Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday Sandi!

We have had 46 Christmases together so far. You have made them all so special for so many people. I love you.
I hope the next year is the best yet. I Love You so much.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

It Was One Year Ago

One year ago, Sandi was on her way to Seattle.  2 days earlier than she had planned.  We got the call on Christmas night.  Jenns water had broken and our grandson was coming.  Soon.  Sandi found a flight out on the 26th, and this was going down.
   She arrived that evening and took a cab straight to the Hospital. And was there the next day when Aidan was born. Lucky girl

And he was cute.

And he came to Florida in July.

And I got to meet him.

Then in October, we went to Seattle and got to see him again

And now he had his first Christmas

And the really good news is he is coming to visit with his Dad and Mom for 2 weeks in 10 days. And he will be 1 year old.  Great job Jenn and Andy! We can't wait.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Foolishness for Sunday Night Cookoff with @Guapowitz

What is your favorite part of Sunday Night Cookoff? free polls 

Guapo, Happy Birthday!

Todays Music is
Rufus Wainwright..Hallelujah

I sure enjoy your tweets and posts. Thanks for being so nice to us. And for the saliva stains on my shirt on Sunday nights. Drool. Have a wonderful birthday. They come faster and faster.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Simply the Best

We just finished watching Anna Deveare Smith in "Let Me Down Easy." on PBS's Great Performances.  It is by far the best one-woman show I have ever seen. Maybe the best show period, bar none. This is a link to it.

This is their description of the show

Smith, through her chameleon-like virtuosity, creates an indelible gallery of portraits, from a rodeo bull rider to a prizefighter to a New Orleans doctor during Hurricane Katrina, as well as boldface names like former Texas Governor Ann Richards, legendary cyclist Lance Armstrong, network film critic Joel Siegel, and supermodel Lauren Hutton. She performs 19 characters in the course of an hour and thirty five minutes. Their stories are alternately humorous and heart-wrenching, and often a blend of both. Building upon each other with hypnotic force, her subjects recount personal encounters with the frailty of the human body, ranging from a mere brush with mortality, coping with an uncertain future in today’s medical establishment, to confronting an end of life transition. The testimony of health care professionals adds further texture to a vivid portrayal of the cultural and societal attitudes to matters of health.

I don' know how to convey how moving this is. It is 1 1/2 hours but can be watched in segments....she changes characters quite often. If you can, just start it and watch a few minutes. You will be amazed. Promise.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Gray Peas

Michele at olddognewtits and Mel at According to Mags are hosting their bi-monthly link up again.  
They have asked us to share a favorite holiday recipe. Uh? I don't have one exactly, but....

I don't remember when it started. And we still do it and still get grief. And it probably is appropriate. "You havin' those delicious gray peas again?  Yuck!" But you said favorite so here is the recipe. Try to follow along.

Can(s) of Le Sueur Very Young Small Early Peas
Milk or Half and Half

 Mix all ingredients in a sauce pan. Heat on stove top until hot. They will turn slightly a pale gray.

Amy has added the next steps for last few years.

Forget you turned burner to High until it boils over on Hot Stove.
Open windows to air out kitchen.
Burn yourself trying to wipe up scalded milk before stove is cool enough.
Shatter serving bowl when filling with hot peas.
Clean up new mess.

Ok, I guess it used to be a favorite. They are easy to chew. But probably not a favorite anymore. Just too complicated. They were never really that popular anyhow. And there is so much other good food. Maybe we'll move on to Drunken Cranberries.  Amy......?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ketchup with Us #6

Michele at olddognewtits and Mel at According to Mags are hosting their bi-monthly ? link up again. What fun, ladies!



I hate the ads on TV for E.D. products.
Those warnings. Yeah, stop and think on that.

They're always at supper time.
It's stick picker upper time.
But you just might go blind.Stop.

Anyhow this is my 57 words on the subject of E.D. ads.

Stuck in truck
Covered in muck
Feeling so yuck
But am in luck.  

 Just skip the shower
 Blue pills will give power
 To go on for hours
 And fuck like a duck.      

Sounded romantic
Sex would be frantic
Screw being pedantic
This aging I'll buck.

 After four hours
 Can't see the flowers
 Boner it towers.
 Hospital sucks.      

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Rolling Stones 1965

While I can still remember, and thanks to Amy at  Betty Rants  and Guapo at Guapola , I  am trying to remember concerts I (we) have been to over the years. Might be boring but probably good for the memory. At least thats my excuse for now. This could take a while.

1965   The Rolling Stones in Clearwater at a Grapefruit League baseball stadium. They played 4 songs and left. Assholes in the crowd ruined it.

On June 5, 1965, The Rolling Stones played to about 3,000 people at Jack Russell Stadium in Clearwater, Florida while on their third US tour. According to a June 6, 2007 article in the St. Petersburg Times, about 200 young fans got in an altercation with a line of police officers at the show, and The Stones made it through just 4 songs as chaos ensued. That night, Keith Richards woke up in his hotel room with the guitar riff and lyric "Can't get no satisfaction" in his head. He recorded it on a portable tape deck, went back to sleep, and brought it to the studio that week. The tape contained his guitar riff followed by the sounds of him snoring.

Richards was staying at the Fort Harrison Hotel (known at the time as the Jack Tar Harrison Hotel) when he rolled out of bed with the idea for this. The hotel still exists. In 1975, it was bought by the Church of Scientology and frequently hosts religious retreats. (thanks, Jack Russell - clearwater, FL). from

Was too young to drive, so my stepmother dropped 3 of us off and picked us up. Thanks to her.
Hey, it's a start.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

They Grow Up Part 1 : NewOrleans 1988


"How good of an actress are you?" That's what I asked Amy on our first night in New Orleans. We were in trouble, I thought. "Don't let them see you're afraid, especially when it comes to your 17-year-old daughter," I thought.  We had come to NOLA for college auditions drama and theater. Just the two of us. And now we were lost. On foot.  First night.  And Daddy was sweating bullets.

     We had eaten in the French Quarter near where we were staying and were walking it off, seeing what things were like.  Except we kinda went a little to far.  Oops.  Bad area to be on a stroll. Getting nervous. Show no fear.  Riiiggghhhtt..  "How good of an actress are you?  Put on your sunglasses and take my arm. Maybe they will feel sorry for the man and his blind girl and not fool with us. Oh, and there's a curb coming up. Step"

     We were a little loud so everyone could kind of hear us when curbs and crossings came up. Or bumps or anything else that would trip a blind girl. But it was like the Red Sea parting....people couldn't get out of the way fast enough.  It was like we had the plague. And nobody fucked with us.  So I guess the answer was "Good enough, Daddy!" She sure was that first night. And it was just getting dark.

     Every one goes to Bourbon Street, right! Ok. We hear some killer blues coming out the door of The Old Absynthe House. Lets go in. "Act like you're 21," was all I said to her.  Since she's 17, ok almost 18, and has been introduced to adult beverages and been very responsible regarding such,  and we have 4 days here, and she will be leaving for college in the fall, wonder what if....WTF..why not... "Two drafts please," I tell the waitress. I mean whats the worst  that could happen?

     Nothing thats what. Zip. Nada. For 4 days. They never asked us for ID anywhere. Ever. Now I don't know what the drinking age was in New Orleans in 1988, but it seems the parameters for this trip had  been, shall we say, broadened.

     Marva Wright. Oh my God can that woman sing a song! We went to Old Absynthe House for at least a while the next three nights. It was AWESOME. I wonder if she's still around.

     The auditions were an anticlimax. The kids had like 5 minutes to do a monologue as I recall, and they were there from everywhere.  But we were in NOLA. Loose in the Big Easy.

     Another bar also caught our ear as well. I wish I could remember its name (help me out Amy).

     Rock and Roll. They had a band that rocked Freebird and such. (c'mon please). And rock they did. I returned from the restroom to find her not at the table where I had left her but dancing with a middle aged man with a Russian accent who said when he asked her to dance "You would like to enjoy?"

     Not that she would ever flirt with anyone, but by the time we were ready to come home three days later, she had a poster signed by the band, had been asked out by the drummer, (yeah, not gonna happen honey but nice try), had at least got the OK for said drummer walk her back to where we were staying,(I offered to walk on the other side of the street ....."thanks Dad." problem).

   We had our first father/daughter trip. It was so special. We talked. We laughed. We had fun. We sucked some crawfish...yeah not so much...maybe it was the Hurricanes that night.  We closed the Rock and Roll bar a couple of times. Eight months later she left for college. If you dads out there ever have the chance before they leave, take a trip with your girls. Just ya'll. You won't regret it.

But this would only be the first such trip....there have been a couple of's one by the girl herself:

They Grow Up Part 2: Knoxville 2009

This family has always loved listening to music. The kids went to concerts with us when they were pretty young. Amy saw America ("Horse with no Name") when she was probably 7. We took her and Jenn to The Oak Ridge Boys, Randy Newman, and James Taylor. As grown-ups, I have taken Amy to see John Prine, Arlo Guthrie, and Judy Collins, among others and Amy took me to see Steve Earle and Amos Lee. And, lest I forget, together the bunch of us, in different combinations, have seen Mandy Patinkin four or five times. Quite a range, don't you think? Then came Knoxville 2009.
Jenn, our youngest, started listening to the band Phish when she was mid-teens, around 1991 let's might have been earlier. (Chime in anytime Jenn.) I, of course, was unfamiliar with said Phish. "They're a Jam Band, you know, kind of like The Grateful Dead." Ok that helps a little, right? Jenn went to a few shows in the 90's.

Let's skip ahead to 1999 and know, The Millineum. Jenn was 22 and recently graduated  from college. We were Proud Parents. Phish was doing a three-day festival in the middle of the Everglades at Big Cypress Indian Reservation.  She and a bunch of her friends had tickets. Could we watch the dog? Sure.  Why not?

So off they go, the day before the festival starts. And the local news leads with, "Alligator Alley has traffic backed up for miles due to thousands of people crowding into Phish Festival in Everglades... 2 reported injured in multiple accidents," and "Highway gridlock halts Phish concert traffic; pedestrian killed."  Well shit! Maybe we'll just spend the Millineum worrying now. This is how it looked on the news.

It was still all over the 11 o clock news, they talked about how they had never seen that kind of traffic ever. Next day she called. Alive and well. Everything was great. In fact the whole experience was great, for her and all of those who were there with her.

Again we skip ahead. This time to August 2004. Guess that would make her 27 then.... Phish is retiring. One last festival in......Coventry Vermont. 3 days.  We are in Florida.  FUCKING  COVENTRY, VERMONT...ARE YOU KIDDING ME??  "And a bunch of us have tickets. Can you and Mom watch the dog?"
"How in the hell are you going to........?
"Well a and b are flying in first, then c,d,e,f,g, and h are flying in and renting another car and......and...and.....Andy and I are going to drive up. We can do it 2 days each way and we both got off work and it's the last one ever and...."
Get the picture? SHE IS PUMPED! Well why not? You're only young once, right?

Now she has had her new car for car maybe 3 month, so no real worry there, we hope.. Good. Kept us posted all the way up, all going well, everyone there and all together...en route to venue...on the expressway headed in...all well. Good.

    Skip ahead 24 hrs. "WE HAVE NOT MOVED IN 24 HOURS!" said the voice on the phone. It had rained for a week and the campgrounds and parking areas were flooded. They were towing cars in with tractors. Now what?  "They're telling people to turn around. Not sure what we're gonna do."

    24 hours later.  "We're fine. Still haven't moved. We going to start walking now. It starts in 5 hours." 
" And your new car???"  "We're gonna leave it here on the Interstate in the grass. They said we might get towed but Coventry only has 3 tow trucks, so I think we'll be ok. Don't worry!" 
"10-4, Sweetie.  No problemo."

Well of course Coventry was so much fun. And everyone who stayed (not all did, and that was a good choice, too, as it turned out) had a time to remember. And that was that for Phish, or so I thought. Not so fast, old chap.

Now let's move ahead one last time.  It's Summer 2009 and Phish is going back on tour. Playing Asheville, NC and Knoxville, TN and Bonnaroo, also in Tennessee all in the same week. Jenn has been living in Seattle for two or three years.   "And we have tickets and the boys want to go to Bonnaroo and I really don't.  And we might have an extra ticket for Knoxville. So what if after we go to Asheville we come back, and then you go with us to Phish in Knoxville, and then you and I can come back here, and that way I don't have to drive back here after midnight by myself? It'll be fun." At the time the wife and I were living about an hour from Asheville and three from Knoxville so, "Ok, I guess, it might be," ... and maybe I won't have to go after all.

They loved the Asheville show, small venue maybe 6,000 people. Then it was time for Knoxville. Thompson Boling Arena, home of Pat Summitt and the  Tennessee Lady many national championship banners in the rafters. Almost 30,000 capacity. Yep, I was going with Jenn. About half- way there she began to point out other cars going to the show. "Look there's another Phish sticker!" Well the parking lot was a real eye-opener. Oh,my! So many smiling Phish Phans. And there seems to be no one my age. Look harder. Not so much. Nope. No One. Shouldn't be surprised I guess. A girl had a little griddle and was selling grilled cheese sandwiches for $1.00.  I was told I really should try one. Yep. Had two. YUMMY ! Maybe it was the cheese, maybe it was the real butter, maybe it was the bread. I don't know. But those suckers were damn good!

After going through 2 security(?) checkpoints we found our seats and sat down.  "You might want these," Jenn said and handed me some earplugs. "Thanks, but I brought some cotton balls. And I don't think I'll need them anyway," I replied. All was well. Everyone was in their seats and you could feel the anticipation building.

Then the lights went out.

I couldn't get the damn cotton balls out of my pockets fast enough.  The pain in my ear was staggering.And not from the music. From my youngest screaming to my left. I hadn't heard her scream like that since she was 2. Then the music started. LOUD! Really loud! REALLY, REALLY LOUD!! The cotton had been a good idea. And the whole arena was up and boogieing (Is that a word?). ENERGY LIKE I HAD NOT FELT IN YEARS. MAYBE EVER!  Not mine so much but the whole damn crowd's. They never sat down again until setbreak, One and A Half Hours Later!  And then kept it up for the One and A Half Hour second set and encore. And never stopped dancing. It was awesome! And cell phone cameras were everywhere. People were recording it! Had never seen that before. And so many lighters. And....

Phish was amazing. The first thing I tried to tell Jenn was, " I get it now."  I'll never forget that smile on her face. And I got it. I was even able to take the cotton out for a while. Until the song stopped. And the screaming recurred.

If you don't know, Phish is four guys. Been playing together since college. 1985. Probably now in their forties. Keyboards, Bass Guitar, Lead guitar, and drums. Four incredible musicians. And energy. They grabbed that crowd and never let go. Here's a taste from other shows. They might suprise you.

or if bluegrass is more to your taste

                                                              or even the theme from 2001

It was a good night. Damn good. Got home at 3:45 AM. Awesome. Thanks, Jenn. I get it. And my ears rang for 2 whole days. Thanks for that, too!


That's how it started. Daughter Amy and I were on our first trip together to North Carolina. We had driven top down with Amos Lee on the radio through the Cullasaja Gorge and were coming into the town of Cashiers on Hwy 64. when she spied several metal chickens in front of a shop on the side of the road. "HOLY SHIT!  IT'S BEYONCE!! "What the hell are you talking about?"  "You know. Beyonce. The Bloggess. You know!" By the time we finished lunch she had read me the Beyonce story from the Bloggess.

and told me she had a friend who was ailing and what a good cheer-up gift a metal chicken would be. "You know, knock knock motherfucker and all. C'mon lets do it!" It seemed so appropriate.
So we bought a 4 foot tall metal chicken. It would just fit in a VW 
Bug trunk. Laying down sideways. Barely. So Beyonce was with us for the rest of the trip.

And when we headed home to Florida and the trunk was full, we wrapped her in a sheet so she woundn't cut the back seat..."That Chicken Will Cut You" you know. Strapped in . Off we went "in a haze of heifer dust" as my wife would say. Two Raggs and a large metal chicken. I can't make this shit up.

And what do we see in Dillard Ga. but a 

So Beyonce makes it to Florida, nobody gets cut, and she goes to her new forever home.


End of story, right?  Maybe not. I went back to NC alone later that year in my little truck and wanted to get a metal chicken for Amy and another for my wife while I was there, you know, for the whimsy, so I stopped at the place that had the 12 foot
chicken in Dillard. Well they had 50 at least. Probably more. All sizes and styles. "Does someone local make these?" thinking maybe I can help the local economy. "Nah, they go down to Mexico and buy 'em by the truckload." Well shit. I'll go back to Cashiers. I think Beyonce had been a domestic metal chicken.
A few days later I drive back to Cashiers. Plenty of metal chickens still there too. "Does someone local make these?"  "Nope. Mexico" Really. Here too. You cant buy domestic metal chickens? Really. Shit.
So I pick out 2 Mexican metal chickens, thinking enough looking, lets just do it. There are no American Chickens to be found.
And Adios, to Florida we go.

And of course Sandi drew them

And now Amy and Sandi both have metal chickens at the front doors!

This last summer Amy and I went back up for 10 days. Saw more metal chickens along the road. Buenos dias Motherfuckers!

In April The Bloggess' book "Let's Pretend This Never Happened" was published. Congratulations Jenny. And what a hit! Amy found the last copy in town and we took it to Karen at
She had listened to our Beyonce story the year before.

And this year we didn't buy any more metal chickens.

But thanks to The Bloggess and her blog, I found Michele at who has a link there and for some reason entered a photo in The Jud and Bill photo contest.

and won!!
And started reading her blog further and never knew if I'd laugh or cry ( a lot of both ).
And through ODNT I found Mel at
Thier's are 3 of the best blogs, Jenny's, Michele's, and Mel's. You ladies are special.

I kept telling Amy about their blogs and convinced her to do an entry for the final episode of the Jud and Bill series. I mean she was the little girl in the picture after all. C'mon kid, you can do it. She loves positive phrasing...

She likes to write but would hardly ever do so. But she did.

And she won.

and what a prize it was.

And Amy has starting to write more.
She thinks she is a little cheesy sometimes, but now we know why.

Sandi had started blogging in 2011 and was having fun with it. And now Amy was too. It had to happen sometime, so now I'm blogging a little too.
Michele and Mel have been so kind and encouraging. There are no words to say thanks enough. THANKS! And thanks to others we have been introduced to as well:
Kari at

El Guapo at

Becky at

and Sandi, the love of my life at

I have so enjoyed reading about your families and kids. It brings back so many memories of the feelings you have when they are growing up. And now that we're Grandparents it even makes it sweeter. Thank You.

And Jenn went to a book reading in Seattle and got to meet Jenny the Bloggess!

Remember I am blaming her for all of this. The book tour was really hard on her. But she made and makes so many people hopeful and happy. We all thank you Jenny.
Now how can I get her to read this?

But it was a job

For the Weekend challenge....

For this weekend's challenge, we'd like you to read the 33 words below and then add 33 of your own words to move the story along.  Have a great weekend and good luck!

The last strains of sunlight lingered in the corners, grasping every available point of refraction.  She slid her fingertips along the glass wondering if this was all there ever was. Or could be.

As she picked up the ragg and the Windex,
 she thought  " I just did this yesterday"
Her feet hurt. Her arms hurt. Her fingers hurt.  But it was a job. That was something.

Words of Wisdom

This is in response to the first "Ketchup with Us" link up hosted by two special ladies, Michele at / and Mel at

  It asked us to tell  in 57 words or less the best advice you have ever received from someone older than you or that you admire. I would say it came from my Dad.

"Always treat people the way you would like to be treated"  and "Say Please and Thank You"  Good advice Pop. I know your Granddaughters were listening.