A Second Chance
It was long past bedtime, but one little girl could not sleep. Sophie climbed out of bed and quietly crept back to the living room where her tired mom sat, reading with a huge smile on her face and a basket of unfolded, clean laundry on the floor at her feet.
She heard the little girl pad into the room and said, “A book by Erma Bombeck,” already anticipating what Sophie was going to ask because moms are like that. (They know everything.) She patted the couch next to her, then started to read aloud to the little girl…
“If I had my life to live over, I would spend more time listening and less talking. I would spend more time on loved ones – and less on work. Spend more time living in my living space – and less cleaning it. Spend more time learning from the older people in my life – and less trying to convince them I already know it all.
You can count on Mom…
The mom reached over and patted Sophie’s shiny curls. “I would spend more time with the windows rolled down – and less worrying about mussing my hair. I would spend more time having fun – and less being practical. Spend more time finding joy in each moment, spend more time on love and forgiveness- and less on anger and insults. Most of all, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute… look at it and really see it… live it… and never give it back.”
She glanced over and saw that her daughter’s eyes were closing on her, but instead of putting her back to bed, she pulled her little girl close and breathed in the moment. The laundry could wait.
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|Inside This Issue
|· * A Second Chance
· Fur, Feathers and Fun
· * Moonquakes
· How Low Can You Go?
· * A Freshly Brewed Idea
· Fear Can Be Good for You
·* Provide the Best
· Looks Like Bamboo…
·* Financial Priorities
· Abstract Thinking
Did you know that October 4th is World Animal Day? There are a multitude of animal awareness and educational events happening all over the world, but here are a few ideas for a local celebration with the children in your life… none of which require so much as a passport.
Have them bring a favorite soft toy animal and make or draw a bowl of “food” for the animal guests. Stock up in advance with plenty of drawing materials, fabric scraps, etc. Get the children to think carefully about their guests’ seating arrangements – would it be fair to seat a cat next to a mouse, for example, or a tiger next to a rabbit? How might they entertain their guests?
Create fantasy pets out of junk model materials.
Allow the children to be as fanciful as they wish, for example, an animal with ears like a rabbit, a face like a fish and the body of a horse. Get them to think of a name for their animal. What would it eat? Where would it live? How would they care for it?
Spend an afternoon on animal-related games that are fun for all ages.
For example, label each child’s back with an animal name, then challenge them to guess what kind of animal they are by asking the other questions. “Do I eat grass? Can I fly? Do I have four legs?”
Give athletic kids a fun twist on practice by adding an animal slant to drills.
For example, ball drills could become “Sharks and Minnows”, swimmers can play “snake in the water”, etc.
Engage older children.
Guide teens through organizing a fundraising event for a local animal shelter or favorite animal charity, such as planning a local, sponsored dog walk.
Organize a pet party for younger children.
“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something.
It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.”
~ Steve Jobs
Moonquake data may help future lunar landings. The moon, long considered a dead world, may be livelier than we thought. The Science News website reports that seismometers left decades ago at the Apollo landing sites have detected thousands of moonquakes over the years.
Scientists believe the quakes are caused by faults mapped by NASA’s lunar reconnaissance orbiter. Eight quakes have occurred within some 30 kilometers of step like cliffs on the lunar crust. Called scarps, the cliffs indicate that one side of a fault has pushed up or slid down.
The data suggests that the moon is still tectonically active. It also will help scientists pinpoint the best places for future spacecraft to land – and what sites to avoid.
How Low Can You Go?
A Texas explorer has gone lower than anyone ever before, taking a submersible to a depth of 35,853 feet in the Mariana Trench, according to an article on the UPI website. It’s a new record, beating the previous by 52 feet.
The team behind the dive believes it has found at least three new aquatic species living under the sea, one of them an amphipod with long appendages.
The explorer, Victor Vescovo, said, “We feel like we have just created, validated, and opened a powerful door to discover and visit any place, any time, in the ocean – which is 90% unexplored.”
“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” -Albert Camus
A Freshly Brewed Idea
Before Facebook Live videos, Skype and videoconferencing, there was sometimes an empty coffee pot outside a computer lab at Cambridge University. Because necessity is the mother of invention, that empty pot led to the creation of what we know as the webcam.
In 1991, computer scientists at Cambridge found a way to connect a camera to a computer and transmit images across their lab’s network. They decided to focus the camera on the coffee pot in the break area because most of them had felt the sting of disappointment that occurs each time you enter a break room only to find the pot empty.
The camera was dismantled in August 2001. By then, we were already sharing images and video online. We’re guessing there was also a strong coffee culture in place at Cambridge, and that coffee pots were never left empty for long.
Fear Can Be Good for You
Entrepreneur and philanthropist, Vijay Eswaran, believes fear can be a good thing. He recalls a time many years ago when he was vacationing with his family in Australia and they embarked on a snorkeling excursion to the Great Barrier Reef.
Eswaran was enchanted by the beauty he encountered while snorkeling through the coral canyons in the shallow warm water. Then things seem to get darker and a little colder. He’d lost track of where he was and realized he was being drawn out to sea.
He swam to the surface to get his bearings and saw he was only about 10 feet from the reef. Swimming back to safety, but the incident made an impression on him.
Finally, he realized how close we are to being drawn into the abyss at any given moment of our lives. For Eswaran, this experience serves as a reminder to always be mindful as you go about each day and to always stay focused on the things that truly matter.
Provide the Best
When asked what’s “extremely important” for a father to provide, a recent telephone survey of 1,004 American adults resulted in far more than financial support.
According to a Pew Research Center report:
- 58% Mentioned values and morals.
- 52% Said emotional support.
- 47% Included discipline.
- 41% Mentioned
The results follow a very similar trend for mothers, with “values and morals” at the top and “income” coming in last.
Looks Like Bamboo… Tastes Like Salad?
It’s drought-resistant and thrives in poor soil conditions. Though it is considered ground-cover, it has been known to overtake trees, utility poles, and buildings, and it grows at a rate of a foot a day. What is it? Kudzu.
This non-native plant species first arrived in the U.S. in the 1870s from subtropical regions
of Asia. At the time, it was believed that the plant could help farmers prevent soil erosion. People also began growing it on garden structures and even their homes to provide shade and ornamentation. By the 1940s, government subsidies helped farmers plant about 3 million acres of kudzu.
During the years that followed, people began to realize the impact to the ecosystem this transplant caused. Without native insects and other flora and fauna around, kudzu became impossible to contain. In 1970, the USDA declared Kudzu a weed. Today, it is estimated more than 7 million acres of kudzu are spread across the U.S.
Next year that figure will be higher – but there is hope. Kudzu is edible and the roots, flowers and leaves are all packed with nutrients. Some folks believe you can use the leaves in a salad or cook them like collard greens, as long as the plant hasn’t been exposed to any chemicals or herbicides.
A family budget can help you control your expenses, because a budget helps many people free themselves of uncomfortable feelings that they won’t stick to a budget long enough for it to become a habit. It can be done even for you however, it will take some planning A great place to start your planning is in the U.S. News & World Report website has some advice:
- Bring everyone together. You should all be on the same page. If not, have an honest discussion about your individual and joint goals.
- Establish a consistent way to track income and expenses. This is a crucial first step. Figure out how much money you bring in every month and what bills you have to pay. This helps you set priorities.
- Evaluate your spending. Look at everything you all spend your money on – bills, food, entertainment and everything else. Look for areas where you can keep expenses down.
- Build your savings. Set aside a certain amount of money every month to put into savings. It doesn’t have to be a lot. Looking for the end game will allow you to see substantial results even with modest monthly sums.
- Reduce debt. Don’t carry a balance on your credit cards. Pay down your mortgage and any other loans as fast as you reasonably can. The less debt you have, the more breathing room for the future.
The key to innovation and creativity is to train yourself to look at questions from different angles. Opening your mind to innovation and creativity by looking at questions from different angles can be hard to do at first, but here are a few practice questions from the book Warmups For Meeting Leaders, by Sue Bianchi, Jan Butler and David Richey:
Do you know the shape is a wish? What would happiness look like if it were something physical? What color best represents today? Have you ever wondered what does blue look like? What does a rainbow feel like? Here’s and odd one, what color is the smell of your favorite dessert? Say your favorite sense?
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