“That Story Lady”

Angela Scott, Author – Storyteller – Ventriloquist

Boomerang 101 – How to Throw a Boomerang

February 17, 2012

One particular sermon illustrating the importance of the healing quality of laughter in life is unforgettable for me. Norman Cousins authored the book, “Anatomy of an Illness.” He discovered the positive effect of profound doses of daily laughter combined with Vitamin C that conquered his illness.

Fascinated with Cousins’ discovery of how laughter improved his life, my search for contagious laughter began. The notion developed about my preceding interest in boomerangs. Enthralled with their history, the mirth memory of a Far Side cartoon surfaced. While pondering the cartoon frame featuring Mr. and Mrs. Boomerang, I felt a smile and giggled.

In the lone cartoon frame, Mrs. Boomerang stood in the open door of their home while Mr. Boomerang walked away from the house. He held a solitary piece of luggage. Her words were few but the sentiment was clear. “Go ahead and leave. You’ll be back in 10 to 15 minutes, just like all the other times.”

It’s been more than a few years since an acquaintance had given me an Authentic Aboriginal Boomerang crafted by Wungella Artifacts in Australia. Several days ago my eyes rediscovered printed directions for the correct way to throw it. On the reverse side, a narrow rectangular sticker displayed the “How to Throw a Boomerang” instructions:

1. Throw at 45 degree angle away from wind direction.

2. Flat side away from wind or away from body.

The thought struck me that it was time to photograph the boomerang. It also seemed imperative to immediately complete the task since the New Year had just begun.

My goal was to understand how to correctly throw a boomerang. However, I received a greater appreciation for the meticulous design of the Australian boomerang.

Although throwing my boomerang produced a different result than the results featured on a YouTube video, it was easy to understand that practice is required to successfully throw a boomerang that returns.

Before throwing my Australian treasure again, I decided it was time to frame and exhibit the artifact in my work area. The frame shop guy I spoke with said this would be the first time he’d ever framed a boomerang. His finished project produced a stunning presentation of the painted kangaroo on the boomerang.

We smiled. Both of us enjoyed the boomerang challenge that incorporated humor, art, history, geography, and accuracy.

Boomerangs will return when correctly thrown; however, correctly framed boomerangs will tell stories that families and friends can throw and enjoy for countless years.


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No Ordinary Diagnosis – Recovery From Toxic Mold Exposure

January 2, 2012

Her name is Tammy and she’s a Certified Medical Assistant as well as a college instructor. Her stature is petite but the amount of knowledge in her mind is as vast as the ocean.

As a medical professional, Tammy wants to educate everyone about this covert and potentially deadly disease: toxic mold exposure, which is no ordinary diagnosis. “It morphs in the absence of knowledgeable, prompt medical intervention.” She wants you to avoid the grim lesson she learned firsthand.

In the interview, Tammy spoke with authority. “If chronic illnesses are ignored, it can be deadly…” Her voice softened but her focus strengthened. “It seemed like I was a magnet for viruses and bacteria.”

“A few of the warning signs include illnesses such as sinus infections, migraine headaches, eye irritations, sore throats, and extreme fatigue. Medical treatments are available but it’s a slow process. The treatments aren’t generally covered by insurance companies but how can you place a monetary value on human life?”

She paused to moisten her throat with a sip of water. “Recovery isn’t for the faint of heart. It feels like you’re climbing out of a deep, dark hole. But, it’s possible.”

When she spoke, the smile on her face waned as she recounted how her son almost died from it. “I had to sell one of our cars to pay for his medical treatments. His lungs were collapsing… The doctor who tested and treated us said, “You have to walk away from your home, from everything.”

Tears welled in her eyes. “All we had were the clothes on our back. Everything in our home was contaminated… with mold.”

I asked her, “How did you know what to do?”

A few years ago she’d attended a medical conference and learned about the toxicity of mold disease. “They shared documented information about toxic mold exposure. I’d heard of it before but I didn’t know how it affected people. When the speaker worked through the slide presentation about symptoms of toxic mold exposure, the thought occurred to me that both my son and I had every one of those symptoms!”

That evening Tammy recorded her thoughts in a journal. “Could this be the root cause of our ongoing illnesses? I have to find out. I decided to dig deeply into those handouts.”

She took a deep breath. “I did a lot of research. I even ordered a book called Mold Warriors and then purchased another book about toxic mold. I read everything. I found blogs about toxic mold and subscribed for updates. Collectively, it looked like Mt. Everest but I wanted to learn.

Tammy leaned forward in her chair. “I wanted to understand why we’d been so sick. All of our symptoms fit perfectly together. It was like finding the missing puzzle piece for a jigsaw puzzle, but our lives were in dire jeopardy. I was compelled to learn about the damaging effects of mold on the human body. There had to be an answer for those unrelenting illnesses. I’m certain there was a reason and a purpose for me to attend that specific conference.”

She sat back in her chair. “I knew one day there would be others exposed to toxic mold and by being well-informed, it could forever change many lives.”

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Thought for Today 06-25-10

June 25, 2010

“Too bad all the people who know how to run this country are busy running taxicabs or cutting hair…” ~ George Burns [Life Magazine, December 1979]

Thought for Today 06-24-10

June 24, 2010

“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body…” ~ Sir Richard Steele

Thought for Today 06-23-10

June 23, 2010

“Cheerfulness keeps up a kind of day-light in the mind…” ~ Joseph Addison

Time Capsule in a Tin Can

June 22, 2010

In the middle of a 30 second cell phone conversation, I heard a beep and silence. The battery died, I guess.

“Only a year ago, I paid 99 cents for this cell phone, new.” The death of my frugal investment wasn’t comforting.

On my way home, I checked on the price for a replacement battery. The sales associate listened attentively even though it was minutes before their business closed for the day. His reply, “Only $37.95 for a new battery,” wasn’t comforting.

He must have seen the question on my mind because he began an abbreviated yet detailed summary about the steps to replace the dead battery. “This type of battery will be a special order; this week’s orders have already been placed. The anticipated delivery date…approximately two weeks.” My response, “Oh,” ended our conversation.

Just a few years ago, I experienced a similar situation. That cell phone battery died too. It wasn’t a comforting memory.

Digging inside the console of my car, I was desperate to find a power source for the cell phone. Instead, I found a silver tin container. It was rectangular in shape with a heart and cross embossed design on the lid. “What’s that?”

As the primary driver of the car, I was the culprit who had buried the unlikely version of a time capsule in a tin can. Neither did I remember the contents of the tin container nor did I remember why I had placed it in the console of the car.

Eager to find out what I had inadvertently hidden, I sat on the floor and lifted the lid off of the tin container. I found a wooden toothpick holder, two Bible verses which had been clipped from a newspaper, one miniature mechanical pencil, a few antacid tablets and a Theodore Roosevelt quote.

Also inside the container, there were two more newspaper clippings and a miniature hand carved box that could be opened only with secret instructions. It was less then two inches wide. A tiny red heart was painted on the outside. Inside the box, the palm of a hand was etched in the thin wood.

In addition, there was a miniature plastic bag in the tin that contained a collection of gifts symbolic of courage, strength and hope.

The first newspaper clipping told a story about Bald Head Island, North Carolina. However, there wasn’t a year listed in the article so I’m certain it was over a year old.

Another newspaper clipping told a story about two professors who had recently received the highest civilian honor bestowed by the North Carolina Governor, “The Order of the Long Leaf Pine.” That article didn’t list a date either but it did include the state toast.

It felt as if I had discovered a time capsule buried in my car, without premeditation. Each item evoked memories far beyond the face value of the item.

People might say the intrinsic value of my tiny memories was little more than a miniature tin can of trash. However, the epiphany I experienced while inventorying my buried treasure was worth more than a pound of rare gems.

I confess this recent discovery of memories led me on a path I had previously traveled but forgotten. Memories flooded my mind searching for understanding.

The answer, of course, was the realization that the tin container held glimpses of previous opportunities in life, a miniature blueprint for future plans.

The questions played over and over in my thoughts. “Why did I bury these items? Why did I stop? When did I stop?”

Waiting for my response, I remembered. Mom had a heart attack in July the previous year. I remembered the urgency to develop a new plan of action after that unexpected family emergency.

Dr. David Campbell said it best in his book entitled, “If You Don’t Know Where You’re Going, You’ll Probably End up Somewhere Else.” I found myself in quite a different place than my original plans.

Mom’s heart attack stopped me temporarily but the severity of her situation urged me to live intentionally with a definite plan, even though it had been temporarily misplaced.

Remember, now is better than never to prepare a blueprint for your life, even if you use a tin can.


Angela Scott is an author who diligently works to encourage and inspire you, and those with whom you live and work to continually find hope. Visit http://www.thatstorylady.com to get your free “Thought for Today.”

Sunday Afternoon Lesson of Appreciation For Home and Family

June 22, 2010

“Our women’s ministry group is holding a craft fair in the fellowship hall on Sunday afternoon,” my sister said. It was just one week before Christmas and although I had finished my shopping, the event sounded like fun.

Walking slowly into the crowded room, I attempted to follow the left aisle. Scanning crafts, prices, and people, I saw an open path and immediately walked toward the opposite side of the room.

Crocheted dish towels, cookbooks, customized pillowcases and baked goods are just a few of the items I saw that day. After scanning the entire room, I returned to my three favorite exhibits.

The first exhibit was a home baked persimmon pudding. I’ve been told this dessert is either loved or not. Since it’s only available in the fall season of the year, I knew this was my opportunity to taste a dessert I loved, one my mom had baked when I was a child. Purchase one completed.

The second exhibit was handcrafted pillow cases. Colors exploded and the custom designs temporarily mesmerized me. When my eyes landed on the purple and green set of pillowcases, it felt like I had found a tangible moment of tranquility. Purchase two completed.

The third exhibit was a combination of baked goods and miniature containers. Glancing at the display, I saw two miniature plastic bags inside a coffee mug, one contained a dry chocolate powder and the second contained a dry white powder. Directions to mix the contents in the cup were listed on the label affixed to the mug. It was something I hadn’t seen before and yet it reminded me of the miniature bake ovens popular with kids several years ago but this was an adult sized coffee mug. Purchase three completed.

Creativity of the exhibitors amazed me. In that simple Sunday afternoon event I had the opportunity to remember the love of my mom and dad, as well as explore new ideas that taught me ways to prepare things I hadn’t even considered.

When I looked at the calendar yesterday morning, an italicized quotation caught my eye. “Our minds are like parachutes; they work best when open.”


Angela Scott is an author who diligently works to encourage and inspire you, and those with whom you live and work to continually find hope. Visit http://www.thatstorylady.com to get your free “Thought for Today.”

Thought for Today 06-22-10

June 22, 2010

“My ancestors didn’t come over on the Mayflower, but they met the boat…” ~ Will Rogers

Thought for Today 06-21-10

June 21, 2010

“If you put a small value on yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price.” ~ Anonymous

Thought for Today 06-20-10

June 20, 2010

“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson