Saturday, April 19, 2014

Free Greeting Cards

Several years ago a friend gave me a birthday greeting card. The envelope lacked a name and the card had no signature. This seemed odd, but my friend assured me that it was no accident. She described how often people read cards, display or frame them, and eventually stuff them in a drawer, or (gasp) in the trash. I suppose her plan had triple benefits.  She recognized my birthday, gave me a gift to use in the future, and provided a good laugh. Kind of quirky, yet it made sense. What would you say if someone gave you a blank greeting card?  What if you received one like this?     

I can see this greeting card generating fifty different reactions—some positive, some not. I’m okay with cats, but I almost groaned when the kitties paused and then meowed some more. Somewhere, somebody wants that card. It just goes to show that whatever you enjoy, someone else is bound to dislike it—and that’s okay. What do you love that seems unpopular?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Not Just Monkey Business

I’ll be a monkey’s uncle. Why would anyone say that? It seems the saying became popular in the 1920s when people use it to indicate unexpected surprise, the way we might say, “Amazing, imagine that!” Here’s a better explanation of being a monkey’s uncle.  English is peppered with idioms that make no literal sense. I can imagine the confusion these sayings cause for anyone learning to speak English and seeing this video wouldn’t help. Take a look:

 I wonder how railway management came up with that idea. Did you catch the seriousness of the gentleman surrounding Mr. Miyan?  I love the way no one seemed shocked by him. It reminded me of New York City where you can witness all sorts of interesting sights.  The scene may look odd, but Mr. Miyan claims his method works. What’s the most unbelievable thing you‘ve heard, and realized later that it made perfect sense?     

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Reawakening

Welcome to the season when hibernating creatures reappear. A family member spotted this warning on a hotel door up north: watch out for bears in the parking lot. So that means forget about hiking for now. After such a brutal winter, promise you won’t complain about bears or the drenching spring rain showers, and I’ll try not to complain about the newly-awakened creepy crawlers. Here’s the important the question on everyone’s mind (or maybe it’s only on mine): Will our snowy winter guarantee fewer insects this spring? Bug experts say it’s a mixed bag, depending on the species. Overall, bugs have lots of ways to adapt to harsh temperatures so we shouldn’t expect unusually low numbers. That’s fine, as long as we don’t get these:


Spring brings bears, and apparently bug swarms. As you can see, this man has a bit of a problem. On the bright side, experts say the boxelder bugs should disappear within a few weeks. Despite these types of challenges, the season still gives us a lot to appreciate. As we bask in nature’s beautiful reawakening, which aspects of spring are you grateful for?          


Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Hiker’s Journey

Are you a hiker? Our immediate family doesn’t hike, although we did walk around the block a few times last year. Earlier this week I heard comments that prove we’re not hiker-types. One child stated how hiking generally lacked a competitive element and our other child didn’t see the point because there’s no score. Sure, you could add a point system and race to the top of a mountain, but that kind of defeats the purpose.

Does the fresh air, the challenging terrain, and wildlife motivate you to tackle the trails? If I were to hike, I’d do it for the incredible views. Have a look:


Sign me up! I wouldn’t mind lacing up a pair of hiking boots and trekking through the wilderness to experience  the gorgeous landscape in New Zealand. We’re so busy multi-teching (my word for multi-tasking with technology), and rushing in a dozen different directions that we can forget how to appreciate the “minor” moments. Which past, present, or future journey would you like to learn to appreciate?      


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Chasing Your Dream

How do you chase a dream? For Tatiana, owner of beatfacehoney, it began when she mixed social media with makeup and posted demonstrations on You Tube. Given our access to social media, anyone using the appropriate tools can establish a brand, and maybe even build an empire. Be careful not to pooh-pooh small beginnings. Have a listen to how Tatiana’s journey began:

Day after day, we head off to a job we either enjoy or dislike.  A popular saying suggests that if you love your job, you’ll never have to work a day in your life. What about you? If there’s a dream you’re holding on to—yet afraid to purse—go for it! Dare to take a least one step forward. Maybe that means taking a class, establishing a website, or setting up a table to sell your product or service at community festival. It's your time. What’s your dream?    

Friday, March 14, 2014

Fact vs. Fiction?

A pair of glassy eyes studied me. No need to feel intimidated just because it’s the bustling city, right?  I stared back from the security of my car.  In the end, I won the stare down contest and the little squirrel scampered away. How interesting that once I spotted the critter watching me, I assumed it had horrible plans to chase me up the street. The citified squirrel probably came in contact with people more often than its skittish suburban relatives, hence its lack of fear toward humans. It probably just wanted a handful of nuts. How often do you jump to conclusions before weighing the evidence? What do you think about this scene?

Someone from the video commented about how the squirrel was a juvenile and may have lost its parents. Does that change your perception of the squirrel’s behavior? Maybe the little guy simply wanted to move indoors for warm shelter and gentle belly rubs here and there. We can’t take everything we see and hear as gospel. How do you filter information to ferret out the truth? 

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Best Wash

Raise your hand if you need a car wash. It’s one of my least favorite ways to spend money. Oh sure, I could hand wash my vehicle, but car washes are so darn relaxing. Swish, swish, swish, I can hear it now. There’s something soothing about the big brushes and spongy flaps sliding across the windshield, and who doesn’t enjoy the few moments of peace and relative quiet. Too bad it only lasts about five minutes. Somebody should design a car wash that, once you reach the end, goes in reverse to prolong the experience. Watch how this business takes car washes to a different level:  


There’s nothing relaxing about that—unless you’re hypnotized by lasers. Well, we’ve discussed the car’s exterior. What about the inside? Take a look at your car’s floor, backseats, and dashboard, and don’t forget the trunk—who knows what’s lurking in there (last week I found a tiny container of old blueberries in mine). I find it much easier to clean up a vehicle’s outside than its inside, and the same holds true for us. Spring’s not far off. Soon we’ll be focused on our appearance in beach attire, but what about our insides? What’s the best internal change you’ll tackle to create a new you?