Category Archives: author

If We Were Having Coffee 3/14/2015

coffee2

If we were having coffee…

Today you’d find me moving slower than normal. Oh, don’t worry the coffee and cake are fresh, ready and waiting. It’s just my body refuses to move at normal operating speeds.

After a very long week of equipment repairs at work, muscles seemed to laugh at the thought of getting out of bed this morning. I swear this spring every piece of equipment in the yard has ganged up on me.

Ah well, better now than when our season is in full swing!

If we were having coffee…

I’d ask if your town has noticed old man winter finally running out of steam for the year. Around here his icy grip is getting weak.

Just like a movie villain hanging onto the edge of a cliff about to fall to his doom in the canyon below, one can feel his grasp slipping. There’s nothing to do but stand there smiling as each finger tip slips away. In the words of Bruce Willis from Die Hard… “Yippie Ki-yay *!#%**

Another rough winter is just about over. In many ways I’m darn glad to see it. In others, well I kind of wish he would stick around.

The answer to the question floating through your head right now is yes I am a bit crazy. But think about it for a second….

While all of us are ready for t-shirts, blooming flowers, and the wonderful scent of fresh cut grass, Are you really ready for mosquito’s, humidity, oppressive heat and millions of spiders?

If we were having coffee…

I would tell you that my list of things I never want to do again before I die grew by one more item last night.

I learned real quick that enjoying a missed episode of the TV show Bones does not go well with pizza! Yep, that sure was a short dinner.

If we were having coffee…

I’d offer up one last salute to another gorgeous winter…

20150202_091937

20150202_091941

20150115_081207(2)

Fair well snow drifts,  icicles, and frozen lakes.

If we were having coffee…

I am sure by now you would have noticed that while still making progress on our renovation, things have slowed quite a bit.

Time for all those little loose ends has been short, but it’s almost done. At this rate another two weeks should finally have us ready for the carpet to be installed.

If we were having coffee…

Wow our time goes fast. I must get my butt in gear now. Today is working on the house day. This weekend has been shortened by a day since my beloved Jeep needs some attention tomorrow. At nearly 200,000 miles, she’s given me a list of items that are tired and need replacing.

So today will be sawdust and stain. Tomorrow rust, grease, and mud…

Any body out there have a 36mm axle nut socket I can borrow? It’s the one tool I seem to be lacking, and Mama hates it when I tool shop. With all the cool toys in a big boy toy store, walking out with just one… Well that’s like eating just one potato chip!

Until next week then. Yeah I am still way too busy… But I will play catch up with everyone soon.

Here’s to a week of fresh spring breezes, soul warming sunshine and a chance to break that bad case of cabin fever I am sure all of us have!

Don’t forget to swing into Part Time Monster’s linky and say hello to everyone. It’s a great place to make new friends.

Advertisements

If We Were Having Coffee 3/7/2015

coffee2

If we were having coffee…

This morning you’d find me running back and forth from my workshop to the house. It’s clean up day today! Mountains  of tools and supplies are headed out the front door back to their proper places in the shop.

Our renovations are finally so close to the end I almost can’t stand it. If only I could find my magic wand to wave about in order to cinch the last little loose ends tight.

A couple light switches here, an outlet there, and a few tiny pieces of trim to cut. Then it’s off to spend some time sanding and staining cabinets to match.

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but for some reason I feel like I am chasing it rather than gaining on it.

Well anyway come on in!

If we were having coffee…

I’d ask if you’d seen the weather reports for this week. It is finally going to reach into the forties around here. While the ice fisherman in me is screaming “Not Yet”, the rest of me is more than ready to feel some warmth that doesn’t come from multiple layers of clothing!

If we were having coffee…

I’d offer you brownies instead of chocolate cake to go with a steaming cup of Joe. I had been pestered for weeks to make some by our youngest son.

“You always have cake, when will you have some brownies?”

I’m the biggest sweets eater in the house, and it turns out, other than the occasional piece of cake eaten by Mama, I am the sole cake eater in the house.

So I made a batch of brownies while I had the oven going for cake this week.

After two days of reminding him they were on the counter he headed out the door for a weekend at a friends. When I popped the lid I discovered he had yet to even touch them.

Granted they are a box mix, Martha Stewart I am not, but he didn’t even nibble on an edge!

So before I can make another cake, I have to save the brownies from turning to hockey pucks.

If we were having coffee…

I’d want to ask if you know where Bald Eagles go during the winter. There’s a pair at work who have yet to grace me with their presence this year.

What has been back to greet me is our resident hawk, although as you can see in the pic, he is still just as camera shy as ever. When I lifted my phone to shoot the picture, he had settled on top of the pole. Just before I heard the digital simulation of the shutter, he jumped off with his wings spread wide.

20141008_152017

If we were having coffee…

I’d remind those of you affected by Daylight Savings Time to change your clocks before you go to bed tonight. Yeah, it’s that time.  And since you have the step ladder out, replace those all important batteries in your smoke alarms!

Well, I suppose it is time for me to get my butt in high gear for the day, so as much as I would like to sit here and chat over another cup, I really must excuse myself. Those damn magic elves have been slacking off of their late night duties so all the little loose ends are still waiting for me.

Here’s to a warmer week full of sunshine, muddy roads and song birds! For those of you who entertain our robins during the winter, have they left yet?

Their arrival back here in Michigan is the sign I wait for to call back my crew, and I am beginning to go stir crazy in that big shop all alone!

There’s more coffee and good times to be had so when you leave here be sure to stop by Part Time Monster’s link page and mingle!

If We Were Having Coffee 2/28/2015

coffee2

If we were having coffee…

You’ll see a big smile on my face this morning as I meet you at the door. This week was an awesome one, and I can’t help but let it show.

Please come on in, the coffee is hot, there’s fresh chocolate cake and the mood around here is as bright as the sunshine that is blaring through the windows.

If we were having coffee…

I’d tell you about a crazy first week back to work. Even though our temps have not gotten much above ten degrees, it felt good to be outside soaking in the sunshine.

 I spent a couple days waking up the stubborn old road grader from it’s winter slumber. If you compared my equipment to the seven dwarves, there is no doubt that grader would be named “grumpy”.

Just when it finally seemed I had coaxed him back into work mode, he gave me quite the unexpected surprise. Somewhere under that yellow and rusty exterior a hydraulic line blew, sending a bright pink geyser sky high.

As I tried to run through thigh high snow drifts to reach the cab and turn the key, I wound up face down in a drift while pink transmission fluid rained down from above.

I guess he won that battle, but the war is not over!

If we were having coffee…

I’d share the excitement we feel here. Our oldest daughter and her husband are now only a couple days away from moving in to their house. After some weeks working with the bank, they are officially home owners.

And the best part, they are moving in right next door! Monday is moving day, so one week of work under my belt this season, and I already put in for a day off.

If we were having coffee…

I’d ask if you managed to dodge the bug that seems to be going around. Thankfully it has (thus far) missed our house, but it sure has been raging through the area.

I hope this day finds you healthy and smiling.

If we were having coffee…

I’d ask if the cake was better than last week. I’ve been practicing and using all the advice I have gotten from Mama, our daughter and my mom.

Each cake is getting better. Maybe Mama’s oven doesn’t hate me after all!

If we were having coffee…

It’s about time I excuse myself, before I get focused on some trim work in the house, I need to run out and find a pair of gloves.

It seems our pup has gotten board with the milk crate full of toys at her disposal and decided shredding one of my insulated work gloves would be more fun.

Ya just gotta love the chewing stage!

With some luck I’ll pop in a bit more this week, but I will make sure the coffee is hot next Saturday.

Until then, think warm happy thoughts and let’s drive old man winter back north for the year!

Oh and don’t forget to swing into Part Time Monster’s link page. Lots of wonderful people are offering up enough coffee to keep you twitching and jabbering all week long!

If We Were Having Coffee- 2/21/15

coffee2

If we were having coffee…

You’d find me standing on the front porch enjoying a steaming cup this morning. Our renovation is still in high hear, and with a tight timeline I have spent far too many hours indoors for my liking.

For the past three weeks I have been working nearly non stop till the wee hours of the morning every night. While it is good to see the progress, I miss fresh air and snow under my boots.

Come on in, and see the changes!

If we were having coffee…

I’d offer you a piece of chocolate cake. It’s the first cake I baked that actually turned out! Much thanks to our daughter who was willing to give dear ole dad a baking lesson.

I turns out I had two fatal flaws in making cake.

  1.  Don’t just mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and stir until they are perfectly smooth batter.
  2. Don’t shake out the air bubbles once the batter is in the cake pan.

20150210_114026

It is  a bit denser than Mama’s so I have some practicing to do, but it’s still a good cake!

If we were having coffee…

I’d be curious of your week. Have you been safe and warm in the frigid blast that seemed to grip the country? Our highs the past few days have been below zero here.

Even my old reliable Jeep didn’t want to start yesterday morning when the thermometer read -22 actual temp. With windchill (according to the weather man) it felt like -37.

If we were having coffee…

I’d tell you how much I miss sharing and mingling here. I have come to find lots of interesting people and made a few friends.

To all of you thanks for your patients while I work diligently on our home and only have enough time to pop in once a week. When I get back on track with life, I will have time to stop in and see everyone much more often.

If we were having coffee…

I’d tell you I can’t believe just how quickly ten weeks go by. I’m in the final count down before returning to work on Tuesday.

It feels like only a week ago I began this vacation. Honestly, I wonder how I had time for a full time job with everything else going on!

If we were having coffee…

I would have to bid farewell about now. I have finished building the counter tops for Mama’s kitchen, now it is time to get that all important sink back where it belongs and slide the appliances back in.

Here’s to a week full of good news, normal temperatures and smiling bosses! Have a good one and I’ll for sure see you  next week.

And don’t forget to stop by the linky for Part Time Monster for more coffee. There are some great people mingling about there.

Is The Pen Mightier Than The Hammer?

20141226_142656

I’m not one for resolutions, I find they are a good way to blow my own self esteem. Goals for the coming year however- that’s the way to go.

And among those goals are some definite repeats from last year. Heck some have been on my goal list for several years.

But this year I have a new one. The number one goal-

Complete and publish my first fiction novel. It’s the next step from my 2014 goal of becoming a writer. Whether or not my writing sucks has yet to be determined, but I am a writer (of some kind).

So 2015 I will be a novelist. That should blow the minds of my kids!

Maybe it is time for me to fully explain what I am doing here.

I’m just your average Joe. A working man who found decent money in the realm of construction. Geometry and fractions ruled my brain, and my weather beaten body abused by both mother nature and the need to feed the family.

In the back of my mind I always wanted to write. To be able to put pen to paper and stream words together in a vivid tale that gave life to  some crazy event or story that would leave folks clamoring for more.

I suppose it is a dream many of us here share.

Then the kids began to grow up and explore life outside the small protective world Mama and I offer. Long story short, I felt the need to prove to the kids that anything is possible when you put your mind to it- after telling them that for years.

So, 2014 became a year of chasing my dream. Starting with research, then into actually doing. I must say I have surprised them while at the same time giving them something to think about.

I have this blog, and nearly one hundred followers (A great big Thank You to each and every one of you!) and my first book- Desperation Floats.

It is short, only about 10,000 words and 39 (ish) pages. But for me it is the greatest accomplishment to date except for my family.

It symbolizes the reality of a dream I have carried since my teenage years. And is one most of the world thought was beyond my grasp.

Other things that make it so special I have technology to thank for. See, I had been told many times things like- “On your budget, you’ll never make it.” or “We prefer someone with REAL writing experience, get back to us when you have at least a published article.”

In this day in age, absolutely everything (except the editing) I have done right here from my home office.

The words are mine along with the actual events the story is about. Thanks to GIMP– (and one frustrating, hair pulling learning curve!), the cover of my book is solely mine as well.

A picture taken from my smart phone, dressed with a title and my name, then resized appropriately is what you see.

The publishing and marketing of Desperation Floats brought about another month of aggravating and stress induced learning. Every little detail (many of which I still have not perfected) combined to blow my mind and question just what I am doing.

What have I come away with? A slam dunk right in the face of every dream poo-pooer out there who said I would fail.

Am I a well known author? Nope, I may only be that cloudy sediment that settled to the bottom of a barrel of the finest wine, but I at least I made it into the barrel.

I’ve made more than my share of mistakes, but my biggest goal of 2014 has been reached. Onward and upward we go, no regrets and no slowing down to look back.

I have taught myself and the kids- Don’t let money (or lack of) stall your dreams. For a creative mind, there are ways of reaching that star you always thought you couldn’t pull from the sky.

Matter of fact as I mill about on the bottom of this barrel, I meet other folks who have found ways to reach their goals. One of which found a route I had not seen before last week.

He is a fellow blogger here named Oscar Hokeah.  And he is one I will keep an eye on, and support his progress as he reaches for the stars. You can find out more about him and his Indigogo campaign here.

And so I go off into 2015 with one great big question.

Is The Pen Mightier Than The Hammer?

All The Riches Money Can’t Buy

Some days I feel like I live under a rock. Today happens to be one of them!

Around here, the gifts are bought, wrapped, and under the tree. Thus removing me from the frantic Christmas shopping that clogs parking lots, storefronts, and even intersections.

Today the house had a need, and I being the caregiver of said house, needed to make a trip to Home Depot. Two days before Christmas is not when I want to be heading to town.

It was an errand I grudgingly took up. To start with I am not one of those suburbanites who believes the place is the best thing since sliced bread.

No, I am an urbanite (if that’s a word) out in the sticks who much prefers a real lumber yard or hardware store.

That being said, I knew the fastest way to what I needed was through their door, so I went- grudgingly.

I have to say I found my self astounded at the scene I walked into. The place was a madhouse complete with screaming babies, crashing carts and oodles of people all scowling.

I watched one man shout into his phone about the proper color of a battery for a cordless tool, and a pair of late teenage boys fighting over who had the best gift for someone.

Giant sale signs hung over aisle blocking displays that took a constant pounding as people in too big a hurry tried to pass each other without slowing down.

In truth the whole thing made me sick to my stomach. For some reason, I guess me being out of the shopping mode (thanks to Mama I don’t have one of those), I felt like I had been removed from the scene. Merely an observer.

Is this what Christmas has been reduced to?

Maybe my brain is stuck in another time, or quite possibly I do live under a rock. Only to be let out when some giant alien child tips that rock too peek under it.

All of my kids know, I don’t care what they do or don’t get me. All I want is for us to be together Christmas day.

I see the day as a family party. After all, it is the birthday of Jesus, let’s celebrate!

Food, games, and laughter that’s what I want. A time to build new memories, talk with each other, and share another fabulous meal that Mama so lovingly prepared.

All the expensive gifts you can keep. I don’t need them, and I don’t want them.

But that one thing I do want, can’t be bought in a store or for any amount of money. It’s priceless, timeless and given from the heart.

That’s what Christmas is about- Giving from the heart.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

May your day be blessed with all the riches money can’t buy!

The Years Best Cup of Coffee

20141222_103403

Each year offers one cup of coffee that is far better than any other.  And this year, I happen to be enjoying that mug of steaming brew right now.

It’s not exactly the coffee that is better, since I always brew my own the exact same way. No, it is all about the day.

There is just something so very special about that first cup on the first morning of my seasonal vacation. It symbolizes freedom, lack of time schedules and… wait for it… Marvelous  Monday’s.

Yes you read that right, the two words not meant to be put together- ever.

I just can’t help but line them up like some sort of demented oxymoron.

No alarm shrieking into the early morning hours to rip me from pleasant dreams, no rush, and best of all no “must do lists.”

My usual cup of brew is exceptionally delightful this morning as I sit here smiling and creating my “want to do list” for the next ten weeks.

It almost feels naughty to still be in my PJ’s with a grin on my face. I just hope Santa doesn’t agree with that sentiment!

To the rest of the world who by now is working dutifully away at their jobs, I raise my mug in a sympathy toast to you. I’ll enjoy this fine day to the max in hopes it eases your load just a bit.

And don’t fret, once I am back in the saddle next spring, you can rub in the fact that it is you sitting on your duff every Saturday morning while I grumble, pound the alarm clock with my fist and only wish I could grab the boat and a kid or two instead of plodding off to work.

What goes around comes around, but this day is mine! Now if you’ll excuse me, this fantastic cup of Joe is getting low, time for a refill.

Oh, and Have a Marvelous Monday everyone!