Merc Returns Safely From Camp Tadmor!

Merc, his camp name, aka Cedric, was retrieved from Camp Tadmor yesterday afternoon after spending two months living in the wild eating bugs and wild berries, and feral rats as a member of a group of super heroes who monitor camping activities of hundreds of younger, severely advanced members of homo erectus from all over the world. He slept on the ground, without benefit of blanket or pillow, and has permanent dents in his sides and back that look a lot like pine cones, small rocks, large bugs, mice, birds, and other debris that typically litter the forest floor of this camp located a bit SE of Lebanon, Oregon. There’s talk about having these impressions tattooed to ensure he retains the memory on the off-chance they fade over time.

Diane, her Mom, Jean, and I traversed the harrowing I-5 corridor from Portland, artfully dodging drivers from neighboring states, who are apparently allowed to disregard some pretty basic driving laws,  to retrieve Merc from the tenacious clutches of his fellow campers and counselors so he could be returned to civilization to prepare for his Junior year of High School.

On the trip down, the Buick’s A/C decided to go on the fritz making the vehicle interior a bit uncomfortable in the near-90 degree heat, but we persevered and arrived safely. When we arrived we visited with some adults who are part of the camp’s permanent crew, one of which was Ruby who is about 1. Very cute. With dimples. She looked at me in a ho-hum manner but lit right up with a big smile when Diane sauntered over. We suspect it was because of her natural affinity to like anyone who looks like a Grandma.

We didn’t have to wait long for the tour bus to arrive, bringing the campers back from their 2-day trip to Sisters, Oregon where they were encouraged to frolic in a river. Each person was given a bar of soap prior to the raft trip which they used to scrub away two months of grime they had accumulated as there are no showers at the camp and they aren’t allowed to contaminate the local streams in an effort to remain shiny.

As they exited the bus, it was readily evident that each of them had experienced a profound event, made life-long friendships, and were a bit sad to be leaving. But, leave they must. First, however, it was apparently mandatory that all of the girls who attended had to hug Merc. They lined up in two rows and waited their turn for a short time, then they all flocked to him leaving us only a small glimpse of the baseball had he was wearing. We had to pry the last three girls off him so we could get him to the Buick and begin the trip home. One of the girls broke down and sobbed. It was very touching, but Merc’s family was waiting for his return back in St. Helens and we had to go. He understood the need, as did the sobbing girl.

The trip home, for Merc, was filled with a constant stream of text messages with those he had just left, as well as all his family at home. His phone was DOA at the beginning of the trip, but i just happened to have a charger which we hooked up so he could get busy with his texting.

I don’t think he quit smiling during the entire 2.5 hour trip home.

When we arrived, he was greeted in the driveway by his Mom, Jennifer, Dad, Daniel, Sister, Lydia, and brother, Jeran. We stood around visiting for a few minutes before he went into the house where he discovered that about 10 of his friends had gathered to welcome him home. It was a touching scene, replacing his recent sense of loss with one of incredible gain.

It was a great day.

Sadly, I do not have any photos of either the departure or arrival home, but I do have one of Merc in a truck that a group of his fellow campers liberated it from a local farmer who inadvertently left it in his corn field from which the group was gathering food for one of their meals.

SCAN0002Cedric is wearing the blue shirt, just behind the cab of the pickup.

No doubt you have all guessed that the foregoing narrative, with the exception of the touchy-feely aspects of the camp departure, and home arrival, are pure gibberish. Lot’s of it is true, but most of it isn’t.

Camp Tadmor is a Christian camp where most of the activities I related are discouraged. It’s a great place, actually. It’s all about caring for one another and getting in touch with ones inner self. Cedric has returned to us with a far more confident outlook and a more firm direction on where his life will go. We’re proud of his efforts and of the fine young man he is.

After he shaves his face, he will be perfect.

Cars & Soccer

This morning Diane let me sleep in which was awfully nice of her. Totally out of character, but she chose to leave the house early to help Jennifer with a pressing task, and just wasn’t there to tell me what time it was. Since she let the dogs out when she got up, they thought everything was cool, and kept quiet. So, I got an extra 4 hours sleep. It was awesome.

Shortly after arising, I received a call from our friend, Jerry 1, who had driven his custom vehicle to the car and airplane show at the Scappoose airport. Since I hadn’t seen him for a while, I was allowed to go but had strict instructions about being home in time to leave for Astoria for Lydia’s soccer tournament which started at 1300. So, I only had about 30 minutes to spend at the car show. Here’s what I saw there …

Mr. Miagi from “Karate Kid” … it’s really Jerry #1.


A really nice pickup …


With a really nice interior …

DSC_2011With a dash just like mine …

DSC_2010Except mine isn’t shiny like this one … (sigh) …

Then we drove to Astoria, arriving late, but before half time, of Lydia’s first game. I’ve mentioned previously that she’s a goalie and today she spent a lot of time during the first game doing this …


… because her team kept the ball at the other end of the field most of the game making the other goalie do stuff like this …DSC_2046

Lydia’s team won 5-0.

The second game got Lydia off her feet more than once, doing stuff like this …DSC_2101The ball was almost always being kicked around in front of her goal, but none of them got past her. The one in the above photo went off her little fingers, right over the net. Here’s proof in the photo taken approximately 1/4 of a second after the first photo …

DSC_2102Actually, it was exactly 1/4 second after the first photo. I know this stuff because I read it in the manual for the camera.

That’s a lie. I only knew it because I heard somewhere that my camera can take 4 photos a second. I didn’t read the manual.


Due to Lydia’s hard work, and the excellent team work, the game ended 0-0. It was fun to watch. Really, it was.

After the second game, one of the referees came over to us while we were talking with Lydia, and told her she did a great job. He’s originally from Germany, he said, and is a goalie coach somewhere in the Portland area. Apparently he was giving her tips during the game. He showed us the place where half the teeth on his right side were missing, explaining that he left them on a soccer field in Heidelberg when he was 16. He’s much older than that now, or course.

We were all very proud of her efforts. She’s getting more aggressive and daring in her position.

After saying our goodbyes to everyone, we got in our car and drove home. Half way there we discovered Jeran was in the car and had a little panic attack until we remembered he was supposed to be there. He’s spending the night with us tonight and will go with us to Lebanon tomorrow afternoon to pick up Cedric from camp. He’ll be done tomorrow and will not be returning until next year.

On the drive home we stopped at Burger King for a sandwich and something to drink. I had a coke, something I rarely drink, and Jeran had two (2) very large root beers. Once back in the car we had some lively conversations that consisted mostly of stuff like this …

Jeran would tell me something, and I’d say, “not it’s not.”

“Yes it is.”

“No it’s not.”

“Yes it is.”

“No it’s not.”

“Yes it is.”

“No it’s not.”

“Yes it is.”

“No it’s not.”

“Yes it is.”

“No it’s not.”

“Yes it is.”

“No it’s not.”

There were variations on that theme, like “Yes he did,” “No he didn’t,” and “Yes she was,” “No she wasn’t”. With the help of Jeran’s infusion of too much sugar, and my caffeine, we were able to keep this up for many, many miles. Finally, Diane threatened to pull the car over and beat us up if we didn’t stop, so we did. Mostly. One would sneak out once in a while, but not in a repetitive manner.

It was fun. We all laughed.

Then I fell asleep and all the sudden we were home.

Now it’s time for bed, so, g’nite.

Oh wait! I almost forgot! Here’s Beth’s foot … Beth’s daughter plays with Lydia.


Nicks & Dings

This morning, after visiting my doctor, where I was directed to provide urine and blood, I came home and worked a bit on some picture frames Diane brought home. She got them for the glass to cover some photos we purchased somewhere. One of the glass panes fit, the other one didn’t so the search much continue which doesn’t bother her at all.

During this evolution I decided to stab myself with a flat blade screwdriver, which I was using to pry out staples, and press in retainers for the one frame in which the glass fit. I pushed too hard, the blade slipped, and the blade went right in to the palm side base of my left pointing finger. It hurt a great deal causing me to clench my fist, and my teeth, for a bit as I danced around in the kitchen with my hand-held high to impede the flow of blood to a potentially fatal wound.

After a while, Diane asked, “Is it bleeding.”

With my fist still clenched I looked at the back of my hand and couldn’t find an exit wound, or blood, so responded, “I don’t know.”

“Hold your hand over the sink and look,” she said, so I did.

I opened my hand slowly so I could avoid the spurting blood that must surely be waiting because of the incredible amount of pain it caused, but nothing happened. There was only a tiny little spot where the blade broke some skin. It was disappointing. I can only believe that my lightning fast reflexes saved the day by staunching the flow, and minimized the size of the wound, before it could fully manifest. I attribute this to years of experience with such things.

We retreated to the bathroom, where the band aids are, so Diane could try out a new one she’s been holding for a while. It’s made for knuckles, but it worked perfectly to cover the little wound on the inside of my pointer.

As I was lamenting the disparity of pain to results ratio, for damage that didn’t even bleed, Diane said, “you should be proud of me.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Because I didn’t laugh.”

Then she laughed.

So did I.

Good News, Bad News, & Hotness

Those of you who know me, or have read the frivolous things I’ve written about, understand I’m not the guy who routinely goes down a serious road. I work more on the positive side of life because I like it better there. It’s more fun and, I hope, provides an opportunity for you to join me there, for a moment, and find a reason to smile. I have no other motive. It’s really that simple. I’m here to counteract just a little bit of the negative aspects of living on planet Earth, deflecting them into outer space, replacing them with happy thoughts.

For just a moment …

It’s brief, I know, and won’t last, because I’m just one old guy pecking away on his computer, trying his best to get along. In order for efforts like mine to make even a tiny impact on anything, we’d need a really large herd of old guys with metaphorical peckers like mine, doing what I do. Better yet, a really large herd of girls and guys, young or old.

I share that bit of information because of recent events in Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, that hit home for some reason. I’m sure most everyone in the USA has seen something on the news about this. What happened isn’t unique, but it’s still very sad and far more satisfying for news folks to share than the 100’s of good things that no doubt happened in that same neighborhood, before and after the reported event.

What kind of response would you expect for a newspaper, or newsletter, that reported only good events and things? I thought I might take a stab at culling the internet for happy “stuff” and make a newsletter to share all of it. But, gee!, it’s already been done.

Check out these links.

Good News … Happy News … Positive News … Amazing News

Kinda makes the world a better place, doesn’t it?

On a more personal note, I must report that I’ve been trapped in the house for the last few days because of the weather. Diane won’t let me go outside to work because it’s too hot and she doesn’t think she could drag me back inside before I melt if I were to pass out. So, I’m stuck in the house until the temps drop back into the low 70’s. That means I’m going to get a fairly long vacation and won’t be able to go outside to take care of some waterproofing issues until it starts to rain. Makes sense, right?

Now I’m going to watch TV for a while. Not news.

Jean’s Birthday, Rocks, & Golf

Today Eleanor Jean, Diane’s Mom, reluctantly celebrated her 87th birthday. I say “reluctantly” because she doesn’t find it necessary to celebrate “just another day.” We do, however, so took her out to dinner at Dockside in St. Helens. It’s interesting that the Dockside is an Italian food restaurant, not a seafood joint. And, it’s right on the Columbia River near where the best Salmon in the world give up their annual upstream battle through the thousands of fish hooks. You’d think they’d have salmon, wouldn’t you? They may, sometimes, but the fare is mainly steak and pasta with some token shrimp and chicken parts thrown in for added flavor.

At dinner were Daniel, Jeran, Diane, Lydia, Grams (Jean), Me, and Jennifer. Daniel is a staunch vegan so had a fancy salad; Jeran had ravioli’ Diane and Jean had Lasagna; Jennifer had fettucine alfredo; I and Lydia had carbonara. Carbonara is my absolute favorite Italian dish. Lydia, I learned, knows how to make it, but she’s never offered to come over and cook some for me.

It was a good end to a long day and we all enjoyed the food and the time we had together, visiting. Gathering for these occasions is important to us because it helps us rekindle the family spirit.

Unlike yesterday, and the day before, where I shoveled and moved a couple tons of rocks, today was spent in the church parking lot surrounded by many things we no longer wanted with a sincere hope that someone else would find a need to relieve us of ownership. It was a Parking Lot Sale to help raise funds for the church in an effort to keep the lights on, and a phone with a dial tone. Not many church folks participated in selling things, but lots of folks took the time to stop by for a peek at all the wondrous “stuff”. We were only actively open for 4 hours, 5 counting the early bird yard salers who can’t tell time. The tough part was unloading everything and stacking them neatly on the really heavy church tables I was forced to removed from the basement. After yesterday’s activity with a pick and shovel, moving the tables was brutal. I had help, but it was still brutal. Consequently, my left arm is only useable with a great deal of pain from the middle of my bicep to my wrist. Odd, I know, but that’s just the way it is. I’m not worried because I know it will go away.

Until tomorrow, when we go back for another 5 hours, then have to replace all the tables back in the basement. It will actually be easier to put them back because the stairs are carpeted allowing the tables to slide down quite nicely. Getting them to the stairs is the hard part.

I get a reprieve between 1000 and 1300 when I’ll go help some fellow Lions reattach newly cleaned flags to newly cleaned poles. It’s a project I’ve not had the pleasure of participating in before. These are the flags that we place in holes on the main blvds in town for all holidays. The holes are placed in front of all businesses that donate money to support the project. Everyone ponies up a donation because not having a flag in front of your business is an honor and when the one in front of your business is missing, everyone in town knows you didn’t help out. That’s a lie, of course. Once a hole is drilled in the sidewalk, it will always get a flag, and everyone is very generous with their support. It looks really nice to see all those flags fluttering in the breeze early in the morning.

Last Thursday I went golfing with Doug and JP. Oddly, I remembered most of the rules for golfing and had probably the best round of my checkered life. I had a 48 (for nine holes). Normally I’m in the 60’s, rarely in the 50’s. Getting it to 48 is beyond belief. On top of that, I beat both Doug and JP, something I’ve never ever done before. It was a good day. Then I came home a moved a bunch of rocks and dirt.

Though you don’t know it, just before starting this paragraph, there was a brief pause while I consoled the dogs and explained, once again, that it’s OK for deer to walk through the yard. We have a momma and a little speckled fawn that make regular trips around the neighbor hood eating all the flowers. They are quite popular, needless to say.

Now I must remove the rest of the grime from my body so I can contemplate bed in preparation for another early morning assault on the unsuspecting yard salers of Columbia County. At 1300 tomorrow all that remains will be placed in the church carport, where it will all languish, waiting for the Senior Center Thrift Store truck to show up and cart it all away. Forever. We hope.

Hope everyone had a great day.

Scappoose Class of 1962 (w/names)

There has been a request (from Pat) to have names attached to the group photo presented yesterday. First, the photo …

DSC_1950Now the names …

Back row, left to right …

Jennie Beaston, Judy Mikesh, Josette Marracci, Sharon Keel, Harriett Hankle, Karen Davis, Eva Tarbell (half a set of twins), Delores Armstrong, Phyllis Meyers, Evelyn Tarbell (the other half)

Middle row, left to right …

David Krause (half a set of twins), Ernie Zimbrick, Larry Martin, Larry Luethe, Harold Cook, Virgil Johnson, John Wiek, Me, Howard Larson

Front row, left to right …

Sam Krause (the other half), Torry Johnson, Jim Miller, Vern Olsen, Darrell Dix, David Weber.

All of the guys are 70 years old but the girls are only 52 … or so. That’s what one of them told me, anyway.

If you saw any of the photos posted by others who attended the picnic yesterday, and there are ladies, or men, you don’t recognize, that’s because they are either spouses, or someone who showed up for the copious amounts of food.

Also, I’m totally not responsible for any misspelled names. I’m pretty sure I got them correct but, as everyone knows, I’ve been known to make mistakes (once in a while). And, I did the names from memory, all by myself. Except for Judy Pizutti whose original escaped me for a moment so I asked for help from a person sitting on the couch.

That’s it.


Highway 30 Cruisers, & a Reunion

Yesterday Diane took her Mom, Jean, shopping for groceries at Fred Meyer in Scappoose. On the way, Diane suggested that I go see what’s happening at the car show being held at the Spring Meadows Old Folks Home, which is almost directly across Highway 30 from Freddies. Thinking I might enjoy that, vs. wandering around the store with no direction, I agreed and took over the driver’s seat after Diane and Mom exited the vehicle.

The car show was put on by the Highway 30 Cruisers, a local car club which I’ve been asked to join because I have an old 1968 Chevy truck. Since the truck isn’t a piece of work one would normally display at a car show I’ve been hesitant but after today, I’m not so sure.

“Why,” you may ask, to which I would respond, “because they have a show category right up my alley. It’s called “In Progress”, and here’s the winner for the show …


There was a little history on the old truck explaining that the owner found the truck at the bottom of a lake where it had resided for many years. There was no mention of how it got there, or if he was the original owner, but, considering his age, I would venture to say it may have belonged to his grandfather, or someone in that age category. Neither was there any mention of what it took to render the truck drivable after draining all the water out of it, but I’d guess it wasn’t an easy process. The did report, however, that nothing has been done to the body since returning it to daylight, and a quick peek around the bottom of the doors indicates it has a serious rust issue going on. Mine doesn’t. So, I could enter mine in this category with confidence that I could at least get second place. Now all I have to do is get the transmission fixed, replace the flywheel, and have someone with more knowledge than me adjust the starter so it doesn’t break anything when engaged. Once there, I’ll join the club and share my good fortune as it  happens.

Here’s an old 50-something Chevy hardtop that was pretty nice. It’s an interesting color. I talked with the owner for a while, another old guy, as are all the folks who had their cars in the show. He gave me the history on the car, but I can’t remember what he told me. But, it was a nice visit.



The next photo is of a card attached to the inside of the windshield of an old model A (I think) with a rumble seat. I’ve mentioned in the past, many times, I’m sure, that Mrs. Roney picked me up at school in one of these and drove me to her house for my piano lessons. She did that for five years, second through sixth grade. I always rode in the rumble seat. What fun. I don’t think anyone’s likely to ride in the rumble seat on this rig.
DSC_1927The next one is owned by an old friend, Gary, with whom I played drums in the high school band in 1961, or so. It’s a 1936 Plymouth in pristine condition. We had a good time in the back row of the band. When I got to his car I saw Spud & Leonna. That was odd, because Spud was a year ahead of me in high school and I inherited the #1 drummer position when he graduated, and there we were, three old Scappoose High School drummers. Small world, huh? Well, it’s not a large town so it’s not really unusual.DSC_1921

This Corvair belongs to Dave, one of my classmates from high school. Someone told me he had to push it to the show, but I later learned that was a bald-faced lie. He drove it there just fine. He’s married to Janice, one of Diane’s high school classmates.


I’ve decided that I’m not going to do anything with the body of my truck, but I’ll do this under the hood. The only difference will be mine has a 454, not a 427. Should look nice in a rusty grey truck, don’t you think?DSC_1926As I wandered around, aimlessly, looking at the vehicles on display, I encountered one of Diane’s old boyfriends, Pinky, who still owes me $20 for a pair of chrome rims I sold him. I’ve been reminding him about that for the last 50 years, but he won’t pay me. I think they’re worth more now, but he says he no longer has them so it’s really a moot point because I can’t prove I sold them to him. I will, however, point out his failure to pay whenever I see him. We do, by the way, get along just fine. I just like to rub his fur the wrong way a little. Besides, I got Diane, he didn’t. Maybe he figures that took care of the $20 he owed me, but I don’t see it that way. I’d expand on that a little, but I see absolutely no way I can do so without digging this huge hole from which I would never exit. So, I’ll move along.

This morning we got up early and left the house at 0900 and headed for Big Eddy Park over by Vernonia on Highway 47. Jennifer, Daniel, Lydia, and Jeran spent the last few days there for their Church Camp, when we’ve attended in the past with them, and Daniel was delivering the message at their out-door church service in the park. We made it in plenty of time and really enjoyed the service. There was a lot of singing, a little praying, then Daniel gave us a sermon that was spot on. He explained how he had plenty of time to get his talk all written out, but he put it off in favor of other things … like TV, video games, books, etc. Suddenly, it was time to produce the goods and he wasn’t quite ready until he realized that his actions were the topic … about how we get sidetracked by mundane things instead of focusing on God and the wonders He provides. It was pretty perfect and we’re really proud of Daniel.

After the service we headed for the car while everyone else got in line for the potluck. It was best that we didn’t stay because while walking to the service from where we parked, next to Jennifer, I was carrying a jar of salsa. Jennifer was walking in front of me and just as we got to the table, the lid came off, like magic, and the motion of my swinging arm provided exactly the right momentum to expel a large amount of the salsa all over the back of Jennifer’s legs. It was a mess and I was properly embarrassed for a pretty short time, until another Jennifer got our Jennifer all wiped down, and I was able to kick dirt over the other remaining evidence of the mishap. It was completely innocent, but it’s something I will probably hear about for a long time. Not staying for the pot luck also ensured that we didn’t find it necessary to eat any of the remaining salsa, leaving more for others.

Our destination from Big Eddy was the old Trojan Nuclear facility just south of Rainier on Highway 30. That’s where the 2014 picnic was happening for the class of ’62. We do picnics every year so this was, in reality, our 53rd reunion. Trojan is where I worked for a couple of years for PGE right after getting out of the Navy in 1989, so it was familiar territory for me. I used to take care of all the computers for everyone there. All by myself. For two years. A daunting task for someone with no formal computer repair training. I figured it out, however, and managed to stick around with PGE for 21 years.

There were 25 classmates and many spouses at the reunion, so we had a great time visiting. Here’s what we looked like today …


I’m in there somewhere. And, thanks to my handy little remote, I took this photo. We’re a pretty varied, and ambulatory group of old folks who are all pretty much 70 years old. Considering that we only had 99 in our graduating class, I think we’re hanging in there nicely.

Now, since i didn’t get to finish my morning nap, I’m going to bed.

Golf & Vegetables

I went golfing this morning with my friends Doug and Junior. Surprisingly, I did pretty good in addition to having a great time like I always do. Doing better than normal is a definite plus. I think I did better because I decided to make use of a bit of the golf information I’ve received over the last few decades. Those intricate instructions, to which every aspiring golfer has been exposed, are as varied as those who share them. The important ones are shared by everyone. Those would be:

  1. Keep your head down (I don’t because I need to see where the ball goes)
  2. Keep at least one eye on the ball (I go blind just before my club hits the ball, if it hits the ball)
  3. Keep your left arm straight (if you’re right-handed)
  4. Keep your knees flexed (I generally wind up on my toes because I try to swing so hard)
  5. Follow through (doing this is usually an afterthought for me)
  6. Never use a pink ball unless you’re a woman (I defy this one all the time)
  7. Always use orange balls in the winter (I use them all the time until I find some white ones)

There are a zillion other “rules” but I can’t remember them. Today I managed to remember the first five, most of the time.

Playing through the trees is, for me, part of the game. All golfers know that trees are 90% air so I just pretend they aren’t there. As a result, my handicap is 37. I’m one of only three people at the St. Helens Golf Club who has managed to maintain such a lofty handicap. It’s always fun when a ball goes into the trees because something besides the ball usually falls to the ground. Sometimes the ball just sails right through and winds up in a location far removed from where anyone would suspect. Other times we are entertained when the ball rattles around a bit on the trunks and branches, once in a while causing a branch of significance to tumble down. Today Doug hit the jackpot as far as nailing branches …

IMG_0083He didn’t really knock this one out of the tree but he hit the tree from which it fell, and his ball landed on it. So, in a way, that counts.

Now, about vegetables. Carrots, specifically. Until today I lived blissfully in a world where carrots were genderless. Then I was shocked right out of my socks when I went to help Diane make her black bean vegetable soup for tomorrow’s Community Meals at First Lutheran Church.

My job was to chop vegetables of various kinds so carrots had to be in the mix. One of the church ladies provided the carrots which she had recently plucked from the church garden next to the St. Helens Senior Center. Most of the carrots were your normal run of the genderless type.

Then I encountered these – two girls and a boy.

IMG_0934OK. It’s a MAN carrot, not a boy. Must be the dirt.

Noxious Weeds & Other Things

The first round of blackberries are ready for picking, so get your buckets and come help us get rid of them. No matter how vicious I am with the blackberry clippers, they grow back. So, we have a zillion of them. If you don’t like them for eating, it’s always fun to give them to little kids so they can smear them all over each other. That’s always fun.

IMG_0083These things are all over the place and they are very clingy when attacked. Long sleeves, long pants, hats, and leather gloves are a must unless you have are OK with pain and bleeding. The upside is, of course, they taste really good and make the challenge of picking them worth it.

My unsupervised forays into the wilderness surrounding our home have been limited due to the high temperatures we’ve been having. High for us, that is. It’s really only in the high 80’s and low 90’s, but gets into the 60’s at night so sleeping is wonderful. Since I generally don’t venture outside unless I have something important to do, like remove weeds, rake rocks, haul trees to the burn pile, stuff like that, I always wind up expelling huge amounts of moisture that must be replaced. I know this because my lovely bride makes it her mission to ensure I don’t run dry. She brings me large glasses of water on a regular basis, and I’ve learned that I can go get it all by myself, when I want, leaving her free to do more important things like cook dinner for me, or clean the house. You know, woman-type work. That sounds a bit sexist, I guess, but we have a relationship where I take care of things outside the house, and Diane takes care of things on the inside. She told me that once. It’s good to be king.

Having said that, I must share that Jeran would disagree – I’m not the king. Instead, Diane is the queen. He has no illusions about who’s in charge at my location. Neither do I, really. I just have lapses in common sense once in a while and think I’m the ruler. Diane will agree.

Diane just left to play bunco at a friend’s house, so I’m alone with the TV remote. It’s a rare event for me to have the remotes in our living room. The Man Room is where I’m free to change channels to my heart’s desire. Fortunately, Diane’s remote and my remote are just exactly alike so I know how to use it.

That’s what I’m going to do, right now. Just sit here and randomly change channels.

What fun.

Don’t forget those blackberries.


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