Stars in the sky

It has now been one week and one day since my Pop-pop passed away. My life has somewhat returned to normal (I am blogging again, LOL!), although it is definitely a “new” normal. I still find myself looking at the clock, wondering if it is too late to call him. I thought today that I needed to remind him that Saturday is my beloved Martin’s birthday, but remembered that he wouldn’t forget because his birthday is this coming Monday. Their birthdays are only two days apart.

Then I remembered that we wouldn’t be celebrating Pop-pop’s 85th this year, and it made me sad. Sad that my two favorite guys wouldn’t be together and sad that I wouldn’t be there with them. Losing one parent sucks; losing both parents? It’s hard to describe the emptiness.

This saying came into my head tonight, supposedly an “Eskimo Proverb” – and shouldn’t that really be called an Inuit Proverb? Anyway, I have always taken great comfort in the past when I read it, and tonight it is no different…

starsMaybe my Dad always knew this proverb was true. Before he became ill, many nights you could find him sitting outside my parents’ back door, on a tree stump that serves as a stool (it looks really cool, I promise), just staring at the stars. When I was younger, he tried to teach me all the constellations, although I never made it beyond the Big and Little Dippers.

He would sit in silence in the dark, looking at the bright night sky, content and happy. On the occasions when I was home visiting and this would happen, I would ask him if he wanted any company, and he always said, “No, that’s OK. I am just fine out here.” Now I guess I finally understand why. He wasn’t alone at all.

The sky is a bit cloudy tonight but Pop-pop? I’ll be out there very soon, looking for you and Mom. Give me a little twinkle when I find you two, OK?

Happy BD To Me, 2014 Edition

Today is my birthday. I am 56 year’s old today. Five-Six. Wow… That seems like the half-life of carbon or something, LOL! As I reflect over the past 365, a lot has happened, mostly good, some OK and some, frankly, a little challenging…


Last June, about two weeks after my birthday, Section 3 of DOMA was repealed. As a result, I was able to marry the man of my dreams in August 2013. Like that event wasn’t great enough in and of itself, that marriage license allowed me to sponsor my spouse for permanent, lawful immigration to America. In January of 2014, MSW received his green card. And in a little over two weeks, he will be traveling back to Europe for the first time in over three years to see his family – and I will, for the first time ever will be sending him off on a plane and not worrying if he will be able to get back in the country. For that I am forever thankful.


I woke up beside that guy today – and for that love and caring, devotion and commitment, I will also be forever grateful. Plus, he made me a kick-ass birthday cake. He is so good to me.

My family has been OK over the past year. My Dad has been having an ongoing health issue but he is battling like a trooper and I think he is finally on the right treatment path. I love that old curmudgeon and know he will be fine. All my siblings and nieces and nephews are well, although my niece Erin FASTB (First and Still the Best!) has her OWN child now, my great nephew Emmitt, and there is nothing like watching someone you held as a baby hand you THEIR baby to remind you that time does indeed march on. I am blessed with many children in my life – nine nieces, nephews and a great nephew, from 30 years old to 14 months, and I love them all.


Work? Now that is a mixed bag for sure. While the interior design component of our business continues to grow, our retail “division” might as well be closed. It is hard for independent retailers in the present economy, to be sure. My business partner and I are examining who we are today compared to who we were almost seven years ago, when we started. I can foresee some future changes/re-shaping coming – not necessarily bad, but you know me: change is never easy.


My personal health? Well, my Beloved has me eating better and healthier than ever before (I told you – he is so good for me). I am now two+ year’s out of treatment for prostate cancer and, so far, so good. I have to share that I am slightly embarrassed; when I started this blog in January of 2013, one of my goals was to lose 55 pounds (check out my original post and that will make more sense). The embarrassing part? Since that post I think I MAY have lost about 10 pounds, totes, but as long as I am going DOWN I guess I need to stay the course.


My Angel is almost done with school, and I am thinking about going back to finally finish my degree/s. Or maybe I will just take a foreign language – perhaps German, and get in touch with my “roots?” Who knows?

German Flag

Our local friend circle is great, and we also have a national network of friends from east to west. I am blessed with much love and support in this area – in fact, not to boast, but when I last checked, I had over 225 “Birthday Wishes” on Facebook (I may not get to personally respond to all of you, so know that your thoughts and wishes are really appreciated!)

coast to coast

Ridiculous thing that just happened? I got a free lunch for my birthday from our local Jimmie John’s. Sandwich, Thinny Chips AND a large drink. Matt and his crew are fantastic!


In the challenging category is the fact that – much as I resist (resent?) it – I am in my “Second Fifty.” I think I need glasses, readers at least. My Sweetie – and a few others – have commented recently that I am talking louder and louder. My God, am I losing my hearing? And as a “youthful-minded” fifties-ish person, I am challenged by fashion. I am not ready for Ban-Lon “slacks” with non-roll, elastic waistbands yet, but me and Banana Republic are not friends, either. And I think people over fifty should never wear “graphic tees.” Sigh…


All in all, however, my life is pretty sweet. I am blessed. So, “Welcome, 56!” I am looking forward to 57…


Today I Am 55

Today is my birthday! Happy Birthday to me! Today I turned 55 years old. Five five. Five and a half decades of trudging along thru life, trying to be the best me I can be…

All in all, I have had an outstanding day. Today at work, this happened:

photo (2)That’s right, my business partner Scott and I celebrated my birthday with an old skool, grocery store bakery sheet cake – it was chocolate and delicious! You know, this style of cake isn’t perfect unless you can feel the sugar from the icing “grit-ing” between your teeth as you bite it. This cake definitely did not disappoint. In addition, there was also some Neapolitan Ice Cream. Yummy.

As if that weren’t great enough, today at work a design client bought a sofa, a chair and ottoman and a light fixture. HOORAY! This was hot on the heels of yesterday’s awesomeness when a different design client purchased a rug, two “poufs” (I love that word) and a leather lounge chair. Work has been pretty rockin’ this week and that has been a super birthday gift as well…

After work, I came home at the exact same time as my beloved – his meeting tonight was very brief so he got home the same time I did. HOORAY again! My Angel already made me a delicious berry crumble cake yesterday as my “birthday cake” – it’s one of my favorite things he makes – but I was also greeted with a gift bag and a note when I came in the apartment. Here’s the “haul” –

Tim's Birthday Gifts

Yup – my SBF (Sweet Boyfriend) got me this ridiculous mini garden gnome (I love it!), a red velvet cupcake (I got one more wish!) and a very touching card… I have to share, at the risk of “jinxing” my wish, that I asked the we never, ever spend even one more birthday apart.

I am crazy in love with my SBF; he makes every day feel like it’s my birthday.

So, all in all, I have had a pretty spectacular day/week. I received a number of calls and texts, have like over 150+ birthday wishes on Facebook and have just had an amazing day. Is my life exactly what I imagined it would be like at 55? Not exactly, but in most ways, it is even better and in one way in particular, it is beyond my wildest dreams…

I used to joke that my birthday was like every other day, but today was not. Today has been a blessing and I thank The Universe for giving it to me. I have a great family, a super circle of friends – both those I talk with regularly and those I have never even met in person (that makes sense if you are one of those friends!) and a partner and companion that I could have never imagined in my wildest dreams. I am a very lucky guy… Happy Birthday to me…


I know I made the commitment to blog every day this entire year, but something has come up that will force me to turn in a “fluff” piece today –


Yup, that’s right, it’s P-A-R-T-Y time!!! My Sweetie and I have been invited to the celebration of one of our best friend’s birthday tonight. So, as they say, duty calls…

I hope you understand – I have to bathe, shave, pick out a “cute outfit” (same goes for my beloved) and then we have to make the trek to party central in Parma. My beloved has had a grueling week at university this past week; work was kinda’ crazy for me, too. In addition, today the Sweetie and I have had a full day already – we got a new “new-to-us” sofa, a new rug AND a new lamp for our TV room and ran some other errands as well. I mean, we need a break… Friends, food, fun and C-A-K-E? Hooray!!!

The “new room” will get installed tomorrow but for tonight? Let the merrymaking begin!

Hope you all have an awesome Saturday! Be back tomorrow!!! 🙂