Friday, July 29, 2011

A Tiny Tree and a Giant Zucchini

In an earlier post (July 13, Whoosh!…), we discussed how summer is nearly over. Well, I looked out my window and, lo and behold—it is autumn! OK, not really. We have a tiny tree in our yard that’s been putting up a good fight for years. Now, after multiple heat waves, the tree’s brown leaves seem to scream for tender loving care.  Unfortunately, I have a theory (yes, another one). Here it is: water the flowers, the trees are on their own (sorry arborists).  Some of our trees, including the little sick one, would require too much e-x-e-r-c-i-s-e to care for them. Remember from the July 22 post (The Other Boomerang Effect) how tree-watering would NOT fit into my current work-out schedule? I’m not fond of cumbersome hoses and sloshing water buckets.
Shortly after I noticed our suffering tree, someone gave us a massive zucchini. This veggie measured fourteen inches long and three and a half inches in diameter. A gardener put love and care into cultivating that plant. I learned that a zucchini isn’t difficult to grow. Give them a little attention—water, sun and fertilizer and—you’ll have a huge, healthy vegetable.
Our tiny tree and the giant zucchini are great metaphors for our various relationships. Some flourish when we nurture them and others—when we neglect them—not so much.  Here’s great advice from Auntie Artichoke’s video.                   

Too bad she didn’t give the five things necessary to nourish our relationships. We can create our own list. Based on your life experience, what’s your most important relationship and how do you nourish it?

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Other Boomerang Effect

Our scattered summer schedule dampens my work-out schedule. During winter, spring and fall, I visit the gym on a somewhat regular basis—at least twice a month (yes, monthly).  But not in the summertime, that’s when my work-out schedule consists of running up and down the stairs with laundry. Actually that doesn’t sound like a bad work-out, and frankly, it’s better than nothing.
Another thing that gets me through many non-existent gym days is the exercise l had in high school. Oh yes, that old physical exertion that built up my cardiovascular system then is saving me now. When my husband leaves for the gym, I explain that I’m still living off the benefits gained from track practice decades ago.  By the way, feel free to borrow this excuse, I’m sure there’s logic in there somewhere.
I might expand my exercise regimen, just in case my theory isn’t true. I could build up slowly with something like a boomerang. It’s a great invention. Stand still, throw it and the amazing thing comes right back to you. Does it get any better than that?  Apparently, it started out as a weapon in ancient civilizations and now it’s become a sport. Take a look at someone who takes boomeranging to another level:

Well, maybe I underestimated the complexities of handling a boomerang…
 Actually the idea of sending something out and having it return extends deep into our culture. We’ve heard the saying, “what goes around, comes around” which implies that our good behaviors will come back to benefit us and our bad behaviors will come back to harm us.  What’s the basis for this concept? Does it ring true in your life?          

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Whoosh! Going, Going, Almost Gone

Whoosh! Did you hear that noise?  That’s the sound of summer flying by. I didn’t feel prepared for summer to begin and now it feels like it’s almost gone. At an office supply store, I saw that they had already set up for the annual back-to-school shopping. When a back-to-school commercial came on TV, my kids groaned. However, I spoke to one little girl who admitted that she was ready to return to school. Fancy that!   
Like it or not, September is just down the road. Autumn is fast approaching with its crunchy, colored leaves and shortened daylight hours. I like the season so I’m not complaining. The weather is nearly perfect—not too hot and not too cold, no perspiring and no shoveling.  Remember this?

Hmm, flip flops in a snow storm. Now there’s someone holding onto summer! Be glad we’re not facing snow storms yet. In fact, I’m sure you still have items to check off on your Things To Do summer list. I’m looking at my calendar, but I don’t see Italy fitting in this year.  If I had a bucket list, that trip would be on it.
What about you? What would you recommend everyone put on their bucket list, and is it something you’ve already done or something you anticipate doing one day?     


Friday, July 8, 2011

Believe It or Not

Psst, come closer!  If someone asked you to believe that a creature measuring 20 feet tall, as long a bus, with teeth 5 inches long, once prowled the earth, would you? This description of a T-Rex sounds like a figure from a nightmare.  Just between you and me, I wouldn’t believe in dinosaurs, except that inside our museums bones stacked upon bones prove that such creatures existed, and so, I have to give in to reason.
We watched several episodes of “Finding Bigfoot,” and now when we drive near a wooded area my kids say, “I think there’s a Squatch in these woods.” The show usually provides several types of evidence for the existence of Sasquatch or Bigfoot. For example, they show casts of footprints, recorded sounds of howling and tree-knocking, and those often-debated videos of a huge, hairy beings caught running through the woods. The show’s investigators constantly evaluate eye-witness stories to decide who’s playing a hoax and who actually has a credible encounter with something in the woods. Watch as this video transports you into the woods for a Bigfoot hunt.

Are they gathering actual proof—who knows? Once thing we do know: Bigfoot will remain a legend until scientists have a real specimen to study. Similarly, when we state our beliefs, someone somewhere will ask for our evidence.  So, tell us what you believe in and what’s your supporting evidence?       

Friday, July 1, 2011

Making Ripples or Going with the Flow?

Mob psychology refers to the tendency for an individual, when part of a large group, to adopt the group’s behavior, even if that behavior goes against the individual’s normal beliefs or morals.  You’ve seen news footage where sports enthusiasts rejoice about a huge win, fan out into the streets to celebrate, and then someone decides to break store windows. Suddenly, law-abiding citizens join the law-breakers to create mass destruction.
The word “mob” reminds me of movies that depict unsavory characters engaging in criminal activity but, add the word “flash” and you have a totally different type of entertainment. I enjoy watching videos of good flash mobs, and fortunately, the Internet is full of their antics.  Their public pranks brighten a ho- hum day, and the bystanders’ responses are priceless, especially when they join in and have as much fun as the mob. You may find yourself singing along to this video:   

Some flash mobs work for weeks or months to synchronize their dance steps. If you’re part of a flash mob, you do what the group does. In daily life, copying a crowd’s behavior can be fun or it can be illegal. In general, are you usually making ripples (and waves) or going with the flow? Why?