Blood

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Last week my sons and I visited my elderly parents in Colorado. While I was anxious to see them, I also knew that it would be difficult. They are aging! We all do, but seeing your parents age, your own blood relatives, reminds us of our own mortality. I thought back and remembered all of the times that I had with them. The times when my wife was still alive. I miss those times and realize that they will never occur in my life again.

While we were visiting, I learned that they had a large television in the basement that needed to go to the garage, so it could be taken to the dump, so that they could buy a new one. After all, these days no matter how big the old TV is, there is always a better one with a bigger screen, and the old one is now worthless.

While moving this behemoth of a TV, I somehow cut myself and was bleeding all over a brand new Polo shirt. I remembered that a nurse friend of mine (whose husband is a doctor) once told me that hydrogen peroxide works great on removing blood from clothing (who better to learn blood removal from than from that duo?) I poured a generous amount of the peroxide on the bloodstain. It bubbled up when it contacted the blood, and I then blotted it off with a dry paper towel. It worked well. The Polo shirt was saved.

On the plane ride home, I couldn’t help thinking; life is so much like the TV and the blood. We can focus on getting old like the TV and know that we will soon be replaced. Or, perhaps it is better to focus on the blood. We can find solutions to our day to day problems. We can live and have happy and fruitful lives while we still occupy this earth. I want to focus on the blood!

Focus on the positives in your life. It might not be easy, but you will be surprised what it will do for your outlook.

Learn more in my book The Freshly Single Man.

How have you dealt with the stains (either figuratively or literally) in your life ?

Compartmentalization

Compartmentalization

I use the word “compartmentalization” to describe the process of dividing up our thoughts in order to be able to focus on specific tasks at hand. After my wife died, I was inundated with tasks to complete. Not only was I still working full time, but I now had a house to run, two kids to raise and a dog to look after. I was overwhelmed and I could not face it! I found very early on that if I faced all of the tasks that I had to complete at once, I simply would not be able to cope. I had to break my world down into to smaller parts or “compartments”. I could then focus on each compartment at a time and cope.

I found that the best way to do this is to make a list of all of the tasks that I have to deal with. I write them down, and then prioritize. I put a #1 next to the things that have to be done soon. A #2 for the next group and so on. If I don’t get the priorities exactly right, I don’t worry about it. Then I focus on the #1s and get to work on them. I don’t think about #2s or #3s, just the #1s. I get the #1s done and then I move on.

What organization issue have you run into?

Read more about how to survive on your own as a freshly single man in my recently published book The Freshly Single Man.

Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

After my wife died, it was all that I could do to go on day to day. After all, it was a whole new world—not only working full time, but figuring out how to run my household and raise my children. I had no time to contemplate the meaning of life, or to think about taking bold new steps out of my own quotidian world. Perhaps this was a good thing at the time. The rapidity of my life also did not leave me much time for self pity. However, I found that after I got a better handle on my new life, I had time to start thinking, not of my next task, but of what lie ahead in a broader sense; what was the meaning of all of this.

At that point, it was important for me to look for new interests, to get outside of my comfort zone. It was not an easy thing to do. After all, once we master the bold new world that we have been thrown into as a result of losing our spouse, we want to enjoy the accomplishment. But I found that this feeling of accomplishment was short lived and was soon replaced with boredom. Boredom is not a good thing! Boredom provides too much leeway for our minds to fill the empty space with sadness, self doubt and self pity.

So, I made a conscious effort to fill the space with new activities. My son and I participated in fund raisers, including the Pan Mass Challenge, a 192 mile two day fund raising bike ride across Massachusetts. I participated in several 5K runs. I became more involved with my church. Finally, I wrote a book, The Freshly Single Man, and started this blog. These were all far different than anything that I had ever done—way outside my comfort zone! But, they helped me to grow as a person and to fill the emptiness that I felt with a sense of accomplishment.

Try something new. It might not be easy, but you will be surprised what it will do for your outlook.

Learn more in my book The Freshly Single Man.

How have you stepped out of your comfort Zone?

Mold in the Shower?

Mold in the Shower?

I was getting into my shower the other day and noticed a nasty black mold on the floor and up the walls. Now, I keep a pretty clean bathroom and was surprised to see this development. I tried scrubbing it with a small brush, but after a lot of work, I was still not satisfied with the results.

Well, I found the perfect solution. There is a spray called “Tilex Mold and Mildew Remover”. You can find it in the grocery store or department store in the bathroom cleaning isle. This stuff is great. Spray it on after you shower and let it sit there for several hours. It will rinse off when you use the shower again. It is amazing how much of the mold is gone. For particularly stubborn spots you and scrub with a toothbrush. I have had great results.

Ok, you have mastered another nasty problem!

What tough cleaning issue have you run into?

Read more about how to survive on your own as a freshly single man in my recently published book The Freshly Single Man.

Are your indoor plants dying?

Are your indoor plants dying?

When my wife died, I “inherited” a houseful of indoor plants. It has been a challenge to keep them alive. I am constantly finding droopy leaves on some of them and brown dying leaves on others. I have been tempted to just pitch them all and save myself some effort. Every time I find myself in “Grim Reaper” mode, I have sympathy pains, remembering how much my wife enjoyed them. I let them live another week, and find more droopy and browning plants.

I looked into this and discovered that the biggest issue in keeping plants alive and healthy is regulating the amount of water that they receive. Here is an easy test to address the watering issue. Stick your finger about an inch into the soil:
• If the plant is droopy, wilted, browning or has dropping leaves, but the soil feels soggy, then the plant is too wet. Cut back on the frequency and/or amount of watering.
• If all of the above symptoms are present but the soil feels dry, then the plant needs water.

If neither of these works and your plant is still not doing well, consult an expert at a plant nursery. The type of plant that you have may require special treatment that they can diagnose and can help you with.

While dealing with plants may be way down on your “give a shit list”, successfully mastering their care will provide you with one more reason to feel good about yourself.

What little household issue have you run across lately?

Read more about how to survive on your own as a freshly single man in my recently published book The Freshly Single Man.

Press Release

Press Release

Jeff Bruner’s first book “The Freshly Single Man” is an insightful reference guide for men completing everyday tasks around the house.

New book “The Freshly Single Man” from Page Publishing author Jeff Bruner is a positive work of generosity born out of the pain of tragedy. After dealing with a terrible loss, the author had to determine how to live an everyday life; this book is the result of what he learned.

Jeff Bruner, a charity bicyclist and president of a gas pipeline company, has completed his first book “The Freshly Single Man”: a compendium of helpful knowledge for any man who finds himself hopeless at maintaining a home.

Describing his sage new work Bruner says: “The Freshly Single Man’s Guide to Household Survival is an easy to read step-by-step manual to help any man who finds himself on his own for the first time. Its main appeal is to men who have recently been divorced or widowed, but the majority of the content is also applicable to young men who have just moved out of their parents’ houses. It is a teaching and reference book, written in a lighthearted manner, to help alleviate the stress and worry that come with being alone for the first time and facing household challenges that have traditionally been the purview of women. ”

Published by New York City-based Page Publishing, Jeff Bruner’s tale is one of heart break and acceptance. As he moves from grieving to getting back to life he finds that he is at a total loss when it comes to common household tasks.

Some men are single by choice; others end up single through little to no choice of their own. Many of these divorced men and widowers find themselves overwhelmed by the multitude of new tasks at hand, from doing laundry to raising children on their own. Jeff Bruner lost his wife of 25 years suddenly to cancer, and soon found himself spending most of the day paying bills or hours wandering around the grocery store, not even knowing what he needed.

Through trial and error, he learned how to perform the many tasks that his wife had done for years, and he has written this extremely helpful guide for “freshly single” men that covers everything from cooking to cleaning to combing cat fur. The Freshly Single Man’s Guide to Household Survival might become the new go to reference for the millions of suddenly single Sams in our society.

Readers who wish to experience this relevant work can purchase “The Freshly Single Man” at bookstores everywhere, or online at the Apple iTunes store, Amazon, Google Play or Barnes and Noble. They can also follow Mr. Bruner’s blog at freshlysingleman.com.

For additional information, review copies or media inquiries, contact Page Publishing at 866-315-2708.

About Page Publishing

Page Publishing is a traditional New York based full-service publishing house that handles all of the intricacies involved in publishing its authors’ books, including distribution in the world’s largest retail outlets and royalty generation. Page Publishing knows that authors need to be free to create – not bogged down with complicated business issues like eBook conversion, establishing wholesale accounts, insurance, shipping, taxes and the like. Its roster of authors can leave behind these tedious, complex and time consuming issues, and focus on their passion: writing and creating. Learn more at Page Publishing.

Does the smell of your washing machine take your breath away?

The other day I opened the washing machine to do the week’s laundry and the smell was horrible.  I have a high efficiency washer and use detergent marked “He”.  I could not imagine what was causing the odor.  After looking into the issue a little bit, I discovered that this is not an uncommon problem, particularly with high efficiency washers.

No problem!  I have found an easy solution.  Grocery stores sell a product that takes care of this issue.  You can find this product in the laundry detergent area.  It is sold under different brand names and comes in small packages with two components: some wet wipes and a package or two of what looks like powdered soap.  You take one of the wet wipes and wipe around the door and the door seal.  Then you throw one of the packages in and run the machine on a normal wash cycle.  Valla!  The smell is gone.

You have mastered one more aspect of being an independent freshly single man.

What household smells have you encountered lately?

For more helpful tips, check out my recently published book The Freshly Single Man’s Guide to Household Survival.