Leadership 101- 12 Effective Habits of Great Leaders

1- The very best coaches motivate, inspire and lead the organization with intention, purpose, dedication, discipline, desire and an create energy around them constantly. 

2- The really effective coaches never use intimidation, power, embarrassment or other negativity to teach the required skills needed to be successful in life, sports, work and play.  

3- Great coaches are great life teachers that lead by example, share their history, success, failure, wins and losses to grow the team, individual and build life long relationships.  

4- The best coaches keep the game in perspective and know that winning, losing, upsets, setback, victory, injury, goals and are all about life after the sport and game has ended.

5- Great coaches never let their ego, pride or willingness to win override team goals, personal matters and individual accomplishment.  

6- Great coaches understand the individual strengths and skills of each player and how they can be developed for the overall improvement of the player, staff and team.

7- The best coaches coach the individual, team and staff with intention of growing their skills and winning.

8- The best coaches are always flexible and fir the players into their system of success growing the team skills constantly. 

9- The great coaches are communicators that lead with their voice, actions and behavior.  

10- Great coaches listen to their players, staff and parents actively to gauge where they are in relationships and overall growth of the organization.

11- Great coaches just do not talk the talk, they walk the walk.

12- Great coaches teach life skills, winning, losing, integrity, hard work, dedication, discipline, team work, overcoming, and so many other needed life skills for adult success after the game iv over.


Life Hacks 101- 10 Things Coaches, Managers and Go Getters Look For

Today we are talking about traits that coaches value and look for in their student athletes that cost nothing but time, energy and work ethic.  These traits also are what business owners, companies, managers, leaders and other people looking for talent expect. These traits set you apart from others and can make you a great player, worker, leader, parent, teacher, business owner and whatever it is you want to be.  If I can get my athletes to learn these by my actions, behaviors and results then as a coach I have accomplished my goals and the rest will take care of itself.  

1- Time management skills- Are you on time, are you early for class, practice, work and ready to go when the bell, alarm or clock strikes and its go time.

2- Great work ethic- Do you exhibit a work ethic that people cannot deny and one that shows you are a true go getter.

3- Positive energy- Are you a positive person that exudes positive traits and thoughts. Do people want to be around you and grow with you.

4- Positive attitude- Do you see the glass half full or half empty.  Does your attitude reflect goodness, kindness, love and respect for others.

5- Being prepared- Are you prepped and ready for completing tasks, work assignments, school work and other demands life throws at you.  Do you do what it takes to be ready to roll, ready to work and ready to win.

6- Passion- Are you passionate about your family, friends, job, sport or life.  Passion can override talent and lots of other traits many times.  Give me  passionate learner and I will take that over talent any day of the week.

7- Discipline- Do you show discipline in your actions, behaviors and life.  Do you have what it takes to be disciplined to work out, lift weights, run, manage your weight and help the team out.  Are you disciplined to get out of bed and get to work and produce for your family and to meet your goals.

8- Communication skills- Can you openly communicate with people in a positive and meaningful way.  Can you talk business like and not use slang and street terms in conversations.  Are you a good listener and have positive skills people see when you communicate with them.  Do you sound educated (I am not talking college educated).  

9- Good body language- Do you carry yourself in a positive manner.  Do you sit upright, keep good eye contact and other positive body language.  Do you know how to present yourself, shake hands and make people feel relaxed around you.  Are you too chilled at times and can you turn it on and off as needed.

10- Coachable- Lastly and most important to me.  Are you coachable, teachable, and able to be mentored. Can you accept feedback and loss with dignity and respect.  Are you part of the solution or part of the problem.  Do you take advice from someone much older, more knowledgeable and experienced and apply it to become better.  Or are you a hotshot know it all that will eventually fail because you know more about a 30 year veteran coach about your position or saw it on a video game.  (believe me folks, this is a reality nowadays)!

There are other things you could put on this list.  But these are the things that cost you nothing but time, energy and work ethic.  These are the basic skills needed in sports, work, life and play that can make you successful whether you are a backup, first string star or do a common job.  These skills will make you stand out in the crowd, rise above others and set you on a path that others envy and want to be on.  They may not admit it, but ultimately they see your success and skill set and desire to be like you.

Dreams and Goals: Five Years From Now

I often imagine where my wife and I will be five years from now. Will we be fully retired, working, traveling, living at the beach or in the mountains? These are just a few of the thoughts I have when I think about that question. To see where we may be five years from now I need to look at where I am right now with life. To do this I have to put together a list of the things most important to my wife and I and then add to that list with details about our current status. We then can look at determining where we want to be in five years and how we will plan to get there. We have been in this process for awhile now and it takes time to decide what you want to be doing in the future.

Our girls are grown and living their lives and doing quite well at it. We are at the phase where we have supported and raised them through college and into their mid twenties so now we will look to do what we want to do in the next five years so we can spend the balance of our lives doing what we want to do. My wife likes the beach more than the mountains and I like the mountains more than the beach. I think either would be great but if we cannot find a way to have both then one will have to give. One of our goals is to have a place at either or both. To accomplish our five years from now goals we had to look at our financial, spiritual, family, work and activity goals.

1- Financial: We want to be financially debt free. In five years we plan to owe zero to no one. Not one red cent to any bank, credit card, mortgage company or anyone. We will likely accomplish this goal long before that because we have a plan in place already. As soon as we sell our current home we can get completely debt free as that is the main debt we carry. Plans are to payoff debt, save and invest for a bright opportunity five years from now.

2- Family: Our girls are grown but we spend lots of time with them not only hanging out but working with them in a family type business situation. We want to be close to them, but also want to travel and find our happy spot for retirement. There is a balance we need ti figure out with that so we have some decisions to make and work on solving that dilemma.

3- Activity: We love to travel around even if it is just a short weekend trip. This allows us to go and see new places, find new things to do and spend time traveling and chilling out. Do we get a new place, buy an RV, rent or pay cash in a central location. Once again we have questions and things to work out. We love the mountains, beach and lakes so is one of those our final living destination as home base. From there we go be active and live our best lives.

As you can see my wife and I have questions to ask and answer in the coming years as we plan to see where we will be five years from now. I do know it will require not working, traveling, enjoying life and spending time with our family and friends. How we accomplish that is TBD and something we will be actively figuring out soon.

Coach B!

Health: 10 Ways To Improve Your Physical and Mental Health

Today we are looking at ten ways you can improve your physical and mental health. I have been a on reboot of sorts the last several months due to some major health issues and two close calls with death. I actually did many of these during my adult life but had let some things skip and after a heart issue and nearly checking out with Covid I have put much thought into my emotional, physical and spiritual well being going forward. I have as I stated rebooted my systems, hit the reset button and am pushing forward with life to accomplish my goals and dreams. I had to ask myself “why” am I where I am at and “why” should I make the needed changes to get to where I wanted to be. My “why” is that I want to enjoy my retirement years coming up sooner than later. I want to be healthy of mind, body and soul. I want to have the energy to live my best life. That is my “why”. Check out these simple changes or things to do to live your best physical and mental healthy life and give them a try. Then write down your “why” and find a way to make it happen.

1- Eat healthier foods. It is OK to splurge on occasion but unhealthy eating habits will eventually take a toll on your health. If it taste really good, chances are it is not so good for you. Make small changes to your diet and watch your energy levels and overall health improve.

2- Avoid excessive amounts of alcohol and drugs. Do you but be careful as to how much you consume. I never was a big drinker and have not once put a drug into my body. But that is me and as I said do you but do it with caution and an end goal in mind of enjoying it and not using it as a tool to cope or just feel high. Best scenario is just not doing it at all.

3- Stop smoking, vaping and chewing tobacco. These things are very dangerous for the body, have chemicals in them that are addictive and will eventually take a toll on your health. Relying on them to relieve stress and anxiety will not fix your emotional stability.

4- Manage stress- Keeping a check on your stress levels is important. Stress takes its toll on you physically, emotionally and spiritually in life. Mange it the best you can without turning to drugs, alcohol. addictive’s substances and bad decisions. Find a way to get rid of it by walking, hiking, sleeping, running, listening to music, traveling, etc. When you are stressed those around you know it and feel it also.

5- Activity and Exercise. Be an active person and find ways to use energy to create energy. Walking is a great way to do that. You do not have to be a gym rat or the most fit person. Get a bike and take bike rides around the neighborhood. Go to a park and take a mile or two walk. Go to the gym and go hard. Do something active and watch how good it makes you feel.

6- Do something you enjoy. What are the things you enjoy doing outside of family, friends and work. Find a hobby that relaxes you and allows you to just chill and be you. Solve puzzles, draw, write, cross stitch, build things, work in the shop, work outside, have a garden, hang with friends, go shopping. Find your “why” and go do it.

7- Connect with family and friends. Do not get caught up in the day to day busy lifestyle that leads to boredom and the same old thing. Yes we have to go work, go to the store, clean the house and all the other responsibilities. But finding time to text, talk, hang out with or just visit with neighbors is important. Having a solid inner circle of people around will help you be more emotionally and physically safe and stable.

8-Volunteer/Serve Others- Find a local charity, church, community out reach program to get involved in. Helping others will help you. It fits the bill for many of the thing listed above. Being active, giving, living a healthy life and doing something you enjoy. Serve food a a food bank. Serve on a church council. Raise money for a good cause. Coach a ,little league team. Use your talents and skills to serve others and the payback is much more than any paycheck can offer you.

9- Ask for help. Do not be afraid to ask for help from your loved ones, friends, family and mentors. Those people have resources, experience and background to help you. It might be just to talk to someone. It might be to reach out to a friend that you highly trust. Ask for help, do not try to do it on your own.

10- Pray, Pray and Pray. Connect with God on a daily basis. Seek his guidance, grace, mercy and leadership in your life. If another entity is your thing, then seek it and do it wholeheartedly. Enhancing your spiritual life enhances all the other parts of it.

Find your “why” and go after it. Make small changes and live your best life!

Coach B!

Americana: Four Wheeling Fun, Family and Friends

The old saying is that money cannot buy you happiness. But it can buy you a four wheeler and everyone I know that has one rides with a smile on their faces. My wife and I bought new four wheelers last year and have had a great time riding them on the property. We go out every now and then and just go for a casual ride through the woods, on some trails and down the road. Four wheelers are relatively inexpensive and can be maintained with regular servicing at a local shop or dealership. The weather here in North Carolina today was awesome with 78 degrees and blue skies everywhere. So we jumped on the four wheelers and rode around for a few hours enjoying the weather and laughing at the dogs as they ran all over the yard trying to keep up with us.

We rode the trails, seen a couple of deer and a cow. Yes, we saw a rogue cow from the neighbors farm that likes to break out of the fence and roam our yard eating flowers and plants. We got him moving back towards his farm and went on our way running the dogs for another hour or so. I got a little mud on me also and the four wheeler needs a bath tomorrow when I get home from work. My daughter and her husband have four wheelers and come over and we ride all summer long, especially on Saturdays. I have heard about a few small towns in West Virginia where you can camp and ride your four wheeler around town and all through the woods so that is now on our to do list of places to go and enjoy.

Four wheeling allows you to relax, laugh, get dirty and just have some clean fun. Four wheeling allows you to spend quality time with your family and friends. We have a pool and lots of people come over during the summer so we get them out and people swim , ride four wheelers, play volleyball and enjoy a nice fire in the pit. Four wheeling gets you out of the house and is a great cure for covid lock downs. If you live in an area where four wheelers are not able to be used, then go rent a couple of them and spend a weekend in the woods away from home. Four wheeling if done safely is fun, entertaining, active and a great experience.

Coach B!

Travel: Five Reasons To Visit the Mountains

Five Reasons to Visit the Mountains

Visiting the mountains for a day trip, a weekend getaway or for a vacation is a fabulous idea.  The mountains offer so many advantages that you cannot find in other areas of your state.  If you are not fortunate to have mountains then go a few states over and spend some time there.  I will be in the mountains this week over spring break and know I will be getting some writing inspiration from the visit.  My wife and I go to the mountains about two to three times a year to get away, get renewed and refresh.

I can think of many reasons why you should go to the mountains and visit, but will only list my top five during this brief blog post.  As I write we are packing our bags for a wonderful week away from stress, anxiety, kids, work, and all the other things that we do daily.  Just the wife and I chilling out, sightseeing and looking for some new waterfalls in the North Carolina mountains.

  1. Mountains are very old.  They are some of the oldest formations on Earth that were formed millions of years ago.  The beauty and history of the way they were carved out is a sight to see.
  2. Mountains offer some of the best and clearest water you can find anywhere in the world.  Mountain streams, creeks and lakes are beautiful and so pure.  Find a wonderful water hole, put your feet in that coldness and just enjoy.
  3. Mountains are the home to wonderful down home people.  Mountain folks are a special breed and are wonderful to meet and mingle with.  They are genuinely hard working family people that like the laid back style of living.  
  4. Mountains offer the best picture taking opportunity.  Everywhere you go there is a chance to catch an awesome sunrise, sunset, animals, scenery, trees, nature, and all the special things you will not encounter in the city or flat land area.
  5. Mountains just allow you to get back to God.  The mountains bring me back, take me down a notch and restore my soul.  They are like clay that has been molded by God and offer a glimpse at nature and God’s mighty works.

I hope you take a mountain trip soon.  Get some pictures, hike, see wildlife, meet new people and reset your inner peace in the process.  If I get stressed out, anxious or just need a break I head to the mountains.

Coach B!

Health: Coping Skills- 10 Life Hacks to Cope With Stress and Anxiety

We all face daily bombardments of stress in life. We have stress from relationships, family obligations, work, and other commitments. These can build up over time and eventually shut you down emotionally, physically and spiritually. We must deal with stress and anxiety on the spot so it does not build up and overcome us all at once. Some stress we bring on ourselves with worry and life goals. Other stress comes from the people we work with, live with, talk to, love and communicate with daily. They may not know they are a stressor for you unless you let them know. I tell kids at school all the time, hey do not let them stress you out. That is much easier said than done. Today I was talking with a student and he was stressed out about some family stuff so I did some research to give him some ways to try and deal with it.

Below are some life hacks for dealing with stress and anxiety that may help him and you out a little bit. It may not take it away, but it can alleviate the stress and anxiety for a little while as you seek to heal and move forward from the stressor in your life. I hope your living a stress free life and do not need any advice, but if your stressed as most working adults are with kids, jobs, family, and friends that take up most of our time each day. We can attack the stressors we are facing and slowly get rid of it one little bit at a time. Take the small wins in life and the small movement towards becoming stress and anxiety free.

1- Go for a long walk, take a run, go swimming, go biking or whatever form of exercise you like. It can help you cope and getting out in nature always helps calm your nerves.

2- Find a calming place and just chill out. Sit under a big tree, lay on the ground and stare at the stars. Climb a tree and just chill out. Go to your calming place and chill out for a couple of hours.

3- Go sit in the car and listen to your radio. Put on some upbeat music and just relax and enjoy the music coming into your ears. Sing along, dance a little and just have some fun.

4- Read a good book. Whatever genre it is you like, go get a good book or buy a cheap one at the dollar tree and read. You would be surprised how a good book can take you away for a little while.

5- Go shopping and get yourself something. Do not go crazy, but stop by the mall or your favorite store on the way home and get a little something. Maybe that good book to read.

6- Travel to another small town close to you and hang out for a day on Saturday. Shop locally, eat out and see what it has to offer. You never know, it might be your next home and you didn’t know it.

7- Get rid of negative people and situations in your life. If your in a bad relationship move on. This is hard to do but you have to so you can have good relationships going forward.

8- Call or text an old friend or college roommate. Talking to long lost friends lifts us up and gives us an opportunity to renew a relationship. Meet them in between and go out for dinner or a movie.

9- Read the bible, pray and seek Gods guidance on your stress and anxiety levels. God will always listen and be there for you. Be open to the relationship, be patient and see what happens.

10- Make a list of must do’s that are bogging you down. Take that list and look it over again to make sure nothing on their is put of “your control”. You can control you, not other people, your boss, your children, your friends, sickness, disease and other things. These are life events that you just have to attack and overcome one day at a time.

Most important thing is to do you. Get rid of the stressors and replace it with positive energy, relationships, spend time with loved ones and live your life the best you can. Handle the stress the best you can using whatever hack helps (no alcohol or drugs) and go after life.

Coach B

Advice: Four Ways to Live Your Best Life

We all desire to live a prosperous life filled with excitement, fun and vigor. Finding out how to accomplish that is not always easy as we do this daily grind called life. Below are four ways to be on the way to a full life, a prosperous life and wonderful results from it. Live your life and do it the best you can.

  1. Be your best self physically, spiritually and emotionally. To be your best self you have to feel good about things. Are you physically able to live your best life and if not, what changes can you make to correct that. Are you spiritually sound and grounded in faith? Regardless of who you worship you need a firm foundation to lean on and seek guidance and help from. Are you emotionally stable to pursue life and move forward. If any of these are lacking and need work then get with it and start the process of fixing them now.
  2. Take an accounting of yourself and your attitudes. What is your attitude towards life, people, work and play? Do you need to make adjustments to that attitude and improve it so you can live your best life.
  3. Identify and fix bad habits. What bad habits do you have and can you correct them to live your best life. Eating habits, exercise habits, alcohol, smoking, drugs, and other things can get in the way of living your best and longest life. Change what you can and slowly work to become a better version of yourself.
  4. Set your intentions and goals. What is it you want to do and how will you get there? Living your best life is different for everyone so set your intentions and goals towards that ultimate life experience.

Proverbs 16:9; The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

Coach B

Life: Simple Life Rules To Live By

We live our life’s based on our values, morals, and beliefs. These are formed as we live our life going through the different cycles. We learn as toddlers, school age, teenagers, young adults, middle ages and older adulthood. We learn these guiding principals from our parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, friends, school mates, coaches, teachers, mentors, pastors and many other people. I was blessed with an awesome set of parents and grand parents that taught me the values that guide me still to this day. Everyone has a different set of values and that is the beauty of growing up, learning, living and having life experiences that shape and often change those values.

I am different from when I was 18, 25, 35, 45 and now at 55 have basically the same set of values but they have changed some. Some things I may have changed my mind own, others I may have softened my stance on and some I refuse to budge on. I did my best to teach my own kids the things I thought were valuable in life and allowed them to form their own belief systems. As a teacher I do my best to teach good life values without trying to influence my students politically, religiously or change their thought process. The list of things below are some of these basic values that do not cost a person anything but time, thought and a little energy.

It is our duty to teach our children good basic life values and let them learn, experience, make mistakes and grow as they get older in the process. It is not our job to indoctrinate children with our thought processes, ideals and morals or lack of morals. Teachers should not be focusing on changing kids attitudes to meet their thought process, but instead should be teaching basic values and allow the children to make their own decisions. If those decisions differ from the teacher, then so be it.

1- Smile: A smile just makes people feel good. Smiling is positive, gives off good energy and is contagious. Everyday I stand near my door and say good morning to my students, other staff members and whomever I greet and smile at them. Try it and see what happens!

2- Be Kind: You have the power to make people feel good about themselves. A kind word, act or moment can be the difference in a life. Be kind, be nice, be cordial, be happy and it will also be contagious to those around you. You determine your attitude and if you are kind or mean.

3- Never Ever Give Up: Never give up on life, family, friends, goals, dreams and visions. Push through the setbacks, losses, missteps and continue to fight for what you want. Giving up breeds failure, failure breeds self doubt, self doubt breeds a negative attitude. Show up, battle, fight, push yourself, grow and win at life.

4- Do not compare: I spoke to a young teacher this week and she was all tied up in her mind about what the other young teachers were doing or not doing. What she had done was lose focus on herself and her special skills because she was too worried about comparing herself to others. We come in all sizes, colors, attitudes, backgrounds, education, family life, work life and all those other things. I cannot compare myself to a Hall of Fame coach as I have never built the credentials for that honor. But I can look at what they do and beg, borrow and steal a few ideas to be me and do me.

5- Avoid Negativity: Nobody likes or wants to be around a negative person. They are what I call an energy vampire and steal your energy and flat line your thought process. Avoid being negative, avoid negative people and place yourself at a higher standard than those that choose to live in self pity and negativity. Bottom line is the only person that can bring or take you down is yourself. I recently have been on a weight loss, getting healthy journey and after losing a pretty quick 20 pounds the loss suddenly slowed to a crawl. Then two weeks later I was still at the same weight, stuck at 21.7 pounds lost. I found myself being a bit mad at the results and had a little hissy fit over it. Then my wonderful wife who is also on that journey with me said “just be glad you got the first 20 off”. It brought me back and I needed that positive thought in a moment of weakness.

6- Make Peace With Your Past: You cannot move forward in life, relationships, work, jobs, play, family and spiritually until you settle the past. Take an accounting of it, wipe off the books and move on. Stepping backwards will always slow your roll forwards. Forgive, forget and move on from the injuries, thoughts, fear and issues holding you back. Live life to its fullest and do not allow the mistakes of the past to slow you down.

7- Take Care of Your Body, Mind and Spirit: This one is maybe the most important and will allow you to move forward in life with vigor and vision. At the age of 54 this has become a daily routine for me. You do not have to be a gym rat, read 100 self help books or go to church 3 days a week. I am talking about small changes like walking, getting out from behind the desk, eating more veggies, eating less fatty foods, praying once per day and just spending time healing you everyday. No damage that has been done has to be permanent and you can do this. Lose a few pounds, go walking, stop at a park, travel, read, pray, hang with good people and other things you like to do and it will allow you to heal the past and move forward in all these areas.

God bless your journey as you chase your goals, dreams and visions. Work hard, work smart, live life, love life, be nice, be happy, be healthy and move forward from this day on!

Coach B!

Outdoors: 20 Emergency Preparation Kit Items for Survival In a Disaster

Today we are talking about items that you need to have stocked in an emergency preparation and travel kit in case of a natural disaster, loss of power or who knows what with the current state of things.  After doing research on this I realized I had most of these items around the house or in the vehicles.  These are pretty basic items that you can buy at any store, even maybe a dollar tree store for lots of them. 

Being prepared for emergencies, natural disasters and other events we do not know are coming is something you need to do to make sure you and those with you are ok.  Going out the day before a predicted wind storm, hurricane or other event creates stress and the items you may need will be gone or very high priced.   
Take a look at this list and add/subtract what you want from it and prepare now.

Tuck these things away in a bag, box or the garage and have them ready to go.  Some of these things need to be in your car at all times as a precaution just incase you break down or have an accident.  Sometimes we have to think about the what ifs of life.  What if we have a wreck and the car goes down in the woods and cannot be seen by people passing by.  What if a storm hits quickly and kills the power for a few days or a week.  Think about being prepared, where are you in this process and what do you need to do to get stocked up.  As stated above, I can go to a dollar tree and buy lots of this stuff cheap and have it on hand for emergency purposes.

1. Bottled Water- You need a gallon of water per day per person.  You should have a minimum of a few cases of water tucked away in the cabinet or garage.  Water is an essential to survival and if power goes out you will need it for drinking, washing, cleaning and surviving.

2. Flashlights- Go to the store and get a few flashlights and put one in every vehicle with extra batteries.  A flashlight is a must when power goes out or if you are camping, lost or stuck on the highway somewhere.

3. Charged Portable Cell Phone Charger- Go to the store or order one online.  Fully charge it and put it in your vehicles, bedroom and emergency kit.  

4. Battery powered or hand crank radio.  You can get these online or at an outdoor store.  You lose power, get lost or have an unexpected event you grab it and turn the handle about 100 times and it gives you a way to listen to communication about things that are going on.

5. Non-Perishable Foods- Get a two week supply of canned foods for the house.  Soups, veggies and other items that you can open with a can opener (make sure you have a manual can opener in the kit also) and stock up.  It will not hurt to keep a few cans of these items in the trunk of the car as a backup plan in case of a wreck or accident and you cannot get help.  Do not leave them in the trunk over the hot months.

6. Flares or a Whistle- You need a flair or a whistle in your kit.  These things can be used to draw attention, ward off criminals and help you be found if you are lost, have wrecked or are in danger.  Flares and whistles can be bought at any outdoor store and most retail box stores.

7. Knife, Ax, Cutting tools-  Having an old cheap pocket knife or ax in your emergency kit is a must.  It offers you a variety of options such as protection, cutting tools for wood and being able to possibly bust a window out to save your life or others.  You can get a good knife pretty cheap or better yet a multi tool that has a cutting blade, screw driver, can opener and other functions.

8. Tools-  I have lots of tools as many people di, but I was able to go to the dollar tree and build a tool kit for about $10.00.  It has an adjustable wrench, different kinds of screw drivers, a multi tool, a knife, a small hammer, small box of nails, small box of screws, Pando straps, cheap duct tape, pliers, needle nose pliers and several other small tools.  

9. Moist Towels/Baby Wipes/TP- You can buy these at the dollar store and place them in your kit and every car.  Baby wipes, moist wipes or a few small rolls of TP can save the day if you know what I mean.  When traveling you need to make sure you have these and in case of emergency.

10: Paper Towels and Toilet Paper- Get a good deal on toilet paper and paper towels and put them in storage.  Remember back when everyone was fighting for TP and paper towels.  Prepare now and stock up now.  

11. Candles- You can get candles at any major store and even some tealights at the dollar store.  Tealights need to be in your emergency kit.  They offer light and heat if needed.

12. Pet Food/Supplies- If you have dogs and cats you need to have some food for them.  Even if it is cheap bag of food from the dollar store as a backup for emergency, power loss and other events.  Our fur babies need to eat also.

13. Medicines- Are you on medication and if so make sure you have enough extra tucked away in the kit for emergencies.  You may not be able to travel due to power lines down or fires.  Know which meds you must have on hand and stock up a months supply.  Put a week minimum in your emergency kit.

14. Important Documents- Get a fire proof safe or a small safe and put your most important documents in it.  If you for some reason have to leave quickly due a fire, emergency or whatever the reason you can grab the fire box and take it with you.  

15. Clothes- Socks, underwear and other needed items.  It pays to always have a change of older clothes in a book bag or bag in the trunk.  Put a few needed items in your emergency kit so you can grab and go.  Winter items during the winter and summer items during the summer.

16. Weapons- Not everyone will agree with this one, but I will never travel without a weapon to protect my family.  In the case of an emergency, traveling, camping, and other times you are away from your family carry some form of protection.  Better safe than sorrow.  Whatever you carry, learn how to handle it and make sure it is a last resort.  This can be a knife, big stick, stun gun, pepper spray or other weapons.

17. Fire starters or matches- You can get these at dollar tree and put them in your emergency kit and each vehicle. Do not leave matches in the car in hot weather.  It is best to have a fire starter found at any outdoor store or large retailer.  You can also get one of those clicking fire starters at the dollar store.  They last a pretty long time and can save your life in the wild, camping or if you have a car wreck and need heat.

18. Maps- This is a thing of the past, but if you are hiking, camping you may have to go old school and whip out a map to find where you are.  Cell phones do not always work and if your service is out or bad a map can serve as a guide for finding direction or a town close.  A compass is even better, it can help you find direction and if you know the road is north, follow the compass.

19. Eye glasses/contacts- Do you have to use these to see where you are going or what you are doing.  Put an old set of glasses in the emergency kit and the vehicles for caution.  Eye glasses can also be used to start a fire if needed on a sunny day. You can cut things with them and do other life saving activities.

20.  Cash and Coins- Store some spare cash in your home for emergencies and have maybe $50.00 in your emergency kit including some coins.  A debit or credit card may nor work for you depending on the situation so cash is then king.  

Other items you may need: Baby food, diapers, formula, feminine products, deodorants, hand sanitizer, extra batteries, roll of plastic wrap (you can always make a shelter with duct tape and plastic rolls).Fire extinguishers, cleaning items, car jacks, flares, first aid supplies, dust mask (covid mask), gloves, rubber gloves, water containers, sleeping bag, extra bullets, quick start fire logs and rope.  

Main thing is to be prepared for the worst case scenario and if you do not use something then that is a good thing.  You must have food, water, shelter, clothing and warmth to survive regardless.  So make sure you have those items on hand and ready.  I am not saying become a prepper for the end of the world, but if you get caught off guard and do not have the basics to live then life will be hard and survival will be tough. Best Wishes and good luck preparing for the “what ifs” of life.

Faith: Traveling The Windy Roads With God

In our life we have traveled down many winding roads not knowing exactly what lies ahead.  Most of these roads were paved, smooth and relatively straight.  Then there are the dirt roads, rocky roads, hilly roads, curvy roads and others that are exciting to travel on, but also make  you nervous as to just where you will end up and how long it will take you to get there.  We have traveled the mountain roads of Western North Carolina for many years and one of those we prefer is the Blue Ridge Parkway.  It is a beautiful windy road with awesome views, nature at its finest and so relaxing to the mind, body and soul.  

My wife and I go up every October and ride the parkway to see the tree foliage change colors, look for waterfalls and spend time in Price Park (one of our favorites).  This October we decided to come back down the mountain on highway 221 and man it was a windy, curvy road with great views.  We discovered some new waterfalls, rock formations and places to take updated family pictures.  Traveling those windy roads is a cleansing for us, it is something that brings us back to nature, God and an enlightenment to our souls. 

When Cindy and I met almost thirty years ago, we took a trip to the mountains and I showed her all the places I loved to spend time at on the weekends..  We went to Grandfather Mountain and looked out across God’s landscape and just took it in. We took some awesome pictures that we love to look at to this day.  Traveling those windy mountain roads each year takes us back to our younger days when our relationship was young and growing.  A time when our relationship was starting, growing and anew.  

I titled this one Traveling the Windy Roads with God because he has been with us the whole time.  Just as Cindy and I developed our relationship by nurturing and loving each other, God has done the same for all of us.  He travels the roads of life with us to make sure we can cross those rough, dirty, dusty, windy, curvy, bumpy and hilly roads in life.  He helps guide us in deciding which way to go when we hit a crossroads.  Taking those trips and just guessing which to take often leads us to a dead end or somewhere we do not want to be in life.

Our journey in life and with God comes with uncertainty, but we do know that God is with us and he knows our final destination and purpose.  Even when we don’t know where we are going, God’s guidance in our direction is taking place on these trips.  Seek his mercy, grace and salvation to allow God to take you on a journey you never would have imagined.  A trip that has wonderful sights, visions, dreams and beautiful outcomes.  Take time to travel through life’s journey and ride with God as your compass, your map and your travel host.  Enjoy the ride and live a full life knowing God is in control!

Matthew 3:3, For this is he of whom Isaiah the prophet said, The voice of one crying in the waste land, Make ready the way of the Lord, make his roads straight.

Luke 3:5, Every valley will be filled, and every mountain and hill will be leveled. The crooked ways will be made straight, and the rough roads will be made smooth.

Lord, please be my travel guide.  Be my compass and show me the way to a wonderful life filled with vigor, relevance and safe travels.  Amen