Friday, May 30, 2014

White Squirrel Festival

Brevard, NC held their annual White Squirrel Festival during Memorial Day weekend.  Initially I thought it would be like any other local festival with the usual music and vendors.  Then I looked at their schedule of events and noticed a soap box derby.

A soap box derby is something I have never witnessed in person and decided that this would be worth the trip on Sunday afternoon.   With some sickness traveling through the house, I headed to Brevard with only my son.

When we arrived music was playing on the stage and the table of funnel cake was calling out names.

We checked out some of the other items on display and found the elusive white squirrel.

We walked over to the hill where the cars would be going down and noticed a crowd at the bottom.

At the bottom we found where the teams make final preparations to their cars.  The wait for the race to start was short as the organizers started to tow the derby cars to the top of the hill using 4-wheelers.

Each race took less than thirty seconds and the cars were moving quickly near the bottom of the hill.  There was only a short straight section that the driver had to stop his car before hitting a barricade of hay bales.

We were able to see several races before it started raining.

After the rain we spent some time in the festival area before checking the hill again.  We were able to see another race before the rains started up again and we decided it was time to head home (not before getting a plate of funnel cake).

The White Squirrel Festival was a great event and next year I plan on returning.  The soap box cars were fun to watch and it was interesting to see the variety of styles.  It's like a human sized Pine Wood Derby.
Also, Brevard is just a great setting for these kind of festivals.  It's a beautiful little town and the event was setup perfectly for a family event.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Mystery of the Kitchen Toilet Paper

For two days, two entire days, a roll of toilet paper sat on the corner of the kitchen counter.  This wasn't a full roll, it was about three quarters of a roll.  During dinner on the second day of the kitchen TP I announced that I had a question for the family.

I stood and walked over to the counter and pointed to the white roll sitting there.  "I want to know who left toilet paper in the kitchen.  After that, I want to know why."  In reply, my family stared at me.  Two of the kids were giggling.  I approached the table and looked at my oldest kid.  "Did you bring toilet paper into the kitchen?", I asked.

"No.", he replied.
"Do you swear it?", I asked.
"I swear it.", he replied.

I moved over to the next chair and asked my daughter, "Did you bring toilet paper into the kitchen?"

"I did not.", she replied.
"Do you swear it?", I asked.
"I swear it.", she answered.

I looked to my youngest daughter and asked very seriously, "Did you bring toilet paper into the kitchen?"

"Nope.", she said.
"Do you swear it?", I asked.
"I swear it.", she answered.

I walked around the table over to Cari and I sat down next to her.  She smirked at me.  I asked the question.  "Did you bring toilet paper into the kitchen?"

"No.", she answered.
"Do you swear it?", I asked.
"I swear it.", she replied.

I put my head on the table and my oldest daughter asked me, "Dad, did you bring toilet paper into the kitchen?"

I answered her, "NO! Why would I do that?"
She asked, "Do you swear it?"
"I swear it.", I answered her.

How is it possible that a roll of toilet paper showed up in the kitchen two days ago yet all five of us swear to having nothing to do with it and not knowing how it appeared.

Did the dog do it?  Nah, it seems more like a cat kind of move but if the cat did left the roll there it would have been shredded to pieces all over the kitchen floor.   For now, the mystery of the kitchen toilet paper will remain unsolved.  But don't worry, I have another suspect that I would to question about this. . .

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day Walk

One of the things I tend to look for in my cemetery walks are markers of veterans.  We found many in our walk in Liberty last week.
Markers for just a few of the veterans buried there:

Notice: William A Richbourg, a veteran of both World Wars.

While not a veteran, Ben Robertson Jr. was a corespondent during the second World War and an author of several books.  He died in a plane crash while covering the war in Europe.

When we got home we were curious about some of the names we had seen and started a search at the Find A Grave website.  This website has improved so much over the years and now contains a lot of photos and additional information.

For example, buried in the cemetery Cari and I walked last week is Pvt William A. McWhorter, a WW2 Congressional Medal of Honor recipient.

I'll warn you, that it can become a tangled web of time wasting if you aren't careful.  I found myself clicking on a name, which would lead to me to a sibling or a parent buried somewhere else which lead me to a story about a spouse and before you knew it thirty minutes was gone.  (SQUIRREL!)

Also in the cemetery, we found this walled section that was in a corner alone in an old section.  Inside the markers were all from the 1800's.

It was interesting as we stood near this marker, placed nearly 150 years ago, that remains today.  Another marker described the person as a dedicated husband and father.  He died when he was 18.

I think it is good sometimes to take a walk in a cemetery and think about those that were here before us.  While we are there, we should specifically seek those that fought for us to be here today.

Saturday, May 24, 2014


This past weekend I had the privilege to go see the Phantom of the Opera.  We have been to see several shows over the years but this was my favorite yet.  If you see that Phantom is performing near you I recommend that you get some tickets.

I snapped this photo a few minutes before it got started.  The ball hanging above the audience is "lot 666"  the chandelier of the opera house. It's covered at the moment, but it won't stay that way.
A big thanks to Cari for getting us tickets and finding a great meal afterwards.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Bill Layman

I looked back to choose some photos of Bill for today's post and I came across these.  He had invited us over to his place so he could show my kids around the farm and introduce them to some of the animals.
Bill and his wife, Jewell, were one of the first families at church to come over and introduce themselves to Cari and I.  Since that first day of meeting, we were adopted into his family.  Not only did he tell us we were his family, he would continue to show us that truth every day for the next ten years.   
One of the things I'm going to miss about Bill is that smirk he would often greet me with as he shook my hand and asked, "Is Cari treating you okay?"  He knew she was but he would still ask me the question, especially if she was in earshot.  
Bill Layman was 75 when he passed away this week.  

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Along Came a Spider

Driving toward the sun on my way to work with a smile on my face.  The windows were down and the radio was on.  The sun was shining and traffic wasn't bad.  I flipped down the sun visor and put my sunglasses on.  I was tapping my fingers on the steering wheel in time with the music while sitting at a red light.

It was there, in the left turn lane that I noticed it.  A spider was hanging on his strand of web and dangling just over my left hand.  This arachnid was the size of a nickle and red in color.  He was horrifying!  In the middle of lip syncing to the radio I let out a shriek.  The light turned green just as I was trying to figure out my strategy.   Before letting off of the brake I had questions.  When I turn left will the spider swing over my hands?  Will he fall and land on me?  My first instinct was to abandon the car in the middle of the road.  Certainly the other early morning commuters would understand.  I resisted the urge to jump and made the corner without making contact.  

My eyes started searching for a parking lot to pull into while at the same time keeping track of the movement of the spider.  He started to climb his strand of web and approached the top of the window opening.  My left hand immediately reached for the window controls and started it into the closed position.   I watched as both the window and the spider were racing to the top of the window opening.  I didn't want the window to trap him inside but I didn't want the spider to jump back in if he made it out.   The timing was nearly perfect and both were reaching the top at the same time.  I paused the window with half an inch to go.  As soon as the spider was out of view I pushed the window closed.   The crises had been averted. 

Eliminating the terror of this red spider did not calm my nerves.  As far as I knew the spider laid one hundred eggs before leaving the car.  I could be dealing with a lot more of these very soon.  The spider that was in the car just a minute ago was not a baby and he seemed old enough to have friends.  

In my now stressed condition, I made it safely to work.  When I got out of the car I cracked the windows back open to prevent the car from getting too hot in the afternoon.  Then I closed the door and I saw that my window had crushed the body of the spider in the window seal.  I thought about cleaning his corpse from my car but left it there as a warning to his kin.

Now that I think about it, it may have been my habit of cracking the windows that allowed a spider access to begin with. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

A Visitor

We were all so glad to see my father-in-law come and visit for a few days.  About an hour after getting off of his flight we put him to work with a ladder and a hose.  

We are already making plans for his next visit.

Friday, May 16, 2014

We Have a New Winner!

In all the time of our family game night trophy my son has only won it once. . . tied with his mom.  Well that statistic is no longer valid.  We have a new winner on the record book.

After a tense four player game of Power Grid, he came out on top by having $8 more than his mom.  He was so excited he was shaking during the last turn.  As soon as it was official he grabbed a pen and recorded his name onto the trophy record.

Although I have never won this game it is my favorite board game.  There are so many options and decisions to make, the game keeps you engaged the whole way through.  This is the new Monopoly.

Hopefully next time I'll win.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Just a few more photos of my graduate wife wearing her cap and gown.  The golden cords and tassel are a symbol of her hard work and determination to complete school with a 4.0.  

She says she is going to wear the cords every day for the rest of the year.

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Center

During the party at our house last week I heard a voice perk up when it was time to cut the cake.  Actually, a lot voices perked up, but one in particular caught my attention.  It was when he said, "I want the center of the cake."

To satisfy our guest, Cari took the knife and carved out the center of the cake.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Just Let It Go?

How funny is a joke as time progresses?  Sometimes when you get together with friends there may be a phrase or word that becomes a joke within the group.  How funny this word or phrase is changes with time and I'm wondering, is there a time when you should just let it go?

Thursday, May 08, 2014

YouTube of the Week

This is on my list to try.   If you try it let me know how it worked out for you.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Nurse 4.0

There is a new nurse in the world today.
Not only did Cari become a nurse but she finished all of nursing school with nothing less than an A.  My wife is the best at anything she is determined to do.  Now she can add RN to the list.