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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


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.

Happy New Year

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It was a busy Holiday Season…Thanksgiving melted into birthdays, into Christmas, into birthdays, into anniversaries, into the New Year.  Working in retail meant I was also part of my regular customers’ busy lives as well as my own.

I would not have missed a moment of it, and am glad I didn’t.  I participated in birthday parties, Christmas parties, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners and a Pig Roast.  I went to parades, visited a few malls, watched a few good movies and reconnected with some long-lost friends.  I visited with anxious families in a Hospital setting as well as anxious customers at the store.  I was reminded of what a great life I have, and how blessed I am.

I am thankful the new year gives me the opportunity to continue on “Life’s Strange Trip”.  I hope there will be many more stops along the way.  I’ve added a Video Page to the blog so that I can share more of the great stops along the way, and I hope that you all will continue to share in the adventure that is my life.

Eggnog Sugar Cookies (via Patent and the Pantry)

WOW can’t wait to try and I don’t bake, you have to measure.

Eggnog Sugar Cookies Can I just admit something pretty embarrassing (for bloggers anyway) here? I made these a year ago. And then I procrastinated (It’s a curse!). And then, well, the window closed for holiday baking. And that was that. Until now. However, in the intervening year (!), I have completely forgotten why I wanted to make these and what I was going to say about them. I mean, cookies = good. Eggnog = good. Eggnog cookies = good x 2. And, really, do they nee … Read More

via Patent and the Pantry

Sundays: Worship What is Important in Your Life

The parts of our lives that become ritual seem to increase, as we get older.  We nurture our inner selves through these rituals, even if we’re no longer conscious of  them. Sundays are good examples of how our rituals keep us grounded in our family, beliefs, relationships, even our jobs.  They sort of bring us to our  Zen gardens, our inner peace and our meanings of a sabbath. The strengths of our sabbath rituals are evident by the fact that we perform them even if, on occasion, it may be a work day.  The rituals are a simple celebration of our spiritual and sociological DNA.  They define our lives as they once were, how they are, and what they have become, even perhaps of how they could have been…. Read the rest of this entry