Throw a Great Summer Bash

Throwing parties can be fun for the whole family, but they require ample food and beverage planning so everyone can have a good time. Keep these simple hints in mind so there is plenty on the table:

Time the Food: Prepare appetizers ahead of time. Heat up baked snacks just before serving.

Drinkability: Most guests at parties will consume 2½ drinks each. For every two guests, you should buy one bottle of lemonade, soda or whatever else you’re serving.

Keep it moving: Place your serving table well away from walls. Guests will be able to serve themselves from both sides and have room to move around it.

The Seeds of Friendship

Ava was newly married. She and her husband had just moved into their first home and she had decided to plant a garden like the one her Grandma had planted years ago in the house where she grew up. All her life, she’d been the one to help take care of that garden and she was excited to keep the tradition alive in memory of her Grandma.

As part of the garden, Ava planted a little tree at the base of a stone wall in the corner of her garden, and spent the entire summer coaxing the seedling into growth. Finally, the baby tree began sprouting green leafy vines that climbed the wall, but to her disappointment, no flowers bloomed.

One morning Ava stood in her garden and wondered whether she should just dig up the tree and start over with something new to bring some life to the dark corner.

Then, she heard a voice from over the wall. “Yoohoo! I just wanted to thank you for the beautiful flowers!”

Confused, Ava went next door. Her neighbor, an elderly woman, opened the garden gate and showed her into the backyard.

To her surprise, the young woman saw that her tree had not only bloomed, but had also sprouted flowers all along the vines that had crept over the wall into her neighbor’s yard.

Her work gave her neighbor so much pleasure that Ava decided never to cut the tree down. She realized that what she had really planted were the seeds of friendship.

Help Children Gain Perspective

Sometimes, a bit of perspective is all that someone needs to overcome conflict in their life. The next time you see a young person you care about struggling with conflict, see if talking it out can help them gain perspective and come up with solutions. Ask them the following and see what comes up in conversation:

• Do you dislike the other person?
• Do you distrust him or her?
• Do you want to “win”?

Answering “Yes” to any of these questions may be a signal that they’re overreacting to personal issues.

The Dog Days Of Summer

The dog days of summer are upon us. The thermometer is creeping up and everyone is hot, and hopefully happy. Those dog days aren’t named for a warm pooch sleeping off the hot day in the shade, however. They’re named for the constellation Sirius, Orion’s dog chasing him across the night sky and bringing the heat of July with him.

Just as those astronomers watched a dog dash through the sky in advance of a heat wave, so can you. However, instead of watching the sky and learning its patterns, what if you watch the sky and chart your own course?

This July is the perfect month for planning. Some people use vision boards; some use a more modern app; some simply leave a few pages torn from magazines up on the refrigerator so that those ideas have to be acknowledged every time they open the door to get a snack. No matter what method you choose, please choose one.

Find the way that you best collect your ideas during these long, warm days. I’m talking about watch-the-clouds, dream big, isolate your deepest wishes for personal and professional fulfillment. Some of the best ideas are born out of doing absolutely nothing. Let the summer heat slow you down to stillness so that all you have to do is focus and see where your imagination takes you.

What better thing could you attribute to the dog days of summer than to look back in six months and observe how you planned your own path for growth back in July? With the need to daydream your best version of your life into existence, I hope that you find time to just sit and be this summer.

Best wishes to you on your path!

Night Owls & Early Birds

The early bird gets the worm… as well as other benefits, according to a story on the New York Post website. A survey of sleep habits involving 2,000 people found that selfidentified early birds generally make more money, are more likely to work in an office setting, and describe themselves as happy. They’re also more likely to be married with children in their home.

On the other hand, night owls are typically shy and sarcastic, more likely to believe in ghosts, and are more often single.
Both groups actually sleep about the same amount— seven hours a night for early birds and six hours for night owls. However, early birds are light sleepers and they tend to feel more well-rested.