Monday, March 19, 2012

I'm a Fung-guy

         There are certain things that one remembers about their childhood. Childhood friends, Christmas mornings,neighborhood baseball games, mushroom hunting. They are all part of most children's memories...yes...I said mushroom hunting. We went every spring as children in our household. Even before I knew that they were actually called morels. Early spring always brings out that feeling of  "I should be Mushroom hunting". Since the weather has been so nice already in March...I already have that same feeling. I am ready to grab my onion sack and head to the woods.
        I remember when I was 4... my dad took my self...and the reason why I remember it so well is because it was the first time he called me "chubs" (that I remembered anyway).  That's the nickname he called me. I am not sure why he called me chubs because I wasn't chubby at that age...I was only chubby until I was 2, but it didn't really matter to me what he called me....I was going mushroom hunting....that was the important part. He could of called me Fat son # 2  at that point. I was just excited to go shrooming with my Dad. We had packed a sack lunch and off we went....I was in the front seat of the 59 Chevy pickup with my cool was I?  I love memory's like this one because it is so vivid in my memory that I can even feel what the texture of the seats were like in the truck. I can remember alot about that day...but the only thing I cannot remember many shrooms we found. I guess that tells me that it wasn't that important enough to remember. The important thing was that we were doing it together, just like we always did with the family. Shrooming was and still is a very important part of the Ranshaw tradition. If you lived in the Ranshaw household, shrooming was in your blood. Its something that pulls at you when spring arrives. It forces you to remember the smells of woods, the dampness of soil, the umbrella plants that are always out and that one time that you found the motherload.
(I just got a call from my brother while I was writing this blog...he wanted to know if I wanted to go shroom hunting....and of course I said I was in.)
My Brother  Scott and my Dad are like shroom fanatics. They will take work off to go hunting if they know think its a good time for them.  There is bragging rights at stake who will find the first shroom or who will find the most shrooms for the year. Let alone just having them around to cook and eat...that's the real trophy. They never did last long in our house either. They were usually gone the same day or the next. If you have never tried a morel are missing out on a real treat. They have great flavor whether you fry them up in flour and butter, or you cut them up and mix them in your scrambled eggs in the morning....they are terrific either way. There are different colored mushrooms depending on what time of the season it is...blacks come out first and those are the ones that I think taste the best but are also the hardest to find because they blend in with the ground so well. But there are also the grays, whites and yellows. Yellows grow the biggest and the easiest to find.
So I am hoping to have a good shroom season this year, and take all the knowledge that I have learned from my family and try and find the motherload of morels. If I could just get the location from my Dad of that one spot that he always finds them....but that's like trying to get secrets from the KGB Russian Spies. It don't think he will ever part with that information.

 (UPDATE...we did not find any today...but it is only March 19th...if the weather stays like it has been...they will be popping up next week) Happy Shrooming !!  

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Just what the Doctor ordered.

Thane with his District trophy. Me and Tierra who won both district and regional tourneys.
              So its been a while since my last post and the reason is I have been really busy doing nothing. (this is the part where I rub it in a little bit but make it sound like I am not trying to) Doing nothing is hard work I will say. Its not easy trying to stay busy but not do anything in the process. My doctor told me to take it easy and don't over do yourself...and far be it for me to disobey my doctor. I tried that once and it didn't work out very well for me. So this time I am following his orders to a "T".
              My neice and nephew both play basketball for their high school. And it was perfect opportunity for me to come watch them play a few games and spend some time with my sister. So it started on Monday of last week. Boys played on Monday Wed, and Friday...and the girls played on Tuesday and Thursday. It was perfect plan....stay for Monday and Tuesdays game and go home on Wednesday. Oh no....I was so hooked on watching them play that I didn't leave until Friday.And am back this week for more. Each game they would advance to the next round of their districts and regional tournaments that they are playing in. Each game got tougher for them and each time they would win. It was totally cool. Both of them start each game and are hardly ever taken out of the games. That in itself makes it very cool to watch because they are always on the court. And to watch them handle themselves in a way that shows true sportsmanship was just priceless.
             For my nephew Thane, it will be his final season as he is a senior this year. But he does have soccer still to come this season before his playing days are over. And from what I hear...he is pretty darn good at that too. Cant wait to see a game.
           For my niece Tierra, she is only a sophomore this year, so she will still have 2 more years of varsity basketball and is also a fantastic soccer player.
          And for my nephew Trae...although he is in college and holds a job both here at home and at his was so nice being able to spend time with him as well. He is my godson and holds a special place in my heart. But all these kids are well behaved and show respect for their elders and are just all around good people to hang out with.
           So I have alot to look forward to. And I am so glad I had this chance to spend with them. They probably don't appreciate the time as much as I did. But its just nice spending time with your nieces and nephews once they get out of that awkward age of them thinking they know everything and you can actually hold a conversation with them without them rolling their eyes at you. Its just nice to hear that they have matured enough to have formed opinions for themselves and actually believe in it enough to let you know.
           I now see what I missed out on by working all the time....I really must do something about that. and this is only one of my sisters kids. I still have all my other siblings kids to catch up on. I obviously wont be able to go back to work for quite some time. But at least I know when I do go back...I be a prouder man.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Lucky 50

Good bye my old friend. No longer will we have those days being spent together. Gone are the mornings we spent contemplating on what we would do together for the rest of the day. But I will always remember the many many times you were there for me....being my crutch...holding me up when I was down. The many times we went out drinking together and you were always there for me when I needed you. I know that I abused you in so many ways and you never seemed to were still there the next time I needed you ....without fail. But the time has come now that we must depart and go our separate ways. I will not forget all the good times we had together. The way we would think all of those great ideas together....Its hard to imagine doing it without you....But I must.
 I will miss you....and I am sure there will be times when I will think about you and wish you were here. I know we have said goodbye before and the two 10 month separations were much needed at those times.  But this time it has to be different. This time it has to be forever.

Okay, Now that I have said my goodbye to  cigarettes....its time to say hello to a new idea. Its healthy. Its also called taking life by the balls and owning it. That's my plan.
Sometimes I can be the stupidest person on the planet. (it hurts when you realize something like that) And I know my wife is going to read this and say..." Excuse me Ian...Ive known that for over 35 years."
Sometimes I just think that I am in control of my life that I actually forget that I am not the one who is in control at fact...I'm the one who is out of control and I take this blessed life that God has given me and I treat it as if its my truck (I don't take very good care of my truck either). God deserves better...and I deserve better. (my truck does too)
I went to work on Wednesday's my ritual (and here is also where the stupid portion comes in)
Get up and shower and have myself my first cup of coffee. With loads of creme in it....truck loads.(seriously...Its like drinking Milk)
I usually have a smoke before I leave (while I am enjoying my milk coffee)
After I finish my coffee...I leave for work and once I am on the road...I light another smoke because its a five minute drive to the gas station that I stop at every morning for my main cup of coffee with another truck load of creme in it.
Once I am back in my truck I am on my way to work and I have it timed so that I can smoke another 3 smokes. (In case you were wondering...Its a 20 minute drive)  I know that people who don't smoke probably don't understand this addiction and why people think they need to smoke 5 cigs before they start their day at work. But habits are so hard to break.

Anyway...I got to work and sat at my desk and all of a sudden...pain in the chest. A tightness that I have felt once before in my life. I knew what it was but I didn't want to admit what it was out loud.(enter in another dose of stupidity here) A couple of coworkers ask me if I was alright and I told them about the chest pains and ask them to find me some aspirin.(I was smart enough to do that)  But I was still determined to go to the morning meeting and perhaps the aspirin would help ease some of the pain and discomfort.(and then I do that....where does the stupidity end?) During the meeting I was holding my arm because it was having some pain shooting down them too. My co-worker who gave me the aspirin must have told my boss about the issues I was having and he immediately canceled the meeting and took me to the hospital.  It was no surprise that I had yet another heart attack. (at least it was no surprise to me)  I sort of knew I was on a downward spiral with my heart...I could feel it...I could sense it. But yet I did nothing about it. (Typical for me) For a smart guy....I can be really stupid. So now of course...I am struggling a bit with the whole non smoking thing. I have done it before and I was surprised at how easy it was...but this time I have a feeling it wont be so easy.

So basically...I have a lot of work to do. It involves eating better, quit smoking, exercise a whole lot more, and to not be a old bastard during the whole process.  and to be honest...I'm not that worried that I can do any of them. But that last one might be the hardest for me to accomplish. I will be fifty next Wednesday and that puts me in the "Old "category. But as I approach this birthday....I will also know that I am also in another category for a guy who has had two heart attacks before he was fifty...and that category would be called...the "Lucky" category. The good Lord must have something special planned for me if he wants me to stick around this bad.