Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Apples don't fall far from the tree, thank you Mom...................

I do not know how many years ago my mother started a tradition and has been carried on faithfully by my father since her death 13 years ago. Everyone has an apple on the Christmas tree, with their name. Over the years since we were young it has grown to include spouses, grandchildren, grandchildren spouses & great grandchildren. All were in attendance Christmas Eve, as our family grows the tree is almost all red with a couple of green branches showing: Mom, Dad, Patrick, Carol, Andrew, Jill, Luke, Robin, Tom, Tina, Chip,Carolina, Will, Abby, Ross, Hudson, Cole, Dino, Tina, Gabby, Bella, Doni, Dani. Thank you to everyone for making Christmas Eve Breakfast an evening to once again to remember. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

I will help you move your home, but I will not help you move..............

"I will help you move your home, but I will not help you move"
Jeffrey Barrett

Some tips found  VALET, How to move without stress: 

Using garbage bags or dumpster diving for boxes at the grocery store? That might've helped you move out of the dorms, but you're supposed to be a grownup now. It's time to invest in some professional help when it comes to packing up your life and hauling it across the country (or even across town). They'll save you a lot of time and stress. After all, moving is such a bitch.
Stay Offline
Looking for movers? Ask trusted neighbors or real-estate brokers for recommendations. Many "victims" of shady movers say they found their haulers on the internet (Editor's note: That's not to say the Web isn't a trustworthy place).
Speak Up
Look for companies that offer flat rates up front. And make sure to tell potential movers about any challenges they may face (either at your current location or new home): sleeper sofas, parking problems, multiple flights of stairs, etc. That way you can ask for any possible charges that may arise. Be sure to have them disclose the cost of common cost inflators like gas or packing materials (bubble wrap or boxes).
Be a Label Whore
Grab a pack of color stickers and designate a color for each room. Tag each box before it leaves and when you get to your new place, put the matching sticker in the doorway of the corresponding room. The movers will instantly know where each box goes. Color coding labels, $6 at Staples.
Make Friends
Sure, you're the boss, but it's always smart to be nice to the guys carrying your hi-def flat screen TV too. Introduce yourself and ask if you can get the crew anything to drink (or maybe call in a pizza for lunch). Then make sure to get the names and cell phone numbers of the crew delivering your stuff. A little personal responsibility should make them a bit more careful with your possessions.
Stash Your Style
Pack your favorite clothes (the ten-percent of your closet that always gets worn), along with underwear and socks in a suitcase. You'll easily be able to spot your suitcase, but you could be fishing in boxes for your favorite cardigan for weeks. 
"Estimate, binding"
An agreement made in advance with your mover on the total cost of the move. It guarantees the price based upon the quantities and services discussed. If the agreement is "non-binding," then the final price could vary drastically.
, with five warehouses across the country, can ship your moving supplies next-day and offers the most affordable boxes and kits on the Web. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Discrimination ending against men & not soon enough.....

Sister Robin sent me this article "The New World of Men's Shoes" via The Wall Street Journal. Over the years I have been upset when I walk into a store shopping for shoes and the general outcome is the same: Men's shoes consist of approximatley15% of the inventory. Not a large selection.

"One can trace the shoe boom to a growing interest in menswear driven, in large part, by blogs and their endless streams of street-style photographs. As dress codes have relaxed and been reshaped (Mr. Jennings pointed out that shorter pant hems have shone more of a spotlight on shoes), men have started to use footwear to express their personal style. "You can see trends from all over the world—cool guys in Austin and Paris and Tokyo," said Los Angeles-based designer George Esquivel, 43, who began his career making shoes for members of Pearl Jam and Nine Inch Nails, and is now known for creating inventive custom shoes for fashion-forward clients like New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler. "Men start getting tired of black and brown and very basic things," Mr. Esquivel added."

The next big effort for men is to keep the shoes clean and polished. Click here to check Kurt's Cultural Offering post out about how polishing shoes is therapy.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Monday, December 9, 2013

On Nancy with the laughing face.......................

This entire post stolen from CNN.com, written by Bexley, Ohio born Journalist Bob Greene, Jr. and sent to me by Sister Tina:
(CNN) -- Attention, holiday shoppers: Put away your wallets and credit cards.
If you're looking for a gift that will please someone close to you, there's one that won't cost you a cent, and that you won't find on any store shelf.

This thought occurred the other day when, on a visit to the west coast of Florida, I was walking through a crowded outdoor mall and the familiar voice of Frank Sinatra wafted out of the loudspeaker system:

"If I don't see her each day I miss her. . . ." I recognized the song immediately. "Believe me, I've got a case, "On Nancy, with the laughing face. . . ." It's one of the songs Sinatra cherished most. And what does that have to do with the most meaningful present you can give to a loved one this holiday season?

There's a story behind the song: a story with a lesson. In the early 1940s, when Sinatra was a relatively young man, he and his wife were having a birthday party for their firstborn child, Nancy. Among the invited guests were two good friends of Sinatra: the wonderful musical composer Jimmy Van Heusen, and the brilliant comedic actor Phil Silvers.Van Heusen and Silvers wanted to bring a gift. But what could they purchase that Sinatra himself could not provide for his daughter?

What the two men did was revise a song they'd been working on. Van Heusen had written the melody; Silvers was the writer of the lyrics. (He would go on to immense fame in the 1950s playing Army Sgt. Ernest Bilko on CBS television, but his talents extended to many fields.) Their song, in an early version, had featured the words "Bessie, with the laughing face," referring to the wife of a colleague. Now they worked some more on it, and fashioned the lyrics for Sinatra's young daughter.
They played and sang it at the birthday party. Sinatra adored it; by some accounts, he was so moved by the gesture from his friends that he began to cry. Talk about a gift for the man who has everything: What are you going to give to Frank Sinatra that he will remember? A tie? A car? A bottle of liquor? He needed nothing.
But that song, and the effort his two friends had put into it, touched him so deeply that, until his dying day, it signified something achingly personal to him.

And now it's the holiday season. We've all read about the mobs of people at door-buster sales, the fights in the aisles of stores. Yet there is a way that each of us, if we are willing to invest the hours, can come up with a gift that will mean more than any flat-screen television or video game. If you're good with words, write the best and longest letter you've ever written to a family member who maybe doesn't know just what he or she means to you. That letter will be kept, and treasured, long after gifts bought in a store have worn out or been thrown away. If you're artistic, paint a picture with a special significance that the person you love will understand. If you're the organized type, gather family photos from over the years, select them carefully, and put them together in an album that will mean everything to the person who receives it. If you're musical ... well, do for the person you care about what Phil Silvers and Jimmy Van Heusen did for Frank Sinatra and his family.

Will the effort be time-consuming? Yes, and that's the point. It will certainly be time better spent than standing in line for hours before some big-box store opens its doors for midnight bargains.
Because I'd heard about the Sinatra story for so many years, I called his younger daughter Tina the other afternoon to ask her about its veracity -- and its meaning to her family. "All of it is true," she said.
She said that her dad, Silvers and Van Heusen were dear buddies who loved to spend time together: "There would be New Year's Eve parties where they'd set up a stage, and play charades games. Everyone had to participate. They just liked being around each other."

When the two men presented the song at the birthday party, she said, "It was done out of pure friendship." Her father and her mother -- whose name was also Nancy -- couldn't have been more moved by the personal nature of the gift. Tina had not yet been born, but the reason she is certain of this, she said, is that her dad talked about it, from time to time, for the rest of his life. And for him, the song -- and the memories of his friends who wrote it -- never diminished in emotional power. She recalled one time in Paris when her dad was in a brittle mood over some things that were going on in his life. He was angry and irritable; at a concert, as he worked his way through his song list, his agitation was evident to everyone who knew him.
But then he got to "Nancy (with the Laughing Face)".

"His entire physicality changed," Tina said. 'He relaxed. He calmed down. The gentleness of the song, and the meaning of the story behind it, did that to him. You could see it. He went from being tense and on edge to being like an at-ease sergeant." The gift from his buddies did that for him, all those years later.

The best gifts are like that. Here's hoping you'll find the right one.