A cry for help…….

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A few years ago a promise was made.

I Betty, promised without outside influence or undue strain to lose weight, become healthier both physically and mentally. I Betty promised to change my eating habits, giving up three square meals a day (ok my meals were really more like a long rectangle) of grease, fat and yummy goodness, for the more reserved, deliberate, granola eating, salad munching variety. I also promised to cut down on my love for fine beers! Dark beers, light beers, heavy beers, bitter beers, and smooth beers, if it gave head in a glass I was in! (Read into that what you will, I aint your mom)

Why? Why did I change my ways? Give up the good life? Stop adhering to my strong belief that if God hadn’t intended me to enjoy these devilish treats then he wouldn’t have created someone to create them for me! Why? Why you ask?

Because my son told me he didn’t want me to die!

Kind of grabs ya by the old ticker don’t it? Imagine these pie shaped eyes looking up at you as he asks; Daddy doesn’t being overweight kill people? Daddy my teacher says alcohol is bad for you and that some people even die from drinking it. Daddy why do you smoke cigars? Aren’t they made of tobacco? Tobacco kills people doesn’t it? I have seen the commercials dad, the ones with the smoke that looks like a skull creeping in and killing a baby, dad I seen it!!!

Yeah it’s like that. What do you say to that? How do you approach it? An honest child’s question deserves respect! It cannot be cast aside and made fun of jovially as you talk up a good game with your buddies! No! You have to actually listen and either come up with one hell of a great lie to justify your obvious ignorance as far as the child is concerned or actually get down on one knee and apologize to the kid as though you were in freaking confession and praying for a reduced sentence on the hail Mary front! Now those questions were really me paraphrasing a conversation held between myself and two of my boys at different stages in their lives. The elder won out with tobacco and the junior won out with health and wellness.

Now two almost three full years after the latter round of questioning involving eating and weight loss or gain as it were for myself and I have lost almost 25 pounds! I am in absolutely the very best shape of my life! I have run in a few 5K’s, practiced with my eldest’s cross country team, run the “Tough Mudder” and completed it in a respectable time with my wife and a few close friends! I currently am lifting weights and riding my bike ten miles to work! It is fantastic the way I feel! Now don’t think for a moment I am bragging. Oh no my children, I am merely setting the stage, drawing you a picture for what I am going to say next because I am at a quandary, a roadblock, a wall of great proportions in my narrow view of life and it just wouldn’t make sense without having given an accurate description of events.

So with that statement along with what appears to me as being a fair picture drawn here it is…..

I LOVE CHOCOLATE!chocolate

There, I said it! I love freaking chocolate! I see it in everything, cake, ice cream, candy bars, bacon (yeah I said bacon so what) smores, little truffles, m&m’s, cookies, hell they have even jammed chocolate in granola bars, puffed it into cereals, wrapped it around drinking straws, created a martini based on chocolate! Its splashed over nuts, caramel, fruit, peanut butter, wafers, bugs (yep even insects get the chocolate treatment) and they have even made chocolate flavored medicine!

It’s everywhere! It makes me sweat when I see it! I tremble and my knees weaken! But that and that alone is not the worst of my confession, oh no!

Because….

Because you know what goes great with a gorging of chocolate, regardless of its source? What really brings the chocolate lover in you out of the closet? BEER!!!!! It helps wash down the guilt all that chocolate leaves adhered to your soul! Then you know what happens after you have a few too many beers washing down all that chocolate? YOU EAT MORE CHOCOLATE!!!! Before you know it your mouth is all dry and sticky from devouring the previous chocolate morsels so you better open up a few more beers, because gosh darn it you can’t wash down all that chocolate with 12 ounces, nope chocolate is a 16-24 ounce minimum!

Then it depends on what kind of chocolate you are eating! Cheap milk chocolate you say! No problem any domestic light beer works great! Snooty dark chocolate, that takes a micro brew and heaven forbid you’re eating the sweet sinuous, melt in your mouth English chocolate, because then, all bets are off! It goes with everything!!!! YAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!

beerNext thing you know I am a bloated toad lying on the couch trying to hide my stomach distension from the family while tossing beer bottles under the couch and shoving candy wrappers in the cushions! Feeling much like a super model with the need to “purge” I am constantly looking for an out, trying to detract from my obvious discomfort and keeping all little ones at bay as one fly by would lead to the courts discovery of beer vapors emanating around the lip/mouth area!

Much like a fat man wedged deep inside a Duncan doughnuts delivery truck, it is not a pretty sight! I am known far and wide for my chocolate locating ability and like the fabled ant eater has a nose for ants I can smell chocolate before it hits the parking lot! I will sit straight up in my chair, nose twitching as the wife asks; what is it boy, what do you smell huh? What do you smell boy? She pats my head as slowly I start panting and before long with the stature of a bird dog on the hook I freeze and point. Chocolate found, chocolate soon to be destroyed!

So you see my dilemma? I am weakening, my resolve is expiring, the goodness I have done for my body is one thing, but the fat kid inside me is winning the fight! I work where food is always present, I am surrounded by friends and family who enjoy a good beer or two and lately stress has ruled my life forcing my inner demons to emerge! I am going down people, I am going down hard! Hands are shaking, knees clacking, nose twitching, and my beer hand is strengthening its grip! I am going down, yes I am going all the way down like a sinking ship on the open sea!

If you see me on the street you’ll know, wedged in a bakery window slathered in chocolate cream, lying on the sidewalk outside a 7-11 covered in M&M’s with Coors light littering the sidewalk, face first in some chocolate cake with butter cream frosting outside a restaurant or passed out in the local Big Spoon with fro-yo down the front of my shirt and every chocolate topping they offer scattered around my $45.00 yogurt. No longer a hero to my children….11950-550x-franceso-de-molfetta-new-idols-front

So don’t laugh, don’t take pity on me, I did my best, held on as long as I could. Please just walk on by and remember how strong I used to be if even for a little while. Then tell my kids I loved them.

Sigh…………

*This is not a true cry for help but self-deprecating humor of my love for beer and chocolate. No chocolate or beer was used in excess or harmed while writing this piece.

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A snowball effect….

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The other night after a long day of he said, she said, don’t touch me, and leave me alone along with all the other phrases (both appropriate and inappropriate) reverberating through an active family household.  I found myself stressed beyond belief.  My chest hurt, the lungs yearned for air, a mildly cold sweat lay across my brow and my stomach hurt.  The only thing I could ponder was how much longer until they all were grown.

Of course I have no room to complain because there are the 48 hours straight I am at work, holed up in my firehouse the last bastion of supposed sanity from the trials and tribulations of being a full-time parent! My poor wife does not enjoy such luxury.  But then again aren’t all us firefighters really just kids with badges and super cool toys we use to help the public?  Anyways that night had taken quite the toll on both my wife and I.  All we could think about was the peace and quiet that came with bedtime.  Then something wonderful happened that brought me back to reality.

We baked cookies…

Yep that’s right its Christmas time and nothing says “I care about you” more than fresh-baked cookies! It really is the best Christmas present ever! I would personally take 20 tins of delicious cookies from loved ones over someone spending money on something they hope I will like!  Cookies, chocolate, brownies, mince pies they all say “hey buddy its Christmas and I was baked just for you” enjoy! But these cookies, oh these cookies are super special! Every year we bake these little doughy droplets of gold and place them in specially purchased Christmas tins then set out across town “ to snowball”.

Definition: To Snowball; During Christmas time only, place a tin of cookies with an anonymous uplifting note on the front porch of an unsuspecting family.  Ring doorbell, knock loudly on door and run!!!

Snowball has become a very special part of our Christmas traditions! The children look forward to it every year almost as much as Christmas morning itself!  Snowball is treated like a covert mission, complete with blacked out car, dark clothing and squealing tires. Giggling is inevitable as mishaps are also a part of the fun.  Falling over hedges, tripping before reaching the car, only to beimages (29) grabbed by an older brother and pulled in as the car rips away from the scene! No man left behind is our motto! On one occasion one of the boys had to hide under a hedge just feet from the front door as it was opened by the homeowner before a full retreat was completed! It’s just plain, good old-fashioned Christmas fun! We hand out yummy goodies; hopefully make someone’s night with no expectation of reciprocation.  Then hope it leaves a snowball effect on its recipients, passing good cheer forward for the holidays. This is the way we enjoy observing Christmas, it truly feels better to give than receive!!

As we are preparing for our night of Christmas ninja stealth, the children all do something unheard of lately.  They begin to get along, working together as one to complete this monumental task.  My wife and I step back out of the kitchen and even though the urge to take over and correct small mistakes is astronomical we don’t.  She moves into the family room to watch TV, and I hover around the front room images (28)tending the fire and staring in awe.  My oldest works like a baker, carefully tossing out flour, and rolling the dough out to perfection while the others take turns cutting out cookies made of angels, snowmen, stars and mistletoe.  The middle boy handles placing them carefully on cookie sheets and transfers them back and forth from the oven only asking that I place them inside while removing the cooked ones.  It was seriously the happiest, stress less, most magical moment I’ve had around our children in a while.  It truly made our night.  My wife iced them with green and white frosting then placed them carefully into round Christmas covered containers.  She wrote another fantastic letter and we all called it a night with smiles upon our egg-nog covered faces.

One simple act of doing for others as a family can erase hours of selfish bickering.  I am often reminded of a very simple saying; you only have one childhood with your children. Enjoy it!

When things get stressful, bake some cookies together and let them be children.  All will look better in the end and your stress will subside. I promise…..

Merry Christmas!

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My Words of Wisdom for the Day

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Mamma always said life was like a box of chocolates; you never know what you gonna get……

Bullshit!

Because once you open it all your friends will pounce on it and then you damn sure know what you gonna get! That little Peanut Brittle nugget, cause in a box of chocolates no one wants the god damn Peanut Brittle!!

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So unless you are willing to eat peanut brittle all Christmas long, keep your box of chocolate to yourself.  Just saying..

Carry on that is all…

Skyrockets in flight, Thanksgiving delight?

 

Skyrockets in flight, thanksgiving delight, ohhhh oh thanksgiving delight!

Gonna find me a turkey, gonna rub it right
gonna cook me some afternoon delight.
My motto’s always been; when its right, it’s right.
Not gonna wait until the middle of a cold dark night.
Everything’s a little clearer in the light of day.
Thanksgiving turkey late at night is gonna be dry anyways.

Sky rockets in flight; Thanksgiving delight. Ohhh oh Thanksgiving delight.

Thinking’ of it is workin’ up my appetite
looking forward to a little thanksgiving delight.
Rubbin’ sticks and stones together makes the sparks ingite
and the thought of smokin’ you just seems so right.

Sky rockets in flight. Thanksgiving delight. Ohhh oh Thanksgiving delight.

Started out this morning feeling so uptight
Mashed potatoes and gravy I cannot wait to bite
Drumsticks and thighs I will soon be nibbling
a little afternoon delight.

Sky rockets in flight. thanksgiving delight. Ohhh oh thanksgiving delight.

Please be waiting for me baby when I come around.

A tryptophan coma will not keep me down
More giblets and gravy before the sun goes down.

Sky rockets in flight. Thanksgiving delight. Ohhh oh thanksgiving delight.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE…..