Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Memory Loss and Almost Light

When DOR and SILOR announced their engagement, many people gave me advice. Most of which I don’t remember. The one bit of advice I do remember was given to me over breakfast. The person said, “Well, Ralph, you have the easy part. All you have to do is wait and walk her down the aisle.” I liked that advice but it has proven to be a lie.

For the past couple of months people have been in my backyard and throughout my house doing various things in preparation for the wedding. Yes, yes, I know – Char says it too – it’s not just for the wedding. But, during these trying times, it's hard to remember that.

Last night I made a list of things I have to do. There are twenty-eight items on that list. The last two are of great interest to me, purchase a new smoker and purchase a wine rack. Finally, I realized Char was right, those two items will be beneficial after the wedding.

I also think the hustle and bustle is starting to get to Char. Just the other night she snapped at me. All I said was. . . “Next time I go into town I need to pick up . . . wait. . .never mind, I live in town.” Of course, I said it close to fifty times that day.

Anyway, the south side of the house now has flagstone steps and a new tree. The first view is looking up the steps. The second view is looking down towards the setting area which I will write about in another post. Last night I put in the solar lights. After I got them installed, I proudly went in the house and announced to Char, DOR, and SILOR that I was going out at 2:30 in the morning to inspect them and would be happy to wake up anybody that wanted to tag along. After a lot of mumbling and attempts to contain their enthusiasm someone suggested I take a picture. I swear those people missed a good time.

I’ve concluded these little solar beauties are just decoration. They put out just enough light so you know they are there and can avoid stepping on them.
Now the memory loss part of all this – while I can remember eating breakfast when I was told, “Well, Ralph, you have the easy part. All you have to do is wait and walk her down the aisle.” I can’t for the life of me remember who made the statement. That might be a good thing.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

I Take NO Responsibility. . .

. . . .for this post. But since I take no responsibility, likewise I can take no credit. It was sent to me by Dan. I guess he was getting a little tired of Tater Tots. It came with an e-mail that read in part, “Sounds like you’re too busy to put up a new blog. So I've written one for you. Here it is. Just some cut and paste and you're done.”
I've been really busy lately, but I thought I should post something. I have been busy making all the major decisions that must be made for an upcoming chaotic summer, and doing a lot of household chores, such as watering the plants.

What I would rather be doing is golfing, and that reminds me of last summer in Longmont.

I played golf with a few good friends. Note the position of the 4 tee shots, at least we are consistent.

The highlight of the day, other than when I got home to see Char, was when I shot a birdie on hole 18.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Ticked at Taters

I’ve always liked Tater Tots. When in North Dakota I discovered they are considered one of the major food groups. At every meal, hot dish, a.k.a. Tater Tot casserole, was available. Hot dish consisted of Tater Tots and anything else you had to throw in. I never had two that tasted the same. Given my fondness for Tater Tots, it didn’t matter.

About a year or so ago, I wrote about being saddened by spaghetti sauce. Not long ago Cliff explained why he was troubled by tea. I guess it is only fitting to explain why I am ticked at taters.

Admittedly, it was not one of my better days. So I thought a “comfort meal” of hamburgers and Tater Tots would help.

Stopping at the store, I went to get the prized Tater Tots. That’s when I became overwhelmed and ticked off – did I happen to mention it was not one of my better days? All I could do was stare!

I could have Potato’s O’Brien, Hash Browns, Zesty Hash Browns, Zesties, Golden Fries, Texas Crispers, Golden Twirls, Golden Crinkles, French Fries, Golden Fries, Waffle Fries, Seasoned Crinkles, Fast Food Fries, Crispies, Extra Crisp Crispies, or Crowns.

Finally, on the bottom shelve, clear in the back was one lonely bag of Tater Tots. Now, it might just be me, but do we really need or even want that many choices?

Given the fact I got the last bag of Tater Tots I’m assuming someone was having hot dish for dinner – or they’re stale.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Trader Vic

A couple years ago, Char’s dad, Vic, spent time between our home and assisted living. Even when Vic was in assisted living, we cooked most of his meals because he was on a restrictive diet – no salt, no sugar, and no fat.

On day after visiting Vic at the assisted living center, Charlene walked in, and slammed the door. I immediately had the wine bottle in one hand and the TV schedule in the other. The wine might calm her down. If not the TV schedule would help me develop plan B. I could see plan A might be a distant memory.

I asked, “What’s happening now?”

Well, it seems like Vic traded his pork roast, potatoes, and carrots for a bowl of potato soup, saltine crackers, and a half a corn beef sandwich. Now I’m no expert but those seem to have a lot of salt. According to Char, he did keep the pudding.

I called Vic and we had the following conversation.

Ralph: Hi Vic, how’s it going?
Vic: Fine Ralph, and you?
Ralph: How was that pork roast?
Vic: Good.
Ralph: How would you know, you traded it.
Vic: George said it was really good.
Ralph: Okay, Vic. Everything you ate tonight is really, really bad for you. You can’t do that again. Why did you trade the pork roast?
Vic: I didn’t have any horseradish.

I paused here for a long sip of wine.

Ralph: Vic, there was mustard and BBQ sauce.
Vic: I know but I wanted horseradish.
Ralph: Okay, Vic, here’s the deal. We are spending a lot of time planning and preparing these meals. You’re going to have to eat them. You ate way to much salt today.

There was I long pause here. I don’t think Vic had any wine.

Vic: Okay, Ralph.

From that day on, whenever he got pork roast he got horseradish.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Here's Why. . .

. . . I can’t swim. On my previous post, a few people seemed shocked that I can’t swim. Let me explain why.

Back when I was five or six, I could swim. In fact, I was a great swimmer and enjoyed it a lot. Then on June 17th things took a turn for the worst.

It was hot, muggy, summer day. A few friends and I decided to go down to the old swimming hole. Only a few people knew the location so it was never crowded and the cool water was always inviting. We had constructed a rope swing over the pond. The rope was firmly attached to a branch of a nearby cottonwood tree. When it came my turn, I ran rope in hand as fast as I could. Suddenly I was air borne! Gliding over the pond all I noticed was the wonder and amazement around me . . . . until the branch that held the rope broke. Half way over the pond, I went splashing into the water. The cold water slammed against my body and the huge cottonwood branch narrowly missed me. My friends swam out to get to me.

Back on shore, I was shaking and upset. That’s when we decide to call it a day and go home.

Walking down the narrow path, we encountered the dreaded high school bullies. They demanded our money for “smokes”. I wasn’t rich, neither was my family, so every penny was a prized possession. When they ask for my money, I refused. They took me to a nearby creek. There they held my head under water until I was almost out of breath. They would bring me up, ask for my money and when I refused, they would submerge me again. Finally, I broke. I gave them all eleven cents.

My friends who witnessed this horrific event managed to get me home. They told my parents I slipped on a wet rock and fell into the stream. My parents seemed to believe the story. All I want to do was take a warm bath (we didn’t have showers back then) and crawl into bed.

Things were going according to plan. I was in the bathtub starting to relax when suddenly the bathroom door flew open. Startled, I turned to see who it was. That’s when I hit my head on the bathtub facet, knocking myself out. Slowly, for the third time that day, I slipped underwater. Fortunately, my sister’s hair was short and it didn’t take her long to comb and style it for the “big date”. Then she noticed my almost lifeless body under the water and pulled me out of the tub.

The following day I tried to swim. But the previous day’s trauma caused me to block out all the skills needed. For years, I have tried to swim without any luck. Finally, last year I was told I would need to “relearn” how to swim.

Okay, that’s all a lie! But it could’ve happened. I never learned how to swim – okay?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Friendly Reminders

Yesterday I had several friendly reminders. Most of them came when I was getting the hail beat out me. Or, to rephrase that, when I was getting beat up by hail.

The white on ground is hail that hadn’t melted fifteen to twenty minutes after the storm passed.

The first reminder came when I was dashing to the car before any more welts were created on my body. I thought to myself, “Well, this is Colorado, rated number one for hail storms.”

The second reminder came when I sat in the car listening to the hail beat on the roof. That reminded me I needed to call the basement contractor. We are protecting a lot of “stuff” in our garage so my van can set outside. This was quickly followed by a reminder that I should put Morrow Collision Center on speed dial.

Another reminder came as water gushed through the parking lot. It was a reminder that I have yet to find a place to take swimming lesson.

When five bolts of lighting struck within a minute I was reminded, “Don’t play golf during a lightening storm.”

The storm has passed. So have the friendly reminders.