Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Hoarding Christmas

        Well Christmas is gone and we have only to look forward to the new year. Our Christmas this year was a bit different....but it was still wonderful. We went down to Taylor's apartment in Kalamazoo to help her pack up and get ready for he big Move to Texas. Okay...I must be honest...I went down just to watch some cable TV while Kim helped her pack. The reason it was different was because we weren't at home for Christmas day. Well...and our Christmas dinner was comprised of a chicken breast and some sort of noodle side dish from a box. No...I'm not complaining...I'm only stating why it was "different". The Wonderful part of Christmas was that I was with the people I Love the most. And that is really what Christmas is about. Oh yeah...the Cable TV was pretty dog gone awesome too.

        I was like a little kid who saw TV for the first time in my life. I was in Awe!!  So many much to watch!!!  After watching a few Movies...OK 5 of them...I switched the channel to Hoarders....I was...well...I'm not sure what I was...but I know I was nothing short of Fascinated for sure. I watched a few episodes of the typical hoarder who cant throw out anything, so they make little trails throughout their houses in order to go from room to room. And even though I find that someone could live like that...ever....I was more in awe of the show that I never got to see. I only saw the trailers of it during one of the other hoarders show I was watching.

       There was this lady who couldn't throw away anything...and by anything...I am talking every single thing that she touched. Garbage included. They showed short clips of the cock roaches everywhere. The even took pictures off the wall and there was literally hundreds of cock roaches hiding ...they showed a cock roach moving about right next to the food she was cooking. I swear to God...I just about ralphed right then and there (Of course Taylor was laughing her head off) Happy thoughts....Happy thoughts...I can hurl just thinking about it.  But I just could not believe what I was just seemed so unreal to me. Could you imaging the stench that must be fuming from that house?  They also showed a short clip of her sleeping in her bed....and I couldn't even see her in the bed because there was so much garbage laying about the whole room. It was like a "Wheres Waldo?" picture


 Now look...I try not to judge people....but really I could not help it on this one.  I found that to be just a bit beyond just hoarding...And yes...I do think hoarding is a type of mental disease. But when you sit on your lazy boy with one of those 3 foot "reach buddy" things  to move the garbage around you so you can put the foot rest up.....I find that to be just pure laziness. I was fascinated just the same...but it just blows my mind to think that there are people that actually enjoy living with garbage.
It makes my bitching about the room we have for the animals to shit and piss in.... a bit minuscule by comparison.

       So now...I'm a bit torn on what my New Years resolution will be...take my dogs for more walks...or clean my favorite hoarding closet!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Off to the Races

I was in need of a night out...its always difficult for me to decide on what I really want to do when I have this need. But I wanted to do something different and new this time. Going to friends and hanging out or going to the local pub just didn't sound that exciting to me. Its easy to get in a rut by just staying at home all the time and forgetting that there is a whole new world of entertainment out there for your enjoyment. All you have to do is just make a decision to do it.
My decision was to try the race track...(I know...kind of a guy thing) but hey...the wife was gone to help our daughter start packing up her stuff for her move to Texas. So it was a perfect opportunity for me to do some MAN stuff. Kim is not a fact she hates it. She loses twenty bucks and she acts like she just lost the family farm.

 Her idea of gambling is by saying " Hey Ian...I bet you a favor that you will forget to take the garbage out tomorrow morning"  (I don't usually take that bet) but I actually Love to gamble. I love going to the casinos or playing poker or betting on football. So horse racing just sounded like a lot of fun to me. I took my brother Dale with me and we had a ton of fun.

We arrived a little late so we weren't able to get a seat in the club house to order food and watch the races through the big windows. So we sat by the bar upstairs and watched the races on the monitors. We started out pretty well ....we won a little bit of money on the winning horses. We just couldn't seem to hit the big one...the "Trifecta". It seemed like the first 6 races that I had 2 of the 3 horses needed to win. One horse short of the big win. I mean...that's really why I like to gamble...I want to hit the big one....just once. I want to be the one where everyone is standing around looking at my slot machine wishing it was them.... as the guards are guarding all my winnings.Obviously that has never happened...but One day....just...One day...well...that's why I like to gamble. Winning the trifecta or the superfecta seemed possible as the night was progressing. I kept playing the horses with the best odds and I also tried the horses with the best times in their previous six races. I came so close to hitting the big close.The winning did not get any better the rest of the night though. In fact it got worse. I was about to start picking horses by the color they were wearing. I didn't...but I probably could have produced the same amount of winnings. Really...How could a horse with 10-1 odds come in second place and ruin my chance to win the big one. Didn't they know my plans? Didn't they know that I was planning a very good Christmas for Kim with the money I was going to win? Sorry honey....but the good news is...I will definitely take that garbage out now. :) It was the thought that counts right?
I didn't lose that much really...I only lost 80 bucks the whole night. So it wasn't as bad as it could have been had I really had planned on that "Good Christmas for Kim". Otherwise I would have been forced to bet the proverbial farm on a race. So see honey...I do have self control !! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Texas Bound!!!  No...not me...I should be so lucky right? I am talking about my daughter Taylor. She is leaving Michigan to pursue her dreams in Texas. I could not be happier for her. She applied for a position as Operations Manager with a company called Life Touch Photography and after a few phone interviews and a trip to Texas (that they paid for) she got the job. She starts on Jan 9th and I know she is just giggity about it. And I don't blame her. A new job sounds pretty darn good these days. Something to look forward to, something new and exciting...a job with advancement opportunities, good benefits, bonuses, ....all I can say is ...its too bad I don't live my life vicariously through my daughters....or do I? Maybe that's why I have been so stressed out lately and full of excitement at the same time. But on the flip side to those exuberant feelings....
We wont be able to see her as much and lets face it...Skyping just isn't the same....I am just a little sad to see her go so far away. We all want our children to fly out of the nest when their wings are ready...and Taylor has done that when she went off to college. But when they start to migrate that's a whole new dilemma that momma bird and daddy bird have to deal with. We wont be there to navigate her when the winds change or when she flies off course a bit. Its a scary thought if you think about it.  But I know that many lil birdies do it and the mommy and daddy birds usually live through the ordeal once they become adjusted and migrate south themselves once or twice. :)

I can already see how mommy bird is going to react once the migration starts...and let me tell you right now...I will have a couple boxes of Kleenex and some ear plugs handy. Kim has always been a hands on Mother Bird. If there is something going on in one of her chicks life...she is all over it and is either asking questions or doing research, or helping out in any way she can....sometimes just flat out doing it for them. So a big change for Mommy Bird is in store. (Thank God for free calls from Verizon to Verizon)
For me...
I will have to just continue doing what I do best...worry on the inside while I live my life vicariously though my daughters.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Songs of Christmas

          I am in the Christmas spirit...But I am holding back. Every year the songs , shopping, sales, and anything else associated with Christmas seems to start earlier and earlier. So this year I have decided to not listen to any of my favorite music until two days before Christmas. I remember last year and I found a radio station that played Christmas music and thought it was really cool that I could sing all those songs on my way to work and even on my way home from work. And it was...really cool I mean. That was until after the first week when those songs really started to get on my nerves. After that...every time I heard "Grandma got run over by a reindeer" I just wanted to rip out my stereo in my truck and toss it out the window. (OK I still want to do that every time I hear that song) But Holiday music should be nostalgic and it just cant be that way for me if I get burnt out on it. I may as well be listening to head banging rock music because it makes me just as sick. So I plan on waiting to hear all my favorites until Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
          O Holy Night is my favorite song of all the songs that get played. I recorded in my studio because it just gets me in the spirit of Christmas like no other song can. And I Love to be "in the spirit" on Christmas day. (Don't confuse that with "in the spirits") (which I like too) The song makes me wonder what it was like that night when Jesus was born. How Awesome that night must have been for Mary and Joseph and the people who new their King was being born.
           When Christmas day arrives....there is only one CD that is being played in the guessed it....Kenny G....oh... that's not what you guessed? That's because its not really my choice...but its Kim's...and she gets up before I do on Christmas day. But its been played every year for the last ten its kind of tradition....but its really because I don't have the balls to change the CD :)

Whats your favorite Chrismas Song?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Kleenex Please

 Have you come to the realization of who you are? I am talking about the inner you. The person who makes you YOU. I came to this realization many times before but I always just shrugged it off as being an off day. I am usually a "Nothing effects me" kind of guy. But I am beginning to rethink that now.

       If there is a borderline in genes of that make you a male or female....I am beginning to think that I am just above that line that says grown men cry sometimes too.

       I cried while watching Biggest Loser!!!  I am such a cry baby!!  But there is something about that show that just tears me up. It must be their epic battle with their weight and their success at the end of the day. This week they were reunited with their spouses with their astonished looks on their faces. It just choked me up to see the tears they shed when they were united after their makeovers. The feeling that they have conquered something that they never thought they could. It just brought me to tears.

       But that wasn't the worse part of it....the worse part was when my wife saw me. She immediately burst into laughter....and I immediately felt like a cry baby. It wasn't just a ordinary was a gut buster laugh coming from the bottom of her belly kind of laugh. At first I tried to hide my face but when I realized that she was laughing so hard at me I had to laugh too.

       I have cried before...I am not afraid to admit it. Its just that usually my wife is crying too. You feel a little silly when your the only one crying. it happened once before to me while I was watching...of all things...'The Brady Bunch movie. You talk about feeling silly....yeah...I did. I am pretty sure that I have cried every time I have watched the movie "Armageddon"...all 15 times. Kim calls me a "sentimental sap"  ....I just call myself a cry baby.But it just seems like this epidemic is getting worse the older I get.

       I guess its just who I am...I just wonder how many other men cry? (I mean "straight" men.)
I have a hard time imagining Russell Crowe or Clint Eastwood or those manly men in Hollywood crying over a reality show.

       Now that I know what I am made of...I will just have to adjust...and if that means I have to have a box of Kleenex  sitting on the end table...I will just have to do that.
They do make them with lotion in them right? (I would just hate to have a red nose and have to explain that I watched a reality show last night to my coworkers) Its one thing that I know who I am...but everybody doesn't need to know that I am a cry baby. Except you of course...mums the word. :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

JOB 101

       Do you remember your first job? Mine was working at a gas station in my very small hometown of Hadley Michigan when I was 10. It was a real gas know... the kind where you would pull up and someone would come out and pump the gas for you and while they were doing that they would also check your oil level? Wouldn't it be nice if that service would come back?
       Any elderly couple owned this station and many town folk would come in the station for some hot coffee and town gossip. (another reason to bring this type of service back...I like coffee now :) I enjoyed going in there as well as a kid...even though it was a little intimidating with all the people in there sitting but we always got candy so it was worth the embarrassment. I always wondered if they talked about us when we left though.(they prolly did)
      Mark and Vira Earhardt owned the station and were just a wonderful couple who were loved by all. Vira obviously wore the pants in the relationship while Mark was more of a worker bee type. but both wonderful, caring people. I am not really sure how I even got the job....but I am pretty sure that I didn't I can only assume my mom or dad got it for me. My job was pretty simple...I would sweep floors and clean off oil cans that were stacked along the office. The station also had a Hugh garage area and it was just filled with car parts and tires galore. (which was also intimidating to look at as a kid)
     My first day I swept and second day was the same....and had I gone back on the third day...I am pretty sure I would have been doing the same. Well...I never made it back there. I just didn't show up for like four days. I wish I knew why I didn't but I cant really remember the reason. My Mom and Dad said" Don't you think you should call them and let them know that you quit?" Ummm...yeah I prolly should do that." I said. So around the 5th day of not showing up I finally got enough courage up to make that call and tell them. "Yeah you were fired four days ago" Vira said in her always cheery voice. Now...I was hurt. Did she have to sound so dang cheery when she said that. She could have sounded disappointed or mad. I mean who's going to clean all the oil cans? Who is going to sweep the pebbles and dirt up ?  Of course I am kidding...I would have called me up on the phone (yes we had those back then)  and fired me if I was them.
      I wished I would have had more coaching back then as to what to expect from a JOB. I had no clue what it was like to have a clue as to what was expected from me (Besides the fact that I knew I was supposed to be there everyday)
But doesn't it seem like they should teach you that in school? Why not have  a couple classes to prepare children what it will be like in the real world. Prepare them on what to expect and what will be expected of them from their employer. Even as a 18 year old I didn't quite "Get it". I think I had the concept that you had to be there and at the end of the week you got a pay check. I had no clue as to what it would take to hold a job or excel in it. Most kids are so oblivious to the fact that it will take a lot of dedication and perseverance to be successful. Maybe that's just something that we learn through life...but man it just seems like we could do more to help our kids understand what its going to take to prepare them. Most people don't get serious about their job until they get married and have children or something significant happens in their lives. And then all of a sudden they think they are ready for a promotion. Ah...did you forget that promotions are based on the previous work that you have shown or the amount of dedication that you put forth prior to the promotion opportunity? I will pass thank you.

      I always think back on my first job and think....not bad things but good. Its good that I learned responsibility. Its good that I found courage...even if it was 5 days late. Its good that I learned that you have to start at the bottom sometimes. And its good that I quit that job....they sold the station 4 years later. :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

To Regret or not Regret...that is not the question.

Today, I come to you to tell you more about my loss of my daughter.
I know I know...I miss blogging for a couple of weeks and I come back with this?
Just remember...I blog for me...not there :p
And besides...You love me so I know you will read :)

Timberly June Ranshaw was born in 1988 and.she past away in May 2009.
Most of you who read my blog already know that she was diagnosed with Lupus when she was fifteen. Lupus would eventually take her from us. And for those who don't know...Lupus is a anti immune disease. (In other words...the body just starts attacking itself.)

Lupus really? Everybody knows someone with Mom had Lupus and she wasn't sick all the time from it. She took meds and I don't ever remember her having a flare up or not being able to move from the pain it can deliver.
"She will be fine" I told Kim when she was first diagnosed. Looking back on that statement now....I regret ever thinking that. You see, It was that thought that stayed in my head the whole time she was struggling with her lupus and it was that thought that would slap smack kick  brutally bash me in the face on that dreadful day. I know we are not supposed to have regrets in life...but that is truly one of mine.

Timberly was in the hospital for  two weeks after fighting for her life from...double pneumonia and sepsis. (Sepsis is a blood infection).
 Seven has always been my favorite number but after her 7 days on the ventilator and 7 day hospital stay...I was beginning to wonder how lucky it really was. But she was better when she came out and I was so grateful. It was during her ventilator days that I also had wondered if I was wrong about that statement I made to Kim. Maybe she wont be fine.

She had another 7 days after she was out of the hospital before she past away. She had a new outlook on her life...I was happy for her and I was also thinking ...she will be fine.

She went to bed on May 19th and was coughing was around 5 am that I had heard her and her boyfriend get up and Kim  saying" Get ready I am taking you in". Justin volunteered to take her and Kim said ok. And being the workaholic that I am...I didn't mind either. Lord forbid if missed a another day of work. This is where the regret begins...right here. Why didn't I go with them. WHY?
I was at work at around 6am and I remember where I was at exactly when I received the phone call.
Mr Ranshaw?
Yes, this is he.
Timberly has had some complications and you should come right away.
Is she alright?
Sir I think you should just come right away.

I was afraid to ask any more questions. These types of phone calls only happen on TV. They don't happen to me...thinking positively I was thinking...Oh no..she had to go back on the ventilator but I must admit, death was lurking in the background of my brain. I prayed  for the whole 1 hr trip to the hospital.

 I walked in and a person was there to greet me ...Mr. Ranshaw? she asked
Yes, I am he (I know it sounds like I am talking like Shakespeare or something...but its what I said)
Right this way sir.
I followed her.
She showed me the door to a office and opened it for me.
In there was Kim, Justin, and Justin's mom
I saw every ones eyes welled up from crying. But it didn't hit me yet.
Whats going on? I said hesitantly knowing that what I was about to hear was going to change my life for the worst.
Kim looked at me and said.... the Lord has taken Timber today.
That an life changed.
I covered my face with my hands and cried...No...this cant be happening to me.
I would wipe my eyes clear thinking I would see something different...but no.
It happened.
But wait.... I didn't say I love you when she left this morning. I didn't even kiss her good bye.
I didn't tell her how proud of her I was...I wasn't finished yet damn it. Another regret!!

Oh the regrets

 I have since realized that I know (way beyond a shadow of doubt) that she knew how much I loved her. I kissed and hugged her many times before (which I cherish those memories more than ever now) And I also realized the importance of those three little words.... I Love you.
We shouldn't say those words to prove that we love it happens through your actions not your words. But saying it is for you and you alone. We should say it so that we don't have that regret of it not being the last words we ever said to someone.

I dont live my life in those regrets...I live my life now knowing that I never want to regret again

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Old Buck Cut

I hate...with a capitol H...HATE spending money on a haircut. But I know its a necessary thing that one has to do at times. My time was today. I went and splurged the 8 bucks and got it done. I am not sure why it bothers me so much to spend money on that and I know 8 bucks isn't alot to spend, as most haircuts are 15 bucks and up. But I am a guy who wont spend more than 30 bucks on a pair of tennis shoes. I know they wont last me but a year and I will have to break down and buy a new pair. Perhaps that's why I don't like spending money on hair cuts...because I know its just going to grow back in a couple of months anyway. I swear...If I knew I wouldn't look like a total dork, I would do it myself.

 I go to this place called Buck Kuts and this woman barber named Kathy is very nice and is also very much a chatty cat. This place looks more like a living room than it does a Barber shop, with a couch and TV and a few deer mounts on the wall. She cuts my hair in about 5 minutes...and if I was real honest...they usually look like a 5 minute hair cut when shes through. Sides are never even, and the next day I usually find hairs that were either to tough to cut with her scissors or she just missed them.  But it doesn't bother me because all I do is just brush it back anyway...kind of the "I just stuck my head out the car window going 90 miles an hour"  look.

As she was cutting my hair using the clippers, a few globs about 2 inches long fell onto my lap. I was SHOCKED. Not that I actually had 2 inches of hair...but of all the gray hairs that was in those globs. At first I thought that it was just the black cape making the gray stand out more than normal...that was until I noticed that the cape was actually light blue and white striped.  I just sat there staring at it and staring at it. I just couldn't believe it. Look, I know I am 49 years old and a little gray hair is natural for a man of my age....but there was more than a little...there was ALOT. How come I didn't see it in the mirror?  I don't mind growing old...I really don't...but when it just jumps out on your lap and screams "YOUR OLD" it just kind of know what I mean?

I asked Kathy if the gray in long hair men stands out more than on short haired men. She said that if you keep your hair shorter it wont stand out so much until you have all gray hair and then it wont matter, it will look like gray no matter what. So from now on I will keep my hair cut short so the gray hairs don't stand out as much. That's good news right? Well she even gave me better news than that...she said that starting December 1st...all her hair cuts will be 5 bucks. Sweeeeet!!! That news put a smile on my face, and after I tipped her I told her in my best Arnold voice...."I'll be Buuuck"

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hunting Camp 2011

I'm Baaaaack !!  Its always great to come home after a week long stay in the woods with the guys.
Wait...that kinda sounds a little funny having said it like that so let me re-phrase that.
 Its always good to come home after a week of hunting with friends, (Yeah that sounds better.)
I came home with only a broken arrow for my efforts. No deer but plenty of good memories. And even better yet...I still have the stick. No one else got a deer either so I get to keep it until someone does.
I had many beer...oops I mean deer come in but it was always after dark. (deer are so smart)
My brother brought up his digital game cams and he let me set them up at my hunting spots.Here are a few that were taken.

We had many great meals fit for a king and we feasted. Why is it that everything tastes so much better when its cooked outside? We had potato soup that I made  that was out of this world good,(even if I am saying so myself) we also had steak  and potatoes over the fire, and breakfasts with all the fixins. Oh...and the fires....picture a normal sized campfire and then multiply it by 10 and you are still underestimating the size of fires that we sit by at night. We only use pine stumps that are dead or were burnt down during during a forest fire many years ago. We always pick out one really large one for the last night we in the woods. This year was no exception. My Brother Scott is considered the fire master and he is always the one who gets the fire roasting hot. The flames dance all over the pine and it is a treat to watch. (In case you were wondering why pine?...well there is sap in pine and it is quite flammable)  So if your ever lost in the woods and need a fire...look for pine because it will start with a match.
I even slept by the fire one night...and no...I chose to ...I didn't have case you were thinking that I drank to much and couldn't make it to my trailer. The fire was hot and felt so good...that I went and got my sleeping bag and enjoyed the rest of the night by the fire. I woke up and looked up at the bright beautiful twinkling stars as the coyotes howled in the was like ...going home!!
What a Great trip !! 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Stick Im taking home with me.

I am about to embark on my hunting trip for week. I am leaving Saturday morning and I am excited to get to the woods and hear nothing but the sound of the remaining leaves fall to the earth. I am ready to sit by the hot fire when its cold at night. I am ready for some alcohol induced laughs with my friend who is going with me. Bob, a co-worker of mine for the 28 years that I have been working at the plant, was the reason I started bow hunting in the first place. We have been going hunting together for over 26 years now. We share the love for bow hunting equally. We have shared this passion for so long now that we have many many memories that we share every time we go camping. (yes, the same ones over and over sometimes). We have traditions which we have created, one of which I am proud to say that I created myself...We have a stick that gets passed around to whomever shoots the biggest deer...a stick you say? Well its not just any ordinary stick....this stick is one that I created one year while sitting at camp whittling away on it. I love nothing more than carving on wood while I am sitting in camp. I was so into it that I even missed some nights hunting because I didn't want to lose my creative juices. (those juices may have been alcohol) but none the less...I was into it!
The winner of the stick gets to keep it for the year and also holds bragging rights. Bob has had the stick for 3 years and I have had it for 3 years there is alot riding on this year. Although we both enjoy the peacefulness and tranquility that the woods brings, we put hanging a deer on the buck pole very seriously. The reason why we take it seriously is because we have went years without a deer being hung. I for one went over 16 years before I shot my first deer with a bow.I think it made me appreciate the woods more, always thinking that this could be the night I get the BIG one.
Another tradition started long ago was that we always take a sip off the bottle when someone shoots a deer. We hide it in the crevasse of a maple tree that  is in the middle of our camp. Its usually a bottle of R&R whiskey and its making me want to hurl just thinking about it right now. :) (I am not a whiskey fan)
 I have always said that my main purpose for going up North wasn't to shoot deer, its main purpose is to relax, no phones, no having to babysit 180 people, nothing to bother me at all....stress free baby, that's what its all about.  Its all about doing whatever I feel like doing.  Its about the camaraderie that hunters share together. Its about making new memories, and if we happen to shoot a deer in the middle of all that....then that's just a bonus. And if I happen to shoot a bigger deer than anyone else at camp...Bigger bonus because I go home with the stick.
I just got a chuckle from that last line I just wrote. It just reminded me of a childhood memory....I remember walking home when I was a kid and trying to make up songs...and I remember singing this..."I'm taking a stick home with me...I'm taking a stick home with me."
So maybe its destiny?
Heres a few pics of just some of the items that I carved on the stick.  (that Im taking home with me)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pet Parade 2011

The Pet Parade has come and gone. And once again this year, we picked the coldest and the most windy day of the year. What luck we have had with the weather this year for our Lupus events. But...dont think that dampened the spirit of everyone who came...Oh no...that just dont happen at our events.
For those who dont know...My wife and I started a Pet Parade that we do each year to help support Lupus called Spooky Howls Pet Parade. It was named by a 19 year old girl who passed away just over a year ago from Lupus. She named it when she was in the hospital. We have it in her memory. Her name is Jenna Kammerer.
My wife thought of the idea and I must be honest...I thought it was a bad idea at first. But once I saw how many people showed up at the fist event...I had no choice but to admit that I was way wrong. It is now one of my favorite events. All the puppys I get to love on just puts a smaile on my face.
People bring their pets dressed in a costume and we have judges who judge them.
Here are a few of the pics that my sister Felice took of the event. Its not all of them but you get the idea  Enjoy....we sure did !!.

The 1st place winner
The 2nd place winner
The 3rd place winner
I Loved this lil guy
The Great Pumpkin
How cute
The Super Heroes
The robot...They Got the Most Original
Isnt she just so cute?
I just Love this Breed
He was keeping an eye on
Spider dog

Norton...adopted by our friend Morgan

One Cool Collie
Me and my personal favorite of the day. He loved me :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

"The Look"

          I know this may come as big surprise to many of you...but...I went grocery shopping last week. I do not know what possessed me to do it...but I did. It may have been that I knew there wasn't much to eat at home and I had a couple hundred dollars in my pocket that was just begging me to be spent. I am by no means a good grocery shopper, or any kind of shopper for that matter. I usually leave all shopping to Kim...and for good reason. My version of grocery shopping is to go down every isle and look for things I like to eat. When I find something I like, I put it in the cart. When I have went down every isle, I usually have to go find a few items that I had forgot which sometimes involves going down every isle again. Uggh...I think I looked for canned mushrooms for 20 minutes, and when I finally found the correct isle (after giving up and asking someone) (I know....its a man thing to get lost and then ask for directions) It still took me 5 minutes to find them under the sign that said "Mushrooms". But in my defense...They weren't under the sign where I was looking...they were like 10 feet down from it.  But hey...What's another 25 minutes when I have already spent 2 hrs getting grocery's for two?
        I felt pretty good when I was finished and on my way home thinking to myself...Kim will be really happy that I did this for her.(I wouldn't tell her I did it for myself...Instead I was going to take the Thank You that she was going to give me like a man)
 I walk in with a both hands full of grocery's and place them on the island in the kitchen. I go back and get another load....this time when I come in...Kim has had time to evaluate some of my purchases. I give her a look (and I know she sees me looking at her to give me her look of approval) However I didn't quite get the look of approval...instead I get the"OMG ...I cant believe you bought chips know I am watching my weight...why would you buy chips" look. I didn't say anything...I just figured it was her saying thank you. :)  When I come back in for the third time, she said it out loud this time....."OMG ...I cant believe you bought chips know I am watching my weight...why would you buy chips" I smiled and said "Don't worry, I will eat them by myself" She just continued to give me that "You Suck at shopping" look. I exchanged it with a "Just shut up and make me something to eat" look.

So I came home from work yesterday, and I find out Kim picked up a few things from the grocery store also. I didn't respond the way she did...meaning, I didn't immediately look to see what she bought so I could cut her down for being such a terrible shopper. (that would be like biting the hand that feeds you) Instead, I just thought to myself that she must have picked up the few items that I might have forgotten.
Later as we hunkered down on the couch to watch a movie...I see Kim get up and open the Freezer.
I was thinking ....Alright !!! Kim is getting us some of that Ice Creme and chocolate that I had bought.
I hope you can understand the extent of my surprise when I heard her ask me... "Do you want a Reece's Peanut butter Cup?" It only took me a nano second to quickly replay MY shopping night in my mind before I came to the conclusion that I didn't buy any Reece's Peanut Butter Cups.
 I saw her glaring at me with that look that said..."just say it and get it over with"
Do I dare tell her what I was thinking? Oh no....I did not say any of the smart aleck comments that I was thinking about saying....Like..."I cant believe you bought know your watching your weight"  No.... I would never say something like that.
Nor did I say..."Who are you and what did you do with my dieting wife?" I would never say that either.
Instead...I just said what any man taking the high road would say.... "Two Please"

Monday, October 3, 2011

Home Alone + 6

            I was alone again this weekend. Kim went with her mother to visit Taylor. So I had the house to myself...woohoo....ok ...I had to share the couch with the 2 dogs, but at least they didn't complain about what TV programs I watched. And they only asked me to do something for them twice a day so my movement off the couch was limited.
           As you may have seen in one of my earlier posts, we have created quite a collection of animals... 2 dogs, 4 cats, and a bird. Now....You don't realize how much work these animals are and what effect they have on your lives until you plan on spending a quiet weekend alone. But it made me wonder, how did we come to have so many animals?
 I am not going to throw my wife and kids under the bus for making this collection of pets so,... I did that in an earlier post and far be it from me to do that again. Instead, I just want to thank here goes. :)

Thank You Taylor....for giving your dog Romeo to us after you started college. He has the most annoying bark that a dog could ever have. The fact that he barks whenever someone comes in the door...and continues to bark throughout the whole visit, even after he runs and hides under the bed...well...That's just a bonus. :)
Romeo...cutest little dog you will wanna Mute

Thank You Timberly....for bringing home a stray cat and begging us to let you keep him. Elijah is not only the most hated cat amongst the animals in the house. He is also the most meanest cat that we have, And as a bonus...he is also the most chased cat too....Rico goes nuts sometimes for no apparent reason other than to just bully him, I don't know what I would do with that spontaneous irritating commotion. Hmmm , Maybe that explains why he is so mean?
Elijah ...meanest little cat you will ever not  want to have on your lap

and speaking of Rico...

Thank You Timberly...for giving us your dog Rico after you started college too, he has been just a loving dog....what would I do without him? What would I do without him barking at every car that goes by, or howling at the mail truck even after it has left our house and is three houses down. You know how we just love that beagle howl !! And the bonus here is.... I'm just not sure what I would do without fighting him for bed space at night. Man I just love that. :)
Who can resist a face like that?

Thank You Kim, for bringing home that cute little flea infested kitten that we named Noah.
 "The verbal cat" as we call him...his lovely meows at 4:30 AM is just what the doctor ordered. And the fact that he is the red headed step cat of the family just makes me love him that much more....I mean who could resist those funky looking goat eyes that he has?
"The Vocal One"...I swear he thinks he can speak English ...only it comes out in Cat

And let me also Thank you Timberly  for the fancy feline we call Simon, You wanted another cat for your birthday and since your friends mother was giving them away, and we didnt have any money to buy you a birthday present....we went with the present that would give us the biggest bang for our buck.."the free kitten". And want a bang he has given us. We are so very fortunate that he is the only cat that doesnt go outside....ever. (its no wonder he is the fattest cat too)
And since he  has the longest hair of all the easy to tell whos hair is on any of my black clothes. So , thank you to Kim for  also for keeping the endless supply lint rollers that we have on hand at all times. What would we do without them?
Simon...Mr. No Personality
P.S. Kim usually makes the bed so I am not throwing her under the bus for that either.

and finally....Thank you Kim for picking up little baby Tim-Tim out of the box at K-Mart and begging me to let you take him home with us. You knew I couldnt say no in front of everyone who was there adoring the lil baby kittens. Who can resist a scared little kitten face? That was a really good move to get what you wanted. :)
And you know how he gives me that annoying little nudge in the face when I am just starting to fall asleep every night?....well...who could live life without having that?
Tim Tims...I like Loving animals...just not after I am asleep

Did I miss any thank yous? Oh yeah...

Thank you Taylor for letting us permanently watch your bird, it took me 3 months before  he would even come close to me...and now I cant get him off from me. I mean...if I would have known that he required all of my attention....every hour until 10pm....every minute....every second...well...I would have asked you to let us have him along time ago. And the bonus is...if you fall asleep with your laptop open on your wake up with a button less keyboard.....priceless !!
Chico Boots...aka....the Thing Wrecker....any Thing.

So that wraps up my Thank you's  for the day...

See and you guys probably thought I was going to throw them all under the bus.   :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Can I be Frank?

So what I am about to tell you is something that I just need to get off my chest.  I thought long and hard about whether or not to blog about it. I decided to do it for a couple of different reasons, first , to write something personal about myself, and second, because I had no other topic. :)
The other day I saw the picture above.  I think I was about 5 or 6 years old. I am sitting atop of a tank that was at this military museum or something in Maryland where my Aunt and Uncle lived. Every time I see that picture it reminds me of what I am about to tell you.

I was molested when I was a child by my Uncle Frank. God that feels weird saying that. (he is not alive any more so he got what was coming to him)  But I have always wondered how many other children he did that too. Did he do it to his own children? I have never got up enough nerve to ask my cousins, probably because I only see them once a year at the family reunion if they show up (or if I show up). I was even molested by some of my babysitters, that would take me into the closet and feel me out. I mean really...WTF? What would a child of 5 or 6 have that they would want to feel? These girls were like in their 20s or even 30s.  All I can think was that they were molested too and this is what they knew.
My Uncle Frank (which I hate even admitting he is my uncle) was in the military and was a strict father.  But when we would go over to spend a night and play Batman and Robin with our cousins...I would somehow end up in his lap after everyone went to sleep.I dont know how...but I did.
 I remember him kissing me so hard that my lips hurt. And his stubble on his face poked into my skin like thorns from a rose bush. I remember just not knowing what to do and staying very still, not moving an inch ...I literally felt like a piece of meat. I knew it was wrong what he was doing to me but I had no idea why he was doing it, and I was scared.

I always wondered what kind of impact that had on me, and I think I know now. It made me shy away from being able to show affection to my children and in some ways... to anyone. I always felt like I could not hug on my children the way a Father should, in fear of them having some sort of thought that I was molesting them. I was fearful of them thinking that, can you imagine? I remember times when my daughters would come sit on my lap and I felt uncomfortable about that , all because of that fear.
Aside from stealing some of my fatherhood....they stole some of my childhood innocence. Oh how I hate them all for doing that!

I tried to not let it effect me as I grew older, and for the most part, it didn't.  I do remember seeing Frank in his wheelchair (from a distance) after he had developed Alzheimer's  and I recall thinking to myself....oh the Bastard cant remember any of the terrible things he did to children.
 The bastard!!

By the time I grew to my twenty's and thirty's I had blacked it out from my memory and never mentioned it to anyone except Kim. I figured that if I didn't think about it then it never happened. That worked pretty well for me for the most part. I had opened up one day and told my family about it, and after that day I felt better about it and it didn't seem so dark anymore. It was mainly due to my Brothers who would made jokes about it. The main joke came when one of them put their hand on my leg and said with a very serious look on his face "Can I be Frank?"
I laughed aloud because it was pretty funny. (cmon, even you chuckled a bit didn't you?)
 I have come to terms with all of the past...but will never forget what that did to me as a man. I have such a hate towards pedophiles that if I had a choice with what to do with them once they were caught....I would give them the death penalty....the worst kind imaginable...boiling. :)  That's just something that I will never understand....why anyone would want to do any type of sexual activity with a child...I mean...I just don't get it. They have got to be Mentally Disturbed.

So now when my brothers ask me "Can I be Frank?" I always say, "well you have got the pervert part down pretty well."
 I am a firm believer in "What goes around...Comes around" so I really think Frank is paying his debts to the devil right now. (Not a very Christian thought, I know...but that's just how much I despise this man)

So OK, I am posting it...Now it is no longer one of those dark secrets you keep in the closet (no pun intended) And now you know something that only my readers will know about me. Aren't you Special?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Death by Spatula

 "I brought you in to this world...I can take you out too" . I remember my mother saying this on occasion. I remember she was always cooking when she said this.(maybe holding a knife or spatula in her hand gave her that powerful feeling...I don't know)  But thank God my mother never had to follow through with that, because death by a spatula would not be a pretty sight.

I know there has been alot of talk about the death penalty in the news lately with the Davis case (who was put to death last Wednesday) and it got me thinking on whether or not I truly believe in it. I have always said I did....but after doing a little investigating work.(ok I googled it) I am not so sure now.
 I am a God fearing man and for the most part, I love everyone and everything that life offers. (Except doing the dishes and laundry...I really HATE those two things) (thank God my wife doesn't hate them as much as I do) (or does she?) Nah.....anyways.... :)

I used to think this:
I do have compassion and I also believe in second chances.....but when you take someones life (on purpose) its only fitting that you should die too. An Eye for an Eye and a Life for a Life.

I think a little differently now and I will tell you why...but first let me give you a little history lesson. I googled a lot of stuff for this research so I have to share :)

 Death by law has been around for so many years that you would think it would deter people from committing  crimes. That's why the death penalty started in the first place. In fact it has been around since the eighteen BC. Back when they would execute people for things such as marrying a Jew, not confessing to a crime, and treason. Some common methods of execution at that time were boiling, burning at the stake, hanging, beheading, and drawing, quartering and spatulaing  )ok,  I threw spatulaing in there just to see if you were paying attention. (but really? boiling? that's just not right.)
 Back in the 1700s there were 222 things that you could do that would get you the death penalty. It got a little bit of reform when the Europeans brought the death penalty to America , then... only things like stealing grapes, killing chickens, and trading with Indians would get you the death penalty.
There were many reforms throughout the years regarding the death penalty to include such exceptions  such as mental illness, race , religion, and juveniles.
Fast forward to now. 58 countries retain the death penalty, including China, Iran, the United States, and Vietnam all of which rank among the highest for executions.
 There was 3200 people on Death Row at the beginning of 2011 in the United States. That may not seem like a large amount of people, but remember that not all states have the death penalty. (16 do not) We only execute murders and rapist of children nowadays. And only average about 100 executions per year. I just don't understand that...if there is 3200 people on Death row....that means that they were tried and found guilty and the sentence was death...why wouldn't we see to it that we follow through on our end and kill them in a timely fashion? That ratio is worse than credit card interest make the minimum payment but your debt just keeps just doesn't make sense to me.

So the real question....How much does all this cost the Tax payers? Please read some of these startling amounts.

  • The California death penalty system costs taxpayers $114 million per year beyond the costs of keeping convicts locked up for life. Taxpayers have paid more than $250 million for each of the state’s executions. 
  •     In Kansas, the costs of capital cases are 70% more expensive than comparable non-capital cases, including the  costs of incarceration.
  •  In Maryland, an average death penalty case resulting in a death sentence costs approximately $3 million. The eventual costs to Maryland taxpayers for cases pursued 1978-1999 will be $186 million. Five executions have resulted.  
  •  The most comprehensive study in the country found that the death penalty costs North Carolina $2.16 million per execution over the costs of sentencing murderers to life imprisonment. The majority of those costs occur at the trial level.
    Enforcing the death penalty costs Florida $51 million a year above what it would cost to punish all first-degree murderers with life in prison without parole. Based on the 44 executions Florida had carried out since 1976, that amounts to a cost of $24 million for each execution.
  •  In Texas, a death penalty case costs an average of $2.3 million, about three times the cost of imprisoning someone in a single cell at the highest security level for 40 years

OK now you know the costs ...and for that reason and that reason alone, I don't agree with the death penalty the way it is today. It just isn't working people. Why should we be paying more than the price it would cost to keep a murderer in jail for life? Either kill them right away like they did in the old days....or lock them up for life with no parole and be done with them. Locking them up in a cell with Bubba still cost the tax payers money, but it would at least cut our losses financially. Maybe my type of thinking is just to Black and White.

So now I think this:

Should the people on Death Row die? Yes

Is the Death Penalty a consequence? Yes...just not one Im willing to pay for.

Do we have to kill them just because there is a Law that says we can? No...lock them up and throw away the key and be done with them.

Should we institute Death by Spatula for Death Row inmates? might deter people in the future. It worked for my mom. :)


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dearly Beloved

Our bowling partners have a daughter who is 19...her name is Brandi....we have known her since she was 2. We saw her go through the terrible twos, and the awkward tween years, the sassy years when she was a teen, and then her graduation and her beginning college. So needless to say...we know her quite well. She stopped by Sunday evening to give us some big news....really big news.

She had just got back from a visit to see her boyfriend in Chicago. He joined the Navy and had just graduated from his basic training camp. She said that they went to a carnival and that's when it happened. They took a Ferris Wheel ride, and he got down on one knee and ask for her hand in marriage. could have been a catastrophe had he lost his balance while on one knee, 4 stories up on a Ferris Wheel...but thank god it wasn't. It was a romantic gesture, and she said yes!! 

So you are probably thinking...Really Ian...that was the Big News? People get proposed to everyday....what makes this such big news? Is that the Really Big News you wanted to share?
Well...No....You should know by now that when I say I have BIG news...I will back up those words with something epic...and there is nothing worse when someone has big news and they just keep prolonging the dialogue in order to keep the readers in suspense. Like when you want to know the score of the game and its the last thing they show on the I hate that. And Im so glad I am not like siree. when I have big news I like to just shout it out as soon as I can.

Brandi asked Kim and I if we would get ordained and marry them. How epic is that eh? I must admit, at first I was like really? this a joke?  But once I saw that she was serious and mouth started to salivate at the opportunity to officiate a wedding. I asked her why us? She said that she didnt want a minister or priest that she didnt know and would have to make frequent visits to in order for them to get married.  I never understood that either...but maybe thats just me....I think you should have someone you know, and more importantly...knows you to perform weddings and funerals. To me, it just makes sense. And Im not just saying that because she chose us to do it. (Okay maybe a little) So of course we said yes. But she also said that "she knew that we would do it in a way that everyone can relate to and keep their guest entertained during the ceremony". I am assuming that she meant that people want to see us joke about marriage and all the fun stuff that goes with it....but since I know marraige isnt all fun and games....that may have been a hugh assumption on my part...or hers...Im not sure. But I do know it will be fun and Im excited.

So we are now officially Ordained. I was unaware that you could get ordained online with just your name and email address. Wow...that was quick. So now we just need to think of the many jokes content of the ceremony. The possibilities are endless....and since the wedding wont be until Feburary or March we have lots of time to decide.

So if you need a minister for your kids birthday party, or your weekly book club, or even if you need someone you know to talk to....just know that we are now ordained which makes us available to pass a plate. Please give generously  :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fall Dreams

Can you feel it in the air? Do you sense the excitement that's about to come? Can you feel it in your bones?   I'm talking about FALL !! The best time of the year.
 I cant begin to tell you how excited I am....but I will anyways. :), I laugh more, I think I am even nicer this time of year. The excitement of hunting, NFL season, baseball playoffs, bowling league, Halloween, and did I mention hunting?....yeah I did....ok so yeah...I'm stoked for next two months.

To tell you how good is been since fall has been in the air (and also to brag a little)....we had our first night of bowling and I bowled a 191, 206, and a 211.  Your right...I said that to brag more than anything. But maybe I am on to something here. Perhaps the next two months will be 60 days of good things happening to me. The possibilities are endless.....

 Perhaps one of the next sixty days, I will shoot a deer,come home and Kim will be wearing her French Maid Halloween costume...(I swear its a Halloween costume), anyway....she cooks dinner in her "costume", meanwhile I watch NFL football on the tube while the fire in the fireplace crackles and pops in the background.

 Or perhaps I will have day that I wake up and say "I'm not going to work today", and I go hunting instead and shoot a hugh 10 point buck, take it to the buck pole and end up winning a hunting trip to Alaska.

Or....Maybe one of the days I will hit the lottery and take a trip to a hideaway island in the tropics that has no people but does have satellite TV. 

Or...maybe one of those days I will come home from work and Kim will be there in her French Maid costume (Halloween costume....thats my story and Im sticking to it) and then she say's "Honey...tonight its all about you"...and she gives me a full body massage which takes away all the aches and pains in my body. (including my feet which Kim says that she will never touch even with oven mits on)

Yeah......maybe I am pushing the limits of Fall on that last one....but thats what the fall makes me do...dream of great things happening. Lions winning the superbowl...ok another push  but who knows....maybe....just maybe it works that way. Fall comes and Great things happen.  I am a pieces too, so us dreamers are always thinking about "what could be" verses "what it is".

The reality of it is...I will be making my own supper four nights out of each week and when my body aches I will have to take a couple of ibuprophin, the Lions wont make it to the superbowl, I wont shoot a deer this year and my TV will probably go out.

See...isnt Dreaming so much better? Thats why I Love the Fall Season !!!!!!!!