Celebrations

Ginger Returns – 2019

As I mentioned in my What A Week post just last week. Our mischievous little Elf, Ginger has returned. Since this is her third Christmas with us, and the girls are only here on weekends, Santa has said she can rest up during the week. Of course, that allows her to have a bit more fun in the days the girls are here.

To recap, Ginger arrived last Sunday, the 1st of December.

Ginger came fully loaded this year with a set of elf jokes. Think of these as similar to dad jokes, only worse. I’m guessing that since she isn’t zooming back and forth between here and the North Pole every night, she feels the need to move around the house during the day to keep an eye on the girls. So we have found her in several places last weekend, each time with one of those joke cards.

If athletes get athlete’s foot, what do elves get?
What kind of music do elves like best?
What kind of bread to elves make sandwiches with?

When the girls arrived after school this Friday, they found Ginger in her igloo. Seems she found a little snowman that they were making but didn’t finish. So she finished it for them, and of course made a big mess.

There’s supposed to be a snowman here somewhere. Promise!

Saturday morning found her making some kind of snowflakes from toilet paper.

Almost as bad as a kitten.

We found her in several spots all over the house the rest of the day.

What’s the first thing elves learn in school?
What kind of photographs do elves like taking?
Why does Santa owe everything to the elves?

I guess she felt like she needed some exercise on Saturday. This is how we found her Sunday Morning.

Elf bowling!
Ginger the #elf hanging out in her igloo watching our version of Food Network Live #Christmas #Cookie Edition!

When the ladies took a break from making cookies, she got a little pushy!

At least she said “please”.

Then she was back with the bad elf jokes.

What’s Santa’s tax status?
What kind of cars do elves drive?

So that was Ginger’s weekend. The girls have returned to their other home, and Ginger is napping until their return.

Note: If you want the answers to her riddles, you will have to ask here on the blog. I’m not going to answer any questions on other social media. I realize that you have to have an email address and register to post comments. This is to stop the spam comments that I had to deal with when I started this blog. Your email is not stored or used in any way.

Peace,
B

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Just leaving this here.. because.

WTF???

What A Week

Even before I went into semi-retirement Wifey and I had planned on painting the girls rooms Thanksgiving week. She took the week off and we had hoped to get everything accomplished before Thanksgiving day (Thursday). As usual, that didn’t happen.

We got most of it done, but I still have to replace the light switches and electrical outlets with nice white ones. That’s difficult in that I have to turn the power off, obviously, and the girls get upset when they can’t play in their rooms. Plus with my back and leg issues it’s very difficult for me to sit on the floor for any length of time. We also decided to replace several of the bedroom doors as the old doors are not drilled standard. The new door knobs don’t fit.

But here’s what we did get done. Those that follow me on social media have seen some of these before.

The easy room was granddaughter-the-elder’s. She just wanted a new shade of blue and a big turtle. She is obsessed with turtles and tortoises.

No, we didn’t paint that. It’s a decal from Fatheadz.
She also found a Jellyfish canopy and new reading chair.

Granddaughter-the-younger wanted a bit more. She wanted stripes on her walls. I have no issue with stripes. I had them on my wall when I was younger.

The colors don’t show well, but that’s a Pepto Bismol pink wall and light blue stripes.
She also found a Jellyfish canopy and new reading chair.
Both girl’s closets have a bead curtain as well.

And that’s not all we did! (Cue the infomercial voice over – “But wait! There’s more!). We had a new garage door installed (not going to bore you with a picture). As per our family tradition, the weekend after Thanksgiving we put up the Christmas tree.

Even managed to get our little village out this year.

And since Sunday was 1 December that means it’s the return of Ginger!

Of course, there was lots of food on Thanksgiving day. But you’ll have to see my Instagram for those pics!

Oh – not a single Christmas song was played the entire time. It just ain’t gonna happen.

Peace,
B

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Two Weeks In

Well, here I am, two weeks into my semi-retirement. Just so you know, I have not been sitting on my ass the entire time. Mainly because I can’t sit for all that long, nor stand, nor lay down for that matter. The herniated discs in my back have not improved as I had expected.

And, since this is Veteran’s Day weekend, we have our annual “smoke out”. We used to do this twice a year, at Memorial Day as well, but we had to cut one out. Just too much work, and too expensive. As usual, we’ll have about 25 folks show up. Some driving an hour or so just to hang out with us. I consider this an honor and privilege to host these folks. Son-the-elder will not be joining us this year as he is still overseas with his Army unit. It’s also granddaughter-the-younger’s birthday celebration.

That’s just over 25 pounds of brisket and 18 pounds of pork butt to smoke! I have never smoked this much meat at one time…

I have also been doing physical therapy three times a week in an effort to get my back and legs stronger, so that I can handle smoking all that meat overnight Saturday and most of the day Sunday. It’s been mixed results, as this week has been a very difficult week with a high level of pain. But between the doctor, my wonderful tech lady, Wifey and doing my exercises and stretches, I feel much better today. The jury is waiting to hear the complaints after this weekend..

I’ve also been trying to do some more of the home repairs/upgrades we started a couple of weeks ago. That is slow going for me, but I do what I can and take a break to rest my back and legs. Much to Wifey’s surprise and delight, I do the basic housecleaning (sweep/mop/etc..) during the day as I can. I am still looking for a part time job to both supplement my income and keep me from going stir crazy. I can only sit and do nothing for so long. I’ve already read three books down my down time.

For now, my beer costs have not gone up. I am doing my best not to start drinking at lunch every day. And so far, that has held true. But “watch this space”. One thing that has gone up is coffee. When I was working I would normally have just one cup at home in the mornings and then drink the job’s coffee. Now it’s my usual four cups every morning. And we won’t get into weekend consumption when both of us are hitting the brew hard.

I think this song is appropriate.. Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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It’s Samhain Again!

Or for the new world folks, Halloween.

Once again, I will be my usual psychotic self for Halloween. I have saved a ton of money this way. I don’t have to buy a costume. Let’s face it, psychotic folks looks just like ordinary folks. We blend it quite easily. That is, until someone hits that trigger button. Then all bets are off!

Instead I’ll post some pictures from the past years.

This is from 1983. That’s son-the-elder that Wifey is holding. I bet if I quit shaving my beard would be the grey now!
Son-the-elder, 1986.

I can’t seem to find any pictures of son-the-younger in costume. But I do have his daughters all Halloweened up.

But we will always do a Jack O’Lantern.

Son-the-younger and his wee bonnie lasses did the carving this year.

Even the computers are getting into the act!

How are you celebrating the day this year?

(Previous Samhain posts are here, here, and here.)

Peace,
B

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Summer’s End

Well, maybe for some of you…

I’m sure you know by now that I live in Floriduh. We don’t really have seasons here. At least not like the rest of the world.

We do get winter. It lasts about 2 days, usually in February. We have lived where there were all four seasons. North Carolina has all four seasons, the Army saw fit to send us there twice. It didn’t snow all that much during those two tours, but we did get some. Alaska on the other hand, was lots of snow. It did hit 95 F once, for about 90 minutes during the very brief summer. I think it was a Tuesday that we had summer that year. And we did get 24 hours daylight during this time, not quite 24 hours of dark. We were not quite north enough for that. The least sunlight we received would be about 15 minutes. The sun would come up, move over about a half an inch then drop back down. And it was so very cold.

The Autumn equinox is coming up; Monday, 23 September actually. I can see the subtle differences outside. When I leave for work in the morning, before the sun comes up, the humidity is much lower. Not that it’s gone, it’s just that the dew point occurs after I leave, so my windshield is dry. That won’t last long of course. By mid-December, I’ll be dealing with it all over again. Plus those few days where the dew turns to a very light frost on the windshield. All it takes to clear it is about 3 minutes of the defroster on high. No need to scrape.

This is my favorite time of year. Not only is the weather a little marginally cooler, my two favorite holidays are coming up. Samhain (Halloween for some) and Thanksgiving.

Last year we took the wee bonnie lasses to a “Fall Festival” as we try to do every year. But last year we almost got heat stroke while in the corn maze! It was extremely hot and muggy. And no beer! Only water and sports drinks, although the coffee and hot chocolate were selling briskly. Go figure.

I do hope that wherever you are you get whichever seasons you enjoy the most. Maybe you’re like me and want to just move around to enjoy the variety of all the seasons. Personally, I do not enjoy snow all that much. I don’t mind the cold temperatures, I just don’t care for the white stuff. Having said that, we are taking the wee bonnie lasses to the mountains of Western North Carolina just after Christmas this year. They have been asking to see snow for several years. Hopefully, that will happen. But you never know, the weather is a fickle bitch.

It took me sometime to decide which video to use (and there’s always a video isn’t there?). I was thinking of Summer by War, or Summertime by Janis Joplin. Instead, I went with this one. Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 13 August

(A.K.A. The Woodstock Edition)

This week will be the 50th Anniversary of the legendary “Woodstock” music festival.  Admittingly, I was too young to attend, not to mention it was many miles away from my south Florida home. 

Just in case you’re unsure about the whole thing let me quote from the wiki page;

Woodstock was an American music festival held August 15–18, 1969, which attracted an audience of more than 400,000.  Billed as “an Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music”, it was held at Max Yasgur‘s 600-acre dairy farm in Bethel, New York, 43 miles (70 km) southwest of Woodstock. It was alternatively referred to as the Bethel Rock Festival or the Aquarian Music Festival. Thirty-two acts performed outdoors despite sporadic rain.[6] It has become widely regarded as a pivotal moment in popular music history, as well as the definitive nexus for the larger counterculture generation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodstock

I was healthy 9 years old at the time, so my musical tastes were more inline with The Monkees and The Beatles than Jimi Hendrix.  But that all changed when my sister brought home the 2-album set. I listened to those records constantly.

All this week SiriusXM is featuring music from the festival. The Deep Tracks channel is playing the complete tapes.  Every band and every song all week long. While I haven’t heard Country Joe McDonald’s “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ To Die Rag” and it’s now legendary audience involvement, I did hear something that I don’t remember being on the albums.  Before I get to that let’s mention a few of the other performances. 

Richie Havens opened the show, 3 ½ hours late. He was scheduled fifth on the bill on the opening day. Problem was, all the acts for that day were stuck several miles away at the area motels reserved from them.  The roads were blocked by cars that had just parked in the street since there was no other place to go, so the bands couldn’t get their gear nor themselves to the concert area.  Richie had the least equipment, one guitar for him, one guitar for his lead guitarist, and a set of conga drums for the percussionist, was all that was needed, so they were the first to be helicoptered in.  Richie was a bit afraid to be the first one on.  Since the show started so late, he was worried that the crowd would be angry and hostile. Needless to say, that was anything but the case.  

Joan Baez closed out the fist day (the “folk” day), she was 6 months pregnant! Her set was from roughly 1 – 2 AM.

Santana did a 45-minute set on day 2, and Carlos Santana was totally tripping the entire time.  The video of that entire set is electrifying!

John Sebastian (best known as part of the Lovin’ Spoonful) was not on the bill but was there enjoying the show (he had a house in the area). He played a short set while, again, other performers were delayed in arriving.

And who can forget Joe Cocker’s physical rendition of “With A Little Help From My Friends”? This single performance catapulted him into the US conciseness. Also giving John Belushi a new act.

Crosby, Still, Nash & Young doing an hour at 3AM. I still get chills listening to their set. To produce such vocal harmonies, live, and at that time of night, blows me away.

Let’s get to what is stuck in my head.  I heard just the end of this yesterday.  (I have SiriusXM streaming while at work) I wasn’t exactly sure just what I was listening to, and there was no mention, that I heard, of the performer.  I recognized the song, but not the artist.

Another thing that was interesting, was that I had just finished reading an article about the song which was written by John Lennon.  This song stunned all The Beatles when John first played it.  The entire band, George Martin (producer) and everyone in the studio all thought it was “stunning”. And then I hear it again on the way to work this morning.

Here is Richie Havens’ “Strawberry Fields Forver”.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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Where Does The Time Go??

Seems like today is the second anniversary of this blog. I would like to give my faithful, and casual, readers a big thank you! I realize that I do not post anything world-changing. In fact I tend to post mostly useless stuff!

But if you really want useless stuff, then today is also my eleventh anniversary on Twitter! Talk about useless stuff. You should see my feed, it’s all over the place.

But such is life!

Totally irrelevant video..

Peace,
B

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That Friday Feeling

It may not be Friday on the calendar, but it is in my mind. Tomorrow is the 4th of July, which here in the colonies uh, states is Independence Day.

This makes it my Friday, and you know what that means!

And of course…

And to top it all off, I’ll leave you with little video of Friday On My Mind.

Peace,
B

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A Conglomeration Of Birthdays

I find it amusing at how many of my family birthdays seem to come in groups. I understand that there are only so many days in a year, so it’s probable that some birthdays will fall near each other. But as I posted before when my father and both of his parents birthdays fall within 3 days of each other. So here is the next “installment”.

First, is my maternal grandmother;

Dora Calder (Hicks), 8 June 1898 – 4 March 1972

I spent many summer vacations at either her house, or a nearby aunt’s house, but I barely remember her. I was too busy playing with my cousins I guess.

Switching “families”, the next two are wifey’s parents.

Corneila Opha Greene (Moore), 12 June 1933 – 13 June 2014.
Charles Nathan Moore, Sr., 13 June 1925 – 27 October 2016.

My in-laws were every bit of parents to me as my parents were. They supported wifey and I every step of the way.

Peace,
B

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A Quick Thought On Memorial Day

This is a repost of last year’s Memorial Day post. I don’t think I could say it any better.

While it’s never wrong to thank a veteran for his or her service, that is not what today is for. Save that for Veteran’s Day. Today we remember the ones who never got to take off the uniform, those that never came home, the ones that paid that ultimate sacrifice. So we do not “celebrate” Memorial Day, we respect what it stands for. Now granted I will have my cookout and drink several adult beverages, after all, it is an extra day off of work. But in the back of my mind, and hopefully yours too, we will remember our brothers and sisters of all branches of the military and hope that their sacrifice wasn’t in vain. As an Army retiree and the proud father of a soldier, today weighs heavily on me and my family, I am so very grateful for those that served before me and after me. So lift a glass of whatever beverage you choose, and thank those we can only remember, those who fell on the battlefields the world over. And pray that the wars will end, and peace will reign. Amen.

Peace,
B

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Retired Army