Weekend Wrap Up

Michigan weather has been just beautiful the past week or so. It looks like we’ll have one more nice day and the temps will drop. Saturday, while the baby was napping and my son was doing homework, I went out and cleaned up the leaves from the driveway. Later that afternoon, my kids and I got to get out and take a walk around the neighborhood. He enjoys pushing his sister in the stroller. It is a good time for us to just catch up.

I decided to take advantage of the weather and get the Christmas lights up. The more I thought about what I wrote in a recent blog, the more I was convinced that putting up the lights early would bring about some happiness in a year that has really sucked. My son and I strung all the lights out on the side porch. The nice temps made it easy to do and with him helping, it only took me half the time.

I got some of the decorations up out front, but I have a few bad strands that I need to check fuses on before I string them up. I am thinking of adding the strands of white LED lights that I had strung along the fence for our 4th of July party. I usually only put the lights along the rails on the porch, so it should be pretty easy.

After I dropped my son off and the baby woke up from her nap, we spent most of the day outside. We took our stroll through the neighborhood and walked a bit longer than normal. I had to laugh because when we got back home, she totally kicked her foot up like she was relaxing!

After our walk, we played in the leaves (until she tried to start eating them), played on the slide, sat on the trampoline, and then just sat in the grass. She was standing next to me in on the back lawn and I looked up and saw our shadows. For some reason, looking at them it hit me how fast she is growing up. I can’t believe she will be 9 months old tomorrow! The shadow was a reminder to enjoy every little moment like this…

Heavenly Jeopardy?

I have never read a bad thing about Alex Trebek. Every interview I watched of him, he always seemed like a wonderful man. With his passing, there has been an outpouring of wonderful tributes to him by celebrities all over the country. A friend pointed out that Trebek and the great Sean Connery passed away within a week of each other.

One of my favorite sketches on SNL was Celebrity Jeopardy. Will Ferrell played Alex Trebek and Darrell Hammond played Sean Connery. In the sketch, Connery has this unreal hatred for Trebek and always made countless jabs about Trebek’s mother. It was always a treat to see Norm MacDonald playing Burt Reynolds in these sketches.

I always waited to see how Connery would take a category and make it dirty – for example:

Real Category: Let It Snow. Connery asks for: Le Tits Now

Real Category: The Pen Is Mighter Connery asks about: The Penis Mightier

I truly hope that SNL doesn’t miss the opportunity to do some kind of tribute to Connery and Trebek this week. I can see a Heavenly round of Celebrity Jeopardy with Ferrell, Hammond, and MacDonald being very funny!

Same Old Lions

Sunday, I got to see bits and pieces of the Detroit Lions game. It was awful, as usual. I saw this on Facebook today, and had to share. I know that this is totally supposed to be more of a political jab, and I am not posting it to be political, I just thing it is pretty funny!

The Election

It was certainly great to hear that voter turnout was so good. Whether your candidate won or lost, if you voted, you did your part! Over the past couple decades, we’ve seen a lot of division. We’ve seen a lot of lost trust in the system and the government. With every election, I hope and pray that the elected officials will do something to bring us together. I may have posted this picture before, but I thought it was one of the most powerful that I had seen this year:

In 2016, after the election, I wrote something on Facebook. It came up in my Facebook Memories today. It is worth sharing:

Maybe we are family. Maybe we went to high school together. Maybe I went to college with you. Maybe we worked together. Maybe we bowled together. Maybe you and I like the same movies or music. Maybe we met at a conference.

However we met, however we know each other, you are here because you are my friend. You and I are Americans. We are citizens of the greatest country in the world. One of the great things about being an American is that we have the freedoms to believe what we want and vote for who we want. We don’t always have to agree. I say this because no matter where you stand as a Republican, Democrat, or Independent…..as a Baptist, Catholic, Lutheran nondenominationalist or Dispensationalist….. heterosexual or homosexual …..male or female…..employed or unemployed….union or nonunion…..I don’t care!!! You are my friend and I am glad you are my friend. You have the right and the freedom to believe what you want and voice your opinion. Knowing that we may not agree is ok with me. There are other things we have in common that led us to be friends. I haven’t deleted any friend or family member because of their vote, because of their faith, because of their sexual preference, or because of their job or financial status. Thank you for being my friend.

Life would be pretty boring if we were all the same! A quote from Andy Hargreaves came across my timeline today and I want to share: “If we were all on the same page, no one’s reading the whole book”!

So what if your candidate lost? So what? One of the first thing I learned as a kid was there are winners and losers in games and elections. So what do we do now? You take the words of a pastor friend of mine who reminded me that “The guy you voted for may not have won, but you should still pray for him.”

So that’s what I am going to do. Here are the Bible verses to back that up:

I Timothy 2: 1-3

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;

God Bless America!

Friday Film Quotes

Time for another round of Friday Film Quotes! Here are the answers from last week:

  1. It’s not often you see a guy that green have the blues that bad. The Muppet Movie
  2. Do you mind if we dance with your dates? Animal House
  3. I want him found. Not tomorrow, not after breakfast – now! Shawshank Redemption
  4. SEDA-GIVE? Young Frankenstien
  5. And Jack Benny is secretary of the treasury. Back to the Future
  6. I don’t want to talk to you no more, you empty-headed animal food trough wiper! Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  7. Gummi bear? It’s been in my pocket; they’re real warm and soft. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  8. Are we to believe that boiling water soaks into a grit faster in your kitchen than on any place on the face of the earth? My Cousin Vinny
  9. That’s a good-looking piece! and cunningly disguised so it won’t look like a racing car, you know. The cops would never give that a second glance! Cannonball Run
  10. Hey Mr. Donut Man, who’s trying to kill ya? I don’t know but they better not! Wayne’s World
  11. Gimme some sugar, baby. Army of Darkness
  12. You’ve been mostly-dead all day. The Princess Bride
  13. Where does he get those wonderful toys? Batman (1989)
  14. Dad, you’re going to have to use the machine gun. Get it ready! Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  15. Any fool who would paint his truck like this would show up at a minister’s funeral dressed in feathers. Smokey and the Bandit
  16. My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives. Blazing Saddles
  17. There’s one big difference between you and me, George. I do this job because I’ve been trained to do it. You do it because you LOVE it. Patton
  18. You don’t need to see his identification. Star Wars: Epidode 4 – A New Hope
  19. I’m not sure. I haven’t seen anything like this since the Anita Bryant concert. Airplane!
  20. I saw two big fat naked bikers, in the woods off seventeen having sex. Happy Gilmore

And now for this weeks quotes. I was challenged to pick some obscure ones this time. Good Luck!

  1. Twenty three dollars and seven cents. Sign here.
  2. He’s smarter than I am. Three years old, and he can already read the funny papers.
  3. He’s a southpaw. I don’t want you messing with southpaws. They do everything backwards.
  4. You still remember, Admiral. I cannot help but be touched. I, of course, remember you.
  5. I’m willing to forget this little incident. And I want you to think real hard about it. And maybe someday you’ll understand what the hell I’m talking about.
  6. And now, here are the headlines. Here they come right now. Pope actually found to be Jewish. Liberace is Anastasia and Ethel Merman jams Russian radar.
  7. I don’t have a set price or anything, but I have been getting ten dollars.
  8. Captain, when I joined the police force, I thought I was going to be Serpico. But instead, I’m like… Fish from Barney Miller.
  9. Dorks. They look like a couple of dorks.
  10. I will not speak to you ’til you put your head on straight.
  11. We don’t have beer. Just tequila.
  12. Yes, he’s in the intensive care ward at Our Lady of the Worthless Miracle.
  13. Don’t make me steamroll you. Steamroller!
  14. You know, this was not in the brochure…
  15. It’s amazing how fast you get used to such a big place. I tell you, when we first came up here I thought it was kinda scary.
  16. All I know is the soldiers are quite happy shooting the people who say the people are not happy.
  17. “And when Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept, for there were no more worlds to conquer.” Benefits of a classical education.
  18. Hey, Kid park my car, get my bags… and put on some weight will ya?
  19. I felt he used too many onions, but it was still a very good sauce.
  20. It angers a lot of people, just the sight of it. Ah, I’ll tell you a story about that on the way to school.

Cuckoo for Cuckoo Clocks

Sonny, the Cuckoo Bird

If I am being completely honest with you, I have no idea what brought up the topic of today’s blog! It certainly didn’t come about because of a Cocoa Puffs commercial! I guess it was just one of those random memories that popped into my head earlier today.

Every Sunday, my brother, my father, and I went to my grandparents house for dinner. For as long as I can remember, she had a cuckoo clock on the wall. Before blogging I meant to ask my brother if he had a picture with the clock in it, but never got around to it. I remember it being quite a simple clock. It wasn’t too big, but wasn’t real small either.

Apparently, a cuckoo clock can come in all sizes. Notice the huge one next to this guy in a picture I found online –

I was amazed at some of the detail in some of those clocks! They are truly amazing!! Below are pictures of clocks which are closest to how I remember her clock looking.

Three things about the above pictures stand out. First, I remember grandma’s clock had Roman numerals on the face. While searching for images, the ones with real numbers looked odd to me. Second, I remember the weights attached to the chains. Every morning, my grandpa would walk over and pull the weights back up to the bottom of the cuckoo clock. As the clock works throughout the day, the weights move down toward the floor and you have to pull them back up with the “winding chains.” Finally, I remember the pendulum. In the pictures I found, the all seem to be leaves. I don’t recall if grandma’s was a leaf or not. I do remember it clicking or ticking as it swung back and forth.

As kids, I remember my brother and I waiting for the top of every hour. It was then, that the cuckoo bird would come out “cuckoo” the number of what time it was and retreat back in the door. After that, the clock would play a musical song. I don’t know what the name of the song was, but I can hum most of it from memory with about 85% accuracy. It may sound stupid, but I actually watched clips of cuckoo clock songs on YouTube hoping one of them might be the one from grandma’s clock! no such luck!

Frankenmuth is very close to where I live. The town is often referred to as Little Barvaria. If you are German, you need to visit there. It is just amazing. There is a clock company in Frankenmuth that sells cuckoo clocks. I may have to drive up there and stroll through to see if I can find one that plays the same song as grandma’s.

In Frankenmuth, Michigan

Here are just some of the cuckoo clocks in store….

Frankenmuth Clock Company – Cuckoo Clocks

Years later, my grandma moved in with my folks because of the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia. My folks built a dormer on their house for her. In the main living area of the dormer, grandma had yet another cuckoo clock. The one on the wall there was white and a lot smaller than the one I remember. I don’t even really recall what happened to the original one, but I wish I had it.

By the way, a real cuckoo bird looks nothing like the Cocoa Puffs, cuckoo….

We Need A Little Happy…

Let’s face it, 2020 has kinda been a crappy year. As it draws to a close, many of us will be glad to see it go! Sure, there have been high points, but the bad has outweighed the good throughout most of the year. Covid-19, quarantine, the election, political ads (on TV, radio, and via text message), politics in general, loss of income, unemployment, businesses closing, to mask or not to mask, hate everywhere, and the list goes on and on.

The things we experienced this year have messed with the mental health of all of us. Depression and anxiety diagnoses have skyrocketed. We are going bananas being cooped up in our homes. We miss the interaction with friends and family. We miss being able to go and fellowship with our church friends. Our children are lacking personal interaction with friends. This year has left so many of us scarred for life!

I don’t know about you, but I am physically exhausted by it. I “snoozed” so many friends who were posting countless political things on Facebook. I had to. Come on, how many times has someone’s post on Facebook about an issue changed your mind or your belief about something? I understand that everyone has a right to their opinion, and I am entitled to mine. The wonderful thing about our country is that you and I can share different opinions and still be friends!

What amazes me is how there are some people who just can’t be happy unless they are voicing their disgust about something. Those things don’t even have to be “hot topic” things, like what I mentioned a few paragraphs ago. Here’s an example:

A friend of mine posted the following on Facebook:

“What the hell is the matter with people? I can’t believe that people are already putting up Christmas decorations! Trees are lit and in front windows, lights are strung along the gutters, and the blow up Santa’s are sitting on lawns! Radio is already playing Christmas music!! Stop the madness, people!!”

My response to this is simply this: why is this such a big deal to you? Is it hurting you? How does a blow up Santa on the lawn of someone who doesn’t even live in your neighborhood affect your life? It seems like you were just looking for the next thing to complain about, and this was it.

2020 has so many things to look back on in disgust, so I welcome anything that would bring happiness! We could use a little happiness. We could use something to brighten our world. We need happy songs. There’s a song that says “give the world a smile each day.” Maybe if we spent a little more time smiling at one another, there wouldn’t be so much hatred in the world.

You know what? I’m not going to live my life like Debbie Downer (or whatever that SNL character was called). It’s pretty easy to find things to bitch and complain about (pardon my French), but it’s just as easy to find things to rejoice in. If you can’t find happiness – find a way to spread it! Be nice. Be kind. Smile.

To those who are already spreading joy with holiday lights – bravo! Thank you for making me smile!

To those who are walking around grumpy, angry, and looking for something to complain about…. take some advice from Bobby McFerrin:

Looking Ahead To Tomorrow

I posted this on Facebook earlier, but I felt it was worth sharing on my blog:

“You know what I’m going to do the day after Election Day if my candidate loses?

  • Go to work
  • Be happy
  • Live my life
  • Love others

If he wins? The same.”

I also saw this, which is also worth reposting:

“After the elections are over, your neighbors will still be your neighbors. Trump won’t be there to ring up your groceries, your neighbors will. Biden won’t be there to fix your car or help you out with yard work, your neighbors will. Both Trump and Biden will still be in their wealthy political world, and the rest of us will be in ours. They’ll both be doing their thing, while you and I live together, work together, learn together, shop together, eat together, worship together, and pump our gas next to one another. We the people are what makes the country great. We are the ones who choose to be decent, loving, caring, and compassionate human beings. Vote for whomever, BUT ALWAYS CHOOSE KINDNESS” – Source unknown.

We are quick to blame the politicians for the divisions in this country, but is that really true? What is the media’s hand in this? I saw yet another great post this week:

“The greatest weapon is not a gun or a bomb. It is control of information. To control the world’s information is to manipulate all the minds that consume it.”

Let that sink in a minute….

Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press and author of books like “Tuesdays With Morrie,” penned the following article this week and it makes one think. It sure made me think. Give it a read.

https://www.freep.com/story/sports/columnists/mitch-albom/2020/11/01/mitch-albom-2020-presidential-election/6102179002/

No matter what happens when the votes are tallied – let’s try to be nice to each other. It starts with you and me. We can disagree on religion, politics, and other things and still be friends.

“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies.” – Abraham Lincoln

A Little Mischief

All my life the night before Halloween was referred to as Devil’s Night. In some places it is called Mischief Night. Other places call it Goosey Night, Mat Night, or Cabbage Night. Whatever you called it, it was usually a night that kids/teens would go out and prank people. Usually those pranks were pretty harmless. Recently, Devil’s Night in Michigan (Detroit, in particular) became a night that folks would go out and set fires to abandoned house and buildings. It is now referred to as Angel’s Night as many patrol neighborhoods in hopes of stopping those fires.

I was not an innocent little teenager, as I would occasionally go out on October 30th and cause mischief. In discussing with a friend the many pranks associated with Devil’s Night, I did many of them, but not all of them. How many of these were you involved with?

Toilet Papering

Of all the pranks we came up with, I admit, this was my favorite. We TP’d houses even when it wasn’t Devil’s Night! You can read about that in a past blog. We had a group in high school called the TP Bandits. I swear we bought hundreds of dollars in TP in 1988! When we were done, we left works of art! The sheer beauty of TP blowing in wind …. ah, what a sight!

Soaping Windows

Probably one of the cheapest and least menacing pranks was soaping windows. You’d go into your bathroom and home and swipe a bar of soap and go up and down the street drawing smiley faces on car windows. Sometimes we’d write “hello” or draw things on home windows, but not usually. I can see where this might not be so harmless today. I have a feeling that most kids today would write hateful things on car windows. The nice thing about this prank was a car wash or rain would take care of the soap.

Ding Dong Ditch

I’ll be honest, I never heard it called “Ding Dong Ditch” until recently. We would usually just say, “Hey! Wanna go ring doorbells?!” This prank is more annoying than anything and if you were slow, you’d get caught. Basic idea – ring the doorbell and run. I would imagine that the Ring Doorbells with cameras make this not as fun. It really is a dumb prank. This is almost the same thing as …

Knock and Run

This prank is basically the same thing, except you knock on the door and run. I have a feeling this came about because of homes that had no doorbell! I’m not sure I’d have the guts to do this, but when I saw this picture I laughed. Imagine doing this to your own home!

He probably needs a longer hockey stick…..

Egging houses

A bit more expensive and a lot messier, this was a prank I only did a couple times. A buddy of mine busted a window by whipping an egg at it, and I think that was when I decided that “egging” was not my favorite prank. Most people just egged cars, but some threw them at doors and houses. It was always messy and I remember my dad hating having to clean that up. Some people took this prank in another direction and used tomatoes!

Forking

This is a prank I never really understood. Forking a lawn is just what it sounds like – someone puts a bunch of plastic forks in a lawn. I would think you’d need a whole lot of people to pull off this prank in a hurry, otherwise, it is gonna take you a while to get it done. I don’t know about you, but if I am pulling a prank like this or TPing, I wanna get it, get it done, and get out before I get caught! This is one of those pranks I never really understood.

The Flaming Bag of Poop

This is probably the cruelest of all the pranks. It is gross. Someone puts dog poop in a paper bag and lights it on fire. Then, they knock on the door or ring the doorbell and run away. The home owner comes to the door and stomps on the bag, getting poop on their shoe. This prank has shown up in Adam Sandler movies, on Saturday Night Live (in Matt Foley and Martha Stewart sketches), and on the Simpsons.

For the record, I never did this prank. I can’t even imagine wanting to pick up a piece of dog poop!

Smashing Pumpkins

I guess this prank is pretty mean, too. I know how hard my son worked on carving his pumpkin. If he woke up Halloween morning and found it busted up, I can only imagine how upset he’d be. I am not sure that this is really a Devil’s Night thing, as I think most pumpkin smashing happens after Halloween when the gourds are a bit more … mushy.

Did I miss any pranks? Let me know!

I hope that when I walk out to my car in the morning it is egg and soap free!

Name the Movie

Sitting here thinking about what to write about tonight and have nothing. So I thought it would be fun to give you a quote and let you name the movie. We’ll start with 20. They will be from movies from the 70’s-90’s. Have fun!

  1. It’s not often you see a guy that green have the blues that bad.
  2. Do you mind if we dance with your dates?
  3. I want him found. Not tomorrow, not after breakfast – now!
  4. SEDA-GIVE?
  5. And Jack Benny is secretary of the treasury.
  6. I don’t want to talk to you no more, you empty-headed animal food trough wiper! 
  7. Gummi bear? It’s been in my pocket; they’re real warm and soft.
  8. Are we to believe that boiling water soaks into a grit faster in your kitchen than on any place on the face of the earth?
  9. That’s a good-looking piece! and cunningly disguised so it won’t look like a racing car, you know. The cops would never give that a second glance!
  10. Hey Mr. Donut Man, who’s trying to kill ya? I don’t know but they better not!
  11. Gimme some sugar, baby.
  12. You’ve been mostly-dead all day.
  13. Where does he get those wonderful toys?
  14. Dad, you’re going to have to use the machine gun. Get it ready!
  15. Any fool who would paint his truck like this would show up at a minister’s funeral dressed in feathers.
  16. My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives.
  17. There’s one big difference between you and me, George. I do this job because I’ve been trained to do it. You do it because you LOVE it.
  18. You don’t need to see his identification.
  19. I’m not sure. I haven’t seen anything like this since the Anita Bryant concert.
  20. I saw two big fat naked bikers, in the woods off seventeen having sex.

A Great Fall Weekend!

This weekend marked the 14th anniversary of my mother’s passing. It was very much on my mind through the entire weekend. However, there were so many other things going on that there was more happiness than sadness.

My brother came into town from Ohio and got to meet his niece for the first time. We have done many video chats prior to this, so when he came in, she recognized him and the hit it off immediately. It was such a wonderful moment. I’m sure we took a gazillion pictures, but my favorite one, he actually made his Facebook Profile Picture:

Uncle Chris and Ella

My brother and I drove down and picked up Dimitri and we all piled into the van and went to Crossroads Village. They usually do a Haunted Train Ride for Halloween, but because of Covid-19 they are not running the train. Instead, they are doing a nightly drive through of the village. It is all decked out for Halloween. My brother caught some pictures. It was a very nice time.

At the end of the drive, every passenger in the car got a goodie bag. I had to laugh because Dimitri opened a candy necklace, took a bite and said it was gross. I remember loving them growing up. I tried it and it was a bit … chalky!

We then came home and it was pumpkin carving time! We went to the orchard last weekend. We picked pumpkins and didn’t get the chance to carve them, so we did it this weekend.

Dimitri carved a skeleton playing a trumpet. For Ella’s, we took a drill and drilled holes in it. It looks like polka dots when the candle is in it. She loved touching the pumpkin guts, which surprised all of us.

Ready to carve
Determined
Yay! Polka Dot Pumpkin!
The finished product

On Sunday, we met my friend Jennifer at the park to take some family photos. Everything fell into place for the session – Dante was not working, Dimitri was here, Sam was off work that night, and Jennifer was available. We were worried that Ella wasn’t going to last long, as she was a bit tired. She loves being outside and we ended up getting some really amazing pictures!

The plan is to get one of the family pictures made into a canvas to go with the canvas we have of us with the baby. I also plan on printing some to frame and hang in the hallway. There are plenty to chose from. I wish I had a cubicle or an office at work so I could frame some of them to look at while I work. Here are two of my absolute favorites:

My Beautiful Girls – my wife, Sam, and my daughter Ella
My Three Wonderful Children – Dimitri, Ella, and Dante’

Both of these will be framed!! Perfect photos!!

After the photo shoot, the boys and my brother and I went to the cemetery to visit my mom’s grave. Dante’ has such fond memories of her. Dimitri never got to meet her and it bothers him a lot. They both got very emotional. It was nice to have some time there with them.

Monday, Sam worked days, so she was home by afternoon. We took a drive and grabbed pumpkin spice latte’s from Starbucks. When we got home, we raked up a big pile of leaves. We put the baby in her winter coat and let her sit outside and play in the pile. Look at this cutie:

The temps are cooling down. There is already snow up north. I’m glad to have been able to enjoy such a wonderful fall weekend with family.

“Hey, Ringo! Play Something Hot!”

One of the great female drummers, Sheila E!

I’m sure there are more, but when I think of female drummers, there are a few that immediately pop into my head:

  • Karen Carpenter – The Carpenters
  • Meg White – The White Stripes
  • Sandy West – The Runaways
  • Debbi Peterson – The Bangles
  • Gina Schock – The Go Go’s
  • Sheila E

In the future, there just might be another female drummer on that list – my daughter, Ella!

Future Drummer??!!

Sam was loading the dishwasher this week and she brought Ella into the kitchen. She put some pots on the floor and gave her a wooden spoon and the “music” began! I can’t even begin to tell you how cute this was! She’d rather hit the pots with her hands and chew on the spoon, but when she’s done teething I have a feeling there will be lots of noise!

The whole scene reminded me of a time when I was around 7 years old. I may have been younger, I may have been older. Any time we had a day off at school, if my mom and dad were working, we’d go to one of my grandparents for the day.

If we went to my mom’s mom, she would usually have something planned for us. We’d go to Greenfield Village, Belle Isle Aquarium, or the Henry Ford Museum. If we went to my dad’s mom’s, we would bring bags and bags of toys to play with. The funny thing about that, is that we rarely played with the toys.

My grandma had just about every possible cooking utensil imaginable. She had pie tins, rolling pins, spaghetti pots, metal strainers, whisks, wooden and metal spoons, cheese graters, cup cake pans, cookie sheets, and so much more. I swear, my brother and I would drag out every last pot and pan and play with them. We played with everything except sharp things like knives and forks. I am sure that we drove my grandmother crazy! I can only imagine the noise that we had to be making!

When we were older, my grandmother mentioned to me how much she hated us playing with that stuff. When I asked why, she simply said that she hated having to rewash all of those things! You see, the dishwasher in her house – was her! I can only imagine how exhausted she had to be when we finally went back home. I can also imagine how much she must have hated having to rewash each and every thing we pulled out of her cupboards and cabinets!!

Kids grow up too fast! I already have a hard time believing that Ella is 8 months old! In my opinion, let the noise ring out! Bang on those pots and pans, baby girl!! It is music to mommy and daddy’s ears! We will enjoy every concert you perform.

Rock on my little Princess!

A New Car! (Sort of …)

I drive about 70 miles to work each day. Round trip that means I drive about 140 miles 4 times a week. In a year, I will put about 29,000 miles on my car. I got good gas mileage on the car I was driving, however, I was about to turn 170,000 and it was time to trade it in.

Sam and I had been talking for some time about getting a newer vehicle. She was looking at vans. We wanted something that we could take on trips, as well as fit both boys, the baby and us! She had a good idea of what she was looking for. With winter just around the corner, we weren’t sure just how many miles we had left on mine, so the search was on.

Last Saturday we found a 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan that fit perfectly within our budget. It took us about 2 hours and we drove off the lot with it. The question then became “Who’s gonna drive it?”

Sam drives a few less miles a day than I do, so she decided to drive the van, and I inherited her car. Prior to getting the van, if we went anywhere, we always took Sam’s car. I usually drove, so I was quite familiar with it. However, now that this car was becoming my ride, I had to adjust a few things.

I always had to put the seat back when I drove. So now the seat is where it needs to be. The mirrors are now adjusted for me. My Autism Awareness and Detroit Tigers magnets are now on the back of this car. I connected my phone to the bluetooth, which is awesome because I can talk hands free now. Finally, I programmed all my radio stations on the radio.

On my old car, I could connect my iPod and it would play the songs on shuffle. Now, the radio guy in me always thinks it is cool when songs that have something in common play back to back. It’s even cooler when different versions of the same song play back to back. And us radio guys think it is extra amazing when an old radio station jingle plays into a song we used to play at that station!

Anyway, I’m driving home this morning and check to see that the iPod will play. The song that plays is True Love by Glen Frey. That is followed by True Love (different song) by Pat Benatar. I’m loving the coincidence when True Love Ways by Buddy Holly follows that! Now that’s really cool, right?! Buddy is followed by True Love Ways by Martina McBride. Now I am a bit freaked out. This is just WAY too weird. Martina is followed by Truly by the Lionel Richie, which is followed by Truly, Madly, Deeply by Savage Garden. It is only after that song begins, that I realize the iPod is playing all the songs in alphabetical order! What a dope!!! Needless to say, I found the “Shuffle” button on the touch screen and can now listen un-alphabetically!

Quick Ella Story

Not too long ago, I stumbled on a video by Daniel Labelle. He is on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. His videos are silly, and hilarious. The one I first saw was “If People Did Everything Agressively.” It was so ridiculous that I had to send it to my best friend, Jeff. He found an “extended” video with even more silliness and sent it to me.

Anyway, this morning, he sends me a new video from this guy – “If People Did Everything in a Rush.” So, I am sitting on the floor and Ella is next to me. I start laughing at the stupidity of this video and she crawls over to me and starts watching it too. The video is looped, so it starts back at the beginning once it is over and keeps playing. The more it played, the more she laughed. These were truly the biggest belly laughs I have heard from her! What did she find so funny? See for yourself…

Daniel Labelle

She cracked up at the garbage can, the lawn mower, the vacuum, and him running toward the camera with the weed whacker! I must have watched this 40 times today just to hear her laugh. Fast forward a couple of hours. Ella woke up from her nap and Sam is out on the living room floor changing her diaper. She gets the diaper off and Ella starts rolling away. I walk out and tell Sam, “You’ve gotta see this! She was laughing so hard at this earlier!” So Ella sits on Sam’s lap and I play the video. She starts to belly laugh, just like earlier. The video loops again and she laughs even more. Then, with no warning at all and in the middle of a belly laugh, she peed all over Sam!

Our little pumpkin sure gives us so much to be happy about! She also provides many laughs and many memories which I am sure we will look back on fondly in the years ahead!

That’s all for now …