Is my book what you came for?  Then link to my free book: A Gift from the Heart


With AOL Hometown being discontinued (sad day) I am forced to find a new “web home” and WordPress seems to offer the resources and flexibility that my fit my style and thus, here I am!  So, with intent to both Blog and host web pages here, we are off and running.

Jim & Pam, and life is very good!

Jim & Pam, and life is very good!

Check out my background in the Pages to the right, beginning with ABOUT and continuing with a little background in the pages below that.

Also, check out the link to my free book, A Gift from the Heart, offered in memory of my heart donor, Roberto Cuebas, who back in October of 1994, lost his life in Brooklyn, NY, but in doing so, saved mine when his heart was donated and transplanted to replace my failing heart over in Philadelphia.  But wait, that’s what the book is all about, so go there to read the full story of the many years he and I have shared since that gift of life was donated.

- Jim Gleason

The video tells the whole story:

So go on out there today and feel your own beauty, patch or no patch!  And let me say to you: “You are beautiful!”  (yes, even you men out there)

Ok, laying awake since 4:30am with all kinds of thoughts about what I had to get done, I took my own advice of giving up and just getting up after an hour and more of that.  Shaved, showered dressed and came into my office to tackle the too long TO-DO list but treated myself first to catching up on the news and came across this delightful story/video that I just have to share with you.

It’s easy to say life’s an adventure, and I truly believe and live my life based on that, but it’s seldom that we get to watch anyone really get into it as I saw in this story.  With tears in my eyes – tears of delight and laughter – I put that ‘urgent’ task list aside to post this reflection and let you enjoy and be inspired by the same.

Please, in this modern age of very short attention spans (dare I say ADD?), give it the full 10 minutes of watching these two ‘young’ ladies experience that adventure that life can offer each of us each and every day – and if you are not feeling their delight, especially in the final minute of the video, well, what can I say, it may be too late for you – but then, I say it’s never too late as long as you are still ‘above ground’ – so here’s my gift to you today, a challenge to enjoy the adventure by sharing in their wonderful story (with English subtitles – smile!)

And don’t hesitate to post your reactions as comments here, and to share this with family and friends . . .

Every other week, I am amazed when my two week pill case comes up empty and needs to be refilled. I swear somebody is sneaking my pills as I can’t believe its time to fill them again. Where did the 14 days go, seemingly passing faster with each passing year and one more birthday. (by the way, there is a real mathematical reason for that seemingly faster passage of time as we grow older, but that’s a subject for another posting)

Do you feel that way too? It’s a human nature kind of thing. So today my son, Michael, shared something that provided a thoughtful video featuring one’s life’s passage using jelly beans, 28,835 of them to be exact.

Personally, I enjoy jelly beans and to keep them from being too much sugar in my day, the other night, for example, savored one at a time, tiny but very flavorful Life Saver brand jelly beans, for about 10 minutes each, enjoying that pleasure with only 4 very small but intense ones (listed as just one carb each), a far improvement over a past practice which would have had me eating a full bag at a sitting.

Come join me (and over 4.5 million others) in watching this colorful and very creative analysis of how life is spent on average, leaving us with some very personal questions to reflect upon.  Just click on the image below . . .

jelly beans

Speaking of special events, check out this CBS TV news coverage of a recent press conference celebrating the 40th year for our local organ procurement organization (OPO), the Gift of Life Donor Program here in Philadelphia.


Stay tuned through both YouTube videos.

Life is full of pleasant opportunities and surprises if only we are open to them.

Attending an amazing presentation by an author of a recent book I reviewed – highly recommend to your reading “The Survivor, the Hero, the Angel: A Mother’s Story – one decade- just last Thursday (what a special treat hearing this mother and caregiver for her two highly disabled young sons share her very uplifting, positive and spirited family challenge), we were gifted by a special friend with two tickets to Friday’s performance of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

We quickly made plans to attend and found ourselves seated in the best seats in the beautiful Kimmel Center’s music hall – third row from the orchestra, center seats – “Wow!”. Scan_Pic0036  Normally that might be a little too close, but with this performance it was the perfect seats to see every movement and especially when their world renowned featured soloist, violinist Janine Jansen, played like an angel on a 1727 “Barrere” Stradivarious – which didn’t mean much to me as it may not to you – but the sounds she produced on it made me an admirer of both her and that priceless instrument.

Quite an afternoon of Britten and Mozart, one a little too modern for my tastes, the other brought me to tears with her beautiful playing.  Not something for every day, but a very special treat thanks to Sue, a very special and thoughtful friend.  “Thanks, Susan!

Scan_Pic0035Coming off the classical, we were attending a 50′s R&R musical event the next night, again spiced with two very special friends, Bob & Sue, for dinner and the event.  Not front row center this time, but still great seats, we enjoyed “A Night of Pop, Rock & Soul” with the Philadelphia’s own Duprees, the First Ladies of Rock & Soul (each singing in the style of famous female singers of that era), and finally, the headliner of the show, Bobby Rydell.

This was made even more special by the fact that Bobby had a liver and kidney transplant in 2012 and his hometown of Pottstown, PA, where this event was being held, declared it Organ Donation Day in honor of his appearance.

Now I have to confess I’ve heard other R&R groups and artists before and some half a century beyond their prime, their teen voices have been left far behind, so the backup bands play extra loud to overcome any vocal shortfall.  This is what I expected from Bobby tonight.  I have to say I (and everyone in this 2,700 member audience) was totally “blown away” to hear his voice sounding even better today than in past years.  I mean he belted out those famous songs as the audience joined in this shared music memory of songs from our own youth (many, many grey haired heads in that audience!).  We loved it!  He was great, sharing his successful transplant story supported by this energetic performance for almost a full hour (overall we got three hours of great entertainment for our money).

But that wasn’t all, as they say.  After the show, Bob & Sue made sure we were in the front of the autograph seeker line.  After a long wait, there he was, THE Bobby Rydel, in person, up close and so friendly and patient as we talked one-on-one, sharing our own transplant story to connect with him in a unique way.  And of course there were the photographs – he was GREAT!  Pam even got him to autograph her green “organ donor” rubber bracelet, a unique souvenir to remember the special night.

Yes, life is full of opportunities and surprises, most of them good surprises.  Keep open to them every day in your own lives, and when they appear, embrace them for the life gifts they are, and don’t forget to share them with special friends that make them even better.

Being Taco Bell fans, we had to go out to breakfast this morning to experience the first day of Taco Bell’s new breakfast fare.  Result: we loved it!  Tried the A.M Crunchwrap – more than enough for one’s filling breakfast – tasty – was so good, I’m sure it must not be healthy.

tb am crunchThen we tried the Waffle Taco – with sausage (available with bacon or steak too) – even Pam, who isn’t a sausage fan, gave it a good review, commenting that the sausage wasn’t as spicy as many are (lacking fennel spice?)

tb waffle taco




Overall, with other items also tried (like their breakfast burrito), we’d say it was a hit and with their California product people in attendance (yes, right here in little Delran, NJ) for the opening, we got to chat with them (they shared that this breakfast menu is 8 years in development! – boy, that’s being cautious to make sure it goes out as a good experience) and praise this launch.

Would we recommend it?  Yes, but everyone’s tastes are different, so not sure you will agree with our findings, but definitely worth a try.


Total breakfast cost for those three entree items plus two ‘senior drinks’ (read that as ‘free’) was just a little over $6, which was really too much food for comfort, so typical breakfast for us would be about $3 for two.  Those free sr drinks make a big difference.


God's Not DeadThis new movie that just came out last Friday (at least in the local AMC theaters here) is a MUST see!  We loved it and felt it should be seen by anybody interested in 1. great entertainment, 2. looking for a good message about God in today’s life, and 3. looking for faith in today’s youth and our future society

A really great message and story!  Viewers loved it according to comments, giving it 4.5 stars out of 5, critics, not so much (1.5 stars) – personally, we tend to find our tastes go with the viewers’ over time, critics, not so much.  Came in #5 in its opening week, a very positive big surprise given its competition.

After you’ve seen it, come back and share your own comments here…

Note: I’ve been advised to not sure the story line so you can enjoy it fresh, the way we did, but if you want more details, go to


To view the trailer, go to:



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