Thursday, September 25, 2014

Which Way to Go?

Is it true that lessons we learn in our youth don’t always stick? For some reason, I keep going the wrong way when people give me directions. More than once someone said, “Turn right.” I turned left. On another occasion I heard, “Turn left.” I turned right. Hmmm. My teacher must have taught left vs. right in my kindergarten class, so I was half-amused, half-puzzled as to why I kept going the wrong way.

I came up with three possible explanations:

  1. Heard, but never actually listened to the directions.
  2. Thought I knew better.
  3. Learned, but forgot left vs. right.

I choose a combination of answers one and two. So now I’ll focus on listening more and resist thinking I know it all. Lesson learned? We’ll see. Here’s a guy with another lesson to pass on:

That short clip was full of good advice. Take what you need from it. Thinking about your own  childhood experiences, what’s the best thing you learned that still helps you today?  



Saturday, September 20, 2014

Who Changed My Cheese?

Our family enjoys grilled cheese sandwiches. I usually make them by melting the butter, spreading it on the outside of the bread, topping the unbuttered inside with slices of cheese and popping the whole sandwich—in the oven—not in the frying pan. Brown on both sides and there it is. It’s quick to make without a butter-drenched pan to clean.

Well, last week our microwave broke. I wasn’t in the mood to melt the butter on the stove so when I made myself a sandwich, I decided to skip butter altogether. I told one of our kids about the omission. Judging by the shocked look I received, you would have thought I said, “I’m disabling the Internet and tossing out the TV!” Of course, no one asked to taste my sandwich.

Grilled cheese tastes a little different without butter, but it’s edible. I wonder if we’d notice if these twenty-five items disappeared from our food:


Why would a scientist decide to put such odd ingredients in foods? We’ve grown used to them now. Remove the weird items and we’re bound to hear, “Hey, this cheese tastes funny. Who took out the calf’s stomach?”

What items have you left out, but now want to add back into your life?





Saturday, September 13, 2014

Can I Help You?

Driving through the city one morning I spotted a young adult, possibly the father, brother, or uncle, of the grade school girl who trotted beside him. One detail about the pair made me smile. The little girl had a backpack, but she wasn’t carrying it. The guy carried the bag. Nothing unusual here except that he didn’t carry it in his hand. No, he had that girly, pink backpack firmly attached to his person, sporting it like he owned it. That’s lending a hand. Good for you, guy!      

Who hasn’t needed or provided help at some point? Circumstances dictate when and how help arrives. Giving and getting help often requires a sacrifice from the receiver and the giver. While the receiver might give up pride or control, the giver might sacrifice time, money, security, or something greater. Consider these sacrifices: 

Although I am unfamiliar with this specific organization, the video highlights an important topic. Make a decision and give family members your yea or nay.   

What sacrifices have you made and who has sacrificed something for you?


Friday, September 5, 2014

Best Day of My Life? Well…

Have you ever had a wonky week that made you wonder what could possibly happen next? Last week we struggled with a  stubborn plumbing problem. This week yellow jackets decided to make our home their home. Fortunately we’ve managed to eliminate the clog and our winged guests. 

There’s more. We’re still wading through several other life and death situations. But we’re not alone. Initiate authentic, heart-to-heart chats with acquaintances and you’ll discover that they face major challenges, too. What about you?
Here’s the good news: A bright spot can lighten our darkest times. Perhaps this video will brighten your day.  Take a look:   


No matter how small or far away, bright spots can change your perspective. Take a moment to pause, relax, and reflect. In spite of your worries, what’s your bright spot?     

Friday, August 29, 2014

Lazy Or Not, Here We Go

It’s time! We’ve heard the commercials and purchased the school supplies. Students, tired of lounging around, want a change of pace. I can see the summer slipping away. I think I saw brown leaves the other day. Regardless of whether you or someone you know plans to attend classes in the fall, September feels like a time for new beginnings. It will require a change in schedule, habits, and/or mindset. Here’s a little insight on the days to come:   


 Changing habits can be challenging. No wonder we plod around like zombies during those first few weeks of September. I’m considering joining a gym, which should increase my exercise schedule from zilch to healthier. I’m not eager to start, but it’s time. During this next season what habit do you plan to add or subtract from your life? 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Break Every Chain

If Killer’s lose—run! Killer, a dog with brown lion-like fur, roamed and ruled my childhood community. On most days he stayed chained up in his backyard, but once in a while we’d hear, “Here comes Killer!”  That’s when the dog would race into the nearby playground and send us scrambling for safety. Staying on the swings was a mistake. The triple level rocket sliding board became the ultimate safe spot, if you could reach it. I don’t think Killer ever planned to chase us. His killer instincts probably kicked in once he saw youngsters scattering, screaming, and running for higher ground. I never heard about Killer biting anyone, but I’m not sure about this gang’s attack record:

Judging by the number of videos on the web, lots of people live with the fear of an animal, a person, or a particular situation. Too often our fears overshadow our sunniest days, trapping us into thinking they’re insurmountable. How do you deal with your biggest fears?   


Friday, August 15, 2014

I’d Rather Be…

“Did you kill that?” One of the kids asked me that question as we drove past a dead bird alongside the road. Geez. You get one bird wedged in the car vent, almost hit a couple more, and now I’m blamed for every dead bird in sight. Fair or unfair, that’s how nicknames and reputations develop. Once they’re established, it can be difficult to change them.

Remember your childhood friends with the wacky nicknames? What do you call those same friends after you lose touch and spot them in the mall many years later? Hello Pig! Hi Baa-Baa! Yes, I knew neighborhood kids with those names, and no, I have no idea how they got them.  Here’s what nicknames can do for you:


Sometimes you pick a nickname, and sometimes it picks you. There might be a big difference between the nickname you get and the nickname you want. Either way, sharing it lets other people into your world. What nickname best describes how you want people to know you?