Archive for the ‘Lighten Up’ Category

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

Friday, October 10th, 2014

Lighten-Up, It’s the Weekend

MoonI hope you took some time this week to walk outside and see something unusual and beautiful. I have been a sky watcher since I was a kid. When we lived in the country, we had a telescope and bundled up on many chilly nights to watch the stars and planets.

Now, we live where there are too many city lights to see much of the sky. I was still looking forward to seeing the Blood Moon (from my location in Ohio).

I was certainly rewarded. It was an absolutely clear, beautiful pre-dawn morning on Wednesday. I simply walked out my back door, onto the golf course, stood in the dark and soaked it in.

This weekend, to lighten-up, I simply wanted to share some pictures with you (in case you haven’t browsed them already).  My own picture, above, leaves a lot to be desired – you had to be there!

Here are a few awesome photos from a PBS site.

If you watched The Stand (Stephen King), the following quote will make you smile.

  • M-O-O-N! That spells NEBRASKA!
  • Bill Fagerbakke, as Tom Cullen in The Stand

Saturday, October 4th, 2014

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend – Time For Something Off-Topic, Humorous or Even Weird

This weekend, my topic is all of the above….. off-topic, humorous and yes, I know I’m rather weird.

I don’t often wear glasses, but I like my new ones!  Hope it makes you smile!


New Glasses – – – – – – – – – – – – -Old Glasses

Photo on 3-7-14 at 10.59 AM - Version 2

Photo on 3-31-14 at 2.04 PM




  • It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter.
  • Alfred Eisenstaedt

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend – Be a Zombie

slide5-650x300Did you ever want to dress up as a zombie and dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller“?

6,451 zombies-for-a-day participated last October in Thrill the World - a simultaneous performance of Michael Jackson’s Thriller dance that took place in 22 countries on six continents.

This year, the claw hands will come out on October 25 at 10p Greenwich Mean Time, which means it’s close to midnight only if you live in Europe. Most official chapters of the Thrill the World organization raise money for a local charity through the dance.  I love the Thriller video.

  • I'm just like anyone. I cut and bleed. And I embarrass easily.
  • Michael Jackson

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

I Am Trying To……. Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend

I always try to make you feel better on the weekend… to make you smile or to provide something unusual, interesting or humorous.

This Saturday morning, I’m trying to lighten-up myself. I am traveling home from a great two days with a client at a beautiful location in Florida.

When I fly from Dayton to Florida, it often means I must go through Atlanta. Just saying that much probably helps you understand my state of mind!

Anyway, I try to look at the everyday hassles with air travel as amusing or often unbelievable. Here are some random thoughts, that I definitely do not verbalize! Maybe they will make you smile.

Many airlines offer you an expedited option for an additional fee. Pay $10 extra dollars for each flight and get priority seating via Zone 1. Ha! – – Nearly every passenger is in Zone 1 – it’s like a stampede.

Southwest has the best boarding procedure. Years ago when I experienced it I thought it was confusing. It is really very efficient and eliminates all the jockeying for position.  I love it now. Working with firm operations, efficiency is so important to me.

I prefer an aisle seat…… but it is dangerous. People boarding hit you with backpacks, large purses, hard briefcases. I am experienced so I know never to expose an elbow or shoulder when the flight attendants are quickly moving the carts down the aisle.

When you are seated on the aisle and a person takes a seat next to the window, leaving an empty seat in the middle, you just hope and pray that the huge guy coming down the aisle does not have that middle seat!

Well know fact, men take up more space than most women. They sit down, legs spread fairly far apart, unfold the newspaper with elbows sticking out both ways. The woman next to them is making herself as small as possible.

Then, there are the significantly over-weight individuals. Airlines are making seating space smaller so they can haul more passengers while the general population is getting larger and larger. What kind of sense does that make?  I assume they want to then sell the larger people 2 seats?

Okay…. I vented. What I really find out as I travel is that the majority of the people are kind and caring. I have met so many interesting and friendly people as I travel. If you watch TV you begin to think that everyone is a criminal or dangerous deranged individual. I am just thankful that the overwhelming majority of people in our wonderful USA are down-to-earth and nice (even if they do sometimes forget their manners).

All being said, I actually enjoy the flying – – I just don’t like airports.

  • The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.
  • J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan