Jun 21, 2011

Got me again.

We worked in the yard most of the weekend.  Weeding and planting flowers.  Jim found a toy rubber lizard that some passersby had dropped in the driveway.   He brought it over to me on a shovel, pretending that it was real.  I jumped and screamed.  He's a practical joker.  Loves to take advantage of my universal fear of anything creepy, crawly or scaly.

It didn't take me long to figure out it was fake but it still gave me quite a scare.  He left it sitting on one of the downspouts.  One of the dogs grabbed it and Jim had to take it away from him before he ate it.  I didn't see the lizard again, until about 3 hours later when I was standing at the kitchen sink getting a glass of water.  Glance out at the yard and nearly pee my pants when I see a lizard staring back at me.  Hardy har har har.  He thinks he's so funny.  I let him have the satisfaction of telling him how it scared me since he didn't get to witness it first hand . 

I'll be damned if that thing didn't scare me again later that day.  Quicker recovery time but still gave me a startle.  I promised myself I wouldn't let it happen again.  Remember the lizard.  Remember the lizard.  Next day, standing at the sink, I notice the lizard is gone.  Then boom - he had moved it to the other side of the window and got me again.  I have got to go get that thing and hide it or he's going to be terrorizing me all summer long.

Jun 19, 2011

He's not just a father.... He's Dad!

He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.  ~Clarence Budington Kelland

As I was growing up, every now and then I'd glance over at my Dad and he'd be looking right back at me.  That look was filled with pride and love.  It made me feel secure, my Dad was there for me.  I also knew that he cherished the job of father.

I learned a lot from my Dad.  A hard working man who never complained.  He was away from home a lot, a truck driver.  Day in and day out.  He had to provide for his family and put some money away for retirement.  He put us through college, something he takes great pride in considering he dropped out of school at 16 and joined the army.

Not only is my Dad a man of principle, he's a man willing to fight for his principles.  He's walked many picket lines over the years and not just his own.  He fights the good fight.  Yet, he's the least cynical person I know.  Always believing that right will win out over might in the end.  Honest and loyal to his friends.  Generous to those in need.   Just a good guy and a good father.

Jun 12, 2011

Flyswatter Included

 This is a picture I scanned and sent to somebody interested in taking the camper off our hands. I had never noticed before that Jim was pretending to hit me with a flyswatter just as our daughter snapped the picture.   Ah, memories.  We haven't camped in years and this thing is taking up valuable garage space.  It's a  difficult and surprisingly sad decision but it's time to let the camper go.  We're closing a chapter in our lives.

I think this is the State Park in Petoskey but it might be Cheboygan.   We camped in so many places over the years it's hard to remember which was which.  I do remember this campsite clearly though.  The lake was right behind our camper.  The kids would wander off to explore with their Dad while I lounged on my lounger reading all day.  We'd end the day with hot dogs or burgers cooked over the campfire and then gooey, way too sweet s'mores.  We'd play games or go for bike rides before turning in.  Midnight trips to the bathroom were always a pain but all part of the fun in the end.

We took this camper to Disneyworld.  Best campground we ever stayed at even though the lot itself was an asphalt slab a mere twelve feet from the neighboring campsite.  Only campground I know where you go watch Disney movies and have Chip & Dale serenade you with camp songs around the fire every night.  The wildlife was fun too, spotting armadillos everywhere we went instead of the squirrels and raccoons we were used to.

The camper and Jim's new car got damaged once when Jim stubbornly refused to listen to my advice about a tree he was about to hit as he backed the camper into our spot.  It was late at night, because we couldn't ever seem to manage arriving during the day.   Trying to be quiet so you don't wake up the whole campground.

Me:  Ah, ah, ah...... watch that tree.

Him:  I see the tree.

Me:  Pretty sure you don't because you're about to hit it.


Me:  (Silently cross arms and watch him back into tree)

That's how he damaged the car.  The camper got damaged because he was so mad about the tree that he kept cranking it up even though one of the clasps was still attached.  Snap - one of the supports broke and the roof over one of the beds drooped.  I called it the Clampett Camper that week.

So the camper's for sale.  We will rent cabins from now on if we want to get back to nature.  Less hassle and the campfires are just as good.  I'm including the dishes and other miscellaneous stuff we picked up over the years to deck her out with.  But the memories, well, I'll be keeping those.  The new owners will have to get their own.

Jun 6, 2011

Things I Hate - Because That's the Kind of Mood I'm In!

Category: Food & Drink
Beer Nuts - Not sure why but whenever I smell Beer Nuts I throw up a little in my mouth.

Clam Chowder - Ditto above.  Sadly, for me, my husband loves clam chowder and orders it often.

Fish - Maybe not hate - more like can't be bothered.  Why order fish when you can get a nice juicy steak or some tender chicken.  Fish doesn't have enough substance.  I do however make an exception for canned tuna.

Sardines/Herrings - Cold fish that still look like fish, complete with the skin, bone impressions, occasionally a tail  - and all packed in a nice thick oil or a cold cream sauce.  Disgusting.

Tomato Juice (V8) - It just doesn't seem right to drink anything cold and tomatoey.   Could be a flashback to my Mom making me sit at the table and eat my tomato soup no matter how long it took me.

Raspberries - I don't like the seeds.  They're not chewable and they don't get digested.

Category:  Music
Heart - Their music is just harsh and ugly sounding.  Barracuda, Crazy For You.  Nah, it's just bad

The Police/Sting - It all started with the song Roxanne, I hate that song.  He sounds like a cat in heat wailing away.  The more I thought about it I realized I don't really like anything they do.  Too repetitive and  Sting always sounds so whispery.  Every Breath You Take - creepy, stalker song.  Message in a Bottle- hate the way he says anozher instead of another.  The Police suck.  Admit it.  You've just been afraid to go against popular convention.

Jazz - I just don't get the point.  Sounds like disjointed noise to me.  I can barely snap my fingers or tap my foot in time when there's a good beat.  Jazz just messes me all up.

Category: People
Republicans - Do I really need to explain this one?  Today I heard they want to cut school lunches for poor kids.  These people truly do represent the worst in us.  Greed, spite and callousness.  Plus none of them have a sense of humor.

Bad Drivers - They come in many varieties.  The left lane hogs driving 10 miles below the speed limit.  The guy who zips in front of you if give him even an inch, no blinker.  The cell phone talkers who weave in and out of lanes.  Although I'm more likely to cut them some slack now that I know they all have brain cancer.

Mean People - It's just as easy to cut somebody some slack as it is to go for the jugular.  It's just that one shows you have a shred of human decency and one shows what a cold hearted so and so you are.

That's enough for now.  I'm not in the hating mood anymore.  I just baked some mini blueberry muffins and am magically in a much better mood.  Excuse me while I go grab a couple.  I'm so damn easy to please.

PS:  I hate it when I burn the muffins.

Jun 4, 2011

The Builder

Jim went off to work on "the basement".  Over the last two years he has been helping a former client work to transform his basement into a home theater.  It's taken so long because Jim can only get over there every few months or so.  They're willing to wait for Jim's here and there work day.  They know he does good work.

When I met Jim he was a roofer.  Roofing is hard work.  I remember watching him sling a bundle of shingles on his shoulder and climb up the ladder, no hands.  It made my heart drop to watch him scale a two story house, jump up and then scramble all over the steep roof as though he were still firmly planted on the ground.  He had no fear.  He did a lot of roofs over the years. To this day when we drive through Ann Arbor he'll point out roofs that he did.

Flat roofs paid more money so he moved into that business.  Smelly, dirty work, tar over everything.  But we needed the money since our family was growing.  Over the years he got the chance to do other work, finish carpentry, mostly remodeling.  Homeowners liked him.  Not only was he honest, friendly and hard working, he had a knack for helping people develop their vision and then he delivered.  His clients always came by word of mouth.  When you do good work your name gets out there.   That's why the basement people wait for Jim instead of hiring someone full time.

As Jim moved into his 40's the work got harder on his body.  He got the chance to change careers into computer support.  I was doubtful at first.  He had zero experience with computers, turning a computer on was the extent of his skills. But he worked hard, didn't get discouraged and now travels around as a network and computer support freelancer.  He is also the family's computer expert.

He still does good work and his computer clients like him.  But I know he misses the chance to build things with his hands.  When you fix somebody's computer there's really nothing to stand back and admire.     So, he grumbled a bit about working on a beautiful summer Saturday but I can tell he was itching to get his hands on a hammer again.  Came back for some special tools after about an hour.  Seems they need help with the stairs.  It's not easy to build stairs he told me. Well, stairs that are straight and true anyway.  I'm  sure he'll take a couple of trips up and down those stairs when he's done, proud of the work he's done.