Don’t end up as a flat squirrel…

February 1, 2017

From a recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog come these words of wisdom – “Right or wrong, make a decision.  The road of life is paved with flat squirrels.”  (Anon)

The Anon family has provided some of life’s best quotes and written material (see my post on Anon). Today’s quote is undoubtedly from a modern decedent of the Anon family, since the phenomenon of flat squirrels on the road didn’t occur until the invention of the automobile. We have probably all encountered the occasional squirrel who runs out in front of our car, stopped and then can’t decide whether to go on or go back. That moment of indecision unfortunately seals its fate all too often and a flat squirrel results.

squirrelSome people have the ability to make snap decisions in any situation, while others (and I count myself in this number) seem to hesitate while they try to gather more information upon which to base a decision. Many times an opportunity will pass us by while we are pondering the alternatives. To an extent, we have become flat squirrels, because we couldn’t decide whether to go on or run back to safety.

The need for more and more information before making a decision is really based upon the inability to deal with the uncertainty that is usually found in any decision; but you must develop an ability to accept that uncertainly.   Andy Stanley put it this way – “There will be very few occasions when you are absolutely certain about anything. You will consistently be called upon to make decisions with limited information. That being the case, your goal should not be to eliminate uncertainty. Instead, you must develop the art of being clear in the face of uncertainty.” Failing to act or acting without clarity of
purpose will result in you becoming a flat squirrel.

Arianna Huffington offers this helpful advice – “We need to accept that we won’t always failure2make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes – understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.” For many the fear of failure is stronger than the perceived rewards of success, so doing nothing seems to offer the safer path. The view of the flat squirrel is that of a flat earth, with no ups or downs but also with no dimension. We may not always be right, but we don’t always have to become the flat squirrel.

Perhaps Wayne Dyer’s advice on choosing first what your attitude in life will be is most import. Dyer said –  “One of the most important decisions you’ll ever make is choosing the kind of universe you exist in: is it helpful and supportive or hostile and unsupportive? Your answer to this question will make all the difference in terms of how you live your life and what kind of Divine assistance you attract.” Choosing to live in an worriesoptimistic and supportive world can help prevent us from become flat squirrels.

Living in a helpful and supportive environment doesn’t mean delegating your decision to others, but rather, when needed, seeking their advice and support for the decisions that you have to make. Many insecure people seek to base their decisions only on the advice from others. Thomas Sowell saw the danger in that when he said – “It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.” Imagine if you will a bird sitting in a tree beside the road telling the squirrel, “Go that way. No, wait!  Go the other way.” If the squirrel listens to the bird, he ends up flat on the road of life. And what about the bird? Well he say’s “that stupid squirrel made the wrong decision” and then flies away. The bird paid no price for heeding the advice he was giving.

It is almost as bad to base your decisions too heavily upon how you think others wilsorry 3l react – Heath Ledger said – “If you make decisions based upon people’s reactions or judgments then you make really boring choices.” How many times have you looked back on bad decisions in your personal life and realized that you were just “going along to get along” or maybe you’ve said to someone else (or at least thought), “Gee,
I thought that’s what you wanted.” Those are the words of regret from a flat squirrel who couldn’t make a decision on his own.

In the end, one may ask for and receive advice and knowledge from others, but the decision making is always a very personal and lonely process. That’s not necessarily bad.  Thornton Wilder pointed out – “The more decisions that you are forced to make alone, the more you are aware of your freedom to choose.” The insight that you have that freedom; that your decisions need not be based upon what others tell you to do or what others may think of your decisions, eventually leads you to the next great decisionsinsight –  “Our life is the sum total of all the decisions we make every day, and those decisions are determined by our priorities.” –  Myles Munroe. If you can get your priorities straight and base your decisions upon those priorities; you will go a long way towards avoiding becoming a flat squirrel in life.

Nike has used the same catch phrase for years – “Just do it.” Perhaps in the end that is the simplest and most straightforward way to look at the decisions that you have to make in life. If your life is properwoman-prayingly centered and based upon the priorities established by a strong faith, the decisions that you have to make will come more easily and are more likely to have good outcomes. Steven Covey was quoted as
saying about business – “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” That is good advice in life if you keep your faith as the main thing. Do that and you won’t have trouble making decisions and you won’t end up as a flat squirrel.

Keeping a balanced life and keeping the main thing the main thing takes work and sometimes some help or guidance is needed. Local author and life coach Norma Nickolson norma-nickolosonof Wise Owl Enterprises has just published her latest book that can help with that –  Living a Balanced Life Journal . You can visit her website at https://wiseowlenterprises.org/ for contact information for Norma. Both the book and the web site benefit from Norma’s collaboration with Marla Schalow of of Jademar Design. Norma and Marla are accountability partners who regularly meet and hold each other accountable for the things that they tell each other they are committed to doing. You should try that with someone, too. Perhaps, if you feel accountable to someone to get done the things that you said you would do, you won’t end up as a flat squirrel on life’s road.

Have a great and decisive rest of your week.

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Special needs equipment vendor day at Kids in Motion

April 29, 2016

Families caring for special needs children often have their hands full already and anything that can save them time and make things easier is usually appreciated. Mary Hydorn, the founder of  Kids in Motion Pediatric Therapy Services came up with a great idea two years ago to save time for families that require special equipment as part of their care regimen. Families would often have to research several different vendors to find the various devices that they might need.  Mary invited all of the vendors that she could find who have devices that might be needed by the families of her patients to participate in a demo day at her therapy center at in Highland Michigan at 2636 S. Milford Rd., Highland, MI 48357. That vendor day was so successful last year that she is repeating it this year. Below is information from her press release about the day.

Please save the date and share with all who could benefit from our 2nd Annual Equipment Demonstration Day being held Saturday, May 21st 1 -4 pm, rain or shine.

2016 Equipment Vendor Day Flyer

2nd Annual Equipment Demonstration Day being held Saturday, May 21st 1 -4 pm, rain or shine.

Kids In Motion Pediatric Therapy Services, 2636 S. Milford Rd.,Highland MI 48357

Several vendors will be present to demonstrate all different types of equipment for the children who have physical impairments. This is a one stop shop to try out and maybe even get fitted for special needs equipment all at once.

Equipment vendor list flyer

 

Items such as: wheelchairs, standers, walkers, seats, bikes, scooters, gait trainers and some fun stuff & services too!

So save the date and save yourself some time by getting out to this event if you live in the Huron Valley area of Michigan.


Where do you go to learn how to rock…

April 25, 2016

Where do you go to learn how to be a rock musician? Well, in Milford, Michigan, you go to the Michigan Rock School. I’ll bet most of you didn’t know that we had a Rock School in Milford, did you? Well, we do and it just moved to a new location and last week it sent out this press release –

 MICHIGAN ROCK SCHOOL EXPANDS, MOVES TO NEW LOCATION IN DOWNTOWN MILFORD’S MILL VALLEY CENTER

MILFORD, MICHIGAN, APRIL 22, 2016 – After nearly two years operating inside the Suzanne Haskew Arts Center (The SHAC) in Downtown Milford’s south side, Michigan Rock School has moved.  While still in Downtown Milford, the performance-based music lesson studio is now in the Mill Valley Center building, which also houses Starbuck’s Coffee, and Village Bar & Kitchen, amongst others.

metal rockerFounded in May of 2014, Michigan Rock School began offering private lessons on guitar, drums, bass, voice and piano, and integrating rock band rehearsals, songwriting workshops, and other dynamic group programs into the curriculum.  The school caters to both kids and adults, and encourages all students to apply their musical talents through regular performances.  The SHAC’s industrial space provided a flexible environment for the schools non-traditional lesson programs, as well as a nurturing community supportive or music, arts, and creativity.

“As our business picked up and the SHAC also became busier, it became more difficult to operate our programs in the same space.  In the new location we will be able to offer more private lessons, and expand on our group classes and rock band programs.  We even have plans to build a small stage for intimate “coffee house-style” performances,” said John Kozicki, owner/instructor at Michigan Rock School.  “I’m grateful for the relationships that I’ve made on Milford’s south side, but I’m also looking forward to connecting and working with other businesses on the north end of Downtown.”

Michigan Rock School is still working with the SHAC to host monthly open mic nightsgirl rocker inside the arts center, and teaming with River’s Edge Brewing Company for an afternoon of performances on their stage during Milford Memories.   Also on the schedule for the summer is a summer-long beginner guitar class, a two-week songwriter’s camp in July, and rock band camps beginning in June.  Additionally, Kozicki has brought on new instructors for both private lessons and to facilitate group programs.

An open house is scheduled for Saturday, June 4 from 11:00am to 3:00pm at the new location.  Guests are welcome to come see the new facility, learn about lesson programs, enjoy some live entertainment, and play free video games on the classic Ms. Pac-Man machine.  Michigan Rock School’s new address is 525 N. Main St., Suite 100.

For additional information, please contact John Kozicki at (248)766-4220 or via e-mail at mailto:michiganrockschool@gmail.com or visit their web site at www.michiganrockschool.com

Rock on, Milford!

 


There’s a new dentist in town…

February 2, 2016

I usually don’t get all that excited about a new dental office opening up in the area; but the new, Milford Family Dentistry office on Union St. came along just at the right time to get my attention. My dentist of 30+ years over in Commerce recently retired, as did my dental hygienist of 20+ years. My wife and I originally started going to that dentist when I lived in Orchard Lake and we didn’t mind driving back over to them for the 16 years that I’ve lived here in Milford; however, it will be a relief to have a local dentist right here in town.

The Milford Family Dentists offices are in the building on Union Street that housed the
practice of Dr. Barbara Huckabee for many years. When Dr. Huckabee retired, Drs. ToddMFD_dentists Napieralski and Brian Wisniewski , along with their associate Dr. Melissa Jett decided to open a location of their practice for Milford in the building. Todd and Brian met as roommates at the U. of M. dental school many years ago and when they graduated they went into practice together in Chelsea, Michigan over 23 years ago. I got to know Todd aMFD building on Unionnd Brian and Melissa, as well as their staff at a recent Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting for their new office in Milford and then at an open house that they hosted that evening. What a fun group. I think you’ll like the doctors, their staff and the modern equipment that they have installed in the grand old house that they occupy.

As both Todd and Brian explained it, they had been looking to expand their practice into a new location for some time; but they wanted to find just the right place; someplace with the small town flavor, culture and ambience that they love about Chelsea. Milford provided that atmosphere and the perfect backdrop for what they hope will be a long and successful practice here. Based upon my impressions of all three of them, and the entire staff, that should be no problem. All three doctors are outgoing and fun loving and very easy to talk with and all three are also excited about being able to sample Milford’s many fine restaurants, which is something that Chelsea can’t match. They also hope to become deeply involved in the fiber of the community and can’t wait to participate in our many community events, parades and festivals.

I had some trepidation about finding a new dentist, since I hadn’t had to worry about that for 30+ years; but all three doctors put my mind at ease right away. They even made it easy to talk about trying to decide on which of them to see, since they have the practice set up so that any or all of them are available to all patients and they expect that clients will eventually just settle in with whichever one with which they hit it off best. They encourage new clients to come in and visit with one of more of them, to see if there is a better fit with one or another – no pressure to choose and no pressure to stay with any choice. I like that.

One thing they discovered about Milford right away is that there are several Milford’s around the country and another dentists’ office called Milford Family Dentistry in Milford, New Jersey had already claimed the .com Web site name that they wanted.MFD cropped-header Getting to that Milford Family Dentistry office would be a heck of a drive; so, if you need to find a dentist in the Milford, Michigan area; I encourage you to visit the Milford Family Dentistry offices at 402 Union Street. That is one block east of Main Street. If you want to find out more about their practice in Milford, visit their web site – http://milfordfamilydentistry.net/ . They are currently open Monday, noon until 6 PM, Tuesday 9 AM until noon, Wednesday 9 AM until noon and Friday 9 AM until 1 PM. As they build the Milford practice their hours will expand and they hope to have early evening hours on some days to accommodate people who can’t get out of work to go to the dentist.

So check out the new dentists in town.  Tell them that Norm sent you.


Get real…get a pro

October 13, 2015

The rapid acceptance and use of smart phones has had dramatic impact on our society, not the least of which has been felt in the areas of photos and videos. The availability of the tools with which anyone can take a high quality picture or shot a video has turns a few worlds upside down – the snapshot photography business and the nightly news to name two that have been most dramatically impacted.

Let’s be honest, the advent of the phone-based camera was the final nail in the coffin of such companies as Kodak, who were focused upon providing film for amateur photographers. Sure, they provided film for commercial applications such as medical imagining, but the sweet spot for them was the amateur home photographer. Everybody switched to digital very rapidly, including their commercial customers. Even the professional photographers switched, because they could see early on the advantages of the digital world.

What was sometimes lost or overlooked in the rapid transition from one media to another was the fact that the value add of the professional photographer was not (and is not) to be found in the technology of his equipment; but rather in the photographers “‘eye “, experience and skills. There is a technique in setting up the perfect photograph that does not come from running around with your smartphone and snapping shots of everything that you see.

memorable moments headerTo paraphrase an old saying – “In the land of selfies, the man with a photographer is king.”

No matter how many pixels your cell phone camera has, the pictures that you take with it will never come close to the results that you get by using a professional photographer. Sure, they use digital cameras these days, too; but did you ever see what goes with that high quality camera on a professional photo shoot? You would probably see backdrops or special lights and reflecting sheets or umbrellas and you might recognize the special, high-quality lenses and filters on the camera.

But, what you can’t “see” are the the years and years of experience at work, making sure that the lighting is just right, that your head is at just the right angle and all the other skills that go into composing a picture.

What you won’t see in the pictures that professional photographers produce is just as important – bags under your eyes, smile lines or acne blemishes or even distracting background objects or people. It’s called touching up and all pictures need some amount of it. What differentiates the pros from the amateurs is that fact that they actually know how to use the important touch-up tools like Photoshop and others to get great results – after all, it’s their job.

Professional photographer Bill Abram brings over 30 years of experience and know how to every session. Even better is the fact that he brings the sessions to you. There’s no need to visit a studio somewhere. Bill will come to your home or business or meet you on location. Bill’s expertise extends across several specialty areas such as business and family photographs, wedding photographs and albums, product pictures, real estate pictures and professional head shots for models and business people. Bill also does sports shots, either individual athletes or team photos. Bill also specializes in glamour or boudoir shoots, which produce results that will thrill you and your partner. You can see examples of Bill’s work at http://www.memorablemomentsart.com/

So get serious about your pictures of family or your senior picture and get real about your product photos. If you just want another silly picture to post on Facebook go ahead and do a selfie of yourself; but, if it is important that the pictures look really good or professional, and not just goofy, put away the Selfie Stick and call a professional.

Call Bill Abram today at 877-640-8150 and set up an appointment for him to come out and talk to you about your picture needs. When the impression that you want to make with your pictures is serious, get a serious professional. There will be time enough later for more silly selfies.


Meet the serial entrepreneur who is the local Anytime Fitness gym owner…

April 23, 2015

anytimne fitness logo

Many times when I meet small business owners I see that they are people who have a special passion for what they are doing and I always wonder how they got to this point, to this particular business at this time in their lives. Well before I joined Anytime Fitness in Milford, I met Christine Wierenga, the owner, at a Chamber of Commerce event. It was an after business hours mixer at a local bar/restaurant in Milford.  I’m a Huron Valley Chamber of Commerce Ambassador and one of our Ambassador duties is to attend events like that one and to make sure that members, especially new members, Christine Wierengaget introduced around and get the opportunity to meet their fellow local business people. I met Christine that night and took it upon myself to introduce her around. We’ve been friends ever since and I eventually joined her Anytime Fitness gym in Milford and began my personal fitness journey.

I asked Christine to answer the question that she gets often about how she got into the business of gym ownership and below is her answer –

A question I am frequently asked is “How did you get into the fitness business”? I never mind answering that question because telling the story reminds me of the seemingly random way I came into gym ownership. I won’t go into too many details, but here’s how it happened.

I bought a classic car after I graduated high school and I wanted a custom interior in it. I couldn’t afford to pay someone to do the job, so I taught myself to sew and bought an upholstery sewing machine. It turned out well, so I invested in a bigger sewing machine and starting doing upholstery repairs for gyms in Michigan (while also doing automotive restorations). I grew my upholstery repair business to include gyms across the country, specializing in on-site repairs. As I went from gym to gym, I realized that many gyms were very poorly run and were severely lacking in customer service; so, I decided I could do it better. I did my research on the gym industry and bought an Anytime Fitness franchise on the East Side.

After running the fitness equipment upholstery business for almost 10 years (and having been a member of at least 8 different gyms) the decision to open an Anytime Fitness was an easy one!  That decision was fueled by my experiences with those facilities – ranging from overwhelmingly positive to shockingly horrible!  What set the exceptional clubs apart anytimne fitness logofrom the rest?   Customer service!  Or as we call it here at Anytime Fitness – Club Culture.  It’s an atmosphere that welcomes you, encourages you and keeps you coming back!   We know that most people have a difficult time making fitness a habit – It is my team’s goal to make sure that our members feel at home in the club.   We strive to keep our clients motivated and engaged. After all, they trust us to help them with their fitness journey!    

Since opening my first location in 2007, I purchased two other locations (the latest in Milford) and subsequently sold off the two East Side gyms to focus upon the Milford location. I have often looked back to see how I got here. Sometimes in life, you don’t understand why a project isn’t working out or you’re pulled in a different direction. In hindsight, I know that every stumbling block, every closed door, every “coincidence” was there for a reason. When I was asked in school “what do you want to be when you grow up”, I always found it difficult to narrow it down to one profession.  As a small business owner, I don’t have to just “pick one”!  With Anytime Fitness, I’m involved in everything – all of the things I love. I am able to help people get started on their fitness journey. I have an excellent team (of who I am incredibly proud!), that I get to see grow professionally and personally.  As a numbers geek, I even love the back-office work….yes, even spreadsheets!  

Anytime Fitness of Milford is much more than just a business to me.  The people there are my family – staff and members alike.   I’ve been amazed by the transformations I’ve seen our members undergo – Not just the physical changes you’d expect to see, but the even more incredible changes in their confidence, self-esteem, health and energy levels!  It may have taken a strange turn of events to get me here, but I am sure glad I’m here!

Yours in Health,

Christine Wierenga

So, now you know Christine’s story. I encourage you to come into Anytime Fitness in Milford and meet Christine or her
gym manager Willa Danowski. Right now (Ed.- April 2015) is a good time to do that because they man lifting weightsare offering Free Workout Saturdays to introduce people to the gym. You can try out the gym for free! While you’re there pick up one of the free 7-day membership cards and come back to try it out during the week. If you get there in the early mornings, (Ed. – I define that as between 8:00 and 10 AM) you are likely to see me there, too. I go to the gym 5-6 days a week, most weeks. I know of no better way to start my day than with a good workout.

Like some of the ads that you’ll see on TV, the Anytime Fitness gym in Milford isn’t full of “lunks working to feel the burn.” It is full of people like you and me, just trying to get back into a little bit of shape. Joining means that you get a free older couple exercisingassessment from one of the personal trainers to help you understand where you are starting from and them they give you a workout schedule to help you get started on your personal  journey to fitness. The gym has lots of exercise machines and, of course, free weights.They also offer lots of free classes for members, from the Saturday Morning Boot Camp, to Spinning, to Zumba to Cross-training to you-name-it. Choose how many or how few you may wish to participate in or just decide to work out on your own whenever you can get in. It took me a while to work up the courage to try the boot camps, but now I’m fairly regular on Saturday mornings.

The great thing about the atmosphere in the Milford Anytime Fitness is the sense of family that you quickly get to be a part of. The same people tend to show up at the same times and you soon meet everyone who is on your workout schedule by their first names. Sometimes I think some of the ladies who come in the early morning spend more time socializing than exercising, but that’s OK; they’re getting out and getting some time on the treadmill or the elliptical or the other machines and theyplank
are enjoying the time spent at the gym. Life’s too short not to enjoy it, so come on out to Anytime Fitness, at  141 South Milford Road, Milford, MI 48381 (in the old Farmer Jack’s Shopping Center near the corner of Milford Road and GM Road)  Phone: (248) 685-8373 and start your fitness journey. Maybe I’ll see you along the way. And if you think you’re up for a real workout right away, join us Saturday mornings at 8 AM for Boot Camp.


In the Huron Valley area, why would you look anywhere else?

March 4, 2015

I created and maintain a web site called Move to Milford (www.movetomilford.com ). It is a web site with a mission to try to keep up with and share information about Welcome to the Village of Milford signwhat’s going on in the Huron Valley area – mainly Milford, Highland and White Lake, the Townships in the Huron Valley School District. In addition, because it is Milford Village centric, it contains an enormous amount of information about the Village and links to important sites from organizations that are located in the Village and immediate surrounding areas. If it’s information about Milford it’s probably there or there’s a link to the organization’s web site where it can be found on the Click on Milford page.

One of the features of the site is the poster wall. Did you ever notice while you were walking along in downtown Milford that many of the local stores have posters in theirposters in window windows? Well, I go get those posters from the various organizations, plus many that never make it to the windows downtown and post them on the “Poster Wall” at the Move to Milford site, right next to the calendar of ‘Things to do in the Valley”. That calendar has all of the events that I can find that are upcoming. If it’s not in that calendar column, there’s a good chance that it’s in one of the seasonal calendars or brochures that organizations like the “YMCA” or the Huron Valley Recreation and community Education program or the Milford Library put out. You’ll find all of those calendars, schedules and brochures there, too; along with a link to the Milford Cinema, so that you can see what’s currently showing there.   And where I could find them on web sites all of the calendars of the various organizations in the area are there, too.

Sometimes you just need the answer to questions like where would my children go to school, if I lived in the area. There’s a link to help answer that question and another to help you evaluate the schools in the area. Maybe you want to know if there are booksordinances about outbuildings in Village or Township – there’s a link there to all of the ordinances for both on the Click on Milford page. Maybe you’ve looking at moving into a home that is on a lake in the area and you’d like to know about that like, like how deep it is or how many acres it covers – there’s a link for that, too, on the Real Estate Readings page.

While we’re on real estate stuff, there’s a ton of great information available through this site, like what has sold in the area. I track eight townships that surround Milford and report on all of the sales above $20,000 (let’s face it, any less than that and the sale was for a tear-down house and mainly just to get the land). I don’t just report the sale prices, but also the percentage of sale price vs. asking price, the square footage ofsold sign the home, the number of bedrooms and baths, the days that it was on the market and the asking and sold price per square foot. For each of those eight areas I also calculate the average and median asking and sold prices, so that you get meaningful statistics about each area. I’ve been doing this for some time, so there is 5-7 years’ worth of data there and the data is updated every week. There are also capabilities there to search for homes in the area – I am a Realtor, after all – using various methods, including map-based searches.

If you do happen to be thinking of buying or selling a home, there’s a ton of great reading material about the real estate process – things that buyers and sellers need to know. Much of that I write myself, but there are also lots of great links to things that go beyond my real estate expertise, like mortgages and insurance. There’re links to the various programs for first time buyers, to help them get the assistance that they may need and links to sites that focus on short sales and foreclosures for homeowners who might be desperate for some help or advice.

As in any small town there are lots of local businesses and I maintain a business referral page for many of the local businesses  that I know and can recommend, It’s not Angie’s List, I guess it is Norm’s list, but more importantly it is a list of businesses and people that I trust. I feature a single business each month with a more detailed write up about it and the owner. If it’s not there, use the links to the Huron Valley Chamber of Commerce or the Highland-White Lake Business Association to search for other local businesses. We also have lots of great restaurants in Milford and they are all listed on the Restaurants page. Maybe what you are hungering for is spiritual, so there’s a page for area churches. Maybe you are interested in the history of Milford, well there’s a great article about Milford’s history and a link to the Milford Historical Society Web site. If you are interested in the arts I also track what’s going on at the Village Fine Arts Association in Milford and at the Huron Valley Council for the Arts in Highland. Both organizations have very active calendars of events and opportunities for artists and would-be artists.

Hopefully you get the picture that you can find almost anything that you might be searching for at this site. I search the Web so that you don’t have to. Spend some time exploring the site and I think you’ll want to bookmark it and use it as your go-to site for what’s going on in the Huron Valley. And if there’s something that you’d like to see there that I haven’t thought of, contact me on the About Us page and let me know.