Blowing or shoveling — there's not quite enough accumulation for one and a bit too much for the other

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Photo by Filip Mroz on Unsplash

I’m one of those people who’d rather rake the leaves than blow them. If given a choice, I prefer to shovel snow instead of using a snowblower to clear the drive and walkways.

Before accusing me of being old-fashioned, or worse, a Luddite, know that I am always one to embrace new technology, and I’m completely open to smarter efficiency. I’d even consider myself an early adopter of new methods, providing they make good sense.

Some advancements in time-saving technology only enables laziness and contributes to weight gain. Some so-called “advancements” make no good sense. It’s smart to weigh the pros and cons. I believe the benefits need always be measured against the deficits. …


With all the uncertainty we’re dealing with in the outside world, now we are bringing it inside the home with bipartisan temperature-setting disputes

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Photo by Ming Jun Tan on Unsplash

The current outdoor temperature is 23-degrees Fahrenheit as I write this. I’m nice and toasty at the moment. I glance up from my keyboard at the snow-covered scene outside my bedroom window. I’m at my makeshift workstation. This setup became necessary to work at home during the pandemic. It was designed as a temporary solution, but it’s become such a regular part of my routine, who knows.

The only reason I’m feeling warm and toasty at the moment is because my wife is out of the house. She went into the office today, so I took the liberty of cranking the heat up to 72-degrees. It’s a mercy to our two daughters and me living with us — they too are working from home. …

The difficult part is choosing the best recipe from all the variations of this heavenly Italian dessert

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Photo by Marianna OLE on Unsplash

It’s possible to be a pretty good cook and a terrible baker. Cooking is mostly forgiving. You can take liberties with almost any recipe without it ending in disaster.

Baking scares me. It’s much too precise. There’s more chemistry involved. If you blow a step or alter an ingredient, vary on the temperature or timing, it can result in a pile of inedible slop. I made an elegant dessert that requires no baking.

I was sharing a tiramisu with my family around the holidays. It was fluffy and airy with a custard, whipped cream heart, and its soul was moist and bold, with a discernable balance of cake-like layers, soaked with a strong espresso-liquor infusion. …

It’s not to remind us of the privileges we have but to provide perspective on what’s valued most in developing parts of the world

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It’s been a few years since I’ve traveled outside the U.S. It’s especially during January and February when I start thinking of my trips to Mexico, Haiti, and Guatemala. It’s around this time of year when short-term mission teams were scheduled.

It’s a welcome change of climate and a brief respite from the harsh Illinois’ winter. It’s also getting me out of my comfort zone while doing something to help better the situation in these places where there’s little provision and few resources. It also gives me something to write about today.

It’s a privilege to visit these countries, not as a tourist, but as part of a mission team. This opportunity came through church and non-denominational Christian groups I was fortunate to get connected with. …

Why aren’t more of us taking up the practice while we are trapped inside our homes?

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Photo by Jaanus Jagomägi on Unsplash

This school of thought exists, partly science, metaphysical and ancient belief, whereby our consciousness can transcend our bodily vessel and travel through space and time. Is it only a practice reserved for new agers and shaman-types?

Out of body experience (OBE) and Astral Projection lie somewhere between niche pseudo-science and psychedelic enhanced absurdity. It seems those staunch believers who ascribe to the experience have dug their heels in deep. They know it to be true because they’ve done it. They’ve been there and back again.

They won’t be told it’s just speculative theory. I suspect most non-believers see it as quackery or maybe wishing they had actual first-hand experience to make a more informed opinion on the topic. …

Poetry is a literary expression that doesn’t register with me, and I don’t understand why

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Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

I feel like something’s inherently wrong with me. I call myself a writer, and I’ve always been a reader. I enjoy all forms of classic and ancient literature. I’ve read through the entire Bible more than once. Why is it when it comes to poetry I have a mental block?

My mother loves poetry. When I was growing up, the bookshelves in our house were always loaded with all poetry books. I recall works by such masters as Robert Frost, Edgar Allen Poe, Walt Whitman, Lewis Carroll, and Rudyard Kipling.

Though I enjoyed Kipling’s Just So Stories, a collection of cleverly crafted children's tales. The Elephant’s Child: How the Elephant Got Its Trunk was most memorable. I won’t go as far as saying that I'm not too fond of poetry, but I’m pretty close to going there. …

How to use the seven elements of storytelling to clarify your message and grow your business

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Photo by Roberto Carlos Roman on Unsplash

Alfred Hitchcock defined a good story as “Life with the dull parts taken out” Good branding is the same.

Do you like a good story with a happy ending? What are your business goals? Are you interested in growing? Do you want loyal clients who won’t dream about leaving for your competition? I know these are ridiculous questions, but being bombarded with so many poorly-crafted messages and websites, we have to wonder what some business owners are thinking.

Many marketing messages are not speaking to the customer’s problem. They are speaking about how wonderful their company is. It might very well be the truth. Maybe you really are the best company providing that particular service you offer, but singing your own praises is the wrong path to follow if growing your business is the goal. …

I’m already feeling some amazing benefits with less than two weeks of consistent home-treatment

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Photo by Maksym Tymchyk on Unsplash

Are you a snorer? Does your bed-partner or other family members complain about your incessant log-sawing? Are you pushed, kicked, pinched, and poked throughout the night by somebody in your house who barks that you’re snoring too loud?

Have you ever been awakened suddenly from a sound sleep by loud banging on the walls or the ceiling above or below where you’re sleeping? Do you wake in the morning still feeling drowsy? Are you dozing off during the day or falling asleep as soon as you get comfortable in front of the TV?

If you can answer yes to any of the above questions, you might have what’s known as sleep apnea. You should consult with your doctor if you experience any of these events regularly. If it turns out that you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, do yourself a huge favor and take whatever next-steps your doctor recommends as a solution to remedy the problem. I wish I had acted sooner. When chronic drowsiness becomes your standard, your only reference point, it’s accepted as normal. …

Once you’ve established your credibility as the guide and provide a solid plan, it’s time to call your customer to action in no gentle way

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Photo by MaddiesCreation on Unsplash

In AMC’s hit series Breaking Bad, high school chemistry teacher Walter White starts manufacturing crystal meth. Would he have done that if he didn’t think he was dying from cancer and looking for a means to provide for his family?

It’s no different from Liam Neeson’s character in the movie, Taken. There’s no way he would’ve chased those sex slavers to Europe if his daughter wasn’t kidnapped.

There’s no way Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise) would’ve journeyed to pick up his autistic older brother, Raymond (Dustin Hoffman), until he learns his estranged father has died.

Heroes (and anti-heroes) need to be challenged by outside forces as motivation to take action. Best-selling author Donald Miller lays it out very neatly in his book, Building a Story Brand. …

Between Covid stress and political divides, people are angry, and it comes out when they get behind the wheel of a car

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The car is speeding up quickly behind me. He’s right on my bumper. It would only take a tap on my break, and we’d be fused instantly into one-piece of steaming fiberglass and metal roadblock. It’s only a two-lane road, so that it will be instant gridlock.

The driver is purposefully accelerating to close the distance between my vehicle and his. I’m not a slow driver. As a rule, my speed slightly exceeds the posted limit. What the hell is this guy’s problem?

What is it about being enclosed in a vehicle-bubble that automatically gives us free-license to behave in ways we’d never dream of in other settings? …


Jim Farina

Serving only the freshest, organic content. Writing prepared with the best quality ingredients, easy to digest and shareable. jimfarina

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