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Monday, August 24, 2009

Michelle

My 15 y/o year old daughter, Michelle, called Friday with some wonderful news. She received a letter from her Senator. The letter was to congratulate her on her FCAT (Florida Comprehensive Assesment Test) scores in math & english. The tests were taken the end of the school year. Michelle received a perfect score in both subjects. The letter praised her outstanding academics and work ethic.
Michelle was chosen (one of 20 in the state) to be a "schoolastic ambassador" to Australia for 2 1/2 weeks. The things she got to experience was incredible and an opportunity of a lifetime. Incredibly, while in Australia she ate crocodile and kangaroo...that's right, kangaroo. Believe it or not, Michelle said it tasted really good and went back for seconds and thirds. She got to hold & feed a koala, snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, and learned to surf.
She also received another letter shortly after returning from Australia asking her to go next summer to China for 3 weeks. Michelle had to raise $4,000 for her Australia trip and she will have to raise over $6,000 for her China trip.
I am a very proud of all my children and step-children and I am very fortunate when they do something out of the oridinary and makes me even more proud of them all.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Austin

My 13 y/o son, Austin is playing football once again thi year. I was a little worried at first because he had to move up to next age group because he is now 13, even though he roughly weighs 90 lbs "soaking wet". He is out weighed by an average of 35 lbs. That's quite a difference when you throw on the pads and start hitting. I still cringe at the thought of it.
Needless to say, I was quite ecstatic when Austin called me last Saturday when we were on our way to bowling. Austin told me he is the team's #1 receiver. I am a proud dad. I guess getting him that football for Christmas and him playing "sandlot" football with his friends all summer long really payed off for him. Austin does have great hands and eye coordination; he rarely misses a pass thrown his way.
Austin has his jamboree game this weekend and they play their first game the following Saturday. I hope things work out for Cindy & I to make the trip to Tampa to see his first game. I'm excited and I'm not even the one playing. Lol.

Monday, August 17, 2009

So close to a perfect game.

Saturday night was league bowling. Cindy, Robert (Cindy's dad), Lonnie (Cindy's future bro-n-law) and I are on a team together. The past 2 weeks we have taken 5 out of 7 points each night. Saturday night, we did the same and we are now in 9th place out of 18 teams. Woohooie!
I somehow injured my right shoulder Saturday before bowling and I wasn't sure how well I would do. Apparently I did better than I had ever dreamt. I start off with a strike, 2nd frame a strike, 3rd frame another strike. Half way through the game, I began to wonder, "Could I bowl a 300 game?"
The 7th frame...strike, 8th...strike. Now I began to get really nervous. My team purposely did not mention what was happening nor did I bring it up. I did not want to jinx myself. I was beginning to get extremely nervous. The 9th frame, another strike by dumb luck, the 10th pin fell at the last second. Whew!
By now the butterflies were beginning to set in. Slightly nervous I threw my first ball in the 10th frame...strike! I was so nervous, my legs were shaking ever so slightly. Trying to relax was not helping. I threw the 2nd ball of the 10th frame....4 pins were left standing. Damn! I was so close! I was happy for the feat I had just accomplished but also disappointed at the same time. I managed to pick up the remaining pins and end with a 286.
I'm sure it will be quite a while before I come that close again but I won't forget the excitement of the night. Our team took another 5 of 7 points and hopefully our good fortune will continue next weekend.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Keith

My son, Keith,( 17 y/0) had his 2nd surgery today. Several months back he was diagnosed with a family "curse", familial polyposis in his colon. For those who do not know, your colon is your large intestines.
Seven weeks ago, Keith had a colonectomy and had to have a colostomy. Today's surgery was to do the colostomy reversal, removal of it and hooking back up all the "plumbing" and live a normal life once again. I am happy to say that his surgery went perfectly. Like his first sugery, everything was mostly done laporoscopically, meaning no large incisions.
Familial Polyposis has plagued our family, on my mother's side for many years. I had the same surgeries 18 years ago, my mother had it, as well as my brother and countless cousins.
Keith's surgery lasted just a few hours with no complications. What a relief. I am so proud of him and how he handled the situation. Keith has aspirations to become a surgeon in the U.S. Navy. He has the intelligence, the determination and will-power to succeed at his career goal. If the the past 2 months is any indication of how well he will do, then he will become a great officer and surgeon in the U.S. Navy.
I am very proud of you Keith and love you very much.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Mayonnaise Jar

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was. The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous 'Yes.'

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed... 'Now,' said the professor as the laughter subsided, I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things -- your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions -- and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.
The sand is everything else -- the small stuff.
'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take time to get medical checkups. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first -- the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand. One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented. The professor smiled and said, 'I'm glad you asked.' The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A few favorite wedding pics







Here are a few of my favorite pics from our wedding. We did quite a few fun poses for our photographer.



Enjoy!



Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Back like a bad rash




I have been a way from the "blog scene" for quite a while. A lot of things have happened over the past several months; all good, of course. Over the next several days I will elaborate.


A brief synopsis....


The biggest event in my life happened June 20th. I married the most incredible lady. I have previously written about her in several posts. Cindy made me the happiest and most fortunate man on earth. I married my soulmate. Not the lady that I could live with, but, in the fact, the one I couldn't live without. Everything I had ever prayed to find in a wife, I found in her. I am very blessed.


Secondly, I was lucky enough to find a better pest control company to work for here in Ocala. I started work just a few days after making my move in March. I have a great boss/owner. He gets out and works hard just like the rest of us and runs a route, etc. He's the type that wouldn't ask you to do anything that he wouldn't do. He's a very hard working, easy-going guy with a vast amount of knowledge. I respect him a lot.


My 17 y/o son, Keith, had major surgery 8 weeks ago. He was diagnosed with pre-cancerous polyps in his colon. He is recovering quite well.


My daughter, Michelle, went to Australia for 2 1/2 weeks. She was one of 20 kids chosen out of 500 to go as a "scholar ambassador" to other countries. She has already been asked to go next year to china. I'm a very proud daddy.




I will elaborate in future posts about all that I mentioned and much more.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Robot Chicken

Here's another video created by my daughter, Michelle and her friend, Cali.

I know nothing about "Robot Chicken" but apparently there is a television show with the same title.

Enjoy.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Top 5 Favorite Chip List

I was listening to the radio the other afternoon and caught a talk show that was discussing their top 5 favorite chips. I thought it would be an interesting topic to share my fab 5 and have readers share their top 5 as well.
Here goes.....

5. Muchos - I got hooked on these as a kid. Thankfully I do not eat these as often as I did back then; they are a bit salty.

4. Lays K.C. Masterpiece - I love bar-b-q and these are my favorite.

3. Lays Sourcream & Onion - I can make a meal out of these chips and then "wash them down" with a Mtn. Dew.

2. Cheetos Puff Corn - These are so light that the you will eat the entire bag without realizing it.

1. Bugles - This is another chip that I grew up eating. I like the regular and the cheese flavored ones.

So....what's your top 5 favorite chips?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

With Age Comes Wisdom

Valentine's Day I celebrated my 41st birthday. For the record, I still feel like I am 25....on most days anyway.
A friend of mine printed a joke for me and I thought I would share it here on my blog.
"Stud Rooster"

A farmer went out one day & bought a brand new stud rooster for the hens in his chicken coop.
The new rooster struts over to the old rooster and says, "OK old fart, time for you to retire!" The old rooster replies, "Come on, surely you cannot handle ALL of these hens? Look what it has done to me, can't you just let me have the two old biddies over there in the corner?" The young roosters answers, "Beat it! You are washed up and I AM taking over!"
The old rooster answers, "I tell you what, young stud. I will race you around the farmhouse. Whoever wins gets the exclusive domain over the entire chicken coop". The young rooster laughs, "you know you don't stand a chance, old man. So just to be fair, I will give you a head start"
The old rooster takes off running. About 15 seconds later the young rooster takes off running after him. They round the front porch of the farmhouse and the young rooster is closing the gap.
He is only about 5 feet behind the old rooster and gaining fast. The farmer, meanwhile, is sitting in his usual spot on the porch when he sees the roosters running by.
The old rooster is squalking and running as hard as he can. The farmer grabs his shotgun and BOOM! He blows the young rooster to bits. The farmer sadly shakes his head and says, "Damnit!.....that's the third gay rooster I bought this month!"
Moral of the story?
Don't mess with the "Older Generation" , age, skill, wisdom, and a little treachery will always overcome youth and arrogance!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Busy Few Weeks

The past few weeks of of February have been extremely busy for me. I apologize for not posting any new material recently. From wedding preparations, bowling, packing for my move to Cindy's home in Silver Springs,Fl and my kids visiting, I am lucky to have found time to breath.
With things being so hectic, Cindy & I have decided to take a mini-vacation for 6 days. We leave early Saturday morning to head to Biloxi,Ms. for a few days and then travel to New Orleans for a few days; returning on Thursday.
I will be writing several posts before leaving and visiting all my favorite bloggers before we leave.
I will definitely be posting about our trip, with pictures when we return.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Battle of Olustee 1864 in Pictures

Here are some pics of the Olustee Battle of 1864. To know about the history of this battle read my Friday post which also has a couple of video clips that were taken.











Friday, February 13, 2009

The Battle of Olustee

On a frosty morning, February 20, 1864, the federal forces gathered outside Lake City, Florida, with the purpose to procure agriculture products and food, to obtain recruits and to force the allegiance of Florida to the Union.
Local Confederate forces, along with forces from Georgia equally determined to preserve and protect their commodities, banded together at Olustee, considering it their most defensible position.
Under the command of Brigadier General Joseph Finegan the battle began with Confederate advance, Calvary forces luring Federals toward the primary defenses.
Straight and narrow pine trees stood at somber attention on this Olustee field, with heavy fighting around them, beginning early in the afternoon and ending at dusk.
The momentum shifted back and forth and back again. By the cover of nightfall, the Federals retreated. The victory was clearly the Confederates. The only victory the Confederate forces had in the state of Florida.
Each February, in the vast timberland that is Baker County, those who remember, join professional "War Between the States" reenactors in commemorating this historic moment and in celebrating the accomplishments seeded by those spirited pioneers.

Below are a couple of video clips that I had taken at last year's festival. The festival is taking place again this weekend and I will be posting pics on Sunday.

*remember to turn the autoplay off of my main page theme song. :-)







Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Funny Pic

Click on the pic to enlarge it so you read the words under each pic.



Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Losing a Customer & a Friend

Most of my readers know that my trade is pest control. In this type of business you meet all types; the good, the bad, the ugly, neat freaks and the messy freaks. Over the years I have become close to several of my customers and rightfully so; I see them on a monthly basis. Many of my customers are elderly and are sweet as pie. I usually spend a few extra minutes with them because they are lonely and do not have many people that come to visit. They love the attention and time spent chatting with them.
Today I went to one of my favorite customers, Ms. Irma.
Ms. Irma is 91 and she always has a ziplock bag of cookies for me when I treat her home. I can always count on her to make me smile. Ms. Irma was diagnosed with Alzheimers many months back.
Today I pulled up in Ms. Irma's driveway and noticed several cars in her drive also. I was met at the door by her daughter, Sharon. By the look on Sharon's face I knew something was wrong. Grief was very evident in her eyes. She asked me to come inside and we sat at the kitchen table and as usual, there was my bag of cookies laying there.
"Where's Ms. Irma? Is she resting?", I asked with hope in my voice.
"Mom past away yesterday, of a heart attack", Sharon answered with tears welling up in her eyes. I gave my heart-felt condolences to Sharon and for her family.
"Mom said she wasn't going to let that degrading desease take her and she didn't", Sharon stated. I told Sharon how highly I thought of her mom and she told me how Ms. Irma thought of me. I told Sharon how happy her mother was when I told her I was engaged. Sharon then reached for my bag of cookies and handed them to me, "You enjoy these cookies, Bryan".
As I left I was given a note with the funeral info and was asked to come if at all possible. I assured Sharon that I would be there, come hell or high water.
I went to the nearby park, pulled under an oak tree and enjoyed those homemade peanut butter cookies.
Ms. Irma will be missed. I hope I can live as long as her and be as happy as she made the people around her feel.

Friday, February 6, 2009

My Daughter's Latest Youtube Video

Here's the latest YouTube video that my daughter Michelle & her friend Cali have made. The title of this one is, "Rockband Intervention". This vid also has my son Keith playing a role.
What ya think?


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Did Jack Frost Get Lost?

Last night we had our coldest night of the season, a measely 13 degrees. Yeah, that's right....13 degrees here in north Florida. With the wind chill, it was a whopping 3. Tonight it is suppose to be about the same, within a few degrees. I will be the first one to admit that I am a WIMP when it comes to cold weather. I did spend 2 winters in Oklahoma City and for the record, I will never do that again.
When the temps drop below 50, I prepare to bundle up......it's eskimo clothing time.
It's miserable to work outside in those temps. Fortunately, it reached above freezing by 10 a.m. Our high was 46, tomorrow it will reach 48 and by the weekend it will be back in the 70's. Hallelujah!!!!
I am not sure why Jack Frost decided to pay us such a visit but I can't wait for him to pack up, go back to Canada where he belongs and for spring to arrive.
Which brings me to my question for you.
What is your favorite season?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Getting Old Sucks

I am making a conscious effort to become a healthier "me". I am not exactly dieting, it's more of a "watching what I eat" type of thing. I'm not getting any younger regardless of how young I feel on most days. I start the decent "down the hill" soon, I hit 41 in a few weeks. Ugh!!!
I have 2 major weaknesses when it comes to my diet; Chocolate & Mt. Dew.
Cindy & I decided a few weeks ago to eat healthier. More water, less sodas; more fiber & protein, less chocolate. We even joined a gym recently. So far the effort is paying off for both of us. I feel better, I have more energy and even managed to lose a few pounds along the way.
I admire anyone who can diet & exercise and be successful at it. Willpower is the key. Throughout my day I have strong cravings for a Mt. Dew. Typically, it would be nothing for me to drink 3 Dews in one day and then several glasses of ice tea in evenings. Neither Cindy nor I are fans of regular water so we drink flavored water. We have bought a lot of sugar free candy and fat free snacks and that has seemed to have helped quite a bit.
Regular visits to the gym begin soon. I dread the first week and having to cope with all the soreness.
Getting old sucks.

Monday, February 2, 2009

It's Monday, Need A Laugh?

Most people have a problem with Mondays, myself included. Just like Garfield, I hate Mondays. To make your Monday a lil' better I have posted this video of the "squirrel relocator".
Remember to stop the autoplay of my blog's theme song before playing.
I hope this brings you a smile.


video

Thursday, January 29, 2009

My Daughter - The Goof

Apparently the apple doesn't fall from the tree. Living proof would be my daughter, Michelle.

Michelle & her friend, Cali, make goofy videos and then post them on you tube. I can't say much because I'm a goof also. Her & Cali film this video in their local Winn-Dixie and acutually interview a few customers.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"All in the Family"

I mentioned in a previous post that my oldest son, David, joined our bowling team for the new session. Our team consists of Cindy, Robert (Cindy's dad), David , and myself. Our team name is "All in the family". Cool name, huh? Yeah, I thought so too. Archie Bunker would be Robert, Cindy is the ever so sweet Gloria, I am "Meathead" (Michael) and David is Joey (Mike & Gloria's lil' son). Lol.
Anyway, our first night of the new session was this past Saturday. The four of us had a great time together. We only won one game of three but we had fun none the less. We played against "Strike Force", and believe me, their name fits their team. The entire team bowled a 270 or better the first game; one guy, Charlie, bowled a 300. Everyone on our team had atleast one great game. I bowled a 255 and a 215 and finished with a 600+ series. My best so far. David had a 204 game and finished with a 169 average. Cindy always does well. I am so accustomed to her kicking my ass in bowling. Unfortunately, Cindy had a bad Saturday night on the lanes and finished with a 185 average. Cindy was having serious back pains so her game was off. Normally, Cindy is consistantly a 200+ bowler. Robert finished with a 141 average; he had a great first game of 189.
It's been great how the families of Cindy and mine have gotten along so well. David and Robert are forming quite a bond within the first few weeks of meeting. Family means a great deal to me and my one hope/prayer in finding "Mrs. Right" was that our families would have the same connection with one another. I no longer have to make that prayer; it's been answered.
It's been a blessing to have David close to me again; I thought I had lost him. Isn't it funny how things work out?
My advice to any parent that believes they are losing touch with their child, go bowling together or do anything together consistantly. I stand to be corrected; don't wait until you think you're losing touch with child. Do something BEFORE it gets to that point.
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

Monday, January 26, 2009

Your "Bucket List" ?

Last night I watched "The Bucket List" for the first time. I purchased the dvd several months back and I haven't had the time to watch it until last night. Morgan Freeman & Jack Nicholson are 2 of my favorite actors of all time. I thought the movie was great, do in part because of the message it tried to relay to the audience.
One scene inparticular grabbed my attention. Jack & Morgan were in Egypt, atop a pyramid with several others in the back ground. Morgan tells Jack, "The Egyptians believed that when they died and went to the entrance of heaven; their entrance into heaven was granted based on the answer of 2 questions". Jack replied, "Ok, I'll bite. What are the 2 questions?" Morgan answered, "1. Have you found joy in your life? and 2. Have you brought joy into someone's life?"
Deep, huh? Yeah, I thought so too.
It made me stop and think for several minutes about those 2 questions.
To answer question #1, I have found joy in my life.
Answering question #2; that's a tough one. I believe I have brought joy to someone's life at some point. I would like to think that I have given joy to many people throughout my life. To know for certain, however, that questioned can only be answered by my friends & family. I hope the majority of them would say "yes".
How would you answer those questions?
If you were told today that you only had 6 months to live, would you have a "bucket list"?
Almost 18 years ago, I was told by my doctor that I only had 9 months to live. A "bucket list" never entered my mind. I was 23, recently married and had a 1 y/o son, David. Besides fighting the cancer, the only thing I wanted was to spend as much quality time with my family and my close friends; just in case.
If I was told today that I only had 6 months left, I am not sure that would change much.
How about you?



Saturday, January 24, 2009

Cledus T. Judd's - "Waitin' on Obama"

This is too damn funny! Definitely a must see.
There might be a 15 second commercial at the beginning but it's definitely worth the wait.
Let me know what you think.
*NOTE- Make sure you turn off the autoplay to my blog theme at the bottom of the page before playing this video.
ENJOY!



Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Parent's Worse Fear

The past 8 days I have been going through an ordeal that my dad & mother experienced with me when I was a teenager.
Waiting on biopsy results to notify me if my son has malignant or benign polyps in his colon (large intestines).
Keith, my 16 y/o son had a colonoscopy performed last week. A gene has been passed through my mother's side of the family for years; familial adenomotous polyposis. Keith had been experiencing problems and discomfort and thus the reason for the procedure. When Keith's mother called me last week after his test, I heard the fear in her voice. I knew something was not right. "Bryan, Keith's colon is covered in polyps", Debra said. She kept talking but I didn't hear a word she was saying. I tried keeping my composure. Tears swelled up in my eyes, a lump formed in my throat, the sobbing begin....I "lost it". She continued, "some of the polyps are quite large so the doctor did some biopsies". We would have to wait until Tuesday for the results.
The past 8 days have been the most excruciating days of my life. I think I said a prayer with every breath I took. It just wasn't fair, it's not right; no parent should have to live with such agony of the things that go through one's mind. I asked my mom how her and dad dealt with the agonizing wait. "Lots of praying", was her reply. I was definitely doing that and I had many others praying as well. It still felt like it wasn't enough.
Yesterday morning, Cindy, David & I made the trip to Tampa to be with Keith when we were told the news. The head nurse entered the room first, "non-malignant" was the first words she said after being introduced to everyone. A big sigh of relief was released. "Thank you, God", I uttered under my breath.
Keith still has a difficult road ahead of him within the next 4-6 weeks. After a few more tests are done; to ensure the polyps haven't entered the small intestines, he will undergo a colonectomy. The same surgery I had done almost 18 years ago. Fortunantely, the same doctor who did my surgery is the same surgeon Keith will be referred to for the surgery. I hate that he has to go through such a surgery and the pain that he will have to endure for a weeks afterwards. I wish I could take the pain for him. The good thing is that Keith knows that I went through the same surgery and can see me as an example that everything will be fine.
If you're reading this post and you're a believer in prayer I ask that you say a prayer for Keith for the next several weeks.
God Bless and thank you.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Got Our 4th Team Member

My son, David is 18 (where does the time go?). This past weekend David went with me to Cindy's for the weekend. I was very glad he did because he got to know Cindy a lot better. My other kids have been around Cindy quite a bit and they love her to pieces. They call her, "Mama Cindy". I thought this was really great. David on the other hand had only been around Cindy twice and it wasn't for very long.
David spent Saturday with us running around doing our wedding preparations. Sunday, Cindy, David & I went bowling together. We had a great time together. Lots of laughs, jokes and fooling around. David was very impressive bowling to both Cindy & myself. After 4 games of bowling, Cindy asked David would he like to bowl on our team. We need a 4th person very badly. Our team finished last session in 6th place out of 8. What killed us was having a vacant spot on our team. David did not hesitate in saying yes.
I'm excited about having the opportunity to spend more time with David. After David reached the age 17, he had the notion that he had to walk around with a "chip on his shoulder". In the past year David has matured tremendously. The wedge that was coming between us is no longer there. I'm glad to have my son back. Watching him grow into a mature, responsible adult is the best present a father can ever ask for.
By the way, David now calls Cindy, "Mama Cindy".

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Mission Accomplished

Friday afternoon I went to Cindy's for the weekend. My oldest son, David, accompanied me.
Our Saturday was a very busy one. We had a lot of things to get taken care of for our wedding in June. First stop, Mary's Bridal in Ocala. Cindy had previously made a visit here and found the dress she wanted. We stopped in to get Cindy sized and order the dress & veil. I know it's claimed to be bad luck to see your bride in the dress before the wedding but apparently it's also bad luck for the groom to see the dress before the wedding, with or without the bride wearing it. I don't believe in good luck or bad luck in any way at all. I believe you create your own outcome by the reaction to the events happening around you. Anyway, I really wanted to see the dress, the curiosity has been killing me. Unfortunately, I wasn't sneaky enough to get a peek at the dress so I am stuck having to wait for the wedding day.
Next was a quick stop to the tuxedo shop next door. David wanted to see the tuxedos that the groomsmen and I would wear. David is one of my groomsmen. David liked the style I picked out. Mission two accomplished.
We made a stop at the mall where Cindy picked out her shoes for the wedding dress. Cindy found the shoes she wanted but before making the purchase she said she had to test them. The test was us slow dancing for a few minutes while she was wearing them. The shoes passed the test and I didn't step on her toes.
Next was a trip to the lake & park where the wedding is taking place. Lake Lillian, in the the nearby town of Belleview. While deciding on the exact spot as to where it will take place, David asked a nightmarish question. "Will you get married under that big pavillion if it rains?", he questioned. I thought, "Oh my God, that can't happened!" I casually answered, "Yes, it's big enough for everyone". Now I gotta put "no rain" in my prayers for the next 5 months.
On to the VFW to meet with Wes and make the reservation to use their hall for the reception. The VFW's hall was perfect. They have a big kitchen with many refrigerators, stoves, microwave, plenty of tables & chairs and a stage for the band.
Our final stop was to hear the head singer of the band at the Mooselodge Saturday night. To say I was impressed with his voice would be an understatement. His name is David, also. He is a friend of Cindy's. I was really glad Cindy had the idea to hire him. I have no doubt that he will do a great job. We had only planned to stay 2 hours at the most but we enjoyed it so much that we didn't get home until almost 1 a.m.
Excitement is now setting in at a high level. The next 5 months will fly by very quickly.
Weekend mission accomplished.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A New 'Tude

Cindy & I bowl on a 2 person team on Friday night and a 4 person team on Saturday night. Last night was our 2nd night on the league. The name of our team? “Lady and the Tramp”. Unfortunately, last night we didn’t fare as well as the previous Friday. We both only hit our average in one of three games and we lost total pins by one; so we only got 2 points out of a possible 7.

I am somewhat of a competitive person; I want to win. This Friday night league is a “fun” league and should not be taken too seriously. I left a lot of “open frames” on the lane. Previously, had I done that , I would have gotten very upset with myself. Last night was quite the opposite, I played loose…..I bowled, had fun, and that was it. We both had a good time even though we didn’t bowl our best.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Big Day - 5 Months & Counting

My wedding day takes a big step to becoming reality this weekend.
I never imagined that I would ever get married again. I never dreamed that I would find that special lady that I could trust 100% with my emotions, feelings and with my heart. Fortunately, I did meet that lady, Cindy.
This weekend Cindy & I go to make all the deposits for our special day; the reception hall, the caterer, the d.j., the tuxedos, wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses, the champaigne, and designing our invitations.
I have a few surprises planned for Cindy at the reception; one, I'm making a movie with pictures about our lives from childhood to the present. It will be very time consuming, scanning pictures, choosing the music for the theme, etc. but well worth it.
We chose the song, "Johhny & June" to be the first song that we dance to. We will be taking ballroom dancing lessons soon and our instructor will be creating a special waltz to that song for us.
I'm excited.I want it to be the perfect wedding that Cindy has always dreamed about. I will do my best to try to make it a reality for her.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

2008 in Review

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Finally Got My Transfer

Yesterday I received some good news about my job, I got a transfer to the Ocala office that will take place the end of February.
Several months when I became engaged, I requested a transfer from the Lake City office to the Ocala branch because I would be moving in with Cindy by the end of January. Since I placed the request, I had been told numerous times that there was not any positions available. This had caused Cindy to worry as the moving date approached.
I had been speaking with the director of training at the home office in Gainesville. Apparently, a few of the "big wigs" came to Danny to get his advice since there was no positions available at the moment in Ocala nor Leesburgh. Danny told the "higher-ups" that in his humble opinion, it would be crazy to let me go because of the type of employee that I am. Danny suggested that they keep me and create a position for me. They apparently agreed with Danny.
I will be a "romer" temporarily. My base will be the Ocala office and I will be traveling from the offices in Ocala, Daytona and Leesburgh; depending on where help is needed. I will continue to do this until a permanent position is available in the Leesburgh or Ocala office.
The company I work for has 21 offices in Florida and I was told this is the first time they have made this type of arrangement with someone. It was humbling that they thought so highly of me to do what they have done; a lesser company would not have went to such lengths to keep me.
It's funny sometimes how things work out. I came back to work for this company in May after being courted by the manager to work for him again. I was tired of driving to Jacksonville every day to work, so I took a big pay cut and returned. Then I meet Cindy, she steals my heart and we get it engaged. Then I make plans to move to Ocala. If I had not came back to work for them, I would not have had a job in Ocala; especially the way the economy is right now.
It's true, everything really does happen for a reason even though most of the time we don't know why.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Skunk of a Day


Today seemed to start off as a long, boring day. It was cold and rainy here in north Florida. The last thing I wanted to do was spend 9 hours in the office doing menial work do to the rain. The morning went by without any problems or delays. I decided to get one more customer finished before lunch. When I arrived is when my day got interesting.


My customer owned a farm that rescued animals. The primary animal was skunks.....that's right, skunks. She has 32 skunks living in her home. Not outside with the horses, alligators, raccoons and opossums that they has rescued but inside her home. Needless to say this service was aanything but routine. I learned a lot about skunks today. First and foremost, they are very curious animals and very friendly animals. One skunk named, Annie, followed me from room to room throughout the house. When I finished treating the home, I asked if I could pet a few of them and take a couple of pictures. She said, "sure".
As soon as I knelt down on one knee in the skunk room, I was quickly surrounded by those 32 skunks who wanted to play and be petted. Four or five immediately found their way on my lap. I probably spent 20 minutes playing with them. Afterall, how often do you get a chance to pet a skunk?
Several skunks were up for adoption; which intrigued me.
I called Cindy cuz I wanted a skunk.
"Hi baby, can I have a skunk?"......"A what?", Cindy asked as if she heard me wrong. "A skunk, can I have a skunk?"......."Ewwwwwwwwww! NO!", she quickly responded almost instinctively.
It's probably best that Cindy said no. Their diet is very expensive; they can't just eat dog or cat food. They require fresh fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. They eat better than I do.


Monday, January 12, 2009

I'm such a goof

Cindy & I made plans to go out for drinks one evening with very close friends of hers. Everyone wanted to go to a small, nice lil' bar called "Miss Lynn's". It was a Wednesday night and it happened to be karaoke night and lady's night. If I partake in enough "liquid courage", I have a tendency to make a fool of myself via karaoke. This night was no exception.

Clifford & I were requested to sing, "Family Tradition" by Hank Jr. I said, "why not" and then made a complete fool of myself. But, hey, if you can't laugh at yourself then who can you laugh at?

This was recorded from Cindy's cellphone so the quality isn't the best.

Enjoy and I hope it makes you laugh.

video

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Under Construction






My blog is in the process of a "make-over" and is currently under construction. I ask that you be patient for a few days while I get things in order and add my favorite blogs, widgets, etc.