Friday Dance Party – Kiss Me Again

It’s time for another edition of Friday Dance Party on Acorns On Glen.  It’s the time where we give thanks for making it through another week and for being alive and present here on Earth.  How do we celebrate another week of living?  We dance.  So, are you alive this Friday?  Are you and your family safe and sound?  Take a few seconds now to be in the moment and realize what a great life you truly have.  Did you give thanks for that?

Good, now let’s dance.

So it is now officially Summer and, to properly bring the new season in, temperatures have soared to 100 degrees.  Needless to say, we have not gone out of the office or house much other than to get the mail or get into one of our air-conditioned cars.  100 degrees is just way too hot!!  Every year, the promise of Summer always makes me think of the same few things.  So from the official start of Summer that occurred on June 20, to the official end of Summer on September 21, here’s what I’ll be concentrating on:

  1. Vacation plans –  I mean, it is a shame not to go someplace and enjoy the warm Summer weather.
  2. How white my legs are – like Foster Farms chicken pieces laid beneath clear plastic wrap in the grocery store, my legs are that same yellowish-white color.  It is embarrassing.  Why is it that I only notice them well into official shorts weather?
  3. Sunglasses – I don’t really wear sunglasses at all, except in Summer.  So the new season always puts me into a panic until I have located my stash of prescription and non-prescription sunglasses.  I’m always scared that I have lost them.
  4. Hamburgers and hot dogs – both of these foods become my favorite when Summer hits.  Nothing like them hot off the grill.
  5. Garden hoses and nozzles – Summer means plant watering and so it is time to drag all our watering equipment out of the shed and install them into spigots in the front and back of the house.
  6. Weight – how I wish I would have stuck to my beginning-of-year diet so that I would be all thin and buff this year when I remove my shirt and jump into the swimming pool.

I also think a lot about what Summer music I will be listening to in the car or around the pool and which of these songs will be the favorite hit of the Summer.  I already know my first Summer song choice for 2012.  It’s from ‘We Are The In Crowd”.  They are an American pop punk band from Poughkeepsie, New York, formed in 2009.  If you are like me, you are saying what is pop punk?  Pop punk is a music genre that combines elements of punk rock with pop music, to varying degrees.  The genre is a strand of alternative rock, which typically merges pop melodies with speedy punk tempos, chord changes and loud guitars.  Think Green Day.  Whatever it is, I’m a fan with ‘Kiss Me Again’.  It’s Summertime!!  Not only have we made it through another week, we’ve made it through another season.  Be happy and celebrate with some pop punk and, if you are really talented, bust out all of your old punk rock moves and astound your family and friends.  In other words, have fun dancing while you watch the horror on other people’s faces who are watching your hot dance moves.  Just don’t get too over-heated…remember, it’s 100 degrees outside.

First Casualty In The Garden…A Murder Mystery

It happens every year.  You plant your garden and know deep down inside of you that there will be some sort of problem that happens before you even harvest your first vegetable.  You get yourself ready for the disappointment.  You think about what will be the type of bug that wipes something out.  If it is not a bug, maybe some sort of critter.  You look at all of your plantings and try to figure out which one will be affected.  You vow to do your best to combat whatever it is that is hurting your garden.  Then it happens.  This year, I’m calling the problem “The Case Of The Murdered Cabbages”.  I swear to you that three hours after planting my cabbage plants, I returned to the garden to find the little plants munched down to almost nothing by some sort of villain.  The problem is that I just couldn’t figure out who the culprit was.

What would do this so quickly and thoroughly?  While I was digging some cabbages up and replacing them with new plants and trimming the little arms of others, it dawned on me.  It was a woodchuck.  Why you ask?  Well, the Notorious B. I. G. (Brooklyn Italian Grandmother) had mentioned that she saw a furry animal running around the back yard a couple of times during the week.  Since raccoons only come out at night, I just knew it was a woodchuck she had seen and the same critter ate my baby cabbages.  Remember, the fence around the back yard keeps the deer out, so my only logical solution had to be that a woodchuck had squeezed under the fence and ate my cabbages.  Always having a flair for the dramatic, I quickly put a two-step plan of action in motion.  First, I would put a small fence around my new raised beds.  Yes, it is a fence within a fence.  I quickly worked to build a small green plastic fence around my two new raised beds and then the new secured garden would have the deer fence around it as well for added protection.  Second, I would call a local hunter that I knew from the area and have him lay a couple of humane traps.  The traps would catch the critter and then we could transport it to a far away wooded area where it could eat dead leaves and weeds.  That’s what a woodchuck eats for dinner…not baby cabbage plants.  The fence was installed….the traps were laid……all was good in cabbage land.

Then it happened again!  Nearly a week later.  When I saw the little nibbled purple cabbage plants, I got weak in my knees.  How could this happen again?  After spending $200 on my make-shift fence and trapping a raccoon, a squirrel and some other type of critter that my friend told me I didn’t want to know about, the cabbage murderer was still stalking the premises.  I felt violated.  I felt angry.  I wanted revenge.

It was off to the nursery for some more cabbage plants.  I had run out of the ones that I grew from seeds under my grow light.  At the nursery, I told my murder mystery story to anyone who would listen.  One of the nursery employees told me that it sounded like a slug infestation.  Slugs?  Those little snail-like creatures without a shell?  Could they do this much damage?  Can they eat this much?  I left with some new cabbage plants and some Sluggo, an organic pellet that kills slugs dead.  I also put out two bowls filled with beer.  Slugs like their booze.  When they reach for the beer, they fall into the suds and then that’s it for them.  They drown, but drown drunk, which is probably the best way to go in my opinion.  So far the Sluggo and beer seem to be working.  My cabbages seem to be growing.

I’ll keep you posted.  Also, if you see the displaced raccoon, squirrel and the unnamed creature that I had transported to another wooded area, let them know I am sorry and I will pick them up and bring them back to Glen Road on Saturday afternoon.  As well, let me know if you have any ideas (other than a slug) on what is eating my cabbage.  Help me solve “The Case Of The Murdered Cabbages”.

A Happy Father’s Day Wish To All The Dads Out There

All of us here at Acorns On Glen want all the Fathers out there to have the absolute best day possible.  This is the first Father’s Day since my Dad passed away and so now, more than ever, I want everyone to realize the importance of calling up your Father and saying “I love you”.  Such simple words to mutter, but so important for your Father to hear.  So here’s to the all the Dads out there.  May each of you understand how important you are in your children’s life and how much you are loved.  Tell us, how are YOU going to celebrate?

Friday Dance Party – Alex Clare’s Too Close

It’s time for another edition of Friday Dance Party on Acorns On Glen.  It’s the time where we give thanks for making it through another week and for being alive and present here on Earth.  How do we celebrate another week of living?  We dance.  So, are you alive this Friday?  Are you and your family safe and sound?  Take a few seconds now to be in the moment and realize what a great life you truly have.  Did you give thanks for that?

Good, now let’s dance.

It’s graduation time everywhere I turn here in Connecticut.  When I was little, families only celebrated when you graduated from high school.  Today, we are going to parties to celebrate graduations from elementary school, junior high school and high school.  I guess the more parties the better, right?  While I like to go to a graduation party, I have always tried my hardest to get out of times where I was invited to go to the actual graduation ceremony.  I find them extremely boring…..really, so boring they are painful.  The truth be told, I find them so boring that I didn’t even attend my own college graduation.  I had the college send me my diploma and instead of going to my own ceremony, I enjoyed a long vacation in New York.  I think I don’t like the ceremony because of the speakers that are there to encourage the youth.  I have always cringed at the speakers that are chosen for graduation ceremonies.  What really can these speakers say to the young ones that is not cliché and something we’ve heard a thousand times.  Unless you can nab Obama or Oprah to speak at your graduation, you should just skip it in my opinion.

I say all this about graduation speakers and their weak speeches and then I kind of do the same thing this week.  Someone at work asked me what advice I would give to a young employee and I said without hesitation one of the oldest pieces of graduation advice ever given:  “never give up”.  Even though it’s true, it is a lame piece of advice.  I’ve been in the working world over 25 years and this is the best I can do?  I guess I understand why I’ve never given a graduation speech.  So my piece of advice, in all its wisdom, is why this week we are listening to Alex Clare’s song ‘Too Close’.  The actual song and the album it was on bombed when it was released in 2011.  Fast forward to now and have the song used on an Internet Explorer commercial and you come back with an instant hit.  Just goes to show you to “never give up” and you can have a hit with whatever it is that you do in life.  I’m a prophet!  So enjoy the song and dance while listening to it.  You made it through another week…you deserve it.

Friday Dance Party – Back Again

I just looked up the last time I posted something here on Acorns On Glen and I can’t believe that it has been close to three months ago.  A year ago, I was posting stories (sometimes almost daily) about my life here in Connecticut and now I am posting nothing.  From cooking and gardening stories to absolutely nothing.  I just haven’t felt like it.  I just haven’t had the energy.  You see, I lost my father on April 12.  You may remember that I briefly wrote about it during the holidays.  The days leading up to his leaving and all these days after have been some of the hardest of my 48 years.  I think I have learned a lot about myself during these days of despair.  I know that I have faith.  I have never really been a religious man.  Don’t get me wrong, I have always believed in a power bigger than me.  I think it’s God, but whatever you want to call it is fine by me.  But the belief that there is someone or something up there for me to talk to as well as someone or someplace up there for my father to go to has been very comforting to me over the last few months.

I have also discovered from the ‘most played’ feature on my iPad, that I have listened to the same group of songs over and over during the last few months.  Songs of inspiration, understanding, hope and faith.  The one I chose for today is the one that I listened to the most.  Sometimes it made me think about myself and sometimes it made me think of my father and his battle against cancer.  I’m just glad I found it.

I think my father left us in Spring so that there would be so much for us to do after he was gone.  We’d get on with our lives in a quick manner because there would be gardens to plant, yards to be mowed and flowers to watch bloom.  He wouldn’t want us to be sad for very long and he would want us to quickly get back to living our lives to the fullest without him, just like we did when he was here.  So guess what?  Like I’ve done for so many Fridays here on Acorns On Glen:

It is time for another edition of Friday Dance Party on Acorns On Glen.  It’s the time where we give thanks for making it through another week and for being alive and present here on Earth.  How do we celebrate another week of living?  We dance.  So, are you alive this Friday?  Are you and your family safe and sound?  Take a few seconds now to be in the moment and realize what a great life you truly have.  Did you give thanks for that?

Good, now let’s dance.

Friday Dance Party – My Whitney Tribute

This is another edition of Friday Dance Party on Acorns On Glen.  It’s the time where we give thanks for making it through another week and for being alive and present here on Earth.  How do we celebrate another week of living?  We dance.  So, are you alive this Friday?  Are you and your family safe and sound?  Take a few seconds now to be in the moment and realize what a great life you truly have.  Did you give thanks for that?

Good, now let’s dance.

As most of you know, Whitney Houston was one of my favorite singing stars ever since I first heard her in my senior year of college.  I can pretty much say without hesitation that I have played her music about every week from the time I discovered her through today.  I wouldn’t feel right if I did not take this opportunity to pay my respects to this wonderful singer.  If my life ever becomes a movie (which I doubt, but let’s just say), Whitney’s music would surely be on the soundtrack.  I remember hearing her in college during my senior year singing ‘The Greatest Love Of All’.  I then traveled to New York City for the first time shortly after and heard her sing it live on Governor’s Island for a celebration of the re-opening of the Statue of Liberty.  There would be four other times I heard her sing live in concert.  I remember begging my friend to dance with me at the clubs to ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’.  That was when I was young and thought going out to a club was a good time.  I remember a big break-up and listening over and over to ‘Where Do Broken Hearts Go’.  Feeling proud to be an American from her ‘Star Spangled Banner’.  You really couldn’t turn on a radio when I was on the West Coast and not hear ‘I Will Always Love You’ during ‘The Bodyguard’ era.  It always makes me smile today when a contestant on ‘American Idol’ tries one of her songs from ‘The Bodyguard’ era and the judges criticize the contestant because no one can sing ‘Bodyguard’ Whitney better than Whitney.  I discovered gospel music after buying the soundtrack from ‘The Preacher’s Wife’ and the song ‘I Believe In You and Me’.  Happy to hear her voice again when ‘I Look To You’ hit the airwaves.

So thank you Whitney for always singing when I needed someone to sing.  In your honor, we dance with you today here on Acorns On Glen.  I hope all of you who are reading this will join us.

Bringing Romance Back To Valentine’s Day

I’m on a mission today.  I want to bring romance back to Valentine’s Day.  Remember when you were young and you watched how Valentine’s Day and LOVE were expressed?  People bought a dozen roses to give to their loved one.  You bought a beautiful card and wrote a lovely note or a little poem in it and signed it with “With Love” in your own hand writing.  Do you remember in grade school when you would decorate a small paper bag with red hearts and paper lace, tape it up on the chalkboard ledge and all of your fellow students would drop little Valentine’s Day cards into it addressed to you?  Remember when couples celebrated with a great meal staring at each other over candles and champagne flutes?

Most people today seem to have lost the skills to be emotionally intimate.  Dating has become less about meeting someone face to face and going on a first date and more about hooking up on an online dating website.  Lovely cards replaced by short texts saying “143” (I Love You–one letter, four letters, three letters).  Romantic dinners replaced by dinners were you arrive late because work was crazy and you have to be home by 10 because there is something on TV you want to watch.

Enough already.  Today I want everyone who has a special someone to tell them ‘I Love You’ by spoken word versus a text.  Bring home some flowers and a hand written card.  Maybe a romantic dinner?  I want people to express their love in a personal and tender fashion.  I want people to show their love in an old-fashioned manner.  I want romance to come back to Valentine’s Day.  Will you help me?

Friday Dance Party – Give Me All Your Luvin’ Madonna

Guess what?  It’s time for another edition of Friday Dance Party on Acorns On Glen.  It’s the time where we give thanks for making it through another week and for being alive and present here on Earth.  How do we celebrate another week of living?  We dance.  So, are you alive this Friday?  Are you and your family safe and sound?  Take a few seconds now to be in the moment and realize what a great life you truly have.  Did you give thanks for that?

Good, now let’s dance.

OK, who watched the Super Bowl?  Maybe it’s easier to ask who didn’t watch the Super Bowl?  Me, like most Americans, watched the game during a Super Bowl party surrounded by pigs in the blanket, sliders, pulled pork, chicken strips and nachos, to name a few of the things that were there to eat.  While I thought only the fourth quarter of the game was exciting and was happy that the New York Giants won, I thought it only right to give big props to Madonna who I thought put on quite a fun and lively half-time show.  Like her or not, you have to admit that at 53 years old, Madge still has it.  At 48, I can’t:

  • Run around and dance for 13 minutes,
  • Round up fifty gladiators to pull my throne and me around,
  • Stretch my leg straight and pull it above my head.  Even if I could, I would need an orthopedic doctor to be present to help re-attach my leg to my hip bone!, and,
  • Keep hip and understand who Nicki Minoj, LMFAO, CeLo Green and M.I.A. are and where they come from.

So I give Madonna an A for her half-time show.  Since it’s Friday, turn up your speakers and enjoy her two ways:  I put her new song at the beginning of my post and her actual Super Bowl performance here.

Pick your poison and dance.  You’ve made it through another week and you deserve to celebrate.  Just don’t let me catch you trying any moves from ‘Vogue’….I’ll have to laugh at you.

Friday Dance Party – Fun. We Are Young Featuring Janelle Monáe.

It’s time for another edition of Friday Dance Party on Acorns On Glen.  It’s the time where we give thanks for making it through another week and for being alive and present here on Earth.  How do we celebrate another week of living?  We dance.  So, are you alive this Friday?  Are you and your family safe and sound?  Take a few seconds now to be in the moment and realize what a great life you truly have.  Did you give thanks for that?

Good, now let’s dance.

January, 2012 has been typical of all the January’s I’ve experienced over the last ten to fifteen years.  We go to a New Year’s Eve party where everyone complains the next day on how it could have been better even though I had a good time.  Within a week or two into the new year, I decide that I am too heavy and I decide to go on a strict diet.  Towards the end of the month, I always buy a self-help book and begin reading it and then decide that I don’t really want to work on being (pick one:  more loving, more caring, more honest with my partner, better able to read my internal body signs, able to pick healthier foods, ten years younger in ten days).  The list goes on and on.  This year the self-help book I’m reading says that a common trick to looking and feeling younger is to act like you are young again.  It says to pick a time in your young life when you were the happiest and act like that for a period of time and you will feel better and look younger.  So I ask, does this make any sense to you and do any of us really want to go back and act like we did when we were young?  I’m not sure I do!  Granted, if I could go back and be 25 or 30 again, but with the knowledge I have now, then maybe I would do it.  However, without my 47 years of wisdom, I’m not a fan of going back to those days.  Even at my youngest and happiest, I still did some really stupid stuff:

  • Relationships – I remember during a break-up, I went and laid behind the back wheels of the person’s car so there was no way the person could leave without either dealing with me or running over me.
  • Work – I made people at work understand that I would most likely be hung over every Monday because there was a bar that I liked that had Sunday night beer blast when bottles of beer were only $1.
  • Finances – I took out cash advances on three credit cards and borrowed money from my parents to buy my first apartment.  Savings at that time totaled $0.

I think you get where I’m coming from.  Acting like this again just isn’t in me these days.  How about I just stick with something I know and think I’m getting really good at –  being 47 and proud of it.  This week’s dance number comes from a group named Fun. with their song ‘We Are Young’ featuring Janelle Monae.  So let’s dance this week and be proud of earning our stripes over the years.  It’s another week down and we’ve made it through.  After we’re done dancing, I’m off to find another $1 Beer Blast.  I think this beer blast from the past should really come back in style, don’t you?

Friday Dance Party – Beyonce’s Countdown

So here’s another edition of Friday Dance Party on Acorns On Glen.  It’s the time where we give thanks for making it through another week and for being alive and present here on Earth.  How do we celebrate another week of living?  We dance.  So, are you alive this Friday?  Are you and your family safe and sound?  Take a few seconds now to be in the moment and realize what a great life you truly have.  Did you give thanks for that?

Good, now let’s dance.

It’s strange what makes the news nowadays.  It seems we hear more and more celebrity drama reported right up there with the European debt crisis, the war in Afghanistan and the Republican primaries.  On a recent newscast I watched, Mitt Romney’s win in New Hampshire was followed by an in-depth story on Katy Perry’s divorce and the reaction it has gotten from her very Christian parents.  Was this newscast for real?  Do people really care?  I guess they do or this type of reporting wouldn’t exist.  Is it that there is so much going on in the world to depress people that any chance to show someone fall down who seems to “have it all” makes the masses a little happier?  Case in point, the birth this week of Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s baby girl, Blue Ivy.  Can you imagine how you would feel if you got your contractions down to a few minutes apart, you rush to the hospital, you deliver your child and at the same time you are creating an international scandal.  Here are some headlines across New York City newspapers this week:

“See The Room Where Beyoncé Gave Birth”

“Beyoncé Gives Birth On Saturday”

“Beyoncé And Jay-Z Welcome Blue Ivy”

“Name Blue IVy Centers On Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s Infatuation With The Number 4″

“What Kind Of Name Is Beyoncé’s Baby Blue Ivy”

(Picture courtesy of 50 Cent on Twitter)

“NYC Hospital Under Scrutiny After Beyoncé Birth”

“Hospital Investigating Beyoncé Birth Allegations”

“NYC Mayor Weighs In On Beyoncé Birth”

“New Mother – I Couldn’t Breast Feed My New Baby Because Of Beyoncé Security”

Enough already.  Just let them enjoy the birth of their daughter.  Yes, I know that people say they make a lot of money and sign up for this type of scrutiny, but really, does this mean intense scrutiny even in the most private of life events like the birth of a child.  I just don’t agree with that theory.  So here’s my headline:

“Beyoncé Gives Birth –  Let’s Dance”

We made it through another week.  Let’s celebrate with “Countdown” by Beyoncé.  Go on, you deserve it.  Get up and dance (just don’t let any paparazzi take your picture).  Don’t even let me see you on the cover of the National Enquirer.