They say:"Third time's a charm". We shall see. Welcome to my third blog on WDC,
** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **
The above picture has graced both my other blogs and of course I had to have it here...Me and my sweetie.
This is my third blog here on WDC. This is, in effect, my house. So please come on in and make yourself at home. Please don't mind the mess because this part is still under construction and I will be adding stuff in the next few weeks until I get it the way I want it.
About the Title: "Tor's House"....Well in a way, this is what a blog is to many of us. It is our way of inviting the world into our personal space. Just like in real life, I will endeavor to be the best host to my guests that I can be, but you must understand...in my house I tend to speak my mind. I apologize in advance for any who may feel uncomfortable.
What will you find here? Oh that's easy....Humor, strong opinion, and even some philosophical musings....or what passes for that with a dumb ole country boy.
So I welcome everyone...come in and let's sit and chew the fat awhile. Let's talk about stuff and see if we can figure out the answers to the world's problems....or what to make for lunch...whichever.
|Today is July 15, 2011 and it marks my last day as a paying member of Writing.com. I doubt if there are many here any more that even remembers me since I have not been active in at least three years but there was a time when I blogged here regularily. In my time here I did two complete blogs and was half way through this one when I left and I had a modest following while I was active.
The purpose of this last blog entry is to say THANK YOU to the management of WDC. Thank you for seven good years of membership during which I have learned so much about writing and I have made so many wonderful friends. To those friends.....I love each of you and I have missed some of you for awhile now. If anyone wants to catch up to me just head over to Open Salon and do a search for "Torman" I am there and blogging.
This blog, along with everything else I have done here over the past seven years or so will disappear in a couple of hours so I don't even know if anyone will even see this. If you happen upon it and you remember a blogger who called himself "Tor", well I wish you well...goodbye and WRITE ON!
Turns out the lights and walks out the door, shutting it behind him...........
|For those of you who have never heard of Tor, I am just a guy who use to blog here a long time ago. I'm nobody special, but I knew some very special people here.
It seems like forever since I last visited this place where I once played daily. I remember when we all were trying for "Blue Months" by writing everyday and now I see I have managed the opposite....I have many perfectly "white months" with no entries at all.
Such is life. We come to a place for awhile and then we tend to move on. In the time I have been away from here I have had a few adventures. Things have happened....good and bad. Such is life.
I have quietly peeked in here on a weekly basis...just to check in on some dear friends, but they seem to have moved on also. For those of you new to blogging on WDC, there use to be giants in this place. People like Nada, Kim Jordan, CarolinaBlue, CC, Eric Wharton, and some others who are no longer around. There are a few still visible, like Partyof5 and Voxxylady and Scarlett who still blog here and I miss them all.
While I no longer blog here, WDC is still my writing home; where I store all my fiction works, new and old. It is on this front that I have had my best news ever. Last week I did my first ever book signing and it was more successful than I could have ever dreamed. This has, in turn re-ignited the desire to follow a dream I have had for many years......to be a full-time writer. In seven short months I will be retiring from my full time job and I have decided that instead of just stopping one job, I will be beginning another. I will devote myself full time to my writing.
Now I tell you all this by way of explaining why I will be in here more often. I will use this space to record the journey I am about to embark upon.
I hope to make a few new friends here and in the process, to reconnect with a few of those "Giants" who remain in this place.
God bless you all and please......Follow your dreams. Sometimes you actually catch them.
|It occurred to me, as I swapped emails with Partyof5, that even though it has been almost a year since I had blogged on this site, there may be one or two people who still remembered me and might be wondering where I had gotten off to.
This past year has been one of upheavel for me climaxed by the loss of our son, Richard who was a pilot in the Army. He lost his battle with Cancer on Feb. 10th of this year. He was stationed in Washington state and Mel, my wife, and I had planned on making a trip up there to see him and his wife and new baby. Then we got the call we dreaded. His wife told us he had taken a turn for the worse and we needed to drop everything and try to get there quickly. We didn't make it in time to see him before he died and below is the blog I wrote about his death.....
A Fitting End
Today, Feb. 10,2010, at five in the afternoon as his mother and I made our way to Memphis to catch the first flight out in the morning, Our Son Richard passed away.
We did not make it in time to say goodbye, but that's alright. We will be there tomorrow to say our goodbyes and to be with Lindsey and little Aric.
Mel and I are at peace with how it all turned out, in fact to be honest with you it could not have been any better. The boy did good.
Let me tell you about Richard's last day on Earth....
Richard was moved from Hospice care and back into the hospital. His strength was fading fast and he was struggling to hold on. He was fighting for every breath. He was fighting to stay with his wife and child. He was fighting to hang on until we reached his side.
He was a Warrior.
A little before four o'clock the hospital in which he was a patient suddenly exploded in an uproar of excited voices in the hallways. Lindsey stepped out of the room and asked the nearest nurse, who was staring out the window, what was going on.
"Look out there," The nurse said excitedly and she pointed out the window.
Lindsey looked and there, landing on the hospital helipad was a big Blackhawk warbird. No one had been told it was coming and no one knew why it was there.
As soon as the big bird settled it's skids on the landing pad, thirty men, dressed in full dress uniforms unloaded and formed up in marching order.
They were the pilots and crews of Richards unit and they had come for one of their own....No man left behind.
The soldiers made quite a sight as they marched in step from the chopper and into the hospital, down the halls and into Richard's room. Each man of them was a friend, each man a comrade. They had come to say goodbye to one of their own.
They all gathered around Richard's bed and begin to talk to him gently, to tell stories, to share a common bond only warriors know. The leader of the group took Lindsey aside and told her she could take a break and get a little rest....they would watch over him for awhile.
So these men settled in to keep a vigil. Richard couldn't talk but his eyes went around the group, from man to man, from face to face and he smiled.
After about forty-five minutes, sensing that Richard was tiring fast, the group said their final goodbyes; each man taking Richard's hand for one last time. Then, in marching order they exited the hospital, all of them but one: Joe, Richard's closest friend in the unit stayed behind.
Joe sat by Richard's bed and held his hand. He prayed with Richard, never turning loose of him. Then, after a few moments of silence, Joe leaned over the bed and whispered to Richard.
"It's okay Rich. You can stop fighting now. You can go if you need to, it's gonna be alright."
Richard looked at him for a moment, then he turned his head and looked out his window....he had heard the sound of the Blackhawk as it lifted off the landing pad and began it's flight back to base. Richard stared out the window a moment....listening...then he closed his eyes and died.
Richard's spirit flew away.....following the big Blackhawk and his unit, into the sky. No man left behind.
All of this was relayed to his mom and me by Lindsey who finally reached us in Memphis.
So you see now why we are alright with not making it in time? Richard was first and foremost....a soldier and he went out like any soldier would want to go. It was fiting.
Thank you God for giving our boy such an exit, and thank you for giving us such peace.
Richard.....You did good son, damn good. Your mother and I are proud of you.
The story of our eight day drive home from Washington is told in a six-part series here: http://open.salon.com/blog/torman if any are interested in reading them. Just scroll down the page to find the entry you are looking for.
|Yes, its true, some doctors should be deep fried in chicken fat while still breathing....but that's just my opinion you understand.
As you can probably deduce by the title and the opening sentence, the dance of the doctors goes on. Indeed, not only does it continue, but it has now gone from a stately waltz, to something akin to a Russian Folk Dance with the participants whirling about like demented dervishes.
Monday and Tuesday was spent by yours truly in a frantic round of consultations and blood-letting. My primary care doctor has been foisting me off on a whole group of "specialists" in an effort to get to the bottom of what has been causing my problems. Monday it was the Ear, Nose, Throat guy's turn.
That was an education, to say the least. By the time I left his office I was scheduled for two surgeries over the next two months! One on my nose and one on my throat. I am still amazed he didn't cover all the bases and set me up for surgery on my damned ears.
In his humble opinion, the fact that I have sleep apnea is the root cause of all my trouble. It seems that during a sleep test I actually stopped breathing over ninety times in a five hour period. He said that was not done, at least not by anyone who lived very long.....what a ray of sunshine HE is!
He examined my nose and discovered that I had a deformed septum. This is caused..so he says...from multiple breaks of the nose. He then asked me how many times that had happened to me.
I laughed. Twice by the age of 16, twice during my military career, and once in my thirties, I told him. He was suitably impressed. He said that one side was totally blocked and the other side was partially blocked....go figure. So now he is going to go in and repair all the damage in there.
He then examined my throat. Here's where it gets interesting. He tells me that I have enlarged tonsils and that the area on both sides of the tonsils had become grossly enlarged and needed to be cut away along with removal of the tonsils.
I was stunned. You see, years ago, when I was probably in my thirties, I had a "doctor" tell me that I no longer had tonsils, that they had simply rotted away and been absorbed by the body. Now I got this goober telling me not only do I still have them, but they needed to come out!
According to this "Specialist" once all this was done, my airways would be open and the sleep apnea would be gone, thus relieving my system of a burden that should have already killed me.
Then, to add insult to injury, he examined my ears. Now folks I have been a little deaf ever since my tour of duty and I just chalked it up to misadventures dealing with close proximity to high explosives. Well the doctor took his little light thingy that ALL doctors use and stared into my right ear. He then proceeded to tell me that it was completely blocked.
"Don't worry, I'll just clean that out for you right quick." he told me. He then proceeded to squirt some warm liquid crap in my ear and start digging in there like some demented gold miner trying to strike the mother lode.....and he did.
He brought his little digging tool back to the surface and proudly displayed a hunk of dried wax that had been years in the making. It was HUGE! Not only was it as large as a purple hulled pea on steroids, but it actually had MOLD growing on it's surface!
As soon as he pulled it out actual SOUND came rushing into my head...it was amazing! Mel was sitting over in a corner watching all of this and grinning her head off. One look at her and I knew I was sunk. Gone was my built in excuse for ignoring her and she knew it. She KNOWS now that I can hear her....DAMN!
After all of that it was off the hospital to do a pre-admissions thing and to draw blood. Then Tuesday was spent dealing with paper work and getting an extension on my leave of absence from work. They wanted to know my approximate date I would return to work. I wanted the doctor to simply put on the paper: "When Pigs Fly" but she balked at that....DAMN!
I finally got home, settled in and was reading some blogs, when the phone rings....DAMN!
It was the Ear, Nose, Throat guy telling me that I needed clearance from my Neurologist before I could have surgery. The Neurologist then told me he could not give that until I had MORE blood work done and sent to him.
" I just had blood work done about three hundred yards from your office, can't you use that?"
Seems he can't. He needs fresh blood. I am starting to believe I am in an Anne Rice novel. So, today or tomorrow, I have to go do that. I am going to ask them to just install a spicket in my arm to save time.
Now after all of this, you know what really burns my butt? It is the thing with the ear. I mean, really....every doctor I have ever gone to in the past thirty years or so has always, always, done the same thing. They always take that little tool with the light on one end and the magnifying lens on the other and looked into my ear. Not one of them ever mentioned that my ear was blocked.
Good God people, after spending 15 years in school and hundreds of thousands of dollars on education to become a freaking doctor, are you telling me NONE of them could see a blockage in my ear?
It was left to a "specialist" to say "Hey....your ear is blocked."
Even specialist in other fields were unable to see it. What the hell is up with that?
I was a corpsman, a medic in the war and had I been able to look in my own ear I COULD HAVE SEEN IT! Yup, I say some doctors need to be deep fried in chicken fat. And so the Dance of the Doctors continues.
|Yesterday afternoon; Sept. 10, 2009, I received a phone call from my best friend, ccstring. I think there may be a few of you left around here who remember CC. He was and is one of the most talented, funny, writers that has ever been on this site.
Now getting a phone call from CC is not something that is unusual for me as we normally talk to each other two or three times a month. So when I saw by the caller I.D. who it was, I grabbed up the phone happily, ready to engage in some laughs and good conversation.
That was not to be. As soon as I heard his voice I knew something was wrong, His voice cracked with emotion as he spilled his story to me. The night before, his beautiful, sweet, wife Crissy had died in her sleep. She was 46 years old.
This news hit me like a hammer-blow. Mel and I had been lucky enough to meet Crissy and get to know her and CC and his wonderful children and this struck both of us to our very core.
John...CC's real name....is my best friend. We have known each other since way before WDC, having met on another site almost eight years ago. My heart is breaking for his loss and I curse the miles that lay between us which keeps me from being there and throwing my arms around him for support. I know there are others on this site who feel just as strongly toward John and his family as I do and that is the reason for this post. I promised him that I would come in here and tell you all what has happened....the least I can do for my friend.
There is so much more I would like to say about John and our friendship and to let those of you who did not know him get a glimpse of what a special man he is and what a special love he shared with his wonderful wife, but honestly, I can not find the words right now.
My last words to him, before I hung up the phone was: "I love you brother and I am here for you."
Please....remember ccstring....John...in your prayers and hold him up as he deals with the loss of his wonderful soul-mate and wife, Crissy. Please remember John's two daughters Hannah age 14 and Kaitlin, age 16 as they struggle with the grief of losing their mother.
John....my brother...I love you.
|Hello, my name is Tor and I use to blog in here on a daily basis. There may be one or two of you in here who remember me, after all it has been about two months since I did a blog and we all know that two months can equal "forever" in Cyberland.
Anyway, here I am. A very dear friend of mine said that this place was like a touchstone, a place to go for a safe haven and somewhere to call home. I guess she is a lot smarter than me and I believe she was correct. This is/was my home; the first place I ever tried to do this thing called a blog. Yes, I have ventured on into a much larger sea with a lot more predators and pitfalls, but the sailing there has been exhilarating. Like my dear friend though, I find I need to steer my ship into safe harbor ever now and again and just touch base with people I use to know here whom I called friends.
I also wanted to address an issue that has been weighing heavy upon my mind of late: The Blogville News. I don't know if there is any out there who remembers that News letter which I started and which was run with great success later on by the one and only Scarlett .
Due to health issues and just plain lack of time, I have allowed the newsletter to lay dormant for too long. Mainly for those same health issues, I am unable to start it up again and give it the kind of attention it deserves so I am here to make an offer.
If there is anyone out there who would like to take a stab at publishing the Blogville News, please email me and I will transfer to you all related files so that you can get up and running in no time at all.
Maybe this place has outgrown a newsletter for bloggers, I don't know, but if there is any interest, and anyone wants to give it a try....just let me know.
In the meantime, thank you for letting me visit you all and, God willing, I will try and come back again soon.
|Alrighty then.....let's have another try at this shall we! I would like to expand a bit on the entry I made yesterday so if you didn't bother to read it yesterday....go on...I'll wait on you....
ARE YOU DONE YET? Geeze.
Okay...are you back now? Well as you can see by that last entry, I was having what I have come to refer to since my stroke, as one of my "Grey Days". Grey days are days when my brain just doesn't work like I want it to and words are often hard to find and then to move from the brain to the page. It is not lethal, just annoying. Today, though, I will try to expand on that sparse entry.
As most of you who have followed my three blogs here on WDC are only too aware of, I have made a habit of chastising our government for it's fiscal policies. How many times have I said that the government should approach spending the same way we do with our family finances...and it's true....as our country goes further and further in debt, what does the government do but keep spending more and more money. I have always said that if we, as individuals did that, we would be in big trouble.
Well, I not only talk the talk, but by God, I walk the walk!
Ever since my stroke and the resultant missed time at work and then working half days...we have dropped behind on the treadmill of life, it seems. So, as I said in the last post, I could either continue spending and pretend everything would somehow magically work themselves out, or I could do what any sane man or country should do.....CUT BACK.
So I am cutting back, as I said before and will be doing without TV and Internet, and our home phone. Now there is a really funny side to this whole situation. As the two or three of you who have followed my blog over the years know, the one thing I have always railed against is the cell-phone and those who use the cell-phone. I think some of you may be familiar with the term: "Tool of the Devil" which I use constantly to describe this particular piece of technology.
Well guess what....
It was this piece of demon technology that proved to me that my plan was workable. You see, I have a land line in my home....like all sane people, but since our old car is acting up so badly, even after getting the transmission replaced, Mel decided that I had to have a cell phone to keep in the car in case I broke down on one of the deserted country roads I drive to and from work.
Well I reluctantly agreed with her on the condition that she never tell any of my friends I actually own one. She agreed with that and she then purchased one of those trac phones and like 125 minutes all for $40 dollars.
A LIGHT WENT OFF IN MY HEAD!
I told her: "Well hell, why not next paycheck we get another one for another forty dollars, and turn off the land line....for awhile."
So you see....even though it sounds bad...it really isn't. I will still have phone service via the Tool of the Devil, and the only thing that I will be missing is Internet at home and TV. As for the Internet, well my sister in law who only lives about three miles from me, still has it, so about once a week I will be able to pop on over to her house and not only make her day, but maybe even read my email and read some blogs and stuff. Besides, I don't need the Internet to write. I will still be writing my stories and working on the sequel to my novel.
So what are we REALLY giving up? Satellite TV....Oh God, you mean I won't have the talking heads on CNN, Fox News, ABC, CBS, and NBC telling me what I think or how I should act on any given day....SAY IT AIN'T SOOO!
Yeah, right.....big deal. Poor me, I gotta give up Cable News and Reality TV.....where the hell is the bad side of that?
So there you have it.... You see, it really isn't that big a deal now is it. The worse part of this thing and the one aspect of the plan that makes it a real hardship is the fact that ALL MY FRIENDS ARE GOING TO BE LAUGHING THEIR ASSES OFF BECAUSE I AM FORCED TO USE A FREAKING CELL-PHONE!!!
Well that's okay, you guys go ahead and chuckle if you want to, but remember this....I can't use a lot of minutes so when we talk it will have to be a short conversation:
Me: "Hello.....Yes, I'm alive and doing well. It's good to hear from you...bye!"
That ought to make every body's day better!!! I won't be talking their ears off now.
As for my WDC stuff, well it's all safe for a year since I recently renewed my membership so all the stuff I have in here should be here waiting for me when I return full time.
There you have it my friends....not so dramatic as one might first think, in fact it is downright funny if you think about it. I have even played with the idea of keeping a diary of my days unplugged to use as a series of blog entries both here and on my other blog site when I do return...should be some funny stuff.
So next Friday is D-Day....I'm kinda looking forward to it, to tell you the truth.
Who knows, maybe if Washington sees how easy it is to scale back spending, they may follow suit....YEAH RIGHT!
|Ever since my stroke, and the time I was forced to miss from work, we have been behind on all our bills. Oh not a lot at first, but it continues to get worse each month. I make enough money to live and pay the bills under normal circumstances, but not enough to catch up after an illness.
So as I said, each month we find ourselves falling a little further and further behind. Mel and I discussed our situation the other day and weighed our options. We could follow the lead of our country and just keep on spending and falling even more behind or we could take action and remedy the problem.
We choose to remedy the problem instead of pretending there is no problem. After studying our monthly bills something jumped out at me; We are paying $200.00 a month on one bill that covers our phone, television, and Internet. There was our answer!
So, starting next week, after I get my next paycheck, we are going to have the satellite, the phone, and the Internet shut off for at least four months. There is more to say, but unfortunately time is running out on me. I need to get ready for work now but I will try to write more tomorrow which is my day off. If nothing else, the next four months should be INTERESTING....LOL.
|The month is almost over and my goals are almost met so I figured I could spare the time to put an entry in here. So, for the three or four people who may or may not stumble in here, this is what is going on in my world.
My book is almost ready for the publisher. I have maybe four more chapters to work over and two more that I want to add to the ending.
I am just wrapping up a week long vacation which was delightfully unproductive. I will return to work Sunday. Wait....not entirely the truth, I was forced to be productive Wednesday. You see we had to get three hundred bales of hay out of the field and into the barn for the horses to eat this winter. THAT was an experience.
For anyone remotely interested, I have also started a new blog off site. email me for the link!
Now for the big news of the week....the deaths of three entertainment icons. I am sorry for their families and for the loss those families have suffered but that's about it from me. Maybe had I known them personally, then their deaths would have touched me in some way, as it is....well....not so much. Why should their passing effect me any more than the passing of thousands of other people around the world every day that I don't know. I will leave the gushing sentiment to the networks, they seem to be doing enough of it for all of us.
Well, that's it for me. Now it is back to work on the book. I will continue to keep up with those friends on here that still blog. Take care and be safe and may God bless you one and all.
|June has arrived and summer is upon us. This is a time of renewal, when the Earth grows green and comes alive after a long winter season. Thus it is with people sometimes, that we go through periods of winter in which we accomplish little, then we have a "Summer" season marked by bursts of activity and we accomplish our goals.
So it is with me. In December of 2004 I came to this site full of energy and eager to spread my writing wings and fly. During that time I DID accomplish quite a bit. I wrote numerous short stories, I started a blog that worked its way, at one point, up to the second most viewed on the site, and last and most importantly, I published a book of short stories....a life long dream.
Then, it seemed that "Winter" set in and I have spent quite some time spinning my wheels and not getting anywhere. Then a funny thing happened about a week ago. I was sitting here at the computer, trying to figure out what I wanted to write in my blog, and I suddenly remembered something my dear friend and fellow blogger said in one of her entries when writing about her book project.
She said: "If not now, when?"
Such a simple term, yet it holds so much meaning, especially to one of my age...."If not now, when?" And, just like that, the sun seemed to peek out from behind heavy clouds and the "Winter" that had gripped me for a couple of years now, fled away to be replaced by my own personal Summer of renewal. I made a decision.
As of today, I will be scarce here in Blogville. I am closing down my house here in Blogville. No. I am not leaving forever, merely taking an extended holiday, shall we say. I am going to devote my writing energy toward publishing my novel: "Time of Troubles....a complete novel" and starting the sequel to that book.
"If not now....when?"
I will still try to find time to drop in and read my favorite bloggers and try to leave a few comments so you won't be getting rid of me altogether.
But...my summer is upon me and NOW is the time of my own personal renewal and my time to accomplish yet another dream....seeing my novel in print.
So when my novel is published I will return to my little house in Blogville, air the place out and put the welcome mat back on the front steps. Then I will see if anyone still drops by for a visit.
Thank you Sheila, for a phrase that has inspired me. Now, I have to get busy WRITING.
|When I first considered writing this entry, I played about with different titles, all of which were a take off on some of my favorite War movies. Some of my choices were:
1. A Goat Too Far
2.Goat Burger Hill
3.The Longest Goat
4.Saving Pvt. Goat
5. The Great Goat Escape.
thought about doing the entire entry in screenplay format...kinda making the sad, sorry, tale into at least a freaking Movie of the Week. Then better sense....not to mention exhaustion...prevailed and I decided just to tell you about my day so far.
To be honest, it all started last night. I didn't get home from work until almost midnight. I then spent the next hour talking to Mel on IM. Finally, I couldn't keep my head off the pillow so I decided to head for bed. It was at this point that I made the terrible mistake of flipping on the TV in the bedroom...just to lull me into sleep, you understand.
I was unfortunate enough to run across a Sylvester Stallone movie I had never heard of and I thought to myself: "Self, this might be interesting. Maybe Stallone HAS made a movie worth a shit and I have just never seen it."
So I snuggled down in bed, with Sadie curled up next to me and Booker under the covers and laying between my legs, and Sherman stretched out on Mel's side of the bed. (trust me..it ain't the same), and started watching the movie.
A hour and a half later I turned off the TV in disgust having watched the ending that I had already figured out five minutes after the opening credits. It is my sad duty to inform you that Sly Stallone's record is still intact; he STILL hasn't made a movie worth a crap!
By now it is almost three a.m. but I'm not worried, after all I have Monday off so I can sleep in...right? Yeah, well that was the plan.
Cut to six thirty this morning.....The peace and quiet of the brand new day....not to mention my beauty sleep....is shattered by the blood curdling cry: "MOTHER OF GOD, THE GOATS ARE LOOSE!"
Rick has a definite dramatic streak in him.....
I lunged out of bed in full battle mode and ran straight into the wall. THUD! Rick was nice enough to help me up and I staggered into the living room, hopping on one foot and trying to pull on my jeans. I lurched out the back door and was greeted with a blood chilling sight....THE BACK PASTURE WAS EMPTY!
My heart stopped.....twelve goats were on the loose and creating God knows what kind of havoc. In the meantime Rick had charged out the front door and around the side of the house toward the neighbor's place. As I made my way into the back pasture, I could dimly see him running this way and that, screaming and cursing as goats scattered in all directions....I could see this was going to be a long day.
Standing in the middle of the goat pasture, I was desperately trying to clear the cob-webs from my brain and formulate a suitable battle plan to recover the escaped goats, all the while Rick was running, falling, and scattering goats even further.
The first thing I decided to do was head back to the house, get a bucket of grain and try calling the goats back. I got the feed and headed back to the pasture and as soon as the goats saw me with the bucket, they started to charge back home.
It was then that I noticed something funny....the whole side fence of the pasture, on the side bordering the neighbor's house, was laying down on the FREAKING GROUND! WTF?
It was at this point that my neighbors (plural cause I don't know how many live in that freaking trailer) made their appearance on the scene again. Cue the theme song from Deliverance....Dueling Banjos!
Me: "You guys have any idea why this damn fence is laying down?"
Her: "Oh we couldn't get that little goat back in the pasture so we just took the fence down so that it would find its way home."
Me: "Wait...you mean to start with only ONE baby goat got out?"
Her: "That's right and the rest got out after we put the fence down. We didn't think about that, I guess."
At this point I was fairly certain that I could have killed the lot of them, burned their trailer, and poured salt on their land and not a court in the state would have convicted me. Instead, I picked Rick up off the ground where he had collapsed from all the goat chasing and we spent the next hour PUTTING THE FREAKING FENCE BACK UP!!!!
Just another slice of life on Almosta Ranch.
Sometimes I long for a quiet little condo in Miami Beach....naw, then I wouldn't have a dang thing to write about.
|More and more this bible verse comes to me. I think that it is telling me something I had somehow forgotten along the way. Whether you believe in God or believe in the Bible, these words hold meaning for all of us, I believe.
The trick is knowing WHEN that time has come.
There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven.
2 A time to give birth, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted.
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; A time to tear down, and a time to build up.
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance.
5 A time to throw stones, and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, and a time to shun embracing.
6 A time to search, and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep, and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear apart, and a time to sew together; A time to be silent, and a time to speak.
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; A time for war, and a time for peace.
|I just got off the phone with Debi Wharton . She was calling to let me know that her beloved mother in law and her best friend, had passed away early this morning. Debi asked me to give you all the news. Please keep Debi and Eric in your thoughts and prayers as they go about making the funeral arrangements.
The dear lady was eighty-five years old when she died and was a lovely, warm, and gentle spirit who made all she met feel at home and a part of her family. That is how she made Mel and I feel right away when we met her and my life is richer for having known her. I am sure Debi will be in here at some point to give you more details.
|One morning 3 Southern good old boys and 3 new yorkers were in a ticket line at the birmingham train station
heading to atlanta for a big football game.
The 3 northerners each bought a ticket and watched as the 3 good ole boys from the South bought just one ticket among them.
"how are the 3 of you going to travel on one 1 ticket?" asked one of the yankees.
"watch and learn" answered one of the boys from the South.
When the 6 travelers boarded the train, the 3 yankees sat down, but the 3 Southerners crammed into a bathroom
together and closed the door.
Shortly after the train departed, the conductor came around to collect tickets.
He knocked on the bathroom door and said, "tickets please." the door opened just a crack and a single arm emerged with a ticket in hand. The conductor took it and moved on.
The yankees saw this happen and agreed it was quite a clever idea. Indeed, so clever that they decided to do the same thing on the return trip and save some money.
That evening after the game when they got to the atlanta train station, they bought a single ticket for the return trip while to their astonishment the 3 Southern boys didn't buy even 1 ticket!!!!
"how are you going to travel without a ticket?" asked one of the perplexed yankees.
"watch and learn", answered one of the Southern boys.
When they boarded the train the 3 northerners crammed themselves into a bathroom and the 3 Southerners crammed themselves into the other bathroom across from it.
Shortly after the train began to move, one of the Southerners left their bathroom and walked quietly over to the yankee's bathroom. He knocked on the door and said, "ticket please"..
There's just no way on god's green earth to explain how the yankees won the war.....
|Some men would absolutely love the idea of their wives taking off for a few weeks and traveling across the country without them. They would throw a party, have a blast, live it up....me, not so much. I am not ashamed to admit that my wife is my life and without her here this house, this planet, just isn't the same. I do not hesitate to admit that, without this woman, I am nothing at all.
Six more days until she comes home. Almosta Ranch is not the same when its heart is half a country away. These last days are going to be the toughest because we are now reduced to contact only through emails and IM.
Why is that? Glad you asked.
IT'S BECAUSE CELL PHONES ARE THE TOOL OF THE DEVIL AND RICHARD AND LINDSEY ARE DECIPELS OF DEMON TECHNOLOGY!!!
You see, my step-son and his wife both have cell phones which, I believe, are surgically attached to their freaking ears and they refuse to even own a land-line. So, every time Mel and I want to talk on the phone...which is at least two or three times a day....it involves me calling one of those freaking CELL PHONES! The downside of this is that the other day they both diplomatically hinted that they are about out of MINUTES and when they run out of those, it will cost a fortune to get more.
Of course my sweet wife immediately picked up on their concern and told me that from now on we can only talk on IM. To which I replied: "WELL TELL EM TO GO GET A FREAKING REAL PHONE!"
I was ignored.
So now I sit here at the computer, signed into MSN messenger waiting for Mel to come online.
Hell, I haven't used messenger in a year or more and I gotta tell you...IT SUCKS! I was trying to talk to Mel last night and Ricky kept walking by the computer and trying to read over my shoulder. I finally had had enough so I typed to Mel:
"Hey baby, let's get naked and cyber like we use to when we were dating."
Ricky read this and quickly retreated from the room: "Oh God, I didn't just read that did I? Tell me I did NOT see my father and step-mom talking about getting naked!"
Hehehe.....works every time!
Come to think of it, we did use to get a little hot and heavy on the old IM back in the day. If you ever get the chance, just drop Mel a line and ask her about two phrases that use to drive her crazy: "Nibble, nibble" and "Lick, lick."
ROFLMAO! SHE'S GONNA KILL ME FOR THAT!
Anyway....the communications problems not withstanding, she is having a lovely visit with the kids and she is spoiling the grand baby to no end. Last night we were "talking" on IM and suddenly this appeared:
"What the hell was that," I typed to Mel.
"LOL, That was Aric. He is in my lap and wanted to say Hi to grandpa."
It was definitely an "AWWWW" moment.
So, anyway, next Wednesday she will be home and we will never again be parted. Wednesday night, when I go to bed, my baby will be where she belongs....laying with her head on my shoulder and her arms around me. I will finally be able to sleep again.
She should be getting up any minute now so I better end this thing. If any of you have her on your IM and you see her online....DON'T TALK TO HER, SHE IS BUSY CYBERING ME!!!!!!
|There are phrases, sentences, snippet's of conversation, that define our lives, that serve as watersheds of each age in which we pass through, from birth to death. These are a few that tell a story of a life.
"Ready or not, here I come!"
"Red rover, red rover, let Mikey come over."
"You're too young, you wouldn't understand."
" You have the potential to be the best football player this high school has ever had."
"Raise your right hand and repeat after me....."
"You numba one G.I., V.C. numba ten. You likie me? We boom-boom all night long!"
"GET SOME! Come on you little slant-eyed mothers....LET'S DANCE!"
"Your government thanks you for your service, you are now a civilian."
"You have to give some thought to your future now son."
"Mr.______. your aptitude tests show you have a certain talent for writing. Have you considered college?"
" I now pronounce you Man and Wife. You may kiss the bride."
"Congratulations, Mr._____, you have a son."
"These bills have to be paid. There will be time enough for college when you're older."
" I'm sorry, but you just don't have the educational background needed for this job."
" Dad, can I borrow the car?"
"Dad, I love her and we are going to be married."
" I just don't love you anymore. I want a divorce."
"Hello, my name is Melinda."
" Because of your age, your earning potential has been greatly reduced."
" You might try using the cane, Mr.______ . It will help you with your balance."
"You really need to slow down now, after all, these are your Golden Years."
"You're too old, you wouldn't understand."
From birth to death, phrases we hear, words we speak, tend to define our passage across the stage of Life. In and of themselves, they do not tell the whole story though. They are merely markers of the chapters and it is how we react to those phrases that serves to fill in the rest of our story.
What are the chapters of your life? What is the story that fills in those chapters?
|"Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out."
"But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth. "
"Every man dies. Not every man really lives."
"Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich, a tragedy for the poor."
"Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets."
I was going to write a blog about life in general tonight, but then I thought...what the hell, these guys said it better than I ever could. Take from it what you will, and leave the rest.
|Nov. 23, 1783...The Treaty of Paris.
Dec. 24, 1814....Treaty of Ghent.
Feb. 2, 1848,,,,Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
April 9, 1865,,,Lee surrenders to Grant
April 11, 1899..Protocol of Peace between Spain and America
June 28,1919...Treaty of Versailles
Aug. 15, 1945....Japan surrenders ending WW2
July 27, 1953...armistice with Korea
Jan. 15, 1973...Paris Peace Accord.
Seek ye not to honor the living, for the living care for themselves, rather remember and honor the dead. These are the true heroes who have given their lives, their blood, to water the tree of Liberty for over two hundred and thirty years.
thank you for your time.
|I thought today I would tell you a story about one of the people I grew up with back in Buzzard Neck, Texas. Kenny Frank Childress. Now ole Kenny Frank, or "Chicken" as some of us called him on account of his initials, was a rare sort in the town of Buzzard Neck; he was an intellectual, owning to the fact that his momma and daddy had insisted he finish high school. In fact they had to bus him to near-by Cut-N-Shoot, Texas to attend classes because Buzzard Neck had never before needed a high school.
As you can imagine, Kenny was a square peg in a round hole around Buzzard Neck...just never fit in with polite society. Shortly after his graduation he returned to Buzzard Neck and took a job as a security guard at Marvin Hinkle's hog farm. I am sure that about here most of you are scratching your head and wondering why a hog farm would need a security guard, but you gotta remember, this is Buzzard Neck, Texas we're talking about. Around that town the local pig farm doubled as kinda a Love Boat for all the male citizens. Now as a rule, Mr. Hinkle didn't mind this so much, as long as the men in question paid farmer Hinkle the going rate for a half-hour with is prize sow, but there was always those few who wanted a little midnight-delight for free...this is where Kenny came in.
Every night, seven days a week, Farmer Hinkle would post Kenny inside the giant hog pen armed with a garden hose with a high pressure nozzle. Kenny would patrol the perimeter of the pen and every time he caught some over-heated lothario crawling over the top of the fence, he would train his trusty hose on the ole boy and blast him with a jet spray of cold water. This action never hurt the offender but the unplanned bath usually left them in such a shocked state that they could do nothing more than slink off in shame...especially if it wasn't even Saturday when they got hosed.
I have to say that Kenny loved his job. He would patrol the pen each night, hose in hand, while he recited bad poetry to the sows who seemed to really love all that "Moon, June, Croon" crap. Yup ole Kenny had it made, not only was Hinkle paying him a good wage, but Kenny was also collecting the occasional kick-back from the Mayor to look the other way when he and the city council would pay the Farm an unofficial visit for a little free fun.
Alas though, all good things must come to an end, and Kenny's dream job was no exception. One day Farmer Jones, on the next farm over, bought a whole herd of sheep and went into competition with Farmer Hinkle. The citizens of Buzzard Neck were nothing if not capitalist.
In no time at all, farmer Hinkle had lost all his business to farmer Jones because everyone knows a good ole Texas redneck will always prefer sheep to pigs...they're cleaner, you know. Within two months Hinkle was reduced to actually selling and butchering his pig herd like a regular pig farmer...it was sad. Of course he could no longer afford Kenny's services as a security guard...besides, there was no one coming around any more even for freebies.
So, faced with unemployment, Kenny was forced to search outside of Buzzard Neck for a good paying job. I still remember the day Kenny left town. He was carrying one battered old suitcase loaded with all his poetry books and struck out down highway 59. It was rumored that farmer Hinkle's prize sow left town with him, but I was there and I never saw her if she did. Of course, that was a LARGE suitcase and maybe......well who knows, the only thing I know for sure is that Kenny left for greener pastures...so to speak.
I heard later that Kenny ended up in Washington D.C. where, believe it or not, he got a job doing much the same as what he had been doing in Buzzard Neck....kinda.
Seems that the First Lady, at the time, hired Kenny and his trusty hose, to keep the President from getting together with a different kind of "Sow". Unfortunately Kenny messed that job up...maybe he needed a stronger nozzle on his hose. Whatever the reason, ole Bill slipped past him one night and BAM, Hilliary fired Kenny the next day.
Last I heard from Kenny Frank, he was living somewhere on the East Coast, working from home for Craig's List, while carrying on a torrid love affair with some woman he met online on one of those "Big, Bold, Beautiful" websites.
Kenny wrote me awhile back and he was asking about all the folks in Buzzard Neck and he confessed that he still sometimes missed those good old days of Swine and Hoses back on Marvin Hinkle's pig farm.
|Have you ever wondered why we do what we do?
No, I don't mean what we do in the real world, but rather what we do with the computer. Think about it a minute if you will. Here we are, all members of a "Writing Site" and doing a blog....why do we put so much of our time and effort into writing a blog?
What about all the other "stuff" out there in cyberspace. First, long ago, MSN, Yahoo, and AOL chat rooms were all the rage, then chat rooms beget Myspace which morphed into FaceBook and now the depth has been plumbed with Twitter.
You know Twitter don't you, that thing which stands upon the same evolutionary level as that very first amoeba which crawled out of the primordial slime and wondered: "Where the hell are my legs and why can't I order a pizza?"
Can it be that we, as a people, so crave social interaction that we gleefully leap onto the back of the Lowest Common Denominator and pound out our thoughts and daily actions in increments of 140 characters at a time. I find it a true indicator of the times in which we live, the fact that even Senators, Congressmen, Judges jump on the Twitter bandwagon.
"I just washed my hair...it's wet"
"My dog peed on the rug and now I have to clean it up."
"Having pork for dinner tonight....YAY!"
The only thing keeping me from labeling this "Moronic" is the fact that I will be insulting all the morons of the world. How can it be that otherwise intelligent men and women embrace this sort of idiocy?
Which brings me back to blogs here on WDC and why we do what we do. If I hear:"Blogs aren't real writing, so it doesn't matter anyway." I'm gonna scream. ANY time you write, it should be REAL writing. If we don't get into the habit of striving for quality, how can we ever hope to have any success with our writing?
Of course there is an element of social interaction in the Blog format. Anytime you trade comments with other writers and get to know them, you can not help but have some social interaction and that is not a bad thing....as long as it doesn't effect what you write, or want to write. Maybe it's just me, I am able to have someone disagree with me without taking what they say as a personal attack...unless they get personal. We should be able to offer differing views without personal rancor; that is a part of learning to write dispassionately and with purpose.
So to any of you who have chosen to be insulted by what I write, that is never my intention. I have only expressed a different opinion....take it how you will.
I find it curious that this third blog is nearing 11,000 views and I still find myself wondering.....What am I doing here and why am I doing it? I think these are questions I will always ask myself, no matter what I am doing. Maybe it is merely a part of growth or maybe it is something else entirely.
The only thing I know for a certainty is that I will never Twitter my day at 140 characters at a time....what about you?