On a Favor

Here’s one of my favorite  John Mellencamp songs to serve as background music during this short read … enjoy Paper in Fire.

Not sure I’ve ever requested anything from readers before, but heck, there’s always a first time.

Several of the reasons I changed themes were a wider use of space and the potential for adding subpages. For instance, I added a Schedule subpage to the About page (which you can see if you wish).

Now my favor request for the willing. I’m not an all about me type of person, nor a good self promoter, but I want to add another subpage to the About page labeled Testimonials for newcomers – so, I’m seeking submissions … and yes, selected ones will be linked. I say “selected” because I do have some editorial control.

It can be about anything pertinent to this blog. Some may prefer about a favorite topic as politics, religion & science, travel, life or whatever. Others may prefer to focus on regular features as Monday Morning Entertainment, Satire Bits, Opinions in the Shorts, or Saturday Morning Cartoon Classics.  And yes, you can even submit something about me … but the bottom line is that it’s coming from you and about whatever ….. and originality in your own style or quirky nature is a plus!

Writing them in the comments is fine with me, unless one prefers to use email. In advance, many thanks to my WordPress community.

On Where

MomBridgeThat’s my mom in 1964 from her hometown in Tuscany, in between Pisa and Florence. She’s standing on a small bridge that is special to me for a variety of reason. The small village way up the hill is where my grandmother was born and grew up. The bridge crosses a small river where I occasionally played.

The bridge didn’t get much traffic, thus the road was gravel. Greenhouses and a few carnation fields lined each side of the road. A the far of the road was the stone apartment building where my mother and her siblings were raised, and where my grandparents still lived when I last visited.

I remember the stone entrance and stops as I walked to the third-floor apartment, which was small with a stone floor. No – this wasn’t the Tuscan villa of our dreams.

My grandfather was tall, quiet, and stern man who provided for his family by working in a factory. I also recall waiting for him at the end of the street for his return home. My grandmother was the stereotypical short, smiling, pleasant Italian grandmother who was a domestic goddess with her cooking and sewing.

Mom was the fourth of six siblings. The oldest, my uncle, was in a wheelchair, thus live at home his entire life. The next was an uncle that I never met because he died in an accident in his 20s. Four girls followed – two older aunts, my mom, and my youngest aunt.

1964 is a long time ago. Since then, most have died – my grandfather (1964), my uncle (1965), my grandmother (1973), Mom (1987), the oldest sister (2010), and the second oldest sister (2012) – let alone the spouses and my dad (2010), my paternal grandparents, Dad’s two sisters, and their spouses.

So that leaves Mom’s youngest sister, two first cousins that I last saw in 1964, and two first cousins that I have not met.

Well – that’s where I’ve been as I just returned from my first visit to see my relatives since 1964 – visit to focus on my last tie to my Mom – here youngest sister – and yes, my four first cousins and their families.

Obviously, the first encounter involved hugs and tears … and then we ate, drank, and laughed … and that was only day 1.


On Personal Stuff

In the following past post of not that long ago, I provided links to many of the new sites I’ve discovered in the past 4-5 months to fulfill my quasi requirement for various awards. As we know, many awards also come with an obligation to tell more about yourself. Good news is that I haven’t run out of this kind of information – bad news is I haven’t run out of this kind of information.

Whenever I go to the pharmacist, I’m fearful of seeing a busload of senior citizens unloading as I approach the store – but this has never happened to me.

Whenever I go to a hotel, I’m fearful of a tour bus unloading as I’m approaching to check in – and this happened once!

I typically sneeze in threes.

I have leaped out of our hot tub/spa, ran into the snow and did a snow angel, then raced back into the hot water.

Because I get too light headed when I give blood, I don’t give any more (sad to say).

I regularly use one Clinique product – a comb.

My favorite sleepwear includes an approximately 20-year old orange t-shirt.

I think my first kiss was with Bobbie Jo in her basement during elementary school years. I can’t recall when she moved away, so I wonder whatever happened to her and her brother.

I recall having only one blind date in my life. I recall having a good time.

When I was in elementary school, I decided to hitch a ride on the back of a milk truck and then jumped off it when it was moving 25 miles per hour. Yep – I end up in the hospital for several days – and very lucky.

I’ve never been one to sleep in – thus I’m an early riser and a morning person.

Two of my favorite travel highlights:
The most beautiful inhabitable scenery: Na Pali Coast, west coast of Kauai (Hawaii)
The most beautiful habitable scenery: Amalfi Coast (Italy)

On the day I was born, Teresa Brewer’s Till I Waltz Again with You was #1 on the charts. Interestingly, this is not a song for waltz.

I want to drive the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile.

My wife and I are greedy – thus only playing lottery games when they reach $100 million.

I was in a car accident and in the same car with a person who died.

I went to Madrid, Spain for a 3-day weekend from Ohio: left Friday afternoon, arrived Saturday morning, left Monday early afternoon, home Monday night, and at work Tuesday morning.

I make oat bran muffins (various flavors) and eat two for breakfast in an attempt to control my blood cholesterol. OK – I should post the recipe in the future.

I can’t be the only person who likes caramel topping by the spoonful without ice cream.

I still get daily newspaper delivery and read the Sports section first.

I know college dorm rooms are small, but while sitting on opposite beds, my roommate tossed a Ritz Cracker, and I caught it on my tongue.

My wife says I’m too serious.

With the perfect timing associated with a light switch, I once farted and the only light in the room went out.

My left hand is prosthetic because I preserved the original in a jar. Yep – it had to be after Shania Twain touched it. To first timers here, I’ve said this here more than once.

Before the last tidbit, anyone desiring more information about the person behind this blog, click here or see Categories > About Me in the sidebar.

Early in our marriage, my wife caught me dusting the apartment to the beat (and in time) to this Lou Rawls song from on LP on the turntable. Of course as she reads this she is wondering, how do you remember that and why? Enjoy Lou and his surprise guests.

On 0 for June

Zero for June isn’t a stat that I’m proud of, but that was the result of my postings in June. As a person who enjoys doing this, that’s pathetic.

The reasons is simple; I’m not bored, and it’s not that there isn’t enough to write about – it’s simply that I’m been too busy. Work has been taking up a big chunk of time since October, but an April decision is what but me over the top – that’s when we decided to put our home and the market and seek to re-size our home needs.

Preparing the home is always an important task, and more than one expects. Then comes keeping it show ready for whenever that unexpected showing occurs. Besides, all the time we’re spent on Web sites previewing homes, going to open houses, talking to builders, and whatever else we’ve done in trying to determine our next step.

On top of that, I had a couple of other things come across my plate that served to compound my time issue.

I hope that July will bring more posts as I not only miss my readers; I miss those that I like to read. Have a safe holiday weekend.

On 25 Things about Me

Although I write about a variety of topics, I hope to take a break from politics. Well, that is assuming Congress doesn’t do anything abnormally stupid (but odds are they will do something stupid). So hopefully this will be the first of some political-free topics … well, with the exception of next Friday’s Opinions in the Shorts.

I’m not in Facebook at this time, but thought I’d join in on the lead from others.

  1. I qualify for Italian citizenship.
  2. My left hand is prosthetic because my original hand is in a jar as it touched by Shania.
  3. I delivered a sermon at my mother’s funeral. A future post anyone?
  4. After winning a game with a shot at the buzzer of the third OT, a group of us (in high school) were attacked by others and ensuing events totaled my car.
  5. While on a state board for a professional association, a colleague told me I was the best devil’s advocate she’s known … of which I respond, “Devil’s advocate my #**, I’m just being myself.”
  6. I love red wine, especially zinfandel and malbec.
  7. After a meal at a restaurant the manager came over and asked if there was anything else he could do. So I asked, “How about free dessert?” The first time response: “I can’t do that.” (Me) So why did you ask? …. I tried it again years later (to the surprise of 2 friends), and it worked … a large piece of cake with 3 forks!
  8. I played baritone in high school … including 5 years in college marching band. Now I play in a bell/chime choir at church, but we’re not the Raleigh Ringers.
  9. I don’t understand how anyone could not appreciate the drumbone.
  10. I prefer reading professional journals, nonfiction, or food/wine magazines over fiction.
  11. Sometimes something is so funny, it’s difficult for me to stop laughing. The last time was when TCP posted this video from YouTube.
  12. I’ve always owned a GM Car, starting with a 1965 Chevrolet Nova … sorry not the SS.
  13. I have played curling, and it is harder than it looks.
  14. I been interviewed by TV stations in Cincinnati and Houston , plus appeared 2 live radio interviews, was part of a podcast interview, a guest on Blog Bunker on Sirius satellite radio, and Al Roker stood in front of us doing the weather.
  15. We are approaching the end of year 2 of ballroom dance lessons.
  16. I sat through the entire coldest game ever in the NFL.
  17. I saw Mark Whiten’s 4 HR, 12 RBI game – those were four blasts!
  18. Many don’t understand my sense of humor.
  19. The Amalfi coast may be the most beautiful place I’ve visited, but Hubbard Glacier and Kauai’s NaPoli coast were awesome sites of nature.
  20. I hate caraway seeds.
  21. I watch the Food Network, enjoy cooking, and will provide my special spaghetti sauce recipe in the future.
  22. I love this saying: Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like banana.
  23. I love playing and watching golf – one of the few sports with no defense.
  24. I would eat at BEEZE’s restaurant if he owned one.
  25. Oh crap … Many times I find myself relating to Mo’s overall view of the world.