Archive for April, 2012


Judge Kirby Smith

Kirby Smith…

 

  I went down town to check out our local Art Walk the other weekend, it is something we have here in my town several times a year. I had not known there was going to be a movie premier in the middle of town so the art walk was almost absorbed into everything else that was going on. I like the fact that it was more active but the people were different this time it is hard to explain… other than to say that it was not the normal Art Walk crowd.

 

 Now knowing that the Art Walk is a rather large event for our town and it brings out the best of the best in our area I thought it might be a great chance for me to run into a Mr. oohhh I should say Judge Kirby Smith… I have known this man for a long time. Without going into embarrassing details for a few people I know, lol I will just say that I first met him when I needed a lawyer for a traffic matter. Then later I had known a few other people that have needed him for other more sensitive matters. Each time he treated people like they were friends or family. I had hoped to see him in town that weekend because although he is acting judge at the moment he is also running for the seat. Other than the fact if I need him he will not be able to represent me anymore, I am excited to see him in this position. He has always been such a fair man, never twisting or conniving like the images so many of us have of lawyers and their back room deals over golf games and drinks. But Kirby really knows the law… not how to manipulate it but knows the letter of it. That is so important, as a judge not only will he be able to make sure that justice is carried out, he can make sure it is done fairly. No loop holes or hob knobbing just straight up by the book stuff. I for one am excited to have his kind of personality on the bench.

 

 Supporting the community is something I believe is very important to him, at the bank of the arts the display was all about local talent from the community college. We talked and marveled over what these students have done, seeming to make art out of pretty much anything.

 

 He is a local boy through and through, I believe his family ties go back deeper than most of the buildings in the historical district. So you could say it’s kind of a historical local family… but his current family was something I really enjoyed being around. Seeing him with his lovely wife and his children how attentive he was with teaching and learning himself, is just another quality that one likes to see in a Judge.

 

 The interaction he had with other children was seamless, a calm man in his element around the locals it really was a great thing to watch. Too often people get lost in the “Politics” of keeping the “right” friends they tend to almost forget about other people. But I think that is what speaks so tremendously about him, there are no “right” or “other” people… there are just people. I guess that will go a long way when it comes to him sitting on the bench and having to hear a case… the status of the person will not mean as much as who the person really is. I would go as far to say that having him as judge will be like bringing back a lost art, the art of fair compassion and equality, instead of elbow rubbing deals and favors.

 

 So normally I do not throw my hat into a political ring, and I won’t talk about things or people I do not know, so I just wanted to take the time to talk about someone I did. I hope you guys enjoy hearing about him. So I have to share this one last picture… great art… good friends… and as you can see beautiful weather.

 Kriby Smith Page

 

 

  Smile… it shows the warmth in your heart and can spread to everyone who sees it.

Advertisements

Weight Loss…

Ok I know this is a key topic for a lot of people not just in the US but all over the world. It is something thankfully I did not have to deal with in my school age years but only later in life as I started to slow down. Now many people are very nice to me and say that I do not look big… and their eyes go wide when I tell them how much I really weigh. Then I get that, “But your all muscle…” and do not get me wrong I truly appreciate what they are saying but at the same time I see myself in the mirror every day and let’s face it we are now and always will be our own worse critics…

 

  Well in an earlier blog I mentioned about my company doing the health and wellness challenge and I talked about wanting to do more than their minimum and stepping it up to do 3x that much. Which means between May 1st and October 1st I will ride my bike (bicycle) 1500 miles and walk 300 miles… this challenge will help me lose the weight I want… but I have decided to step it up a notch.

 

A friend of mine a few years ago decided he was going to grow out his beard for a full year taking pictures every day. Then make a video of it and post it on you tube for the fun of it. Well what happened for him after that no one could have guessed. He was interviewed by a website overseas, and was chosen to participate in a live action art exhibit in Italy. To top it all off his video which can be seen “here”  has gotten over 1,000,000 hits on YouTube.

 

  Now I am not expecting fame and glory, but what he did and the transformations he went through in the video gave me an idea… What if starting May 1st I did not shave or cut my hair… until I lost the 55-60 lbs. I need to lose. I took photos close to what he did and make my own video… the exception being that as my beard is there you will not be able to notice the weight loss in my face as well. So when I am finished on the last day and I have kept the weight off for a whole week. I will shave… do a still shot of before and after. And it will be a really cool difference plus make a cool video I think… maybe call it “shaving off the pounds”.

 

My goal would be to drop the weight by Oct. 1st when the fitness challenge is over at work. It would be a great way to push myself to meet my fitness goal with the challenge as well as lose the weight to get all the fur off my face and be able to cut my hair again which I currently do about every other week.

 

  So tell me what you think… dumb… creative… crazy… or what?

 

  Smile… sometimes you have to go a different direction then everyone else to get to the same location.

Poetry & Time

Well I belong to a few different groups one of them happens to be a writers forum… it’s an interesting enough place although lacking in a few areas. So I have yet had the time to upload all of the pictures from my weekend of Art Walks and hand shaking… also to include a movie premier which was my first and probably my last lol…

 So because of my lack of time and my issues with the writers forum that I wont air out here, I have decided to post a poem I wrote a few years ago. I ask you a few things… be honest but not mean… I do not want a pat on the head telling my what a good little poem I wrote, but I really just want to share with you guys.  So here is my daily post today… and I hope a few pictures tonight because I missed yesterday… I hope you folks are having a great weekend and remember…

  Smile… if you can not complete this simple action when times are bad, how could you  be counted on for the big things. 

The Star…

Moonlight surrounds me as I breathe in the stars this night
Evening dew settles on my skin as I am afraid to move
Droplets whispering to me telling me the secrets of heaven

I stand transfixed, drawn to a distant point, a place among the stars
I can not see it nor have I been there but my heart feels as if it knows the way
I stand spellbound in a dreamy state as I am afraid to close my eyes

Time passes and I have seen a million shooting stars
Each time gone before my mind can register their existence
Each time only leaving a ghostlike impression in my mind

But the one star I seek, though I can not see it, I know it is there

I can feel it calling to me… pulling me

and I am scared to look away

Keeping my eyes fixated on the heavens I feel as if the cosmos is mine
I am the lion among the stars, the king of this jungle
A warrior in my own mind, and yet… I am scared to look away

Soft droplets of dew fall on me

Gently kissing my skin…

 They are tears cried by stars long gone
as they land they turn to ice on my skin
a frost that covers my eternal soul
even with frosted eyes I never look away

Brilliant blinding light starting as a pin point growing as vast as an ocean
Bringing the fire of life as it heats my body untill the frost just melts away
Basking in its glory I stand as naked as my soul, without protection, only trust

The star has come full circle
Bringing life to a dark cold place

A phoenix bursting forth in the night

to my knees I fall as I bask in the glory of the prize

A soul laid bare before its maker

Searching for answers and finding them
I am now home
I am now happy
I am finally free

Do you believe in Magic….

  I took 136 pictures tonight in fear that tomorrow during the art walk it might be raining and I may miss something, and I want to be able share with you guys my favorite parts of town, after I uploaded them from my camera, I tried to figure out what I wanted to blog about today.  Throughout the day many things inspire me and so many different ideas fly through my head that I could write five blogs a day. But once I get home and try to get settled and I feed everyone it’s hard to concentrate, so I will just tell you a little about my day and go from there.

  For starters, work is doing this awesome wellness campaign where they are challenging us to either walk 100 miles, or cycle 500 miles between May 1st and October 1st.  Well I decided a few things, first we already know that I love a challenge, so I decided instead of picking walking or cycling that I am signing up for both. The walking part is a walk in the park (pun intended J) without a doubt… the cycling, well I have to kick it up a notch; I have decided to see their 500 miles and raise them 1k, yup that’s right I said it. Between May 1st and October 1st I will ride my bike 1500 miles. This is another way I plan on taking the weight off that I so desperately need to loose, and by telling all of you about this, I am basically sealing my fate.

  Help keep me accountable folks, do your best to help keep me motivated so that I can blog about the results, the adventures and then the success!!!

  On a different note, I was sitting here thinking about the charger I bought for my camcorder and how I want to start doing videos. I asked my son if he had checked the mail, and he had not. So this was a perfect opportunity to take a short walk and think about what I wanted to write.

    (Photo is not mine : Fireflies Wallpaper by ~Peaches5189 on deviantART)

  Now where I live I have a good bit of land, and just my front yard alone is bigger than a football field; a walk down my long driveway on a cool evening was just the thing I needed to settle all the food I ate at dinner. So as I am going out to the mailbox, well something happened to me… first let me ask you do you believe in magic? Do you believe in a world that exists but we can’t see it? That place that was just outside our windows when we were children, where in another part of the world dragons were real and magic creatures held council in the green forests sitting on toad stools… so do you believe?

 For my short walk to my mailbox and then back to my house, I not only believed again but I was transformed, like one of the kids going to Narnia. Once I saw that first lightning bug… then another… the yet again there was another. I was a child at my grandparent’s farm, walking the access road looking around and listening for the sounds of the creatures in the woods at night. Looking up at the stars just waiting for them to swirl around my head and follow me like mystical dust of days gone by. Half expecting to see the shadow of a dragon glide across the moon.

 For a moment… during my short walk… I believed again. Tonight if for nothing else than that short walk to get the mail (which my charger did come) I was transformed to a child again. That place deep inside where the elves play and the music they make brings dreams of magic and fairytale.

 Smile… it might just be the muscle that unlocks the inner child and brings back a time when holidays were magic and not hectic, when birthdays were fun and not dreaded… smile… it just might take you back in time.

Art Walk…

  This weekend my town is having an art walk… I truly love these. Local artists and galleries set up with finger foods and their goods showing off all the amazing talent we have in our community. I went to one of these a few months ago by myself, most everyone else I knew was busy or just was not interested so I got to walk around down town on a cool evening and really enjoyed myself. All the people are walking around doing the same thing and we get so many visitors from so many other areas it is great to talk to them all and hear their stories and have them tell me that the area I live in is such a cool little town.

 New Bern Down Town Info

 When I first came here I came from a bigger place, lots of things to do, big malls big movie theaters, and lots and lots traffic. When I was here at 19 years old I thought how stupid this place was, nothing going on and so quiet, as I have lived here the words of my grandfather have echo in my mind saying,”son, If you live in a quiet place you can always find noise if you want it bad enough. But if you live in noise it is very hard to find quiet when you need it the most.” As time goes on I see the wisdom in those words.

 I have grown to love this place, with its history and class, I truly feel like it is unlike any other place. I havr moved around a lot as a kid, and other than my grandparents place I never truly felt settled. But this town and this area will be for me the place I call home.

  So as a treat for any of you that might actually be reading my drivel… I will take pictures and even take you on a tour of this town of mine. I will show you the charm, the art, and the people that I have grown to love.

 Thank you for reading and as always….

 Smile… Home is a place you feel safe… home is a place where you are comfortable…. Home makes you smile when sometimes you don’t think you can.

Kittens… Boats… Memories…

Just like our 7 day old kitten(s) I was walking around with one eye open and one eye closed today J kind of been dragging butt. It Felt like it was a Monday today, but I was rather productive at work today, getting things planned, putting out potential fires (figuratively speaking).

   

 Something I have not shared yet is the fact that as of next month I will be a boat owner. I am getting my father’s boat so that this summer my family and I can have a great time on the water. During my father’s recent visit, he voiced that he was thinking of getting rid of his boat because it had been in storage and he had not been using it. So after much thought and family debate we decided to get it. That was a bit of a head ache of its own. Because of the size of the boat it would be considered a wide load, which requires special insurance and permits, I would have to buy a large trailer and borrow a bigger truck because although mine is good just for around here I would not dare attempt pulling something that large over the mountains.

 So in the end we are getting it shipped here and it will be here the first half of next month. I am so excited J we are going to be on the water this year to see the fireworks and are going to be taking a lot of trips to the islands to take pictures of the wild horses. It will be a great time for family bonding and an opportunity to create unforgettable memories.

 

 This blog is not as emotionally charged as my last, but I needed something a little lighter tonight.

 I hope everyone is having an awesome week!!

 Smile… a mistake made is a chance to learn, and a chance to grow, so smile you never really go backwards if you’re learning something.

A year ago today…

 A year ago today I finished what has been one of the biggest moments of my life. But to understand this we need to step back a little…

 

  I joined what was at the time a small-ish blogging community online, I needed a place to vent, a place to say what I thought, and a place to lose my filter and just be me. After searching the internet I stumbled across a place called www.thoughts.com there I found more than I ever dreamed I would.

 Fast forward just a bit, after a few years of blogging I met someone there, I followed her blog and we spoke often about our different lives. I loved her adventurous spirit. For someone so young and so beautiful she had a heart of gold and she gave a lot of herself to her friends and her family. I found that she had joined the Red Cross and was in South Africa after dropping out of school and giving up her posh life in the UK to do something she believed in. Then after a while she disappeared… time went by and when she returned she had a confession. She told us that she had MS and was getting treatment; she even apologized to us for not telling anyone and not being honest. She said she just wanted to be herself and not the girl with MS like she was in her close circle of family and friends. Then I found out that her symptoms were getting bad fast, it was what the doctor told her that made her leave school and want to help people. She was told that in a few years it was likely that she would lose a good bit of motor function and would need assistance.

 My heart was broken for her, but I just tried to be the friend I always had, the times zone difference was tough but we spent many times chatting and just talking telling stories about our family and I was learning about MS and the struggles of people in Africa.

 Then she was gone… A brain tumor… and just like that one of the brightest lights I had met in the world was gone. Many of us in the ever growing blogging community were dumbfounded… our hearts heavy… changing avatars to white roses to remember our friend. I wanted to do something… I did not know what but I wanted to do something… then it hit me… I emailed the people at thoughts and asked permission to fundraise… Me just a fat factory worker… I was going to ride my bike in the local MS bike ride… it was an MS150 but that was not enough they had a 25 mile loop challenge each day so that you could ride 100 miles each day… to many people with MS cannot even walk on their own I could force myself to ride. We raised a lot of money and cried many tears… but I did it for her… I could do nothing different. I received a heartfelt email from her sister the night before my ride… I printed it and when I faltered… and I did do just that I would read it… and with misty eyes keep going.

 

 Time goes on and things change people… I blogged about my experience I talked about doing more… doing anything. And it was the following year I found out that people were truly reading and it was really having an effect on people’s lives. A blogger whom I became very close to was with me in heart and soul during all of this… forever know to most as Bootlady she decided to write an essay about me and my adventures. I won’t share that here for me it is a bit personal… maybe I would with her permission but with that essay she won me the right to go to the Thoughts.com official launch party… that trip I think was another stepping stone to really changing the course of my life. I met so many great people and I was truly over whelmed by the response to my bike ride and to the support. The people hugging me with tears in their eyes telling me I was an inspiration. Me? Just an overweight factory worker… not Lance Armstrong… not some super star… just some average guy who decided in 2007 to start blogging. Who would have ever guessed a blog could change your life.

 

 So there I sit at the launch party surrounded by people feeling overwhelmed with emotion riding the high one gets from moments like this I look over at one of the guys there and say, “ You know what… I want to do something more… Next year I will ride my bike from my home to the thoughts office… for MS and for thoughts… for all the love that you guys have shown all the money that has been donated and time I will do that!”  He (at the time I had no idea who I was really talking to) said “oh yeah? If you do it I will ride with you.” That moment changed my life forever…

Here in the man that helped me make it all real… I will never forget what you helped me do brother…

 That was the seed that started the friendship… Viktor is my brother now… we have been through a lot together.

  That night was the birth of the One Love Bike Ride… 756 miles in 7 and a half days… from New Bern, NC to Winter Garden, FL. And exactly one year ago today this was our last day; this was the day we finished this epic journey. I know people have ridden across country and people have done much more… and I am not taking anything away from them. But I am just a factory worker who is 5’8 and over 250lbs I did not use bicycle shorts… no extra padding… just me and the bike. But it’s not about me… it’s about the millions of people in this world with MS the people who cannot hold a glass of water or hug their loved ones… the people who cannot lift their head and say I Love you… this was for them. I met so many amazing people… pushed my limit so many times I don’t even know if I have a limit anymore.

  This trip forever changed me and my family… my kids know that nothing is impossible if you believe and hold others needs above your own… this know that love and passion make this life worth living not money and stuff. This, for me, is a bitter sweet day for one year ago I finish a journey of a life time… and today I sit here and I am able to write about it and I cannot help but wonder…. What’s next…?

 

   Smile… when you do the love in your soul is able to come out and touch everyone around you and that is beautiful.

  P.S.  When the doctor tells you that you can’t I would never tell you that you should not listen to him… but my body told me I could… and I did, even slightly broken.

 

Motivation…

 Today was a tough day to get motivated with so many around me lying around relaxing… sleeping

.

 

 

 But it’s time to go shopping for the week, plan my meals and donate some clothes that I just don’t use anymore. Getting ready for my week and starting it out right!

*raises coffee mug* here is to the rest of the day and to me getting motivated…

 

 

   Oh and tonight dinner will be pork chops… pierogies… veggies yummm maybe I will post a picture later.

 

 Smile… sometimes being lazy is a good thing as long it’s just a quick recharge and not a permanent state of mind.

Tonight it is a bit late to blog but I was thinking about it while I cooked my dinner so I took some pictures to walk you through my dinner time project lol…

 Before we get to that lets talk about today’s activities. Today the plan was to wake up extra early and head to work and get a few things done, come home and get my daughter and take her to the farmers market to work with a friend of mine who owns a cupcake shop and makes the most awesome cup cakes in the world!!! I will have a link to her web page and facebook at the end of the blog so you can check it all out.

 But like most plans things did not go as expected. I woke up a bit later than I liked and did not get to work in the AM then as I got my daughter to the market I forgot today was a special day down town and they were packed! My daughter was draggin butt a little from being up to late and asked me to get her a coffee and I had to go pick up my new glasses and sunglasses anyway so I decided to do that.

 Getting back to the market I see she is almost out of change and the market is still slammed. So between Niki (the cupcake guru) and myself we get her change and help her out… Niki goes back to her shop to slave away making more edible artwork and I spend the afternoon helping the ladies out making sure my daughter stays supplied with cupcake for the market. Everyone was on their toes and it was a great day at the market. My daughter got her feet wet and really did a great job, Niki wants her back and she wants to keep doing it. Watching those two together is like watching sisters who get along.

 Unfortunately my new sunglasses seemed to have a learning curve because my head started to pound, and after talking to Niki and finding out she had a head ach too I ventured out for iced coffee and Tylenol. Wrapping up our day we looked at her space in her shop and talked about the next cabinet that will be built… I just love a project and I think she loved my ideas and we are going to start drawing it up and get it ready to go on her wall. That will make a great project blog and we will get it posted after it is finished.

 Now I still had a bunch of stuff to get done at work so I went in for what I thought would be 2 hours that turned into 6… it made for a very long day and then I realized something. My hands were kinda shaky and I thought for a moment and realized I had been so busy today all I had eaten was a bagel at about 9 that morning and here is was 8:45 I want to lose weight but that is not the way to do. So as I sit at me desk and think about what food I have at home that I can throw together I put a game plan in my head.

 Knowing I have left over chicken, tomatoes and an onion in my fridge I hit the store and buy clam sauce, green peppers, Hungarian wax peppers, and linguine. Thinking I would do a great quick pasta with a nice easy sauce.

 So as I get home to my surprise (sarcasm) I find no one else has eaten either… oh how that is so another blog lol.

 I cut up the onion and green pepper put them in a pan with a little olive oil…

 

 As they cook I then cut up the Hungarian wax pepper… this is a pepper I love because it adds a light amount of heat to a dish without being over powering… and besides anything Hungarian is awesome (points to himself and Niki). I add them to the mix and let them simmer as I add diced garlic and a bit more olive oil.

 

 Now with the peppers and onion cooking with the garlic and onion and my stomach starts to digest itself due to the smell lol I dice up 3 tomatoes and get them ready. I same them for last as really I love the taste of tomatoes and I don’t want the mushy like a sauce but a bit more crisp with more form…

 

Toss in the already cooked chicken that has been separated from the bone and pulled into bite size pieces…

 

  Now I add the clam sauce and a touch of pesto… a few dashes of lemon juice and with the noodles finished…

 

   Oh it’s time to eat… this is a quick meal that turned out so good… and is a great way to use up left over chicken. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did eating it… the only thing I think I would add next time is some fresh mushrooms that would have been great!!

  Smile… some days are longer than others… but if you go to bed with a full belly how bad could it really have been?

 The wild Cupcake Facebook link click here Don’t forget to like it!!!

 The Wild Cupcake blog click here

 

 On a side note I went to my old blog page and I had a friend I made there visit me not long ago… I was mentioned in one of his blogs and it truely flattered me. Check that out here sometimes we wonder if the people we read about truely are how they seem and at least when it comes to me maybe he can answer that for you…

Kids…

  My kids are growing up… that is a realization that all parents come to at some point in their lives. We always know this deep inside and know that they will not be at home forever, but they are growing up. I look around me at my family and I see people who have lived with their mom or dad a lot longer than most people ever should. I think they become dependent on them to take care of them they get to comfortable with their safety net to ever want to leave. Almost, if you will, like a person who has been in jail for years, and they get out and do not know how to adjust, so they in turn do something stupid and just end up right back in so they don’t have to deal with real life.

 

  My kids? I do not think I am going to have that problem… I think my children are going to be much more like I was… to head strong to know how good I have it… to bullish to think that I just might not have it all figured out… and without enough life experience to care. So like me I think once they get the first chance they will jump from the next extend their wings and jump! I wish two things for them… one; I hope they are scared shitless the whole way down so they are a bit more careful and a bit more cautious. Two, I hope they are able to pull up right before they hit the ground. Then soar then as far and as safe as their hearts will allow.

 

  My son is for the most part a good kid, he thinks a bit more clearly than most people I have met, but his issue is his heart. He does not know what to do with those feelings… he is a man through in though and gets angry and just shuts down… to then later think things through a little and even when he sees clear to what your trying to show him and even if he agrees with what you’re saying lol it is hard to get it out of him. He is going to be 17 this summer, and that scares the hell out of me. He wants to go into the military next year when he graduates and I am honestly not scared of that. I mean with all the home invasions and killing we have going on now hell if he goes over seas at least he will be trained and have a gun on him. What scares me is when he is gone… I am really going to miss him. We have the same sense of humor and think a lot alike. I have so many projects that I want us to do but there is always work and money… and money… and money. But he is for the most part a great kid, very stubborn, very full of himself, still needs a bit of work on how to treat people, but he has a good head on his shoulders.

 

  My daughter… boy oh boy where do I start… 14 going on 34 with the disciple of a 5 year old lol hates to clean… hates dishes… hates needles… loves everything living. With all her stubbornness and her need to debate every word that comes out of your mouth, she tends to be a relatively kind hearted person, which makes very off color joke all the time that she “claims” is just her morbid twisted sense of humor.  Because I know her heart to be much more deep and tender there is more to it. She requires more attention than my son… but being a girl I would expect nothing less. But I think once she gets out into the world and sees life for what it really is and finally gets a hold of it, I think whoever is in her way should watch out. Where my son would just use skill and logic to overcome with a cool head… my daughter will close her eyes and rush in with her heart, mind, body, and soul. And to hell with anyone who says no to her. She will fight to get her way until the last scrap of fight is left in her. Or until she beats them into submission. She is very smart though and when she applies herself she can truly do anything. She is great at sports, music, English, and math (when she really tries); I think she will be hard pressed to find anything she will not be able to do, as long as she can focus and not get in the way of herself. Once my son leaves the house it is just going to be her left… and she is already talking about wanting to leave the state because as she puts it “everyone and everything here sucks” I have tried to get through to here that she is incorrect… that “everyone and everything everywhere sucks” because no place is really much different than any other, and you have to learn to work through some things and not just run and hope to start fresh because things are not so great… you would be running forever. She does not get it… maybe that is a lesson  I can teach her before she goes… and like many others maybe that is a lesson she will learn in her 30’s and sit back and say to herself (never to me) holy crap dad was right. But either way I’ll try and I know she will remember because she is a very smart kid.

 

Kids are the most important thing you will ever do in this world, they will break your heart and they will make you feel like crap. But sticking with it, and know that no one thing is correct or incorrect each child and parent is different the most important things are love and understanding. Remember what is was like at their age… remember how stifled you felt and how much life sucked… and also remember how many time you wanted to hug your mom or dad’s neck and tell them how sorry you were but could never bring yourself to do it. And then look at your child and see that in their eyes and just love them… because in the end it’s going to be fine all this is, is them growing more as a child and you growing more as an adult.

 

 

  Smile… you always want to them to remember your smile… not your frown.