I'm deeply honored to have you visit my blog and I sincerely hope that your visit will result in nothing less than immense inspiration and devotion. It is my wish that you will take every available opportunity to return and become an active extension of building lasting relationships by sharing these nuggets of love with everyone you know. Please feel free, to leave comments and browse through the archives to further enrich your reads, during this or your next visit.

Monday, December 28, 2009

2010 and Beyond

Lately we've all been tied up with decorating, wrapping, giving and receiving. There's nothing wrong with any of this, unless you're part of the group who only waits until Xmas or a specific occasion to do these things.

Well, its no better time like the present to address what I call lifestyles of an empty vessel.

In a few short days, it will be a brand spanking new.., New Year.  Another year filled with possibilities and an abundance of opportunities to be had.  Surprisingly, all of the aforementioned were available and ripe for the taking this year and last year. Yet, so many of us limit ourselves from reaping a harvest full of these needs and wants. We tend to follow through with old and familiar bad habits, that block or stop us from having success and being successful.  I've heard it said that, "should one seek success; make sure you take advise from or at least start hanging out with successful people".  By doing this, we're assured to spend much more of our time talking about ideas, rather than spending it, talking about other people. 

It's really not rocket science, to get these valuable essentials done. Again and I repeat, there's no better time than right now, to make the decision to clean up our act and get our head in the game.

One of the very first things to do is to start dreaming huge, gigantic, enormous, monumental, earth shattering and life-changing dreams. Set realistic goals and take the time to write them down. Just remember that any goal worth setting is worth writing down. Any unwritten goal, is nothing more than a mere dream.

I'm quite sure there are some dreams and goals that were not accomplished this year or during the last one. Reach back and assess whether or not they are still important enough, for you to revisit and bring back into your present or your future life.

As with every incoming New Year, millions will be making new resolutions to accomplish. Amazingly, many will make them, but only a few will actually achieve them.  Hopefully, one of your goals will be to help as many people as you can to reach their goals. That's one of the many things I'm personally going to be doing.

Here's one of my diamond nuggets for any year.  Someone said, "Aspire to Inspire, before you Expire"!

It's all a choice of course, but..... what will you do?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Life's Evening Sun

When I first met my wife, we enjoyed traveling down on every available weekend we had, to whats known as the "Southern Most Point" of the U.S., which is located in KeyWest Florida.  One of the many sights and sounds we enjoyed most was to go to the pier and watch all of the tourist from other places as well as the locals. There was always more than enough music, food, drinks and performers around to entertain everyone to their fill.  Although, out of all of the aforementioned, nothing was more spectacular than to sit and watch the sunset.  Words or even a photograph with the most expensive NIKON camera and its host of accessories, could capture the majestic view of a KeyWest sunset.  In other words, what I'm trying to say is, you really have to see it for yourself, even if it's by yourself, with your own eyes.

Luckily, there are sunsets everywhere. So there really should be no excuse for not being witness to one of these amazing events on planet earth. Thank goodness there's even somewhat of a schedule to sunsets, you just have to plan a little bit and make sure you don't miss it by deciding to take a beauty nap. 

Here's one from as far north as the northpole. With this being captured in the month of December, I guess the people there really have it made.  They get a serious winter snow, Santa Claus, reindeer and his helpers for neighbors and a fantastic sunset to finish off the day.  Awesome!!

I can imagine that even in times past and long ago, when the great Pharoahs ruled, and had the power to  order the enslavement of millions, and then giving them the monumental tasks of gathering the tools and materials needed to construct and build the great tombs and pyramids of Egypt.  Surely, all of the task masters were hard and driven men, who's primary and focused goal, was to get the work started and completed at any cost, even if it took all day, with little or no rest, and even if it meant millions had to die..

I somehow believe that, to each one of those enslaved, nothing was more satisfying than their belief, that a day would come when they would be rewarded for their labor. When that great day came, both the enslaved and their oppressors gave witness to the breathtaking sunset unveiling equally before them.  A sunset not made by the hands of man; one that would miraculously place the beauty of a setting sun, as a magnificent backdrop to the results of their finshed masterpiece of labor in the foreground. 

Fortunately, no matter where you are on this planet, you can witness for yourself the beauty and magnificent graciousness of a sunset. I personally have been blessed to see quite a few and I have yet to become bored, tired or allowed myself to take any of them for granted.

I also realize that I raved on and on about the sunsets in KeyWest, but to be honest with you, my only desire is to make sure, that you do everything humanly possible to share the next sunset you are blessed to see, with someone you... LOVE.    



Sunday, December 20, 2009


There are times when people whom I consider gifted and blessed, are able to pick up a pen and lay it to paper in a fashion thats not only creative, but inspired and in my opinion lead by the hand of the Almighty.  This piece, in which you're about to receive is not only beatiful, but is also quite humbling as well.  This piece was sent to me by a dear friend. The author of these writings is believed to be, Inger Reid Hanna.

Here's her message....

One day a woman's husband died, and on that clear, cold morning, in the warmth of their bedroom, the wife was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't "anymore". No more hugs, no more special moments to celebrate together, no more phone calls just to chat, no more, "just one minute".

Sometimes, what we care about the most gets all used up and goes away, never to return before we can say good-bye.., or say "I love You".

So while we have it, it's best we love it, care for it, fix it when it's broken and heal it when it's sick.

This is true for marriage..and old cars..and children with bad report cards..,and dogs with bad hips..and aging parents and grandparents.  We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it.

Sometimes things we keep..like a best friend who moved away or a sister-in-law after divorce.  There are just some things that make us happy, no matter what.

Life is important, like people we know, who are special..and so we keep them close!

Suppose one morning you never wake up, do all your family and friends know that you love them?

I wondered, if I had any wounds that needing healing; friendships that need rekindling or three words needing to be said?

If I were you, I would let each of them know that I love them, even if they did not love me back. You would be amazed at what those three words and a smile can do.

And just in case, I'm gone tomorrow... I Love You!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Oops... Did I Do That?

It seems funny and somewhat puzzling to me, but  when ever I decide on a task, that's deemed important enough for me to do, my family members tell me that I act as though, I'm possessed my some ridiculous spell or some evil demonic creature.  Of course, I tend to disagree with their assessment, because I would call my driven and unrelenting state of mind, as simply being focused. 

I'm not sure why, but its just that whenever I'm undertaking any project, it immediately falls under my personal book of  rules. Rules like this one, which is found in, volume18, chapter 28, verse 17, which states, " Since its my project, I can do it however and whenever I say so".  


Well since you've decided to take the 5th, I'll take your silence as a yes and that you also agree, that I'm right! 

Anyway, today it all started after an incredible breakfast and two cups of caffeine, or maybe it was three.  I walked into our home office and started up the computer. While waiting for the startup, I heard this screeching voice way in the distant downstairs, yelling something about a problem they encountered earlier with the computer.

I did not reply or ask them for clarification, because this would have distracted me from the mission unfolding right in front of me.

Great, no problems encountered with the startup.

The mission I accepted, was to install a new piece of  hardware, which would allow me to project any image from the computer to an external monitor. So, as I'm following along with the provided directions, it says to tap on the FN 8 key.

Sounds easy and no real big deal.... right??

Then why, oh why,  has my entire screen turned blueeeeee..... What the heck is or has gone wrong, and why, oh why, are there multiple error messages everywhere?

The next frantic words out of my mouth was, Oh No... Did I Do That???

As if that wasn't enough punishment. Do you remember, the screeching voice I told you about earlier? Well now she was standing behind me, screeching again and again, while giving me an unsolicited answer, to the question that I thought, I had uttered in total secrecy.  She boldly  stated, "Yes, you did do that and thank GOD, it wasn't me, and you know what else, I think you fried the hard drive too! I told you that you should have waited on the repairman".


Turns out that, instead of tapping the Fn 8 key, I...., I hate to say it, but I.... well, I mistakenly tapped on the Ctrl (control) and #8 key... continuosly. So there,  I confess.

Here's the moral of the story and what I have learned.

If only I had remembered to look in the front portion of my rule book, under, Chapter 1, sectiion 1, verse 1; which states: "Anything worth doing, is worth doing right, the first time".

Oh and by the way, in addition to the above rule, with an astrix attached to it, is this one; Hope you remember the next time,  you knuckle head that..., Haste makes Waste!!  


Friday, December 11, 2009

How Can I Help

It's no secret to most, that in many parts of the world, there was in the past as well as in our present day, people who are suffering from one thing or the other. With this in mind, I offer you peace in knowing that people everywhere are also being blessed daily in one way or the other.

If you are a believer, you know that our Father owns it all, and he is rich beyond measure. Yet sadly enough, sometimes we miss or fall short of ours, simply because we fail to position ourselves, in the right place to recieve them. What's also puzzling to me is, the mindset of those who actually have in abundance and refuse to share, and then there are those on the other hand who proclaim not to have enough of their own to even consider sharing.

This is what I know...

 Some may see or envision these benefits to mean or be displayed in many forms such as, money, silver or gold; houses or land, and so forth. These things come and go and when given, they can be taken away.

The true soul of these riches I speak of is LOVE, and it lies within each of us. If we offer it one to another without conditions, the world in which we live in, suddenly becomes a beautiful place again as it begins to turn and turn.... touching everyone with blessings after blessings.

LOVING unconditionally, can be as simple as giving water to one who is thirsty; being a mentor; feeding the hunger; offering service to the community by way of schools, parks, churches, and nursing homes, etc.

If we reach out and help as many people as we humanly and possibly can, to reach and fulfil their dreams, in turn our own dreams will be fulfilled. So it makes sense to me that, in order to recieve a blessing, we must become a blessing.

So, if it is in deed a true fact, that this story is about giving...

Please, take my hand;  join me and ask...... HOW CAN I HELP?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Devil Made Me Do It

Today, was to be a day of goodwill, calmness, and some personal time to reflect on all of the great things that last week had produced. I sincerely don't mean to complain again, because I'm actually still estactic and somewhat overhelmed with joy, regarding all the limited and shared time with my eldest son, who was home for a week from the navy. With that said, on today..... (scratch that), this entire day in my mind, was to be nothing short of incredible.

The morning started out with a beautiful warm and glowing sunrise. The kind that just takes your breath away. I got dressed and headed out to first and foremost, take care of a major prioity of mine... FINDING FOOD. I've got to have it or no one is safe around me until I get it. I would love to describe the feast for you but....., let's just say it was ridiculously outside of your normal two eggs, bacon, toast and coffee.

Everything was going great until......., well until, he showed up. Yea, thats right, that evil disgusting, no good, dirty, low down......, see that's what I mean. This cruel being will do anything to control you, your thoughts, your words and deeds.... if you let him.  Of course, this time he showed up in the strangest way.  He didn't openly speak to me, but he somehow positioned me so that as I started to get into my car, I found myself focused on the left front tire.  There it was, shining brightly for all to see.  I quietly said to myself, what the heck is that?  Then while examining it closer, I realized that the brightly shining object was in fact a large nail that had embedded itself in my expensive and brand new tire.  At first, I wanted to scream and curse at the nail; then the tire and lastly that evil demon on my shoulder, who of course was urging me to do and say all of the.... !!%**#, wrong things and much more toward the nearest and available ear.

That's when I somehow, shook him off and took a deep and needed breath of O2.  Finally, I felt a little better and made the decision to not remove my punctured and suffering tire at this location, but instead I chose to drive it gentlely to the nearest tire center for the required and unscheduled repair. After realizing that I had handled this situation with the upmost of southern class, I headed home and felt totally convence that I was back in control, of having the sort of day I envisioned earlier.

Thinking back, and while reliving the conversation I had with the tire repair guy, I suddenly began to laugh out loud. He told me, that I needed to relax because this type of thing happens to everybody.  I curiously replied, "Oh really, you don't say".  He firmly said yes, it could even happen to Santa Clause.  Suddenly, my warped sense of humor kicked in and I immediately thought about what that must look like..... ummm.

Gee.. hope Santa has OnStar.

Once I arrived at the house, I went straight upstairs to do some needed work on the home computer.  I was just as busy as a beaver, when I saw this little flashing icon appear, that read... click here for some needed updates. Part of me said ignore it, stay on task, but guess who showed up again, sticking me over and over with that fork thingy, and then he proceeded to force my humble little right index finger, to click the mouse on the update tab.  You're probably thinking by now and asking... "What are you smoking"?  Maybe I should have been...Nahh!!, but there he was, standing right in front of me.  Thats when everything just went crazy. The download turned out wack and obviously not capatible with my present operating system (what ever that is).  It was like I was being transformed into that Dorothy girl who realized that she was not in Kansas anymore, and causing me to shout out words like... "Lions, Tigers and Bears..Oh My!!

Whew!!..., luckily I had the phone number to my computer hero (who lives in another time zone) and a warranty that was still valid. Fortunately for me and after 2 plus hours of patience, reassurance and customer care romancing, I got exactly what I deserved....         

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Shout While You Still Can

Its Sunday morning here and its truly a day of rest; sacrifice and praise.  If you've got food on your table, shoes on your feet, clothes on your back today..... You've Got Something To Shout About.

Someone among us, did not hear their alarm clock ringing, in its futile effort to awaken them this morning. If you are among the living today, as you read the words of this post and have all of your physical life sustaining organs functioning..... You've Got Something To Shout About.

Some among us deny and fail to believe in a higher power and truly believe that they actually have the expressive right to boldly utter the words. To you I say, even though it may not be in my humble and feeble power to convence you or change your thoughts otherwise; rest assured that should the day come, where   you find yourself in the the face of a tragic and most certain demise, and the words "Oh my God, save me", flow from your lips and your existence is somehow spared..... You've Got Something To Shout About.

It is said, that there will be rain in our lives. Just know that it won't rain forever. Rain falls in our lives differently from one person to the other. It maybe a lack of financial means to pay your bills; It may come as a thief in the night, robbing you of your posessions or the life of a love one; It maybe the lost of a job; a car; or your health. Do not dispair by doubting or burying your head in the sand; or distancing yourself from all humanity. It is at this junction, when you must rise up and know that through it all.... You've Got Something To Shout About.

We live in a troubled and cruel world, and thats a fact, as I stated once in a previous post, that FAITH and FEAR will not florish in the same place at the same time. For only unwavering FAITH will grant you the ability to SHOUT with an unmeasurable purpose.

Erase the doubts and fears in your life and.........  SHOUT WHILE YOU STILL CAN!          

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I'll Be There

In keeping with all of the upcoming Holiday festivities and occasional madness surrounding them, I stopped for a moment to ponder on how and what it must have taken for people to commute back and forth to their personal and favorite Holiday destinations over and during past years.  I'm not exactly sure when the human race began to establish and recognize Holidays, but I'm sure there were special events that were for whatever reason, significant enough to lead them and us into what we celebrate today from one year to the next. This part of the equation is sometimes puzzling.  How and what were their modes of travel?  Perhaps, we should go back, I mean way back, far back, perhaps to a time forgotten......

The date is unknown and all the exact places no longer exist. An era where men and women lived mostly in caves. They were grouped together as clans or tribes, yet some remained to live apart and alone. As they learned more and more about their surroundings and became more familiar with the changing of each season, when food was abundant and scarce.  Still yet, I'm sure they must have visited each other during those special times.

If distant travel became a necessity, I envision this may have been how they got it done.  Fortunately for the others, the only delay in reaching their destination on time had not been discovered or invented yet. Things like locating the nearest and cheapest gas stations.

As we move farther into the more present future, these guys had less of the hardships as the previously mentioned holiday travelers. The terrain was definetly rough and tough, but at least if it rained they could still keep their appointment, stay dry and not run the risk of being eaten by what the previously mentioned guys chose to ride upon.  I just think they had to really have a good idea about exactly where in the heck was their favorite uncle Billy Bob's house was located and could they actually make it there by Xmas, without having to stop and deal with altering their route due to unscheduled visits by unfriendly indians, who probably were traveling and shopping for the Holiday's too .

Today, as you know things are quite different. We have calendars, Macys department stores, television, online shopping and each other to remind us of the Holiday Seasons.  Although, we could walk, run, drive, float, and of course fly to destinations today, the real problem we face is that with all these modern  luxuries, traveling during the holidays can still become quite difficult, costly and extremely stressful.

For example, after deciding and preparing to make the trip, what day would be the best day of the week to tackle the dreaded airport......ummm?  It has been said that the Wednesday before a Holiday is by far the worst day to travel. Yet, travel appears to ease, especially on the actual Holiday.  In kind, the worst day to choose for return travel is Saturday, because you run into all the commuters who left from where ever they were a few days earlier.

But, there is a possible solution, for soon and very soon, none of the above forementioned Holiday headache issues will matter. There will be no more issues of stressful traveling, gift selections, excuses or worrying whether or not we can observe this or that Holiday and will it conflict with our personal lives or different religious beliefs. There and only there, at that place and time, it is said that...

                                    "Everyday will be a Holiday"

Until then, where ever you are in the world, from me and mine, to you and yours.....
Have a Safe and Happy Holiday Season.


Monday, November 16, 2009

We Gather To Gather..

Just as the title implies, very soon just about every household on the planet will do exactly that; they will "Gather to Gather".  I'm not an authority on this bountiful and magnificent holiday, but I truly look forward to it every single year. So lets start with just a small, yet brief step back into the past. Hopefully, you can hold out for a spell, but if you're as impatient as I am, you are more than ready to dive deeply into the hundreds and hundreds of extra calorie ladden pounds of  "GOOD EATS".

Don't worry we'll be eating soon, but first...

Our story starts long long ago, when a group of people who we'll simply call pilgrims, landed on a rock called Plymouth. Of course as luck would have it, they soon discovered that they were not there alone. There were other two legged, upright walking, air breathing individuals on that rock as well.  We'll called the newly discovered inhabitants... Indians.

Now you've got to know, there was a natural curiousity factor a mist and probably a lot of little conversations about... this is mine and that might be yours, but we want it...ummm.

Somehow over whatever period of time that followed, common sense prevailed and the two parties decided it was in the best interest of everyone to share and wouldn't you know it, suddenly someone yelled lets have a P-A-R-T-Y!!  (must have been an ancestor of mine).

I'm sure there was lots of sceaming and yelling and excitment expressed without limits. Unfortunately the chants and shouts of excitment was short lived, because I can just imagine, that when someone boldly asked, what the heck is a P-A-R-T-Y?

So, I'm assuming they all compromised again and the leaders agreed that since there was food flying around in the air and food roaming around on the ground as well, it was best to just share a meal.  Actually just having a meal had to boring, and since its my story we'll rename it and call it a Feast instead.

There you have it, now you know what I know about the first THANKSGIVING.

Except I can't remember how this guy got in the mix, but who's complaining?

Every year, the tradition of  THANKSGIVING, allows our family to come togather in a way thats very special and unique. We always invite one new person or couple to share in our blessed festivities. As we prepare to dine, we all stand in a large family circle and hold each others hand. Then, we each, take a turn to openly express that which we are personally thankful for. Of course, the new guest(s) are also allowed to share their thankful thoughts should they choose too.

You're welcomed to have a seat.....  HAPPY THANKSGIVING.  


Monday, November 9, 2009

Tic, Toc, Tic....

If you're like me, living and striving everyday to do great things, I know you've had these or similar thoughts. As the days and weeks come and go, do you find yourself working harder and harder to just keep up. It is by no means a secret that time is a factor we can't control.  As I look around and face the person staring back at me in the mirror, I see lots of changes as a result of the ole'clock on the wall. For example, there was a time when my hair line was further towards the front of my head, as opposed to its current location (don't laugh, if you're a guy, just stick around, your time is coming too).  

I can remember sitting and watching one of my favorite cartoons, which at the time made me laugh and laugh. It was all over something he constantly said... something about whether or not he had or did not see a... "Putti Cat".

Yes!, I'm talking about TWEETY.

I can't find very many people who have forgotten him, and amazingly they all are still quite fond on the little yellow bird in the cage who just drove Sylvester the cat crazy.

Ok sorry, I got a little carried away. Here's my point. Time was just as much a factor when I was younger and its still very much a factor as I grow older today.

Two days ago I was browsing the enternet and came across this photo of my favorite childhood cartoon character who, to my disbelief was pictured at age 60.

Noooo!! say it isn't so. Where has the time gone. I mean he still favors TWEETY, but oh how he's changed.

I wonder what the heck, Sylvester looks like these days...ummm.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

If The Shoe Fits...

Growing up in South Florida, I have had a lot of people watching experience and I've enjoyed every minute of it. There are coutless numbers of tourist here each year. Of course, some stay and some go. Whats interesting though, is how we all sometimes can parallel our customs, lifestyles and behavior to practical all types of things around us. Think about it for a second, have you ever been outside, perhaps at a park and noticed people walking with their pets and how amazingly they have managed to match their pet in some way or another to themselves. Maybe its just me, but I see it all the time.

A few days ago, I was sitting and just people watching and suddenly, I began to focus on the types of shoes they were wearing. Believe me when I say, there were people with big shoes and small shoes. There were white shoes and black shoes, and shoes with different colors. some had stripes and some of them, well I still can't identify.  Anyway, I began to think deeper and this is what I thought......

Each shoe has a name or brand that best descibes what type of shoe it is and what it is capable of providing.

So if I were to parallel shoes and people... ummmm.
Take for instance, this particular shoe, its known in familiar circles as the "Sneaker"
Now the sneaker, is like some people I know. They make you feel secure and comfortable, but true to its name, since they don't make a lot of noise, they'll sneak up on and around you, when you're not looking, then without warning, they'll NAIL you. They kind of remind me of those people who throw rocks and hide their hands.

Now the next shoe by design should tell you right away what kind of personality you're going to get. I mean, if you're looking for a hard working, non-stopping, task oriented, pick em up and lay it down kind of guy, then avoid this one at all cost. They are like your broke brother-in-law, who just sleeps and sleeps on your couch. Ladies beware, this guy is really NOT the perfect mate, especially for a lifetime.  Lets just get on with it and call him what he is.

Introducing the.......... "LOAFER"

Well, lets look at another fellow. Sometimes I think this one and the loafer are related, heck they may even be cousins. I would best describe this personality, compatible to one who is always in the back, always left behind; tends to be a follower rather than stepping up and taking the lead on most anything.  They are sometimes shabby and will talk to you in a dead on pointy, point of view (no pun intended), but  generally they spend a lot of their time frolicing and being totally irresponsible. So if all of this even peeks your curiousity and this is the type you gravitate to, then by all means the "HEEL" is definetly for you.

Hang in there, I'm almost done. This one is easy, they can't hide their identity at all. As soon as you lay eyes on them you know what you're getting. It is what it is and they are who the are. They are indecisive, and sometimes clueless. They don't offer any support, so if you really need dependablity, start looking somewhere else. On a day when you're having a little rain in your life... you're going to get wet!!  If you're needing someone to hold and warm you.. forget it. It's not happening. Today they love you, tonight they don't. So, so...ever so sad but true.

Perhaps this last one is a no brainer. It not perfect, but at least it provides you a lot more than those guys up top. This one is sturdy, strong, durable, reliable and can provide you comfort up hills, mountains and valleys as they spill or come into your life. It's a great supporter and functions well under some of the harshest conditions. They come in various sizes, shapes, colors and texures. They will fortify and reinforce your weaknesses and fight off all who oppose you. Without further a due, if I were you I would look for a partner who posses some of if not all of the qualities of the........ "BOOT".
So in closing, as the titled implies, "If The Shoe Fits.. Wear It!


Monday, November 2, 2009

A Life Lesson From The Kitchen

Some time ago, I came across this incredible piece written by an anonymous author, and because it has helped to change my outlook on life, I felt it fitting to bless you with it too.  As you read this inspiring piece, my wish is two-folded. First and foremost, that it moves and motivates you (as it has me), to reflect and improve yourself, and secondly, lets you and I together give credit to whoever is the incredible person who is responsible for authoring and sharing this written blessing with all of us.

A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee…You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.

Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see.”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma The daughter then asked, “What does it mean, mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water , they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can’t go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling.

Live your life so at the end, you’re the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

*anonymous author

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sing A Simple Song

Have you ever noticed how beautiful and glorious a brand new day starts. Of course, its especially breathtaking when you realize that you are blessed to be alive and well.  My mornings really seem to get off to a great start when I take in the view of the sun rising from the east. There are mornings when you can actually see the clouds part, as if they are announcing and preparing to introduce the brilliance of this massive sphere of heavenly brightness. Some people have told me that they prefer to witness a beautiful sunset, and that's ok too, but for me personally, I tend to get a little extraordinary stuff with the incoming mornings.

Now that my eyes have adjusted to "Ole' Mr. Sun", all of my other senses are also beginning to kick in.  As, I yawn and let out a mighty roar, my arms automatically reach out to embrace the warmth rushing into my window. 

But, wait a minute. What's that I hear ? The sound is so very familiar... It's the same loud and clear sound I recognize from my childhhood; my adolesence years and even throughout my adulthood. There are no words or lyrics that I can understand or interpret.  There's not even any background music or vocalist, yet it is so, so beautiful.

It's the sound of birds singing.. and they're singing the same ole songs.

As this particular sunrise and future sunrise's come and go, I'm reminded daily, that life's ever ticking time clock, does not wait for me or anyone and that no matter what I think or do, it will continue to wind down.  Fortunately, there is peace in knowing that with each beautiful sunrise and sunset; and as each of these sweet and gentle young soliders also begin to age. I know they will never forsake; abandon or forget to herald the new day with a song........Songs that will never, never grow old. 

Monday, October 26, 2009

No Need To Fear

Very soon this month, specifically on the 31st day of the week, several different populated sides of this planet will voluntarily engage in dressing up in strange clothing (better known as costumes), and participate in what is known as HALLOWEEN.

Usually, for many the favorite Halloween color represented is your basic orange and black combination. Additionally, the event is largely associated with the use of symbolic images like, jack-o-lanterns, witches, scary stories etc.

It may sounds like a lot of fun, but it's not necessarily fun for everyone. There are some religious skeptics who have voiced serious concerns over the years, due to their belief that Halloween, is in direct conflict with their specific faith teachings. They believe that any association with Halloween has become less about fun and celebration, but more about Satan and demon worshipping. Ouch!

I grew up living with a very strict and religious family and can't ever remember going trick or treating. Sometimes I wonder and ask myself, was I really that sheltered?  Did I somehow miss out on something?  Actually, I only think about such things when the Halloween festivities come and go, or when we escort my youngest daughter and grandson, door to door collecting treats and most importantly searching for the "Great Pumkin".....Ooooo!

The next big question or complaint about Halloween is at what age should one stop trick or treating? ummm.

This situation is one that probably is no big deal, but there have been times when I've responded to my front door expecting little cute and adorable youngesters, dressed in angel; spounge bob; batman; whinny the pooh; and spiderman get ups.  Each and every one of them, tiny little people, with cute tiny little voices attempting to articlulate, those famous 3 words... TRICK or TREAT. . Wonderful Right?.... Wrong!! 

As I'm opening the door, and starting at the feet level of the ghostly vistors, I immediately realize that those little feet are huge, massive podders that are attached to large legs and torso's, who's voices are certainly not tinnie weenie. Then as I slowly glance up at the faces of these masses of terror, it's enough to knock you off your own feet, reeling you backwards inside the door and embarassingly onto the floor.  Enough already, not only are they heart attack scary, they're just to big...,  And with big people ghools, come BIGGGG! ghoolish hands. Hell, they literally took more than their ghoolly share of the goodies. So much so, that it was all gone before the Halloween night came to an end.

After a few of those incidents, I now never let them reach into the goody tray anymore. Ha,Ha, Ha.....

Thank Goodness, there are lots of other options available to attract those older Halloweener's, who wish to celebrate this event.  One of the options is to do what I'm doing and just pass out treats and call it a night.


They could actively and safely participate or sponsor Halloween parties involving their age related peers. ummm. Ok, that's all I've got for now. Looking forward to hearing from or seeing you all on the 31st.

Happy Halloween or should I say... TRICK or TREAT!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Peace In The Mist Of The Storm

It's Sunday morning and as I recall, its a perfect day of service and a time of reflection. Its a day on rest and of peace. Yes, I agree that all of this could be and should be occurring on the days we live between Monday and  Saturday, but of course many of us don't.  Sometimes we get caught up into the things that we personally value and deem more important.  Interestingly though, I tend to remember that, in every up or high there's usually a down; sometime inspite of an obvious win, there's a lost. Those who have friends, sometimes find themselves friendless. Then there are the rich and then there's the poor. There are those who praise and those who redicue. There are even those who are believer's and in the face of or the glimpse of trouble, they become nonbelievers. The ever revolving list seems endless.

Here's what I know..

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Stroke Of The Pen

Today was suppose to be just another beautiful morning, with the sun shining brightly between the clouds, trees swaying in the wind and birds singing. So what went wrong? Instead of being able to re-experience all of those lovely events, I was spending my time stuck at the dreaded "DEALERSHIP".

As you know it all starts with a friendly and accomodating service managers voice, which in my opinion, "sets the trap".  Of course, we've all had suggestive offers before, and we've all had options to just walk away, but who in their right mind could resist the sound of those compelling words, that are so often promised, but never really delivered. Statements like, "don't worry, we'll get you in and out in a jiffy".....ummm. Oopes, they got me again. The end results were very mentally challenging and painfull. Suddenly I was having and seeing images of donkeys with long ears and tail, popping up in my head, and the donkeys all had  faces that looked a lot like my own. YIPES!!

Heck, I was only scheduled for a preventative maintaince checkup.  I interpreted that to mean an oil change and lube; checking some fluids and also the tightening of a few belts. Nothing more...right?.. WRONG!!

By the time I got the beast back, which turned out to be 7 hours later, I was needing new motor mounts, brakes, a new head light, tires, a water pump etc, ect.... all summing up to over $1200.00 (in US currency of course), plus labor and taxes.


Anyway, before you begin to feel sorry for poor little ole me, let me stop you. Its all good, and no I'm not wealthy or any wonderful thing like that, but I have to give credit to where and whom credit is due. So as they say during most acceptance speeches....I'd personally like to thank my wife (Joy) who refused to listen to me during the initial purchase of the beast and for standing up during the process and gave me that.. you know, that look; pushing and literally forcing my hand to sign that 11x14 form, which was titled at the top....."EXTENDED WARRANTY AGREEMENT". Yes!!, Only in America and thank you JESUS!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Not Just Any Ole' Chicken

Call it "Wild, Crazy, Stunning and down right Outrageous", but we're not just talkin' about browning any little ole' birdie here. This is my special tale about a bird that had all the reasons available in this world to believe, they would have a carefree life, and most importantly never become the mistake, of ending up on my dinner table. This is how it all happened.

One Day, not to long ago, I was encouraged or should I say challenged, to take my "Grill Master's skill to the next level. Although I've endured many grilling stories told by some of the best grillers I know, it was now my turn perfect the art of cooking chicken on the grill.

Growing up in the south, I became a true fan of what my family affectionately called the "Gospel Bird". That title was offered because thats what most southern families were accustomed to eating on not one, but practically on every single Sunday, after church services. We had it, fried broiled, boiled, baked, stuffed, dressed up, cut up..whew!! you name it, they cooked it and I ate it. It wasn't until I grew up and older, that I eventually learned to enjoy that featherless non-clucking wonder grilled.

Of course, like with any and most things in life, there is a process and everyone has their own little twist to its perfected prescription.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Keep on TRUCKIN'

As I lay in bed resting today, my mind wondered back on a recent business trip. My thoughts were not so much about the long and seemingly endless terrain, surrounded on both sides by various plants and tall trees. I was also dealing with the on and on miles of the tarred asphalt roadway, which appeared to at any moment would burst into huge glowing flames, ignited by the heated rays of the sun above. Either way, I did not despair, because I would just choose to lose myself in thoughts about how incredibly beautiful it all was.

This road trip probably would have seemed shorter provided I knew exactly where I was going. I mean, heck I had a written map and my handy GPS system, but with all of those conveniences, for some reason part of my focused thoughts would get penetrated by that demon called "FEAR". Not the panicky type or the type that brings about total mental shut down, but the one that seeps and oozes its other demon cousin, called doubt.

Oh crap!! then it happen. I missed my exit.

It didn't help a whole lot that I was also moving along at a.... lets just say that, red and blue flashing lights to the rear of me would have been justified and warranted. Now that my exit (state rd 82) was in the far and distant past, I kept in mind that I did have options.

Option #1; Yell loudly with excessive repetition this phrase... !%^**!*#


Option#3; Repeat option#1, as you proceed to carryout option#2


Remember that this trips consequences was no different in how I've succeeded in other life missions before. So, I just simply implemented the following belief system:

Should I ever miss or bypass an OPPORTUNITY... never turn around and go back. Keep going on and moving forward; it will always take you to where you need to be.

* Ask any trucker!

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