Friday, November 13, 2015

It has been amazing!

There are decisions in a lifetime that alter its course.  Should I go to college?  I did.  While in college, should I party or should I study?  I did.  Should I listen to my mother who suggested I take the education block just in case I wasn't REALLY talented enough to make it on the stage?  I did.  Should I learn that terrible situations (like getting fired!) can be stumbling blocks or stepping stones?  I did.  Should I get engaged?  I did.  Twice.  (See note on stumbling block!)  Should I get married?  I did.  Once.  Should I work with an amazing amalgam of children and adults who would each add their part to my make-up?  I did.  Should I surround myself with people brighter, more talented, more clever than I?  I did.  I do.  I call them my friends.  Should I retire before I became a dinosaur?  I did.  Should I expand my realization of this amazing planet by traveling?  I will.  Should I consider sharing my thoughts with others?  I encore career continues to challenge and reward.  Should I write a blog?
Soon, the answer will be "I did." 
For almost every day for the last 2 1/2 years, I've celebrated life with you.  It has been a labor of love.  And before it simply becomes a labor, I've reached yet another decision.  The physical entity that is will remain open.  (Never shut a door completely!)  But as for now, it's growth shall be indeterminate.  How do I tell you what your visits here have meant?  How do I tell you how thankful I am you have allowed me to ramble, to vent, to rage?  I can't.  Oh, ye faithful, and you have altered my course.  Be nice to one another.  Make a difference.  Laugh.  And always, always, always remember.  You are loved!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veterans' Day...on time

No mail.  Darn it.  Court House closed.  Darn it.  The ability to use words as I want to.  Thank you.  The ability to drive a vehicle.  Thank you.  The very breath I take.  Thank you.  For every choice I have...for every benefit I take for granted...Thank you!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses...

So, I apparently qualify for the welcome from the statue of liberty! (Thank you Emma!)   I'm not sure about the huddled masses part, but remove the first letter of the first word and replace it with the first letter of the second word, and there you have it!  For some reason, the body beautiful just decided today to recognize the number of birthdays I have celebrated.  The body screams "prone"!  The mind screams "sleep"!  And both suggest a time out!  Thankfully, there is tonight to recuperate, rejuvenate, reinvigorate, and whatever else that starts with "re".  Perhaps the most important one?  Retire for the day.  And I shall!  Sleep well!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

technical writing

Have you ever purchased a product, some assembly required?  In the case of the curio cabinet we put together today, the "some" was a little misleading.  The same could not be said for the step-by-steps.  They couldn't mislead when there was no obvious direction to start with!  Oh, the pieces were labeled.  (But not correctly.  Bag of parts 10 and bag of parts 11 were  mis-packaged, but we figured it out!)  We had the right number of each required piece.  Unfortunately, the top and the bottom of each piece was not labeled, and could be placed either direction--until it came time to assemble the piece four steps down the line.  Then it made a difference.  Twice we had to take the whole thing apart, turn things right side up, and begin again.  Just as we were celebrating the fact that we could attach the doors, we discovered the hinges were upside down, and the hinge pin did little good when it fell out.  Take off the top half.  Take off the spacer shelf.  Take up the bottom half.  Switch the bottom half.  Swear.  Replace the spacer shelf.  Doesn't fit.  Swear.  Replace the spacer shelf.  Doesn't fit.  Swear louder.  Flip the spacer shelf.  Fits.  Replace the top half.  Swear.  Replace the top piece.  Fits.  Put on the doors.  Swear in jubilation.  Move to the desired location.  Forget to plug in before placing.  Swear.  Swear.  Swear.  I will never put another piece of furniture together.  I swear!  And I understand completely why the "author" of the directions chooses to remain anonymous!  With computers, had I a name, I could find him/her, and it wouldn't be pretty!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Veterans' Day--a little early

It is my honor to go to Sioux Falls tomorrow and speak to 400 returning guardsmen.  I will give them the usual responsibilities--laugh when they can, learn from everything they do, love with abandon, and leave a legacy.  I think the last one may be the gutsiest.  These people have given a significant part of their lives to insuring I can do the things I do.  Their efforts have guaranteed my opportunity to speak, to play, to worship as I will.  And yet, I will tell them, it isn't enough.  You see, I believe that leaving a legacy is not a one time event, but a daily ritual.  How did I change the world today?  Why is the world a better place because I was here?  Whom did I help?  I will tell them that if they can't answer these questions, they have not met that last responsibility.  I admire them.  They are my heroes.  But there is still work they can do, and hopefully, hearing that message will reach at least one of them.  Then tomorrow night, I will sleep better!  Rest well, if you should!!!!!!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The fabric of life

Denim--because sometimes you need a little extra protection from the elements.
Corduroy--because sometimes life is groovy
Cotton--because there needs to be a justification for irons
Wool--because it keeps sheep from becoming lamb chops
Spandex--because the governor proclaimed I can't wear it in public ever again (but he's not in office anymore!)
Nylon--because the wind blows in South Dakota--Duh!
Polyester--because the world needs more than mono ester!
Madras--because even though it bleeds on occasion, it's prettier for the experience!
Sense of humor--because the body beautiful is not always covered by any of the above and let's face it, it might not be pretty, but it works!
Love--because no matter what fabric you pick, when you wear it with the one you love, it's just fine!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Today, we celebrated Aunt Edith. Actually, we celebrate her every day.  At 96, you would expect a bit of foggy memory...a lapse in sense of humor...a propensity to accept things because there isn't anything she could do.  Wrong.  Wrong.  Wrong!  She remembers everything.  She giggles and shares in the humor.  She attends resident councils and shares her concerns!  So today, her friends and family met to have lunch with her, reminisce, and sing to her the birthday ditty.  Happy birthday, Eddie!  You are loved!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

I have the nicest buns in town!

Who says I can't come up with a lascivious title to lure you, dear readers, into my den of iquity? The saga of the buns is short and sweet.  Last time I made a batch, I did everything I could to make them amazing.  I added an extra egg.  I used creamer rather than milk.  And I formed them perfectly.  Then, in what can only be called a senior moment, I placed them in the oven to proof and proceeded to leave them there while I gallivanted to Henry for supper, only to realize as I was biting into my scrumptious pork chop that I had actually forgotten to bake them.  They were still in the oven, proofing.  Now the thing about yeast is it does have a limit to it's ability.  Left to rise too long, the resultant rolls will fall flat.  All during supper I contemplated what kind of mess I would find once we got home.  Surprise.  They were still raised.  I baked them immediately and they were fine.  However, I was in need of more, so as I sit here, the next batch is waiting for the oven to heat to bake.  They're a little more traditional in size.  They're a little more obvious in texture, and with any luck at all, they will meet my standard--the nicest buns in town.  And that, my dear readers is "the end" of the bun story!

Monday, November 2, 2015

The last rose of...

I know!  I know!  A third, a third, and a third.  Rules were made to be broken!  This miniature rose was on sale for less than $2.50 this summer.  A true steal.  It has bloomed magnificently.  Now, November 2, it still amazes.  We've had frost.  We've had big winds. And yet, you see it today!  A true testament to tenacity and heartiness.  It must be a South Dakota native!  Of course, to be truthful, it never did get planted outside!  It graces our western oriel (oh god, how I've wanted to use that crossword answer just once in a sentence!) and blesses us with its grace!  Hopefully, it's NOT the last bloom!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

So....let's talk family

To be born into a family that loves and supports is truly the luck of the draw.  I was.  To marry into a family that loves and supports...well, that's at least a choice...but again, luck couldn't hurt.  I did.  Witness the process of relocating my sister.  Her son, his significant other, and their three kids saw to it that she got from there to here--packing--moving.  Her daughter, husband, and three boys came up to unload and establish a new household for her.  Familial love.  There to meet the truck were my sister-in-law, her daughter, husband, and two children.  Familial love.  It didn't take long to get her moved in, stuff put away, and ready to start this chapter of her life.  I love my sister and her family.  The genetic influence of WA and Miss Lucy runs deep.  I love my sister-in-law and her family.  The genetic influence of Wid and Esther runs deep.  And of course, I love my wife.  She's simply amazing.  Some people have wealth.  Lucky them.  Some people are beautiful.  Lucky them.  Some people are talented.  Lucky them.  I love and am loved by two amazing families.  Lucky me!

By the light of the silvery...IPad

Nights are designed for sleep.  Regeneration.  Sometimes, in the middle of that process, a dream may interrupt that desired result.  You know the type...not exactly a nightmare...but close...where when you wake you're unsure whether it was real or a dream?  And by the time you're convinced you haven't actually had your car stolen and will have to spend more time with the people from whom you are trying to're wide awake?  Well, good early morning to you!  Experts would probably analyze the dream and explain why you shouldn't have had that last spoonful of spicy Pad Thai just before bed.  Our yoga instructor would suggest trying some controlled breathing.  Me?  I reach for the iPad.  And write...or play a little bridge...or read e-mail...and pretty soon the eyelids droop, the body relaxes, and I'm ready to go back to sleep...and see if I can find that blasted car!!!