Monday, February 28, 2011

ON AGAIN: Gone Again, Flannigan!

AN IRISH STORY.

Sure, and now wasn't there an Irishman named Flannigan and wasn't he an engineer on the railroad? Aye, and now it was in the olden days when the trains often disrailed.

Being Irish, wouldn't you know now, that Engineer Flannigan wrote a very long and detailed report on the frequent derailment of his train. His superiors in the home office grew tired of the long reports and told him to keep his report to the bare minimum.

On the next derailment the report read: Off again, On again, Gone again, Flannigan!

And what, now, does this have to do with the price of beans, or as they say in Ireland, the price of BeeAns, in China? Well, nothing to tell the truth but my recent computer experience reminded me of the story.

THE COMPUTER IS ON AGAIN, AS OF A FEW MINUTES AGO. A virus had taken complete control of the computer for the third time in less than three months and Aaron, the young man who takes care of our computer, just lost his Mother to cancer.

I DO NOT HAVE TIME AT THE MOMENT TO WRITE A BLOG BUT WILL DO SO BEFORE THE DAY IS OVER.

I just wanted to say OFF AGAIN AND ON AGAIN. WILL HAVE TO WAIT TO SEE IF IT IS GONE AGAIN.

(Note: This blog is dated in February. I thought the virus was gone and the blog was started then. It wasn't gone! Today is March 24, 2011 and I simply finished what was started.)

Take care and God Bless!

Monday, February 7, 2011

SUPER BOWL 45 STORIES: They Abound

Super Bowl 45 is now history. The Packers won! I always hate it when the best team loses and I believe the Steelers were the best team. The problem? They all suffered from foot problem. Foot problem, you ask? Yes! THEY KEPT SHOOTING THEMSELVES IN THE FOOT. A team cannot commit the errors they committed and win. They did and they lost. That Simple!

Here is a story for all you DIE-HARD SUPER BOWL FANS.

THE PERFECT SUPER BOWL SEAT!

Bob received a free ticket to the Superbowl from his company. Unfortunately, when Bob arrived at the stadium he realized his seat was in the last row in the corner of the stadium He was closer to the Goodyear Blimp than the field.

About halfway through the first quarter, Bob noticed an empty seat 10 rows off the field right on the 50-yard line. He decided to take a chance and made his way through the stadium and around the security guards to the empty seat.

As he sat down, he asked the gentleman sitting next to him, "Excuse me, is anyone sitting here?" The man said "No". Very excited to be in such a great seat for the game, Bob said to the man next to him, "This is incredible! Who in their right mind would have a seat like this at the Superbowl and not use it?"

The man replied, "Well, actually, the seat belongs to me. I was supposed to come with my wife, but SHE PASSED AWAY. This is the first Superbowl we haven't been together since we got married in 1967."

"That's really sad," said Bob, "But still, couldn't you find some one to take the seat? A relative or close friend?"

"NO," THE MAN REPLIED, "THEY'RE ALL AT THE FUNERAL."

Funny? I don't know but what I know people just like that. Do you? Hope he was a Packer fan.

BYE-THE-BYE, can you imagine Grammy-award winner Christa Aguilera, performing before her biggest audience ever, and not knowing the National Anthem? Forgetting a song is Standard Operating Procedure for an amateur like me. I often have that problem with the Soggy Bottom Bunch Jug Band, Singers & Dancers. I even get mixed up sometimes calling square dances. But, at a Super Bowl game? Truly, sad!

WHY BOTHER GOING TO A GAME BETWEEN THE STEELERS AND GREENBAY ANYWAY? Not me! Sure, and now why is that, you may be asking? Everyone knows that the Steelers dropped their cheerleaders in 1970 and the Packers in 1988. As for me it is GO COWBOYS!
Take care and stay warm. Spring is 42 days away.

If the snow ever melts away we'll soon be seeing SPRING FLOWERS peeking through the ground.

Hang on Snoopy, hang on!

God Bless!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

STATE INDEBTNESS: A Simple Explanation

HAVE YOU WONDERED WHY STATES LIKE CALIFORNIA, ILLINOIS AND NEW YORK ARE BROKE WHILE STATES LIKE VIRGINIA AND MONTANA ARE NOT?

Or why a governor in New Jersey receives so much criticism for trying, successfully, to correct that state's problem? Consider this story:

CALIFORNIA The Governor of California is jogging with his dog along a nature trail.

A coyote jumps out and attacks the Governor's dog, then bites the Governor.

1. The Governor starts to intervene, but reflects upon the movie "Bambi" and then realizes he should stop because the coyote is only doing what is natural.

2. He calls animal control. Animal Control captures the coyote and bills the State $200 testing it for diseases and $500 for relocating it.

3. He calls a veterinarian. The vet collects the dead dog and bills the State $200 testing it for diseases.

4. The Governor goes to the hospital and spends $3,500 getting checked for diseases from the coyote and getting his bite wound bandaged.

5. The running trail gets shut down for 6 months while Fish & Game conducts a $100,000 survey to make sure the area is now free of dangerous animals.

6. The Governor spends $50,000 in State funds to implement a "Coyote Awareness Program" for the residents of the area.

7. The State Legislature spends $2 million to study how to better treat rabies and how to permanently eradicate the disease throughout the world.

8. The Governor's Security Agent is fired for not stopping the attack. The State spends $150,000 to hire and train a new agent with additional special training re: The Nature of Coyotes.

9. PETA protests the coyote's relocation and files a $5 million suit against the state.

MONTANA
The Governor of Montana is jogging with her dog along a nature trail. A Coyotes jumps out and attacks her dog.

1. The Governor shoots the coyote with her State-issued pistol and keeps jogging. The Governor has spent $0.50 on a .45 ACP hollow point cartridge.

2. The Buzzards eat the dead coyote.

AND THAT, MY FRIENDS, IS WHY CALIFORNIA IS BROKE AND MONTANA IS NOT!

Love those people in "Big Sky" Country! My kind of folks! Folks who cling to their guns and Bibles!

You know what, I could tell the good folks in Montana how to save a bit of money. Yep! You can only kill a coyote just so dead! A .22 bullet will do the trick the same as a .45 does. While the .45 costs $0.50 each you can buy a 500 shell box of .22 Long Rifle Hollow Points for $22, that's $0.04 per shell!

Oh, Yes! You're right! They do have grizzles in Montana....better keep packing that .45, Governor. UH, A RESIDENT OF CALIFORNIA REPLIED IT WAS A SHAME THE DOG DIED INSTEAD OF GOV. BROWN! HMMM

Nope! No coyotes around my house.

Remember, you heard it here!

Take care and God Bless!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A TRAGEDY WAITING TO HAPPEN: Sadly!

There is a tragedy waiting to happen at our house. A new neighbor has a big yellow, GARFIELD-LIKE, cat. As tends to happen, the cat finds shelter from the weather under our deck. I'm afraid he is not long for this world!

I hope I'm wrong. While I do not like cats as pets I have a lot of friends who love theirs. I would not want anything to happen to their pets anymore than they would want something to happen to my dogs.

MOST OFTEN, HOWEVER, CATS AND DOGS DON'T MIX. When the dog happens to be an Airedale or a Giant Schnauzer, the cat will come out on the short end of the stick every time.

Our last beloved Airedale, Jake, lived for 13 years. Pictured left seeing me off on a backpacking trip. We got him as a seven week old pup. He was a beautifully obedience trained dog, competing in three states. The first five years of his life he paid no attention to cats. Our previous Airedale, Erik, was deadly on cats, however, and had to be carefully watched.

When Jake was about five I was walking him behind a nearby factory. Jake paid no attention to a big grey cat sitting in the fence row. Suddenly, without provacation, the cat made a lunge landing right on Jake's head. With his claws locked into Jake's hide, he proceeded to chew on Jake's ears. It was a furious struggle and I couldn't help.

After what seemed forever, Jake got the cat off his head and in less time than it takes to write this paragraph that cat lost at least one of his lives. The wounds in his ears healed but from that time on Jake had no use for cats and had to be watched just like Erik.

Two days ago as I let Gunner out, the cat was sunning itself on my back deck. It calmly walked under the deck. Gunner paid it no attention proceeding into the drive way to take care of his business. Suddenly, that cat came tearing out from under the porch and made a threatening pass at Gunner. Then it ran back under the deck. Today when I let Gunner out, the cat calmly sat on my deck railing making Gunner walk under him twice going and twice coming. I was sure he was going to jump on Gunner.

I told Julie about this, she visits with the neighbors more than I, and I wanted her to tell the neighbors. Julie said she was sure the cat was just playing as she had seen that happen before. I hope she is right.

While, unlike my oldest brother, Henry, who was a deadly enemy to all cats, I don't dislike cats, I do dislike the cat owners who let their cats out to foul my flower beds. ANY CAT READERS OUT THERE? Not all cat owners do this. Some are just as responsible as most dog owners. Uh, no, I don't like dog owners who allow their dogs, on a lease yet, foul in my yard and walk off leaving it for me to clean up.

CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG? HAHAHAHAHA

Time will tell.

God Bless!

DOWN MEMORY LANE: The Road To Hana

I JUST RECEIVED AN ADVERTISEMENT FOR A VACATION IN MAUI. Been there, done that, about four times, now!

On Jan 27, 1986 Ohio had a blizzard with over a foot of snow fall. That morning my son, Mark, and his wife, Mary Kay, along with Julie and I departed for a winter vacation on Maui, Hawaii. All United and other flights out of Cleveland were cancelled except for a Northwestern flight to Chicago. We headed for Chicago, uh that was in the direction of Hawaii, wasn't it?

From Chicago we got a flight to Honolulu, Oahu, an old stomping ground of mine from days gone by. From there we were to take the Maui Shuttle to our destination. It was a small plane, maybe 8 passengers. For some reason, the shuttle airline and United had had a falling out and they wouldn't take our tickets. After Mark argued for at least 45 minutes with the agent, the pilot and the President of the shuttle service, we boarded the plane.

Sadly, the news when Julie and I got up the next morning told of the explosion of the Challenger Space Shuttle with the loss of seven lives. When we met the kids for breakfast I told Mark "The shuttle exploded last night with the loss of 7 lives". Misunderstanding, he replied "Its a good thing we got the flight we got, huh?"

Julie and I were pleasantly surprised to meet up with Dottie and Mary, two ladies from Florida we had met on previous trip to Germany. That trip is another great blog for another day. The six of us rented a small vehicle and headed across the island for Hana. The mountainous road to the windward side of Maui includes 617 white-knuckle switchbacks and 56 one-lane bridges.

Mary, who was by far the oldest in the group, became ill. There was a traffic back up at a work site. Mary Kay, my daughter-in-law and an RN, walked back down the row of stalled cars until she found a car with small kids. She knew they would have crackers which she borrowed to give to our sick Mary.

What a small world! It turned out that Mary from Florida knew Mary Kay's grandfather in western Ohio. He was in the construction business and Mary and her husband had sold him building supplies.

Hana was small with 1950 era buildings. The beaches were rocky with black lava flow and black sand. Only those wanting isolation and peace would normally go to Hana for a vacation. Well, maybe not as it lay claim to Maui's best nude beach, which we somehow missed.

THE SCENERY WAS SPECTACULAR!
We went sailing, whale watching, to a luau with a pig roast and a Pirate Party. Great trip. Below is a picture of Mark and Julie at the afore mentioned party. Yep! That's what they looked like in 1986. At least, after the third MiTi! Un Huh! Oh, yes, Mary Kay stubbed and broke a toe on some coral. That was a bummer for her.
I've had more fun in life than anyone I know. I am so blessed! And, I appreciate it. Also, as i constantly tell Julie, the best is yet to come, starting with our annual Romantic Dinner next week for three couples. Yes, thats another blog.

So often I hear "I wish I could do that". I always say you can. Make your plans and start working toward your goal.

Take care and be careful on the road to Hana.

God bless!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GRANDSON: A 12 Year Old

RILEY JAMES PIERCE BOGGS IS NOW A 12 YEAR OLD! How can it be? Only yesterday I was rocking him to sleep singing Irish Drinking Songs, (the latter to agitate his Grandma Alice who sang only gospel songs to him).

Yes, Yes! I'm an agitator! Always stirring up something, can't leave well enough alone. But, life is never dull around me, remember that!

Riley, who like his parents and paternal grandparents, is very small. But, only physically small. Like his mother, he can be as tough as a pine knot and twice as prickly. Smallest kid on the football team, he drives the other team crazy with behind the lines tackles. Of course, what would you expect with pretty cheerleaders cheering you on. Uh, the cheerleader with him in this picture is his sister Delaney Rose, or as I call her, Rosebud.

I try to take the kids out to dinner at least monthly. Pictured left they are playing checkers at the Cracker Barrel. Maybe a year ago Riley stopped eating off the kid's menu. Also, he started to eat steak--and can he ever put it away! I promised him a birthday steak.

It was only my second outing, driving myself, since my total hip replacement. Yesterday I was gone for about 4 hours. Thankfully, I had the foresight to take Donna, the neighbor, with me and she saved me a lot of steps. Before we left home I did my hour of therapy. It was too much and I was out of it when I got home. Today I skipped the therapy and did better.

Riley and I both had Longhorn's largest "Renegade" steak. It was perfectly seasoned and cooked to perfection. Before the salad came, Riley devoured almost the entire loaf of bread, well buttered. He ate about half his salad. He had two, tall glasses of Mr. Phib.

WOULD YOU BELIEVE THAT KID ATE EVERY MORSEL OF THAT HUGE STEAK?

When the steak was a little over half gone I commented that the largest steak was probably a bit too big. Riley replied that he would wait awhile before deciding that. I'M GLAD I'M NOT PAYING HIS FOOD BILL NEXT YEAR WHEN HE IS A TEEN AGER! Small, he is one bulging muscle.

I did take the opportunity to discuss life's difficulties, like their flight home from the Sugar Bowl. I described how his mother and two uncles always participated in two games at our regular dinner hour. WHAT'S NEW, DIFFERENT AND EXCITING and WHAT IF.

Starting early in their lives, they entered each day looking for something special to share at the dinner hour. In WHAT IF we did potential problem analysis and solutions. Over the years we discussed about everything we could think of in the way of life's problems and how to go about solving them.

How many times did those problems pop up and find that the Pierce Kids were ready, willing and able to take them on. Oft times surprising those around them. Riley promised to start playing "What If" and to let me know the first time it works out for him. Look forward to hearing his experiences. We also discussed the challenges of being a teenager.

I DEARLY LOVE ALL MY GRAND KIDS. Pictured left is grand daughter Jillian and great grand daughter Violet. Riley and his sister, Rosebud, are my only two small grandchildren left.

I sure had a ball, when I was younger, playing with the other 7 grand kids. My son, Mark, enjoys his grand kids as much as I did mine. Son Todd is awaiting his first but he will be a great grand Dad too, I'm sure.

Julie, who worked late tonight trying to solve a problem going on at another location, didn't get home until 9:00PM. She called and asked me to pick up a dinner somewhere for her. I did. Ribs and trimmings from Sweet Henry's. I got her a piece of coconut cream pie, but she was too full to eat it tonight.

Life is good.

May you enjoy your family as I do mine.

God Bless!

Friday, February 4, 2011

A FRIEND IN NEED: A Friend In Deed!

A FRIEND IN NEED IS A FRIEND IN DEED, A FAMILIAR, ALBEIT TRUE, SAYING!

Having to lie quietly on my back, with my leg on a pillow, for three weeks was one of the most difficult things I have had to do in quite awhile. I am so glad it is behind me.

One of the things that made the experience tolerable was how much support I had from family and friends. My wife, Julie, pictured left with son, granddaughter and me, took a month's family leave to support me.

She has a "No Workee-No Eatie" job, in other words, she doesn't get paid when she doesn't work. Worse than that, she is still responsible for the periodic deductions she has arranged, meaning that not only does she not get paid, she goes in debt when she doesn't work. Her support was constant and loving!

My children came to see me on a regular basis, even some of them living at a distance. Nothing can substitute for the loving support of one's children.

We paid Donna, the young neighbor who has now worked for us for nearly two years, extra to stay with me constantly making sure I didn't cross my legs, turn on my side or run out of ice water. She made my bed time and time again throughout the day. She was a big help.

Other friends came, and those that didn't come, made their prayers and concerns known to me.

I have never received so many cards. Also baloons, flowers, fruit and, would you believe, a banjo playing bear singing "Cotton Eyed Joe". And, FOOD! I had no appetite for two weeks although Julie cooked every thing she thought I'd like. Several times, along with all matter of prepared dinners, someone or the other brought me soup. I lived on that soup and fruit for two weeks, losing 26 pounds.

After two weeks on a very strong pain med, I commenced a week on a lesser pain med. I got my appetite back the day Beth & Becky, sisters and friends, sent me a chicken.dinner. People in Barberton, Ohio are chicken eaters with five chicken dinner places. I ate every bite. It was so good. My son, Mark, just drove up this week to see me and we took him out to a chicken house.

THESE WERE ALL FRIENDS WHEN I WAS IN NEED! Thank you one and all!

A friend for the longest time, Maude from my high school class of '48, could not come to see me. What did she do? She emailed me a number of "funnys" every day. Again, a friend in need!

Among the many was the following:

BAD DAY AT WORK?

When you have an "I hate my job" day, try this. On your way home from work, stop at your pharmacy and go to the thermometer section and purchase a rectal thermometer made by Johnson & Johnson. BE VERY SURE TO GET THIS BRAND!

Change into some very comfortable clothing and sit in your favorite chair. Open the package and remove the thermometer. Now, carefully place it on a table or surface so that it will not become chipped or broken.

Now the fun part starts!

Take out the literature from the box and read it carefully. You will notice that in small print there is a statement:

EVERY RECTAL THERMOMETER MADE BY JOHNSON & JOHNSON IS PERSONALLY TESTED AND THEN SANTIZED.

Now, close your eyes and repeat out loud five times "I AM SO GLAD I DO NOT WORK IN THE THERMOMETER QUALITY CONTROL DEPARTMENT OF JOHNSON & JOHNSON".

Now, have a nice day and remember, there is always someone else with a job that is more of a pain in the ass than yours.

GO ON NOW, LAUGH! I sure did!

THANKS, MAUDE! She lives in California and I have it on my near term goals list to visit her.

Take care and count blessings! Not the least of which is our freedom under Old Glory!

God Bless!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

KINDLE, KINDLE, WHOSE GOT THE KINDLE: Me!


My son, Mark, has been telling me about his Amazon Kindle for a year or so. I enjoy reading and more important, I have the time to read. Although the Kindle is easy to hold and read, I like books. The cost savings of electronic books, however, is meaningful. I told him I'd get me a Kindle the first of the year.


Before I went into the hospital for replacement of my left hip, the family gave me a Kindle. The money to purchase it came from my children, their children and relatives far and wide. From Boston to Virginia the card that came with the Kindle was signed by one and all. While the Kindle cost about $140, enough money was donated to buy me a cover with a light and a few extra books.


THANK YOU, THANK YOU & THANK YOU, ONE AND ALL!

Have I used the Kindle? I go through a book in a couple days. I took a speed reading class at the University of Akron many years ago. It has been such a blessing. The Kindle is so easy to read. Just a flick of the thumb turns a page. In bed, with Julie sleeping when I can't get to sleep, I turn on the light on the cover. It perfectly covers the page and does not light the room at all.

This small, electronic book is perfect for my life style. In a boat or tent at night, how easy to read in the dark. It has to be charged about once a week. On a cross country bike trip, or back packing, this small device is much smaller than a regular book and is actually a library of books.


At Myrtle Beach for the month of October? No sweat! Living out of bike panniers, No sweat. Again, thank you, thank you & thank you, one and all!

At the present my Kindle has about 500 books, new and classic. I just told Mark that I'd give him money to buy at least a couple books each month. When one of the family Kindle owners buys a book, it goes in the library for the use of all. What a deal!

A paper book that costs maybe $18 at Sam's will cost maybe $9 directly on the Kindle. If you are a reader, do the math. This electronic library will pay for its self in short order. You can personalize your Kindle in several ways, including the size of the print.

TRY IT! I'LL BET YOU'LL LIKE IT!


A happy thought? SPRING IS ONLY SIX WEEKS AWAY. Hang in there, Snoopy!



God Bless

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

WHO ARE WE? We Get to Decide!

WHO ARE WE? WE GET TO DECIDE! Just how cool is that?

We may be short or tall, slim or brawny, white or otherwise, smart or not so smart. We may have red hair or dark hair, blue eyes or green eyes, perfect teeth or crooked teeth, big or small boobs, in the case of girls. NONE OF THAT IS WHO WE ARE. That is WHAT we are.

IT IS CHARACTER THAT DETERMINES WHO WE ARE!

The Honorable J. C. Watts, Congressman from Okalahoma, said it well, quoting his grandfather. "CHARACTER IS WHAT WE DO WHEN NO ONE IS LOOKING". There is a four way stop just up the street from my home. In the dead of the night, when no one is looking, I come to a full stop and say to Congressman Watts, "I'm one of the good guys!" I'm certain I could "drift" right on through that stop and no one would know, except for me.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, money, family or riches, play no part in who we are. At age 60, in good health, I walked away from a six figure position. MY ONLY REGRET IS THAT I DID NOT DO IT SOONER.

True, when I now go to Ireland, or elsewhere, I carry a backpack and stay in hostels. I have been to "THE LAND OF CASTLES" as a guest of those with deep pockets. Yes, it was fun. This picture is of my wife Julie going to dinner in an upgrade hotel. Notice how drab I was dressed while Julie was the typical, overdressed American. I NEVER INTERACTED ONCE WITH THE PEOPLE OF IRELAND ON THAT TRIP.


I have the best stories to recall from backpacking Ireland's west coast. People in Ireland dress very plain. The ladies do not wear makeup. If you look like the Irish look, talk to them as equals, they are delightful, fun loving folks. This picture is how I looked leaving home on that backpacking trip. Except for my size, the Irish are small, I blended right in on this trip.


IN ADDITION TO HOW WE ACT WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING IS HOW WE ACT UNDER DURESS. The Ohio State coach, Jim Tressel, is a great example. Although his team wins far more than they lose, he is always the same, win or lose. I know he was crushed when the Bucks lost to Wisconsin early in the season. He always, always speaks highly of the other team, win or lose. He is a class act! Any jerk can jump up and down with joy when they are a big winner.

My daughter, Kimberly, took her son, Riley, to the Sugar Bowl. They went first class and were guests of a local doctor friend. They had loge seating on the 50 yard line. The Buckeyes won the game. HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY, Go Bucks.

THERE IS ALWAYS A FLY IN THE BUTTERMILK, HOWEVER! They flew to New Orleans early because of current flight problems across the nation. No problems going down. NOTHING BUT PROBLEMS COMING HOME.

If I got the story straight, and I probably didn't, there was a heart attack of someone on the plane before take off. They were delayed in New Orleans. Of course they missed their connection in Charlotte. They spent the night in less than a five star hotel. When they got on a delayed flight the next day, there was a total computer shut down at the airport. They spent a day there with masses of other people.

Riley, who just turned 12 last week, could not accept this situation. He had real problems at the Charlotte air port. Of course his problems were his Mother's problems. I talked to her on the phone and she sounded terribly stressed. Now Riley is an experienced flyer, probably flying a half dozen times a year, more or less. This was his first bad experience and he did not cope well with it.

Sadly, it will not be his last bad experience in life. He knows what it is to be a winner and loser. One year his football team won the Championship and the next year, a much smaller, less experienced team never won a game, I don't think. He handled that well.

I know Riley. When he was born both he and his Mother struggled with life. I cooked and cared for both of them for his first six weeks of life, turning his situation around. I have been very active in his life--we're going out for steak later this week. We'll talk about life's "flies in the buttermilk" and how we deal with them. I KNOW HE WILL GET ON TOP OF THIS SITUATION AND HANDLE IT BETTER NEXT TIME.

My wonderful wife, Julie, always sells herself short of who and what she is. She tends to find fault with her cooking, and she is a great cook and cooks a lot. Frequently when she can't reach something she will say, I'm just too short. I always brag on her cooking and tell her that she is not short, what she wants is too high. When I can't see something in the fridge, I remind her that I'm not too tall but she is just right to get what I want.

We are not hair, size, teeth, boobs, smart, rich or whatever. We are what we do in life's difficulties. In the great depression we never had lawn mower problems where we lived, we had no lawn. If company came we might "sweep" the yard. We never had one toy--UH WE NEVER HAD ONE TOY.

We played a great game called "SHINNY". It was a form of hockey, I guess. We played bare footed, we never had shoes in the summer time, played with a tin can and tomato stakes. UH, WATCH YOUR SHINS! We rolled one another in old tires. At night we played a great game called "Fox and Geese, or Whistle and hollow and the fox can't follow", a rowdy game where the fox tried to catch the geese, none to gently as I recall.

The toys in my life time consisted of small spinning tops of paper and wood, a sled--which I treasured--and a BB gun, a cheap, one shot BB gun. At age 13 I got my first real shotgun, a single shot, 16 gauge Winchester. I gave it to my oldest son, Mark. Of course there were always cards, checkers and dominoes and there was a perpetual game ongoing. And there was the river for swimming and fishing.

We worked hard all the time. Wood to chop. Water to carry in. Berries to pick and gardens to hoe. We did have a Christmas tree which we went to the woods, chopped down and dragged home through the snow. We made the tree decorations stringing popcorn and pasting paper chains.

I WAS NEVER POOR! Life was great! It still is! I have made and spent a fortune, I have travelled the world, I have been the guest of royalty, I have dined with the heads of state. I have been featured on national television and have been on local stations time and time again. I have been published a number of times. I have three wonderful childen, all professionals married to professionals. At 80, I have pages of plans for exciting things to do in the coming years. THIS IS WHO I DECIDED TO BE.

ASK YOURSELF JUST EXACTLY WHO ARE YOU? If you don't like the answer, do something about it. Plan for adversity, it will come. It does not have to be bad, unless you make it bad. Plan and work for good times. If you plan it might not happen but if you don't plan it surly won't happen.

BE SOMEONE YOU LOVE AND RESPECT! When you can do that life will be sweet!

LIVE LONG AND PROSPER! Smell the roses!

God Bless

FAMILY SAYINGS: Down Through the Generations!

WITH WHAT "SAYINGS" DOES YOUR FAMILY IDENTIFY? Or does it really matter?

It does matter, I think. Long after a generation passes, who they were lives on and reinforces just who and what the present generation is. Several "sayings" in my family comes to mind.

THE DEBBY FACTOR! When food preparation is slow, in our family it is referred to as "The Debby Factor".

My grandfather, William Henry Pierce, died in 1952 at the age of 91. He had several sisters, one of whom was named Deborah. Deborah, or Debbie, was known as a wonderful cook. The question that was pondered, however, was whether the food was really that good of if the people waiting a long time for the food to be cooked were starved.

My parents are long gone, as are all my siblings. Still and yet, the "Debbie Factor" saying lives on with my children. It will be passed along, I'm sure, to their children and their children's children's.

Julie and I cook a lot for family and friends. Irregardless of how efficient we may be in the food preparation, one of my kids, or maybe ALL of my kids will comment about the "Debbie Factor" taking place.

YOU KNOW WHAT IS REALLY SAD? My cousin Cheryl, MY DEAR COUSIN CHERYL, is Deborah's great granddaughter. This is a picture of Cheryl and her husband Jack. She lives in Virginia and we "found" one another through my blog site a couple years ago. SHE HAD NEVER HEARD THIS STORY OF HER GREAT GRANDMOTHER. How sad that is! To the effect of the "saying" not living on, Deborah did not live on.

A saying well known in my family came from my Mother.

When Mom and Dad were married, about 1918, they moved "to town". On Saturday's Dad's people would come to town. They would always go to Mom and Dad's house for dinner. Mom would "wait the table". Still, to some extend, a member of the family in that neck of the woods would not eat with the group but facilitate the serving of the food and drink. It was and is referred to as "waiting the table".

Once when Mom was "waiting the table" Dad's family ate every bite of food. All the chicken and every other morsel of food was gone. When the company left, Dad said to Mom, "I'm sorry, Lee, but they ate every bite of the food. There is not a crumb left for you.

Mom grinned--I know she did--as she said to Dad, NEVER WORRY ABOUT THE COOK, BILL" as she turned to the oven and removed her heaping plate of food, including the chicken back, her favorite piece of chicken.

NEVER WORRY ABOUT THE COOK! Of course, this goes far beyond just having your share of the food. The real message is LOOK OUT FOR YOUR OWN WELFARE, IF YOU DON'T, WHO WILL?

My daughter, Kimberly's, current pictured right, Master's Thesis was My Grandmother, the Wisest Woman I ever knew. Mom, born in 1899, was named Julia Agnes. She never liked that name. They lived out in the country on "Crooked Krick" when the 1910 census taker came by. Mom told the official that her name was LEVIA MAGGIE. In that far more simple day, that was all it took to change her name.

Mom only went to the 3rd grade, walking at least a mile down out of "Jone's Hollow" to walk to North Point Pleasant, (WV) Grade School. I doubt that she went to school three months a year. Incidentally, I also attended that school, starting first grade when I was five years of age.

Lacking a formal education, Mom could figure out life--far more important. During the world wide depression of the '30s, Mom kept her family fed. No small accomplishment. She also freely gave to others. It may have been a fish off her step father's trot line, a possum that others couldn't catch, or quail caught on a corn baited fish hook, we always had food. Yes, breakfast often would just be biscuits and gravy, made from a bit of flour, bacon drippings, salt and a bit of baking powder, but it was filling and I still like it.
This is a picture of Mom taken in 1914 when she was 15. She will have made that dress. Check out the feather on her hat. Can you imagine how proud she was of that feather? She always loved to dance and also to ice skate. I can clearly remember her doing the "Charleston". My children, who only knew her when she was old, need to be reminded that she was once young and vibrant. They do remember, however, even when old, she was always vibrant and a fun person with whom to share their lives.
She always made her own clothing. Check out her home made garment at the graduation of her Grandson Todd from college. In the picture with Mom was her grandson Todd, great granddaughter Bethany and, of course, a much younger Walt.

NEVER WORRY ABOUT THE COOK. We won't Mom!

Another saying? NEVER TRUST A SKINNY COOK!" Ummm! Makes sense, huh?

Take care and pass along your families "sayings" to your children and grand children.


May God Bless you and yours!