Thursday, October 30, 2014

How's That Again?

The other day we were sitting down to supper with two of our grandkids, "The Boy" & "The Girl". The Girl, who is five, turns to Lady Nottaguy_TYG and asks her, "Nana, where are your kids?" My wife told her, "Honey, My kids are grown up. My kids are your mommy and Aunt Lemon." The girl processed that for a moment, then replied "So,... you're old?" I really did LOL.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Flashback Friday #252

A Bad Choice For Bart

Hello again. Yes, I realized that I missed last week. Busy, busy, busy.

Anyway, this post is about a choice that I offered Bart. In retrospect, he chose wrong. However, neither of us could have known just how wrong at the time.

My on & off girlfriend, Toni, had gotten me interested in collecting baseball cards. I had also been buying football cards. This was the second year that I had  collected. I had many cards that were the same. These are called "doubles".

Bart also had some older cards that his older brother had given him when he got married & moved out. The gem of his collection was Mickey Mantle's last card. I asked him if he would like to get into collecting current cards. He said he would, but he was more of a football fan than a baseball fan. I told him that I could hook him up with some of my football "doubles".

He especially liked the Philadelphia Eagles. I had a few doubles of them that I let him have. He also liked quarterbacks (the most popular position on the field). I dug through my stash to find some quarterbacks for him. I didn't have very many, but I offered him one from each team that I had. Each of the teams had a card of their starting QB and most had a card of the back-up. There were a couple of bad teams that had two quarterbacks with similar stats.

I offered Bart his choice of one particular team. After looking at the stats on the back, Bart chose the guy that had passed for the most yards because he must have been the starter. The card he chose was Steve DeBerg who passed for 1,998 yards for the San Francisco 49ers. The card that he passed up was of a guy that had thrown for 1,795 yards for the same team. This was DeBerg's third year in the league and the other QB had been in the league for two.

The other guy was some guy named Joe Montana. What I didn't realize was that since he wasn't pictured the previous year, this was his rookie card. Yes, I talking about THE Joe Montana that was Super Bowl MVP three times and threw for over 50,000 yards in his NFL career. DeBerg had an OK career, but lost the starting QB gig three times to younger quarterbacks. The first was with the 49er losing out to Montana. He then went to the Broncos for a few years and a youngster named John Elway beat him out for the job. That lead him to the Buccaneers where a transplant from the USFL took his spot. That quarterback's name was Steve Young. I guess if you're going to lose a job, getting beat out by three Football Hall of Fame quarterbacks is the way to do it.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Making Apple Butter

Friday night, "The Girl" stayed with us a little later than normal to help Lady Nottaguy-TYG make homemade apple butter. She had purchased a half-bushel of apples from a local orchard in preparation for this night.

We attached our apple peeler/corer/slicer on the little table that we have in our dining room. "The Girl" got to turn the crank.
Everyone know that the workman is worth his wages, so she ate her fill of peelings and small pieces of apple that would find themselves on the table.

The filled two containers with apples slices. A large pot for the stove to make right away and my wife's large oval crock pot liner. That batch was going to cook all night as we slept.
Once the apples were sliced, and to table cleaned off, the pot was taken to the stove where the other ingredients would be added. Lady Nottaguy-TYG measured out the ingredients and let "The Girl" put them in.
Once the apples had cooked for a while, it was time to mash them. We had to remind "The Girl" several times that the apples were hot, as she tended to get a wee bit excited about "mashin' dem apples."
After the apples were mashed and cooked some more, they were mashed again. By this time you could tell that "The Girl" was getting tired as she was getting giddy. After some more cooking, the apple butter was ready to can.
She was really pumped that she got to take some home with her when "The Woodsman" came to pick her up. She told him that she would share with him. How nice.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Flashback Friday #251

Going To Church

Greeting to all who just happened to stumble by this way. If you read last week's post (and if you didn't, you really should for this to make sense.), you'll see how my best friend, Bart, tricked me into attending church with him. But there's more to the story...

Sunday morning came and I got dress, dreading the decision I had made to got to church with Bart & his family. I had packed a pair of jeans and a flannel shirt, not realizing that I would be going to church the next morning. I was told not to worry about what I was wearing.

It took about 30 minutes to drive to their church. We passed several churches along the way. Why were we going so far away?  I had only ever been to two churches before, not counting a VBS that I attended when I was about seven. Whenever the church down the road from us (the Wesleyan church where Aunt Shelly went) was giving away something, I would go for the freebies. Then I went with Doris just because she was pretty. It was Pentecostal. This was neither. It was some church that started with an "A". Abostol, Apostoc, no, wait, Apostolic. Yeah, that's it.

When we got there, I noticed something strange. All the people called each other "Brother" and "Sister". Was everyone in this church related? I was told that since we were all God's children, that made us brothers & sisters. OK. Whatever.

Bart escorted me down to the Senior High Sunday School class where I saw several of the kids that I had seen at the hayride the night before. The teacher was a big, burly guy they called "Brother Simmons". He was quite jovial and laughed a lot. Sunday School was over before I knew it and, unlike Aunt Shelly's church, there wasn't more church after Sunday School. We piled in the car and headed home.

In the car, Bart's mom asked if I wanted to stay for lunch. She was planning to make pot roast, mashed potatoes & green beans. Even the picky eater that I was liked all of those offerings. I told her that I'd stay.

While she was cooking lunch, Bart showed me the movie player that they had check out of the library. This was the days before home VHS players. It was an interesting contraption. Most of the "movies" that came with the player we greatly abridged versions of classics. When you can get through "Around the World in 80 Days" in about 30 minutes, that what I call abridged. There were also several "Little Rascal" silent shorts. We watched these until it was time to eat.

After lunch, we commenced to watching more while Bart's mom cleaned up. About 5:30, Bart's mom asked if I was going with them to church that evening. She said that if they tried to get me home before they went to church, they would be late for church. What? Church at night? Who had ever heard of such a thing? Aunt Shelly's church didn't do that. If the church that I went to with Doris met at night, I hadn't gone.

Great. Here I am again getting guilted into going to church again. They had fed me well and I hated to make them late. Oh, OK. I'll go. Once again we made the 30 minute trip and got there just before church started. I think there had been some behind-the-scene planning going. They sang some songs and then the pastor, "Brother Kramden" preached.

I couldn't tell you what he preached, but I was convicted. However I wasn't going to go up and pray. So I put my head on the back of the pew in front of me. Shortly thereafter, the pastor came over to me and asked if I had ever been to a Pentecostal church.Pentecostal, this wasn't Pentecostal, it was Apostolic. I told him that I had attended a church in Mt. Gilead that was Pentecostal. He said the pastor there had left this church to begin a work there.Wait. Apostolic and Pentecostal were the same type of church? I was assured by the pastor that they were. They followed the Apostles doctrine and were Pentecostal in their worship.

 I thought to myself' This is really weird. I've only been to two churches in the last two years and they are the same denomination. Coincidence? I don't think so. I think God is trying to tell me something." I made up my mind right then & there that I would start coming with Bart's family every Sunday. That was the 1st Sunday of November in 1980. I'm still at that church.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Farewell To A Friend

On Monday of this week, we said farewell to our fierce dragon and protector of the realm. Sparky crossed over the Rainbow Bridge.I hadn't had a dog this long since Peanut, the dog of my childhood. Thanks to the invention of the camera phone, he was the most photographed pet we ever had. Here are some pics of my little buddy:

He was always the protector of the weaker or smaller. My MIL's therapist didn't like him because Sparky thought that he was trying to hurt her during rehab for a shoulder injury. Kids were safe from bigger kids & parental reprimands. He also patrolled the back yard and played :Nanny Dog" when the kids were in it

All of the furniture belonged to him. If you didn't want dog hair on you. Too bad. Any blanket or pillow was a comfy spot to take a snooze (especially if there was a sunbeam involved). He even had us trained to lay out his big stuffed platypus on the floor so he could be with us while we watched movies.

Sparky was always willing to pose for us. What a photogenic pup. I'm glad I have all the happy memories with him. He really was a great dog. I'm going to miss you. You were a good boy.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Flashback Friday #250

The Hayride

Greetings one & all. Yes, It is really me. This isn't a trained chimp pounding on the keyboard. Well, maybe it is. You'll have to keep reading to really find out.

Annnnyway, as I alluded to in my last Flashback Friday post, this post entails the trickery of my best friend Bart and the fast one he pulled on me. I have never forgotten and thank him frequently.

In late October, Bart asked me if I would like to go on a hayride with his family on Saturday. I hadn't been on a hayride in years and enjoyed the last one I was on. He told me that there would hot dogs, cider, and desserts galore. If you know me in real life, you know I love desserts galore. I told him that I'd go. He even made arrangements for me to stay the night at his house.

His folks picked me up about 4PM and we made the drive to Ashley, where the hayride was being held. We we got there, there were lots of people there and he introduced me around. There were folks from every age range and there were even some girls around my age. It was looking better all the time. Oh, and he didn't exaggerate about the eats.

I played football, tag, and played all through the barn on the property. I was having a really good time. The hayride wasn't slated until after dark. Several bales of hay were thrown in the back of a semi trailer and we would ride on the trailer. It was a flatbed trailer with sides, so nobody would fall off.

As night was falling, Bart told me that everyone was gathering around a bonfire before setting out on the hayride. With that he sprinted off and disappeared into the crowd. When I got up to the fire. A man said that we were going to sing a few songs before we left. I was expecting something like "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" or "My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean" Boy, was I ever in for a surprise. They started sing CHURCH songs.Bart knew that I wanted nothing to do with church and he had tricked me into attending a church function. I was steaming mad. I spotted Bart across the fire. He smiled real big at me. I mouthed the word "You'll Pay" to him as I hit him with a killer gaze.

After the singing, we piled into the semi trailer. I then found out the we weren't just going around the block, but the truck was heading to Mt. Vernon with all the kids. The parents would pick the kids up at the church. Bart told me that the driver would drop us off at his house on the way.

When we got to his house, and were beginning to settle in, his mom asked me "Would you like to go to church with us in the morning?" I glanced at Bart. I thought to myself, "I'm staying in their house, I'll be eating their food. What am I going to say? "No, take me home." I slowly exhaled and reluctantly said "Yeah, I'll go." But I promise you, my heart wasn't into it. As I laid down to go to sleep, I had no idea of the life changing events that awaited me.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Where Have I Been?

Hello. Yes I know you haven't heard from me for a while. I didn't fall off the edge of the Earth (or get swallowed by Facebook. I still don't have or want an account).

There have been LOTS of things going on around here, but I just haven't had the groove to post about them. I know there's much to catch you up with. I'll try to do some of that in this post.

Earlier this year, My dad was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). It makes a lot of sense seeing his struggles over the last two years.He fell multiple times and one day he just couldn't walk. Doctors attributed this to knees that no longer had any cartilage and he had a knee replacement. As he continued to weaken, Mom thought that perhaps he had suffered another stroke. As the doctors ran their tests for stroke, the diagnosis of ALS came. This man who was a strong carpenter now cannot even feed himself.

While watching the deterioration of my dad, I also watched the deterioration of my Mother-In-Law. She had been in the nursing home several years battling with Parkinson's Disease, Emphysema, Diabetes, Congestive Heart Failure and a laundry list of other ailments. She was a WWII US Navy veteran and a dear saint of God. Many people joke and have nasty things to say about their in-laws. I grew to love her. She went home to her reward in May. I miss her but seeing her struggle like she did, I wouldn't wish her back. She's in a much better place.

We also lost our beloved PT cruiser. We were in an accident (nobody was hurt) and the body shop said it would cost $2700  to fix it. The other driver's insurance would pay for it, so they totaled it out for $3500. I still don't see the sense in that. You won't pay $2700 but you will pay $3500? If I was a shareholder, they would, as Ricky Ricardo would say "Have some 'splainin' to do".
This is the PT with a play house that we bought at a yard sale. The hatch wouldn't close so we had to bungee cord it down. After the accident, the hatch wouldn't open, neither would the back passenger door. :-(

I am still fighting Workman's Comp over the injury to my left shoulder. I hurt it at work over a year ago. They've ruled that the injury was "pre-existing" and had nothing to do with the fall I had. How can something  be pre-existing if you never injured it before? Grrrrr.

We also had a scare with my mom. She was hospitalized with arrhythmia. She has rheumatoid arthritis and it affected her heart. She also has to have both knees replaced as she is bone-on-bone with both of them.

I'm sure I've overlooked several things but at this present time, I can't think of what they might be. I'm sure my wife will let me know what I've forgotten.