Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Quigley's Squirrel

My 18 lb. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Quigley has a thing - a fetish actually - about his stuffed squirrel. He loves it to death - literally. So much so that I find myself buying him a new toy squirrel to play with quite frequently.

This morning, he came bounding up the stairs to my office with his newest squirrel in his mouth. He wanted mommy (that's me) to quit working and play with him. 

Of course, it is hard to resist giving Quigley anything he wants. (Have you looked at that cute face?) #WrappedAroundAllFourPaws 

So I gave in and took the stuffed critter from his mouth. I began throwing it and he would run off to get it and bring it back.

This game of fetch lasted until Quig decided he'd rather play keep away -- from me. In keeping with this game, our roles reversed. 

As the retriever, I walked over to where he was hunkered down -- wagging his tail -- with the squirrel hanging out of his mouth.

Boy did I have a surprise when I looked down and saw that he had not one squirrel but FOUR! Apparently he's been squirreling them away (pun intended) so I would continue to buy him new ones.  

Quiggles is a character in a half. But his gig is up... for now. 

I can't wait to see what antic he comes up with next.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Rule To Live By #52

Rule to Live By #52: Find ways to genuinely connect with others each day.

This thought bubbled to the surface of my mind as I reflected on a recent conversation with mother. She shared some really profound insights about dealing with people in today's world. And as society continues to evolve and change, so must the way we deal with people.

While the concept of being yourself only with those people who've earned the privilege might be something commonplace to you, it is somewhat foreign to me. I've spent my life being real, genuine and down-to-earth. It is part of my DNA.

If you know mother and/or me, we're both down to earth and really care about the people we encounter in life on a daily basis.  This type of behavior didn't begin with me, it was modeled to me during my formative years.

If you've seen me compliment someone about a shirt, a nice smile, a new haircut or a piece of jewelry - whatever it might be - the compliment is genuine. You see my mother taught me how to look at people and really notice things about them. She taught me how to say things to connect with others anywhere, anytime.

There is a feeling of satisfaction I receive when I verbalize something something I notice about another person. It may be a simple interest in what they did for the weekend or praise for something they've accomplished. Regardless of what it is, people are hungry for others to connect with and notice them.

Over the past decade or more, society has begun to change. It seems that people don't notice or care about others unless it helps them achieve something. Sadly, people have become self-centered and focused on themselves. They don't care about the strangers they pass in stores or even the people they spend hours working with at their place of employment. It almost appears as if people have coated themselves in plastic, so what they present to others is fake.

The sad part is that when that plastic person needs something from someone else, they automatically turn on the interest and charm. It is almost like they are showing their hand without trying. This evokes thoughts like "Oh, my, (insert name) is being nice to me or acted interested in my world. I wonder what he/she wants."

Sadly, I have actually been on the receiving end of someone using my genuineness against me. And unfortunately, experiences show that the majority of society doesn't really care about anyone but themselves. 

Each day we should strive to look at those around us and try to genuinely connect with them. Ask others how they are doing. Really listen and respond to what they share. Take a moment to compliment complete strangers and those you know... about anything.

If you do this often enough, I guarantee you will begin to notice a change in how you live life and see the world. And along the way, you'll probably touch someone who really needs their day brightened. 

(I just discovered I never published this when I drafted it back in March of 2014. So here goes...)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Immediate Response Expected

I turned on the space heater dish to warm up the room as I was getting dressed this morning. I set it to high and wheeled off to let Quigley out. When I came back to the space heater a few minutes later, there was hardly any heat coming out of it. I was puzzled. I knew I'd set it to high. Why wasn't it heating up immediately?

A few minutes went by and the dish was putting out heat like there was no tomorrow. I just had to give it time to warm up and do its job.

It struck me that we treat our prayers to God in a similar fashion. We cry out to Him and pray for Him to do something and expect immediate responses. But just like the space heater, the response doesn't occur in our timetable, the response to our prayers occurs in His time.

Have you been asking God to do something and wondered why you haven't heard back immediately? Know that He has heard you but as the Word says "The effective, fervent prayers of a righteous man avails much." (James 5:16) This means we have to consistently pray for Him to meet our needs.

In other words, prayer with God is a consistent conversation that begins with your morning prayer time and lasts throughout the day. Don't believe me? Try it. Pick one thing that you really need God to answer in your life. Talk to Him about it... not just one time but every day and throughout the day whenever it comes to mind. 

I promise you, my friend, that God will respond... in His time.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


I have a confession to make. It wasn't until recently that I even realized this to be true. But alas, time has confirmed it.

You see, I'm in love.

I've felt this feeling deep inside my core rather consistently over the past few years. But I didn't realize it was love until just recently. 

I think these feelings crept upon me slowly, circling my heart like a wild vine that grows up the side of a fence post. This sense of peace and contentment trickled over my spirit like a soothing balm every time I moved around and about it. In fact, just the simple task of  crossing over any of the many bridges by car or on my bike - or under it by boat - wraps my soul in peace. My heart soars at the expansive beauty that my eyes devour everywhere they look.

A few weekends ago, I had the opportunity to take some photos that showcase the beauty of this place that I love. I hope I never leave this region that holds my heart and catches my breath... this place that I now call home. Yes, I am in love with the Lowcountry.

Take a look and let me know what you think...

Look closely to see the double rainbow.

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Experiencing History

My company, PeopleMatter, is unique in so many ways -from the people to the products to the culture. This is the first time I've experienced such an energizing environment where everyone loves coming to work everyday!

We celebrate things regularly. It is core to who we are. Our celebrations are not productions, like other companies. Our celebrations are a natural, fluid process of our daily work-life

One way we celebrate is by firing a civil war cannon near our office. The noise is incredible. But the experience and history behind it is even more fascinating.

I took some photos and video clips so you could experience it, too. Civil War Reenactor Keith Burdy provides some great historical information to set the stage. Check 'em out and let me know what you think.

Disclaimer: Please do not try this at home. This is for trained professionals only. No one has ever been harmed (during the 21st century) in the firing of this cannon. City officials, fire department, etc. are always notified before the event.

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Monday, July 4, 2011

Worth the Effort

The Passage of TimeImage by ToniVC via Flickr
Some things take effort and time to get to. Sometimes the effort one has to expend to accomplish the targeted task is simply not worth it. Other times the effort, while great, results in a huge payoff.

I can think of so many things in my life that fit into one of those two camps. Can't you?

What prompted me to think along these lines was the 10+ hour drive (one-way) to visit my parents. For many that would be too far to travel to see someone. But for me, it wouldn't matter how far away they are, I would do whatever I needed to get to spend time with them.

If I were to make a list of all the things in my life that have been - or are currently - worth the effort, it would be long. The funny part is, there are many things that used to be on that list that are no longer worth the effort. I look back on those things and inwardly think, "Why did I make that choice? WHAT was I thinking?!"

Wisdom and maturity, which continues to grow each passing day, have reset my focus on things that truly matter. Combine that with a daily, personal relationship with our living, loving Lord and you'll see things from a different perspective like none other.

Two random, but current examples for me, are scuba diving and cycling. They are both labor intensive in their own ways. But each brings a pay-off that is definitely worth it.

What about you? What do you consider worth the effort? I challenge you to examine the things you expend your energy on and determine if they are worth it. 

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