Old guys tell the coolest stories

16 08 2008

Remember the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan? My godfather was among the boys who stormed the beaches of Normandy. Later he was wounded, sent to Germany, and awarded the purple heart. I have that medal. Over the years, i’ve been given other bits of treasure … and it’s the greatest gift a man could offer, and hope to share: his legacy.

Today my godfather, Mike Pizza (really), will celebrate his 90th birthday. I dedicate this blog post to him, and use it to share with you one of his treasures: a speech he gave a long, long time ago as he traveled to his Masonic brothers. Enjoy.

Read the rest of this entry »





And he took his kids mudding

11 07 2008

I don’t think “mud” is a verb in the north. But for my husband and others in the south, it most definitely is.

So it should be with no surprise that on our recent trip to Durham, NC, Conrad was *pleased* to hear that the person who bought his jeep took his kids “mudding” … oh, and gave it more lift, because if you’re going to take a car mudding, lift is important. The real sentence I just heard from Conrad was, “He put 6 inches on it with 33s underneath.” Um .. yeah. This from the man the northerner married.

For the record, it’s a Jeep Cherokee .. and this guy’s wife drives it most of the time. She must be cool.

If you don’t know, this is mudding. And if this were Conrad’s car he’d be giddy with excitement.





Smiley .. it’s just who I am

30 06 2008

When I was living in Singapore, I earned the nickname “Smiley.” Yeah, so much for the austere, mature business persona I was trying to convey.

Well, I am just learning that I was born to be smiley. Thanks to Melissa who forwarded me The Birthday Calculator … which fostered this result:

  • Lucky number: 9 (ok I guess)
  • Birth sign: Leo (true)
  • Fortune: “Make two grins grow where there was only a grouch before.”
  • Plant: Raspberry (weird, that’s my favorite berry … and I didn’t know you could have a plant as part of your horoscope)
  • Native American Horosope sign: Salmon (hey, I love Salmon!)
  • My birth tree is a Poplar — and it has qualities that sound strangely like I feel at times.
  • When I was born, the moon was in this phase: waxing gibbous (no idea what that means, but it sounds cool… yep, I think that will be my facebook status message today)

Seriously: Make two grins grow where there was only a grouch before.

I love it.

Had to share :-)





May your troubles be less, your blessings be more

1 05 2008

And nothing but happiness come through your door.

… I do love that Irish blessing. And I love the forward I got from my good friend Griffin. Enough to share … I hope to weave some of these into my life…

39 Life Tips (because I took out #40, “Send this to everyone you know” – blech.)

1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.

2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Buy a lock if you have to.

3. Buy a DVR and tape your late night shows and get more sleep .

4. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, ‘My purpose is to __________ today.’

5. Live with the 3 E’s — Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy .

6. Play more games and read more books than you did in 2007.

7. Make time to practice meditation, yoga, tai chi, and prayer . They provide us with daily fuel for our busy lives.

8. Spend time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6.

9. Dream more while you are awake.

10. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.

11. Drink green tea and plenty of water.. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli, almonds & walnuts.

12. Try to make at least three people smile each day.

13. Clear clutter from your house, your car, your desk and let new and flowing energy into your life.

14. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

15. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn . Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.

16 . Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.

17. Smile and laugh more . It will keep the energy vampires away.

18. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

20. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

21. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

22. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.

23. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

24. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

25. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: ‘In five years, will this matter?’

26. Forgive everyone for everything.

27. What other people think of you is none of your business.

28. GOD heals almost everything.

29. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

30. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

31. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

32. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

33 . The best is yet to come.

34. No matter how you feel , get up, dress up and show up.

35. Do the right thing!

36. Call your family often. (Or email them to death!!!) Hey I’m thinkn of ya! =)

37. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: I am thankful for __________. Today I accomplished _________.

38. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

39. Enjoy the ride. Remember this is not Disney World and you certainly don’t want a fast pass. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy the ride.





It’s a rain day!

19 03 2008

… which apparently to NYers who work in 11 Madison means, just stay home!

But I donned the wellies, grabbed (I think our smallest, cheapest umbrella) and headed out into the mist. Now I have the whole 18th floor to myself. I may have to do laps or at least start singing :-)





Trashy TV … a learning opportunity?

18 03 2008

Ok … not that I’m going to admit to recently watching The Real Housewives of NYC, but if my friend watched the show, and if she learned a new word, and it was a good one, would that be all wrong?

Word: “like, a total Polyglot

Context: Rich NYC housewife on why it’s important her NYC kids have a French nanny and learn to speak a second language. “… because they will be traveling around the world, and like, even their home country, is, like, a total polyglot.”

Me: I’m sorry, what!? Is that even a word? Oh, snap. It is. And it’s a good one. Wow.
Me <– I mean, my “friend” <– surprised and sheepish





Welcome Shatz n friends

18 03 2008

Kevin and Jerusha are about to start blogging (oh, and they’re having twins … so they should have plenty of time for it). Congrats you two, can’t wait to hear / see all about the new journey.

Much love!

- B & C








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