Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Choices

With my 48th birthday fast approaching, I find myself reflecting, looking back on the life I've lived thus far. For the most part I'm content, but there are one or two things I'd change if I could. And even though I've never had a drinking problem, there is plenty in the song 'Choices' to make me sit up and think about the choices I've made. Thanks George!

I've had choices, since the day that I was born
There were voices, that told me right from wrong
If I had listened, no, I wouldn't be here today
Living and dying with the choices I've made

I was tempted, by an early age I found
I liked drinking, oh, and I never turned it down
There were loved ones, but I turned them all away
Now I'm living and dying, with the choices I've made

I've had choices, since the day that I was born
There were voices, that told me right from wrong
If I had listened, no, I wouldn't be here today
Living and dying with the choices I've made

I guess I'm paying, for the things that I have done
If I could go back, Oh, Lord knows I'd run
But I'm still losing, this game of life I play
Living and dying, with the choices I've made

I've had choices, since the day that I was born
There were voices, that told me right from wrong
If I had listened, no, I wouldn't be here today
Living and dying with the choices I've made

Living and dying, with the choices I've made.

George Jones

Monday, October 29, 2007

Family Reunion

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my family had a little get-together at a local eatery called...are you ready for this? When Pigs Fly. What a great name! Anyway, it was great having us all together for the first time in years. We talked, we laughed, and swapped stories.

Speaking of stories, my older cousins told one on me. They said when I was five or six I would run around and kick them in the shins and call them stupid. I have no memory of the alleged incident(s). All I can say is that it is a premeditated fabrication!

Anyway, here are some photos of us now, and a few of us then.

Here we are at my mother's place. Sally, me, Mom, my step-father Bill, and Gail.

Sally, myself, and Gail.

Me and Jeff goofing off in the restaurant. Us goofing off, go figure....

Aunt Margaret (Tom & Jeff's mom)

My mother and stepfather.

Jeff and Cathy.

Me 'n Goody Two Shoes.

Angie, Mikki, Zach (Angie's son), Jeffery, Sally, Tom, & Melanie

Tom, Melanie, & Greg (Melanie's husband)

Angie, Mikki, & Zach. Can you tell these two are mother and daughter?

Tom & me in 1962

Here I am with both Tom and Jeff. These photos were taken at one of the family cook outs at our grandparents house. All the family came and we ate until we were stuffed.

Sally, me, and Gail in 1961. No idea where this photo was taken.

Tom & Mikki at grandma's house in 1970. Love the slicked back hair couz!

And lastly, me in 1962. I'm contemplating who to kick next. Stupid!


Thanks to cousin Gail for supplying some of the photos!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Camera Totin' Idiot Becomes an M&M



Cool, huh? If you'd like to be an M&M go to Planet M&Ms

Now, get me off this railroad trestle, I hate heights!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I'm Gonna Be A Grandpa!!!!!!!!!!

Yep, you heard right. Dimples and Soccer Dude are preparing for the arrival of their first child sometime in late May of next year. They've even picked out names already: Jackson Grant if its a boy, and Sophia Grace if its a girl. So far the proud parents are happy as can be and doing fine, as are the prospective grandparents.

Here they are, Dimples and Soccer Dude just after giving us the news.


While they wait I can concentrate on ways to spoil grandchild number 1, not to mention all the stories I have to polish up so I can pass them on to my grandchild about its mother. Let's see, where to start...

Well, she's a dedicated big sister who would never take advantage of her little sister, in an awkward situation, just to get a cheap laugh. (stifled giggle on my part).

She's always been a healthy eater.

She's level headed.

A cheerful soul, not to mention the life of the party.

Charming to a fault.

A good student.

Retiring and quite camera shy.

Oh, and here's one last photo of Dimples and the Wild Child.
(I couldn't resist)


Now, as for Soccer Dude. Hmm...I don't have many pictures of him (can't seem to get him to stand still long enough for the camera. Thank goodness my daughter has good taste! He cleans up pretty good, don't you think?

Soccer Dude when he was in Iraq.

Here are the genes that are being passed on. Oh, am I gonna have fun with this!

And my favorite photo of them. As much as I hate to admit this publicly, I really owe Soccer Dude for the look he put on Dimples face.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tagging Goody Two Shoes

I found this neat little questionnaire/survey on another blog and got an evil thought. That being said, Goody Two Shoes is TAGGED. And since I already took the survey there are NO tag-backs. Now we'll see who has the better memory.

1. Who is your spouse/lover/significant other?
Goody Two Shoes.

2. How long have you been together?
28.5 years of wedded bliss...30 if you count dating and hanging out.

3. How long did you date?
About a year and a half.

4. How old is your spouse/lover/significant other?
13 days younger than me.

5. Who eats more?
I do. Its her fault for being a good cook.

6. Who said “I love you” first?
Pretty sure I did.

7. Who is taller?
Me, even if she's wearing heels.

8. Who sings better?
She does. No contest there.

9. Who is smarter?
Toss up. Depends on the situation.

10. Whose temper is worse?
Mine.

11. Who does the laundry?
90% her, 10% me.

12. Who takes out the trash?
I do most of the time.

13. Who sleeps on the right hand side of the bed?
She does. She stole it from me and banished me to the left side.

14. Who pays the bills?
We both do.

15. Who is better with the computer?
Again, it's a toss up. I'm better with things like Adobe Photo Shop and Picassa, but she's better with Spreadsheet and setting up a blog and stuff like that.

16. Who mows the lawn?
I do.

17. Who cooks dinner?
She cooks...I concoct.

18. Who drives when you are together?
Mostly me. My nerves can't handle too much of her driving (giggle, giggle, giggle).

19. Who pays when you go out?
I do most of the time, but she'll pick up the tab sometimes.

20. Who is most stubborn?
Me because of my temper. But she's Irish and can be thickheaded when she wants to be.

21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong?
I thought I was wrong once, but I was mistaken. Seriously though...she is.

22. Whose parents do you see the most?
Mine.

23. Who kissed who first?
I kissed her first...in the back of a van. (For those of you with dirty minds--it was daytime and there were other people present).

24. Who asked who out?
Me again...she thought I was a creature from another planet at the time.

25. Who proposed?
Me. Can you sense a pattern here?

26. Who is more sensitive?
She is.

27. Who has more friends?
She does.

28. Who has more siblings?
She does. I'm an only child. By the time I was five mom was looking at dad and saying 'I wanted a puppy, but oh no, you wanted a son.'

29. Who loses patience with the kids first?
I do! See number 28. Being an only child I have no concept of sibling rivalry...and it drives me batty!

30. Who wears the pants in the family?
She does on days when I can't find my robe and scepter, or when my crown is out being polished.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Jeff Dunham and Achmed, the Dead Terrorist

My Grandparents Set to Music

Two young people without a thing
Say some vows and spread their wings
And settle down with just what they need
Livin' on love.

She don't care 'bout what's in style
She just likes the way he smiles
It takes more than marble and tile
Livin' on love.

Livin' on love, buyin' on time
Without somebody nothing ain't worth a dime
Just like an old fashion story book rhyme
Livin' on love.
It sounds simple, that's what you're thinkin'
But love can walk through fire without blinkin'
It doesn't take much when you get enough
Livin' on love.

Two old people without a thing
Children gone but still they sing
Side by side in that front porch swing
Livin' on love.

He can't see anymore
She can barely sweep the floor
Hand in hand they'll walk through that door
Just livin' on love.

Livin' on love, buyin' on time
Without somebody nothing ain't worth a dime
Just like an old fashion story book rhyme
Livin' on love.
It sounds simple that's what you're thinkin'
But love can walk through fire without blinkin'
It doesn't take much when you get enough
Livin' on love.

Livin' on love, buyin' on time
Without somebody nothing ain't worth a dime
Just like an old fashion story book rhyme
Livin' on love.
It sounds simple that's what you're thinkin'
But love can walk through fire without blinkin'
It doesn't take much when you get enough
Livin' on love.

No, it doesn't take much when you get enough
Livin' on love.


Living On Love, by Alan Jackson

Sunday, October 14, 2007

An Unexpected Treat

For the first time in...I can't remember how long...my family had a reunion. Sadly, not everyone was able to make it, but quite a few of our small family did. I plan to post more about the reunion in a couple of days...and there will be photos! So stay tuned....

Yesterday, my cousin, Sally, brought along a photo album that used to belong to our grandmother. After spending an hour sprawled out on my mother's living room floor, looking at each and every photo, she was generous enough to allow me to take it home and scan any photos I wanted. Boy, did I scan! But in all those little timeless treasures there was one photo in particular that reached out and grabbed me...it was my grandmother, at the tender age of 21, holding my dad when he was a baby.

Since my father waited until he was 42 to get married and 45 to have me, there is a huge age gap in my family. Grandmother was in her 70's when I was a child and I never got to really do all that much with her. Obviously, no one gets to know their grandparents when they were young and just starting out in life. But thanks to my cousin I now get to see my grandmother as a young woman with her whole life ahead of her. Isn't she something? I had no idea she was that beautiful. Dad's not too bad either, but then again, it runs in the family.

Anyway, thanks a bunch, Sally! And I'm sorry for kicking you when I was six and calling you stupid. From now on, I'll just throw rocks. Okay?

"And the wind blew the echos of all the faded voices, and they sing me a song."
from South Texas Girl, by Lyle Lovett

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Barracuda by Gretchen Wilson & Alice In Chains



An awesome tribute to the Wilson sisters!

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Soundtrack of My Life

"Music...it reaches the soul when words are useless."
Loosely quoted from Young Frankenstein

I spent the better part of the last two days coming up with a list of songs that hold a great deal of meaning for me, or in some way describe a moment or portion of my life. When I started making this list I thought it would be a short one. Oops! Turns out, if my life had a soundtrack it would be a 3-disc box set. So here goes.

Disc 1
My Hometown - Bruce Springsteen
Right Place, Wrong Time - Dr. John
Mama Told Me not to Come - Three Dog Night
American Child - Phil Vassar
My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys - Willie Nelson
Alone Again (Naturally) - Gilbert O'Sullivan
Ain't Even Done With the Night - John Mellencamp
Nobody Told Me - John Lennon
Life is a Highway - Tom Cochran
Come Monday - Jimmy Buffet
I'm No Angel - Greg Allman
Politically Uncorrect - Gretchen Wilson
Check Yes or No - George Strait
Time In A Bottle - Jim Croce
If Tomorrow Never Comes - Garth Brooks

Disc 2
Take it Easy - The Eagles
Rockin' Down the Highway - The Doobie Brothers
What is Life - George Harrison
Keep on Rockin' - Neil Young
A Country Boy Can Survive - Hank Williams Jr.
If You Don't Know Me by Now - Simply Red
This Train Keeps Rolling Along - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
She and I - Alabama
Five O'clock Somewhere - Alan Jackson
This is Us - Emmy Lou Harris/Mark Knopfler
Huckleberry - Toby Keith
Small Town - John Mellencamp
Unanswered Prayers - Garth Brooks
Back Where I Come From - Kenny Chesney
Touch of Grey - The Grateful Dead

Disc 3
Some Things I Know - Lee Ann Womack
Great Day to be Alive - Travis Tritt
Have I Told You - Rod Stewart
Always on my Mind - Willie Nelson
A Simple Life - Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder
I Won't Back Down - Tom Petty
I'm Not That Way Anymore - Alabama
Remember When - Alan Jackson
Choices - George Jones
Trip Around the Sun - Jimmy Buffet
Like A Rock - Bob Seeger
When I Get Where I'm Going - Brad Paisley/Dolly Parton
Distant Land to Roam - Ralph Stanley
Falling Leaves - Grandpa Jones
Keep Me in Your Heart - Warren Zevon

There it is. The soundtrack of my life for where I am at this moment in time. Sit down and make your own list sometime. You may be surprised when you get to the end of the list.

Post Script: On Wednesday I posted a photo of fall colors in a cemetery. A number of people who read my blog commented how nice the colors are where I live. Since it was a wordeless Wednesday I couldn't tell them that the photo was taken three years ago. Sorry about that.

Monday, October 8, 2007


As I mentioned in my last post, we ate at Hooters yesterday. While we were eating we watched a good portion of the Steelers-Seahawks game. It's a lot of fun, watching a game with thirty or forty other people who are laughing, screaming, and pounding their table top at the same time you are. Of course, the good food, and a very pretty waitress, who more than measured up to the establishment's name, made the experience all the more enjoyable. Yeah, I got hoarse from yelling at the images on the television and eye strain from looking at our waitress. That said, my Steelers beat the Seahawks 21-0.

The rest of the weekend wasn't quite so bad as far as my favorites are concerned. Green Bay did lose last night 27-20 to Da Bears, and Dale Jr. blew an engine with 30 laps to go at Talladega...so what else is new for the #8 car this year. But, Penn State rebounded from last week's loss, and pounded Iowa 27-7, and Maryland won a hard-fought game against a very good Georgia Tech team 28-26.

A Visit From Skippy

Skippy, our oldest, is in for a visit. He's works in the graphic arts/design field. He recently accepted a new job out in Tennessee, but before he started his new job, he decided to take a week off to come home and grace us with his presence.

Since his mother and I both work, he spent his days looking up old friends, visiting with his aunt and grandparents, and tormenting his sisters. Wanting to spend a little time with his mother and me, we made yesterday family day. We went up to Altoona and walked around the Logan Valley Mall for several hours. I say walked because nobody bought anything. Not for a lack of trying, mind you. After walking around the mall we went over to Hooters and had lunch...and watched the Steelers pound the Seahawks...but that's another story.

Back home, we sat around, talked, laughed, and listened to music...or what Skippy calls music...on his new laptop. Hey, he's moving up in the world. As the evening wore on, Goody Two Shoes got the camera out. Exciting bunch, aren't we?

Here we are, Skippy and the Filthy Beast. He's single, by the way. (Shameless hint)


Skippy and the Wild Child (his little sister)


Skippy and his Mama, aka Goody Two Shoes


Here's one last shot of me 'n Skippy. I'm trying to intimidate him. You can tell how well I'm doing from the expression on his face.


It'll most likely be Christmas before we get to see him again. I'm glad for the times he can come home, but I miss him when he's gone. Oh, well, that's the way life goes, I suppose.