Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bible Quizzing 2009 has begun, but wait, there's more!

Today the 2009 Ohio Jr. Bible Quizzing season started with a tournament at Mount Vernon. The picture here is the all tournament team and the 1st & 2nd highest quizzers of the day. The team from Columbus came in 1st, and is well represented on the All-Tournament team (They are the one's wearing the bright green shirts).Dayton Lifeway was 2nd and Cincinnati was 3rd. We had teams from all over the state of Ohio, even though we had had some nasty weather this week.

My wife and I are both State Officials (she's a judge, and I am head scorekeeper).We got to church at 9 AM to make sure everything was ready, and finished up about 4 PM. Afterward we went out to eat at Fiesta Mexicana. It was a great time of quizzing and fellowship. You can't go wrong when kids are studying the word of God

On an unrelated front I got to spend Thursday & Friday with my daughter, grandson & new granddaughter. Here are some new pics:

Ain't she cute!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Flashback Friday # 23

The biggest animal in our house

Over the last few weeks, I have bored my readers (both of them) to tears with stories about the pets that I had as a child. This post is the last animal post for a while. It deals with the largest animal that lived in our house: my older brother.

As described in Flashback Friday #1, I will refer to my brother as Sir Gattabout. He served for many years as a paratrooper in the US Army both domestically and abroad, and now drives semi-trucks for a living (hence the name). He is four years older than me and at the time, much stronger. His main objective in life was to torment me, and he did a good job at that.

My faithful readers know of how he scared me (or was that scarred me) and how he blackmailed me. Here are some of the other things he did to me to make my life rough.

He would make up things about foods, and I being so gullible, would believe them. I wouldn't eat smoked sausage for years because he told me that smoked sausages only come from male cattle (if you get my drift). I also wouldn't eat apple butter for a very long time because he told me it got its brown color from the cooks spitting their chewing tobacco in it.

While waiting for the school bus one day, he was riding his bike up & down the driveway popping wheelies. He yelled out that he was going to pop a wheelie on me, so I took off. As he was chasing me with his bike, I stumbled and fell. He ran over top of me, and I went to school with tire tracks across my back.

One time he knocked me on my back on the living room floor. On my back, with my knees bent, he stepped on the top of my feet and did a cross country skiing motion. OWWW! I always tried to land someplace other than my back after that.

The problem of landing someplace other than your back is sometime that leaves you on your belly. Wedgies were common (we called them "snuggies"), but this would lead to a fate worse than wedgies. He would grab the waistband of my underwear, give a tug, them grab one of my legs, bend it back and slip the waistband over my toes. It's like turning a turtle upside down. It's even worse if you are fat (which I was). I like to never reached back far enough to slip my toes out and get free. This happened at least once a week.

While playing cowboys & indians one day, he caught me and tied me up to a fence post. He then said since all the cowboys were captured (me) he was going to raid the cowboy settlement. He then went inside for a snack. I yelled and yelled for him to come out and untie me, and after a couple hours he did. It was right before mom & dad were due home, and he threatened to beat me up if I told.
I never told, because he always carried out his threats. Sometimes he beat me up even if he didn't threaten first. I carried at least one bruise every day for several years due to him. He also liked to bite and flick my ears. I will say this much for him, I was HIS personal punching bag. One time one of his classmates was picking on me during recess,and my brother commenced to put a whacking on that boy. He could beat me up, but nobody else was allowed to.

We always had games of combat, and he always won. We would get at opposite ends of the couch and shoot at each other with rubber tipped dart guns. One day he got the bright idea of taking the rubber tips off of his darts. Those little buggers hurt. We also would throw little apples at each other from our gnarly old apple tree. That ended when he started putting nails in his apples. Don't even get me started about the shotgun.

One day when I got home from school I found the front door locked. I then went to the back door. Thump! Ow! Thump! Ow! He had locked all the doors and windows and was sitting on the low roof in back with a bucket of green walnuts which he was pelting me with. I couldn't throw them back at him because he was sitting with his back to his bedroom window, and if I missed him, I would break the window. He let me in shortly before mom & dad got home with threats not to tell or else. I got in trouble because my chores weren't done.

After he enrolled in the military when I was 14, I grew bigger and stronger. Once while visiting him and his wife at Ft. Bragg NC, He thought we were kids again and grabbed me by the shoulders to throw me down. When I didn't budge, his eyes got big, and we commence to wrestle right there in the dining room. We called it a draw when mom started whacking us with the fly swatter and telling us to straighten up. We were both thoroughly winded, and I felt like I could puke, but he hadn't beaten me, and it felt good. he looked at me differently after that.

When I gave my life to God, I forgave him for the way he had treated me as a kid. I don't think he believed me. Several years ago he was in a motorcycle accident, and lost the lower part of his left leg. When he was released from the hospital, I was there to help get him in his house (he had steps to get his wheelchair up). We rigged a crude ramp and I was going to pull him up. Once we got to the top I looked at my brother and he was white as a sheet. I asked him if he was OK. "I honestly thought that you were going to dump me out as payback for all the mean things I did to you" he replied. I assured him that the thought hadn't even crosses my mind.

He lives about six blocks away, but we still don't see a lot of each other due to different work schedules and interest. I work days, he works nights. He loves to fish and boat, I hate fishing and get motion sick easily. We get together at major holiday and big games like the OSU-Michigan game. Even though were not as close as I would like to be, I credit him for toughening up this momma's boy. It's kind of like the song "A Boy Named Sue" by Johnny Cash.

My Tiny Kingdom started a Flashback Friday carnival three weeks ago. Anytime my subject matches her theme, I will link over to it. Since todays is "Free for all", I assume it can cover anything, or is about fighting, which both apply.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Guess who didn't have to work today.

I took today and the rest of the week off to help the Ogre in any way she needed. The Boy spent the night with us, seeing that his mom was still in the hospital with his new baby sister. With the "White death storm" hitting central Ohio, The Boy didn't have to go to school (Yay, Yay, happy dance). BTW if you want to see some pics of our local version of the storm, The Muffin took some good pics.

I got up to dig Lady Nottaguy-TYG's car out of the ice and snow that coated everything as we slept. Shortly after she left for work, I heard the small footfalls padding across our upstairs floor. The upstairs door opened and down the stairs came a bundle of energy masquerading as a little boy.

If you have never seen "Over The Hedge", (and you should because it is hilarious), The phrase "Play?" will mean nothing to you. Those of you who have seen the movie, know exactly what I am referring to . The Boy wasn't downstairs 10 seconds before he asked me if I wanted to play with him (he also had three action figures in his hands when he asked).
I told him we needed to eat breakfast first.

Afterward, were played with the three action figures, beating up each other. Then we decided to bring them all down for a royal rumble.

I lost track how long we played, but during the rumble, I got a picture & text from the Ogre that they were coming home today. Here is a picture of the Girl all bundled up to face the harsh realities of life on the outside:
After lunch, I introduced the Boy to the game Lionheart, and we watched Veggie Tales : Gideon, Tuba Warrior. Lady Nottaguy-TYG got to come home early, so we had to pick up our toys.

Monday, January 26, 2009

She's Here

The long awaited arrival of the newest member of our clan happened this afternoon. " The Ogre" gave birth to "The Girl", who was fashionably late. The details of our new arrival can be found at my wife's blog. She is the detailed one of us.

Friday, January 23, 2009

For people with too much time on their hands

If you are sitting at your computer, and don't know what to do since you have read all your blogs, caught up on all the gossip from Hollywood and/or the world of sports and looked up that thing your co-worker asked you to look up for them, I present "Ball" . Thanks Carolyn for the heads up.

Flashback Friday #22

How to get a guinea pig when your parents say NO

As an adult, I am a firm believer that when Mom & Dad say NO, don't keep badgering in hopes that they will change their mind. We used to tell our kids, "What part of NO don't you understand?" This story tells how I convinced my parents to change their mind without whining, moaning, pouting or any of the other excesses you usually associate with a child wanting to change a rendered decision.

One of Aunt Shelly's kids got to take the class guinea pig home when school was over. It was totally cool. I always have liked guinea pigs and would go over to Aunt Shelly's to play with it (and the assorted cousins therewith).

One day Aunt Shelly had enough of the noise & smell associated with guinea pigs and she told her son that he had to get rid of it. When I heard that, I asked my parents if I could have it. They told me no.

The next day when my folks came home from work, I called Dad upstairs because I wanted to show him something. When he got upstairs, he couldn't believe what he saw. I had laid a blanket on the floor and was laying on it petting a rat that I had caught outside. "Since you wouldn't let me have the guinea pig, I figured I would catch something else that was cuddly and furry." I told him.

He yelled downstairs for Mom to call Aunt Shelly and tell her that we would take the guinea pig. He told me to put the rat back in the shoebox that I had caught him in and go with Mom to pick up the guinea pig. He said he would let the rat out while we were gone (I'm confident that he killed it).

I don't remember what my cousin called it, but I named it "Whooper". He was dark brown and had short hair. Peanut didn't like him at all, but I did.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

How's that again!?!?

I overheard this story at work a few years ago. It fits this time of year, and most of my blog homeys haven't heard it, so here goes.

One of my male co-workers was telling about his revellings during New Year's Eve. He said that he and his wife got totally plastered. Once they got home, they went straight to bed.

During the night, all the stuff he drank needed to come out. He said he remembers getting out of bed, opening the bathroom door, lifting the lid, relieving himself, closing the lid, shutting the bathroom door and going back to bed.

He was wakened by his wife screaming his full name at the top of her lungs. She told him to come here at once.

He found her in the kitchen. He hadn't opened the bathroom door or lifted the lid. He had opened the refrigerator door, and pulled out the crisper drawer. Everything in the drawer was submerged in yellow liquid.

He said his wife wasn't real pleased with him. Ya think so? Duh!

Monday, January 19, 2009

What's In A Name, Part 2

Some of those who are near and dear to me refer to me as Gweag. Gweag, you may ask, What is a Gweag? The answer may surprise you.

When our youngest daughter (the Ogre) first informed us that we would be grandparents, she asked us what we would like to be called. Lady Nottaguy-TYG quickly exclaimed that she wanted to be called "Nana".

It wasn't so easy for me. I had to ponder the thought for a moment. After some time I replied " I would like to be known as Great, wonderful, exalted, all-knowing grandfather."

When the riotous laughter from all present died down, our oldest daughter,Lady Lemon, exclaimed " The acronym for that would be Gweag".

I am hoping very soon to be Gweag again, as the Ogre's due date for her second child was yesterday. We will keep you posted on our overdue bundle of joy.

What's in a name , Part 1 can be viewed here.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

What a morning

Yesterday morning, about 4 AM, I had to get up to go to the bathroom. During really cold, winter weather I always turn the faucet on, just to make sure the water hasn't frozen. It froze once about 3 years ago, but never again.

When I turned the water on, I heard the sound I didn't want to hear. No water flowing, just an air sucking noise. "Oh, great!" I thought. It had dropped to a balmy -14 during the night. Time for evasive action.

I scrambled to get space heaters in place. I got Lady Nottaguy-TYG's hair dryer. I had to thaw those pipes out before they burst. Since they run up the wall to the second floor, they would be a major headache to replace. I took part of the kitchen ceiling down to get warm air to where the pipes were.

At 5:15 AM, my hard work paid off. Water started flowing again. I had told my wife that if the water wasn't thawed out before it was time for me to go to work, that I would take an emergency vacation day (I have 5 that I can use per year), to get the water running. Since it was only 15 minutes after my alarm would have gone off, I went ahead and got ready for work.

I opened a bottle of diet Pepsi MAX (that's my version of coffee), and had half of it gone by 6 AM.When I went out to start my truck, it was booger cold outside. Booger cold is when everything in your nose freezes when you breathe. The truck hesitated, but started. I went back in, and headed back upstairs to brush my teeth. As I was brushing my teeth, I had a startling revelation. You know you are tired when you are brushing your teeth, but forgot to put toothpaste on the toothbrush.

I prayed with my wife & kissed her goodbye (which is our morning ritual), and headed out the door. Two minutes later I came back in the door because I had forgotten my lunchbox. Off to work through the frozen tundra.

At work I put myself on one of the most unpleasant jobs in the plant. I knew that would keep me awake. I sang a tune and did the happy dance when I got home.

No frozen pipes this morning. This is good.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Flashback Friday #21

Peanut & Me

While I was in kindergarten, Mom & Dad pick us up from the babysitter (no, not the one from Flashback Friday #13). When we got in the car, they had a surprise for us. Wrapped up in a small blanket was a tiny puppy that Mom had gotten from one of her co-workers. "It isn't much bigger than a peanut", my brother exclaimed, so Peanut got his name then & there.

He was a Chihuahua with some Pomeranian mixed in. Small, with long tan hair and a bushy tail that reminded you of a feather duster. It is said that a dog will adopt a member of the family. This was definitely Mom's dog. He followed her everywhere.

After we got him housebroken, we could simply open the door, let him out, and when he was finished, he would bark to let us know that he wanted in again. Peanut wasn't too fond of winter. We would open the door for him, and he would look at us like he was saying "You're nuts, I'm not going out there." If you had to walk through chest high snow to go to the bathroom, would you want to go often. We would try to keep a path shoveled to the nearest tree for him. We never had a problem with him wanting to run off like the other dogs.

It's not that he didn't like his freedom. Peanut was fiercely territorial. I have seen with my own eyes the small bundle of dynamite explode and chase dogs many times his size out of our yard. The guy up the road owned a Great Dane that felt Peanut's wrath, as did the German Shepard across the street. That little dynamo kept all intruders at bay.

Not only did he keep intruders at bay outdoors, he was quite the protector inside too. He really hated Aunt Shelly's 4 oldest boys. Any time they would come over, Peanut was waiting for them behind the easy chair next to the door. The door would open, they would step into the living room, and WHAM. Peanut put on an ankle biting display that would make any dog proud. It was hilarious to see these tall, skinny teenagers dance at the melody Peanut was playing on their anklebones.

One time he followed me to the mailbox when I went to check the mail. As he was standing in the driveway, a car swerved into the driveway and tried to run him over. I threw the mail down and grabbed a handful of gravel and threw it at the back of that car as hard as I could. I also yelled a few thing that I won't type. I don't know who it was, but I hope I scratched the paint with the gravel. Losers!

Peanut loved to be around us when we were downstairs, but he wouldn't venture upstairs. Then again, would you try to climb a step that was nearly as tall as you were? I don't blame him for staying downstairs

I have seen a lot of dogs that ate table scraps, and they look like watermelons with legs. Peanut ate table scraps all the time, but he must have been active enough to keep from getting fat. One of his favorite things was to ask Mom for some of the corn flakes that she was eating for breakfast. He loved them. He would stand "upon his hind legs" and dance for us when he wanted something we had. He always got it.

When we moved from the house into the trailer (on the same plot of land), it took Peanut a bit to adjust. Several times he would bark at the door of the house to be let in. We would call his name, and the light bulb would click, and he would come to the trailer door. He also didn't care for the carpeting in the trailer. The house had a very tight gray Berber while the trailer had orange shag carpeting (it was made in the 70's, what else can I say). Many times the shag carpet would snag on his nails and he would be stuck. We had to keep a close vigil on keeping his nails trimmed.

When I was a freshman in high school, my girlfriend turned me on to baseball card collecting. I had a few from years back, and bought them by the pack in hopes to complete the set. I would use the living room floor to sort them out. One day when I had five or six hundred cards in many neat piles, the phone rang. This wasn't a phone you could carry around, for it was attached to the wall (gasp). As I was talking on the phone, Peanut looked around the corner, and I swear he smiled. I perceived his intentions, and hollered, "Peanut, Don't you dare!" With that he sprinted full speed and came to a sliding stop in the middle of the cards I was sorting. "Peanut, Get out of there!" I yelled. He again smiled at me and wagged his feather duster tail, sending cards everywhere. He then tried to run, but could get no traction on all the cards sliding beneath him. It looked like something out of a cartoon.

We moved into the trailer when Peanut was about 10 years old. Unlike our house that had no steps, the trailer had three. As the years progressed, it became harder and harder for Peanut to make it up the steps. He would go to the door, bark, and one of us would pick him up and set him outside. We would pick him up and bring him in when he was finished.

As the years progress, and Peanut grew more feeble, the phrase I didn't want to hear became reality. During my senior year, Dad told me that he had discussed with Mom, and they would be taking Peanut to the vet the next day to have him put down. I stayed up with him until about 11pm and then went to bed. When I woke up in the morning, Peanut lay cold in front of the TV. I like to think that he dided laughing at Johnny Carson's late night monologue.

We buried him in the backyard. I planted a tree next to where we laid him to rest. If anyone ever tells you that there is no such thing as a Peanut tree, I can show them one growing in central Ohio.

It's been over 25 years since Peanut died. Part of my childhood died with him. Saying goodbye is the hardest part of being a pet owner.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Woo Woo

I'm Back!

Thanks a ton for the advise. Blogging is once again "a bowl of cherries"

Or as Mary Englebreit says "A chair of bowlies"

Help, Help

Can someone who has been blogging longer than I have please help? Something is going on and my wife and I don't know if it is something with our computer, or with Blogger. On the posting page, we can only type in html. It won't let us compose, preview, or use anything on the composition bar like spell check, add a picture or link. Does my computer have a virus, a nasty cold, or has a setting been changed somewhere? Help!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Flashback Friday #20

This post is going to the dogs.

I began this week reading the book Marley & Me (Thanks, Theresa for sending my wife the book). It got me thinking about the dogs I had growing up. We were dog people for the most part. We had a few cats when I was younger, but dogs were the pet of choice. We had 3 (9) dogs. I will explain this later.

The first dog I can remember was a mix breed named Bandit (We named him after the dog on Johnny Quest).We got him when I was about 4. He was inside but a short time, but wound up in the barn. He could eat a regular can of dog food in three bites. We would open both ends of the can, and push the food through the can. Sometimes he caught it in mid-air. He died when I was 7 or 8.

The next dog we got was Peanut. He was a Chihuahua with some Pomeranian mixed in. He was my Marley. Next week's post will be all about him.

Our next dog was Trixie. She was the outhouse cheek kisser in Flashback Friday #2. She was a stray that showed up one day, and decided to stay for a while. I was 12 when we took possession of her. She had 6 puppies (this is the explanation of the 3/9 dogs in the first paragraph). She got loose one time and she made the rounds of the neighborhood. Her 6 pups were six different breeds of dogs. Dad said we couldn't keep 8 dogs, so when the puppies were weaned, we kept one of the pups (named Bounce) and gave Trixie and the other puppies to a man down the road.

Bounce was named after a dog Dad had. He lived up to his name. Full of energy. He would routinely get loose, make his neighborhood rounds, and come back the next day. One day he got loose, and we assumed he would be back the next day. He never came back.

Living in the country like we did, dogs were everywhere. Everyone we knew had at least one, and even though I love dogs, there were a few who didn't care for me. Midget was my Aunt Dora's Chihuahua and Toby was Aunt Frieda's Bull Terrier. They scared the beejebers out of me when I was a child.

To this day, I still prefer dogs over cats. How about you?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

It's A Jeep Thing, You Wouldn't Understand.

Let me start out this post by saying that my daughter, The Ogre, has a Jeep Patriot. Being a health care provider, a 4-wheel drive vehicle is a must.

This afternoon, it has snowed, and we had a little over an inch after supper, which The Ogre, The Woodsman & The Boy were in attendance.

The Ogre & The Woodsman needed to go to a store to purchase an item for their house. That left The Boy with us. When we were leaving for church, he scampered down the steps, hit the sidewalk, then announced" Switching to off-road!" and sprinted through the yard.

Brand loyalty is starting early.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Just Like His Momma

I was eating breakfast with "The Boy" when I noticed something unusual. I watched him for a few minutes. He would eat a fruit loop, spit one out. Eat a fruit loop, spit one out.
I asked him, "What are you doing?"
He replied " I'm eating them by color."
It was like watching his mother at that age.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Flashback Friday #19

Things I learned in elementary school

A new year brings new adventures and new chances to learn. Here are some of the things I learned while I was but a lad. Some of these things I learned first hand, some of them I watched others in my class do. I'm not telling which is which.

1. It's never a good idea to cut off your hair to glue it to the Mother's Day card you are making.

2. When learning new spelling words, don't write rhyming words beside them. (especially if you are learning Donald & Daffy's last name)

3. If the teacher allows you to take down the old bulletin board, don't make a giant airplane out of the background and throw it out the second story window when she leaves the room. (It just might hit the Principal)

4. During show and tell, if your Momma takes you shopping, and buys you a new slip, don't pull up your dress to show the class.

5. Even a de-scented skunk can panic a class of 2nd graders.

6.If you refuse to remove you hat, everyone will know that you got a haircut.

7. Never call a girl "fat & ugly". It may come back to haunt you in High School when she isn't.

8. Girls have cooties. (and as I grew older, I discovered that I like cooties)

9. Don't chew tobacco during class. The teacher will ask you to spit out your gum in the trashcan next to her desk. Your only option is to swallow it.

10. To some kids, action figures & dolls are the same thing. If you like to play with action figures, do it at home.

11. Glasses don't make you weird, they help you to see. Seeing is good.

12. Don't fall asleep on the bus.

13. Doing a book report on a comic book is unacceptable.

14. Kids aren't likely to believe the dyed lambskin rug you have to nap on is really the skin of a bear your Dad killed.

15. Your teacher will not wait for you to grow up so you can marry her.

16. It's OK to be the "bad guy" in the class plays.

17. The crystals in your dropped thermos aren't ice.

18. Dandruff and lice may look alike, but are different.

19. Don't lend your pencil to the kid with a cast on his leg. He wants it to scratch inside his cast, and there is a good chance the pencil will break or get lost inside the cast.

20. It is very easy to confuse a kindergarten class if you stand facing them and say "Raise your right hand" while doing it. They will mirror your actions, and raise their left hand instead. Telling them "No, that isn't right." doesn't help. It will confuse them for years to come.

Hopefully you will learn something in this new year. Can you remember anything you learned (the hard way) in elementary school?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Resolutions You Can Keep

Years ago I made a resolution to stop making resolutions because I could never keep them. Here is a list that I could keep:

1. Gain 10 pounds.
2. Stop exercising.
3. Procrastinate more (starting tomorrow).
4. Don't jump off a cliff because everyone else is doing it.
5. Get in a whole new rut.
6. Start being superstitious.
7. Don't sucker punch Chuck Norris.
8. Speak in a monotone voice and use only monosyllabic words.
9. Take a vacation to someplace important, like the world's largest ball of twine.
10. Assume full responsibility for my actions (except for the one's that are someone else's fault)

Do you have any resolutions?