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.

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.

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.