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The 3rd Annual Birthday Bash

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Sunset On Madeira Beach

We recently had our “2nd Annual Birthday Bash”.  It was held at our home, on Madeira Beach, Florida.  A good time was had by everyone who came.  It will be memories, Cathy (my wife of over 20 years)  and I will carry in our hearts forever.

The Birthday Party (a “tradition” started in 2010), became a three-day affair, this year.  We started the party as  a way to celebrate a few family members’ birthday, all at one time. It was an excuse to gather the family together and have a BBQ by the pool, topped off with a birthday cake.   It has become so much more. A “Birthday Party”, is no longer an adequate description.  It has become more  a celebration of, “FAMILY”.

This year, the party coincided with our vacations, so we were able to expand it a bit more.  My family recently relocated to Madeira Beach  (we previously lived in Titusville, Florida), so some of our guests traveled to our home and stayed at motels near-by. This allowed us to make the party a longer event.  This also allowed everyone to spend more time together and gave us all the “space” to do our own thing.  It was more of a short “Vacation Getaway”.  It was a stay-cation for our household.


We started our party on Friday night, with a visit from Miranda’s  (our daughter) boyfriend’s  parents.  We sat on the porch and talked, drank and laughed into the night.  It was the first time, I had met them and I had a good time.  It was a very good start to a fantastic weekend.


We spent the next day prepping for Sunday’s Brunch and afternoon BBQ.  If you want to be a participant in your own party and not just a caterer, I’ve found that prep time is very important.   I’ve learned to prepare platters, side dishes and  even pre-cook some of the BBQ items in advance.  When you plan an event, that not only takes all day, but in our case more than one day…you have to expect that your guest will not be present at all parts of your event, or even all show up at a set time for any one part.  We anticipated this and had a few extra appetizers/side dishes that we could put out throughout the days as needed.  This worked out best in the hours in-between our Brunch and BBQ on Sunday.  In some of my earlier BBQs, as I finished grilling…my guest where getting ready to leave.   This year was more pleasurable.  This was the next best thing to having the weekend catered.  We were cook, host and guest/participants.  It was such an enjoyable experience. Read the rest of this entry


It was the 4th annual BIRTHDAY BASH….with a twist this year !

Miranda’s “baby shower” was included, and baby Wyatt was born soon after.

I spent most of the summer on crutches….

The full story to follow !

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I don’t have a lack of ideas for future post…just a lack of time, to write them.

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I didn’t write this and don’t know who did…it was forwarded to me in an e-mail…I just love it!

1. I think part of a best friend’s job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn’t want to nap when I was younger.

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How the heck are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on # 5. I’m pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

9. I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t at least kind of tired.

10. Bad decisions make good stories.

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren’t going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don’t want to have to restart my collection…again.

13. I’m always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.

14. I keep some people’s phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

15. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

16. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay.

17. I wish Google Maps had an “Avoid Ghetto” routing option.

18. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

19. How many times is it appropriate to say “What?” before you just nod and smile because you still didn’t hear or understand a word they said?

20. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!

21. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

22. Sometimes I’ll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

23. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey – but I’d bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time.

24. The first testicular guard, the “Cup,” was used in Hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974. That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brain is also important.

Just When You Think You’ve Seen It All…

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Float and Eat

I was born and raised in New York City, so when I tell you; “I’ve seen it all”…I probably have.  That is what I thought until recently.  I now know you have never seen it all.

Yesterday was eventful in this area.  We had nine tornadoes in the immediate area, a few were very close to our home.  One tornado hit the businesses adjacent to my wife’s store, at the Largo Mall.  She was working from home, so she was not in danger.  We have had many tornado scares in the twenty plus years I’ve lived in Florida, but never this many at one time.  We have seen this before.

It was a beautiful day here in Madeira Beach.  The sun was shinning, the breeze was blowing, it was about 80 and I was working.  I decided to take a meal break, something I rarely do, but I did not want to miss out on the entire day.  I am fortunate to have a few food options all within walking distance.  It also means I get to walk off my meal.  I decided to make the unhealthy choice and walk to the McDonald’s across the parking lot.

I ordered my meal and went out to the McDonald’s pier to eat my meal.  Yes I said the McDonald’s pier.  Our local McDonald’s has a pier.  You can float up, dock and come in and eat.  That’s not the strange part, although unusual.  I was sitting there, on the pier, when a homeless man rowed up to me and asked me for spare change.  I knew he was homeless by the contents of the rowboat.  I told the man I would not give him any money but he could have my untouched french fries.  He said he would accept them.  I proceeded to hand them down to him, when out of the sky swooped down a seagull and stole them and flew off to share them with his posse.  That is when I realized I had not seen it all.

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I’ve gotten very used to my new surroundings.  I love the view of the gulf, early in the mornings as well as late in the evenings.  I love the balcony view of the sunrises as well as the sunsets.  I miss being near family.  I don’t understand it.  I did not visit with them all that often.  I didn’t just drop by.  I didn’t drop by to  barrow a cup of sugar.  I knew they were just a moment away, just the same.  I miss it.

My sister recently reminded me of this with her face-book post “I spent my entire life searching only to finally find that everything I ever wanted and needed…..I always already had right in front of me…the search is over home is where my soul is….. “NO SH*T WELCOME TO THE PARTY!”, is how I responded.  It was an off the cuff remark at first, but I soon realized how true that was.

I Love My Life

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I Love My Life

As I start to feel at-ease in our new home…..


I am starting to feel a renewed sense of vitality, hope and anticipation.  I’m starting to feel a little artistic, creative and appreciative.  I look around me with a sense of wonder.  I start to look back at the recent past and look in anticipation, to the near future.  I am entering a new phase in my life.  I love my life.

I start my mornings, on one of our balconies facing the Gulf, a cup a coffee/tea or orange juice in my hand and anticipation in my mind.  The sea salts filling my lungs, a perfect view of the sea-gulls shitting on our cars, or my wayward cat making friends with the wildlife..snakes, gulls, armadillos, and raccoons.  It’s a good thing he doesn’t have to earn his keep. I have a front seat to the sun, both morning and evenings.  I count my blessings, dawn to dusk.  I end my days as I’ve started them.

I am starting to count every minute of the day as my salary, and I’m willing to work for half as much.  It is amazing how our lives can change by just separating ourselves from the “toxic jobs, lifestyles or friends and family”.  A good “house cleaning” is needed every once in a while.  If there is a God, He smiles on me daily, and I smile in appreciation.

My life is not perfect, but I have the ingredients to make it so.