Tag Archives: Family

People Patchwork

I bought a bust on clearance at Hobby Lobby.  At 90% off I snatched the last one up like a large mouth bass after a Carolina rig.

It wasn’t until I got home that I realized my new purchase was damaged at the shoulder.  In fact, it had a really big hole in it.  At first I started to leave it like it was because looking straight at it, you couldn’t see anything wrong.  But turn it ever so slightly, and there was the gaping hole.

With a little bit of plastic cement and some poor, ragged patchwork, the hole was fixed, even though it’s obvious it’s been repaired.  After a couple of coats of spray paint, it was all the same color and not as blaringly obvious.

Now it’s on my desk in our home office. The pleasant, gently smiling woman looks like all is good, but on close examination, there’s “patchwork” hidden in plain sight. Continue reading People Patchwork

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Cabbage Pot Love

They were young newlyweds, but he was already wise enough to be quiet.

She grew up a daddy’s girl, a tomboy in every way. She could fish, feed cows, bail hay, but at the time, she couldn’t make toast in a toaster to save her life!

She decided to make her groom a special supper of some of his favorite foods, including cabbage.  She’d never eaten cabbage before, much less cooked it.  Nonetheless, she wanted to be a “good wife” and learn how.

In life, hindsight is always 20/20.  Looking back now she laughs saying she should’ve asked a few questions, read a recipe, something!  But then again, how hard could it be to cook cabbage? Continue reading Cabbage Pot Love

Tinnitus

It’s the craziest thing! Ringing in the ears that won’t go away. Tinnitus. That’s what they call it. A better name would be itsdrivingmealittlebitcrazyitus!

Only 10 to 20% of people have it, so the other 80 to 90% think it’s odd. Granted, it does sound weird; ringing in the ears that doesn’t go away.

I remember as a kid listening to ringing in the dead of the night when everything else was asleep. I didn’t know it wasn’t “normal”.  I thought everybody heard ringing. I even asked my dad as a little boy what the ringing in the middle of the night was. He looked confused, and said I must be hearing the refrigerator, or a mouse was telling me secrets. That was funny, but not an answer.

It wasn’t until college when I read a Dr. Gott column that described tinnitus and incessant ringing in the ears.  What a relief, in a way, to know it was actually a medical condition. At least it wasn’t from a brain implant from aliens who kidnapped me while asleep and performed tests so they could come back and take over the world! Continue reading Tinnitus

Riding Shotgun

As a boy I couldn’t wait to get up before the crack of dawn.  My Dad and I had a spot we fished about an hour’s drive away and the best time to get there was at dawn’s early light.

He had snacks and peanut butter sandwiches ready.  I’d ride shotgun in the old pickup held together by rust and bondo. About the time the sun rose, we’d get to the lake.

Crappie, that’s what we were fishing for, and when they were spawning, we were certain to catch them.

Carefully hooking a live minnow in the back with a big gold rim hook, we’d drop 4 or 5 cane poles and couple of rod and reels.

Looking back, I realize I’d bait the first line I dropped in, but after that, Dad patiently rigged up the rest so I could fish right away. Continue reading Riding Shotgun

City Chickens

A quiet young man at work calls himself a “city boy” by birth, but is becoming more “countrified” every day.  He bought a small chicken coop and put it in his backyard several months ago so he could have “fresh eggs”.

He lives slap dab in the middle of town and the four Rhode Island Red chicks he bought turned out to be roosters.  Roosters don’t lay eggs, so in quiet frustration, he told me he was starting over this weekend with four pullet chicks from another distributor.

The roosters?

“Well”, sounding more like a tired old farmer than a young city guy learning the basics, “I think I’m gonna have some fresh grilled chicken.”

Have you slaughtered chickens before?

“Well, no. But I went dove hunting once, and it’s probably about the same.”   He hadn’t decided if he was going to chop off their heads or wring their necks.  I smiled at his conundrum, and a brain wrinkled memory flashed back.

Continue reading City Chickens

Ba,Ba,Ba,Ba,Ba

Jared, my second son, was diagnosed as severely deaf in one ear and profoundly deaf in the other when he was two years old. He grew up with multiple ear infections, hearing aids and speech therapy. He could, and did, what every other kid did, but it was harder for him, like soccer, for instance.

Jared would be on a dead run dribbling the ball down field while simultaneously adjusting his hearing aid so it wouldn’t fall off.  When the whistle blew, he kept playing until other players stopped.

Crowded rooms with multiple conversations made focusing on a single voice or sound impossible. Jared never complained, and despite everything, even learned how to play the guitar. Amazing!

When he was twelve, Jared had a cochlear implant. The surgery wasn’t covered by insurance, so a home equity loan, negotiated cash prices with the hospital, surgeon, anesthesiologist and provider for the device put the price tag just below $50,000.

Part of his skull was drilled out behind his ear and a computer device the size of a quarter was implanted in the crevice behind his ear. A wire implanted in his skull runs into the cochlea where it stimulates the auditory nerve going to the brain.

His only disappointment? He couldn’t head a soccer ball anymore because it might knock the implant loose.  Otherwise, everything was a plus and the possibilities were all butterflies and roses. Continue reading Ba,Ba,Ba,Ba,Ba

Nightmare at Bedtime

Our granddaughter, Claira, is 15 months old. She was spending the night with us, along with her brother and sister, ages 5 and 3.

Claira has a sweet, happy personality, but she’s also semi-strong willed.

She was all rainbows and unicorns! She even had them on her pajamas, but then it was… bedtime.

Claira had been laughing, cooing, and cawing until JJ (my wife Janet) and PawPaw (me) had the audacity to lay her down in the baby bed.

As JJ carefully laid her down, Claira immediately let it be known that she thought we were completely incompetent to try to put her down to go to sleep!

We talked softly to her, patted her back, patted her diapered bottom, rubbed her head, nothing made her happy.

She spit out her pacifier like it was a poisonous trick, pulled off the baby blanket, and screamed even louder when the door closed. We figured she’d quickly settle in for a long night of restful sleep.

Nope!

The unicorns changed to red and grew multiple horns.  The rainbows turned into a Class 5 hurricane.  She started to wail, not whimper, not cry, wail.

Continue reading Nightmare at Bedtime

Carl, The Killer

Carl, the cat, did again.

A mama sparrow built a nest in the most unlikely place, in a flower arrangement hanging on our front door.  We didn’t even know a nest was there until I was going in the front door and the mama sparrow flew right at my face. That’ll make your ticker skip a beat!

I watched it several days and when the eggs hatched, she had a half a dozen naked chicks.  A few nights later, two of the grandkids spent the night with us and saw the now lightly feathered baby birds in the nest by porch light.

Carl, our big, orange, worthless cat must have been watching Mama fly back and forth. Or maybe he heard the chicks chirping, or figured out from the grandkid’s interest that there was something in that flower arrangement on the front door.

Regardless, the next morning my wife, Janet, heard the Mama sparrow feverishly chirping over and over.  She opened the front door with one of the grandsons in tow and the flowers were all on the porch by Carl.  All that was left of the baby birds was a little pile of bird feet and feathers while Carl scarfed down the last baby bird innards!  The grandson was horrified!! Continue reading Carl, The Killer

Fish Story

Some of the best characters are real live people….and so it was at lunch time. While eating lunch in a grocery store “deli”, an old gentleman was sitting at a table staring down the aisles. He looked tired, but content.

We exchanged head nods when I sat at the table near him, which in body language means, “I see you. I acknowledge you. I’m going sit here, but we won’t talk and ruin this quiet.”

Two minutes later, a heavy set man in his late 50’s walked by and spoke to the elderly gentleman who he obviously knew.

“Hey! You gettin’ yourself a lunch here?”

The old man responded, “No. My wife’s shopping so I’m waiting.”

“Well”, the big man said, “I’s gonna get me a lunch, but the line’s long right now. I’m not real hungry anyway. I microwaved a chicken pot pie for breakfast. You’re lookin’ like you’re feelin’ better”. Continue reading Fish Story

Little Bitty Human

I posted Little Bitty Gator several days ago and, as crazy as it sounds, it’s an absolutely true post! A blogging friend, Judy at (theprojectbyjudy.wordpress.com) suggested a fictional follow-up story from the alligator’s point of view! Thanks Judy! This post is fictional…just in case you wonder…  Here goes:

Weird things happened to Buck. He’s an 8 foot long, adult alligator that lives on the Texas Gulf Coast near the Louisiana border.

When he first popped out of the egg, Papa Gator immediately noticed his teeth were all messed up. All the other hatchlings had nice, straight teeth. In a fit of anger he told Mama Gator, “That buck toothed, crooked smile, cross-eyed thing can’t be my son!”  Papa called him Buck from then on.

Papa and Mama Gator had it out more than once over Buck! Papa Gator accused her of going several miles over and visiting one of the Louisiana riff raff gators when Papa and some of his buddies were on vacation one week trolling for house cats in golf course ponds. Continue reading Little Bitty Human