Archive for the ‘Lighten Up’ Category

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend – Total Cloud Inversion of Grand Canyon

A reminder for new followers, almost every weekend, I post something off-topic, interesting, humorous or even weird. Throw-off those CPA firm management shackles for a few minutes and lighten-up.

This week, on Thursday, something rare happened. The Grand Canyon nearly filled-up with clouds. It has happened before but is rare and only lasts a few minutes. Here’s a 1-minute video (no sound) recorded by the National Park Service.

When I first visited the Canyon decades ago, I was somewhat disappointed because, from the top (South Rim) the Canyon was so immense that it actually didn’t seem real to me. I felt like I was looking at a gigantic picture. Then years later I rafted (motorized raft) through the Grand Canyon for 6 days, exploring side canyons, sleeping on beaches and enjoying the thrill of the rapids. At one point, our guide said, “Look up, at this point it is one mile to the top.” That trip made it all real to me.

Here is a stunning photo taken by Maci MacPherson National Park Service.  Appreciate the wonders around you this week-end – even if it is the busyness of holiday shoppers!


  • The earth has music for those who listen.
  • George Santayana

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

Lighten-Up – Holy Weekend, Batman!

How does your CPA firm logo/icon look? Does it depict a boring accounting firm or something more exciting, unique, exotic, or enlightened. Nothing stays the same nor should your logo – don’t be afraid to let it evolve.

Here’s a video that depicts the changes to the Caped Crusader’s iconic logo over the years. You might think it would stay the same since it plays an important role, shining on the sky of Gotham, to alert Batman that he is needed.

You can also see an info graphic depicting the changes here. I hope when clients see your logo, they immediately recognize it and know that they need help from you!

Here’s a picture of a t-shirt I bought my husband when I was in the Minneapolis airport. It’s one of his favorites (and mine).


  • Everything is impossible until somebody does it.
  • Bruce Wayne

Saturday, November 29th, 2014

Lighten-Up – There’s Been An Awakening. Have You Felt it?

Hopefully, there has been an awakening inside your accounting firm. I hope you are capitalizing on it.

HOWEVER, for this weekend another awakening that’s a lot more fun – Lighten-Up, it’s the weekend. The new Star Wars trailer has been released. Turn up the sound!

  • Do. Or do not. There is no try.
  • Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend – Not So Light But Touching

veteran-s-memorial-poppy-559774209I was in Australia on November 11th this year. There, what we call Veteran’s Day is called Remembrance Day (also known as Poppy Day). It is observed by the Commonwealth of Nations.

I was in the Alice Springs airport on “the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month” (the official time WWI hostilities ended) and a message was announced that we all stop and observe a moment of silence to honor those who died in the line of duty. Everyone did.

Many people were wearing a red paper poppy. The red remembrance poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem In Flanders Fields. These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I and their brilliant color became a symbol for the blood spilled in the war.

When I was a child, growing up in a very small town in Ohio, the American Legion Auxiliary women made the red poppies and sold them along the street during the week of November 11th each year. They stopped doing it many years ago. I wonder why. They haven’t forgotten in Australia. It was very touching.

Watch the WWI Christmas truce recreated for an epic tearjerker of an ad by a British grocer.

  • In Flanders fields the poppies blow, between the crosses, row on row...
  • John McCrae, poet

Saturday, November 8th, 2014

Lighten-Up, It’s the weekend – Friday Night vs. Saturday Morning

I am in Australia on holiday, mate.

So, I thought my week-end blog would be some observations about my trip so far.  I am writing this on Saturday  morning, at about 9:00a (and it is about 6:30p on Friday night in Ohio). Between the east coast of Australia (Brisbane) and Alice Springs, there is a 30 minute time change. Never experienced that before.

The Good

So many once-in-a-lifetime experiences so far:

Spending a beautiful day – 1.5 hours out and 1.5 hours back and 3.5 hours on a platform on the Great Barrier Reef.

Boat ride on a river near Mossman for early morning birding and wildlife observations.

Accompanying an aboriginal guide through a very educational hike in the Daintree Rainforest. So far, my husband has added 115 bird species to his life list.

A dinner overlooking a remote lake. We were greeted by two large Emu’s, just walking about. They were semi-tame.

Visiting Alice Springs – I have heard of it for so long and always wondered.

Driving many hours to reach a resort near Ayers Rock, officially called Uluru and being able to see it from our balcony. It is amazing how desolate and empty the outback actually is. This resort is 300 miles from the nearest town.

Experiencing sunrise at it hits Uluru and having an aboriginal guide teach us the “old” ways and tell us their stories about the rock. He was the same guide that recently assisted Prince William and Kate on their visit to the rock in April.

Crossing the equator, the international date line and seeing the southern cross.

Looking forward to Melbourne next week.

The Bad

We have been absolutely blown away at how expensive it is here. The US dollar and Australian Dollar are very similar in value.

One scoop of ice cream costs $5.00.  Most dinners are $25 and up. Yesterday for lunch, I had a chicken sandwich w/fries, Darrell had a hamburger w/fries and 2 coffees – $50.00 (and there are no refills on coffee here).

Here in the outback, the grocery charges you $1.10 for a brown paper sack to carry your groceries.  Soft drinks are $4.00 to $4.50 (canned), water is $4.00/bottle.

I understand the min. wage here is $25.00 so that drives prices up. We also heard that Unemployment is unlimited.

The customer service is hit or miss – not consistently good.

The Ugly

The black flies in the outback – simply brutal. Today we bought nets to wear. And, the heat… 102 at Ayers Rock today, 112 in Alice Springs – definitely difficult hiking weather.

Here is Uluru – moon is setting, just before sun comes up behind us.


  • Those who contemplate the beauty of the Earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.
  • Rachel Carson

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend – How Young Accountants Learn

Inside accounting firms, beginner accountants learn from older, more experienced and usually wiser CPAs and accountants. My observation is that the best training is on-the-job. How many times have you heard the new college graduates entering your firm remark, “I never learned that in college!”

I recently read Looking for Alaska by John Green. Many of the passages and reactions to situations from the teenagers attending a boarding school and their teachers, made me smile.

I thought the following remark by a very wise, older religion teacher could apply to young accountants – – when they become discouraged by all they have to learn in their first two or three years.

“I will talk most of the time and you will listen most of the time. Because you may be smart, but I have been smart longer.”

Friday, October 31st, 2014

Lighten-Up, It’s Halloween – Be Sure To Look Under Your Bed Tonight

Some special quotes for Halloween.


“The thing under my bed waiting to grab my ankle isn’t real. I know that, and I also know that if I’m careful to keep my foot under the covers, it will never be able to grab my ankle.” – – Stephen King, Night Shift

“There are certain themes of which the interest is all-absorbing, but which are too entirely horrible for the purposes of legitimate fiction.” – – Edgar Allan Poe, The Premature Burial

“If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear!” – – Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

“Houses are not haunted. We are haunted, and regardless of the architecture with which we surround ourselves, our ghosts stay with us until we ourselves are ghosts.” – – Dean Koontz, Velocity


I thought I would share my favorite book for this time of year – The Monster at the End of This

I read it many times to my son and my grandchildren also loved it. If you have small children or grandchildren this is a must-read to share with them.


Today is the day to begin unmasking your potential! – – Happy Halloween!


Saturday, October 25th, 2014

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend – Nature Is Amazing

IMG_2020I came across this video about wolves being introduced back into Yellowstone National Park and the amazing transformation that has occurred.  I have been there (several times) and have had the wonderful opportunity to observe the wolves – in winter and in summer.

I believe that many people, being caught-up in their busy lives, often forget about things like the true balance of nature and other wonders of our beautiful earth.

I hope you’ll take about 5 minutes to lighten-up and watch this video. I did notice that the narrator (with a British accent.. I think… speaks of deer and the picture shows elk). Oh well, he’s probably never been there. Of course, there are deer, elk and antelope in Yellowstone. And yes, we have also observed the grizzlies there (from a distance!).

  • While my interest in natural history has added very little to my sum of achievement, it has added immeasurably to my sum of enjoyment in life.
  • Theodore Roosevelt

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

Lighten-Up It Is The Weekend – Enjoy This Wonderful Performance

Last weekend our granddaughter spent a couple days with us. As is our tradition when she and/or her brother visit, we have Popcorn Movie Night. Of course, they pick the movie and often bring their own along. For our movie viewing, since her brother wasn’t along, she picked the 25th Anniversary presentation of Phantom of the Opera at Royal Albert Hall, filmed in 2011. We had never seen it. Andrew Lloyd Weber comes out on stage at the end and reminisces.

We have seen Phantom live a couple of times and of course, the movie. But this anniversary performance was truly wonderful. Ramin Karimloo played the phantom. I hate to admit it, but I think he does a better job than Michael Crawford (the original).

This weekend, enjoy this unique performance by Karimloo singing Let Him Live from Les Miserables.


  • When going to the opera, don't sit under the chandelier.

Saturday, October 11th, 2014

Lighten-up – Enjoy your weekend

Sometimes we make mistakes. Many people stress-out, especially when it is getting very close to a due date for an accounting firm.

Often partners and managers feel like they must just fix the mistake made by a lesser-experienced accountant and move the project (like a tax return) on to the next step in the process.

How will the less-experienced accountant ever learn if they do not know what they did wrong? Send it back to the preparer, even if it is close to the deadline. I am well aware of the pressures…. if you are literally down to the wire – fix it – but make a note and TALK to the accountant about the situation once the pressure is off – like on October 16th.

I made a mistake. I posted my Saturday blog yesterday – on Friday.  Check out this week’s REAL lighten-up blog post here – It’s the weekend!

M-O-O-N spells mistake!

  • I know a transsexual guy whose only ambition is to eat, drink and be Mary.
  • George Carlin