Friday, October 28, 2011

"As the Stomach Churns"

A new soap opera has been acted out in "reality" around here. Prof broke up with said BF. Or visa-versa, and he was very unhappy. Yelling, screaming, threatening, etc ensued. Enough so that Prof had to get a protective order against him. He harassed her enough , plus some other previous infractions, at their workplace that he finally was terminated (they worked at the same place). More threats. Now that the protective order has been served. All is calm.
What a nerve-wracking week!
I never have watch a soap since the old days of "Search for Tomorrow," but if I could script this past week, I am sure it would be a best seller for afternoon TV.

Peace, (at last)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What I Read #75

Comfort and Joy by Kristin Hannah: This author was suggested to me by a life-long friend as a "pleasant change from murder and mayhem." Well, that friend was right about "change" but I'm so not sure about "pleasant".

I hate anything that plays mind games with me, be it TV, movies, or novels. And this one did.

Joy Faith Candellaro is recently divorced after walking in on her husband and her sister doing the "mattress mambo." She is a loose ends about what to do with the rest of her life. On impulse, she books a flight to Hope, Washington on a charter plane. As luck would have it, the plane crashes in the boondocks. Joy survives, along with the rest of the passengers, and wanders away from the crash. What happens after that? Was it real or was it a dream?

I have another novel by Hannah lying here beside me, but I don't think I will read it. This one was just too sappy and unbelievable for me. Back to "murder and mayhem" for me!

Happy Reading, (I think),

Note: Isn't the front cover of this book beautiful?

What I Read #74

The Dirty Secrets Club by Meg Gardiner: Author Stephen King says,"The next suspense superstar" describing author Gardiner. I believe it. This novel was a real page turner.

Several prominent San Franciscans are dead. Seem like they all committed suicide. But did they?
It's up to forensic psychiatrist, Jo Beckett to get to the truth. What she finds can only be called "dirty secrets."

Read this one for a great foray into forensic psychiatry and suspense.

Happy Reading,

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What I Read #73

Murder at the Painted Lady by Barbara Warren: Allie McGregor inherits a big, old Victorian Era house in Stony Point. When she decides to move there and open a Bed and Breakfast, she encounters a group of people who don't want her there. Why? What is so special about the Ramsdale House that so many people want it?
What I thought was going to be a run-of-the-mill mystery turned out to be a delightful read. Ms.
Warren did herself proud with her first novel. I hope she writes more. Read and enjoy!

Happy Reading,

What I Read #72

Murder One by Robert Dugoni: How have I missed this author??? After the death of his wife, attorney David Sloane has returned to Seattle. There he is asked to defend a prominent attorney who is being accused of murder. Twists and turns in the defense of Ms Barclay Reid keeps the reader hanging in suspense until the surprising end! All I can say is that if you legal thriller readers haven't found Dugoni yet, get cracking. You're missing out!

Happy Reading,

Thought-Filled Thursday

"For me, singing sad songs often has a way of healing a situation. It gets the hurt out in the open into the light, out of the darkness. "
Reba McEntire

Note: If you have read my blog for a while, you know how I feel about Reba. What she says here reflects my inner feeling exactly.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Quiet Man

This is my friend Alan. Here is a friend that I admire a great deal. What makes him so special, you may ask. Let me tell you.
First of all, Alan has a personality that is just quirky enough to be funny, yet he has a seriousness about him that makes admiration easy.
Alan is a graduate engineer, and served as an engineer for a local manufacturer here in town until they closed their doors. He was offered other engineering jobs away from here, but he chose to remain in town, going into business for himself as a "Handy Man." He has become very successful at his work, and has recently bought out the local retiring locksmith and has taken over that business, too.
I marvel every time I am around Alan as to how intelligent he is. I haven't found anything he can't do, and he will tackle almost anything.
But, what makes him special to me is his quietness. I have never seen him mad, nor even close to being angry. He seems to take things in stride, with an attitude of anticipation. He is soft spoken witty and funny. He is a Christian who works hard in and for his church. He has led many youth to Christ and has sponsored them on their Chrystalis walk. He and his wife have raised two sons, and have 3 grandchildren.
Whenever we need something made for the choir, scenery,etc. Alan is our go-to person. He always has a good idea and is creative enough to make it happen. He is a marvel at figuring out our complicated sound system and even when it isn't working properly, can make it function.
I sing with Alan in my men's quartet and in the church choir. He has a soft baritone voice that blends well, and he reads music and can play the piano.
Alan has been married to the same gal for a long time. She suffers from MS, and Alan is extremely loving and caring with her. Her disease hasn't progressed too rapidly, but I know that as it does, he will be there for her every step of the way.
A few years ago at our Maundy Thursday service, Alan played the part of Christ during a reinactment of the Last Supper. He was dressed all in white, with long hair and his beard. It was actually like having Jesus right there in the room with us. He spoke so softly and tenderly, my adult daughter was moved to tears, as were many in the congregation.
As years pass, I count myself lucky to have such a friend. I have lots of friends and they are all special. But Alan, well he is just one of a kind, and I consider it a privilege to know him and call him my friend.
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Monday, October 17, 2011

Cell Phones: The Bane of Mankind

Yes! I have a cell phone. It is a "throw away" with a pay-as-you-go system where I buy a phone card to add minutes and user time every 90 days. I have just recently learned to text and I know how to answer an incoming call and make calls. Other than that, if my phone has other features, I don't know how they work or even what they are.
My son has a cell. My daughter has a cell. My grandson has one and so does my daughter-in-law. They all have these fancy-schmancy phones that are mini computers.
I have no objections to cell phones. My objection is how they are used.

I hate it when someone is on the phone in a restaurant. I get peeved when I hear a phone go off in church. I don't like it when I am having a face to face conversation with someone and they get a call or a text which interrupts us.

But what really burns my wick is drivers who insist on using their phones while on the road. I passed a car the other day where the lady driving had a cup of coffee from McDonalds in her left hand, a cigarette in her right hand, along with the steering wheel, and a cell phone propped on her right shoulder. She also had a child in the back seat in a car seat. She was doing 60+ mph down the 4 lane highway. How safe was this? I am surprised that she wasn't trying to apply lipstick too!

Behind me in line at the drive thru yesterday was a gal in a little red car. She keep creeping closer and closer to me. I thought she was going to smack into me. She was texting as she waited in line. If she wants to text, at least look where she is going and keep her foot on the brake.
At our Mexican restaurant the other night, I had to wait on the guy at the register to get off his phone to take my money. I bet if I started to walk out without paying my bill, he would have gotten off the phone muy pronto without saying "adios."
I had problems with cell phones in the middle school classroom. Students were to leave them in their lockers, but invariably they got brought into the classroom. I caught students texting each other, taking pictures, and playing video games. The usual routine was to confiscate the phone, take it to the office, and the student had to go to pick it up from the Asst. Principal after school and endure his wrath, which could be considerable. Since I was the only adult in the room, I usually just took the darn thing away from the student, and gave it back when class was over. I really didn't have the time to run to the office, nor the energy after dealing with adolescent attitudes.

It is interesting to sit in the mall of our large shopping center and watch just how many people have cell phones. Some carry them all the time. Some have that stupid-looking "blue tooth" thingy sticking out of their ear, and some carry them discreetly in their pocket or purse.

How did we ever manage without them? We left notes on the fridge as to where we were and when we would be home. We asked our friend's mom if we could please use their house phone to call home to tell Mom where we were and when we would be home. We even offered to pay for the long distance call if necessary. Or we used a pay phone, which used to be available on several street corners.

Yes, technology has advanced by leaps and bounds, but along with those advancements, I can see a decline in manners, and independence.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Wanted: Comments

Ya know, blogging is hard work. We bloggers sometimes have to rack our brains to come up with something timely, or not, to write about. We are challenged to use proper grammar and spelling, even though some of us have been out of school for a very long time. We have to be entertaining and still not boring or mundane.
A comment once in a while from my readers would be nice. Curley is my biggest fan/commenter with Mellodee right up there, too. What is up with the lurkers? Can they not write, or are they just laying in wait until I write the "great American novel." Not gonna happen.
So stop by once in a while and leave your "calling card" while you're here. That way I will feel like I'm doing something worth while and not out here all by myself.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thought-Filled Thursday

"Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, 'I'm not going to make it,' but you laugh inside--remembering all the times you've felt that way."
(Charles Bukowski)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Note: This is sort of a guy type post. I seriously hope none of you gals who read my blog are offended. If talking about men’s underwear offends you, close out now!

Beneath all that we men wear, unless you are a guy who favors going “commando” (no underwear), there is the ongoing dilemma of “briefs or boxers.” Shopping for said undergarments are an ordeal.

When I was growing up, there were only two choices. Either we wore “tightie whities” from J. C. Penney’s; you know the ones that had blue and gold dashes around the waistband. Or you could choose to wear broadcloth boxers. These were brightly colored plaids, solids, or the ever popular paisley prints. They had an extra panel sewn into the seat to accommodate those whose butts were larger. Mine wasn’t! So, those panels just got wadded up, and you can just guess where that wad of fabric ended up! I would always opt for the “tightie whities.”

As an adult, I always wore the “t-w’s”; until I got married, that is. Then my wife decided I needed to try different, sexier underwear. She bought me some new-fangled briefs called boxer briefs. They were knit fabric like the old briefs, but they had legs. Weird! I didn’t like them, but because I was a nice guy and also a newlywed, I wore them and kept my mouth shut. (These were not sexy in the least.) This went on for several years. During that time, I also received briefs in many colors. There was black, red, purple, green, blue and gray. I never knew what new color would show up in my undies drawer.

There also were the low rise briefs, the bikini briefs, even string bikini briefs, which incidentally, didn’t fit well with my physique. Those darn straps cut into my sides. Fortunately, I never received any thong briefs. Those would have gone either into the Goodwill bag, or the trash, never touching my skin.

Recently, I needed new underwear, so off I went to the local underwear store. I was astounded with the choices available. There are the traditional tightie whities, and boxers. There are low rise, with and without a fly, there are knit boxers with looser legs and the infamous boxer briefs, now available in a plethora of colors besides white.. There is also the lightweight microfiber brief which has no fly, yet has a built-in pouch to cradle my “junk” and keep it well supported. The fabric choice is still mostly cotton, but I noticed that some of them contained spandex. I am not a spandex sort of guy. Cotton is my fabric of choice. There are so many choices. Thus, being the type of daring-do person that I am, I came home with 3 pair of the loose leg knit boxers. These are ideal for sleeping and wearing under my jeans. I also bought 6 pair (all in one package) of tightie whities. Why change now. It’s sort of like my son always said about ice cream after trying many flavors. “You just can’t go wrong with vanilla.”

Monday, October 10, 2011

I Was There

Time continues to heal, but the memories linger:

I was there when we first met. It was cold. You were busy in your shop. We stood on the stoop as our mutual friend introduced us. We agreed to go out for coffee that evening.

I was there when we had our first date. I picked you up to go out for coffee. You made your folks wait out of sight because you couldn't remember my name. We drove 20 miles to a restaurant just for coffee and pie. Then we drove all over our county as I showed you where I lived, and where my relatives lived. I had a feeling we would be good friends.

I was there the day after we had our first date. I called our mutual friend to see what you thought of me. You hadn't called her! Would we become good friends? Later on our friend called me. You liked me and hoped I would call you!

I was there the next weekend when we went out again. I decided that I would marry you someday in the future and we would be best friends.

I was there when I told you my dad was dying of cancer. You held me and let me cry because you had become my best friend.

I was there on our first Valentine's Day when we gave each other the same gifts. Pictures and jewelry. Already we knew that we were best friends.

I was there when my dad died and you held me and let me cry because you were my best friend.

I was there when I graduated from college and you were there to wish me well, congratulate me and celebrate with me because you were my best friend.

I was there when I gave you a diamond ring and watched you smile as you accepted my proposal. I was happy because you wanted to be my best friend.

I was there when we began working diligently on the house we rented. It needed so many coats of paint and a good cleaning. We worked together to get it ready for us because we were best friends.

I was there when your stepfather escorted you down the aisle on the day you became my wife. You married me because you were my best friend.

I was there a year later when we lost our first child. We held each other and cried as our hearts broke, because we were best friends.

I was there the next year when our daughter was born. We held her together and promised to love her and let her know that her mommy and daddy were best friends.

I was there as we moved into the "big house" and did all that work just to make a home for our growing family. We worked hard because we were best friends.

I was there when our son came into the world. We brought him home to the 'big house' and there we began still another chapter of our lives raising two great children. We did this together because we were best friends.

I was there with you as we grew older together. As we watched our children grow into adulthood and begin making there own way, mistakes and all. We loved them and each other even more each year because we were best friends.

I was there on the day you went to the hospital for the last time. You were so frightened and made me promise, "Don't let me die." I promised because you were my best friend.

I was there holding you hand as you struggled to breathe on you last day with me. It was the hardest day of my life because I was losing my best friend.

I was there as the minister said the final words over your grave. I sang words of joy for you because you didn't have to suffer any longer. I did this because you were my best friend.

I am here, four years and some time later. I still miss you and think of you every day because you were, and will always be, my best friend.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Last Night

Last night I had the privilege of attending a Bill Gaither Homecoming Concert. My best buddy, and former college roomie, Tom, invited me to go with him. He got the tickets weeks ago, and the seats were good. Very good.
We arrived in time to see the "grips" finish setting up the stage and listened to a local Fort Wayne church choir as they opened the show. They were enthusiastic, making up for what was a less than quality performance. Of course, they were amateurs, not professionals. I felt like the song their director chose was wrong for this choir, but, hey, what do I know?
The first part of the concert was made up of different performers. The Isaacs, a gospel group of some renown, performed several numbers. One of the gals in that group plays the mandolin, and she does it very well. The brother of the group plays the upright bass, too, as well as sings with his sisters. Their mom, who must be about my age, sang with them.
They were followed by another brother/sister group, The Martins. This trio sings more contemporary Christian music, and they do it with skill, enthusiasm, and a great deal of talent.
Mark Lowry, a favorite of just about everybody, not only sang his wonderful composition, "Mary Did You Know," he entertained us with his humor and constant, good-natured heckling of Bill Gaither.
For me, the highlight of the evening was getting to hear David Phelps. He definitely outshown every other performer on the stage when ever he was up there. Though it is not a religious song, David's performance of "Nessun Dorma" from the opera "Turandot," was absolutely outstanding and brought down the house. What a voice! (I want to be able to sing just like him when I grow up.)
The Gaither Vocal Band did a fine job singing some old favorites, and leading the entire audience in "He Touched Me," and "Because He Lives." Their energy was catching and soon the entire audience was on their feet.
We were given little battery operated light/key chains upon entering, and it was awe inspiring to look out over a crowd of over 3,000 people and see that almost everyone had their little light burning, and swaying to the old favorites.
This was an evening to remember. Not only did I spend it with a lifelong friend, I got to be in the presence of some of the greatest talent in the Christian music world. It's a time I will cherish for many years to come.



Friday, October 07, 2011

Around the House

I'm preparing for winter around the house. I have lived here for 19 years, so it's been 19 years since I put a coat of paint on my front door. It was just beginning to peel, and looked a little shabby, so I took it down, sanded all the old paint off, primed and painted the frame. It is one of those old fashioned storm doors with a 12 light window insert for winter and a screen insert for summer. I also sanded down and reglazed the window insert, and just came in from putting a coat of paint on it. It is really turning out nice looking. Of course, it's Regal Red. If you are wondering just how red Regal Red is, well, it's really, really, bright RED! Think fire engine!!
Our red door has become a sort of landmark on our street. I always tell people that I live in the little white house on the south side of the street, second from the corner; the one with the bright red front door. I love it!
Next project is to close in the side porch with plastic. I have never done this since I've lived here, but I think I will this winter and see if it helps cut down on heating costs. I don't like the looks of plastic, but I have a plan. On the outside of my porch is lattice work. My plan is to take down the lattice, put up the plastic, then put the lattice back in place with the plastic between the lattice and screen. This serves a two-fold purpose. It helps hold the plastic in place so the wind won't rip it down, and it also hides the plastic from passers by.
By enclosing the porch, I can move my space heater out there, and still enjoy sitting out there during the day and enjoying the sunshine. We'll see how that works this year, and if I want to go to all the trouble for years to come.
Next, I will need to rake and rake the yard. Lots of BIG trees in the neighborhood, and since I have chain link fence around my back yard, everyone's leaves collect in there and I have to rake and haul. The front and sides I can get with the blower, but not the back.
Gutters will need to be readied, but that will happen after all the leaves are down.
Before long, I will begin thinking about how I am going to decorate the outside for the holidays. I haven't done much since my wife passed, but with the two little grandkids, and my kids being close, I think I will do more this year.
Sounds like I better step away from the computer and get busy!!



Though_Filled Thursday (on Friday)

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware

Martin Buber

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

What I Read #71

The Next Victim by Jonnie Jacobs: Attorney Kali O'Brien's brother has drowned in his own swimming pool. Was it an accident, or was it murder? Tied to his death, is the murder of two beautiful women, one who was mixed up in the porn industry. What were the ties and how did Kali's brother, John, fit into all this? Read this gripping novel and find out.
I have read a steady stream of Jacobs' novels. I am ready for a change for a while. I can hear my other favorite authors calling from the library shelves. I think I must answer them!

Happy Reading,


What I Read #70

The Only Suspect by Jonnie Jacobs: More suspense and action from Ms Jacobs. Dr. Sam Russell finds himself in quite a delicate spot when he wakes up in his car in a ditch and can't remember when or how he got there. The plot thickens when he arrives home to find out that his wife is missing. It seems that his first wife came up missing seven years ago, under mysterious circumstances, and he was accused, tried, and acquitted by a hung jury, for her murder. Will he be accused this time, too?
Again Ms Jacobs grabs your attention on the first few pages, and doesn't let go until the very last one.

Happy Reading,

Monday, October 03, 2011

Five Things That Represent The Real Me

Recently, fellow blogger Tom, over at "Jesus Has Two Daddies" told about his daughter, who is a first grader, needing to take five things to school that told about her. Can we do the same as adults? What five things represent you? Be honest!

Here's mine:
1. My Debit Card: I use it all the time instead of carrying cash. It automatically comes out of my checking account immediately, therefore, I can keep a good running balance, and seldom make a mistake in that account.

2. My Wallet: I carry it because it has all of the "important stuff" in it. Plus my organ donor card.

3. My well-worn, King James Bible: Not that I am deeply religious, but that Bible represents my Christian walk since childhood. I learned verses from that Bible, and have them shaded in colored pencil. As far as I'm concerned, the Christmas Story still can only be told from the KJV.

4. A small family picture album. Contained within is all that represents what wonders I helped create in my lifetime. It represents accomplishments like no other.

5. Jeans: Any pair from the drawer represent comfort to me. Since retiring, I opt for comfort over style almost all the time. (Except, of course, when it's just plain tacky to go in jeans.)

Okay, now it's your turn. Let me know what 5 things best represent you, if you had to go to "show and tell."



Saturday, October 01, 2011

Where is everyone?

The week has gone by and no one has commented on my blog. I know that some of what I write is boring as watching grass grow, but, all of it? LOL! I also notice that most of the blogs I read are lagging in the reading material. Maybe it's just "that time of the year" and seasonal blahs and so busy that one can't find time to blog. What I have read that other people have written this week has been very interesting. So don't think I feel that writers are letting me down. On the contrary, I feel like I am letting my readers down. Looking back on what I have written, nothing has been witty or fun. Mostly it's been depressing as hell! Or at least, too darn serious.
I have an "underwear" blog waiting in the wings, but I am not sure I want to publish it. Its sort of a guy thing, but I think it's funny and also true!
So, readers and writers, let's all get busy. Put down what ever you are doing that is keeping you from blogging on a regular basis, and write something; even the most mundane happenings can be made into something fun to read!