Friday, February 27, 2009

Flashback Friday #27

The Fire

35 years ago I came as close to a house fire as I ever want to be. Where I grew up, if you heard a siren, you ran out to see which direction it was heading. They were very uncommon. (for which I am glad)

One Saturday afternoon, we were watching TV, and we heard a siren coming down the road. We sprang out the door to see where it was heading. One look told us where it was heading, across the street to Lyle and Carol's house (they are the fighters of last week's Flashback Friday). Smoke was pouring out of the top of the house, although no flames were visible.

Lyle was at work, and Carol was up the road at her mom's house. She didn't always take the kids with her. Most of the time she would leave the oldest (an eight year old girl named Kendra) to watch the three younger kids (Kyle age six, Marie age five and Holly age three). She would take the new baby, Keith, (she had a baby since last week's episode) up the street to have coffee and quiet with her mom and sister, Nelly.

Carol came running down the street as fast as she could. She scanned the growing crowd quickly for her kids. She spotted them all but the youngest. "My baby!", she screamed at the top of her lungs, "My baby is still in there!" With that she bolted toward the house. A volunteer firefighter (that's all we had where I come from) grabbed her by the arm to stop her from going into the burning house. She turned and whacked him a couple times and screamed at him "Let me go , my baby is in there." Nelly came up beside here and reminded her that baby Keith was still up at mom's house. Carol wouldn't listen, she kept screaming hysterically "My baby, my baby." Nelly finally had to slap her across the face and speak very slowly and directly to her that her baby was safe at mom's house.

The firemen had decided that an attic fire had started from some bad wiring. There wasn't a great deal of fire damage, but there was considerable smoke damage. The roof would also need replaced. The deputy sheriff told everyone to go home.

Carol asked her mom if they could stay with her until the house was fixed. Her step dad said he couldn't handle living with five kids under 10 years old. What would they do? They had no place to stay. My dad told them that they could stay with us until the repairs were done to their house, as long as there was NO FIGHTING between them in our house. He told them that if they wanted to fight, they would have to go somewhere else to do it.

They reluctantly agreed. They brought what groceries they had over, and what clothing that wasn't ruined. Lyle and Carol would sleep on our living room couch, with the baby next to them in a crib. All the other kids shared my bed with me. My brother didn't have to share his bed. There was five of us in that bed, three at the head and two at the foot. Thankfully there was no bed wetting problems, but there were numerous pillow thefts and blanket tug-o-wars.

Living in a house with two dominant women is not my idea of fun. Solomon may have been the wisest man who ever lived, but having 700 wives, that just isn't real bright. I would have loved to see some of the fighting between his wives. No fights ever broke out between Mom and Carol, but there was a lot of grumbling between them. Lyle worked as much overtime as his company would let him (smart man).

It took 3-4 months to get the repairs done. During this time, Lyle and Carol went across the street several times to have it out. Six months after they moved back into their house, Carol had another baby (which means it was probably conceived on our couch). Talk about kissing and making up.

The house is no longer there. It was torn down about 20 years ago. I still see Kendra and Holly when I visit my parent (who have lived on the same plot of land as long as I've been alive) because Kendra lives at her grandma's property, and Holly lives across the street from her.

My Tiny Kingom hosts a Flashback Friday carnival. Check it out for more stories of people you don't know telling about things that happened to them.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Brooks & Dunn going their separate ways

I read it here last night. After all these years together. After all the hits. Brooks was quoted as saying "Right now, like all of you guys, I'm just trying to get a feel for it all, trying to come to grips with it, I don't even know what to think." The move will sadden their fans who were used to seeing them together. Agents for the two believe they can still perform, even if it is in a back up role. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going to miss the veteran leadership of linebacker Derrick Brooks and running back Warrick Dunn. Wait a minute, were you thinking I was talking about someone else?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I laughed until I nearly cried this morning when I saw this picture. I tried to post it right away, but I ran out of time (I had to leave for work). I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Monday, February 23, 2009

What's in a name Part 3

Lady Nottaguy-TYG

When I first came up with the Sir Nottaguy-Imadad persona, I thought to myself "How am I going to address my wife on my blog?" I liked the whole medieval theme so I decided that she must be a Lady (which she is).

But the name"Lady Nottaguy" did nothing for me. I thought for a moment, and said to myself, "I'm very glad she's not a guy." Then the light bulb clicked on like you see in the comics. I would use the name Lady Nottaguy -TYG (the TYG is an acronym for Thank You God!) Regardless to what my kids say, I am a guy, and I couldn't even imagine being married to one.

Today is our 24th wedding anniversary. She should be admired for the fact that she has tolerated me all this time.I tell her that we have a strange and wonderful relationship. I'm strange and she's wonderful. When people tell her how funny her husband is, she rolls her eyes, lets out a sigh and says "You don't have to live with him." Thank you my dear for making my life complete.

Proverbs 18:22 - He that findeth a wife, findeth a good thing.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Flashback Friday #26

The neighbors

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Flashback Friday. As you may well have noticed, this is #26, which means I've been doing this for 6 months (or half a year, which ever is longer). Well, Lady Lemon, Did you think your ol' dad would hang in there for this long?

Now that the rambling is out of the way, I want to spin a few yarns about some of the neighbors we had when I was a child. I told you somewhat about the flaming marshmallow flinger and the neighborhood babysitter, but there are a couple others that need to be mentioned.

The first family I will discuss moved in across the street when the marshmallow flinger's family moved out. Lyle and Carol had four kids (3 girls, 1 boy) when they moved in. How they found time to have kids is beyond me, because they were always fighting. This wasn't your run of the mill yelling & slamming doors fight. Some of these could have been put on Ultimate Fight Championship. When my brother and I would hear them starting up, we would grab a bag of chips and climb out onto our front porch roof to watch, because the fight always spilled out into the front yard.

Carol was no small woman, and she held her own against everything that Lyle threw at her. Sometimes she threw it back. I saw her one time pick up a cement block and heave it at him. He ducked and it smashed out the car windshield. Another time he told her she wasn't going anywhere, so he pulled the engine out of her car and left in the other car. She lowered the engine back in place, bolted everything back together, and took off to wherever she was headed. The only time I ever saw a Sheriff's car there was during "The Fire", which is a whole separate blog post of itself. (It will be coming shortly)

The other set of neighbors that I will discuss today moved in when the three kids next to us moved out. Rex and his sister, Tammy moved in, and the house became outlaw biker central. Neither Rex, nor Tammy were married (divorced?), and they could throw parties so wild, I'm surprised that Marlin Perkins didn't show up (He was the host of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, for those of you who didn't know).

Tammy had the first water bed in the neighborhood. One day she asked Carol's sister Nelly (who lived a few houses down the street) if she wanted to see it. Nelly poked it a few times with her finger and pronounced it "neat". Tammy said "Lay down on it so you can get the proper feel of it." "Oh no," Nelly replied, "Something will happen." "Nonsense" said Tammy, and with that she grabbed Nelly by the arm and flung her sprawling onto the bed face down. Nelly got up really fast because a safety pin that she had keeping her pants together came undone and put a hole in the water bed. Since it was one of the first water beds, it consisted simply of a rubber bag filled with water. They scrambled to get it patched before all the water leaked out. Nelly told this story to me and my brother right after it happened.

One time they were throwing one of their parties. There were about 30 motorcycles there, with more on the way. One guy took a shortcut and rode through our yard into Rex's backyard. Dad came unglued. He marched over there and told them that they might outnumber him, and would probably whip him, but he wasn't going to allow them to disrespect his property. "You may take me, but I guarantee that some of you will go with me." he said. Rex made the burly motorcycle guy apologize to dad, and assured him that it wouldn't happen again.

Another time they had more people show up than they had food for. No problem. The neighbor on the other side (who also was an outlaw biker) walked to his back yard, fetched a goat that he had tethered there, butchered it, and tossed it on the grill. His dogs, which ran loose most of the time, carried that goat head around the neighborhood for about a week (Ewww).

After that party, a very large marijuana plant grew up in Rex's back yard. He would growl at anyone who looked like they were getting too close. It was about six feet high when the Sheriff came out to see it. Rex moved out shortly after that and a couple with four kids (3 boys, 1 girl) moved in. Two of they boys were near to my age and we had many adventures together that will be chronicled in upcoming Flashback Fridays.

I've told you about some of the wildlife around us. Check out My Tiny Kingdom's Flashback Friday carnival. She actually saw the wildlife of Africa.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Circle of Life

Yesterday, at an aunt's funeral, my dad (who, at 78, is my oldest immediate relative) got to hold my new granddaughter (who, at three weeks, is my youngest). He had only seen pictures of her up until this moment.

He said that he may not be able to hold her for long, but he wanted to hold that baby. He then teased Mom that he got to hold her first.

My cousin's wife said the presence of babies at the funeral (there was also a three month old), put life in perspective. As we were honoring the dead at the front of the room, new life could be heard at the back.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Say What?

A lady at work was commenting about joining a women's only fitness club one day during our break. One of the men in the break room overheard her and said "Women only? Do they let guys come in to watch?" She replied coolly "It's called Curves, not pervs."

Friday, February 13, 2009

Flashback Friday #25

My first big crush and the one that crushed me.

I was in the fifth or sixth grade when I made a remarkable discovery. Girls. (I wonder if the new glasses had anything to do with it?) Girls used to be icky, and had cooties and were general nuisances. I woke up one morning, and all that had changed.

The first girl I really fell head over heels for was a petite blonde in my class named Elenore Denise Abrams. (Don't worry, I very rarely, if ever use any one's real name on my blog. She could be reading now and not know it)I was sure that she was an angel in human form. I even told my brother that I thought she was cute.

MISTAKE!!!!! A word of warning for those of you who may be entering the time of life I am describing. Don't tell your older brother anything about it. My brother must have been suffering from some type of hearing deficiency. What I told him was "There is a girl in my class named Elenore, and I think she is cute. What he heard was " I am madly in love with a girl named Elenore and I want you to tease and torment me about it until the ends of eternity". As I would enter a room, he would turn on his tape recorder and sing into it "Nottaguy loves Elenore Abrams, oh yes he really does". When I would run over to protest, he would flick the microphone off with his thumb, unbeknown to me. Anytime there was a wedding on TV, he would ask if my wedding with Elenore was going to look like that. He was unmerciful. Years afterwards I would still hear of my love for Elenore from him.

Since I was short, fat & wore spectacles, I wasn't what she was looking for in a long term relationship (or even short term). The fact of the matter was, most of the girls weren't looking my way, but that was OK. The one that did like me, I called "a fat thing" (like I had room to talk), and she said little else to me up until the day we graduated.

Another girl I took a liking to was Annie Angle. She was taller than Elenore, brunette, with a smile that would melt your heart. After she would melt your heart, it made you just like her, heartless. At our school, you sent valentines to all your classmates, not just the ones you liked (like in Happy Valentine's Day Charlie Brown). I opened the valentine from her and was crushed. It pictured an elephant holding a heart in it's trunk. Off to the right was my name and an arrow pointing to the elephant. Kids don't realize just how hurtful they can be. I would have rather not received a valentine from her, like Charlie Brown, than to receive one that insulted me.

Well, I graduated with both girls (Elenore had been going by her middle name Denise since 7th grade). I haven't seen Annie since graduation (no loss). I ran into Denise at a graduation party. It seems that the mother of my son-in-law (the Woodsman) is Denise's cousin. (cue "It's A Small World After All") She came up to me and asked if I remembered who she was. I smiled and replied "Yes, you used to be Elenore Denise Abrams. I don't know what your married name might be." Her eyes got big and she said "I haven't been called Elenore in years."

I discovered that when your heart breaks, It will mend. If either of these relationships had panned out, Lady Nottaguy-TYG and I wouldn't be celebrating 24 years of marital bliss this month. Check out the Flashback Friday Carnival dealing with "Love, look at the two of us" at My Tiny Kingdom.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sign of the Times

This sign is currently in front of a local massage therapy office:

It gives a new meaning to the term "I hurt myself playing".

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ode to Dieting

At New Year's many people made resolutions to lose weight. I was not one of them. It's not that I couldn't stand to lose a pound or two (or 50) but the first three letters of diet are die. For those of you who have kept your resolution so far, my hats off to you. For everyone else I offer to you "Ode to Diet". This was a song on an album I had as a teenager, but I can no longer remember the name. I did some creative editing to remove the dirty words, as to keep my blog PG max.

Breakfast, black coffee, one slice of dry toast,
no butter, no jelly no jam.
Lunch, just some lettuce, a few celery stalks,
no submarine sandwich with ham.
Dinner, one chicken wing, broiled not fried,
no gravy, no biscuits, no pie.
And this diet and diet and diet and diet, it sure is a rough way to die.

So pass me a carrot stick, peel me a prune,
one glass of skim milk and that's all.
Turn off the TV for the Big Mac commercial
is driving me straight up the wall.
I'm thinking of french fries, sausage and waffles,
spaghetti and cookies and cake.
And each night I'm dreamin'
of chocolate ice creamin'.
I'm starving to death when I wake.

All for your sake.

Well, you're fixing the kids all those creamed mashed potatoes,
but it's bullion and water for me.
And you've got a lock on the refrigerator,
Lord knows where you're hiding the key.
And while I am starving for food late at night,
I'm starving for loving from you,
But you say that when I can see my own feet,
that you'll be glad to look at me too.

So, supper two pieces of cauliflower,
a beef stick the size of a nail.
A wedge of tomato, a small glass of water,
I swear I'd eat better in jail.
Stop eating that pizza right under my nose,
dear that's the least you can do,
And put down that candy bar while I am speaking,
I'm starving to death just for you.

And when I am dead, with the insurance paid,
You'll look down at me and you'll grin.
And you'll say"Well dear you tried, and you starved and you died,
But don't you look good when you're thin."

Friday, February 6, 2009

Flashback Friday #24


When I was a child, Mom was constantly after me to move back from the TV because it would ruin my eyes. I don't know if the TV did ruin my eyes, or I sat up close because I couldn't see well. Whatever the reason, it became apparent that I needed to get glasses.

I had watched enough TV to know that only the geeky, class egghead wore glasses. I would do anything so I wouldn't be cursed with the "four-eyes" moniker. I even went as far as cheating once on an eye exam in school. The class was sent over to the school nurse one at a time for the test. When it was my turn, there was a knock on the door. The nurse excused herself for a moment. While she was gone, I memorized the eye chart. This was while I was in the fourth grade. I remember a few times I couldn't see too well in the third grade too.

In the fifth grade, my teacher sat us in rows alphabetically, with my desk being in the back of the class. While she was at the board writing our lessons, I couldn't see what she was writing, so I paid little attention. One day, while clowning around with the kid next to me, I was busted big time. She called my name, and asked me to read the board and give and answer to the problem she had written. I confessed that I couldn't see it. She asked me to step forward until I could read the board. I was standing next to the front row when I could make it out. A note went home to my parents, and the next day, my seat was in the front row.

Later that month, I had my first visit to the optometrist. As I sat in the big chair, he flashed the eye chart on the wall and asked me to read the first line I could. I told him I couldn't read any of it. "Not the top row?" he asked. "Nope," I replied, "I can't read any of it." Those of you who have had an eye test know that there is a large "E" at the top of the chart. The eye doctor was aghast, for he had never had anyone completely flunk an eye test.

When the test was over, he had me pick out some frames because, beyond a shadow of doubt, I needed glasses.I didn't want wire rims due to the fact that my brother bent his a lot. I chose some stylish black frames that looked like the were designed by by "Eggheads R Us". Their redeeming factor was that they had small rockets on the sides riveting the temple hinge.

When the glasses came in, the doctor put them on me and asked how things looked. WOW! I didn't realize everything wasn't naturally fuzzy. I could see. Before my glasses, I was like the blind man Jesus touched in Mark 8:24. "I see men as trees, walking." I just stood there soaking in the sights. The doctor asked Mom how long I had gone without my glasses. Mom told him I had never had glasses. With that information, the doctor rushed over to me and asked if I was dizzy or anything. Oh no, everything was wonderful, and so clear.

Well of course I caught some grief at school from my school mates, but I didn't care. I could see. Did I mention that I could see? My grade skyrocketed. I figured out why the brainy kid on TV was always portrayed wearing glasses. They could see their classwork and therefore could soak in information like a sponge.I kind of looked like a heavier version of Dilton Doily from the Archie comics. Sure I was fat, and now I wore glasses, but I started coming out of my shell. The quiet backward boy could now see what was going on and got involved in things around him. I may not have been much to look at, but outer beauty isn't what counts.

My Tiny Kingdom has a Flashback Friday Carnival where this weeks theme is "It's the inner beauty that counts."

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Today marks 21 years that I have been employed at my current workplace. I have held my current position as sheet metal cutter (officially titled "square shear set-up and operate" unofficially "blocker") for the last 20 years. Since I am the only person in the department, that makes me Blockhead. And before you ask, No, I haven't been cutting the same piece of sheet metal for the last 20 years (that would be one big, thick piece of metal).

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl Sunday School

With this being Super Bowl Sunday, I thought I might share how some football terms apply to Sunday School:

1. Assistant Coaches - ministerial staff and Sunday School teachers.

2 .Bench Warmer - an inactive church member.

3. Blocking - standing in the church door complaining to the pastor about his morning sermon.

4. Cheerleaders - ladies complimenting the preacher on the sermon.

5. Clipping - what the church historian is always doing.

6. Cornerbacks - those who occupy the back pews.

7. Dead Heat - a lukewarm church member waking up in the middle of a dynamic and colorful sermon on hell.

8. Draft Choice - the decision to sit close to a heating vent in winter or an air conditioning vent in summer.

9. Draw Play - what restless children do during a long sermon.

10. End Around - diaper changing time in the nursery.

11. End Run - a child who successfully escapes both parents and ushers on his way out of church.

12. End Zone - the pews.

13. Extra Point - what you receive when you tell the preacher the sermon was too short.

14. Fair Catch - holding the offering plate in front of each member until money is placed in it.

15. Field Goal - when Sunday School and worship attendance is above average.

16. Final Gun - the benediction.

17. Forward Motion - the invitation at an evangelistic service.

18. Fullback - what the choir, seated behind the preacher, sees while the sermon is delivered.

19. Fumble - a lousy sermon.

20. Ground Crew - custodians

21. Guards - those who guard and defend the standards of the church because they cannot live up to them.

22. Halftime Entertainment - beautiful music presented during the offering.

23. Head Coach - the pastor.

24. Holding Penalty - result of church members who believe nothing can be done about anything.

25. Huddle - weekly meeting of the church gossip team.

26. Illegal Motion - leaving before the benediction.

27. Illegal Use of Hands - clapping at an inappropriate point in the service.

28. Incomplete Pass - a dropped offering plate.

29. In The Pocket - where too many church members keep God's tithe and their offerings.

30. Interference - whispering and talking during the sermon.

31. Nose Guard - a nursery worker during the flu season.

32. Pass Interference - what Mama does with her eyes when she sees Johnny writing a note to his friends in church.

33. Passing Game - the maneuver required of latecomers when the person sitting at the end of the pew won't slide to the middle.

34. Quarterback - what tightwads want after putting fifty cents in the offering.

35. Quarterback Sneak - Sunday School officers and teachers entering the building five minutes after Sunday School begins.

36. Tackle - when an alert usher does when a child is sneaking out of the service.

37. Three Point Stance - being present, on time, with your Bible in hand.

38. Through the Uprights - getting things done via the elders or church board.

39. Touchdown- When the sermon connects with the entire congregation.

40. Two Minute Warning - the Chairman of the Board sitting on a front row pew, taking a look at his watch in full view of the preacher.

My Thanks to the Gospel Greats newsleter for this tidbit.