Category Archives: Family & Friends

Bragging on my brother

2019_09 20 bragging

From “Girls tennis: Leonia’s Tim Cullen records 500th win” at North Jersey dot com:

The late Bob Cullen coached football at Cornell for 41 year and passed the coaching gene on to his sons Tim, Terry and Tony, all of whom coached various sports.

As Tim Cullen said, “If it bounced, we coached it.”

Over the past 55 years, Tim Cullen has coached football, lacrosse, ice hockey, soccer, basketball, baseball, softball and wrestling. He even laughed about his two-week stint as a cheerleading coach.

But back in 1989, Leonia needed a girls tennis coach. Cullen had no experience with the sport but was teaching most of the Lady Lion players in his AP history class at the time and happily accepted the gig.

Thirty years later, Cullen is still at it. He recorded his 500th career victory last week when Leonia beat Harrison, 5-0.

On Sept. 9, the Lady Lions got singles victories from Reanna Radu, Maya Naik and Lily Futern and doubles wins from the pairs of Esther Gim/Hanna Futeran and Anika Hong/Morgan Suh.

When I started out, the other coaches in Bergen County helped me learn the sport … they were all great,” Cullen said. “I took their ideas and worked with them. I wanted to craft a program … something our kids could be proud of.”

Over the past three decades, Cullen has done just that. The Leonia girls have piled up 13 league, 12 state sectional, three county and one state group championship. More importantly, Cullen has molded hundreds of players into better people.

I was tickled pink after Harrison … it was really thrilling,” Cullen said. “I went home, had a bottle of wine and tried to figure out how many people I needed to thank.

Between his 300-plus players, administrators, rival coaches, assistant coaches, parents, nurses, trainers, custodians and so on, Cullen came up with roughly 1,100.

I was thinking, ‘How do you thank 1,100 people properly?’ Cullen said. “So I just thanked my wife (Claire) and said, ‘Hopefully everyone else understands’.

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An Update

As I told you, my posting will be more erratic since I started working full time on 3rd shift in a gas station. Also, my wife’s heart rate was over 160 beats/minute last Tuesday night. I took her to the ER where she was admitted and underwent a battery of tests over the next few days. Her angiogram was rescheduled from Friday to Monday and they found no significant damage. We were blessed with much support from family and close friends and an amazing staff at Swedish American Hospital. She’s supposed to come home today, which is good, because the house is way too quiet. I’ll post what I can as often as I can. Thanks to Chrissy for keeping things going in our little garden.

Oh most gracious and merciful loving Lord and Heavenly Father, You know and supply all our needs. Thank You for Your compassion and loving kindness. We know You are with Pistol and Mrs. Pete and that Your rod and Your staff will comfort them as they walk through this time of illness. Please heal her heart with Your divine graces and also give knowledge, inspiration, strength, and love to all those who minister to her. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. Amen.

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MASCOTS: The Big Adventure Continues

Driving through British Columbia. Lots of great scenery, plus smoke from the many wildfires currently raging.

2018_08 07 BC smoke from wildfires

Crossing a cool bridge on the way into Vancouver.

2018_08 07 Bridge Continue reading

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Despite having only 20,000 miles on it and having been serviced right before they left, the Buzzers’ truck broke down in British Columbia, stranding them for 5 days. The folks in the little, no-cell-service town were very nice to them and Mama Buzz said they really needed the rest after going full bore for far too long packing, cleaning, and saying their good-byes. So, yes, their carefully planned travel schedule got messed up, but the truck is repaired and they’re back on the road. Please pray for them to have a safe and uneventful trip from here on.

2018_08 05 On the road again

While surfing for a local Mass, Mama Buzz came across this lovely church notice: Jesus said, “Let the children come to me.” Children are a gift. The way we welcome children in church affects the way they respond to the Church and to one another. Let them know that they are at home in this house.  So, welcome them and give a smile to their parents. Children, we like having you here! Parents, relax! God put the wiggle in children; don’t feel you have to suppress it in God’s house. Sit toward the front, even in the first row. It is easier for your little ones to see and hear what’s going on at the altar. They tire of seeing the backs of others’ heads. Bring items to help your small child during the service and don’t forget the coloring pages and crayons in the lobby. Quietly explain the parts of the liturgy and actions of the priest, servers, etc. Sing, pray, and voice the responses. Children learn by copying you. If you have to leave with your child, feel free to do so, but please come back!

Speaking of children … please keep our youngest grandchild in your prayers. He isn’t due to leave the womb until October 29th, but his mama went into preterm labor on Friday. The docs have stopped it and she is resting at her far-from-home hospital. It isn’t clear if she’ll have to stay in the hospital for the duration or if they will let her come home to bed rest. Either way, they’ve got a lot of support at home from friends and family in their rural community, so hubby and #1 son are in good hands. The main concern is that our grandson stay tucked inside until his lungs are fully developed. Thanks so much!

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MASCOTS: Cruise Day!

From Mama Buzz: “We went on a cruise out of Valdez yesterday. We saw Columbia Glacier.”

“The crew fished some glacier ice out of the water for us to touch and hold.”

2018_07 27c Touching glacier ice Continue reading

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MASCOTS: Saying good-bye

Yesterday afternoon, they left their home town and today are enjoying a one-day cruise to see glaciers and wildlife. On, Saturday they say “so-long, can’t wait to come back” to the state that has been their happy home for six years.

Bunny has been very verbal about her anxieties and sadness. Mama helped her pick out an Alaska bracelet to help her with those feelings. Buzz’s autism makes it very hard for him to express himself and Bootz still doesn’t have enough language to say how he’s feeling either. The boyz comforted each other in the hotel.

Bridge crossing: You can see the Alaska Pipeline to the left.

0726181846 bridge pipeline

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July 20 from Mama Buzz: “Most of the house is packed and multiple crates have been loaded on to the truck.  Last night, after the excitement of staying at a hotel wore off, Bunny was laying in bed telling me she misses her home and she doesn’t want to leave. We talked about how we are all sad to leave and its ok to cry about it, but to also remember we have exciting things to look forward to with our move — mainly getting to see so much family more often! I’ve been reminding myself of this a lot too. Tomorrow, we have our good-bye potluck picnic at the park with whoever wants to see us one more time.  We have to clean the house, get it inspected, etc., then we’re going to do a day cruise to see glaciers and ocean wildlife before we leave. Lots of prayers please!”


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MASCOTS: Last visit to the Botanical Garden

The movers come tomorrow and the Buzzers are simultaneously sad and excited about their move. If all goes as planned, they’ll be here at Casa Hyphen for a short visit in about four weeks!

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MASCOT UPDATE: Saying good-bye to the gardens

Mama Buzz took up gardening when they moved to Alaska six years ago. I used to love gardening, but it’s been many years since I was well enough to indulge myself in planting, pruning, and yanking weeds. So Mama Buzz’s garden was my vicarious garden too and she always kept me up to date with lots of pictures from spring to fall.

This is the last Alaska garden. I feel kind of sad. She’ll plant again as soon as they get settled in their new house, which is all reserved, yay! It looks a lot like this one on the outside, but is bigger inside, since they didn’t have Bootz when they moved to the north country.

Anyway, this week-end, Mama Buzz and the kids tidied up the Alaska gardens, got them pretty for the next tenants, and gave some flowers for remembrance to friends they’re leaving behind. (She always kept a pretty planted pot on the utility cover, but that pot is going with them.)


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Mascot Update: Summer in Alaska

Mama Buzz sent these. She took the photo at 12:30 am today.

2018_07 01 Fairbanks light2018_07 1230am Fairbanks sky


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