February 15 -
March 15, 2018
Once a wise old woman was
traveling through the mountains. She plodded slowly, her burden
on her back, her head bent. She saw little more than the ground
under her feet, but even so, she smiled. Then she saw at the
edge of her path, a bright red stone, and she knew it was a
large gem. With that gem, she could buy a small home and settle
down. She picked it up and put it in her pack and continued her
The next day on the path,
she met another traveler. He was hungry, and asked the old woman
if she had any food to spare. She opened her bag to give food to
the man and he saw the precious stone inside. His eyes grew
He said, “That is a very
valuable stone you have.” She grinned at him toothlessly, and
handed it over without any hesitation. “Then you should have
it.” With that, she continued her journey.
man was so happy, he ran for miles to his village, despite his
hunger. He knew he’d never worry about food again. The stone
would give him a lifetime of security.
But that night, instead of
peaceful sleep, he had the most restless dreams of his life.
Late the next day, the old
woman heard footsteps running up behind her. It was the man. He
breathlessly asked her to stop for a moment, then held out the
“Thanks for giving me this
stone, but I would like to return it to you with the hope that
you can give me something even more precious,” he said.
“What more could I give
you,” she asked.
“Please give me what you
have within you that enabled you to give me that stone without
any hesitation,” he said.
Do We Have A Groundhog Day?
Groundhog Day is a popular
tradition in the United States and Canada, but it is also a
legend that traverses centuries and countries. The story is part
of a tradition of legends that predict the weather based on
animals awakening on specific dates.
February 2nd is the day
that in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, a groundhog named Phil comes
out of his hole after a long winter. If he sees his shadow, he
is startled and retreats. People regard that as an omen of more
bad weather to come. If the day is cloudy and shadowless, the
groundhog stays above ground, and people regard that as an omen
that winter will end early because the groundhog will start
Similarly, Roman legions,
supposedly brought this tradition to the Germans, who morphed it
into the idea that if the sun made an appearance on Candlemas
Day, a hedgehog would cast a shadow, thus predicting six more
weeks of bad weather.
Pennsylvania's earliest settlers were Germans, and they found
groundhogs in profusion where they resettled. They determined
that if the sun appeared on a particular day in mid-winter, the
groundhog would “meet” its shadow, be frightened, and hurry back
into its underground home for another six weeks of winter.
Groundhog Day has since been centered on the location of
Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania in the US, but has spread in
popularity to other countries, as well.
The Best App Ever Invented…
you don’t have enough apps yet, then here’s one for you. This
app can change the way you and millions of people function every
day—and you don’t even need a computer or smart phone to use it.
called Self Control, and it blocks sites like Facebook,
Instagram, SnapChat and Twitter for a specified period of time
to help you minimize distractions while getting other things
Self Control is a versatile app, also working on food,
exercise, and money!
Say Yes To Saying No
There are many reasons
that people say yes, when they really want to say no:
people have a great sense of duty and obligation. They feel like
they have to say yes to almost anything they are asked to do.
people just want everyone to like them, and they’re afraid if
they say no, they might cause the person making the request to
people are afraid they’ll miss out on a big opportunity if they
people feel flattered when they are asked to do something extra.
people hate confrontation so much that they will do almost
anything to avoid it, including saying yes even when they want
to say no.
When you do need to say
no, here are a few tips that might help:
be polite, but firm. Don’t over explain about your situation
because the person making the request might then try to convince
you to say yes.
no as soon as possible to avoid dragging the situation out.
your priorities. If something doesn’t fit with your needs, don’t
do it. Say no.
Perspective Makes A Difference
A crew of workmen was
repairing railroad tracks when an approaching train brought
their job to a stop. The train screeched to a halt, and a
railway executive stepped down from the train. He straightened
his fine jacket and looked over the worker. Looking closer, he
said, “Dave, is that you?”
Dave, the crew leader,
recognized the executive. “Jim! It’s great to see you!” They
shook hands and chatted for a few minutes, and then the
executive returned to the train.
As the train started
moving away, one of the workmen came and stood next to Dave, and
said, “Wasn’t that the CEO of the railroad? How do you know
“We started working for
this railroad together 23 years ago, driving spikes and
shoveling gravel,” Dave explained.
“So how come he became the
boss and you’re still out here in the hot sun?”
“Well,” Dave said. “He
always loved the railroad, wanted to work for it more than
anything in the world. I just wanted a job.”
Don’t Count On Catching Up On Sleep
work long hours during the week, so you probably look forward to
some extra sleep over the weekend. But if you’re counting on
those couple of extra hours to help you catch up on all the rest
you need, you may be fooling yourself.
study conducted at Penn State University, 30 healthy men and
women aged 18-34 years spent 13 nights in a sleep lab. For four
nights, they slept a full eight hours; then they spent six
nights sleeping only six hours, followed by three 10-hour
participants’ brain function dropped after their nights of sleep
deprivation and did not return to normal until after the third
day of extra sleep, even though they said they felt physically
refreshed by their extra sleep immediately.
don’t depend on a few extra hours to bring you back to peak
efficiency. Make a point of getting a full night’s sleep every
night to stay safe and productive at home, work, and on the
Me, Micro-Manage? Certainly Not!
Hollywood mogul became president of a struggling new television
network. With his career on the line, the CEO was determined to
oversee every aspect of program development—right down to the
day a producer at the network called his lawyer to complain
about the CEO’s overbearing ways. He was afraid the debut of his
show would be delayed because the CEO was obsessed with the
design of the sets.
attorney had worked with the CEO before, and agreed to help. He
invited the CEO to lunch.
they finished their meal, the attorney opened his briefcase and
began taking out carpet and drapery swatches. “I have a
question,” he said to the puzzled executive. “My wife and I are
redecorating and I’d like your advice on the best carpet to
coordinate with this drape.”
savvy CEO was quick to see the point. “You think I’m
micro-managing, don’t you?”
Thanks to his creative approach, the attorney helped the CEO see
that his energy would be better spent focusing on his
strengths—and letting his employees focus on theirs.
Language is constantly in
flux. Words change their meanings over time, which can be
obvious to anyone reading Shakespeare or Dickens. As a case in
point, consider the colonial origins of these common words, as
explained in Words They Lived By: Colonial New England
Speech, Then and Now, by Joan P. Bines:
In colonial times, this was the largest log in the fire, placed
in the back to provide the most warmth while cooks built smaller
fires in front that they could regulate more efficiently. Thus,
something held back in reserve.
pie. Long ago, this was a pie made from the entrails of
deer, which were called the “humbles” and eaten by servants.
The English word phone is actually short for telephone, which
comes from the Greek words for sound (phon) and far away (tele).
Is That Still Safe To Eat?
Is that fruitcake that’s
been in your pantry since last Christmas safe to eat? Maybe not
(despite the jokes about fruitcakes lasting forever), but here
are a few foods you can safely store for years:
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.
legumes. Beans, lentils, and other legumes stored in
airtight, waterproof containers can last for years without
losing their nutritional value.
sauce. Unopened, soy sauce can last for three years on the
shelf, thanks to its combination of fermentation and salt.
Its acidic nature makes it difficult for bacteria to thrive.
White vinegar will stay unchanged almost indefinitely.
rice. The key is temperature. White rice stored in an
airtight container at about 27 degrees Fahrenheit (-3 degrees
Celsius) can last up to 30 years, although brown rice has a
shorter shelf life.
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.
fruit. Kept in airtight containers in a cool place, without
moisture, desiccated fruit can last a year or more.
No Mistake About
morning a grocer put a sign out that read: “Eggplants—25 cents,
3 for $1.00.”
day long, customers walked in and complained about the sign. “I
should get four eggplants for a dollar!” they all said. The
grocer apologized to each customer and put four eggplants in
bags for them. By the end of the day he was sold out.
manager of a shoe store next door came in at the end of the day
and heard the last customer demand four eggplants. “Why don’t
you just fix the mistake on your sign?” he asked.
mistake?” The grocer smiled. “Before I put up that sign nobody
ever bought more than one eggplant!”
can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect
looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will
connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your
destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me
and it has made all the difference in my life.” ~ Steve Jobs
The 10,000 Hour Myth
According to Daniel Goleman in a podcast interview from
Lifehacker.com, the 10,000 hours of practice rule is a myth. You
might have heard it before: "It takes 10,000 hours of practice
to perfect any skill."
Apparently, this is a misquoting, or simply a false assumption
that stemmed from a book by Malcom Gladwell. According to the
researcher upon whose work the assumption is actually based,
there's no fixed rule about the number of hours you need to
Anders Ericsson, a psychology professor at Florida State
University, says that practice does improve performance. But you
can do it faster with different techniques. One of the best is
to use a coach. The coach helps you do smart practice by giving
you feedback. They know what they're looking at and know what to
recommend you try next.
not the number of hours that matter; it’s the way you practice.
Smart practice helps you improve faster.
December 2017 Answer
How many reindeer pull Santa's sleigh on a foggy
Congratulations to Barbara Harold!
Your name was
randomly selected from all of the correct entries.
You won a $50 gift card from Amazon.com,
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February - March 2018 Trivia Quiz Question
What is the world's biggest island?
contacts Elisa via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
or phone (832-746-7911) with the correct answer by
March 10th will be entered into a drawing for a
$50 gift card from Bed, Bath, & Beyond, Olive Garden
Italian Grill, Randall's / Kroger, OR The Home Depot. Your choice!