Wednesday, December 17, 2008

SAVE THE DATE - Bowl For Kids Sake 2009 - March 28th and March 29th

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

The Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl For Kids Sake Event is gearing up! The Elves here are the ones that make this event truly special. The Bowl For Kids Sake 2009 event is being held Saturday, March 28th and Sunday, March 29th at Sparetime Recreation in Lewiston, ME.

So...for my friends in the State of Maine, who live in, near, or will travel to Androscoggin County, you are expected to be at this event to support the great work of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Androscoggin County.

Save the date...March 28th and March 29th!

Here is how you can help:

1. Donate a Flat-Rate Pledge!
2. Be a Team Captain and create teams of family and friends to bowl at the event!
3. Volunteer your time to make the event a success.
4. Spread the word by being a BFKS Representative at your business! Company challenges are great ways to have fun together and help the community!

If you need any information, I am sure one of the elves at Big Brothers Big Sisters can help you! Call Big Brothers Big Sisters today at (207) 782-5437 x76

Help if you can, make a difference in the life of a child!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Line Up Those Ducks!

Change and growth take place when a person has risked himself and dares to become involved with experimenting with his own life.

—Herbert Otto

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Mass of Dots

Life is like a mass of dots, isn’t it? You look around at what is going on in your life and all you have is dots. One dot for each item. Like a bullet point on your list of life.

• Call Mom
• Go to the store
• Put up your Christmas Tree
• Prepare the agendas for your meetings next week
• Search the stack of newspapers for the Honor Roll with your daughter’s name
• Begin to get your attitude in gear for the fundraiser of the year
• Get the holiday music together
• Review the missing items in your database
• Remember to get those holiday cards out
• Try and find some money for your mentoring programs
• Get in the holiday spirit
• Buy a real shovel
• Take the bottles to the redemption center
• Pay the bills
• Do another blog
• Really put your office together
• Get the crap off the stairs that has been growing for weeks
• Send thank you cards for the birthday thoughts/gifts
• Get those empty cans off the car floor
• Stop thinking about dead relatives so frequently
• Be happy; others have it far worse
• Put in request for time off during the holidays
• Log in those poor Pez that have patiently been waiting
• Did you even think of the chocolate season yet?

And so the list goes on and on and on…and I realize that the huge mass of dots in my life seem out there on their own, waiting for me to pick them. I hear a sort of “Pick Me!” … “No, Pick Me!” … “Umm, Hello, Pick MEEE!” … in my head. I look at the dots and sometimes I just go sit down to contemplate my next choice; my next dot. Then, out of the blue, an emotion takes over me and I get up, almost in a rage, to do a random thing. I get it done with a lot of effort and forced speed.

As I contemplate my next dot in the mass in front of me, I realize that doing that one thing led me to do the next natural thing because I was already moving. As I sit and revel in my success, I realize I completed more than one or two dots.

The Christmas Tree is up. And to get the Christmas Tree up, I had to move the newspapers, so before I did that, I searched them for the clippings I needed. I also had to get the holiday music on, because you can’t decorate a tree without the music, and this put me in the mood for the holiday season. And while I was hauling things around, I took time to clear the crap at the bottom of the stairs and on the stairs. I hung the stockings on the doors.

I am thinking about dead relatives.

12 hours or so later, I am looking at my tree. It is ok. I begin to think about my dead relatives again. How Dad never saw my daughter, never saw my tree, and never got to share anything at all with her. Last night, as I hung the only ornament made by my father on my tree, it made me pause for a moment with a big gulp. I am wondering why that moment was something to pause about.

As I brought the empty holiday boxes to the basement, I saw my Uncle’s wooden baskets he used to make and give out on Christmas Eve. How we miss him and how appreciated he felt with those baskets. We would cheer when the basket was unwrapped! We all wanted one.

I think of how a friend, who was like a second father to me, would be laughing…over the stupidest things, but I knew he would support me in laughter. When I was unsure, I would look to him in confidence because I knew he would be there supporting me with a smile, a laugh, or both. He appreciated my every thought, sometimes adding to it in fun.

As I sat there, and as dramatic as it sounds, a single tear came down my cheek, followed by a smile. I realized that the mass of dots around me provide me with the joy of connecting them. And without my dead relatives memories, I couldn't proceed to make my own memories. And those lone dots in that mass are there for a reason, and they are for connecting. Connecting our past, our present, and our future.

As the season approaches that we celebrate our religion, our families, and our successes, just remember that we are all dots and we need to continue to connect those dots. This is what makes life worth living. Dots never stop. Dots provide meaning. Dots provide growth. Dots provide understanding.

Just a random thought I had today…why I am sharing? I have no idea. What are your dots? How do you find they connect themselves in wonderous ways?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Memories of Holidays Past

As houses change from dark to brilliant lights,
As lawns begin to get covered with sticky white,
The memories of holidays past begin to ignite.

As a little guy Santa was a powerful thought,
I wondered if I’d see him, or get a quick snap-shot!
See the reindeer, the magic, and the presents he brought!

I remember decorating the house with gadgets and stuff,
Making it look over-festive til Mom said, “Enough!”
Dad was tall; hit his head on a hanging Christmas ball.

Christmas Eve was special; the family all together,
We would flock to Mom’s like birds of a feather,
No matter what happened; no matter the weather.

Each year Uncle Joe made his baskets of wood,
And Aunt Connie brought ham that was finger-lickin’ good
Everything was good, fun, and made it a great childhood.

As a married man, I whispered a huge thanks to the Lord above
As we experienced our first Christmas; full of hope and love,
But I remember the first divorce holiday; with none of the above.

The magic of children at Christmas makes the holiday great.
Watching their innocence in motion as they celebrate.
You see the hope in their eyes as they lay down to wait.

In the morning they awake to a different feeling; a different day;
Justin is excited for the bowling ball he has wanted in the worst way.
Alexandra opens the Barbie Doll as tall as she…it’s a happy holiday.

The family gets together to eat leftovers and to share,
The joys of the day, and what happened here and there.
The kids are over-tired; hugging good ole Mr. Teddy Bear.

As I sit here thinking; of all the holidays that have passed,
I know that I am lucky; because it has been a total blast!

What is your favorite holiday memory? Will you share it with us?
Did someone drop a pie, did grandma make a big fuss?
Hit the comment button and type…don’t be a “Gloomy Gus!”

Friday, December 5, 2008

Do Something With The Duck!

Here's an interesting quote that was sent to me today:

Getting your ducks in a row is not nearly as powerful as actually doing something with your duck.
-Seth Godin

So what does this mean to you? I know a lot of workers who toil everyday to get their ducks in a row. These ducks in a line help you achieve your job goal for which you are reviewed on at some point in the year. I am sure that some people line up their ducks and do nothing with them at all. They can line up a ton of ducks, but can't do anything with the ducks.

I tend to think that I line up a ton of ducks. I do execute the ducks that I have and some ducks are successful and other ducks are failures. There is nothing worse than a duck that can't swim. I have certainly had enough duck failures to know, but I have also had many duck successes. To some, I may do too much with my ducks because then they are asked to line up ducks as well and execute those ducks. I line up my ducks and do something with my ducks because I see the larger pond at the end of the horizon. Once you line up enough ducks, they can actually move to the place you want them, but not without great guidance and care. And sometimes you pick up random ducks along the way and the line gets bigger than you thought it would. Ok, you might lose a few along the way too, but there is always a hint of "SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST" in the duck process.

To be honest, I have recently begun to get bored with lining up ducks and doing something with the ducks. I used to have so much fun lining up those darned ducks, and even if I failed, it was a testament to what really worked. This is Duck Research. I sometimes think that I have executed so many ducks that I dream of simply lining them up again and letting someone else do something with the ducks...a sort of team effort. My view of the pond has changed. Somewhere along the way it became a raging river. I know I led the ducks to this, but can you do too much with the ducks? I think so.

Just yesterday I had to walk myself from the ledge. And I was wondering how I got to the ledge in the first place. Then this quote came along, and with all my other thoughts, it hit me...I am lining up ducks and doing something with the ducks, but maybe it is not what is wanted, or maybe I am more concerned with the ducks safety than anyone else. Failure can be success. But what I experienced lately was that I lined up the ducks, and was doing something with the ducks, when out of the blue someone else came in and took ownership of my duck. So while I am not the one leading it to the great pond (or river), I did help bring that duck "in line" and to a place where it can be used for success. It just won't be my success.

So while some people just line up ducks, and others execute ducks in proper fashion, and some do both, I see my duck being taken from my line to another line. My first thought was that the whole situation was a waste of time...and in many ways it was, but the duck will live. And this duck will provide job protection, company profits, and community spirit to many, but not for me. At first this made me emotional, and now it merely "quacks" me up. I am happy my duck will live to bring so much joy; even if it is not my personal joy. A good duck is a good duck, isn't it?

I don't think I can line up ducks like I used to. I don't think I can do anything with the volume of ducks. I think I might watch the pond, and help those individual ducks that need attention. I will allow the others around me to line up ducks and give it a whirl. I have experienced a lot from my ducks, and worked hard for a lot of my ducks, but maybe those around me have not. And while they complain about the size of the pond, maybe I need to just "duck out" for a while and see if others populate the pond. I know they can. They know they can. And we will see if they want to really work to achieve the experiences of duck failure and duck success.

Interesting quote, isn't it? Read it again yourself and see what comes into your mind. There is no right or wrong answer. Do it. What the duck do you have to lose anyway?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Word I Need is The Word That Was...

When you are not feeling well, not up to par, what do you do?

Lately, I find that my normal outlets are not working.

I am finding that the words I need to console me are words that are gone. I wonder what my father would think of my life, what he would give me for advice. What would he tell me today?

I have been yearning for the company of my father, a man who never really got to know the man that I am, and the man I still yearn to be. As I celebrate my "birth"day today, I wonder how he really felt when he saw me born into the cold world. As I was born, the nation was laying to rest a fallen President. What was the emotion like? The words I need to hear are words far gone. All that is left is what I carry inside my mind, heart and soul. I want to just cry. Do you ever just want to cry?

I did a presentation last week, and as I spoke about a castle building project my father taught me for a high school (freshman year) project, I found my mind racing. I had not really thought about the emotion of that project between my father and I until I was standing before a room full of people. It was not the place to talk about my Dad in great length, but more of a bridge to another passion of mine; mentoring.

I ended up having to turn the presentation over to a co-worker of mine, who I warned that I would do this if I lost my way. I had time to regroup. As she spoke, I got my mind together, and prayed that I could pull this whole thing together and finish. I literally felt like my job, and the job of those around me, were on the line if I did not get my act together. The word I need is the word that was, and I had to do this alone. I finished the presentation with success, and it was echoed by the comments of others. My job was done, and the decisions or reactions of this presentation will not make themselves known for many months. I am hopeful.

The words I need are far gone conversations. I am the only one that can relive them, I am the only one that can speak inside myself, but no one answers. My inner voice has no reply because the words I need to hear cannot be heard, they can only be remembered, and that comes with misplaced emotion; it is not enough for me.

The Universe declared a moment of silence and all I want to do is scream. I have looked to God a lot today, and I feel his presence, but I am not hearing the words I need to hear. I guess I have nothing to fear if my father is near; even if it is silent. I have to trust in his guidance even though I am not what one would call "religious." I am Christian, for sure.

The word I need is the word that was...and maybe that is a gift I am not recognizing correctly. At least I have the memories. I think of the Littles in my program who do not ever ever ever get the words they need. I shouldn't complain. I should feel lucky, but I yearn for the words that I need; the words that were.

Tomorrow is a new day...I will look toward tomorrow with hope.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A "MEME" Tag

I never heard of a "MeMe" until I was recently tagged by Megin to do one, so here it goes!

Here are the rules: Someone tags me, I write and link back to them. I then tag other people, and they link back to me as well. At the end of the day, we know more about each other then we did when we started.

So here are "5 moments (or memories of moments) that I love" meme:

1. The room is still with only the light of the moon coming through the blinds. I am sitting next to the crib of my daughter looking at her beautiful face as she sleeps the night away. I wonder how I could have helped make something so perfect. As I touch her little cheek, she takes in a big breath of air, as if a sigh, and exhales, moving her mouth just so, and keeps her little face toward the soft blanket. I whisper, "Daddy loves you more than you will ever know." Her mouth seems to form a slight smile. I loved that moment.

2. It has been a long day, nothing has gone right. A friend calls, the day has gone all wrong for her, too. We decide to go out for a late snack and we talk. And talk. And talk. Nothing was resolved. As we are leaving, she gets into my backseat to avoid the torrent of rain. It was meant to be a quick stop until the rain got lighter. I in the front, she in the back, we end up laughing so much we have to try to ignore each other, which we can't. Our stomachs hurt, and we both wish the rain would lighten, but yet, this moment has been the best part of the day. I love that moment.

3. My kids have their friends over and we play "Us Trivia;" where we ask questions about ourselves that the others in the room should know. There is laughter. More laughter. And even more laughter. I love that moment.

4. I can't sleep, and it is a snowy or rainy night. I sit on the couch that overlooks the picture window of the totally darkened living room. I put on a light blanket or afghan, and I gaze out the window to watch the rain fall onto the bushes, the road, whatever. When it is snowing, I can see the icicles form on the individual stems of the bushes. Everything is shiny, glazed over. Slow motion of life as I sit an watch. It is a peaceful roar. I love that moment.

5. I am in bed and I awaken, but it seems like my body hasn't. I feel like I am floating. I feel like my soul is out of my body and taking in the serenity of life. It is a strange feeling, but I like it. I wonder if I am dreaming, but yet, I know I am not. I feel totally free. I love that moment.

Bonus Moment:
Walking along the ocean with the wind blowing all around me. The roar of the winds and water make me feel powerful; rejuvenating my soul and spirit. I love that moment.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Reformation Sunday

Today was a special day for my daughter. She was confirmed as an adult member of our church. I know that this day does not hold the true understanding for her as it does for me. I feel compelled to share the emotions that I am feeling.

When I was my daughter's age, I went through the same process that she did, except there were many more youth in my class than hers. My parents were not considered religious, and I do not think my daughter would consider me religious either. What was important was the religious education.

Baptism was important for me because it meant the washing away of original sin, of being a part of the Lord's family, being a child of God. I remember that as my daughter was baptized, and had her first communion, I felt a lot of emotion. I was not sure where it came from.

And today, as Pastor was affirming my daughter as an adult part of this church, I felt that same emotion come forward. I even turned to see where I could go because I thought I was not going to be able to hold my emotions intact. I have no idea where this emotion comes from. Is it God? is it something from my soul? I felt a lot of spirits around me. I truly did. I felt that I had done the right thing, I had given my daughter a gift of religion, of education, and took proper care of God's Child.

My daughter can now have the promise of God's Grace & Forgiveness as well as the earthly element of bread, wine, and water, as commanded and instituted by Christ.

She is now a sister of the church, a member of the congregation. This is comforting to me because I know she has a whole new family. What can be better for your child than that?

As Pastor explained the meanings of each girl's names, it was funny how she said that my daughter's name meant defender of man. She also said that my daughter has a way of taking care of people, of shining a light, of helping. Pastor hoped that my daughter would be the shining light for many in her lifetime, and that it is all a direct link to God's love.

I know my daughter may not fully understand the gift she has been given today, but maybe when she has her own children, and stands at their baptism, their first communion, and their confirmation, will she experience the joys I have felt, the emotions that overcome me, and the pride in my soul. Maybe my spirit will be around her as well.

I hope my daughter lives in the word of God, follows her obligations to the best of her ability, and remains in awe of what God gives.

I am a proud father that is full of God's Grace daily, but today was a dramatic realization and reminder of those feelings.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


I love this video and I expect all my readers to go to this web site and look at this right NOW! It will make you feel so good just by watching it. There is something about it that makes you feel positive.

Click on the colored text below:

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Candy of the Night

My daughter had taped "Phantom of The Opera" on our DVR. She had just gotten up for the day (10:00am), and as she sleepily watched the movie, I got into it as well. Having been up a while longer than she, and being very silly, I began to change the words to all the songs. One really made her laugh when she didn't want to laugh, so I thought I would complete it as best I could. I think my "Live Improv" is much funnier because it is "of the moment," but here is a toned down version.

My poor daughter had to ignore me as I belted out my improv of "Candy of The Night." Good thing that I think I am so damned funny! And to think, other Father's are merely "normal!"


Sweet-time happens, heightens your sensations ...
chocolate stirs and breathes imagination ...
silently all senses abandon their defenses ...

Slowly, gently stores unfurls its splendour ...
Grasp it, buy it - bag it now and take it ...
Turn your face away from the healthy diet way,
turn your thoughts away from cold, cantalope bites -
and consider the candy of the night ...

Close your eyes and surrender to your sweetest dreams!
Purge your thoughts of the fruit you knew before!
Close your eyes, let your sweetness start to soar!
And you'll eat as you've never eaten before ...

Kit Kat, Snickers, candy shall surround you ...
Reese's, Pieces, Pay Days all around you ...
Open up your mouth, allow your sweet tooth power,
in this sweetness which you know you cannot fight -
the sweetness of the candy of the night.

Let your mouth start a journey through a sweet, new world!
Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before!
Let the sugar
Take you where you long to be!
Eating chocolate with calories ...

Mars Bars, Hersheys, sweet and sour sweet tarts!
Mister, Good Bar, savour each sensation!
Let the dream begin,
let your sweeter side give in to the sweetness of
the candy that I eat - the sweetness of the candy of the night ...

You eating can make my sugar flight -
help me eat my candy of the night ...

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Cocoon & The Butterfly

As I look around me, I see people who dare to be different, who show their colors, and really live life. I see them as butterflies. Those butterflies are fluttering about and have people looking at them with amazement, even if they do nothing. Just their mere presence makes people stop and say, "oooh!"

I see many different types of butterflies:

1. The American Painted Lady - The person who is classic with pearls on, who likes to capture the attention as she comes into a room. Her pearls shine and bring jealousy. Full of life no matter if you had her in the desert or the mountains.

2. The Buckeye - The person you find along the roadsides of life. He flutters in and captures your open heart. He brings a masculinity that can be biting, but attractive. You can't take your eyes off this buck as he does not stay in one place long.

3. Monarch - The person who can take a bright and shiny day and make it even more magnificent. Just when you thought things could not be better, she comes in and creates an environment that fills with energy, dropping jaws, and creating admiration. Poetry in motion with everyone mesmerized.

4. Red Admiral - The person who lives on the edge and takes control. You expect him to come in and make a presence, but when he does come in, even you are surprised at the change he makes in you. You admire and love what this one brings. Entertaining above all with a warmth and sensuality that is unmatched.

5. Mourning Cloak - The person who secretly seems to appear when things get interesting. She can come into a room and change its atmosphere at her whim. It is easy, too easy, and the world seems to bend at her very request. It maddens you, but yet you yearn to be like her to some degree. Makes life interesting.

6. Spring Azure - The person who comes in and refreshes an otherwise boring environment. He does not necessarily turn heads, but brings an energy of respect that makes you feel better just being around him. He has it all in a calm and serene package that is well put together. Strong & Silent.

These butterflies are in pure bliss even though they are so different. Remember that beauty lies within and if you bring it out, you can be a butterfly, too!

And if you are still in a cocoon, you will have your day. When you finally do break free, you will be your own type of butterfly, but you will be free.

Remember that when you are in your cocoon, you are in a tight space and may even feel trapped despite its warmth and security, but when that cocoon opens up, it is a whole new world for you to explore. Remember that you can not begin your life again and fix your mistakes, but you can start a new life today and change your life from being in a cocoon to being a butterfly.

And in many ways, the world is waiting for your entrance. And when it happens, even you will say, "ooooh!"

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Moment of Silence

I knew today would be difficult. I feel like I was not my normal, compassionate self. I am not even sure if this is appropriate to share, but yet, I am itching to write about it, and I certainly do not mean to offend.

I was part of a meeting today and we had a moment of silence to remember those who were affected by the tragedy we now know as "Nine Eleven." As the moments went by, all you could hear in the room was the "tick, tick, tick" of the clock. Maybe no one else noticed, but for me, it was a haunting feeling to listen to each "tick...tick...tick" of the second hand on that clock.

Everyone sat there and reflected, I suppose, on what that day meant for them. And I think that was totally appropriate, and I felt honored that we would all take that time out of our lives for respect to those who had heartache that day and beyond. We never really know how that tragedy affected anyone and how those feelings manifest themselves, we can only give hope and prayers for whatever relief of pain, or circumstance that people involved in tragedies suffer.

As the moment passed, I assumed we would go onto business at hand, because like that tragedy and those we also look back on in honor and respect, we had to continue on with our life, and continue to be positive, motivated, and strong. I am sure I was the only one in the room who disliked what occurred next. We began to share stories of our own emotions of that tragedy, of how we came to find out, who we knew who was in New York that fateful day, who saw what and how awful it was not to be able to get home in the face of this act. I know people find this therapeutic, and a release, and a moment of bonding. And I know I sound very unemotional when I say this, but I hated this whole section of our meeting. It weighed me down considerably, but I had to endure. I respect everyone who had something to say, I even understand, but I would rather have such intimate emotions be played out during a private lunch, a designated time to share these strong feelings.

These moments of discussion, for me, provided moments of negativity. I just wanted to yell, "Shut Up!" I know we all bring "self" into situations, but these memories do not provide relief for the dead, or the living. It was purely for the importance of self. This all has its place, which should have been our inside voices during the silent reflection time.

Bottom line, we are lucky to be alive. We are lucky we are here to tell the story. The television will replay the events of that day and show the utter panic, mayhem, and foolishness. That is their job. There will be profiles of the families affected, and our hearts will pour out for them. If you are an American, that day makes you stop and appreciate what democracy, among other freedoms and choices, really means. When this memory is here, we all suffer, we all cry, we all hurt. In the memory of this tragedy, anyone who died could have been our mother, father, son, daughter, cousin, grandchild, etc. We should never think of ourselves, where we were, or how we found out. On this day, in a moment of silent reflection, it should be about "everyone" and not just "me."

I was profoundly impacted by "Nine Eleven" in a very personal way, and it did not stop just on that day, but on a remembrance day like today, you have to put "I" way back in your mind, and just let flow the good vibes, good karma, good energy, and good will to those who passed, those who still endure, and those who were somehow plucked from being a part of this tragedy just before it became an actual tragedy.

No one in that room knows the depth of my emotion around "Nine Eleven," which is very hard for me, but I feel it is more of an honor to be able to reflect and pray for those who had no choice in the giving of their lives. When you look around the room when you are in a meeting, never take for granted how profound this can be to one, none, or all. And when tragedies like this happen, a moments silence is exactly what it should be, a moment to think your own thoughts, to reflect the way you feel appropriate without spreading your own gospel.

Life is precious.

So take moments of silence to reflect on this tragedy, but to also take moments of silence to realize how great your life is. I use my moment of silence daily during the saying of "grace" at my supper table. When one of us talks, the other is able to have silent reflection. Take a moment of silence...and don't wait for the next tragedy.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

BOO! For a Friend!

I just want to take a moment today and blog about a friend of mine.

And I can sum it up in one word..."BOO!"

Boo means so means the funny part of a situation, but it also means the serious part.

Boo means that it is ok to say nothing when you want to say everything.

Boo means that friendship is still intact despite frustrations.

Boo means dealing with idiots is difficult.

Boo changes the way your day is going.

Boo is so much more than Boo!

Thanks Friend, for understanding.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Ever Have One Of Those Sh*&@# Days?

Did you ever have one of those days,
when you just couldn't get out of your own way,
where no matter where you turned,
you just kept on getting burned?
Did you ever have one of those days
when you walked in a room full of smiles,
and people just couldn't wait
to tell you of their negativity and trials?
Did you ever have one of those days
when you would just like to run away,
because you smiled through all of the crap,
to find it keeps repeatedly hitting you back?
Did you ever have one of those days
when you consider the fight or the flight?
And when your day is all done,
all you really want to do is run?
I had a day like that.
It sucked.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor Day at Portland Head Light!

I actually spent time as a tourist over Labor Day Week-End. I had a great time at Portland Head Light and was reminded how beautiful of a state we are lucky enough to live in.

"Help Me!"

Aaah, sailing the day away!

Free Admission, rolling lawns, sites to see...Perfect!

The Rocky Coast Line!

A Moment Later, a Wave Drenched me! LOL

Gorgeous Views!

Ever Feel Boxed In? Yikes!

My daughter, the comedienne! Hahaha!

When ya gotta go, you gotta go! Geesh!

Portland Head Light is Picturesque!

I Love my daughter! We had so much fun!

"Alex, act like a tourist!"

"WOW! It is Loud!"

"Bad Alex...B-A-D!" She's such a rebel!


Monday, September 1, 2008

"Whatever Ron"

"Whatever Ron"

It's fun when it happens,
when the conversation drags on,
and your friend feels frustrated,
and just yells, "Whatever Ron!"

I laugh at that moment,
which my friend relies upon,
a funny little smirk,
and another "Whatever Ron!"

I tell her I like it,
when she speaks in that tone,
and a smile breaks across her face,
from the humor I have shown.

"I have to blog this!"
is what I always say,
a "Whatever Ron!" blog
seemed right for today!

So when I am making my point,
or creating evil-worded spawn,
I am ready for the golden words,
and soon I hear, "Whatever Ron"

When my friend is feeling ugly,
and I have to remind her she's a swan,
I give the words right back to her,
and again she says, "Whatever Ron!"

And when she talks to Lisa O.
about me while at the hair salon,
you can certainly know whats coming,
"...and I told him, 'Whatever Ron!'"

My dear friend really knows
that when she is feeling rather withdrawn,
that I will be sarcastically funny,
just to hear a "Whatever Ron!"

When those words cross your lips,
your laugh makes the mood foregone,
you smile at my "correct reply,"
again another, "Whatever Ron!"

And when I am consistantly right,
which you really frown upon,
I almost enjoy hearing you conclude,
"ok, ok, Whatever Ron!"

In closing, My friend,
never, ever feel withdrawn,
because I will forever help you,
even with a million "Whatever Ron's!"

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Which Way Do I Go? Which Way Do I Go?

Things have been crazy lately! I am feeling like there is not enough time to get everything done for everyone I am accountable to. Then there are the "few" things I put on my own plate. YIKES!

This was another bad week sprinkled with a little goodness. I much prefer a good week sprinkled with a little badness.

There were two more deaths in the neighborhood. I cannot tell you how many times lately that I have said or spoken the words, "Don't drink the water on that street!" First, there was the untimely death of a neighbor who had a brain aneurysm. He was on the road when it happened, so you know the scene and what followed was nothing short of horrific for the family to get through. So the wake and funeral was Thursday/Friday.

We then got word that our other neighbor passed away. It did not seem right. His wife just passed away a few weeks ago. But that family is now dealing with losing both their parents within 30 days. How sad. This wake and funeral was Friday/Saturday.

When I went into work on Thursday, I was a bit tired from all the emotion and thoughts these deaths evoke in me. It makes me relive things I have been through, it makes me think that when Johnny died, that could have been my brother, who is the same age as he. etc. You know how this goes. Anyway, my co-worker commented on how quiet I was. I told her that I was simply reflecting on things and that it has been a long few weeks for me. I quickly told her what occurred on the street. She didn't know what to say as she has been going through her own ordeal with her family of recent. It was a quiet day.

On Friday, I was the only one available to go to a City meeting for a grant award. I had to miss the funeral. Sadly, I had missed his wife's funeral due to work as well. Uggh! But, I have to keep things going, and I did try to get my co-worker to go, but she had a day off scheduled. So, I do my duty and go with all the brilliance I can muster. The meeting was not what it was supposed to be, and soon, everyone in the room knew it. It was kinda comical. But not as comical as what happened to me.

During the middle of the conference call, I had to go to the bathroom. Not just a slight urge, but the "Oh My God, I have urine building behind my eyeballs" feeling. I eyed a bathroom not far from where I was sitting. I kept spying it, I was moving in my seat, and of course I did not sit in the back of the room, I sat in the front, next to the grant writer, the superintendent, etc. Uggh! So I realize that I have to get up and go over to the bathroom. Now the room is extremely silent. As I open the door, the knob makes a cricketty noise. Then I open the bathroom stall door, and it creaked so loudly, I was embarrassed. Damn old buildings..doesn't anyone know of WD-40 anymore? Uggh! It was funny, and I was soooo relieved. LOL!

So as there is so much to do lately, and most of it not of the positive kind, how do I keep my head from splitting in two? It is not easy, but here are my remedies:

1. Be Honest. Know your comfort zone.
Have faith in people that when you are feeling badly, they will understand. You do not have to get into the depth of your feelings or emotion, but you can express your feelings so the point gets across so that it can be discussed. No one wants you to be unhappy, and if they cannot take your view into consideration, or there is a lack of respect, then you have to rethink if you are in the right place with the right people. And sometimes, the people you are being honest with can assist you, give you a new thought process, or even share their own experience. And it can really help support your goals...and theirs. Create a "win/win" situation if you can.

2. Find the humor.
The bathroom experience was unfortunate, but funny nonetheless. When Mother Nature calls...! I also surrounded myself with people who are fun. This is sometimes hard to come by in my world, but I have a few people that I can be "me" around, without judgement, so I called upon those people.

3. Make the Difference.
I did go to the wakes, and within those walls, found my way to make a difference by use of my words. One of the things I said to one of the brothers was repeated to me by my own mother when she was recapping to me how the funeral went. Your words do matter; and what you say and how you say it matters. People in mourning may actually repeat them, so if you have something to offer, make sure it Makes the Difference.

4. Keep Moving.
I was not happy that I could not be at the funerals, but I also have a job to do. While the City meeting was not of substance, someone from my agency needed to be there. I was in a great seating position, and even got a comment from a City person at the end stating that she would try and help me with my initiative in October, and she did not see a problem with it at that point. So, Yippee for keeping moving!

5. Take Lunch.
Sometimes I work through lunch, or eat while working, or stay late. On these days, despite the overwhelming feeling, take lunch. And take someone who is positive, or in the same circumstance. Talk about it. Seek remedies for each other, give perspective, or just laugh. On this day, I took my friend and we laughed a lot. We both needed it, and when I went back to work, I was much more focused and ready to handle things.

6. Make a List.
as I get older, a list is becoming more important. Take it as you can. When i know how much time I have, IO can review the list and do several small things. Doing the small things first always seems to help me feel like I have accomplished something, which gives me better drive for the other projects on the list. Try it, it is amazing. Use a pad of paper or use your e-mail programs "To Do" List feature.

7. Compliment Someone.
Nothing makes you feel better than complimenting people. If you see someone having a bad day, compliment them. It interrupts their stride of negativity and infuses a bit of optimism. So when I see someone struggling, which is not hard to see these days, take the quick moment to help, or to add something positive to their day. It is not hard to say something positive to someone you work with each day.

So go forth and be positive and make the difference to keep the split personality at bay. Better days are coming. That is my story and I am sticking to it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

First Day of School 2008

First Day of School

My daughter began her Freshman year in high school today. You would think that I would be used to the preparation and mayhem by now, but each year there is this little feeling in the pit of my stomach. This feeling makes you realize that life is going faster than you think, that your child is growing before your eyes, but at this moment, you can actually see it occur.

Each year, I take a picture of my daughter before she leaves the house for her First Day of School. She may think it is silly, but it is something i look forward to each year. In many ways, it is all I have left of her youth. She puts up with me, God Love her!

I love this girl so much that it hurts. I hope for her, I wish for her, and I am watching her become a fine, young woman. I am proud of her.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I was surprised to get a few comments from people saying they had come to "The Pez Man Speaks..." and there was nothing; and for a long time. Well, truth be told, I have been a bit preoccupied with my own reflections; my own "internal mechanism." I have literally been in "shut down mode," but trying to act like I am really "Full steam ahead." It has not been fun nor pretty.

My emotions have been so flippant. Coming off my thoughts of "enchantment," this has been a hard time. I have been facing some inner demons or sorts, as well as life changes. I have had to face these happenings and still maintain my current coping skills. It has not been fun nor pretty.

A long time neighbor passed away suddenly. When I went to the evening wake, my good friend was showing me how good her mother looked. I went along with it because it was certainly awkward. But when she began to shake the coffin just enough to see things moving around, I grabbed her hand and told her to please stop. She said that her mother looked so good that she just wanted her to wake up. My friend broke down, I hugged her, and I am still not over that moment. She cried into my shoulder, and I gave her my best words of comfort. But there are no words to describe the grief I absorbed from my friend in that hug.

And today, I found that another neighbor, who is just a bit older than me in age, died today. He passed suddenly as well. I got the call from a neighbor, who said they could not locate my mother to tell her. I got the job of calling her on her cell phone to give her the news. When I told her, the phone got quiet and she said, "You know he is not much older than you, Ron, he is the exact age as your brother. This is just awful."

Did I mention that life has not been fun or pretty lately?

So reflecting in the moment is what I am doing. I have been fighting on some private security issues within myself concerning work, and the first break came today when a voice told me that I was "off the hook." I wanted to cry, but all I could mutter was "ok." I then changed the subject on a current work issue, but those words were a huge relief. But I am not really "off the hook."

The dominoes have already fallen, and now I have to work to replace them. I have been ill over this, and my body has suffered. When I am full of anxiety, my body has real reactions. But two things stick out in my head as I reflect. One, I think God put a co-worker near me when I had to face what began the anxiety. This co-worker understood, and empathized, and "talked me down from the edge," if you will allow me the drama of those words. I certainly was not myself at that moment, but I tried to remain calm and professional. I did not do so well with the professionalism, but my co-worker made me feel "real." Two, the words of another co-worker ring in my head, even though I know I should not take anything serious into it. "Ron, do you think maybe you should go see your doctor and get some medication? Maybe you should be on medication with how you feel. It would be alright, you know." I reflect on this with a single word, "Wow!" I have been actually struggling with myself over this. Should I? Is she right? Blah blah blah.

In my life, I have always worked hard to be "real." It has not been easy, and I have reached an honesty that I feel many NEVER achieve. I have gone through trials and tribulations, that many just push aside. I have helped others to help me learn more about people, life, our society. I have tried to always look in another direction instead of just straight ahead. I have always tried to increase my own personal development, organization, and respect; all without medication. I have become "me" without prozac, valium, or any other medication. And I share all my knowledge with those who want to listen. Not to out-shine or over power, but to share and share and share.

So I have some issues. Who doesn't. But should I be punished for them, or put on medication for them? Maybe. But in the end, I was real. Real with my emotions, real with my thoughts, and real with words.

So as I reflect on life these days, I am tired, but I have learned the following:

1. Be Real because today could be your last day on this earth.
2. Tell people who help you "Thanks" or "thanks for being you."
3. If you have an issue, it is yours. Own it. Learn from it. Do your best.
4. Be professional no matter what! And if you falter, apologize.
5. Wake up each morning knowing that you have gifts; share them.
6. Keep moving despite the pain, the anxiety, or the pressure. Sitting down keeps you down. Just keep on keepin' on!
7. Keep reflecting because it helps you learn and heal.

AND THE BIGGEST THING I HAVE LEARNED: Life is a mirror, and will reflect back to the thinker what he thinks into it.

I will try to write more, promise.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


I have been doing a lot of thinking lately. I keep coming back to how we have lost our feeling of being enchanted.

Have you ever been in Love with a person or a place? Then this is being enchanted. It is like a spell that is cast over you and nothing is greaterthan that feeling of Love. Your heart races, and it is enchantment that allows you to feel your soul. No other part of your life feels like this special love; you know and believe in the magic of this Love.

When you were young, did you ever go to a special vacation spot or place that seemed like the most gorgeous place on earth? You could lay on the ground and take in the scenery and know you were in a place you love, where you felt safe and exhilirated. That is enchantment.

When we were children, enchantment was all around us. Our parents allowed us this enchantment because it is the fabric of child innocence. Remember when it was Christmas time? You were so enchanted with the thought of presents delivered from a bearded man that came from the cold Arctic area of the world. The excitement that would be in your heart and soul, it would keep you awake, it was magic.

And how silly of us as children to think that a bunny hopped to our house on Easter Day and left us painted eggs and candy in baskets with fake grass. That is enchantment.

As we get older, this enchantment diminishes, and maybe it is because the fantasy turns to emotional reasoning. I think we all need to retain some enchantment in our lives. If you have a special place, visit it, and smell the scent of the roses there. Take in the feeling you get, and discover more about your own internal soul that is fueled by this enchantment.

Please don't ignore enchantment as you get older, embrace it and feel your soul being moved. Don't be afraid to enjoy life, don't be afraid to be silly, or to be YOU.

Do you even recognize the areas of enchantment in your life?

For me, Enchantment is the beach. I go to the coast on vacation, and when I am there, I feel free. I walk along the water and let the ocean breezes whip around me, it is really therapeutic for me. I think many thoughts and love the freedom I feel there. As a child, enchantment was all the excitement I felt at family gatherings. To see the love of family and how coming together as a whole family meant that something special was going on. It made me excited and I learned a lot about people and their personalities. It was an exciting time.

So tell me, what is your feeling of enchantment like?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

What a Month it has been!

I may be writing this post too early. July is not over, but it has been one HELL of a month! The good part, I had vacation, which was well documented on my blog here. My niece is going to deliver her first baby in a few weeks and her shower was a success. The bad parts -- I had 4 days of food poisoning, my computer broke down and I am not sure yet if my hard drive and if I have lost all my information, my son mentions he is moving to New Hampshire, my sister (not the one who had a heart attack LAST MONTH) had a serious car accident, my niece's husband was told his job was eliminated, and my refrigerator died and I lost most of my food.

So today, my son is coming over to get the things out of the attic space he had, my house is a mess from all the movement of items, and he is taking my daughter out for shopping, a movie, and etc. I am glad they are having their time together, but i kinda wish I was invited along so we could do a family thing. We hardly do the family thing anymore, which is sad, but some obstacles take more time to overcome. I have to learn more patience since the honest approach did not work as I had hoped.

So as I sit here in my messy home, I realize again that life goes in mysterious ways. What I once thought was mine really isn't. The computer is gone. The fridge is gone. My son is almost gone.

I guess I should be taking stock in what I do have instead of what I do not have. In many ways I am lucky, and I know it, but I have to be honest, I am anxious for July to be over. I mean, hey, I have a new fridge! New food! That is great, right? Can you tell i have not received my credit card bill yet? yikes!

I am looking forward to positive thoughts and positive progress in my life!

My Fridge BEFORE

My Fridge AFTER

Friday, July 11, 2008

Vacation -Day Twelve

Today was clean-up day! I cleaned many bedrooms and two bathrooms! YUCK!

It was a great vacation. I had lot of time to think; ok, too much time to think. I had time to read some books that friends gave me, and now it is their fault that I will be a Dr. Phil to them and to myself. I am more worried about what i will do to myself for all this "open thinking" time.

Let me just share with you some of the great things I feel I have learned over this vacation. Of course, this has come after many thoughts on different subjects.

I may have to blog about some of these, but here goes:

Thoughts I Had Over My Vacation:

-Low Points in ANY relationship can be "Hope Points."

-Every Path you take has a cost.

-We All Choose Fences.

-Quit anything where you can own the choice and its consequences.

-Stay with something if you can own the choice and its consequences.

-Consider the wrongs or broken dreams that lie buried within your heart as splinters.

-Splinters MUST be removed.

-"Status Quo" is not what you think it is; or is it?

-The difference between "Victim" and "Victor" is 2 little letters.

-Cruel Words do to the spirit what a vacuum cleaner does to dirt; sucks you in and entraps you.

-Pledge the "New Beginning" to yourself each day.

-Work "with" your emotions as opposed to working "for" your emotions.

-It is not wrong to have negative emotions; it's wrong to wallow and stay stuck there. (Splinters hurt going in and out, don't they?)

-Real Relationships are far more interesting than dreams.

-Turn anger into your Ally. Use anger to bring people together to generate success.

-What you avoid controls you.

-Touch someone with words.

-Begin with the end in mind.

-Your Faith answers the "why."

-Treasure Your Own Value!

-Pledge to yourself that you will always learn from ALL of your life; the good and the bad.


-I am blessed to have the parents I have; the family I have; the friends I have.

-I am lucky.

-I have so much else to do that I am not doing.

-My future needs to change to benefit ME; no one else is going to care for my future as much as me.

-I make a difference.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Vacation - Day Eleven

Here it is DAY ELEVEN of my vacation! Wow, the time is going by fast! By now you know the drill...Photos speak better than anything when it comes to describing what I am doing over my vacation. And small captions are not even needed for these! Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Vacation - Day Ten

I did not take any pictures today! Alexandra slept in, and we just lazed around! We went to the beach, but I did not bring my camera today! Sorry!

Guess this was a "real" vacation day!


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Vacation - Day Nine

I spent the day on the was a hot, but gorgeous day. There was not much new to take photos of today, but I will share what I have for today...

Alexandra's Shadow as she puts on lotion.

Houses Houses along the beach

a Smart Youth Puts a can collector at each trash barrel along the beach.

Everyone makes their own foot hole as they sit on the beach!

The water was beautiful today!

A lot of people were in the water today as it was hot!

Calm waters; nice breezes

Hot and Hazy...for a short while!

I have no idea how I took this shot!

OK, I have no idea how this shot occurred either. Maybe I got too much sun today! YIKES!