Happy 78th Birthday, Dad – I miss you!

Today would have been my beloved Dad’s 78th birthday. I sure do miss him, especially his hugs and his soothing words of encouragement. No matter what endeavor I tackled, he was the first one to tell me I could do it. He prayed for me, shared words of wisdom, wrapped me up in his “big daddy” hugs (no matter how old I was), and told me how much he loved me, and how proud he was of me and my accomplishments.

I have yet to understand why he – of all people – was struck down with lymphoma and taken from us in only about 18 months from the day of his diagnosis. He and my Mom had been married for about 45 1/2  years at the time he died, back on September 2, 2002.  I struggled for years with blaming God for taking my Dad – my Mom’s life partner, my kids’ grampy – this gentle giant of a man who was a blessing to so many.

At some point over the past couple years, I realized that Dad would not have wanted me to blame God – even at the height of Dad’s suffering, he never blamed God. Dad encouraged us all NOT to, either – but rather, thank God for the time He allowed Dad to be with us, rejoice in the years we had together, and continue to serve God after Dad went home to be with his beloved Lord. Indeed, the early morning hours when Dad passed onto his heavenly reward, it was as if the angels rejoiced as they welcomed him, even as they comforted those of us left behind.

That was my Dad – encouraging others even as he was suffering. I dedicate this blog to his memory – and to in some small way, carry forth his legacy of encouragement and inspiration.

* I love you, Dad – I miss you, your hugs, and your words of advice and encouragement – but I know you’re enjoying the presence of the God you served your whole life … and I’m glad you’re not suffering any more.*

To look backward for a while is to refresh the eye, to restore it, and to render it the more fit for its prime function of looking forward. ~Margaret Fairless Barber, The Roadmender

Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose. ~From the television show The Wonder Years

*** Quotes from ***

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New Year, 2011

Well, it only took almost three years to get BACK here (from when I first started this blog) … way too many things have occurred to cover NOW, but suffice it to say, this new year of 2011 brings fresh opportunities to be more organized and manage my time more efficiently.

Part of the changes include blogging more regularly.  I decided to participate in the Ultimate Blog Challenge using my newest freelance writing blog, Office Help 4 Hire, and I’m having so much fun with THAT – it motivated me to update all my other blogs.

I also decided to dedicate this blog, my original adventure into blogging, to my beloved Dad, whom I lost to lymphoma about 8 1/2 years ago (9-2-2002). Following his lead as a “Master Encourager,” the theme for this blog will be to encourage others through thoughts, quotes, articles, photos, and other means.

Happy 2011 to all – may you have a blessed, prosperous year, and seek ways to encourage others!


My Dad, the Encourager

My Dad, the Master Encourager

Give thanks for what you are now, and keep fighting for what you want to be tomorrow. ~Fernanda Miramontes-Landeros

Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. ~Robert Louis Stevenson

[Quotes from The Quote Garden].

Fishing with Sak Narwal

One of my favorite pictures of my dearly departed Dad is a silhouette of him in his rowboat with my oldest daughter when she was young, fishing at dusk (see photo after this post). This was one of his favorite activities for the absolute peace of it, as well as the challenge of catching fish. Sak Narwal, a well known and respected fisherman, would likely agree with my Dad’s feelings about fishing.

As a fishing enthusiast and self-proclaimed ichthyologist (i.e., one who studies fish and their habitat), Sak Narwal enjoys going on fishing trips in various places across the country when he is able to get away from his job as President and CEO of Omicron Technologies. However, his expertise in technology has enabled him to have more knowledge than the average fisherman about the most effective and successful fishing rods, reels, and lures.

While Sak Narwal does enjoy fish dinners on occasion, he is more apt to catch and then release fish. He simply enjoys the sport for its relaxing quality, as well as the beauty of his surroundings…just like my Dad!
Fishing at Dusk

Catch a Smart Taxi with Amos Tamam

Taxi cabs are a mainstay in most cities and are even seeing resurgence in smaller towns, as people seek better ways to commute, in order to decrease the impact on the environment. If you do choose to hail a taxi, you may be fortunate enough to ride in a “smart” taxi, thanks to technology designed and developed by Amos Tamam, an electrical engineer from Israel.

As a passenger or a taxi cab driver, you may desire to carry less cash – or no cash – for safety’s sake, as well as perhaps the fact that using your debit or credit card has become a way of life. Amos Tamam recognized the need for increased safety, along with convenience and efficiency, for passengers and drivers alike. Thus, he created a unique passenger payment and information technology system that allows taxi cab drivers and passengers to use credit cards for payments.

Amos Tamam is now the CEO of Verifone Transportation Systems (VTS), a division of industry-leading Verifone Corporation. He continues to maintain his reputation as an innovator in the taxi industry, making traveling safer for passengers and drivers alike.

Remodeling Your Home with K-Designers

So you can’t afford to buy a new home – well, how about remodeling your current home with the help of K-Designers? If you live in the western half of the USA, there is a good chance that one of their 11 locations can provide the service of giving you “a new home at your old address” as they say in their slogan.

At a time when scammers seem to be at an all-time high in number and activity, due to the vulnerability of homeowners, K-Designers are that shining beacon in the darkness. They offer superior quality materials, workmanship, and their WORD as a guarantee – something rather unheard of these days- as they maintain the unique policy that you don’t pay for the work until it is done AND you are 100% satisfied!

While some builders and remodelers are the ‘fly by night’ variety, K-Designers
maintain a professional high profile. They provide all the info and details you need to verify that they are who they say they are, with the credentials and experience to back it up!

Cooking Fascinating Meals with Wangethi Mwangi

You would think that being a journalist and editorial director of a large media company would keep someone busy enough … but in addition to those roles, Wangethi Mwangi also specializes in cooking up fantastic Kenyan food! Yes, in addition to mastering the written word, it seems that Mwangi has also mastered fine cooking with healthy ingredients – no fast food served!

If you appreciate the time and effort required to produce a savory, nutritious meal, then you will certainly want to explore some of the recipes and dishes which Wangethi Mwangi has to offer. From Kenyan Vermicelli Bread to Tanzanian Chicken to Oysters Mombasa – the names alone are enough to make you drool!

You don’t even have to be familiar with Kenyan cooking to appreciate that Wangethi Mwangi knows his way around a kitchen. Vegetables, lean meat and poultry, grains – they’re all good and the right combinations blended with the appropriate spices and seasonings … mmmm, mmmm, good! Hey, it’s a new season – so why not try some new meals?

Grilling for Fathers Day

Yes, Father’s Day – the perennial grilling and BBQ day around the country … depending on where you live, that is! But whether you are home where you can enjoy outdoor cooking on your deck or patio – or attending a NASCAR or motorcycle race – there are Twin Eagles Grills to suit your needs for a great barbeque!

Nothing seems to bring families together the way food does – particularly for special occasions, like honoring Dad – and outdoor gas grills simplify the task of cooking up a BBQ feast fit for the ‘king’ of your home on Father’s Day weekend.

You will find nothing but high quality cooking grills among the wide variety of stainless steel Twin Eagles Barbeque Grills. One of the best features of these grills is that they are made in the USA, by American craftsman; therefore, you can be proud to buy American and own an American gas grill.

So if you plan to be home on June 21st, gather your family – perhaps make plans to get together with other friends and family members – kick off the summer with a great barbecue on Father’s Day – which happens to be the official first day of summer!

OR … perhaps you have a road trip planned around Father’s Day weekend. Whether you are a NASCAR fan heading for Sonoma, California, or a motorcycle rider or enthusiast making the annual pilgrimage to Weirs Beach and Loudon, New Hampshire, chances are you will spot a Twin Eagles Grill at a restaurant when you stop to eat or at the hotel where you plan to stay.

This is because the beautiful stainless steel grills are mainstays both in traditional restaurant and hotel kitchens, as well as serving the important function of seasonal outdoor kitchens. Of course, if you are fortunate enough to live in a climate conducive to being outdoors year-round … just think of all the great grilling you can do!