Memories for when I am senile!

Dog and toyWhen I was a teenager, I had the job of bringing in wood for the fireplace every night. We heated our house with it so in the time between getting home from school and dinner I was supposed to go out to the woodpile and bring enough in for the night. Like every other chore I had, I was not fond of it. So one day I got a bright idea, I would hook up the family dog, a German shepherd named Gretchen, to the dolly full of wood and have the dog tow the wood into the house. So I spent most of the afternoon hooking up the rig to the dog and loading the wood. Our dog, a very calm and well-mannered dog sat there innocently while I loaded the cart with no sign of the panic that as to come. Once I was ready I walked a few feet from the dog and then called for her to come to me. As soon as the dog felt that something was attached to her she freaked out, she ran right past me straight toward the front door of the house yelping and leaving a trail of excrement, amazingly when she hit the front door it flung wide open allowing the dog to continue her path into the house with a now empty cart, but not empty bowels, spinning behind her like a sideways top on a string. She then proceeded to take a left into the kitchen and then a right into the dining room with the cart knocking over houseplants and putting a large hole in the dining room china cabinet. The fear on my face was bad enough just knowing what I had done to the poor dog but the next sound was even worse. It was the sound of my dad’s car coming down the street and it caused an immediate panic. My mom who had been in the kitchen when the dog flew by looked and said, clean up the poop and get the dog outside. I did my part while mom picked up the large house plant and put it in front of the china cabinet hole so when dad walked in there was only the two of us probably looking guilty and sweating from the burst of activity. This is one of those family moments which I will remember for a lifetime and every time I think about it I get a smile. Long after I am senile and can’t remember my own name, the nursing staff will wonder what I am smiling about and it will be a memory like this one.

Summer time blues!

vector-sun_Myq4hj8__LWhen I was young summer was a magical thing, no school warm days all the kids in the neighborhood running around like a pack from house to house. Anytime you walked into your house you were asked why you were not outside. We explored, we created games, we played until the sun went down and if our parents let us we stayed out after that running around the neighborhood. We always looked forward to summer. Now as an adult summer is a list of things I need to do before winter comes and it is too cold to do it. Charge up the sprinklers, there is a leak, fix the sprinklers. Cut the grass, mower won’t start, get the mower fixed. Open the windows and doors because it is hot in the house, fix the screens because there are holes in them and bugs are coming in. Even after I get the grass mowed I find moles or voles have moved in so I have to figure out a way to get rid of those critters. Winter is the hunker down stay inside, stay warm kind of time, filled with naps and blankets. sad to say but I now look forward to winter.

The “should it soak” game.

Dirty frying panWhen I was a kid my brother sister and I had the chore of doing the dishes after dinner. Each of us had a turn at this rotating every night to the next in line. Not really a tough job you put all the dishes in the dishwasher and then wash the pans. With the pans always came a game of should it soak. You always wanted to get away with leaving one pan that had to soak but there was a trick to this. Mom had caught on that so you had to pass the mom test to be able to leave one in the sink. She would come to the sink and look at the pan, then look at you and pass judgment. If you were able to leave one you walked away with a smile knowing someone, probably mom, would have to scrub it later, but it wasn’t going to be you. If you were unsuccessful you would grumble under your breath and complete the task. You had to know just what would pass the test, it couldn’t be any old pan. Rice, for example, did they leave it too long or too hot? A little burnt rice on the bottom might just pass. Crispy bits from something fried, not likely. Lasagna, usually a winner. I never tried anything malicious like turning up the heat on the stove while the rice was cooking, but you can be sure that on my night to do the dishes while I served myself some dinner I was checking out the consistency to see if it gave any hints to possible pan status. You couldn’t tell how the pan looked because mom never served anything in the same dish it was cooked in, but that is a topic for another post.

Will you pledge with me?

Sending A Message With A Post It NoteToday I am going to offend people on Facebook. I am a God fearing, gun loving white unapologetic male! Let the hate begin. I do not own a handgun or a semi-automatic assault rifle not because I would not like one. I have fired them and they are cool. No, I don’t own them I am a cheapskate. They cost a lot of money and so does the ammunition so I choose to buy car parts instead. I believe in God and I read my bible and try to do what is right by what God teaches. I am a white male, I do my best to not judge others by race or creed, gender or even, shock, sexual preference. I try to judge people by the strength of their character. Huh, where have I heard that before? I believe there are nasty people who call themselves Christians and Atheists who are more christianly than I am. Guess what, you can disagree with me and I don’t hate you! Let’s be honest, the internet has gotten out of hand. People are going to Facebook and other places saying the stupidest things on both sides. Civility is lost, dialog is dead, instead, it has been replaced by screaming and shouting and verbal abuse. I am officially calling for a cease-fire! I call on everyone I know to lay down the weapons of words we are using and return to civil dialog amongst friends. I am calling for all of us to not see those who disagree with us as the enemy, but a chance to show love and compassion and a chance for us to show everyone else sending out the abuse, that it is not how adults, real adults act! I pledge to you right now to not send out abusive diatribes, posts that do not promote healthy dialog or are about cats and personal injuries. They are funny and sometimes cute but there are just so many times you can take someone take one in the groin! I call on all my friends to do the same and if you agree, pass this on to your friends, maybe we can change the current culture for the good!

There is nothing left but the doing!

FrustrationI am having a panic attack right now. I committed to doing a project which will stretch me, and I wanted that, but it has put me out of my comfort zone. I want the challenge it is a great opportunity to do something I have not done before but at the same time, I can’t help but feel like breathing into a paper bag to calm myself down. You ever do this? Commit to doing something you have never done before. I have walked back and forth from the living room to the kitchen, I have gotten myself a water bottle so I don’t get up to get a drink, I have taken my bio break so as to not be distracted and have had a good breakfast so I won’t get up for a snack. I know that all that preparation is good but I will get up I will pace the halls a few times and a snack sounds really good right now! My phone will buzz with email and I will want to read it, and I will probably post to Facebook a few times before I get to the task. I don’t think it is the fear of the task its self but the fear of someone saying it just isn’t that good that scares me. I will turn it over like a little child who is showing his or her parents the first art project. If it is well received It will hopefully lead to more if it is rejected it will cause a re-evaluation of whether there is gifting in this area. Well, my last distraction is this blog so there is nothing left but the doing! Maybe the dog needs to be fed?

Bacon grease is back!

narwhal-whale-stringing-bacon_MkPVVv8u_LWhen I was growing up next to the stove was a coffee can. That coffee can was for bacon grease and probably any other fat that was rendered during cooking. I would watch my mom scoop up some of it to use with eggs or even refried beans, it was what everyone did. Then at some point, I blame Walter Cronkite, they told us that was bad for you and all the precious cans of fat and grease disappeared. Let call this the dark ages, because frankly food did not taste as good and I think this is probably the era when anti-depressants first appeared on the market. While those dark times really took a toll on all of us I would say that I see the signs that they are over. reappearing in kitchens and even on cooking shows is the return of bacon, and not only bacon but bacon fat as a base for cooking. I was watching a morning show when the celebrity chef of the day broke out the small can of bacon fat and even said, just keep a bowl by the stove and keep all leftover grease in it for cooking. And with that, we are back, back to a world where joy is allowed. Of course, we can no longer use a coffee can, you probably will have to go on Pinterest and see what everyone else is doing to store that glorious goodness, whatever it takes to keep it close.

Keeping your man ain’t what it used to be!

cal-retroart-0814-487_LMany of the facebook posts I see right now are these annoying ones which claim something shocking. You know what I am talking about, they say something like a man walks on to a stage and everyone is shocked by what he does. If you click on these most of the time they are something you have already seen or some stupid video they posted just to get you to the page and get advertising revenue. I say it is most of the time, the one I click on the other day was shocking. Not because of a video but because it was an article from the 1950s titled “7 Tip for keeping your man”. I laugh just at the title, how many things have changed from the fifties. I think if this were to get published today there would be cars on fire in the streets and whole towns burned to the ground. I could just imagine some college professor being run out of town for just mentioning any of these seven, but in the fifties, this was the advice being given. let’s start with number one, Don’t talk! The advice here that when your man gets home he doesn’t want to hear about your day, nice! One line in this is the best. That shooting pain in your left arm just keeps getting more intense? Keep it to yourself! Never mind you might be having a heart attack or that it might be that you need to see a doctor. First, I am not sure that was ever good advice, second it seems to me I would at least care that my wife is having issues, or why did you even marry her? The second one is priceless, Bad cooking will drive your man to seedy saloons. I don’t know how food in seedy saloons is better than bad cooking. It would not drive me to seedy saloons but to a nice restaurant. I like food, see all the posts about my struggles with being fat. If my wife was a bad cook, I would have been skinny, she is an awesome cook so I get fat. Unless in and out burger is considered seedy, I think my drive would go elsewhere. If you want to have a little fun read them all here :


basketball-player_M1u04PIu_LOur heroes are complicated. Not in the sense that the ones we look up to are, for many reasons varied and not all the same for everyone. No, the complication I talk about are those heroes themselves. The saying is that there was only one perfect person and we are not Him! When we are young we look up to people we see doing things that are heroic or amazing, whether in sports or other areas the skill they have amazes us and causes us to look up at them as something to emulate. The problem is this person we look up to has dedicated their life to a skill which makes them able to do that one skill, it does not mean they have put that same kind of effort into any other area of their lives. As we get older the shine of those we look up to starts to get tarnished a bit, not always but regularly we find out that our heroes are just, well frankly, human. This can be a problem for us if we don’t have a good foundation of understanding. Musicians to sports legends who have died recently have all had some issue at some point which made us turn away from seeing them in the same way we did when they first caught our attention. I am not saying that we can’t be disappointed in those we look up to, and in some cases not having them be our hero is appropriate. I just think we need to remember that the people we look up to are talented but not perfect. Admire the skill, just don’t put on pedestals what we don’t want knocked off.

Feeling a little old!

old wooden caned chair restored and repainted.Well, this has been a rough week. There are not too many weeks where I feel like I am getting old but this was one of them. Saturday while working to get parts off my old jeep which was crushed by a tree I managed to have the car come off the jack, and as I tried to save it from falling I got clobbered in the head by the farm jack. My head is still bruised from that one and anytime I yawn it still hurts. If that wasn’t enough, Tuesday night my stomach started hurting to the point that at 2 am Wednesday morning I was in the emergency room. Turned out I have Diverticulitis, they pumped me full of antibiotics and pain meds and sent me home to have only clear liquids for the next few days. After all that fun I feel drained, it will be hard to remember a week which so much happening in it. Even the week last year, when I ran the Pikes Peak marathon and moved my son in the same day, didn’t drain me like this week has. To add to the feeling of old age, I had three interns start this week. College-age students with all that energy wanting to learn and work this summer make me like all the energy has gone out of this old timer. The good news is I can sleep away my weekend and hopefully recover, perhaps I could also figure out something stupid to do, which will get me in trouble, which in turn will make me feel young again!