Friday, August 28, 2009

Flashback Friday #53

The New School

Welcome all. Come in have a seat and reminisce again with me. In today's post I cover something that most everyone has been through. The new school.

I attended the same elementary school for grades K-6. I saw classmates come and classmates go. There were two elementary schools in our district. One was West of the high school and the other North. I guess that's why they were called Highland West & Highland North. I attended West. In the sixth grade we spent a week at an overnight camp with the students from North elementary. Sort of a meet & greet. Now we would be attending the same school with them at the Jr. high.

In this school we would change classes and do everything to prepare us for high school. We went from being the big bad sixth graders to being the puny seventh graders. This three story building also had a basement that had classrooms & restrooms. My seventh grade home room is the top floor window on the left from the center door & windows. This school was 12 miles from my house, not just three like my old school. Don't dare miss the bus.

This is my elementary school. Notice how the sun is setting on it in this picture. I've told most of my elementary stories so the sun set on this era of my life. I also recently read that the school district will be closing he two elementaries and combining the on the current middle school campus. All of the schools will be within a two minute drive. It saddened me to hear that this school was closing. There are a lot of memories there. If you notice the window above the door, that is the window in which the bulletin board paper airplane took flight and almost hit the Principal upon landing.(See Flashback Friday # 19)

There may be a few time I shake the ol' noggin and come up with a story from K-6 that I haven't told about, or didn't go into great lengths over. When that happens, we'll jump the timeline like seasoned time travellers.

My new school caused me to face problem & situations that I never dreamed existed. Please join me next week when I tell of the first such problem: the day I became a girl.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

They should know

I spotted this on a license plate. Who would know their kids better than they do.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Book Review by an Eight Year Old

We went yard saling Saturday (I was good, just ask my wife) and found a book for a quarter that I remembered reading in Elementary School. I remember both girls reading it, so couldn't resist buying it for "The Boy" to read. It is "Tales of A Fourth Grade Nothing" by Judy Blume.

At first "The Boy" seemed as interested in it as he is in finding a girlfriend (Girls, ick!). I read a few excerpts out loud to him, and showed him a few of the illustrations. From then on, he absolutely devoured it. He finished it Sunday afternoon. When I asked him how he liked it, his response was (and I quote) "That book was stinkin' hilarious!"

Who better to review a kid's book than a kid?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Flashback Friday #52 (part 3)

Welcome back everyone to the third (and final) post of Flashback Friday #52 Weekend Party Anniversary Edition. The two stories that I will be telling today are a lot alike, but their similarities are different. One story amazed me, the other amazed my Dad.

The story that amazed me:
As long as I have known my Dad, he hasn't been very athletic. I don't recall ever seeing him play softball at the family reunions or riding a bike or shooting hoops with the guys. That's because he was into extreme sports when he was a teenager.

He told me that he used to love to roller skate as a teen. The school would have a skating party, and it would open the gym for the kids to skate on the hardwood gym floor. This was before polyurethane wheels. The skate wheels were wooden, so the wouldn't scratch the gym floor. Dad says that the waxed school corridor made for a better skating surface than the gym floor. Dad and his friends would regularly slip past the teacher chaperone's and race through the school.

But I digress. I did say that he was into extreme sports, and roller skating doesn't fit the bill. Or does it? He also told me that it was a common pastime to see how many barrels you could jump while on skates. He didn't say if this was in the gym, or on a sidewalk, but nevertheless, if you crash, it's going to hurt. You would take a running start, skate to maximum speed, and leap (hopefully clearing all barrels). You also had to land upright, or it didn't count. He said that his personal best was jumping over six barrels. The though of him jumping barrels on skates still boggles my mind. Perhaps it was from injuries during this time of his life as to why he didn't do a lot athletically. He probably messed him self up good a time or two.

The story that amazed him.
I've mentioned that Dad had to do farming chores when he was growing up. One of his chores was plowing the field with the tractor. Since he was the only boy,it was expected of him to learn how to do this.

One day while he was plowing he saw a storm brewing in the distance. He figured he had better get in, lest he get soaked. The storm was travelling quickly, and was in the field he was plowing before he could get out. As the rain fell, he could see it darkening the bare earth. Then something strange happened, the storm stopped moving. He said he could see a clean line of demarcation in the field where the storm had stalled. One one side of the field, it was raining, the other side was dry. He said he walked over to where it was raining and stood on the line separating the wet field from the dry. Half of him got rained on, half stayed dry. He said it was the weirdest thing he had ever seen.

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you've enjoyed the little party that I've thrown for myself. It's better to throw a party than to throw a tantrum. Please join me again next week when we go back to school at The New School.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Flashback Friday #52 (part 2)

Hello folks, Welcome to the big Saturday edition of the one year anniversary of Flashback Friday. We continue today with the stories my Dad told me. In the Friday post, I briefly mentioned my Grandfather's farming accident. Here's what Dad told me happened.

Grandpa, Dad and a couple neighbors were running corn through what Dad called "a corn shredder". This machine was in Grandpa's barn. There was also a neighbor lady in the barn milking Grandpa's cow (whether this milk was for her, or she was working for Grandpa, Dad didn't say). Things were going smoothly until disaster struck.

Dad said this "corn shredder" had rollers that rotated (perhaps for husking?) and a piece of corn stalk got caught in these rollers, jamming them and causing the belts to smoke. Grandpa reached into pull the stalk out. When he tugged on the stalk, the rollers unjammed, and caught his right glove, pulling his hand into the rollers. This really jammed the machine, and the belts not only smoked, the motor caught fire.

Anyone who has ever farmed knows the danger of a barn fire. The neighbor lady who was milking the cow grabbed both buckets of milk and ran to the machine and doused the flames with the milk. (Dad says she wasn't but about five feet tall and about as big around as a car steering wheel). Dad and the two neighbors dragged the still smoking machine outside, lest it flame up again. Whether Grandpa was still stuck in the machine is unknown to me.

The outpouring of help from the community was overwhelming. All the neighboring farmers pitched in and got the rest of Grandpa's crops in. I remember seeing an old yellowed newspaper clipping in one of Grandma's scrapbooks about it. The article also had a large picture of the 20 plus farmers who chipped in to help. The farmer's wives brought food over every evening to feed the workers. My teen age Dad was also in that picture.

When the damage to Grandpa's right hand was assessed, it was determined that he would lose all the fingers, leaving only the thumb. This injury facilitated the need to leave farming as an occupation. With only one hand, and a son nearing the marrying age, Grandpa decided that it was as good as time as any to sell the farm. The money from the farm purchased a house in Westerville, which put him closer to his job at the grave vault factory. Dad said that Grandpa still worked his factory job, even though he had only the use of a thumb on his right hand. Grandpa even purchased a garbage packer truck and started a trash hauling business that he worked until his death.

Tomorrow wraps up the Flashback Friday Anniversary Edition. Hope you drop by again for another walk down memory lane.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Flashback Friday #52 (part 1)

Stories My Dad Told Me.

Hello all. Welcome to my one year anniversary of Flashback Friday (Let's have cake!). As many of you know, I started blogging at the request of my oldest daughter, Lady Lemon, to write down some of the stories that I told her & her sister throughout the years. This way she still gets to read them, even though she lives (too) far away. I thought I lived a normal, ordinary life, but from some of the comments that I have received, this wasn't the case.

Today's post covers the stories that my Dad told me about his childhood. I got to spend time with him last Friday, and picked his brain for some extra details of these stories. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

In honor of this being the one year anniversary, I am going to do something out of the ordinary. Instead of writing an eternally long post that will go on forever, I'm going to carry the Flashback Friday anniversary party edition on all weekend. There will be a post Saturday and Sunday wrapping up stories that I enjoyed as a kid. I hope you check out each of my weekend posts.

My Dad grew up in the same small town that I did. His Dad farmed about 100 acres, and worked in Columbus, Ohio at a factory that made grave vaults. Grandpa worked the night shift, so when the kids went to school, he would farm until they got home. The kids (my Dad and my Aunt) would take over while Grandpa slept in preparation for going to work that night. After his farming accident, Grandpa moved to Westerville, to be closer to work.

Dad knew several people in Westerville before his parents moved there, and would catch rides into the city with friends. He tells of one time when he was 13 of 14 about a trip into Westerville. There was a water tower nearby that had a flashing bulb on top of it. Dad thought that flashing bulb was cool, so he decided to climb the tower to swipe the bulb. One of his friends would stay by the base of the tower, and be the lookout. Dad said he climbed to the top of the tower, unscrewed the bulb, and climbed back down. When he got to the ground, a police office was waiting for him (his lookout took off when he saw the cops). This police officer knew dad and his parents. The officer asked him if he really needed that bulb. When Dad said no, the officer told him that he would forget the whole incident, if Dad would climb back up the tower and put the bulb back. And that's exactly what he did.

Check back tomorrow for Flashbck Friday #52 (part 2)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Kids are like puppies

The other night we were watching Dee & Cee's kids while they were out of town. We played with Legos and Rescue Heroes and watched movies. As the night was winding down, so were the kids. They all wanted to sit together in the same chair while we watched "Nim's Island". About an hour into the movie, the kids nodded off one by one.

Later on, as each one got a little more uncomfortable, they started shifting positions. Here's the "dogpile" that ensued:
That reminded me so much of a pile of puppies all huddled on top of one another while sleeping.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

It's My Bloggy And I'll Post If I want To

During the County Fair a couple weeks ago, something interesting happened. I told Lady Lemon about it when they came up for a visit, and told her that I was going to put a picture of it on my blog. "Eww, Gross. You can't put that on your blog." was her reply. Gross? Is it as gross as the picture of the cut on my arm that needed stitches. I think not. So I held off. I still think it's funny, and since it is MY blog and I am the author, here goes. (Lady Lemon, you may want to stop reading.)

During the fair, I took the week off work to pick up trash in the morning, and park cars in the evening. While doing that I dressed in apparel that I don't normally wear, and as a result, I got some unusual tan lines. I know they are tan lines because I have washed and washed and they don't come off. There are even a few freckles sprinkled in for good measure. So without further ado, here are some pictures of the tan lines...

on my feet.

That dark band across each foot is the tan line caused by wearing sandals every day to park cars. Normally I wear tennis shoes at home, and steel-toed shoes at work. Due to the higher temperatures, and being where there was no shade, I dressed as cool as possible.The darkness on my leg is NOT tan, it is shadow. My legs don't see the sun, therefore they are blinding white.

Lady Lemon, If you are still reading, I'm sorry if I grossed you out. I warned you.

OK everyone, join in and sing with me:
It's my bloggy and I'll post if I want to,
post if I want to,
post if I want to.
You would post too, if it happened to you.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Flashback Friday #51

Comfort areas
Hello all, pull up a chair and make yourself comfortable (I hope you don't have to stand while you are on the computer). In today's Flashback Friday I will cover some of the places where I would go when I needed peace or just some time alone to chill.

I have always been an avid reader. Do you know what it's like to try to read with people bothering you? When I was a child, I would scoot the couch out a bit and worm my way behind it to catch up on some reading. Doing that kept me from getting spanked once. All the other neighborhood kids were round up and asked who did some terrible act. Since nobody confessed, the parents of said kids were going to spank ALL of the kids. When a parent asked where I was, and why I wasn't getting spanked, Dad replied "I know where he is and where he has been for the last hour. He was behind the couch reading, and fell asleep. He's still there." We have our couch angled so "The Boy" can have a "mancave" behind the couch.

I also discovered a tree on the property line that was ideal for reading in. If I rolled my comic book up, and stuck it in my back pocket, I could climb unhindered. I wouldn't try to take an encyclopedia up there. It had a fork just high enough to be out of any one's sight line. It didn't work too well in the fall and winter.

When I got mad at Sir Gattabout, and had all of him that I could stand, I would run away from home. Don't get upset. My version of running away consisted of going back to the creek, and cooling off under the bridge. I would throw rocks at the supports while saying mean, horrible things about my brother. I always made sure that I had finished running away before Mom & Dad got home. The bridge also made for a good smooching spot later on.
Did you have a "chilling" spot? If so where?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Conversation between Dad & daughter

While on parking duty at the county fair a week ago, I overheard this conversation between a Dad & his little girl who looked to be about five years old. They were walking by me and were heading toward the horse barns.

Girl: Eeww! Daddy, what is that smell?

Dad: That's fresh county air.

Girl: Yuck! That stinks.

Dad: No it doesn't. That's a good country smell.

Girl: (huffs in exasperation) I don't understand what it is about boys always liking to smell poop.

I had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing out loud.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Public Service Announcement

Today is National Zucchini Day, also known as National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Day. Due to overzealous planting of zucchini, citizens are asked to drop off baskets of the squash on neighbors' doorsteps. This might annoy some neighbors, but it is a nicer holiday than the "Place a Flaming Brown Paper Bag with Dog Poop on You Neighbors' Porch Day."
This day is not to be confused with National Zucchini Bread Day which is April 25th.

Feel free to leave zucchini bread on my porch any day.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Flasback Friday #50

A Flashback Friday Sing-a-long

Hi folks and welcome to the golden post of Flashback Friday. In today's post we cover one of the things we all do, misinterpret song lyrics. Have you ever been crooning away at the top of your lungs with the song on the radio, and someone looks at you strange and says "That's not how that song goes."? Haven't we all. The following lyrics have either either been heard by me, or sung by me (I'm not telling which). Needless to say, I didn't do all of these. Come on everybody sing along with me.

The first song comes from Sunday School. Aunt Shelly's kids would sometimes talk me into going with them to a small church about a mile away. It's a line from the song "Do Lord"
"Do Lord , Oh do Lord, Oh do ya remember me?"
That goes to show that if you don't go to church very often, you might have to remind God who you are.

How many of you have butchered Christmas carols? How about these:

"Dashing through the snow, in a one horse soapin sleigh"
Maybe the soap helped the sleigh slide better?

"In the meadow we can build a snowman, and we can pretend he's parched & brown"
Are you sure he was made of snow?

"No well, No well, the angels did sing"
That's glad tidings?

As I grew older, my taste for music grew to the pop/rock genre. Here are some classic miscues.

I thought Paul McCartney & Wyngs were singing "Bang on the rug"
I could never figure out why the jailer man & Sailor Sam were searching everyone for the bang on the rug.

Who can forget the line from Manfred Mann's classic Blinded By The Light" "Wake up like the dudes,you know the roaner in the night."
I don't have a clue what any of what I have just typed means.

I thought Gordon Lightfoot's "Carefree Highway" and Eric Clapton's "Layla" were "Every Highway" and "Hey Love" respectively.
What's bad is the both actually make sense with the wrong words.

A line from Jimmy Buffet's "Margaritaville" mentions "searching for my, lost sugar and salt."
What, was he putting together a spice cabinet or something?

In Linda Rhonstadt's "Blue Bayou" I could have sworn that she said " Saving nickles, saving dimes, stick'em where the sun don't shine"
I wonder if she ever saw "Papillon"

It sounded like Barry Manalow sings in the song "Copacabana" "His name was Rico, he wore a diamond. He was escorted to his chair. He saw Lola dancin' there. And when she finished, he called her Rover (whistle).
Is that why Tony got angry, because someone called his girl a dog?

Who can forget The Steve Miller Band singing "Oh big ol' jet air light house, don't carry me too far away. Oh, big ol' jet air light house, 'cause it's here and I've got to stay."
Jet light house? Maybe it was for SPACE ships?

And finally is the Michael Jackson classic that says "Keep on, with a bozo, don't stop till you get enough." I now know the words are THE FORCE instead of "a bozo", but I heard it in a restaurant recently, and I'm sorry, "the force" just doesn't fit. It STILL sounded like "a bozo" I guess there are some things you never outgrow.

Are there any songs that you will admit to botching the words to? Drop a line in the comments, and thanks for singing along with me.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Ouch (again)

You know your not having a good week when the arm you just got stitches out of suddenly becomes your good one.

'Nuff said!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Tying up loose ends, and having some cut

The county fair ended Saturday. We had a good turnout for the National sanctioned truck pulls. We also had a fairly good crowd Friday night to see "Lonestar" in concert.

I picked up trash for six days. I found six dirty diapers on the ground.

Lady Nottagut-TYG fell victim to some kind of plague Thursday and was in a funk until this morning.

Since my wife was at home sick, that meant that I was going to eat out by myself Sunday. As I sat alone at a four seat table at Bob Country-Fixins, I saw my assistant pastor's wife and child enter the door. When I asked If her husband would be here also, and got an affirmative answer, I invited them to share my table, instead of waiting 20 minutes to be seated. It was nice to have some company during lunch. I have learned, when my wife is sick, leave her alone.

My previously mentioned assistant pastor preached Sunday night service about "Some Fair Proverbs". It covered things we learned while working at the fair and how it applies spiritually. You can check his sermon out at

Monday I went back to work and was swamped with work to do. After I got off work, I had an appointment to get the stitches removed from my arm. The doctor said that it healed up quite nicely.

"The Boy" turned eight Thursday. He had cake & ice cream (and gifts) tonight at his house.

It's been quite the busy week.