Friday, July 24, 2015

Uprooting the Weed

What’s the story with weeds? Why is it that the things we dislike the most become the hardest to eliminate? Regardless of how many times we forget to water or fertilize the flowerbeds, the weeds still thrive. Look around. They’re our sturdiest plants. They protect themselves with prickly leaves, so when we try to uproot them—ouch! They’re sneaky, too. As soon as they’re tall enough to be an eyesore, they sprout pretty flowers to blend in. In a last ditch effort to bug us before we yank them from the ground, they release fluffy, white seeds to birth future weeds. Face it. Weeds are tough to eliminate, but if we keep them around, we’ll be sorry.

Who knows what lurks behind your weed stalks? Given what that lady could face, she has to be prepared. Her leave blower is on-hand, and when normal weeding tools fail she gets serious. Did you hear about her back-up weeding weapon? Stay out of her way.     

 Weeds are like bad habits. Both can be dangerous to our well-being. If we don’t eradicate them, our lives can become a total mess. It might take extreme measures to uproot the firmly entrenched ones. What’s your best plan for eliminating the weediest parts of your life?               

Friday, July 17, 2015

Calories? They’re Worth It

How much do you like breakfast? Would you eat it several times a day? I bet you’re wondering, “Who does that?” Well, on a trip to the west coast, our family ate breakfast three times.

 We picked up the first meal at a local convenience store on the way to an early morning flight. Several hours later, after boarding the plane, the airline served “breakfast.” The flight was wonderful. The breakfast? Not so much.
The flight attendant offered us a choice of a cheese blintz or quiche. It was a lose-lose proposition. Do people still eat cheese blintzes? I chose the quiche, which seemed to be a mixture of egg and the crust that’s usually found under the egg. Believe me, the texture of blended egg and flour didn’t work. To be fair, I did like the fruit, the biscuit, and beverages.

We ate our third breakfast during a brief layover in Arizona. When I say “we,” I’m referring to   my family. While it was ten-thirty in the morning in Arizona, it was lunchtime on the east coast.  I bucked the trend and ordered a tuna sandwich, but we laughed as the rest of the family ordered pancakes. So, that’s how we squeezed in three breakfasts. In additional to the food, guess what else we enjoyed?

We didn’t plan to eat that many breakfasts. It just happened. Although great things can happen by accident, they’re often the result of intentional planning. That’s one of my words for the year—intentional. If we want to change, grow, or improve, it’s going to take intentional planning and focused work. Your goals are worth it. What’s your plan for reaching your most important goals?   


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Free to Fall

Banking on the GSP’s promise of a gas station not far down the road, we set out on an unfamiliar, alternative route toward the Californian beach. The road twisted and turned through a mountainous region. Before long, we realized we picked the road with only  occasional guardrails separating us from heart-stopping, sixty feet drop-offs. Besides that, directions for the “promised” gas station led us to a right hand turn and a sign that said “road closed.” Duped by the GPS again.

 So, we inched along a long, windy mountain road with only a quarter tank of gas, and due to the elevation, no GPS reception. But, after several more miles, we located a gas station, regained the GSP signal, and exited the harrowing mountain road. Looking back, I’m glad our drive on I74 looked nothing like this:

It’s amazing what we’ll endure to get to where we want to go.  As you heard, thirteen guys in   China paved their own road, although several men didn’t live to see the end. Robert Frost’s well-known poem implies that choosing our own road takes courage. What’s the scariest road you’ve taken?


Saturday, June 27, 2015

When You’re Incredible

Can you hear or smell colors? I considered the question when our kids mentioned how they enjoyed visiting the AAA Travel agency because it smelled like travel. Really? When I visited a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t notice a travel smell. Maybe I missed it.
The kids’ comment reminded me of a story I heard about someone whose senses reached beyond our normal experiences. I could tell you about it, but it’s more astounding if you “see” it for yourself. The first video explains the phenomenon, and the second one gives a personal account.



When last week’s post asked you to name something incredible, I hope you thought about yourself. Our lungs inhale and exhale, our hearts work non-stop for about seventy or eighty years, pumping a vital liquid into tiny tubes throughout our bodies. That’s incredible!
If your four-year-old daughter or son, niece or nephew asked you what makes people special. How would you answer?        

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Hot Potato Matter

What can you do with a hot potato, besides eat it? At dinner last week, instead of eating their baked potatoes, our kids rolled them over their faces and wondered why hot baked potatoes  haven’t replaced heated rocks for massages. They explained how, after a relaxing massage, the potato could double as a nutritious snack. Leave it to kids to find new uses for foods they don’t want to eat. Here’s another idea:

Who knew potatoes could change from glowing, squishy balls to liquid messes, dripping off the palm of your hand? No wonder the video has millions of hits. But, wait! There’s more….
One website stated how a scientist created ice cream that changes colors when licked. The ice cream is made from natural ingredients—maybe it’s potatoes. Scientists make fresh discoveries every year, and we can’t wait until the next, new thing. The more unusual, the better.  What’s the most incredible thing you’ve seen or heard?    



Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Fault in our Stars?

Is it going to rain or not? All day the clouds blow in; the clouds blow out, but no rain falls. The weather forecaster’s stormy promises raise many questions. Should we grill our dinner or play it safe and use the stove? Should we water the flowers and vegetables, or wait for the rain? Sure, we get an occasional misting here and there, but nothing like the downpours promised.

The weather forecasts remind me of the dire warnings for predicted disasters. No one wants a crisis, especially none like these:

The predictions may continue for years. Researchers say “a big one” could occur within the next thirty days or in the next thirty years. We’ve seen the cracked tectonic plates, and heard the geologist’s testimonies. Experts are convinced the big one is going to happen, but what about you? Are you concerned about catastrophic events? What makes you believe one will occur?      

Friday, June 12, 2015

Your Authentic Self?

How well do you know yourself? You’ll see a whole, new side by playing a game I call “Impersonate Me.” Our family has played it a few times. Each person adopts the mannerisms of their selected person. What an eye-opener. You never fully know yourself until you see someone imitate how you sit, eat, or talk. Try it and see what happens.

Over the weekend, I felt sucked into a modified version of “Impersonate Me” when our kids decided to describe the “the things I do.” They said sometimes, during casual conversation, I launch into foreign accents—which I doubted—until I did it. In the car this morning, one of the kids decided to mirror back the facial expressions I made as I talked. Nice. I predict a long  summer. But then, this video gave me a new perspective on the coming months. Take a look:

If I copy these facial expressions and throw in a couple of Julia Child and Scooby Doo voice impressions, within a week, the kids will be extremely annoyed with my shenanigans. If I'm fortuntate, they’ll grow bored with me and move on to someone else. I better warn my husband.

Given the number of roles we fill in our families, in school, and at our jobs, it’s easy to lose track of our true selves. What about you? Do you offer people your authentic “face,” or do you give them the one they expect to see?