Faces from our past….

They leave behind families who know nothing of how, or why. Often misunderstood they rise to the challenge everyday and wish nothing more than the ability to return home to the country they love. Proud, brave and sometimes terrified, they perform under stress as no other. Some becoming what legends are made of, others lives are changed forever. 

It takes a special person to perform their particular duties and as Americans we should show nothing but respect not only for those who return, but for the fallen as well.  It has often been said that our WWII veterans were the greatest generation.  They sacrificed all for our country.  If those men and women set the standard then I believe all fallen soldiers should be held with the same regard.  None of them wished to perish, none of them woke up one particular morning thinking today is my last day. None of them asked to be subjected to the horrors of war, to losing fellow soldiers and thier friends.   They all knew the job that laid before them.  They all knew the risks associated, and yet each and every one of them stepped forward with honor and integrity, putting aside personal feelings of dread to complete a task for you, for us, for themselves and for our country.

Can you say you would do the same thing?

Wont you join me today as I hang my head and humbly say a prayer to all soldiers lost in many theatres across the world over multiple generations? 

It is after all Memorial day-not national BBQ day.

To all soldiers in every branch of service I say;  Thank you for your service to our country and may God bless you, and your family.

Remember the fallen, respect those who remain. 

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Dont poke a stick at the…..

He travels down the stairs like an ogre, heavy and disheveled. Rubbing his bare feet on the floor there is no doubt where he’s been or where he is headed. Shoulders dropped low, slack-jawed and mopey; don’t make eye contact for he shall unleash vengeance upon all who gaze. The ogre heads to the basement hoping to find some suitable clothing for the day. He begins pawing at the clothes basket like a bear would a tree trunk looking for grubs. Left paw, right paw he swats what is not his out-of-the-way. An annoyance really, these clothes he cares little for, or where they may land. Finding a shirt and pair of shorts he then takes to climbing out of the basement with a gasp and a grumble. Those who stand in the kitchen run for fear of falling victim to his foul mood.

I ask him where he is headed? I do this for I am not scared, nor do I cower at his presence. I am like an old lady with a rolled up newspaper ready to swat the creature on the nose for snorting my direction. He mumbles something about being upstairs, followed by a mild tantrum in regards to his little brother not picking anything up in their bedroom. All of which had nothing to do with the original question, but I let it slide for now. He vanishes back up the stairs and I sit, listening to his heavy footsteps across the floor. I can almost tell you play by-play what he is doing by the foot shuffle that carries through the ceiling overhead.

The others have gathered again hoping to eat before oaf re-enters the kitchen. But this is not be. Slowly he comes back down, dressed and ready for school. The deep furrowed brow he held before seems to have lightened a bit, showing some of the finer features of his face. He pours a bowl of cereal, covers it with milk and sits at the bar staring intently. I ask what he is staring at and all I receive is a shrug. Let the ogre eat I say quietly to myself; let the ogre eat..

He finishes his bowl and walks towards the sink to deposit the fine china and utensils. As he passes a smile arises! It’s not much but the corners of his mouth did raise to an acceptable level. So much so that yes, it’s officially deemed a smile! We have turned the corner! Houston we DO NOT have a problem! It is going to be a good day! I calmly smile back, keeping calm as to not jump the gun on this one! Go easy Betty, go easy!

He finishes his morning chores, including feeding all the horses and comes into the house with a full-blown smile! Its like the sun shining right in our kitchen! The flowers all lean his way! The dogs drop to their bellies and bask in the warm glow! He shines! He shines brightly and his mother hugs him with equal warmth and affection.

The children gather at the rear door, lunches in hand, books at the ready. All are prepared for school and most are excited to go. Mom readies herself, one last sip of coffee and off they head into the world! All run towards the car as if it were a game of tag! They are excited for the oldest is driving them to school today. Something about a kid driving other kids that makes them giggle. Three are gone but one remains at the back door. He is still smiling, staring at me with rosy cheeks, hands in pockets, back pack slung across his shoulders. The warmth still radiating from his face, I can feel his love. I walk closer and he wraps his arms around me, squeezing with all his might. He tells me to have a good day, I do the same and with a wink he is off.

He is no longer the same ogre from earlier lumbering about dragging his club and grumbling. He no longer swats at things like an angry bear. What moment brought about the change? I believe it is an uninterrupted bowl of cereal that does the trick for this lad. As I turn and close the door I soon realize that I am the very same ogre prior to my morning cup of coffee. Hmmmmm???

The legacy continues..

A horrible Easter poem..

 

 

Oh easter candy that’s left behind, I hear your faint call, you are on my mind.

It really doesn’t matter what kind that you are, a toffee, a peep or a dark chocolate bar

I walk through the kitchen avoiding your stare, yet my brain calls my sweet tooth with an evil dare.

I have given up sweets for the betterment of health, so taking you now should be done with great stealth.

The kids are still watching, the wifes on high alert. I move into the kitchen and slide you up under my shirt.

The closet, the bedroom or just sneak outside, to get on my bike and go for a ride.

But in the end it’s just us, sitting on the edge of my bed, the bag is half gone, sugar races to my head.

I let out a sigh of orgasmic relief, for in a few moments I will be overcome with great grief.

The guilt oh the guilt, I shall certainly be hung. The youngest has found me, my bell has been rung.

No guiltier man was found by our family jury.  In the end it was worth it, I enjoyed the last Cadbury.

An awful poem written for all you candy junkies such as myself who hate this holiday for the endless amounts of candy that are left in the house afterwards! Bags upstairs, bags downstairs, candy in little bowls and hidden in the cupboards. I crave it I need it, it talks to me, telling me its ok to have just one more!  Who cares if its 250 calories a piece! So what if you can devour three or four pieces at a time! It’s just candy right?  Its only once a year, right? Live a little, have some more, heck if you eat it all then there will be no more and you can go right back to your low-calorie, bland, tasteless diet that you have enjoyed so much over the last year. Just remember, your life insurance doesn’t pay out if its suicide! Self induced candy coma suicide! Fatty!

So my advice to you is, stay strong! Look the other way, let the kids eat it all and when you go to bed tonight and you hear the candy talking to you. Get up, and go make yourself a bowl of oatmeal. Your future diabetes will be in check and Wilfred Brimley will be proud of you.

 

 

 

Only five….

 

The room is empty his bed made up. An eerie silence has befallen a house filled with chaos.   Although there are six, one would think an absence would go unnoticed.  That five would be alright?  An empty chair at the table would bring no discernible question. Joy would come from one less to make lunch for, one less to ensure readiness for school, one less to pat on the head say I love you and kiss goodbye as that one passed through the door. One less….. Yes…

One would be wrong.

He brings a smile to my face everyday. I feel he brings smiles to many faces during the day.  He has the same troubles most lads have at eleven.  Staying focused in school, interjecting during adult conversations at the most inappropriate of times, picking fights with his little brother, while idolizing his older one.  He is wicked smart yet chooses to only do what is required when the subject matter doesn’t suit his liking.  But what child doesn’t behave that way? He loves all animals, big and small, and will cry at the drop of a hat upon learning af a harmed creature.  Horses have become his passion as he yearns for every moment he can ride in the ring.  He is big and strong, quiet, and funny, boisterous and obnoxious, yet humble when the moment requires.  I have not met a soul who thinks anything but the highest regards for this young lad.

He is gone on a field trip, away from home since yesterday.  I know not of his specific where about, I cannot speak with him as he has no cell phone.  It is silly when you think about it really. But I never understood how badly I need his presence in my life.  I have become as dependant on him as he remains dependant on me.  I love all my children and feel the same sickening heartbreak when one is not around.  My worry radar is on overload, my sense of protective parenting is on the highest of alerts. I feel as though I am electrified with no way to shut down the power.

How did our parents do it, I wonder?  How did they get through this feeling, like that of a lost appendage?  A hand, gone, a finger missing, my nose cut off to spite my face? It’s all there, holding me hostage until he arrives home safely.  I dislike this feeling immensely!  It doesn’t get easier with the next child as I have just realized.  I really thought it would, yet its only more complex.  How will I behave when I am down to the littlest member of our family.  Will I need a straitjacket for a specified period of time? Xanex and whiskey to dull the pain?  I am not sure, but I know this, I feel as though I just heard another grey hair pop from my skull!

I love you Jake! You are a reminder to me of why I became a parent.  I never felt it was my right to have children, I have always known it as a privilege.  You, your two brothers and one sister, remind me of that everyday.  I challenge myself everyday to do my very best to guide you all to adulthood.  I pray everyday that what ever challenges you face you know to trust that your parents will be there for you.  I pray everyday that these little spots of freedom you encounter during the course of your childhood only strengthen your resolve to return home once you have ventured out into the real world as adults.  For no matter what the reason, no matter what the need the door to your home will always be open for you to return.

Now hurry up and get home so I can hug you!

Parent date night

Forget candlelight and romance! Throw away the preconceived notion of dancing until dawn. A night at the opera in the city followed by a moonlight stroll along the shoreline, ridiculous! You see, I have found the ultimate date night for parents! An evening filled with laughter, food, shopping and a stroll along the parkway!  Oh yes its true!  Wine, it’s there, gourmet fare, got it! Supplies to cover any unexpected emergency? Yep, right inside the door! Movies? Ah yes! Dessert? Only as much as you can eat!!! Valet parking? Sadly no. So there isn’t everything you’d ever want for a date night but it’s still pretty fantastic!

If you are a parent or married couple with kids this is the place for you!

COSTCO

Yep that’s right ladies and gentlemen, my wife and I have been clamoring to go on a date quite some time.  Between Softball, swimming, horses, fair animals and 4-H it seems our calendar is full 99% of the time!  So tonight after a long day of breaking apart domestic disputes between our four lovely (sarcasm) children! My wife mumbles an exasperated “I have to go to COSTCO”.  We are never going to be alone ever again are we?  This is usally where the sobbing begins….

Hold that thought honey!

Enter the infamous COSTCO! Entertainment mega, all in one, grocery, everything household and then some superstore to the masses.  I use the word entertainment in describing COSTCO, because once you look around it’s quite obvious you arent in Kansas anymore. (Unless of course you are at a COSTCO in Kansas then it’s a moot point)

So being rather quick at deducing problems I arrived at a summation; the only way we’re going to achieve some alone time would be to abandon the little heathens (aaahhhhemmm our sweet children) at home to fend for themselves while we stroll the isle ways of the local COSTCO hand in hand. All together now…  AAAAHHHHHHH!

So I locked up the weapons, hid the duct tape and padlocked the knife drawer. Left the 15-year-old in charge with more than ample directions to insure his success.  Told said 15-year-old not to play XBox ( hard request to make with a straight face) the whole time, but focus instead on his little brother who is starving for big brothers attention.  Turned to the middle two, pointed a short stumpy finger at them with a reminder that nothing should be damaged or misplaced upon our arrival home. I received a tweedle dee and tweedle dumb nod of acknowledgment.  Then without haste I swept the misses off her feet and into the car with hopes of clearing the driveway before one of them felt the need to ruin the moment with an unfounded emergency!

My wife and I laughed as we cruised down the road with no kids in the car, stereo up loud pumping some 80′ Van Halen, sunroof open we’re pushing 75mph, whoop whoop! We continued to laugh the way I imagine D.B. Cooper chuckled after stealing $200,000.00 dollars and possibly committing the perfect crime! It was ours all ours!  Two, maybe three hours without interuption! Oh sure we would be surrounded by other families, No doubt we would hear children crying and screaming, fighting and whining! But they weren’t ours!!! T-H-E-Y-W-E-R-E-N-T-O-U-R-S! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

We arrived at COSTCO immediately finding a parking spot right up front. (good sign so far) grabbed a cart and off we strolled through checkpoint Charlie.  I flashed my “executive” members card which instantly lets the fine young security lad know that, well, I m kind of a big deal! He acknowledges my glossy black plastic ticket to paradise with a sly wink and nod! Without haste the privileged are ushered inside! Let the carnage begin!  Its only once you are inside the magnitude of this building truly takes your breath away.  It lays before us like a blank canvas of consumerism! Waiting for us to fill it with colors and vision.  Each item placed into our cart is an expression of our lives.  A snapshot of likes and dislikes.  We are a tapestry smeared with food, wine and bathroom supplies!

Our evening is proceeding well, I feel a second date may arise from this encounter.  We are chatting like we’ve known each other most of our lives! (oh wait we have) We also find ourselves blindly strolling down each and every isle.  We have no need for a 50lb bag of kitty litter, but it’s reassuring to know if we did need some it was there! The international fare is delicious! There are free food tasting stations spread throughout the store allowing you to sample a little bit of everything from around the world on sale this week.  Brilliant!!  Halfway through the store I stopped the cart, took my wifes hand, slowly leaned forward-looking her dead in the eye, I proclaimed ever so softly: do you hear that my love? She chuckeld, snuggled up real close to me, then placed her other hand over my heart. While pressing up against my chest, she whispered I do.  I hear it so loudly it hurts.  Silence.

Somewhere between 20lb tubs of peanut butter and 54 packs of 4 ply toilet paper, in a Sunday packed COSTCO, two people held each other in silence. Neither one of us could hear the hundreds of people talking.  No kids screaming at us, no little children needing something every two or three minutes.  No teenagers fighting over the remote control eventually ending up wrestling where inevitably someone gets hurt.  No back talking, sniveling, whining, complaining or crying and that’s just from us!

Nope a romance was rekindled today, a date was made and kept.  We didn’t need all those fancy date night stereotypes to make it happen.  Some may refer to me as a cheap bastard, or possibly a loser husband for not blocking out the time, creating a proper night away.  I say pishaw! I took a bad situation and improvised! By the end of the day my wife professed her undying affection and I still ended up footing the bill for $350.00 dollars!  (approximate cost of dinner and the opera for two) The only difference is instead of one night at the opera with dinner afterwards; the Ipod is charged up and we’re all going to eat for weeks!

Whose the loser now!!!

A Country Boy Can Survive

 

 

My life is filled with a plethora of interesting topics, filling my wordy coffers and yet tonight as I stare endlessly at my computer screens flickering abyss I find only one thing to expend my energy upon.

A Country Boy Can Survive.

Thats right the 1982 smash hit from legendary singer/songwriter Hank Williams jr. A Country Boy Can Survive was our friday night, lets party and do it right anthem.  Not only did it hold some form of misguided meaning for each and every one of us, but it was one of the few songs ever played that guaranteed all of us would instantaneously drop what ever we were doing and break into chorus.  Country’s version of Grease! We sang at the top of our lungs, the louder the better!  If a bottle of Jack Daniels didnt emerge before the second chorus, one of us had to go into town, obtain said bottle and reemerge with shot glasses for all as we crooned over the melodious ballad all over again. We were out of tune, some would even say tone-deaf, we were drunk and life was good!

I believe that song is as relevent today as it was 30 years ago. Take a moment to peruse this little gem of a story put to music.

The preacher man says it’s the end of time
And the Mississippi River she’s a goin’ dry
The interest is up and the Stock Markets down
And you only get mugged
If you go down town

Seriously, all preacher men have been saying we are near the end of days and as far as the Mississippi River goes, the environmentalists have been crying about that ever since Mark Twain wrote about her in 1883! Dont even get me started on the foolish travesty that continues to make up our money hungry stock market. Occupy Wall Street no way! You gonna get mugged!

I live back in the woods, you see
A woman and the kids, and the dogs and me
I got a shotgun rifle and a 4-wheel drive
And a country boy can survive
Country folks can survive

I think about how wonderful it would be to “live back in the woods you see”, especially with the “woman and the kids and the dogs and me”. I do own “a shotgun, a rifle and a four-wheel drive”.  Just not sure if that is all the pre-requisite needed for a country boy to survive.

I can plow a field all day long
I can catch catfish from dusk till dawn
We make our own whiskey and our own smoke too
Ain’t too many things these ole boys can’t do
We grow good ole tomatoes and homemade wine
And a country boy can survive
Country folks can survive

Crap I need to know how to plow a field all day long? Thank goodness I can catch catfish from dusk till dawn.  Now I am not sure but the last time I checked growing your own smoke could get you 4-months to 6 years! And well we wont even begin to discuss the legal ramification of moonshining! Can you say TAXMAN?

Because you can’t starve us out
And you can’t make us run
Cuz we’re them old boys raised on shotgun
And we say grace and we say Ma’am
And if you ain’t into that we don’t give a damn

I have never seen a starving hillbilly, and the big ones don’t need to run, they would just as soon shoot your city slickin butt than chase you down! My boys know how to say grace and Ma’am is really just a nicer way of saying Bitch isn’t it?  Well rumor has it anyways…

We came from the West Virginia coal mines
And the Rocky Mountains and the and the western skies
And we can skin a buck; we can run a trot-line
And a country boy can survive
Country folks can survive

Now for some unknown reason the verse below always had us on our toes hollering like a bunch of starving alley cats!

I had a good friend in New York City
He never called me by my name, just hillbilly
My grandpa taught me how to live off the land
And his taught him to be a businessman
He used to send me pictures of the Broadway nights
And I’d send him some homemade wine

But he was killed by a man with a switch blade knife
For 43 dollars my friend lost his life
Id love to spit some Beechnut in that dudes eyes
And shoot him with my old 45
Cause a country boy can survive
Country folks can survive

Yeah! Thats what I am talking about! No damn cops needed there, just shoot the man right after he starts squealing about all the Beechnut spit you just splattered into his eyes! WHOOOOOOO! Thats country boy, that’s what it’s all about right? After those two verses the song just kind of wanders on, anyways we were always to busy high fiving each other to even notice that ole Hank threw in a little shout out to California!

Cause you can’t starve us out and you can’t make us run
Cuz we’re them old boys raised on shotgun
And we say grace and we say Ma’am
And if you ain’t into that we don’t give a damn

So true, once you been raised on shotgun it really is hard to give a damn about anything!

We’re from North California and south Alabam
And little towns all around this land
And we can skin a buck; we can run a trot-line
And a country boy can survive
Country folks can survive

So there it is, A Country Boy Can Survive, undoubtedly one the most recognizable country, get drunk, kick the crap out of someone, American redneck songs! So why tonight of all nights am I so infatuated with reliving my youths past digressions?  What can I possibly see in a 30-year-old song that I never considered before tonight?  How could I have possibly allowed myself to lower the learning curve of all my readers with this hillbilly drivel?

Well its like this.

Tonight as I stared endlessly into my computer screens flickering abyss, I heard a noise coming from across the hall.  It was loud, grainy, crackling and off-key, yet I recognized this noise right away.  You see inside this noise, confined in its purity was the vocal etchings of an eleven year old boy.  This eleven year old boy had finished his homework, cleaned up his dishes and traveled upstairs with only one thing upon his mind.  To shower.  Apparently when one steps into the shower, one believes they are in fact Hank Williams Jr.  With all the passion a country kid can muster while buck naked in the shower, my eleven year old son busted out A Country Boy Can Survive.  It was off-key, he sounded like a wounded rabbit, and judging from the rapid footstep I heard from behind the door he was dancing to it as well. Yet he sung it from the heart and he knew every single word.  For a brief moment, by himself he was a star.  And for his dad, eavesdropping in on the impromptu concert.  He was my hero.  Another generation will be swinging from the Grand Ole Opry chandelier! Lord have patience..

Versatile Blogger Award

I haven’t had an orthodox career, and I’ve wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time I didn’t feel it, but this time I feel it, and I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!”

You really like me………

I have been nominated for the Personal Blogger Award by Vanessa Chapman http://vanessa-chapman.com 

This is an award bloggers award to each other as a way of showing appreciation for the blogs they enjoy. I am humbled and honored.

(I plagiarized the rules from Vanessa as I feel there is no reason to re-invent the wheel.)

The rules for accepting this award are as follows:

1. Thank the award-givers and link back to them in your post. Easy-Done

2. Share 7 things about yourself. Ok hope I don’t scare anyone, but easy-done.

3. Pass this award along to 15 other bloggers. Fail! Only could nominate 13! 😦

4. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award. Will let them know as soon as I’ve posted this

Seven things about myself;

  1. I am 45 years old and I can’t wait for retirement. When I refer to retirement it is not in the sense of me walking away from a career, gold watch in hand to sit on some god forsaken island, smoking pot until I die.  On the contrary, I cant wait to start the second half of my life.  To re-invent myself and live life twice.  I have had a stellar first half, the second half can only get better.
  2. I can walk into a burning building, rescue people from a crushed or damaged vehicle, repel off a 5 story building with confidence and walk under a ladder without fear of superstitious reprisal.  But I cannot, and I mean no way, no how can I stand being in the proximity of a spider.  Those eight legged little freaks get me every time.  You want to hear a full-grown 200 pound man jump and scream like a 6th grade school girl then toss a black widow my direction.
  3. My ability to tell the dimensions of something from sight are frustratingly astounding.  Spatial relations are my thing and I am borderline “rainman” about it.  Have a picture to hang, I can tell you one side is off 1/2 inch any direction just by looking at it.  Just had your new bookshelves installed, I am the guy who within 20 seconds of being in the room knows exactly where the carpenter “cheated” or “shorted” you on material.  It makes me crazy and it makes my friends crazy as well.
  4. Scary movies are stupid and a waste of time.  I laugh through them which annoys everyone.  I can tell exactly what is going to happen when it is going to happen. 
  5. 1950’s pin-up girls are awesome.  You can have your skinny, anorexic, vegan, boney butt tooth picks.  I like my women with natural curves, and clothing that leaves something to the imagination. 
  6. When I was 10/11 while walking up my long driveway (we lived in the country) a car pulled up with a creepy guy in it who asked me if I wanted a ride.  Then told me to get in the damn car. He had one hand on the wheel and one in his trousers.  Thank god I had enough sense to run.  I still have nightmares about that guy even at 45. 
  7. I am terrified I will fail as a father.  I put up a good front, but deep down inside I always feel as though failure is right around the corner.  It’s why I write this blog.  It allows me to laugh, vent, and share my experiences.  I can look back on it when I am feeling low and remind myself of all the good I have done with my children.  I know they will laugh looking back on all this as adults.

15 bloggers to pass this award along too.

Soshi-Tech- http://soshitech.com

More valuable information in one blog than should legally be allowed in the states of California and Utah.  Everyone else is OK!

A Detailed House- http://adetailedhouse.com

I love houses and the fine art of decorating them in some of the finest trim.  If you are a closet design geek such as myself who also thinks you can take on any project, than this is the blog for you. The photography is very well done also.

Raising a Realist- http://raisingarealist.com

Scott is a mild-mannered high school English teacher. This blog is his attempt to capture all of his daughters moments.  As a parent of four, I can relate with his tag line. “126 kids but only one will wipe my but when I am old”

Mayahood- http://mayahoodblog.com

Adventure seeker, world traveler turned mother.  She has a mixture of her views on motherhood along with guest posts.  It is an entertaining blog.

Bucket List Publications- http://lesleycarter.wordpress.com

This one is near and dear to me as it is a blog that completely follows the premiss of getting out there and doing all those things you keep putting off.  They even pick some of your bucket list suggestions and through donations make it happen for you.  It’s quite the premise and I enjoy reading it immensely

A Confederacy of Spinsters- http://confederacyofspinsters.com

This is one of my favorites!  Three women from Texas, each one taking a turn writing about life trials and tribulations all under pseudo names.  Grace, Mae and Kate.  Its is always witty, relevant and fun!  I look forward to new postings they way one waits at the window for a long-awaited package from UPS. 

Musings of a stay at home Jewish Father- http://stayathometatte.wordpress.com

Another blog dedicated to a male role model at home raising his child.  Its funny and real with great pictures as he chronicles the day-to-day life of a stay at home dad.

In My Opinion- http://diane-ownes.com

Diane is on a quest to ask a different, relevant question everyday for a year. Interesting concept and I find the answers entertaining.

Debut Dad- http://debutdad.wordpress.com

Brenden is a first time dad who lives in Australia.  He blogs about juggling the changes in his life with the birth of their first-born child. Good luck Brenden and keep em coming. 

Vanessa Chapman- http://vanessa-chapman.com

Vanessa nominated my blog,  and although she is already nominated I enjoy her blog and look forward to every new edition she puts forth.  From superstition to the purchase of a new pair of boots.  She is funny and I find her blog to be a good way to blow a little time at work! Ha!

365 trinkets- http://365trinkets.wordpress.com

This blog is a reminder of how much crap we accumulate as adults.  His mission? To get rid of 365 trinkets he has stored as treasured keepsakes over a 25 year period.  The blog revolves around taking pictures of each one (for memories sake) then getting rid of said item. 

maggiemaeijustsaythis- http://maggiemaeijustsaythis.wordpress.com

A blog dedicated to writing poetry and personal trials and tribulations.  I enjoy the freedom with which she expresses herself.

Take a shower- http://takeashower.wordpress.com

A blog about Eloise and the raising of her five children.  She writes about the past and present, reflecting on the moments in time with the raising of her five children.

I am sorry to say I only have 13 to nominate for this award.  I fail!  But the thirteen I have chosen I follow with great intent.  I enjoy many other blogs but they are new to my collection and I havent gotten the chance to know them well enough yet for a nomination. 

Vanessa you were right, I also anguished over my choices.

I want whats on the picture!!!

Rant Alert! Rant Alert! Rant Alert! Rant Alert! Rant Alert! Rant Alert! Rant Alert!

I am absolutely frustrated and annoyed! I am not sure with whom I am more perturbed, the victims of my tirade or myself for having lived so blindly! Disgusted I have allowed my senses to remain muted by placing my head in the sand as that of the terrified Ostrich!

Since I was a small child I have been conditioned, groomed, some would even say brain washed into believing this is the way things should be! As a parent I have furthered the prophecy by mirroring the exact same thoughtless teachings! Allowing my very own children to gaze upon these fruitless offerings with joy and appreciation! And for what? Nothing I tell you absolutely nothing! It is time for my children’s eyes to opened! For all of our eyes to widen allowing us to gaze upon the fraud that has befallen our lives for generations! So everyone be ready as I am calling for a revolution, an uprising, a stand against the all-powerful lie that has befallen our culture!

Have I peaked your interest? Are you curious what has Betty in a tizzie?

Have you ever received a burger that looked like this from McDonald’s? Have you? I dare you to tell me that any point and time you walked into a McDonald’s and graciously welcomed a burger onto your platter of feasting that resembled anything remotely like the picture of perfection currently adorning your eyes!

Now I believe that burger looked more like this one, huh? Flat, tasteless, no melty cheese, no bounty of lettuce and tomatoes, no harvest of onion or layering of juicy pickles! Nope just a flat, nuked, dry over priced burger! In McDonald’s defense this is one of their specialty burgers so Cheers! Because all of McDonald’s other burgers are sub prime in comparison!

Now being one to not leave Mickey D’s (as the hip crew refers to it), alone on the hook! How about Burger King? The name alone should instill a “burgery” confidence shouldnt it? Say it slowly and let it resonate upon the lips. B-U-R-G-E-R K-I-N-G… See, marketing genius! It lets you know right away that they are the king of burgers! All other burgers should pale in comparison. Just the mere thought of a hamburger from the King of Burgers should automatically send you and your family scurrying through their doors! Right?

Oh man, that looks sooooooo good! Doesnt it? The Flame broiled Whopper, the epitome of a pulled straight from the fire, into your mouth, dripping with goodness hamburger. MMMMMMMMMmm. It COULD actually be the King of Burgers.

Whoops! Yet here again is what you get instead. Boy oh boy I just cant wait to wrap my quivering, hungry lips around that little ball of compressed grease! Looks a little tall for my liking do you think I could get someone to stand on it again so it will flatten out a little more? Is there a special on iceberg lettuce butts? Because it appears I have received the entire shipment of white garden cartilage on my particular sandwich!

Hmmm?? What about Jack in the box? I really can’t say too much about “Jack”. We all know what we get when we pull into a Jack in the Box. There are so many items on the menu it is very clear the restaurant chain is built around the late night crowd trying to sober up with some old-fashioned microwaved grease. The burgers are bland the tacos are a great hangover cure and the egg rolls are, well lets just say they actually do match their pictures. Any place that serves a burger called the “Ultimate Cheeseburger” which consists of meat, cheese, meat, cheese and bread. definitely knows their place in the hamburger sales chain of survival. Jack’s hamburgers look like crap on the menu and arrive looking only slightly better in person. Wow I guess that’s a plus? So Jack, you get a reprieve from my snotty tirade for being only slightly dishonest in you truthful sales approach.

Onward and upward, lets also take a little moment in time to recognize one of the industry leaders! The burger that not only is reported “largest” fast food burger but the highest in caloric intake! The behemoth, the mantabulous, the dare I say it “sexiest” hamburger advertised today. The Six Dollar Burger from Carls Jr. When I see this monstrosity I feel as though all my burger craving whoa’s have been answered. My stomach can feel a sense of hunger relief just by gazing at an illustrious picture of the “god” like creation. It screams flavor, it wreaks of creativity, it yearns to be devoured by every man, woman and child in North America! It looks like no other burger on the fast food market today! In the world of I want it fast and I want it now, this burger is darn near perfect!

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Oh my goodness I think I just drooled a little on the monitor. I may have actually caused a blood clot to break loose stopping my heart for a few seconds. It is after all a cardiac arrest in a box and yet it calls to me. Of all the other misleading burgers I described today the Six Dollar Burger is the only one that comes close to the advertised picture.

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Ha! Ok maybe not, but they definitely give it the old college try. The only thing redeemable about this blot of meat, cheese and iceberg lettuce shrapnel is its huge! So once you get past the appearance it’s all meat sweats and a painfully full stomach for you!

So America I ask you. When are we going to say enough is enough? When are we going to demand the burger we ordered from the brilliantly displayed billboard behind the counter! At what point are we going to quit frequenting these establishments who run on lies? These towers of carnage built to lure us in for a delicious meal only to be met by charlatans, hustlers, and con artists. All of them trying to persuade you into purchasing the Ferrari of burgers. Only to have you witness a Ford Pinto roll out on your plate! The worst part is you accept the Ford Pinto, and you accept it with a smile, then cruise it around as though it were a Ferrari! Why? Because when you have been told the Ford Pinto is a Ferrari for generations its hard to acknowledge within yourself that you may have been fed a load of garbage and are in fact stuck with a Ford Pinto after all! So shame on you America, shame on you fast food restaurants, shame on you all for allowing this travesty of culinary proportions to be perpetrated over and over again until we become conditioned to belive that crap is ok!

The cycle breaks now. Every time Betty goes into a fast food restaurant, Betty is going to open the box, unwrap the burger and ask for the burger to please look like the picture. If it doesn’t happen Betty is going to ask for the money back! I beg of you all, please do the same! Quit accepting crap, giving up your hard-earned money for crap, and teaching your children its ok to throw good money away on something that is nothing like you ordered! Something as simple as a hamburger is letting your children know sub standard is OK! And that’s just wrong.

NO MORE CRAP!!! NO MORE LIES!!!

;it

A fathers rant.

I have had enough! Yep that’s right, Betty’s hackles are up and I am ready for some good old-fashioned butt whooping! I am really at a loss for the ignorance that is placed upon the fathers of this country! Its time that we stand together and put an end to the erroneous labeling that has befallen our hard-working dads.  To expunge these myths or beliefs! To stand tall and say: I’m mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore!

By now I am sure you are wondering what has Betty’s blood pressure up? What could make me so upset, that I would go upon ranting like a loon? Well let me tell you…

Nothing sends me into a tirade faster than full-grown, educated adults falling to stereotypes set forth by the losers in our society.  Let me define “loser’ for you.

 A loser in Betty’s mind is a person of no moral fiber, a person who uses or allows themselves to be used. A person who allows society to label them and then is proud to wear the obvious insult the label has placed upon them like a badge of honor.  A person who has lost themself.  

What I am about to describe may not seem like a big deal to some but for me it is definitely indicative of the many problems that has befallen our parenting society today.

Here we go…..

Babysitting

At no point and time are you to ever refer to me as “babysitting” when you see me with all my kids in the truck! 

example; Hey dude so I see you’re “babysitting” the kids today huh?

I am not babysitting, they are my children! Mine, not the neighbors, not some friends, not my relatives they are mine all mine!  My wife and I created them, we love them and just because my wife is currently not present. Does not mean I am babysitting my own kids! Baby sitting is reserved for 12-17 year old-young adults looking for part-time work in the child care field.

The amazing thing is this comment comes from people I know who have kids! I might expect it from a single person who has no obvious realization or affiliation with children and the responsibilities they entail.  But from a married father of three! Give me a freaking break!

Teacher conferences

Hey teacher I am over here! Yep that’s right, apparently it is such a rarity these days for dad to take an interest in his child’s education that teachers cannot seem to look us in the eye.  Talk to mom all you want but until you take a moment to recognize that I am here, I will do my best to make our encounter uncomfortable.  I will always give you at least three chances to “wake up” and start including me in your conversation, but if you blow all three, the attitude is coming out! I am there during homework, I am present during school activities and I am there when my kids need me, their fore I am there to hear everything you have to tell me about my childs progress or lack there of.

Baby-Daddy 

Never ever refer to the father of you child as baby-daddy!  Yo that my childs baby-daddy! Its disgusting, its degrading and its self loathing. That man is the father of your child and regardless of your beliefs or lack of beliefs he is and always will be more than the genetic fragment you so freely toss about!

Poop-Patrol

No I don’t need you to change a diaper for me! I know what poop looks like, I am pretty sure I know what poop smells like and guess what? Changing diapers is not rocket science! I definitely do not need someone to decipher the magic code of diapers for me! Our childs little package is not the holy grail needing Mother Teresa or one of her busy bodied minions to handle it with holy hands!  And for all you so-called “dads” that instantly pass your child off to your wife when ever there appears to be a loaded diaper on the horizon! You are a candy ass! Yep that’s right, you lazy self absorbed candy ass! Oh sure you can handle a wrench, fix a car, save a life, but apparently changing a poopy diaper is beneath you? Not! You sir are a sorry excuse for a dad and a lazy candy ass! Oh yeah and to you nosy female friends that also believe changing a diaper falls solely upon mom or her selcted few from within the “inner” circle. Quit butting in and trying to take the child when it is his turn to change the diapers! Save the butt kissing for something important like a promotion!

Ummm I have something to tell you...

Last but certainly not least.  My wife and I are on the same page. I am not a fraction in this parenting relationship! We are 50/50! If you have something to say to one, you have something to say to both! If there is a problem with our child you will not wait until you can talk to her! You will tell me, I will deal with it and I will inform my wife 100% about what the problem may be the moment I see her.  We don’t believe in keeping things from each other so if you are worried about what ever punishment my child may receive if you tell me.  Rest assured they will receive the same punishment if you wait and tell only her! Plus what message is that sending? That mean old dad is going to come down on that kid like a ton of bricks? So you will wait and tell gentler softer mom? Got news for you, my mom was way tougher than my dad! So put your crappy stereotype aside and let me know; what is the problem?

There you have it! I have let the proverbial “cat out of the bag”! The cat is angry and a little shaken, but its out! Think I am crazy, or think I am right on target, I just hope I made you think…..

Now go sit in the timeout chair!

I’m having one of those days…..

I’m having one of those days…

We have all heard this statement proclaimed at one time or another. Yet what does it mean? We automatically assume it refers to an absolute uncontrollable outcome.  A moment during a 24 hour period that spirals out of control, leaving the complainer in a state of irreversible turmoil.  I on the other hand would like to believe it may define a fantastic day! (hyper ecstatic) IM HAVING ONE OF THOSE DAYS! 🙂 Woo Hoo!

Yet the more I ponder that emotional direction , my theory falls flat on its face.  Heres why.

You see today I am having one of those days.  And no matter how much I try to save it, I keep falling short.  It’s like finding a hole in a dyke. You place one finger in the whole hoping to slow the flow of water, only to find another hole within arms reach.  You take your free hand and plug the new hole only to find another pop up around your feet.  Before to long you are spread eagle upon a dyke that you just can’t control!  (I’ll just let that image resonate for a while).

Today started out great! I made lunches the night before, set the coffee pot to start at precisely 0545 and I woke up on time.  The kids awoke without any problems, and breakfast went off without a hitch.  Most of the time I would have been very pleased with myself over the smooth flow of the morning.  Borderline patting myself upon the back as I watched the clock slowly ticking away towards departure time. Yet its then and only then, while at our highest confidence level things deteriorate rapidly.  This is where the (excuse the term) men are separated from the boys.

The youngest can’t find his lunch box! This is a perpetual problem we just can’t seem to get a handle on.  Heaven forbid you try to hurry him into locateing the damn thing! It is then and only then he finds the need to move slower. He says moving slowly helps him think, but I see the smirk on his face as he takes control my oldest childs morning!  The oldest is furious because now he will be late for zero period! He hates being late (got that from dad) and will do or say anything to create a reaction that gets people moving! (got that from dad too).  My daughter on the other hand is dressed, packed and ready to go. She is always the first one ready to head out the door. She reminds me very much of Lucy from the peanuts in her smugness.  All of my sons have been at the wrong end of “Lucy’s” controlling moods!  Ultimately resulting the proverbial “football” being pulled out at the last-minute resulting in someone staring at the sky in pain.  This morning she decides to remind every one of her status as “perfect” by making snide comments to the little on in passing.  She is not helping! The middle child, or as I like to refer to him “the puppet master” is slowly putting his shoes on listening intently.  He is not listening to see how he can help, mind you, oh no! This little future Jerry Springer, knows where and when to make the perfect inappropriate comment, sending all four of them into turmoil at once! Then as they all argue and fight he stands back, rubbing his hands together, interrupting just long enough to deliver little one liners, furthering the chaos! Step in, step out, laugh and manipulate. Throw in a couple of bouncers, some cameras, a studio audience, and this kid has a show! Dance puppets, dance!!

After getting the little heathens out the door, I kissed the wife told her good luck, and set to enjoying a hot cup of jo all alone.  Oh yeah, time to recoup!  Sure, like that is going to happen.

No sooner do I get the laundry started, the kitchen cleaned and dinner prepared, then my phone starts chirping at me! Guess who has a 9am meeting in town at the bank? Oh yeah its Betty!  So in thirty minutes time, I turned everything off, found the  dogs (oh by the way its raining and they are soaked), stoked the fire, changed the laundry and managed to get myself dressed and into town.  Walking into the bank with one minute to spare!  Deep breath! Finished my business at the bank, drove to the store, went to the feed store, and rushed back home!  Now I only have two hours to finish the laundry and complete the Banana bread I promised I would deliver before I head over to the barn so I may take care of our horses.  Once finished there, its off to pick up 4 kids on two different time schedules then back home in time to serve dinner before I head off to a club meeting in the next town.  Phew!

Now I am thinking I got this! Oh yeah, nothing old Betty can’t handle on a daily basis! But before I am able to gather my knickers I realize the laundry I washed earlier had no soap in the dispenser!   The dogs I brought inside, well after being so nice as to let them into the house, one of them decided to make my carpet his personal toilet! If that weren’t enough to send you over the edge I decided to take a gander at the kids rooms! And the kids rooms have an appearance that suggests hurricane “ass beating” is going to come on shore very soon. I finally get a moment to continue my Banana bread making only to discover that when I was at the store, even though I was holding my grocery list as if my life depended on it, I forgot eggs and butter!  Seriously EGGS and FREAKING BUTTER! How the hell am I supposed to bake without two of the three key ingredients!  I feel the day spiraling out of control! Oh and don’t get me started on our bathrooms! Yeah that was supposed to be squeezed into my day today as well!  Thinking that maybe, just maybe my kids have a heart and have thought of dear old Betty, I pop into the bathrooms hoping to see them clean and organized! AAAAHHHHHHH!!!!! I think I have passed out drunk in cleaner public restrooms!  GGGRRRRRRRRRR! I quit!!!!

So there you have it, I am having one of those days. No positive connotations, no hope what so ever of recovery, spiraling out of control, all I can do is take a deep breath and wonder, what pub nearby has the cleanest restroom……