Thursday, April 29, 2010

Dessert for Breakfast

I stumbled into the kitchen yesterday morning to get some breakfast.  A lot of mornings I'll make some toast and spread some peanut butter on it.  When I started reaching for the bread, I noticed that it was almost gone.  I didn't want to use the last two pieces for such a useless meal, so I decided to see what else I could find without cooking anything.

In the pantry I found some Pop Tarts, a good alternative to toast.  There were two boxes.  Box number one was vanilla milkshake.  Seriously?  It's seven in the morning.  Where is my brown sugar Pop Tarts?  Vanilla milkshake might be a good snack after lunch.  I pulled the second box off the shelf.   Fudge Brownie Pop Tarts, and they went straight back in the pantry.

I glanced back at the bread and wondered if I should sacrifice my lunch.  Before I started toasting the bread I took a look in the freezer and saw a box of Toaster Strudel.  These are like a high class Pop Tart where you squeeze some frosting on at the end of the toasting.  The flavor was Boston Creme.  Not what I was looking for.

At that point I decided to not even look at what cereal was in the house because I knew the sugar content would be sky high.

Apparently, Cari took the kids with her on the last grocery shopping trip.  To keep them busy they got to choose the breakfast foods.

I toasted the last two pieces of bread and got the peanut butter out.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Return from Foothills Trail

1 trail
4 men
16 hours of rain
30 miles on foot

We have returned to civilization.  Posting on the blog will resume its regular schedule.

Friday, April 23, 2010


"What flavor shirt do you think I should wear with these pants"?

Cari looked at me cross eyed.  "Chocolate."

"No, seriously.", I told her.

"Do you mean what COLOR shirt? Flavors are something you taste.", she argued.

"Nope.  I meant flavor.  Flavors don't have to be a taste.  It can be any sort of selection.", I explained to her.

This discussion went back and forth for several minutes.  I argued that you can use the word FLAVOR when talking about any grouping of similar items.

Cari argues that the word flavor is reserved for only edible items.

So what do you think?  Leave a comment and we'll see who's right.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Easter Egg Hunt 2010

Yeah, I'm a bit late on this, but late is better than never.

I crunched up the Easter Egg hunt in our back yard to this short video as the two older kids searched out the last plastic egg.  Who will find it?  Who will discover its treasure?  Which parent will eat the candy?

Monday, April 19, 2010


Shortly (the next morning) after our dog, Turtle, died the kids started asking for a new puppy.  As it turns out I wasn't in a mental state to make a reasonable decision and so I agreed to get one.

As a family, we discussed what we would like in a puppy and as we talked, Cari searched the animal shelters online.   We decided that we wanted an active dog and one that would be protective of the kids.  You know, so I wouldn't have to watch them as closely.  I also want to train the dog to compete in the disc catching competitions.

That lead us to looking for an Australian Shepherd.  By chance, Cari found an Australian Shepherd / Collie mix. The lady at the shelter warned Cari that this would be a hyper dog to deal with.  Cari pointed to the three maniac kids running around the shelter and said she was ready for anything.  Without any more discussion, they let us adopt the puppy.
Another family meeting had us all arguing to name the dog. Just a few of the more than thirty we narrowed it down to were Turtle II, Mocha, Bob, and Nisha.  Three days later it was decided. 


Since that time we have learned that we have the absolute laziest dog of one the more hyper breeds.  I'm telling you that when I take Nisha to run in the yard and chase sticks, she goes out there and lays down.  If she gets up it's only to walk back to the door.  Wow.  I'm not sure I'll be able to keep up with the hyper speed at which this dog moves all day.

Naming her Nisha, which means night, was some sort of curse.  This dog loves being awake at night barking. She just barks and barks if you aren't sitting right next to her.  At some point she's going to learn to sleep at night.  Some point very soon I'm hoping.

Next time the kids ask for anything, I'm saying no to anything that breathes. 

Saturday, April 17, 2010

You Already Have One!

It's Spring time and you know that means!

It's time for another trip to the Pickens Flea Market!

We got a late start last week and didn't leave until 8:30am, but we figured some good deals could still be had at that late hour, so we headed out.  When we arrived we saw before us a plethora of cars in the dirt parking lot.  As I drove (for thirty minutes) looking for somewhere to park I started to realize that desperate people had become stupid.  Several people had blocked off the exit of an aisle by stopping their cars near the end of the aisle and getting out.  These are just grass fields and people are left to create their own aisles and rows.   This just proves that we can't monitor ourselves.  Why would you abandon your car in the middle of an aisle like that?

Eventually we got in and I started treasure hunting.  I had one thing in mind before I had even left the house.  A new hat.  I purposely didn't wear a hat when I left the house because I was certain to find it at the flea market.  Cari didn't know that I was looking for a hat, but she was about to find out.  I was looking for what I was told is called a "summer hat".  Something like the Tilley hat.

On my search for a  hat I started finding some other really great things.  Like the giant cement sculpture of an alligator or the throw rug stitched with a photo of Dale Earnhardt Sr.  At one point I stopped and contemplated purchasing a Confederate battle flag lapel pin from a guy that probably fought in the war.  Cari snuck up behind me as I looked at the case of pins.  "Whatcha goin' to buy?", she asked me.  She acted quickly when she noticed the collection of Confederate pins, "You already have one of those".

I didn't think I already had one.  I was almost sure of it, but when I looked back at her she assured me it was in the attic.  I walked away from that mans table empty handed but I think that was just Cari's nice way of saying, "You aren't buying that".

Down the row that started with with the man that sells the chickens and the woman selling out of date pharmaceuticals, I found my hat.  The vendor had about five colors of the hat I wanted.  He saw my glance at his merchandise and quickly told me the hats were three dollars or two for five.  I gave the man three dollars and picked up a tan hat. I put it on and modeled it for Cari, who initially was not impressed.

"I think it matches my smile quite nicely.", I said.
Cari smiled back at me and said that it looked good.  Then she admitted that initially she thought I was going to look hideous in it.  I guess my smile won her over.  I'll get some photos of me modeling the hat posted soon.

We walked back to the car hoping that some maniac hadn't blocked us in.  I told Cari that I didn't think they would block in a guy wearing a summer hat.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

World Tour at Epcot!

Look!  I finished some videos from vacation!

The first half of our day at Epcot was dry.  The baby screamed through a lot of that time, but we weren't soaking wet.  As lunch approached we were touring the countries and the skies were getting increasingly darker.  Shortly after that, it started pouring.  

The baby had stopped screaming and actually started laughing as we dashed from country to country, but now we were soaking wet.  We made the best of the weather and had a great day as a family running around in the rain.  

I'll also through this tidbit of advice your way:  If you want to avoid crowds at Disney, go in the rain.  It turns out that most people melt if they get wet.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Submitted Art

I submitted a photography piece to the county museum for their upcoming art show.

Originally, I had intended on submitting two pieces, but I ran out of time and didn't get the second one framed.  So, I'll hold onto the unframed one until next time.

For me, one of the toughest things about submitting work to a judged show is choosing the right piece.  I never know what the judge is looking for.  It's kind of a guess if the show doesn't have a listed theme.  I was told once that sometimes a great piece of work my be rejected from the show simply because it doesn't fit in with the rest of the works.  After all, they are trying to put together a show as well.  My strategy has been to find something that will hopefully stop the judge and make them look a second time.

I didn't expect to learn about the status of my submission for a few days, but this time they notified everyone by email, so the answer came quicker than I had anticipated.

The judge chose my Balloons print to be a part of the show!  I'll be camping during the opening night of the show, but I'm already arranging to have someone go and scout out my work on display that night.

It's always great to have your art recognized by someone else as being worthy for something like this, so I'm very excited to be a part of the show.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

You MUST eat.

Everyone MUST eat.  Yes, even your kids.  If you hesitate to feed your kids they may resort to testing out new foods.

And yes, after this staged photo, he really did lick the cactus.  But since I don't tongue kiss him, and he hasn't complained, I haven't noticed anything adverse effects.

Friday, April 09, 2010


I've been very busy since returning from our Florida vacation and I haven't finished editing film and photos, so those blogs are going to have to wait a bit longer.

So for my blog today, here is a quote that was overheard at the grocery store:

Young man (19-21 years old) on cell phone:  "I don't think we are that related.  It should be ok."

Wednesday, April 07, 2010


If you live in Illinois and reading this from home, you must be lonely.  While we were in North Florida driving South on the interstate I noticed that eight of every ten cars had Illinois plates.  

Most of them were mini vans and smallish SUV's.  As we approached Orlando, it became a game for the whole family.  When a car was along side of us, someone in the car would guess if it was Illinois or not.  It was hard to get an Illinois guess wrong due to the fact that eighty percent of the cars were from there.  

There were a few Florida cars on the roads in Florida.  One of the only Florida cars that caught my attention was this pink Cadillac at a gas station.  

Yep, it had Mary Kay stamped on the side.  
Yep, a dude was driving it. 

I think he was driving North to Illinois.  When he gets there and puts his skirt on to sell some Mary Kay I think he'll be surprised to find that nobody's home. 

Monday, April 05, 2010


Our dog Turtle has passed away.  She was about seven years old.  She was always so good around kids.  They could climb on her, poke at her, and put hands in her mouth without a worry.
Turtle loved playing outside.  I remember days of her grabbing six foot branches that we had trimmed from the tree and wanting to play catch.

But recently she started getting very sick.  She went blind in both eyes within a month and her lymph nodes were all swollen.  Throughout her illness she visited the vet several times and took medicine, but saw no improvement. After several days of no eating or drinking we knew it was near the end of her life due to this unknown illness.  Three vets took another look at her and decided that her quality of life was very poor with little to no chance of recovery.
Turtle was a member of our family that always looked out for us and kept us company.  She is missed every day.  

Saturday, April 03, 2010


For the past two days we have drove North to get back South.

Thankfully (sarcasm), we were home early enough for me to cut the grass just before dark.

It's good to be home.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

New Gear! Part 3

As I have spent the last week showing you some of my new gear, I realized that a lot of those items will be with me during the upcoming backpacking trip.  Cari asked me if I had enough rooom in my pack for all these unncecessary items.  I agreed with her and told her I needed to look into getting a newer bigger bag to hold all this stuff.  Unbelievably , she agreed to let me shop for a bigger bag.

So today I need to show you my latest, and possibly last, new piece of gear.

A new bag to take on the backpacking trip.  This one is a bit larger for all my items.  BUT to compensate for the larger size and heavier weight this bag is equipped with rugged wheels.  The handle telescopes out at various lengths making it easier to pull behind me as I climb uphill slopes along the trail.  I can also tie a length of rope to thehandle and hang it from a tree during the nights. 

Before we hit the trail in a few weeks I will be fitting several LED lights along the zipper line to increase visibility later in the evenings.  With this third, and final, edition of new gear I now feel ready to hit the trail!