On Effort & Parenting

While perusing some of my “regular” reads earlier today, I came across this story and thought it to be worth sharing.

The name of the blog is Two on a Rant and the title of the post is Father’s Day Thoughts.

The stories on this blog are typically honest, personal and raw, the combination of which makes for good reading . . . which is why I read it daily.


Here is the quote that hooked me:

“Father’s day, and Mother’s day, are not about

the mistakes they made, or the fact that all parents

look at their children as if they’re 14 for

the remainder of their lives,

but about the effort they put into being parents.”


Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there, especially mine, who will celebrate his 88th birthday on Tuesday.

Posted in fathers day | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

A Dog Thing


Big Red, with his ever-present tennis ball, circa 2017, which speaks to the cartoon below.

Posted in comedy, Dog photographs, dogs | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

A Look To The Future

This is going to be me in ten years or so, except it will probably

be my granddaughter since she will be first out.

I’ve been practicing for this day a few years now.

I’ll be ready.

Found on  “Bits and Pieces” blog, which is very worthy of your attention.  When you want to start your day with a belly laugh, start it at Bits and Pieces. (And then go to “Mitigating Chaos”)


Posted in Grandfather, Wisdom | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Sighing Through The Cobwebs

Sometimes news brings you a reality check that calls to mind your own mortality.

Yeah, cheery stuff.

Today I received a note from my college alumni association advising us of the death of a member of the class of 1982. That was my class and the school was small. So small, there were almost twice as many people in my high school graduating class than my college class.

As I read the words, I knew I would soon see the name of someone I probably knew and I was hoping it was someone that I hadn’t known well.

Sometimes hope is not enough.

The name popped out at me and I sighed. Sandy and I dated on and off during our first two years there. We stayed friends and both of us dated/ broke up with others. When that happened, we cared for each other’s bruises.

1982 was a long time ago and we never had any contact after graduation.

To the best of my knowledge, she is the first girl I ever “dated” who has died.  Now, I’m 59 years old and after my career in funeral service and fire/EMS, I know as well as anyone that death has a way of sneaking up on you. However, I’m having a bit of a challenge processing this event, which is maybe less about Sandy and more of what she represents in the story of my life.

Coming attractions for all of us?

The journey through the cobwebs of our youth will likely result in more sighs as time marches on.



Posted in memories | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

The Twins Turn 9!

Our twins, Big Red and MacKenzie turned 9 years old today.  We celebrated by sending them to the Doggie retreat for the day to get a good bath, their nails clipped and ears cleaned.

Life’s simple pleasures.

The story started back on the old blog with this story

Although they are mature as far as dogs go, they still are 80 lb puppies with more energy than I have, that’s for sure.

Here is a picture of them earlier today and one of the rare photos we have of them that does not include a tennis ball. Big Red (L) and Mackenzie

They are very “needy” and so different from our previous dogs.  Just like people, dogs have unique personalities.

Happy Birthday, Kids.

Posted in Birthdays, black labs, Dog photographs, dogs | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Yes, Everywhere

I just finished reading a post by a person I respect and wish I could be more like, even just a little bit.

Sometimes change, even positive, liberating change brings about fear and questions. Sometimes, the road gets blurry. 

After reading her story, I immediately thought of a cartoon series I used to watch when I was very young (back in the day when there were only 7 TV channels to select from . . . and I lived in the NYC market).

This cartoon show was part of my Saturday morning routine for a few years and I hope my friend, along with the rest of you, takes 14 minutes to be reminded that God is Everywhere and  He watches over us.

Posted in God, Wisdom | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

You Never Know

This morning, I was reminded of the importance of telling stories and sharing experiences.  The reminder caught me by surprise and vacillated between being a gut punch and a great big virtual hug. More importantly, I was reminded that you never know when something you say or do will have a huge impact on someone. . . positive or negative.

Every dark night is followed by a new sunrise.

On June 6, 2016, on my old blog, I posted A Brief Tribute.  It was my way of saying goodbye to a man who had been very special to me since 1993.

Not knowing it until today, the post became a treasured keepsake for his son, Don, Jr. and this morning, as I opened my laptop, I was confronted with this:

“3 years ago, and 2 days after my Dads passing, Ray Visotski wrote an amazing tribute about my Dad. I weep like a baby girl every time I read it, but it’s one of my favorite reads every year. I found out so much about him after his passing, although none of it surprised me.
I am the luckiest guy in the world to call him my Dad. Cliche yes, but if you knew him you’d understand. I’ll see you soon. I know you’re laughing your a$$ off up there seeing me lose my mind hourly with these twins (and dogs). Man, I miss you. Till next time.”

FB link here:  Three Years Ago

Yes, and I too wept like a little girl early this morning, reading Donnie’s words and my original post. I was reminded of the pain of loss. At the same time, and more profoundly, I realized the impact of a sincere compliment and the importance of sharing experiences.

I know a lot of people but have very few friends. Don Sowers was a friend.  We both knew where we stood with each other and there was nothing left to say besides goodbye. To have that kind of relationship with anyone, a relationship with no secrets, no harbored regrets or no reasons to apologize for behaviors,  is a special gift.  The good news is that we each have the power to create those types of relationships in our lives.

All we have to do is let it happen.

Thank you, Donnie.  Your words show that your dad (and mom) planted good seeds and nurtured them over the years. You honor his legacy by your actions.

Posted in death, memories | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Am I The Only One Who Has Noticed?

I’m going to risk my reputation here and admit something. Even though I’m 59 years old, I still eat cereal for breakfast on most mornings.  Some habits are hard to shake off.

For the most part, I eat “grown-up cereal,” but that’s just a rationalization.

One of my typical, grown-up” cereals.

Over the last few months, I have noticed that cereal boxes themselves have gotten flimsier, tearing and ripping. The boxes themselves are just not as sturdy as they used to be.

Let’s not even talk about the inner bags.  We can do open heart surgery on a baby still in its mother’s womb, but we can’t figure out how to engineer a re-sealable bag for a box of cereal?

Am I the only one who has noticed?


Posted in cereal boxes | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

75 Years Ago

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Creative Dyeting

Earlier today I had my annual physical. and aside from my arthritis and the fact that I have already started storing fat for next winter, I’m in pretty good shape for an old guy.

My physician suggested I eat more greens and vegetables.

So noted.

I decided it was time for me to go on a “Dye-it”



Posted in diets | Tagged , , | 8 Comments