Friday was the end of the semester for the kids and they finished with pretty good grades. We usually do something sorta special when the semester ends so we decided to go get some hibachi/sushi. We all get pretty much the same thing every time we go. The other three in my family always get the cook-in-front-of-you-shrimp and I get sushi. Abigail and I always share an order of edamame and Isaac snarls at his salad. We slurp our soup and laugh when only Isaac (and his big mouth) can catch the shrimp the chef tosses at us. It’s great fun!
A new hibachi place opened up in town so the one we usually go to remodeled a little and printed a new menu with higher prices to cover the new paint job. I don’t usually look at menu covers much but for some reason, I decided to read clear to the end. It was there that I found a little gem. Take a quick read and you will see what I mean.
I was delighted to find that the age-old challenge of men (and women) was so easily solved with a simple trip to the local hibachi restaurant. Now that I know the secret, I figure we will eat hibachi a little more often…
The other day, Emily and I were working around the yard. I was mowing and Emily was planting a ton of new flowers that we got. Well, actually we got them 3 weeks ago but that’s beside the point. Anyhow, as we toiled away, the kids were doing…nothing. I have seen this trend before and am pretty sure I was not able to get away with that when I was a kid. Sure, I had my goof-off times, but I definitely helped out doing work too.
Seeing an opportunity for a lesson in life, I asked both kids to drag themselves away from their books (yeah, I know, I could have worse problems than kids who read) and come outside. We have a number of outdoor chairs that we never use. We never use them in part because we never clean them off. The other part is we hate mosquitoes but that’s not the point of the story. Anyhow, I asked the kids to get soap and a brush and scrub all of the chairs.
They fussed and whined. There were ants and spiders on the chairs…and dirt too! After a bit, I got irritated and grabbed a chair, ants and all, and told the kids to “grow a pair” and just carry the chairs to the driveway. Isaac knew what I said and smirked, but I had to explain that phrase to Abigail. Yeah, I got a lesson too…keep my mouth shut!
Anyhow, they got going and had a lot of fun with it I think. Towards the end, they were negotiating for payment. I didn’t really have payment in mind when this all started. I had to laugh at their conversation though…”We’ll do it for a dollar a chair”, said Isaac. “No, I’d rather do it for 25 cents a chair.” Back and forth they went a few times but they settled in on 5 cents per chair. There are only 6 chairs so they were looking at 30 cents each. Heck, with that sort of deal, I could be persuaded to pay! I gave them each a buck for the humor. Well, 70 cents for the humor and 30 cents for the work!
So I mentioned in the last post that we took a trip to PA to celebrate my Grandpa’s 98th birthday. It’s a bit of a trip – 6 hours or so and we never leave until after work. That puts us in pretty late. We always stop at a particular truck-stop right as we get off of the interstate and start the hour and a half trip through the dark and windy roads to Tionesta. Needless to say, we are sometimes a little goofy at that point so you can only imagine the hooting and carrying on we did when I saw the job application for the truck-stop. I guess you take a number and you’re hired.
I’d say it’s a pretty tough place to work so maybe the only way they can get enough people to staff the place is to take absolutely anyone who can pull a ticket. I don’t know but I have to tell you, I still chuckle when I look at this picture!
We don’t watch a lot of television and I am often reminded of exactly why. The other day, we were sitting down to watch some tv show during prime-time. Things started out pretty much as most tv shows start…you know, with cussing. I cringed a little inside because as much as I enjoy a good cuss now and then, it is an odd situation when you’re sitting with your 8 year old and some stranger on tv demonstrates the range of their vocabulary. I am pretty realistic and a bit sexist I guess but I figure Isaac already knows most of the standard compliment of cuss words. In fact, he has used a great number of colorful words on me. Anyhow, there is just something not right about hearing cussing around your little daughter.
I looked over at Emily and then at Abigail and I guess she picked up on my discomfort. “Did you hear all of those cuss words, Dad?” “Yes Abigail, I heard them.” “Don’t worry Dad, I already knew them. Isaac taught me most of them.” That’s a relief…I guess. My gaze turned to Isaac and he had the sudden need to go study…something.
So, we still have tv and the kids still get to watch it. They can watch any channel they like so long as it is the Weather Channel. The kids still yell at each other, but I don’t mind. “Hey Cumulonimbus face, your occluded front is running down your chin like the Noreaster tears across New England.” “Oh yeah, well the barometric pressure is making the dew build up on your weathervane of a nose!”
Emily and I were at a party for grown-ups (it rarely happens) when we got to telling stories. Emily is a champion story-teller and she decided to spring our honeymoon story on folks. It goes something like this…
We had just graduated college and were preparing for graduate school. In translation, that means we were beyond poor when we got married. We had just plunked down our security deposit on our 350 sq ft apartment and had moved what stuff we had a week before. Our wedding was excellent and it was a super great occasion. I cried when I saw Emily come down the aisle. I am not opposed to crying, but I rarely do it. Anyhow, it was a beautiful wedding.
After the wedding, we greeted guests and ended up with perma-grins on our faces from all of the smiling we did in the photo shoots. We were definitely ready to head off on our honeymoon. I planned it all and didn’t tell Emily where we were going. I, uh, figured it didn’t really matter as just needed some time to get used to the idea of being married. I booked us a room at the Mountain Creek Lodge at Pipestem Resort in southern West Virginia.
Little did I know, that my brother and one of our friends had filled our luggage and car with a ton of birdseed while we were cutting cake and smiling. Honestly, it had to be close to a ton. So, we got to the room and were exhausted. We ate and half unpacked our stuff. Without thinking, I just dumped the ton of birdseed from our suitcases outside in the yard just beyond the edge of our first story patio. We went straight to bed, dead-tired and desperate for rest and calm.
Around daylight, let’s say 6 am the following day, we were startled from bed by the cawing of a family of crows. That is, crows, right outside our window. Crows cawing a mere 4 feet or so from our bed. Yeah, crows. I scared them off a few times but it was hopeless. Sleeping in was not to be on our honeymoon.
There are a few more tails from that week of adventure but I’ll leave Emily to tell them another time. But before I go, I have to tell you that the crows were not the end of the birdseed story. Oh no, dear friends, there is more. I will tell the rest of the story in my next post.
Most times, when I drive down the road I pretty much ignore signs and billboards. So many of them are not clever or are visually assaulting. WV has way too many other things to look at. Every now and then, though, I see one that makes me smile. One of the local hospital chains in Charleston placed signs all over and this one is just down-right hilarious I think! The poor kid will be scarred for life once his friends show him that picture in junior high, but until then, way to go little swimmer!
I am Joe Q. Public. I put my pants on one leg at a time. I like hamburgers on the grill. I cry when I watch Old Yeller. And, like most people, I didn’t used to floss my teeth. It’s a pain in the hind-end and it’s a bit gross. I am stubborn though so when my new dental hygienist got on the old, “you have to floss or your head will rot and fall off” train, I decided to prove her wrong.
It’s not like I never flossed. I flossed regularly for the week before I go to get my teeth cleaned and likewise the week afterwards. With my Invisalign teeth aligners, I am supposed to brush and floss every time I hiccup anyhow, so I had additional motivation to floss like responsible teeth owners are supposed to do.
I quickly found that the old-school floss was not gonna work long-term for me so I went in search of new flossing technology. I found “the floss stick” as I like to call it. It takes the guess-work out of flossing (did you know there is guess work in flossing?) No more trying to figure the best way to get your big hairy hands in your mouth just right so you can get your back teeth. No more accidentally cutting off all circulation to your index finger when you wrap it just a little bit too tight. No, no, those days are over! With my new floss stick, I can floss (and floss well) all the teeth in my head…faster than green grass through a goose!
I haven’t yet been back to the hygienist, but I am sticking to my flossing challenge thanks to the flossing stick. I am sort of torn…in one way I want to prove her wrong about flossing, but in another, I am pretty excited to have good teeth and to get accolades from a near-stranger as she dances around in my mouth. Only time will tell, but I am sold on flossing now that’s it’s easy (and I don’t have to taste my hairy hands!)
A few months ago, we got a new cat Mohinder. Our other cat Madeline is pretty well trained to stay off of tables and counters. It could be that she’s old and too bitter to jump, but I prefer to think of it as her getting a proper upbringing in a loving home. Anyhow, Mohinder is a much younger, testosterone-fueled cat (though he must have an alternate source as his normal testosterone makers are no longer in his possession). He’s starting to get that stubble on his chin typical of a male going through puberty.
So, we’ve made training Mo a family affair. We keep a water bottle around to squirt him when we catch him doing something teenager-like. Speaking of that, have any of you with teens tried a water bottle for training? Isaac is only 4 years from it and I am already preparing my passport so I can exit the country.
Well, we have been progressing along pretty well and Mo is pretty bright as cats go. Isaac was so proud awhile back and had to tell me of his efforts in training Mo. Apparently Mo was on the dining room table. Isaac caught him but did not have the spray bottle handy. Being a resourceful bugger, Isaac came up with the only water he had available. He told me, “Dad, I had to spit on him. It was the only water I had.” Now let me tell you, I look at our dining room table with a more cautious eye and thank my lucky stars that Mo was not doing something wrong in the bathroom!