2023 Will Be a Hair Triumph

Been a while since I Blogged about my hair (see above), but with only a few months until my 50th birthday, I need to get serious, again.

I’ve made some unfortunate decisions over the past few years with regard to my hair. First, the pandemic. I went with long hair. And when I say “long”, I mean modern-day Jason Batemen. On my 5′ 5″ frame, it just didn’t work. When I saw myself in pictures, all I could see was Peter Dinklage.  Next, when barber shops finally re-opened, I broke-up with my barber. Suddenly, my barber, once the home of an $18 haircut (+ $4 tip), raised their price to $30 (+$5 tip).  I get my hair cut every three weeks. 17 haircuts per year. My annual hair budget, not including the occasional between cut $6 clean-up, went from $374 to $595. Read More

Goals for 2023 and Forever

I’m committing plagiary. Intellectual property theft. But not really. Matthew Dicks actually encourages his fans (and I am one) to do what he does.  Here’s what he does. At the beginning of the year he establishes a set of goals (ie New Year Resolutions) for the year, posts them on his Blog, then holds himself accountable.

“I recommend this to everyone.”  -Matthew Dicks

Then he posts an update monthly, quarterly, and annually. It’s inspiring. I’ve talked about doing it for three years. 2023 will be my attempt at it.  Matthew Dicks’ list is epic. Maybe he started that way. Maybe his list evolved. Mine will be a work in progress …hopefully decades of work and progress. Read More

My 2022 Christmas Card Letter

I wish I could send everyone a copy of my ’22 family Christmas card and enclosed Christmas card letter, but postage stamps are expensive. Lucky you if I deem you worthy of .50-cents.

No, really. I’m a very lucky guy. I have so many people I consider friends. Former co-workers. Current co-workers. People at Church and parents I’ve met through my kids and school. When I say “friend”, I mean someone I would have no problem picking up the phone, calling (not texting), and saying, “I was thinking of you recently and just wanted to call and say ‘hi.'”

Maybe I’m an idiot and some of these people don’t even like me. But I don’t care. I like them and will call them. Sometimes out of the blue. For no reason other than to say ‘hi’ and see how they’ve been. Read More

Project 50 (What I’m Calling My 2023 New Year’s Resolutions)

Here it goes! My New York Times Best-Seller. My Blog is about to BLOW UP! Oprah’s gonna have me on as a guest. What’s that? She retired!?!?! Poop.

No matter. I’m about to be known as that “Project 50 guy” and it’ll be a movement for guys turning 50, or in their 50s, who want a smart way to lose weight, be active, get healthy, and live at optimum health.

I turn 50 years old this year. This last year …ahem. Let’s not talk about it. OK? Just, well, let’s just say, it wasn’t a great year. I went backwards. Stupidly I scheduled my annual physical on December 27th, a month removed from Thanksgiving …after a month of sugar cookies, big holiday lunches, happy hours, and then my Christmas ham. My blood test, officially, said my blood type was “mayo” and my blood pressure, it was determined, could best be compared to a power washer. Read More

Note to My Older Self, Part 1

This is Part 1 of a new series of Blog posts I’m writing to my future-self begging myself not to do certain things or become the type of person I would hate. I picture myself a wise, charming, clever old man who listens more than he talks and no matter how old I get, I’ll still be curious, optimistic, and constantly learning things. Maybe I’ll learn a language. Maybe I’ll learn piano. Maybe I’ll teach myself to write left-handed. Maybe I’ll get a job at a Thai restaurant and work in the kitchen and learn how to make new, delicious dishes. Hmmm. Maybe I’ll become a master chef.

Point is, I vow never to be a grumpy old man. I want to enjoy life rather than hate it and everything in it.

Occasionally, like at the store last weekend, I’ll run into “old people” that make me shake my head. I went into this adorable little corner market by my house to buy a few things (pizza sauce, block of mozzarella cheese, and this amazing spinach artichoke dip). Read More

Don’s 2022 Christmas Wish-List

Readers are well aware of my Stuff I Want Page. It’s a living-document, constantly being updated based on my changing tastes and hobbies, new ideas, and things being purchased. The list is a combination of big, expensive items (for those who really, really like me), moderately priced items (for those who like me, or maybe want to buy me multiple things), and budget items that can be gifted at any point of the year. Don’t worry if you’ve never given me anything …I’m not keeping track. But as you know, it is better to give than receive, so I give you a list, and you can give me a present.

My family was just discussing that people are either givers or receivers. Some people are just dang good at picking out gifts, listening for hints, or knowing their friends and family well enough they know what to give. These “givers” take great pride in giving. Read More

Thanksgiving Follow-Up, Turkey-licious

Turns out I have at least one reader. Thanks to read J.F. for cornering me and pulling me aside at a cocktail party recently and asking, “well? How was the turkey? What was that cooking method, again?”

Lucky me, I got to bend someone’s ear at a party about how brilliant the spatchcock turkey cooking method worked. 

Of course, the entire happiness of Thanksgiving was more than just a well-cooked bird. Though I didn’t mind the random comments like, “I never eat turkey, but this was amazing,” or, “I don’t even like turkey, but I went back for seconds,” and, “I’m not a big white meat guy, but, wow.”  Read More

Will Spatchcocked Turkeys Make this the Greatest Thanksgiving, Ever?!?!?

Well …hopefully in 12 hours from now I’ll be able to report back this was the most epic, most successful Thanksgiving, ever, with the best cooked turkeys my family has ever known. If it is to be, the reason will be the spatchcocked turkey cooking method. Everyone wants that Normal Rockwell moment with a perfectly cooked whole turkey being carved at the head-of-the-table, while a large, happy family looks on admiringly waiting for a toast to healthy and happiness and then perfect slices of turkey are cut and passed out. Or maybe some just want to carve the turkey, expertly, and arrange a platter of turkey in such a way it could be on display at an art museum. I do believe there are cooks out there who can pull this off …but there’s a better way.

Spatchcocking. Read More

Don’t be Boring

Don’t be boring. Be fun. Be interesting. Stand out in a crowd. Show your individualism.

Some might say, “don’t try so hard,” but I say, “why not?”

We all have such a short time here, why would any of us mail-it-in? The older I get, the bolder. Something fun, funny, or interesting I do might make someone smile, laugh, or be inspired.

If I could invent a time machine, I’d go back in time and tell my younger-self this …”ya know all those things you’re NOT doing because you’re a little embarrassed or shy or because you’re worrying what others think? Well, does it make you happy? Does it excite you? Then do it. Do it big and bold and with joy.” My 18-year-old-self still probably wouldn’t listen, but it wouldn’t stop me from telling him …er, me. Read More

Lawn Stuff: Don Doesn’t Rake Leaves

I don’t rake leaves. I don’t bag leaves. I mulch them. Religiously. I mow them right into the lawn. 

I don’t bag my grass clippings in the spring. The summer. Or in autumn. 

All these mulched grass clippings and leaves make incredible soil for my lawn.

First, raking leaves sucks. We all know it. It’s a constant battle for weeks on end. Rake on a Saturday afternoon and by Sunday evening you might wonder if you raked on Saturday, at all. Then it rains and the leaves get heavy and gross. 

But ..if you mulch your leaves into the lawn, you don’t care. Dry leaves. Wet leaves. Lots of leaves. A few leaves. It doesn’t matter. It all gets mulched and decomposes all winter long right on your lawn. The snow. the rain. Just feeding your soil. 

The ONLY downside is that you might find yourself mowing parts of your lawn 3 or 4 times a week. And when I say “mow”, I only mean mulching the leaves. In Michigan, where I live, by the time you get to mid-October and we’ve had a frost or two, the grass isn’t growing anymore, anyway.

Ya know what else I do? I carefully chop down every summer shrub and bush. Hostas. Purple cone flowers. Day lilies. Every perennial flower I have. With the exception of the Yuccas (which are pretty much an evergreen bush), everything must goooooo! I chop. I gather all the chopped flowers and annuals. I put them in a pile on my lawn. Then I mulch them into the lawnmower bag attachment. Pour them out. Mulch them again. Then spread that all over my flower beds like a cozy winter blanket.

It’s not like I’m an Earth-first type guy or some environmentalist. I simply believe one should use all the organic material available and mulch …compost …and give yourself amazing soil and healthy grass.

#NoRaking #NoBagging #NoBurning

Join me. 

Before

After

This lawn was FULL of leaves. Mulched them all.