Saturday, December 27, 2008


[caption id="attachment_506" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="I'd Give up Chocolate, But I'm No Quitter"]I'd Give Up Chocolate, But I'm No Quitter[/caption]

The night before Christmas,

T and I read the story of the same name.

We set out a plate with cookies and milk for Santa, and carrots for the reindeer, and then put T and Q to bed. 

Being that this was the first Christmas where T actually knew that there were presents for him in those boxes under the tree, I decided to sleep out on the couch as a sentry. I was sure there would be a way too early invasion of the living room without parental supervision, and I envisioned waking up to the sound of toys being raced across the floor and wrapping paper all over the house.

Oddly enough, after all that planning on my part, T was up way too early, snuck past me, went into my bed and slept in my spot. So while I suffered on the couch he slept comfortably in my spot. What is that all about? Then, after he woke up, he woke up L and asked her if he could watch TV in bed. He was quickly distracted by a flash back to a dream he had the night before where Yoshi was at Toads Factory racing on a motorcycle... To avoid the rest of the long imaginary story about his MarioKart Wii adventures, L reminded him it was Christmas and that he had presents under the tree, and maybe Santa had come. That worked, and he tried to rush his mama out of the bed and into the living room. 

His first real Christmas, and he forgot about it! It seems odd that we talked about Santa for so many days and on the BIG day he just forgot and wanted to watch TV in bed. OK, I guess I will get over it eventually. The rest went well. He liked ripping open presents and throwing them aside to say,"What's this one?" as he grabbed the next one. A little depressing for me, but no one said he didn't have some things to learn yet. He is only three after all. 

Q, on the other hand, watched T open her gifts, and taste tested anything put in her hands. Everyday is Christmas for a baby. 

Hope everyone had a great Christmas.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Rambling Man

I don't even know what to write about anymore. I don't want to write about being sick any more, even though that is what is dominating our lives here. (L is more sick than before, and I am a little less sick.) Oddly enough I just thought I would write some random thoughts and see if it cheers me up.

1. If Mario Kart Wii were NASCAR my son would be in the running for the big money. He actually plays the online version now and races people from all over the world. They race 12 people at a time, and though he has only taken first a few times, he stays in the running most of the time.
2. I never knew the variety of colors mucus could be. Nuff said... OK too much said.
3. Did you know you can't buy those long orange hot wheels tracks with the little connectors any more. You can't get the loop de loop part any more either unless you buy it from some collector for way more than it is worth. Sad.
4. Corned beef is much easier to make than I thought. It is one of my favorite foods. I had no idea how expensive it is, but L bought some for me anyway, and I cooked it up for us. It turned out delicious even though I had no idea what I was doing. I am glad that although I was adopted I still have some Irish blood in me. I'd hate to think all that green beer I drank in college was in vain.
5. I think the number of resolutions I should make for next year is overwhelming. I may go with the most obvious one: I resolve to do everything I can to survive the each day and help as many people survive their day as I can. That may just be because we have been sick for so long that we are in survival mode. Maybe by the New Year I'll be more optimistic like, " I want to promote world peace around the world by spreading love and cheer around the world on a rainbow." Who knows?

Less than 2 days to recover before Christmas or Santa may not want to come here and cross the yellow 'Quarantined' tape to get into the house. Bring on the Juices: Now Orange, Now melon, Now grape and cranberry, on kiwi and pomegranate, Acai and Raspberry. To the top of the fridge! to the top of the shelf! drink away drink, away drink away self!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

We Have Everythingitis

The "cold" we have been suffering with just would not go away. One week past, then another and instead of getting better we were all getting worse. Even the baby was beginning to gurgle occasionally when she breathed. L had even decided to let me sleep as much as I could for a couple of days to see if I could get better. That unfortunately didn't work either. I could sleep all the time, but when I woke up I was even more sick than before. Today we decided we had enough of this. L scheduled doctor appointments for all of us.
I went one way, and L took the kids another way to the pediatrician. I waited over an hour in the doctors office, and was about to start licking all of his tools when he came in. He listened to my disgusting list of symptoms and then did a few tests on me, including blood tests and X-rays. His diagnosis: I have sinusitis and bronchitis. I feel relieved knowing that I had something. I was feeling guilty doing most of the resting, trying to get better, and not being successful.  I talked to L as I was waiting at the pharmacy for my long list of drugs. She said T only had a cold. That figures. The carrier never gets it as bad as the rest of us. Q on the other hand had bronchulitis. Only a minor case and should be easily treated with some medicine. Finally, in the afternoon L had her appointment. She also waited an hour before being seen. After all that, she was diagnoses with tonsillitis. The doctor said it was the same thing in all of us most likely, and it just settled in different areas. We all have our own little infections growing in different places. Nice...
The final result is that we are supposed to rest for a few days, and take antibiotics and some other medicines and after a week or so we should be normal functioning humans just in time for Christmas.

Thank you all for your tips and comments wishing us better health. Hopefully now we are on the right track.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Fighting the common cold

[caption id="attachment_481" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Daddy, can you wipe my nose please?"]Daddy, can you wipe my nose please?[/caption]

It seems to be that time of year again. That time where the common cold virus comes crashing through the front door, attached to a preschooler, and wreaks havoc on our lives for a week or so. This years strain seems to be more potent than the previous years. T was hit first, being the carrier and all. That was no surprise. It hasn't slowed him down too much. He still continues to run wild around the house even after continued warnings to slow down and let his body rest. The other night he cam walking into our bedroom dragging about 12 feet of toilet paper behind him. It was 2 A.M. and apparently at that time of the morning it is too difficult to tear the toilet paper into smaller sections. It is also too difficult to pull up a facial tissue from the box I guess. So in comes T with this long trail of TP behind him. He walks over to the side of the bed and hands it to me. He doesn't say a word. I was awakened by the loud foot steps across the house on the way to the bed, so I was ready for him when he got to me. For some reason he won't wipe his own nose, so lucky me, I get to do it in the middle of the night. T's symptoms seem to be limited to stuffy nose. I should add that he inherited an ability to be overly dramatic from me, and can make a stuffy nose seem as if there are only minutes left before the end of the world, and we can only save it by wiping his nose before the final explosion ends us all. Luckily so far we have been there quick enough to save you all from certain doom. You're welcome. 


Next to be ravaged by the virus was me. I know I am a terrible sick person and I love my wife for being so patient with me as I struggle noisily and sometimes obnoxiously to survive it. (My ability to be overly dramatic sometimes makes it seem as if the end is near. She must really love me.) I went from sniffles to sore throat, stuffy/ runny nose, headaches, congestion, achy cough, the whole works in about two days and it has stayed with me for almost a week now. -- Financial tip: invest in facial tissues. I will do my part to boost their sales in my area. I can't seem to get enough of them lately. 

L now is also coming down with the symptoms. We are hoping that before hers hits full stride I can get well enough to trade places with her and start doing more things around the house. As of today though, I think that probably isn't going to happen. She seems to be getting it pretty good already and I am still getting worse, and not better yet. 

Sadly, baby Q also has the bug. Nothing worse than seeing a baby with a cold. The doctors tell us not to give children any medicine for colds, and that makes it worse, because all you can do is watch them suffer with it. She has a cough, and a little runny nose. It makes her occasionally grumpy, but otherwise she really is handling it well. She is still working on trying to crawl, and chewing on all her favorite toys. Q has not seemed to inherit any drama genes from me. She is more like her mother. she just bravely deals with it and moves on. She is a little trooper. 

My sympathies to any one else who has or has recently had this bug. Hope you are well soon.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I Can Not Beee-Leeeve It!

Mom! Are you reading this? Another award has been bestowed upon your favorite child. Well, I am definitely in the top 4 of your children. Unless there is another sibling I don't know about... This award is for my ability to smile while describing the often maddening chaos that is our life here on the farm. Well, at least that is what I think it's for, so I am going with that. This award was granted to me by Bloggin' Mama. Obviously a woman with outstanding tastes, so everyone who reads this should head over to her site after reading this and pay her a visit. 

[caption id="attachment_471" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="The Smile Award"]The Smile Award[/caption]

Here are the rules for the Smile Award: 

1) Display a cheerful attitude, ( Well, I try.)

2) Love one another, (OK, as long as they are not poking a stick in my eye I can do that.)

3) Make mistakes, ( Ohhh man! I could totally win the Make Mistakes Award if there were one.)

4) Learn from others,  (Even my 3 year old teaches me things each day.) 

5) Be a positive contributor to the blog world, ( If this means write something useful, hmmm. Let me get back to you on that.) 

6) Love life, ( More and more each day.)

7) Love kids. (As T would say,"Daddy loves me even if I go scribble, scribble scribble." No, I am not sure exactly why he says that, but it is true.) 

The rules for the Smile Award are: 1) Please link back, 2) Post the rules, 3) Choose 5 people to give it to , 4) Recipients must fill the characteristics above, 5) Create a post to share this, 6) Thank the winners.

So on to the passing of the award off to others who seriously deserve it much more than I. I hope they do not already have this award, since the award was probably designed with them in mind. Each of these is on the list because I can't help but be inspired, smile, and laugh when I read their very entertaining stories. Please check them out. 

Nicole @ Juicy Alligator 

The Wise (*Young*) Mommy Blog 

Julie @ Cool Mom Guide

The Un-Mom

Cheaper Than Therapy 

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

I wanted to participate in Wordless Wednesday today. I am seldom wordless, and this will be no exception. This picture caught me off guard. I was teaching T how to use the digital camera, and he pushes too hard when he takes the picture, so the whole camera moves down when he does it. Here he tried to take my picture, and the focus ends up being on my neck, which showed me for the first time I had even noticed it, that I have a double chin! Aaaarrrrggghhh! And I see this picture after eating a ton of buffalo wings for dinner which now makes me feel guilty. So, back on a diet I go. See what happens when I don't have chickens to walk every day. 


[caption id="attachment_437" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="A new addition to the family?? A double chin."]A new addition to the family?? A double chin.[/caption]

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

T's Outdoor Adventure

As you might have read previously, my chicken houses currently sit empty. I have sprayed them with powdered bug killer and now they have to sit a few days locked up. That leaves me some extra time I normally don't have. I thought the best thing to do with that time would be to spend it with my son. Being that yesterday was a Monday, and I would have to take him out of pre-school for a day together, I wanted our time to be somewhat educational. Just some time between dad and son learning something together. In my head, I was visualizing something like a day at the Reuben H Fleet Science Center in San Diego. When I was working at an after school program in San Diego we took the students there and it was perfect. All hands on science activities for every age range, and an IMAX theater. Now, living near a college town, and having several larger towns around I assumed I could find something similar to that to take T to. I had assumed wrong.
I searched and searched the internet and found nothing. Well, I did find one that was close, but when I called for information they told me they closed a while ago for construction and won't be opening again until July. the good news is it looks like it will be a good place to go next summer. The bad news is it was no help to me yesterday.
After a long and very unsuccessful search I decided to give up on pre-packaged educational opportunities and take T out doors to a lake area that had a park and a large hydroelectric dam. We had a lot of fun there, and I would show you the pictures, but Daddy forgot the camera was in his coat pocket so he didn't take any pictures. DOH!
The water level is so low at the lake that it is hard to call it a lake at this point. The park however was great for out exploring. We saw a lot of birds, and we squatted down really low in a field and were very quiet for a while so we could see how many birds we could find. Getting T to be quiet that long was pretty amazing in itself, but he was doing a great job. We even were able to see a woodpecker, and some cardinals. We talked about how hard to see some of the birds were and how they were doing a great job of using their colors to camouflage themselves so other animals wouldn't see them. Camouflage is a difficult word...
We also found a little bridge that crosses a ditch. It was about as long as a train car. I know this because T told me it was a freight car and we played on it for a while as if we were on a train. We watched the Polar Express Movie recently, so we have a renewed excitement about trains. Back and forth, back and forth he ran with me trying to keep up. We even explored under the train to check the wheels. I personally didn't see any, but he did and they needed oil. Good news, they are now well oiled.
After a fun time in the park we headed to Grandma and Grandpa's house for a nice visit and a delicious lunch. For not being exactly what I wanted, we still had a lot of fun and learned a little too. Now, if any of you have some ideas for little learning trips we can take I'd love to hear them.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

First Attempt at Baking Bread

There has been an ongoing discussion between my wife and I about bread. I am not sure if we had been to some hypnotist and don't remember it, or what happened, but we seem to be having a lot of discussions about bread. Quite often they involve us making our own bread. I think my wife started wanting to make our own bread because she found out that even bread has high fructose corn syrup in it. Apparently that stuff is in everything, and no one knows why. I read every recipe I could find on bread and none of them show that as an ingredient, but sure enough on the label of our store bought bread, there it is as an ingredient. So, my wife has a valid point. 

My reasoning for baking bread is more simple. I remember home made bread from when I was a kid, and I love it. I miss eating real bread, and having a slice while it was still warm is something I think I dream about. I have found some nice restaurants that serve great bread, and I really don't care that much about the rest of the food there, I would go just for the bread. I know, I have issues. 

Eventually our bread discussions got so far along that all that remained was for us to just go ahead and bake some bread ourselves. Well, at least give it a good try, since neither of us had ever tried it before. L went ahead and gave it the first try. You can read about her exploits here. The bread she made was good. But it was not the kind I was thinking of. It was more of a specialty bread type of recipe. We ate that in a day or two, and then I thought I would give it a try. Where else should I turn to get the wonderful bread I had as a child than to call my mother. "Mom could you sent me your bread recipe?" "Sure", she says. "I'll email it to you." So later I check my email and there it is. I'm all excited about making bread like mom used to make. I could almost taste it before I even tried to make it. Suddenly I look at the recipe, and I see there is a URL at the top of a bread website. What? My own mother googled bread and sent me a recipe from the web. Technology is not always a good thing. 

A day or two went by, and I did some searching for myself and, well, I am easily distracted. Before you know it I am in the kitchen making cinnamon bread. I know, I have a sweet tooth. I saw sugar laden bread, and who doesn't like that. Here is the final results. Still not too bad for my first attempt at bread. (O.K. So one has a little tail. You're not the bread police! Stop harassing me!) 

[caption id="attachment_406" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Cinnamon Bread by Dad to Two"]Cinnamon Bread by Dad to Two[/caption]

The inside doesn't look too bad either. Mmmm. Delicious! Just don't ask me why only one of the three loaves actually has raisins in it. 

[caption id="attachment_407" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Cinnamon Bread inside"]Cinnamon Bread inside[/caption]

I think I am about ready to try again with some plain old fashioned White bread. I'll just have my wife print out a recipe for me so I don't get too distracted along the way. Who know's what I'd end up with. It is Christmas time and I do like fruit cake...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

New WordPress Theme Finally Working

I would like to thank my wonderful wife for finally figuring out the problem with my theme. This is not the theme I had originally picked out, however. That theme was not willing to work with me at all. Although it was widget ready, it apparently had its own mind and was deciding on its own where to put my widgets. I would place one on the left-side sidebar, and it would show up on the right-side sidebar. Sometimes all of them would move to the left, sometimes just some. Not only that, but the designer of the theme put latin words in there to use as examples, but there were places where the text was no where to be found in the code. I couldn't get rid of the latin phrases. It may have seemed cool and sophisticated to have latin text on my site, but who knows what it really said. So, after two days of attempts to fix that theme L and I finally decided to search for a new theme. The theme you are seeing now is the result of that 45 second search. Three days to find the theme that failed to work, and a matter of seconds to find this one. Oddly enough, this one works very well for me. I like that it has a little more color than the last theme I was using, has better headings, offers a quick link to my last five posts, and has better tabs at the top for my other pages. It seems easier to move around in as far as I can tell, and since all of the widgets ended up where we put them, I am very happy. 

I hope that as the ones reading this site you find it to be an improvement for you as well. We tested it on three different browsers and all seemed to work fine. If you are getting any errors or find anything not working as it should on your end, please let me know. Thank you for your patience and support.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Please Excuse Our Mess

Sorry, We are trying to change the theme here and having technical difficulties. Hopefully we can have them worked out by tomorrow some time. Until then, the posts are still here to read and enjoy, and your patience is greatly appreciated. Keep your fingers crossed that I can figure this out and not have to remove this one and start over again. Oh that's depressing just writing it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Q is So Close to Crawling

My little baby Q is now six months old, and she is so close to crawling that I think it really frustrates her. She can see things near her, and because she is so curious she just has to get over to them to grab it. I can see in her face how determined she is to get around. She will wiggle, turn using her arms, and roll until she gets to the place she wants to be. To move herself a few feet is a major effort, but she doesn't give up. A few of those major moves in a row however puts her close to a nap time. She just wears herself out. 

Q is also moved up to eating some solids. She started on some rice cereal to get used to the textures of food. It is fun watching her eat, some times she will look like a baby bird with her mouth wide open waiting for the little spoon to come drop off the food for her. So far she is a very good eater. I hope when we try other new foods she will adapt to them as easily. 

T is being the best big brother that I could imagine. I am so proud of him. He always talks about how he loves his baby sister. And on his own he will sometimes go over and pick up Q's toys that have fallen out of her reach and put them back into her hands so she can play with them. T has even been doing well at being quiet when we ask him to so Q can sleep at nap time. Initially he was insulted that we asked him to be quiet, and would get sad and just about cry, as if we had scolded him. But now he figured out we all have to be quieter when someone is taking a nap. When we remind him he will just keep going about his play, just a little quieter than before. 

T has also been doing very well at getting dropped off at school. He was a little needy for a while at the new school, but we seem to be beyond that. Today when I dropped him off he stood by me for a minute, but then went off to play. I said good bye to him and he waved good bye to me as I left. No problems at all. It is nice to see him growing up so well. I am not sure if we are doing something right, or just happen to be the luckiest parents around. Maybe it is a bit of both.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Updates... Chickens, Winnings, and EntreCard Drops

Just a few updates I wanted to add. First, the chicken pick up went OK. There was a delay of a few hours because they couldn't get trailers here to carry the chickens away in. I am not sure how they run that company. They know how many chickens I have, they know how many trailers they will need, they know when they need them, they know how long it takes to pick them up and to drive them to the plant, yet they still mess it up. On the good side though, they picked them up, and I now await my fate in knowing how much they weighed. I guess that could be good or bad. we will have to see how it goes. Either way, I will be better off than the poor chickens. 

Next, I wanted to report that I was a winner of a give away at From Melissa's Desk!!  I was one of three winners of the Pillsbury "Home is Calling" gift baskets. It was my first time winning a give away, and I was so excited. Anything that involves food definitely works for me. Melissa always seems to have a give away going over there on her site. I hate to do this, because it lowers my chances of winning them when more people enter, but in this case, sine I already won a prize, I recommend everyone stop over there and enter as many of her givaways as you can. Seriously, who doesn't like free stuff? And all you usually have to do is comment on the post with the give away and you are entered. You can't beat that kind of a deal. So, click the link, and go there, enter a give away, and then come right back to finish reading this post. I'll hold your spot. 

OK, welcome back. Finally, I wanted to point out the EntreCard drop link on my sidebar. If you are an EntreCard Dropper and want to quickly find some good sites to drop on then you can use my list. It is under the Pages section on the far right column. I am making it nice and easy by creating a list of links to people I typically drop on. They are people who return my drops, so they will most likely drop back on you as well, and that is what we all want, right? As you can see the list is not at 300 yet, but it is growing daily. I added people I found in my Inbox each day, but due to time limitations at the end of the flock, I didn't get everyone that dropped on me added to the list. I will keep adding to it. If your site is not on the list and you are an EntreCard member who wants to be on my daily dropping list, then just comment on this post and I will add you. 

Once the list hits 300 though, I will probably be more picky of who is on the list. I'll worry about that when I come to it. So far though the list is people who are active droppers, and I like that part. I would appreciate any input from people who would like to use the list. If you see duplicates let me know so I have a true count. If I missed someone who you think should be on the list let me know, and don't be shy. I just have so much time and limited brain power in the evenings when I tend to work on the site. I miss things all the time. And the higher he quality the sites on the list are the more fun it is for me to go through and read the new posts when I stop by. I guess I should also say that if you are listed on the page and are offended that I added you to the list, let me know that and I will quickly and quietly remove you with no questions asked.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Selling Chickens Tonight

Sorry, I have been really busy the last few days. They are taking the chickens tonight, well, actually it is tomorrow since they start the first house at 1 A.M. Then it is one house every 2 hours according to the schedule. So, I am up all afternoon today getting the houses ready, and then all night getting drinker lines raised up so they can get the fork lifts in there and the crews to take out the chickens. I should be done sometime around noon tomorrow. It is a mixed feeling at the end of the flock. I am so happy to get the chickens out of here, but the cost is I have to be awake for 36 hours straight. Then again, after that I usually sleep all day, so i can get caught up. It all balances out in the end. Think heavy thoughts!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thank You for the Blessings

I think this wraps up the holiday for us in a very cute way.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

We Elfed Ourselves!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

No, seriously, click on it because it is hilarious. AND, it is probably one of the only times you can see me dance. That is something exceptionally rare. It has only been witnessed by people at my wedding reception and people in an out of the way punk nightclub in Germany in the 80's. I just thought, "Hey, I can't dance any worse than they are." The fact that the dance floor emptied out soon after I began to dance indicated to me that they disagreed. Oh well, I'll just keep my white guy overbite stored away for special occasions. Until then, click on the image and watch the short, very funny video, and then go make your own. 

Click here to elf yourself too!

Come back when you are done and leave me a comment to tell me where your video is so I can go check it out!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bookwork Meme!

I’ve been tagged with the Bookworm Meme by Signe Says.  Here’s how this meme works:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 56.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next two to five sentences.
5. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the cool book or the intellectual one. Pick the Closest.
6. Tag five people to do the same.

Soooooo....  After an extensive search of the living room, which is not the room I typically do my reading in, I was able to find 20 books. Here is the fun part; two of them play songs, three or four of them have sound effects buttons you push as you read the story, about 10 of them are level one readers which do not have more than 30 pages. Luckily for me I did find one book that had over 56 pages. I'm guessing you will all know the book from the brief text on the page:

All Cinderella's friends were very sad when they saw her sobbing: "What could we do to comfort her?" they asked each other. They looked up at the stars and suddenly one of them started growing bigger and bigger, until it turned into a fairy

And the winner's of the tag are:

Toni at It's Nap Time:    Just because I wanted to make a new friend. =-) 

Me and the Blue Skies

The Un-Mom 

Carole's Thoughtful Spot

Small Town Mommy

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Basic Training VS Chicken Farm

If you hadn't noticed, I have changed the poll in the sidebar. It was a poll about the election, and if you watched it, Sen. Obama won the poll. I haven't checked the news yet to see if that matched the actual results of the election. What? Obama did win the election? WoW! 100 percent accurate with my polls so far! 

The new poll is on dieting. I have been thinking about dieting often lately, but not doing so well at actually following up on it with better eating habits. Usually I just wait until the end of the flock, and all my dieting issues go away. 

Normally, I can lose a lot of weight in the last two weeks of a flock because it is physically exhausting. My apologies to Drill Sargent Pennybacker from my basic training days as an MP, but some days on the farm (those last two weeks of a flock) are actually harder than most days in basic training were. Maybe I can compare the two:

In basic training I hiked and ran a lot. and no doubt about it, it was a lot of work and I got tired. However, in the chicken house I do several miles a day, but I walk back and forth at little angles trying to go forward. A good number of my steps have a chicken trying to hitch a ride on my foot, or trying to run between my steps, or pecking the back of my leg.

In basic I carried a comparatively light M-16A1 rifle in my hands during the longest and most grueling marches. In a chicken house I am carrying as many dead chickens as I can hold in my hands, or a bucket filled with the deceased so I can carry even more. When my hands are not weighed down with chickens, I have to wave them like a crazy person and  also clap them non-stop in order to scare chickens into moving out of the way. Believe me, they don't want to leave their spot.

In basic training I had mandatory lunch breaks even though lunches lasted for what seemed like 2 minutes. On the farm I wouldn't dream of eating at any point. The moment my hands touch the highly disgusting, germ infested steering wheel of the stinky  chicken farm pick up truck the thought of food vanishes. Except for occasionally when I think to myself, "I could really go for some fried chicken right about now". I won't go into why that thought comes up, but it involves me holding a chicken leg with no chicken attached. Back to my point; I never eat while working on the farm, no matter how many long, tiring hours I spend down there. 

In basic training I willingly crawled through mud. On the chicken farm I have fallen face first many times into wet chicken poop, never willingly. Luckily, I have never crushed a chicken while falling. Comparing the two wet sunbstances, I'd prefer to crawl in the mud.

Basic training only lasted 8 weeks, and the last two weeks of the flock sounds like it would be the loser in this category, but these last two weeks happen five times a year, which is ten weeks. Although it is broken up nicely with between flock work, and early flock work which is not at all as as difficult. Maybe I can call that one a tie. 

Being that I never did get around to explaining the diet poll, I'll have to make that another post on another day.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Podium and the Sleep Over

Toddlers are so wonderful for providing material to write about. I think it is just that you get to a point where you think you have them all figured out. I mean, you spend every day with them you think you can predict what they will say or do,  but they are learning and soaking things up so fast that the last thing they are is predictable. This of course comes with a story. 

Tonight I was putting T to bed. Things were going along pretty normally. 

"T, Bedtime in 5 minutes." ..... (Long pause) ... "Did you hear me?" 

"Yes. Can I play one more race?" (Mario Kart Wii

"Sure. One race takes about five minutes. That would be perfect."

T plays the game, finishes the race and turns off the game. He then looks for the remote for the TV and turns it back from game mode to TV. (Oh, wait. Did I say the night started 'normally'? Yeah, that is not normal. Typically I would try to stop him from playing what ever he was playing with for those last five minutes, and then we would battle for a few minutes until I finally got him into the bathroom to start getting ready. There would be some crying involved on a normal night.)

Without any problems we grab Tigger and head to the bathroom. In the bathroom he starts acting a little silly. I thought I would redirect it a little before it gets out of control. 

"Grab that step stool and bring it over here." I say to him, pointing to the plastic step stool he has near the toilet from when he was shorter and needed a boost up. He listens, mostly because he is not sure what I am doing. I took the plastic stool, and placed it along side his two-step step stool he uses at the sink. I put them together in such a way as to make them look like a podium from the Olympics. It is the same type podium that they put the characters on at the end of the races of Mario Kart Wii. Now that made an impression on him. We had fun standing on the steps and looking like the characters from the game, pumping our arms in the air and yelling the silly sayings they say like "waahooo!", "Wacky" and "Mahhriioooo". We needed three people of course, so Tigger was kind enough to take up a step. Initially he made it to the number one position, but T decided that Tigger wasn't fast enough to get first. After all, he didn't even have fingers to use the remote. Tigger was then demoted to third and T took first place. We did that for a few minutes, and it was easy to slide the podium to the sink so he could brush his teeth. He was very happy and the experience reinforced the new word we were working on: Podium. (That boy picks up vocabulary pretty quickly. All I can say is never talk down to a toddler. If they don't know the word they would love for you to define it so they can learn it.)

OK, teeth brushed and P.J.s on. We debated which stories to read, and I lost. I wanted to read the quick story about the worm that eats his homework, and he wanted two stories that were level 2 stories. Not taking my own advice about how quickly he can learn, I thought the vocabulary was too difficult for his age. He disagreed and was very adamant about it. So we read his choices and I just had to spend some extra time explaining some terms they used. Story time is always fun because it leads to so many discussions that may never have come up in daily life. 

Finally it was time for me to leave. Lights out. As I was tucking him in I found two dish towels in his bed. "Why are these towels in your bed? They shouldn't be in your bed."

"Those aren't towels. They are for Tigger. This one is his sheet." He takes it and gently spreads it out over his pillow. "And this one is his blanket." He puts it over the top of the other one. "We are having a sleep over." 

"A sleep over? Ohhhh. I didn't know that. OK, tuck Tigger in well, and make sure he gets a good night sleep. He looks tired." 

"OK daddy. Tigger's tired. We have to be nice when we have a sleep over." 

"Since you are having a sleep over, tomorrow instead of milk and coffee, I will have to make milk, and milk, and coffee."

"Yeah, that's right. We will have milk, and milk and coffee tomorrow. That's nice to share when you have a sleep over." 

"That's right T. It's good to be nice when you have a sleep over. Good night T." 

"Good night Daddy."

Friday, November 14, 2008

How long could you last?

I could survive for 1 minute, 22 seconds chained to a bunk bed with a velociraptor

Created by Bunk

I know it is stupid, but I do after all have an arcade page on my site. Obviously time wasters are not a problem for me. I took the test because I was reading A Daily Dose of Zen Sarcasm and she posted it on her site. The quiz takes only a minute or two and doesn't require you to enter your email or any other info. So, have fun!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Baby Q Bites Winnie the Pooh

[caption id="attachment_262" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Baby Q holding Pooh Bear."]Baby Q holding Pooh Bear.[/caption]

Since today is the my day to hang out with baby Q, I thought I would write a little update about her. It has been such a fun past few days because she is starting to develop skills faster. Within the past few days she has gone from being able to roll from her back to her stomach, and two days ago she learned how to reverse that and return to her back again. It is an awkward stage when they can only roll one way. She would spend so much energy trying like mad to roll onto her stomach, and then once she got there she would decide that it wasn't as much fun as she thought it would be. That is when the crying starts since she was stuck there at that point. At least now, she can roll herself back over to her back again and we can avoid a few tears.

Secondly, she is getting so much better at using her hands to manipulate her environment. Babies seem to really start learning so much faster once they can use their hands better, and that is were she is now. She can finally grab things, pick them up, hold them in front of her face to look at, and of course shove them into her mouth. Everything apparently tastes bad since she makes a very sour face when she puts things in her mouth for the first time. It is like she expected the stuffed owl to taste delicious, and then found it tasted like cloth. It is very nice to go though these stages again with the second baby. They went so fast with the T, and are going fast with Q also, but just watching her develop adds a little happiness to my chicken farm days. Everyday is just something new to look forward to. Like this morning, I know she is babbling, but when I am holding her right after a feeding she sure seems like she is talking to me. Soft gentle words with no meaning that I can comprehend, but she looks like she is telling me a story about her day. I am sure in those babbles I heard 'dada' a couple of times. I expect that was when she was reminding me how much fun I had changing her poopy diaper this morning and the faces I made when I noticed I had poop on my hand. Maybe not a high point in my day, but to her I am sure it was hilarious.

P.S. Being that I am a veteran it is only right that I say happy Veteran's Day to all my fellow veterans out there. Thank you all for a job well done.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Gotta Love the Chicken Farm

Last night Early, early this morning, at 3:30 in the way to early for me to be awake part of the morning, the alarms went off for the chicken houses. I got up all bleary eyed and threw a sweat shirt on my oh so not yet awake body and headed outside to the stinky chicken truck to go investigate. I found that the alarm was going off in house number one. The control board there showed the front of the house was 12 degrees too cold. Maybe a heater is out I think to myself. I walked outside along the side of the chicken house in my shorts and sweat shirt combo wondering why I am never more prepared for the cold weather alarms at night. It was about 36 degrees (f) out there and I was freezing. After inspecting the front heater I saw it was definitely not working. Repairing it takes time and more light than I had, so I decided to see what I could do to make the house warmer using the other two working heaters. Back to the control room I went.

In the control room I checked the temperatures again and noticed that the temperature in the middle of the house was also cold, but the heater there was working. That is odd, so I opened the door to look in the house. I saw another problem. A wire that opens and closes the buffers (little windows all along the sides of the house that allow the air in) was broken, so all the front buffers were wide open all the time. Well, that would definitely cause it to be cold in there. It is like heating a room with the windows wide open. I went up to my house to get dressed more appropriately for the weather, then after a crazy search for some tools, one was actually found buried in the litter in a chicken house, I repaired the broken wire.

With the wire repaired I tested it, and found that now the buffers don't open wide enough in the front. That is odd also, so I go investigate. Nothing better than walking through the inside of a chicken house in week seven of a flock. It takes about 30 seconds inside the house before you are fully committed to taking a shower because it is a smell that won't come off. Too late now. I found that the broken wire I just repaired had caused the weight at the other end of the line to pull too hard on the pulley, and pulled that out of the ceiling. At least I had all my tools gathered, so it didn't take too long to repair that problem.

After fixing those two out of the three problems, the temperatures had now all balanced out and were once again within the range I needed them to be. I looked at my clock in the truck and found that it was already almost five a.m. As I had suspected, when I got home T was already awake and waiting for me. I took a quick shower, and headed out to the kitchen with T to start my day. "Can I please have some milk daddy?"

"Yes T. Go sit on the couch and I will get some milk for you and some coffee for me."

I'm going to have to learn to go to bed earlier than midnight. When ever I stay up late something always happens to make me get up early. Luckily, L will be home early today and I will be able to catch a little nap. See it still all works out.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

An Uber Amazing Award!!!

You know it is a good month when you get not one, but two awards. I received another award a few days ago from Elaine at My Life as a SAHM. You know that is one of my favorite blogs to read because when you read her posts, you really feel like you know her and her family. She comes across as very warm, friendly and honest. Her writing draws you in and you kind of feel like you're a part of her world. Of course now she is even more of a favorite for me, because I can see she has just as good of taste in blogs as I do.  ;-)

Here's what I am supposed to do; pick people I haven't already given an award to and extend my blog roll:

For the Uber Amazing Blog award, it is given to sites who:

  • inspires you

  • makes you smile and laugh

  • or maybe gives amazing information

  • a great read

  • has an amazing design

  • and any other reasons you can think of that makes them uber amazing!

The rules of this award are:

  • Put the logo on your blog or post.

  • Nominate at least 5 blogs that for you are Uber Amazing!

  • Let them know that they have received this Uber Amazing award by commenting on their blog.

  • Share the love and link to this post and to the person you received your award from.

1. It's Gonna Take More Than a Hamburger to Make Me Happy: I know I named her site as a Cool Blog of the Week already, but it is definitely an uber amazing blog worthy of an award. Who knew I would actually have a strong opinion about the consistency of spaghetti sauce. Read her post on the topic and see who you agree with.

2. Dad - The Dude: This is another new one on my reading list. He is a dad with a great sense of humor. I like it when I come across a blog were most of the posts make me laugh out loud. Some of his recent topics included NASCAR and Rednecks. You can't go wrong with material like that.

3. A Letter to Xander: I have been reading this blog for a while. Every time I read this blog I think to myself, "That is such a great idea. Why didn't I think of that?" Xander's mom simply writes a letter to him every few days to record all the amazing new things he can do that week, or just the funny things that would be great to remember far into the future.  How cool would it be to be able to go back years from now and read what your child was doing day by day. Priceless! Xander's mom also has another blog called the Un-Mom where she blogs about non-parenting things in her life. Both are a great read.

4. Creative-Type Dad: Yes, another dad blog. It is true I seek out other dad blogs so I can see if I am doing things right. So far I have learned that most dad's have their own unique style that is just as odd as mine. Creative-Type Dad has an unusual fascination with KFC. He somehow inserts it into many of his posts. It reminds me of how Seinfeld added a superman figure or reference in every episode. Being that I love fried chicken and KFC is awesome, the blog certainly works as a staple in my reading list.

5. Bathtub Junkie: This is one of the blogs I have followed since around the first day I got into blogging. She has a wonderful family with two toddlers and a kitty named Little Beast. How cute is that? When I wanted to start blogging, this is one of the sites my wife recommended I start reading because she does such a great job. When you read her blog you feel like you are a part of her family as well.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

My First Award!!!

Preston over at IMe and the Blue Skies has awarded me with the Proximidade Award. He tells me that “This blog invests and believes, in ‘proximity’ [meaning, that blogging makes us 'close' - being close through proxy]. These blogs are all charming and they aim to show the marvels of friendship. Let’s give more attention to them! So with this prize we must deliver it to eight bloggers that in turn must make the same thing and put this text."

Preston wrote some very nice words about my site and I want to thank him for being so kind. I am humbled and amazed that people read what I have to write, and am very excited that someone thought it worthy of some recognition. So, thank you for handing me my first award. I follow Me and the Blue Skies as well. Preston was the person who changed the way I looked at flatulence. It used to be something to be ashamed of, and now I can be proud to be helping lower the blood pressure of my family, even though my wife may not agree. You will have to read the post to understand. Preston also shares the same political slant that I do, so reading his blog posts about the election didn't stress me out. When you get a chance stop in and say hello to Preston. Oh, and be prepared, he was once named runner up in the Miss Cooper River Drag Beauty Contest. He is full of surprises and opinions which I am sure will keep you going back for more.

So, now I need to pass it on to other worthy bloggers. Here are some of my favorite reads that deserve an award. All of these are fun to read, informative and definitely worthy of every award around. This award recognizes blog friendships, so I pass it along to those of you who are my friends, whether it be a new friendship, or long time friends I love following your blogs as often as I can. I also had some others I wanted to give the award to, but I saw they already had the award. Maybe I need to create a new blog award since some of you already have so many there may not be any left for you to receive.

   My Life as a SAHM

 Three Little Hartzells - See How They Play   Three Little Hartzells - See How They Play
1581884212_57276dd550_oScary Mommy

   Signe Says
    Cool Mom Guide

    News From NOLA


   A Mom's TLC

Monday, November 3, 2008

A good bad day

How terrible was my day? Oh let me count the ways:

Problem 1: I went up to check on the chickens this morning and was reminded of a failing relay switch that needed replaced by the annoying beeps coming from the control box. If that switch fails the chickens don't get air, so I decided to replace it today. I dislike it greatly when things go bad on the week end. No stores are open so I am left to patch things together, or find creative ways to work around inoperable machinery until Monday morning arrives.

Begin problem 2: I decided to make it a morning of errands. I went to the first store to return a timer. I had one go bad and they didn't have the same one, so I thought I would take a different one and try to "make it work". Well, it couldn't be done, so I had to return it. I had no problem returning it, so I headed out to the truck to go to the next store. Turn the key, and heard the worst squealing rattling noise you would ever want to hear a small pick up made in the 80's make. I tried several times to get it to start, each time the noise greeted me like a wounded moose shot from an Alaskan helicopter. It was not pretty, and the truck would not start. A helpful stranger walked over from the store and gave it a listen. He immediately looked at me with a that's going to be expensive look and told me it was the starter.  He gave it a few really quick key twists and was able to get it to start. I thanked him, jumped in and immediately headed to... wait, I really need that relay switch.

Add a problem 3: I decided to go to the next store and get that relay switch. I parked in their parking lot and left the engine running. Secretly I was hoping someone would see it and decide to take it home, but seriously, its a chicken farm truck. By the time they sat in the drivers seat the smell would make them fully regret their decision. I headed into the store and got the relay. OK, now head to the auto repair shop and drop off the truck. I called my wife and told her to meet me there so I would have a ride home. Only problem is that when I got there I found a sign on the gate stating they had a family emergency and the shop was closed for the day. Great, now how do I start the truck tomorrow to drive it to the shop? Yes, its an automatic, so I can't even push start it.

Move into problem 4: Once at home I still have to walk the chicken houses. Without a truck its a bit more challenging, but possible. I have a back up plan! I get out the lawn mower and attach the little trailer on the back of it. Only to find the tire on the trailer is flat. Let's not even count that as a problem, since it is always flat when I need it. I just fill it up and its typically good for a day. I go up to the chicken houses, replace the relay switch, and then walk the chicken houses removing the dead chickens. I finished that up in a few hours, and then headed to the pits to dispose of the deceased ones. As soon as I am done with that I notice that the tire is no longer filled with air, but is so flat I am riding on the rim which is totally destroying the tire. There is no fixing that tire at this point. It is still sitting right there at this moment.

I'll wrap up the rest and call it all problem 5: Three stores later and still unable to find a replacement tire. I'll have to get up extra early tomorrow and go shopping in another town. Tomorrow is my day to take care of Q. I have some one who picks up chickens for me on those days and without a truck or a trailer there isn't much she can do. I need to have that fixed before she arrives, and before L goes off to work. Wish me luck.

On the good side, T came home from school before I went to those three stores, so he took the ride with me. It was a lot of fun taking T and his imaginary friends on a tour of hardware stores. It was more fun watching people look at him and wonder why he talks so funny as he changes his voice when he is pretending to be some one else. Oh, he was buzz lightyear, lightning McQueen, Tigger, Yoshi, Zorg, and apparently even himself when he was older. "Once, when I was taller, I had one of these tools to fix the chicken houses on my farm." I know it may look funny to strangers, but I love that little boy and his great big imagination. It made the whole day better. Then we went home, and my wife, who knew I had a rough day, made a delicious dinner for us all. Even Q sat in a high chair at the table and we all ate, talked and laughed. Even on a bad day, it is still good to be me.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween Pictures

[caption id="attachment_213" align="aligncenter" width="220" caption="T and Q in costume"]T and Q in costume[/caption]

We had a lot of fun heading over to Grandma and Grandpa's house for Halloween. We like to take T over there to trick or treat because they live in a nice safe little cul-de-sac. Plus it is a nice chance for us to get off of the farm and go visit grandma and grandpa and my sisters, although Auntie J had to work so we didn't get to see her.

T was dressed as Buzz Lightyear from the movie Toy Story. Q was dressed as a hot dog with mustard.

T loves Buzz Lightyear, and likes to tap the button on his chest and throw his arms out like wings.

[caption id="attachment_215" align="aligncenter" width="256" caption="Buzz ready for flight"]Buzz ready for flight[/caption]


Next we got Q all set in her stroller for her first adventure in trick or treating. She has a little cold, so it was good that her costume was nice and warm and covered her from head to toes. She is the cutest hot dog I ever saw.

[caption id="attachment_216" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Hot dog with mustard to go!"]Hot dog with mustard to go![/caption]

And the final shot is Q with her daddy after her adventure was over. She was not sure what had happened, but she seemed to enjoy the ride in the stroller and watching strange looking costumed people run around the streets. All in all a fun evening for everyone.

[caption id="attachment_217" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Daddy and Q "]Daddy and Q [/caption]

Friday, October 31, 2008

A Day with My Computer

For the last few days, well maybe weeks, I have been complaining loudly to anyone within earshot that my laptop has been running unbelievably slow. It has been so frustrating watching pages load a tenth of an inch at a time. Yesterday I decided to do something about it. I backed up anything I could find of value onto an external drive, and then went ahead and formatted the hard drive and started to reinstall the operating system.

Problem One: Apparently, I need to get my prescription for my glasses re-done since reading the Microsoft Product Key off the bottom of my computer was difficult. After squinting as hard as I could, I thought I got it, and then clicked to enter it. I received an  "Invalid Key Code" message. I tried to reread the code, but even with super squinting it still looked the same.

The only number I had for help was from HP, so I called them. After 20 minutes they were able to walk me through the problem and get past the error. (Reboot the computer and re-enter the key code. Don't tell anyone, but I spent six years in tech support and the number one fix for most problems is reboot the computer and try again. Maybe it was the stress that the baby was about to wake up soon that caused me to panic.)

Problem Two: Operating system installed, I started to load the updates like SP2. Guess what? An Invalid Key Code error came up as it was installing. So, I call Microsoft for help. No, this time it wasn't a reboot solution. I guess there are new systems in place for Microsoft to prevent people from stealing their key codes. I talked to the representative and they have to validate my code and give me a different code that shows my code was validated. I was told I could do this online which I will do next time now that I know what is going on. In the old days I just installed and entered the Key Code and I was good. I guess those days are gone.

Problem Three: After getting the updates in and reinstalling my anti-virus I tried to re-open my favorite Google Chrome browser and go through some sites. Well, on some pages it was fast, but then when I go through blogs it goes very slow again. After all that, I found that Chrome doesn't work well with some Flash items on websites. So, possibly I did all this for nothing. I am telling myself I had way to much unnecessary software on my computer before and this streamlined, no additional software added, installation will make life faster and better anyway. I have to think that, otherwise I wasted my day for nothing.

I am back to running everything on Internet Explorer and it works fine. I guess I'll wait on Chrome until they fix the problem.

Finally thought: Hopefully I get my man card back now. Fixing things that probably were not broken is definitely manly. Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

From Rolling to Driving

Another stage is passing by. My little Q is now able to roll. It happens so quickly once they get the hang of it. First its rocking side to side, and then eventually they accidentally roll over. From then on the idea of being able to move takes over and that's all they want to do. The last few days she has been working on rolling from her back to her stomach. She has not yet realized she could roll to her back again yet, but it will happen. Before I know it she will be crawling for a day or so, or at least it will seem that fast, and then walking, followed by running. Which apparently  to me hunting her down at bed time to catch her and get her to take a bath. At least that is how it seemed to go with T. Maybe Q will be slower at running, or easier to catch. That sure will make my job easier. I don't remember how fast it happened with T, but it seems like it was it was a matter of minutes of his life that he was a baby. Now he is a full on little boy who stops only when he lands in Time-out. From pre-dawn to post-dusk he seems to be non-stop moving around. I try to enjoy every moment of Q's baby days. I know how fast they go, and how much I will miss the moments we had where we could set her down and she would stay there. Already I can't set her on the changing table without practically grabbing a leg to hold her in place.

Here is what I'm finding out; being a parent is a very sad thing if every time you see your babies you imagine them waving out the car window as they head off to college. I really have to stop doing that and start just seeing them as they are and appreciating these wonderful gifts we have been given exactly as they are right this moment. I try, I really do. It is just that seeing T already almost 4 years old shows me just how fast it goes.Once they hit the next phase, they never go back. T is already almost too big to pick up and hold in my arms. You don't know how sad I am going to be the day I can't pick him up to hug him. See! Already tears in my eyes. I have got to stop doing this. Seriously, I need some kind of MAN pill or something. Next post I will write about something very manly just to make myself feel better.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


I was tagged by Modern Mommy Blog and I’m supposed to share 7 things about me that you don’t know. That should be easy enough, let's see what I can come up with. And remember, you only get the things my mother can read...

1. I am a closet fan of Miranda Lambert. If someone asked me what I was listening to on my ipod, I probably wouldn't mention her, but when I am not sure what to play I usually pick Miranda Lambert's two Albums. She was a Nashville Star contestant who took 3rd place. I'm not sure who took first that season, but I'll bet Miranda out sells them. 

2. One of my summer jobs for college was working at a company that printed numerous magazines. I worked on the line loading pages into a feeder that assembled Playboy magazines. It was nice, because of all the cologne ads. The place always smelled like Eternity cologne.

3. I have an insatiable sweet tooth that knows no limits. And for that I must apologize to my wife frequently.

4. I taught a foreign language exploratory class for sixth graders in Wisconsin for three years. I went over German, Japanese, French, and Spanish for one quarter each. 

5. I have tried to teach myself to play guitar for almost ten years and never got much farther than Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,  Row, Row Row Your Boat and Itsy bitsy spider. Luckily my current audience consists of a five month old and a three year old, so I am still good. 

6. I am not sure what happened, or if it happens to all fathers, but the moment I held my own baby for the first time it changed me forever. I have lost some control over my emotions. I cry much easier, I laugh harder, and I have never felt love so strongly. That is some powerful stuff.

7. I once accidentally went into a barbershop in a black community to get a haircut. I was visiting a friend and not familiar with the area. After I sat down in the waiting chairs I realized what I had done. I figured a haircut was a haircut, so I would just stay and get a cut. I waited and I waited. People were coming in and then seated, got a haircut, paid and left, and I still sat there. I wasn't sure what to do. Were they ignoring me because I was white? Should I just leave? As I was trying to decide what to do a nice lady came over and explained the problem to me. Black people and white people have different types of hair. None of the barbers really knew how to cut a white persons straight hair. There was one barber however that felt if I was brave enough he would give it a try. You see, right there I should have left. I understood the problem. It was just a matter of not knowing how to cut my hair, and I was fine with that. I should have said thank you for explaining it to me and walked out, but I didn't. I wanted a hair cut and figured how hard could it be to cut my hair? I thought,"what the heck, I'll give him a try." Well, all I can say is this, if someone clearly tells you they don't know how to cut your hair, believe them. It was the worst hair cut I have ever had in my life. He used the same technique on my hair as he did on the other customers. It was more like shaping the hair and less like the measuring out the hair length with the fingers and cutting the hair to be the same length that I was used to. I hold no hard feelings for that horrible haircut. It was totally my fault for allowing it to happen. My friend who I went there to visit got a big kick out if it. I guess I did too. I received a little lesson in the differences between cultures and have a funny story to tell more than a decade later. I wonder if they still talk about me in that barber shop. 

Here are the seven blogs I am tagging. They all happen to be members of Entrecard whose sites I love and who happen to frequent my site as well. I am looking forward to reading their answers so I can get to know all of them a little better. Also if you are not on this list and want to play along as well, feel free to list your seven things we don't know about you and leave a link in the comments here so we can all go check it out. 

From Melissa's Desk

Small Town Mommy

Hip to Be Mom

Go Graham Go!

The Un-Mom

Our Happy Happenings

Zip 'N' Tizzy

Friday, October 24, 2008

Rhinoplasty at Three?

Bedtimes are always interesting. You never know what will happen. What excuse will he create today to try to and stay up just a little longer? Here is tonight's story and the solution. 

I read T a bedtime story every night. It is our own little private time where we read, talk and laugh.  We read the stories, and he asks a million questions about the pictures. We talk for a while about the pictures and why the illustrator drew things they way they did. Occasionally, I change the words in the story and he catches me. We laugh, and sometimes he changes it in another way. After the story is done we talk a little more about random things. Tonight he told me a story about The Little Mermaid. It had nothing to do with the book we read, which was about a smelly bear and a fluffy bear. Apparently, the little mermaid was swimming and went down a hole. She was falling down the hole, falling, falling, falling, Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!! Then she fell onto her head. From what I understand she was OK, but then the lava melted her hair and it was stinky. Luckily for me there were several retellings of the story in different ways. All ended up with something being stinky. 

Finally, it was time for me to leave and for T to go to sleep. As I was getting up he told me he needed to have mommy's sleep mask because,"When I am sleeping my nose hurts very much." (L wears a CPAP mask for sleeping to help her get a better nights sleep.) T got up from the bed and started heading out to find his mother. I stopped him along the way and explained that mommy needs that mask, so he wouldn't be able to use it. Yes, I know rational arguments are not going to work on a three year old, and you are right. It didn't. "But I need it!"  He started back towards mommy again. I stopped him again and tried a different approach. 

"T, Let me see your nose." I turned and opened the junk drawer. I pulled out the only tool I could see which was a screwdriver. 

"I think I see the problem. You need a new nose." I said. He looked at me and quickly started to play along. 

"Yes, I think I need a new nose because my nose always hurts when I am sleeping." He started to giggle a little looking at the screw driver. I bought the screw driver closer to his nose and pretended like I was taking the nose off, and then putting a new one on. 

"How does this nose feel?" I asked him. 

"That nose feels better. It doesn't hurt anymore. That's because you changed my nose, right daddy?"

"That's right T. We changed your nose so it won't hurt when you are sleeping." 

And with that, he turned towards his own room and went back to his bed. I tucked him in, and kissed him on the head. "I love you T. I will see you in the morning for milk and coffee.

"I love you too daddy. Good Night."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cool Blog of the Week - FIVE

Making a choice for Cool Blog of the Week is always difficult. Do you know how many cool blogs are out there? I read a lot of blogs each week, and some of course are of topics I am not interested in, but there are so many that write on topics I love. Remember when Lauren and Ural were my pick for the week? They are travelling all over, and I find that fascinating. They are currently in Thailand if you haven't checked in on them in a while. I also picked The life of Casey Emerson. She is a writer, and I have always been interested in writing, and people who write. I picked Girl in Georgia's blog because, well, she is my wife and I love her so it should go without saying that I am interested in everything she has to say, and all the ways she chooses to express herself. And finally, last week I chose The Army Wife. I was in the military, and I know how tough it is to be a soldier, and she was able to help me better relate that to how the people who love and support the soldier feel during the difficult times, such as when on deployment in a combat zone. 

So each week I find someone whose blog speaks to me on a personal level. Hopefully when I share it, other people can see some of the same things in those blogs that make me enjoy reading them so much. That brings me to this week's blog. For those of you who don't know me, and even for those of you who do, you may not know I love food, and have even gone so far as to become a fan of the Food Network and several cooking shows. Yes, it's true. I love watching Chef Ramsey crack the whip in Kitchen Nightmares in order to straighten up a failing restaurant and get it back up and making a profit. He reminds me of a drill sargeant that didn't get enough sleep. I also love to watch him challenge chef-hopefuls in Hell's Kitchen. There is something about watching what it takes to make great food and run a restaurant that captures my imagination. I know I do not have anywhere near the organizational skills to do that, but I can dream and I enjoy watching how they make those incredible dishes. 

Recently I stumbled upon a blog written by a woman who runs a restaurant with her sister and her mother. I swear some of her posts are funny enough to be material for sitcom writers. She has a unique perspective of the restaurant business and shares the serious and the hilarious aspects of it with her readers. The title of the blog alone made me want to check it out, once I did I was hooked. The title is It's Gonna Take More Than a Hamburger to Make Me Happy . 

Why you should read it? Don't tell me you haven't wanted to know what goes on behind those kitchen doors after you place your order. What do the people cooking your food talk about? How do they respond to bad customers? It is like being a fly on the wall and seeing how the owners and cooks see things. She also talks about daily stuff that an outsider wouldn't think of. Her most recent post for example talks about the Laundry guy, and what happens when he arrives with their linens. It seems both funny and sad at the same time. It is very real and easy to relate to. 

Click on the link below and take a peak into life behind the scenes of a family restaurant. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. 

It's Gonna Take More Than a Hamburger to Make Me Happy

Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday Mayhem

Just a couple of things to add today. First I want to close up the voting poll tomorrow morning. If you want to get another vote in for your candidate of choice vote today. You know me, I am completely unbiased on it, so vote anyway that makes you happy. OK, maybe unbiased is not exactly correct. 

Secondly, I added a new page to the site. I love to play games every now and then, so I thought it might be nice to just add some fun games to my own site. Now when I want to play I know where to go. Thanks to google gadgets I have been able to add Frogger, Black Jack, and Checkers. I plan to rotate other games in from time to time as I get bored. Feel free to join in and play some of the games. There is a link on the right side that says Arcade Fun. Just click it and enjoy yourself. 

Finally, for those of you not persuaded by my Obama posts and are looking for more people who support McCain/ Palin, then I would like to encourage you to check out another of my favorite blogs. You know it must be good if she is a McCain supporter and I still like reading her blog. Check out Melissa's Desk. I thought it only fair that if I was going to openly support a candidate that I should at least give the opposing side some equal time. I am sure that when it comes to writing something good about the republican candidates it would be best left to someone who feels more passionate about it. Here is a link to her post entitled NObama for all of you ready to jump right in.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Silly Sunday

[caption id="attachment_174" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Swamp Monster for President? "]Swamp Monster for President? [/caption]

Yes, I can see now why we should elect this man for president. I was sooo wrong about him. Let's all sing a nice rendition of Bomb, Bomb,Bomb Iran together to celebrate.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Did He Just Say That?

I think I just lost my first argument to my three year old son. Well, I am not sure it was actually an argument per se. All the same, I am sure I was the one who lost. T was playing a video game by himself, and as usual he was asking a lot of questions as he played. 

"Why is that doggie rolling around?"

"I don't know.", I said, hoping that would suffice.

"Why is that doggie rolling around?", he asks again as if I hadn't spoken.

"The doggie rolls around and runs over the racers. Stay away from the doggie.", I say hoping that a longer answer will work. 

" Daddy, but why is the doggie rolling around?", he asked relentlessly. 

"T, are you listening to me? The doggie is there to make you go slower. When you are racing you want to go fast, so stay away from him.", I say hoping that would finally end the discussion. 

"Why is the doggie rolling around?", he asks. I see now he is playing a game with me and it will go on forever unless the chain is broken. We are sitting side by side on the couch. I lean over to him and get forehead to forehead with him. "YOU ARE NOT LISTENING TO ME ANY WAY, SO STOP ASKING ME ABOUT THE DOGGIE!", I say loudly, laughing as I say it. I assumed this loud comedic response would make him laugh and the string of questions about the doggie would be over. I mean he is three years old. I am his dad. I assume I have won this round and sit back up. 

T looks at me, shakes his head slowly and says, "You are a strange, sad , little man." I looked at L, (my wife), and we both started laughing. I was laughing so hard I was crying. 

"Where did you learn that from?", I asked him as I tried to catch my breath from laughing so hard. 

"That is what Buzz Lightyear says to Woody when Woody was yelling at him." he explained to us. I was just so impressed that he could take a quote from a movie and use it so appropriately in a crazy conversation. Sometimes he seems more like a teenager than a three year old.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How to Win the Election

It is a crazy world, and from what I can tell there are so many people in America who seem to have no ability to think for themselves at all. I am sure those of you reading this are smart enough to tell when you are reading something if it has any truth to it at all. Most of us can even tell when what we read or hear is a lie based on a truth.  Some of the best lies have just enough truth behind them to make them seem real. After following along with the election this year I know it is too late to announce my candidacy, but if I could, I have a good strategy all set up. It involves taking a page from the McCain / Palin playbook. Here is my first speech to get my campaign off on the right track:

[Step One -  Invoke God, as if he endorses me]

My dear Lemmings, the country, which was created by God himself for good people like us, is in dire straights.

[Step Two - Add lame humor]

No, not the Dire Straights band from the 80's, but the dire straights that means real bad situation. What we need in a time like this, my dear Lemmings, is some strong leadership.

[Step Three - Say you have a specific plan but don't say what it is]

We need someone like me who can take the hard stance, make tough decisions and stand up for our country. I can fix our economic problems my dear Lemmings, and I'll tell you exactly how. My opponents won't tell you how.

[Step Four - Start telling some lies that could possibly be true but probably are not]

Heck, Sen. Obama is most probably a Buddhist since .3 percent of people in Kenya are Buddhists and we know he has family ties with that country. We know what Buddhists do with money, right? They give it away. Do we really want to elect a man who would go and give away our hard earned money? Of course not! And Sen McCain, well, his ties to Barry Goldwater run deep. Barry Goldwater is a libertarian from Senator McCains own home state of Arizona who opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Why we are not digging into this obvious act of racism in his past, I do not know. And someone who would be an acquaintance of a man like that could not possibly have a good plan to fix the economy, and if he did would it ignore all people of color?

[Step Five - Repeat the lies again because that makes them true]

So, my dear Lemmings, I ask you, who do you believe can fix the economy and get you back into your over priced homes? [Wait for them to stop chanting my name before I continue] A possible Buddhist, a man who is an acquaintance with a person who voted against Civil Rights Act of 1964, or me, a devoted leader who has told you time and time again exactly how he can improve the economy within the year. You do want your homes value to return where it was right? You do want your home loan to be cut in half, do you not?

[Step Six - Throw in more God talk, it can't hurt you]

Then, my dear Lemmings, the choice is as clear as the back of your hand, which was created by God himself specifically for you to use when voting for me. 

[Step Seven - Talk about things that people ask you while you travel around. Especially if it is negative about your opponents]

As I travel around this Great Land, I hear from many people who want to know, does John McCain really have a secret room in all of his houses where he holds cock fighting tournaments on a monthly basis? And every time I tell you straight out, I have no idea. And if he did, would it be any of my business? Possibly, but we first need to ask Senator McCain about this and see for yourself how quickly he denies it. Nothing is more incriminating than a strong denial. I am guessing he will say "no" pretty emphatically, so that would mean he probably does. 

Now, my dear Lemmings, I also hear people asking me about Senator Obama. They want to know if it is true that Senator Obama only passed his political science classes in college because his basketball coach talked to the professor and they made an "arrangement" where his scoring percentage on the court could be used as a part of his grade. I tell these people, look, I am not an investigative journalist. If you say that is true, then maybe it is.

[Step Eight - Add a few more "possible truths" to keep the press focused on researching your opponents past and not have time to ask about your detailed plans for the country]

But the questions do not end there. They want to know if Senator Obama uses the term "community organizer" as a way of making his actual job in Chicago of Big Daddy Pimp sound more presentable to the public. Now, my dear Lemmings, I hear you and I am not one to make up rumours about another candidate. So if you tell me those are facts, well, who am I to disagree with you. And regarding your questions about Senator McCain storing large amounts of gold in the basement of one of his houses in order to protect himself when our economy collapses, I just say that the neighbor who saw the trucks unloading it may or may not have seen actual gold bars. I can't be sure so I will not be so arrogant as to question the Senators right to store gold bars. 

[Step Nine - Final Step - (I know ten would have been better, but McCain's mind isn't as strong as it once was, so he only uses nine steps) - Wrap up with another God mention, restate some lies, remind Lemmings you have a detailed plan, thank them for their vote.]

So, in conclusion my dear Lemmings, I thank you in advance for your vote. It is because I have a detailed plan to have the bank give you your home mortgage back with a big PAID stamp across the top that you are voting for me. It is because you don't want a possible Buddhist handling your money, at least until he gives it away, and you don't want some guy who has so many doubts about our economic future that he possibly hordes gold in his basement, that you are voting for me. It is because I am a leader you can trust to bring change to Washington that you vote for me. Finally, it is because I go to a church you have heard about and no one from my church has set themselves on fire in a protest, and no one from my church has had a youtube video made about their pastor. And unlike Senator McCain's pastor, my pastor doesn't know a guy from his days in Bible college that got a minor pregnant. We don't have THOSE kinds immoral things happen in my church, Praise be to God. Let us pray that OUR God let's us win this election so as not to make their God appear stronger than ours. Amen. 

God bless you all, and thank you for your votes in November!

[Step Ten - (This is from Palins playbook. It is only one step long) - Leave quickly like you are in a hurry. Don't answer any questions because you may end up looking stupid. ]

Oh, I am so sure I could have won this election if only I had known these steps earlier.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Best Laid Plans...

Sometimes things happen in ways you don't expect. When there is a toddler around it seems that things seldom actually go anywhere near where you had foreseen them going. Of course there is a story to go along with this statement. 

During my free time I like to go online and brows the blogosphere searching for things fun to read, educational, or helpful to making me a better parent. Today I was reading one of the blogs I follow,, and they posted about an interesting online program for teaching children phonics. It is a program that requires a subscription fee to use, but they provide a free trial of two lessons. T was sitting near me, so I decided to give it a try. He seemed interested in it on my laptop, so I went ahead and pulled up the lessons on his computer. He was clicking away at the letters and hearing the sounds. He is just starting to get that sounds and letters go together, he is not great at it yet. So, I was helping him a little bit by prompting him to click the sound button, which repeats the sound. I was hoping he would hear it enough times and start to make connections. It seemed like it was going well, until he had to say 'B'. 

The letter 'B' became BEE, and it went downhill from there. 


[caption id="attachment_143" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="T testing out some phonics software"]T testing out some phonics software[/caption]

Here T is, playing with the game online. He was having fun, and rapidly it became more interactive than expected. He said the letter 'B' and suddenly he was up on his feet running across the room. "Come on Daddy, I am a bee and I want some honey.", he yelled back to me. I got up, interested to see where this would lead. I followed him into his bedroom, where he must have coincidentally been playing as a bee earlier in the day. I walk into his room and see this:


[caption id="attachment_144" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="T buzzing like a bee. "]T buzzing like a bee. [/caption]

T is flapping his arms and buzzing like a bee. He tells me he wants some honey, and then quickly heads into the hive to get some. (The hive is a collapsable laundry basket.)


[caption id="attachment_145" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="T, the bee, in his hive."]T, the bee, in his hive.[/caption]

On the plus side, 'B' was the correct answer to, "Which letter makes the 'buh' sound?" However, at this rate it could take a while to get through all the letter sounds.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Cool Blog of the Week - Four

[caption id="attachment_139" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Geissen Depot - Gate Shack"]Geissen Depot - Gate Shack - C Battery 2/2 ADA[/caption]

I joined the Army as an MP in 1985. My first duty station was in Geissen, Germany for a HAWK missile battery which no longer exists. I was assigned to a squad of MPs in the company and our mission was to protect the site through access control and physical security. Basically, I was a gate guard who also occasionally walked the perimeter of the site to insure no one entered without authorization. We searched vehicles and checked IDs of any one coming onto the site.

I spent the greater part of a year in this shack before the unit deactivated and I was reassigned to another unit. In fact I spent Christmas eve and Christmas night of 1985 on duty in this shack. It was the first Christmas I had ever spent away from my family. It was difficult for me, and for a lot of others who were there over the holiday, but you realize that you are doing something bigger than yourself. Evil doesn't take the holiday off, so neither does the military. I was young and single back then. I couldn't even imagine doing that now that I have my own family. I have no idea how so many men and women in the military today are able to go on those long deployments to Iraq and leave their spouses and children behind for over a year at a time. I have so much respect for them and their families.  

So, as the holidays approach, remember that there are millions of families who will have an empty seat at their holiday table. While you are enjoying a family feast, just take a moment and give thanks to those who will be out defending our freedom so we can sit together and freely discuss politics and worship which ever religion we choose. 

It so happens as I was out reading blogs I came across The Army Wife blog, written by a woman named Jess. I have been following it for a while and every time she talks about her husband it makes me so glad I was single when I was serving. 

Why You should Read It: We always think about what it must be like for the men and women serving those long tours in a war zone, but we often forget the strain it puts on their families who have to struggle on each day without them. They wait, counting down days on a calendar hoping that they will come home when they are scheduled and won't be delayed fo one reason or another. This quote comes from Jess's blog:

"PS: Do ya’ll realize that in 30 days, Anthony will be gone for a whole year. Time flys doesn’t it?

PSS: I applied for a job at Wal-Mart, I need something to keep me busy.

PSSS: I want to buy a handgun."

And in a different blog she wrote: 

"My husband’s company lost two soldiers two days ago. This is the main reason why I have been hiding out. We are not sure what happened, it’s under investigation. Just please pray for the family members of these soldiers and for the soldiers who served with them." 

I can totally feel for her. I hope that everyone can take a look at her site and say "hello" and "thank you" to her for all she has to go though so that her husband can be away fighting our battles.