Friday, January 11, 2013

Houseclean Your Brain


A while back -- quite a while back -- I showed you this picture of my office cleaning in progress. It hasn't taken me all this time to accomplish it. I finished it a few days after the last post, but I did take my time and thoroughly enjoyed the process. A cup of tea, dusty books -- what's not to love?

The second picture is of the completed project. I know what you're thinking. Wow! It still looks like a mess. I'll have you know that six grocery bags of books were removed and donated to the library. At least another three bags were sent to recycling and maybe five more sent out to the trash. Yes, the shelves were packed upright, sideways, and on top of each other.

Now I have the old books I really could not part with. And I can see them. They are at my fingertips, ready for me to revisit.

Even though it doesn't look like it, the top shelf and walls were purged too. My favorite things remain. Vintage hats, a page of Betsy McCall paper dolls, an empty Valentine's candy box (even bad chocolate is good when eaten from a heart-shaped box), and, yes, that is a calendar from 2010 -- it has pictures and quotes about chocolate on it.

Now when I enter my office, my brain feels refreshed and ready to go. If I'm feeling a little down, I look at the mementos from friends and good times, and my energy returns.

It's like housecleaning for your brain. Cobwebs swept away creating space for new ideas.


The Advanced Life Story Writing Group met this week. I gave them their Launching Pad for February so I'll just share that with you -- since we're talking about Valentine chocolates. Here it is: What is your favorite Valentine candy? Or, what words or sentiments would you write on those little candy hearts that appear at Valentine's? Some clever writer in the group e-mailed to ask if swear words were okay. (Yes, that was Donna.) Well, sure. Tell that current or ex-Valentine sweetheart what you really think.

Chocolate Inkwell

Chocolate Covered Strawberries - These look beautifully Valentine-y. You probably already know how to make chocolate covered strawberries, but read on. This recipe from gives you a little trick for creating really pretty strawberries.


  1. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and shortening, stirring occasionally until smooth. Holding them by the toothpicks, dip the strawberries into the chocolate mixture.
  2. Insert toothpicks into the tops of the strawberries.
  3. Turn the strawberries upside down and insert the toothpick into styrofoam for the chocolate to cool.joyed the process

Do you love to teach? Wish you had a life story writing group? There are writing groups in cities surrounding Kansas City, Missouri and in other states which have been started by someone who loved to teach, gathered a group looking for fun and affirmation of life, and using the Write Your Life Story Workbook - Second Edition. Discounts apply to orders of eight or more books. E-mail me,, for more information. Go to and click on Buy for information about the workbook.
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