Hope is in the Oven


I’m an excellent chef, but I’m also the world’s worst baker. Because of that, I can define the word hope. Hope is the yearning look on my family’s faces when I’m standing at the counter making pie, or cheesecake or cookies. The look of “hope” screams – this is it…maybe she’ll get it right this time…maybe, just maybe, this time everything will turn out ok. #hopeisintheoven

hope
hōp/
noun
  1. 1
    a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.
    “he looked through her belongings in the hope of coming across some information”
    synonyms: aspirationdesirewishexpectationambitionaimgoalplandesignMore

Telling a Different Story Through Differentiation


Porsche Macan

I test drove a very nice car yesterday, the Porsche Macan, my idea of a zippy and creative, mom-car on caffeine and steroids. After winding-up with a bonafide lemon the last time I bought an SUV (don’t ask, it makes me crazy); I wanted to be sure I covered all my bases on my next purchase. Poised with questions, I eventually asked the salesman, “How fast does it go from 0-60?” He turned to me and said, “Don’t you really want to know how fast it stops? Check to make sure it’s safe, and then slam on the brakes.”

While I pondered his question, I got off on a side road, checked my rearview mirror and slammed hard on the brakes. The experience was like no quick braking and traction experience I’ve ever had. There,” he said, “That’s what I want you to remember when you test drive any other car.”  

Folks, if you are in sales, that’s a great example of how to differentiate yourself from the competition. I asked a pretty typical question and my salesman gave me a rather untypical response – one that made me think long and hard about what matters most when considering my buying options, and one that’s probably going to make this car stand out above and beyond the rest.

Books Make the Perfect Valentines Day Gift for Children


For the month of February, order Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore and receive complimentary inscription, free shipping, plus a promotional five-sided starfish crayon! Order Your Copy Today!

Promotion ends 2/28/14

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When the Water Beckons You


If you grew-up near the water, it doesn’t matter where you are – when you see it again, it beckons you closer, daring you to its rocky edge, tempting you to take off your shoes and test its temperature with the tips of your french manicured, but otherwise bare toes. It’s all you can do not to stay and frolic there awhile, where you can conjure up your days of youth, and make architectural plans in your head. In that setting your mind becomes a drafting table. What would it look like if you could build a home in that very same spot?

T.A. Gould
writer, author, poet, photographer and dreamer.

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Everything Happens in Threes: An Ode to an Olive Tree


I wouldn’t say I’m a superstitious person, necessarily, but sometimes things in my life – ultra-important, good or bad – seem to happen (to me) in threes. One of my favorite relatives from my childhood, my Aunt Grace, died recently (rest her soul) from a heart condition. A week later, my beloved dog, Bogie, my sweet Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, also died from a heart condition.

Two. When the second coincidence strikes, two-in-a row like that – I earnestly wait, fearful that proverbial “other shoe” will eventually drop, and something tragic will happen once more. I knew that day soon would find me, and it did. The bad news finally arrived today in the form of the sound of a loud crack from the fall.

Forty-five MPH, howling winds appearing from out of nowhere, shook it’s thick branches, rattled its frail heart, sending it soaring to a perilous demise – killing my precious olive tree. The same tree that was freshly planted right before we bought the house. The same tree that grew- up alongside my children. The tree that over-shadowed the pool where the kids splashed around while I sat beneath it, stretched out on the chaise, reading a book with my dear Bogie splayed out by my feet.

The olive tree was tall and luscious – a handsome, winding, fruit-bearing, full-of-life kind of tree, but it was growing too fast and I knew it. It was too big for its living quarters set on its small, sloping bed of Lantana and variegated Bougainvillea. After all, it had already lost a major limb a couple of years ago. I knew then my tree was in trouble, that perfect tree near where we spent impossibly perfect summer’s days – but I didn’t work to save it. And, while I loved that olive tree, today I am almost thankful and glad we didn’t try and save it, because after all – it’s just a tree and not another person or pet we could have lost and loved more. During this time when life begins speaking to me in threes, I always stop and take the time to listen, and today it rings of three. Death. And I am, in this case, thankful this is, perchance, the number three.

So, dare I say goodbye to your rustling branches on sweet summer’s days. So long to your dark fruit squished beneath our flip flops. Farewell, oh sweet olive tree…may you truly be the third in this series of threes. But, not to worry as you lie there, lifeless and snapped in two; I suspect your roots are strong and you’ll wind your way back to me.

If a tree falls in the middle of your yard, would you hear it?

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Madam: Milk Does Not Swing from a Tree


Note to My Most Stubborn Self

Madam Persnickety-Pants: You are in Europe. Henceforth into perpetuity, when ordering a latte while visiting here – you must come to understand there is only one kind of milk – it’s called MILK. It’s not 2%, fat free, almond, coconut or soy – just plain old, whole milk from the mature female of a brown-eyed bovine animal, not unlike what was served in Frankfurt, Madrid and Rome, and to you when you were an unassuming, snot-nosed kid after playing in the dirt of Northern Indiana. So, stop asking for something new in your froth, because the subsequent disappointed pout is not becoming to a lady of your stature. Madam, here in Italy, MILK most certainly does not swing from a tree!

P.S. Milk Does Not Swing from a Tree, is a very good title for a picture book.

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