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What Makes A Dad


What Makes a Dad

God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle’s flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so,

He called it … Dad

~~Author Unknown.~~


What Makes A Dad


Wiped my ass when I was a baby

Taught me how to ride a bike despite me crashing into a tree and getting blood and dirt on me

Coached me in little league baseball

Came to the rescue when my classmates in 6th grade tried throwing me into a dumpster

You were my Scoutmaster in Boy Scouts and truly helped me become an Eagle Scout

You have always given me solid advice

Built a loft for me in college and drove all the way down by yourself because there was a part missing and it was very selfless of you to do that

We went on an amazing trip, just you and I, to South Dakota

You always helped me with my math homework, whenever you could

With several scary moments involved, you taught me how to drive. I think you had white knuckles then.

You took me to my first concert. It was Pink Floyd at Soldier Field. Very awesome!

You taught me how to mow the lawn

You went to my graduation ceremonies both in high school and in college.

Impersonated Donald Duck

Made me laugh a lot

You have an impressive music collection and taste (especially pink floyd)

A White Sox fan and went to a lot of games together.

You were always handy in the kitchen and with the grill.

You watched my track meets, swim meets and cross country meets

You drove me to school in your cool dodge truck

You let use drive your truck for a couple of summers to take to work when I was at the theater.

When I drove a Plymouth Acclaim, you had a cd player installed in it for my birthday and I was surprised!

You took us to the movies when mom had Tupperware parties.

You taught CCD and ushered at church

A firefighter for 20 years

You demonstrated the properties of liquid nitrogen at school and various organizations and froze a hot dog and it shattered on the ground when you smashed it.

We built model rockets and pinewood derby cars together for scouts while listening to the Beatles in the background.

You even took me out for my 21st birthday and bought me several drinks.

Thanks Dad for always being there for me… matter what!



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Hugs are MAGICAL



I love hugs. I feel connected to this world when someone gives me a hug. A warm embrace of genuine friendship makes me happy. Doesn’t matter if I give the hug or somebody else hugs me first. I no longer feel alone in this world when this occurs. It is therapy for sad & grumpy days. Suddenly I feel safe, like everything is gonna be alright. Hugging someone builds trust and boosts my ego and I am in a good mood. Its relaxing and I am loaded with confidence. Give a hug today. I guarantee you’ll feel better.

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Flashback Friday: June 2011

My wife dedicated her blog entry to me today with a sketch and a touching poem written by my favorite poet, e.e. cummings.

Denielle Noe

In recognition of Valentine’s Day I decided that I would post a journal entry on a subject near and dear to my heart- my husband and my life-partner Chris.
This journal entry is a drawing that I did of my husband after recently moving into our awesome apartment. After many weeks of unpacking boxes we were cashed out in our bedroom just relaxing. In that moment as I gazed upon my husband, I was captivated by his position as he was contemplating what to do for the rest of day. I took a quick photo with my camera phone. My husband looked at me quizzically and asked me what I am doing. I told him I want to draw you and rushed away with artful gleam in my eyes.

With my little camera phone photo as a reference I did a quick sketch and the rest as they say is…

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A Golden Opportunity



I am employed at an excellent company with awesome benefits. Ball Seed is a world leader in plant development & distribution. So I have a career in the Horticultural world. Ever since I began working there almost eleven years ago, I have been exceptionally HAPPY. The people I interact with every day are simply amazing! After all of these years I have received numerous vacation days,made a lot of friends and have experienced other great opportunities. One major accomplishment  I will share with you now.

You see, after ten years, you get to attend a great big banquet and award ceremony. Cocktails, mingling and music kicked off a spectacular evening. It felt like a real classy wedding, or something. Gourmet food was certainly quite delicious! Managers gave speeches awarding everyone with such dedication and the years of service put into the company. I received my award pin and got to hug the C.E.O. on this special night. I received a book with a list of prizes to claim.

The prize I chose was “travel vouchers.” I spent some time with my wife deciding where to go and what to do. Finally, we made our decision. I wanted to go somewhere I haven’t been to since my father and I took a special journey almost fifteen years ago. Nature, wildlife, mountains, rivers, fresh smell of pine needles, history and a peaceful retreat is exactly what I need. To get away from the hustle and the bustle of the suburbs provides salvation to this busy life I can get caught up into daily.

I am simply talking about the Black Hills of South Dakota. To some folks, this may not seem that exciting but it is for us. Hiking through the woods, lakes and hills among fresh air and away from computer devices is great medicine. To observe wild rock formations known as the “badlands” and man-made tributes to our presidents (Mount Rushmore) and great Native American warriors (Crazy Horse) blasted on lush, breathtaking mountain tops are truly remarkable.

We are staying in an old restored 1800’s cabin for five days. We are “unplugging.” I am taking photography lessons before our roadtrip this Spring. I want to enhance my skills and use my wife’s Pentax digital camera and get a better grasp of shutter speed, aperture and lighting. Taking pictures is a passion of mine. Roadtrips are a passion of mine. Exploring the great outdoors and the essence of America is what we are seeking.

So this voyage was 15 years in the making. Uncle Sam made this possible and most certainly I owe a debt of gratitude to Ball Horticultural Company and all of these exciting years getting to know a wonderful family. They rewarded me for all of my efforts. Because I love music so much, I like to make playlists and soundtracks to the various moments I experience. I truly feel this is a great opportunity that I must take to center myself.

My wife is spiritual and connected to her Native American heritage deeply. She loves the outdoors, even if the outdoors don’t always agree with her asthma and allergies. But she enjoys hiking and kayaking anyways and doesn’t let her medical issues stop her from embracing life. We both agree that I’d love to own a cottage in South Dakota some day. The sights and sounds of the black hills’ forests are quite astonishing!

So this is something that is truly exciting for me and most certainly makes me HAPPY.

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Snowbound! Project: Redecorate our Mantle to the rescue!

My wife’s story is a perfect example of smiling on a blustery day!!!

Denielle Noe

Well here in the midwest we are experiencing large snowfalls and drops in tempertures in epic proportions. Those of you who live in colder climates may laugh at our plight, but dang it, it’s really cold out there and I want no part of it!

So with no shopping, theaters and other outdoor activities taken away, what’s a girl to do to keep it interesting inside her boring old home? Redecorate of coarse!

It was easy to decide what to focus on since we just recently took down all of our Christmas decorations. The one area in our place that looked extremely woeful since de-decorating was our fireplace mantle.

I will be the first to admit that I never gave our mantle any proper everyday decor and just threw any old thing up there to occupy space. Without anything else to do today, I said to myself,  “I can`t take…

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When Do I Feel FREE or “In-The Zone?”


This occurs when I am preoccupied where I lose track of time

When I am writing while listening

to the right sounds, rhythms and tunes

on the computer blogging and cataloging

or downloading music

essentially doing research

talking about something

that excites me and that I feel so passionate about

without skipping a beat.




vacation days

In Michigan at my dad’s

watching a movie

writing in my notebook

listening to

and sorting through music

long bike rides


iPod on a train

When my boss is off work

even for a few hours



in the bathroom

at an amusement park



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Things I am proud of (my accomplishments):

Eagle Scout
Surviving Brain Surgery
College Degree
Published a book
Drive and pay for a nice car
Won a short story writing contest
Have always had a job since a teenager
Never unemployed
Have worked for Ball Seed for 10 years
Learned how to dance
Ran in high school and learned to run again now
Learned to swim when a little boy
Swam in high school team
Still swim
Successfully bike long distances
Ran some 5k’s
Participated in 2 triathlons
Live in a nice apartment
Was a catechism teacher at church for one year
Reader at church
Eucharistic Minister for 2 years
Been hiking, camping many times
Went canoeing on the Mississippi River and the boundary waters of Canada
I hit two home runs in minor league baseball
Went to boot camp and survived

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Today’s gratitude thoughts



things that make me smile upon reflection:


sometimes i sleep in late and my wife brews coffee for me, i love to wake up to that smell

even though i prefer to stay in bed, I drag myself out and go for a brisk jog

watching a moth hummingbird at the gardens where i work

i cry and my WIFE hugs me and then I feel awesome

SHE forgives me, even after I go GODZILLA on her

when i lose something and then find it, it helps me appreciate what i lost

cough drops sooth my throat

2 kit kat bars ejected from the vending machine….two for the price of one!!!


free smiles


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….and now something about FEET



Feet below me

I am centered

The floor of carpet

Welcomes my toes

Spread them wide

Closing my eyes

Embracing warmth


Rain outdoors

Soothing ambient music

Surrounds my being

Closing my eyes

I focus on the common ground

We all share

Children walking to school

Looking both ways before crossing the street

The movement in Chicago

Millions of pedestrians walking

Up and down the intersections

And alleys

I sit in a coffee shop

I notice the different shoes

We all wear

High heels




Or when we take them off

Barefoot on the beach

Barefoot in the park

Barefoot through the grass

Tickle the feet

Scratch the bottoms

Playing footsies

Our feet carry our weight


In touch with the soil of the earth

give in

let go