Monday, September 30, 2013

Character breakfasts at Disneyland

Character breakfast at Storyteller's Cafe
During our visits to Disneyland, one of the events I always enjoyed splurging on were character breakfasts. Usually we ate breakfast at our off-Disney hotel, but sometimes when the rain was falling or we had a rare cold day, I'd take us to a character breakfast.

One that we went to a couple of times was in Downtown Disney at the Grand Californian Hotel's Storyteller's Cafe. You could buy ala carte or off the buffet.

Lots of the furry Disney animals would be there - Chip and Dale, the bears from the recent Bear movie, and sometimes the gorillas from "Tarzan." You always like the big bears when they came in!

Another character breakfast we did was at the Plaza Inn in Disneyland. They usually had Winnie the Pooh chracters, though sometimes other ones would appear. Captain Hook sometimes did, and he always creeped you out (So much that you wouldn't go to eat there anymore!).

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Looking forward to your driver's ed days

Late last week I edited a parents' guide to teaching one's teen how to drive a car and started thinking about the years ahead when you'll get your driver's license. That's a few years off - about eight years -but you've already lived nearly seven years and that has gone by in a flash!

I look forward to being able to each you how to drive, and to seeing that excited, joyous look on your face when you finally receive your license! And then, of course, there's that moment when you get your first car! I can vividly recall each of those moments in my life!

I must admit that there's a little trepedation about you driving - it's a lot more complicated than it looks (at first anyways), and teens tend to get in more accidents (including more fatal ones) than other drivers. Still, I'm confident that with enough practice hours on the road, you'll do fine!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

My email/letter to you for Sept. 28, 2013

Here is my email/letter that I sent Sept. 28, 2013, in case you do not receive it.

Dear Kieran,

How are you doing today? I’m doing fine, though I miss you like crazy! I sure wish we could get together this weekend. The good news is that we will be getting together next weekend – either Friday, Oct. 4 or Saturday, Oct. 5.

Are you enjoying first grade? I bet you are. You always have been very curious about the world and are very intelligent, so I’m sure you enjoy school. What are you learning about in reading, math and music class (That was three questions in one, wasn’t it?). My favorite classes in school were reading and social studies. I liked reading stories and learning about different places in the world. Interestingly, that’s what I do for a living today – I read and edit other people’s stories and write about neat places that I hike.

September is almost over, and that means we’re into football season! Have you watched many of the NFL games on TV? They last a long time, don’t they? I usually read a book during commercials and between plays because the games last so long! Unfortunately, my favorite teams, the Green Bay Packers and San Diego Chargers, are not doing so well so far – they each have 1-2 records, meaning they won a game but lost two. But the games they lost were very close.

My old high school’s football team has been having a really good season, though – they’ve won six straight games, and no one has scored any points against them. That’s unheard of! Does your school have a high school football team? If they do, have you gone to their games yet? I always enjoyed going to high school football and basketball games with my father when I was your age.

Halloween will be here in just four or so weeks! What kind of costume do you want to wear this year for Halloween?

Do you remember all of the Halloween costumes you've worn through the years? I've made a list of them for you:
 >2007 (8 months old) - Pumpkin
 >2008 (1 year old) - Elmo
 >2009 (2 years old) - Doctor
 >2010 (3 years old) - Luke Skywalker
 >2011 (4 years old) - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle
 >2012 (5 years old) - Fireman
 >2013 (6 years old) - ?

Sometimes you wore different costumes in a year as we attended different Halloween celebrations during October. What's listed above is what you wore on Halloween itself while going trick or treating.

I’m sure where we’ll meet next weekend – either at the family center on Friday or somewhere else on Saturday. If we can meet on Saturday and the weather is good, we’ll go to Como Park Zoo like you had asked.

Well, that is all for now. I love and miss you very much. You have a great week at school, and I’ll see you in just a few days!



Friday, September 27, 2013

No. 1 songs on your birthdays

Have you wondered what was the No. 1 song when you were born? How about on each of your birthdays? Well here's the list!

>>2007 - "Irreplacable" (Beyonce)
>>2008 - "Low" (Flo Rida)
>>2009 - "Crack a Bottle" (Eminem)
>>2010 - "Tik Tok" (Kesha)
>>2011 - "Black and Yellow" (Wiz Khalifa)
>>2012 - "Stronger" (Kelly Clarkson)
>>2013 - "Thrift Shop" (Macklemore)

The No. 1 song when I was born was "Turn, Turn, Turn" (Byrds) and the No. 1 album was "Rubber Soul" (Beatles).

The list comes from the Billboard Top 100.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Recall your space shuttle plush toy?

Do you remember your space shuttle plush toy? I got it for you when you were an infant, and it ended up in your tote of space toys, so you still played with it when a preschooler.

When pressed, it made the sound of an engine starting up, as if the space shuttle were revving up to take off. I don't remember exactly where I got it, but I believe it was at an airport.

I always liked getting you space toys because as a kid I loved all things that had to to do with space (In fact, I still do!). I hoped to share that love with you via some of the toys I purchased.

Believe it or not, I think I still have that plush toy in a tote!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Collecting Topps pro football cards

One of my favorite things to collect when I was in first grade were football cards!

That year, the Miami Dolphins were the best team in the NFL, and along with the Packers my favorite team. So I always wanted to get Miami Dolphins and Green Bay Packers players whenever I bought football cards. My favorite football card was of Dolphins player Nick Buoniconti!

I started buying football cards for you the year before you went into first grade. They were the Topps cards with New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez on the package.

The current football cards I'm purchasing for you also are from Topps but have Adrian Peterson on the package. You told me Saturday that you wanted to collect cards from California teams! I hope you get lots of them in your packages!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Recall Johnny Rockets in Santa Clarita?

Johnny Rockets in Santa Clarita, Calif.
After enjoying Johnny Rockets with you on Saturday at the Mall of America, I began to think about all of the times we've been to one. I think the one you probably remember most is in Santa Clarita, Calif., though we've both been to the one in Rancho Mirage, Calif., too.

The Santa Clarita restaurant was near the Borders bookstore in the Valencia Town Center. We'd go there every couple of months to enjoy a hamburger, fries and a malt.

You always liked that they made a smiling face with the ketchup in a little cardboard container. Sometimes the staff also would break out into song and a small dance when certain songs came on; the one that I remember that the Santa Clarita staff did that to was Donna Summer's "Last Dance."

Monday, September 23, 2013

Hiking Rainbow Basin in 2009

Four years ago today we hiked through Rainbow National Natural Landmark near Barstow, Calif.

I remember the trip being a long drive for you - we probably spent an hour and 15 minutes in the Jeep before arriving. But arrive we did - and what an impressive site!

Wind and rain over a virtually plant-less terrain carved Rainbow Basin's mudstone and other sediment layers into a variety of odd and fantastic shapes. It's a little known national park unit.

I also remember that you brought your little yellow sand shovels along. Perhaps because I had brought a geological hammer, you felt like you should have some tools as well!

Here are a collection of pictures from our adventure!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Our Saturday outing to the aquarium

Getting our picture taken at the Sea Life Aquarium
Grandma Bignell and I had so much fun with you Saturday at the aquarium and Mall of America!

Here is what we did:
>>Lunch at Rain Forest Cafe (where we played Go Fish and you had a cheeseburger)
>>Sea Life Aquarium (follow the link to photos!)
>>Snack at Johnny Rockets (Oreo ice cream malt and French fries)
>>Lego store (where you made three figures)

Leaving was very difficult. I wanted to stay and keep having fun with you!

Today, I am planning our next outing - hopefully the weather will be good for Como Park Zoo!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Great news for us, Kieran!

I am very excited today, Kieran! We now will get to spend more time with one another and go places other than the family center.

Our expanded time togther begins today! I will see you at 11 a.m. I have a fun day planned for us at an aquarium and also lunch at the Rain Forest Cafe.

We also will get to talk to one another by telephone each Tuesday night. Your mother will place the call to me between 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. The telephone calls will replace the emails that I send each Saturday.

I also soon will be speaking with your teacher and attending your school activities.

Do not worry, I will continue to write a daily blog post here until we finally are allowed to speak to one another each and every day unhindered. I also will continue to fight for your right to see and talk with me. The right will be slow in coming, I fear, but it will come.

I will see you at 11 a.m. later this morning! I love you!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Geordi's rocket and the Borg cube

"Borg cube"
Do you remember "Geordi's rocket" and "the Borg cube"? When you were four years old, and I lived in Encinitas, we'd sometimes (okay, alot of times) drive from Disneyland back to San Diego via I-5, which took us past the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana.

"Geordi's rocket"

One of the science center's icons was a large black cube - which looked like a Borg cube from "Star Trek." Another was a giant white rocket. Both easily could be seen from the freeway on our drive back.

After you'd seen the movie "Star Trek: First Contact," you started calling the science center's rocket "Geordi's rocket" because it looked like the Phoenix spaceship that Engineer Geordi LaForge helped build in the movie. The movie also had a Borg cube, so we started calling the center's cube "the Borg cube"!

Everytime we'd go past the science center on our drive, I'd say, "Look, there's the Borg cube" and you'd say, "And there's Geordi's rocket!"

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Remember Borders in Santa Clarita?

Entry to Borders in Santa Clarita
One of the many places you enjoyed going to when we lived in California was Borders bookstore in Santa Clarita. Sometimes you'd even ask if we could go to Santa Clarita, which meant going to the mall and Borders!

Outside of Borders was this great water fountain that you loved to watch. Water spewed out of balls positioned along the fountain's sides toward the central geyser, and sometimes you'd hold your hand over the nozzles in the balls to keep the water from coming out!

Borders had a great childrens section on its second floor. Part of it were raised, carpeted steps where we could sit and read children's books together.

They also had an elevator that you loved to go up and down in! You especially enjoyed pressing the buttons to get us to the right floor!

Unfortunatley, the Borders in Santa Clarita - like all of the Borders nationwide went out of business. That was too bad; I have great memories of the Borders there, in Rancho Mirage, Calif., and many other cities.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Your Mickey Mouse Clubhouse figures

Do you remember your Mickey Mouse Clubhouse figurines? We purchased them during one of our many visits to Disneyland.

The set included Mickey, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck and Pluto. Like all of the other plastic figure Disney sets we had, none of the arms or legs moved, but they were solid and didn't break, and they sure stood well on their feet, which was really difficult with some of our action figures!

We had a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse playset that was purchased separately, so we would use the figures to play Mickey Mouse and friends visiting one another.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

My time as a first grader

I'm so proud of you that you're in first grade! You've just started a great adventure in your education. Though it doesn't seem that way now (And won't for a long time!), this time in school will go very fast, so make the most of it.

I went to first grade at Elmwood Elementary School in Elmwood, Wis. My first grade teacher was Mrs. Rheil. We had about 60 kids in my class, so there were two classrooms of first graders. My best friend, Ronald Wolfe, was in my class!

Everybody in our classroom had to put on a sock puppet show, with a classmate, about what our dads did for a living. Ronald and I were partners. He got really nervous when our turn came, as we hadn't written or practiced anything, like some of the other kids had. I told him not to worry and to "just follow my lead"!

We did great! We just each pretended to be our dads and had the class entranced. The teacher even called both of our parents and told them what a great job we did with the sock puppet show!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Five great quotations to live by

This entry, I'd like to do something a little different by giving you some of my favorite quotations that I live by. I understand they may not make too much sense right now, while you're only six, but maybe one day they will.

"Life is just what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." - John Lennon

“In the depth of winter I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” – Albert Camus

"...there're just so many summers and just so many springs." - Don Henley

"You see things; and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?" - George Bernard Shaw

"Dad, can I hang out with you?" - Kieran Bignell

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Playing with 'Lift off!' with you as a baby

Yesterday as going through my photos of you, I got to thinking about the time when you were about three or four months. One thing we always used to do together was I'd hold you out in front of me, my hands cupped just below your arms, your little toes playfully digging into the warm spring air, and say in my most serious news voice, “We’re 15 seconds to launching the first baby to the moon, and Baby Kieran is that baby!”

Then I’d start a countdown, and after “1” go “Lift off!” and raise you superquick high into the air then hold you over my head so you were flying like Superman. You’d break into a giggle as your flabby tummy pressed against my palms and would start moving your arms and legs like you were swimming. I’d shift you around from side to side, going, “Quick, fast, zoom, we’re on our way to the moon!” and the scent of baby powder would waft down toward me on the currents of air created by the motion.

After we’d done that a few times, whenever we got to “3” in the countdown, you’d ball up your tiny fists, close your eyes tight, and tense up, as if to ward off the sudden stomach-in-my-throat feeling you must have got from liftoff. But you always giggled with glee once I got you above my head.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

My email to you for Sept. 14, 2013

Here is my letter sent to you Sept. 14, 2013, in case you do not receive it.

Dear Kieran,

How are you doing today? I am doing fine though I miss you like crazy! I am sorry that we did not get together today; unfortunately, other people decided that we should not. If I had my way, we would be able to get together every day! I have made arrangements for us to get together either next Friday (Sept. 20) or Saturday (Sept. 21), however.

How is school going? You must be in your third week by now! What kinds of things are you learning about in reading class? Even if some days reading class isn’t very fun or interesting, always pay attention and try your best – there is nothing more important to learn in school than how to read. Once you know how to read, you can look up the answer to anything else you can learn about in school. That’s not to say math or science or music or gym class aren’t important – they are – but even if years later you forget what you’ve learned in those classes, so long as you know how to read well, you’ll be able to find the answers.

What new stuff are you learning about in music class? You’ve always had a great interest in music, as you enjoyed listening to songs while at home and in the Jeep, playing with your musical instruments, and pretending to be a performing band while plucking my acoustic guitar. You’d even make up songs and tell me that it was a new one sang by one of the Beatles! The melody you tapped out on the piano when we were last together on Sept. 5 was very lovely, though I could hear a bit of sadness in it. Keep learning how to play the piano – you definitely have talent and one day could write songs that make people very happy.

I have been busy working but this week had the chance to take a hike through the woods behind my farmhouse. With autumn’s arrival, the leaves have fallen off the bottom branches, or at least the animals fattening themselves for winter have eaten much of them bare. So at last I was able to see many of the chipmunks and squirrels, who I’d only heard scampering through the summer, as they made their last collections for the cold months ahead. In one small cliff cutaway, I even spied a bee’s hive built beneath a limestone overhang. Then while walking along a ridge, I unwittingly frightened six wild turkeys asleep in the grass on a ravine’s side. They took off with a whoosh that scared me as much as I did them. After jumping back, I realized what was making the hillside come alive as they took to the air; I don’t think I’ve ever seen turkeys fly that high. Down at the ravine’s bottom, the pond has yet to dry up, which the black bears apparently appreciate, as I spotted their paw prints in the sand and from the trail to the green water a path of crushed grass, the wild fresh scent of their broken stems still filling the air. These bears must have bad table manners, though, as some of the scat was full of acorns that appeared to be unchewed. Imagine a bear just stuffing a paw full of acorns into his mouth and swallowing whole!

Did you watch the football games on Sunday? My Green Bay Packers and San Diego Chargers both lost, but the teams playing them had to come from behind to beat them. I see your Chicago Bears won, though! And the Minnesota Vikings lost – while I like Adrian Peterson, I don’t like the Vikings because they are the Packers’ (and the Bears’) rival, so I was pretty happy that they lost. Maybe one day Adrian Peterson will play for a good team like the Packers!

Well, that is all for now. You have a good weekend and a great day in school. I will see you next week, either on Friday or Saturday.



Friday, September 13, 2013

Recall our Peter Pan playset?

Do you remember our Peter Pan playset? It consisted of figurines of the major characters from the movie and some other cool accessories.

We purchased the playset during one of our many visits to Disneyland. It formed the core of our box of "pirate toys."

Often we used the figures and accessories when playing with our "ocean" toys - especially the rowboat and gazebo. We usually played with them on the glass coffee table, which served as the "water surface" of many ocean and island adventures, at the green house in Lancaster.

Theonly real downside to the figures is that they didn't move like our many other action figures!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Your first 'Star Wars' action figure!

Do you remember what your first "Star Wars" action figure was? It was Grand Moff Tarkin, the evil general who ran the Death Star in "Star Wars IV: A New Hope."

We never purchased Grand Moff Tarkin. Instead, we found him the flower bed at the green house in Lancaster. I washed him up, and viola! we had a new action figure.

At the time, you were more into the "Star Trek" action figures I had squirreled away in the garage. Once we started watching "The Clone Wars" and "Star Wars" rerun marathons, though, you got quite interested in "Star Wars" action figures, and our collection took off!

You really liked to collect clone troopers - but I'll save that for another entry!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Our first visit to California Adventure!

Dancing with Donald Duck, Sept. 11, 2009
Four years ago today, we made out first visit together to the California Adventure theme park!

Staying in Pomona the night before, we waited for the park to open and got to walk around it with virtually nobody there. Our walk (You were in the stroller.) began counterclockwise, first going through Condor Flats then into the Grizzly Peak Rec Area.

That's when we first discovered the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail! It included a walk across the rope bridges high above the play area.

We also got to meet lots of the characters there. The lines definitely were not as long as at Disneyland!

Here's are a whole bunch of pictures from our adventure that day!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Your Matchbox Car Wash Mini Playset

Do you remember your Matchbox Car Wash Mini Playset? It was one of many Matchbox car playsets that you had.

This one was neat, though, because it folded up into a box that you could carry around! We kept it in an end table between the sofa and the wall in the green house we lived in at Lancaster, Calif., along with all of the other Matchbox and Hot Wheel sets.

I think you were more of a collector than a player with the Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars, though. You'd play a little with them each day, but you were more into your action figures.

The two purple guys who came with the car wash got put in with our airport toys, if I remember correctly. I think we used the guy carrying the rag as an airplane mechanic at the airport hangar!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Remember your basketball set?

Do you remember your Little Tikes basketball hoop? It was a basketball hoop with backboard on a short stand that I bought you when a preschooler while we lived in the green house in Lancaster.

You had a soft Nerf basketball that you could use to make buckets. We kept it inside until the weather got warm then moved it outside onto the side of the house by the grill.

Generally you preferred to play football or hit the baseball off a t-ball stand rather than "shoot buckets." Still, you played with it just about every time we went outside, usually by tossing the ball at it a couple of times.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Do you remember your U.S. puzzle map?

When you were five years old, I purchased for you a puzzle that was a United States map. Each piece was a state (or a group of small states, such as those in New England).

We always started by piecing together the outside border of the map, which had each of the flags for the states. Then we usually started by going west to east.

You quickly learned all of the big states - like California, Texas, Florida and Minnesota - and then soon began to remember the shapes of other states. I was very impressed at how quickly you picked them up! Often I told you stories about your visits to each of the 10-12 states you'd been to.

A map puzzle was how I learned each of the states - their names, their shapes, their locations - when I was a young boy. I am so glad to pass on this "tradition" to you...perhaps one day when you are a daddy, too, you'll teach your son about the states by using a map puzzle, too!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

My email to you for Sept. 1-7, 2013

Here is my email sent to you Sept. 7, 2013, in case you do not receive it:

Dear Kieran,

How are you today? I’m doing fine, though I miss and love you like crazy!

I so enjoyed my time with you on Thursday! We sure packed a lot into those two hours!

You certainly have a lot of energy, which is not surprising for a young boy, especially one who’s a Bignell. All of the Bignells – my cousins and yours – have a lot of spunk. Although I exercise daily, I must admit that all of the karate, football, spinning and wrestling we did wore me out! You are very strong and athletic, and I'm impressed!

I'm so very glad that you enjoyed the volcano we made! There are more “kitchen” experiments in the science kit, as well, including making a clock run with a battery made from a lemon or tomato! We will have to do some of those in the weeks ahead.

Putting together the Bionicles was a good time, too. It brought back lots of great memories of when we used to do that at Legoland or at my place in Encinitas. I hope you enjoy playing with your new Bionicles!

I enjoyed playing checkers, too. You really knew the rules well! When I was in fourth grade, I was a master checkers player. I was so good that no one wanted to play me because they always lost! So I turned to chess, but there were only a couple of other students who knew how to play that. I think you’re going to be a master checkers player, too!

Constructing the puzzle map was fun as well. You did a great job of putting it together all on your own while I worked on the Lone Ranger Lego kit, which I think is a mound that scorpions live in – there’s a little catapult on it that you can shoot the scorpions out of! Too bad we ran out of time to complete the puzzle (or the Lego toy).

Say, I don’t believe we looked at the football cards you received on Thursday. Which players and teams did you get? Also, did you see the first pro football game of the year on Thursday night? The Denver Broncos were playing the Baltimore Ravens. You may recall that Peyton Manning now plays for the Denver Broncos. He set a record by throwing seven touchdown passes in a single game! The Broncos won 49-27!

What books or stories did you read in school this past week? I read a neat book about autumn called “Leaf Man” by Lois Ehlert. The book has pictures of leaves arranged to look like a person – called Leaf Man – and traces his movement across the landscape. It has a lot of cool pictures of Leaf Man in it.

We next get together on Saturday, Sept. 14 – a week from today! Your mother and I are still working out the times. We no longer have to meet at the visitation center that we have been at since last winter. I have not yet decided what we will do when we get together, but I have some ideas and promise it will be a lot of fun!

I look forward to seeing you then. I miss and love you very much! Be a good boy in school this week!




Friday, September 6, 2013

I enjoyed our time together Thursday

I so enjoyed my time with you yesterday, Kieran! We sure packed a lot into those two hours!

As a young boy, you certainly have a lot of energy. I must admit, all of the karate, football, spinning and wrestling wore my out! You are very strong, and I'm impressed!

Putting together the Bioncles, playing checkers, and constructing the puzzle map were a good time, too! I hope you enjoy playing with the Bioncles at home!

I'm so very glad that you enjoyed the volcano we made, too! There are more "kitchen" experiments in the kit,as well, including making a clock run with a battery made from a lemon or tomato! We will have to do some of those in the weeks ahead.

Here are some pictures of our time together!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Your Uncle Chris' birthday is today!

You and Uncle Chris playing together
at you birthday party in 2008.
Today is your Uncle Chris' birthday! He was born when I was four years old. That was a long time ago!

I have tons of great memories about my brother and will have to tell you some of stories when we get together.

You got to spend lots of time with Uncle Chris when you stayed with Grandma and Grandpa Bignell in the winter/spring/summer of 2008. He even bought you a toy tractor for a birthday present!

He and his family miss you very much and can't wait until the time comes when they can see you again. I signed the birthday card I got him with both of our names on it.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Remember your space shuttle toy?

Do you recall your space shuttle and launching pad toy? It was made by Fischer Price Imaginext, and we used it on lots of great adventures in which our intrepid astronauts would explore other worlds.

The shuttle had cargo doors that opened, so often you put Imaginext astronauts or Star Wars action figures in them. After pushing a button on the shuttle, a countdown would begin and then it 'd make a blast off sound, as if its rockets were firing!

Then you'd pick up the shuttle and with guys I was carrying in another of your spaceship toys, we'd fly the two crafts through the house to a table or desk and land the ship. Our astronauts then would explore the planet (and usually have to escape it)!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Remember your squishy goo toy?

Remember your blue squishy goo toy you had as a presschooler? It was a flexible blue tube filled with gel that you could squish in your hands. Inside the gel were plastic pieces of stars, planets and a crescent moon.

We picked up the squishy goo toy at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. I thought of the squishy goo and you because a couple of days ago I visited the science museum in St. Paul and saw some similar (but not the same) stuff (And yes, I picked up a couple of surprises for you that I'll share on Thursday when we next get together!).

You loved playing with the squishy goo! Unfortunatley, it eventually developed a pinhole leak and started fripping the gel, so we had to toss it. :(

Monday, September 2, 2013

Recall your Star Trek Pez dispensers?

Do you remember your Star Trek Pez dispensers? They were a set of eight dispensers of the major characters from "Star Trek: The Original Series": Kirk, Spock, Dr. McCoy, Scotty, Uhura, Sulu and Chekov with the USS Enterprise.

I bought them at World Mart in Santa Clarita, I believe. They came with Pez candy, which after you ate up I didn't replace so as not to spoil your dinner! You didn't seem to mind, though - you were more than happy to play with the dispensers as if they were action figures.

Later, I got actual action figures of all the ST:TOS characters for you at Christmas 2011. Unfortunately, I don't have all of the dispensers or action figures any more, but I'm certain one day when you're older you'l be able topurchase them as a collector, should you wish.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Home is your soft place to land

Unfortunately, I am not allowed to be with you each day, Kieran, so I am unable to listen to and talk with you about your concerns and problems. Because of that, I will on occasion offer advice about moral codes to live by. Here is another such entry.

Office politics, school bullies, rush-hour traffic…where is one to go these days to find a little peace of mind?

Home ought to be a soft place where we can land. It is the comfortable place where our inner needs can be addressed.

When the outside world stresses us, our fears and insecurities rise to the surface. We fear for our job, we worry about not being to get a good grade, we fret that we’re not valuable (Otherwise that driver certainly would have shown us respect by not cutting us off on the freeway!).

Home is where we can decompress. It feels secure, allowing us to relax and recuperate. That gives us the right frame for us to be mindful of our stresses and needs, to calm our screaming inner voice.

We then are more centered…and able to face the multiple challenges that the world tosses at us.