Just rambling thoughts about anything that happens to be on my mind and that usually isn't much!
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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Pappy the Troll

The whole family was recently in Texas to attend the funeral of my father-in-law.  It was nice to get the whole family together even though it was for a sad occasion.  My family all roomed in the Ranch House motel where we have spent nights before on numerous more pleasant occasions such as Christmas and anniversaries with grandma and grandpa.
The two oldest daughters and their families always get adjoining rooms so the kids have a bigger running space than just one room.  This is both good and bad since it seems the little tykes can get a bigger head of steam built up with the greater distance to run.
The morning of the funeral, the daughters ask us to come "baby sit" the grands while all three of them practiced the songs they were to sing for their granddad's funeral.  That sounded easy enough so we went to their adjoining rooms while they searched out an empty, much quieter room to practice.  They had assured me that the outside door in the other room was dead bolted and chained so the kids couldn't "sneak out".  OK, no problem (I thought).
Well the noise level was just below sonic levels as the grands tried to burn off some energy.  I still have a hard time understanding how 4 kids can make that much noise!  The Warden and I looked at each other and silently worried if our family would be banned from ever attending any family functions again.  But anyway after pappy had enough, I set them down on the end of the bed to tell them a story of "Pappy the Troll" who carried a big belt and hated noise!
They listened intently as I described the belt and how it was used on real noisy children.  And went further to explain how quiet they should be at the family dinner and services in the afternoon.  Well now I was right proud of myself and my story since I hadn't raised my voice and the kids had taken it all in!
As soon as I had finished, I winked at the Warden in a show of male intellectual superiority.  I had headed off a potentially noisy afternoon.
The two oldest looked at each other and said how they had best stay away from Pappy.  Then they bolted off the bed with the younger ones in close pursuit and headed into the adjoining room quickly shutting the adjoining room door......the one without the doorknob on my side!  So here I set as the noise level increased in the other room......unable to open the door and with the outside door bolted and chained!
Each time I asked them to open the door, they hollered back that Pappy was a troll!  The Warden now stood there with arms folded and that "know it all look" on her face.  Finally the daughters returned and the kids opened the door for them as they promised the grands they would protect them from "Pappy the Troll". 
Then all the daughters took their mothers know-it-all stance and Becky said, "Next time Dad, we'll just lock them in a room when we leave!"

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Fat Boys Don't Bounce

One thing about frigid temperatures and icy roads, people stay close to home.  That is except for dedicated feed salesman!  We see a unique opportunity in catching ranchers close to the heating stove after chores are done and cattle fed.  However it does bring about another set of difficulties, that being, keeping ones feet firmly on the ground!  And yesterday was no exception as I slowly made my way from one hard to catch prospect to another.
I was counting my blessings as I approached the home of a very hard to catch prospect and seen that his feed pickup was in the shed.  His twin rat terriers were as anxious as ever to bite at my ankles as I stepped from the car and began my "baby stepping" toward his back porch.  Normally with good footing I can kick the little ankle-biters off but with the ice underfoot this was not an option.  So I just dragged the little cusses along growling and holding on to my pant leg.
Very carefully holding on to the porch railing, I was able to rid myself of the two attached appendages.  Slowly I made my way up the ice covered steps to the back door.  I knocked loudly a couple times, eagerly awaiting his appearance so that I could get in out of the bone chilling wind.  But to my great disappointment, no one was there.
I turned and slowly made my way back to the ice covered steps of the porch rubbing my hands together in an attempt to warm them.  The two ankle biters were waiting patiently for me at the bottom step.  Fearing they might cause me to loose my footing (and knowing that the owner wasn't home), I let go of a stern bellow that sent them scurrying around behind the house and eased on down the steps.
I headed back across the yard totally disappointed that I had again missed an opportunity with this prospect.  So totally was I focused on planning my next call that I never realized the very slight slope in the yard two steps from my car door.  In the next instance I was suspended in mid air resembling the position of a magician's assistant as he passes a hoop to show there is no wires attached.
I landed so prone that my heels, butt, back and head hit at exactly the same time with a very audible WOOF!  This sound raised the attention of the ankle biters who rounded the corner of the house in a dead run.  My next memory is trying to determine which was the most important crisis; getting air back into my collapsed lungs, freezing to death only inches from my car, or the ankle biters who had discovered that my ear lobes were now down on their level.
Well as you can see by my relating this story that I did in deed survive.  But I am sure dreading going to the coffee shop this morning hobbling like a 100 year old man.  And there is no doubt the Band-Aids on my ear lobes will attract some attention.