Wednesday, December 8, 2010

"Wally Bronner (Christmas Always)" by The Hard Lessons / Annual Christma...

These guys really put out the jams.... and that means something even more if you get to Zenders or the Bavarian Inn. Yes... jam... as in the preserves that are presented to you... under the bubble dish (back in the day...) at the world famous cross the street family/friendly rivals. But... the real question for those of you who know of this magic town of Frankenmuth is.... which do you prefer to dine at?

This is a pretty serious decision that in many cases... well... can be down right family struggle. You see... when I was a child.... my family preferred the Bavarian style feel of old Germany at... The Bavarian Inn. It was just what we did. Never really set foot in Zenders. Not sure why? It was what the Sherman's did.

Fast forward to life of Don.. married with children. When our family made its first visit to Frankenmuth early on in the simple easy years it became known that... well... there was going to be a little problem. You see... just as the Sherman family had visited Frankenmuth over the years... so had Lisa's family... the Mertens. And... just as we were committed to the Bavarian Inn... so were the Mertens... to Zender's! No problem... were all adults... right? HELL NO its not right!

I'm not suggesting this is as serious of an issue for some as for us... but just like some people go into marriage with a "prenuptial agreement" I am going to suggest that all couples should discuss not only their political points of view, religious affiliations, decisions about children, and career aspirations.... and don't leave out the discussion of Zenders or the Barvarian Inn.

Trust me... from experience... you might as well get this out on the table... up front. No sense in keeping this information "buried" deep within only to be dragged to the surface years later.... after...perhaps.... it is too late. Speaking from experience... it's just one of those discussions YOUR NOT TRAINED TO HANDLE. As Jack Nickolson' s famous line goes "YOU CAN"T HANDLE THE TRUTH.... " about what can come from this unspoken issue.

In all fun... it is truly amazing the history and memories from the visits over the years to this "build it.. and they will come..." town. As a mature adult nearing middle age now... I can tell you without hesitation that I now can cross over the street from what was once our family tradition in my youth and enjoy a family dinner at.... Zenders. ( Now... for a little secret... I usually have to excuse myself at some point to the men's room... and become so violently Ill... well... Let's not get into the details... not a pretty picture. But... I do get my value out of the all you can each chicken dinner!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What does it mean to be "Green" ?

Many people have asked me... and in some cases challenged me... on what it means to be green.  Well... like many issues... being green means different things to different people.  I always tell people I am trying to live a green or sustainable life by only using the things I in the course of daily living and not more than my fair share.  Once again... this means different things to different people.  We live in a consumption society today that keeps this right out in front each and every day.  I like to call it the "Bigger, better, more society" and I'm sorry to say this is front and center in the lives of our children. 

I love watching my girls play with their toys and go into the real world of play by make believe.  If your a parent you know what I'm talking about.  It's the magical moment when you catch a child in true play.  You can hear them acting out a sene in their mind... taking on a different voice or facial expression and in the moment.   It struck me as disappointing to hear them talk about things like getting a ride in a "Limo" or being in a "Mansion" in some of their role playing.   I'm always puzzled with were they came up with these idea's.  It certainly did not come from us since we don't consider our home a mansion and we certainly don't have drivers take around town in limos!

My point is that our children have been brought up in a generation of consumption and are bombarded with messages that bigger, better, more.... will lead to a satisfying and purposeful life.  I'm not saying I don't want my children to dream big dreams and have big goals.  Not the case.  I want them to understand that the happiness factor in life in not guaranteed with a large house and a long car with a driver and tinted glass.   To the contrary.... I believe that people get caught up in this because the realize it is a one time opportunity to feel star struck.... people will look at me! 

Now... on the other hand.... how many celebrities have reached for the brass ring only to get to the top and find themselves alone with their material goods.... hooked on drugs, running from a bigger set of problems... brought on by... well... the unquenchable thirst for more stuff!

So... moral to the story... teach your children to value what they have... take care of it... and don't take more than you need.   If you take materials into nature.... be sure to bring out everything.  Leave nothing but a footprint... so the saying goes.

Now... my final point on how being green means different things to different people is.... that this week being green in my house means... being a Lake Orion Dragon Football fan.  Our local high School football team (my son is a team member, proud dad!) is green and white in color.  They advance to the State of Michigan championship game this weekend at Ford Field in Detroit Michigan.  So... all I can say to close out this conversation is.....

Go Green!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Hello followers... Just a word of thanks to those who are now followers of the Blog.  Which.... leads me to my next question?? Can I really follow myself?  Wouldn't I be chasing my tail?  I don't know... one of those new technology mysteries to work through!  Thanks for your support!  And... please feel free to direct all your connections to follow as well. 

I do have a couple of items for discussion.  I am working with a friend of mine on creating a "Recycling Guide Book".  It stands to reason that every good book needs a few great illustrations.  Does anyone have any idea's of who might be able to assist with illustrations.  I never got much past stick figures 101?  You get where I'm going with this right?  Talent... I need talent!

See you.... Don  

Monday, November 15, 2010

New web page photos for our team at Don Sherman Insurance Agency...

Meet the Team:  Starting line up... the team captain .... from Oxford Michigan... Lisa Bunker! 

Running the point.... this veterian has a history with pulling the right levers in his coaching career and controversial history of being around sports greatest brawls... from Lake Orion Michigan....
Ron Grubbs!

  No comment!
The lady that stirs up the pot.... and always creating controversy in my life for 47 consecutive years....the closer.... my sister...
Lynne... don't mess with my dolls.... Gastaldo!

And.... coming off the bench.... the peace keeper... tell em just the facts with a smile... keep em in the house....

Julie Walakonis! 

My best team yet!!/pages/Oxford-MI/Don-Sherman-Insurnce-Agency-and-Financial-Services-Inc/271971173187
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I will stop at nothing to fight the good fight!  I traveled to the wilds of Northern Michigan this week to make a case for finding an answer to the problems listed in the article below.  If you have ever been to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Shore in located in arguably one of the most beautiful counties in Michigan....Leelanau County.... to find the answer!
Hidden snugly in a small up north outpost of Glen Arbor Michigan you will find a very unique experience in a local business in Cherry Republic.  There is a long and interesting history to this company that was founded by Bob Sutherland way back in 1989.  The story is that Bob started by selling T-shirts out of the trunk of his car with a theme of "Cherry Republic: Life, Liberty, Beaches & Pie.  You can say Bob had vision because as the interest in the area grew.... so did the business.  Today it has grown to house 100's of cherry themed products throughout a complex of several buildings on site along with other locations in various towns throughout Michigan.  Why am I so fired up about Cherry Republic?  Because I love there products AND am working with the company to offer the best and healthiest products I can find on our GREENFUNDRAISERSTORE.COM store.  Remember... the GFS was created to offer alternative products used in the coarse of daily living.... and every day we have to make choices about nutrition.  What will we stock our shelves with at home?  What will we toss into the kids lunch bags for snack time? 

Put a halt to the Ho-Ho's, chuck the Cheetos's,,,, say good bye to fries!  We will soon be offering a nice variety of "Health Snacks" for your personal shopping needs AND for group fundraising.

Now.... why Cherry Republic?  How does a red fruit fit into a green company?  Simple... did you ever try and eat a green cherry... or a green banana for that matter (not to be confused with Banana Republic!)
Cherries are:  Grown in Michigan, full of natural nutrients, contain antioxidants, fun to eat, and have a great taste.  Bob's company simply took the best of what Michigan has to offer... and well.... when on a creative run of making just about anything and everything they could think of with.... CHERRIES!

So... visit  in the coming week to see what we have in mind!  If you can't beat um.... join em... with health, Michigan based and grown, sustainable packaging (more later), to stock your selves.

See you.... Don

I came across this article in this mornings Detroit News

This article sheds a bright light on a society problem of talking out of both sides of the mouth.  That is.... talking when we aren't stuffing some form of the endless forms of junk food into our mouths.  Almost weekly we hear or read about poor nutritional choices and childhood obesity.   Then why are we surprised with this outcome when we place items such as bagels, cookies, candy, soda pop, and pizza right there for kids.  Comfort food?  Its what they want?  Bull poop!  Suck it up kid (or maybe suck it in?).  The bottom line here is... we've created a generation of "soft" citizens.  It's no joke... and the statistics should bring a call to arms to stop the madness.

I visited a local public school last fall and was amazed at the number of vending machines in the school dining area.  From a distance the wall full of brightly colored graphics showed an assortment of offerings that appeared to be bottled water,  vitamin water, or juices.  Then... to my surprise upon closer inspection the contents of the machines were not what they appeared to be from a distance.  They had no water or juice at all.... in fact they were packed with national brand soda pop.  WHY?  Because... give the people what they want!    More disturbing news is who is in control of what goes in the machines and why?  It has become a major choice of school funding.

 Earlier this year I became alarmed over a story in the news touching on the coming economic cliff our public schools are facing with school financing.   Now as a parent of 4 children of various ages I'm no novice when it comes to what the schools are faced with and what they are doing to help close the funding gap.  It really comes down to one simple truth.... put the burden of filling the gap on the students.... aka.... parents.  GO OUT AND SELL KIDS!  Bring in major corporate brands and give them control of  what they put in front of our children.... in return for the "sole sponsorship/distributorship" of product to our children.  Is your school sponsored by Pepsi or Coke products?  Do they have franchised labels for sale such as Taco Bell in the lunch room?   Does this happen by accident or is there more to the story?  More.... in the sense that it is kind of like selling your sole for badly needed funding.  You can argue that its a great idea since kids need to eat right?  But... who is really in control of what goes on. 

Like in many schools today.... parents set up an account and fund it with a prepaid amount of money.  The kids walk down the line and have control over what they decide they want for their lunch.  But... it comes to find out that there are no checks and balances at all.  Kids can load up with ANYTHING with no gate keeper.  I don't know about you... but given a choice of between a healthy choice lunch and cookies, candy, or pizza.... well.... mom's not here.... and better yet... there is no reporting back as to what I'm choosing.... what a great deal!   And we wonder why kids can't concentrate for the rest o the day!

This is really just the beginning of a broader story of sending mixed messages to our kids.  The school year starts and the flyer's start coming home for the various groups needing your assistance in "fundraising".  Wait a minute... when I was a kid we pretty much needed a package of loose leaf, a couple of binders, pencils, and a lunch box.  We're not in Kansas anymore Toto!  Now expect a detailed list of things you are expected to bring to the class room  AND expect to add to the pool of items that the teacher has determined are needed to run an efficient school classroom.  Expect the list to include facial tissue, hand wipes, sanitizer, folders, keepers, binders, and much more.  Your dropping cash like its no problem.  You want to play sports or march in the band?  No problem.... write a check for $300 and johnny can get a chance to participate.  What the hell is going on here?   The public schools have figured it out.... shift the burdened of supporting the things we hold closest to our heart... and put a price tag on it!  Pay to play.  In the mean time.... What happened to the funds that used to pay for these things?  Ahhh.... shifted to other parts of the operating budget.... give the people what they want?

The last and most disturbing trend is the after school activities and their insatiable need for....MO MONEY!   Talk about sending a mixed message!  Fundraising with candy, cookie dough, pizza kits, pies, chocolate, pop corn..... Wow!   Now... I'm not gonna tell you that I don't like a enjoy any of these things from time to time.  But... please.... this is really confusing.  Report after report about nutritional problems and obesity.... but get out there and sell it!  We need MO MONEY!

This is one of the reasons I wrote about and implemented a new way forward.   What if we change the game and replace the choices with items that are not only healthier... but tie in with the school curriculum.   What if we provide kids with choices that don't have anything to do with poor nutrition and turn it around into a lesson?  How about we celebrate the learning and take it to the next level of "action"?   What if the lesson creates grass roots shifts that are better for the environment?  Wow what a great idea?  Right?  Wrong!  Here is what I've discovered... Good idea... but... we need to give the people what they want!  So... the concept is good... but maybe ahead of its time?  And the beat goes on.... we got another flyer for a pizza fund raising night.... it's easy... it fits in to today's desires.... soft... easy.... like the Pillsbury Dough Boy.... stick your finger in his belly.... and...."Huuuuuhhhh, huuuhhhh,huuhhhhh...." 

Who gets the last laugh?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Don Sherman Insurance Agency and Financial Services Team Photo October 2010

Well... it was time for an updated team photo... since the last one has been there for some time now. Over 20 years have gone by now and we have had some great.... really great people on this team. I must say that this group is one... if not .... the very best yet. Why? We work well together, help each other out to deliver a good product, do the things people expect (say please and thank you, show up on time, stay over when needed, make that extra effort), AND.... we HAVE FUN while doing it all! They say that if you enjoy what you do that you will never work a day in your life! What can I say... I'm fortunate to have such blessings as these people on our team!
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