Category Archives: Random Crap

I paid to get locked in a tiny room with a frustrated Victor and I’m not sure what that says about my state of mind.

So yesterday for my birthday Victor took me to an escape room because I’ve always wanted to go and I’m not sure what I was thinking because paying to get locked in a tiny room with an uber-competitive Victor who is trying to beat the record for breaking out of the room quickest is pretty much the quickest way to bring on a divorce but it was surprisingly fun except for the time we asked our hidden host for a clue because we were stuck and the clue was that we needed to use the key on the string from the box under the map but there wasn’t a key on a string stuck to the box under the map and Victor was like, “THIS ROOM IS BORKED.  SOMEONE HOSED US” and finally they stopped the timer and a lady walked in and pulled the key out of the box that we’d insisted was empty and the look on her face was identical to the one I get when Victor tells me his socks are missing I tell him to look in the dryer and he says he did and they aren’t in there and I tell him to check again and he does and accuses me of stealing them and then I go look and, don’t worry y’all, because they were in the dryer.

Long story short, we did not break the record and next time we’re bringing our own hacksaws and a bolt cutter and maybe a battering ram and a therapist.

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And on an entirely different subject, it’s time for the Sunday wrap-up!

Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

Shit-you-may-or-may-not-want-to-see:

This week’s wrap-up is brought to by Sandrandan Jewelry, weird name, cool stuff. Everything in the shop is designed and made by Sandra Sutherlin, and often incorporates unusual elements such as spyglasses, compasses, sundials, and vintage pieces. Use the coupon code BLOGGESS to receive 10% off of your entire order (coupon may be used as often as you like). It’s awesome and I’ve bought a ton of pieces that I cherish from her over the years so you should check her out here.  Sandrandan Jewelry: eccentrically gorgeous jewelry; we may become your new obsession!

Happy birthday to we.

Today is my birthday.

Birthdays that fall in the murky days right after Xmas and right before New Years are usually forgotten in the rush and that’s actually always worked out for me because parties terrify me.  But if you’d like to help me celebrate my birthday there is something you can get me.

For my birthday, I’d like you to pretend it’s your birthday too.  And for our birthday you should go out and do something great for yourself.

Take a long walk.  Buy a new book for you or someone you love.  Reach out to a friend to tell them you’re thinking about them.  Take a hot bath.  Drive somewhere you always wanted to go.  Get that thing you’ve been thinking about for a year but always put off.  Adopt a new pet.  Rent that movie you loved watching with your parents and watch it with your kids.  Write a poem.  Plan a vacation.  Find a magical death sword and use it to conquer the dark lord.  Anoint your allies with the blood of oppressors.  Invent a new color.  Eat a bunch of dirt.  Play a game.  Make a pie.  Whatever sounds good to you, basically.

And then come back here and tell me what wonderful thing you did that you wouldn’t have done otherwise.

Or don’t.  After all, it’s your birthday too.

As for me, I’m starting the day watching instagram videos of Phineas the Cat, who is totally me when I’m trying not to act like I’m drunk and it makes me look way drunker.  I super love him:

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Anyone sick of seeing Phin running up to his meals yet? 😸 #phineasthecat ———————————————————————— For those new friends who don't know Phin very well yet, he has a condition called cerebellar hypoplasia. This means that the part of his brain that coordinates movement never fully developed. He's not in any pain, and he won't get worse over time, though there also aren't any treatments that would help him. He had a difficult time getting enough food in his system as a kitten, experiencing Fading kitten syndrome, but his foster mom, @fosterkittys , nurtured him with a lot of love and care, and he was able to grow into the wonderful cat he is now. 😻 Phin adapts to his condition by walking with his paws a bit wider, leaning against the wall for support, and using claws to climb up and down things. Phin is a very happy kitty who loves playing with his siblings (Tyrion the cat, and Holly the Airedale Terrier), eating meals and treats, and cuddling with his parents. 😻 ———————————————————————— #phineasthecat #dinnerischaos #loudestcatever #cerebellarhypoplasia #chcatsofinstagram #catsofinstagram #orangecats #adoptaspecialneedspet #wobblycats #phinstagram #thedodo

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Happy birthday, everyone.

I’m probably not dying yet.

Remember a week ago when I was freaking out about how I thought my thyroid was going to murder me and you calmed me down by assuring me that it’s easy to fix thyroid stuff?  Well, I just heard from my doctor and the good news is that my thyroid is okay and the bad news is that my thyroid is okay because that means that something else is causing this lump in my throat.

My dr. says that it might be anything or nothing and that it’s entirely possible that it’s some polyp or ulcer and that maybe it’ll just go away.  Or it’ll keep growing and turn out to be a silent twin and it’ll take over my brain and then it’ll have to worry about all of this.

Long story short, I’m going to give it a week or two and hope it just goes away and if it doesn’t they start doing swallow tests and throat scopes and other stuff which I’m almost possible will also come out inconclusive and call for more tests and then I’ll get bored and get distracted with another part of my body that is falling apart.

Christmas in the shower.

Xmas is weird this year because my mom is sick so we postponed going to visit until she feels well and that means a quiet Xmas home with just Victor and Hailey and I.  Since we don’t cook we’re eating at the local Chinese buffet and then watching movies at home and it’s different but honestly it’s lovely and low-key even though I miss my family.

My dad asked for one present this year…

Hailey wasn’t super into it at first but after a few minutes we were laughing like mad and ended up with a half hour of video that I will honestly love for years to come. We sent it off to my parents and said they will treasure it forever or until they get a new phone. Then a few minutes later this arrived on my phone:

 

This is what Christmas is all about.  Being together even when you’re far apart.  Embracing the moments that come rather than the moments you expect.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday filled with strange wonder and presents you never knew you wanted.

Considering this holiday arose from the severed head of a wild boar I think it’s actually worked out pretty well.

So this year was the 9th Annual Jame Garfield Miracle and if you followed it you probably know that it was filled with more awesomeness than ever and also more angst than ever.  It makes sense, I guess.  It grows and grows and the successes and failures grow with it.  Honestly, I got frustrated several times and I considered making this the last year, but seeing the response from the people who were able to help and to be helped makes me realize that it’s worth the frustration.  Important and worthwhile things are hard…if they were easy everyone would be doing them.

There’s never any guarantee that everyone will be helped (and in fact that would be impossible because the needs are always so great) but the willingness and desire to help everyone is there and I hope you felt it.  Even if only one person was helped it was worth it, and there were so many.  I’m already watching comments and emails come in from people who are so incredibly grateful on behalf of their children.  Project Night Night was floored by our support and sent lovely pictures that I can’t share for privacy reasons but which made me so happy that I’m part of this community.

It’s hard to measure it precisely but I estimate that since 2009 over $450,000 has been given to help Christmas/Hanukkah happen for underprivileged kids and that’s mind-boggling.  Just stranger helping stranger with no expectation except to make life easier for each other.  It began nine years ago as an earnest gesture of someone trying to help someone else, regardless of the outcome…and that’s what it still is today.  That’s what the holidays are all about.  This is our gift.  It’s the gift we give to ourselves and no matter if we helped 100 people or 100,000 I’m so proud to be a part of this.  I hope you are too.

If you helped others this year, thank you.  You give others hope.  You give me hope.  Even if you weren’t able to gift children you should know that you helped. This year I gave out $7k in toys and coats and books to kids who needed help and that money came from you…from the money I make here and from book sales and calendar sales.  If you are here then you helped.  Thank you.

If you were helped I hope you feel the same joy that we felt in helping.  So many people who were helped in the past come in future years to help others.   It’s a way of giving back and I’m so grateful that you let us be part of your holiday.

If you abused the system then, well, I’m sure you have a very hard life.  I can’t imagine it was easy to make a decision like that and perhaps you had your reasons.  A few days ago I was contacted by someone who asked for far more than they should have.  They’d felt desperate and made a bad decision.  I can relate to that.  I told them what I will tell you if you are in the same spot right now.  You don’t have to return the toys. They are a gift and it’s up to you what to do with them but if you want to do something truly wonderful then take the extra gifts and bundle your kids up and donate them to your local women’s shelter.  (The toys…not the kids.)  It feels amazing and it’s such a great way to teach your children the importance of giving and of appreciating what we have.

If you weren’t helped I’m sorry.  Please take solace in the fact that people care.  That you are not alone.  That more good happened than bad…and that’s not always the case in life.

For those of you struggling this year I just want to tell you that you’ll get through this.  If you’re struggling emotionally please reach out to friends and family.  They love you more than you know.  If you’re struggling financially please know this: The best toy your kid will get this holiday is you.

I grew up really poor but even during the tightest years I was happy.  And if your children have you then they are happy too.  When I was a kid if we couldn’t afford decorations my mom would pop a giant drum of popcorn on the stove and we’d thread it into popcorn strings that we’d hang all over and eat it like candy necklaces.  It probably cost $1 and it is one of my favorite memories.   Go to the library and check out a ton of great books to read to your kids on Christmas.  Play charades.  Play tag.  Bury a shoebox of your old costume jewelry in the backyard and make a treasure map that takes your kids all over the house looking for clues as to where to dig.  Write a poem for your child about what they mean to you.  Tell secrets.  Laugh.  Then laugh some more.

Hug your loved ones tight if they are near.  Send your love to them if they are not.  Snuggle with your pets or go visit a shelter if you don’t have any.  And if you are alone, know that you aren’t.  Not really.  Because we care.  Even if you haven’t met us yet.  People are going to love you, I promise.

Thank you again for letting me be part of something so hard, yet so worthwhile.  Much like life.

This post isn’t for wish lists.  It’s just to say thank you…from me to you.  If you’d like to use it to thank others or tell an inspiring story or share great hints for how to feel less alone during the holidays that would be amazing.  I think we could all use some good cheer and funny jokes and if I could find a way to let you imbed videos of otters eating in the comments I totally would because those damn things are practically medicinal at this point.

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I like the noise they make when they eat. ❤️

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I just want someone to tell me I’m okay.

So a few weeks ago I found a lump in my neck.  I ignored it because that’s what I do but it’s gotten worse and now I can feel it when I swallow and when I breathe.  I wake up coughing and choking.  It doesn’t hurt.  It’s just really uncomfortable.  Like being lightly strangled by your imaginary friend.  And the anxiety of feeling unable to breathe makes my throat constrict, which makes it worse and that’s about the time I convince myself that my entire body is made of cancer.

It’s probably not though.

I saw my doctor and hoped she’d just say it was all in my head but turns out it’s all in my neck and she took so much blood that the tubes literally stopped filling up, which the nurse said was just a strange problem with the tubes but which I’m pretty sure is a sign that I’m now a solid.  Today I have an ultrasound to look at my neck growth and honestly I’m a little nervous and I’d like for someone to tell me that I’m going to be fine.

Chances are that it’s my thyroid becoming extremely enlarged, which makes sense because I also have Hashimoto’s Disease and that causes a lot of weird problems.  It happened once 15 years ago (on a much smaller scale) and I had to go through a lot of biopsies and ultrasounds before they were able to tell it wasn’t cancer.  The process was grueling but it all worked out so I’m crossing my fingers that this will all work out too, but even if it’s just an enlarged thyroid it’s a concern that it’s pressing on my windpipe so they may have to remove it, or part of it, I guess?  And that seems scary again.

So I guess what I’m asking is three things:

  1. Send me good thoughts if you have them to spare.
  2. Tell me I’m a hypochondriac and this is all very normal and that I’m being a grown-up by checking this out.
  3. Tell me if you’ve had your thyroid removed.  Was it terrible?

Sorry this isn’t a funny post.  I’m just super distracted and I can’t not think about it because breathing and swallowing are two of my favorite things and my neck is being a real dick about it.

I feel dirty.

I was just listening to a podcast about how sea sponges use the pores all over their body to “bring in food and release wastes” and I’m pretty sure that’s a scientific way of saying the holes in sponges are all just mouths and buttholes so does that mean that when I’m using a sponge in the shower I’m cleaning my body with mouths and buttholes? Someone get me a marine biologist.  And a loofah.  And maybe some bleach.

Hi, I’m a heathen.

Last week my parents came to visit and I took them to a ranch that is filled with miles of Christmas lights and it was awesome except that a large part of it was electrified Bible stuff so my religious dad was very excited but the rest of us aren’t really religious so it mostly consisted of Hailey saying stuff like, “HEY!  FIRE TORNADO” and my dad stoically trying to explain the burning bush.

When Hailey saw Jonah standing in the mouth of the whale she was like, “LOOK!  MOBY DICK!”  And my dad visibly shuddered and I was like, “Holy crap, Hailey.  That’s not Moby Dick.” and my dad was like, “No, it’s not” and I said, “That’s Pinocchio’s dad.”  And then Hailey was like, “Oh.  Duh.  Of course it is.”  And my mom never stopped laughing and Hailey didn’t understand what was so funny and my dad lightly glared at us all and I thought that it was a real Christmas miracle that we could love each other so much in spite of being so very different and so very alike.

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And on an entirely different subject, it’s time for the Sunday wrap-up!

Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

Shit-you-may-or-may-not-want-to-see:

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by Storyworth, who I lurv.  Still looking for a great gift for you parents or grandparents?  A StoryWorth Book is the perfect last minute gift for your loved ones. Each week, they’ll email them a question about their life – asking them to recount their favorite memory of their grandparents, or whether they’ve ever pulled any great pranks. All they have to do is reply with a story, which is forwarded to you and any other family members you invite. At the end of the year, their stories are bound in a beautiful keepsake book your family will cherish!  Click here to check them out.

 

Probably the best present I ever bought…and got.

If you’ve read here long enough you know how much I love StoryWorth.  They’ve sponsored weekly wrap-ups and helped keep things running and this week they bought an ad so I could buy 8 more coats for kids for the James Garfield Miracle.  I also love them because they gave me the best Xmas present ever, a book filled with stories from my father.

Here’s how it works…StoryWorth emails a new question every week to whoever you gift with a StoryWorth subscription.  (You get to help pick the questions you are most interested in.)  The person responds with the answers and every week you get an email with wonderful/terrifying/baffling stories you never knew.  Then at the end of the year StoryWorth prints it up into a hardcover keepsake book.  Right now it’s just $59.  I cannot recommend it enough and I thought I’d share a few of the recent stories I’ve gotten from my dad because they are amazing and also insane:

What are your favorite memories of each of your children growing up?

We lived in Austin when Jenny was born. I was in the Air Force protecting all of you draft dodgers. My bravery showed itself everyday when I would go to work, sit at a desk all day, and do paperwork. This was during the Vietnam war and I couldn’t even get a medal for a paper cut.

I remember that once while we were traveling, Jenny was not having a good time, and she started crying. Nelda was trying to calm her down, but the crying persisted. I, being a tough Sargent in the Air Force, told Nelda to just let her cry it out. Nelda told me that if she would let her cry, Jenny would make herself sick. Seconds later, Jenny throw up all over me. That’s when I realized Jenny outranked me.

Lisa is my youngest. She’s not only my daughter, she’s my little boy. She loved to go fishing and hunting with me, and she loved all the wild animals I would bring home. Lisa was not afraid of anything. She didn’t ask questions all the time. It seemed like she knew all the answers. You had to watch what you said around her, because it would get back to her momma.

One day I made some rifle targets out of metal. I cut them out in the shape of buffalos. They were anatomically correct buffalo bulls. I welded on a 5/16 hex nut in the appropriate place. Lisa helped me paint her new targets and observed the additions that I had welded on. “Daddy. What’s that?” I couldn’t lie to Lisa. “Baby Girl, that’s a 5/16 hex nut.” No more questions from Lisa. She bought it. That’s my boy!

Lisa was five years old and she had her own 22 rifle that I had miniaturized for her and we painted it pink. We set up her herd of buffalos and loaded her rifle. She was a good shot, soon she was killing buffalos. Momma was standing at the back door, watching the excitement. Lisa ran out to set the targets back up, but brought one bull back with her.

She had made a marginal shot on the buffalo but had managed to knock the welded part off.

Lisa ran to momma with news of her accomplishment. “Momma, Momma! I knocked its “NUT” off! Nelda screamed at me, “Henry, What are you teaching this girl?”

Once I went to the feed store and they had just got in some baby turkeys. I always wanted to get some turkeys for the kids (and me). I heard that turkeys were hard to raise, so instead of buying four, I brought home 18.

I guess I was just lucky or something, but all 18 turkeys lived. They all grew and they loved the kids. Jenny and Lisa loved them too when the birds were little, but they keep growing.

It wasn’t long before the 18 little turkeys weighed about 15 pounds each. Being followed by these stupid pet turkeys was beginning to be not as much fun. The girls wouldn’t go outside if the turkeys were around.

Jenny and Lisa attended Fairview School. It was located about 100 yards from our front door. I know it must have been a real hardship for these two little girls on the prairie, but they had to walk to school. They had to make sure the turkeys didn’t follow them.

One day near the end of school it was pretty hot inside the old school house so the teachers opened the front doors to enjoy the breeze. This just happened to be the day that the turkeys got lonesome for the girls. They strutted over to the front door of the school and since the doors were open, they realized it was an invitation to come in.

The janitor had just waxed the hall floors and the turkeys found them quite slippery. The turkeys were not potty trained and the slippery floors scared the turkey poop out of them.

The door to Jenny’s class was open and turkeys started flocking in. Jenny and Lisa were asked to escort their foul poultry home.

The turkeys were gone by the start of the next school year, and I had made a promise (under duress) to Nelda that there would be no more turkeys. Well, guess what had just arrived at the feed store? I only bought 6.

Tell me about one of the best days you can remember.

The best day that I can remember. My Mom died. Does that make any sense? I’ll try to explain it.

My mom was 68 years old when she died. She was 27 when I was born. When my Mom was 47 years old, she had an operation. The operation went okay, but she was given some bad blood in the transfusion. She got Hepatitis.

The doctor gave her 3 years to live.

Momma lived with a lot of pain. She constantly ate crushed ice just to ease the burning from the liver sorosis. She never drank alcohol, but she was dying from a disease that kills many old drunks.

Momma’s stomach was super extended and she had terrible pain in her legs from the knees to her feet. She would wrap them as tight as she could, but the pain did not go away. I would rub her feet, but I don’t think it eased the pain that much.

I stayed with her in the hospital there at the end. She couldn’t talk to me anymore. She was like in a trance. She kept repeating, Oh Yes Dear Lord. Oh Yes Dear Lord.  She was ready to go home to Jesus.

I was watching E.T The Extraterrestrial on TV. E.T. was dying and the little boy was brokenhearted. The little boy, with tears in his eyes, asked his fading friend, “Will I ever see you again?” E.T. slowly raised his glowing finger and placed it on the boy’s temple. He said, “I’ll be right here.” I couldn’t hold the tears back. My Mom was talking to me thru E.T.

The next morning my mother was gone. Her body was cold. She was no longer in pain.

I realized that my pain of losing my mother slowly diminished over time, but I still remember her vividly. She is right there where E.T. said she would be.

 

What gives you peace of mind?

Watching old cowboys movies with my dad 60 years ago made me feel secure.

My dad made sure that we got home from town on Saturday night well before 6 p.m. The lineup was The Texan, Have Gun Will Travel, and Gunsmoke.

I remember getting up on my Daddy’s lap while he settled back in his recliner. Daddy would hand-roll a Bull Durham cigarette and let me lick the paper. Then we would watch cowboys, and I would play with the heavy smoke layer suspended in the den. Only during commercials. Sometimes Daddy would blow smoke rings for me.

As I remember these cherished times, I have peace of mind. I feel security, love, and purpose. I was relaxed after a hard day of playing, someone carried me to my bed, and I slept with a peaceful mind…and my teddy bear.

What is one of the most selfless things you have done in life?

A couple of years ago, Nelda and I were going to a movie around Christmas time. Nelda parked the car and I stepped out of the passenger seat. There was a large western wallet sitting on the asphalt just inches from our car’s rear tire. I opened the wallet and was shocked to find six brand new hundred dollar bills.   We checked at the concession stand to see if anyone had reported losing a wallet but no one had.

We looked thru the wallet to identify the owner. There was a picture of a teenage cheerleader wearing a uniform from Sonora High School and a young boy’s drivers license in the wallet. The address showed him to be from Big Lake.

Nelda and I called the sheriff from Sutton county. He was a friend of mind. I told him about the wallet, and he gave me the number for the school superintendent.

The school superintendent from Sonora forwarded the info to the girl, she called the boys mom, who me immediately. Her son was frantic and was currently at IHOP.  I told them I was on my way.

When I walked into IHOP, most customers looked my direction. I knew some of them. Others thought they knew me, cuz I was dressed like Santa Claus. Three teenage boys sat quietly at a back table. They weren’t happy. I sat down at the table next to them, ordered some water, and sat there for another minute.

I asked them “Why the long faces?” One kid told me that he had lost his wallet.

“Was there any money in it?”

“Yes sir. About six hundred dollars.”

“Wow, what did it look like?  Did it look like this one?”

The boy, about 16, almost cried.  They thanked me and said that they would continue to believe in Santa.

A few days later, the kids mom sent me a thank you letter. She said her faith in humanity was restored, and her belief in Santa was refreshed

I don’t know if I could call this incident selfless, cuz I received a great deal of pleasure being part of it.

A quick explanation: my dad volunteers as Santa every year in December and often forgets to take off the outfit.

 

How has your life turned out differently than you imagined it would?

I can’t imagine how my life would be different than it turned out. Everything in my life has been a surprise or a disappointment. Things that I had prepared for (or planned for) never turned out with the expected results. Nature got in the way. Finances (or lack of money) stood in the way. My changing dreams and changing ambitions changed the way. My faith ,and sometimes lack of faith, choose a different way.peace, sickness, and good health shaped my life. Good fortune and hardships took me on roads that I figured I would never travel, and see things that were unseeable.

I imagined that I would be a cowboy, tall in the saddle, riding a black horse with a long white mane and tail. I am tall (5ft. 16inches). I wear boots, and I have a barn full of old antique saddles. I have not rode on any of them. Real cowboys wore them out for me. I have dozens of spurs, but I have never put one on. My only horse is stabled in my shed and may never run again. I call him Penny Pony. He was a beautiful coin operated Mustang rescued from an amusement park in San Antonio. I put him out to pasture, but some day God willing I will get him galloping for the grandkids and great grandkids. They will all be cow-pokes. I will paint Penny Pony black with a white mane and tail. Or maybe I won’t.

I imagined that some day I would get married. I never imagined that it would be to Nelda. She was already spoken for,and I knew that there was not another girl like her. I couldn’t imagine that the whole world could change to allow me to have her as my wife.

I couldn’t imagine that we would have such beautiful children. Our children are pretty on the outside, and they are even prettier on the inside. Can you imagine that?

I went to college off and on for 10 years. I have almost got enough hours for three degrees, but I never graduated. Life got in the way. Or maybe Life took the reins and led me where I was supposed to go instead of where I thought I should go.

Every course that I took in College gave me pieces of information that brought me here. I didn’t get a diploma, but I got a lifetime supply of life lessons.

Before I’m gone, I’m going to organize all this junk, and finish all the projects that I have started but never finished. Unless Life gets in the way.

 

What was your favorite tv program when you were a child?

Our TV was broken a lot. Volume control worked good, but channel selector dial wore out quickly. We had a pair on vise-grip pliers permanently attached to the channel selector cuz the knob wore out. The rabbit ears antenna were always sagging, and I had to hold them up so we could get a picture. That was my job. Sonny, stand by the TV and hold that antenna.

I think that’s why I got such bad eyesight. Momma would say, “Sonny, don’t stand so close to the TV. You’ll ruin your eyes! Oh, I see you’re holding the Rabbit. Well, Stand over to the side a little. You’re blocking Lucy.”

One day I got an idea to make my antenna job easier. I got a piece of used tinfoil ( tinfoil was too expensive to use just one time). I attached each end of the fishy smelling tinfoil to each ear of the rabbit antenna. Not only did this keep the ears up, but the reception got better too. My momma thought her son was a genius. She picked up the phone to call my aunt Marcella and spread the news of her inventive son. She was delayed becuz we had a party line and it was busy. You never knew how long someone would be using the phone, so Momma would just listen in so she wouldn’t waste any airtime. We couldn’t have the volume up on the TV, cuz she didn’t want to interrupt anybodies private phone call. Before Momma was able to spread the news of the new invention, Someone hinted the news to some lady named Heloise, and everyone who could read a newspaper used my discovery. A patent on the idea would have made my family stinking rich for generations to come. But that was the 60’s, and household hacks, and youtube wasn’t around yet.

 

What did you hide from your parents as a child?

My parents knew I was a responsible kid for my age, so they let me make my own cannon fuse and gun powder instead of just buying it for me. Some parents now days will just buy their kids all the bomb-making supplies they want. They weren’t teaching their young aspiring rocket scientists anything about resourcefulness. A kid with the eagerness to learn a new trade that had all the diesel and fertilizer at his disposal was sure to go places. Prison, hospital, reform school, and the cemetery are a few of these places.

I never did make bombs. Bombs were illegal. I just made very powerful firecrackers. Very powerful! I would put a firecracker under a tin can, and record high it would go. I would put a double firecracker under a five gal. bucket, and would record how high it would go. My parents taught me to record this important information just in case I stumbled across an experiment that I didn’t want to repeat. If my parents lost a child because of something going wrong out in the barn, they would at least have something to laugh about in later years. They would also have an alibi that would satisfy child protective services.

 

What is one of the craziest things that’s ever happened to you?

What was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me? For my father’s day last year, my weird daughter gave me a strange gift. It was this thing called Storyworth. Every week, I’d get an email asking me a strange personal question. They wanted me to type my answer out on this damn computer. I don’t type and I don’t compute. Then I would have to hit a send button, and wait for a reply. A reply never came. Finally, up pops “Thank you5b0c0edde0250004e12f71-6c3a6.”  I think their spell check got stuck or something. Speaking of spell check- Both of my daughters said they would show me how to use spell check. I’ve written 52 stories and now that it’s over, they still haven’t showed me how to use it. I’m 66 years old. I could spell good when I was 12. but I’ve forgotten even the easy words now. Whoever said.” Look it up in the dictionary!” must not have the same learning disablities that I suffer from.. I need a book that lists all the uncommon ways to misspell a word that I stabb at. At my age, I couldn’t lift a book that heavy, but maybe if I push it off the table, it will make a loud enough “BANG” to get my wife’s attention so she’ll come in here and spell “DISABLITIES” or “STABB” for me.

The craziest part of this ever-beckoning task was- I enjoyed it. It brought back memories that I forgot to remember. I remember things that I forgot or tried to forget. I can’t remember how much I forgot but if you don’t care, I don’t either.

*****

My dad’s StoryWorth subscription is over and now I have this lovely book:

(My parents on their 40th wedding anniversary.)

A few months ago I started a new subscription for my mom.  I cannot recommend it enough if you’re looking for a great present to give someone you love.  You can even buy one for yourself if you want prompts to help you write about your own life.

Click here to check it out.

It’s coming!

First off, a quick update on the 2019 Bloggess Calendar: you guys have raised over $1,400 that will be donated to Project Night Night to help them provide comfort packages (a tote bag, blanket, a stuffed animal and a book) to children experiencing homelessness, and I am so incredibly grateful!

If you still need one you can click here to order one:

The cover art was done by my friend, Joe Badon, who has actually done the Bloggess Calendar cover for a number of years:

And next week?  We’re going to do the Ninth Annual James Garfield Miracle.

Every year I think it’ll be the last but then it rolls around again and someone who was helped in the past asks if they can help give back this year and it inspires me to do it one more time.  I was actually going to do it last week but I had a touch of depression and I didn’t think I’d have enough energy to get it done but I’m feeling better so if you’re struggling this year and need help getting a present for your kid this holiday or you want to help someone who is very much in need check back soon.

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And on an entirely different subject, it’s time for the Sunday wrap-up!

I’m going to BookPeople in a few days to sign books and if you want one for Christmas you can click here to order them and I’ll personalize it however you like.  And yes, I will happily write “KNOCK KNOCK MOTHERFUCKER” or “Thanks for burying that body for me” or draw a cat face in it if you want.  They ship all over the world.  To order a signed personalized copy just add the book to your cart and in the comments field during checkout write the name of the person you want me to inscribe it to or anything personal you want.

Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

Shit-you-may-or-may-not-want-to-see:

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by Storyworth, who I love.  This holiday season, give your loved ones a StoryWorth Book to preserve their stories. Each week, we’ll email them a question about their life – asking them to recount their favorite memory of their grandparents, or whether they’ve ever pulled any great pranks. All they have to do is reply with a story, which is forwarded to you and any other family members you invite. At the end of the year, their stories are bound in a beautiful keepsake book your family will cherish!  Click here to check them out.