Yesterday Revised

This morning, after my post banana/coffee/yogurt (PBCY) nap, I awoke to Diane scurrying around in a rush to get out of the house so she could arrive at the courthouse on time, by 1000. I’m not allowed to accompany her because I’ve never been invited to join the austere power group to which she belongs. This group sits around a table and counts ballots, as I’ve mentioned before. They are all rational, honest people so there’s no danger of anyone tampering with the results. It is what it is. Today she took her own sandwich in a plastic lunch container.

She wouldn’t let me put her name on it.

Now, about yesterday … I covered most of the topics, but didn’t get to the really important ‘stuff’ before hearing the news about Oklahoma. That kinda took the wind out of my sails, so to speak, making me swerve from my task. So, using notes and direction from my editor, Diane, I submit the following version of yesterday’s entry, which is rare because I typically do not edit anything before hitting “Send”. Yes, it gets me in trouble sometimes but I take great efforts to not offend anyone, especially Diane. She may think that I do the ‘wife bash’ once in a while, but everything I tell is the truth, the way I see it, unless it’s an opinion, in which case it doesn’t count. To fully understand the nature of the beast in my head you’d have to walk a mile peeking out through my eyeballs, and listening to the distorted conversations that creep into my ears. Then you’d know …

From now on, pretend that I wrote the following yesterday, at then end of a day that was personally very nice … changes will be in bold


Today was just great even though the dogs got me up at 0530. Not only did they NOT check their calendars, I think they aren’t really using the clock any more. Instead they’re basing their urinary needs on how light it is outside. And today? I mean, c’mon, it’s my birthday, for crime-inny sakes. I was supposed to sleep in today. But, in reviewing my past behavior with regard to getting up, ans staying up, I have to admit I haven’t done well. Too many morning naps.

Not today. Nope. I got up at 0530 and stayed up because I knew if I attempted a nap I would have missed a perfect opportunity to go out and golf really bad. I read my book for 3 hours to stay awake until it was time to head for the golf course. I was very quiet the entire time to ensure I didn’t wake Diane. When it was time for me to leave, I tiptoed to the bedroom and stubbed my left big toe, on the step Diane needs to get into bed, when I leaned over to kiss her bye. Even though I suppressed the pain, she let me know she was, thankfully, already awake. Then she said, “you know that step is there but you always do that,” and it’s true. I always stub my toe on it. I don’t want to stand on it because it makes me too high to safely lean over and administer the good-bye kiss, creating a tense situation where I might lose my balance and fall on her, a sure way to wake her in a very dramatic way, which I have done more than once. One’d think I’d learn, wouldn’t one? Well, I pride myself on consistency in my life, and stubbing my toe has just become a routine thing I do. My toe is almost totally numb all the time, but I always seem to whack the part that still has feeling. Perhaps I should just bite the bullet and take my chances by standing on it. It’s only 3 inches high.

Go figure.

About golfing … I golfed with JR, Doug, and Lyle. JR and Doug are brothers, and Lyle is part American Indian so goes by the nickname “Chief”. That’s what he writes on all his golf balls, in really big red letters. I found one of them a few months back, while digging around in the tall grass looking for one of the many balls I’ve lost. Or maybe it was in one of the forests that I usually frequent while golfing. I carried that ball around in my pocket for a few holes today before giving it back to him. He was happy so that made me happy. Considering Lyle’s nickname, I’m sure you’ve surmised that he isn’t one of the American Indians who gets all hung up on names. He’s a great guy.

Of the four, I was the worst, but I had far more fun than any of them. I always do. They all work at getting a lower score. Not me. I have a 37 handicap and work hard to maintain it.

After leaving the golf course, I stopped by to see Don, Diane’s cousin. He’s a master mechanic who builds and races stock cars. He’s done that almost his entire life. When I need mechanical assistance, he’s my guy. My key to stopping is checking to see if the door is open on his shop. Today it was. In the doorway he had this incredibly beautiful new engine hanging on a chain dangling from one of the forks on his forklift. The engine looked like it was right off the assembly line and the guy who built it was right there with Don. While admiring this work of art, which is going into Don’s nephew’s, Johnathan’s, race car, I turned around and whacked my head on the unfettered fork. It made a mark on my bright yellow Oregon Duck hat, and a small bump on my head, but I didn’t fall down.

Don’s not as tall as I am so didn’t have to put the forks up high enough for me to walk under. In all fairness, too, he had no idea I was stopping by. Had he, I’m sure he would have raised it a little more.

Once home, Diane got busy cooking me a BLT sandwich. I love those things. I love anything that has bacon in it. Heck, I just love bacon. I’d eat bacon wrapped bacon bits if Diane would let me. While Diane was working hard to fix me a nutritious birthday lunch, Jack called and requested permission to drop by the house. 

“Hi, are you home?” a valid question since he called my cell phone.

“Yes, Diane’s just cooking me a sandwich.”

“Normally, sandwiches aren’t cooked,” he replied.

“She’s making me a BLT,”  explained.

“Oh. Then it’s not really cooked. Just parts of it are cooked and put INTO the sandwich.”

“True,” I said. “Would you like one?” I retorted.

“No. Just checking to see if you’re going to be around for a bit so Wynette and I could stop by for a minute or two.” He always says that, but they always stay longer, and that’s OK. We love seeing them.

When they arrived they were bearing a large bag which concerned me because I was sure it was a gift for my birthday which means I’ll have to reciprocate next December for Jack’s. I don’t do gifts very well because I always forget to get them. I was about halfway through my sandwich when they got there and couldn’t stop because I was holding it with my special compression grip that keeps it all together. If I laid it on my plate it would decompress and I’d have to eat it with a fork. There’s almost nothing worse than having to eat a BLT with a fork.

As soon as they got in the door Jack handed me this …


It’s an extremely large ‘Chick Magnet’ and it really works as you can tell by the little chicks stuck to the silver part. It’s awesome and I can’t wait to wear it to church.

Then, sitting at the table with us, Wynette handed me a small heavy bag out of which was sticking a package of rare earth magnets in plastic cases for use on magnetic calendar to make special events. Immediately sensing a theme, I delved deeper into the bag and discovered all manner of magnets in various sizes and was delighted.  I believe I shared the magnet story previously, maybe six months ago or so, where Diane gave Wynette a container with all manner of things to make jewelry, which Wy is good at, in addition to a whole bunch of rare earth magnets which I didn’t know she had. I LOVE magnets, and she just summarily gave them away without consulting me which isn’t unusual because I’m not a person people usually consult, but STILL! Magnets!

I only whined about it for a little while, and usually found a way to refer to the magnets in random conversations with J&W over the months that followed. Though bringing up the magnets was not part of a strategy, it apparently became on because I got all those magnets back PLUS many more.

I was ECSTATIC! Barely able to CONTAIN myself.

I almost dropped my sandwich.

I didn’t think the day could possibly get any better as I finished my sandwich and joined Jack on the floor where we played with the magnets while the girls talked about how silly we were. They just don’t have any sense of what fun really is, so we ignored them and played away.

Eventually, the thrill dwindled down to a manageable level allowing Jack and Wynette to depart so they could complete other tasks they had planned for their day.

After lunch I took a trip to Warren to visit the Twins, Eva & Evelyn, my highschool classmates, so I could work on their computers. I got most of the things accomplished I was there to do, before having to leave to attend Lydia’s softball game at Campbell park, which is just down the hill from our house. We talk a lot about walking down to the games, but the fact that it’s uphill all the way home is a deterrent for sure. So we drive. Tonight we had a better reason to drive because we had a Lion’s International meeting at 1830, at the Village Inn.

Just before we left the house, Jim called. Unfortunately, I was in the shower at the time, Diane insisted I wash, so missed the call. Once dry and dressed, with a thin layer of Old Spice over my exposed parts, I called him back. I knew he called for my birthday, as did Jack, because that’s what we do to each other every year. I think I’m the only one who sings the song, though. Anyway, Jim and I had a great conversation as we drove down to Lydia’s game.

On the way to the Lion’s meeting we stopped at Taco Bell for my birthday supper of tacos and a dead chicken burrito. Sadly, it was a plain chicken burrito, not the supreme version which I know for sure I ordered, but I ate it because we weren’t charged for the supreme version. Even with that glitch, it was a lovely supper. We got our favorite table next to the window, right behind the trash cans, so we could watch people come and go as they got their tacos. I sensed that Diane was a bit concerned about the quality of dinner, but I love Taco Bell and didn’t mind at all. Besides, no matter where we are, no matter what we do, being together is the special part. I told her that. It’s true.

After the meeting we went back to watch the end of the 2nd game of Lydia’s double header. She pitched the first game, which they lost 10-9, then sat out the first part of the 2nd game, which we didn’t see, because her hip was hurting. The score was 10-0, when we arrived and Lyd was just going back in the game. It was brutal. She did OK, but it was evident she wasn’t comfortable. Still, she had fun, and that’s whole point of it.

After the game we came home and Diane watched Dancing With The Stars, which she loves. I even go in a watch some of the dancers. Kellie and Derek are awesome and I hope they win.

I’m leaving out the sad part about the storms swiping through the mid-west because I’m sure everyone is totally aware about what’s going on there. Once again, however, I’ll end with …

God Bless Them All

Uno thru Cinco de Mayo

It’s Sunday afternoon. A hot one. Temp is currently 81 at 7:30pm, down from the 88 we experienced in Longview, Washington where we went for lunch after church. Diane had a hankering for Sizzler so that’s where we took her Mom.

Now, for the last four days … “what,” you may ask, “has been going on?” Well let me tell you …


May 1st for us started off with Daniel’s birthday. Daniel, in case you forgot, is my first wife’s son-in-law, father of Cedric, Lydia, and Jeran, and husband to Jennifer. He turned 38.  I don’t know how that happened so fast … seems like just yesterday he and Jennifer wet just youngsters starting their married life. Now it’s been almost 20 years. Wow! To celebrate his birthday, Daniel BBQd shish kabobs and wieners. I got to see Brianna again, and met Alyssa, one of Lydia’s softball teammates who was there because they had a game right after the party. Concerning Alyssa, my thunder was yanked out from under me right at the greeting when both Jennie and Lydia told me that she had already been told about me and to not believe anything I say. Consequently, we didn’t converse much except I was able to share with them that the advantage of having a mustache when you’re old is that your upper lip doesn’t get shiny when your nose drips. That’s a simple truth.

The BBQ …



On May 2nd the WELCA ladies began setting up for the annual Bethany Quilt Show at the church. My jobs were few and simple because Diane didn’t want me to injure my right shoulder any more than necessary, so I didn’t. All I did was carry card tables to the basement and string up many of the wall hangings that were provided for display. Doing the wall hangings made it necessary to hammer tacks into the newly painted area in the stairwell, but that was OK. It’s a tradition. When things started getting frantic, with hoards of people showing up with quilts they wished to display, I was able to separate myself from whoever was giving me instructions at the time, made a dash for my car and went home to mow the lawn.

Before doing that, however, I had a chance to say hello to Floyd who was make rounds on the new lawn mower that he purchased for the church. It works so nicely that I knew I’d never be able to mow my yard again unless I did some maintenance on my mower.

So, the first thing I did upon arriving home was to get all my gas cans and go get them filled. This gave Panzee an opportunity for a ride, which she loves to do. Once back at home, I removed the mower deck from the tractor, drug it out into the back yard, and power washed it, removing thick layers of grass that had been accumulating for about 5 years. I’ve been meaning to do this every year, but it didn’t happen until May 2nd.

The blades, three of them, were about as sharp as the edge of a sidewalks from all the large rocks I’ve chipped away at over the years, so I decided it was time to make them right. I ground on them until many parts of them were shiny with new marks from the grinding wheel, reshaping the flattened end to one that was fairly sharp, giving it a much better chance of cutting grass instead of ripping it out of the ground. I couldn’t wait to get it back together to see how it worked.

It worked so nice that I could hear the tick of each blade of grass as it was plucked from the lawn and hurled up the exit tube to the grass catcher with no resistance because I had removed the sheet metal screws that was holding the two pieces of tubing together and replaced it with duck tape. Duck tape always works. It was like new. Jerrie was happy.

Doing all of that, and mowing the lawn, took pretty much all day, and I was seriously tired. So, I rested until Diane returned from working at church. She was seriously tired, too.


May 3rd was the first day of the quilt show so Diane had to be up and gone early to finish preparations. To make sure she was up on time I had a 0715 telephone appointment with my VA doctor to see how things were going for me since cutting back on my medication. It’s been fine, thank you, but my shoulder hurts really, really bad most of the time. This affliction occurred years ago when I saved a cat’s life by not stepping on him while walking barefoot down basement stairs in the dark. It’s a short story but I don’t have time to report it here. Besides, I think I’ve done that before. So, my doctor told me to go get a xray of my shoulder when I had a chance. Since Diane wasn’t available to drive me right away I made a command decision which was, thankfully, OK with Diane, to go on Monday. After talking with the doctor I had a little nap then went back to the church with Diane in case there was something I needed to do to help with the quilt show. I stayed until lunch because everyone knows there is nothing quite as good as Church Lady Food (CFL).


Here’s what the church looked like before all the little old ladies in the NW started crowding the isles …



… and here the Queen Bee Quilter’s Chair, and some of her work. The QBQ this year was someone many of you already know … Wynette, my brother Jack’s first wife. Thankfully they are still on speaking terms. Wynette worked really hard to get a lot of quilting projects ready for this show and everyone was excited about her displays.


Here’s some pews full of Wynette’s efforts …


Here’s Wynette …


Here’s Diane taking a break during the festivities … and if you look close you can see my little chicken legs in the mirror …


She did great …


May 4th was the 2nd and last day for the quilt show and things were a lot more calm. I was called in to perform a little emergency maintenance when someone cracked the toilet seat in the ladies rest room. I used my ACE rewards card to obtain a special deal on the replacement. Turns out the one I installed was exacry like the one that broke. Hope it lasts a while. I stayed for lunch because I just couldn’t pass up all that CLF. After lunch I went home and took a nap. I didn’t mean to take a nap. I sat down to think about all the things I needed to do and it just happened. I probably should have gone with Jennie to Clatskanie to watch Lydia’s game, but I didn’t. Instead, Cedric and I went back to our house for some quality time together. He promptly fell asleep on the couch while I watched various TV shows in the Man Room. Jennie stopped by on her way home to get Cedric and they visited for a while. Lydia had a great game. She pitched the entire game and hit a grand slam. They won the game 16-1. Nice. Before they got here Cedric woke up and decided he was a bit hungry and wanted salad. I retrieved tupperware containers of various vegetables and he was amazed that they snapped together. His comment was, “now my life is complete!” Funny how tupperware can affect some people that way.



May 5th, Sunday, church. More CLF at coffee hour while Diane counted all the money from   the offering. I actually forgot about that part because I was supposed to help. Instead, I was busy talking to people, and I knew most of them. After all that was done Diane trapped me and her Mom in the Buick and took us to Longview for lunch at Sizzler because that’s what she was hungering for. I like the Sizzler salad bar because it has fried dead chicken and I really like fried dead chicken. I ate a lot of it then had ice cream and I wasn’t even hungry when we got there. I just ate to be polite so Diane wouldn’t have to eat alone because her Mom didn’t eat. The day was absolutely beautiful making the drive to Longview along the Columbia River incredible. Being a native I took it all for granted and read a book on my iPad all the way. After dropping of Jean, Diane’s Mom, we returned home and sat on the porch for a while, enjoying the afternoon breeze. Then, as evening approached, we decided to celebrate Cinco de Mayo by having a Taco Bell dinner. I had my normal … 3 crispy taco supremes, and 1 chicken burrito supreme. I mentioned I love dead chicken, didn’t I?