Today was the first time my son was able to drive on his own. Well he got up to go to the OSU party we are going to later this AM, but he did not tell his mother he was going and left much earlier than planned. And I believe he may have taken friends which we had told him he wasn’t ready for yet. What to do?

Well, if he has taken friends that will influence his driving privileges, leaving without the cell and not saying bye is just rude and he’ll have to make good with his Mother. HE will have to do something that he loathes; apologize, to admit he was wrong.

Are all teenagers this way? Am I so old that I cannot remember being that way?

UPDATE:

No friends along for the ride. He was just so excited to go out for the first time he left to early and “had” stop at Krogers and a LS Department store. Mom did take a bite out of him on  the way home. Still he has problems with the “I messed up, I’m sorry” thing. Gotta work on that.

Well the Buckeyes crushed the un-named team from up north…

Well, we’ll see how this works out…

What’s up with Kerry…

January 11, 2008

Wow talk about cold, not even telling Edwards he wasn’t going to back him for the Presidential run…

What On Earth Have I Done?

November 10, 2007

Robert Fulghum’s new book is wonderful so far… I really enjoy his works. Reading this book opens my mind to what’s around me, like a fresh breeze. After a while with out some reflection and solitude I seem to get a black and white view of the world.

As the title of the post suggests that is his thesis- “What On Earth Have I Done?” An interesting question because he poses the question as a Mother asking a child “WOEHYD”. Then he puts the question as to an adult’s life. Same question-different meaning altogether.

The chapters are short vignettes, which after read seem to stick in my mind wait for a chance to be applied. An example would be the story of his quest to rid his house boat of Otters. Success really didn’t have the intended result; less stink but a loss of playfulness and curiosity in his world. Another, how his house was valued less than he thought it was worth, and the reasons why were the reasons he discovered that added value to his life.

Fulghum tells a story about a couple of college students who eat a dining room chair… yea, really!… now you’ll have to read the book.

Love for my Wife

September 25, 2007

I have been married for 26 years… I know I love my wife more today than when we were married. She is not a perfect wife (for sure I’m not the perfect husband), but I love her more than ever. It’s more passionate and at the same time a the “best friend in the world” type of love, how can I explain that?

Several times in our marriage I believed we were doomed. But I never considered leaving or divorce because I knew it was me and at least 1/2 of it was my baggage. All I would have done is take the baggage to another relationship.

What brings me to this post is that we have some friends who are having problems with their marriage and some of it reminds me of our problems. The rushing around of little kids, jobs taking to much time, being second (maybe even last) in getting attention (sex, what sex?), the stress of money and everything else  and that’s not mentioning families that seem to complicate everything with their problems and hangups.

My advice… communication, but first listen… really listen. If you think everything is OK and your partner blows you out of the water with news you never suspected. You’re not listening…or paying attention, verbal or physically.

My problem was/is I like to solve problems. When my wife would share her problems, I wanted to offer solutions. WRONG ANSWER, (maybe I’m slow… but it took me 15-18 years to get this) listen and then listen to her but don’t offer solutions. Believe it or not that’s not what she wants. She want attention and someone to listen to her.

Talking… well I’m getting better at sharing my feelings, needs and fears.

Do I have all the answers… not even close. But my wife and I can weather the storms of life with our love, respect and trust in Jesus Christ.

I can remember playing tackle football (him being on his knees) when I was 7 or 8 and when he “tackled” me and I had all the breath knocked out of me. I can picture (and feel it now) he in a white t-shirt kneeling over me while my Great-Grandmother leaned out the window scolding him for playing so rough. I remember it so well because at that moment I really knew my Father was concerned for me, really concerned. (And I also realized he couldn’t fix everything) I felt like I was a man, being able to be hurt and then toughing it out.

Another time we three boys were dancing around the fire barrel while my parents burned wallpaper. We dressed for the occasion by making head dressings with feathers and I in my PJ’s (which were Indian or cowboy themed, flannel none the less). Man, I can remember this like yesterday; it was just getting dark and well past my bedtime. We were doing a rain dance like thing around the fire barrel when a large piece flew out of the fire and landed on my back. In an instant there were flames all over me, my Dad ran over and ripped all my clothes off and I wasn’t even burned! I can remember thinking that nobody on TV was tougher than my Dad.

I can remember going squirrel hunting with him for the first time, my favorite part was holding his hand on the way back. I know we didn’t get a squirrel cause I was to noisy. I think that’s why my Mother insisted I go, because she hated to cook squirrels and my Dad never missed. Once I saw him shoot a crow from at least 200 yards with a .22 and another time shoot a rabbit on the run with a pistol.

He grew up during the depression without a father and dirt poor in the hills of West Virginia. They hunted and trapped from the time he was 8 or 9, he claimed he didn’t really have shoes until he went to school. After listening to his Brother talk my Father was not stretching the truth, they were really poor.

I’ll post a few more memories, maybe some of our great adventures we boys had chasing over the hills.

I am revisited a few of my favorite reads from my youth. Fred Saberhagen, Beserkers: The Beginning, wow what a read. My boys are thrilled. I moved up several notches in their eyes, suggest such good books. I read 100’s of books to suggest to them. Ringworld,
Starship Troopers, and some other classics. I would like them to read The Foundation Trilogy, but I don’t know if they can suffer through the dry spells. And of course how could I forget the Martian Chronicles  and the John Carter series.  Such good books, boyhood adventures to be sure.

I have been planning this weekend for at least three weeks (all the work I want to get done for the cookout Monday evening). I have decided to quit working on the yard and garden before 5 PM (even if I’m not done) so I can spend the evening with my family.

Water balloon fights come to mind if it doesn’t thunderstorm. Maybe I’ll go to the dollar store and buy squirt guns and noodles to have some real fun with the kids and Wife. What ever we do we’ll have some fun.

Monday we’re having a cookout our family and a few guys from work. Just burgers, hot dogs, beer can chicken, smoked pork, roasted corn on the cob, and other cook out stuff. No over kill this year. Just a simple cook out with family and friends. And I plan to remember our troops and fallen heroes…

What are you doing?

Parenting, what a challenge! It seems you can only know how you’ve done by the end result. And what is an end result? When I’m older and grayer with grandchildren? Or maybe there’s another way to “judge”? Maybe that could be in present actions, like following through on yard work and other chores. Or maybe making good judgments on friends, employment and schoolwork. I believe, I rely to much on the ending well part, and sometimes overlook positive signs now.

I’m very busy with work, church projects and work around the house (including homeschool things). So what a relief today when I asked my boys to dig a few holes for our new pergola I plan to install this coming week. I called home from work and they have two holes done and if the rain lets up they’ll get the other two done tonight. My girls 7 and 12-teen are scraping the arbor to ready it for paint on Monday. Sounds like a small thing, I could dig the holes in about an hour, or scrape the arbor in 30 minutes, but this will allow me to get it done quicker so I can plant the garden early in the week.

Plus, I think this will give them some ownership when we finish the projects. I have a mostly built shop (16×20 timber frame) that each has helped in their own way. The girls will come out and sweep the floor and pick up nails (I recycle used boards and beams) and the boys have helped lift walls and countersink nails in the floor.

So for the future I will look on the present and encourage my kids and be thankful for the wonderful help they provide. (I cannot leave out my beautiful Wife, she deserves more credit for the children’s good points than I do.)

My Favorite Cheap Pen

March 14, 2007

I suppose a cheap pen is defined as a writing instrument of less than 5 dollars. I have two I enjoy, one is a long time favorite and the other is a newbie (which I have not used long enough to have a firm opinion of yet). The Uniball Signo Micro 207 is a fabulous pen worth at least 4 times its cost of less than two dollars and fifty cents. It’s comfortable, has a great click action, it comes in .5 and 1.0 widths, at least eight colors and the clip holds up for at least 3-4 refills (and I’ve often been able to repair a bent clip). Then I seem to “lose” the pen after that, having a wife and children may contribute to that problem.

One great thing about the Signo is the ink, it’s a water fast type of ink. Once it dries it’s mostly permanent on paper as well as your clothes. I’ve ruined several dress shirts because if the pen is open it will leach out onto the fabric and without dry cleaning or a special ink removal fluid the shirt is ruined. This does not endear my wife to this line of pens. She comments that they are good for her but not safe enough for me. The Signo pens are not as bad as the Zebra SARASA type, they love to leach out onto clothes, although they make good utility pens.

I work in a pop factory and I write on paper which has all type of chemicals, pop and water on the paper and the Signo pen still works. The ball does not hold up well to being dropped directly on the tip but most pens won’t. The ball tip doesn’t seem to be damaged by writing on a very hard surface with a heavy pressure like most Cross refills that I often ruin. My Cross pens (cheap or expensive) never seem to take the abuse of writing on a desktop surface with only one sheet of paper as padding. You know the problem, a line appears within the path of ink on the paper then shortly the pen will skip and quit working altogether.

The Signo pen is by far my all time favorite cheap pen and has thwarted my attempts to find a better expensive pen. It raises the standards for that elusive “expensive” pen. I do love the Retro51 line of pens especially the Tornando both mini and full sized but they are heavy and don’t carry well in my pants pocket (where I carry it because of uniform requirements) or even a shirt pocket because of the weight. I’ve also flirted with buying a pocket fountain pen but have not been able to justify the price or risk of carrying one (for mostly church and social occasions).

If you have any suggestions on good cheap pens or expensive pens I would love to here about them.

Is Everyone Insecure?

March 6, 2007

You know I thought it was just me. really. I have thought since I’ve been a teenager that I was one of the few that were insecure about my decisions and abilities. It has been a great revelation to listen to Chip Ingram’s podcast about relationships. To understand that everyone is insecure and I am not unique: that is a revelation of gigantic proportions. To understand that my boss (who is a detail power freak) is really just insecure about his position and what he is doing. When I look at him in that light I am able to deal with his behavior by telling myself I know what that’s like to insecure about my work and that some of his nitpicking, well, I should just understand and do it.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not insecure about everything. Just some decisions that have to be made in a hurry, a job change, working on my truck and work car and some decisions about my kids and their futures. Oh yea add to that teaching. Some of those things everyone is insecure over. Knowing my weaknesses will make me stronger.

So if you get a chance check out Chip Ingram’s podcasts he has a very good series of podcasts going on now. (Past ones are good too)