Author: Michael Hodgson

Cuddling with Lucy at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Roll your eyes if you must, but I’ve always dreamed of holding a koala. Not sure why that has been so important to me … perhaps the stuff of childhood fantasy. But I got my wish in October 2013 during our stay in Brisbane, Australia. My wife and I had heard about Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary (www.koala.net), located approximately 13 kilometers (8 miles) southwest of Brisbane City Center.

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Cornwall: View from garden lawn of St Michael’s Mount

It is easy to lose yourself for a few days when visiting Penzance and surrounding areas along the eastern coastline of Cornwall, England. A few of our favorite places to visit in Cornwall include Mevagissey and Pentewan (including the Lost Gardens of Heligan), down to Penzance, St Michaels Mount (where the above image was quickly painted into my journal), and Mousehole.

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Messing About in Boats: White water rafting on the Green River

“Hang on,” yelled our river guide Kevin with a grin. Leaning hard against the river’s pull, the oars bent slightly and the raft heaved to, taking a line that would carry us clear of the rocks, but right into the heart of the maelstrom. Heartbeats kept pace with the increasing speed of the raft as Kevin launched us into the jumble of waves. The raft bucked and heaved, so much so that in the middle of the rapid I managed to execute a nearly perfect back flip with a twist, landing smack in Kevin’s lap.

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I love a good shea butter massage … is that wrong?

I can honestly say I like a spa that offers shea butter massage and exfoliation. But it wasn’t always this way. My sojourn to the dark side began with an argument. A late summer’s day evening found me engaged in nonsensical combat with my lovely dark-haired wife, Therese. We were wielding verbal daggers with abandon, spilling emotional blood all over the floor; evidence of a marriage stressed by too much time spent growing a business and not enough time nurturing the soul.

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Natural Learning: Seeing nature through a child’s eyes

There is no need to be an entomologist, botanist, or ecologist to appreciate what nature has to offer through natural learning – or to teach your kids appreciation for the natural world. It starts with learning to see nature through a child’s eyes. Here are a few suggestions to make your next family backyard wander or park romp that much more meaningful, thanks to the senses.

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On why I hate ticks!

It’s not all that hard to realize why I hate ticks. The very thought of walking through woods and fields infested with ticks makes my skin crawl. Perhaps it is because of a tick’s predilection to attaching itself firmly to its host, in this case me, and then draining a seemingly prodigious quantity of blood from those dark and moist places where I would rather not have something alien nibbling. Even with my skin dipped in DEET and clothes soaked in permethrin, I am on edge.

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The Friendly Skies Can Get A Bit Too Friendly

Sometimes, the friendly skies get a bit too friendly for me. I had just settled into my exit row seat on the aisle of a Canadair Regional Jet from Los Angeles to Sacramento when Madame X arrived. She pointed to the window seat and then, without waiting for me to disengage from my seat and move to the aisle to allow her to pass, she straddled my legs and with a twisting move that would have impressed the most advanced pole dancer, brushed her ample posterior past my face.

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Harvard killed any ‘sex is exercise’ pitch dammit

Thanks a lot, Harvard! In almost less time than it takes to click into a website, the Harvard Men’s Health Watch cut the legs out from under my most persuasive pitch for having sex – “Honey, sex is exercise and good for me.” Since my wife loves me and does care about what’s good for me, that line is a proven winner.

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You’re not married until Facebook says so

For more than 11 years, my wife and I have shared a home, a bedroom and countless happy moments traveling around the world together. My daughter, who was at our wedding, knows us as married. We were married by a minister, so we presume God knows we’re husband and wife. The state of California has even issued us a marriage license. And goodness knows, my wife’s parents and my parents both thought we were married too. But despite the overwhelming evidence that I am, in fact, a happily married man, I just learned no one is married until Facebook says so.

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Author: Michael Hodgson