Monday, December 5, 2011


Something new has been added. We went and traded in our Yukon, on a 2011 Chevy Traverse. It is smaller, so easier to park, and more fuel efficient. We hope it will give us years of service. We did lose our DVD player, but not much else in the trade. We are very excited. It is an All Wheel Drive vehicle, so should also be safer to drive on winter roads.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Stayin' Busy

Saturday I took the final for my Law class. When I got out, I winterized our yard, putting away tools, hoses, draining the sprinkler system, etc. Then I butchered the last of my youngest sons deer, and pressure canned the last of the meat from his deer as stew meat. We have twelve bottle of stew meat, and three more of broth for meals, along with many packages of meat in the freezer. This morning, I got up and fixed pancakes, eggs, and sausage for my wife and I. Then I made a pasta salad for dinner later, and prepped some butternut squash to go with it and the chicken. Next, I carved a demon face into our last pumpkin.

I know I did a few other things, but can't remember what. I hate just sitting around. Tomorrow, I think I'll build a time machine, and rewire the house.

Stay busy. Stick.

Friday, October 14, 2011

And So, the Marathon Begins..Again

Today is the begins the third weekend of my Intensive Weekend class for my Master's. This class meets every other weekend for four weeks; 6-10pm on Friday night, 9am-4pm on Saturday. In addition, this Friday I get to teach Friday school at my School. This is every Friday from 8-11am, and is to help any student who has a "D" or "F" Grade, or who is missing an assignment after the due date. The teachers all take this assignment on a rotational basis, and this is my first turn.

It's going to be a long weekend. Hang in there. Stick

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I Believe!

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints, and I believe In Christ. I honor him as the son of God, and the savior of the World. I believe he died for our sins, and saved us from death. I am a christian, I am a Mormon, and I believe. "By their fruits you shall know them."

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Just thought I'd Share

This is one of our favorite recipes.

Seafood Enchiladas

1 Onion, chopped
1 TBL Butter
1/2 lb Crab Meat (we use Krab, its cheaper)
1/4 pound shrimp-peeled, deveined and coarsely chopped
8 ounces Colby cheese grated
6 10 inch tortillas
1 C half-and-half
1/2 C sour cream
1/4 C melted butter
1 1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp garlic powder or salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F
2. Saute the onions in 1 TBL butter til transparent. Remove from heat and stir in crab (Krab) and shrimp. Mix half of the cheese into the seafood. Place a large spoonful of the mixture onto a tortilla, roll and place in a lightly greased 9x13 baking pan.
3. In a saucepan, over medium heat, combine half-and-half, sour cream 1.4 butter, garlic, and parsley. Stir until blended and warm. Pour the sauce over the enchiladas, and top with the remaining cheese.
4. Bake 30 minutes

I like this with a few chopped jalapenos on top, but I think a little green chili sauce would be great.

Timing...It comes in threes.

Recently, my oldest daughter was doing some minor repairs on her car. Working with her uncle and aunt, she re-secured her radiator in her car(Cheap plastic radiator mounts). However, in the process, she left her lights on and ran her battery down, not discovering this until she was preparing to leave. I own a battery charger, and told her we could charge her battery quickly so she could leave. Her younger sister, who just purchased a nice car, offered to loan her the new vehicle, just to be safe. They switched vehicles, and my oldest drove safely home. The younger daughter, on the other hand, drove the older daughter's newly charged car that evening to go to a friend's house. She only made it about a mile uphill before the car overheated spraying steam and radiator fluid everywhere. It turns out that in the process of doing the repairs, a small plastic part of the cooling system had gotten cracked, and failed. Part ordered. Car repaired.

My youngest daughter has been driving my Ford Ranger. While the part was in transit for my oldest daughter's car, she drove the Ranger to school. When it came time to drive home, it wouldn't start. It seems that the starter motor is failing. We can roll start, but not turn a key and start. I have purchased the starter motor, and will install it soon.

In the meantime, the van that I drive has been squealing like a stuck pig for a few weeks. We looked at it over the weekend too, and discovered that I had a bad bearing in my alternator. Now this alternator was installed last January, and is under warranty, so I removed it from the vehicle, had it tested, and am ready to put the alternator back in the van.

Three breakdowns, out of four available vehicles that we drive every day.

Now for the timing. Just after I took out the alternator, it began to snow. The weather has been so awful, that I have not had a chance to get either the truck, or the van running again. Figures.

Hang in there. Stick.

Friday, August 26, 2011

A rare and precious gem

As I write this post, I am sitting in my daughter's hospital room. As a complication to contracting mononucleosis, she also contracted a rare ( 1 in 200,000) side effect of the virus that causes mono called EBV Encephalitis-an infection of the nervous system. She is getting better, but still has a way to go for her recovery. They say that most of the adult population of the World has contracted this virus at some point in their life, and that we all carry it within us. Most people who get sick fromthis never even know that they have mono. They just think it is another bad cold. In a way, they are right. Like a cold, mono is a virus. The only way to treat it right now is to treat the symptoms. Anti-biotics have no effect. Time, rest, and taking care of yourself and the symptoms is all you can do. The same is true of the encephalitis. The Doctors are great ( in spite of the multiple, repeated updates every day from each team that is following her case). We can see
improvements every day as well. We look forward to taking this rare gem home soon, until then, sign me...

Sleepless in Salt Lake. Stick.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

And now for Something completely different!

I just got back from three days at Scout Camp. I have spent a week at camp for the last two years, but they didn't need me for a full week this year. I always have fun, even though I complain. This year I took my Rendezvous bow, along with my quiver of arrows. I figured if I was going to shoot a bow, I should shoot the one I own. I found that you need to shoot more often than once a year to keep competitive. :o)

I did redeem myself a little at the rifle range, where I joined the "Dime Club" by shooting 10 rounds into a space that you could cover by a dime. (Using the scout rifles)

Here are a few pictures of the camp.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

PDA-- On Steroids!

For several years I have had a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) that I have carried for reading, playing games, and keeping track of appointments. I went form a very basic model, to my latest, which is a Palm TX handheld PC. As of my last post, I now have an IPAD. I am just starting to scratch the surface of what this can do, but I can already tell you, THIS IS GREAT! It is like a Palm on steroids. Much faster, more capacity, cleaner apps, easier to use, the works! The only thing I miss so far are the books I had on my palm. I have downloaded a few books, but I had hundreds of books on my palm. Now, there are hundreds of books available for the IPAD, but many of them are inappropriate, or cost $$. Maybe there is an app out there for converting my palm books so I can read them on my IPAD. If not, I guess I'll just have to hang on to the palm for that purpose. For now, color me EXCITED!

Have a great day! Stick.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

And Now for Something Really Exciting.. Nothing up my Sleeve

I have been working some extra training days this summer to pay for something I have wanted for a while. I already have quite a few items downloaded, thanks to daughter #3's ITUNES account for her IPOD. I have the scriptures and several games. This has 16 GIGS of memory, and 3G with WIFI. I am really anxious to learn how to use this to its potential. My wife is also working some extra training days to get one as well. So far, I LOVE IT!

Have a great day! Stick

Something new has been added

We went car shopping today. Not for us. Our #3 daughter was looking for transport for work and college. This is what we found. She purchased (with our co-signature) a 2008, white Pontiac Torrent. It is a V-6, front wheel drive, with am/fm/CD, cruise and power windows and door locks. She is very excited! Now to pay for it.

Another day older and deeper in debt. Stick.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Wedding Marathon is Over

It began early Friday morning. We were off and running. We passed mile post after mile post of items on our checklist. Buy the food items needed for the reception. Bake 10 half sheets of brownies (of which we used 5). Frost and decorate as much of the wedding cake as we can do one day before the reception. Eat dinner, and treat the youngest son for heat exhaustion while in the restaurant. Decorate the room for the reception. Home to bed and fall asleep around 1 am. Get up at 4 dark 30, and get ready to leave for the wedding breakfast a three hour drive away. Eat breakfast quickly to be at the wedding location (Draper temple) 1 hour away from the restaurant where the breakfast was held. Hold the wedding (It was beautiful). Out at 2:15 to take pictures until 3:30. Get in the car and race the 3 hours back to where the reception is being held. Arrive at the reception location with the last few items 20 minutes before the reception is supposed to start (the bride and groom arrived with 5 minutes to spare). Meet, greet, and eat for 2 hours. Clean up for another hour. Home to put away the leftover food, and in bed by 11.

One down, 5 to go. Pictures to follow on facebook. :o)

Hang in there. Stick.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Somebody Wake Me--This IS A Nightmare

I got up this morning with a list of things I wanted to accomplish. First on my list was to swap out the bathroom vent/heater fan in our bathroom. Ten hours later, I still have work to do to finish the job. It turned into one thing after another to finish. I had to cut out a big square of sheet rock out of the ceiling to get the fan out, then I had to re-wire everything, because the new fan was wired on the opposite side. Then when I got it all up in the ceiling, the light didn't work! I couldn't figure it out. I tested the wiring, and found that the light only had power when the other lights in the room were off. I still don't know what is going on. I sheet rocked, and have put on the first layer of mud to seam it in. I'll figure out the power later. Maybe.

Good luck with YOUR honey-dos. Stick.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

You look like 40 Miles of rough Road--Nope, 50 Miles

Friday evening, my sons had a scout camp out at a place about 30 miles North of town. My youngest son also had a Junior High Student Council community service activity that he had to be at, so we agreed to drive him out to the camp out after he was finished. We were given a map to the area. As we prepared to leave, it began to rain lightly. By the time we got my son from his activity, and got on the road, things were beginning to get a little muddy. We followed the map, and wound up out in the middle of nowhere, on a very slick, muddy road, and no tracks in front of us. We called the leaders in charge, and asked where we had gone astray. They told us where we SHOULD have turned off the road, and we backtracked to get on the right road. WE WERE FOLLOWING THEIR MAP! When we finally got on the right road, it had been raining for over an hour, and the road was MUCH muddier and slick. It took us another 40 minutes to get out to the campsite, and 40 more minutes to get back to the road. All in all, we had been driving on muddy, slick roads for 2 1/2 hours, and over 55 miles. I was beat, tired, and you could hardly tell what color our vehicle was SUPPOSED to be.

We found out today that one gentleman from our troop had gone out to that area Thursday, and got his big, four-wheel drive, Ram diesel stuck up to the axles out in that area. He wasn't able to get it out until this afternoon. Now both sons owe me!

Take care, and drive carefully. Stick.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Litter Locust

Today was our city wide clean up. As part of that, our Boy Scout troop did a fund raiser out at our local trash dump, for their upcoming Camp. The dump backs up against some BLM land, and due to the high winds, garbage gets blown from the dump out into the sagebrush/rabbit brush field. When we arrived, it looked like someone had found a way to cultivate, and grow, plastic grocery bags. Every bush had at least one bag stuck into its branches. Even that would not have been too bad, except that most of the plastic was deteriorated due to the sun. As you would grab hold, the plastic would collapse into several pieces. It made it VERY difficult to clean up the area. We had 13 boys, and spent six hours. We filled almost 40 of the giant garbage bags, and even if it wasn't completely clean when we left, it was definitely cleaner,and you could tell we had been there. I was there as a stand-in for my older boy, who was occupied today with a choir performance in Utah.

All I can say is, "HE OWES ME BIG TIME!" Stick.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Marathon Madness

Friday, we went to SLC to shop for the upcoming wedding of my second daughter. We walked miles of mallway, with her trying on dresses, and looking for every odd and end that we need for the upcoming nuptials. It seemed like every time we went into a store, we would find another little hidden treasure that we needed to fit into the puzzle that will make up this wedding. A dress on sale here, a cut glass punch bowl at a thrift store there, and everything kept falling into place.

We still have things we need, but there is time. I just hope we can avoid another weekend like this last one.

Hang in there. Stick.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

What's My Name?

We must be getting older. They say the memory is the first thing to go. Maybe we need Ginkgo Beloba.

I woke up an hour ago, and have been puttering around showering, getting a roast in the crockpot, and enjoying the quiet morning...until. My oldest daughter came upstairs all dressed for church. "Are you guys going to Conference today?"

Now it comes back to me. Stake Conference.(a large church meeting) Adult Meeting last night. Church at ten today, and no one is awake except my daughter and I. I can be ready, we'll see about the others.

On the other hand, it is a gorgeous spring day outside.

Hang in there. Drink more water to improve your memory. Stick.

Friday, April 29, 2011

And the Verdict is...

This week is the last week of classes for the Spring semester of my Master's courses.
Luckily, all of my courses have projects instead of finals, so once I turn my projects in, I'm done. I have turned in two of my three projects, and I have received a grade back for one already. I'm starting to feel the relief, but it won't last for long. I have three more classes starting in just over two weeks. The good part is: after this summer, I will only have one class, and two practicums, along with my Master's plan to be finished.

On the flip side, I am just finishing my first year as a Special Education teacher. I have an exception to teach while I am getting certified. The school I work at has 175 students, from grade K-12. We have 8 seniors this year, 22 juniors, and 13 sophomores. My case load is 13 students from grades 6-12. These are really good kids, and the school is a very close knit community. The drawback is a 42 mile commute every day, each way. I am allowed to ride the school bus most days, but it still takes a big chunk out of my day.

Needless to say, this has been a busy year, what with learning a new job, and running to classes. Regardless, I am loving the life, and glad to be teaching and working only ONE job. The rest will settle down soon. By the start of fall classes, We will have three of our children living outside of our house, and three High School students. Times they are a'changin'.

Keep your head up. Stick.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Yesterday was our twenty-fourth anniversary. That's right. In a time of disposable everything, and quickie divorces, we've been married twenty-four years. To the same person. Most of my brothers and sisters have been married just as long, or longer. And, I love her more today than the day we got married. Oh, and by-the-way, faithful to each other for that same time. Today people are saying, "Why even bother getting married?" They look at it, and consider what they already get out of their relationship (or should I say acquaintance) without getting married, and decide that they don't need that commitment. After all, from much of the World's viewpoint, it's just a piece of paper, a verbal "I do" in front of some person with a license. It can be undone with the slash of a pen on another piece of paper. "Besides", they say, "twenty-four years with the same person--BORING! Most of my relationships don't even last the weekend." The reason--They only want one thing out of their relationships, and once that is over, they are ready to move on. No commitment. No pain (or not much). No feeling (sorry, THAT's a sensation, not a true feeling). They were raised in homes, many times, with only one parent, and they turned out fine, didn't they? So why get Married?

Here's a few reasons:

-You won't wake up alone and wonder how long you'll be alone this time.
-There will be someone in your life who cares if you are still alive.
-You won't have to wonder if--after last night--do I have a disease that I caught that will kill me, or am I pregnant by someone I barely know.
-When you want to talk to someone about your day, or whatever, you don't have to struggle to think of who cares enough to listen.

This list could go on and on. I'm sure others could suggest more that I wouldn't even come up with. The point is this. After twenty-four, happy years, I'm looking forward to twenty-four, or fifty-four, or however many more. When the time comes that one of us must shuffle off this mortal plane, we'll still have the memories of our years together to look back on HAPPILY, and those memories will carry us on. All that those who chose not to get married will have is a list of names--if they can remember any of them.

Happy Anniversary Sweetheart. Stick.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Frozen Fans

We attended a track meet yesterday for our two 8th grade boys. Let me preface this by saying, Wednesday was a beautiful day. However....Wednesday night a storm moved in and cooled things off. By Meet time, it was 39 degrees, but the wind was blowing with gusts to 41 mph. The wind chill probably put the temp at 20 degrees. It was FREEZING. Four hours, outside, in the wind, to watch two races. Of course their last race was also the last race of the Meet. At 8:00pm!

I love supporting my kids in what they do, and we try to be to every home event, but this was ridiculous--not only for us, but for the track kids as well. Some of them stood around in nothing but thin shorts and tanks. for up to 30 minutes, from check in, to when their race was actually run.

It took ME almost an hour and a half to warm up after we left. If you know me, you know that I am almost always warmer than anyone around me, always have been. One of the boys had had a drink spilled on his warm-up pants, so he was only wearing shorts the entire time. He will not do that again.

They have another Meet Saturday. It is an away Meet. Sadly, we don't go to away Meets. :o) Good Luck boys!

Take care. Stay warm. Stick.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Mother Nature Isn't Through Yet!

After last week's April Fool's joke, with snow on Saturday night, the weather chnaged to Spring--For a whole 6 days. We had weather threats of rain and snow, but none of them materialized. That is until last night.

Again the storms moved in and we have snow on the ground, with a cold wind blowing around. Come on Mother Nature. I know that a woman is allowed to change her mind, but let's decide it is spring, and get on with it. Our week time weather was springtime, maybe she only works a 40 hour week, and has a temp cover the weekend.
At least it held off until night, so we could enjoy the day.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Hang in there, spring is coming. Stick.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Wedding Worries

For any who do not read Facebook, my second daughter is getting married in just over two months. We are very excited for this event, and very happy for her. BUT...there are many things that must be done between now and then. Reserving buildings, buying dresses, sending out invitations, and the list goes on. We are lucky in that our daughter is very pragmatic about this. She didn't even want a reception. We told her she didn't get a choice. :o)

We are doing as much of the prep and decorations as we can ourselves. We are also going to use the friendly neighborhood Big Lots, Wal-Mart, and Costco wherever it seems most prudent.

One thing that my wife found online--what a great resource that is--is a check list for things to accomplish for the two months before a wedding. Step-by-step, week-by-week here's what you need to do. Isn't the internet grand!?

Keep on keepin' on. Stick.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Weather Weird or Not

We had some very weird weather yesterday. There was moisture falling from the sky, and it wasn't frozen! Can any tell me what this strange occurrence is? I know we haven't seen it here recently.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Deja' Who?

Today, while sitting at my desk, I decided to clean up my hard drive, and delete some old files. I would highlight several files at once, and then delete them. The high light would then go onto the next series of files, so I would have to click "off" of those files to take away the highlight, and then choose the next batch of files to delete. What I didn't realize...every time I clicked off the files, I clicked on one of the files up above.

Later when I went to submit a [paper that is due on Friday, I tried to open it, and it wasn't there! It had been one of those I had accidentally clicked on, and I had deleted it. I also had already emptied the trash. NO FILE! I checked all through my papers to see if I had printed a copy for my records. Nothing! I e-mailed tech support to see if they could recover it. Possibly, but it takes 4 hours, and they have to have the computer for an entire day. I decided that if I did have to rewrite, that I couldn't spare my computer for a whole day. Plus, I have three other papers underway for other classes, and I need to be working on them as well. So, I bit the bullet, and began rewriting the lost paper. I am sure I will finish it in time, but hated to redo work already done once.

Live and Learn, and back up your files! Take care. Stick.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Mother Nature Played Her Joke a Day Late

Yesterday, it was almost 70 degrees here. Beautiful weather. I worked out in the yard all day in a t-shirt (no, not JUST a t-shirt). Last night, a storm blew in. We woke to road closures, and an inch or two of snow! Its not supposed to last past noon, but...give me a break!

Hang in there. Spring IS coming! Stick.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

April Fool's Day Fun

I started the day by waking my boys--like I do every day. Like every day, they didn't get up right away. Five minutes later, I ran into their rooms and shouted, "You've got to hurry! You feel asleep again, and its 5 minutes to 7!" Their bus leaves at 7. For one brief moment, as they scrambled to put on glasses and read their clock, they were in panic mode. April Fool's!

Then when I arrived at school--We have been taking the State standardized achievement tests. We just finished in the last few days. All of our test booklets had been stored in large, clear, plastic bins. We still have these in a storage closet. I borrowed one, and walked into the seventh grade first hour class (with permission from the teacher). I told them, "They lost your Math Tests, and we have to do them over." Panic spread through the room like wildfire. April Fool's!

Later, as I was on my way home from school, my third daughter texted me a picture message. It was a photo of a smashed Ford Ranger, like mine. The text said, "I'm okay, but on my way to the hospital to be checked out. It was the other girl's fault." Sorry, I didn't fall for it, but I did respond. A few minutes later I texted back. "You'll have to call someone else cuz I stole your dad's phone 4 a april fools joke." When I walked in the door (after seeing the perfectly fine truck in the driveway) I said, "Has anyone seen my phone?" They all started laughing. April Fool's!

My wife has an IPOD issued to her by the school. One of the free APPS that she has makes different sound effects. One is the unmistakable sound of someone farting. She put it under her desk in her lap, and started playing it. "Oh my, Oh excuse me." Then she would spray air freshener. One of the kid's finally said, "She is making the sound with her IPOD." She played the same trick while walking around the school. She would come up behind a group of student's and key the sound. April Fool's!

Later, daughter three asked her youngest brother to get her a drink of water. He said, "Why do I have to do it?" My wife (unwittingly) played right into the scene saying, "Because I want you to." What she didn't know was that daughter three had taped the sprayer handle on the sink so that when you turned the water on, it sprayed you. April Fool's!

We are already thinking about next year. Can't wait. Stick.

All the World's A Stage...

I have recently had the opportunity to attend two different school produced plays. The first, "A Wizard in Wonderland", and the second, "Guys and Dolls Jr.".

The first play was put on by the small school that I work at. I mean SMALL. We have 175 students from kindergarten to 12th grade. Our Senior class size is 8. They did a fair job on the play, with moments of fantastic. The scenery was painted cardboard. The costumes were whatever clothes they could alter to fit the character, but their budget matched, and for what they had they did great. However, at production time, there were many lines forgotten, and prompted by fellow actors, and a song sung at the end of the play...well let's just say it hurt to listen.

The second play was put on by the high school where my kids attend, in the larger local town. My fourth daughter was in this play. The stage is full sized, with all of the elevator lifts, trapdoors, and pulley systems of a professional stage. They had 5 or 6 full-size, hand-painted, back-drops which they produced, along with spotlights, moveable scenery, and more. The costumes they created were all custom produced for each character. They had radio microphones for all of the major actors. For a high school production, I thought it was amazing. I only noticed one or two hesitations in the lines, and all of the songs were very well done.

I'm not mentioning all of this to criticize. I'm just trying to point out the disparity between two productions in the same school district. The small school production was supported by bake sales, donations from a local church, and I believe the play was free to the community in the school's 200 seat auditorium. The larger school charged $5 a ticket, and had large audiences in their 1000 seat theater.

I'm sure the smaller school wishes they had the facility like the larger school has for their productions, but when you consider that the cast of the larger school's play was almost as large as the smaller school's entire student population, who would watch the play?

Remember, speak to the back row of the audience, and enunciate. Stick.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Prom Dram'

As part of my job, I have been assigned duties as one of two Junior class sponsors/faculty advisers. This has been a very easy position to fill for three reasons. First, my co-adviser has been doing this in this school for many years, and knows all the tricks. Second, the kids are great, and easy to work with, especially since there are only 22 of them. Finally, third, my co-adviser has done most of the work, since I am taking Master's classes, and have not had very much time.

That being said, we held the Junior Prom last night. It was themed, "A Night in Paris". My co-worker planned this entire event. I was in on the initial phase, but after that they held the meetings after school, while I was in class. He would just come and tell me what they had decided.

It was decided that they would have a dinner along with the dance. This is a very poor farming community, and most of these kids would probably have had McDonald’s if we hadn’t done this. The menu was set as prime rib, shrimp, cheesy potatoes, rice pilaf, baked potatoes, salad, and a peanut butter and chocolate cheesecake. These kids have never seen prime rib. We had 2, 17 lb. roasts, cooked by a caterer friend. They probably wasted one whole roast. Some did not even touch their plate of food. About half of every piece of cheesecake got thrown away. There was so much food left over due to overbuying.

Then came the dance. They hired a DJ, who played some very inappropriate music. The kids were dancing too close, grinding, and kissing. No one but my wife and I saw anything wrong. They were very happy with everything. I have already decided that if I have this same assignment next year, there are going to be some rule changes, or I won’t do it. I also think we can plan and carry off the whole thing for much less money.

The kids had fun. One point for the positive. Stick.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Call

I know this is long. It took on a life of its own as I wrote it. I'm not even sure what inspiration started this. I hope you like it.

by Stick
He was only eighteen when he first received the call.
Accepting was a given—He was young, and free, and tall.
Hugging his mom, And shaking hands with his dad,
He packed the things he’d chosen, In an old suitcase that he had.
Early morning found him boarding A red bus down on main.
A glance over his shoulder, For one last look was in vain.
They rattled down the highway For three days in a row,
And when they rolled into the camp, He was feelin’ mighty low.
The bus deposited its burden On the pavement flat and black,
And he stood broiling in the sun, Sufferin’ from its attack.
It didn’t take them long To have them sorted, shaved, and shorn.
He was poked, prodded, and looked at More than since he had been born.
It takes a good hard poundin’ To make a bar of steel,
And that’s how they were treated—As if they didn’t feel.
Up in the early hours of morn,And to bed when it was dark.
He soon came to realize This wasn’t Sunday in the park.
Soon, eight hard weeks had passed, And he became quite able.
He was hardenin’ his body, And takin’ on the label.
When basic was finally over, They all looked like chiseled rock.
Walkin’ downtown on leave, Not a single man dared mock.
He never hesitated, When learnin’ of his first post.
He was as good as anyone, And better far than most.
The zone where he was headed, Was hot—a full blown war,
And they landed in a hail of lead, And to a tank’s dull roar.
It wasn’t long ‘til he’d proved himself In the rigors of full battle.
He’d seen his share of blood and gore, And heard a friend’s death rattle.
Step by step, promotions came, Along with scars and pain,
Until his Sergeant stripes found him Standin’ alone out in the rain.
They were waiting on new orders, To send them in to the fray.
Not a one of them were sure, If they would live throughout the day.
When the word finally came, They took their weapons and their gear,
And headed up the hill—They smelled of oil, smoke, and fear.
The bullets and the bombs Soon began to fly.
It sounded like a hive of bees Takin’ to the sky.
In danger every minute, They fought like men possessed.
They knew that they could lose their lives, Being put to the test.
Cut off from their countrymen, Alone and in dire need,
They looked at him with eyes of fear, And silently did plead.
They fought for what seemed hours, And the battle grew no less.
Ammo started runnin’ low, And they were sorely pressed.
There was not a one of them Who did not have some hurt,
And he tried to think of what to do, While laying in the dirt.
Then in the light of star-shells, As they burst up overhead,
He saw a path, a way through, Though it too he did dread.
There was a gully, a ditch, or less, A way that they could crawl,
If only one remained behind To guard them from the brawl.
He didn’t call for volunteers, Just told them what to do,
Then settled in to guard their backs, With hope nowhere in view.
The men made their way to safety, While he laid down cover fire,
And when it was his turn to flee, He dove into the mire.
Alone and friendless, He huddled in the dark.
Of his hopes for his survival, There only seemed a spark.
The bullets now were seeking For him there in the night,
The enemy advancing Towards him in his plight.
A hot sting, and his arm Was pierced through and through
Another burned his leg, As his foe came into view.
Using his own blood, His face he tried to hide,
Then laid as still as death itself, As still as if he’d died.
The searchers thought they all had fled And pursued them in the night.
He laid there ‘til they were gone, And the cold began to bite.
He bandaged his wounds The best he could all on his own,
Then began to inch his way To where the others now had flown.
As for his little band of men, They’d made it to safe haven.
Fleeing back to friendly arms, Where the battle flags were wavin’.
They called for volunteers To go and seek him out,
But the officers thought that he was dead, Like so many in the bout.
They praised him, as they pleaded, For saving all their lives,
While thanking God that they’d return, To their children and their wives.
Then, as the sun was rising On the dawn of the new day,
There came a shout of joy, A shout of ‘Hip Hooray!’
From over the horizon, He came with a band of men.
They had found him while a’crawlin’ From that viper’s den.
He was hailed as a hero, Though he didn’t see it that way.
He was just a soldier fighting, Doing his duty day to day.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Moving Experience

Our children have decided to move. Not away, rooms. The girls want to take the basement, and move the boys upstairs. They were going to do this yesterday. Unfortunately, they didn't finish. The boys have their things piled all over the living room, and the girls haven't moved yet. Sara was in SLC at a concert all day yesterday, and nothing has been moved upstairs yet. I feel like I am living in a junk sale, but I don't want any of the merchandise. I hope they get it finished quickly. Sean won't have a bed tonight as it is.

Hang in there. Stick.

Spring is Relative

We have been anxiously looking for the first signs of spring here. Last week, we had high hopes that it was on its way. Temperatures were in the mid 40's all week. We were running around in T-shirts. Then I started thinking about that. When we lived in Texas, in the town where Twist lives, 40 degree weather was time for Jackets and gloves. Later, when my wife and I spent a winter in northern Wyoming, we moved from there (with temps averaging -25 for two weeks near Christmas) to southern Utah where my parents were living. Again we had been having VERY cold weather. The temps at my parents house were in the 50's. My wife and I were excited to have such beautiful weather. I even wore shorts several days.

I guess it is true what they say about humans. We ARE the most adaptable creatures on the planet. We can live in the extremes over the entire planet, and we adapt to those extremes.

Having said that. WHERE IS MY SPRING WEATHER! It snowed last night. Not much. We only got an inch or so, and it will probably all melt by the end of the day, but still. It is the first day of spring. BRING ON THE SUN!

Hope SPRINGS eternal. Stick.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Atlas, You Can Have Your Load Back

I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted from my shoulders at
least temporarily. I received my grade on my first project back from my
"fussy" professor. I had a good score, so I can relax now until his final
is due in May. This professor is very hard to read. It seems like I never
know what he wants, and when you are looking at a 20-page-project, that is
not a good way to start. I now have hopes for decent grades this semester,
and better hopes for the summer and following school year.

Here's hope for the future. Stick.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ain't Modern Medicine Grand!

A trip to the Dr., and I feel MU-U-U-UCH better. Or maybe its the stress relief of having that project turned in. :o)

I wrote most of one more paper yesterday, so I am on my way. (Until I get the grade from the project).

My interview got postponed, because the interviewer was out sick, so that is still pending.

Have a healthy, good day. Stick.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sick and Tired

My project is turned in. I worked most of Tuesday trying to make sure it was as good as I could make it. Made 19 1/2 page on a limit of 20. That's one thing off my shoulders, no matter what grade I get. Now to write the next five papers due in two weeks...

On the brighter side, I have an interview this afternoon for a position in town, and closer to home. I hope I get it, so I can cut down some of my travel time to work, but if I don't, the kids and teachers I work with now are great.

Gotta run. Time to make the Donuts. (some of you might get that) :o) Stick.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"Don't let them get you down!"

I know, the original quote was a little more graphic, but I don't think the feeling is quite that strong.

I have a major, midterm project due tomorrow by 9 am. The professor, last night in class, raised the bar. I now have to go rework huge sections of my project. No problem,I have a WHOLE day. On top of that, I have been battling against a cold for three days. I'm not giving in, to either of them, but....

When I'm done, can I go to bed?

Hang in there. Stick.

Friday, February 25, 2011

I've always wanted an indoor pool.

Here we go again. Woke up this morning to water in the basement. We thought we got this fixed a few months ago. The plumber ran his snake out 65', and the city main is supposed to be at 60', but here we are again with a problem. I called a different plumber, and they came out within the hour. They ran their snake out 95' to where the plug was at! They couldn't believe it. I vacuumed about 20 gallons of water off the floor. In the middle of that, the service repairman for our washer called. He was supposed to come replace a module that was recalled, and under warranty. I told him we had water problems, and could he call later. We cleaned up the water, and he called back. So now, we have a clean drain, clean carpets, and a washer that cleans our clothes. On top of that, Songbird wasa having a game party with some friends, so she was a white tornado, and cleaned most of the house. The youngest of our daughters had a date to go to a concert in SLC tonight, but she had the dish job rotation that she had to get done before she could go, so she worked very hard to get the kitchen all clean. As a result, we have a very clean house right now! There is a silver lining in every thing that happens!

Take care. Stick.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tear Drops

Snow, in its simplest form.
A snowflake. Crystalline beauty.
Lighter than a feather.
Its touch, a caress.
So fragile.
Try to hold it, and its gone in a moment.
It leaves nothing behind,
But a small drop of water.
A tear.

Then, it begins to pile up.

Clumping, drifting.
Blowing around like a white beast.
Adding weight to weight.
Breaking limbs from trees.
So Cold.
Try to move it, and it resists
With all that it is.
All we are left with is a small drop of water.
A tear.

Running down your face.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Poet Strikes Again

As part of my job, I have to make a commute of 42 miles to and from my school. Most days, I am able to ride the bus with the students. On those days, I am usually able to rest, or read, as we make the drive. However, lately it has been quite cold. Who am I kidding? It has been VERY cold. With wind chill, it has been as low as -66 degrees below zero. There is a decent heater on the bus, and it even gets too hot sometimes, but at those temperatures, it can't keep up. Especially when we first get on, the seats are like sitting on a block of ice. This experience got me thinking. The following poem is a result.

Cold Hearted?
by Stick

Some people have said,
In a voice full of dread,
There's one thing they fear more than another.
For the outhouse seat,
Didn't have any heat,
And they didn't have any brother.

It took someone bold,
To go out in the cold,
And put their cheeks down on the wood,
But it would be best,
Above all the rest,
To be next in line if you could.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Green Red Show

This week is "Make-A-Wish" week in our school district. It is a big rivalry fund raiser between this district and the district in the next town. In conjunction with this, the school sponsors a week of spirit raising activities: School color day, prince and princess day, etc. Today was, "Come dressed as your favorite cartoon/Disney character. My twins decided to dress as "Phineas and Ferb." Green and red hair, purple pants, and all. They had a friend who dressed as "Perry the Platypus." I guess they had fun.

The only problem, the red dye looked like twin 2 was bleeding to death where it got on his ear and neck and didn't wash it off, and twin 1 had the same look, but in green. :o) Luckily, it all washed off in the shower. Anything for school spirit (and a laugh).

Have a great day! Stick.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Poet's Corner

Who by Two

Two by two, the Lord decreed,
That the animals should come,
And so they came, as they were want
Counting out their sum.

But as they came, the troubles
That poor Noah had did grow.
Until he was quite at the end
Of the patience he did know.

The rabbits were prolific,
And their numbers began to swell.
Not to mention the aroma
Round the place where he did dwell.

The bees were all quite flighty,
And would not settle down,
And the noise at night was loud enough
To make poor Noah frown.

The food that he must gather,
To feed the elephants and all,
Grew to such proportions
That it soon began to gall.

Finally, Noah was at his wit’s end,
With all the worry and the pain.
Then something happened that changed it all.
--It began to rain.

Haiku's to You

A Haiku

A haiku, I knew
Counting out the syllables
I think that makes five.

The Spirit

Spirits touching near
Recognizing all the truth
We all learn and grow.

Husband and Wife

Two hands touching close
Supporting each the other
Together they stand.


Let go of the rope,
The voice loudly called to me.
I fell—stupid voice.

Would the Real author, please stand up?

My brother, Twist Tales, and I recently entered Amazon's Breakthrough Author Contest. He is entered in general fiction, while I have entered in Young adult fiction. The contest entry ends at midnight tonight. This is a great opportunity to try and get published, and from what I have experienced so far, I have better odds than through normal submission channels.

I suppose if I had money to spare to hire an agent, or money to pay an on demand publisher, that I could already have my book published. I don't. Six kids, and living expenses have seen to that. I do think that my book is worthy of publication, and that people would enjoy it if they read it, but trying to find a publisher who will even read it has been a search in vain thus far. I did have one say they would read it--for a fee, but if I had the fee, I could publish anyway. :o)

I'm not discouraged--yet. I know many authors tried MANY times to get their first book published, and many more never do. Perhaps mine never will either. I enjoyed writing it. I have two more sequels I am working on. Maybe its just one of those things you have to do, no matter the results. Like my poetry.

Hang in there. Keep those creative juices flowing. Stick.

You Might Live in Wyoming if....

The temperature hits 33 degrees, and people are rolling down car windows because it is so nice outside.

The temperature is -5 degrees, and the kids STILL wear shorts and t-shirts to school, with no coats.

You are driving down the road, and you see a dog frozen to a fire hydrant.

If the temperature hits 45 degrees, and you see people outside sunbathing.

You need to install wildlife crossing signs next to school crossing signs.

The number of Antelope and deer in town outnumber the number of people in town.

(I could go on. Any you can think of?)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mr. Giggles Rides Again (with us)

While we were in SLC today. we were able to meet , have lunch with, and visit with Mr. Giggles (my younger brother). It was great to see him, and catch up on what is happening in his life. He has become my inspiration right now, because he has lost 30 pounds now in his effort to live a healthier life. I applaud his efforts (he looks great!), and am going to work to follow his example. I was losing weight for a while, but since quitting my second job, I have put some of that weight back on. I am determined to lose it again, and more.

Let's go Bro'! Lose it! Stick.

Deer, is that you?

We went to SLC again today. We saw deer all along our route again. I believe this area must be a winter range for the deer, and we just hadn't seen them before, since wew have tried to avoid long winter drives in the past years. Fun to see though! (Including the big 5/6 buck right by the roadside.)

Hang in there. Stick.

Alternating Problems

I noticed th last few days that my car battery light was coming on, in the van, when I would start it up in the morning. I just thought it was the cold weather, and figured that I would put it on the charger this weekend. However, on Wednesday mornings, my wife drives the van, and I take her vehicle to work. She had the van die on her that afternoon, while she was clear across town, and trying to get our oldest son to a dentist appointment on time. (They made it thanks to a daughter with a car). When I got back to town, we went to get the van. It started, so I drove it straight to where we bought the battery last summer. I JUST made it there before it died again. The battery had a bad cell, BUT the car also had a bad alternator. We bought the new part, and I put it in Thursday afternoon..evening..both. Getting the alternator out and in, wasn't the problem. Getting the stupid belt back on was! The area around the belt is so narrow, I couldn't get my arms down in to align the belt properly. After two hours of trying, my youngest son, with skinny arms, came out and helped me. Twenty minutes later, we were done. Thank you son!

I just need to pause before I end to recognize the blessings of the Lord here. Yes, our vehicle broke down, and we had to repair it. However, We had the money to do so right now, I was able to do it , with my son's help, and no one got stranded somewhere wout in the middle of nowhere. We were able to get the van to where the problem could be diagnosed--for free, and then were able to drive it to our house--all without any real problems.

Pay attention to the small blessings, and the not so small. Stick.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Ballad of the Coyote

This poem is based on a true story, but told from the coyote's perspective. :o)

-Variously know as:
• The Coyote’s Lament
• Bluecipher’s Revenge and
• Teresa’s Tale
By Stick

We were barely scratchin’ out a livin’
Amidst the bustle and the din,
On the fringes of the city—
It seemed we couldn’t win.
It took a lot of hustle
To find enough to eat,
So when we found easy pickin’s
That just can’t be beat.
There were two of them together,
One for my brother, and one for me,
Well-fed, and plump, and juicy,
And runnin’ loose and free.
I chose the first one,
With stockings all of black,
And my brother took the other,
As we started our attack.
We thought that we would take
Both of them by surprise,
But as I bit down, he spun,
And scratched right at my eyes!
I tried still to hold him,
Going in for the kill,
But that cat was like a demon,
So we took off down the hill.
We’d share the one we had,
While we looked for easier fare.
As we ran away,
Pretending we didn’t care.
Then out of nowhere,
We heard a scream, a yell,
And looked up to see a vision
That came straight out of …well,
We saw a warrior charging,
Like a Valkyrie from the mist.
Roaring down upon us—eyes blazing
Shaking a slender fist.
The shock alone of that sight
Was enough to make me quail.
My brother dropped his prey, and ran,
And all she saw was tail.
We looked back as we ran,
And saw her lift our victim up,
And blow the breath of life into
Him on whom we’d thought to sup.
Her body gleaming in the moonlight,
She took our former meal away,
And we tucked our tails beneath us
Awaiting another day.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Pardon me, Have you seen my Brain?

Have you ever met someone who is a very intelligent person, but can lose their socks while wearing their shoes? This is my youngest daughter. Sometimes. Recently, she received her driver's license, and to celebrate, she went and bought a new wallet to keep it in. She promptly lost the wallet, the new license, and her mother's debit card. A month or so later, a friend found the wallet at their house (after we had replaced the debit card of course). She is constantly putting her phone down, and then can't remember where she put it. ( I admit, I do this with my glasses, but as my kids keep reminding me, I am getting older). :o)

Yesterday, my wife and I were driving back from SLC. This daughter had driven with some friends to see the Elk herds on their winter range near Jackson Hole. We suddenly got a phone call from our daughter's phone. Not unusual. Only she wasn't the one on the phone!
"Excuse me, but the owner of this phone left her phone and her wallet in my store in Jackson Hole."
A twofer! She left both! Luckily, she and her friends had not left Jackson Hole yet, and when they received our text message (her friend didn't answer the phone), they were able to return to the store and retrieve her property.
They say that people do this kind of thing because they have so much on their mind--so many things they are thinking about--that small details sometimes escape them (I'm sure that is the case with me) :o) I can only hope that she grows out of it. I can't afford to lose a car.

Maybe we'll try Ginkgo Beloba. Stick.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

What do the Deer Know That We Don't?

My wife and I drove to SLC today. There was the threat of a snow storm all day, and we worried what our drive home would be like. Luckily, we only hit a couple of small squalls, and had very good roads. However, as we drove home, we passed hundred's of deer and antelope along the side of the road. We usually see a few deer through this stretch, but today they were everywhere! In every field, for about 50 miles, we saw large herds of deer. I have not seen this many deer in years. I don't know why there were so many so close to the road, but I wondered if they knew there was a bigger storm coming that we didn't know about.

Watch For Deer on the road. Stick.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Remembering a Great Man

My wife and I were sitting in a basketball game Friday night, when we received a phone call from here sister.
"Just thought I'd tell you I'm on my way."
"On your way where?"
"To the funeral."
"Whose funeral?"

It turned out that her dad's cousin, who they have always called 'Uncle Scott', had passed away a few days previously. We came home, packed a quick bag, and drove to the funeral, arriving at 2:20 in the morning. He was 88 years old, and was preceded two years ago by his wife. They raised 8 children, and had numerous grandchildren, and great grandchildren. The greats all sang a song at the close of the funeral, and there were close to thirty of them. The immediate family alone filled the main chapel area of the church, and the overflow area out inot the cultural hall were also filled. He served a mission for his church (companion to Elder Marion Hanks), served in the navy, and was friend to everyone he met.

He had a way of greeting you, as if he already knew you, and a handshake that could crush rock to gravel. :o) The funeral celebrated his life, with little sadness--just joy in the knowledge he was with his wife, and had lived a full, good life. He will be missed, but not forgotten.

I only hope the same will be said of me. Take care. Stick.

Monday, January 3, 2011


We have been thinking about trading in our Yukon for a slightly smaller vehicle, with a smaller payment. We still want four wheel drive, and some of our other accessories, , and we're not in a big hurry to do this. Any recommendations? We have looked at the Dodge Durango, and a few others.