Thoughtful Nutrition

Sardines. A top power food (think Omega 3’s, etc.) for those looking for good protein that is inexpensive, plentiful, and sustainable. Do a quick web search on “How healthy are sardines?”, and you’ll get several, similar lists explaining why sardines are good for you in pretty short order.

Fishy, of course, so you have to get through that taste obstacle, if you’re not naturally a fan of seafood. But it’s worth it. Tinned in olive oil, skin removed maybe for a added convenience, it’s got a little stronger flavor than canned tuna.

That said, word to the wise: Try to be a little thoughtful in your prep if those you live with have maybe a sensitive nose.

That’s how it is in my house, so I prepped in the washroom. Then I topped them with some parmesan, and sat down to eat with the fam.

Still there was that question at the lunch table a few minutes after I sat down, “What’s that smell?”

“Um, it’s my sardine lunch,” I admitted. I gobble it down, and quickly went to the kitchen to wash my plate.

Scent gone, nutrition had, everyone a winner in this case.



Thursday Lyrics Post: Hole Hearted

This band lit it up on the hard rock scene in the 90’s. Their guitar player was (is) amazing, singer strong with great stage presence, band right over all.

This tune was one of their acoustic numbers, decidedly not hard, but full of fun energy for sure.

Ooh yeah wooh
Hey hey hey hey hey yeah
Life’s ambition occupy my time
Priorities confuse the mind
Happiness one step behind
This inner peace I’ve yet to find
Rivers flow into the sea
Yet even the sea is not so full of me
If I’m not blind why can’t I see
That a circle can’t fit where a square should be
There’s a hole in my heart
That can only be filled by you
And this hole in my heart
Can’t be filled with the things I do
Hole hearted (x2)
This heart of stone is where I hide
These feet of clay kep warm inside
Day by day less satisfied
Not fade away before I die
There’s a hole in my heart
That can only be filled by you
Should have known from the start
I’d fall short with the things I do
Hole hearted (x6)
Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Gary F. Cherone / Nuno Bettencourt
Hole Hearted lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group 1990.

Thank You, Cokie

She passed on Tuesday at the age of 75.

Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Boggs.

The story goes that her older, 3 year old brother couldn’t pronounce “Corinne” when she came home from the hospital, he called her Cokie, and that was that.

She had a keen, life-long deep understanding of politics, especially here in the United States.  She grew up in politics — her father, then her mother both held seats in the US House of Representatives from Louisiana — and chose the path of chronicling the many stories around public affairs rather than governance.

Not only did she choose a life in the “fourth branch”, but her voice and balanced, thorough analysis of issues — and broad public appeal therein — guided her to become one of the “Founding Mothers” of National Public Radio, and more broadly, one of the women in leadership roles in public journalism.

She was so good on NPR that commercial leader ABC hired her as well. She reported from both outlets for more than three decades.

Her voice remained steadfast and consistent in our public discourse, and even in recent years as she had begun to step back, I always felt a certain calm and certainty of what was true when I heard her speak on whatever the topic of the day was.

I was shocked when I heard the news of her passing on Tuesday morning while driving to work.  On the commute home at the end of the day, I was fortunate to hear on another public radio station, Classical KDFC, the afternoon DJ Robin Pressman pay tribute to Roberts with a dedication of the first 5:00pm Commute Song (what KDFC calls “The Island of Sanity”), Felix Mendelssohn’s “On Wings of a Song 34 #2”.

Cool to hear that peaceful, uplifting music anytime, especially as nod to one of the great voices of our time.  Thanks for your insights and wisdom and positive effect on our national conversation, Cokie.  

Would that we can honor you as Rachel Martin suggested on Up First today, when she closed with what was perhaps your simple credo for living:  “Do the work. Be fair. Be kind. And lift each other up.”   


More on Cokie Roberts found here.

More on Cokie Roberts as one of the Founding Mothers found here.



Moen Danco

We’ve had a leak in the kitchen sink faucet for quite a while.  Nothing major, but enough to have a slow drip going pretty consistently.  This past weekend I finally found (created?) a couple hours block of time to try fixing it.

I watched a couple short videos to determine the right sequence for dis-assembling unit, turned off the water, laid down a couple towels, and got into it.

Our faucet assembly is Moen brand.  There were no such replacement parts at Home Depot.  They had  a generic, analog cartridge made by Danco, so I decided to give it try.  It was the only option, really.  Otherwise, leak on? Not an option.

I got home and following the fairly simple steps of replacing the part.  It seemed to going going along ok.  I even got some of the calcium build up cleaned off the parts.  I was feeling good.  Then the last handle piece had a hard time settling all the way back on.  Gave it a few good taps with a hammer, down it went.

But the tapping with the hammer?  It did enough minor damage to the hole where the screw was to go back in to secure the handle to the fixture, that…? The screw wouldn’t go down.

Foiled?  Not quite.  I went out to the shed, to my stash / collection of bolts, screws, nuts, etc. I found a screw with a slightly smaller head, similar thread, and voila!  “Good enough for government work,” as the saying goes.

A few lessons from this little weekend effort:

1/ Youtube has a lot of helpful content.

2/ Don’t give up if things don’t work immediately.

3/  With house projects, and building/repairing in general, be prepared to improvise to get the job done.

And that faucet?  No more leak.  The handle is a little skewed, but oh well.  That’s life sometimes.  A little skewed.  But it still works.  And life goes on.


Dadlife, Dark Side

I talk a lot about the positive. I promote the upside of things, look for the silver lining even in bad situations. That’s the fundamental credo of this blog: be positive, find positive, share positive.

But sometimes the dark side creeps in. Sometimes the dark side is strong.

Sometimes it’s been a long day, or a long week, and I’m grumpy, and irritable. And sometimes my kids don’t listen very well; sometimes they’re not very thoughtful, or themselves aren’t in the best mood.

Sometimes everything starts to come off the rails. And then what?

Then I’m irritated that the dishes are piled up in the sink. Then I’m annoyed the kids’ shoes and clothes are here and there in the living room. Then my fuse gets pretty short. I start barking at them instead of talking calmly. And my volume goes up a little.

The dark side wins for the moment.

Usually though, I catch myself pretty quick. Take a few deep breaths and reset my patience. But often I also tell the kids, “Grumpy Daddy” is on the edge, so it would be best for you all to do what you’re supposed to, you know the deal.”

Generally that works out OK. The dark side doesn’t stay too long. And I know I’m only human, so sometimes the dark side gains a little ground.

It’s up to me, it’s up to each of us to battle, to keep our emotions and ego in check.


Let Love Make Us Whole

Nearly every day I pray. And nearly every day this idea is woven into the prayer: that love can fill in the holes in people’s lives.

I think about the many who suffer horrible circumstance, and I believe love can make the difference. It likely won’t deliver people from their circumstance, but it can help them cope and survive, and even thrive.

I think about those who will die today, especially those in extreme situations, maybe children, maybe babies, on the migrant road, or in a detention jail, or in a refugee camp, and I ask myself, “What could make the difference? Their fate is pretty well sealed…”.

I think about myself, imagining the day I die, when ever that is…and I think about the people I know who have died, and those who have lost loved ones. And I believe in those final moments, that’s when all that matters is love. The day I die, the last thing I want to feel in my body on this earth is love. If we are the ones left behind, feeling love, being filled with love, that is the answer. Love makes it better.

I think about the mother of one of the children that was murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School; her response to the unimaginable horror and pain and anguish of having one’s child murdered? Love. Active, instructive, deliberate effort to show and teach empathy and compassion to others.

Love. It’s the fundamental value and gift that can and does change the world everyday. If we let it. If we make the effort. If we let it guide our actions.

If we’re angry or sad or full of holes and grieving, let love wash the hurt and anger away, let love make us whole again.

Hell, if everyone let love guide their actions, and be more of the solution everyday, there would be so much less suffering in the world, fewer wars, less violence. I know that’s rather pie in the sky, but the fundamental is absolutely true. Love makes the difference.

And to clarify, I’m not talking about hot pink bubble gum love, or candle-lit, dreamy-eyed love, I’m talking about “I got your back” love, “I’m here ’til the end” love, “we’re in this fight together” love, “yes I’ll help you” love.

Let THAT love guide you. Let that love fill in your emptiness, let it be a salve to your wounds, let love in. And give it every chance you get. When you give it, that fills in the holes too.

Let it be so. Let love make us whole.

More on Scarlett Lewis’ efforts found here:

Into the Weekend

Lots of lessons this week; seems like there are always lessons. And often they seem to be repeats. Maybe we keep learning the lessons we need most?

I round out another week, thinking about the mistakes I made, the things I could have done better, the victories I had, the tidbits of getting better I picked up.  I think about the highs and the lows with my family, with a co-worker, with those around me otherwise.

Many of the lows are in my own head, my own perception or reaction to things that occurred.   What could I have done differently?  How could I have handled things in a more balanced manner, taken more of the active high road, lived up to being my best self more often?  It’s a weekly, daily, even hourly journey and path we must stay on to be that best self.  Would that I could be that more often.

And then in the end, Friday afternoon became Friday evening on a field at Hoover.  Our kids playing with their teammates, getting ready for another Saturday soccer game.

There’s been challenges there too; tough getting a bunch of kids who don’t know each other, haven’t played much soccer, and aren’t terribly enthusiastic about playing the game to do so. Then again, that’s how you learn. Try, fail, keep trying.

Good lessons all around. And here’s to the weekend now. Make it GOOD.

Quiet Time

I value it so SO much: Quiet Time. Sometimes I don’t get much, so when I do, I try to savor it all the more.

I get up pretty early on work days, but otherwise I love the roll over for another hour of ZZZZZs. If magic happens at my house and everyone is in bed with lights out early, say before 9pm, the joy is palpable in the room. It’s scribble a few words down (like now), read a couple pages, and boom, lights out.

For sure it’s not just kids who benefit from Quiet Time. For sure I benefit from it too. Whether after dark and in bed early or up early before the sun, or sitting in my car or a vacant conference room reading…Quiet Time is GOOD.

Got a little this week; maybe I can find a little more this weekend.  Fingers crossed. GOOD.

Lyrics Post: “The Champion”

This song is the first one on a playlist my wife created to get fired up.

Mission Accomplished, I’ll say that.  Our kids love the music, and so do I. Our oldest said recently, “Mom, these songs have a lot of power…”, or something like that.

Yes honey, YES THEY DO.  And this one kicks it off…

The Champion by Carrie Underwood, featuring Ludacris;

Lyricists:  Brett James, Carrie Underwood, Chris DeStefano, Christopher Bridges

I’ll be the last one standing

Two hands in the air, I’m a champion

You’ll be looking up at me when it’s over

I live for the battle, I’m a soldier, yeah

I’m a fighter like Rocky

Put you flat on your back like Ali

Yeah, I’m the greatest, I’m stronger

Paid my dues, can’t lose, Imma own ya, ay

I’ve been working my whole life

And now it’s do or die

I am invincible, unbreakable

Unstoppable, unshakeable

They knock me down, I get up again

I am the champion

You’re gonna know my name

You can’t hurt me now

I can’t feel the pain

I was made for this, yeah, I was born to win

I am the champion

When they write my story

They’re gonna say that I did it for the glory

But don’t think that I did it for the fame, yeah

I did it for the love of the game, yeah

And this is my chance I’m taking

All them old records I’m breaking

All you people watching on the TV

You go ahead and put your bets on me, ay

I’ve been waiting my whole life

To see my name in lights

I am invincible, unbreakable

Unstoppable, unshakeable

They knock me down, I get up again

I am the champion

You’re gonna know my name

You can’t hurt me now

I can’t feel the pain

I was made for this, yeah, I was born to win

I am the champion, oh

Born champion, Luda

The C is for the courage I possess through the drama

H is for the hurt but it’s all for the honor

A is for my attitude working through the patience

Money comes and goes so the M is for motivation

Gotta stay consistent, the P is to persevere

The I is for integrity, innovative career

The O is optimistic, open and never shut

And the N is necessary ’cause I’m never giving up

See they ask me how I did it, I just did it from the heart

Crushing the competition, been doing it from the start

They say that every champion is all about his principles


I am invincible, unbreakable

Unstoppable, unshakeable

They knock me down, I get up again

I am the champion

You’re gonna know my name

You can’t hurt me now

I can’t feel the pain

I was made for this, yeah, I was born to win

I am the champion

I’m the champion, yeah

Surpassed all rivals

It’s all about who wants it the most (I am the champion)

Fight for what we believe in

That’s what champions are made of

I am the champion

09/11/2019: REMEMBER

Eighteen years ago America was attacked.

Almost 3,000 people were killed in that attack.

We came to understand in an ugly, vicious, and history-changing way how much hatred there is for the country by some others.

Those haters, those evil-doers, are still out there.

America is still at war EIGHTEEN years later fighting the extremism that attacked America in 2001.

In that war alone more than 2,000 US soldiers have died; more than 20,000 US soldiers have been wounded.

And that’s not the only place this hatred lives. And that’s not only place blood has been spilled fighting the hate.

And so as an American I ask myself, what is our future? How do we battle the evil but also address the hatred.

I don’t know. But I know we have to figure it out. That’s the only way we can really protect ourselves. Changing the minds. And fighting the hate.