Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I am Humbled.......

Thank you, Debbie!  My friend Debbie at http://www.swampbillyranch.com/  has awarded me the Stylish Blogger Award, and I am humbled.  Check out her blog---it is unique and very interesting.

As part of this award, I understand I am supposed to list 7 things about myself that are not generally known.  Hmmmm.  OK, here goes:

1.  I love all kinds of food, but am addicted to black olives.  I can eat a whole can of them at a time.  A problem once occurred one night when I arose from bed and, in the darkness, went to the fridge for a midnight snack.  In my half lucid state I reached into the fridge for the leftover olives, which were still in the can.  After eating about a dozen of them I thought I detected a funny taste.  So, I turned on the light for a look at them.  They were eaten up with a white fungus.  I thought I might die from it but suffered no ill affects.  It taught me a valuable lesson---always look at what you are eating.  Ha.

2.   I met Cindy, my wife, on-line as a pen pal.  We corresponded for a couple of months before we decided to meet.  From then on, we were inseparable.  She's crazy about me!  

3.  I like guns.  I am an expert shot (earned that designation in the army).  I have a variety of rifles, shotguns and handguns.  I think everyone should know how to protect themselves and their loved ones.

4.  When I was 12 years old, I started doing yard work in my neighborhood to earn money.  From that time until two years ago, I have done my own yard work.  But I finally decided at the age of 64 that I didn't want to do any more yard work.  I now hire it out and am lovin' it.

5.  My maternal grandmother lived to be 100.  Doctors said she would have lived longer if she had not been raped when she was 92 years old.  Her back was broken during that incident.

6.  I write poetry, generally styled in the form of the American poets of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.  I think it is a wonderfully expressive art form and cannot understand why it is no longer popular.

7.  Music is very important to me.  My mom says I was singing when I emerged from the womb.  And, I haven't stopped since.  My favorite genres are folk, vintage country, gospel and light rock.  I entertain myself---and sometimes others, with my guitar.

Thanks again, Debbie!  Much love to all.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Hamburgers and Life......sigh

I'm a simple kind o' guy, you know what I'm sayin'?  Easy to please, don't ask for much, happy to be here.  But, occasionally something important comes around and I gotta say somethin' even if I know I'll regret it.

Hamburgers, for instance.  I think most guys would agree that a  good hamburger is something to speak out about.   I have seen some serious fist fights over the quality of a burger.  And rightly so, too, because when God gave us the hamburger He expected us to protect His gift by always assuring that it is made correctly.

Now, you take this morning, for example.  Yours truly left the house early so I could work out at the spa before the rush.  I come home hungry and tired.  Woman says she will make me a hamburger.  I should insert here that woman can definitely cook and anything she prepares will taste very good.

But consider this, dear friends in Bloggerland:  a burger that cannot be eaten by holding it in your hands is less than what God intended. 

Yes, Cindy brings me a hamburger that is lovely to look at and enticing in its aroma.  But, the minute my hands lift it from the plate, with my salivary glands working full throttle, and my anticipation of the wonderful flavors of smoky meat, crisp bun, mustard, tomato and onion pushing me to heights of gastronomical giddiness, the light pressure of my fingers against the bun causes the overstacked creation to spurt apart, the onion going one way, the tomato and lettuce the other, mayo and mustard being deposited on my new workout shirt, my fingers now slimy with the vast deposits of wetness from the innards of the object of my affections.  In short, I am not a happy camper. 

Yes, my friends, my wife has repeatedly commited this unpardonable sin---overstacking the burger so that it must be eaten with knife and fork instead of two hands.

Of course, I felt it important to mention this faux pas to her.  I thought she would appreciate my input.  After all, I'm only trying to help her elevate her culinary skills.  I cannot repeat here what her response to me was, but suffice to say it appears I shall be doing my own cooking for a while.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Corvairs and UltraVans......

A Blast From The Past---The Corvair UltraVan
Today featured one of those really cool, unexpected moments.  Cindy needed potting soil, so we made an early afternoon trek to the local Wal-Mart.  Wal-Mart is always a pretty busy place, but especially so on a beautiful Saturday.

But on this day, when we turned into the parking lot, we saw that there was an even bigger than usual crowd.

Vintage Corvairs are Arrayed at the Powell, Tennessee Wal-Mart on a Beautiful Saturday Afternoon
 There was a display of Chevrolet Corvairs in mint condition.  And the display was drawing a crowd of gawkers---a good number of them old geezers like me who actually owned a legendary Corvair back in the 1960s.

This is Melvin's Corvair in Mint Condition

The Mighty 80 Horsepower Engine is.....IN THE TRUNK!
To refresh your collective memories, the Corvair was manufactured by Chevrolet from 1960 to 1969.  It was unique in that it featured an 80-horsepower, aluminum, air-cooled engine that was rear mounted.  It was my first car---my dad bought it for me new in 1966 as a college graduation present.  I loved that little car.

We Talked With Jim, Melvin and Jack---Corvair Lovers and Great Guys
Well, today, Cindy and I talked with several guys who keep their old Corvairs in great condition.  They drive to various locations around the south and show off their treasures.

The Corvair UltraVan---Only 370 of Them Were Made

The Flight Deck Of The Mighty UltraVan
 We had a great visit with Jim, Melvin and Jack.  They regaled us with stories of the old days and of how wonderful the Corvair really is.
How'dja'  Like to See This Monster Comin' Up Behind You On The Interstate?

Ralph Nader originally made a name for himself with his 1965 book, "Unsafe at Any Speed".  In that book, Nader trashed the safety of the car.  This book indirectly led to the demise of the Corvair.

Jim owns one of the very rare UltraVans.  Only 370 of them were made.  And let me tell you, it is a piece.   of.   work.

Sleeps Four to Eight-------Don't Ask

This sweet baby sleeps from four to eight, depending.  Don't ask on what it depends.  Ha.

Melvin and Jack Can Tell You a Thing or Three About the Corvair
Cindy and I enjoyed chatting with these wonderful guys.  They love their Corvairs, and their Corvairs love them.

Friday, May 27, 2011

"All I Want Is For You To Be Happy......."

I Just Want You to be Happy
Cindy and I have had several days this week when we basically spent all day shopping for furniture.  There is a lot of driving and walking around looking at stuff...a lot of discussion regarding the features of various pieces...and, at the end of the day, fatigue sets in.  Often, we would go to bed exhausted, get up the next day and do it all over again. 

Yesterday was such a day.  We really needed to find a sideboard (buffet) to go with the dining room table we bought the day before.  Cindy had the idea of finding something in an antique store to match up with the new table and chairs.  So, off to the local antique shops we went.

We must've gone into a half dozen stores before I spied a piece that looked perfect. 

Me:  Hey, honey!---Here's the perfect piece!  It's the right color; It's the right length, and it has character!  And, it looks very well made and in good condition!

Her:  I'm sorry---it would be just right but I can't stand that silver hardware on it. 

Me:  We can easily replace the hardware.

Her:  No, the hardware was made for the piece and anything else wouldn't look right.

Me:  But......

Her:  I don't think this is what we want, but we can think about it.  After all, I just want you to be happy.
Your Happiness Means Everything
OK, I thought---fine.  This is gonna be more difficult than I thought.

A couple of hours later, I found a buffet that I knew she would like.  It was perfect, I thought.  stupid me

Me:  Honey!  Here it is!  And it doesn't have any shiny hardware! 

Her:  Sweetie, it is almost what we want, but it is a little too low in height.

Me:  But.......

Her:  No, I think we will know what we want when we see it.  but I just saw it!  You know, Your happiness is all I care about.

At the end of the day, around 5:00, I was draggin'.  We went into one last store.  By this time my body and mind were shutting down. I was beginning to think about how good a nice martini would taste.

It was then she walked up behind me.

Her:  I've found it.

Me:  You did?

Her:  Yes---come see.

I examined it.  It did look good.  It did have character.  The price was better than I dared hope for.  We bought it.

On the way home, I asked her if my input really meant anything to her.
Believe Me, I'm Happy If She's Happy!
Her:  Oh, honey, yes!  All I care about is your happiness.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Yesterday was trying.  I worked out in the early morning at my workout facility that I just joined (I'm sore!).  Then, the Cinderoo and I hit the road, looking for furniture.  This went on until we got back home around 5ish.  We were tired and hungry.  Cindy decided on a different kind of din-din.

We had the best meal ever!----fried okra, stewed okra, butter beans, sliced tomatoes, sliced Vidalia onions and homemade cornbread---all washed down with iced tea.  Oh yeah, babe.  It don't git no better'n this....

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


My topic today is dreams.  All of us experience them when we sleep.  Often, I cannot quite recall what I dreamed about when I awaken.  This frustrates me because I do believe our dreams represent to a great degree what is occurring in our unconscious mind.

Last night I had a dream that I recall vividly.  I was a passenger on a jetliner.  The plane was coming in for a landing, but just before touchdown, the pilot aborted in a most violent manner, shooting upward almost 90 degrees, and then accelerating at a tremendous speed, and then inverting and flying upside down.  I was terrified.  After an eternity, the pilot announced "Sorry folks.  There is not a problem.  We just had some of our electronics crossed up".

That's when I woke up.   What the devil does that mean?

I have for decades had two other basic dreams.  In the first one, I am trying to run away from a situation.  It could be anything---like someone is chasing me with a knife or gun, for example. The problem is that, in my dream, I just cannot get my legs to function properly.  They are like dead weights, and try as I will, I cannot run away.  It is a frustrating experience.

In the other basic dream, I am in a vehicle---a car or truck---that I am driving but cannot control.  It is going too fast.  It is gonna crash.  And even though I am at the wheel I cannot control it.  That's frustrating, too.

Occasionally Cindy will have a bad dream and begin shaking.  I wake her up and she always says "thank you".  Ha.  Sometimes she says she is being chased in a dream and begins to fly to escape the danger.

Dreams have been a topic of discussion for thousands of years.  The bible is full of accounts of dreams and their meanings.  I have watched my pet dogs and cats dream as they slept.  Their eye movements and quivering bodies are a give-away. 

What do you think?  Do you recall your dreams?  Do you have any repetitive dreams?  What do they mean, if anything?  Do dreams have a spiritual meaning?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Love is Tender, Love is Caring.......

Love is Tender, Love is Caring

Love is tender, love is caring,
       Sensing every mood sublime---
Always true, forever sharing.

Two hearts as one:  beating, flaring,
       Pulsing, prancing in perfect rhyme;
Love is tender, love is caring.

One can't ask of it the daring
       Of faithless deeds or lowly crime;
Always true, forever sharing.

There's the closeness and the baring
       Of soul and body through all time;
Love is tender, love is caring.

Sweet to see its beauty wearing
       Golden aura throughout its prime;
Always true, forever sharing.

Honor God, who set the pairing!
       Praise those who in love's song chime!
Love is tender, love is caring;
Always true, forever sharing.

(C)  2004 Clint Ellison

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Gathering.......

A Sunday afternoon gathering occurred today at our home.  Cindy's daughter, grandson and sister dropped by for a visit.  A grand time was had by all.

Grandson Canyon is Only 6 Years Old, but Already Has a Large Following of Prospective Girlfriends

This is Lucinda, Cindy's Daughter---What a Great Smile!

Meet Patti, Cindy's Sister.  She's a Doll.

Cindy Was Havin' a Blast....

Cindy Served a Light  Repast of Sandwiches and Dips.  Patti Brought Some Dessert....

Canyon's Mighty Army Was Arrayed on The Living Room Floor.

Canyon, The Fearless Leader of His Vast Army, Directs Military Operations Against an Unseen Foe.

And He Scared the H Outta Me With This Spider.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Duck Pond at Fountain City

Just a couple of miles from our home is an old landmark called "The Duck Pond". 

The Fountain in Fountain City Lake
The Duck Pond is in the downtown area of Fountain City, which is actually a northern part of the city of Knoxville. 

Where Birds of a Feather Flock Together
When local buses served the small towns of east Tennessee, there is a story that the bus driver would announce the arrival in Fountain City thusly:  "Fountain City!---Such A Pity!"

Hi!  My Name's Daffy!
While everyone refers to the small downtown lake as "The Duck Pond", it turns out that most residents are offended by that phrase and prefer to hear it called "Fountain City Lake".

Yeah, Right---Good Luck With That!
The lake/pond was built in 1893 and has become a prominent landmark, known to everyone in east Tennessee.

Feedin' The Ducks

The Water  is Full of Goose and Duck Poop
The little lake is loaded with ducks and geese.  The poop generated by these feathered creatures is the stuff of legends.  If duck droppings had any value, the town would be rich.

Momma and Her Brood
At times, there has been criticism that the pond has too few benches; has too many seedy looking characters about; has too much duck poop; has too many ducks; does not have enough parking space available........but the lake lives on and is a centerpiece of the community.

The Pond is Fed BY This Little Stream