Our Monthly Newsletter


A Lesson To Remember

A circus owner had become disenchanted with his star performer: a trained elephant who was starting to show his age. The circus owner accepted the fact that the elephant was no longer drawing the same large audiences, and he made the hard decision to take the elephant to auction, where he hoped that a zoo or sanctuary would purchase the beloved star and house him in his old age.

Word got out that the circus owner was going to sell the elephant. An auctioneer, recognizing his chance to turn a profit, offered the circus owner two thousand dollars in advance.

A few days later, the circus owner went to auction in the hopes of finding a young, new elephant to train and saw that the auctioneer was now taking bids for his old elephant. The auctioneer began to pitch the elephant: “Look at the strength in his muscles! This handsome beast

will work tirelessly!” Upon hearing this, a man bid two thousand dollars.

The auctioneer continued his patter: “See the compassion in this animal’s eyes? He would be perfect in

a petting zoo, gentle with children and able to entertain people for hours!” Another man bid three thousand dollars.

The auctioneer continued with his praise and the bids started going higher and higher until, finally, a man bid ten thousand dollars. The auctioneer announced that the animal was “Sold!”

With tears in his eyes, the winning man— the same circus owner who’d earlier sold the elephant for two thousand dollars— walked up, gently stroked the elephant, and whispered to him: “I am going to take care of you for the rest of your life!”

As he led his old pal out of the auction, the circus owner stopped to thank the auctioneer for reminding him of an old lesson: true friendship and loyalty are priceless.

Elisa McNinch


Our Featured Listings

Elisa has redesigned both the BrunerTeam.com and ElisaMcNinch.com websites this month. Click on the Home button on the top menu bar to navigate to the main BrunerTeam website or use the right-hand window. Take a look at our Feature Listings below:



“Let us always meet each other with a smile, the beginning of love.” ~Mother Teresa


Billy ran into the house shouting, “Mom! Mom! Come quick! I just knocked over the ladder!” “I’m extremely busy,” his mother said. “… go get your father.”

“I can’t!” Billy cried out: “He’s hanging from the roof!”

Save At the Store

You’ve got to buy food, but you don’t have to spend wildly on it. Smart shopping can save you a bundle. For instance, if you save just $20 a month on groceries, you’ve banked more than $200 over the year. Here are some strategies to save on your food bill:

  • Plan your shopping carefully. Look through your refrigerator and pantry to see what you need on a regular basis. This lets you look for sales and buy those products in bulk.
  • Cut back on convenience foods. Don’t buy things like packaged salads or pre-cut celery. You’re paying big for a small convenience.
  • Use coupons. If you find that you buy some name- brand foods regularly, then start clipping the coupons for them. Otherwise, generic foods are comparable in quality and content, and usually less expensive.
  • Check out different stores. You may find as much as a 10-15% difference on identical products at different stores, depending on the neighborhood and demographic factors. Shop at the store that is the cheapest overall.


 Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels

by Land O’ Lakes

Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels Image

February 14th is Valentine’s Day. Make something special for your Valentine this year – delicious and easy to make Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels. 



Some Words Should Last Forever

One summer, two best friends, Patrick and Peter, took a long hiking trip through the mountains. Because they were constantly together, they naturally got on each other’s nerves from time to time. On the second afternoon, they started bickering over which direction to take, and soon tempers flared.

Finally, Patrick knocked Peter to the ground. But instead of retaliating, Peter picked up a stick and wrote in the dirt: “Today my best friend pushed me.” Soon they both calmed down and continued walking.

The next day, the friends were rock climbing when Peter’s harness broke, leaving him clinging to the side of a steep slope over a 100-ft drop. With great effort, Patrick got him to safety. Back on solid ground an hour later, Peter took out a pocketknife and carved on the rock: “Today my best friend saved my life.”

When people hurt you, it’s best to let the injury blow away like words in the sand. But when someone helps you, preserve the memory so it will never fade.

“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” ~Thoreau

Restfulness: The Secret To a Good Memory

One key to success is your memory. Being able to pick up and remember the fine details of what you’ve learned can help you move forward quickly. What’s the

best strategy for using your memory effectively? Sleep.

As an article on the Medical News Today website explains, sleep is essential for consolidating memories. Insufficient or poor sleep makes the synapses in your brain less effective, which interferes with your ability to learn new information.

Moreover, recent studies suggest that taking a quick nap, or even just resting quietly for 10 minutes or so, can help new information settle into your memory so you can access it more readily later.

After a training session or an important conversation, take a few minutes to sit back, close your eyes, and think of nothing. Even if you don’t fall asleep, you’ll have a better grasp of the information when you go back to work.

Five Inexpensive Household Solutions

Check out some of these novel and inexpensive solutions to common household problems by Southernliving.com.  The ingenuity of some of these DIY solutions may shock you!


A Fun Personality Test

The question “What’s your spirit animal?” may sound like psychobabble, but the Ying Ying Shi blog offers a fun “animal” quiz that may uncover some creative insights about your personality and approach to life.

A quick test given to youngsters asks them to fill in three simple questions:

My favorite animal is

My second favorite animal is

My third favorite animal is .

For each animal, list the characteristic that attracts you. Interpret the results like this:

The first animal represents your aspirations as a person.

The second is a portrait of how other people view your personality. The third animal depicts your true personality.

Accurate or not, the quiz can start you thinking about who you are and who you want to become.

Worth the Paper It’s Printed On?

A History Of the Banknote

Governments print it, misers hoard it under their mattresses, rich people light their cigars with it— but where does the idea of paper money come from, anyway?

China, actually. The banknote apparently originated during the Tang  Dynasty (7th century), to replace bulky copper coins carried by merchants. The coins were minted with rectangular holes in their center so they could be strung together on cords, but wealthy merchants found that lugging their coins around was difficult.

A system was born in which merchants left their coins with a trusted agent in exchange for a note stating exactly how much money was being held. The merchant could return the note at any time to redeem his or her coins, and in time, paper money called “jiaozi” evolved.

In Europe, banknotes first came into use in the 14th century. The term “banknote” derives from nota di banco. The holder of a note could redeem it for an amount of silver or gold held on deposit with a bank.

In the New World, the Massachusetts Bay Colony was the first of the American colonies to circulate its own banknotes in the early 1690s, but all 13 colonies were issuing their own notes by the early 1700s.

The First Bank of the United States, chartered by Congress in 1789 shortly after the signing of the Constitution, was authorized to issue banknotes, but the U.S. federal government didn’t start printing its own paper money until 1862.

Funny Beans

A teacher asked her students to use the word “beans” in a sentence.

“My father grows beans,” said one eager girl. “My mother cooks beans,” said the boy sitting next to her. A third student calmly offered his view: “We are all human beans.”

Think Like An Entrepreneur

You may not dream of starting your own business, but thinking like an entrepreneur can help develop your creative talents in any career. Successful entrepreneurs consistently do a few things to keep their businesses running smoothly:

  1. They think about their customers: people who depend on us, and whose support we need. Get into the habit of analyzing demands and anticipating workplace needs to find new ways of satisfying them.
  2. They measure results. Decide how you can best track progress and identify success. Don’t waste time on ideas that aren’t going anywhere!
  3. Entrepreneurs try new ideas, starting incrementally instead of all at once. You’ll do a better job of identifying what works when the stakes aren’t overwhelming.
  4. They use their network. Tap the people you know— co-

workers, friends, mentors, and the like— when you’re looking for new projects or innovative solutions. Few entrepreneurs succeed totally on their own; they rely on the people around them for original thinking and support.

  1. They learn from failure. Analyze what went wrong— was the idea itself flawed, for example, or did it fall apart somewhere in your execution? You’ll probably uncover some new ways of attacking problems and finding solutions.

The Science Of Spring Fever

When the weather gets warmer, you might try blaming your spring fever on physiology. Spring fever’s symptoms usually appear during the onset of the vernal equinox. In the northern hemisphere, people begin to feel more energetic and enthusiastic because

of chemical changes in the body, produced in part by increased exposure to daylight. Scientists cite a number of factors that contribute to spring fever:

    • As the days grow longer, increased light sends signals to the brain’s pineal gland, which then reduces its production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates our body clock and controls our mood and energy levels.
    • Increased light also affects the hypothalamus, the section of the brain that regulates eating and sleeping.
    • Our other senses— sight, smell, and hearing— also wake up as blossoms and spring breezes assault them. Such stimuli can trigger strong emotions, from euphoria to sadness.

January 2019 Trivia Answer

Question:  What nationality was Julius Caesar?

Answer:  Roman

Congratulations to Judy Morey! Your name was randomly selected from all of the correct entries. You won a $50 gift card to one of the following: Amazon.com, Academy, Target, Khol’s, Bed, Bath, & Beyond, HEB grocery, Willie’s Icehouse, OR Pappas restaurants. Your choice!

February 2019 Trivia Question

Question: How many bones are in the adult, human body?

Everyone who contacts Elisa via email (elisa@brunerteam.com) or phone (832-746-7911) with the correct answer by February 20th will be entered into a drawing for a $50 gift card to one of the following: Amazon.com, Academy, Target, Khol’s, Bed, Bath, & Beyond, HEB grocery, Willie’s Icehouse, OR Pappas restaurants. Your choice!