Monday, December 31, 2012

Winter view

Winter wonderland

Plowed roads

Rolling hills

photo opportunities

and a good workout!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

3 word goal preparation

Approaching the end of the year, start of the new year will follow. Reviewing what has happened and what I'd like to prioritize for the new year.

I am thinking about my three word goals. Are you?

The possibilities are endless... what will the goals be?

Friday, December 28, 2012

Make it easy

End of December, almost the new year. Coincidentally the refrigerator water filter needs to be replaced and my membership renewal for WGBH is also due. Which one do you think is easier to do?

If you think that the renewal of a donation as a returning member would be easier than ordering a part for the refrigerator, you'd be wrong.

Sears and their parts direct operation sent a post card with the reminder that the water filter is due to be replaced. They included the part number (duh, they had it, we have ordered it every six months for several years) and an offer for free shipping if we signed up for an automatic renewal!

Done deal!

WGBH on the other hand, while they sent a reminder I also have a couple of other ones from them, some with the correct (i.e original member number) and others with a different number and yet another with out a number (clearly a targeted mailing).

Now, I have been renewing my membership for longer than I have been ordering the water filter yet the process has not improved. Hence, the multiple mailings. Even when you sign in to your online account, and go to the membership renewal page, you still have to input the member number (which is optional as they want the money more than they want to ensure you keep the same member number).

Kudos to Sears!

Sorry 'GBH, maybe someday you'll create a better user renewal experience

Thursday, December 27, 2012


late to do this for today but breakfast looked good

I sauteed some onion and chopped green bell pepper, added some left over ham also chopped into bits. When the mix was hot and smelling good, I took it out of the frying pan and put it aside. Added some olive oil to the pan and swirled it around. Added my scrambled egg mix to the pan and let it set, swirling gently around the edges to spread the loose egg mixture until it started getting solid. Loosened the egg from the sides of the pan and got it ready to fold in half. Returned the ham, onions and peppers back on top of the egg and folder it in half.

Then kicked myself for not adding the shredded cheese I had put aside for this. Oh well, next time.

Cheese or not cheese, it was a good breakfast!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas 2012 - part 1

Dolores' sisters and parents gathered for Christmas dinner. A day of family fun, good food and plenty of conversation. Unfortunately, Diane broke her ankle which dampened the spirits a little. We did take the time for a family photo:

Connie and Joseph Proulx Family
Posted by Picasa

The Sherlocks will be gathering today. For those who aren't able travel to Franklin, we'll use technology to its fullest and do a video session to connect virtually.

Monday, December 24, 2012

home is where the best cookies are

next to the amaryllis are some trays of cookies ready for the family gathering later this week.

home is where the best cookies are!

home is where the best cookies are!

and Day 2 of the amaryllis tracking

amaryllis - day 2

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Amaryllis series: Day 1

Next to the Christmas cookies and holiday plates
in the sunshine, by the window
the amaryllis is starting
will it grow and bloom?

How wonderful will it look as it blooms?

Stay tuned to the amaryllis series

Saturday, December 22, 2012

"notashow" (video)

New beginnings
taking on challenges
finding others along the same road
something in common
starts a conversation
the conversation goes on and on
eventually you realize that you have built a community
you have accomplished much
and there is so much more to do

Friday, December 21, 2012

so much for the end

the end of one day brings the beginning of another
new, different, full of opportunity

I got my run in before the rain arrives here in Franklin today

With this new beginning on a new day, I have much to do.

Give your self permission to accomplish good things today!

Enjoy the dessert!

FYI - This dessert is available at CAV in Providence, RI

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Set expectations

Setting expectations is one step in delivering good customer service.

This doesn't always have to be fancy. A simple sign like this letting you know that the sink isn't working saves you the step to try it only to find out it doesn't work.

Include your customers in gathering feedback on the expectations you can set for the service you deliver. This helps to ground you that you are delivering what they want.

With expectations set appropriately, then you can focus on delivering!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

angel on top

The wreath on the front door arrived a couple of weeks ago. The window lights went in this past weekend just after the tree was set up.

The angel in lights went on top then Allison took over to decorate the remainder of the tree.

Are you preparing for Christmas?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

They have a name

One common theme I have viewed on the web in the response to the Sandy Hook tragedy was that the victims should not remain nameless. That the victims names should be more memorable than the perpetrator's name.

Hence the following listing (via wikipedia)
Nancy Lanza, 52, perpetrator's mother
Rachel Davino, 29, teacher
Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, 47, principal
Anne Marie Murphy, 52, teacher
Lauren Rousseau, 30, teacher
Mary Sherlach, 56, school psychologist
Victoria Soto, 27, teacher
Charlotte Bacon, 6
Daniel Barden, 7
Olivia Engel, 6
Josephine Gay, 7
Dylan Hockley, 6
Madeline F. Hsu, 6
Catherine Violet Hubbard, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7
Jesse Lewis, 6
Ana Marquez-Greene, 6
James Mattioli, 6
Grace McDonnell, 6
Emilie Parker, 6
Jack Pinto, 6
Noah Pozner, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Avielle Richman, 6
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison N. Wyatt, 6
There are people in my circle with similar last names. Any relation?

And what of Mary Sherlach - very close to 'sherlock', perhaps a re-write as their ancestors came trough Immigration?

Keep these people, their family and friends in your prayers

Saturday, December 15, 2012

DejaBrew: photo set of brewing

Photos from our last brewing session in November. Getting around to managing them in the Flickr collection.

Related posts on DejaBrew

Friday, December 14, 2012

Location, location, location (reprise)

In real life I do not stand this tall. I am tall enough to be asked to reach for things on the top shelf.

I also recall that quote about give me a spot to stand and I will move the world (or something like that).

Finishing my run this morning presented the opportunity to cast my shadow.

Where do you stand? Are you in a position to help with your skills and talents?

Stand in a way to cast a long shadow!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

If there is a will, there is a way

This TEDTalk is less than 6 minutes. Ludwick briefly summarizes his motivation and process to develop a waterless bathing solution.

The key for me is his motivation. The second and related key is how he persisted to develop his idea with only his cell phone.

Reminds me of that familiar adage "If there is a will, there is a way!"

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


today is a special day, 12/12/12

you are up and awake, you are reading this

all is good thus far, now give yourself permission to go and do more goodness today!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

12 Days of Donating: Day 12

On the last day of the "12 Days of Donating", let's continue to look back through the events of the year and see how much we can be thankful for in Franklin.

We are still in December, so to try and reflect on the month while only in the middle is a bit fool hardy. The tree has been purchased but not yet set up or decorated. Cookies are being made. Plans are being reviewed, action items completed, presents wrapped and perhaps shipped to places far from Franklin to arrive in time.

There'll be places to go, people to see: performances of the Nutcracker (Dec 15 and 16 at the Patti Eisenhauer Dance Center); Midsummer Night's Dream (Dec 19 and 20 at Franklin High School)... A Christmas Carol at the United Methodist Church this Thursday, Dec 13. 

In your travels around Franklin, consider dropping off a contribution of food or non-food items, to the Food Elves and the Franklin Downtown Partnership for their 12 Days of Donating drive. The people of Franklin receive the real benefits of such collaboration!

Donation bins are available at these participating businesses:
  • Berry Insurance, 9 Main St.
  • Chestnut Dental Associates, 38 Pond St.
  • Dean Bank, 21 Main St.
  • Dean College, Campus Center
  • DCU, 500 West Central St.
  • East Coast Driving School, 25 East Central St.
  • Emma’s Quilt Cupboard, 12 Main St.
  • Franklin Downtown Partnership Office, 9 East Central St.
  • Jane’s Frames, 11 East Central St.
  • Murphy Business, 15 East Central St.
  • RE/MAX Executive Realty, 445 Franklin Village Dr.

You can also make a donation securely through the Franklin Food Pantry web page

Day 11 -

Day 10 -
Day 9 -
Day 8 -
Day 7 -
Day 6 -
Day 5 -
Day 4 -
Day 3 -
Day 2 -
Day 1 -

Monday, December 10, 2012

from the archives: the fire circle story

I posted the Fire Circle story in 2005 and recorded it in 2006. I still find myself coming back to it so I dug this up from the archives to share again. Enjoy!

Original text can be found here

Time 00:07:39

MP3 File

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Chicken, broccoli and rice casserole

A recipe from the Sherlock Family cookbook has been kicked up a notch by adding some chicken to it. A package of Perdue "Short Cuts" works well for this. You could also prepare your own pieces with some grilled or broiled chicken breast.

1 cup raw rice
1 bunch fresh broccoli or 2 x 10 oz packages of frozen broccoli crowns
1 stick of margarine
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup
3/4 can (use soup can) of milk
5 slices of American cheese
Ritz cracker crumbs
1 medium onion, chopped

Boil rice and broccoli. Saute onion and celery in margarine. Mix with cooked rice and broccoli.
Place in buttered casserole. Add soup and milk. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with cheese and cracker crumbs. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees F.

The before baking photo

Chicken, broccoli and rice casserole before baking

Steve's modifications

I used 2-3 tablespoons of margarine and then added some olive oil to saute the onions and celery. I made sure the celery started to get soft and didn't let the onions caramelize.

The frozen broccoli was allowed to thaw but was added without being cooked first. Baking in the oven for the hour is enough to cook the broccoli and still leave it firm If it is pre-cooked, the broccoli comes out as mush. For those who like it that way, go ahead. For those who like their broccoli a little firm, try it this way.

Adding the chicken which is already cooked doesn't change the cooking time.

The seasonings can be adjusted also. If your tastes allow for more than salt and pepper, go for it. Mrs Dash has some nice combinations that when used sparingly add a nice taste to the casserole.

The after baking photo

Chicken, broccoli and rice casserole after baking

Friday, December 07, 2012

Remembering Pearl Harbor

Dec 7, a day to live in infamy as the attack on Pearl Harbor brought us fully into World War II.

military uniforms on display at Franklin Historical Museum

At the Franklin Historical Museum, there is a military uniform display that is open through December. One of the items (not pictured here) is a shirt worn at Pearl Harbor on the day of the attack.

For those in the Franklin area, if you haven't had a chance to stop by to see the Museum, there are lots of treasures like this on display. It is worth a visit especially as it is free admission!

For more info on Pearl Harbor, this wikipedia page can get you started

For more info on the Franklin Historical Museum, you can visit their web page

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Holiday beer

The 'Band of Brewers' were at Deja Brew Tuesday night to bottle our most recent 6 kettles just in time for the holidays.

The cap codes for the beer this time around:

  • E for Evil Santa
  • G for the Gingerbread Stout
  • W for the Winter Warmer
  • O for the Old Time Winter
  • 'blank' cap codes will be for the Hearty Christmas Ales

In the back room at Deja Brew, there are lots of containers with beer fermenting

For other posts on my trips to Deja Brew, check here

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

The little things

The devil is in the detail

It is the little things that matter

Having spent a good deal of time managing projects, I do pay attention to details. So when it was my birthday recently, and the doodle on the Google home page recognized my birthday, I was still impressed.

personalized Google Doodle

Yes, I know how they did it. It is easy but it takes planning and execution to make it happen

And they did!

It made my day.

Use your Google+ account regularly and see what happens on your birthday!

Monday, December 03, 2012


The tree along the edge of the DelCarte Property in Franklin casts its reflection on the water.

Does the reflection mimic the root system?

Something to ponder. 

I had a good long run yesterday. Wanted to do at least 5.9 miles and ended up with 6.8. More the merrier especially as it was a sort of photo run. I did pause here and there to take a photo or two, like this one.

No running today, I only do that three days a week now. The schedule works for me. Running keeps me physically healthy. Writing keeps me mentally healthy. Work provides the where with all to allow this all to happen.

How do you approach your day?

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Birthday wish

As I take a few minutes to look back on 2012, my three word goals definitely helped me though the year.

I have learned about dealing with loss (here and here) and have worked through some challenging times with the Food Pantry. I have continued to share here and elsewhere. And laughter has definitely helped to carry me through the day.

So what is my birthday wish?

I don't expect you to follow my three word goals. It would be better for you to determine your own. You will should them. They should matter to you and those who surround you!

If you recall the lessons of Maslow's Hierarchy, food is right there on the bottom of the pyramid. It is a key building block to self actualization. I would like you to contribute in some way to your local food pantry.  Spend some time volunteering, contribute financially, or at least find out about what they are doing, how they are doing, and help to spread the word about their good work.

I support the Franklin Food Pantry because Franklin matters to me. Help me enjoy my birthday by doing something for your local food pantry!

Thank you

FYI - You can find a local food bank here

or a local food pantry here

You can donate to the Franklin Food Pantry here

Photo from the Turkey Trot Family Fun Run 5K held in Franklin on Thanksgiving to help the Franklin Food Pantry.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

hold the date - Mar 30, 2013

Yes, mark you calendar for March 30, 2013. This will be the return of the now longest running podcamp held in New England: PodCamp WesternMass!

Additional information will be forthcoming as the event planning committee confirms all details.

It was unfortunate that I could not make the 2012 event due to a death in the family. I hope 2013 will be a much better year!