Thought Provoking Quotes

I came across two quotes today that cause me to really think. One was posted by a Facebook friend and the other was something I came across in an article on leadership. I wanted to post them here so I’d have them.

First, from Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser –

“It is easier to work with someone with a great attitude and a little bit of talent rather than someone with lots of talent and a bad attitude.”

I won’t lie, this kicked me in the teeth. I think attitude is something you really need to work at, and frankly, sometimes the circumstances make it very difficult to stay positive. I have a hard time with this and hope to keep my attitude on the positive side – even when every thing around me seems to be falling apart.

The second quote was posted my my friend Kathy –

“You still haven’t met all of the people who are going to love you.”

I had to re-read that two or three times, just because it blew me away! It is almost hard to comprehend. Yet, at the same time, when you really think on it – it makes sense. I think about the people I met late in my life who I have come to love dearly (and vice versa). At one point prior to meeting, that quote was true. It still is true. Future friends, future grandchildren, future in-laws, etc…

The quote is powerful and deep.

What about you? Have you heard something that really made you think? Was there a quote that really spoke to you?

Hodge Podge of Highlights

The past week has been fairly typical. Nothing too out of the ordinary for me. There have been some nice highlights, however.

Sunday, we got a little snow. Sam promised the kids that we could go out and play in it. So we all bundled up and went outside as the snow fell.

Andrew LOVES being outside in the snow. He is a lot like his sister at that age. He tends to just be in awe of the snow.

Ella wanted to build a snow “castle.” We grabbed one of her sandbox toys thinking we could make bricks, but the results weren’t so good, despite the fact that the snow was a bit wet.

We attempted to build a snowman, but Andrew kept tackling it or picking up the snowballs to throw. Ella was in the middle of the yard and said, “Let’s take a walk, daddy!” So we did.

Andrew held my hand for most of the walk, but occasionally wanted to run up to Ella. She was happy to see her puppy friend, Louie. He was out on the porch (waiting to be let back inside!). She was yelling, “Hello, Louie! Merry Christmas!” It really was a nice little walk.

On Tuesday morning, Ella had her third birthday pictures taken. She won’t be three until the 10th of next month, but we got her in at our photographer friend. Sam and Ella went out looking for a dress and she actually picked out the one she wanted pictures in.

Sam asked her if she wanted to take her Elsa dress that she got for Christmas for an outfit change. She said she wanted to wear the Belle dress that she wore for Halloween. We may have gotten more pictures in that dress. Urgh!

The area got hit with a good snow that started Tuesday Night and continued through the day on Wednesday. Sam had a physical on Wednesday morning. She had to drive in the snow there and I was driving home from work in it. I met her at the doctor and picked up the kids so they weren’t running around during her appointment.

When we got off the expressway, we were passing the row of restaurants and Ella says, “Daddy? I would like chicken nuggets and French fries. I chuckled and said, “Baby, it is 8:30 in the morning. I don’t think they have any made this early.” She paused for a minute and then blurted out, “Are you serious!? Are you kidding me?” It was hilarious.

Having to stay indoors can be boring for the kids. So we took the “nugget” (which you can see on the floor to Ella’s right in the picture above) and built a mountain for them to climb and play on. I tried to get some pictures of them playing on it and I snapped a cool one of Andrew.

I wish it wasn’t so blurry, but I love him jumping up on there!

They have been at each other’s throats all week. The sibling arguments have been plenty. My wife shared a fantastic photo of them, today. Proof that they really do love each other!

I finished The Word is Murder this week. I really enjoyed it. I timed it perfect as the library emailed me to let me know that the author’s Sherlock Holmes story, The House of Silk, was there for me to pick up.

I just started that tonight. I will let you know how it is.

Later today, I have a follow up with my doctor. Blood pressure check/Medication check/Weight check. I’ve tried to be careful, but I know I have gone over my points more than enough times. I know I have put back on some weight since the holidays. I really need to get back on track.

I hope you are having a great week! The weekend is almost here!

Happy 267th Birthday, Wolfgang!

From my yearly recycling of this on Facebook:

Born January 27, 1756 – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

When Mozart passed away, he was buried in a churchyard. A couple days later, the town drunk was walking through the cemetery and heard some strange noise coming from the area where Mozart was buried.

Terrified, the drunk ran and got the town magistrate to come and listen to it.

When the magistrate arrived, he bent his ear to the grave, listened for a moment, and said, “Ah, yes, that’s Mozart’s Ninth Symphony, being played backwards.”

He listened a while longer, and said, “There’s the Eighth Symphony, and it’s backwards, too. Most puzzling.”

So the magistrate kept listening; “There’s the Seventh… the Sixth… the Fifth…”

Suddenly the realization of what was happening dawned on the magistrate; he stood up and announced to the crowd that had gathered in the cemetery, “My fellow citizens, there’s nothing to worry about. It’s just Mozart decomposing.”

Too Delicious Not To Share

It has been a very long time since I made homemade Alfredo sauce. I usually use fettuccine noodles, but we only had regular spaghetti noodles. You can also use angel hair pasta. I almost always add chicken or broccoli to it as well.

A few people have tried it and always ask for the recipe for the Alfredo sauce, so I thought I would share it with you!


  • ½ Cup Butter
  • 4 Oz. Cream Cheese
  • 1 Pint Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Minced
  • 1 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese


  • Add the butter cream cheese and cream to a large skillet.
  • Simmer over medium heat until melted.
  • Whisk in the garlic/garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper and whisk until smooth.
  • Whisk in the parmesan cheese slowly .
  • Bring to a simmer and continue to cook for about 3-5 minutes or until it starts to thicken.
  • Serve immediately.


Happy Birthday to The Mitten!

My home state of Michigan became the 26th state on this day in 1837. Happy 186th Birthday!!

Here are some cool facts:


Did you know that there is a pledge of allegiance to the Michigan flag?? Next time you glance up at the dark blue banner with its shield, elk, moose and eagle, you’re welcome to utter these words written by Harold G. Coburn and officially adopted by the Legislature in 1972: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of Michigan, and to the state for which it stands, two beautiful peninsulas united by a bridge of steel, where equal opportunity and justice to all is our ideal.”

Michigander or Michiganian

The term many of use and love today was coined by none other than Abraham Lincoln in 1848. Then an Illinois congressman, Lincoln referred to Michigan governor Lewis Cass, who was running for president as a Democrat, as a “Michigander”, meaning he was as silly as a goose. Lincoln was mad at the Democrats for making more than they should have of Cass’ military experience, and the term was meant as an insult. “There is one entire article of the sort I have not discussed yet;” Lincoln said, “I mean the military tale you Democrats are now engaged in dovetailing onto the great Michigander.” Many prefer “Michiganian.” Neither is official.

Mining Precious Metals

Before anybody ever trekked to California to seek all that glitters in 1849, speculators flocked to the Upper Peninsula for copper in 1843, spurred by reports from the state’s first geologist, Douglass Houghton. Michigan copper was pure and plentiful, and the population of the remote Keewenaw Peninsula exploded as miners flocked from around the world, living in tent cities because houses hadn’t yet been built. Over the next 130 years, more than 5 million tons of copper would be mined. These days, the mines generate money in a different way: The Keewenaw National Historical Park draws visitors who want to learn about the area’s rich mining history.

The Lines Were First Drawn Here

We have Edward Hines to thank, who came up with the idea in 1911. He lobbied the state Legislature to give responsibility for roads to counties instead of townships and cities, a measure that was eventually adopted. As a Wayne County road commissioner, he lobbied for long-lasting concrete roads instead of gravel or asphalt. His brilliant idea came to him as he watched a leaky milk wagon drip a strip of milk down a dusty road and thought something like, “Hey! If we painted lines on our good concrete roads, drivers would know where the middle is!” It’s hard to imagine navigating Michigan road without help from Hines.

Other Random Things

In 1817 the University of Michigan was the first university established by any of the states. Originally named Cathelepistemian and located in Detroit the name was changed in 1821. The university moved to Ann Arbor in 1841.

Michigan State University was founded in 1855 as the nation’s first land-grant university and served as the prototype for 69 land-grant institutions later established under the Morrill Act of 1862. It was the first institution of higher learning in the nation to teach scientific agriculture.

Although Michigan is often called the “Wolverine State” there are no longer any wolverines in Michigan.

The Mackinac Bridge is one of the longest suspension bridges in the world. Connecting the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan, it spans 5 miles over the Straits of Mackinac, which is where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron meet. The Mighty Mac took 3 years to complete and was opened to traffic in 1957.

Indian River is the home of the largest crucifix in the world. It is called the Cross in the Woods.

The Kellogg Company has made Battle Creek the Cereal Capital of the World. The Kellogg brothers accidentally discovered the process for producing flaked cereal products and sparked the beginning of the dry cereal industry.

Vernors ginger ale was created in Detroit and became the first soda pop made in the United States. In 1862, pharmacist James Vernor was trying to create a new beverage when he was called away to serve our country in the Civil War. When he returned, 4 years later, the drink he had stored in an oak case had acquired a delicious gingery flavor.

Michigan was the first state to provide in its Constitution for the establishment of public libraries.

The first auto traffic tunnel built between two nations was the mile-long Detroit-Windsor tunnel under the Detroit River.

Happy Birthday, Michigan!

Blog Milestone

WordPress was kind enough to let me know that I had reached the 5 year blogiversary this week.

Wow! Five years of blogging. To my followers – THANK YOU! As many of you know, I started this blog as a way to put my thoughts to “paper” so to speak. I was and is therapy for me.

The fact that so many of you read my blogs and comment regularly means a lot to me. Many of you I have come to know as friends. I look forward to reading about your lives, reading your stories and poems, taking part in your blogathons, submitting thoughts on your features, and more.

In the past, I have written guest blogs for friends and been “interviewed” by others. I really enjoyed that. As a reader, you are familiar with the content I post and if you ever feel inclined to write a guest blog for me, please reach out and we can discuss that. Much like the days of radio where DJ’s cross-promoted each other, I am always glad to help promote other bloggers – especially those I follow.

Thank you again for reading. Here is to another 5 years (and more!)


Monday Memory

Do you remember SRA cards?!? 

I remember these from elementary school.  I want to say that we started using them in 4th grade. 

Basically, it was a box of card that were color coded based on difficulty level. Each card contained a story on a topic and questions to answer about it. There were also vocabulary words you had to find in the story.

I remember there being some very interesting topics, but I seem to remember a lot of topics that just didn’t peak my interest.

A search of the internet found these pictures of an SRA card:

After reading the story, it was time to answer the questions:

Grading was on the honor system. There were answer key cards in the box as well.

As I recall, in our classes anyway, there was a specific number of cards you had to read and tests to pass before moving on to the next level.

Some people read faster and comprehended better than others. There was probably a chart up on the bulletin board with everyone’s name and gold stars for every test you passed.

I had never heard of Arthur Ashe (the tennis player) before SRA cards. The only reason I remember this is because I kept calling him Arthur Ash-ee and the teacher corrected me.

Thinking about these and writing about them reminds me of other things from elementary school that I should write about later….

* Academic Olympics

* Weekly Readers

* Book Fairs

* Paint shirts

Maybe another day ….

Turning Pages

I often question whether I should post about books I read. Then I remember that more often than not, I only read that book because some blogger I follow posted about it!

Now I understand that just because someone praises a book doesn’t mean I will enjoy it. If, however, it sounds like something I find interesting, I will pick it up. That’s what happened with the latest book I just finished.

I don’t recall who suggested it, but the title caught my attention. As a fan of Sherlock Holmes, I recognized the name of his arch nemesis. Sure, enough, that is who the title is referring to.

I found out after I had the local library order it for me that he has actually been commissioned by the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to write a new Sherlock Holmes mystery. It was called House of Silk (which I have on order from the library now).

Moriarty takes place after Holmes and Moriarty are “killed” at Reichenbach Falls. A Pinkerton Security man arrives to investigate something connected with Moriarty. He meets a man from Scotland Yard who is working a case closely connected with him too.

At any rate, Sherlock is mentioned in the book, but is not a character. It did not take away from a good story. I found it entertaining enough to not only order the Sherlock Holmes story from the library, but to pick up another one of the author’s books. I am reading that one right now.

It starts with a woman who walks into a funeral home and pays for and plans her entire funeral. Six hours later she is murdered. That was enough to hook me. I just started it, but so far I am enjoying it.

I hope that the Sherlock story will be as good as Moriarty. You never know what you are going to get when you have a new author writing for a familiar character.

In the past that has worked. I enjoyed the new Columbo novels, the new Perry Mason stories, and hope the Sherlock one is just as good.

We’ll see….

Thought of the Day

I have a few blog ideas running around in my head, but nothing I am ready to write. So today, I thought I would offer a short bit of wisdom for you as we head into the weekend.

It is no secret that I still love to read the Sunday Comics. Many of them (Drabble, Peanuts, Overboard, etc…) make me laugh out loud. Sometimes, however, you can pull out a nugget of wisdom from them. With that wisdom today – Calvin, from Calvin and Hobbes (written by Bill Watterson):

Make the weekend count!

I may have to frame that – or this version:

Friday Photo Flashback

Welcome to another edition of the Friday Photo Flashback feature! This time around we go back to 1988 (and 1999).

In the past it has been fun for me to find a picture and examine the things in the background. The picture I have chosen really doesn’t allow me to do that, because there’s not really anything more than some of my favorite people.

In going through photos, I came across one from my graduation party and it made me smile and sad at the same time.

The photo above features from left to right: Papa Joe, my Uncle Tom, my dad, my grandpa, and Mr, Kanne.

What I love about this picture is the connection to another picture, which connects some friendships. Look at the photo below, which I may have posted on here in the past. It was taken at my first wedding in 1999:

I think it is extremely cool that the two photos are almost identical in that Papa Joe is on the left in the top picture and his son, Joe, is on the left in the bottom photo. Mr. Kanne is on the right in the top picture and his son, Steve, is on the right in the bottom picture. My dad is in the center in the top picture and I’m in the center (center-left) in the bottom picture.

(In the wedding photo: Joe, my brother Chris, Me, Steve, Jeff, and Steve)

Sadly, in the top picture, my grandpa, my uncle and Mr. Kanne have all passed away. My uncle and Mr. Kanne are buried in the same cemetery as my mom and are not that far from each other. I often stop at all three graves when I am there.

Collectively in those photos are 10 men who all played (and continue to play) important roles in my life.

On a humorous note, I can’t help but think that both photos look like a police line up …

… or maybe a funnier line up ….