Blog# 44 Dazed and Confused

Hi Everyone,

There really no excuse for not being on top of things in your life. No good reason not to be cognizant of your surroundings, or is there? If you are over 55 years of age I am sure you have had a senior moment or two in your life, but this is a different kind of confusion. The kind of confusion I am suffering from is in understanding the world I live in today.

I watch a lot of television like most people, and I try to watch the news for my information on world events. Unfortunately, none of the media seems to know the stories and instead give me their slanted versions of the the story. No, I am not talking about Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, I am talking about strictly the facts. Pappy goes to sleep about 11pm at night and upon awakening I watch Bloomberg or business news and Fox for current events. After sleeping, sometimes I forget many of the stories from the previous days events but get reminded in the morning. On occasion, the story changes from night time to the morning report, making me wonder, “Did I dream that story last night?”

Yes, we have a creative media. A media that creates its own stories out of nothing if it needs one bad enough.

They say the truth is stranger than fiction, but Pappy would like to be challenged to determine that for himself instead of by some copy writing, self publishing, backroom editor with an agenda. Since we are heading into a political season of slanted sayings , twisted slanderous stories, and misconstrued, malconstructed, miscellaneous, mischievous, misrepresentations, we at least deserve to know if its real or if its Memorex.

Remember the game we played as kids? We would whisper a secret in one person’s ear who would tell it to the next person in their own words until the last person in the class would say what they thought they had heard. “Mrs. Harper , our math teacher is having a bologna sandwich at lunch that she made last night at home.” It would come out “Mrs. Harper is full of bologna and this is her last night to be in her home to eat lunch.”

Its a miracle I tell you that we people get anything right with all of the stories that circulate about candidates, stars, and folks in the news. Have you ever noticed how the news reported is often enhanced and the story is repeated again and again if they really want you to hear it. Then in another piece of opposite opinion, it is hushed down to the bottom of circulation that runs contrary to the one that is constantly running? Who are these media types? Who is running the show behind the curtain? Where is Todo when you need a curtain puller?

Well,I guess its just show business plain and simple. But remember what one of our wise philosophers said many years ago from the song, “All Along the Watchtower” :

“No reason to get excited,”
The thief, he kindly spoke
“There are many here among us
Who feel that life is but a joke
But you and I, we’ve been through that
And this is not our fate
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late”

Author: Jimi Hendrix

It seems the better the technology, the less the accuracy. We now have TV, radio, mail, Fed Ex, email, texting, cell phones, landlines, intranets, internets, bluetooth etc, but the all-elusive truth frequently remains buried at the bottom of the heap while the agenda story runs on page one.

Maybe ole Pappy will start reading his paper from the last page to the front, or upside down. Maybe I’ll quit emailing and texting. Or maybe, I’ll just write this blog. Be good and tell it like it is..                        Pappy

 

 

 

 

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Blog# 43 Sick House

Hello All,

Ever feel like your swimming in a vat of chocolate? This was the question posed by “The Smother’s Brothers” Tommy and Dickey Smothers back in the 1960’s in musical format. If you remember this, you may be a fellow baby boomer. Recently we have been stuck  in our own home made taffy pull. Around and round our taffy goes but winds up in the same taffy pulling place. As an example, our Aunt has been living with us for about 2 months now due to a knee replacement surgey which she has finally recovered from just this week. Sounds encouraging right? Wrong!

Although our Aunt went home this week, our lives have become even more complicated  with our little daughter Amy, my youngest, coming down with the flu. It was a tirade of expoulsing fluids in all directions leaving her with bad stomach pain. Grammy, my wife took her to the doctor and she was given Finagrin for stomach pain and nausea, and antibiotics to combat any possible infection. Amy. however, takes other meds that became imbalanced due to the introduction of these new meds making her needing to be hospitalized this week.

Meanwhile, Ella, my middle daughter who has had stomach pain for 3 weeks came down with the flu this last week as well. She too convoulsed uncontrollably into the ceramic facility, hugging the pocelean pool for dear life. Naturally this all happened at 10pm at night, so Grammy had to run her to the hospital to prevent dehydration. They returned home at 4am in the morning again with Finagrin.

Now, we have Amy and Ella both sick, with hospital stays and we get the call from our Aunt the next night after returning to her home. It seems she too has the flu. For the last two days she has  dealt with her knee replacement recovery as she nursed herself back from the flu. Somewhere in the midst of all of this we had Halloween and now Thanksgiving. (Trick or Treat and Happy Turkey Day BTW!)

I had my flu shot. I am the only one in family so far this year to get one. I was taking my normal physical at my doctor’s office and he offered one. I feel like the luckiest person that didin’t hit the lottery. Watching those around you drop like flies as you soar with the eagles is still no fun.

Today our Aunt is feeling better. We are getting little Amy is out of the hospital soon. Today, Ella is eating solid food again.  As of today, Grammy is still well. It’s the weekend thank goodness, and maybe we recuperate to fight again.

Pappy’s petrie dish was full this week so, I hope you and yours will find the nearest doc-in-a-box and get your vacinations to fight off the flu. Its just one more thing you really don’t need in your life. 

Now, let’s add a little Pappy magic to our mix. I need a tooth pulled, and tomorrow I have  to have a spot removed. All the necessary testing is needed as well proving that it isn’t so bad. We’ll see. Fortunately, I have great insurance to cover these medical, mind blowing, time takers. On the positive side, what great doctors and procedures that stand at the ready for our every need. This is truly the land of milk and honey, and if your name is Pappy maybe a shot of whiskey to go with them.

So, the next time your swimming in the vat of chocolate, just do the backstroke. If your up the creek without a paddle, just use the outboard. If your hanging by a thread, sew on a button. When given a lemon, pucker up!

Let’s have a safe memorable holiday season!    Pappy

 

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Blog# 42 Heartbroken Halloween!

Hello Everyone

I guess the World Series is decided by more than just who has the best players, the best coach, and the best ownership. I have decided after watching games 6 and 7, that if you are equally matched, you’d better have the home field advantage. From late in game 6 to most of game 7, our pitcher’s were made to throw the ball right down the center to get a strike call. Naturally, if your a Card’s fan you will disagree with me, but upon a look back, I believe it will be noticeable. We knocked at the door and said, “Trick or Treat”, and were given much less candy than we deserved.

Despite homefield predjudices, the Rangers still had game 6 won twice and lacked the expertise to put them away. But remember, Feliz was forced onto  mound due to traditional issues to throw fastballs down the middle before young Cruz missed the catch in right field. “Heartbreak Home plate” calls have their advantages, in which, in my opinion, did determine the outcome of the last two games. Its so hard to discern, and therefore goes mostly unrecognized. Just about all the close calls were balls, and I don’t mean popcorn balls.

In the future, I would like to see impartial umps brought in from each league and mixed up for each game. I would like to see the Series have at least a day between each game. Truly, an independent field, like the Super Bowl makes more sense than any other scenario to give the best impartial outcome, especially when the two teams are so well matched. Had they exchanged jerseys before the game, I believe the Rangers would still have had the same results, but the best costumes for sure.

On the up side, this Pappy appreciated the Rangers right until the last pitch. They showed courage, conviction, and class in the face of all those who just thought they would fold in game 7. Sometimes the emotion and physicalness of the game takes it toll in the late going. Such was the case with our beloved Rangers in game 7. They were made to walk the extra block going from home to home on a cold chilly night when they were just ready to go home with empty sacks of candy.

I really do like this Ranger club. I appreciate their game skills and their never give up attitude. They are great fun to watch. They deserved to win. No, in my heart they did win. But, win or lose, I had a really great time following them this year and only wish they had an indoor field in which to play. In the 107 degree heat of Ranger Stadium, even the most promising of games is hard to appreciate.

Nonetheless, congratulations Card fans. You have a great professional club that came out on top. Congratulations Ranger fans, you have the best club. Let’s enjoy the off season for now and give the guys a rest. Tricks or Treat came early for our Rangers this year as they were tricked into a game 7. Thank you Rangers and Cards for the sheer entertainment of it all. Thank you guys for playing the game. I may even carve my pumpkin this year into a Washington look alike with the smile from game 5.

Happy Halloween to all!      Pappy

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Blog# 41 The World Series, Series Prediction!

Hi Everyone,

We all love a winner. Don’t we all love the come from behind victor that is put through a torturous scenario only to emerge as the grand hero of the ages? Who doesn’t appreciate Robert Redford’s role in “The Natural”? As we watch the games of the world series unfold this year between the Cards and the Rangers, I believe you have two mirror image teams that will be tortured and eventually will rise to stardom in the wake of the night to night performances.

Last night we watched game 1 of the series. Ella and Amy both glued to the set as Grammy came in at the 3rd inning after a meeting. Our Aunt sat transfixed on the glowing display and followed it like any devout fan of Texas. We applauded and moaned as the batters came and went. Pappy’s past time is now a national adventure for the masses.

Grammy  prepared hot dogs and potato salad for our series viewing pleasure for Game 2.  Many will pay thousands for a seat at such a game while I would pay the same for my seat at my home in front of the set. While many rush to the concession stands between innings, I merely stroll 10 feet to the fridge. Instead of undergoing a wallet extractionectomy, I, Pappy, simply type in 3 minutes and 42 seconds to achieve a full blown bag of freshly popped Pappy popcorn. What is Pappy popcorn you may ask?

Pappy popcorn is half regular popcorn and half carmel popcorn all mixed up into one big bowl. Share this delicacy if you dare, because no one can take only one handful. Try the Orville Reddenbacher regular popcorn mixed with the Weaver carmel corn. Its a perfect blend of salt and sweetness, unavailable in any ballpark.

In game two, Pappy’s team, “The Texas Rangers” began playing with grace and poetry again. Elvis, and Ian put it together with Beltre on the infield while the boys ran the bases sliding like eels on a slip and slide. Tags were seconds behind, throws were accurate but late. Safe! cried the umpires again and again. The ninth inning was a thing of beauty not easily forgotten by the Cards. Its hard to blame their play, as the Cards played well. There was just too much finesse and speed. The Rangers played street ball while the Cards were stuck in a professional trap that kept them pent up inside their bird cages.

Tonight’s Game in The Ballpark will start in about 6 hours and should be quite a show. We are debating ribs, hotdogs or hors deouvrs for dinner. Grammy and Ella and Aunt Sondra will be watching with ole Pappy. The Rangers are having fun. The Cards are in a rut but play good professional ball. Who do you think will win? Leave me a reply!

Its expected to rain during Game 4 Sunday night. The cool, wet weather should make the Cards feel right at home. The problem is, they are not home. Pappy predicts The Rangers will finish them off here at The Ballpark in three straight. Card fans, don’t give up, just watch and enjoy a Rangers team that is destined to win. Take in the joy and the mood they create as they eek out win after win. Its not that the Card team isn’t a great team, they just aren’t having any fun.

(After watching Game 3 and 4, I have amended my prediction to a seven game series. And, who is that Pujol guy? What a hitter!)

I will be watching every game thinking of all those who paid $1,000 per ticket to be at The Ballpark and fight the traffic. As I take in the close-ups of Nolan, the Bush’s and The Ranger’s great plays, I do hope everyone has fun that attends. After the Ranger’s victory tonight, when you are driving home, just think about a pampered Pappy sitting in the comfort of his Pappy padded easy chair with his beverage of choice. Okay everyone, it’s time, “Play Ball!”

Pappy

 

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Blog# 40 Exercising Our Sport’s Demons

Hi Everyone,

This week was a mixed bag for all sport’s minded folks. I was torn between cheering for the underdog team or feeling bad for the better team. I watch TV most weekends and toggle between the various games. During tennis season I watch Wimbleton and the U.S. Open and manage to control my routiness. During hockey season I wait patiently to see if once again the Stars will rise from the ashes of our former glory days created by Brett Hull and Mike Modano without flinching. We had a great basketball season this year with the Dallas Mavericks clinching the National title, and the Rangers went to the show last year and yet I was mostly passive. But now, I am forced to focus primarily on football season. Ouch!

As you may know by now, my favorite two football clubs happen to be The Dallas Cowboys and The Texas Longhorns. The Cowboys are rebuilding this year as are the Longhorns. So, every weekend I am torn between two very different emotions. One emotion says, be patient, they are going through growing pains, while the next minute I demand complete victory as in times past.

This week, I watched poor old TCU get beaten by none other than SMU? Then I became bored watching The Texas Longhorns pound Iowa and switched the channel. On Sunday, “The Boys” were up by 24 points in the 3rd quarter and I nearly turned it, when suddenly Tony Romo came to life. When Romo found us ahead of Detroit he quickly enacted his emergency plan. He threw for two touchdowns, and another reception close to touchdown out of 11 total passes, and that was just to the other team alone! Our Tony, what can you say about him?

Obviously, “The Boys” lost in humiliating fashion to the Detroit Lions on Sunday. Like a rollercoaster ride, my emotions went from semi-high watching SMU win, to the blause emotion of the Texas-Iowa pounding, to a sky-high Cowboy lead and then, back to the depths of depravity during “The Boy’s” crushing loss. I needed to come back to work to get over my weekend sports emotional ride.

I was begining to feel like a kid at the Fair grounds who was overcome with the excitement of being on the rollercaoster for the very first time. Hands are proudly in the air as I eclipse the first hill, then the second, and finally up to the very pinacle, then, down, down, and around faster, and faster until oops, I’m sick. Pull the train over, I am going to heave.

From the time we are children we are taught to love sports. My sister, and I played ping-pong for blood. We tortured each other at the tether-ball pole. We went eye to eye over card and board games. Win or lose we loved our games. Dominoes or Canasta we went at full bore until one of us came out victorious, but never during the card game did one of us fold like the Cowboys did in Sunday’s game.

To help ease my pain, Grammy prepared a wonderful meal of cheesey chicken, complete with brocoli and sweet potatoes. But, in spite of my full tummy, Pappy’s pleasure was not to be had. The Cowboy’s cliffhanger had stolen Sunday’s sublime sensation. My peaceful place at the TV had turned into irratible uncomfortable prison of Pappy’s passions.

No longer was my mood for food, no longer was I at ease to please, instead I was held hostage by the demons of despair and all Grammy could do was to look on with despondency. Phil and Claire did not darken our door this weekend so we had the house to ourselves. Amy and Ella were out with friends leaving Pappy alone to deal with himself. Where did pleasant Pappy go? Why does football season affect us guys this way? What happened to the separation between emotions and the games we guys watch?

I want you all to know that I am better than I used to be. As a youth, I would attend the Cowboy games and become physically ill when Green Bay would beat “The Boys” in the old Cotton Bowl.  As a youth I would play sandlot football and hit harder than “The Boys” did last Sunday. Nowdays I am placid. I am confined to a comfy easy chair to endure my Pappy pain without the physical release running and tackling.

Sometimes, I envy Grammy because she takes these losses in stride so well. My kids are totally oblivious to  wins and losses except for the love interests of the actors in their soaps, or The Bacheloette’s newest conquest. Who won survivor they ask? Who was the biggest loser? Who is the best Dancer of the Stars? Pappy is left speechless. I guess they have their own demon’s of despair as do I. They must surely feel the disappointment and heartache like we guys do with our sporting events. Don’t they?

You know, I do know not to take all this sports stuff so seriously. I am a grown man, right? Is anyone listening to me? Better yet, am I listening? We all have our pet programs, our nuiance of news our winner’s of weather. My family is fortunate to have each other during these challanging sporting times of pain and frustration. Like most families, our family has learned to lean on each other in all the wrong ways. We let off our tension with each other just to ease our pain and heartache. This softens our Cowboy countenance. This lightens our heavy Longhorn loads. Thank you gracious Grammy for putting up with ole Pappy. That twinkle in your eye takes the sting out of life’s losses, and replaces it with softness of spirit that I can’t live without.

Maybe Tony will be himself again in two weeks! Go Cowboys!! and Hookem Horns!!!         Pappy

 

 

 

 

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Blog#39 Food and Recipes

Family Members: Grammy-my wife, Pappy-me, Claire-my oldest daughter, Phil-Claire’s husband, Annie-Claire’s newborn, Beth-Claire’s first born, Ella-my middle daughter, Amy-my youngest daughter.

Hello All,

It has been brought to my attention this weekend just how much “food” and “Grammy’s cooking” means to our family. Grammy has been really busy lately tending to the health needs of our aunt and the kids. Yet, on Sunday, she mustered up the energy to make her “Famous Fajitas.” Happiness was in the air at our table. Smiles appeared on all faces as we immersed ourselves in Grammy’s art form, cooking.

It took the whole family, including Claire, Phil, and our grandkids, Annie, and Beth about an hour to consume a table full of Mexican cuisine. We had Grammy’s homemade guacamole, refried beans, and hot sauce for starters. The chicken, fresh off the grill, was then wrapped in a tortilla blanket. Fresh onions, and bell peppers were cooked and applied generously to the creation a festival of food, a delicacy of delight, a tempting taste from south of the border in our mouths. It was good.

Grammy learned to cook from her mother and her grandmother who raised her with her 7 brothers and sisters. She was the oldest daughter and had to learn at a young age. Before long she came of age and learned many new recipes from her folks and fast food restaurants where she worked until her early 2o’s. Pappy is merely the recipient of the years Grammy has put in to learn her trade, family rearing, and cooking.

Years ago when I first met Grammy, I realized there was something I liked about her besides her good looks and charm, which is substantial. I liked her warm heart and care that she seemed to give to all she did. It was this attribute that inclined me, no, compelled me to ask her to marry me. This humble husband, this subtle squire, this manipulated hen-pecked Pappy was so lucky that from that point on I have had many wonderful meals at Grammy’s table.

The kids and I have told her she needs to open a restaurant but she has declined to turn her hobby into a business.  She has created a cookbook for the girls in our family called “Southern Comfort” that she keeps on a shelf in a cabinet to high for Pappy’s reach. Secrets of the ages I am sure are kept in this book. There might even be a few generations of cooking hidden in its pages. I have threatened to sell her book for a profit this very weekend and was scorned. I bribed my own children to give a copy of its secrets for publishing to no avail.

Grammy gave one look at the kids and they were as pale as ghosts on Halloween night. She threatened to never give them anymore cooking advice and recipes if they ever gave me her secrets. Each recipe has its own story, each idea has been scrutinized with hand written notes in the corners to give it just the proper flavor and fragrances. It’s Pappy’s piece de resistance of family happiness that is fostered behind these pages of Grammy’s prideful meal memories.

What I like most is the numerous ethnic recipes from her Irish and French lineage to my traditional steak and meatloaf dinners. I guess thats why her Chicken Kiev to her chicken fried steak with cream gravy is always artery clogging good. She lights up our lives with her French toast and eggs benedict for breakfast. Her holiday recipes are spectacular ranging from cream puffs to turkey dressing with giblet gravey. What has always amazed me is how she brings it all together at one time, piping hot on Pappy’s plate.

My kids demand Grammy’s cooking. The in-laws clamor for her cuisine to prepare their holiday feasts. I am just happy to be a part of it. True, it’s a secret I can’t sell, but at least I can enjoy it. It’s a rainbow during a rainy day; it’s a lift when you are down. It’s a celebration when most needed and an annual anticipation at birthdays. We all love Grammy’s cooking at Pappy’s Place, and though all people have their strengths and weaknesses they each bring to their joyful marriage union, I am glad this is but one of Grammy’s many talents. (Maybe the girls after reading this will reconsider my offer.)                   Pappy

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Blog# 38 Fall Activities

Hi Everyone,

It’s the time of year when the leaves start to turn. When the 100 degree days turn into 80-90 degree days. Who knows, maybe it even rains a little. This seasonal change offers our libedos a varitety of new sensations and feelings. No longer are we thinking of days at the beach or summer vacations. No longer are we thinking back to school or mowing the lawn. The time has turned to Fall. Our thoughts turn to football, the State Fair, Halloween, and Fall Festivals. We think about the teams we support, their bands and cheerleaders, and the taste of fried Autumn and smores. Our kids are demanding Halloween costumes before the good ones sell out, and we parents are just thankful for a break in the hot weather.

When I was a lad of 8 years old, my firends and I would take the bus to the Texas State Fair on elementary school day with $5.00 in our pockets to spend for the whole day. First, we would hit the Midway where we rode all the rides and played all the games. Rides were about .25 to.50 each, and the games cost maybe a nickel to a dime. We would grab a corney dog from Fletcher’s first, then off we’d go for a day of excitement. We would arrive 8am, and by noon we would be just nausious enough to start in on the exhibit buildings where it was a cool oasis of free food and flyers. The automobile building was usually first, then the world exhibits building. Pappy’s Pals were great fun. We’d ride the Wild Mouse and the Flash. The Rotor, The Hammer, and Bump Cars were also our favorites. The Comet Coaster was old and rickitiy but we weren’t deterred.

Now days foods are much more exotic at the Fair. There was always cotton candy, Fletcher’s, and corn-on-the-cob, but we never had fried Snickers, or fried peanut butter and jelly. This year’s fried Autumn promises to be a winner on the back of last year’s fried Frito Pie. I am still pleased to see the tried and true foods such as the Belgian waffles with strawberries, and powdered sugar coated funnel cakes. Fresh squeezed lemonade is another recent improvement after walking the grounds awhile.

For many years when Grammy and I first started dating, we would go to the UT-OU games and incorporate that activity into our State Fair festivities. Ticket prices gradually rose to $150 each and so I would wait until 5 minutes after the game started on the front steps of the Cotton Bowl to purchase my end zone tickets for $20 each to partake in the Red River rivalry revelry.

My favorite football teams are the Longhorns and the Cowboys. I used to sell cokes at the Cowboy games when they played in the Cotton Bowl years ago. I still remember hollering “COLD DRINKS” at the top of Pappy’s palate! It would get so cold, at halftime that we would hide up in the top of the stadium huddling together to stay as warm as we could and take in the Cowboy/Packer games. I was 12-14 then and we were still pretty safe taking the bus to a from the Fair Grounds at all hours.

Amy, my daughter, has school and church Fall Festivals in which Grammy is expected to volunteer her services. I can’t hardly watch as Grammy’s calendar fills to the brim. She and the kids love the fall. Yesterday she took the whole clan to Party City for their Halloween costumes during the 1st half of the Cowboy game. By halftime they were all back with their plunder.

Ella, my middle daughter, will be sporting a sexy Pirate costume, while Amy will wear a Alice in Wonderland getup. Claire did not get a costume this year but will wear a past costume as she escorts her two children tricks or treating. The grand kids will wear a Kandy Corn outfit and a Foofa costume for family fun. Pappy will stay home and man the candy dish. (It’s a tough job but someone has to do it!)

We live in one of those neighborhoods were we have many trick or treaters every year so my kids love to come to our neighborhood for the fun. Pappy’s favorite treats to steal from his kids are Smarties and Tootsie Pops. Snickers aren’t bad either mixed with an occasional Baby Ruth bite size candy. My kids shoo me away after a few “look over there” types of candy stealing antics, “Pappy’s pilfering.”

Since the whole family loves a high school game we try to go to one a year or so. The bands, the cheerleaders, the drill teams, and oh yes, the football game is a big draw for us. Carnivals and festivals usually have Grammy manning the bean bag toss as Amy hands out the prizes. Amy and Ella have always enjoyed being helpers in the Pumpkin Patch each year at the church as they sell them for the kids ministry. “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” is also a must watch each year for us. Its a busy time!

Whether your Family likes Carnivals or Fairs. Whether they football, soccer, or cheerlead, make sure to get your share of the good thing. Its a special time of year for all of us to embrace and relish. (Or, in the case of corny dog lovers, to mustard.) Retry a hot Dr. Pepper with a lemon twist, or give the newest fried delicacy a try at the State Fair. Show some color at your favorite games and support your favorite teams. It’s all about losing yourself to the season and finding happiness with your family and friends through these fabulous activities. Have a great season and if you come by Pappy’s place for “Tricks or Treat” we will have three carved pumpkins out in the front yard and the scream pad at the front door to greet you.                         Pappy

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Blog# 37 Balancing Act

Hi Everyone,

I hope you all are enjoying a wonderful 9/11 anniversary weekend. Most of us have watched those towers go down on TV at least 73 times now and understand the tragedy of it all. We understand the horror and misery that must have been truly awful on that day. One thing that seems to missing in all of this tragedy and grief is the tremendous outpouring of heroism during, and following this event.

Our lives are based on being able to keep ourselves somewhat in harmony with our environment as we carry out our day to day activities. If we overeat or overexercise we wind up sore and unable to do our normal routines. Likewise, if we obsess over a loved one, a job, or any event it will likewise keep us from doing our best at the daily grind. I hope this weekend, on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, we can reflect back in a balanced constructive way.

Is it possible that this was a problem that needed our attention and this was our wake up call to perhaps eventually protect millions of more Americans in the future? Was this an event that will keep us ever more watchful in spite of our tendencies to quickly forget? I say yes to both. I am truly honored to have lived on Pappy’s Planet during the day when the passengers of Fight 93 all pulled together and saved our country’s capital and maybe our souls. It was a small counter attack that started the very day, nay the very hours, in which the attacks occurred.

The men and women that were on that plane whether they took an active role or not certainly did their part. It reminds me of the writing of the Star Bangled Banner in which the author, Francis Scott Key watched the bombing of the American Fort for hours and hours only to awaken to the flag still flying high the next morning. There were brave men lost during the night who kept the flag in place regardless of how many direct hits were made. (Sigh) (Lyrics below.)

What kind of people are we? Obviously,we are a people who treasure above all things our Freedom. Fortunately, we have brave men who stand watch over us night and day and our Maker stands watch over them. Our balance, and our peace of mind comes from these two very important points. Without security, what nation can stand? With security we find our balance, and like any prize fighter, we can deliver quite a blow when we are well grounded.

This is such a serious subject yet I smile to myself in quiet gratitude over these facts and wonder how many can do the same? I know many of us here in the USA may walk on pins and needles after such a dramatic event. I, myself, have increased awareness after such a date as this, however, win or lose, live or die, we will stand. We will always find our balance and each one of us will come back even stronger than before.

Am I proud to be an American? You bet! Am I proud to have served this country? Yes Sir! Am I proud of all those guys in uniform today? More than I can say. The country did me a favor when I enlisted at the end of the Vietnam War. They trained me physically, mentally, and showed me how to think and study. They also filled me full of respect for other good men and women who have done the same. I was lucky.

Grammy, my wife walks each day for exercise in our neighborhood. A week or so ago a group of young men surprised her from behind and hit her with a water balloon and frightened her. She is afraid to walk by herself now because it scared her. On 9/11 we also got hit by a water balloon and are still a bit scared to completely relax and go about our routines. Until we feel secure, and confident again of our government’s readiness and willingness to act, I guess we will stay that way.

Remember, our courage will return when we have outspoken leaders that give us the courage to hold our heads up. Courage, and yes, power comes to us when a political leader does what is right versus for self interest. Remember how you felt after one of those Ronald Reagan speeches? We will feel proud that way again. Our futures are guaranteed by Devine Providence, and therefore our attitudes about our futures.

So, don’t fret too much America, we are still the brightest beacon of hope, the last best bastian of free enterprise and the pioneering spirit. On this 9/11 weekend that can be viewed as a bummer, or a downer if you let it be, remember there is no greater nation on the earth in which to live, and no better place to practice your freedom. Tomorrow, I go to church to exercise my freedom openly to worship God and to find my balance. I hope you will too.                                     Pappy  (Lyrics to Star Spangled Banner below.)

The Star Spangled Banner Lyrics
By Francis Scott Key 1814

Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

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Blog #36 When It Never Rains, It Pours

Family Members: Grammy-my wife, Pappy-me, Claire-my oldest daughter, Phil-Claire’s husband, Annie-Claire’s newborn, Beth-Claire’s first born, Ella-my middle daughter, Amy-my youngest daughter.

Hello Everyone,

As a resident of the great state of Texas, we have seen unusually dry hot weather lately. Let me rephrase, it’s been dry as the Sahara, with temperatures reaching the 108-112 degree range with no rain now for about 2-3 months. The lakes are dry, the ponds are stagnant, the plants and grass are all parched. Wildfires have plagued the countryside and many have lost their homes. This weather trend can also reflect other things that go on in our lives that have some similarities. Why is it that when tough times hit, they hit all at once? When the going gets tough, things seem to fall into ruin. Plague, pestilence and poverty, the “Three P’s” were at their best this weekend!

We all experience sickness now and then but lately, my family has given new meaning to the word. Ella has come down with the asthma attacks and bronchitis from the dusty, dry climate, while Amy has been ill with bestfrienditis all weekend. She and her friend must be kept in picture show money and shopping money to deliver them from boredom. My oldest daughter’s kids, my grand-kids, have been at our home for three of four days over the Labor Day weekend while our Aunt Bertha is staying at our home recovering from a knee replacement. Grammy does a fabulous job keeping up with Aunt Bertha, but when you couple all the grand-kids care with it, it gets a little dicey.

Pappy’s patience was tried all weekend long with seemingly thankless kids and grand-kids, as well as unending health issues taking their proper place at Pappy’s pad. As the weekend progressed, interesting downturns kept us on our toes. Phil, my son in law accidentally broke his right hand on Saturday morning trying to stop Beth, my granddaughter, from falling off their bed. His broken hand had to be snapped back into place before applying a temporary soft cast. This had Pappy and Grammy keeping our two granddaughters most of the Labor Day weekend, especially since Claire had to work leaving Phil with his broken hand to mind them.

Our Aunt Bertha was discharged on Friday from a rehabilitation facility after undergoing a knee replacement. Grammy helps Aunt Bertha to recover at our home normally since we are so close to her. Grammy ordered her hospital rental bed out the day she left, but so far we have not received a bed leaving Aunt B without a hospital-like bed to recover in temporarily. Between all the nurses and occupational and physical therapists at out home this weekend, it felt like we were living a script from Grey’s Anatomy.  

The phones rang all weekend with the promise of the nurse’s comings and goings as Grammy worried over the timing of the potential bed’s arrival perhaps today? Grammy in her efforts to get Aunt B a bed got cross-ways with the attending phone lady at the bed rental business and so we had no hospital bed all weekend long. And so went our weekend.

Pappy’s profound proverbs reads: “Thou shalt not get down in the mouth over little things! And its All little things!” Due to this proverb, I focused on what we all should. We are lucky to live in a country that has great health care and state of the art nursing and rehab facilities. My son in law Phil is so lucky to have a doctor that could snap his hand bone back into place and cast him. Grammy and I are lucky that we have these fine family members to care for and that they will turn to us when in need. Our grand-kids are the cutest little girls in the wholest world and we are blessed to spend time with them whenever possible, especially on holidays.

These are the days of our lives and we should make the very best of them. Our family and kids will remember the care we gave them and pass it on to others. Grammy and I are pleased to do for them in the best way possible and look upon it as a blessing for us to be able to do so. Its so easy to fall into the “poor me” syndrome when things go wrong. It makes me all the more appreciative when times are good. How you perceive things is everything. Have a great week everyone and remember when the “Three P’s come to your home or when it starts raining again some day, use an umbrella.           Pappy

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Blog# 35 My Favorite TV Shows

Hi Everyone,

Most days I come home from work and right away I change my clothes to a more relaxing shorts and T-shirt. I kick off my shoes and go through the welcome home ritual with my puppy Amigo. After my ears have been licked thoroughly and my wife and kids are completely grossed out, I settle into my daily TV watching routine which includes a few shows that you may not expect. Grammy, my wife loves her early morning “Chick Shows” including The View, and Good Morning America. She’s upset that the Soaps are all being cancelled for reality shows, but she still does the laundry and household chores with the TV on in the kitchen each day. Our lives are affected a lot by what we put into our minds daily, so, let’s take a look at Pappy’s Past-time of perusing TV show thrills.

Now days, there are hundreds of channels to select from and yet few shows that thrill me. I’m spoiled. I have a great remote control for my set with DVR capability and interactiveness if I desired. Like most of you, I settle for the entertaining aspects of TV watching like comedies, talk shows, and a smattering of news, and business channels. Surprisingly, I like the buried treasure shows, and the auction shows where the guys buy an unopened mini warehouse and sell the proceeds for profits. I also like the auction shows where people bring things to be auctioned off. Recently, I really enjoyed a show where a guy takes in old things and refurbishes them to like new condition. The other day I watched him redo a 1920’s vacuum cleaner for a train. When he was through with it, it could’ve been mistaken for new Dirt Devil.

Like most guys, I go through phases. For about a year all I could watch was the history channel, then it was the Science channel. Recently, I have been watching the show about Blackholes and how the Bermuda Triangle could be a blackhole on earth. It all boggles the imagination. This show investigates blackholes throughout the universe and how they affect our seemingly insignificant planet. They also have shows about meterorites, and comets and what might happen to Pappy’s Planet if one were to come smashing into the earth. “Ouch!” These shows start making Pappy feel insecure, and insignificant and I often revert back to a sitcom until my mood brightens.

Years ago, ages 4-8, Pappy’s TV watching was composed of cartoons. I watched Ruff and Ready, and Howdy Doody Saturday mornings and Felix the Cat every morning before school. In the afternoons, there was Popeye the Sailor Man, and the Mickey Mouse Club. Meanwhile, my parents would watch The Dick Van Dyke Show, and The Andy Griffith Show for their sitcoms. On Saturday, my parents, my sisters, and I would always watch Gunsmoke, Death Valley Days and Have Gun Will Travel. My Dad and I would stay up late sometimes and watch wrestling and women’s roller-derby. Talking about a hair whip…Soon I grew to appreciate shows like American Bandstand, and Patty Duke to help get me through adolescence and my homework in 7th grade. I quickly graduated to Hullabaloo, Sonny and Cher, and The Man Fron U.N.C.L.E. My sister and I watched My Favorite Martian on Sunday nights at my grandparent’s home each week. Also, she and I watched The Beatles, and The Dave Clark Five premier on the Ed Sullivan Show on Sunday evenings in their kitchen, while our family discussed world events in the living room.

My kids watch assorted TV. Amy, my youngest, likes Tom and Jerry, Adventure Time, and ED EDD and Eddy. She is a young 15. She went through a Hannah Montana, and the Brittany Spears age as well. Ella, my 25 year old, currently likes Law and Order, CSI, Ghost Whisperer, Castle, and Mystery Diagnosis. She also likes Ghost Adventures where a few investigators locate haunted  houses and try to find actual ghosts, ooah. Years ago, Ella loved all the Japanese cartoons such as Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, and Naruto. She actually wanted to become a voice over anime person for these Japanese shows and fell in love with the culture and language. She still practices her Japanese on us today. My oldest daughter, Claire, likes Survivor, American Idol, and Dancing with the Stars.

Grammy likes her Bachelorette, Grey’s Anatomy, and Private Practice. Can you see why, with all these TV tastes that we need 6 TV sets? Unfortunately, we can only use 4 at one time including the DVRed TV. When Grammy comes to bed at night we have a remote control tug-of-war over our sheets. No chick flicks I’ll say, and she replies, okay but no violence and language. So we often will arrive at most anything from an old Indiana Jones to a Sleepless in Seattle kind of put you to sleep show. Pappy pursues self-improvement shows sometimes. Improve your mind or knowledge in most any subject so that I will inevitably never use it says Grammy.  Grammy sees TV for what it is, pure entertainment and the passing of recent gossip.

No one knows for sure each year what will be the next Pawn Star show, or what will be hot, but we do love theses shows to enrich our lives with other people’s actual reality. What would it be like to stand toe to toe with a bidder in a Pawn Shop? What if I participated in a mini warehouse auction? What if that Blackhole swallowed us up? Would it burp? It’s a real quandry I tell you. Which show will I scroll to now? Maybe a little Antiques Roadshow, or a Cowboy game? Let’s face it, we are addicted to this mass media. We are enthralled with the choices and all the drama. That Bachelor should have gone with the Veterinary girl I say! No says Grammy, she’s too good for him. Oh well, you’ll have to excuse me, Grammy is wanting the controller again. Yawn, Goodnight!                                     Pappy

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