day forecast had a snow icon for the onset of my stay. The Airbnb hostess assured me that chains are easy to use and to see the opportunity as an adventure. My life has been one BIG adventure. Why was the idea of spending time in the snow tripping me up? Well, plans to be out hiking each day weren’t an option without proper gear. With a shift in...read more
Do you have winter on your holiday gift-giving list? While you may be questioning my reason for asking, I believe every season has its own unique characteristics and gifts. And, winter is no exception even though it can bring more challenges than other seasons typically do. For example, just as we reach for heavier clothing such as jackets, gloves and hats, some plants keep their dead leaves for insulation and use excess snow as a blanket to help withstand the cold. Though we may be miserable out in the freezing cold, exposure to cold winter...read more
Without the formality of a survey, think it’s safe to say that for most people, leftovers have a place at the table so to speak, especially at Thanksgiving. With all the preparation fuss over the turkey, dressing and cranberry sauce, many look forward to transforming those ingredients into a mouth-watering sandwich the next day. Veggies and turkey broth are the makings of soups and traditional pies and other tasty desserts become perfect additions to late-night snacks or coffee breaks. Where would we be without leftovers? Prior to...read more
Well here goes…a column about age. Not aging. Why? Because this month I’m having one of those decade-changing birthdays and admittedly, I’m not feeling anywhere near this new number with a goose egg behind it. Recently I mentioned to someone that the first number of my soon-to-be “new age” is my favorite and luckiest. However, it’s the zero behind it that had me pondering. I loved the lighthearted response telling me to just put the zero first. Now, that’s my kind of problem solving! If age is “just a number” then why all the comebacks and...read more
Our bi-annual lunch date was well overdue. One thing and another just kept getting in the way of Bethany and I meeting at Café 50’s in Santa Monica. Even missed her 80th birthday party with friends. In August, we were finally face to face sharing delicious food and delightful conversation. That’s when Bethany planted a robust file in front of me filled with photos, poems, and articles about trees. You name it, she had it in there. What touched me the most as I went through it was her enthusiasm to share it with me. She knows my love for trees...read more
What’s cool about August? It’s definitely not the weather that’s for sure. Maybe that’s why historically there have been plenty of notable events that had to do with water. For example, on August 3, 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos de la Frontera, Spain while in 1852, on that same date Harvard University beat Yale in the first American intercollegiate athletic event—a boat race. It was also the date in 1958 when the nuclear submarine USS Nautilus traveled under the Arctic ice cap. This all sounds very cool right about now. A...read more
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