Saturday, March 31, 2012


 When I last wrote, I was awaiting the arrival of my best friends flight from Texas. I am happy to say that he arrived on schedule and we spent a great night together catching up and reminiscing. We stayed up way to late and didn't sleep enough.

In the morning, he had to leave to go to his Great-Grandmother's funeral. When he left, he took with him a piece of my heart and of course, the Pugsmobile. 

He looks so natural behind the wheel and is delighted to have the honor of continuing a long well loved life for this car.
That's when the stress started for me. I just sold my car! 
The car that I wanted was being very elusive.
The dealer could not find any in the style or color that I wanted in a 500 mile area. 

I started looking myself. I put out a search on the internet as well as making phone calls. Nobody but nobody could find one. I knew what I wanted and wasn't going to settle for anything less. As I always preach, I put it out there to the Universe and trusted that the car would show up.

In the middle of the night, I started to have a twinge of doubt. I started looking at alternatives and asking myself what I would be willing to accept. But I wasn't ready to give up on what I wanted just yet.
Then at 11:30am Thursday, my phone rang. It was a dealership about an hours drive away. They wanted to know if I still wanted the car that I was looking for. They informed me that they had one matching the description that I had given! The only catch was that it was used, instead of new. Being that they just came out with this car, I was confused. who would return such a new car? 

It turns out that a local film company had purchased the car to film a commercial. They put a whole 300 miles on it and then sold it back to the dealership. They then asked me if I still was interested.

Obviously, I said yes.

After working a 16 hour day/night, I got myself a little nap while my husband went to work. When he came home, we were out the door to battle the rush hour traffic in Detroit and the rain/hail storm that we had to drive through to get to the dealership. After all the paperwork was completed, I drove home in my new car. 

It's a 2012 Hyundai Veloster. 
Loaded with every option there is. I'd compare it to driving an I-pad.
With a 7 inch touch-pad computer for navigation and entertainment, the fun never ends.

Here I am showing the drivers side, which has one large door. Something that a good coupe would have. Also something that I have missed for the last 8 years. I got so tired of bumping my knee on the door frame.
In the interest of Pugsley, the wonder-dog, you can see here, that the passenger side has two doors. Like a good sedan does. One door for his short Daddy, one door for Pugs and One door for his tall Daddy on the other side.

All high-tech equipment and features throughout. I think we are going to love the new Pugsmobile.

The LED lights and the blue accents on the wheels is only a hint as to what awaits inside. Under the panoramic sun-roof is an interior that glows a soft blue around all the gauges and switches. The touchscreen controls the bluetooth phone and mp3 players as well as gives me a full color image of the navigational controls. It has XM Satellite Radio built in with the CD,AM,FM tuner. It even tells you in real time what kind of mileage you are getting. Already I've seen 45mpg and it's averaging in traffic, 33mpg.

This car hugs the road with no body roll at all. It hugs the corners like nothing I've ever driven. I wish the hearse was this nice to drive.

Once again, the power of positive thinking proves that all things are possible when you just believe.
I know now, that I can do anything, if I made this car appear out of no where.

I'm just afraid that someday soon, I'll be watching the television and see my car sliding sideways on some test track. But, it's got a good home now.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Looking Forward To It

It's an exciting day here on the Brighter Side. This evening, my best friend will be flying in from Texas. We haven't seen each other in years. And emails and phone calls are not the same as hanging out with your best mate.

The circumstances of his visit are mixed though. We'd decided a month or so ago that he would be buying my car from me. We'd set a date of May first and decided that I would be driving the 23 hour trip to Southern Texas to deliver the car. And then I would fly home and pick up my new one. Then a couple of days ago the plan changed. His Great-Grandmother passed away here in Michigan and he wanted to attend her funeral. The visitation is Wednesday (tomorrow). So he is flying here tonight. He will then be taking the car back to Texas himself. While the passing of his 97 year old Great-Grandmother is sad, I am happy that he will have the nice car that he so deserves. And that he will be able to enjoy it so much, so fast.

Where I am having a problem is the fact that my new car doesn't seem to exist yet. The sales office is having trouble tracking one down with the options and color that I am demanding. (I always get what I want). 

The Pugsmobile
(with Pugs in the background)
I am looking forward to seeing my best friend, Jon, even if it is just for a day or so. And I am also looking forward to the new car. But we are testing my patience with locating the car. Last I heard, there is one in Illinois that they are trying to have transferred here. I am going to send out some positive thoughts for it's speedy arrival and that it hasn't already been sold like the one they thought they found yesterday.

These of course are photos of the old Pugsmobile for Jon. It's a great car Jon, enjoy. I've always considered the S that is all over it to be a monogram of sorts. Even though it stands for Suzuki, I've always said it stands for Stew.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Guide to Success Pt.2

What an amazing day to sit by the shore working on finishing up this post.
With temps in the mid 70's(f), it was hard to believe it was the first day of spring and not the first day of summer. The birds are busy doing that spring time courting dance that they do and building nest. The flowers are spouting everywhere. Suddenly our yard has pops of yellow in every corner from the daffodils that have sprung up.

It's been an odd "winter" here in Michigan for sure.

Without further ranting about our great weather, I'll pick up where we left off on Monday.

5. Do what you know in your heart is right.
Stop milking the time clock simply because you can.
Start being honest with yourself and everyone else. Don't cheat. Be faithful. Be kind. Do the right thing! It's a less complicated way to live and work. Integrity is the essence of everything successful. When you break the rules of integrity you invite serious complications into your life. Keep life/work simple and enjoyable by doing what you know in your heart is right.

6. Organize your workspace.
Start clearing clutter. Get rid of stuff you don't use and then organize what's left. Keeping both your living and working areas organized is crucial. If you have a cluttered space, it can be distracting and stressful. A clear space is like a blank canvas, available to be used to create something great.

7. Be efficient.
Stop being inefficient simply because you've always done it that way. If you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting what you've always gotten. Many times we live with unplanned, complex systems in our lives simply because we haven't given them much thought. Instead, streamline your life by finding better ways of handling common task. Focus on one system at a time (your cleaning system, paperwork system, your email system, etc.) and try to make it simplified, efficient and logical. Even if it takes you longer a few times until you find your rhythm. Then once you have it perfected, stick to it.

8. Let things be less than perfect.
Smile every chance you get; not because life has been easy, perfect, or exactly as you had planned, but because you choose to be happy and greatful for all the good things you do have, and the problems you know you don't have. You must accept the fact that life is not perfect, that people are not perfect, and that you are not perfect. And that's OK because the real world doesn't reward perfection. It rewards people who get GOOD things done. And the only way to get GOOD things done is to be imperfect 99% of the time.

9. Let go if the needless drama and those who create it.
Never create unnecessary drama, and don't surround yourself with those who do. Choose friends who you are proud to know, people you admire, who love and respect you- people who make your day a little brighter simply by being in it. Don't walk away from negative people, RUN! Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.

10. Forget what everyone else thinks and wants for you.
To end this guide to success, I'll leave you with the thought that, one of the greatest freedoms is simply not caring what everyone else thinks of you. Their opinion is none of your business. Sometimes you need to step outside, get some air, and remind yourself of who you are and what you want to be. The best thing you can do is follow your heart. Take risk. Don't just accept the safe and easy choices because you're afraid of what others will think, or afraid of what might happen. If you do, nothing will ever happen. Don't let small minds convince you that your dreams are too big. They aren't.

Now, I know by leaving this information in the hands of my employees, I'll be fired. But, they wanted to know, what made me, me. And there you have it. I'm proud of the work that I have accomplished, as is the manager of the store. Sometimes to get it done, I had to be a little unconventional. In the end, I've made running the store simpler for everyone involved. If they'd like that to continue well after I've gone, then this is the things that the staff must know. I hope that it helps anyone who happens across this blog as well.

One other thing that really helps, is this great spring weather. I hope that each of you can enjoy a day like I've had today very soon.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Guide to Success, Pt.1

As I step away from my retail responsibilities and toward a more fulfilling career in the funeral service, I've been asked by the manager of the store to share with my staff, some of what I know. The things that make me so good at what I do. Pass along the knowledge so that they may someday step into my position. So, I've put together this piece for them and I thought I'd share it here as well because it not only applies to retail, but also to life in general. This is how I do what I do.....

Part One:

1. Learn from the past, and get the heck out of there!
Past mistakes should teach you to create a wonderful future; not cause you to be afraid of it. Don't carry your mistakes around with you. Instead, place them under your feet and use them as stepping stones. Never Regret. If it's good, it's wonderful. If it's bad, it's experience. Success is not about where you are standing at any given time; it's about how much you've learned and how far you've come to get there.

2. Focus on what's truly important.
Identify what's most important to you. Eliminate as much as you possibly can of everything else. No wasted time, no fluff, no regrets.

3. Focus on being productive, not being busy.
Don't just get things done; get the right things done. Results are always more important than the time it takes to achieve them. Stop and ask yourself if what you're working on is worth the effort. Is it bringing you in the same direction as your goals? Don't get caught up in odd jobs, even those that seem urgent, unless they are also important.

4. Give what you want to receive.
You get the best out of others, and every situation, when you give the best of yourself. Start practicing the golden rule. If you want love, give love. If you want friends, be friendly. If you want money, provide value. It works and it really is that simple.

5. Stop trying to be everything to everyone.
Don't try to be friends with everyone. Cultivate closer relationships with fewer people. Start focusing on being everything to someone. Helping or pleasing everyone is impossible. But making one person smile at a time, can change the world. Maybe not the whole world, but their world. So narrow your focus and be yourself.

These are the things that I do every day. You may notice that I italicized a few things "No Regrets" I have talked about before and "Be Yourself" is something that I stress to my staff daily as well. These things are key to success.

As always, I welcome your comments, let me know what you think and look for more on Wednesday.


Saturday, March 17, 2012


Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness.

- Seneca Nation

Sometimes, in hindsight, it may seem that your prior kindness were for naught, and that in the end, they were too high a price to pay for the pains you've endured.

This is, of course, until you get a little further into the future, when the pendulum has been allowed its full swing, and the seeds you've sown have begun blooming in more gardens than you ever knew existed.

And just like the robin that is building it's nest in the tree outside my door, kindness always returns.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Box of Tin

What is that?!

That my friends is what I have been waiting for, for months. It finally came. And I wasted no time installing it.

As some of you know, over a year ago, I began rebuilding my kitchen. Piece by piece, tearing out cabinets and installing new state of the art pieces of fine cabinetry, that are manufactured in a way that reduces the amount of waste and shipping cost. Making them very eco-friendly.

When I had my house built 17 years ago, I was in need of a home. I opted to take many of the stock options with the thought in mind that someday, I would replace them. Well, when there's something there that "seems" to be doing the job, you don't really mind the cheap quality and the fact that they are not very functional. Last year, while my mother was losing her battle for life, I needed a distraction. And since design is in my blood, I completely drew up plans for a whole new kitchen. I planned on starting with the easy stuff and finishing with the plumbing side. Wouldn't you know it, the dishwasher quit working moments after it was revealed that it would be last to be replaced. So, that's where we started. Of course, if your going to pull that out, you might as well take out the cabinet next to it and the sink. And since your right there, go ahead and take out that bank of drawers that hasn't worked properly in 15 years. Then I guess we'll need a new countertop too. Oh, why not just do the upper shelves too. 

So now the one whole side of the small kitchen is completely rebuilt with instant hot water under the sink, stainless steel trim on the toe-kick and edging and a new stainless sink. But there's something missing. It's too modern for our house that has a nice mix of new and antique furniture. It needed the finishing touch. It needed the new backsplash. Yes, that's what came in that long awaited box. It is fashioned in remembrance of the old pressed tin ceilings of the merchantiles and pubs from Victorian America. With a modern twist incorporating my love of anything square. And my husband's love for anything shinny.

This is my new backsplash installed...  
 It looks different from all angles and reflects the light from the window and throws it around the room.

This next shot shows you what the finished product is looking like. You can see in the upper left corner a glimpse of the old cabinets. That will be gone very shortly.

The floor has also been installed. Since we are on a crawl space, we opted to go with a cork floor. Stained dark, when you look at it up close, it looks like someone laid wine corks side by side and trimmed that flat and smooth with a glossy finish. To look at it from across the room, it looks like old reclaimed wood. Either way, it is very warm to the touch, soft on the foot and very eco-friendly. It continues into the breakfast nook where I have built a window seat to take advantage of all the light from the four large windows that let the morning light stream in and warm your heart as you sit in the antique chairs that I have refinished for my bistro table.

Aside from the other half of the kitchen cabinets, the ceiling is also not finished yet. You can see here though a hint of what is yet to come, using the tin ceiling. This is the top of the wall that separates the kitchen from the breakfast nook. That is, in fact, a casket corner used as a corbel. Would you expect anything else?

This is how I unwind. This is how I keep my mind from running away from me. And this time, I am not cutting any corners.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Most Astounding Fact....

Back in 2008, Time Magazine sat down with and asked
Neil deGrasse Tyson, "What is the most Astounding Fact you can share with us about the Universe?"
This is his answer...
The most astounding fact...

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Lost Village

Welcome to my little town. Waldenburg is an unincorporated village that has been swallowed up by the neighboring village and became the township that I officially live in.
When I moved here 17 years ago, you could still see much of the old village. The housing boom in the late 90's covered much of the once fertile farm land with McMansions that no one can afford. There are still a few small pieces still visible today however. One of those is this little hardware store. In my time of living here, I have witnessed this store closing as the road in front of it grew. What once was an intersection of a two lane paved road and an old dusty dirt road, has become a major intersection with multiple lanes in each direction and a complicated signal light. The proximity of this store and the general store on the opposite corner, to the road makes this corner very dangerous for those that are not paying attention.

The general store once was the original home of a local furniture store in the county and has living quarters upstairs, as most stores from the turn of the last century did. The furniture store has since moved and then was bought out by a larger firm. We are left with this beautiful old building that sits only feet off the newly expanded road.

I suppose we can expect that the hardware store will be going away soon as they have built a large strip center behind it and the Waldenburg Bar that shares it's parking lot.

The settlers of the area only arrived in the early 19th century looking for fertile land to farm. And our little village came into existence a year before Michigan became a state in 1835. In the early years, the area was stripped of it's timber for the construction of the growing cities of Mount Clemens and Detroit. The road that passes through town and in front of these stores is known as Romeo Plank Road because it follows along the river that runs from the village of Romeo to Mount Clemens. As the logs were cut up river and milled in a nearby mill that I have shown in a previous post, it was easy to build and maintain a plank style road. Simply grabbing supplies out of the river as it floated by. Plank roads could be found all over America and were not the smoothest things to drive on and so quickly lost their popularity to the cement we know today. (For those that don't know, the worlds first paved road for cars is right here in Detroit; Woodward Avenue) In the early to mid 20th century, the area grew many flowers including Roses and Lillies to be sold at Detroit's famed Eastern Market. The wild Lillies still grow in all the ditches around the area. But as time marched on, the focus grew more on sod farms to supply grass for the wealthy homes all around the Detroit area. Naturally, with the beautiful fields of flowers and grass, wealthy folk from the city started to drive out for a look. That's when the golf courses started to be built. A few years ago I had 5 golf courses within 2 miles of my home. Two of those have given way to over-sized  homes.

Behind this early 20th century church and the cemetery that accompanies it, along the banks of the river that once transported timber, is Pugsley's favorite park. He loves the trails to hike on and this is the place where (when there's no children) he loves to play on the slide.

The park is built where an old farm used to sit when I first moved here. Much of it has been left to nature, and you can see that it is quite swampy. That's probably why Pugsley loves it so much.

Right about where the sign sits today, welcoming residence into the park is where I lost my convertible in a flash flood, the day after I paid it off. That was also the day before the farmer left the land to the township. It's a beautiful park. Just don't come right after the rain.

I hope that you've all enjoy this tour of my little lost village. Stop by any time.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Rainbows of the Soul

In reflection of the video that I posted a couple of days ago, I give you this Native American Proverb....

He who is present at a wrongdoing and does not lift a hand to prevent it is as guilty as the wrongdoers.

-- Omaha

Friday, March 9, 2012


Until you're ready to look foolish, you'll never have the possibility of being great.

I believe!
- Cher

Each day, we step out of the house and head off to work, blindly expecting sometimes to have a different result at the end of the day than we had the previous day.
It's my observation that if we are to achieve a different result, then we must start our day differently. Start it with an expectation of greatness. And an attitude to match.
That's not to say that everything is going to turn up roses for you on the first try. But sometimes you have to make a little mess and act a fool. Have fun and enjoy life! A positive, happy attitude will go much further than a boring obedient one will any day of the week.
Now, get out there and DANCE!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Kony 2012 - Stop at Nothing

I know this video is long at 29 minutes. But if you have the time, please check it out.

Kony 2012

There are things going on in this world that most people never hear about. But if this were happening for even one night in or near a town that any of us live in, it would be all over the news. Does it really matter where we live if there is an injustice happening and no one will do anything about it. Check it out.


Saturday, March 3, 2012


A fellow blogger recently blogged about the symbol of the cross: A symbol of Love, or Hate? He brings up a good question. Christians are raised to see this symbol as something that represents their faith in God and the love that He has for all of us. The horizontal pieces can represent Jesus' arms stretched out, welcoming us. Why then, does this symbol represent so many mixed feelings for much of the population. I'm sure that I am not alone when I state that I have been rejected by the same people that preach this love and acceptance that the cross represents. According to the Bible, Jesus died so that we would not have to suffer. But to many of us, the church represents love and acceptance... if you change and see things our way.

I proudly display an emblem on my personal car. It is much like all the bumper stickers that you see all over the road. It reads COEXIST. The word is spelled out using religious symbols instead of letters and looks like this.

The idea is that we all need to live and let live. That we can all exist in this world without killing each other. No matter who you worship or what you call it, we are all humans and deserve the love and respect of other humans.

You can see here the explanation of each letter and what it stands for.

The Christians seem to be in an uproar about this whole thing and it is my belief that it is because the cross comes last and Islam comes first.

Now, I have seen several versions of this. Some replace the Male/Female with and e=mc2 which represents science. And some offer the ying-yang sign as the O and put the Peace sign dotting the I. All of them have three things the same. The CX & T always represent those three religions and always in that order.


Because those three seem to be the ones that need reminding of the whole idea the most and ....... That's how you spell COEXIST. Which is an excellent word to use for the "movement".

I was called the other day by a friend who was driving behind me and saw the emblem on my car. He was outraged by the fact that I would have that on my vehicle. Proclaiming that the Islamic people want to kill me and we should not even allow them in our country at all. He went on and on proving how much of a moron he is and that's when I realized that he is a youth minister at a local church!

For your entertainment and to be fair, I am now including a section of dialog from another website that proclaims the COEXIST movement as an abandonment of core absolute values.

The goal of this movement is the promotion of a pluralistic and universal utopian worldview. At the heart of this movement is the abandonment of core absolutes and values (moral and spiritual.) This movement seeks to undermine personal beliefs and practices for the supposed “betterment” of world unification. Its most damnable feature, however, is the staunch rejection of the sovereignty and reality of Almighty God, His authoritative Word (the Bible), and His Savior to all fallen men, the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 John 2:22-23). The chief Promoter of this godless ecumenical movement is the godless music industry and the pop icon Bono from the band U2. Hollywood and the fashion industry also promote this movement with an array of clothing products, gear and bumper stickers.
A phrase from the Coexist website states, “Coexist is a concept brand for everyone, connecting people and planet, together we symbolize life, love and global harmony.”
The Coexist phenomenon is the product of the subjective secular Left. The majority of the Coexist followers are secular liberals. This ideology of religious pluralism actually intersects with all three political ideologies (liberal, moderate, and conservative), but it has its greatest hold in the secular liberal mind (Romans 1:18-32; 8:5-8).
The true core of the Left are secularists who wish to promote a delusional, pluralistic universe that combines all godless ideologies. 
"However, their main goal and real agenda is to rid the world of all religious ideologies in favor of a secular, godless one".
Though at first glance the motivation behind this movement seems sincere, noble and virtuous, the very subtle hiss of Luciferian (Satanic) mass deception can be distinctly heard. This movement seeks to bring about a godless unification - while rejecting sound moral absolutes - of the scattered inhabitants of nations following the Tower of Babel rebellion ~4,300 years ago (Gen. 11:1-9; Dan. 2:31-35, 37-45; Rev. 13:12-14).

It goes on and on. Anyone wishing to read more can visit the site.

While I was researching this more, I found this version. What can be said about it that it doesn't already say?

As you all know, I visit many different kinds of churches almost daily. Each and every visit is for one reason. Someone has died. Someone's Mother/Father/Daughter/Son/Sister or Brother. When you are faced with death every day, you tend to see life a little differently. I am there to help the living cope with the loss of a loved one. It makes no difference to me what anyone believes about the Here After. We are all here for just a short while. And we should make the most of what we are given. If we get a hundred seconds or a hundred years, we touch the lives around us in so many ways. If you truly want to leave the world a better place for your children, then perhaps we should all start getting along a little better. And start COEXISTing.

If you've stuck with me through this rant, Thank You! and I'd love to read your opinions.
Feel free to comment on other peoples comments as well.
And EVERYONE'S opinions are welcome, because that's how we are here on the 
Brighter Side.