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August 2014
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October 2014

9 posts from September 2014

Say thank-you to Debbie Weil for being transparent about her struggles with depression


Debbie weil
Debbie Weil writes about her struggle with depression.

How familiar are you with depression?  Have you been affect by this debilitating condition?  Have you ever wondered if you might be depressed and are afraid to talk about it with somebody?

This is particularly relevant for retired baby-boomers who lost their work identity and who have empty-nests.  

Debbie Weil writes about her struggles with depression this year.  She's a former newspaper reporter who helped popularize blogging in this country.  She became an icon for blogging and its transition into the broader social media.  

Her struggle was very real and she has recovered.  This post is eye-opening and gives hope to anybody dealing with this.

Instagram can be a gift from God for long distance grandparents


Meet our youngest grandson Miles. We got this photo from our daughter-in-law this morning over Instagram.

We live a distance from our three grandkids.  They are in various developmental stages where they seem to get cuter everyday.

How do we keep up with this?  One way is with the web app Instagram.  It's for photo distribution to people you designate.  It's perfect for grandparents who have kids and grandkids who live miles away in another state or another country.  We have a grandson who lives in St. Louis and two more who live in Bosnia.

As part of our getting out of bed ritual everyday, we check either our iPad or iPhone for new Instagram pictures.  And during the day, we can be seen sharing the phone back and forth when a new picture is sent.  These photos produce smiles and connection and we love it.

One year ago today, we were drinking coffee at Starbucks in Vienna with our daughter, grandson and granddaughter

Three of the women in my life pose for a picture at a Starbucks a year ago today in Vienna, Austria.
My oldest grandson shows his exuberance a year ago at a Starbucks in Vienna, Austria.
My beautiful daughter and my beautiful granddaughter pose for a quick picture at a Starbucks in Vienna, Austria

QUESTION: Are you watching the Braverman family on Parenthood tonight?

Television's Braverman family have dinner together. Their last season starts tonight.


Are you watching the Braverman's on Parenthood with its first episode of the season tonight will billboard a functional family that struggles with elements of dysfunction.

I'm most intrigued by the family patriarch, Zeke Braverman, and the role that he plays in setting the tone for the family that seems to stick together through thick and thin.

Check out these 10 reasons that you might wish to be a Braverman.

LINK: Obamacare architect says we should die at 75 years of age


My four-year-old grandson helps me blow out the candles on my birthday cake for my 68th birthday. Obamacare official says I should be ready to die when he's twelve years-old. 

I just scanned this article about how this Obama loyalist and healthcare expert who helped design the Affordable Care Act feels that 75 should be the age for people to let go of this life and to enter eternity. Otherwise old folks would take up resources that could be used for others.  This reminds me of the old Charleston Heston movie Soylent Green.  

I just turned 68 and don't want to checkout just because I turn 75.  This story in Atlantic magazine deserves serious conversation.

Pray for 12-year-old with Tourette's Syndrome who was on Dr. Phil today


Dr. Phil features Tourette Syndrome
We saw a heart-grinding story today on Dr. Phil about a 12-year-old with Tourette Syndrome

I'm haunted by a 12-year-old girl with Tourette Syndrome who we saw on the Dr. Phil Show today.  I wasn't aware of how merciless this disease can be.  To see this young girl struggle with constant tics where she can't avoid hurting herself was excruciating to watch.


But for her parents and her younger brother, it has to be even harder if not impossible at times.  I will pray for her and I trust others around the country will do the same.

Some links about the program and the disease:

  1. Details on the Dr. Phil website about the show which featured the teenager and one other story about a mom dealing with a child custody challenge.  This includes links to resources.
  2. Tourette Syndrome Association website which does a great job of presenting the disease with its various permutations.
  3. Smart Brain and Health-Advanced Neuro Therapeutics which has therapies to deal with this disease and others.

Got your rakes and air blowers ready for the leaves changing colors in mid-Michigan?


Tree changes color in Lansing
Some Thursday night tree color in my Lansing, Michigan front yard.


The lawn rake and leaf blower standing at attention in my garage are ready for what should be starting shortl--leaves falling from the tree.  In a few days, we will be re-supplying our inventory of leaf bags.

It's part of the fall here in Michigan where a short trip to the supermarket can turn into a visual experience.  And it takes yard work to a whole new level.

How long does it last?  At least until the end of October.  How many leaf bags do you use?  We generally fill twenty or more.

Do you remember the day when your high school diploma was put in your hand?


Receiving my high school diploma on graduation day.
This was a great gift from a high school friend who took this picture of me receiving my high school diploma.


When my high school class was lined up just before our graduation ceremony on the athletic field, our class's counselor came up to me with a grimace on her face.  As she got closer, my thoughts were simple, "Oh crap."  Being a less than stellar student in high school, I thought I was going to be held back.

Well, I wasn't and as this picture shows, they handed my diploma with a smile on their faces.  This all happened 50 years ago at T.L. Handy High School in Bay City, Michigan.  A high school friend, Dick VanNostrand handed me this picture he took at the graduation.  He was a photographer for the local paper, the Bay City Times.

My memories of high school and of my fellow classmates were fuzzy.  I had left the area and had lost touch.  

I was never a scholar or even a good student, but I learned a lot and I continue to learn.  

Should you go to your 50th high school class reunion?

Me and my grandson.
What have I enjoyed most during the past 50 years? Being a husband, dad and grandfather.

Lot of baby-boomers who were born in 1946 are going to their 50th high school class reunion this year.  It's a rite of passage to becoming full-fledged senior citizens who are moving towards being elderly.

Should you go?

Did you stay in your hometown when you got your high school diploma?  Did you stay in contact with your old classmates?  Are you curious about them and their lives?

Today is my 50th and we are going and I'm not sure why.  I lost contact with most high school classmates when I graduated from college and didn't move back home.  I still remember some names and I still have my yearbook.

My high school years were not terrible nor were they great.  I have to admit that they served as a launching pad for me as I moved to the next stages of my life.

What am I expecting tonight?  I hope I can overcome some innate shyness and be comfortable in visiting with people who I haven't seen since I was in my teens.  I'm now 68.  I used to be the photographer for the high school newspaper and I'd walk through the halls with a camera around my neck.  Maybe I'll take the camera I use to shoot pictures of my grandkids and let it hang from my shoulder.  It might be a good crutch to lean on.