Saturday, December 31, 2011
I thought I would tell you a story that involves Jim's dad. But it's a story in two parts.
My friend John (a gay man) and I had a joke that started when I was married to Mr. Poopie (in the "olden" days). Mr. Poopie thought that John and I were having an affair. The truth is that we, of course, just really liked each other. Oh -- and add the fact that John is gay. (Hello, Mr. Poopie?)
Before our divorce, I was carpooling downtown with Mr. Poopie because his car was broken, so I told him it was okay for him to ride with me. I was also going to pick up John, who lived downtown, because he and I were traveling for work together, and John didn't have a car of his own (since he lived downtown).
The deal was: I would call John when I reached a certain street. That would give him time to get himself and his suitcase downstairs and out front, so I would just swoop in and pick him up. When the time came to call John, I handed Mr. Poopie my cellphone and asked him to call John instead, and to tell him it was time to go downstairs.
I heard him make the call and saw a weird look cross Mr. Poopie's face, and when I stopped at John's I could tell he was about to burst with laughter he was holding in. But he didn't say anything.
When we dropped Mr. Poopie off, as soon as we pulled away, John did laugh long and hard, and I was waiting for my explanation!
John had answered the phone, since he knew it was me, in his sexiest voice asking, "What are you wearing?" Well, that really threw Mr. Poopie for a loop and further added to his suspicions. From that point on, John and I always answered the phone when the other one called by asking, in a sexy voice, "What are you wearing?"
Well, my father-in-law heard the story, so I started any future phone call with him with, "What are you wearing?" and his standard answer was, "Just my old geezer stuff." His old geezer stuff was a shirt, jeans, and lace-up boots, though I'm pretty sure he'd say the same thing even if he were wearing pajamas.
Now for the next part!
Before Jim and I bought the house we are living in, we looked around Mead, Milliken, Johnstown, etc. 'cause we had been told that it was possible to get one for less dollars than in the Denver area. Those cities are near Loveland, where Jim's parents live.
When we knew we were going to be in the area, I called them by cellphone in the morning to tell them that we'd be done looking in early afternoon, and that we'd call them then and maybe we'd all go to lunch. It was a plan.
We drove around and looked, and early on we saw one house with a promising sign in the window, so I called to get more information, but there was no answer. I wrote the number down and thought we might call again later.
Finally, we were tired of looking and hungry for lunch. I hit the redial button on my phone, 'cause I remembered that I had called my in-laws first thing that morning to tell them we were going to be in the area. The phone rang, and when my father-in-law answered, I said, "What are you wearing?" But instead of hearing, "Just my old geezer stuff," I got a response that was, "Well, my t-shirt, jeans, and my lace-up boots." I said that wasn't the answer I was expecting! My father-in-law said, "Well, that's what I'm wearing!" And I said I knew that's what we was wearing, but I didn't know why he didn't just say, "Just my old geezer stuff!" I was told that he might be old fashioned, but that he was no old geezer!
Okay. . . something wasn't right.
Oops. I just remembered that the last number dialed wasn't my in-laws', but that of the house with the sign in the window.
I was embarrassed, and gave the gentleman who answered the short version of the story, and he laughed, gave me some info on the house, than we hung up.
Of course, then I had to call my father-in-law and tell him about that. He thought it was the funniest thing! He chuckled about it all day.
This picture is of Jim, his son Bryan, and Jim's dad (also a Jim).
You will notice he is wearing his old geezer stuff.
Friday, December 23, 2011
This holiday season, hold your loved one's close to you, and give them an extra hug and a kiss. Let them all know how much they mean to you this Christmas.
My Dad passed this morning. I'm going to be away from blogging for a bit. I wish that a lot of you could have known my Dad. I know that he would of fit right in with us bloggers.
He enjoyed a good story and to laugh, even at himself. He had a love of the outdoors like no one I have ever seen. He could catch fish, and hunt, camp. He loved to set in front of a nice campfire. He got his first deer when he was 16, and his first elk when he was 18. He also got his first and only bear when he was 17. I got my first elk when I was 16, and my first deer when I was 17. I never have been bear hunting.
My Dad served 13 years in the Air Force, then he got out because he had two kids to take care of. After my sister and I were in high school, he joined the Air Guard. Then after I was out of high school, he and Mom bought a place in Arkansas. They didn't have a Air National Guard there, but they did have a National Army Guard. So, he transferred to them. He worked in supply and took biochemical and nuclear warfare classes. He almost went in Desert Storm. He did his time in the guard and ended up doing 23 years total. He enjoyed every minute. The stories he had to tell!
Things won't be the same now that he is gone. He will be missed by so many, remembered by so many. And life will continue. The sun will rise and set. The seasons will keep going by. And he will be remembered.
He loved to dance. He loved animals. He was strong in his faith. He was someone you could talk to. And he was always ready to lend a hand to anyone. He loved to talk of firearms, and could answer just about anything you could think to ask about them. He was a jack of all trades, and a master of none. He could fix just about anything. He could be hard on you when you needed it. And Stern. But could cry for a little kitten that didn't make it, or a bird with a busted wing. Or to kiss away the boo boo of a child.
The outdoors will be just a bit more peaceful for me from now on. I won't be able to look at a deer, elk, mountain, or stream, or beaver pond and not think of him. He is now free to do his wandering in the hills of the hereafter.
He was a husband, a grandfather, a great grandfather, an uncle, a brother, a gardener, a hunter, a fisherman.
He was my Dad.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
What if your kids have removed the batteries from all the flashlights for their games or other goodies?
What if your generator won't generate?
Do you have any solar lights that you put out on by the patio or that line your driveway or walkway? If you do, you could bring them into your house and have just about all the light you need. Just recharge them the next day.
Just something to think about. You never know when you might need some extra light around the house.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
This is my favorite recipe for fruitcake.
You'll need the following:
- a cup of water
- a cup of sugar
- a cup of brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups of dried fruit
- a teaspoon of baking soda
- a teaspoon of salt
- lemon juice
- a bottle of whiskey
Take a large bowl. Check the whiskey again to be sure it is of the highest quality. Pour one level cup and drink. Repeat.
Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon of sugar and beat again.
Make sure the whiskey is still okay. Cry another cup.
Turn off the mixerer. Break two leggs and add the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit.
Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers, pry it loose with a drewscriver.
Sample the whiskey to check for consistency.
Next, sift two cups of salt. Or something. Who cares?! Check the whiskey.
Now sift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table spoon of sugar or something -- whatever you can find.
Grease the oven. Turn the cake tin to 350 degrees.
Don't forget to beat off the turner, throw the bowl out the window, check the whiskey again, then go to bed.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
On the way home, I was trying to think of something to blog for Wednesday. Let's see. . . I could do a blog about dutch oven beans, surprise cupcakes, blueberry pancakes, or maybe tell another story. But what kind of story? Or, I could fill everyone in on my 23-year old son, who is a special needs kid, and the new treatment he is having to, as he says, "fix my brain." Or, about my son getting the chance to lay a Christmas wreath at my nephew's grave site with the military. Maybe a Christmas story. Or maybe just a bunch of FEED YOUR FACE posts.
Maybe, I could just set on my duff and surf all of the blogs I follow. That would take up just about the whole day. And I wouldn't even have to get dressed! 'Course, then Kathi would come home and find me like she left me last night -- at the computer. Maybe I should put up more pictures. Or do some Granddad's Corner videos. That would be a hoot.
But, I guess, first I should put up our Christmas tree. It is getting pretty close to that time. Shhhh. . . it's a surprise!
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Monday, December 12, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
Once, I sent only one page. It had a mini bike that I really, really wanted in the worse way. I even had it figured out where I was going to ride it, and where it would be kept. (In my room of course!)
I even had figured out how to get gas for it. I was going to collect pop bottles. (That shows how old I am.) I didn't want any new socks or underwear, shirts nor sweaters. Not even new pajamas. All of those were things I got the year before. And, yeah, maybe there were some holes in my socks and underwear and a few of the shirts were a bit small.
BUT, MAN! We were talking about a REAL mini bike. It was red in color, had a banana seat, and a sissy bar, and chrome fenders. I mean, this was a BIG step up from my pedal car of years gone by. And it was way better than the bicycle from the year before. I mean, I could see myself on this thing in my mind's eye. It was meant for me. It was mine. I just knew it.
I told my parents how I would take care of it. I wouldn't ever tear it up or break it. And most important? I would never ask for anything else for Christmas, ever.
My Dad asked if I would share it with my sister. WHAT???!!!! Share it with HER?! The she- devil, my tormentor, the sweet big sister who beat the crap out of me on a regular basis? The one who would set on my chest and let spit run out of her mouth, let it get about a inch from my face, then suck it back up? The sister who hung me on Grandmother and Pappy'ss chain link fence, just that summer, And left me there while she went off with MY allowance of a quarter and got ice cream from the popsicle man?
I thought about it for a long time, before I gave in and said that, yes, I would share it with her.
I was already thinking of things I could do to keep her from riding it: blow up her Barbies, burn the hair off of her troll dolls, or maybe try to get her in trouble with the parents. Maybe grounded for the summer. Or maybe I would get lucky and someone would adopt her out of the family. Maybe she would just run away!
If I got the mini bike, I'm sure that I could come up with something by Spring. Plus, I needed to figure out how to make Santa want to leave a mini bike for me. AH HA! Everyone always leaves Santa milk and cookies. He has got to be tired of that year after year. So I had a plan.
We would leave him some cookies and the glass of milk, but I would wait until everyone was asleep, then I would get up, sneak into the living room, and drink the milk. Then I would go to the fridge and get out a can of beer. I'm sure that Santa would want a beer instead of always having milk! And I could arrange the cans so my Dad wouldn't notice. It was a good plan. I knew it would work.
I had this planed for several weeks. I didn't even tell any of my friends at school. And then it was Christmas eve. Things went pretty good. We ate dinner, cleaned up the kitchen, watched a little TV, and about 10 p.m. we were told to go to bed.
Well, no argument from me! I got ready for bed. We set out Santa's cookies and milk, and off to bed we all went.
At about 3 a.m., I snuck out of bed, made my way to the living room, drank the milk, and went and got a can of beer from the fridge. I put the can right next to the cookies. I then made my way back to my room and tried to go to sleep.
I tossed and turned. I just knew that Santa was going to leave me that mini bike. At some point, I fell asleep. The next thing I know, my sister was poking me with the twirling baton that she got for her last birthday. It was 6 a.m. Time to see my new mini bike!
My sister and I sneaked into the living room. The tree was lit and I was looking for my mini bike. It was not in front of the tree or on either side, nor behind it. I was thinking, okay, maybe it is out in the garage. We wouldn't want it in the house; it would leak oil on the carpet! So, I decided to be patient and wait, sure that my Dad would surprise me with it later that morning. Then, my sister noticed that the cookies were gone. And I saw that the beer was gone.
Boy, I just about jumped out of my pj's, I was so excited! Santa drank the beer! And I just knew that my mini bike was in the garage. Now we just had to wait for everyone else to get up. 'Course my sister and I helped a little. We made a little noise. Okay. . we made quite a bit of noise. Finally, the parents were up! I was just trying to be cool about the whole thing. We opened gifts, and we made all the ooohs and aaahhhs that go along with opening gifts.
After a few minutes, I couldn't stand it any longer. I was about to open my mouth, and ask the whereabouts of my mini bike, when my Dad smiled real big, and handed me and my sister each a gift. He told us he looked all over town for our gifts.
"What the. . .where is the mini bike," I was thinking! He then told us to open the gifts. Before we started to rip the paper off of these gifts, I finally couldn't take it any more. I shouted out, "WHERE IS THE MINI BIKE ??!!"
Both parents looked at me like I was nuts.
My Dad gave me a funny look and asked, "What mini bike?" I about messed my pants. I'd only been talking about it for, like, EVER!
I was told that I was not old enough for a mini bike. I got upset, the tears started, the runny nose, the whole bit. I must have cried for hours, it seemed. My sister, on the other hand, was as happy as a fox in the hen house. I was still kind of snotin' and blowin,' and she punched me in the arm and laughed.
Well, I got socks, underwear, a sweater, a few pairs of pants, a Man From U.N.C.L.E. toy pistol, and a toy rifle from THRUSH, the bad guys who were always after the guys from U.N.C.L.E. I also got a skate board -- a Roller Derby skate board.
So, it was a pretty good Christmas after all, even though I didn't get what I really wanted.
That's okay. Next year, I didn't want some stupid ol' mini bike. I had just seen a show called "Fire Ball X L Five,"and they had these neat space bikes that fly through the air! Now, I ask ya: what can be cooler than having your own space bike?!!! Just think of all the places you could go! That's what I was going to ask for that next year.
Oh, yeah. . . I found a empty beer can in the trash that morning. My Dad, still to this day, says he didn't drink it.... HHHMMM?
Thursday, December 8, 2011
As the years go by, we lose more and more of the greatest generation. We seem to lose a bit of ourselves also. I took myself to lunch yesterday. On the way to Denny's I only saw two houses that had flags out. It is a shame. Our kids are the ones who will suffer the most. We cannot forget, should never forget, and neither should future generations.
A nation is no stronger than its people. This nation of ours needs to take back what is right, and stand as we have in the past. It is our right and our duty to bring this country back to its rightful place on this planet.
As I was setting at Denny's waiting for my lunch, two older gentleman came in. One was using a cane, and he held the door for his friend, who was using a walker. They both were wearing nice suits and wore hats. Veteran's hats. One was from a VFW hall, the other wore a hat that had "Pearl Harbor Survivor" stitched on the side. I was lucky enough that they were seated at a table next to the booth I was in.
They sat and ordered some coffee. They had both been to some ceremony here in town for Pearl Harbor Day. They saw me looking at them and they both smiled, and kind of nodded their heads at me, like guys just seem to do.
My lunch arrived. . . a burger, fries, and a Coke. As I was eating, I caught some of their conversation. They were talking about the morning's events that they had been to. One made a comment about how there were not a lot of people that showed. The other said that he was in agreement.
I couldn't be quiet. I got their attention and asked them how they were doing today. They both seemed sort of surprised, and they smiled and said that they were doing pretty good. The one with the VFW hat asked me my name. That seemed to kind of open up a door. We talked of every day things and they ate their lunch. I ordered another Coke.
The gentleman in the Pear Harbor hat said that he could remember the first Coke he had ever had. And I asked him when that was.
He said that his very first Coke was when he was about 12 or so. He laughed and said he was hooked on Coke ever since. But since Pearl Harbor, he wouldn't drink Coke or pop of any kind. I asked him why. He got a teary-eyed look and said that he and a buddy had gone to get some Coke when, while picking up a case or two, the attack began.
They never made it back to their ship, The Arizona. So to this day, he would not drink any kind of pop. But he smiled and said that he could still remember how they tasted.
The other gentleman kind of smiled, and patted his friend's shoulder. He looked at me and said that he couldn't drink pop also, but for medical reasons. As we kept talking, I found out that the gentleman in the VFW hat had been in the Marines.
Course, you know -- once a Marine, always a Marine. He had been at the canal and was in the second wave to hit the beach. I didn't ask for details, and he didn't offer. You could see in their eyes that they were thinking of that part of their lives all over again.
After that, with all of us kind of tearing up, I told them of the death of my nephew a couple years ago. (For those of you who are new here, he was killed by sniper fire in Afghanistan.)
We sat there and talked of other things, they drank their coffee and me with ice tea by that time. It was like setting with your granddads and with real life heroes at the same time. They seemed to light up and come alive as our talks went on. The more they talked, the more I wanted to listen and learn about them, their families, their loves and losses. I took notice that others were also following our talk.
As some people got up to pay their bills and leave, they stopped long enough to thank them for their service. Both of them turned red in the face and, with bowed heads, said thank you. There are some out there who remember to thank our soldiers, past and present. It would have been nice if all of them could have thanked these two gentleman.
As we finished up, they each shook my hand. I couldn't help myself: with tears in my eyes I gave them each a hug and thanked them for their service, told them that they were in my prayers. They both stood as straight as they could and thanked me for my nephew's service, and for taking the time to spend with them.
As we made our way to pay our bills, I told the cashier that I was paying for these gentleman also. They started to fuss some. I told them that it was the least I could do, for they had done so much.
You know? I never did ask them what their names were! Names didn't seem important at the time. It felt like we kind of knew each other or had a bond.
It is men and women like this whom we need to remember and cherish.
Let us not forget those who have gone before us. It is because of them that we have what we have. What we have is still well worth fighting and dying for, if necessary.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
I learned a recipe for hot spiced tea when I was in Girl Scouts. It was made out of Tang. (Yes, hide your shock: Tang had been invented by then!) Of course, we wanted to drink something that the astronauts did.
Every Fall or Winter I get in the mood to have some of this tea. It's an old church-lady favorite now!
This tea is also a welcome gift and is easy to make. The recipe is forgiving. You can package it in some fun and creative ways or you can just stick it in a plastic sandwich bag. Either way -- it tastes good.
You can put a sandwich bag of it in a festive mug and add a bow. Or put it in a canning jar that you have decorated with glass paint – or just a plain jar. You could put it in a plastic sandwich bag, cut a large circle out of fabric, gather it up, and tie it with a bow.
Or, you could forget about packaging it up and keep it all for yourself.
1 cup instant iced tea (you can use plain, lemon, sweetened, unsweetened)
2 cups Tang instant breakfast drink
1 tablespoon of allspice or pumpkin pie spice
You can mix that up and use it as is, or you can add some Jello (lemon, orange, lime, or ?) or instant lemonade mix, or instant apple cider mix.
Add one heaping tablespoon of the mix to a mug of boiling water. Stir to dissolve, then drink it when it's cool enough to stand it.
One sip whooshes me back to those Girl Scout days when this recipe helped me earn a cooking badge. Come to think of it, it's not really cooking. Oh, well. . . somehow it counted.
And it still makes my tongue happy.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
No place in the house was safe! I parked that car right at the foot of my bed. It was parked only one night at the head of the bed, 'cause my dad came in one night to tell us good night and ran into my car, stubbing his toes and scraping his shin. So after that it was parked at the foot of the bed.
I would wake in the morning, jump to the foot of the bed, and then jump right into the driver's seat. And away I'd go. First stop? Potty. I would back into the bathroom, right next to the toilet, and stand on the seat of the pedal car, pee and -- when done -- away we went.
Next, a turn or two around the coffee table and then into the dinning room.
I was always stopped before I could drive into the kitchen. I was made to park my car out of the way while we ate breakfast. So, I parked it under the dining table. Now, I never let my sister drive my car 'cause she would break it.
Besides, she always wanted to put one of her dumb dolls in it. And that Christmas, she got the MOTHER of all dolls. This thing was as tall as she was. There was no way that the two of them would fit in my car. 'Course, there was the mom saying, "Share with your sister!"
Why?!! I didn't want her to share with me. All she had were them dumb dolls. Why would a race car/cowboy driver want to play with dolls!
One day I was out racing around the block and my sister had that mother of all dolls outside. She had roller skates on the doll, and she had her roller skates on and was trying to get this doll to skate down the sidewalk. On about lap 40, I came around the corner, took my legs and feet up off the pedals and was coasting down the sidewalk.
My sister and her doll were about half a block in front of me. Now, this is when that little devil that we all have in us as kids saw the doll in the middle of the sidewalk, and saw my sister in the grass walking and making this doll skate down the walk. Everytime I came up behind them, I had to slow down.
Well, not this time. I was coasting along like at 100 miles an hour. I hunkered down a bit in the seat and put the little painted hood ornament dead center on that doll. I hit that doll so hard that the hand and arm that my sister had a hold of was ALL she had. That doll flew! I mean, that thing must have been 50 feet in the air and was doing flips.
Me, on the other hand, got smacked by the doll's head as she started her first flip. One of the doll's legs was stuck under the front of my car and it was just big enough that it lifted the front end of my pedal car enough that the front wheels were off the ground.
The doll was 50 feet in the air, doing flips, I got smacked in the head by the doll's head, and I was teary eyed. There was a doll's leg stuck under the front end of my pedal car, so now I can't steer. And my sister is screaming her head off and chasing me down the sidewalk, swinging a doll arm.
Then I was off the sidewalk and headed towards a neighbor's driveway where his new Buick was parked. And then..... BANG! I hit the passenger side of the Buick. My pedal car stopped, the wedged doll leg slid under the Buick, my sister was still screaming, and she was starting to beat me with a doll arm. The doll had hit the ground and bounced into a rose bush.
I couldn't get out of the pedal car. I was trapped, not because of mangled metal, but because my sister had me by the shirt collar and was beating me to death. Mom heard the screaming of my sister, who was screaming like I ran over her instead of that doll. The neighbor lady who owned the Buick heard the screaming and came out to see what was going on. When she saw her new Buick, she started screaming also.
So everyone was screaming except for me. Mom got me out of my pedal car, and swatted my butt, and my sister was still swinging that doll arm from around mom. The neighbor lady wanted to swat my butt, too.
I was looking at my pedal car.
The front was crumpled some, the front tires looked a little out of whack, and there was this nice scratch of blue paint on the side of the white Buick. No ding, no dent -- just blue paint from my pedal car.
Mom grabbed me and my car, and dragged us to the house, saying the words that all kids dread: "WAIT TILL YOUR FATHER GETS HOME!"
Well he came home, asked me what happened, and I told him: I tried to run over my sister's doll because she would always make me slow down as I came down the hill and it wasn't fun going slow down a hill! My sister must have cried for something like a week, it seemed. It was maybe just a day. I was grounded for a week. You know. . . no TV and all that.
My dad fixed that stupid doll. One leg was scratched real bad. He managed to get the arm put back in and it had all of these little scratches from the rose bush. It's eyes didn't seem to work quite right after that. When you'd lay the doll down, and the eyes would close? Well, they kinda closed, but one eye kinda looked off to one side. And I never thought that I would see my pedal car ever again.
My dad somehow managed to fix it up. Or maybe one of the guys at the air base helped him fix it. It still worked, but the paint wasn't the same. It had a dent or three that couldn't be pounded out. The first time I took it around the block after it was fixed and coasted down that sidewalk, it seemed that it was going just a might faster than when it was new.
As I went by the neighbor lady, she gave me a crusty look, so I stuck my tongue out at her, and went right on by.
As I came up by my house, there was my dad with a smile on his face.
I don't know who, or how, but the Buick was fixed and repainted. It was the same color of blue as my pedal car. And the same blue as was still on the back of the legs on that stupid doll.