Most Efficient Way to Shovel (And Save Your Back) in 3 Easy Steps

Upon shoveling out of Jonas today here in Pennsylvania, I’ve done a little research to figure out the most efficient way to shovel. If you want to save your back, take the easy steps below.

1. Listen for doorbell.

2. When doorbell rings, peek out and see if an entrepreneurial teenager is holding a shovel (and/or has a snowblower).

3. Answer door with a $20.00 bill in hand and offer the $20.00 for them to shovel your driveway/walkway.


I like peace, quiet and serenity.

I like things neat, clean and organized.


I don’t learn anything from trying to control my environment to always be in a peaceful/quiet/organized state.

Life is messy. Business is messy. Relationships are messy.

So what’s the alternative to the messy/difficult/stretching? Wallpaper.

  • Wallpaper has no relationships.
  • Never changes.
  • Never learns.

Wallpaper keeps things looking nice…but that’s about it.

That’s not the life I want, the business I want or the relationships I want.

I’d rather be sandpaper. Sandpaper stirs, smooths, roughs, changes and reinvents.



The Silent Thief that Steals Your Creativity

FotoChesKa via Compfight

Missing something?  

If someone crept into my home and stole something I loved, I’d not just want the stolen item back, I’d want to know…

  • Why was it stolen
  • Who stole it
  • How do I prevent this from happening again

As artists we can sometimes get discouraged and that discouragement can lead to procrastination, apathy and blocks that hinder our creativity.

In other words, discouragement robs us from creating, and consequently robs us of enriching the lives of others with our creativity. The result is that we may feel numb, uninspired and blocked–a victim of a discouragement robbery.

The antidote is simple, but not easy: ask a few basic questions… Continue reading “The Silent Thief that Steals Your Creativity”

Discover Building a Life Out of Words

I live in Amish country: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

When you visit you’ll find:

  • Horse and buggy combos are commonplace, even at Wal-Mart.
  • Hard workers and neatly kept lawns.
  • Tourist attractions.
  • Shawn Smucker.

I’ve yet to meet Smucker in person, but after reading his new book Building a Life Out of Words, we’ve shared coffee, swapped writing ideas and engaged in a refreshing heart to heart. Continue reading “Discover Building a Life Out of Words”

Creative Community: 2 Questions, 2 Minutes, 1 Comment

It’s exciting to see the creative community on this site continue to grow.

Source: daniel.d.slee (Creative Commons)

The citizenry includes vibrant designers, inspiring pastorsfinancial coaches, imaginative writers, creative moms, blogging gurus, prolific producers, gifted graphic artists, and many more that we don’t know anything about.

But that’s about to change.

Continue reading “Creative Community: 2 Questions, 2 Minutes, 1 Comment”

Creativity and the Costa Concordia: Get on the Ship


January 13, 2012


Costa Concordia, Island of Giglio, Italy

(the setting could also be ‘your mind’)


Coast Guard: Captain Gregorio De Falco

(think of De Falco as ‘your coach’)

Ship Captain: Captain Francesco Schettino

(think of Schettino as ‘reasoning’)


Know Who You Are

De Falco: “This is De Falco from Livorno. Am I speaking with the captain?”

Schettino: “Yes. Good evening, Cmdr. De Falco.”

Continue reading “Creativity and the Costa Concordia: Get on the Ship”

Making Space for Movement

In order to avoid that terribly rude checked baggage fee, you’ve got to free up the extra space in that backpack/suitcase/mammoth-purse you’ve used for the past six to twelve months.

In my making-space-session a few items of note…

+Two cans of V8.

+Terribly stale gum.

+A key.


Continue reading “Making Space for Movement”

10 Things People Hate About Thanksgiving


I love Thanksgiving to pieces. To absolute pieces.


“Who wouldn’t love Thanksgiving?” I pondered. Apparently, there are a few out there.

A quick Googling (not ogling) revealed the haters. Here’s a quick compilation of some their complaints.

  1. Carving Birds. Don’t take the hate out on the bird. It gave its life so you could have a nice nap later in the afternoon. Take tips from the amazing Alton Brown, Turkey Carving 101.
  2. Working Out. According to Livestrong, the average American consumes 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day. That’s more than double the average daily amount. Working out will come later. One day isn’t going to kill the waistline–the other 364 days will. Continue reading “10 Things People Hate About Thanksgiving”

Friday Light: Slightly Embarrassing Quirks and Inappropriateness

At times I want this blog to be notable. Regal. Intellectual. Thought provoking.

But that can also be boring. Hence, the reason every Friday post blends in a little humor, and today’s shares an extra dash of embarrassing quirks from childhood. Quirks volume one here.

+Earthworms. After it rained and the earthworms littered the ground, I’d don my rollerskates and ‘save’ them, tossing them back into the soaked earth from which they sought to escape. I don’t do this anymore. OK, maybe I did once or twice in the last year.

+Hot Dogs. I didn’t eat hot dogs for about five years durning my elementary school days as I’d been told they were made of earthworms. I save earthworms, not eat them = childhood logic.

+I Pledged Allegiance to a Christmas Tree. Real Christmas trees always adorned our home, but one year it grew, even in it’s little tree stand. It actually got taller. I felt badly that the poor guy would be tossed into our woods behind the woodpile. It was growing, after all. So what makes a Christmas tree feel better? Singing to it. Christmas carols. I promised the tree that I’d never forget all it had done for us. The odd ritual only lasted a week or so, but that tree died a slow death while being saranaded by a nine-year-old. Kinda like The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstien. Only not really.

+Inappropriate Nicknames. As a kid, I often went for the laugh in most circumstances. Still do. I think I was simply going for the laugh when I called my third grade art teacher a prostitute. Something like ‘oh yeah, we’ll you’re just a prostitute.’ Hmmmm. I’d never been removed from a classroom faster than I was on that day. I honestly had no idea what a prostitue was, though I imagine when I first heard the word used by others, their audience laughed so I thought I’d give it a try. Bad idea.

There’s more. Oh, yes, there’s plenty more. But that’s a start and you can read quirks volume one here.

In the meantime, please tell me I’m not alone. What kinds of crazy did you do when you were a kiddo? Leave a reply below so we can all get a chuckle…


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