Ricky Bobby

Ricky Bobby
If you ain't first you're last

Thursday, October 30, 2008

They poured what?

Tonight will be much ado about nothing. It's getting late now and Tilena is already asleep. Ryan is doing schoolwork and I'm not sure I want to know exactly what Nick is doing. I've been off work now for two and a half days and beginning to go stir crazy. Sitting awake like this does have its benefits though. One of my greatest pleasures in life is watching Tilena sleep and hearing her softly breathing. Sometimes I purposely lie awake just to listen to her in the dark.

Bowden, Pepper and I have just finished out nightly cereal ritual. For years Bowden has waited on me to finish my nightly bowl of cereal. He can be sound asleep when I open that box and he will appear out of the blue. He knows the left over milk...2% these days just for his benefit...is all his. It didn't take ole Pepper long to pick up on that though. He's fully attuned now and every bit as vigilant as Bowden. We just split the same amount of milk three ways instead of two.

Not that the topic will interest anyone, but there is a football game on the t.v. right now and it brought the matter to my mind. People are so vastly different dependent upon their geographic location. I mean...to be so much alike in many ways...we can be so different in other ways. Here's the deal. Almost anywhere you go, you'll find a college football fan. But have you ever taken the time to notice how differently they behave based upon the venue? Now I've been to football games in a lot of different places. Tallahassee (surprise), Gainesville (yuck), Jacksonville, Atlanta, Sanford Stadium (it's not in Atlanta mind you), Orange Bowl (and Dolphin Stadium), Blacksburg Va., Charlottesville Va., Auburn and even once in Valdosta (I don't know why). But the thing is, they all seem to have their own rules of(or lack thereof) conduct. I've watched the Noles play against the Virginia Calilers in Charlottesville and I don't think the people there even knew a game was going on. I've seen the students at Florida Field dump beer bottles filled with urine on opposing teams going in at halftime. I've seen many many times the fans in Tallahassee not come into the stadium until the second quarter...they still do that for some reason. But without a doubt..and I say this without malice, but with first hand experience...the most beligerent, obnoxious, rude, ill mannered ball fans I've ever encountered anywhere were Penn State fans. And it wasn't even in their stadium. I'm not sure what makes them the way they are...but they are terribly rude and poorly behaved as a group. And get this...they call their stadium "Happy Valley" There has got to be some good reason for all this...Maybe I would be unhappy too having to survive Pennsylvania winters and New Yorkers for neighbors. More likely though, its just the embarrassment of having Philadelphia as part of their state.

I know this was probably the most aimless post I've ever made, but it was following an aimless mind. I'm going to let it go for now. I'm trying to do this in the dark so that I don't wake T-Bug. I'm a seeker peeker (I have to look at the keys to type) and I'm having a hard time of it in the dark. Maybe more tomorrow.

Seek the King, Serve Him Gladly.

Don & Co.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bowden's Baby Mama

Meet Sandy Everyone....daughter of Ricky's Silver Rocket and Carla's Little Katie. She's a nine month old purebreed. When she's ready, we hope for her to be the future Bowden's Baby Mama.

Her most recent family bought her as a six week old, and just weren't prepared or knowledgeable in the ways of the Grey Ghost. It's not a breed of dog for everyone. Certainly not for the first time dog owner. They're wild as a sprayed cockroach as puppies...and the puppy stage last for 2-3 years. But, if you're up for it, tough enough, and smarter than the dog. You'll be rewarded with the most loyal of all breeds. A fearless guardian and constant companion. Tilena and I have owned or been owned by a Weimaraner most of our marriage and well versed in the nature of these most beautiful of canines. They've just got bats in their belfry.

Of course it didn't take long for me to find a home for her. The deal is for the new owner to hold off spaying her until she is old enough to meet Bowden for that most special of dates. Then we'll choose a perfect home for the pick of the litter. She's spending the night with us (well supervised of course) in order for them to become aquainted with each other. No need in wasting time on formalities when the "time is right". I've waited on neutering him for years in the hopes of finding that perfect someone for him one day.

She's about 50 lbs (almost grown for a female and about 60% of Bowden's weight at the same age) She will top out around 65-70 lbs...about average for a female. Bowden is very large even for a male. Most boys mature at about 85 lbs. Bowdie boy weighed in at 105 lbs at his Vet's visit last week...I've had him on a diet and he's dropped about 10 lbs. over the last year. There aren't many people who rate higher on my list than Bowden....most of those live or have lived under the same roof with me. I have just not found many people who offer as much and ask so little.

It's a shame we already have two dogs (one watch dog and one guard dog) or we would now have two guard dogs. See the difference in a watch dog and a guard dog is quite simple. Pepper (watch dog) wakes me up and says "there's something outside...I'll wait here while you go check it out". On the other hand Bowden (guard dog) who wakes me up and says "there's something outside...you wait here and I'll go eat it".

Hope you all have a great day. If you don't have a dog, you're missing out on one of God's great blessings. If you do...go give him a hug.

Don and Company

Palm trees and Sand.......................

Monday, October 27, 2008

Rats in the Corn

I want to apologize in advance, this is not the most politically correct or sensitive post I've ever written, but my patience is growing thin. Tilena will chastise me over this and my Pastor will just shake his head. I ask your forgiveness in advance if this offends you. If you're a Democrat....just quit reading right now. You will be offended. But then again, you've deeply offended me for years..........

I'm just sort of hanging out today. I've got quite a bit of time built up and I just as well use some of it. Tilena is up in Ocala for a couple of days. Penny (my mother-in-law) fell Sunday and fractured her hip. She will be having surgery today. The whole thing sort of surprsed me. Penny is only 75 and keeps herself in fit condition. You would NEVER think she was anywhere near 75 to look at her. She is a very attractive, petite and active woman. That's good news in my mind for the years to come. Please keep her in your prayers. I would really like to have her come stay with us...at least through her rehab period. I've tried for years to get her to come live with us. She's just so much fun to have around.

I'm going to start working on my face, neck and scalp this week. I'll have to take off the next three weeks. I can't get even a brief shot of sunlight on my skin during this period. Its a painful and messy process to go through, but its just something I'm going to have to do every 2-3 years as long as I live.

The news on t.v. is so depressing. I'm holding out hope and continued prayer for our country during this election season. But I'm afraid the "rats are already in the corn". Every time I seem to have a good day, something comes along to remind me of the ill wind blowing across our country. What would you say if I told you I was coming home this week from work and saw a local woman who had put her Barack Hussein Obama sign out. What would you say about someone who already gets a government stipend of our tax money worth more than I earn each year because she belongs to a particular race? What if that person also gets more than $100,000.00 each year from the gambling casino simply because of her "ethnicity"? What if that woman was all of twenty five years old, had no job, doesn't want a job and receiving over $200,000.00 annually because she's a member of a particular ethnic group? Now what if that same woman had the unmitigated gall to want to "share my wealth" some more? See, this socialistic "share the wealth" program won't come from her pocket because she's in a "protected group". Barack Hussein Obama wants to give here even more of our money. What if now she was entitled to get more and more for every offspring she produced?. How do you give 90% of the population a tax cut when 40% of the population doesn't pay taxes to start with? Hey, Democrats for Obama "Welfare Wagon" Hussein Obama... If that's not buying votes, nothing is. I'm sorry for that, I really am...but that's the way I see it and I tell you this... I'm tired, I'm really, really tired. We're in for much more of that and worse I'm afraid. The future is bleak and I feel the "change" in the wind. Evil, dark change. The change coming will not be a friendly one for Christians I'm afraid. As Christians, we knew this day would come. Whether this is indeed the time or not...that time will come. As bad as the economic implications are, the critical issues here are the freedom of worship and protection of the helpless. Religious freedom is being threatened. The Church had better wake up. The wolf of Socialism is at the door. I wonder what our chances of getting a Sarah Palin / Condie Rice ticket ready in four years would be? I'm all for that.

I talked to my nephews Mark and Eric today. Sounds like they're going to be able to make it down for Thanksgiving. I always enjoy them tremendously. They really look forward to a weekend at Aunt Tilena's kitchen. Their mom and dad are in Congo and won't be here for the holiday. They're the ones I've written about before who work with the UN. Heather, their sister, may also come in from LA. Tilena has been decorating for Thanksgiving. The front porch looks quite festive. And as for me...the photo proves it...I'm putting my money where my mouth is. Go McCain!

OK all, I'll get off my soap box for now. I know you're all tired of hearing me. Vote...Vote Republican....Vote often.

Don & Co.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Bad Dad

A photo of my mower "with the grass shroud reattached again" sigh...JUST GO CUT THE GRASS.........For 21 years I've been King of the Turf, Ruler of the Yard, Unchallenged Czar of the Green World....and now Tilena's telling me how to cut the grass. That woman just called me on the phone "she's in the car on her way home from work" telling me I need a new mower cause mine blows grass all over the place....who woulda thunk it... Translation, ten minutes ago I made Nick get out of the bed "its 4 p.m." and go outside to mow the grass. So now he's called Mommie about mean ole Dad mistreating him. He gets grass and dirt on his head and Daddy don't care. For those of you who have never seen my mower, its a lot like me. Kinda beat up, ugly, rusty and missing a few parts...but if you have a little patience with it...it can still get the job done. It embarrasses the heck out of Tilena for anyone to see it. Now Nick knows this and no one is better at pushing mama's buttons than little stinkie ninkie.

So what if it is old, beat up, rusted, dented, bald tires and missing the entire hood. The fact is, the motor is strong, blades are sharp and it cuts a nice lawn....if the driver is out to cut a nice lawn. Nick complained initially because it had a grass shroud deflector that left clumps of grass on the lawn and I would make him rake it up after mowing. He didn't like raking, so I took the shroud off to enable the mower to mulch up the clippings....no more clumps, no more raking. Now that the shrould is gone, the clippings blow up on him and gets him dirty....oh boo hoo. MOMMIE, Daddy is being a doo doo head....yes honey he is...I'll call him right now. So here we are. What Nick wants is me to hire someone to cut the grass "anyone but him is my guess". The truth is, he doesn't cut it to my satisfaction anyway. No one can cut my grass to my satisfaction but me. But lets get this straight here...we're not talking about the darned grass. We're talking about a 17 year old asleep in the bed at 4pm. A 17 year old who will still be in the bed at noon tomorrow. A 17 year old who has a car, meals, home, game cube, nintendo, Wii, satellite t.v, cell phone, computer, health and dental "four retainers so far", chips & dip and all the mountain dew he can drink......that's what we're talking about. He can cut the flapbanging grass once a week.

And let me digress here for just a bit. We should all really know how my mower came to be in the state its in. A couple years back, Ryan "the other brother Darrell" while in a learning curve of his own...was taking the mower over to cut the grass at one of the vacant parsonages in town. He loaded it onto the trailer and headed out. Well, as he was going up the street, he hit the brakes to make the curve and the trailer with mower still attached "caught up with him". Learning to lock the trailer hitch onto the tow ball can be an expensive lesson. That's why even today the back of the jeep is as ugly as the front of my mower.

You know, most men would take advantage of this opportunity to go buy a fancy new Dixie Chopper "the cadillac of lawn mowers", when their wife left the door open like that. But the issue is just more dadgummed important here. My mower cuts the lawn like a golf course when I use it, so there's nothing wrong with the mower. There's a lot wrong with most teenagers. There's not a doubt in my mind that Nick will make the curve and one day grade out high. I'm sure he'll eventually have a lawn of his own. But I owe it to him to stand fast on this issue. A little sweat equity is a noble thing. And as for "mommie", I make fun of her, but the fact is, she really is on my side...but she really don't like my mower.

I've learned, the lessons are so much more valuable than the chore. A bad mow job is like a bad hair cut...it will grow back. Just like all the holes where home plate and first base used to be...they will repair themselves. I'll sorely miss these "bad mow jobs" one day. With the possible exception of the "Tilena mowing experiment". Some scars really never do heal. But I refuse to let the lessons pass. I love him too much to let him ride around on a Dixie Chopper; or to let someone else be riding around on it in his place. I really would love to have a Dixie Chopper and a 1962 Corvette...But by the time I can afford them, I'll be too old to drive either. In the mean time, I think God left us to cut the grass. See, here's the way I have it figured...now this is not Southern Baptist Theology...just Don's understanding of things. Anyway, the way I see it, God got out of the gardening business back about the time of the Fall of Man. God does provide a gorgeous natural world....but he just ain't to eager a gardener. You should see my lawn when he has it to himself for two or three weeks. If you want to get a quick refresher, just look back at Genesis 3:17-19. In my mind God said..."From here on out, you can cut your own grass..."

So Nick...sorry buddy. But you'll just have to bear it on that ole mower a couple more years. I sure wish I had a mower to ride when I was 17. Try being a farm hand, boy. But that's another story....don't mean anything to a sleepy 17 year old anyway. Like Ryan and Christy, Nick will get there...he's just a little behind the curve right now.

And Nick, don't forget to blow off the sidewalk.

Monday, October 6, 2008

going slow in the fast lane

I thought about you this morning...old man. The second half of the night was a restless one and sleep just didn't come easily. Odd dreams flopped helter skelter across my mind leaving me with a sense of unease when I crawled from bed before daylight. Going to bed with unfinished thoughts will do that to a person and must have been the case with me last night. At some time yesterday, I must have heard your name because you were the constant theme in each of the dreams. In some I was mad with Tilena, but you appeared somehow in all of them, and I just couldn't make sense of it. None seemed to "end" right.

Just like you're untimely departure when I felt like you had gone too soon. There was still too much to talk about, too many laughs yet to share. We didn't spend as much time together there toward the end. Maybe a lot of it was that I knew it was coming, and didn't really know what to say to you anymore. You didn't know what to say either. Our last few conversations were forced and uneasy. Nothing like the twenty years worth of discussions before. It really seemed sort of anti climatic when I think back over the years. The end should have been different. I should have been there. It should have been funny...or at least controversial.

I know you weren't ready. Some people look forward to their homecoming day. Others just seem resigned to the fact that time is up. Then there are some like you who really didn't want to go. It was hard to look at you knowing that you knew...and didn't want to go. There were still Gyros to eat and politicians to grumble about.

Remember our first meeting? There you were in much the same condition as you would be twenty years later on our last meeting... Laying up in the bed on your lazy butt. You had just suffered your first heart attack and I had driven down from Perry with Tilena to see you. Tilena and I had only been out twice, so I don't really know what I was thinking to offer to ride down there with her and Christy...it just seemed the thing to do. Actually that visit sealed the deal for me. I finally met a family more disfunctional, weird, and nutty than my own. Anyway, you never actually spoke to me although you did grunt in my direction. But you said to Tilena, "Watch him, you know what they say about those policemen". No, I don't know Peep, I never did know exactly what that meant. But I do know this..Somewhere along the line I went from being a suspect to being a confidant. The last meeting was, in a way, similar. You were in that hospital bed again. And again, you didn't speak to me. But you knew I was there. Maybe you had just said everything there was to say. I hadn't though, and I wish I had said it then. But it was just so difficult. A lot changed between us over twenty years, and that lump in my throat just wouldn't get out of the way there at the end.

Well Peep...today would be your birthday. I think you would be 75 if you were still here with us. You really would be one of those old "farts" you always complained about. You've been three years removed from us now. You've had three "real" birthdays huh? I wouldn't wish you away from Glory for anything....but I do miss you.

Happy birthday old man...and, oh yeah, stay outta the fast lane.

Don & Company

Palm Trees and Sand.......................