Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cleaning the Garage

As of June 30, we will have lived in Trexlertown for 5 years. A lot of things can happen in five years. A lot of things can pile up in your garage in that time.

On Sunday afternoon, I decided it was time to take back the garage. It had gotten to the point that you could only get into the cars if I backed mine in and my wife drove hers straight in. The middle of the garage was the only place to get in or out of the car, and you couldn't walk out of the garage if the cars were in it.

Are you getting the picture here?

I didn't park in the garage Sunday night, leaving room to work in there on Monday. Part of what prompted this was Mrs C telling me she couldn't get in the freezer to get ice cream if my car was in the garage.

If you can't get to your ice cream, you have too much junk.

So I started the great purge. Fortunately I have access to a great dumpster where I work, and received permission to toss some stuff in it. I did find evidence of mouse activity where suspected it last year, the tell tale trail of mouse droppings was evident. But so was the poison bait I had stuck under my rolling tool box. They had munched on it freely. Other bait along the walls and in corners hadn't been touched. Only the bait by the door, where they could easily squeeze in. I suspect the kitty cats in the woods behind us, and the hawk family might have been a factor in the declining rodent population as well. No Chipmunks in the bird seed lately either.

Anyway, I would estimate I put about 12 hours in over 2 days, but now everything is put away, everything is neat and tidy, and best of all, you can easily get into either car from either side. You can also walk out of the garage with the cars parked inside.

I am the man, the garage is part of my kingdom, and I rule! Boolyah!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

R.I.P. Cranky the Crab

My Crab died.

He was an eight legged salt water crab that looked a lot like a daddy long legs Spider, except he lived in our tank with 5 different fish and assorted snails and other crabs.
Everybody seems to get along okay, but the one old clown Fish, paint picks on all the smaller fish at times. Cranky he stayed away from. Probably thought he was Andy Rooney or some other mean old curmudgeon.

Cranky did sort of remind me of Mr Crabs from Sponge Bob square pants. I bought special crab treats for him, and when I fed the fish, I always dropped a few granules by him so the fish wouldn't eat them before he could get to them. I liked how he ambled out from the rocks, speared them with a leg, and then jammed them in his face.
Wednesday he was fine when I fed him, but Thursday night he was curled in the corner, and looked like he had algae on his legs. He moved when I prodded him, but I was worried. I was going to ask my fish guy about him on Friday, but never got the chance. When I came home from work yesterday, he was in the corner, upside down, all eight of his legs sticking up in the air. His head had turned white.
I gave him a burial at sea under the big white porcelain monument. FLUSH
Fish guy said he was probably a goner and already dying Thursday, and gave me suggestions Saturday on how to prevent further fatalities. I just finished doing all that.

Everybody else is fine, but I miss Cranky. So I'm going to replace him, but this time I will get two crabs. I'll name them Bernie and Bill. They will probably fight all the time and start blogs, but that will keep it interesting.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Laptop issues

I don't know what is going on, but I'm having a hell of a time with Microsoft apps lately.
Everytime I try to post, something crazy happens.

Please hold tight!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Celebration Saturday!

On Saturday Morning at 11AM, The commencement ceremonies will start at DeSales University. Mrs C will march down the aisle and receive her MBA in Business, after years of effort.
That's reason one to PARTY!
The second reason is that one of her cousins is getting married and the party starts at 4:30, and we are also heading to that.
Last but not least,Mrs C gets on a plane Sunday morning to attend a conference in Orlando Florida for a week.
So the dogs and I will be home alone for that time, and that means one thing:

There will be painting! With help from the dogs! Woohoo!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mothers Day thoughts, after the fact

The last week was packed full of interesting and time consuming activities, and what made it bearable, and in many cases downright enjoyable, was that Mrs C and I had so much time to enjoy life together.

So I didn't post on Mother's day, instead I spent 5 hours at Fairview cemetery cleaning up a good size portion of Lot N. It was only 62 degrees, and very breezy, and comfortable working weather. So I took off my hat. Big mistake when you are bald, because I got a good sunburn.

My Mom, Sally Casey, is buried 400 miles away outside of Columbus Ohio. I couldn't visit her grave, so I made do cleaning up my Mother in laws.
But I did think about her, and something I read last week on another blog, Redhead Ranting, reminded me of one of the last stories my Mom ever told me. Redhead Ranting was posting about how her daughter had loved a certain blanket, and now it was gone.

Right after my Dad died in January 1995, I had to drive my then 78 year old Mom to the doctor. I was the youngest of three kids they adopted, My Dad was 49 and Mom was 46 in May of 1963 when they took me in. But as the youngest, as their lives faded into twilight, the roles reversed, and I ended up looking after them.

I was driving Mom to the Doctor, and she was rambling on like she always did, telling the same old stories of her life I had heard too many times before. My patience was short, and I cut her off, and I wasn't nice about it.
"Mom, just once could you tell me a story I haven't heard before?"
She fell silent, and I realized I was being an ass, and hurt her. She stayed quiet for several minutes, until we passed a sign promoting a Future Farmers of America gathering. That sparked her memory. "You want a different story?", she snapped. "I'll give you a different story."

She then proceeded to tell me about what happened on her parents farm in the Summer/Fall of 1930, when she was just 13 years old. For her youth project, she had raised several sheep. She had sheared the sheep, processed and dyed the wool several colors, and then knitted a blanket to present for judging.

At that time, in the summer of 1930, the Great Depression had hit. It was not uncommon for people without money or food to stop by the farm looking for work. A young couple with a baby had come to her parents door, and her parents, being very devout Christians, had given them food, shelter, and work. They stayed about a week before moving on. The day after they left, Mom went to get her blanket out for judging, but she couldn't find it. She was in a panic when she asked her Mother where it might be.
Her Mother informed her that she had given the blanket to the young couple for their baby.
My Mom told me that she was so angry at her Mom she started screaming at her, but her Mom wouldn't even respond. When Sally asked her Mom why she had given those stupid bums her blanket, her Mom had responded very simply, "Because they needed it."

That one conversation, so late in her life, showed me more about how my Mom became the woman she was than anything I had seen from her before. My parents acted as a foster home for several hundred children from 1947 until the late 1970s. They didn't talk about serving their community, they did it.

My Mom never had any children of her own, but she was just the Mom that hundreds of kids needed in their lives at a very scary and troubling time. How do you define what makes a Mom?

I think I just did.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Thank God for the weekend

Having someone close to your wife pass on a Monday can really put a damper on your week

But here we are at Friday night, and after a long week, and especially long day that included a funeral, we are finally home. I pulled out my laptop and started working on my novel, but now I'm at the blog because inspiration hit.

Mrs C is watching a show in TLC called "Say yes to the dress". It's some kind of show that gets women with too much money to spend that money on a dress for their wedding.

That's all good, they can spend money they earned on whatever they want, in my book. When Mrs C and I were married I could care less what she spent on her dress, it was her money, and it made her happy. (And she did look damn good!)

My problem is with TLC. They should change it from TLC for The Learning Chanel to TWLC, for TRAIN WRECK LOSERS CHANEL.

This channel promotes shows such as "BRIDEZILLAS!" "Little People, Big World" and my personal NOT Favorite "John and Kate + 8" That last show might be getting renamed "Kate and 8" because John had issues concerning good judgment that have been published everywhere.

300 freaking cable channels, and TLC is supposed to be cream of the crop.

Perhaps I should have a show. Instead of "What not to wear" I could host "What not to blog!"
I could travel the planet interviewing bloggers and giving them money to buy food and feed their kids. I could advise them how to make money on their blog and drive traffic.

Or how about "A Blog Makeover Story?" Why not give bloggers, and their blogs, makeovers?

I could come to their town, take them out binge drinking, and then turn them over to the fashionistas for a haircut and wardrobe advice, while I revamp their blog.

This is what happens when you mix blogging, beer, and attending a funeral. Throw in 4 hours of driving, the most wonderful wife in the world, and its time to go to bed. Good night!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

When a man loves a woman

A few minutes ago, just before 11 PM, my wife came into the kitchen and gave me a hug and a kiss. "You are the best husband in the whole world."

Now what brought that on?

Lets back up a couple of hours, and I'll explain.

Around 8:30 I was working on my book, finishing up changes to Chapter 7, and she was in the Family room on the phone. The next thing I know, she's walking through the foyer, crying.
"I have to go to Muhlenberg Hospital, my Godmother is going to die tonight."

It doesn't matter that I get up at 4 AM each day, or how tired I was, I grabbed my car keys.

We have call waiting, and she had picked up a second call from an old family friend, her Godmother's oldest son. He was out of state, and couldn't get to his Mom's bedside. He called my wife and asked her to go to the Hospital and say goodbye for him.

From Trexlertown to Muhlenberg in pouring rain at night isn't easy, especially on US 22, but I made it in under 20 minutes.
Mrs C has always been very close to her Godmother. She was planning to invite her to a small family get together next Saturday to celebrate Mrs C achieving her Masters degree from DeSales University here in Allentown.

What happened was that the woman and her husband, who would have been married 63 years this September, had gone to Muhlenberg Hospital for dinner at 5:30. They liked dining there.
After dinner, as they were about to drive home, she slumped over in the car. He drove straight to the ER entrance and got immediate help, but it was too late. She had suffered a massive Brain aneurysm.

This is where God telling us how to live, and God Showing us how to live, steps in.

The family greeted Mrs C warmly, and I watched quietly from the side as Mrs C spoke softly in the woman's ear, taking her hand firmly. The husband came out and thanked me for coming, reminding me how on Mrs C and I's wedding day, they had celebrated their 5oth Wedding anniversary, and how he had wished Mrs C and I 50 years of happiness. The grief and pain in his eyes was evident, but he was resolute in what he was going to do. Mrs C stepped away, and the priest administered last rites, and we all prayed together.

The Doctor then came in, and asked if the husband understood exactly what would happen if all life sustaining support was discontinued. He told her to go ahead. He took a seat next to his wife of 62 years, kissed her gently, and held her hand throughout the entire twenty minutes it took for her heart to stop. His love for her transcended all boundaries, and was so great that even after all these years, more than 6 decades, he was willing to let her go, than have her lay there suffering.

Sometimes we need reminders of what true commitment is. We wonder sometimes what is important, we ask ourselves just what is Love, and how do we show someone that we love them, and that our love for them is unfailing, and will never diminish?

Tonight God gave me a refresher course on what it is all about. God didn't tell me, God showed me. Most Wedding vows contain some version of the words, "to have and to hold, until death do us part." As the husband held his wife's hand, and escorted her to eternal rest, I decided that he wasn't just saying goodbye. I think he was confirming to her his commitment, one last time.

Monday, May 4, 2009

My sign of the Apocalypse for today!

I get home from work, turn on Philly NBC10 news, and see that the Swine Flu has its own logo. I change the channel KYW 3, and they have a logo as well. Is like 4:30 PM Swine Flu update time?
ABC 6 news doesn't come on until 5, and Fox 29 isn't on until 10 or 11 PM.

I'll bet CNN, MSNBC, and Fox have cool Swine Flu logos. Remember when the first Gulf War started back in 1991? CNN not only had a cool logo, but really rad drumbeat music.

I'll bet Fox has a skull and cross bones on theirs! And it is probably all the Obama administration's fault! LOL! I bet the theme music is "Flight of the Valkyrie!"

If MTV had a Swine Flu theme, they would probably use "Don't Fear the Reaper" by Blue Oyster Cult.

That's what I'm blogging about today. Party on. That's if you don't have the plague.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Visit to a light Store

My Wife and I officially moved to Trexlertown in 2004 after painting most of the house and getting it ready for our occupancy.
There is a store less than a mile up route 100 from us that sells light fixtures. Sometime after we moved here, Mrs C purchased a reading light there.
Recently the bulb burned out, and for the life of both of us, we couldn't figure out how to take the damn thing apart to get the bulb out, or how to change it.
So Saturday we do what we think is the smart thing: we take it to the store where we purchased it, and what does the saleslady say?

"I've never seen one like this before, and I've been here since before you say you bought it."

At this point, I would like to mention that Mrs C went out to the exact spot in the displays where it had been and saw a very similar lamp, on display, as of Saturday.

They took our lamp, and promised there would be no charge to take it apart and see what kind of bulb it used. There will be a charge for the bulb, should they have to order it, and would we like a spare, she asked.

I'm hoping the guy she (the saleslady) claims is all knowing of this stuff is able to do this for us, but I'm not holding my breath. She almost outright suggested we were lying about buying it there.

In Other news, we visited a new store out by the airport called "The Christmas Store."

My initial take is that this place is the kind of outdoor lawn furniture store you would get if the Lawn Department at Lowe's or Home Depot were overrun by the gay design guys from lower Manhattan. It is Lawn Center Hell for the Heterosexual Male. More later!

Monday Lunch UPDATE!: I have been informed that the store by the airport is in fact,


Sometimes I am just a plain and simple MORON!