Wednesday, January 25, 2012


One of the steps on the diet is 20 min (I break it up into 10 in the morning and 10 a night) of calisthenics. So this morning I attempted to sit up (I never could do those), followed by crunches, push ups, knee bends and jumping jacks. It is a sad testament to know how sore I am right now. I knew I was over weight, but I have been attending Curves regularly (Ok, pretty regularly - about 300 times in the past 2 years) and I honestly thought that I was in semi-decent shape. That delusion was shattered as I tried to do just 2 min. of each of the exercises.

I am making other progress though. I have a daily weight chart in the bathroom. Talk about motivation. It is right there on the wall for everyone to see. If that doesn't keep me on track, nothing will. I have also dug out a water bottle and keep it by me most of the time to keep drinking that water.

I am off to a good start, but I am still looking for a diet buddy so I guess that is next on my list.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ok, confession is food for the soul, or so I have heard it said. It is that time for me.

In 2009 I was have a very successful time watching my weight, but then life happened. I had lost 40 pounds bur lost interest/motivation to loose any more. I spent the next year inching my way back up the scale. I guess the good news is that I didn't gain all 40 back, but I did gain more than half it it back.

So here I am again. I want to loose weight, and I need to as well. I do not have medical insurance so I figure that I better be in the best shape I can be to be as healthy as I can be. In reality, that means I need to loose at least 50 pounds, but I would like to loose 60 even better. However, I don't know that the 60 is reason able so I will see what is reasonable once I get closer to the actual goal. (By loosing 50, I would be within my BMI and 60 would put me at the lowest end of it)

I have done this so many times that I know what to do, it is just a matter of doing it. I know a number of programs etc. I know what works, I just have to put the candy down and get to the gym. However I did pick up a book from the library (I am not silly enough to actually buy a weight loss book when I can get them at the library for free). It is called The Flex Diet and it lists a number of things that may help loose weight - blogging was one of them. Being that I had a blog I figured that it wouldn't hurt to try it. (Not to mention, I doubt that anyone would actually read it but it is there if someone wants to)

So here I am, again. Wish me luck

So here we go (again)....

Monday, January 23, 2012

As I am sure that you can guess Cookin' Up Creations is one of my favorite sites. In February, they are having a non-elimination Crop chef competition. Of course, I am entering. I would love it if you did too. You can leave a comment or follow the link:
and join me in the fun.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

ATC Challenge

At Cookin' up Creations they are having a "use up your stash" challenge this month. The challenge on 1/5 was to make ATC. Now I knew what they were, but not knowing anyone I could really exchange them with, I had never bothered making them. However I stepped up to the challenge.

I made four of them. One was for each of my children. The fourth was for a friend of my duaghter's. We pick her up and take her to church with us most Sundays. On the front was their name and something that sort of fit their personality. On the back was a Bible verse which I chose for each of them.

Here they are:

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The new year has started and Cookin' up Creations is having a "Use up your Stash" challenge.
Now I have plenty of stash and I am always up for a contest so I entered.

The first challenge I did was to make an accordian card following the directions given here (obviously, not mine)

I changed it up for my cards. I only made half the card making a pop up card to which I added an hanging "charm". Here are my cards:

Monday, January 2, 2012

Wedding Pictures

Our Hometown Voice, a local newspaper, ran a contest in January of 2011. The contest was for men only. They had to write an essay on how they proposed to their wife. The winner would receive a renewal of their wedding vows on Valentine's day. This included the ceremony at al house which was part of the Strongsville Historical Society performed by the mayor of Strongsville, corsages for the wedding party, a new dress for the bride, teeth whitening for the whole wedding party, a visit to a salon which included hair cut and color a well as a manicure and pedicure, a cake and champagne reception, dinner at a local restaurant, and a night at a hotel. Tom entered the contest and won. Here are the pictures:

The winning essay is as follows:

“Have a banana!” That is how I verbally react when the children in my audience actually say, “Abracadabra!” in my magic shows. I have been a part time children’s entertainer for better than 30 years. Ironically, that is how my relationship with my wife of nearly twenty years began.

Kimberly was sixteen. I was twenty-one. We were both attending a very formal New Years Eve party at the home of mutual friends. I went to high school with the hosting family’s daughter. Kimberly was friends with the twin younger sisters of my classmate. The hostess still remains ever the matchmaker. Okay…she’s good at it!

I was performing some close-up magic at the basement bar, when the hostess asked me to entertain a lovely young lady. That is when I met Kimberly. She was an adorable young lady who was trying to fit in with the older crowd. Though she was too young to date at my much “older” age, I found her to be a delightful audience with a great sense of humor. Happy New Year!

Fast forward a few years to a fundraiser I was hired to perform by the hostess of the New Years Eve party. Once again, I was performing my magical routines. This time, it was at a fund raising event. It was a “Mardi Gras Party” to raise funds for a local theatre group. Much to my surprise, Kimberly was working as an actress in the murder mystery cast. We met up afterwards, and since she was now at the ripe age of nineteen, I could ask her out on a date. That date was the following night, Valentine’s Day!

The date was held at the very last minute. As a way to romance my date, I invited Kimberly to my parents’ house to watch a TV show. I know. You, the reader, are overwhelmed by this romantic gesture. Furthermore, the show was the BBC science fiction series “Doctor Who”. Each episode of this cult TV show could be funded by the weekly wages of a newspaper carrier back in the 1980’s. But, we had learned that we were both fans of this long-running series. We actually had a marvelous time watching the show, and the romance developed.

Following Kimberly’s college graduation, I knew that she was the one for me. After time, careful consideration and prayer, I had purchased a ring. It was now time to ask her father for permission to marry Kimberly. Ralph was a late life father. He was fifty when Kimberly was born. Ralph had a great sense of humor, though he was lacking in hearing ability in his later years. While Kimberly was not at home, I dined with her parents to ask them the big question, “I have purchased an engagement ring. May I please marry your daughter?” Ralph immediately responded, “WHAT?” Barbara, Kimberly’s mother explained, “Tom’s asking for your Kim’s hand in marriage.” Ralph immediately understood and responded, “Aw hell. Take them both!”

Done! I had the ring. I had permission. Now it was to the course of asking Kimberly. I had it all planned. I planned to pop the question on New Years Eve at the same party, at the same place I had met her, performing magic tricks. GENIUS! I cleared it with the ever so willing hostess. I even had the trick all planned out.

New Years Eve morning I woke up violently sick with the flu. I had to call off work. I called Kimberly. She told me to stay at home, and not go out on New Years Eve. I steadfastly refused. She must of thought I had lost my mind. Later, I drove to her parents’ home, and picked her up for the party. I was wearing my tuxedo and was determined to go to this event. We found our way down to the bar where we had met. I started to perform some magic for the onlookers. Then, I asked for a finger ring. I selected Kimberly, who was wearing a costume ring. I had tied two pieces of string around a pencil. On the right side, I had threaded my own ring through. On the left side, I had threaded Kimberly’s ring. I tied the strings together so that neither ring could escape. I pulled the pencil out and tapped the string, and both rings dropped into Kimberly’s hands.

I took my own ring, and asked her if the remaining ring was hers. Kimberly examined it, and immediately recognized it as an engagement ring. I dropped to one knee.

Today, when one of the kid’s offers me, “Have a banana.” I can say, “Abracadabra?”

Nearly twenty years after our wedding, we are the proud parents of three terrific kids who are fans of the “new” Doctor Who TV series, have all helped Daddy perform magic onstage, and are a delight to both Kimberly and myself. We have been blessed by well over twenty years of love and being loved by the God who brought us together.

We chose to have our children be in the wedding party. The girls just happened to have dresses that matched and the same for the tie an cumber bun for our son.


Yes, I love reading. just for the fun of it I decided to track all the books I read in 2011. About mid December, I realized that I was just over 90 books so I challenged myself to see if I could get to 100 by the end of the year. On the 20th I had 11 days in the year left and 9 books to read to get to the century mark. I didn't make it to 100, I surpassed it by three. Here is a list of the 103 books I read in 2011:

1. The Magical worlds of Harry Potter - David Colbert
2. Artemis Fowl and the Atlantis Complex - Eoin Colfer
3. Lady Macbeth - Susan Fraiser King
4. The Templar Salvation - Raymond Khoury
5. Mysterious Messages - Gary Blackwood
6. The Magical Worlds of Narnia - David Colbert
7. the Mummy case - Elizabeth Peters
8. Exploring the Titanic - Robert Ballard
9. the Middle of Nowhere - Ridley Pearson
10. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rolling
11. The Lion the witch and the Wardrobe 0 C.S. Lewis
12. Fearless - Max Lucado
13. The Youngest Templar - Keeper of the Grail - Michael Spradlin
14. The Youngest Templar - Trail of Fate - Michael Spradlin
15. The Youngest Templar - Orphan of Destiny - Michael Spradlin
16. The Magical Worlds of Lord of the Rings - David Colbert
17. The Abyssinian Proof - Jenny White
18. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rolling
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J.K. Rolling
20. Where Memories Lie - Deborah Crombie
21. Heresy - S.J. Parris
22. Artemis Fowl - Eoin Colfer
23. Beowulf - editor: Michael Morpurgo
24. Gilgamesh - editor: Geraldine McCaughrean
25. A River in the Sky - Elizabeth Peters
26. Artemis Fowl - Eoin colfer
27. The Inner Circle - Brad Meltzer
28. Fables: Legends in Exile
29. Fables: Animal Farm
30. Prince Caspian - C.S. Lewis
31. Murder inside the Beltway - Catherine Coulter
32. Whiplash - Catherine Coulter
33. Fables: Storybook Love
34. Voyage of the Dawn Treader - C.S. Lewis
35. The Doomsday Key - James Rollins
36. The Heretic's Daughter - Kathleen Kent
37. Fables: March of the Wooden Soldiers
38. Nefertiti - Nick drake
39. Tailspin - Catherine Coulter
40. Bloodwork - Michael Connely
41. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - J.K. Rolling
42. Fables: The Mean Season
43. Candleman - Society of Unrelenting Vigilance - Glenn Dakin
44. True Blue - David Baldacci
45. Fables: Homelands
46. Wishing for Tomorrow - Hillary McKay
47. The Return of Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle
48. Fables: Arabian Nights
49. One Step Behind - Hennig Mankell
50. Fables: Wolves
51. Fables: Sons of the Empire
52. Fables: the Good Prince
53. Artemis Fowl and the Opal of Deception- Eoin Colfer
54. Fables: War and Peices
55. Artemis Fowl and the Lost Colony- Eoin Colfer
56. The Agency - Y.S. Lee
57. The Sixth Man - David Baldacci
58. Knockout - Catherine Coulter
59. Breach of Promise - Perri O'Shaughnessy
60. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - J.K. Rolling
61. The Maze - Catherine Coulter
62. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - J.K. Rolling
63. One Summer - David Baldacci
64. Murder on Lexington Avenue - Victoria Thompson
65. Ruined - Paula Morris
66. The Agency The Body in the Tower - Y.S. Lee
67. Fables: the Great Fables Crossover
68. Jack of Fables - the Nearly Great Escape
69. The Ghost of Clutchfield Hall - Mary Dawing Hahn
70. The Silver Chair - C.S. Lewis
71. Horrible Histories - Awesome Ancient Ancestors - Elizabeth Levey
72. The Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank
73. Artemis Fowl and the Time Paradox- Eoin Colfer
74. From Homer to Harry Potter - Matthew Dickerson & David Oham
75. The Prison Angel - Mary Jordan & Kevin Sullivan
76. The Bible
77. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
78. Entwined - Heather Dixon
79. I wish I knew That - Steve Martin
80. Horrible Histories: Rotten Romans - Terry Deary
81. Anne of Green Gables - L.M. Montgomery
82. Green Myths - Diane Namm
83. Emma - Jane Austin
84. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austin
85. Ancient Medecine - Michael & Mary Woods
86. Haunted Lakes II - Fredrick Stonehouse
87. The Ransomed Heart - John Eldridge
88. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austin
89. Epic - John Eldridge
90. A Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
91. The Christmas Train - David Baldacci
92. Journey to the Center of the Earth - Jules Verne
93. The Case for Christianity - C.S. Lewis
94. Dewey - Vicki Myron
95. Nowhere to Run - C.J. Box
96. The Black death - Terrance de Hahn
97. The Horse and his Boy - C.S. Lewis
98. Dengue Fever - Katherine White
99. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - Jules Verne
100. True Green - Kim Mckay & Jenny Bonnim
101. Epidemic: Smallpox in the New World - Stephanie Peters
102. The Black Death 1347-1350 - Cath Senken
103. Interred with their Bones - Jennifer Carrell