Sunday, November 27, 2011

Give thanks...

I hate not having a camera.  I mean, i fully realize that folks like me have been journaling the activities of their families for thousands of years without pictoral help...and i'm using it as a crutch.  But, just like flipping through a book when i was a kid, i still like to look at the pictures first, and blogging without pics to prove the story really happened sometimes seems a bit less than what could be.  But, that's just me.  Shouldn't stop me from writing.  The camera is still lazing on the Gulf Coast of Alabama, someday (hopefully) it will make its way back home.

Thanksgiving is quickly becoming my favorite holiday of the entire year.  Fortunately, it still retains the simple tenets of its genesis...gratefulness.  Though i have watched the tentacles of Black Friday slowly infringing on it, I still enjoy the beauty of being with family, eating great food, and should the opportunity present...playing a few games.

This Thanksgiving was no exception...with my parents going to my brothers place in KC, and my other brother having his own in-laws to go to, The Queen having to work on Friday, we had a rare opportunity to spend this Thanksgiving with some extended family.  It was great!  Our family with three others equal to or larger got together and...supped.  There was no football, i didn't watch any of the three games on that day...and shockingly, i didn't miss them a bit.

The home we went to is a family of 12.  They have a fantastic kitchen!  I found Bob cooking some elk, and a turkey he had taken a month earlier.  Obviously, with a family of ten kids, ours disappeared quickly, and we only saw them at dinner time and occasionally when the games were brought out.  The girls ended up staying the night, which we had already planned on. 

It was a very...very peaceful day which we all enjoyed immensely.

I love Thanksgiving...and i'm thankful for the godly family he has provided for us to share our lives with.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Entropy, meet Boy Scout...

Just so everyone knows...this whole earthquake thing...i'm just not getting it.  I didn't feel anything Saturday night when Bear Bryant rolled over, and i didn't feel anything about 20 minutes ago.  I ain't saying it ain't happening...i just ain't feelin it.  Now, granted, Saturday, we were on the road, making the trek to the house after the SEC sleeper.  Tonight, we had six on the bed in our room.  Two adults, four kids, and Monday Night Football make for reduced perception on any odd movements foundationally...since everything is already moving.

So...here's my question to all the tectonic plate dance afficianados out there...how are we to know that these are "aftershocks" and not harbingers of something a bit more serious?  What if it's the New Madrid or Wabash faults gearing up?  Its been 200 years since New Madrid did its last rhumba, just a couple ticks in the time scheme of the planet.  From the information coming from the seismologists and experts in the field...New Madrid is getting a little restless to dance again.  What if that Raton, NM hotspot is warming up again?  Or worse, the Yellowstone Caldera?  As beautiful as Yellowstone is...that is a cataclysm just wating to happen.

Again, these things have happened for centuries...millenia.  It's what this planet does...remember the old Law of Thermodynamics  "Everything tends toward entropy".  Well, like it or not, it is a scientific law and this planet is not exclusive, certainly (as much as we'd like to believe) neither is the good ole U.S. of A.  Best thing to do...Entropy meet Boy Scout...Be Prepared.

Lots of info out there about being prepared for disaster, no matter what way it evidences itself.  Maybe it's time to investigate and be a little more Boy Scout about it all.  Couldn't hurt.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Jack

If you ever wondered about the history of Jack O'Lanterns, well here's a version...

Shockingly, it involves an Irish guy...and alcohol, two of my faves...enjoy.

People have been making jack-o'-lanterns for centuries. The practice originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed "Stingy Jack." According to the story, Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. True to his name, Stingy Jack didn't want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form. Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul. The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree's bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for ten more years.
Soon after, Jack died. As the legend goes, God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as "Jack of the Lantern," and then, simply "Jack O'Lantern."
In Ireland and Scotland, people began to make their own versions of Jack's lanterns by carving scary faces into turnips or potatoes and placing them into windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits.

So, there ya have it.  Well, not being much of a Halloween guy myself, i do enjoy carvin out a punkin now and then...and the Royals have been wanting to also.  So after promising them if they cleaned their rooms to our standards, we would assuredly bring their rites of Fall to fruition this evening.  Here's a pictoral journey...

HRH wasn't extremely excited about digging out Jack's "slimy" guts, The Prosecutor wondered why it smelled like Jack had puked, and The X was interested in eating Jacks seeds, raw. The Prince? He just supervised on occasion, choosing his Lego's over punkin carvin night, but he did enjoy the finished product.

Yup, everbody digs Happy Jack...so to speak.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Scenes from a birthday in the Kingdom...

Birthdays for me are usually not this fun.  I'm not saying my birthdays have sucked in the past, just not necessarily this eventful, or perhaps better...peaceful...enjoyable.  Of course, any day i wake up next to The Queen, is starting off well...which today did.  I get up to begin the daily ablutions and she touches my shoulder and whispers "Happy Birthday!" 

"Oh...yeah, i guess it IS!  Hah...Cool!"

After checking the sunrise, i'm off to wake the Royals for our Saturday morning excursion to clean the office.  Yeah, i worked on my birthday and on a Saturday, but honestly, it's not a big deal, in fact, i kinda look forward to it.  It's time i get with my kids, a couple hours in the car and a couple hours of easy cleaning.  More than that, they are learning the value of earning what they are paid for.  Then, the coup de grace, we go to breakfast together...today they chose Jamba Juice.  We sang and laughed almost all the way home.  There's a stretch of about 5 miles of beautiful farm road that undulates like massive waves in an ocean...perfect for turning the car into a 70 mph roller coaster...they absolutely love it...especially at the apex of the hill when physics becomes fun and vertical changes in vector lighten the body's mass just enough and positive g's ease toward the negative and thus emit the squeals of delight from four large-eyed, laughing Royals.  "Let's do it again Daddy!"

Love that...just. love. it.

We arrive home and of course, it's Fall, and in the Kingdom...that means football...every Saturday, every game we can get...and this Saturday, our beloved Sooners found the moxy they lost last week and tamed the Wildcat in Manhattan.   Then we grabbed some SEC action with Auburn and Old Miss, which Auburn won handily to our satisfaction.

But again, this was a different birthday for some reason.  The Joefish, whom i haven't seen much of in the last few months stopped by bearing a gift...as i unwrapped it, i found one of the largest bottles of Bailey's Irish Cream i've ever seen...MY friends KNOW how to please the king. 

About an hour or so later, who shows up?  The one and only, Brewer, who stood with me when i got married ten years back.  He also comes bearing gifts, fixin's for salsa and guac and later just happened to produce nothing less than a brand new Viking boat motor (aka hand blender)...like i said..my friends KNOW how to please.  The Queen made the comment later..."but i only got you such and such" to which i replied, "my friends get me what i want...YOU get me what i NEED."  If you must know, she got me a couple nice oxford shirts and some New Balance cross trainers...all of which i desperately needed.

Then, Blue Boy arrives with his fam and the evening is set.  He comes bearing fresh venison backstrap, harvested by his 7 year old on Tuesday of this week, and two pounds of glorious ground antelope. 

Let the Cooking Commence!

The backstrap we seasoned for fajitas and the antelope we threw into a stockpot for a test run meatsauce for an upcoming spaghetti feast for 50 (check for details next week).

 

I probably shouldn't go into any detail about how incredibly edible the above pictured was.  Let me just say, that was probably the best deer i've ever had the pleasure of wrapping my salivary glands around.  I'm not even hungry and i'm still drooling just looking at these pics again.

The Queen...again...produced what i NEEDED...the exalted mother's Red Devil's Food Cake...my all time favorite since i was a kid.  As you can see...The X is down with it too. 



I was surrounded and sang to, had a hurricane of help to blow out the candles and best of all just the smiles and handshakes, pats on the back, kisses, and hugs, phone calls...and a couple birthday toasts with good friends and family...all made for a very, very memorable birthday.

A king's riches indeed.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Driftin...

My, my, my...how the months have drifted by... like the lazy current of a river that occasionally speeds over the steeper declining stretches, such is our lives over the past year and a half.

I was reading over the past few entries of the blog and realized just how much i miss writing about the sunrises and sunsets here in The Kingdom. Not too long ago, Doc over at They Rode On sent me a text or email or some such asking me if i was still alive since i hadn't written in so long...well Doc, we're still here!

As i sit here watching the Rangers give away the Fall Classic to the Cards, the Royals are all giggling and playing in the back of the house, all sounds that will be missed in time byThe Queen and I . We two, who just celebrated our 10th anniversary yesterday...ten years, four children, six houses (on of which was mobile), seven vehicles (of which i still mourn the loss of my Jeep), nine dogs (of which i still mourn the loss of The Seamus Shuffle), and a multiplicity of joys and a few sorrows, we are here, strong and as deeply in love as ever. Looking forward to many, many more years of the same together.