The Lighthouse

The continent was limited and finite. Extending beyond into the North Atlantic, as if by an afterthought or the remnant of a retreat, there was a solitary stone islet. Barely a hundred yards in diameter, it looked at first glance to be a barren place, though it was a nesting ground for seabirds and was visited by seals at times. Its forbidding circumference of black boulders had been hard pounded by the ocean for countless millennia, though above high-water mark, a shallow turf rose to a prometory upon which stood a lighthouse.

Opening paragraph from Michael D. O’Brien’s, The Lighthouse.

Michael O’Brien has easily been my favorite novelist since I first read Father Elijah back in 1998.  I’m looking forward to enjoying this 2020 release that somehow I have missed up until now.

What are you reading?


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Thank You, Mrs. Humphrey

Feed your body, but don’t neglect your brain. (photo by me, 2010)

My 6th grade teacher, (I’m now 62) the late Ann Humphrey  repeatedly admonished us that “Any day you don’t learn something new is a day you have wasted.”  Fifty years later, I still repeat that phrase almost daily.

Today, I learned that there is a term for phrases like    “It is what it is and ” It’s in God’s Hands,” etc. These are sayings meant to short circuit cognitive dissonance and to bring an end the discussion. They are known as “Thought Terminating Cliches”

Cognitive dissonance is defined as the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change.

I looked up the term and it is real.  These phrases often make us comfortable as we decide not to think about the real causes for a situation.  I had never tought about using those sayings over the years, but now will be very conscious of them as I  am reminded of another phrase I leasrned from another mentor and friend, Todd Van Beck back in 1983;  “Healthy psychology dictates meeting life’s problems head-on.”

Thank you, Mrs. Humphrey and Mr. Van Beck.

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On Pressure At Work

“Pressure is a priviledge.  It means things are expected of you”


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A White Face & A Golden Heart

Yesterday, our family had to say goodbye to a “Rescue” that our daughter’s family has had since 2017.  Selby had been with a family in Houston, TX, but it was reported that one of their kids was allergic to her.  Our daughter Megan, who was living in Houston at the time, knew the family and after talking to her sister and future brother in law, it was decided that Selby, almost ten years old, was moving to South Carolina.

That in and of itself wouldn’t be a big deal, but they had to get her the 900+ miles to her new home.  A plan was made to meet in Mobile, Al for the handoff, but Hurricane Nate was impacting the Gulf Coast and the plans were changed to meet in Jackson, MI. . . a bit inland, but still a long, dangerous trip.

Upon arriving in SC, it was quickly discovered that Selby experienced chronic UTIs, requiring lots of extra care and expensive medicines.   It took a while, but everyone got through the challenge.

Selby was there when both babies were brought home for the first time and demonstrated her maternal instincts and taught Adeline and then Theodore to be comfortable around dogs.  She also  spent time at our house, being part of the pack of our four dogs at the time.

I described Selby as ” a gentle soul”  Elissa, when noting her death on FB, said, and I quote:

“Her face grew whiter with age, her ass was often full of sass, but her heart was always pure gold”

Everyone thinks their dog is the best. And you know, they are right.

When our day is done and our page is turned, all we can hope for is the equivalent of what I will say about Selby . . .  she was a good dog, we will miss her and never forget her.

Selby (R)  and her friend Bela are now playing together again  in doggie heaven.

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Good Advice

Advice from a Sloth:

Take your time.

Get a grip on things

Relax often

Hang out a lot

Get plenty of sleep

Let things roll off you

And most importantly,  always “use the bathroom” facing down

Found somewhere on the Intertunnel


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On Relationships, Chapter 781

For the last 35 years, my wife has been complaining about me not putting the cap back on the toothpaste. (She never gives up)

For our last anniversary, I decided to change this bad habit and make my wife happy.

For a week, I was diligent, always capping the toothpast.

I was expecting her to thank me, but she never did.

Finally, yesterday while having dinner, she turned and looked at me and said – “Why have you stopped brushing your teeth?”

The struggle is real, but  this is just a made up story. My wife appreciates any small gesture towards her.

Be sure to subscribe to this blog and next week we will discuss whether the toilet paper comes over the top or from behind. (no pun intended.)



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And You Can Keep The Dime . . .

This meme showed up in my FB feed yesterday and I can’t get the song out of my head, thus here we are.

It is remarkable that those references mean nothing to my daughters generation as it seems we are living in a different world.

I did the math and I was in 8th grade when Jim Croce was killed in a plane crash on September 20, 1973 . . . the day before I Got A Name  was released. I remember that day, but originally wasn’t sure if it was 7th or 8th grade as my memory is being in the library at Warren (NJ)  Middle School and hearing the news.  I was already a fan and cried.

Jim and Maury live. . . from when music mattered, and was not sampled.

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On Unique Purpose

The razor blade is sharp, but cannot cut a tree; the axe is strong, but can’t cut a hair

Everyone is important according to his/her unique purpose . . . 

You should never look down on anyone unless you are admiring their shoes. . .unknown

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#TBT. . . First Born


My how they grow up.

It seems like just a few yers back that we were living in the first house we ever owned in Middlesex, NJ. Kelliann was a toddler and pushing her toys around the yard. Farley, our Golden Retriever  was probably nearby, following her around and keeping her safe. It wasn’t long before we moved to The Pocono’s of PA and then finally on to South Carolina in 1996.

Today, she is all grown up and a NICU nurse, caring for the most fragile babies and giving them the love and attention they need as they try to grow strong.  It was not an easy path for her, but she kept working towards her goal and never gave up. She found her bliss.

I wanted to take this “TBT” to share how proud we are of the woman Kelliann has become. As Bob Carlisle wrote in his song, Butterfly Kisses, “With all the things I’ve done wrong, I must have done something right”

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Just Sayin’

Thanks, Carl Higbie

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