Fall is officially among us, and the anticipation of the holiday season begins to loom. Fear not! This newsletter is packed with self-care tips for those of us with desk jobs, silly puns to help you escape for a moment, and a butternut squash soup that will warm you and your loved ones on a chilly fall day! We briefly touch on the season of change and how October is so reminiscent of the transient nature of life. If life is changing for you or someone you know, and a location shift is on the horizon, then I hope you’ll think of me. Buying or selling a home is a huge transition, one I am skilled in and in which I would love to support you or someone in your circle.
Warm regards, Michele Walman
The Elephant Rope
As a man took a leisurely walk through the well-maintained pathways of a renowned wildlife sanctuary, he came across a majestic herd of elephants. This contained and tourist-friendly location provided a perfect opportunity for visitors to experience these enormous creatures up close. Despite being in such a controlled environment, he couldn't help but wonder at the sight of the elephants being held by nothing more than a tiny rope tied around their front legs. Curiosity got the better of him, and he approached a nearby trainer to inquire about the peculiar situation. "Why do these massive animals stay put and make no effort to break free?" "Ah, my friend, when these elephants were just young and small, we used the same size rope to restrain them. At that tender age, it was strong enough to hold them in place. As they grew older and more formidable, their minds got conditioned to believe that the rope could still confine them. Even though they possess the strength to break away, they never attempt it, for their belief in the rope's power keeps them anchored. The Lighter Side Why shouldn't you tell a secret to a pig? He's a squealer. What kind of paper makes you itch? Scratch paper. What gets no wetter no matter how hard it rains? The ocean. What do you call a calf after it's six months old? Seven months old. How does a boat show affection? It hugs the shore. This extraordinary encounter left the man deep in thought. He realized that, like the elephants, many of us carry the weight of self-imposed limitations throughout our lives. How often do we grasp onto beliefs that we cannot accomplish something just because we encountered failure in the past?
The Lighter Side
Why shouldn't you tell a secret to a pig?
He's a squealer.
What kind of paper makes you itch?
What gets no wetter no matter how hard it rains?
What do you call a calf after it's six months old?
Seven months old.
How does a boat show affection?
It hugs the shore.
Oct. 1, International Coffee Day.
A global celebration to promote and appreciate this beloved beverage and recognize the millions of people involved in its production and trade. Oct. 4, World Animal Day. A day dedicated to raising awareness about animal welfare and encouraging the protection and rights of animals worldwide. Oct. 10, World Mental Health Day. An internationally recognized day that aims to raise awareness about mental health issues, promote mental well-being and advocate for improved support and resources. Oct. 14, World Food Day. A day established by the United Nations to highlight the importance of food security and sustainable agriculture, with a focus on combating hunger and malnutrition. Oct. 31, Halloween. A popular holiday celebrated in many countries in which people dress up in costumes, engage in festive activities and go trick-or-treating. BOO!
Oct. 4, World Animal Day.
A day dedicated to raising awareness about animal welfare and encouraging the protection and rights of animals worldwide.
Oct. 10, World Mental Health Day.
An internationally recognized day that aims to raise awareness about mental health issues, promote mental well-being and advocate for improved support and resources.
Oct. 14, World Food Day.
A day established by the United Nations to highlight the importance of food security and sustainable agriculture, with a focus on combating hunger and malnutrition.
Oct. 31, Halloween.
A popular holiday celebrated in many countries in which people dress up in costumes, engage in festive activities and go trick-or-treating. BOO!
5 Computer Friendly Stretches
Ever wonder why your body hurts when you’re sitting at your computer? Although many reasons could be the culprit—from the ergonomics of the chair to the length of time you’re sitting—one thing is for sure: Stretching will help relieve the pain. Here are some ideas:
1. Arms: Straighten an arm out in front of you at shoulder height. Make a fist and bend the arm down as though pouring something. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat five times.
2. Back. Put one foot on the opposite knee. Lean forward slowly and hold for 10 seconds. Alternate sides and do five sets total.
3. Legs. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and place your hands as if sliding them into the back of your pants pockets. Slowly lean backward a little and hold for ten seconds. Keep your chin tucked into your chest, then look at the ceiling and return. Do ten reps.
4. Hands. Straighten an arm in front of you at shoulder height. With the other hand, bend the wrist back so your fingers point to the ceiling. Pull back on the fingers gently. Hold 10 seconds. Do five total reps, then repeat with the other hand.
5. Shoulders. Reach one arm up straight above your head and stretch your fingers. Move your head down to your chest and then back. Switch arms.
Fall Ready Butternut Squash Soup
- 1 medium-sized butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Optional toppings: roasted pumpkin seeds, a drizzle of cream, or fresh herbs.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrots and celery. Sauté until the vegetables are tender and the onion becomes translucent.
Add the butternut squash cubes to the pot and sauté for a few minutes to enhance the flavors.
Pour in the vegetable broth, thyme, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Stir well.
Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to low.
Cover the pot and let it simmer for about 20–25 minutes or until the squash is fork-tender.
Remove the pot from the heat and allow the soup to cool slightly.
Use an immersion blender or transfer the soup to a blender in batches, and blend until smooth and creamy.
Return the soup to the pot and reheat gently, if needed. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
Serve the butternut squash soup hot, garnished with the optional toppings.
Enjoy this delicious and warming butternut squash soup during the cozy October weather!
Get Your Groove On
Although line dancing looks like so much fun, it can be baffling on your first try. However, after you learn and understand the secrets to the art, line dancing is much less daunting.
A line dance lasts three to five minutes, and you can drop out any time. Among the popular line dances, the Electric Slide is the shortest—lasting two to three minutes—makes a good beginning dance to learn and is the dance that often opens a line dance party, especially as a warmup.
If you are new to line dancing, here are some tips:
The dance starts once the singing starts. Everything before that is the intro.
- Moves usually change after four counts. When you get to four, you'll change direction or make a new move.
- You can make any move plain or fancy, low movement or high. Instead of doing actual stomps, for example, do a tap.
- Notice how many times the dancers turn to face a different direction. These are called walls. A line dance can have up to four walls, but the dance will usually end up facing the same way it started.
Here are some other popular line dances:
Cha-cha slide. You get to make a little cha-cha move and there are some hops, but you can substitute them with tip toes.
Boot scootin' boogie. This one is more difficult because it has a series of hops, including one in which dancers cross their legs. It also has a quick half-beat step.
Cupid shuffle. This modern song has easy steps and kicks, although experienced line dancers usually improvise their steps. Stick with the basics at the beginning.
Cotton-Eyed Joe. If you love that old-fashioned fiddle, this ones for you. It has some turns and toe taps. Dancers usually face one way.
A Doorbell For Fish !
The city of Utrecht in the Netherlands has created a unique solution to help humans and marine life live in harmony. It created a fish doorbell. Utrecht has many dams and locks that disrupt fish migration.
The fish travel Utrecht's Vecht River, a branch of the Rhine River, to the Kromme River, where they spawn in the shallow waters of the Kromme.
But manmade structures, such as dams and locks, frequently disrupt their migration. In Utrecht, the Weerd Lock is one such obstacle to migratory fish. Ecologist Mark van Heukelum told the Weerd boat lock manager that the boat lock was an obstacle for fish.
The lock manager said he would open the lock for fish, but he didn’t know when fish were ready to get through. That is when an idea was born!
Van Heukelum came up with the idea of an underwater webcam that anyone could view online, and when people saw a fish, they could ring the virtual doorbell and the lock manager would open the gate.
The idea has worked marvelously. In its first spring season in March 2023, people rang the fish doorbell more than 100,000 times. The video feed will be inactive until March, when the fish will be knocking at the door again.