Friday, April 27, 2018

Taking a Second Look

On Second Thought

Few things are more fun than buying an item and finding an unexpected compartment or accessory tucked inside. Imagine living with kitchen cabinets and discovering a new feature years later. Last week one of our kids found a surprise I’ve known about for more than a decade. You wouldn’t expect a simple “hidden” cutting board to cause so much excitement.

It’s easy to overlook the seemingly ordinary items we encounter every today. See how a second look opens our eyes to amazing ideas:   
Few of us realized that a change jar would hold the components for such beautiful interior designs. Our lives are filled with things we think we don’t need. Look around you. What person or thing might be even more valuable than you first thought?        

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Stormy Weather

When the weatherperson predicts a storm, we flock to stores grabbing much more than necessary for a one-day event. We clear the shelves of special treats and precious essentials. We overload our shopping carts with must-have items like bread, milk and cereal, but I’m adding another necessity—kettlecorn. It is delicious. Don’t underestimate the salty, sweet snack because it counts as a vegetable and a carbohydrate. Even better, if there’s a power outage, kettle corn doesn’t require refrigeration. Also, the label says we can eat two cups and still maintain a healthy calorie count. Barring the annoying kernels that lodge between your gums and teeth, it has to be part of any storm readiness plan. On the other hand, this should not:

Although the audio is difficult to hear, it sounds family-friendly. Actually, we don’t need the audio to know that this isn't the place for selfies. I'm sure you can think of other storm non-essentials. If you didn't expect kettle corn to appear on the list, what do you want in the middle of a storm?               


Sunday, April 15, 2018

English As a Foreign Language

I’m glad I already speak English because many of the idioms and nuances of our language make it difficult to master. I can’t imagine entering the United States as a non-English speaking person. Think about our silly terms like whatchamacallit, thingamabob, thingamajig and whosit. When memory fails us, we resort to all kinds of interesting placeholders.
Not long ago at a gathering, a lady forgot someone’s name so she referred to an acquaintance as Mrs. Blah Blah. It’s a good thing the ladies were on friendly terms. Substituting Mrs. Blah Blah for a forgotten name kept us laughing! Under different circumstances, calling someone Mrs. Blah Blah might cause big trouble and lots of drama.
Emotions boil over quickly when people feel attacked for their English-speaking abilities. If you’re fortunate enough to travel, be it Louisiana or London, the English you hear may sound like a foreign language and you could become the speaker people ridicule. Watch how one soldier handles his communication situation:
With so many accents, dialects, and new slang words in America, we could all use subtitle assistance. What are you trying to communicate, but still wonder if anyone understands you?

Modified from a 2012 post.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Your Valuable Treasures

Although precious metals like gold retain their value, and the lira may earn top dollar at an auction, those currencies won’t buy beverages from a soda machine. Soda machines are designed to accept quarters, not gold or lira. Many times, we calculate an item’s value based on the box we create for it. Over time, as our needs and perspectives change, our ideas of what’s valuable change also.   

Maybe you’ve noticed how drivers slow down, swerve around, or completely stop traffic to let a goose cross the road. On the other hand, if a squirrel tries crossing the road, it’s a risky and potentially fatal adventure. Somehow, geese grew in value. Maybe this collection’s value will rise, too:

That’s brave. My only comment is this modified, popular saying: one person’s horror is another person’s treasure. While we wonder if these treasures will ever warrant any monetary value, they certainly bring joy to their owner. What things, regardless of your age or life stage, will always be valuable to you?   

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Erasing the Imprint

Nothing indicates a good night’s sleep like waking up with zigzaggy lines across your face. Here’s what happens: you sleep in the same position with a bunched-up part of sheet on your pillow for a few hours and—wham—you spend half the morning with imprints decorating your face. They’ll disappear eventually, but until then that’s the face you’re forced to show. Imagine living with something that’s not disappearing anytime soon. Something like this:   

We forget that every situation, whether it’s where we lay our heads or how we choose to present ourselves to the world, creates ripple effects. Ripples shock us when they create scars either on ourselves or on family members and friends. Unfortunately, scar removal always comes with a price. Thinking about your personal scars, what’s it going to cost to make them disappear?