Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Off Again

Yesterday after an early morning trip to Roanoke to pass (yes, I did) the state insurance exam love of my life and I decided to go to Fries , (pronounced "freeze) a charming little town on the banks of the New River and collect some premium. The New River is the second oldest river in the world and one of the few that flow north. We crossed at the Fries Junction Bridge and entered the quaint little town. Now, there is not much left to support the town since the textile mills closed. It has a medium annual income much less than the national average.

The New River Gorge in West Virginia is known for white water rafting and the annual bridge jump. For some unknown reason otherwise sane people jump off this bridge using a variety of methods like bungies and parachutes to keep from crashing into the river some 900+ feet below. They've been doing this in October for the past 27 years and it is one of the premier extreme sports events in the world.

But what Fries has is more charm than any town it's size can imagine. Located on the bank of New River, the homes are small and closely spaced reminiscent of most resort villages. The main street is narrow, just wide enough to accommodate two lanes of traffic. The State Park follows the river through town. Wanda and I both thought this would be a great place for tourism to develop. The river, the park, and the secluded scenic quaintness of the town make for a wonderful escape. At this point reservations at the local Bed and Breakfast should be available.

Later today I must leave the beauty of our mountain for the congestion of Raleigh, North Carolina. So for two weeks I will be absent from several of my most favorite things, first and most important love of my life. Then there's our mountain which everyone says is one of the most beautiful areas around. And then there's all of you out there. I was going to put links to all my blog friends but there's too many so just take a sharp right and click on my blog roll. Some of you know each other and some you'll make new friends.


Cowtown Pattie, who knows how the west was won, has requested my saaal'sa recipe. It's like taking coals to Newcastle but I will comply. I mean, a Texan asking a Virginian, transplanted from Baltimore, transplanted from Florida for a saaal'sa recipe?

With much of the things I cook, it's either what I have on hand or what sounds good. I got the whatever I have on hand method from my Grandmother Mast who could make a six course meal from the contents of an empty refrigerator.

The other thing is unless it concerns a concoction of flour and yeast I don't measure much. So feel free to add or subtract according to taste.

I put two large cans of diced tomatoes, a sweet onion, about four large cloves of garlic, about a half cup of cilantro, maybe a quarter cup of vinegar in a large bowl. The onion, garlic and cilantro were finely chopped. I used two large jalapinos, seeded and finely chopped. Please remember improper handling of jalapinos can be a very stimulating experience. Handling being the operative word. All of this chopping creates the right texture of crunchy little elements instead of the blended stuff I sometimes find at the local Mexican restaurants.

I wanted to add mango. I know mangos. When I was a kid growing up in Florida mango season was a glorious time. There were several different varieties all sure to send rivulets of sticky, sweet juice cascading down the arm of any pre-adolescent boy. It was all the excuse needed to jump in the cooling bay to get un-stickyed. Until they fell victims of several freezes Mango trees proliferated under the Florida sun. Everyone's favorite was the pineapple mango which needless to say had a pineapple flavor and did not develop a stringiness as did some other varieties. The mangos at Food Lion were not good so I added only a little for color.

I had done my shopping at Food Lion and the fresh tomatoes they had were overpriced, pink and hard. That sounds almost pornographic but then it adequately describes those love apples. Some of you long time readers may remember that the Food Lion in Hillsville was where they put the pork chops in with the sugar and tissue and the former leaked pig blood all over the latter and the latter had to be discarded and I have not been fond of Food Lion since. (Got you again, Food Lion). But I must say the Food Lion in Floyd is better. Those Floydian hippies would protest were it not. As I passed Slaughters Market their sign advertised, "ripe tomatoes, 79 cents a lb." , a quick u-turn on the Floyd Pike and I was soon basking in tomato happiness.

I blanched, peeled, seeded and chopped three of these ripe beauties and threw them in the mix. There seemed to be a lot of juice so the whole thing went into the colander to be drained. Once drained I added a couple more garlic cloves, and a little salt. Since it was available, for sweetness, I put in about a cup of peach syrup love of my life had made last summer.

That's about it. The lady that made the saaal'sa from the not good mangos and oranges was the winner at church. But that was just because she lobbied for the win which was alright with me. It was the doing that was the fun and it did raise a few bucks for the Sunday school and besides we know whose saaal'sa was best.

Saturday, March 25, 2006


Well, I made it safely to the big city and back again. Over the months I have been sheltered in the mountains it was easy to forget the "joys" of city life. The hotel where the company booked us was in the heart of the longest stretch of strip malls in the world. Every fast food place, chain store, and possible car dealership was represented as well as the appendent "mom and pop" establishments.

And of course, the traffic. Naturally, my computer generated directions, as expected, sent me the wrong way on one of those six lane roads from hell and it was the "groundhog day" syndrome until the nice ladies at Dairy Queen recognized the error of Microsoft's ways.

So I studied hard and learned everything there is to know about health and disability insurance that the state of Virginia requires. Monday, it's off to Roanoke to take the test and then, dear friends and patient readers it's on to sales school for two unbearable weeks in Raleigh, North Carolina. It is there I will learn the various methods of convincing people the need to protect their ass(ets) from the hazards and perils of this uncertain world. Am I thrilled about leaving again? I'd rather hang by my thumbs. But like they say, ya gotta do what ya gotta do. I'm convinced God gives us these "inconveniences" so that we learn to appreciate His blessings all the more.

Since my darling wife had to go to Roanoke I was greeted upon arrival home by Caesar, the Airedale who thinks of our house as his third home. While I was gone, Wanda let him in for a visit. He immediatly went to the guest bedroom and curled up on the bed. He is the sweetest, most obedient, happy dog I have ever known and owns the lady who has the summer and weekend house across the street. Bounding off our deck he did his jump up and down dance until I opened the car door. It was like he knew I was due home. Our cat, Fisal, yawned at my arrival and went back to sleep.

This afternoon I'm making salsa. As Seinfeld pointed out, that's a fun word, saaal' sa. Our church is having the "great saaal'sa encounter" and this writer is a eager contestant. The winner gets saaal' sa bragging rights for the entire area of Willis and Indian Valley and possibly Dugspur, Virginia for the next week or so. It involves jalapeno peppers. I learned the hard way when handling these peppers wash ones hands well before going to the bathroom or touching any other tender body parts. It's off to the kitchen.

I thought of all my blog buddies often during the past week and hoped you were all cheerfully clicking away at your keyboards. I guess it's not so strange that since we become so involved in each others lives we turn up in each others thoughts. Much of this morning was spent catching up on all the stuff I've missed. I don't like to advertise it, but y'all (for all y'all who don't speak redneck, that's a generic term for "you" and is used often, the plural is "all y'all") are remembered in my prayers. It's nice to be back in such good company.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

What Kind Of Paper Cut Are You?

I don't know how these things can be accurate but it does sound a lot like I like to think I am. However, I don't like mint (except the kind that makes money) and what does that have to do with anything anyway and why green. Sounds kind of boring, come to think of it. These things are so stupid, why did I do it? How can they be so accurate just by asking a couple of questions? I don't even like mint in my julep.

You Are Mint Green

Balanced and calm, you have mastered the philosophy of living well.
Your friends seek you out for support, and you are able to bring stability to chaotic situations.
You're very open and cheerful - and you feel like you have a lot of freedom in life.
Your future may hold any number of exciting things, and you're ready for all of them!

Since I'll be out of town (that makes no sense either but "out of the woods" or "leaving the forest" doesn't sound much better) for the better part of the week I've turned off the comment moderator. Now you can instantly see your witty repartee. It will also let me know if there is reason to turn it back on. So if you see anything rude or spammy it's not my fault. And if your one of those rude or spammy types think twice before doing your thing around here. Us mountain folk have our ways of getting even.

Attack of The Purple Gang

Our bird feeder has been discovered by the Purple Finches. They have taken over. The Titmice and Chickadees are bullied into lurking in the trees and rhododendron to wait until the gang of these beautiful birds gives them a chance to eat. This morning we counted eight pairs with their buddies waiting in the trees.
Also among the growing population of birds visiting us were several Red Bellied Woodpeckers . These guys stay mostly on the trees but occasionally swoop down to grab some sunflower seeds.

We've now spotted Goldfinch at the feeder and hopping around on the deck after the sunflower seeds I throw around to attract the ground feeders. It's, I'm told, not such a good idea because the other ground feeder it attracts is the Black Bear. The winter or Dark Eyed Juncos wander around just outside our front door and feast to their little hearts content.

It's peculiar how the birds are for the most part no longer bothered by our cat. They seem to know she old and can't move very fast (like me) and that a large pane of glass keeps them safe. The purple finches are kind of skittish. I've been trying to get a pic of them with my miserable digital camera but I can't get close enough.

We had a nice visit with our neighbors last night. Bill and Sara and their dog, Jack have just completed their third home up here in our community and invited us over. It's a beauty with Brazilian Cherry floors and a view of the valley that stretches to Greensboro, about 50 miles away, on a good day. He said the flooring was from, you guessed it, China. They buy the wood in Brazil, mill it on shipboard, finish it in China and then send it here, to Galax. Three dollars a square foot. Go figure. Anyway after that digression, Bill said he thought he saw a female Bald Eagle. That would be really neat. He's looking now, as I am, for the male.

That's going to be it for this morning. It's a beautiful day on Groundhog Mountain, sunny with the temps in the 50's. Too nice to spend in our "media room". TV, bookshelf and computer. That's a media room isn't it?

Just a footnote. I will be leaving for Richmond, Va, capitol of Virginia, former capitol of the Confederate States of America (hand over heart) as well as the home of Edgar Allen Poe before he died in Baltimore . Sunday evening to attend school. I'm growing up to be a licensed insurance agent. Hey, it pays the bills. I'll probably post something before I go but if I don't get a chance, it will be recess time until Friday, kids. Have fun and don't fall off the monkey bars!

That should be enough links to keep you busy till I get back.

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Gang Of Four

My long time friend, Ruth, at Reflections By Ra has tagged me, again. People, stop tagging Ruth, please! I am very fond of Ruth and her husband, Mr. G.Q. G. has new job at the Ritz Carlton. We wish him well.
It's the four thing meme. I know you've seen it before so here's a glipse into the life of your humble scribe.

Four Jobs I've Had
1. Taxi driver
2. Lawn care
3. Cook
4. Hotel night manager
Kind of mundane, I know, but these were all at the same time. Needless to say the lawn care and cook were part time and I could sleep at the hotel job. Now wasn't that exciting? Wait, there's more.

Four Movies I Watch Over and Over:
(I think I'm doing this right)
1. Oh Brother Where Art Thou
2. Master and Commander
3. Cold Comfort Farm
4. Road to Perdition
There's more, Wanda and I are movie freaks. We play a game with each other. In the course of conversation we'll throw in a quote from a movie and then the other has to name the movie. Like
"I know you, I know you"
"What a wonderful modern age we live in"
" The golden orb"
" He's playin' that hippity hop music"
" Gravites !"
" I shoot the dead"
I'll give the answers at the end. You can hardly wait but the answers after you suffer through the rest of this thing.

Four Places I've Lived
1. Sunset Beach, Florida
2. Urbana, Indiana.
3. Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska
4. Monroe, Louisiana
Actually, I didn't do much living at Offutt, it was more of an existence. Urbana was not urban. Monroe was college. Sunset Beach where I grew up was the best. It's changed now, the Driftwood Bar where the beach bums and the druggies used to celebrate the sunset is now the Caddy Shack and has valet parking.

Four TV Shows I Watch:
1. CSI
2. Law and Order (that should count as four right there)
3. Today
4. North Carolina Weekend
I'm at somewhat of a disadvantage here. We don't have cable or dish so if the antenna is'nt picking it up I'm not watching. When we did have cable it was a lot of home improvement shows. Those two guys in Canada who were forever working on their cabin and always ran into the problems we all encounter as DIYers were one of my favorites. So was Emeril and Debbie Travis.

Four Websites.
I try to get through my blog roll daily. As the thing seems to be multiplying (I just can't leave it alone for a minute) it becomes more and more time consuming. It doesn't help that the bloggers are getting better and better all the time the enjoyment is addictive. To pick four, impossible. Just look to the right and pick four that strike your fancy.

Four Foods:
1. Anything that clogs the arteries
2. Sushi
3. Beer (that's a food!)
4. Pizza
I make my own pizza. The crust:
Mix 1/2 cup of warm water with one package of yeast. Add 1 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tbs oil. Mix together and knead for about eight minutes. I like to knead, it's very therapeutic. Let the dough rise for about an hour and a half. Mash it down and roll it on some of that nonstick foil into as round a thing as you can with an empty Grey Goose vodka bottle. (it doesn't have to be Grey Goose)
Prehea the oven to 500 degrees.
Slather on some kind of red Italian sauce. I like to use the mozzarella that comes in a chunk but the crumbly kind works as well. Put the meats on first, pepperoni, sausage, or whatever is in the fridge. Slice some onion thin. Thin is important so they will cook. Do the same with any other veggies. Add a fist full of chopped garlic. Two important steps: if it's only veggies sprinkle some olive oil on top and always drizzle some oil on the edge of the crust that isn't covered with stuff. Slide foil with pizza onto a baking sheet and into the hot oven. About 15 to 20 minutes and it's pizza! Enjoy with that other food group, beer.

Four Places I'd Rather Be:
There's nowhere I'd rather be than here on Groundhog Mountain but if I could I'd like to visit:
1. Scotland, Loch Ness where the MacBeans came from.
2. Italy
3. Holland or Sweden or Poland or Germany or Austria or China or....
4. The one place I'd take over Groundhog Mountain; Heaven.

Four Friends to Tag:
Any four of you that feel like doing this.

The Answers;
1. Cast Away- talking to Wilson (who else is there?)
2. Master and Commander-commenting on the construction of the phantom ship
3. Cold Comfort Farm-attempting to write a novel
4. The Ladykillers-complaining to the sheriff
5. Lord of the Rings, Fellowship of the Ring- flock of crow like birds
6. Road to Perdition- Jude Laws occupation

So there you have it.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

A Word To The Wise

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Hand Grenades and Hurricanes

I was thinking (always a dangerous thing) about why the worlds dislike of this country seem to be growing. My conclusion? In our world where perception is reality the image of the good old U. S. of A. is beyond tarnished. What are we showing the rest of the world? Are we the shining city on the hill or the sleazy strip mall no longer popular with the new kids on the block? And what are we doing about it? Sure there are many who realize we are not the "Great Satan" but there are many, who with good reason, have that perception. It's very easy to generalize based on limited information about a person or group of people. And when the overall view is laced with greed, sex, deceit, and violence even thought that is only small part of the whole picture that is the perception that stays.

In those tempestuous 60's I was in my twenties. I was young and just as full of myself as the rest of those hippies who thought that the love, peace and brotherhood ushered in by the age of Aquarius would bring a brighter world. What ever happened to those kids and those ideals? The kids grew up and as Queen says in "Fat Bottomed Girls" (one of my favorite songs) "got a mortgage on my home" and that home is now a McMansion and love has turned to lust. But then in reflection, that's what it was in the 60's. And peace, those same hippies kids are now shooting up schools and drugs. Brotherhood has more to do with the "hood" than with my brother. Is it any wonder that the world views us with disdain?

Joseph Campbell tells the wonderful story of the god Indra who slays a monster with a couple of lightening bolts. Feeling so important for a job well done he decides to build a house and, to the frustration of the gods carpenter, the home becomes a growing McMansion. Each time the celestial contractor visits another wing is added. Finally, fed up, the builder appeals to the local committee issuing the permit. A handsome blue boy shows up at the site and tells Indra his is a situation common to the other Indras. Indra says in dismay, what other Indras. With that an army of ants proceeds to march across the floor, row by row, file by file. And the blue boy comments, "Former Indras all".

So here we are building our homes with no regard for our neighbors. Are we original, unique? I don't think so. We've earned it, haven't we? Yes, we have. but now comes the part that's going to bite us in the ass. I direct your attention to Ecclesiastes Chapter 1, verse 9:

The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be:and that which is done is that which shall be done:and there is no new thing under the sun.

We have a responsibility to share. By everything that's holy we owe a debt to others. They look at our wealth with starving eyes. They see us as that "Mr. Charlie" who calls the shots and takes as much as possible giving little in return.

There is something to be said about those suicide bombers, their faith is so strong they gladly die knowing that a paradise awaits. How many of us religious Americans would be willing to do that? It kind of makes me wonder about the strength of our convictions. Well, yes their standard of living is not at a par with most of ours and desperation leads to desperate actions. What I see in this country is the desperate youth of our inner cities dying, not for a ideal, but for a dollar. It points out the difference in priorities.

We are all victims of our culture. That youngster recruited to destroy himself and others at the same time is not so different from the kid on the corner selling dime bags. The destruction brought on by the corner kid is not as spectacular but just as devastating. The methods in this country are more insidious. The radical Imam and gangsta rap are not that far removed from each other. One says die for an ideal and the other says die for money. It is the impressionable and often times poorly educated which are most vulnerable to these messages. Literacy is as lacking in many parts of the middle East as it is in our own inner cities.

So what to do? I'm going to get into a lot of trouble with some of you out there for saying this but as Zorba said "Trouble? Life is trouble." First we must pray for our enemies. That's what Christ said. Pray that they are blessed as we have been blessed. Why would we do that? Because if they have what we have they will slip into the same complaisance that we enjoy. More important it will relieve our hatred. I mean, how can you wish the blessing of God on someone you hate. I know this works, I used it on my feelings for my ex-wife.
Secondly, I do think God is trying to tell us something with the wars and natural disasters. One thing about our God, the Spirit is consistent.

Let me insert a note here about my concept of God. We can't comprehend what that name implies or is. "I Am" is about as close as we can come. So "He", "She", "Great Spirit", "Allah" or any other convenience we use is just that, a convenience.

Now where was I? Oh,yes , about to go to that cheerful little guy, Jeremiah. Chapter 5, Verse 27 to be exact.

As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: there fore they are become great and waxen rich.
They are waxen fat, they shine, yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper and the right of the needy they do not judge.
Shall I not visit for these things? sayeth the Lord: shall not my soul be avenged on a nation such as this?

Got Out Of Bed, Dragged A Comb Across My Head

This morning after the usual rituals I will, for the first time in over a year, don a suit and tie. It's not that I mind because most of my working life I've worn a tie of some sort. Only one job, if you don't count the tux, required a suit. I really don't have to do the suit thing now, but as some of the more perceptive of you might have noticed, I'm a little crazy.

I'm off to Roanoke (again) to talk to the insurance poobah about the job. They like their people well dressed. So I will attire myself in "well dressed".

It's, as you know if you've been paying attention, a long drive. That's why this is a short post. I'm scheduled to arrive at 10:00 AM. It's now 7:30 AM.

Was going to post a picture but Blogger has a hangover.

Have a good day. More news from Groundhog Mountain later.


Sunday, March 12, 2006

Saturday Drive

What a wonderful Saturday. As noted in the previous post we took the 130 mile round trip drive to Roanoke. The temperature once off Groundhog Mountain is about 10 degrees warmer. It had to be pushing 80 as we cruised through the traffic light in Floyd. I knew it was a good day, usually we get the red. That's the way it is folks, the only traffic light in the county almost always stops you. The sunroof (or moonroof, depending on the time of day) was open and windows were down and CD of choice was Joyce Meyers. At one point she said a prayer for the conversion of family and friends of her audience who don't know Jesus. I couldn't help inserting the names of a few bloggers I know. God was truly in His glory.

On a personal note since I'm riding around doing the insurance thing I've decided I should get paid for it. I told the poobah that I felt sorry for him and will take the insurance exam and go to work for them. They are very short handed in this area and are , I don't think desperately is too strong a word, looking for people. It will mean my little fledgling wife will have to take wings and go off flying for herself. But over the past month or so she has gained the confidence to do so. It will also mean the bills will be paid and if all goes well we will return to a positive cash flow.

The road down Bent Mountain into Roanoke affords a grand view of the Roanoke Valley where the blossoming trees promised spring. As we reached the base and were following the Back Creek Road the wonderful aroma of hickory smoke laced with animal fat waft in the open windows. And that meant somewhere in the vicinity there was to be had that most desirous of all mountain foods, Bar-B-Que! There it was, that black drum (not to be confused with the fish) on wheels with the smoke billowing out. Since we had to wait until the return trip to stop the anticipation was almost too much to bear. But stop we did, and oh joy, a free sample of melt in the mouth pork shoulder fresh from the smoker. We bought a pound and two scoops of homemade ice cream. The ice cream was one of those serendipitous little blessings which God has a habit of dropping on one unexpectedly. Unusually warm day, hand churned peach ice cream, (Wanda had apple pie flavor) and the smell of fresh pork B-B-Q coming from the back seat and a clear view for miles from the road up Bent Mountain. Could life get any better?

A quick stop at the hardware store (if we don't have it, you don't need it) in Floyd to replentish bird seed and then on to Slaughters Market for bread for the B-B-Q which now is really smelling good. It's about another 30 miles up to the mountain and the Toyota was zipping around the curves of the Floyd Pike. Just past Dugspur we turn onto, what else, Dugspur Road.

As we head up route #638, which you may recall has been the sight of several adventures such as the bull in the road, I begin following a trail of "horse apples". Coming around a curve the above source is located. These horses and wagon belong to the folks who have a farm down the road a bit. Their kids were following up in the little pony cart. With the true hospitality so evident in this area we were invited to follow them home. They have a large farm and said that among other things, there is a rodeo in the works. But today one of the horses had thrown a shoe. We'll stop by some day when we are less tired from a long but enjoyable drive and when there's not the promise of pork B-B-Q calling from the back seat.

Wanda had a peaceful walk down Orchard Trail spotting a flock of wild Turkey while I relaxed on the couch with a well deserved pork bar-b-que sandwich and a beer to watch the constant flurry of hungry birds feasting on a fresh supply of sunflower seeds.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Top Down Weather

It's a beautiful day on the mountain. Sunny with the temps in the 70's.

We are off for a road trip to Roanoke. OK, it's not really a road trip but it's a fantastic day for a drive in the mountains.

The brain has not awakened this morning so nothing witty or particularly intresting comes to mind. Besides it's a beautiful day on the mountain.


Thursday, March 09, 2006

Don't Murder the Bull!

Driving these country mountain roads is always an adventure. There are the constant curves and undulating ups and downs combined with those curves. A hard surfaced black top will suddenly and inexplicably become a gravel road. The gravel road becomes these parallel tire tracks and then just as suddenly the black top reappears. One never knows what scenic vista or family farm beside a gently flowing stream will grab the attention. But when behind the wheel that attention must be directed for the most part to the driving.

Deer are a constant hazard. The jump out in front of cars with no advance warning. It's better to hit the suicide deer than take the chance of swerving and hitting a tree or other solid object. Auto insurance feels better if you're damaged by a animal. Even the most experienced mountain country drivers have stories of turning a doe into a hood ornament. There is a bright side, fresh road kill is edible. Just make sure the critters good and dead before loading it into the back of the SUV. Nothing quite as invigorating as a dazed buck coming around in the back seat of the family transport.

Another phenomena is the occasional cattle leaving the security of the pasture and taking a stroll down the aforementioned roads. That, my friends, is what brings us to the purpose of the handsome bovine adorning this post. We have seen cows and bulls along the shoulder of the road peacefully munching on the grass. Last night a fellow who looked a lot like the one pictured almost rearranged our little Toyota Celica.

We have been after a payment on Stone Mountain Road for about a week now. Because it's close to home we've been by the house most every day going and coming. Trucks and cars were moved about and the lights were on at night but there was no answer at the door or on the phone. Last night when we pulled into the drive we spotted someone in the house. They could not hide or run away, we had them! Now here's a trick you may want to remember when you go on vacation. Have someone come over and move the stay at home cars around and turn on the lights at night. That way should any nefarious characters, such as insurance agents, come around they will think you are home and it's just too much trouble to get up off the couch after a long day doing whatever one does.

Celebrating our victory at finally finding this guy home we headed gleefully towards Villa MacBean only to by completely startled by a fellow that looked a lot like the one pictured standing in the middle of Route #638. Not peacefully munching but standing in the middle of the road. It was dark, the bull was black and we were on him before we knew it. I swerved. I know I said it's better to hit than swerve but there was room and he was much bigger than a deer. We probably would have broken his leg and he would have totaled our car. So we missed him and once the adrenaline rush calmed down we chalked it up to just another adventure on the country mountain roads. And that's no bull! Sorry, I just couldn't resist.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Quick Post

This will be quick. Just a "hello", a friendly wave and I'll be off to do the insurance thing.

The good news is we've quit smoking. It's been several days for me and over a week for Wanda. Please, no applause.

Ok, that's it.


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

More Church Signs We Love!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Curious Disappearance on Gladesboro Road

There are some terrible moments, very few, which bring our worst fears to to the surface. Such a moment happened Friday, once to both love of my life and myself.

We got a late start on our insurance rounds because Wanda is still recovering from the "bronchitus" which I am trying to keep from getting. Lots of rest, etc. One of the problems we encounter is finding folks home. They insist on going to work, running errands and the such. When we spotted the truck pulling out of our targeted driveway I quickly pulled our squat Toyota Celica next to the truck. Wanda got out and went around to talk to the driver. The truck pulled out and my wife, who means more than life itself, was gone. Vanished! That quick!

What in the world was I to do? I'd never been in such a situation before and on top of it, I was a not thinking at all clearly. Panic? Yes. Despair? Yes. Perplexed? Yes. Where in such a short time could she be. I was looking at the front door she had not entered. The view where the truck had pulled out was an open field. I called! I blew the horn! No response. By this time I was holding my head and walking around in circles. What does one do when the person they love most in the world in a moment vanishes?

The truck! She must have somehow wound up in the truck! I was back down the road in the direction he had gone! Looking for the beige Chevy truck. Beige, that's always a bad sign. After about a mile, no truck, no wife, but much concern. I headed back to the house where I had last seen her.

There she was! Shrieking and clasping the shirtsleeve of the poor man who had suddenly been caught up in this drama. Tears were flowing for the husband who had been carjacked seven miles in the country on Gladesboro Road. Needless to say she was upset, first because she thought something had happened to me and then because I had left. But I was looking for her and when I explained my state of mind there were two basket cases. Relieved basket cases, but basket cases non the less.

Where was she? She had gone down the hill beside the house and in the back door. All of that action was hidden by the truck. She didn't hear me call but she did hear the horn and thought it was someone trying to get out. I was so happy she was alright, I didn't care.

We have laughed about it since but at the time it was far from funny. It is a horrible thing to have a loved one go missing. There is a surreal quality about it. It's a kind of feeling I hope to never experience again.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Neighbors

Being a little curious I clicked on that "next blog" thing. I mean how bad could it be? Well my blog neighbor is Kasia, a teacher in Poland. She seems to be encountering the same discipline problems as many of the teachers in this country. She has, at least, imagined a solution straight out of Ally McBeal. Looks to me like One Ordinary Life is not so ordinary.

My virtual drinking buddy in Singapore, Binty McShea is in a race for the Blog of the Week at A Mischief of Magpies. I think he was exiled from Scotland for failing to meet his quota of drinking whiskey while eating chocolate. He, of course, denies that saying it was because he had completed his and was working on other peoples. In any case he's about as opinionated as any of us and considering who he's up against could use your vote.

And I would have never learned about the popularity of vintage American motor cars amongst the Nobility of the Swedish had not it had been discussed at Lifecruisers .

And that's what I've been up to. Gossiping about the neighbors but that's a the way it is up here. And what's more everyone knows it. I was sitting in Floyds (I have so much I should be doing right now) Barber Shop getting my hair cut when a lady who had just come in from a Mt Airey civic meeting came in and commenced to give the lastest word going around. But then she stopped, looked at me and said "you're not from Mt. Airey are you?" She knew.

By this time anyone who doesn't admit to at least the possibility of global warming is in a time warp. Mountain temp is supposed to be in the 60's (sorry I don't know the C. , I can't even spell it) today. Yesterday set a record in Winston-Salem.

Wanda came down with, what Dr. Huff labeled as "bronchitis" , handed her four prescriptions and the credit card took a $95. hit. The money seems well spent as she is feeling much better today. The health care is very good around here. I called 8:30 and they scheduled her for 9:30, was home at 11:30. One stop shopping, clinic and pharmacy.

Today we've got to head on down those insurance trails as so far this week there's been no production. And that means no pay.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

You Look Fabulous

Now, you will like this.

Pay Attention, This Time...

Ok, I tried to be subtle about this but it seems no one took the hook. This is Martha Munizzi. She 's bringing a whole new look to Black Gospel, to say the least. So I'm going to say again (yes I'm a persistant little bugger, just ask my mom or my wife) go here, turn up the speakers, find "Glorious" just above Martha's picture and click on play. I have dial up and there is no waiting.
For those of you not enjoying a walk with Christ, just enjoy the music and all y'all try not to knock ever any furniture dancing around the living room.

The Wisdom Of Kids...

Annie at Earthen Vessel has some of the jems of wisdom kids come up with. One gives a whole new take on the origin of man. Teaching the B. D. theory will certainly rile up the evolutionists.

I've had this on hold since it happened last Thursday, Lucky Thursday the 23rd, (hope you enjoyed the celebrations) at church. One of the 7 or 8 year old young brothers after taking up the collection and offering the obligitory blessings added "and Lord, please get Kenny out of that Ford and into a Chevy Truck". Now there's a kid who's got his priorities straight.