Saturday, January 31, 2009

gorgeous kid

Her mom gave me permission to post this on the blog .. you can see her pic at Pixel-me.

In other news, the snow abates, but the cold continues. It was 8° when I got up this morning. Oldest daughter is still without power and branches from a large tree in her front yard are dropping on the house. Insurance company has been notified.

Depending on which weather forecaster you believe, we could have 50° on Monday or the next round of snow showers. Who knows? Time will tell. I am reminded of some weather bricks I saw once. They were miniature versions of regular bricks. They were on a piece of twine. The instructions read: If the bricks are wet, it is raining. If the bricks are white, it is snowing. If the bricks are dry, it is sunny, and so forth and so on. The weather I trust is the weather I see.

I'll be tickled when the news is the news and not the weather is the news.

How are things in your part of the world?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

are ya tired of it yet ?

Weatherman says we will get more snow beginning tomorrow. This is a tree in my mom's front yard. She is about 35 miles from my house. She has power, but many Kentuckians do not.
This is her street. It is untouched by city snowplows or salt trucks. She lives about 2 blocks from one of the pricier neighborhoods in her town (pop. 280,000.) The building you can see in the background is a new elementary school.
This is my great nephew, Xavier. He is a card. He is my latest attempt. Kids are so much fun to draw.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

snow continues

We lost power for most of the night. The power went out around 2 AM and returned around 7 AM. So, there was no harm, no foul. My oldest daughter, (about 45 miles southwest of here) lost power, regained power, lost power, regained power, and then finally lost power for good. She was on the phone with me when she saw the transformer go and the power went out. The small town in which she lives is supplied by a rural electric cooperative. They told her that numerous transformers were out and had no prospect of when her power might be restored. No power means no heat. A part of a large tree in her front yard fell on the house, as well. She doesn't think it did any damage.

She and hubby, bundled the kid, moved the fallen branches out of the drive, and made their way to her mom's house, where the power (and heat) are still on. She has texted me several times already today. "K" live on a corner lot and two trucks slid into the yard and collided. A second car nearly missed the turn and almost slid into the yard. The city reported that water was going to be shut off for the rest of the day. There are power outages at the water plant.

We are expecting 2 to 4 inches of snow on top of the layers of snow and ice we have already. Even with my trusty, faithful, 3 ton plus weighing, 4-wheel drive capable, big red SUV, I am staying put uinless it is an emergency.

Here are some shot of the snowfall as of noon:

One lane completely covered outside the front door.
On frozen pond ...
Tree in neighbors front yard ...

Hey Deb, here's some snow and ice

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

the latest

TJ's mom when she was 18 .. she turned 77 recently.

Monday, January 26, 2009

twisting words

There have been some miscues involving words around here. They weren't spoonerisms, but they were kind of fun.

Twist #1

Chella, the recent GED recipient, usually makes an effort to police her language around me. I do not generally use some of the same language that her generation seems to find appropriate. As the matter of fact, they tease me that I cuss like Mr. Spock. (Dammit, Jim) We were driving somewhere a couple days ago, and she, accidentally bleeped out the wrong word. She said she was going to 'bleep' her ass. She laughed because she has bleeped out the word, 'kick.' I assured her it was okay to say 'kick.'

Twist #2

This one involved Cloe. Cloe is 19 months old today. She speaks very well. She generally uses words properly and speaks in semi-complete sentences. We have taught her that heaters, the stove, curling irons, and other items are 'hot.' She also has some small issues with being in the dark. She knows the word dark and what it implies as well. Last night, she was in the kitchen with mamaw, when TJ finished what she was doing. TJ turned off the light and plunged the room into darkness. (One of my peeves is walking into an empty room with a light left on.) Cloe was in the room when it went dark. She yelled out, "Hot!" She got her 'scaries' crossed.

Life is more fun than anything else.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I got tagged

The rules:
1. Each blogger starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
3. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
4. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged and to read your blog.
5. For the recipients, leave a comment for the person who tagged you, so they can go and read your answers.

8 (OK .. actually 31) things about me:

1. I am left handed. (1 thing)

2. I am one of 6 children. I am in the middle by virtue of age. My oldest sister is 5 yrs older than me and youngest is 5 yrs younger than me. (4 things)

3. I have worked as a shipping/recieving clerk, a cashier, a cook, a salesman, an electrician, a real estate agent, and a teacher. (7 things)

4. I have been a sunday school teacher, a Bible study teacher, an assistant pastor, a youth leader, a state church growth director, a state Christian education director, and a state elder. (7 things)

5. I write, sing, paint, draw, take photos, and play the guitar and drums. (7 things)

6. I love a good bologna/cheese/onion/mayo sandwich. (1 thing)

7. I am a lifelong registered Democrat, but will cross party lines to vote for the best candidate. (2 things)

8. My favorite song to sing is the National Anthem and my favorite book to read is the Bible. (2 things)

Now the part where I put some of my readers on the spot ... surprise !! .. no spot .. If you want to volunteer to reveal or conceal (the real trick of revealing .. ask a magician) some random facts about yourself (like all bloggers aren't really exhibitionists), feel free to do so. Tap me back so I can check them out when ya do. That way I can appease the voyeur in me as well.

Chella got her GED !!!

After her dad's death, Chella had some non-cheerful issues and had some trouble at school. She didn't beat up any kids but did cry a lot. She was put on Home Bound for the latter part of last school year.

This year she decided to try the school thing again. It didn't work for various reasons. She decided to drop out and get her GED.

Last week she took the tests and passed. Her General Equivalency Diploma arrived in the mail this week. We are quite proud of her.

I drew her in a cap and gown with MC's red and blue tassel.

Congrats Chella.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

the visit

TJ was able to go see her son today. She took it easy all week so that she would be rested. She did fairly well. If you factor in that she is as stubborn as a mule and used to going and going and going (another long eared creature) then you would have to concede that she did excellent. Don't tell her I think so. It is a constant (losing) battle to keep her from doing too much.

We did as the DR ordered for the most part. We stopped frequently enough. On the way, we stopped more frequently than we intended. We needed to get a money order for Chris. We stopped at one convenience store. Once TJ got inside, she discovered their ATM machine was down, their EBT machine was down, their lottery machine was down, and the bathrooms were out of order. Of to stop #2.

Stop #2 was a combination convenience store and several fast food restaurants. It was 10:45 and the store was not open. The restaurants were busy, but informed TJ that the store didn't open until 11:00. Not too convenient, eh? Off to stop #3.

Stop #3 was a gas station/store combo. On the door they proudly displayed that they did, in fact, sell money orders. Yeah! Once inside, TJ discovered that you could not use a credit card or Debit card to purchase their money orders. This was not an issue as they did have an ATM machine in the store was well. She took money out, bought the MO and we were on our way.

I understand the credit card prohibition. However, a debit card is instant. If you do not have the money in the account, you can't use the card. Odd.

Then we were off to see the boy. The place was packed. There was no sitting room at all inside. All seats were taken. One group was called back, freeing up some chairs. These seat were immediately taken by several young people (18-24 year olds .. both guys and girls) while some gray haired ladies stood. Tammy and I went outside in the 30° weather to sit at a picnic table. It ticked us off that these kids sat and did not offer their seats to the elderly. I guess courtesy is a thing of the past with most of this current generation. I do know that my kids would never do that. TJ said the same about hers.

We visited. It was good to see him. We drove home. TJ crashed in the bed. The trip did wear her out. She was happy and tired. She has, reluctantly, taken it easy the rest of the day, so far. I am fixin to go get her some food. (My daughter says I sound so country when I say that .. fixin to.)

"C" sent me a text saying I was more than a parent type. I was a friend. She added that she would be proud to be adopted by me. (Pause for tear wiping.) She is a good kid. She turned 18 in December. She still respects the house rules. She is still feeling out her adult freedoms, but with respect. I feel the same for her that I do my natural born kids. We don't use step here except as a method to get from downstairs to upstairs and visa-versa.

It is shaping up to be a good weekend.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday comes creeping in on timid feet

It has been an odd week.

It has seemed at times to drag along and then to suddenly hit a speed burst. The DR told TJ that he didn't want her going to the midweek service at church. It is a 35 mile drive and he feels that is too much for her right now, twice a week. We have been taking it on a day to day basis as to what is too much and what works. She wants to go to see her son on Saturday, so she has been doing the minimum this week.

Wednesday, I said something about hurrying or I would be late for church. OK, church is on Tuesday. I was already 23.5 hours late. I thought it was Tuesday. That was a speed time. Then there are evenings when it feels like it should be midnight and it is only 7 o'clock.

I have been busy with 'portrait' requests. I don't mind. It seems I do remember why I stopped so many years ago. It got to be more work than a hobby. Right now, even with requests, it still feels like a hobby, so we are good. I am sure, eventually, it will start to feel like work.

Several people have told me in my life I need to open a restaurant. I love to cook, but if I open a restaurant, it becomes a job.

It is the same with drawing or writing. If it becomes my profession, it becomes a drag. I know, I am just odd that way.

Years ago, I worked my job as an electrician and did jobs on the side. I would get to the point where I would have to make a decision to go all in or fold. I would fold. I liked working and making electric work, but I liked the ability to turn a job down if I didn't want to do it. If I sign on the bottom line, I have to take every job. I have to pay for the trucks, and the tools, and the insurance, and the men. I worked with guys that did start on their own and I would listen to them complain about the headaches associated with it. I am good on this side of the headaches.

For now, I will just keep losing track of time and drawing kids and grandkids. I will let Fridays come creeping in on timid feet.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

had to add ...

Saturday I took Chella early to Stanton to take the second part of her GED test. After dropping her off at the testing site, I went on to Lexington, where I, among other things, stopped and got Spalding donuts for the family. They are the OMGosh best darn donuts ever anywhere. It is a local to Lexington family owned and operated bakery.

As I was driving back toward MS, I called TJ to let her know why I hadn't made it home already.

Here is where the importance of communication in a marriage comes in.

I told her I had come to Lexington. I told her about the donuts. I told her I was on my way home. I was joking about running all over Lexington.

She said, "I sound real concerned, don't I?"

I heard, "I found a sperm donor."

Ah, communication!

on the drive home from church

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cloe in pencil

Years ago, while working on a nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania, we had some down time due to paperwork issues. We had to have a 2
PQ before we could make any electrical terminations, and there was an issue with a termination process that stopped us cold. While we were waiting and being paid, I did a caricature of one of the guys in the crew. He loved it and asked if I could do portraits. I told him that I had never tried. He brought photos of his children (2) and I did portraits from them. Soon after, all the guys were bringing photos and I stayed busy during our down time. I haven't done much in the way of portraits since then.

Recently, TJ asked if I would do a pencil portrait of Cloe. I didn't know if I could, since, like I said, it had been years. Still, I figured I would give it a shot. Above is the result. It was from a picture I took of her some time back.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A veritable plethora

Not really a plethora, but I like the word. Here are two poems I wrote today. I was going through some old files when I spotted these two started but never finished works. So I finished them. I asked TJ which she liked, figuring on posting one of them. She liked them both, so you get both. I hope you enjoy them.

Nothing to lose, nothing to keep

When you cannot see the value
Of those things about

When you cannot perceive the worth
Of the belongings you hold

When you do not notice
The intrinsic worth
Of the lives completing yours

Then you say things like
“I’ve got nothing to lose.”

What you are really saying is,
“I’ve got nothing to keep.”

Whatever trinket it is
That has caught your imagination
Has mesmerized your mind
To see no worth in your heart
Of the things you love
Of the things you might lose
Of the things you think not to keep
Of those things not properly valued
It cannot hope to contend
With the wealth you really do have to lose

Look about you
The things you think you carry about
Are, in truth, carrying you
What you suppose
Cannot be real without you
Actually make up your very being

You have everything to lose
Everything you are
Everything you cherish
Everything you ignore

Choose carefully
The things you have to lose
And the things you have to keep

Ron Simpson, Jr.
January 13, 2009

I noticed you

While I was too busy to say it
I still noticed you

While we were going to and fro
I noticed you

While we dealt with kids
And the issues surrounding them
I noticed you

While bills were being paid
And plans were being made
I noticed you

In the midst
Of all the complications
That makes up our lives
It is easy to lose sight
Of so many important things
Still, I noticed you

I don’t know
If you noticed me
While I was noticing you
But I noticed you

I noticed your pleasure
And your pain
I noticed your joy
And your sorrow
I noticed your strength
And your weakness
I noticed your happiness
And your sadness

I noticed you

Ron Simpson, Jr.
January 13, 2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The moments between perfection

Life is not made up of perfection
It is the collection
Of the moments between
Life consists
Of trips and spills
Of ascending and descending
Of climbing and falling
Here and there
May we reach a peak
Somewhere near our idea
Of our own perfection

Sometimes it works just right
But mostly
We aim and miss
We strike out
Between homers
In life we rarely count
Our every at-bat
We remember little
As we struggle our way
Between the points
Of our own perfection

Birthday to birthday
Memorial to memorial
Plateau to plateau
The most of life
Is spent between
More of life climbing
Than standing
And gathering accolades
We live it up
In the moments between perfections

Do not get lost in the details
But rather revel in them
Live all of the two thousand ways
Not to make a light bulb
Celebrate every rung
Not just the top one
Smile with every swing
Especially the ones that fly past
Rejoice in all the moments
Between the moments of perfection

How sad and short a life
Counting only perfect moments
Cheer in the breaks
Laugh with the falls
Celebrate the rising
After the laughing fall
Live in the feeling
Of the bat in your hand
The wind in your face
The sun in your eye
The moments between perfection

Live, truly live
The moments between perfection

Ron Simpson, Jr.
January 11, 2009

Chris's Party

My grandson Chris turned 10 years old on New Years Eve. I told hm all the celebrations and parties were to celebrate his birthday.

Today was his 'official' birthday party. "A" had it at Chucky Cheese Pizza. If you have never been to a Chucky Cheese, you would be in for a treat. There are 3.1 million kids crammed into a shoe box with games, rides, and skeeball. (I may be exaggerating just a tad, but not much.) If it weren't for the bland pizza, I would have no reason to go at all.

Anyway, he had fun.

Here are some tidbits from the party. I gave my camera to my 21 yr old daughter. Everyone insisted that she would end up in every picture. She is really good at taking pics of herself. I always cut off my head, or half my face, or have it crooked, but not her. She is obviously a professional.


Said 21 yr old daughter .. Shirt: I'm not short, I'm fun size!

The Birthday boy himself with new Mohawk !

Friday, January 09, 2009


Chris, Kody, Kyleigh, Ian, & Abby

Blogspot would only let me add 5 pics .. but everyone has seen pics of Cloe on here .. she lives with me so there are many more photo ops for her ..

Thursday, January 08, 2009

I cant help it

I am trying to contain my sardonic wit. Actually, TJ and I both are trying to rein it in a bit, as Kyle, our 13 yr old is picking up and feeling the need to comment on everything said by everyone. This does, at times, cause him to land in hot water.

However, every now and then something comes along that makes it simply impossible to keep the sarcasm in check. Tonight was just such a night. I was reading the news headlines on They give a little eye catching teaser designed to say enough to peak your interest but not enough to satisfy it. As I was perusing the headline links, I came across this tidbit:

Craze over touch screen gadgets not shared by the blind.

Let it sink in ....

I did read the article. It talked about Stevie Wonder attending a tech-fest to encourage the makers of gadgets to keep blind needs in mind as well. I agree.

However ...

The headline was too much for me. I am not an insensitive person. I do realize there are needs of those with handicaps that are sometimes overlooked. BUT, this headline was too funny. My first response was, "DUH!"

And then my mind skewed. It went off on tangents. I thought about how, in our age of political correctness, we were being insensitive to our blind brothers and sisters by wearing and seeing color. I propose that we all stop wearing items of color. OR, we could just tell all the blind folks that we did.

Sorry, I just had to go there.

If you are offended by this post, I do apologize. It was all tongue in cheek. I am caring about persons with handicaps. I, just, couldn't help it.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

have you ?

Carolynn had this list on her blog. I have done a few of them. I X'ed the ones I have done. I had 52 of the 99 on the list. How many have you accomplished?

X. Started your own blog
X. Slept under the stars
X. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
X. Watched a meteor shower
X. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/ world
X. Climbed a mountain
X. Held a praying mantis
X. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped (nor will I ever)
12. Visited Paris
X. Watched a lightning storm at sea
X. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child (although it is in the works)
16. Had food poisioning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
X. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
X. Had a pillow fight
X. Hitch hiked
X. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
X. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb (but I did carry a bull calf across my shoulders once)
X. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
X. Seen a total eclipse
X. Watched a sunrise or sunset
X. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
X. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
X. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo's David
X. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
X. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving/ snorkeling
X. Kissed in the rain
X. Played in the mud
X. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
X. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
X. Served in a soup kitchen
X. Sold Girl Scout cookies
62. Gone whale watching
X. Gotten flowers for no reason
X. Donated blood/ platelets
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi concentration camp
X. Bounced a check
X. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
X. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
X. Stood in Times Square
X. Toured the Everglades
X. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the changing of the guards in London
X. Broken a bone
X. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
X. Published a book
81. Been to the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
X. Had your picture in the newspaper
X. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
X. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
X. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone's life
X. Sat on a jury
X. Met someone famous
X. Joined a book club
X. Lost a loved one
X. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
X. Been involved in a lawsuit
X. Owned a cell phone
X. Been stung by a bee

Monday, January 05, 2009

Birthday Visit

Today is Carol's 77th birthday. We visited her at the nursing home.

You are looking at 4 generations .. Top: TJ, middle: Chella, Carol, Sierra .. and then Cloe.

Here are Cloe and Carol. (Great granddaughter and Great grandmother)
Cloe is looking at Carol as if to say, "I will take care of you."

Saturday, January 03, 2009

the 'hard to hold' record

It is never too early to start watching your weight.

Maria held the record for 37 days. The previous record holder, Edna, held the record for an amazing 15 months and 13 days. Gertrude now holds the title. It is the tile to which we all aspire. I am talking about the worlds oldest living person. Maria was 115 years old. Edna was born almost 5 months before Maria. The new title holder is just a paltry 114 years old; a veritable spring chicken. I hear someone say that we, as human beings will spend all our health trying to make money and then spend all our money trying to recover our health.

These title holders have found a way to balance these things. Most of them I read about lived simple lives without a mass of excess. Edna was a teacher in a two room school in Indiana and lived out her later years on a farm until she moved to a nursing home. Gertrude was a house mom at a university in Ohio, before divorcing and moving to Los Angeles. She now lives in a nursing home there, and recently cast her vote for Barack Obama. Maria worked in agriculture, never learned to read or write, and raised six children. All lived fairly simple lives.

I am 51 years old. My family history supposes I will make my 90's. I can't imagine another 40 years and what it may bring. I think the key is to see what tomorrow will bring. I will look to what the next hour, or the next minute will bring. If I can string enough of those next minutes, next hours, next days, next weeks, or next months together, I might just make it to the end. Of course, I will make it to my end, even if it comes tomorrow. Yogi Berra once said, "I will live to be 100 or die trying." Sounds good to me.

I have discovered the secret to living to be 100. Don't die !!