Tag Archives: fun

Channel Tree News

Two trees with a good deal of personal history continue to bring happiness in 2017.  Along Academy, in Canyon Crest this morning, I had a stop and chat with two old friends.  I recently finished a nature writing class through Inlandia Institute, which gave me the inclination to scan the tree tops, newly cleared by Fall, a season that runs from the Veteran’s Day to Thanksgiving around the Inland Empire.

Atop a Eucalyptus dating back to the foundation laying of this ahistorical ‘hood (let’s say the 60’s) lay a 2×2 bundle of sticks…a hawk’s nest…no idea if it’s been abandoned. It is a beautiful thing to see nature treat the urban like anything else it crosses. Another example of nature making beneficial use of the materials at hand. Surely some other creature has or will make use of that bared nest.

Back at ground level, E.M. and I tried out the tree swing that was a daily morning stop along our daily morning walk. A daily walk that started in 2014 with E.M.’s scientifically assisted conception, and ended in 2017 with the politically inspired backyard garden, and the emergence of E.M.’s two-year-old desire to reject her stroller on general principle. The net effect of these realities was an end to walks in the neighborhood.

But, in the waning days of Fall, a third birthday arriving within hours, we returned. Like two vaudevillians entering stage left for an impromptu reunion tour, we checked that tree swing for spiders, climbed aboard, and sang Mr. Golden Sun. A thank you to our neighborly neighbor for keeping the swing in rotation through the years.

Tree News. Real Trees, Real News.

Do you walk your neighborhood? Ever come across a plant or tree that defies description or your limited scientific know how? Not to fear, send it here and get the answers you want: UC Riverside’s Herbarium

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Filed under happiness, nature, things to do in riverside, Uncategorized

Motivation Schmotivation

I teach motivation as part of my coursework in my Intro to College course, and I sprinkle it into many of my Critical Thinking classes.  The other day I faced a pile of dirty dishes.  That moment clarified just what each of us faces when it comes to finishing a task.

This short post goes out to all my fellow procrastinators.  By the way, I stopped to write this while in the middle of finishing my media and retail sales lists for my publisher, Reedy Press.  I was supposed to have them in by the 15th.  Enjoy!!

When faced with a particularly heinous pile of dirty dishes, I took the rookie-actor approach and asked myself, “What’s my motivation?” After all, this is a home mess, not a work related occupational hazard.  My inner director called up three approaches –

  1. External motivation – I need to clean this mess up before someone comes over and sees this.
  2. Internal – I need to get this done so I can work on those other project deadlines.
  3. Go outside, watch birds, and hope an elf does them while I am away.


I went outside. I watched birds. I chased a two-year-old around. I stepped in dog poop.

Eventually we got hungry.  When we came inside to make dinner, those dishes were still there.  But I was in a much better headspace to knock them out.  Give yourself a pass today on beating yourself up about unfinished tasks.  Go look at something pretty or talk to someone that knows you are already pretty awesome.

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Filed under art, critical thinking, Family, happiness, things to do in riverside, Uncategorized