Sunday, December 28, 2008

It’s Fun Monday once again.
Our Host
: The every positive and thoughtful Sayre.
Our Assignment:
What was the most touching, wonderful part of Christmas for you this year?

What was the craziest, stupidest, funniest part this year?

Touching, wonderful part - FAMILY
Craziest, stupidest, funniest part - FAMILY

My tree - yes the constantia wire adds that special touch don’t you think?

And still I did not win ugliest tree - how is this possible? Well there is always next year.

For others contribution head back over to sayresmiles

Sunday, December 14, 2008

FUN MONDAY - Random Acts

It Fun Monday time again

Our Host: The judicious and prudent lovely ladies over at Mommy Wisdom
Our Assignment:
1) perform a random act of kindness. Now, before you freak out, please read on. This is actually really easy!! This act may be for someone you know or for a perfect stranger. It can be big or small, it'll all up to you.
2) Then, blog about what you did and why. How did it impact the person(s) you did it for? And better yet, how did it impact you!? How did you feel after you did it? Would you do it again?
3) If you've had a random act of kindness bestowed on you (recently), we'd love to hear about it. How did it impact you? How did it make you feel?

1) I don’t have a good deed or even a act of kindness for this week unless you count not stabbing the “Old One”. My friend Debbiesue would say that counts but she is good, generous, my friend and knows what it is like living with your ever aging parents. I was home sick most of the week and unable to do my normal escape to work each day, and want a gold star or points or something for not stabbing him. But it really doesn’t count as a random act of kindness, thou I pretty sure it would be considered justifiable, my sister says she will testify in my defence but I still don't think not stabbing you farther count as an act of kindness, so I will tell you of the week before last , just after Thanksgiving. I’m in the garage crushing cans preparing to take them for recycle. Yes, I’m one of the great waste generation and I drive an evil SUV but I feel we should do our part, beside I turn the cans in for cash that is than donated to our local humane society, (This in not my random act this is a normal thing I do) besides they are always strapped for cash. So, I’m out smashing cans, seeing how for medical reason I am no longer permitted my elixir of life, know as diet Mt Dew to the rest of the world, I must now rummage to supply my can smashing addition and had to give up on my plans for my Christmas tree.
It only takes 485 can (two month supply) but no more Dew for me. So I’m left to foraging for my cans pulling the odd can from atop someone else trash, picking up litter, asking co-worker for they cans, it is amazing how quickly they comply, not sure if it is the odd voice (some have compared to that of Ozzie from Black Sabbath with better diction) “I Want Your Can” in lieu of I’m Iron man, or the stare, not sure. Hey, I’m being deprived you expect me to be Little Miss Marry Sunshine. Any way I’m in the garage smashing cans, I love the crunch they make, not sure but the whole can collecting could be just so I can smash the little cans, the power. I’m sure the head shrink would have something to say about my need for violence, but they’re all a bunch of overeducated, drug using whack jobs, beside they said I was sane enough to work in our nuclear field. When along comes the Pastor from next door, a nice enough man all in all and should get some kind of an award for all he and his wife do, no I don’t go to his church, but still like the dude he is non-denominational and for all the years he has been our neighbor I have never heard him say a cross word about anyone. He had a funeral and the church had the dinner but there was a lot of extra food, that the family donated to the local youth home (one of the places the pastor works, the church doesn’t give him must if any thing for a salary so he works besides all the time he donates, he even had his church assist in the local clean up that the group I belong to arranged with help from the county, that was in addition to them opening the social hall for our pot-luck after the clean up. As I said a good guy). Besides food should not go to waste and anything would be better that the institutional non-food they normally get at the home. So we pack the leftovers and head off to town in my SUV, see there is a reason for me to have an SUV and you don’t need to be a soccer mom. When we get to the home you can see the Charge Person is pleased but a little disturbed too. I questioned what the problem is, well there wasn’t enough of any one thing for everyone to have for dinner and it will cause strife. Caulking my head I say what, you just make a Sheppard’s pie, casserole, or pot pie, with some tidbit no big deal. (My Mother was the queen of feeding a large family on leftovers to the point you didn’t know they were leftover. Debbiesue, my roommate from back in the Farmington, New Mexico days can contest that I have some of my Mothers skills in that unusual department.) The Charge Person gives me this deer in the headlight look and says she has never heard of such a thing. Somehow they talk me into showing some of the kids how to make a Sheppard’s pie, but under my rules:
1. Five would stay and help me with making dinner
2. Five would set the table and come up with after dinner entrainment -TV was not acceptable, games or songs or a play their pick (they were playing host.)
3. Five would have to finish my chore of smashing the cans, so the pastor went an got my collection of cans for the task.
4. After dinner five names would be drawn to see who would clear the dishes and clean up without complaint. Those were the rules.

The kids agreed and when they found out what I was doing with the cans, the 15 without a task took to foraging for more can. They managed to amass more cans in a few hours than I had over months of collecting. I think they all had an enjoyable evening, the pastor says they did. The shelter got twice the donation they would have. It is astonishing how thing work out when we work together, did I do much no, just willing to help when asked, as was everyone involved.

2) How did it make me feel? I’m not sure as it wasn’t a planned act it just was, but it made me feel good that the kids all pitched in and helped and went out of their way to help collect cans for others.

3) Guess the collecting of can would count.
Well how is that for a story? You can read of other random acts over at Mommy Wisdom
Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Good By My Little Bark

Sad time in Penny town - beside being ill most of the week yesterday we had to put down our much love Boarder Collie, Barkley. So today I will tell you the story of how I got Barkley. Barkley wasn’t the demon dog that the Joner was after all he was a boarder collie, whos sole purpose for living is to please. I was living in Texas working on decommissioning the Super Collider, yes that is some of the type of work I did for our government. Anyway I’m living in Texas on about an acre of fenced property with lovely pecan trees, reason for the fence. But when I rented the place I thought a 6 foot chain link fence would keep an Alaskan Malamute in, I was wrong. The local animal control officer (John) got to know each other on first name bases, I had work out a deal that in lieu of him writing me citation after citation, I would make a monthly donation to his shelter and he would just pick the Joner up and ride him around in the truck when he escaped, this he did often. I would make the repairs and adjustment to the fence that John felt were needed to keep a Malamute home. Well we decided that the Joner was lonely, Malamute are pack animals and maybe if he had a pack he would stay home. (Getting you pet a pet is not a good idea) But that was the game plan, so week after week I would go to the shelter and watch as John would bring out a puppy or older dog only to have it be scared of my Malamute. Malamute aren’t exactly small dogs, and there wasn’t an abundance of them running around central Texas, to the best of my knowledge Joner was the one and only and he did his best to roam the entire county, much to the chagrin of John and I. So one day I get a call from John, and he says he has the perfect dog for the Joner, besides he really needs my help, could I stop that evening after work. I agree so after work I stop at the house and load up my malamute to go and try yet another dog for Joner to scare. Well we pull in and John leads us into a room of these eight little fuzz balls. Three run away to the far end of the room and two cower behind John, two more swat and pee, and one brave little pup give a playful little bark and starts playing with this monster of a dog, as if that is the most natural thing in the world. I tell John yep I take the little bark, (Barkley). He give me these big sad puppy dog eyes and says he needs me to take all eight puppies. I explained I live in a rented house and I’m not sure how the owner would take to eight puppies. He somehow or another convinces me to take all eight and that the next weekend at the town fair he will see if he can’t find homes for them all. Joners was in heaven and by the weeks end all eight were playing with him, but it was still Barkley who would always be first. The seven other little fuzz ball would huddle together , Barkley would cuddle up to the big hairy malamute at the foot of my bed, as if he knew he was to stay with the Joner. John was good to his word and on Saturday we cleaned the little boarder collie pups up and got them new little colored collars and leashes and a wagon that we hooked up to be pulled by a Malamute with a sign stating “Boarder Collie Puppies in need of a Good Home“. By the end of the day John managed to adopt out all seven of the remaining puppies. If I had know how wonderful and easy Boarder Collie were (well compared to Malamutes) I would have been tempted to keep more than one. But Barkley managed to bring joy and love to my life since 1989 that’s right nearly 20 years, so it is time to let the old dog rest. He will be joining the Joner, and Reggie, and three of the brother’s dog out on the farm, in a spot that is make just for them with a brook, and a bench, and a lovely view where you can sit and reflect.

Dogs have given us their absolute all.We are the center of their universe, we are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the bestdeal man has ever made.?Roger Caras

Sunday, November 30, 2008

FUN MONDAY - From the Hood


OUR HOST - The passionate, long suffering, but ever so idiosyncratic Ari from beyond my slab and Buddha .
OUR ASSIGNMENT -Tell us about your all-time worst Neighbors from Hell. You know, the family of Irish clog dancers who once lived in the flat/apartment above you? Mrs. Nextdoor and her banshee-like multiple orgasms? Mr. and Mrs. Hard-of-Hearing with their television on full blast? The guys across the street who set off 4th of July fireworks starting in March and didn't stop until the first real snowfall?

Now a lot of people pull a face when I say we live next to the Pope, (Their last name not “The Pope”). Carl is well know in the area as pretty much a curmudgeon and was most of his life, well all of my life anyway. But truth be know he is a pretty nice neighbor, even with all his fussing around. He is now retire, but every day he brings my Dad the paper, and the mail, he sweeps a path for him when it snows, and when his wife bakes any goods he always brings over a couple for my Dad. Besides if you ask there is little Carl wouldn’t do for you so I don’t think that would qualify. All in all we have pretty good neighbor some have there quarks, but I fear as kids we would have been the bad neighbors for a shear number.
But I will choose the up stair couple my first year at State College, I lived in an apartment on the third floor of a four floor apartment building, with two room mates, D Cupps - Denise and Miss Split Personality - Melissa. While we were all very different we all got along well, Denise was a throw back for the hippy 60’s and was always bring home stray people, Melissa’s personality changed depending on who she was dating at the time. By the second week we knew the whole third floor, most of the second and for the most part became extended family. Apartment doors were left open and depending on what you wanted to do would depend on where you could be found. All was going fine with our little extend family. Than one night about 2:00 am I was awoken by a blood curdling scream. I look across the room and Denise and Melissa are sitting up in bed. The scream again, Melissa grabs her robe and heads to the kitchen to call the police, I grab a baseball bat and head upstairs. Denise heads over to Jeff’s to get the boys and reinforcements. When I get to the top of the stairs I find the door locked, try as I might I am unable to budge the door, another scream. I run back to the third floor and up the stairs on the other side of the building by that time Denise and a few of our neighbors are with us, Melissa yells out that the police are on there way. We get to the fourth floor all is quite not a sound, no music, no water running nothing. Too quite, we all look puzzled at each other and walk down the hall. Than a loud moan as if someone is in pain. We trace it down to the apartment above ours 403. Knock loudly, again nothing, than that mournful moan again. We knock again, and nothing. Just as we decide to try breaking the door down the police show up and a high pitch scream again, they knock on the door, identify themselves and state they will be break the door down. Just as they are ready to hit the door with the ram the door knob turn an a sheepish young man opens the door. The police go in and do what police do in those situations. Later as we were all having a cup of tea to settle our nerves they stop by thank us for our concern and tell us it was just a man and his wife being passionate. Guess they could see the “you got to be kidding look” on our face and they stress again and tried to explain to a bunch of clean cut college kids that some are a little more vocal than others. Their attempt were met with more disbelief and settled for having tea and cookies with us as we joke around.
Denise being the sweetheart that she is even when as far to finding the wife alone one day and to make sure she was indeed ok, she guaranteed Denise she was and it was nothing more than a night of delight. Now all was fine again for about a month than one night in the middle of the night the screams again, we bang on the ceiling to let them know they are disturbing other, to no avail, well more screaming more banging than finally quite, the next night the noise again. The next night the screams again this went on for about a week. Now one of the thing you don’t want to do is deprive an engineering student from the little sleep they are afforded. We are evil, either know how or have friends who know how to rig things and we can get our grease little paws on what we need to accomplish the task. I hope the neighbors up stairs developed a taste for
bagpipe music but either way we never again were awakened in the middle of the night by the screams of the banshee.

Thanks for stopping by you can read the other FUN MONDAY player over at beyond my slab .
I will be away for the next week, trying my culinary skill over an open fire.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

FUN MONDAY - High Times

It Fun Monday again and

Our Host: Our Beautiful ButteryFly Mariposa.

Our Assignment: High our lives! If you could share to us 3-5 high moments in your lives...this could be funny moments...the you can't believe you did it moments...the "I told you so" moments...or the times we asked the ground to go open and eat us moments! You need not write a book to explain them, the highlights will do.

I have selected four Ah moments to share with you and presenting them in order of their occurrence.

1. School daze - Needless to say I wasn’t considered the best student, in elementary school I had some behavior and learning problems. To the point one teacher after having me held back a grade, attempted to have me placed into the special education program, only stopped by one vice principle. He insisted that my IQ was far to high and that the difficulties were due more to conflicts with the teacher, and had me removed from her class. I figure my permanent record is full of a multitude of potential damming information, because when I attempted to get a copy of my school records, they were all happy and obliging until they had them in their hot little hands and then they were reluctant to hand over a copy. (I only need a copy of the immunization records and so a copy was made of that section and off I went on my marry way) Makes you wonder. Now my oldest brother loved to tease and joke not just me but everyone. So one day he was home visiting Mom and Dad when I came in from school, trying to tease me just a little he pick up the local paper who big new that day was a list of the honor roll students. Make a big production he shakes open the paper and in a loud voice let’s see where you are in here Missy and begins reading the name just above where mine would appear (they are place in aphaeretic order) then he get to my name. Yep there I was listed as highest honors, ah you got to love it when the tables turn.

2. Lets Play Ball - When I started College at a small branch community college, I decided to play volleyball for the school. Up to that point I played backyard, picnic, and for a church team, but never played any organized sports. Not only that I was at least 6 inch shorter than any of my team mates. I was doing it just for the fun and to burn some energy. I tried out and some how I made the JV team as a setter. I think I was too short for a spiker, standing tall a could walk under then net. At that time in my live a was a size 5, and had long hair down to my waist that I wore in pigtails. Just the look for your average 18 year old, not. The day the uniforms where handed out I had a computer class, so I got the only remaining uniform, an XL. One of my middle brothers would often come to watch us play, and to see the antics of his baby sister. As I adjust my shirt, my shorts, flipped my hair danced around and tried to set the ball for my teammates. He was convinced that I was doing physical comedy, and not necessarily playing volleyball, as did most of the fans. But we had a number of supporter, who would come and cheer us on and laugh. Now anyone who has ever played sports can contest that there are nights that the stars align and you can do nothing wrong. At one point the elastic in my over sized shorts broke I tripped fell and sure enough managed to hit the ball back over the net. Once the ball was spiked and hit me in the head knocking me over backwards into a summersault some how I managed to land back on my feet and the ball sail back over the net. It was one unbelievable play after another, but it was my night. I got my perfect game, and our lowly little JV team tromped the areas best varsity team and we had the seats in the bleachers in stitches, ah

3. Play Nice - It had been a few year since I fenced for PSU where I earn a varsity letter. Now I was not a star player but I enjoyed playing. I hadn’t pick up a foil for years, but decided to give the Beehive Games a try, the Utah state summer Olympics, as I was living in Salt Lake City at that time in my life. So I sign up, paid my entrance fee and was informed I the sole reprehensive from my county in fencing, therefore was in the finals and the committee wished me well. So I took a half day off work on the given weekend in June and made my way down to the other end of the state. I knew no one there I was on my own. I found the event and proceed to sign in. At that point so uptight want-to-be-preppy tried to insist that I could not participate as I was not a member of their club. I state that was not prerequisite, I was there representing West Jordan, and was not a member of any club. She said if I did not have a club that I had to be a member of the US Fencing Association. At that point I said oh, that this will work and a pull out my USFA card. She looked at the card and inform me that I would not be allow to participate as a novice. I informed her that I was in the open, not in the novice class. She than began to inform me that there was no way that her club would be outfitting me as they barely had enough weapons for their club. I said that was fine as I brought my own. She rolling her eye as only those the snobbish can, informed me that all weapons had to be cleared by a USFA approve armorer, I smiled and said not a problem and show her the underside of hand guard . She then want to know who’s stamp that was, I grinned and said mine, as I pulled out my USFA armorer card, let me knew if you need any help. I notice little Miss want-to-be was wearing an arm band, and I know it was kind of wrong but I would give other fencers pointers on how to beat anyone wearing one of the clubs arm bands. Well after the meet was over and the metal were collected, an old acquaintance of my college day came up to me with little Miss in his shadows. We exchanged pleasantries and he stated that his club didn’t do as well as he had expected and could I give his girls any pointers. Well manners and good sportsmanship would be a good start, I said as I walk away with my silver metal.

4. God - Now I was living in Utah and driving down to the State game I had to drive through Zion National Park. Zion National Park is very beautiful and you wind over the mountains. On my drive down I notice a sign pointing to the right saying Devil’s Backbone, about 25 mile and many turns later I notice another sign pointing to the left saying Devil’s Backbone. Now the pass would not be a short cut but it must offer a view, so on my way back home I thought I would take the cut through the pass, how bad could it be it was a paved road and signs on both ends. So as I approached the first sign I make the right hand turn on to a paved road. Well the paved road turns and bends and soon is a grave road that turns into a dirt road with hairpin corners a single lane, with one side a wall and the other side a sheer drop. After many miles on the dirt road it began to rain, and my car began fishtailing, in the mud. There is no where to turn around, and no way I could back up the miles to the last place to pull over in the hope I could turn around. I continue on, with more fish tailing, I’m sure at times at lest part of a tire was off the road. At one point I stop the car as my knuckles are white and pray, not that I don’t go over the cliff but that when I plummeted it would be to my death and I would not lay there in pain to days. I continue on and on. slipping and sliding I saw off in the distance a bridge an old rickety bridge that I wasn’t sure, if it would hold the car or not but I wasn’t going back, so around the bend and up the hill I went. Just as I approached the clouds break and the sun comes crashing out in a perfect beam of light, that makes the canyon come alive. The beauty was literally breath taking, I pull up and find a parking space and go and watch the canyon as the shadow shift and it looks as if tongues of fire are jumping from one ledge to cleft. It’s exquisite magnificence beyond words., well worth the trip and what to say Ahhhhhhhhhhhh. God is Good.
Thanks for stopping by . You can read over other player high times over at Mariposa’s Tales.
Again thanks

Sunday, November 16, 2008

FUN MONDAY - Meaning of Life

It Fun Monday again and

Our Host: The courageous Misformisanthrope.

Our Assignment: to show that pice of jewelry or other item that hold great personal significance for you, and that your wear or keep with you every day. Show us a photo of your talisman, and tell us why it is so important to you.

Hints: Your talisman could be your wedding ring…or your lack thereof! Maybe it’s a bracelet or watch that belonged to a beloved relative or friend. Perhaps your item is significant in your faith, if you are of a religious persuasion, or maybe it is a proud symbol of your ethnicity. Maybe it’s something silly, that makes you smile every time you look at it! Maybe your talisman is actually part of you - perhaps you got a tattoo to mark a significant event in your life. I’m also thinking about our recent observation of Veterans’ Day here in the USA: Perhaps you have a loved one who is far away - in the military or otherwise - and you carry a memento of him or her with you every day.

Disclaimer: Please, let’s keep the photos and stories family-friendly. In other words, I do NOT want to see that piercing or tattoo you-know-where :-) Sorry, but them’s the rules!

Well I do have a couple of tattoos but they are not you-know-where, but on my left side

Now the first one was a very small hand made tattoo. When I was very young I believed with my whole heart that I had met my sole mate. I felt complete when we where together and as if some thing was missing when we were not. So one evening out around the camp fire sharing a bottle we became betrothed. I have allergy to most metal and a little ring did not fit our lifestyles so we gave each other a tattoo. A small lizard mine on my left side close to heart and my fiancé on the right to protect and love. Beside when we cuddled the two little lizards would be together. Now that explains the first tattoo.

Well as fates would have it my love passed away far from me doing what he enjoyed as I finished my college education. For a long time I want to do nothing more than to die. I had serious thought of suicide, but I could think of no way that I would not leave a body for someone else to clean up or a way that would not hurt those who loved me. I made some bad decisions, but I was fortunate enough to have some good friends and family who where there for me, be it three in the morning or dinner time with their family.

Time pasted and I grew, I knew that I would never again be able to give myself completely to someone else. Some may see this as a flaw and it may well be but it is the only way I could survive . It is not that I can not or do not love it is just a can not give myself completely again. It was time for me to move on with my life, so time to cove-up my little lizard. So I now have a little lizard that cover my other little lizard, for you see in my heritage the lizard with it sun-seeking habit is a symbolizes the soul’s search for awareness.
Now I’m not sure how but I seam to have a little collection of lizards, there are the two on my side, and I have a number of pins, and there is a bottle opener lizard on my key chain. They remind me that I still have work to do for enlightment or awarness or to walk in Christ what ever you would like to say.

Now that you have my sad story head over to Misformisanthrope and check out the rest this weeks Fun Monday participates.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

FUN MONDAY - To those that Served

Our Host - The effervescent and luminescent Janis From Life According to Jan and Jar

Our Assignment - Since Next Tuesday is Veterans Day, Janis thought it would be nice to salute our Veterans and show our appreciation. Photo requirement of something pateriotic

First Picture - My Dad from before WWII (Bernard Francis)

Second Picture - Some of DaddyBoy's Ribbons

Third Picture - DaddyBoy at his 90th Birthday

Fourth Picture- my nephew (Bernard Francis Jr) Don't know that he counts as a Veteran as he is still in the reserves.

Guess Service to Our Country runs in the Family.

Thanks for stopping by now head over Life According To Jan And Jer for the rest of the FUN MONDAY Players.