Category: Stuff about Stuff

The Epically Awesome Award of Epic Awesomeness

awesome

Thanks to a very kind nomination from The Imaginator, (Check him out, his blog is equally awesome) I have been awarded the Awesome Award of Epic Awesomeness (try saying that ten times with crackers in your mouth). As with most of the other blog awards, there are three rules (some have more, some  less), and they are 1. Write 10 awesome facts about yourself ( I suppose I should try and think on this one, and make the facts at least mildly amusing or entertaining); 2. Nominate ten other bloggers who write equally awesome content; and finally 3. Inform the others that they won. (the easy part)

First I guess I should start with ten awesome facts about me (Only ten??? I could write for days…). Here goes, in no particular awesome order:

  1. I am a music lover. I especially love old time Rock & Roll music, mostly from Europe. Lately I have been compiling music from Sweden, South Africa, and Ireland. 
  2. I hate snow, even though I live in western Newfoundland (the snow capital of Atlantic Canada), I hate shoveling it, walking in it, slipping in it…you get the picture.
  3. I love nature, and I make it a  point to keep our wild birds well fed. I have fourteen bird feeders placed in various areas throughout my yard, and my property has become both a bird sanctuary and a haven for hungry cats.
  4. I have a phobia against dentists, needles and pain.
  5. I love animals, mostly barbecued
  6. I love to sing, even  though I couldn’t carry a tune  in a bucket
  7. I detest poor spelling and grammar, to the point that I often inform  people of their errors…usually pissing them off.
  8. Two of my interests are photography and cooking, and the original intention of this blog was to post photos (Sights) and my own recipes (Bytes).
  9. I worry to where my writing is heading. I often sit and write things that frighten the hell  out of me.
  10. Okay, I am not really that awesome, because after nine points of awesomeness, I am stumped and cannot think of any more.

As for my nominees, I have a blogroll that features many amazing writers. Below is a list of the blogs I checked  out this morning.

  1. Fifteen  Minute Lunch. The blog of one Johnny Virgil. A truly amazing dude who writes from the heart, and usually sends me into fits  of laughter.
  2. Archon’s Den. One of the most interesting dudes I have ever had the good fortune of reading…..he says that he is a grumpy old dude, but don’t believe him, he is a barrel of laughs
  3. El Guapola. What can I say? A risk  taker/daredevil who writes with love and loves his lady. Give him  a read and see  what  I am talking about.
  4. White Lady in the Hood. This lady is so awesome, she probably has an entire wall in her living  room filled with  Awesome Awards of Epic Awesomeness. I love reading her stuff and one day I would like to meet the lady.
  5. The Fat Food Guy. The blog of a fat guy who reviews food.  FFG doesn’t bother boring us with nutritional facts, rather he and his faithful and trusty companion Irwin base their tests on how a food actually tastes. Not for the faint of heart or anyone on a diet, but an  interesting read for food lovers everywhere.
  6. Thoughts, Ramblings, and Daydreams. Gene  over at TR&D has a truly amazing site that features some truly amazing stories. I faithfully read the works of Gene every day, and I enjoy reading his insightful comments on some of my work as well.  Enjoy your award Gene, you truly deserve the recognition.
  7. Every week the people over at Trifecta offer weekly and daily blog challenges. This site has inspired me to write some awesome stuff.  In addition to posting links to blogger sites,  the site offers bloggers a chance  to meet others  who share their passion.
  8. Rogue. Not the superhero from Marvel comics, but the Superhero from WordPress. This very talented (and very beautiful..hope I didn’t make you blush…well actually I hope I did make you blush) lady can  really write.  This is her second blogsite, she mysteriously disappeared some  time ago and recently resurfaced with some very personal  and interesting stories.
  9. Old Dog, New Tits. First of all, don’t mistake this for a porn site. This is the blog of a very interesting and  amazing woman who in an attempt to improve on perfection, decided to have a boob job, and in the process, docs discovered a benign  tumor lurking within. She is quite beautiful without any help from surgeons, and man can she write. ODNT (as she likes to be called) has inspired me to write many of the personal  stories I post here. A truly amazing  woman (I said that already,  didn’t  I). Give her a read, she is really something else.
  10. H.E. Ellis. This BlogGoddess is something else! If there was one  person who I can thank  for being here  on WordPress  this long, it would have to be H.E. Her words of encouragement have helped me  realize  that I really  do have a talent  for this kind of stuff. Hell,  she even helped me get published!

The third part of this award is to inform the winners that they have won  the award. The letters are in the mail.

There you have it, I fulfilled all the requirements of this award. Now if you will excuse me, I shall go and hang my award next to all my other trophies and awards. Well  to be truthful, I hung  it next to my 1976 Spelling Bee award, my most and  only prestigious award  to be posted on my wall of fame.

do butterflies dream

When I was a kid, I had the same dream over and over. I often dreamed  about butterflies. My mom used to say it was because I was to spread my wings and fly, but the old lady down the road said it was something more. She was a spooky old lady who the community referred to as ‘Crazy Margaret’, and we were told that she believed in witchcraft and that she worshiped the devil. Certainly we didn’t go there much.

Somehow she got wind of my dream story. I am not sure who told her. I was playing with my friends when she came out of the house yelling. “Heed my warnings, little man, a dream about butterflies means that the end is near for someone close to you!” she said, scaring the hell out of me and my friend. We both ran home crying.

When I got home, I told mom what she said. Dad was going to pay her a visit. “Someone will die if she scares my kid again, but she won’t be seeing butterflies, that’s for sure!” he said, angrily. Of course mom wouldn’t let hot headed Dad visit the old woman. “Leave the old hag alone, God knows what harm she will bring us. How did she know about your dreams anyway?” she asked. I replied that I had no idea, the only person I told was Ricky. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that since the ‘Crazy Lady’ was Ricky’s grandmother, his loose lips had a hand in this situation.

When I got down and thought about it, she may have been on to something. Whenever I had those dreams, someone in the community either died or had gotten sick. It was always one of the community elders. I hadn’t really made the connection, but at nine years of age, I wasn’t supposed to. Now it scared me. Was I a witch too? Would I have to live in a run down old shack and have my neighbors afraid to talk to me? I sure hoped not!

For the first little while, I was afraid to go to sleep, in fear that I would have a butterfly dream, but after almost holding my eyes open for hours, eventually sleep took over and I drifted off. I remember late one night I couldn’t sleep so I eavesdropped at my parent’s conversation in the next room. We were poor and our home had very thin walls, and if you listened, you could hear everything mom and dad talked about. They were talking about Old Man Stanley, and how his heart was beginning to give him trouble. Dad said that he didn’t figure the old guy had many days left. I remember falling asleep soon afterwards.

That night I sprung from my bed in sheer terror. I had another dream, this time about some old guy who lived alone, and who everyone in the community respected. I only met him once, and didn’t know him very well. In my dream he was alone in a big field, cussing at the butterflies that crowed his face, not allowing him to breathe. This was a very scary dream, and when I woke, I blamed myself for anything that might happen to him. Nothing did.

All that day I tried to figure out what had happened when I realized it. The only nights that I had the butterfly dreams were the ones where I couldn’t sleep very well and I eavesdropped on my parent’s conversations. Since many of the residents of the community were very old, of course some of them died. I guess when I heard that someone was sick and dying, I thought a lot about it when I went to sleep, and somehow butterflies and sick people got mixed up in my head and I ended up dreaming about it. At least I think that was what was going on. Either way, I never eavesdropped on mom and dad again, and I never had a butterfly dream again either.

I often wonder what butterflies dream about, if they dream at all. Do they dream of people and those people mysteriously die? Who knows?

worst job ever: grocery store

Back when I was sixteen I got my first job. I had wanted a bit of spending money and since my parents were as poor as church rats, I would have to find my own means to earn the money. My dad was good friends with a man named Bob Stevenson, who was the floor manager at The Food Center, the local grocery store, and he had a ‘talk’ with Bob, and the next day I had the job.

I was anxious to begin my ‘career’ of grocery boy, but I was surprised when I learned that grocery boy was actually a ‘prestigious’ position at the store, and that I was not going to be a grocery boy, not by a long shot. I was a ‘truck unloader’.

In the back of the store, far away from what the customers see, is where the store loading dock was. My job, along with a few kids like me who  had big dreams of one day making it out of the back and onto the main floor, was to unload the tractor trailers that carried the grocery items and fresh produce across the island and to the various food stores across the island. The work was hard, and we weren’t treated very well by store staff, and especially by the grocery boys.

On my first shift, the truck had arrived late at night with a load of potatoes. They called my home at around two in the morning. Still half dazed and asleep, I arrived at the store. I had never worked before, so working at two in the morning was quite the chore. When I got to the store, there were a whole slew of workers I had never seen at the store before, the night shift. Those guys were the ones that the store manager did not want hanging around the store in daylight. Tough guys, some older than me, who wanted the work to supplement their welfare checks, showed up to unload night shift trucks for a bit of ‘under the table’ cash.

Hilary, a guy who looked like he just escaped from the mental ward chose me. He said that I would be his ‘catcher’. My job was to stand at the end of the loading ramp, next to the back of the truck, while he dropped 50 lb bags of potatoes into my open arms. After an hour of this, I truly thought that my arms had gotten longer,  and my shoulders hurt like nobody’s business. I made it through the entire shift, but when I was finished, I was ready to die.

My next shift wasn’t any better. I was called in (half hour notice I might add) at four in the morning to assist ‘Dead Donny’ in the meat room. It seemed that every worker had a nickname, although mine was simply my last name, which the back room manager yelled every time he had any dirty work to do. Anyway, I had to work with Dead Donny in the meat room, which was actually a freezer room where the frozen food and meat were stored. Dead Donny apparently got his name from his pale white skin, more than likely due to the fact that he spent most of his time in the freezer room of the store, day and night, winter and summer. The guy was so white he glowed in the dark, at least that’s what the other guys at work used to say.

Working with Dead Donny wasn’t all that bad. He was actually one of the nicer full timers at the store. Donny had started working at the store when he was just 13 years old, and after twenty years at the job, he still wasn’t that old. I worked to help Donny unload the freezer truck, and even though the work was hard, working with him was so much easier because he didn’t look down on me for being a newbie. The worst part of this shift was the next morning at ten when I finished my shift and had to wait for Dad to pick me up and bring me home. Everyone in town sported shorts and tshirt, I wore a one piece snowmobile suit, the normal attire for working in the freezer room with Dead Donny.

On one occasion, I got called by the boss to clean up a milk spill. One of the senior workers accidentally lost an entire crate of evaporated milk on the floor, and I had to clean it. Using a mop and a bucket of dirty water, I worked to clean the milk, but everyone (except for the boss apparently) knows that when you add water to evaporated milk, it just makes more milk. Superintelligent me figured that I use a fresh mop from store stock to clean the spill. I went through four store stock mops, and dry mopped the milk. I was so proud that I made it a point to brag to the back room manager. He went insane. I paid dearly for my small lapse of genius, as the cost of the four mops came out of my measly salary of $2.85 per hour. So much for creativity I guess.

One day I had to work with Cranky Clark. Cranky was the store player who had spent far too much time hitting on female workers and even shoppers than he did doing his job. He had no patience for the newer workers and made their lives a living hell. Cranky grabbed me by the shoulders and ordered me to go and unload a truck that contained cleaning solutions. I remember one of the guys who helped us was named Casey. Casey was a nice guy and the brunt of most of Cranky’s jokes. When a large box of bleach was coming down the conveyor belt, Casey waited patiently for the box to come his way, but it got stuck, so Cranky took a broom handle and poked at the box until it was freed up, causing the box to twist and finally spill over all three of us waiting for the box. I was lucky enough to jump away before the box hit the edge of the truck, but Casey wasn’t that lucky. The box of bleach burst open and onto Casey, his eyes filled with bleach. An ambulance was quick to arrive, and Casey was rushed to the hospital. Clark blamed everything on me and Casey, and the manager eventually fired Casey for being careless. Clark walked away without any remorse.

One evening I showed up for work to hear the older workers brag about packing boxes. I figured they were talking about groceries, but in the end they were talking about something else entirely. One of the workers was a guy name Charlie, who bragged about being the best box packer in the store. He said that tonight he will be packing a box and the store will pay him for it.

Charlie left the loading dock around nine and went to the store front, where he met with a few ladies, he led them to the back of the store and shut the door. When I asked the others what he was up to, they simply replied “packing boxes”. I was even more confused, but I didn’t think he should have been bringing other people into the store at night, even if they were going to help him ‘pack boxes’.

I heard a loud scream and a ton of moaning coming from the little back room, and foolishly, I left my post and checked it out. When I got to the room, the door was closed with a do not disturb sign hanging from the knob. I turned the knob and the door opened, only to find Charlie making out with one of the girls while the other one waited on a chair, watching. I remember stupidly asking what he was doing, and his reply? “I am packing her box, what are you some kind of virgin?” he asked. I was. And I was embarrassed. The two girls giggled and went on with the box packing. I heard sex called a lot of things, but never packing boxes.

The store owner was a nice person, but his three sons were not nice. They bossed everyone around and treated us like garbage. They also stole from their father, to the point that late at night, pickup trucks would arrive and a few of the boys would help them load groceries into the trucks and drive away. I was too scared and too God fearin’ to get involved in this (Thank heavens!)

We used to wish that a different owner took over the store, then maybe those clowns would leave the store. Maybe we would get promoted to the prestigious title of ‘grocery packer’. That didn’t happen. A different manager did come along, but he promoted the boss’ clown sons, and laid us off. So much for career goals with the grocery store.

Whenever I shop at the store (it has a new owner now and a different name), I still see a few of the boys who used to unload trucks working at the store. One of them was promoted to assistant manager a few years back, and now he is the store manager. Jimmy was one of the nicest guys I worked with back when I was a kid, but talking to a few of the grocery boys, they call him the ‘Drill Sargent’ now. Funny how things change.

dear Me

While browsing around my blogroll, I came across a fantastic idea. One of my fav bloggers came up with the idea to write a letter to her fifteen year old self. Naturally, I had to try this as well. Here goes….

Dear Me.

I know you are only fifteen and you have your entire life ahead of you, but listen to me, I have been there. I know that at fifteen you know everything about the world and you don’t need some almost fifty version of you telling you what to do, but at least listen to what I have to say, it may just save you a lot of grief and maybe a ton of money as well.

First off, I know you hate school. You hate it because Bobby Tiller spends his entire day making life miserable for you. Two things to tell you about that one. First, he will drown before his seventeenth birthday, so you could try to put up with his bullshit for another year or so, or you could get him back right now. I know for a fact that his one true love has a thing for you. Now I know your confidence is terrible, and if some big boobed senior were to be anywhere near you and that terrible case of acne you have, you would just die, but for once listen to someone, ask her out. Tell her that she has beautiful eyes. Most guys hit on her because of her big tits, pretend you didn’t notice them. Trust me on this one, she would later reveal that she wanted to jump your bones. Now stop turning red, I am just trying to help you here. Bobby Tiller will be ruined if his one piece of social status jumps ship and dates the school nerd (sorry about that)

Back to school. I know you hate it because your grades suck. I have a surprise for you, a bit later in life when you actually grow confidence, you will realize how smart you really are. Grab your school books and study!

When you graduate next year, skip the Clerk Accounting course you plan to take at that crummy community college. Go out and get a student loan and do an education degree. Believe me, you will forever regret not doing this, I should know.

When you turn seventeen, you will buy the 1968 Pontiac Beaumont from old man Hillier. Do Not Drive the car! You heard me, don’t drive it. Instead, drive it into Grandfather’s barn, cover it with dry hay, and leave it there until 2012. That car was mint, and now worth over $90 grand. Buy an old Nova, drive that around. There is a ’76 for sale in Millers Lane, you should be able to afford it soon, it will get you where you want to go, (hell, you will even get laid for the first time in the back seat).

Speaking of getting laid, right now you are young and you get the shivers whenever someone talks about sex. Now stop turning red and giggling, in a year or so your hormones will kick in and sex will be more important than hamburgers, and you will want to have sex daily, so be a man, stop giggling every time I say the word ‘sex’.

That girl in woodworking class, the one every guy wants and the same gal who only did woodworking so that she could meet guys is not as popular as she lets on. Truth is, she comes from a strict Pentecostal upbringing where sex is totally forbidden. You gotta learn something about the Pentecostal gals, they want it! They do whatever they please in their younger years, and when they reach a certain age (20 I think), they get saved and never think of sex again. Ask this girl out, she is no virgin, and you won’t be either after that.

Now for the warnings.

When you are seventeen you will meet a girl. She will take you home to meet her folks. When you realize that the entire family is drunk, ignore the fact that their daughter is one sexy piece of woman and run. Yes she will screw you, but believe me, this is one rough family, and you certainly don’t want to get mixed up with them.

When you turn 18, you will meet a girl who seems like the right one for you. (you will meet a lot of those). If she tells you that she has a steady job cleaning doctor’s offices in the evening, don’t believe her. It’s not true. She does meet with doctors, but only to do other things for doctors, like have sex with them. Don’t date this girl, run for your life!

When you turn 19, you will meet a woman who will sweep you off your feet. You will fall head over heels in love. All you will want to do is sit and plan your future (that and make love every chance you get). At this point, STOP! Truth is, ‘You’ did fall in love. All ‘You” want to do is plan your future. Trouble is, she doesn’t love you. She is dealing with abuse issues at home and she needs counseling. You are not the professional help she needs. Do Not Marry this girl, I plead with you. She will hurt you so bad that it will take twenty years for you to get over it. Stop laughing, I am trying to talk to you here, I am trying to save you pain.

No, wait, on second thought, don’t listen to me. Not doing all the things I warned you about could backfire. Not experiencing all the pain I went through as a child might not make me the man I am today. Not marrying that gal and not learning the lessons, I may not be here today with the true love of my life. Destroy this letter, go on being the school nerd, and live your life. Have fun, but be safe.

yours Truly

You at 49 years old

One Lovely Sightsnbytes…I mean One Lovely Blog Award

Despite having my in-laws over for most of the long weekend, it was in fact, a great weekend. The weather was awesome, (This is Newfoundland we are talking about, and for the entire weekend, we were treated to +20 Celsius sunshine) and it was actually quite nice having my missus’ family over. Her grandmother spent the weekend cooking delicious meals for us (which gave me a break from the cooking), and our son benefited from having the chance to spend some quality time with his great grandparents. They also got a chance to see how busy life is in our household.

Another great honor I was bestowed over the weekend was the One Lovely Blog Award. The Wonderful Wendy Estelle of Finally Wendy Wanders (http://wendyestelle.com/) was gracious enough to think of ole SnB (well not old, middle aged maybe, but not old) when she nominated her favorite bloggers. I would like to thank Wendy, and to anyone looking for a fun and interesting read, be sure to click on her link. Despite being relatively new to the blogsphere, her posts are quite outstanding as well as very addictive!

As with any blog award, there are certain duties the winner must carry out. (sigh) So, without further ado, here goes:

I have to list seven things about myself (I hate this part because I am not the kind of person who likes attention…oh wait, that is one thing)

  1. I am not the kind of person who likes attention
  2. I am a morning person. What doesn’t get done in the morning doesn’t get done. Period!
  3. I like cats, but I only have one cat and two dogs.
  4. I love the outdoors, nature, and the ocean.
  5. I don’t hunt. I do eat meat, but I let other people do the killing
  6. I love to cook, and I never use a recipe. This often works to my advantage, but when it doesn’t, the food is a disaster and usually ends up in the trash
  7. I am a perfectionist when it comes to grammar and spelling. I hate it when people use too many commas.
  8. I have flat feet and buying shoes is a pain; fortunately I am a guy, so buying shoes is not that important.
  9. Apparently I can’t count this morning, the award only requires seven things about me, and already I am at nine.

The next stipulation is that I list my nominees for the Lovely Blogger Award. With this one, I will approach things a bit different. I hate chain letters, and despite the blogger awards being a whole lot of fun, I don’t want to get lured into the business of passing chain letters.  In an attempt to please the blog award Gods, my nominees for the Lovely Blogger Award are all the bloggers I have listed in my blog roll. (hee hee…now you have to visit my blog to find the blogger nominees, who all deserve the award as much as I did)

To link back to my nominees, please click on the following link  (https://sightsnbytes.wordpress.com/)

A few good jokes (No, not talking about our politicians, that would be a few dumb jokes)

Here are a few good Newfie Jokes I found while hunting on the net.

Phone Service

After having dug to a depth of 10 feet last year,  Toronto  scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 100 years and came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone network more than 100 years ago.

Not to be outdone by the Ontarian’s, in the weeks that followed, a Vancouver archaeologist dug to a depth of 20 feet, and shortly after, a story published in the Vancouver Province: “BC archaeologists, finding traces of 130-year-old copper wire, have concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech communications network 30 years earlier than Ontario”.

One week later, the Newfoundland telegram in  St Johns , reported the following: “After digging as deep as 30 feet in his backyard in St John’s ,  Newfoundland , James Smith, a self-taught archaeologist, reported that he found absolutely nothing at all. James has therefore concluded that 150 years ago,  Newfoundland  had already gone wireless.”

————————–

All the Answers

A Newfie riding his Harley along the TCH just outside of Port aux Basques when suddenly the sky clouded above his head and, in a booming voice, the Lord said,  ‘Because you have tried to be faithful to me in all ways, I will grant you  one wish.’

The Newfie pulled over and replied, ‘Build a bridge to North Sydney so I can ride over anytime I want.’

The Lord said, ‘Your request is materialistic. Think of the enormous challenges for that kind of undertaking: the supports required reaching the bottom of the ocean and the concrete and steel it would take! It will nearly exhaust several natural resources. I can do it, but it is hard for me to justify your desire for worldly things. Take a little more time and think of something that could possibly help mankind.’

The Newfie thought about it for a long time. Finally, he said, ‘Lord, I wish that I and all men could understand women. I want to know how she feels  inside, what she’s thinking when she gives me the silent treatment, why she  cries, what she means when she says nothing’s wrong, and how I can make a  woman truly happy.’

The Lord replied, ‘You want two lanes, or four on that bridge?’

————————————————————————————-

Aunt Bessie

Aunt Bessie from Jerry’s Nose went to see the Doctor, as he placed the stethoscope on her back, he said “Now Aunt Bessie, Big Breaths” she said “They’re not bad, but you should have seen them when I was in my prime.”

————————————————–

Circle Flies

A newf gets pulled over:

Cop: “Do you realize how fast you were goin?”

Newf: “No sir”, as he looks at the cop awfuly strange.

The cop notices the newf looking at him quite strange and decides to ask what exactly he’s looking at.

Newf: “Ah sir, looks like ya got a circle fly there”

Cop:  “What the hell is a circle fly?”

Newf:  “Ya know, when the horses wave their tales cause the flies are circling around there asses.”

Cop:  “Are you calling me a horses ass?”

Newf: “No sir, but you sure can’t fool those circle flies”

————————–

A Mainlander was driving down the highway and he ran over a rabbit. Wondering what had happened, he stopped his car and got out to look. As he is standing there, looking at the dead rabbit, a Newfie drives by. The Newfie, wondering if he can help, stops and asks the Mainlander what’s up.

Mainlander: “I’m here visiting your fair province and I seem to have killed one of your land rodents.”

Newfie looks down and sees the dead rabbit.

Newfie: “No problem, b’y. Hang’er down a few.”

Newfie goes to his truck and returns with an aerosol spray can. He empties the spray over the rabbit. He then chucks the empty can into the ditch and sez “There ya go, me son. Enjoy yer stay.” He gets in his truck and is gone.

The rabbit gets up, hops 10 feet towards the woods, turns around and waves, hops 10 feet, turns around and waves, hops 10 feet and he’s gone into the woods.

The Mainlander was astounded!! Wondering what the Newfie did, he got the can out of the ditch and read the label, which said: “Hair spray. Guaranteed to bring dead hair back to life with a permanent wave”

————

That’s ’nuff far taday.

Alder whistles and tree sap

Back when I was a kid, I loved spring time. At school we had our marble competitions, and at home, my dad was busy cutting alder branches to make his home made whistles. “You have to wait for the sap to run before you can make a good whistle” Dad would say, as he crafted those little whistles.I had whistles of every note, and although tone deaf, I managed to play a few tunes all on my own.

My dad was a natural musician; he taught himself to play guitar from listening to country songs on the radio, and he taught himself to play the whistle from a skill handed down from his grandfather. I remember him holding five whistles, and together, he played a serenade of beautiful music. It is terrible how skills like this are lost through the ages, whistle making used to be something that fathers passed to their kids; nowadays not many have this talent.

Dad would take an alder, which is a birch-like tree that grows abundantly here on the island, and bend it to his ear. He would then tap the alder to see whether it was sound. I am not sure whether this made any difference to the finished product, he always said that it did. The next step, he would cut a six or eight inch length from the alder, always using the newest branches, and he would cut each end square.

Once he had the branch cut, he would hold the blade of a pocketknife and using the handle, he would tap along the ends of the alder, loosening the bark. He would then score a line two inches from each end, moisten the bark in his mouth,and magically, the bark would slide right off. “You have to be careful not to tear the bark, as this will be needed later” he would say, as he continued with his musical craft.

Then my dad would whittle a small slice into each end of the alder stick, “The deeper the hole the deeper the note” he would instruct. Once this was done, he would slide the bark back over the end of the stick, to see if it fit properly. Removing the bark one final time, he carefully cut a long slice away from the stick, from one end to the edge of the wedge, and then he would replace the bark.From time to time, he made a whistle on each end of the stick, each of a different note.

Magically, he transformed a short piece of alder stick into a whistle. He then played a jig on the two sided whistle that he had made. My dad loved making those whistles almost as much as we kids did playing them.

My son was up at my dad’s the other day; he was sitting next to my dad, almost hypnotized as dad carefully crafted a whistle for him, just like he did for me, all those years ago. This weekend, I will try to make my first whistle for my son. Hopefully he will pass this skill on to his son someday.

Love in the stables: Part II

At my lady’s request, here is the second part of a romance story I was asked to write. Please bear with me, this is not my type of writing, but I am always up for a challenge, so here goes…

Tom came to her, arms wide open, and Bobbie accepted his request. His lips were as strong as his arms, as they locked in a loving embrace. “I don’t know you well enough…” she muttered, but he held his finger to his lips and assured her that he would not do anything that she didn’t want.

She wanted him, so she gave herself to him that night. The luxurious bedroom was all that she imagined, and she let herself fall into his bed. He was quick to join her, and the two made passionate love all night.

At morning, she awoke, alone in a stranger’s bedroom. Tom was nowhere to be found. She called out his name, but there was no response.  Bobbie began to panic. “How could I let this happen?” She questioned to herself, “I have never given myself to a stranger before, why did I allow this to happen?” She thought.

Getting her clothing together was difficult because it was strewn across the entire apartment. When she finished, she called a cab and headed home, embarrassed.

Later that day, while at work, Tom came into the shop. She had been trying to keep busy so her mind did not wander back to last night, but it was difficult to do so. “What happened to you this morning?” she asked Tom, angrily.

“I couldn’t let you see, I couldn’t let you know my secret.” He said, mysteriously. “When you came to my home, it was dark, so the secret was safe, but in morning, I…I can’t keep a relationship with you; you are too good, too beautiful, and too innocent to bring you into this…” He said.

Bobbie thought for a minute, hoping to find something to say. “I thought you used me for a one night stand, tell me that’s not what it was, that would make me feel so cheap and worthless.” She replied.

“Cheap and worthless? You? Never ”He said,“ You are none of those things, you are the most beautiful creature that has ever adorned my home, and my heart” He said, melting her heart once again

“Then why did you leave before I woke up?” she asked.

“It’s my tattoo, among other things, I didn’t want you to see.” He said.

“It can’t be that bad, let me look” She asked.

Just before he was about to remove his shirt, and expose his muscular back, and the supposedly hideous tattoo, Bobbie’s store manager came into the room.

Bill was an enormous man with cold black eyes. Bobbie shuddered at his arrival, and even Tom was shocked by his appearance.

“A new customer?” he asked, referring to Tom.

“Yes, I have horses, and I need a full time groomer at my stables” Tom replied, surprising Bobbie.

“I am sure we can accommodate you, as we have two qualified horse groomers on staff. You already know Bobbie, but since she is pretty much booked this week, let me introduce you to Stella.” The stocky manager said.

Not Stella”, Bobbie thought to herself, “She is a she-wolf who will work to steal Tom for herself

“I am free in the afternoons” Bobbie shouted, not realizing her tone. “I can groom you, I mean your horses” she said, sounding foolish to herself and not caring.

“No way” Bill said, “Tom, meet Stella” And with this, Bill motioned for Stella to come out of her office.

She stood tall at 5’9”, with long slender legs that she showed off with those short skirts she wore. She had the prettiest face, almost perfect, with long blond hair caressing her shoulders. She was every man’s dream. Bobbie often envied her, not only for her youthful and beauty, but for her apparent power to have any man that she desired. Bobbie noticed that each day, Stella was escorted to work by a different guy, each more handsome than the last.

Bobbie feared the worse, and as always in her disappointing life, the worse was about to happen, soon.

“Tom, meet Stella. This very bright and beautiful lady has been working with us for a short while, but in that time, she has brought in a ton of customers, and never a bad response from any of them” The manager said, almost bragging.

I bet she never got a bad response from any of them, she probably had sex with each of them” Bobbie thought, in a jealous manner.

Things got worse when Stella took Tom by the hand and left the shop. Tom glanced back at Bobbie, but it was clear that his attention was set firmly on Stella.

To Be continued, I have to take an antacid…this dribble is upsetting my stomach

Romance Story, or a reasonable attempt: Love in the stables Part I

For years, my lady has been asking me to write a romance story. I must admit, this is the most difficult genre for me to partake. Seeing how most of my writings are biographical, writing fiction has always been a challenge for me.

I have never been a mushy type, and I have never sat and read through an entire Harlequin Romance novel. Hell, I have never sat and even picked one up. I did however, notice the covers. The covers of those novels always feature some long haired muscled up dude with his shirt open, and he is usually holding some damsel in distress in his arms. There are always horses in the background, and the titles usually describe some explicit affair, which some women find to be exciting. B.O.R.I.N.G. if you ask me.

Nonetheless, I will give it a try. The thought of writing one of those stories excites me almost as much as eating oatmeal, which I also hate.

Her name was Bobbie, a boy’s name, but she was far from a boy, as her femininity was evident in everything she did. She had the body of a model and men everywhere dropped at her feet. Alex could have any man she wanted, but men usually acted like goofs in her presence. All she ever desired was a man who could love her for who she was, not how she looked.

One day while at work, Bobbie toiled about herself, keeping as busy as possible. Working as a dog groomer, Bobbie rarely met many men, but on this day, her life would change forever. In walked a man with eyes that captivated her mind the instant he walked into the room. She had been grooming a prize winning poodle, and in her dismay, she accidentally shaved the fur off the poor dog’s tail. She began to shake feverishly, but he quickly calmed her down with his soft voice. She looked into his blue eyes, which were bluer than the ocean on a calm day, and she could see kindness and wonder. His strong hands reached and caught her as she fell into his arms. His long hair tickled her face as his muscular body acted quickly to hold her just right.

Despite the fact that the frightened poodle ran out the door and into the street, Bobbie didn’t care. She continued staring into those eyes, and nothing else, not the threat of her job, not the barking of the other dogs in the room, not even the noise from the car brakes as they nearly hit the scared poodle bothered her.

Tom was his name, and as she read the name tag on his shirt, she was amazed at how contented she felt in his arms. He went to say something, but she quickly hushed  him so that she could admire his manly looks.

“I want you” she said, and she felt foolish acting like a schoolgirl in his presence. “Ma’am, I just want to ask you something, something very important” he said, in a rough husky voice. “Anything, ask me anything!” she demanded, forcefully.

“Do you have change for the meter?” he asked. Her smile quickly disappeared, as she came to realize just why he came into her shop. She quickly realized that fate had a weird way of introducing them, and once again she acted like a schoolgirl.

“Don’t worry about change for the meter,” she said, “I have plenty for you.” He smiled as she handed him change for a toonie and he was out the door. She was amazed that he spoke to her and he didn’t once stare at her ample chest like most men do.

She watched her dream guy leave the shop, and a tear came to her eyes when she feared not seeing him again. “Tom” she said, “I didn’t get any more than his first name, what is wrong with me?”

When she went home, she could think of nothing but this fantastic specimen of a man. She almost neglected feeding her dogs as she sad dumbfounded in the living room, staring into space, dreaming of the romantic times she could be spending with Tom.

The next day, as she was busy at work, he came in again. This time, he didn’t ask for change. “I have to ask you,” He said, “What is your name?”

“Bob” she replied, stuttering her name. “Bobbie Hancock” she finished. “Well you certainly don’t look like any Bob I ever seen,” he joked. Tom asked her when she finished work for the day, and if she had plans for the evening.

That evening, Bobbie hurried home to put on her best dress. He had asked her to the awards show at the local theater, a place that Bobbie had avoided all her life. “I never feel good about that place, too many couples” she thought, but this time would be different, she would not be alone.

Tom was right on time, and as Bobbie struggled not to stare, she was so fascinated with his manly looks that she had to work hard to keep from looking at him continuously.She giggled when he spoke. This was not like her, she was usually the one in control.

The night went splendid, and after the awards, Tom asked if she would like to come into his home for a nightcap. Bobbie was always a respectable woman, and she was definitely not into sex on the first date, but she wanted Tom at any cost, and she would have him if she got the chance, no matter how early in the relationship. She quickly accepted his request.

His home was beautiful, with the finest furniture and exquisite paintings adorning the walls. She wanted to know everything, but at this point, she didn’t care what he did, where he came from, or if he was with anyone, she just wanted to have him hold her in his arms, his strong, muscular arms.

(To be continued once I have the stomach to write more of this dribble)

I invite ideas to help finish this story