Modern Handmade Child

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Points2Ponder By Alan P. Scaglione

“Celebrate the moments—that make you laugh!”

                                                                                                       By Alan P. Scaglone

Today is Leap Day! It only happens once every four years—how exciting!
It’s the once every 4 years catch up day so we can keep everything in alignment with some great calendar in the sky that says…you’re off a day every for 4 years!!
Something like that! LOL!
And…it’s also….someone’s birthday!!
Can you imagine? Only getting a birthday once every 4 years?
For someone like me, who recently had a birthday month with 10, count ‘em, celebrations—where would I begin!
I always find it strange and unusual…and I ask “So, on the other years, which day do you celebrate as your birthday? February 28th or March 1st?”
I get varied answers…mostly February 28th…with the logic provided that…”Why wait an extra day when we can celebrate early?”
My sentiments exactly!

POINTS2PONDER  Why can’t we take time to celebrate the strange and unusual? The natural and sometimes “unnatural” oddities in life? The real “things that make you go hmmm?”

I talk on the phone for a living. I can hear you laughing now! “Gee, that’s a stretch! Wonder if he ever gets tired of talking?”
And the answer is “No tough guy! I don’t! I love my job, and I never seem to run out of things to say!”
There’s your queue—now you can Laugh Out Loud!
So… as a point of verification, I always ask for the date of birth. When it is “actually” their birthday, I break out in a heart wrenching stanza of “Happy Birthday to you!”
My colleagues start laughing and say “Alan is doing it again!”
The recipient always gushes and laughs and says, “you’re the first person to do that today—my family left this morning and no one even mentioned it!”
See? I am big on birthdays!
I also think we should take time to celebrate the strange and unusual, the odd and outstanding, the “gee, I’ve never seen that before”, the stuff that stops us in  our tracks!
Like the picture I used today.
We have a fountain in the common area of our complex—it runs at all times, rain OR shine!
I love to watch the water coming out of the water! I know it’s manmade, but…sometimes, when the sun hits it just right, it creates a rainbow effect! Just beautiful!
But it never has a duck, taking in the mist, bathing in it, celebrating the moment by saying “Look at me world, I am a duck and I am loving the water falling on my head and back! YES!!”
Okay, Okay! So I am embellishing a little…I didn’t actually interview the duck, but I could feel his celebratory mood from my vantage point on shore!
 And it stopped me in my tracks! Just watching the duck, standing tall and strong, taking in the moment of the mist of the fountain, just loving life and saying I am proud to be a duck!
My wife says I read entirely too much into a “snapshot” of life. She said it was just a duck, sitting in a spot, taking in the rain!
As you can tell…that’s why I write the column, and she reads it!
The duck just made me think!  “How many times do we see something that makes us chuckle, makes us laugh, makes us wonder “how did that happen?””
And yet…we continue on our way…not stopping to celebrate the unusual, appreciate the oddity, applaud the once in a lifetime moment that we are standing in?
Kind of like Leap Day!
So I declare todayNational Odd and Unusual DAY!
And I ask you…STOP! Take Notice! And Applaud the Unusual! Celebrate the Oddity!”
Just like the guy who told me February 29th was his birthday! I said, “So, how old are you, 5?”
He said proudly “15!”
He was turning 60 in our years!
Now isn’t that something to applaud!
Celebrate the Unusual!!!

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

I'm Just Sayin by Alan P. Scaglione

“These are a few of my favorite things!”

                                          I’m Just Sayin’”
                                                                 by Alan P. Scaglione

Favorites- Everybody’s got ‘em!
I told my wife the other day, “I’ve reached a place in my life where I have my favorite everything!”
For example:
My favorite hat – black nike tennis mesh hat
My favorite shoes – skechers black leather slip on clogs I wear for work
My favorite food – If I ever had a “last” meal, it would be meatloaf, mashed potatoes, baby carrots, peas and – New York style cheesecake!
My favorite place to visit – two: St. Augustine and Treasure Island
My favorite restaurant – two: Panullo’s on Park Avenue in Winter Park and Tropicana in Ybor City
My favorite places I have visited- two: New York City and Paris!
My favorite beach- two: Siesta Key and Treasure Island
My favorite Winter Retreat – Gatlinburg, Tennessee
My favorite Summer Retreat – Thunderbird Hotel on Treasure Island

Favorites…. Makes you think? What are your favorite things?
I know what they mean to me…favorite means the thing that gives me enjoyment, comfort and satisfaction; that’s why they’re my favorite!

I even have my favorite people.
The one friend I can always call, no matter what time, when I am out on the ledge…and ready to jump(figuratively speaking, of course!)
The one friend who always makes me laugh, no matter how somber the mood I am in at the moment.
The one family member who can make me glad that I belong to a crazy, mixed up, ever so slightly dysfunctional extended family!
The one child who brings me my greatest joy—yeah, I know, “we love them all the same!” but...we parents know, there’s that one—who just gets us!
The one cousin, in my case, two, who you wish were your siblings, not just your cousins!
The one song that always gets your heart pumping—Renegade, by Styx
The one poem that always brings a tear to your eye – “That man is a success, who has lived well…”
The one short story that impacted how you think and view the world – “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson—It’s the reason I challenge every tradition!
The one person who I can trust to tell me when I have stinkin’ thinkin’ and when I may be sincere, but I am sincerely wrong!

And Then I have my favorite spiritual stuff:
My favorite hymn – In the Garden – it was both of my moms’(Rose and Ciria) favorite!
My favorite gospel song – I Believe In a Hill Called Mount Calvary – it was my Choir The Young Gospel Singers’ theme song!
My favorite parable – The Prodigal Son – the Father never leaves the house…so the son will always know where to find him!
My favorite old testament hero- Elisha because…he wasn’t ashamed to work for and then ask for…a double portion of anointing!
My favorite new testament hero – Peter because…he was hard headed and stubborn and knew what he knew… a lot like myself!
My favorite Psalm – Psalm 121 – I will look to the hills, from whence comes my help; my help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth!

And finally…
My favorite scripture – Proverbs 18:24 “A man who has friends must show himself friendly, and there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother!”

I have always tried to be a friend that I would want to have as a friend: loyal, trustworthy, encouraging, dependable!

Christ has always been my “best” friend – I talk to Him when I wake up, I talk to Him when I go to sleep; I talk to Him throughout the day!
It’s not a religion to me—it’s a relationship!”
I look to Him as my example of how I conduct my life—He taught me that right is right if no one does it and wrong is wrong if everyone does it!
I seek His approval on the decisions I make for my life—I don’t want to let HIM down because I was afraid to stand up for the RIGHT!

He is my favorite…family, friend, advisor, example, hero!
What about you?
Where does Christ place in YOUR List of Favorites?

Until Next Time
I’m Just Sayin’…

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Points2Ponder By Alan P. Scaglione

“My Son with His Son...Circle of Life!”

 By Alan P. Scaglone

Yesterday was my son’s birthday. My baby boy, my favorite son, my legacy, my heritage, the apple of my eye.
I can remember the day he was born! The doctor lifted him up and said, “It’s a…” and my son started a stream that got on everybody!
I said, “yes! I SEE!!”
And he’s been “my boy!” ever since.
Did I mention…he’s 27 now!
But he’s still my favorite son…kind of easy to attain that auspicious title… he’s my only son!
He would often say that, and I would reply, “yes, but…IF I had twelve, you would still be my favorite!”
We would then laugh again! Like the last time he said it!
I can’t believe that he’s 27…my son HAS a son!! How’d THAT happen?
I know, I know…I do know how that happened!

POINTS2PONDER  Why does time stand still like it was just yesterday, in our minds? Why can’t we go back to that time when…they were still young, innocent, full of wonder, full of energy, and…they needed us?

I used to sing to him the song that haunted me as a father—it was the one song I did NOT want us to become. Anybody remember this one?
“Cat’s in the cradle with the silver spoon, Little Boy Blue and the man on the moon; When you coming dad, I don’t know when, but we’ll have a good time then son, you know we’ll have a good time then!”
It seemed like, he was always waiting on ME for something: to get home from work, to play ball outside, to help him with his homework, to take him to practice, to give him some money…
I remember one day, he must have been 3 or 4. My phone in my office rings, I pick it up, and the voice says “Poppy, I miss you. Come home and play!”
I have to tell you—I did!
I know, it’s not very mature of me to just take the afternoon off, but…my son wanted me to come home and play, and I was NOT going to miss that memory!
And I got home, and we played all afternoon.
Will never ever forget that!
He spent a lot of time waiting on me…
Now, it seems I spend a lot of time…waiting on him.
And they call that…the Circle of Life!
I call it…assuming you have time…you may not have!
Anybody think Whitney Houston would be gone so soon?
I know I didn’t—but we assume there is always time to spend more time with the ones that matter the most, but…you couldn’t tell that by the amount of time we spend with them.
It really is…all about priorities!
Look at your week. The time you spend doing this, seeing that, going here, sitting there—you say you don’t have enough time to do what matters, but…in truth—you DO what matters to YOU!
The problem is…you have a list of what SHOULD matter, and then...there’s the Reality…your time tells what really matters!
And sometimes…. Your parents, once you are grown…are stuck on the list that SHOULD matter…
Anyone remember the last verse in that song?
“I've long since retired, my son's moved away
I called him up just the other day
I said, "I'd like to see you if you don't mind"
He said, "I'd love to, Dad, if I can find the time
You see my new job's a hassle and kids have the flu
But it's sure nice talking to you, Dad
It's been sure nice talking to you"

And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me
He'd grown up just like me
My boy was just like me”
Be careful of the difference between your “Should-Do” List and your “Do-Do” List
Because he may just grow up like you…
And that may just leave you…  waiting on him!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

I'm Just Sayin!

                                                                “I’m Just Sayin’”

                                                           by Alan P. Scaglione

So setting goals, making plans—is NOT a “bad” thing!

As long as you trust God for the final result—you are exercising your FAITH in HIS Plan for your life!

But I have always said…”you have to put Feet on your Faith!”

Here’s My Feet:

30 days ago, I did a crazy thing—I am known for crazy—I do Chinese fire drills—and I am 52 years old! I can get crazy!

But this is NOT that kind of crazy!

This is going “Lord, I have dream, and I am not sure it will even happen, but..I am willing to work for it and leave the increase to you!”

That’s what I prayed on January 22nd.

And then I launched my online donation telethon to have my first novel published. YIKES! I was excited and scared!

But that prayer had the steps I had to take…to “put feet on my faith!”

First— I went to the Lord with my dream.

Second – I recognized that it may not come to pass

Third – I offered to WORK THE DREAM – good old fashioned effort, time, ingenuity!

Fourth – I acknowledged that only God could give the increase!

And with that—I went to work!

I sent emails; I sent Facebook updates; I texted people; I called people; I sent cards to people; this was the “WORK THE DREAM” part!

NOTE2SELF—I just don’t see much of the willingness to WORK THE DREAM!

So many people will tell you they have a dream. Sounds good!

I am “that” guy! The one you hate—because…I ask! “What are you doing to make this dream happen?”

Don’t you just hate me for asking??

So many of us are “lazy dreamers”—lazy because...we want to talk a lot about how great it would be, but…

If it means getting out of our “comfort zone” – nah!! We will just keep talking “ad nauseum” about how great it would be!

Let me tell you about stepping out of your “comfort zone!”

I am a notoriously cheerful giver! I love to give presents, send cards, offer encouragement, extend “hallelujah handshakes!”

My wife and I give as we see a need. We give quietly and anonymously, whenever possible.

It’s not about drawing attention to us—it’s about meeting the need for them!

Giving?? I could write a book on the joy of giving!


NO—that is something I DO NOT LIKE TO DO!!

Hmm???I don’t feel deserving of help—someone else needs it more or my request shouldn’t take priority.

And then there’s the one that beats me over the head the most – FIX IT YOURSELF!

Yep—I repeat that one the MOST!

To ask for HELP from my family, my friends, my colleagues, my acquaintances, perfect strangers?

That’s My UNCOMFORTABLE ZONE— Relying on the “kindness of others” to Fund my Dream!

But…I had to do MY BEST before I could ask HIM to do the REST!


I became the “Conductor” of the CAN-DO Train! “I think I can, I think I can!”

And…With the invaluable help of 25 backers, from childhood chums, friends and their friends, family, co-workers and even my deceased beloved aunt!

Together -- We saw my dream come true!!

God gave the increase because I “worked the dream!”

And by July 4th 2012, you’ll be able to go into any Barnes and Noble’s store internationally and order “One Unexpected Event”!


1-I put feet on my faith

2-I worked my dream

3-I relied on God for the increase!

Question-- What dream do you need to work? What faith needs feet in your life?

The Word says “Where there is no vision, the people perish!” Proverbs 29:18

Catch the vision! Work your dream! Put Feet on your Faith! In ALL your ways, Acknowledge HIM!

Declare your Dream today!! And Get Ready to Work!

Until Next Time

I’m Just Sayin’…

Brother “A”

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Points2Ponder By Alan P. Scaglione

“A little slack...could go a long way—to restoration!”

                                                                              By Alan P. Scaglone

I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day full of love, passion and sheer joy!
You deserve to be loved for who you are now! We are all evolving, every day we live—life is a journey of a thousand steps.
Each step brings a new view- Each step creates a new you!
But some people just won’t let you change. They get stuck in who you were and won’t accept…you are not THAT person anymore.
How is it that some people will love, admire and adore you for who you are, while others just want to remind you of who you were “to them”!
Even if you “weren’t” that person at all…their “perception” of you is what they hold you to—and judge you with a verdict of Not Worthy Of Change!

POINTS2PONDER  Why do we sometimes refuse to accept that people change and the changes they make are making them into better people? Why can’t we see the New and accept the change? When’s the last time we allowed people the opportunity to rewrite our opinion of them? Why do we feel the need to hold others to a standard that we don’t hold ourselves? We change, we grow, we mature—Why can’t we cut them the same slack we hope others will cut us?
I have a friend who just came out of rehab. She is 45 days clean. She finally admitted she had a problem, checked herself into rehab, lost everything in the process of finding herself, and is now back to take one day at a time, putting the pieces of her life back together, hoping that those who know her and say they love her will allow her to hit the reset button on her life and…start anew!
She is finding a lot of her “family and friends” who just want to remind her of their “perception of who she was and who she should be and how disappointed they are in her”.
It is NOT helping her at all!
But… she said that I never judged her; I never held her to what she used to be; I never demanded apologies for the mistakes she made; I have applauded her effort, supported her recovery!
Guess in the Season Of Love (Valentine’s Day) it’s important to remember…
God is still working on all of us, and change is HIS method of molding HIS clay into the shape HE wants!
The goal is: to please HIM as we change to be more like HIM!
And yes…Change is Good!!
So…IF you have people in your life who just want to be judge and jury and hand you a verdict of not worthy—at some point, you just gotta accept “they’re never gonna see you for the you you are today!”
And…you just have to quit expending effort on explaining, pleading, begging them…to see you for who you are now… not their “perception” of who you were then!
Funny thing is… they don’t want the same judgment on their life that they are placing on yours!
Funny how that is???
Maybe we just need to cut each other a little slack…love each other a little more, accept that change is good, and…cheer on the efforts we are all making--He’s Still Working On ME!
Love is…loving the moth while it’s in the cocoon…and loving that same moth when it steps out as a butterfly!
Change is good; changing can be painful, but the result…45 days clean…is always to be applauded!!

The litmus test is this: HE molded US into HIS likeness…
So??? Does your change reflect more of HIM?
 Then it’s a good change;
 Less of HIM? Better go back and change some more!
To Be Like Jesus, that’s all I ask…to be more like HIM!
And isn’t HE the true symbol of LOVE?
So how much do you look like HIM?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I'm Just Sayin by Alan P. Scaglione

“My Rabboni: my true friend, my prayer warrior!!”

                                          I’m Just Sayin’”
                                                                 by Alan P. Scaglione

Friends are the Familyyou get to pick!

I am blessed by the interesting “family of friends” that I have—I have often said that I collect people along the way.
Those who interest me, those that entertain me, those that touch my heart…
And sometimes, those God just sends my way to encourage, love and pour confidence into.
Friends! They sometimes make the difference….in whether you make it through the day!
And the best ones just know--when you need a call, an email, a text…or a prayer!

You ever have a “friend” call at exactly the right time?—they didn’t know how much you needed encouragement at that moment,
But they just said that you were on their mind, on their heart, felt like they should call or text…that they loved you!
And only you and ….the Big Guy upstairs knew…you needed to hear from a friend…someone to remind you…
Everything is going to be okay, God has it all in control and…they are praying for you!

You see, a true friend knowsexactly what you need WHEN you need it!
Sometimes it’s a joke to break the seriousness of the ordeal you are dealing with.
Sometimes it’s a word of encouragement to remind you that YES, you can get through this.
Sometimes it’s a reminder—you are NOT alone, you are NOT forgotten, you are NOT going to fail.
All of them are so helpful at just the right moment…
But the one I love the most…
Sometimes it’s a prayer of faith—letting you know that God is in control, God knows what you need, God is your source of strength!

I have been “that” friend to a few people lately.
My friend who proved what a true friend she was by handling the arrangements for a co-worker who was her dear friend.
I was able to remind her that we were praying for her for strength and guidance to say and do everything that was needed.
My friend who found out that her 53 year old brother was not coming out of his coma—she had to decide to take him off life support.
I was able to remind her that God was in control and would help her—her brother passed away before she had to “make the decision!”

Sometimes…the faith of a few good friends makes all the difference in the world.
The Word tells us in Luke 5:17-20 Jesus marveled at the faith of a few friends who wanted their friend to get to Jesus so badly…
They lowered him on his sick bed down from the roof! Jesus told him that because of his friends’ faith, he was made whole!
Not because of his own faith, but…because of the faith of a few good friends!!

If you ask me…THAT’s a REAL friend!!

We all need encouragement; we need support; we even need confidence building!
Those are all good—and I am thankful for my encouragers, supports and boosters!!
But…in the end??
I need me some friends who will pray…when I can’t, when I am in need of being carried…to Jesus…
Now…that’s the kind of friend we all need…
But more importantly…that’s the kind of friend we all need…to BE!!

I was going through a rough moment this week—yes friends, I DO have a few of those…
And all of a sudden, I get a text from my friend Michele—whom I have never physically met..
And she just said “Have a Jesus filled day!”
I responded, “I need your prayers please!”
She came back with a prayer that she texted to me—prayer to the Lord for me via text! How cool is that?
I thanked her for being “available” when a friend needed her.
She responded “I am honored that you would ask for my prayers—you are the prayer warrior!”

I just chuckled to myself.

Sometimes….this friend…needs a friend…who can pray!!

Until Next Time
I’m Just Sayin’…
Brother “A”

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Points2Ponder By Alan P. Scaglione

“City Boy Driving a Pontoon—Whoda thunk it?”

                                                                                                       By Alan P. Scaglone

So, I saw this advertising in this magazine, and it stopped me in my tracks.
It said, “When’s the last time you did something for the first time?”
I went, “Wow! When IS the last time I did something new?”
It haunted me. I took a picture of the advertisement and even used it as a Facebook challenge.
Still…It wouldn’t let up on me.
I even used it as an icebreaker at a team meeting at work.
One fifty something woman responded, “I am at an age where I’ve done everything I want to do and… there’s nothing new I want to do!”
I responded in that meeting, “Really? You are fifty something and you have seen it all and done it all and nothing new you want to do?”
My next comment was in my inside voice, or so I thought.
“That’s just sad! I want to keep trying something new until I die and then…even that will be something new”
Everybody laughed. No one was sure…were they laughing With me or….laughing AT her?

POINTS2PONDER When’s the last time you tried something for the first time? Why do we just quit experiencing new things? Why do we get in a rut and settle for same ol’ same ol’? When does our sense of adventure and lust for learning give in to settling for yesterday with no hope for a new tomorrow? Why do we stop doing new things? Where’s the ”new” in you?

So 2012 rolled around. I kept thinking about this comment. When’s the last time I did something for the first time?
And I decided! 2012 will be my year for trying something new—and I will keep track of all the new I try!
And I have!
For example:
-          I decided to have a “birthday month”, including ten birthday celebrations, ranging from a homemade cooked dinner by a friend to a cousins birthday party to being slimed!
-          I tried something I always thought I would hate—“Flan” – kind of like custard… and I liked it!
-          I was ambushed by my godsons and stood motionless while 14 people silly stringed me! Yep! They ran out of the house, chasing me with silly string! Priceless!
-          I made my first video for my book “One Unexpected Event”, set in McCall Park in Plant City, Fl. I had a camera person, a production assistant and real audience. Cool!
-          I applied for and was selected on for my book to garner donations to get it published by Xulon Press—and I am in negotiations with the publisher!
-          I went on a pontoon boat for 4 hours—I’m a city boy—never been on a pontoon! I ended up driving the boat for about 45 minutes! So much fun!
-          I tried cut up bananas and…sugar free syrup! Would have never ever thought to put those two together, but..WOW! great breakfast item! Thanks Captain D!
-          I asked for money—THAT is the hardest thing for me- I am a giver, not someone who asks for help! But sometimes, you have to let people bless you so they can enjoy giving!
And it’s only the first week of February!
I decided—I never want to be old enough that I don’t want to learn something new, try something different or experience something for the first time!
I don’t how how old “old” is…but I never want to be that “old!”
So… I issue a challenge to you—Who is up for a good old fashion “I DARE YA!”
Well I DARE YA— Start your “own List of Firsts!” for 2012!
Come on! You can either waste another year not doing anything new or different, or….. You can LIVE A LITTLE!!
Or……Maybe you are TOO OLD!!
But I say…. Prove ‘em wrong! Show ‘em how it’s done! Whatcha got to lose?
Let’s LIVE until we DIE!