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The Weight of a Snowflake


The Weight of a Snowflake

I just tweeted about watching snowflakes out of my window instead of doing some work. Of course, the snowing stopped not five minutes afterward. But my friend Jim Peak over at just sent me the most beautiful story in response, origin unknown, and I have to share it with you: 

“Tell me the weight of a snowflake,” a coal-mouse asked a wild dove.

“Nothing more than nothing,” was the answer.

“In that case, I must tell you a marvelous story,” the coal-mouse said.

“I sat on the branch of a fir, close to its trunk, when it began to snow-not heavily, not in a raging blizzard--no, just like in a dream, without a wound and without any violence.  Since I did not have anything better to do, I counted the snowflakes settling on the twigs and needles of my branch.  Their number was exactly 3,741,952.  When the 3,741,953rd dropped onto the branch, nothing more than nothing, as you say- the branch broke off.”

Having said that, the coal-mouse flew away.

The dove, since Noah’s time an authority on the matter, thought about the story for awhile, and finally said to herself, ”Perhaps there is only one person’s voice lacking for peace to come to the world.”

In the spirit of the holidays, wishing you and your loved ones a peaceful, joyful, and blessed season. 



Happy Labor Day!

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If you're not hearing back from your US American colleagues today, don't worry - they're off shopping one of the many many sales events

It's Labor Day over here, and if you'd like to learn more about it, the Department of Labor has a whole website dedicated to today.

Fun fact: After today, wearing white is frowned upon. Why? Probably because "old money" wanted a way to distinguish between themselves and the nouveau riches. As Mental Floss puts it: 

Not everyone followed this rule. Even some socialites continued to buck the trend, most famously Coco Chanel, who wore white year-round. But even though the rule was originally enforced by only a few hundred women, over the decades it trickled down to everyone else. By the 1950s, women’s magazines made it clear to middle class America: white clothing came out on Memorial Day and went away on Labor Day.
These days the fashion world is much more relaxed about what colors to wear and when, but every year you will still hear people say that white after Labor Day is unacceptable, all thanks to some snobby millionaires over 100 years ago.

Read the full text here: 




Happy Holidays!

20121224-182020.jpg Dear ones, If or wherever you're celebrating this season, may it be a healthy peace and joyful one! Hubby and I are taking it easy, connecting with family via Skype and iMessage. Yay for technology! :-)

I'm also enjoying some time in the gym and cooking recipes courtesy of the genius over at - the Shepherd's Pie and Cauliflower Curry went down a treat! Feeling blessed and relieved that "eat healthy and exercise" won't take up space on the 2013 goal list again - we'll simply continue as we are now.


One more thing - in lieu of presents, we made donations to charity:water and nothingbutnets, and it felt wonderful. If you don't know what to get for a friend or loved one, maybe a charitable contribution could be an option. And then get it matched by your employer for double the goodness. :-)

As we say in Ostfriesland, "guten Rutsch!" - have a good slide into the New Year, looking forward to seeing you there.

Love and light, Dxx



Happy Turkey Day!

  If you're celebrating this weekend, I hope you and yours have lots to be thankful for!  

I certainly do - we're visiting family for a couple of weeks. :-)


Happy Holidays, stay safe, and don't forget to eat your veggies!!



Have you planned this summer's vacation yet?

Temperatures have been high for a few months now here in Texas, but it's now officially summer everywhere. In Europe, kids are finishing school right about this month which means their parents can finally take two or three of their average annual six weeks paid vacation and take the tykes somewhere nice. What are your plans?

If you live in the USA, you might want to close your mouth now before you swallow a fly. Yes, European office workers get about six weeks off. (Relax, they pay pretty steep taxes and gas prices are even higher over there, so it does even itself out.) Now, you may feel short-changed as most American workers get about ten days paid leave per year, but my point is, when you do use them, however many they are, do try and make the most of it.

For instance, if you're planning on going to Spain, go this month or in the fall, because most of the country closes down in August. No kidding. Literally. Their normal two-hour siesta-hiatus every afternoon notwithstanding, owners of local shops, restaurants, bars and taverns even in tourist-meccas like Barcelona leave the city in August, most of them for the entire month. Of course, having said that, there's still plenty of beach, architecture, museums, parks and exclusive shops to enjoy; I just find it hasn't the same flavour when the locals are away.

No matter where you go, while you plan your get-away, make sure you've taken care of everything so you can enjoy your time away and relax without worrying about your home or your work. Is your passport up-to-date? Have you had the medical check-ups and vaccines recommended for your destination? Are all the bills that'll arrive while you're out taken care of? Did you enlist a friend or relative to check your mail and water your plants? As for your job, have you instructed your substitute what to do with special customers? Have you set up your out-of-office reply? Have you given yourself permission to go away without having to check in with anyone or take phone-calls? Because I'm sorry to hammer it home here, but if you want a holiday, the BlackBerry has to stay put!

Holiday or vacation do not equal working from home, the hotel, or by the pool. Just imagine the cocktail spilling over your laptop! No, no, better leave it; the company will thank you for saving money on new hardware. But now, do you know where you're going? Have you found a good deal on cheap flights or an adventure-packed excursion? Are you going with people you like, who you don't mind spending a lot of time with (seeing you first thing in the morning, no make-up etc), or are you going in a group to make new friends? Either way, if you're not the happy-go-lucky type, do take some time and make a plan of which sights you want to see and how your expectations fit in with those of the people traveling with you, or you might want to kick yourself afterward. I don't recommend being the guy who went to Paris and didn't see the Eiffel Tower ("That's HERE?" Billy Crystal, Forget Paris).

Of course there's no need to go to Europe to have an adventure, reconnecting to your home state is always a great idea, plus you don't need weeks to go exploring, a long weekend like this one does nicely. Whatever you do, have a great independence day, and wherever you go this summer, I hope you have the time of your life. Do check out this article about how to make those memories last, so that when you do have a blast, you'll remember to tell us here all about it.

Til next time!





Are you looking forward to the holidays or is it more a dreading of the pies and the family get-togethers? Well, if the latter, what can you do now to prepare and make this year's festivities great and enjoyable ones? I don't know about you, but I roll my eyes at the Santas adorning the shop shelves in August. That's just way too soon to be thinking about that stuff. But now... we're in November already, and time flies, so six weeks of preparations for the holidays might just be what could keep you (and me!) sane this year. (this is not even counting the US Thanksgiving, cos that's in 20-days' time. ;-))


How about writing a couple of Christmas cards every night so by the time you have to mail them they're ready to go? Same if you're an e-mail sender - they can be stored in the "drafts" section of your provider and be sent whenever you want to send them. I already picked out some funny e-cards to write my wishes on, copy-pasting the actual text will take no time at all once I have all the addresses sorted.

And for the last-minute shoppers among us - you know how frenzied it gets on Christmas eve, why, seriously, why aren't you getting the gifts tomorrow while strolling through the mall? You don't even have to get all of them, just the one for your partner, or your parents, or your friend. And the day after you can get the next one, on your way home from work.

What about food, do you have to cook the dinner for a big group? Is there a way you could contact your butcher and pre-order whatever piece you need so you can just go pick it up when the time comes? Or can you buy it now and freeze it? Plus, in the spirit of sharing (the workload), do you really have to do everything yourself, or can Aunt Mae bring the pie and your brother prepares the salad? Or maybe you'd like to flee this year altogether and take a vacation - have you already looked at flights and hotel availabilities?

We've touched on this before, it's the same concept: taking one big thing and breaking it down into smaller pieces, so it won't hit you all at once. And there's plenty you can do now to make the holidays more relaxed for you and your loved ones. Besides, it's all about friends and family really, isn' it. Not about how many presents or the size of turkeys. Get together with people you love, hug 'em and enjoy having them around. That's the best present ever.

Have fun and a great time preparing; this year nothing will stress you out if you don't want it to.

Til next time!

PS - you know what makes a great gift? Coaching vouchers! ;-)


Image by Andy Castro, Flickr, Creative Commons License.