Sunday Reviews: The Dishwasher – A Gift from God.

Sundays are for book reviews

The Dishwasher: A gift From God by Leslie Karsten

☆☆☆☆ of ☆☆☆☆☆

This was an impulse buy as I met the author at another book signing. We discussed a great deal about theology, philosophy and life as we talked about the new book by D.A. Reed: “All the Things we Didn’t see”

I was fascinated by the thoughts and bought the book and it shipped very quickly. This is a tough rating as the book content is good and works for what it was intended, a bible study guide and series of points to incite thought, but it was not so good because it was fare too short.

I was impressed with the stories and approaches, and enjoyed the witty statements and sometimes pointed questions. I also enjoyed the story from the title as I hate doing dishes as well. So, a fun read and worth the time, and worth it for a study group to go for weeks and get some people moving forward, but in the words of Andrea True: More More More.

Sunday Reviews: Simple Things

Simple Things by assorted authors ☆☆☆☆☆ of ☆☆☆☆☆

I must start by stating I gave this 5 of 5 stars even though some people will see spots in it that are not for them, and some people may see items that are not as pleasing as others. For me this was a presentation of talent and passion in the time of Covid. This will be something to remember.

(It is also nice that there are two stories in her by some guy named Andrew Smith that are pretty cool.)

Simple things is an anthology written by various authors. The prompt was simple, a positive piece on gratitude in a time when there were not so many positive things going on. I was impressed by the writing and approach by so many authors. Some wrote slices of life, some wrote short stories of fiction, some wrote from their existing books, and some wrote poetry and prose meant to inspire.

No matter how you approach this book, it works. It is full of positive positions that seek to inspire and incite, and even though a few had an air of negativity, they were positive in the end. This group of authors came together and made a statement as one: we will overcome the negativity and start something better.

A significant amount of writers gives this book something for everyone.

A wisp of a thought…

The sun sets on another day…

I have been lost in thought a lot lately. There is a lot going on and I have been a sponge. This week I read 11 books and considered a lot of what many had to say. Some of them were recommended, some were authors I knew, some were random, and some were not as good as others.

As I read each I was lost in their worlds for a short time, whether fiction or non fiction, and as I was, I considered the possibilities and points of view so I could be aware of other options in the world, and other perspectives. Books can do that, they can open your mind, and open possibilities.

I wrote a lot on this and deleted it simply because it did not serve the purpose I started with. As my mind resets, please consider the possibilities of finding a place where happiness exists in your life. There are so many options and a good book gives you a doorway to your imagination, and perhaps an opportunity to see the world in a different light.

If at first you don’t succeed, find a manner to do so, and laugh as much as you can along the way.

So as the sun sets on another day, have amazing times with your imagination. See past what is in front of you to beyond the moment. Find a pathway to see amazing things every day in the world, because they are there, and enjoy every moment you can, no matter what.

Sleep sweet, love life, and keep thinking…

Amazing, astounding, audacious, aweSam…

The sun sets on another day…

Sunset was a mixed bag of nuts. There was sun and rain and sun and rain and then a little more rain. Even though it was not the perfect night, it was a nice night.

For purposes of this short writing, audacious is used in the vein of “showing a willingness to take surprisingly bold risks” which is a positive. (Aren’t words fun?) Also, I know I misspelled a word, geez, you don’t miss anything, it was on person and a play on the word “awesome”.

Sometimes people can affect your day. Sometimes it is good, sometimes it is not so good.

A person can give you angst. They can be so focused on themselves that they drain the life from you. Some can be so sure of their approach to a situation that you pull your brain out after hitting it on a wall a thousand times. Negative people can suck the life right out of you. There are negative people who are blatantly blah and those that suck the life out of you while thinking they are positive. There are also people who spout tomes of negativity for no other reason than to try to bring the world down to their level and hope everyone is as miserable as they are each day. Ick, why be around people at all, right?

Wrong.

There are also people out there that lift you up. There are people that are positive when the world seems negative. There are people who reach out and add a bright moment to your life, and others who sacrifice themselves to see others happy. There are your partners in life, and partners in crime that take that extra moment to lift you and take the time to know you and in the process know what you need. Then there are people like Sam.

This evening as we were going to an outdoor restaurant I heard a “whoop whoop” and turned and saw a smile. I laughed and we went on, got a table, and were waited on by none other than Sam(Who did another whoop whoop for us).

I only worked in food service for a short time, and as cliché as it may sound I was a short order cook in a small drugstore grill, sitting in the back flipping burgers and grilled cheese. I never have waited on people. I did work retail for quite some time and know the overwhelming craziness of having to juggle peoples attitudes, needs, and your own sanity. With food service I see the servers who look the other way, don’t engage, and ignore everyone but their tables and then have to wear a face that has some semblance of positivity even in the face of jerks, jerkettes, and crying people who have massive attitudes of self importance. (and crying kids as well) I think most people would have a meltdown if they dealt with half the stuff that a server has to, and I am sure it doesn’t help when someone leaves a two dollar tip on a fifty dollar meal.

Then there are people like Sam. Sam took the time to laugh, smile, and made a point to not just engage, but over engage with everyone. It was not just her coworkers, but customers and not just her customers. I watched people come and go to the kitchen with nary a word while Sam spoke to everyone. It is this type of passion that opens the heart and mind of people, it is this type of passion that gives hope to the world. Wait, that’s not all! After we talked to Sam for a moment, her hopes and dreams are far reaching, and she wants to see more of the world than most, and truly try to make a difference each and every day.

In a world where negativity can drain you, it is people like Sam that help you to recharge. Find them, reward them with your positive words, or maybe a good tip if they are waiting on you.

So as the sun sets on another day, I hope you open your heart and mind, and maybe your wallet if you are waited on a person like Sam. I hope you open your mind enough to see more than just that moment you are focused on, and maybe let go of the negativity and set your sites on something bigger. Maybe its time for all of us to take that extra second and regard people as people, and be the example of how people should act. Maybe, just maybe, the world would be a better place if we did. Take a moment, be positive, and make sure you leave a good tip, no matter what.

Sleep sweet, love life, and thanks for the memories…

Chaos and order…

The sun sets on another day…

As we rushed to sunset it faded away and was gone, lost in the clouds and the darkness of the eve. Even the color was pulled until just a glimmer remained and it too, was gone.

From many legends the world was born of the marriage of chaos and order. These two different concepts danced in my mind tonight. After all each day is filled with both chaos and order so it makes sense that those two elements be woven into legend and more.

So which is better, chaos or order? I know a lot of people who would jump on the order bandwagon noting that order is most important. I am sure their lives are filed with single file solutions and perfect perfections. Each thing in life in its box, and each box put on the shelf, catalogued for maximum efficiency.

I prefer to be a little more chaotic. Life is messy and best served messy. Occasionally you have to eat spaghetti with your hands, and enjoy the mud, and make a mess to see the passion in chaos. It is amazing how many people miss the fun of not planning and not being perfect.

When my kids were younger I would tell them we were going out. They would ask where we were going as always and I would always say “crazy”. The destination would be different often, but there would be no planning, no thought and we would end up at an amusement park, a good restaurant, the park, or a dozen places. We would always have fun whether it was simple or complex. It got to the point that the kids would laugh and say they were ready to go, and if they asked, one would always answer, “crazy”.

Later, when I was alone for a while, I would just get on my motorcycle and drive for hours to nowhere in particular, find a local restaurant on a backroad, then ride home. Usually I would take a certain amount of money so I only spent what I needed, and it was always an adventure.

Sometimes chaos is a good answer. Sometimes order is a good answer, but find the answer that works, and embrace both.

So as the sun sets on another day, in my opinion the world is constantly changing. Be a part of that change and make the world an amazing place by embracing the change, and being part of a little bit of fun. After all, it is no fun know what is going to happen next. Be the person who finds more, does more, and in the process have a little fun, no matter what.

Sleep sweet, love life, and enjoy the ride…

Hopelessly Devoted…

The sun sets on another day…

As I drove home from a good day, I looked to the sun setting in the western sky, and was blind. Well, only for a moment. I thought of the day and all the lessons I listened to and hear today, and it was good. Colors spattered across the sky, and that was good too. This day I saw a lot, and beauty was all around me.

Rockford Dam Slow Exposure

Today was a day that I thought a great deal. I met a dog. It was a super dog, and it was a dog that was devoted. Dogs are devoted for all time. I believe in the amazing love between certain things in life. Let me say again, that love is amazing.

Today during a friends book signing I met a mother and daughter (That I thought were two sisters) that I saw that devotion in as well. A mother who encouraged her daughter to read and achieve, and a daughter who believed in her mother and her mothers accomplishments. It is this that truly builds hope. It is this type of devotion that is powerful and can change the world.

Do you encourage others? Are you devoted to their success? Do you support them no matter what? Can you find the good in people? Do you try to help people, or bring them down? It is important. We all have the ability to lift others up, or drain them of their very lives. I would choose lifting others up, and myself along the way. As for me, today I learned I have two more good friends that are terrific, and I will lift them up all I can.

Diana and Deborah

So as the sun sets on another day. Dogs are the example of eternal devotion. Dogs will lift you up always, but there are those people that will do so as well. Be someone who lifts the world with you, and find your way to happiness, no matter what.

Sleep sweet, love life, and keep striving for the best…

Crimson dreams…

The sun sets on another day…

I watched a cloud pass overhead tonight. As the sun set the colors lit the cloud like some giant projector screen. I was fascinated by the colors and stood watching until a mosquito decided to attack me from behind.

The mosquito and I had a tumble. We fought for a second but the outcome was not really in question. Poor mosquito.

Ever notice how something small can change the course of our life? A small issue or decision can have a big effect over time, sometimes even causing us to change what we are doing? With the mosquito I looked away from something I loved for a moment. With other items it can be much more tumultuous. (Good word huh?)

When I was younger I made many decisions for my life that have cascaded over the years. At the top of the list was turning down a full ride scholarship out of pride stupidity, but there are many other smaller items that have changed the way I see things. Now I spend time trying to understand every aspect of every moment, well, not that much time, but enough so I understand.

What decisions have you made that have affected you all your life? What decisions come up now that you see from a different perspective? Do you consider the little things as part of your decision process?

I preach a lot about living today, but still, today we have the ability to make good decisions that make today and tomorrow good. Consider your decisions, and yes, the little things can be important.

So as the sun sets on another day, life is amazing and in all its permutations, here we are. Let’s reach out and make our lives the best they can be, and maybe help a few others smile along the way, no matter what.

Sleep sweet, love life, and dern mosquito…

A Hero to me…

The sun sets on another day…

The year was 1972. I was a very young man. I had never known we were poor, but my sister and I were not afforded many things in life that were of any expense. Still, I had saved my birthday money and wanted to see my hero, Godzilla.

This week I purchased a Time magazine with all of the incarnations of Godzilla. They are considerable, and what started as a monster movie that destroys Japan morphed into a creature protecting the innocent. I had watched Gamera and Godzilla on Creature Feature (Late Night GR MI Show in the 60s and 70s) and was a fan from the beginning. Now, years later the idea of a monster that is a bit more had special meaning to me.

The movie I watched in 1972 was Godzilla vs the Smog Monster. A crazy movie where Godzilla teams up with humanity to literally save the earth. This time from a creature that fed on our pollution, and spread death everywhere. I was in awe and I will never forget my first alone movie and the smile it brought to my face knowing a monster could win, and it was a win for us all.

So as the sun sets on another day, life is an amazing journey and we are made up of fantastic heroes in our life. sometimes they are everyday people, and sometimes, they are larger than life. Believe in your heroes, real or not real, and make yourself a better person each day, no matter what.

Sleep sweet, love life, and I can be your hero…

Sunday Reviews: Meltdown

Sunday Reviews: Meltdown by Rick Tuttle ☆☆☆ ☆ of ☆☆☆☆☆

I have to start by saying this was a fun book and I probably would have given it a much higher rating if I had reread it a few times. This apocalyptic tale takes place, well, it could be taking place now. I found many of todays more political turmoil in the book and we could easily experience the same or similar and in some cases may be seeing it now.

The author describes “The Cascade effect” and in that effect the normalcy of the world began to crumble. The main character, a pastor, was fully prepared and prepared to protect his family. What follows is an elaborate series of events that push and pull you along as the pastor and his family survive. There are also numerous chapters covering the greed of people, the government, and much more.

On one side I was impressed with the approach of this book and the sometimes powerful messages it conveyed. On the other side the book seemed a little too focused on the faith and sometimes it is my opinion the story was directed to prove a point, but not necessarily as a character would have reacted. This is very true with the president and politics in general. The house built to survive was well thought out, and I was surprised in many cases by the direct approach of the author.

In the end this was still an enjoyable read, and in reading it I saw a world as it could play out now, and the potential approach we should take to survive.

4 of 5 stars and a fun and enjoyable book!

Solomon…

The sun sets on another day…

People.

If you take people out of the equation a lot goes away, and a lot is lost. I found myself thinking about a lot of people this week. I reached out to some to try to to ease their pain. Some I was silent with so they could enjoy their moments, and some I went out of my way for, to try to help even if they did not know it. Sometimes you have to be nice for the sake of being nice. This has put me in the “misunderstood” category in the past, but that’s ok.

My father and I  had similar ideas a long time ago. At about the same time he and I began two silent initiatives that were similar. Mine was to try to make people see a little lighter world, his was to help people from the sidelines without them knowing. I wrote about this once here.

I was influenced by another company and gave away a simple pin to pass on. The pin said EGBAR for everything is going to be alright. The idea was to remember that someone cared enough to give you a pin and they were thinking of you. When everything was alright again you should pass it along and I had hoped it would reach far. I had some success and gave away about 500 pins around the world. I always got a small smile, sometimes a large one, and i keep in touch with some who I met over the years.

My father’s concept was far more complex. He had engaged many churches to start the Solomon Group. The rules were simple. Help those that needed help without anyone, including them, knowing. He had buy in and a foundation but passed away before the groups first meeting. Years later I was given a briefcase with all the info and a series of men and churches that had been interested, but had no point of reference to restore this idea to where it should be.

I am sitting here now, wondering if either or both ideas could make the world a better place. Maybe it is time to try again. Maybe what the world needs is people willing to help each other without needing anything in return. Maybe if enough people did good for the sake of doing good, the world would be a better place. What do you think?

So as the sun sets on another day, we sometimes need each other. Be a person who pays it forward for someone. There are so many ways. Pay for a meal of someone at random. See someone in need. Call someone who needs help. Send something special to a special person. Be there for those that need you if you can, and spread some happiness every day, no matter what.

Sleep sweet, love deeply, and love some more…