Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Alright, it's not really a manger scene, and he's definitely not Jesus..... but I sure have caught a small glimpse of the love and joy that comes with this time of the year.  As my newborn grandson, Samuel Paul, lies in my daughter's arms surrounded by his family, I can't help but think of the love that God had for His son when he sent him to earth those many years ago.....
Think of the love He must have for us, KNOWING that His only son was going to die a cruel death on our behalf, saving us from eternal damnation.
I trust as you scramble through the parties, Christmas programs and shopping this year, you are able to take some time to share with family and reflect on that ultimate gift.  Jesus, born for us, died for us, and now waiting to greet us face to face.
Have an incredible Christmas season!  I'm believing that 2012 will be the best year you've ever had!  If I can help you in any way, please let me know.
God bless. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Another Reason I Don't Hunt

In light of the rising frequency of human/grizzly bear conflicts, the Montana Dept of Fish and Game is advising hikers, hunters and fishermen to take precautions and keep alert for bears while in the field.
They advised that outdoorsmen should wear noisy little bells on their clothing so as not to startle bears that aren't expecting them. They also advise outdoorsmen to carry pepper spray with them in case of an encounter with a bear.
It is also a good idea to watch out for fresh signs of bear activity. Outdoorsmen should recognize the difference between Black bear and Grizzly bear droppings. Black bear droppings are smaller and contain lots of berry seed and squirrel fur. Grizzly bear droppings have little bells in them and smell like pepper.....

Need I say more. I hope you don't need to hunt down your Turkey for Thanksgiving dinner this week.  Sometimes this holiday gets overlooked by the Chrstmas shopping pressures already bombarding us.  Don't let it happen to you.  Make sure you take some time to reflect on all the blessings God has provided for you this year.  Use this weekend to enjoy and love your family and friends.  Don't take ANYTHING for granted in your life.  Be appreciative and thankful every day and you won't believe how it can adjust your attitude about life.

Happy Thanksgiving and God bless from Terry and Dan.

Friday, November 18, 2011

I Guess Three Feet Is Enough......

I've never done this before..... I've never cared for a pet from birth to death.  Never had a pet that I loved hard and long enough to call family.  Never had a pet that wormed it's way into my heart and brought such joy, fun and laughter..... until Honey Bear.  Somehow his birth certificate read "Sweet Honey Bear II".  But we knew him as "Honey Bear".  (The "Bear" part I added, after I refused to let my daughter name a male dog just "Honey".)

I've never had to bury a pet before.  I don't know, two feet deep?  Surely not 4-5.... I guess three is enough.  I know I have to do this.  No way am I leaving him with the vet to "dispose of".  This guy deserves a prominent place in our backyard.  A place we can remember him each time we go back there.

Each time we see that spot we can enjoy a when he was a baby and we were watching him eat to the bottom of his dish, his hind legs coming off the ground as he strained for those last few bites.  Or the times he would get so excited to ride in the car or take a walk on "the trail", knowing this time he was finally going to catch that biker.  Or when we watched our friends enjoy seeing his frenzied excitement as he was told it was time for his "walk".  The spinning and barking from an otherwise mild mannered dog was a real treat.

I guess what I'll miss most of all are the quiet evenings of snuggling up beside me, or sleeping in my lap as I read the paper or watched television.  I'll miss the head popping up at the front window as I pull up the drive, waiting for the garage door to rise.  I won't have anybody run to the door as I come in, saying "Alright, Terry's home!  I've been waiting all day for you!"  (No, my wife doesn't do that... does yours?)

Yes, three feet is enough.  As I gently lay my best friend to rest, his full eight pounds seems just a little bit heavier this morning.  I guess it's okay to cry.  After all, our vet did......

Today I've lost one of the most loyal, loving and obedient friends I've ever had.  You are loved Honey Bear, and will be sorely missed and never forgotten.  Rest in peace Big Guy.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Church Gossip

Mildred, the church gossiper and self-appointed monitor of the church's morals, kept sticking her nose into other people's business. Several members did not approve of her extra curricular activities, but feared her enough to maintain their silence.  She made a mistake, however, when she accused Henry, a new member, of being an alcoholic.  She saw his old pickup parked in front of the town's only bar one afternoon.  (It had broken down and he was looking for a tow truck).

She emphatically told Henry and several others that everyone seeing it there would know what he was doing.  Henry, a man of few words, stared at her for a moment and just turned and walked away.  He didn't explain, defend, or deny.  He said nothing.  Later that evening, Henry quietly parked his pickup in front of Mildred's house..... walked home.... and left it there all night.

You gotta love Henry!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A One Inch Nose Hair!

Okay, it wasn't one inch, but it might as well have been.... How do those things grow like that out of nowhere?  I look in the mirror in the morning and all is well, and later in the day here's one single nose hair shooting out of my right nostril, apparently trying to become the start of an unwanted mustache.

Once I hit 50, it's like all of the sudden my nose hairs can't stand the dark.  They're all competing to be the first ones out.  You know what I'm talking about...... You sit across from a guy at lunch who never trims his nose.  You wonder if he's aware of it and doesn't care, or if he's oblivious to that bouquet.  You try to keep eye contact, but find yourself glancing down about two inches.  You just KNOW you saw it move, but weren't sure.

I don't understand it.  You can do your best to trim them up before you go out for the evening, and somehow one "strong-willed" hair waits to pop out as soon as you begin meeting your friends.  I figure I have two options -- use a finger and try to stuff it back up my nose until later where I can deal with it in private, or get a good grip and pull.  (Note: if you don't want to appear to be "sensitive", don't use second option.)

I thought maybe a long-term answer was to try and pour wax up my nose while standing on my head.  Don't try it.... it only leaves you gasping for breath and swallowing hot wax....

Okay, I'm done with my rant.  This over 50 thing is NOT what it's cracked up to be..... Hey, is that a new hair on my ear?!?!?!? 


Monday, October 31, 2011

Turning Tough Times Into Triumph

I had a chance to read a great book called Bounce - The Art of Turning Tough Times Into Triumph. If you're like me, facing the economic crunch and issues of the day, you can probably relate to the challenge of triumphing over tough times.
Let me highlight a few passages in the book to give you some food for thought --

"It's often during life's most difficult times that we discover our most critical hidden strengths and that we forge our most important capabilities."
So, I guess we need to look at the silverlining during our tough times, huh? It allows our strengths and capabilities to surface. If we didn't go through these times, we may never know we had them. Apparently tough times are good for us......

"The significant problems we are facing cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."- Albert Einstein
So, I guess we need to "think outside the box". We might have to get creative to solve some of these issues. Who knows, we might create an entirely "new world" or paradigm that takes us to a new level.

"Hold hands in traffic"
People naturally want to blame someone other than themselves in times of crisis. This phrase serves to remind us that it is in difficult times that we most need one another and most need to stick together. We have to remember that we're in control of how we respond to a situation. We shouldn't blame outside forces. We need to focus on attacking our problems and not one another.

"It takes pressure to get people out of their comfort zone to change. Any meaningful change is painful, which causes people to naturally start to feel anxious"
The book relayed that the key to anxiety is focusing on the correct anxiety. There are two types of anxiety -- one is caused by the fear of change, while the other is the fear of what will happen to you if you don't change.

Just some food for thought...... I hope you triumph over your tough times, if that's where you are right now. I know that's my goal.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Relatively Speaking.....

Everything truly IS relative, isn't it? If we will use that to our advantage, it can really impact our daily attitudes.
For example, when I have a "nippy" day in Florida this time of year (you know, like 60 degrees) all I have to do is call my dad in Iowa and hear about the frost they're having already.  All of the sudden I feel toasty warm and enjoy the day more.

Or what about the times you have to drive to work in the rain? The traffic is moving slowly and you seem to hit every red light.  How much better do you feel when you pass the guy that is changing a flat tire in that same weather?  Should I go on?

No matter what goes on during our day, week, month or year, I can promise you I can find somebody going through a worse time or situation -- which of course will make you feel a lot better about your circumstances...... Keep that in mind the next time your finances look in shambles, or the car breaks down, or you don't feel like you have any time to yourself, etc.....

One last thought to make my point --
Tomorrow go to the pharmacy and purchase a rectal thermometer made by Johnson & Johnson. Take out the literature from the box and read it carefully. I've been told you will notice in small print that there is a statement: "Every rectal thermometer made by Johnson & Johnson has been personally tested and then sanitized."

Now repeat after me, Thank God I don't work in the thermometer quality control department for Johnson & Johnson.

Glad we could be there for you. Let's look for the best in the day and I'm sure we'll find it.
God bless.