Elisa McNinch & The Bruner Team

11211 Katy Fwy, Suite #415, Houston, TX 77079 / Office: 713-937-1000 / Fax: 832-604-4186

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Elisa McNinch,

Five-Star Estate Professional Award Multiple-Years (2012-2017).

Recognized in Texas Monthly Magazine

June 2012-2017


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Bruner Team INFO Newsletter

 December 2017


Check Back in a Year

A man’s business was failing. He went to a park and sat for awhile, trying to think of a way to save his company. An old man walked up and sat down next to him. He looked at the businessman, then said, “I see something is troubling you. Would you like to talk about it?”

The businessman explained his problem. After listening patiently, the old man said, “I believe I can help you.” He pulled out a check book, wrote a check and said, “Take this money. Meet me here exactly one year from today and you can pay me back then.”

The old man got up and walked away. The businessman looked at the check and saw that it was for $500,000. The signature was Warren Buffet.

The businessman realized that with half a million dollars in capital, he could easily float his business. But he decided to put the check in his safe and use it only in case of emergency.

With the check in his safe, the businessman was able to think clearer. He started rebuilding his business, and within a year, had turned it around. So at the end of the year, as promised, the businessman returned to the park.

As agreed, the old man also appeared. The businessman started to hand back the check that he had never cashed.

At that moment, a nurse came running up and grabbed old man's hand. She apologized to the businessman. “I am so glad I caught him in time. Mr. Wilson is always telling people he's Warren Buffet and writing them checks like that.” She led the old man away, leaving the businessman gaping.

~Elisa McNinch

The Humble Spud

This holiday season many of us will eat a ton of spuds: mashed, boiled, broiled, or baked. But how did the potato come to be called a spud? Its history is full of red herrings.

·   In one version, potatoes—which are a member of the deadly nightshade family—were blamed for syphilis, tuberculosis, and obesity. A group of Brits in the mid-1800’s wanted to eradicate the potato, and called themselves the Society for the Prevention of an Unwholesome Diet. This spelled out the acronym SPUD.

·   Another version has to do with the name Murphy in Ireland, where potatoes are common. People named Murphy were often nicknamed Spud. Since the name Murphy (and hence, Spud) was as common as potatoes, the name transferred to potatoes.

·   The true history, however, is that spud came from a tool used to dig up potatoes. A 'spud' was a common name for a narrow-bladed shovel.

While you’re sitting around the table at your next holiday dinner, give your guests all three stories and see if they can guess which one is true.


The Gift Of Sports For Christmas

Freddie and John were fortunate enough to have a season tickets to watch Chelsea, a British soccer team. The season began in August and they attended every game. Over the first several games, they could not help noticing that there was always a spare seat next to them. They had a friend who would love to buy a season ticket, especially if all three could have seats together.

One half-time Freddie went to the ticket office and asked if they could by buy the season ticket for B14, the seat next to them. The official said that unfortunately the ticket had been sold. Nevertheless, week after week the seat remained empty.

Then on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas, December 26), much to Freddie and Eddie's amazement, the seat was taken for the first time that season. John could not resist asking the newcomer, 'Where have you been all season'.  ‘Don't ask,’ he said. ‘The wife bought the season ticket back last summer, and kept it for a surprise Christmas present.’


LED Magic

Unlike traditional bulbs, which last less than 2,000 hours before needing replacement, LED lights can burn for tens of thousands of hours uninterrupted.

Not only do they last much longer than other light bulbs, but they consume 90% less energy and, because they are manufactured without mercury or other toxic substances, at the end of their useful life, they are 100% recyclable.

In addition to the environmental benefits, the low voltage required to operate LEDs and their reliable construction, makes them suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, even in the most extreme climates in a variety of forms.


Spend some time this weekend on
home improvement; improve your attitude
toward your family. ~ Bo Bennett


Another Reason to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Sleep scientist Mathew Walker has some dire advice. It began as he was studying brainwave patterns in people with dementia. Says Walker, “I was comparing the brainwaves of people with dementia, but was failing to find differences between them.” He then read a scientific paper that described how some types of dementia only attacked parts of the brain that were associated with sleep. 

Walker began recording the brainwaves of sleeping patients, and found a clear link. Sleep quality, it seemed, could be a new early diagnostic test for different subtypes of dementia.

The body of knowledge that has been accumulated over the past two decades since sleep began being studied is irrefutable: we need sleep like we need exercise and healthy food. Walker’s results point out that sleep might have a more dramatic effect on our mental health than anyone previously thought.

Walker takes his own advice. “I take my sleep seriously because I have seen the evidence. Once you know that after just one night of only 4 or 5 hours of sleep, your natural killer cells—the ones that attack cancer cells that appear in your body every day—drop by 70%, or you know that a lack of sleep is linked to cancer of the bowel, prostate and breast, or even that the WHO has classed night-shift work as a probable carcinogen, how could you do anything else?” Get some sleep!


Rehab After Heart Attack Often Ignored

More than a million adults in North America suffer heart attacks every year, and about one third of them are repeat attacks.

Cardiac rehabilitation is crucial to preventing a second heart attack, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US report that only one in three survivors opt to participate in it.

Cardiac rehab includes exercise counseling, lifestyle advice for a healthy heart, and stress-reduction tips, all of which can reduce those chances of a second (or third or fourth) attack. Cardiac rehab also means extended medical supervision after discharge from the hospital.

If you or someone you know has suffered and survived a heart attack, keep in mind that rehab might prolong life and prevent a new crisis.


If we are creating ourselves all the time, then it is never too late to begin creating the bodies we want instead of the ones we mistakenly assume we are stuck with.

~ Deepak Chopra


Coffee + Nap = More Energy

Want to take a nap that will leave you refreshed and ready to go again? Try drinking a cup of coffee first.

It sounds counterintuitive, but that’s the advice from the Health.com website. The reason why it works: The caffeine in a cup of coffee takes about 30 minutes to kick in. After a 30-minute nap, you’ll wake up just as the caffeine takes effect.

Research backs up that notion. In 1997 the journal Psychophysiology reported that sleepy adults who drank 200 mg of caffeine (twice the amount in 8 ounces of brewed coffee) and then took a short nap performed better on a simulated driving test than people who got only the caffeine.

Keep your naps short—15 to 30 minutes—and take them at least six hours before your regular bedtime so the caffeine doesn’t keep you up at night. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, try green tea instead.


 Don’t Sabotage Success With Chronic Lateness

Are you always running late? Maybe you’re legitimately busy, but chronic lateness may spring from other factors. The danger is that being late all the time will give you a reputation for being undependable or careless. Take better control of your time by considering these psychological causes behind being constantly behind schedule:

·    Adrenalin. For some people, rushing to every meeting and event provides excitement. If you’re enjoying the chase too much, look for other activities to get your thrills. Skydiving, anyone?

·    Control. Making other people wait for you—instead of the other way around—is one way to keep the reins tight. People like customers and your boss don’t like being kept waiting, though. Remind yourself that other people’s time is important, too.

·    Validation. Being busy can be one measure of success—“Look at all the important tasks I’ve got to do!” But if you overextend yourself, you’ll burn out. Teach yourself to track other metrics that don’t overwhelm your day.

·    Anger. Sometimes we “punish” people by forcing them to waste time waiting for us. This rarely solves any problems and may exacerbate them. If you’ve got an issue, talk it out openly. You’ll both save a lot of time.


Energy-Producing Clothes

Someday soon you may be able to charge your smartphone or Fitbit with a simple walk around the block, according to the NBC News website.

Scientists at the University of Texas at Dallas are working to develop fabrics using carbon nanotubes, which are hollow tubes 10,000 times thinner than a human hair. When twisted into coils and stretched, they can produce a minuscule electrical current. One recent test of a tight shirt using the special yarn produced 16 millivolts every time the person wearing it inhaled—not enough to charge a smartphone, but enough, perhaps, to send health information to another location.


Is That Still Safe To Eat?

Is that fruitcake that’s been in your pantry since last year safe to eat? Maybe not, but the CNN website offers this list of foods you can safely store for years:

·   Honey. Because it’s low in water and sugars, bacteria can’t easily grow in it. Small amounts of hydrogen peroxide in honey also inhibit the growth of microbes.

·   Dried legumes. Beans, lentils, and other legumes stored in airtight, waterproof containers can last for years without losing their nutrition value.

·   Soy sauce. Unopened, soy sauce can last for three years on the shelf, thanks to its combination of fermentation and salt.

·   Vinegar. Its acidic nature makes it difficult for bacteria to thrive. White vinegar will stay unchanged almost indefinitely, but other vinegars may change color or produce sediment in the bottle over time.

·   White rice. The key is temperature. White rice stored in an airtight container at cool temperatures can last up to 30 years, although brown rice has a shorter shelf life.

·   Dark chocolate. Chocolate fans rejoice! As long as it’s stored at a constant temperature, dark chocolate is safe to eat for two years or longer.


Our imagination is stretched to the utmost, not, as in fiction,
to imagine things which are not really there, but just to comprehend
those things which are there.

~ Richard Feynman


Try The ‘70% Rule’ When Delegating

If you’re like many managers—and parents—you have a hard time deciding which tasks to delegate and which to keep to yourself. Here’s a way to decide:

If you want to develop your employees’—or your kids’—skills and responsibilities, try this rule. If someone else can do the task at least 70 percent as well as you can, delegate the task to that person.

This will help you lose the “If you want it done right, do it yourself” attitude, and provide others with challenges that give them a chance to learn.

September - October 2017 Answer


Question:   September comes from the Latin root for what number?

Answer:  Seven


History: September was the seventh month of the original Roman calendar. ... Later, when January and February were added to the calendar it became the ninth month. When the British changed from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar in 1752, they needed to adjust some days to get the seasons aligned with the months.


Congratulations to Shirley Foreman!  Your name was randomly selected from all of the correct entries.  You won a $50 gift card from Bed, Bath, & Beyond, Olive Garden or Carrabba's Italian Grill, Randalls / Kroger, OR Home Depot.  Your choice!



December 2017 Trivia Quiz Question


Question: How many reindeer pull Santa's sleigh on a foggy night?


Everyone who contacts Elisa via email (elisa@brunerteam.com) or phone (832-746-7911) with the correct answer by December 21st will be entered into a drawing for a $50 gift card from

Amazon.com, Academy, Target, Khol's, OR Pappas restaurant. Your choice!