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?

Friday, June 5, 2015

A Pre-Dawn Call

Welcome to my experience with a relentless telemarketing company. This particular company chose to call me at 2:00, 4:30, 5:15, and 5:45 this morning. Was that their “surprise strategy” for catching groggy households off-guard? They crossed the line.

I sent them a text that said, “This is ridiculous. Stop calling.”  A return message said I texted to a landline, but a verbal message could be sent to the line for a fee. No thanks! Instead I registered with the Do Not Call registry. I’ll keep you posted on what happens next. In the meantime, check out this tactic:


If your telemarketer is a human, they are no match for a child because kids possess special skills for winning telemarketing phone wars. If a child is shy, talkative, or too young to speak English, the telemarketer will beg to speak to an adult, and eventually hang up in frustration. Perfect! You’ve won the battle—until the next call.  

We can address our problems head-on or minimize them with a change in perspective. In any case, we win. What has been your most persistent problem, and how was it resolved?          

Friday, May 29, 2015

Your Last Chance

Consider this your final notice. I receive “final notice” phone calls a least several times a 

week. Telemarketers won’t leave me alone. They say push “3” on my phone to pass up on 

the exciting offer. Well, I pushed “3” last week, and pushed it again this week. Maybe 

next week I’ll yell my response. Since the voice on the other end is a 

recording created by a merciless telemarketing company, my requests are ignored and the 

calls keep coming. At least this guy gets a conversation and a little bit of fun:       


I didn’t know what a cute and creepy laugh sounded like—until now. Why won’t she 

answer the question? I think we know why.  Do companies believe that, after bugging

us for months, one day we’ll change our minds decide to sign up? If you’re 

trying to sell someone a product, service, or idea, don’t make them angry. You’ve 

participated in a heated debate, what helped you change the other person’s mind?   

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Pro-Choice or No Choice?

With over one hundred stations available on the radio, I spend more time listening to the comedy stations than the music stations. It’s similar to the grocery store where there’s a wall of cereal options—and we choose corn flakes. Consider the customer who chooses vanilla at the ice cream store, ignoring the other thirty exotic flavors.
A magazine survey reported that the majority of people (36%) only want around ten TV channels, and 22% want five or fewer. So why are we drowning in hundreds of choices?  We didn’t ask for them. Companies offer them. Here’s what happens with too many choices:


If two choices confuse us, imagine what hundreds will do. We hate confusion! So we take short-cuts by eliminating options and focusing on the necessary few. That’s fine for radio stations, cereal, and ice cream, but not for important decisions.
Graduates, life-changers, seekers, we owe it to ourselves to thoroughly explore decisions that matter. Rather than blindly following the advice of family or friends, dig in to find the answers that matter. What decision do you pledge to give careful consideration?            

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Best Things in Life

Some of the best things in life cost us less than we might imagine. One of my favorite things is wrapping up in a warm blanket from the dryer, and you can’t beat the dryer sheet aromatherapy.  It feels like a relaxing cup of hot chocolate, without the calories. This works year-round, even in the summertime when the air conditioning blows too cold.    
Unfortunately, the great feeling lasts about two minutes. Once the heat fades away, everything’s back to normal. For many of us, “normal” isn’t healthy or restful—not if it’s anything like this:


It can happen any moment. It’s the brief opportunity to exhale and savor our blessings. Rather than planning an expensive week-long vacation attached to a work laptop, seek out times to  relax as you go. You probably have your own little ways to withdraw from the fast-paced life. What interesting or unique ways do you re-energize during the week?