Friday, January 30, 2009

A DIFFERENT SUPER BOWL PARTY: Boo!

There are super bowl parties and then there are super bowl parties. Julie and a dozen old hens from work have their own version of what said party should be. The big game? I have to flee from the house to see the game.

This will be the sixth year--does that equate to a tradition--that a flock of old biddies come to roost at the Pierce abode on Super Bowl Sunday. Thats because I am the only hen pecked husband that allows his woman to dictate no football.

Supposedly, they come scratching around here to see Julie's Christmas decorations. As I couldn't help carry the decorations, due to my back injury, only a fraction of the decorations are up. Will anyone notice? Not really. There are still two Christmas trees, bowers and bowers of poinsettias, and Santa's everywhere.

Food? Sure, lots of food. All those old hens cook up a storm. Cackle, cackle! Lots of goodies! What does that mean to me? Nadda! Do they eat everything? No! Do they leave anything? No! If they can't eat it they take it home. What'sa guy to do?


This is the S U P E R B O W L people!

Should I take a stand? No, because I can hear the answer before it is given: "Put a sock in it Walt!" Or maybe "Hit the road Jack, and don't come back, come back, come back!" How humiliating!

Ephesians 5:22

"Wives, sumit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord"

Where did I go wrong?

God Bless!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

NO MORE OBLIGATIONS? Who was I kidding?

On January 13th I blogged that, after the scheduled dance program, I would accept no additional obligation until I left for my cross country bike ride on March 13th. Who was I kidding? Myself, who else!

At the UMC Outreach Program it was decided to have a meeting of the congregation to plan events for the coming year. We do that twice a year. We normally do it with a dinner after the worship service. It works out well but it is not well attended by the entire congregation. It was decided to try having a Saturday morning breakfast--Methodists are eaters--and follow up with the planing session.

I only attended the outreach meeting because two people personally asked me to come. The pastor insisted they needed my creative thinking. Yell, sure! My friend, Carla, is my "go to" person. Whatever I need I can depend upon Carla to make it happen. She is a real shaker and mover who always stands four square behind whatever foolishness I'm involved with, and that is often and much. Carla asked me twice to attend the meeting. (I missed the last two).

Before I could control myself at the meeting I said "Lets have a St. Valentines breakfast on Saturday the 14th and Julie and I will cook the breakfast". I commented that people would come for my sausage gravy and biscuits. I've brainwashed the congregation over the years with my bar-b-cue ribs. That was the kind of "creativeness" the pastor was depending upon. Woe is me!

At breakfast this morning I asked Julie if she would go directly to the nearby Cracker Barrel from work this coming Friday. I wanted her to get a table for us and our elderly friends, the Rausenbergs. I wanted to bring Delbert and Connie who are now in their late 80's. They haven't made it to church much in the inclement weather. Delbert can no longer see well enough to drive and his family decides when Delbert and Connie should go out. I miss them in church. I know they miss getting out.

When I get "old and grey" maybe someone will have pity on me?

Less I forget, last Sunday I also told my grandson, Riley, that I'd take him to dinner and a movie for his birthday. Truly, I suffer from diarrhea of the mouth. Pure Irish! The wee folk made me do it, I'm sure!

So much for not getting involved.

Galatians 6:9

"And let us not be weary in well doing:
for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not".

God Bless!

Monday, January 26, 2009

100 PUSHUPS IN THREE WEEKS: Huh?, Who me?

In his daily pastorial blog today my son was looking for companions in a program that would result in the ability to do 100 pushups in a few weeks. Just goes to reinforce the truth that you cannot believe everything you hear (read).

My Dad was one of the most fierce and fearless men I have ever known. He was not the best man I have ever known, but he was fierce and fearless.

Most Dads taught their sons to walk and to play paddy cake. Not Dad. He taught his sons to "bob and weave" and to "jab and cross". That might sound funny if it was meant as a joke. It wasn't. That's the way it was. To make sure we were scrappers Dad made us fight kids we couldn't whip. Wanted to be sure we were doing our "best".

In my 12th and 13th summers Dad regularly brought home fellow drunks with whom he bet two dollars that his 12 year old son could whip them. I was tall, long armed, quick and well experienced not to mention sober. I've no idea of how many drunks I punched out with boxing gloves. Incidently, Dad never shared the two dollar bets.

Once when my older brother Ray was home from the army in WW II, Dad had me put the gloves on with a stranger who turned out to be a very experienced boxer. He was a grown man, I was a light weight kid. I couldn't whip him. He was a challenge, to say the least.

Mom whispered to Ray--6' 4" a real hunk and eight years my senior--that she would give him fifty cents if he would whip that guy. The guy like to have beat Ray to a pulp.

The man told Dad his face would burn for a week from the leather I put on him but I was too light to hurt him. He said Ray was easy. I don't know if Mom gave Ray the fifty cents or not but he sure earned it. Ray was a horse of man but he just wasn't inclined to be a scrapper.

Being a faithful father, I taught my two boys to fight also. When my brother Henry, who was a serious scrapper, came to visit one of his first requests was "let the boys fight". And they did. The gloves were big enough to keep them from badly hurting each other.

Unlike my Dad, I taught Mark and Todd that there was no winners in a fight. If you got the better of the fight you at the very least busted up your knuckles. If you got the worse you got your eyes cut down and your nose busted. There was no winners in a fight.

I went to great lengths to reinforce my belief that there was seldom a cause worth fighting over. And always, only they, themseves, should decide when to put up their dukes and have at it. Some times, however, there are situations when getting physical is justified.

The last man I hit was one of a pair holding my son's at gun point in a robbery attempt. A short, maybe 8", blow from a sitting position knocked the man unconscious. When he came to my Case "muskrat skinner" knife point was at his throat. He had been beating on me with a loaded shotgun for a couple hours. Without the shot gun he wasn't nearly as tough.

In the end he and his pardner went to prison for several years. That was some forty years ago. Thank's Dad! You were a rascal but you gave me the "spit in the eye" which I've passed on.

In kindergarden Mark busted the nose of a bully. The older kid had been giving Mark a hard time for weeks. I told Mark to walk up to the boy at recess and bust him in the nose. He missed his nose but busted his mouth, which bled copiously. I asked Mark what Freddie did when he was hit. Mark couldn't believe the lesson he learned, even as he told me. He said "Daddy, he just cried and cried".

Yes, Mark got sent to the office and I explained in detail to the principal who completely understood. It didn't hurt that Mark's teacher, Mrs. Leach, was a close, family friend. Oh, yes! Freddie never bothered Mark again.

He went through the same experience in the 7th grade. Another bully, again a couple years older, was physically giving Mark and Todd a hard time. After several unsuccessful attempts to resolve the problem, I told Mark to get off the school bus ahead of the bully, jerk him off his feet when he followed Mark off the bus and give him a whipping before he knew what was happening to him. He did. While the boy's mother was unresponsive to my requests beforehand, she was not at all understanding when the shoe was on the other foot. No, the boy never again gave Mark a hard time.

When Mark was a junior in high school, he was about as fierce and fearless on the football field as my Dad. He was the scourge of the Suburban League as a middle guard and captain on Norton's football team.

Another bully grabbed Mark from behind in the showers following a gym class. Mark was a weight lifter then and, the last time I was in the Norton gym, he still held the all time record leg press. He had no problem throwing the boy over his head. The boy landed upside down in the shower as the teacher showed up. The bully let the entire school know he would take care of Mark at the end of the school day. Of course the teachers, and the princpal heard the story.

When Mark headed home the boy, with a large crowd, was waiting for Mark, still on school grounds. The tough was cool as he smoked, still on school grounds--unaware that the principal was watching it all. I didn't see the fight that ensued. I did see Mark's blue, flannel shirt when he got home. It was soaked in blood. Not his blood. Nor was it Mark who needed stitching up.

The other boy received several whacks with a paddle and was suspended. Mark got one soft whack, after which the principal asked Mark if he would like to work for him on his farm that summer. Mark did and, no, the bully never bothered Mark again to my knowledge. Alice Ruth, Mark's mother, and the principal's wife met weekly in a bible study/brunch with friends in one another's home. That didn't hurt either. Ummm.

I never knew of Mark being in another physical fight in his life. He learned the truth that things worth physically fighting about are few and far between. I've known him, however, to be in many a social, political or employment conflicts. The end results have always been the same. That is why I have no concern for his currently being forced to start his own church.

Unfortunately, in the end, I am convinced the blood will not be Mark's. Neither will he need the stitches. I am also convinced that, once again, the foolish will live to regret picking on a world class winner. Of course, there are no winners in a fight and there will not be in this situation. None-the-less, when forced upon a person, one cannot be avoided. Busted knuckles are better than cut down eyes and busted noses.

Will Mark be pleased with this blog?

Nah! Makes me feel better though.

Psalms 35:1

"Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me;
fight against those who fight against me".

God Bless!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

LIFE'S NOT FAIR! I'm jealous, yes I am.

Julie was excited! She had something to tell! She couldn't get it out fast enough!

Julie saw the first robin of spring!

That's right! It is January the 24th, deep snow lay on the ground, the temperature is in the teens and she saw the first robin. That's not fair! I'm supposed to see the first robin! Ask me, I'll tell you. That honor is mine, or at least it should be.

She came out of work with a friend whom she was giving a ride home. She simply looked toward the building and right at the base was a robin digging for his dinner. The friend took two pictures with her cell phone but the distance was too great for a good picture.

For at least upwards of fifty years my brother Henry and I called each other when we saw the first robin. As he lived some two hundred miles south of me, it was usually he who first saw this habinger of spring. Should I, by some miracle, see the first robin and call him he unfailingly replied that "he had been seeing flocks of them for weeks now."

Couldn't believe a word that jay bird had to say. He'd lie about anything, especially fishing. Wish he was still with us so I could tell him that one more time.


What next? The tulips will be pushing their way up through the snow. The grass will commence to take a green tint. The rebud and dogwood will bloom. The maple buds will swell and cover the ground. I love spring. I've lived through another winter. Let the good times roll!

Anne Bradstreet:

"If we had no winter,
spring would not be so pleasant.
If we did not sometimes taste adversity,
prosperity would not be so welcome".

God Bless!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

THE SIMPLE LIFE: Something to think about.

My oldest son, Mark, included in his pastorial blog this morning an article from another source which questioned the wisdom of today's way of life. The article gave me great pause for thought.

Americans today, as a whole, live such miserable lives. Although their possessions exceed that of any generation of any age, this does not bring satisfaction. To some extent, I am also caught up in the medley. We have so much, even those who consider themselves to be the poorest.

My mother, bless her memory, could easily have fed her family for an entire year with the food that is now within our home. She could, and did at times, cook for her family with next-to-nothing. Yes, it may have been more dumplins and gravy than meat, but none of us went hungry. Healthy? Perhaps not by today's enlightened thinking. Yet, she and my grandparents lived to a ripe old age for which I would gladly be satisfied.

This is also the age of instant information and communication. Nearly every room in our home has a large, colored television. I do enjoy college football--Go Navy and Go Bucks--but that's about it. I watch two news programs on Fox. That's it.

I remember life without television--without radio for that matter--and did not consider myself to have been deprived of anything. (The folks got their first phone while I was in the Navy). I've discussed getting rid of TV entirely with my wife. Oh, no, she reminds me, TV is tied into the computer, fax and phones. With less than the monthly cost of this service my mother fed the entire family.

And then there is the computer. What an addiction! Then the cell phones with twitter, ipods, facebooks, emails, GPS, camera, and heaven help us, texting. I won't even get into the new craze of sexting! Going the way of the dinosaurs are books, magazines and newspapers. How Sad!

I have worn out two copies of Henry David Thoreau's "On Walden's Pond". I am also into my second copy of Harlan Hubbard's book "Shanty Boat, A River Way of Life". On my tack board is a well worn copy of the poem "Shantyboat Man". The simple life which I knew as a child! An impossible fantasy? A false recollection of how things really were? I don't think so.

I have lived for a month at a time in a simple base camp while on canoe expeditions to the far north. Likewise, I have lived for months out of a backpack on cross country treks.

During the summer I still live in a simple lakeside retreat without television. Except for a daily cell phone call to let my wife know I'm alright, I am out of touch with the world. I am convinced I am the better for the isolation.

Does this make me anti social? Not at all. I chat with the fishermen who launch their boats nearby. I feed all who come a calling, which can be many and frequent.

I actually have time to hoe my garden. What a forgotten blessing in this modern world. And, when I am with people, we sit out on the deck, look at the lake and have honest-to-goodness conversations, another forgotten blessing.

Seven weeks from tomorrow, the good Lord willing and the creeks don't rise, I'll start on my cross country bike ride, living mostly out of a tent. I'll enjoy the desserts, the rivers and the mountains but what I look forward to most is the one-on-one conversations with all kinds of people. I am not at all anti social.

Last night my son, Mark, and his wife, Mark Kay, came to dinner. It was a grand dinner with all the silver and crystal and Julie's fine cooking. The Shrimp Diavolo was wonderful and the apple pie was tasty.

We had one-on-one conversation for the first time within memory. We have seen each other as ships passing in the night, of course, And, yes, Mark and I relate daily electronically. It's not the same. No hugs electronically. No twinkle of the eyes. No low chuckles. The fellowship is missing. I am convinced that like reading, fellowship is also going the way of the dinosaurs.

Cherish yesterday. Dream tomorrow. Live like crazy today!

Childhood was really that wonderful time when all you
had to do to lose weight was to take a bath.

God Bless!

Monday, January 19, 2009

MILESTONE ACHIEVED: End of Physical Therapy

When you are faced up with an obstacle in life's journey, change the direction, change the time but do not change the destination.

Last summer when I conceived the idea of crossing the country on the Southern Tier bike trail I set the departure date as February 1st.

I ordered my new recumbent trike and commenced to make detailed plans. I couldn't wait to meet all the different people across the country. (Like this man). In September I injured my back.

Having ruptured a disc five years ago I thought I could now do the exercises necessary to correct the problem. After two months I was really in a bad way and went to my family physician. He sent me back to the Wadsworth Family Therapy, the miracle workers who had helped me before.

When the therapists started to work with me I could only walk for a minute and fifteen seconds before the pain became unbearable. Soon, they had me try riding my trike on the trainer for five minutes. Correction of the back eventually took second place to working to regain my strength.

Today my back pain is gone. I can walk without pain. Last Saturday night I called a square dance. Last week I commenced to ride my trike continuously for an hour. Today I made my last trip to the therapist.

Due to the general physical deterioration that comes with age, my agility will probably never be above 85 percent and my strength above 80 percent. I would rate my agility today at 75 percent and my strength at sixty percent. I was given a long list of specific exercises to increase both strength and agility. There is no restriction on trike riding.

I ran into an obstacle. I changed the time to six weeks later than originally planned. On the way to do the trike ride I had to make a detour to the therapists. I never changed my destination!

Life is good. God is merciful. Let the good times roll!

Reach for the sun. If you miss it you will still end up with the stars!

God Bless!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

EYES ON THE GOAL: Despite obstacles!

When I accepted the obligation a month ago to present a dance program for a party of district leaders and pastors of the United Methodist Church, I could barely walk due to a back problem. I accepted the obligation by faith that I would be well when the time came. I was.

When I started to ask my various Leading Couples to assist me with the reels and square dancing, they were away for the winter, having physical difficulties or had other commitments for this date. My daughter Kimberly and my pastor Ron came to my rescue.

I arrived an hour early at the hall to set up my equipment and watched as people arrived. I was surprised to see children and teen agers. I had expected only adults and had planned the program accordingly.

I quickly explained the situation to the hosting District Superintendant and said I would shift from an adult program to a family program. She agreed and seemed pleased with the versatility. I do lots of family oriented dances.

I had 45 minutes of the evening's program. I had timed out a reel, a progressive round dance, a square dance and a goodnight waltz. Instead I opened the program with "The Chicken" and "The Hokie Pokie". (I completed the program in 43 minutes).

Kids, teenagers and adults--there must have been 40 or 50-- enthusiastic dancers giving it all they had. What fun! All I had to do was handle the music. I did call the Virginia Reel with eight couples, including three teenagers. It went very well. The floor was then filled for the goodnight waltz and my part of the program was over.

After the dinner the pastor helped me carry my equipment out to the van. In addition to the dance program there had also been a talented singer using a guitar and slides. There was also a skillful ventriloquist with a puppet. The pastor confirmed to me what I had already figured out. The dance program was far and away the hit of the party.

The filled business card holder which I had put out was nearly emptied insuring lots of future fun and games.

From a forward from Dottie Campbell, classmate of 1948:

"Should you encounter a problem along the way.......
change your direction but not your destination"

God Bless!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

SCOOT-E-POOTIN: The time is drawing nigh!

Nine short weeks from tonight, the good Lord willing and the creek doesn't get too high, I'll be soaking away my weariness at the Jacumba Hot Spa Motel. It will be my second day on my upcoming cross country trike ride. (Click on picture to see wide bike path).

Twenty miles of my first day from the Dog Beach in San Diego will be on level, bike paths or bike friendly roads and through the dessert. The last seventeen miles will all be uphill to the little town of Alpine. That will be a start up a 4,000 foot climb. (Click on picture to see the uphill grade).
On the second day I'll have to continue to climb the mountain. After the climb I'll be on the expressway for awhile. Then I'll descent a bit into a high valley and into the town of Jucumba and an overnight at the Jacumba Motel. I have been looking forward to this unique motel for nearly a year now. It has a natural hot spring spa. After two days of climbing I know how good that spa will feel.

On the third day I'll make a twelve mile descent down the other side of the land mass into a fertile valley. Can you imagine a twelve mile descent after an evening spent soaking in a spa? Exciting!

I am about 90% recovered from my slipped disc and am now riding an hour a day. That is a long way from the required four hours but a good start. I am optimistic that for the two weeks before I ship the trike I will be able to ride for the four hours.

Today I went into a "Ride Preparedness Mode". Everything else will be put aside except for the anticipated ride. I do have a square dance to call this coming weekend. That took quite a bit of my time today writing the script, getting out my equipment and warming up for the event. I have to spend Friday afternoon with my leading couple going over the dances. Otherwise, I am accepting no other obligation until I leave on March 13th.

Incidently, March 13 is on a Friday. No, I am not superstitious. Just to be on the safe side, however, in my daily strength training, I'll turn three times to the left and hop back twice. Not that I'm superstitious, mind you.

Samuel Johnson, 1709-1784, British Author:

Few enterprises of great labor or hazard would be undertaken if we had not the power of magnifying the advantages we expect from them!

God Bless!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

OPEN MOUTH - INSERT FOOT: Snow, Snow, Snow

Mother Nature has been so benign as regards snow this year. Bless her heart, she probably didn't even notice how little we have had. So, what do I do about that? Why in yesterday's blog I just had to tell the world that the lady wasn't really with it this year. Open mouth, insert foot!

As I was preparing Julie's breakfast this morning I peeked out at the weather. The garage light was on but barely visible, the snow fall was so heavy. How much snow did we have on the ground already? Julie said the snow plows had been going since about 3AM. There had been very little snow when Julie came home last evening. Before she came in she had me hand her the broom and she swept the deck and walkway. It was just a good "dusting".

When I donned my outside gear and pushed the storm door, I knew I was in trouble. The door pushed back. The snow was about six inches and getting deeper by the moment. The snow was still light and fluffy and I was able to sweep it again. I swept my way to Julie's car. I swept the car easily except for the front and rear which was iced in. When I came in I told Julie to hurry out as the car was being recovered as we spoke. (I didn't have my keys to start the car and run the defroster).

What does this all mean to me? Why, it means I'll have to change out of my PJ's earlier than usual as the legs are wet well above the ankle. Oh, well! After nearly 18 years of retirement I still don't have this problem completely solved. I am working on it.

Jack and Kimberly are looking to retire in about 10 years in the Charlottesville, Va. area, nearby our cousin Cheryl. Not me! Can you say Myrtle Beach. When Julie decides she has had enough work I think that will be our winter habitat. So, what to do today? Boy, does that bed look good. Hmmmmm.

Snow Trivia:

"Snowmen melt because they have no water retention". Remember you heard it here first!

God Bless!

Friday, January 9, 2009

COLD, SNOWY WINTER DAY: Perfect for chili!

This neck-of-the-woods has experienced a really cold, miserable fall and winter. Thankfully, we have so far avoided the burden of a deep snow fall. With spring a couple months away, however, we are a far cry from being out-of-the-woods yet.

While it is difficult to believe, as I avoid being cold at all in my older, coming 78, years, I used to love winters. When my children were small, and even before we had children, I loved to go flying down the hills on a sled. I found nothing in life more exhilarating than bundling up and pushing my way through a blinding blizzard. Today, that experience is unimaginable!

Our garage is fairable orderly, at least for me. Still and yet, we cannot get both cars in out of the weather. We have been blessed with too many freebys all stored in the garage, among them a new furnace and central air conditioning system. Julie's Lincoln, which she drives daily, sets out in the weather. My van, which I rarely use, is, of course, inside clean and dry.

Feeling guilty about all that, I clean her car about 6:30 each morning. Following breakfast, she heads upstairs to get ready for work. In my PJ's, with my trusty Duluth toque pulled down over my ears, my down coat fastened and wearing the serious cold weather gloves given to me years ago by my son Todd, I head out-of-doors to clean her car.

That is my exposure to the weather. As they used to say when I was a kid, I'd get out side and "get the stink off of me!" That may be it for the day. Oh, and on Monday's I bring in the trash and recycle bins. Yes, and less I forget I also open the door daily to reach outside for the mail. Ummm!

Julie told me at breakfast this morning that we had quite a bit of hamburg yet unfrozen. That was a hint to make chili or a meat loaf. Clearly, this is chili weather.

I was born a CHILI HEAD!" I've never met a chili I didn't like. I have met a lot of chili that left a lot to be desired. My daughter introduced me to "white" chili. If you haven't had the experience, trust me, there is no such thing as white chili.

Chicken, or turkey as the case may be, has nothing in common with chili. Chili is made with cubed beef, or if you are lazy, with hamburg. Not the "good" hamburg but the, cheaper, low quality, lots of fat hamburg. And, as my dearly loved, thoughtful, nurse of a daughter-in-law insists, you don't drain the browned hamburg excessively. You need a bit of fat for flavor, don't you.

I've been exposed to three different chili's of late. My dearest of friends, Kathy, makes a chili soup. SOUP? Its not soup, it's chili! Kimberly frequently makes chili for me when we watch football games together. Her soup is fair-to-middling good. Short on chili powder and probably too well drained, but pretty good.

We have a soup and sandwich dinner the Sunday we remove the Christmas decorations at church. Bill and Carla brought chili. It, likewise, was pretty good. The hamburg, however, was still in large chunks, it was a bit thin and short on beans, onions, peppers and chili powder. It is odd how some people make chili. Thankfully, I learned to do it right.

(Yes, its true, I am meek, lowly and humble, sweet, gentle and kind. What can I say? Making good chili is a birth right).

You use enough beef, or hamburg, to make the chili really thick and meaty. When you brown the hamburg, you break it down as fine as possible with a sharp edged spatula. Then you transfer the brown hamburg to a large stock pot, nice and juicy as the good Lord intended.

Adding to the undrained drippings, you fill the big #10 skillet about half full with coarsely chopped yellow onions and green peppers. After they have been covered and sauted transparent and golden yellow, you dump them into the stock pot with the hamburg. Next you add several cans of red beans, chopped tomatoes and a couple large cans of tomato sauce. Carefully, you add enough water to make the whole a bit "liquid". Then comes the fun part. You add the spices, bit by bit, tasteing as you add each.

Spices are so important in life. The term, "the spice of life", comes to mind. And variety, variety is what keeps the smile on our face. Use lots of spices. In liberal amounts I use sweet basil, sage, marjarom, paparika, sea salt, coarse and fine black pepper. Copious amounts of chili powder. Nothing will flavor a pot of chili as will a finely chopped red pepper, a little goes a long ways and does a lot of good. You can substitute red pepper seeds and cayanne pepper but it will not be as good.

The pepper is right when you can see the roses in your wife's face after the first bite. Chili is not chili without cummin, which most people seem to ommit. And, of course if you use tomatoes you must use thyme. You simply cannot use too many spices. Mix flour with water in the big, empty tomato can and use it to thicken the chili.

Then you cook the chili. Kimberly can make a pot of chili in half an hour, and, like I said it is fair-to-middling good. I can hardly get my chili warm in half an hour. I cover and simmer it on low heat for a couple hours, being careful to stir often as it will stick and burn. Remember, it is not soup. It is a hearty, thick chili.

Two important things come to mind thinking about the enjoyment of eating chili. Oyster crackers! It just isn't right to serve chili without oyster crackers. There should be a law! And, aging the chili. I've never had chili that wasn't better on the 3rd day. And, drinking a glass of cold milk with the chili never hurts, either.

Oh, yes, one more thing, very important! Always make enough chili to give some away to those less blessed people who love good chili but don't know the secrets I've just shared with you.

You just might also be a "chili head" if:

1. you think used toilet paper catching fire is normal, or
2. you think a financial investment into TUCKS medicated pads is a wise move!

God Bless!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A RARE DAY: A clear calendar!

In a happier time I used to chuckle at my older Brother Henry as he laborously x'ed out the large calendar on his fridge. Day-by-day he would keep track of the day and schedule with his big "X".

Henry is gone and I miss him. The rascal is probably pulling off a big hoo-kee-doo on Mom as they fish in the River of Life. I have apparently caught up with him in that I now "x" a calendar which you can see on the desk in the picture below. (Click on picture to enlarge).

I have most of the modern tools for maintaining a record of appointments and happenings. The latest being my new Blackberry Curve. It is probably as perfect a tool as one could want. None-the-less, old habits are hard to break and if it ain't broke don't fix it.

I just put my "x" on Wednesday, January 7, 2009. What makes this a rare day is because the little square on the Norton Mutual Fire Association calendar is empty. I don't recall the last day I've had an empty square. If only the BCS games, each day has been and is full. Except for today. I'll have to make today a special day. Uh, maybe take two naps? HaHaHa

Will Rogers opined that:

"Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with
the time we have rushed through life trying save!"

God Bless