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Monday, May 29, 2023

Navigating The Journey Of Parenthood


Have you ever seen a miracle?

If you are a loving parent then I know you have. I’ve been blessed with three beautiful daughters. I witnessed all three come into this world.

I have a birthday coming up. At this point in my life I must admit the past year has been one of the most difficult for me but at the same time one of the greatest. It’s too personal to tell here in a blog post but if you know me, maybe I’ll share with you what I’m thinking.

I remember brining each baby girl home. So tiny and precious. They were like angels and watching them sleep was like witnessing a miracle. Early mornings in the darkness I would sneak an eye into their bedroom and carefully study them to confirm their breath. I locked the door and went to my job.

Each day getting home from work I would be greeted by cute little smiles and hugs. I am a girl dad. It’s what I always wanted, was to have daughters. Of course if I had a son I would be so proud. Today I wish I did but I’m wouldn’t trade any of my three girls for a son. A son would be a delight too. To mentor and teach how to be a man. A better man than me. I have nephews and it’s been great watching them grow into young men. I try my best when I can to give encouragement and inspiration as an uncle. If I can’t have a son then a nephew is the next best thing.

No matter, girl or boy children are a joy. 

As a parent I’ve made many mistakes and learned valuable lessons. I’m still learning. As a young parent I thought I would be the one teaching them everything. I was so wrong. My children have taught me so much about myself and I will be learning more I’m sure as life for me continues. 

The mistakes I’ve made as a parent, I’ve apologized for. If I could go back I would do things a little differently as a parent. I think it’s possible all loving parents share that sentiment. 

I’ve watched my three daughters grow into incredible young ladies. I’m so proud. I still get on their nerves trying to guide them with advice sometimes they don’t like to hear. My loving convictions won’t let me be silent. Sometimes I have to say things to them because I love them so much.

It’s a great reward as a parent to have your children come to you later in life and tell you that you did a good job.

I’m proud to be a parent. It’s my prayer that they are always well and blessed. If they face difficult times I’ll always be there for them if I’m alive and able.

If you are a parent, I would love to read your comments on this subject. If you want to be a parent, I welcome your comments too. Some things about parenthood I haven’t mentioned here. Please feel free to share.

Finish this listening to this song below 👇 

Calum Scott - You Are The Reason Official Video

The video isn’t that good in my opinion but listen to the words. 

Saturday, May 27, 2023

The Time I Set A Chair On Fire

This is a memory that will stick with me the rest of my life!

The year, 1977 and I remember this time so vividly. I guess because it was such a traumatic event as a young child. I was four years old. One of my favorite things to do next to playing with my toys was watching old reruns of The Carol Burnett Show. I didn’t know they were playing reruns. I just enjoyed watching the comedic skits.

One particular episode I found hilarious was when Tim Conway had a pig nose on and was oinking. I don’t know why I would laugh so hard but I did. My mother would come in the living room and ask why I was laughing so hard. All I could do was point and laugh at the television. I couldn’t talk from laughing.

One day I was watching the comedic-variety show and my mother said it was nap time. I just couldn’t miss the episode so I begged and begged to stay awake. She finally gave in and said I could watch just as long as I stayed really quite. I was told to stay in front of the TV.

My baby sister had just been born not too long previous to that time and it was important to my mother to give her a good nap. I’m sure she was ready for a nap herself because of having a four year old boy and a new born daughter.

I really did enjoy the show.

After the episode was over I became bored. I knew I had to stay in front of the television and was not allowed to leave the living room.

I looked around for something to do but I wasn’t interested in the toy I had at the moment. My parents were smokers at the time and I found myself playing in the ashtray. The ashes and the squished cigarette butts soon lost my interest. I noticed the Bic lighter by the ashtray and promptly picked it up with my small hand, looked around to see if anyone was in the room, and began to flick it.

I wasn’t successful the first few times but I had carefully watched my parents make it work many times before. I knew if they could do it, then so could I.

It seemed so big in my hand and it hurt my little thumb as I rolled the flint wheel. It was almost unbearable. After some strikes, the flame finally held. I was elated! I tried it again and again. I had mastered the art just like my parents. My thumb was begging me to quit.

I gave the old boy a rest while still grasping the lighter in my hand. Looking around the room my eyes rested on an old chair in the corner. The chair was ancient and I knew it because it had an oder like must or mold. It reeked of antiqueness. 

It had fringe lining the bottom of the seat. I saw a single piece of fringe reaching for the floor and seemed to actually call to my four year old ears. “Come to me Robbie, come to me.”

Like a dart I was there, eye to eye with this single little string. Then like an epiphany, I knew I was born to create a single moment of dancing between the lighter I held and the tiny string. I was a match maker!

I carefully lifted the lighter in my hand and with a stroke, the flame appeared. I held the button down hard and silently said fair well to the lonely string. Then I did it! I sent that little fella to it’s eternity.

I never saw something disappear so fast in my whole four years. It was gone! But it wouldn’t go alone. It seemed to want to take a few more friends with it as it flew away.

The other obedient fringe grabbed the little flame and began to pass it one to the next. All I could do was watch the flame spread. What do I do? I have to blow it out!

I sucked in some air and gave it a good blow. The flame just spread even more. Try again! It got worse!

Wind would not do its magic to extinguish the flame. I thought I was a smart four year old boy and quickly searched my mind for what to do. I had it finally. An idea so ingenious that if employed no one would ever know I set the old chair on fire.

It was water! I remember from preschool the firetruck coming and the whole class got to go outside and see. The firemen in their uniforms extended the ladder on the truck to the heavens. I imagined myself climbing to the top.

The heroes showed us the truck and how it worked. How it hooked up to the fire hydrant and pumped the flood to put out fires. I dreamed of being a hero and saving lives.

Well here was my chance.

I ran down the long hall, or it seemed long to me, and skittered across the black and white kitchen tiles to the sink. That’s where the water was. I couldn’t reach the sink to turn it on and then I knew I needed a chair. I ran to the table and with all I had, I pushed a kitchen chair to the sink.

I climbed up on the chair and filled it full of water. I had it! That’s what firemen need to put out a fire and I was on my way to victory.

Running through the swinging kitchen door and down the hallway, I left a trail of water. By the time I got back to the old chair I couldn’t believe my eyes.

The entire ancient throne was engulfed with flames that seemed to laugh at me. Thick smoke covered the ceiling out of view and it rose forever.

I threw the little water I had on the fire. It wasn’t enough. I went back for more. That for sure wasn’t enough. The fire was worse.

So what did this fireman do? I ran back toward the kitchen, through the swinging door and on to the back of the house behind my bed. I was hoping it would just disappear.

Quickly smoke had filled the house and caused my baby sister to cough. Her cough made my mother wake up and she ran to the living room where she saw the old chair on fire.

She was a firewoman! She got a large pitcher and filled it to the brim with water. Making several quick trips, the fire was finally out. She had to open the door and windows to let all the smoke out.

The old chair was no more and left soot from the fire on the wall. I don’t know what happened to the old chair. I think it was probably a good surprise for the garbage man that week.

My mother told me to stay in my bed and to wait for my father to get home. I knew she was so mad she would kill me if she laid hands on me. I wished she would so maybe my father wouldn’t get hold of me. I knew it was coming. I was going to die like the old chair. I was terrified and just cried in my bed until I fell asleep.

Next I knew, my blurry eyes opened to my father saying my name. “Wake up!” There he was in his camouflage outfit. He was in the military and towered over me like a general.

Fear shot through me. I could hear him talking but I couldn’t understand. I was so afraid and I was just thinking how I didn’t want to die. The adrenaline stung my body and my heart pounded. At any moment he was going to grab me by the arm, swing me over like a rag, and give me a spanking I knew would be my last.

He didn’t do that. Probably because I had forgotten all about the beating my mother gave me before I went to sleep. It was shock that hid the memory of my mom’s beating.

He had the lighter in his hand and just raised it up in front of his face. He said “Look at this.” Then he flicked the lighter and I saw the familiar flame. While it burned in his hand he said, “This little fire could have killed you, your mother, and your little sister. Would you want that?”

I said “No.”

I can’t remember what he said to me after that. I just remember it being so threatening I must have buried it in the deep darkness of my little mind. I also remember the relief of him not spanking me.

To this day, just about every time I flick a lighter, that memory flashes through my mind at the speed of light or faster. Almost as fast as that little string disappeared.

#fire #childhood #memories #truestory

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Fishing With Grandma

Thinking of my grandma today. Her name was Wilma. Wilma Ward. That was her married name. My grandfather, Bill misses her badly and right now he is 93 years old. He still drives.

I spent a lot of time with my grandparents when I was a kid. During the 80’s. My mom’s parents.

One memory I have of my grandma when I was young was when we would go fishing together.

She was an incredible lady. She gave me a Bible she owned before she passed on. In the first few blank pages of the Bible she showed me I drew a couple of circles when I was only a few years old. In one circle I drew eyes and a smile.

This was amusing to me. She showed me this when I was an adult. That’s when she gave me her Bible. I was touched by the gesture. She said she liked what I drew. I secretly felt bad I marked in her Bible and apologized for what I did.

The spine of the old sacred Bible is cracked from the years of use and seems brittle. I thought to have it rebound but I think I’ll keep it that way. I store it in a cigar humidor I don’t use anymore. It fits perfectly. I take it out and look at it once in a while.

I was completely spoiled to great fishing as a child on my grandparents farm.

I remember her saying, “Son! Let’s go down to the lake and go fishing.” She said she liked fishing and even if she didn’t get a bite it made her feel better. It calmed her she said. I didn’t understand the depth of what she meant then but now I do.

There’s something primal about the outdoors. It feels right. It’s like it’s hardwired into the human DNA. You know the feeling when it feels right.

There was a worn path to the lake from many trips. She would tell me not to brush up against anything green so we would avoid any ticks. I always came back loaded with ticks no matter how hard I tried. It always ended with a warm bath she made for me afterward. She put one small cap of PineSol in my baths to wash away tons of tiny “seed ticks” that would cover my legs. It seemed to work and I liked the smell of the cleaning solution on my skin.

We would get to the lake and pop open the tackle box.

I call it a lake because it seemed so huge to me as a child. She called it “the lake” too. It actually had an island in the middle of it. While fishing I would daydream of being on that little island. Oh what it would be like! Fishing from the bank there.

When I was four years old my grandparents made the lake. A big man in overalls came with a bulldozer and pushed the earth into shape. I was amazed!

He let me ride on the dozer with him. He gave me hard candy from his pocket. I don’t remember the flavor of candy exactly but I’ll never forget the feeling.

The earth was so red and rocky. How would we get water in there? Grandma said “Rain son.”

I tried to imagine. At first I thought they would stretch the well house hose to the lake and turn it on until it filled.

It wasn’t to long and the lake was full. It couldn’t drink another drop. Before it was full, grandma would walk to the lake to see the waterline after each rain. Once it was full as she like she told my grandpa to order fish. They stocked it full of Crappie, Bass, Blue Gill, Catfish, and Perch. They also put a few Carp in there. They weren’t for eating. They were for the moss they said and they grew to at least three foot long. I heard tales of grandma “snagging” one, and it broke her line like you could snap a spiders web.

There was a small spillway from the edge of the lake. It carved a beautiful little waterfall right into the rock. I played in the tiny spillway sometimes while grandma fished. Sometimes I would see tadpoles, crawfish, and even baby catfish that traveled their way from the lake.

It’s like a dream today. Where did that time go? I go back there sometimes in my mind. It feels good to visit.

Now when I say I was spoiled to fishing in the lake I mean to explain that they allowed no one but family to fish there. It was stocked full and grandma would often take a five gallon bucket of fish food and throw it in, one handful at a time. It was a frenzy. The fish went wild. It was a buffet.

It was nothing for me to cast a line and pull in a five pound bass or a giant bull catfish. Most of the time we would throw them back in to freedom. When the weekend came and grandma wanted fish, we would load our stringers.

It was a feast! I cleaned many fish with grandma and grandpa. She made homemade hush puppies.

How could I forget fishing with grandma. When she fished she glowed.


Saturday, May 20, 2023

The Dancing Chicken Machine True Story - A Great Metaphor


I am a Generation X'er and grew up in the seventies, and eighties. One day my mom said we were going to the county fair. At the time I lived in East Texas. Needless to say my younger sister and I were very excited. I went to bed thinking about cotton candy and corndogs. I thought about all the rides I would attempt with bravery. Hopefully, they wouldn't make me sick after taking a whirl.

The county fair was your average fair. Food carts were set up, and all the odors in the air did nothing but excite me. Burning oil and rubber from the rides, a whiff of popcorn, funnel cakes, and corndogs mingled with the sweet smell of cotton candy was something I would wear home with me.

The people who operated the rides, "carnies" as they were called, always had a look about them that was both exhausting and exciting at the same time. They would yell out for riders to dare the adventure and bark at those who didn't follow safety rules. I always wondered what their lives were like working and traveling from one town to the next. Where did they sleep? Did they eat the fair food all the time? Maybe they ran to the local fast-food restaurant and grabbed a cheap meal.

When we finally arrived at the fair I couldn't get out of the car fast enough. I was told to stay close to my mother and it was torture to me because all I wanted to do is run and look at all of the sights only to stop briefly at each ride or food booth to fulfill the lust of my young eyes. On lucky occasions my mother had enough money to purchase an "all ride" bracelet that allowed me to ride any ride I wanted as many times as I could handle. On this trip, we only had a limited amount of tickets.

At the fair, there were tents set up in a row that featured various attractions like the BIGGEST COW IN THE WORLD or some drunk carnie that was dubbed THE HUMAN PIN CUSHION. The tent doors were closed but each time someone would enter or exit I would do my best to peek inside and discover what the fuss what all about. Try to see if I could make some confirmation about what was advertised by the tent entrance.

My step-father was a hunter and entered a turkey shoot contest. He had to hit a bullseye using a compound hunting bow and would win a frozen turkey. He felt it was worth the entrance fee but didn't win. No turkey for us that night. I could tell he was disappointed the same as my mother. Tickets weren't used to enter that shooting contest. Only cash was accepted. I was oblivious to the fact his loss meant he might not get that extra soda during his next work week. 

There was one giant tent that was free to go in and we all went inside as a family. I saw at least twenty different vending machines that were set up in a row. I quickly figured out why it was free to enter. Each machine was a little show you had to pump quarters into. It was a trick and we fell for it. I asked my mom if I could have some quarters from her purse. She dug in and pulled out a handful of change. I spied exactly what I needed. She sifted through the change and handed me three beautiful quarters. I ran as fast as I could to the machine I wanted to feed.

The machine I chose was one called THE DANCING CHICKEN and I was desperate to watch this fowl entertain me. I quickly pushed three coins into the machine. I was tingling with excitement. I peered through the glass of the machine and noticed a tiny piano in the corner. What was going to happen? Was the chicken going to come out and actually play me a song for the mere price of seventy-five cents? Would it be wearing a hat or a costume? I couldn't wait to find out.

Music began to play as soon as I heard the kerplunk of my coins. Over to the side of the machine was a little door that slid open. While the music was playing I saw a little red hen run out and quickly stop at the center of the machine. She was facing me and kicking her legs one after the other while the music played. I was in fact witnessing THE DANCING CHICKEN. It was real and the machine sign didn't deceive me. Very quickly the music stopped, and a few pieces of corn fell into a small dish by the door she ran from. She ran to the dish, gobbled the corn up, and jetted back inside the little room she nested in. The door slammed shut and the music stopped. That was it. I wanted to see the show again but that was all the money I had. I knew my mother wouldn't pull a magic pile of change from her purse to give me another dancing chicken show. I wondered if the little red hen anticipated the next few pieces of corn. I'm sure she certainly did. I would if I were a chicken in that show.

Today there are no more vending machines with animals in them ready to perform for a few pieces of food. I am sure the chicken was well fed and watered each day or that's what I hoped was the reality of the situation. Animal rights groups have made such shows a thing of the past. 

Years have passed and I have never forgotten THE DANCING CHICKEN I witnessed. I have recalled that childhood memory many times and it always brings me a good feeling. You know, one of those memories that you can never forget. This is one of those.

Now that I am a grown man and learned many lessons, I have made connections and understandings about that experience. I have given it a lot of thought and discovered some things about life and business that can connect to the little red hen who is no doubt past the plate to another dancer.

Now what I am going to share here is no disrespect to anyone or any position in life. It is merely an observation and my intention is to open you up to possibilities and opportunities in your life. If anything, I hope you find my true story a little humorous. Maybe you will leave a comment below and let me know what you think?

I have often thought about that dancing chicken while working various jobs. I have even compared myself to that chicken. I didn't view my job as a negative thing. I would get up every day, head to work, and do my little dance. At the end of the week, when the show was over I would get my few pieces of corn and run back home. I had my paycheck and was happy to get it. I had a purpose and it was fulfilling. I couldn't wait for the next few pieces of corn. Do you get the idea? Most people are just like that little dancing chicken and go through the motions just for a little bit of money each week. Most wish they had a few more pieces of corn to enjoy or share with others.

Please don't misunderstand me. I am not insulting anyone for just having a job and trying to make ends meet. My current job is more than just a job to me. I've done it most of my life and each job has taught me many things. I am just sharing my thoughts on mindset. Right now I work at a great job and get to help create beautiful products. I'm proud of that.

Let's go a little further in this thought process.

I didn't have the extra seventy-five cents to see the chicken again but I have thought about the person who owned all those machines with performing animals in them. I wonder if he or she had plenty of quarters. Surely they did because we were not the only family in the giant tent pushing quarters in machines. So that led me to another thought. I needed a dancing chicken machine! Then I could have plenty of quarters.

Here's the idea. When we go to a job we are like the dancing chicken, but what if you had your own machine? This is an entrepreneurial thought but instead of making just a little money, what if you had a business of your own that provided a great product or service to the public? You would no doubt reap the benefits of something like that.

Not everyone is a business person with the ambition of being an entrepreneur. That's ok and if you are content doing that then keep doing that to the best of your ability. I applaud you for doing what makes you happy and is rewarding. It takes time to learn the business and how to operate it. The good thing is we have the Internet today and unlimited amounts of useful information can help you. It is a learning process, and if you begin on the business journey you will make mistakes. If you completely fail you can always start another venture. You will take with you priceless business experience that will only help you succeed with something else. 

What hobbies do you have? Did you know that you can turn a hobby or an interest into a business? Just think about it. Do others enjoy the same hobby you have? They surely do. Then you can ask yourself how you can serve others that have the same hobby. Begin by asking what problems they have and coming up with a solution to their problem. Then go serve them by providing a product or service. They will thank you for it and gladly give you money in return. 

I hope my little story was fun to read, and you hopefully were entertained. Maybe even got a little inspiration from it to begin your own journey. I would love to hear from you about this idea.

Now, go get yourself a DANCING CHICKEN machine! That is if you are so inclined.

Friday, May 19, 2023

The Stallion In My Dreams - My Horse


When you are a child it is the big things that stand out in memory. The earliest memories are like a dream. 

My mom gave birth to me when she was just seventeen years old. Can you imagine how difficult it must be as a parent to have your young daughter become a mother?

Mom said she had never heard my grandpa cry like that before. She said he sobbed. I’m sure it was difficult for her to see and hear. Maybe she didn’t even grasp how soul crushing it was for him.

As a man, and a father of three daughters, I can say there is something so special about a daughters.

You see this beautiful little soul come into the world. Her tiny hands. Her adorable little feet. The sound her cry makes your heart weep. You want to keep her warm, fed, and close to you at all times. 

You see her grow into a toddler, a little girl, a young lady.

You work everyday thinking only of her happiness. When you come home from work she comes running into your arms like she has done so many times before. She says “I love you Daddy!” You tell her you love her too and try to keep a tear from forming because you’re a man. Men are suppose to be tough they say.

You would give your very life if it meant preserving hers. She’s this beautiful female that carry’s your blood in her heart.

You’ve done all you can do up to this point to protect, and safeguard her from the evils of this world. She’s not even fully grown into a woman. Then you are told that your baby girl is going to have a baby. The shock! She was just born it seems. Where did my little girl go? Who took her away from me? What will happen to my daughter? I tried my best to keep her safe! I’ve failed! I’m a terrible father! How could I let this happen to her. It’s all my fault! I should’ve been better!

He weeps.

Time passes, and as many young grandparents do, they help raise their first grandchild. They give their little grandson so much love and provide him happiness.

My grandparents lived on many acres in Southwest Missouri. They owned beef cattle that grazed the property they had to check often. There was a “dump” they called it. It was a giant ditch in the ground, hidden from view by those who might drive down the gravel road grandma and grandpa lived on. In the dump there was old fence wire, tires, and other various objects cast away.

Among the forgotten items I spied an old rocking horse that was free of its rusty frame with springs. I was with my grandparents at the dump. I saw the horse on its side and it begged me to set it free.

Come nap time, I snuggled with the old plastic stallion in grandma’s bed. I was the happiest two year old. Grandpa protested the old horse maybe because it took his side of the bed. Grandma wouldn’t see me part from my new best friend.

Grandpa tried to be part of the nap as best he could. I know the horse didn’t like him much. It kept kicking him in the back. I giggled and fell asleep.

In my dreams I still ride that stallion. There, I am free. 

Saturday, May 13, 2023

The Science And Importance Of Hugging

When I was growing up with my sister I remember always getting hugs from my mom. We never lacked in affection or hugs from our mom.

Now that I’m a grown man, I am also a hugger. Now I don’t hug everyone I know but it’s a very natural thing for me to do if I’m close to someone.

Do you like hugs or are you a hugger yourself? If you are not a big hugger, I would like to encourage you to try it a little more often. You might find out you like to give and receive more hugs.

For some people who aren’t big huggers there is only one appropriate time to be hugging. It could be with a close relative at a funeral or when your child or close friend is in the hospital. No judgement here on the subject of hugging. If you’re not a person that hugs a lot, it’s not my intention to make you feel guilty for not hugging as much as others. I just wanted to write about the benefits of hugging and why it’s important to me.

You may be a person that doesn’t like touching people or being touched by people as much and that’s totally ok. Don’t feel bad for who you are.

Have you ever met someone who just hugged everyone they met? You might have felt a little uncomfortable when you received a hug from them before getting to know them a little.

Animals hug. I’ve seen dogs hug each other. Cats hug too. Monkeys hug a lot. I’ve even heard people being called a tree hugger.

As a girl dad I’ve always hugged my daughters. They’ve grown up to be huggers too. I taught them that not everyone likes to be hugged and they need to be conscious of that fact. Also I taught them it’s ok to reject a hug from someone if they don’t feel comfortable hugging them.

If you are having a bad day, there is just something about a hug that can make you feel so much better. A hug will make your brain release those feel good chemicals to your body that will brighten your day.

Have you ever heard of giving yourself a hug? Maybe give it a try. At first thought you might think it’s silly to wrap your arms around yourself and give yourself a hug. Now if you try this in public there’s a chance you may get a strange look from people. Give it a try though at home and see how it makes you feel. It just might make you feel better if you’re having a bad day.

Children have toys they hug. It could be a doll or a stuffed animal they carry around with them and you might witness them hugging their favorite toy. I’ve seen little boys hug their favorite toy truck or blanket. 

Now going back to raising my kids…

They are natural-born huggers anyway. You may have noticed toddlers while playing sometimes will give each other a hug. That is such an adorable thing to witness. I think all humans are born with a natural instinct to give and receive a hug.

Ever since my daughters were born I always gave them hugs. They just loved it and would always give hugs back. My youngest daughter Zoe who is sixteen at the moment is a really big hugger. She doesn’t hug everyone she meets but truly she’s a hugger. When I get a hug from her she likes to hug for at least two minutes or longer. She even mentioned if it was ok to hug me that long. It told her that she could always give me a big hug and I never wanted her to feel like I was trying to rush the hug away. I believe as a parent it’s important to always show affection to my children with hugs. They need to feel it’s always ok to get a hug from their parent.

The fact of the matter is you never know how long you will have with someone on this earth. While we have those who are important to us I believe it’s important to hug them. If they are passed on you may wish you could see them again and the first thing you might do when you saw them would be to give them a big hug.

I want to finish up this post with the idea that you never know who might need a hug. If you are a hugger and you know someone who is having a really bad day, you can ask them if they would like a big hug. You never know what a hug will do for them.

I could write much more on this subject of hugging and its importance. Give it some thought and if you find it interesting please leave a comment below to let me know your thoughts I may not have mentioned here.

Check out the article link below on important new discoveries about hugging. 

#hugging #science #health #psychology #love #selflove

Saturday, May 6, 2023

How To Attract Love By Practicing Self-Love

 As I write this post I have the musical movie playing in the background called, LALA LAND. If you have yet to see this musical I would highly recommend it. It's a love story.

I wanted to write about LOVE in this post. For most people, the word love can conjure many feelings. I am a father of three daughters and have shared many thoughts on love with them. We've talked about how humans can love things. A sunset, the smell of freshly brewed coffee, art, music, writing, children, parents, and even a partner or spouse. Love is definitely a deep subject to discuss.

When I was a child my mother would read children's books to me at bedtime before I went to sleep. I remember her doing that for me and I mostly remember how I felt when she would read to me. I felt special and important and I never wanted it to end. I would fall asleep with a fulfilled feeling and I couldn't wait until the next time she would read to me.

What a thing to love! Do you have a special memory like that as a child?

I remember all three of my daughters being born. If you have children perhaps you can remember the day your own children were born. It is a day most parents never forget. Seeing a human being you created to come into the world is such an amazing experience. Allow me to speak from my own experience for a moment. Obviously, I couldn't have the very special experience of growing a child inside a womb and I believe that is a special time for a woman while being pregnant. That is a time when a woman begins to fall in love with a child. Feeling it grow, move, and even have hiccups in the womb is powerful. I know this because I have talked to women about the experience. How beautiful it is!

For me, as a man, it happened the moment my children were born. Of course, I loved them before they were born, I just think it may be more special for a woman because of what they feel. I heard their little cry, saw their beautiful face, and instantly I was in love when they were born. It truly is love at first sight and an experience I will remember all the days of my life.

Feeling emotional yet?

Where are you at this time in your life? What feelings of love can you recall right now? Maybe you took a trip somewhere and felt a love for what you saw, the strangers you talked to. Yes, for me it is possible to feel a sense of love for a complete stranger. Love for them as a human. Not because I am in love with them but because of empathy, sympathy, or compassion.

Now let me mention being in love with a partner or a spouse. What a great thing to feel. You know the feeling. If you don't know what it feels like then you have yet to experience something you'll never forget. If you have experienced it then you will agree it is also an incredible experience you will no doubt carry with you until death. Being in love is beautiful! No matter how many times it happens.

Now I want to carry on to what I am really writing about here. It is about self-love. Let me just say you are worthy of love. No matter what you are currently thinking at this time or what you are going through, you are worthy of love.

You deserve all the best love in the world you can get no matter where it comes from. It could come from a pet, a friend, a child, a parent, or a lover. You deserve love because you are human with real human feelings that have something to contribute to this life of yours.

In my humble opinion you can never truly love another completely until you fall in love with yourself. Who are you? Do you know? This is an important question you must answer. If you don't know for sure let me as a few more questions. What do you love? What music do you like to listen to? What do you like and dislike? Do you prefer people to be honest with you or do you like to know people at a distance? There are many more questions you can ask yourself to get a better idea of who you are. Once you begin to answer some of the basic questions of who you are you begin to know yourself better. This is just the beginning.

Spend time alone with yourself. Do you struggle with thoughts when you are alone? If you do then this could be a good sign you really need to learn yourself more. If your thoughts are uncomfortable thoughts when you are alone and you don't like them I would like to encourage you to face them. Acknowledge them. It is ok for the thoughts to not be pleasant. By recognizing them and accepting they are normal human thoughts you allow them to just be. They could be thoughts about experiences you have had. Maybe they may be thoughts about things you worry will happen. Your thoughts can even rest on the present moment. No matter the thought just acknowledge them. They are real and valid. Accept it as an experience you need to have.

After you allow your thoughts to just be, then you can move on.

Now let us mention creativity. You have the power to create thoughts, right? Think about some of the thoughts on your past experiences and on things you love. Maybe in your mind, you added extra thoughts to those thoughts. For example, if you have a good memory you love you might think about how other things could've happened to make that memory better. You do this all the time if you think about it. Just recognize it. be aware of what is and what you create.

Now that we have mentioned creating thoughts it is important to mention that this is a big part of falling in love with yourself.

Begin to think about the qualities you love about yourself. Maybe you love your name. If you don't, you should. It was given to you and that's who you are. If you don't love your given name and you've changed it, then love the name you have given yourself. You get the idea though. Just give yourself some thought time. You are worthy of the time you invest in your thoughts about yourself.

Now a story about something you may not like about yourself and how to change it.

I use to hate my name. Anytime I would hear my name it would give me a terrible feeling. For many years I experienced this. I think maybe it was because I had issues with my father. He was out of my life at an early age. I held this against him in my mind. I'm over that now. His name is also Robert. I didn't even like seeing my name in writing or writing my name. It was not a good feeling. I would always tell myself that I hated my name. and wished it was different.

I heard once from a speaker that I could change the way I felt about something by telling myself a lie. I thought the speaker was being absurd. I began to put the speaker's words into practice by applying his advice to my name. I was tired of feeling the way I did about my name. I started by telling myself a lie. I told myself that I loved my name. When I said it I felt like I was lying for sure. I hated my name and saying I loved it just didn't feel right to me. I kept on saying it though.

When I would write my name I hated seeing it on paper. I just told myself I loved my name. When someone said my name I hated hearing it. I kept on telling myself I loved my name. I kept lying to myself in spite of how bad it felt.

When I would meet another Robert their name seemed foreign to me like it wasn't my own. I wouldn't let myself not like their name even if it was the same as mine. Robert for me was not a good name. I didn't want to personally not like the name Robert for someone else but I still didn't like it for me. What I would do was start to add to the lie I was telling myself by borrowing the positive thought about someone else named Robert. I would tell another Robert I met that they have such a cool name and we are cool because we share the same name. We were part of a special Robert club.

 Sound a little silly? It gets more interesting.

After about thirty days of telling myself the lie that I loved my name, something incredible happened. When I heard my name, wrote my name, spoke my name, and saw my name somewhere I didn't feel negative about my name. The lie I had been telling myself turned into the truth. The uncomfortable feeling of the lie was gone. I realized I loved my name. I enjoyed hearing someone say it. I enjoyed writing it. I liked seeing it written down. I was glad to have the name, Robert. I'm not talking about conceit here. I am talking about completely changing the way I felt. I did it by telling myself a lie until the lie became the truth to me.

This is an example of creativity through your own thoughts. If you can think about it, you can change it. Pure and simple.

You have the creative ability within you to change everything. You must begin where you are at. Recognize where you are in your own thoughts. Start by writing them down no matter how negative they are. This will help you by concretely being aware of what you are habitually thinking about yourself. You must know what to change before you can actually change it.

If you don't feel worthy of love, write it down. Start to tell yourself you are worthy of love. If it feels like a lie, keep on saying it. Repeat it all the time. I know you are worthy but that doesn't matter. You must know you are worthy of love. Tell yourself you love yourself. Look in the mirror and say I LOVE YOU! If it feels like a lie, keep on saying it. You will start to notice your feelings change about loving yourself.

I would love to hear from you. Let me know what you think here. The important thing is you must begin to love yourself first and foremost. Go on a walk and notice the things you love on the walk. Listen to uplifting music. What do you love most about the music? Eat some of your favorite foods. What do you love about those foods? The goal here is to get you into the habit of treating yourself and speaking those good words to yourself. Pretend yourself is a separate person. Would you say unkind things to a person you care about? Of course not. 

If you don't completely love yourself, people will find it difficult to completely love you. Think about how attractive it is when someone is confident or you can tell they practice self-love. You want to be attractive right? Good! Now get to work on yourself and start loving.

Start today. Tell yourself you are worthy of love first by loving yourself completely. You work on this and you will find something or someone to love and receive love in return.

Monday, May 1, 2023

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies Recipe


These cookies are the bomb!

If you are looking to fulfill that chocolate craving then you have to try the homemade recipe I’m sharing in this post.

So my daughter Zoe is such an amazing baker. A few years ago she asked if she could do some baking. As a parent, the first thought at a question like that from your teenage daughter might be, “Ok, but this is going to take a lot of time and supervision.” This was not the case with my daughter.

I showed her a few things about the oven and then she politely showed me from the kitchen. I’d go back every now and then to check up on her but she always seemed to be doing fine at the job.

Baking is a great hobby for kids. I believe as a parent it’s important to cultivate our children’s interests.

When she started baking the oven was a little out of date and didn’t work the greatest. I did a little searching online at the Facebook Marketplace but didn’t find what I was looking for. As the old saying goes, “Seek and you will find” I happen to scroll to a post that was made by a friend who had a used oven for sale. It was a good deal.

Now after a couple of years, Zoe has been enjoying a newfound hobby that really makes it difficult for me to watch my weight. I find myself watching her incredible baking creations instead.

What a great kid!

I myself am not a great baker. I love cooking on top of the cook stove. When I would cook I would show Zoe how I go about it and how I take recipes, add my own twist, and make them my own. I really cook for the flavor, and cook how I would want the food to taste. I think cooking is so much fun and there’s nothing more rewarding than cooking something for someone. When somebody eats my cooking and they say it tastes really good, it gives me a great feeling.

Zoe took what I taught her about cooking on top of the stove and applied it to her baking. She does her research of course but makes it all her own using time-tested baking techniques.

Now after some time, as I mentioned, her baking skills have most certainly impressed friends and family.

I would take baking goods that Zoe created to my work and share them. The compliments are all positive and Zoe loves to hear what my friends say about her baking.

Recently Zoe asked me if I could help her sell her baking. I know we have a local farmers market so I inquired about getting set up. I already have a table and chairs we could use but now I’m searching for a canopy to cover our setup. They can be purchased at Sam’s Discount Club but to help save money I would like to purchase a used one.

I have set a goal to make this happen for Zoe. I think it will be a great experience for her to bake and interact with the public in an enterprising way. It can also teach her a lot about business.

Do you think teaching children about business is a good way to parent?

I am hoping she will do well with this and will do everything in my means to make it happen. Hopefully, she will make enough money to purchase something as a reward for herself. She’s a bookworm so I know she will buy plenty of books to add to her library.

I will be sharing more about my journey with Zoe and her baking business in future posts.

Ok, as promised, here is a great baking recipe for Chocolate Crinkle Cookies!

Please leave a comment, like, and share! I appreciate you for taking the time to read my post.

Until next time!

-Rob :)

 Visit here >>>> Chocolate Crinkle Cookies, recipe by Sally’s Baking Addiction 

#baking #chocolatecrinklecookies #recipe

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