“Someday we’ll find it …”

“Someday we’ll find it – the rainbow connection – the lovers, the dreamers and me” – Kermit the Frog

When I woke up this afternoon, I went out and sat with the kids. Ella has this otter which has buttons on it with the letters of the alphabet.

It sings the alphabet song and quizzes her with “Find the letter ____.”

Anyway, she was sitting next to me while I held AJ and hit the letter R. If you look at the photo above, you will see the R has a rainbow on it. Earlier in the day, I woke up from a dream where I was walking with someone and there in front of me was a beautiful, vibrant rainbow. I forgot about it until the otter said “rainbow.”

I’ve said it before, I don’t really put much into dreams or what they are supposed to mean, but it is sometimes interesting to do a search just to see what the “experts” seem to think they mean. Today’s search led to a few different sites offering up very similar meanings.

The first site said: “Dreaming of rainbows typically signifies a positive perspective on life. They are seen as a favorable light and a symbol of hope. No matter the type of rainbow you dream about, it depicts a turning point in your life or a new beginning.

The next one said: “Since rainbows are unpredictable in nature, they can mean something unexpected is about to happen, possibly something that evokes a sense of magic or spirituality. In short, things are about to shift course, so be prepared for some changes! The rainbow possibly symbolizes a turning point in your life or a new beginning.”

Another stated: “To dream of a rainbow in the sky is a symbol that a wonderful event will happen soon, after which life will change radically for the better. The difficult period is over, and fate has prepared a long and extremely successful life path for you.” (i.e – turning point/something new)

I looked at one more before deciding to write this down before work. It was a little more specific in WHO dreamt the dream: “For a man a dream about rainbow is a prediction of wealth, exceptional luck in business, excellent business prospects, and authoritative support.

So just what in the world does that mean?? Just what kind of “turning point” awaits me? What “new beginning” does the dream suggest? What sort of business could I possibly have “exceptional luck” with? I am stumped.

In truth, the dream probably means nothing in regards to my future. The rainbow, however, will always mean something to God and man:

From Genesis 9:

8 And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying,

9 And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you;

10 And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth.

11 And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.

12 And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:

13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.

14 And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:

15 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.

16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.

17 And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.

Spaghetti? I Was Just Dreaming About That …

Today is National Spaghetti Day here in the United States. I didn’t know that until a friend of mine posted it on Facebook earlier today. I also didn’t know it was National Trivia Day in the United States. The same friend posted that, too. So before I tell my story … how about a tidbit of spaghetti trivia?

Did you know that the word spaghetti is plural for the Italian word spaghetto, which is a diminutive of spago, meaning “thin  string” or “twine?” You do now!

Dean Martin eating spaghetti

It is probably a total coincidence that I had a dream about spaghetti last night. Usually when I have a dream that I am trying to figure out, I wake up and email myself what I remember. Nine times out of ten, it is a bunch of misspelled words that I have to wonder just what I was trying to type.

So my dream, I admit, doesn’t make much sense at all. Although it was almost like there should have been a message in it or something. So, here is (to my best recollection) the dream:

There is a mixture of humans and cartoon characters in it. I don’t really understand it, but that is like most dreams I suppose. The family from Bluey is in it (probably because my daughter and I were watching it before bed).

The Heelers from Bluey

At first I think I am at some sort of spaghetti dinner, like a fund raiser or something. Then I realize that this event is some sort of celebration or ceremony. It has something to do with the children – and the number of meatballs on the child’s plate. It was sort of like a karate/kung fu belt ceremony.

Each child walks through the line with a plate of spaghetti and when the reach the appropriate server, he plops a certain number of meatballs on the plate and explains what it means. No meatballs meant they were newcomers, one meatball was a novice, two meatballs meant they were intermediate, three meatballs signified above average, and four meatballs was a pro/master.

Anyone who got four meatballs got a huge round of applause from the crowd. It was almost like some sort of Jewish Bar Mitzvah or something, “Congratulations! Four meatballs! You are now a man!” I stood there puzzled by the whole thing and then I realized that I am in line, holding a plate of spaghetti. The server drops three meatballs on my plate and tells me to move on.

I am stumped. I am confused. Why do I not have four? What exactly are you a pro at if you DO get four meatballs? I don’t even know!

I walk away staring at these three meatballs and Bluey’s dad, Bandit, comes up to me and says, “Only three, huh? That’s they way it goes sometimes, Mate.”

Then I wake up.

Weird. Weird. Weird.

Oh, and the guy dishing out the meatballs? Frank Sinatra!

Dream That Made Me Think

I laid down to nap before work today and had some very vivid dreams. One of them has had me thinking since I woke up. It has got to mean something ….

Background

I guess to understand this dream, you need to know that every day I bring my bible to work. I try to get a few minutes with it each night. My lunch I tend to pack in plastic shopping bags, so I can just toss it in the fridge at work.

The Dream

I really don’t know where I am in the dream. It is almost like I am at a school or something. But then again, I have what I normally bring to work with me.

From what I remember I am climbing up these flights of stairs. I get to a floor, open the door and set my bags down for some reason. Then I hear a commotion in the stair well and people walking down the stairs. I am unsure why I follow them down.

At this point, I remember that I have set my stuff down on one of the higher floors. As I begin to climb the stairs, it becomes extremely hard to climb them. It physically hurts to try to climb each flight. I begin to feel like I am going to collapse because my knees hurt so bad. I start to think about what I left on the floor. I literally tell myself, “It’s just lunch. Just forget about it!”

I then remember that I left my bible in one of the bags. At that point I know that I have to go get it. I keep forcing myself up these stairs. I tell myself that it didn’t feel like this many flights the first time I walked up the stairs. Each step I take it seems harder and harder to walk up the stairs.

When I reach the floor, I walk through the door and my bags are gone. I begin to frantically look for them. I look for anybody who might be on the floor and can’t seem to find anyone. I finally see a light coming from a door and open it to find a woman I’ve never seen before. I explain that I left some bags on the floor just in front of the stairwell door.

She tells me that someone found them and brought them to her. I asked if she found my bible and she said she had. For some reason, even though it was my bible, there were all kinds of book marks and papers in it. I was just glad to have it back. She told me that it looked like “I read it a lot,” and I replied that I could still find more time to read it and study it.

At that point, I woke up.

What Does It Mean?

In the dream there was a huge sense of relief as I was handed the bible. So as I thought about it, I guess I am aware of an upward struggle. Does this represent something I am currently going through? Something I will go through? I don’t know. What hit me, though, is the that sense of relief when I was given the bible. Is this symbolic in some way? I don’t think God is talking to me in my dreams. He speaks to me through his Word. It is interesting to think that the sense of struggle and panic disappeared when I find the Bible.

I’ve never been one who puts a lot of faith into “dream interpretations” that you find on the internet, but did a search on “Dreams about stairs” just to see what they said. There are many sites, so I just looked at one. It said: “Dreams about climbing stairs are generally considered a good sign. This dream implies success and progress. It means you will successfully overcome all obstacles and get out troubles, if there are any. If you have difficulty climbing them, it means you are about to face situations that will drain your energy, but still you will be capable of conquering them.”

I’m not sure what to make of it all, but if there is difficulty ahead, I know that I’ll just trust that God will get me through it ….

And the baby is a ….

I’ve been waiting for today for weeks! Because of Covid, my wife’s OB/GYN is only allowing the patient in the office. With Ella, I was at every ultrasound. I looked forward to hearing the baby’s heart beat each month. I loved that special togetherness that we felt when we were at the office. It has killed me to not be at those appointments. Today, I finally got to hear the baby’s heart beat – and we found out the gender!

You may recall that we went to a 3-D ultrasound place to find out Ella was a girl. They can tell you the gender at the 15th week of pregnancy. We called a few weeks ago and made the appointment. So I have been waiting patiently. Today, after only 4 hours of sleep, I was up and excited to go.

Today, made this more real to me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve noticed my beautiful wife’s baby bump growing, so I know it is real. Not being involved with those OB/GYN appointments has really been driving me crazy. Today, I actually got to see the baby!

Regular ultrasounds are cool enough. We tried to get a 3-D shot of Ella, but she kept putting her hands in front of her face. We never really got a full face shot of her. Check out what we saw today…

It’s a little blurry, but there is the baby, looking right at us! WOW!

As I stated in a previous blog, Sam was leaning boy and I was thinking girl. We found out today. We were originally going to only tell a few people and keep the results a secret. However, since Sam kind of spilled the beans on Facebook, I can share them here….

Ella helped us make the announcement:

It’s a boy! Ella will be welcoming her little brother in October. Sam and I are naturally excited. It’s perfect. One girl and one boy!

We found out we were expecting around Ella’s birthday (2/10). On February 15th, I had a dream that my mother told me it was a girl, and actually blogged a draft when I woke up so I wouldn’t forget:

I was in asleep in our bed. Suddenly, the kitchen light turns on. I get up, not knowing if it’s a burglar. To my surprise, it’s my mom and she’s making making soup for her and my dad – in my kitchen. As I walk out I hear her say, “Oh, damn it,” as she spills it on the floor.  I told her I’d get her something to clean it up, so I grabbed some baby wipes.  She looked at me and said “It’s a girl.”

Then I woke up. It was a very vivid dream. She looked me right in the eye and said it. Of course, I thought it would be really cool if the baby was a girl because the dream would have been sort of prophetic…LOL Instead, it was probably just me and my early gut feeling. I won’t lie though, over the past couple weeks, the pregnancy has been VERY different for Sam. Because of that, I guess I kind of knew the baby was going to be a boy.

We are very excited for our son to arrive. We’ll have to do a bit of preparation, as we have all girl clothes. We also had no trouble picking a girl’s name. Finding a boy’s name has been a challenge…

This weekend, we’ll be spending time in those baby name books again!

Never Go To Bed Hungry?

In 1984, Clara Peller rose to stardom because of her appearance in a Wendy’s commercial. Wendy’s went after their competitors (McDonald’s and Burger King) by focusing on the fact that their hamburger patties were hidden under the large bun, while Wendy’s single patty was bigger than their bun. In the commercial, Clara is at a fictional burger joint with a sign that reads “Home of the Big Bun.” She receives a huge bun with a small burger and yells “Where’s the Beef!?” Originally, the line was supposed to be “Where is all the beef?” Peller (who was 81 at the time) had emphysema and couldn’t say the original line, so she yelled the catchphrase that made her famous.

(Word is that originally the ad was to feature a young couple spouting the line, but the director didn’t think it was funny and changed the cast to elderly ladies. Kudos to that director, because “Where’s the Beef ?” is forever a part of 1980’s Pop Culture!)

You can see some of the commercials here:

Weird Dream

Why am I blogging about a commercial that is almost 40 years old? Funny that you ask….

I’m not sure why I had so many weird dreams last night. At one of those dreams, I am at some big party with all kinds of old celebrities. At one point, I am among a crowd of people and here comes Clara Peller! She is holding a picture of me and her from some sort of Wendy’s promotional event. She is talking to me, but because of the crowd noise, I have no idea what she is saying. She then hands me a Sharpie marker and asks me to autograph the picture for her!

I woke up and started laughing. I probably should have grabbed a bite to eat before heading to bed…

In searching for pictures for this blog, I found out that there was a book about Clara’s life … It got some pretty good reviews…

What a wacky dream…

Dreams are funny. So was mine last night.

The above is the cover of a journal you can buy off Amazon to write down your crazy dreams. I have often thought about keeping something like this on my bedside table. I actually had a weird dream last night and wrote it down. As you know, you have to write those things down almost immediately or you are gonna forget them.

I looked back over what I wrote and it is just bizarre. So much of it doesn’t make sense at all. It makes me wonder why I dreamed about these things and the people in it. The dream itself is an unstructured mess. There were so many things, I wrote them in a hurry, because I didn’t want to forget about them.

There is really no beginning of the dream. It starts in my house and my grandpa (who passed away in 1994) is there and he wants to take a shower. He can’t figure out how to use body wash, so he is standing in the hallway in a towel asking for a bar of soap.

As I am getting the bar or soap, the doorbell rings and it is my friend, Margaret.

In the dream, I know she is coming over to baby sit Ella. I talk to her through the speaker on the doorbell and say, “Be right there you Old Bastid.” As soon as I say that, my phone rings.

I answer it and my old boss from Honey Radio, Richard D is on the phone. We often called him the “Old Bastid” at work. I answer the phone and that’s exactly what he says to me, “Uh, I believe that I am the only one worthy of the title, “Old Bastid” and he starts laughing. I’m not even sure how he knew I said this!

Now, I am in the kitchen. I’m making pasta for the boys. I am also aware that I need to hurry because I need to leave for work. My son, Dimitri, looks at me and tells me not to use the sauce I used the last time I made pasta. This in itself is weird, because he doesn’t eat spaghetti sauce. I asked him what sauce he was talking about and he pointed to a jar of salsa!

I am suddenly aware of the time and know I have to leave. Sam is in the kitchen doing the dishes and I go to grab a cup of coffee. I notice that the coffee pot is not in its normal spot and ask Sam where it is. She tells me it is on the kitchen counter (which is literally spotless – so I know this is a dream!). I look at this new “coffee pot” and it looks like a humidifier!

It was PINK! Just like the one above. It has lines on it to show how much coffee is supposed to be in there. I am staring at this thing wondering just how in the heck I am going to make coffee. I don’t even know how to fill the dumb thing! I ask Sam to show me and I am suddenly aware that I am at my dad’s house. This counter isn’t ours at all!

I then notice I am holding an empty salsa jar (so I guess I used it again). I am going to go outside and put the jar in the recycle bin. As I open the door to the garage, I realize that I am now in my grandma’s garage. I know this because it has her old gold olds cutlass in it!

I will always remember it was gold with a white hard top on it.

For some reason, I am now laying on my belly in the garage looking for something that must have rolled under the car. I can see whatever is going on in the front of the house from the garage floor because the garage door isn’t open all the way.

So the dream ends with me laying on the garage floor, in my scrubs. I am watching Margaret and her daughter (my Goddaughter) and maybe her son, all climb into their car to leave. I am waving from under the garage door and then wonder who’s gonna babysit Ella, if she left?!

What a weird dream!!

A COVID Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving 2020 is now a memory. It was very different from Thanksgivings of the past, to be sure. It was, however, a very wonderful day!

Thursday – Turkey Day

Ella was up bright and early! I had to put the turkey in water to finish thawing it. We got her dressed and ready for her “First Thanksgiving” pictures, which came out great!

Once the turkey was thawed, prepped and in the oven, I realized our meat thermometer was broken. The last thing I wanted to do was head to the store. I didn’t even know if there were stores open! I lucked out and the little grocery store down the road was open. I walked over to the aisle with the kitchen stuff, only to find that all the meat thermometers were gone. Someone had even stolen some from the packaging and left the open package on the hook.

I went to the deli and asked if there would be any other place in the store that there might be a meat thermometer. She said no. I began to walk out of the store when a guy tapped me on the shoulder. He asked if I was looking for a meat thermometer, and I said yes! He had one in his hand and told me to follow him. He explained that they had just moved to the area and they actually had one, but they couldn’t find it because it was still packed in a box. He said it was his only reason for being in the store! He took me over to the candy aisle, where there was a small rotating rack with a few kitchen utensils on it – and two meat thermometers! I was so grateful! He wished me a happy Thanksgiving and we parted ways.

While I let the turkey cool, Sam finished up the mac and cheese and mashed potatoes. Ella sat in her high chair and anxiously awaited her first feast!

By the time she finished, she was wearing her meal! She had mashed potatoes in her ears, her nose, and her eyes!! She really enjoyed her dinner!!

Thanksgiving was typical in that the Detroit Lions lost miserably! This led to the GM and head coach being fired. One can only hope that someone will finally hire the right people. I would love to see them reach the Super Bowl (and hopefully win one) in my lifetime!

Friday – Black Friday

I am not a Black Friday shopper! However, I was this year – not by choice! I needed to get tires for our car. I shopped around getting prices and found that Belle Tire had some Black Friday rebates, and had the best deal. I used to go to this mom and pop tire place who did great work, and had great prices, but sadly, the Covid-19 pandemic has put them permanently out of business.

I was shocked at the line of people waiting to get in at 7am! I was lucky to be fourth in line and I was in and out in just over an hour! Kudo to those folks!

When I returned home Friday, I checked off another project I had on my list. We bought some canvas pictures to hang in the baby’s room months ago. They have been sitting in the box, awaiting me to hang them. Before I went to pick up my son, I measured it all out and got them hung up on the wall. I just love these pictures!

We spent the evening last night watching Christmas movies. My son and my wife had both mentioned that the sequel to The Christmas Chronicles was now on Netflix. We had all enjoyed the first one (Kurt Russell stars in it) and we decided to watch the first one again before watching the second. I found that I still enjoyed the first one very much. I can see it easily becoming a Christmas tradition.

Recurring Dream With a Twist

I am closing in on test time for my Bible classes. I have a week’s worth of classes to finish and then four tests to take! I mentioned this to my wife, so it must have been on my mind when I went to bed. At any rate, I often have a recurring dream where I am at school and I sit down to take a test and my mind goes completely blank! I panic! I freak! I usually wake up with my heart racing.

So I had a dream last night that was similar. Sure enough, I am sitting in a classroom (which is odd because my classes are on DVD and I take them at home) and the teacher passes out the tests. The first thing I notice is that the tests are about 45 pages stapled together! I open the test and I can’t even read the thing. I turn the page and there are some words I can make out, but nothing makes sense. With each page turn, I feel more and more scared. I have no idea what I am looking at! I begin to pull my notes out and try to cheat!! The teacher comes over and obviously has caught me . Needless to say, I wake up at this point with heart racing and glad it was just a dream!

Now I’m wondering how hard these tests are going to be!!

I hope you and your family had a wonderful holiday!!

Tears on My Pillow

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I’m a Registered Polysomnographic Technologist. Those are some fancy words for “Sleep Tech”. I watch people sleep. I test them for sleep apnea, and treat them with PAP therapy when needed. People ask me all kinds of questions about sleep. I know a lot about sleep. People also ask me a lot about dreams. I don’t know a whole lot about dreams. Dreams are an illusive topic.

Do an internet search on dreams and you will find hundreds of webpages or articles with thoughts, theories, and general guesses about what dreams are and why we have them. Many people have different ideas about them. Ask a doctor about dreams and they will tell you something very different from what a therapist or psychologist will tell you.

This blog isn’t searching for why I had this dream. This blog isn’t expecting someone’s interpretation of this dream. This blog has one purpose – to write this down so I will remember it. After all, they say that you forget 90% of your dreams. I wanted to write this one down, so I’d remember it. So I might be able to come back to it and ponder it at some later date. I have waited too long to write this, as some of the details are already fading.

The Dream

“It’s not fair! It’s just not fair!”

I say this as I am looking at my mother, while holding my newborn daughter. There is no rhyme or reason for her to be there. She has been dead for 13 years, I am aware of this, yet there she is. She is alive in this dream, yet I know she had died already and is dying yet again. I am crying as I speak these words.

I am not sure if I am in a park or some public place. My dad is there, too. There are people around me. A crowd, perhaps. Is this a fair? I don’t know.

There is a stroller. Without knowledge of handing her to him, my dad now has his granddaughter and is walking with her in the stroller.

I cannot recall any conversation between my mother and me, but I am aware she is there. This is different from other dreams with her, where she usually speaks to me.

There are occasional interruptions by people I may or may not know. I do not really hear what they are saying, as my mind is still trying to comprehend how my mother is here, and why she is dying again. Cancer has already taken her once. How can she be back and how can it take her again?

I am aware of my dad returning with the baby in the stroller. He looks at my mother and asks if she wants to push the stroller for a bit. I am suddenly aware that I am standing next to a car. The driver’s side door is open and I am standing between the door and the inside of the car (almost like I am going to get into it). Am I in a parking lot?

I am aware that my daughter is now back in my arms and my mother seems further away. She is not looking directly at me, or anywhere in particular. I am overcome with emotion again as I lay my right arm on the roof of the white car and lay my head on my arm. I again begin to sob. I can feel the tears falling and I keep repeating, “It’s not fair! It’s just not fair!”

I woke up today with tears in my eyes. My pillow was wet from those tears.

What does it mean? I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. This dream was just … different. There may be some sort of meaning to it. Maybe it was just my mind sorting through a variety of thoughts. Maybe it means absolutely nothing. It left me contemplating and thinking – enough that I felt I needed to write it down someplace, and that someplace was here.

Maybe one day, I will make sense of it. For now, I will just leave it here.

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Thankful Thoughts (updated)

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Happy Thanksgiving! I am sitting on the couch next to my wife after having dinner and watching the Detroit Lions lose another game on National TV! (LOL – I get suckered in actually thinking they MAY win a game!) The Christmas tree is lit, the lights are low, and we are waiting to have some pumpkin pie.

When I worked on the radio, we would often “recycle” bits. We would take something we had done in the past and “re-run” it, often updating it to be current. This blog is a recycling of an earlier Thanksgiving blog, updated for 2019. I have gained many new followers over the past year, all of this will be new to them. For those who have been with me from the beginning, I hope you don’t think I am being lazy. By recycling this, I am reminded of just how blessed I am!

Updated 2019

The truth is, we should be thankful for everything in our lives. One of my favorite Bible verses is I Thessalonians 5: 18 which reads “In everything give thanks”. That means good things and bad things – and that’s sometimes hard to do! Believe me, I know from experience! Well, here goes…my list, in no particular order:

Things I am thankful for

  1. My parents. Let’s face it, without them, I wouldn’t be here. I was blessed with a mother and father who raised me right. They supported decisions (good and bad) and were always there for me. Even though my mom is no longer here, her presence is ever-present. Dad is always around to talk music, old movies, and more. As with most holidays, he was the first call I received this morning. Laughing with him is always something I am thankful for.
  2. My wife. Without her, I wouldn’t be here either. She saved me and I am forever grateful. She came into my life at a very turbulent time – first as a friend, and then as someone much more than that. She made me smile and laugh during a time where there was little or no happiness. She cried with me and was a great support through very dark days. Thanks to her, I have found an unconditional love. I cannot imagine life without her, nor would I want to. She accepts me with all my faults and quirks. She makes me feel special. She makes me fall in love with her more each day. She completes me and I am thankful to have her in my life each and every second of the day.
  3. My baby. This year, I can add the fact that I am thankful for our baby on the way. I am thankful for each and every kick I feel from Sam’s belly. I am thankful for the amazing sounds of her heartbeat when we go to the doctor. How do you describe how you can love someone you’ve never met – I can’t! But I do!
  4. My sons. They could not be more different from each other. They both have their own talents. They remind me so much of my brother and I when we were growing up! They are creative. They are silly. They are loving. They are smart. They make me laugh and drive me crazy! I miss them when they are not with me and I love when we are together. I love to think back and remember the things they did as babies and I love to think about what they will do in the future. They make me proud of all their accomplishments. In a year, they have matured so much! Dante’ will graduate this year, and Dimitri is in middle school. They will continue to be a source of great joy for me!
  5. My brother. Just like my sons, we couldn’t be more different. Growing up, we tormented each other! He has listened to me complain about life. He has offered advice on more than one occasion. He, in my opinion, is the more successful of the two of us! He has written – and published – books! He has made his way up the ladder at his job and is now a “big wig”. I am envious of him. Over the years, we’ve grown closer and are working separately (and together) on a project that will honor our mother. This project will only bring us closer – which I look forward to very much. Some of the stuff I have written for the project has been posted on this blog. There is still work to do, and it is slowly coming together.
  6. My radio job(s). In over 30 years, the friendships I have made with co-workers, clients, and listeners have been very special to me. While there was a whole lot of instability and changes in the business, it was also more fun than I can put into words! Even though I am only doing it part-time now, I still enjoy prepping for a show and sharing stories on the air. I’ll be doing quite a few shows over the next few weeks because of the holidays.
  7. My sleep job. It’s really an amazing thing to help people. So many patients come in to our lab who are struggling with poor sleep, insomnia, apnea, narcolepsy, and other sleep disorders. To be able to offer advice, help them get therapy, and in some cases, save their life, it is pretty satisfying. I am lucky to have some pretty cool co-worker friends, too.
  8. My education. For years, my mother begged me to go to college. She had sadly passed away before I finally enrolled in classes. I am grateful to have had some of the finest instructors and professors to guide me and teach me in my journey. Not only did I gain a degree, but I made many new friendships with classmates and teachers. I wish I could find the time and money to gain further education.
  9. My friends. Napoleon Hill said, “That man is rich indeed who had more friends than enemies…” I am truly a rich man! I am lucky enough to have made many friends throughout my life. Many of them I have known for over 40 years! So many good times! So many good memories! I am thankful for each of them!
  10. My enemies. Yes, my enemies. First of all, they make me more appreciative and thankful for my friends! Second, they actually help me, too. How? Here is a great quote (I wish I knew who said it) “Your enemies evolve you at the core. They force you to defend and endure more than you thought possible.” Yes, my enemies may be full of hatred toward me. They may spread rumors about me. They may discredit me and bash me, but I am stronger because of their ignorance and loathing. Over the last year, I have gained lots of strength!
  11. My faith. It may not be important to you, but it is to me. I am thankful for God, His Word, His Son, and all that He has done for me. I am thankful for His unconditional love for me.
  12. Modern Medicine. We are blessed to live in a time where medical advances are curing diseases and saving lives! While there is a long way to go, and there are still many diseases that need a cure – we continue to make progress. I am thankful for the great minds who strive to find the answers, treatments, and cures. I hope to see cures for things like cancer in my lifetime.
  13. Coffee. I was 12 when my grandpa introduced coffee to me (it was probably more cream and sugar than coffee, but I liked it.) Coffee has helped me through many overnight shifts on the radio, many 12 hour shifts in the sleep lab, and is just perfect to drink on a chilly autumn morning. I am also thankful for some of the wonderful flavors. Michigan Cherry, Vanilla Hazelnut, and Cinnamon Holiday Blend are among my favorites.
  14. My country. I am thankful to live in the United States of America. I am thankful that we live in a country that allows us many freedoms. While I have not visited every state in the union, I can tell you that on a recent road trip, I was in awe of the beauty that I witnessed while driving. I am thankful and proud to be an American!
  15. Cameras/Photographs/Videos. How many precious moments and memories have been captured by cameras? Without cameras how many things would be forgotten? Think about all of the historical pictures that have meant so much over the years. Now think about how looking at old family photos can immediately place you back in that exact moment with loved ones! Think about how awesome it is to watch an old home movie and hear the voices of loved ones who are no longer here. I am SO thankful for the memories that have been preserved for me on film. My dad recently gave me a video camera saying that I will need it with the baby on the way.
  16. Dreams and the ability to dream. This kind of goes with #15. I am thankful that every now and then, I will have a dream where I am once again talking with my mom or my grandparents. In the original blog, I mentioned that in my Facebook Memories for that day I mentioned a dream I had where I was hanging out with Frank Sinatra & Dean Martin – only in dreams!! The morning of the baby shower, I dreamed about my mom. Dreams are really interesting things!
  17. My Past. Sometimes looking back at the past can be painful. Hindsight is 20/20, right? It’s always easy to look back and see the mistakes you have made and kick yourself for making them. I look at it another way – I am who I am today because of my past. The things that have happened to me along the way – both good and bad – are a part of who I am and have played a role in who I am today. Yes, I can look back and see people or events that disgust me, but without them – I’d be a very different person.
  18. Air Conditioning/Heat. As someone who loves to go to museums and such, I always wondered how people got along without AC in the summertime or heat in the winter! I can’t imagine having to wake up in the middle of the night to add more wood to the fire or wood stove. I also can’t imagine working 8 hours a day in a place without AC! I am very thankful for those two modern-day conveniences!
  19. Sunrises and Sunsets. One of my guilty pleasures is sitting and watching the sun come up or go down. When I lived on the west side of the state (Michigan), I was lucky enough to live right off the water. I would often go to the beach and just watch the sun set over the lake. It was majestic and beautiful! I am so thankful for these two simple things. Today, with my schedule, I tend to see more sunrises than sunsets.
  20. Laughter/Humor. I love to laugh and I love the sound of laughter! I also love to make people laugh. I am so thankful for things that are funny and things that make me laugh. Charlie Chaplin said, “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” Milton Berle said, “Laughter is an instant vacation.” Another great quote is “Life is short. Spend it with people who make you laugh and feel loved.” I am looking forward to hearing our baby laugh at the silly faces and silly noises her daddy will be making.
  21. Music. I am thankful for music in SO many ways. Music, is one of those things that can evoke all kinds of emotions. A song, just like an old photograph, can take you back in time. In radio, we used to play what we called “Oh Wow” songs. Those songs that make you say, “Oh wow! I haven’t heard that in forever!” or “Oh wow! That reminds me of my senior prom!” Music is one of life’s great things! It can convey things with or without words. One of my favorite quotes, which is attributed to Hans Christian Anderson, is “Where words fail – music speaks.” SO True! I am thankful for some of the many music blogs I follow. They often remind me of some of those “Oh wow” songs!
  22. The Kindness of Strangers. I have benefited from the kindness of strangers more times than I can count. We saw a brief surge of random acts of kindness when the movie “Pay It Forward” came out, and it is a shame that those acts have fizzled out. The world would be a better place if we took a moment and thought of others. There have been plenty of times where someone in front of me has bought my coffee at the drive-thru window, and I have returned the favor. I remember one time seeing an elderly gentleman eating alone in a restaurant. He never knew who I was, but I saw his World War II Veteran hat. I bought his meal and told the waitress to tell him that I thank him for his service. Random acts of kindness are not just something we can accept – they are something we can do.
  23. Those who have served in the Armed Forces. We live in a free country because of the men and women who have served in the various branches of the military. I am thankful to each and every one of them. I know that our freedom came with a price and so many men and women paid the ultimate price for me – and you. Those that have served, no matter what branch and no matter if you were in battle or not, you are a hero! I am thankful for you and your service! I have friends and family who all served, and I am thankful for these heroes!
  24. The Changing Seasons. Here in Michigan, I get to see them all! Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. The first snowfall is beautiful. Ice storms can be hell! Springtime showers and the grass turning green is a reminder of things becoming new again. Summertime is never long enough, but getting the chance to swim at the pool, golfing, and the smell of fresh-cut grass can always make me smile. Fall is my favorite season! This year we got hit with some early snow, so the joke is that Fall was the best “three days of the year”! The crisp cool air of autumn is perfect for bonfires. The leaves changing colors makes for some spectacular rides on the highway. I wish we had a few more bonfires this year. At any rate, I am thankful to get to experience each one of the seasons.
  25. Spell Checker. Without this, I really don’t know what I would do! I remember all those spelling tests from school! The problem is, as I get older, I seem to have forgotten how to spell. Spell Check is one of those great features that got me through many a research paper in college. It can also be very helpful here in my blog. Of course, sometimes, you can misspell a word that is the correct spelling of another word, so it isn’t foolproof. I’m thankful for it anyway!
  26. The often overlooked necessities. I could easily make these each an item on this list. I guess these are often things that are taken for granted. For example, my home. I am thankful to have a roof over my head to protect me from the elements. I am thankful for the clothes that I wear. My wife was just telling me that I probably need to purge some of the stuff that no longer fits and donate them to Goodwill. It’s nice to have enough that I can donate some and still have enough to wear. I am thankful for fresh water and hot showers. Those two go together and, while it is often taken for granted, there are those who do not enjoy those simple things. I am thankful for electricity. While there are times I think it is cool to sit and read a book by candlelight because of a power outage, I’d rather have the light – and everything else that uses it. I am thankful for a good meal. Sometimes that meal may consist of a simple bowl of cereal, but the fact that I have food to eat is something that some people don’t have.
  27. Bad Days. As much as we’d rather not have them, it is important to remember that when we have them, they remind us of just how awesome the good days are! I am thankful for bad days, but even more thankful for the good ones! I am also thankful that in the big picture – I have had more good ones than bad ones.
  28. The Internet. It’s funny how we lived so long without it, yet we can’t really live without it today! I mean, without it, you wouldn’t be reading this! I am thankful for it and the good things associated with it. I am thankful to be able to connect with family and friends across the miles with social media. I am thankful that at any moment, I can open up Google and find an answer to a silly question. I am thankful that my kids and I can use it instead of encyclopedias to do research. So many things are at our fingertips because of the internet.
  29. A good book/movie/TV show. I really enjoy being able to get lost in a good story. I love to read, but sadly don’t really get the time to do it as often as I’d like to. Same with a good movie. With movies, there are very few new movies that appeal to me. As most of you know, I prefer older films (you know, the ones that are so good some jerk in Hollywood decides to remake it and ruin it). I don’t need to see 20 minute sex scenes, car chases that are impossible to believe, blood and gore, or violence. I want a good story – and a good story is something that Hollywood has seemed to run out of. When it comes to TV, I rarely watch new shows. Most of them are “reality” based anyway and just garbage. I guess that’s why I am thankful for TV shows on DVD. Ok, last year, I kinda dissed on reality TV, and I should clarify that I mean talent shows, dance shows, and shows with singers in masks. To me, these are just a waste of my time. A “reality” show I do love is Live PD. It can be funny, sad, scary, and intense. It makes me appreciate what they do each day!
  30. My dumb cat(s). Ok, talk about aggravating! He is forever knocking things over while I am trying to sleep. I am constantly tripping over him as I walk through the house. He will attack and bite my leg for no reason. He is always jumping up on the table when I am trying to eat. He’s a real pain in my behind. However, there are times where he can really be a cool cat. It’s because of those things – I am thankful for him. Updating this a year later, we heard that getting another cat can actually help and it did. Our older can still can get on my nerves, but he is a lot more mellow now! HE must have a feeling Sam is expecting, because he curls up next to her and falls asleep – he is a totally different cat! The kitten is so cute! Her favorite toy is a bullet from a Nerf gun. She plays with those all the time! She doesn’t purr as much as her older brother, but she is still cute as hell!
  31. The five senses. I can’t imagine going through life not being able to see my children or my wife or some of the wonderful things I have already described. I can’t imagine not being able to smell fresh coffee brewing or my spaghetti sauce on the stove. I can’t imagine not hearing the sound of my boys laughing. I can’t imagine not being able to taste a juicy steak. I can’t imagine not being able to feel a hug from my wife. I am SO thankful to have the ability to have all five senses!
  32. Forgiveness. I am thankful for forgiveness. Sadly, it is one of those things that is rare today. It is, however, one of the great things taught in the bible and throughout history. It is also one of the hardest things to do. I have trouble with it too on occasion. I am thankful that there are friends and family who have forgiven me for past transgressions.
  33. Acceptance. I am thankful for those people in my life who accept me for who I am. They don’t try to change me. There may be things about me that they don’t like or agree with, but they love and accept me as I am. I try to do the same for others.
  34. Encouragement. I would not be where am I today without the encouragement and support of others. It may have been the smallest gesture or a simple sentence in conversation, but the encouragement of others helped me to get through some tough stuff and I am thankful for that.
  35. Change. This is hard for me to be thankful for, but I am. I have to be honest, I hate change! I am a creature of habit. When I lost 85 pounds, I did it primarily by eating the same meals every day. I do not like change, but I know it is important. There were many times over the last couple years that I had to step out of my comfort zone and accept it. I am thankful I did. Change is good – most of the time.
  36. My Therapist. She, like many others, helped me to cope as life offered many challenges. She helped me sort out some feelings. She helped me to see things that I was completely unaware of. She helped me deal with the things involved in my divorce. She also is responsible for my blogs. I used to blog all the time, but was basically told that “no one wants to read that stuff”. I stopped writing. My therapist is the one who suggested keeping a journal. When I told her I used to blog, she asked why I stopped. When I told her why, she suggested starting back up. I told her I didn’t know what to write about. She basically said, “Write about whatever you want! It doesn’t matter if you are writing for others or writing for yourself. If you like to write – WRITE!” From the length of this blog – you can see that I like to write.
  37. Facebook memories. This is a two-edged sword. It is a daily reminder or good things from the past, as well as times with people no longer in my life. I am thankful for it just the same. Many times it is a simple one liner I posted as a status, while other times it is my thoughts about my boys school events. Some pictures bring back good memories, while others bring back sad memories. I smile at the good ones and try to forget the bad ones, but again remind myself that I am who I am today because of the past.
  38. Big John’s Steak and Onion. Don’t judge me! I am thankful that when I am craving a really good sub, I can go here and grab a Supreme Cheeseburger with olives! Yummy!!
  39. Pumpkin Pie with Cool Whip. Ok, so I finally had dessert while I was writing this. I love a good piece of pumpkin pie topped with Cool Whip.
  40. YOU. Yep. I am thankful for YOU. You are reading this and I appreciate it. I am thankful for my followers and for those who read my stuff. Thank you for being my friend. Thank you for following this blog.

What are YOU thankful for??

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A good book, a great compliment, and bad dreams.

Intro

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It’s been 5 days since I have had a chance to sit and blog.  I have been able to jot things in my notebook, but just never had the chance to write.  This blog, like the last one, is a collection of thoughts from the past 5 days.

A Good Book

I have a habit of going to that store and snapping pictures of books that I want to read in the future.  Every now and then I have to scroll through the many pictures on my phone to remember them.  I need to add them to my “Good Reads” app, so they are all in one place, but I never seem to find the time to do that.

My wife and I tend to read very different books. I read a lot of history themed books, as well as mysteries, thrillers, and biographies.  She reads more Jodi Picoult type stories.  I had received a Barnes and Noble gift card some time ago, and my wife and I took a walk through the store to see what I might want to spend it on.  While walking through the “New in Paperback” section, I saw one that caught my eye.

I have read a few books that used World War II and German Concentration Camps as a setting.  Some were true stories, some were fiction.  When I saw the book, The Tattooist of Auschwitz, I picked it up to read what it was about.

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While the book is a novel, it is based on the true story of a man and woman who met and fall in love while imprisoned at the camp Auschwitz-Berkenau.  The author, Heather Morris, wrote the story after many interviews with Lale Sokolov.  The novel is based on his story.  After his wife, Gita passed away, he wanted to share his story.  The result was this book.

I read it knowing that it was a “fictionalized” version of their story.  The author stated that she wrote the story that Lale intended her to write.  Late last year, there was some controversy saying that there were things that were incorrect in the story.  The author again said that she wrote what he told her to write.  None of that takes away from a very powerful story of love and survival.  While I wished for more of an after story, I am excited to hear that there is a sequel due out next month based on one of the other characters in the book – Cilka’s Journey.  I will definitely be reading that one, too.

A Great Compliment

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It’s always great to catch up with an old friend.  It’s even better when you catch up and can talk about the good things going on in your life, instead of the bad.  My friend and I last chatted shortly after I got remarried, so it had been a little while since we chatted.  I was able to talk about my newfound happiness, the positives and positive changes in my life, and, of course, the news that we are expecting a baby in February. After chatting for some time, my friend said, “Please don’t take this the wrong way.  I don’t mean to sound mean or rude, but it is like I don’t even know you anymore!”

How could I take this as mean or rude?  I knew exactly what my friend meant.  I was a different person, a couple years ago.  It always seemed like I was complaining when we talked.  I was forever venting about the misery and worry in my life.  I was in a very deep depression.  I was SO unhappy.  I was struggling with everything and anything.  I was blaming myself for so many things! I took the blame for almost everything.  I had given up.

“It’s like I don’t even know you anymore!”  No – you don’t!  I am NOT that person anymore.  I don’t focus on negatives.  There is a smile in my voice when I talk about my life.  I have been blessed with an amazing soul mate who has changed my life in so many ways.  I don’t think you are mean or rude – instead, I thank you for the amazing compliment.  A compliment which proves that it’s not just me who sees the positive changes in my life – it’s others, too!

“When someone pays you a compliment – don’t disagree.  Accept it with grace, and most importantly, BELIEVE what they say!”

Bad Dreams

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It has been some time since I have had a nightmare.  Last night, I had a few!  I probably should have wrote them all down, because I have forgotten some of them.  I know I woke up at least 6 times in a 7 hour period.  With every wake up, I got more and more annoyed.

I often try to think about why I dreamt about something.  Sometimes, I can make a connection to something from the previous day.  For the life of me, I have no idea why I dreamt about what I did.  In the first dream, I was standing in a house looking out a window.  I was staring outside at an older car, possibly a Chevy Caprice.  Someone is standing next to it about to break into it or something and I am trying to yell out the window – I was doing everything I could to try to scream something at the person – but I could not make a sound.  I woke up in the middle of those non-existent screams.  I had only been asleep for about an hour.

In one dream, I am watching TV and I hear gunfire outside.  The windows around me begin to shatter as bullets break through them.  On the TV, I see the house I am in (it’s not my current one) on the news with “Breaking News” about a standoff in a local neighborhood.  I can see police outside the one side of the house and when two men jump through the window into the house I woke up.  (This dream may have stemmed from a radio show I heard on my way home.)

The final dream I remember involved me being chased by someone.  I don’t even know why I was being chased.  It was weird because the scenery around me changed often.  I started running through a neighborhood.  I then was running on a dirt road, through a shopping mall, and eventually I was running on the beach.  As I was running through the sand, I could feel myself sinking deeper into the sand until I couldn’t move my legs.  I was struggling to get my legs and feet out of the sand and they wouldn’t budge.  I woke up with Sam’s leg on top of mine.

On days where I have to work, I hate when I keep waking up.  I only had two cups of coffee last night and I was done with them by 3am.  I hadn’t eaten anything out of the ordinary (which has led to weird dreams in the past) and was tired enough that I should have been able to sleep right through.  I didn’t.  I know better than to let it bug me, because the more you focus on how you need to sleep, the more it keeps you awake (at least that is the way it works for me).  Hoping that tomorrow’s sleep is a whole lot better.

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