Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!

A sub in one hand and money in the other spells prosperity for the New says my mother in law.

It's around 9pm, EST, on December 31st....the eve of the new year is upon us and I'm sitting back in my "man cave" while my wife and niece are out in the living room watching some chick flick. I've been taking the time to reflect on the past year as I watch the Thin Man Marathon on TCM.

All in all, we've had a pretty great year. Blessed with a new home, fantastic neighborhood, a new vehicle, friends, family, and health, there's really nothing I have to complain about.

As great as 2015 has been, I'm having even higher expectations for 2016 and am looking forward to new personal bests as well as making some changes for the better in my life. Hopefully that also means more frequent updates to this poor, neglected, blog.

We'll see how it goes.

If you're out and about, stay safe and here's to a joyous and prosperous 2016 to you all.

Happy New Year!!

Friday, October 23, 2015


The title of this post refers to my wife's favorite Halloween themed movie....right up there with Hocus Pocus.

As for me, I'm more partial to the old Universal Monster films like Bela Lugosi's Dracula, Lon Chaney Jr.'s Wolfman, and Boris Karloff's Frankenstein.

Needless to say, we both enjoy the fun that Halloween can bring and, since this is our first year in an honest-to-gosh home and not a gated community rental, we decided to take advantage. The neighbors have told us that tons of kids prowl this small neighborhood in search of sugary sweets so, while it's not quite Halloweentown,  we have to be ready.

To that point:

Multiple (at least 10) bags of candy have been bought and prepared.

We have the porch all ghastly and a disco sort of way....

The ghost looks he's doing The Hustle

The projector to run old Halloween movies (such as the above mentioned Halloween Town, Hotel Transylvania and Abbott and Costello Meet pick, of course) has been purchased and tested on our makeshift screen. We plan on hanging the screen in front of the garage so kids coming up the driveway will get the best view.

The fog machine to put behind the projector screen, for that added bit of eeriness, has been purchased....still needs testing.

We even put our front yard palm and oak trees to work...

I told my wife's sisters "My wife's sister ran into the tree.." I'll let them decide which witch is which :)

We'll see if Bartlebee's arms make it another week

The guy up the street has his place decked out to the hilt. It looks very cool and I'll try to snap a picture tonight if I get a chance. There's no way we can 'compete' (meant in the most good natured way possible, of course) this year....but there's year. <insert Vincent Price laughter here>

So, what sort of decorations, if any, do you like to put up on Halloween? Do you get lots of 'trick or treaters'? If not, does that bother you?

More updates to come......hopefully <again, insert Vincent Price laughter here>

Friday, October 9, 2015

Long Time, No....




Yep, all of the above.

My wife gets home from work in about thirty minutes (it's now 3:01pm EST), so I challenged myself to get a (VERY) long overdue blog post out there before she gets home.

So, what have I been doing in the past two months, since I've put fingers to keyboard at the ole' blog?

Not much, really. We're still basking in the afterglow of getting our new home and getting settled. It's at a point, now, where everything has it's place and it's looking like we've been here for years.

Besides that, we bought a new vehicle.

We had two....a 2007 Ford Focus, that my wife bought before I came into the picture, and a 1996 Honda Civic that my wife won in a raffle about a year ago. The Honda has been very dependable, especially for having over 196,000 mile on it. The Focus....not so much. Don't get me wrong, it's been a pretty solid car but it's now getting to the "little things going wrong with it each month" stage....and usually to the tune of around $200.00-$300.00 a month.  Since we've both seen where this could lead, we decided to go car hunting before we really needed to. Long story short, we wound up getting a 2016 Jeep Patriot. We were lucky in that we were in a good position to put down a sizable (almost half) down payment. That, along with trading in the Focus (so long, pal) put our monthly payments at around $200.00 a month, so it didn't work out too badly.

My new home project is to get my office area set up and, as you can tell, it needs a lot of work.

Which I could use because, believe it, or not, I'm still and well as going back and doing some editing on my NaNo project from four years (man, has it been that long?) ago. 

Speaking of NaNo, I've decided to not even attempt it this year. The past three years have been dismal one's fault but my own...and I don't want to disappoint myself again. To those of you doing it, I doff my Panama Jack and support you all the way. Maybe next year for me.

Next month, my wife and I will be celebrating our five year wedding anniversary. Not bad for a guy who had relegated himself to being a bachelor for the rest of his life. More to come on that topic next month.

So, how have you all been keeping? 

Tell me what's new and exciting in your lives. I have to live vicariously through someone! :)

Oh, and by the way, it's now 3:27pm EST. 

Challenge complete!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Five Word Review!

It's been quite a while since I've done one of these and, since I've seen a few movies over the past few months, I figured I'd have some decent material to work with.

If you're not familiar with the format, it's simple. I tell you what I thought of a movie I've recently seen using only five words.

See, told you it was simple.

Now, onto the movies....

Kingsman:The Secret Service

Good story,way too violent.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Another home run by Marvel.


Could've been fun.Clooney's terrible.

San Andreas

More cheese than dairy factory.

Jurassic World

Star Lord meets dinos....meh.

Inside Out

Cute story, better than expected.

Ant Man

Small package, but big fun.

While I'll readily admit that my wife drug me to a few of these, most of them were of my own choosing, so I have no one to blame but myself.....and, possibly, my brother in law. We'll just leave it at that, shall we?

I hope you all have an enjoyable weekend and take care.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Motivational Monday!

Man, time sure does fly.

My poor, neglected, blog is gathering more cobwebs than a haunted house. Now that we're starting to settle in and get organized around the homestead, coupled with my lack of full time work, I really need to buckle down.

I was thinking, just the other day, that with all the time on my hands I should have three or four books under my belt and look like an adonis. Seriously. No excuse as to why I'm not writing and exercising more. 

Honestly, I'm ashamed.

I guess it just all boils down to the fact that, well, I just don't feel the motivation. It's not a very good reason, I know, but I'm facing that fact as I live with the consequences of my laziness in those two areas. Trying to get and, more importantly, stay motivated for doing both has always been one of my biggest hurdles in sticking with either. 

I know, I steps. Just take baby steps. The sad thing is, though, if my steps get any more "baby", I'll be back in the womb! <rimshot> Seriously, though, I know motivation is hard sometimes and I'm do you all do it?

How do you stay "on track"?

What keeps you motivated?

I look forward to hearing how you balance things while I chalk up and prepare to do my best Nic Walenda imitation.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Independence Day!

The wife and I have been a bit under the weather for the past week, so we spent our Fourth quarantined to the couch, watching old Godzilla movies and the John Adams mini-series on HBO. Of course there were bouts of napping tucked in between, as well. We managed to grill up a few burgers and catch a glimpse of some local fireworks (from the back yard), but that's about the extent of our celebration.

All in all, though, we still had a good time and got some much needed rest.

Sometimes (especially recently) it seems like the outlook is a bit bleak, these days, but remember that freedom is in the heart and mind first and foremost.We should always be thankful for all the freedoms we enjoy and for those who sacrificed so much to give said freedoms to us.

I hope you're all doing well, getting lots of writing done, and had a very safe and happy Independence Day.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Flash Fiction Friday: The Home Stretch!!

They had forgotten how long they'd been running for, but it felt like forever. Down tunnel after tunnel, jumping hurdle after hurdle, the couple was tired. Going in, they knew it might be a long, arduous, journey but they had also decided that the effort would be worth it. So, hand in hand, they continued to run, helping and supporting each other, and hoping for the best. 

In some spots the long, dark, tunnels seemed to shine with small rays of light. Those lights quickly flickered out and the couple had to continue on their way, groping along the walls until another ray of light would present itself. In other parts of the tunnel, the floor would fall way and they had to jump, relying on a wing and prayer to carry them across the great chasm. The couple had some help along their way but, sometimes, the help seemed to hinder more than aid them on their way.

Finally, though, they glimpsed a small pinprick of light unlike the others. This one seemed to be on the horizon and was pulsating. Was this the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel?


Yes, it was.

The couple looked at each other, exchanged a smile and kiss, and sprinted closer to the light that grew larger with each step.

(Thanks to Lisa Buie-Collard for her flash fiction suggestion on Monday!)

So, yes, it's all official-like now...we're about to become homeowners. The loan was approved (as we knew it would be, going through the VA) and we have a closing date. This Monday, the 20th. All the "T"s are being crossed and all the "I"s are being dotted. Truth to tell, I don't remember this process being quite this complicated. I had bought a home a few years ago and remember a very smooth experience. My best guess is that since the loan is going through the VA, there's more hoops to jump through.

Anyway, we're closing on Monday, getting the keys, and then......celebrating.

Our movers aren't coming until Wednesday, so we'll have Tuesday to get some things (cable and the all important Interwebz!) set up and figure out what we'll need to buy first. The looks of the gutters tells me a ladder is going to be first on the list....right after a washer.

In our quest for a dining room chandelier, I saw this one and immediately thought it was something that needed to be hanging in the Batcave. Or, at least, my office/man-cave. What do you think?

I hope you all have a relaxing, fun filled, weekend. 

As for me....I'll be packing :)

(Oh, almost forgot, I'm still taking suggestions for next Friday's flash fiction so, if you have any ideas, let me know via comments. Thanks!)

Monday, April 13, 2015


When I first heard that Netflix was going to do some original programming showcasing some Marvel Comics characters, I have to admit....I cringed just a bit.

Don't get me wrong, Netflix has done a pretty decent job of doing original programming "right" as evidenced by watching Lilyhammer or Orange Is The New Black. I cringed because they were trying to bring super-heroes to television. Something that doesn't always work out so well.

Back in the late 80s, Marvel tried a, sort of, 'backdoor spin off' series of Daredevil in "The Trial of the Incredible Hulk" movie. The series never took off, but it did give comic fans something they hadn't seen, up to that point. 

Daredevil on screen. 
The Incredible Hulk and some ninja dude

I remember being pretty pumped about more super-hero themed shows getting exposure and I didn't even balk (too much) about the facts that his suit wasn't red or that he didn't have horns on his mask, or that he didn't have the DD symbol on his chest. I mean, we had Daredevil on wasn't the time to nitpick.

Later on, after seeing Affleck's (who was 'da bomb' in Phantoms, yo!) Daredevil, THAT was the time to nitpick. Needless to say, I wasn't a fan and had, by that point, become more jaded about seeing super heroes on the small (or large) screen. 

Ham fisted 'thespian', Affleck, stinking up the screen in a red suit.
When I heard Netflix was bringing Daredevil back to the small screen I had some mixed emotions, but knew I'd still give it a try.

And,boy, am I glad I did.

I'm about four episodes in (I told my wife I'd wait for her to catch up,so we can finish the rest together) and am really enjoying it. It's got the gritty feel that you'd expect from a show about someone who's decided to don a mask and fight crime in Hell's Kitchen, New York.

The cast is solid. From Cox's Murdock/Daredevil to D'Onofrio's Wilson Fisk/Kingpin, with the only (sort of) weak link being Elden Hensen's Foggy Nelson, who I hope gets a bit more development. The writing is pretty good and, as someone on Twitter said, "In the first episode of Daredevil, we see more Marvel continuity then in two seasons of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D".

I can't argue with that.

Like I said, I'm only four episodes in so things could really go either way, good or bad, with this one,but I find myself oddly optimistic that they'll hurdle that high bar they've set for themselves.

If you have Netflix, give it a shot and let me know if you're liking it....or not.

More on this topic later, I'm sure.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday Wrap!

I know most of you are probably smack dab in the middle of the A to Z Challenge, so I just want to wish you all the best and hang in're almost done! Right? Hopefully, I'll be in a better place next year to join in on all the fun.

In my last post, I threw a few things about my current situation out there and just wanted to follow up to let you all know where we're standing.

--We finally have a closing date for our home. I hate to even mention that because I don't want to jinx it, but it's (barring any more hurdles to jump) in ten days, on the 20th of this month. Things seem to be moving, now, but I'm still a bit shocked at the amount of time it's taken (almost a month and a half) to secure things. Keep your digits and appendages crossed for us and I'll post more info as it becomes available.

--A quick apology explanation to those who looked me up on Twitter and saw quite a bit of political material. Like everyone else, I tend to have opinions on our country and those who are supposed to be leading us. Unlike everyone else, I don't have a big problem expressing my views. While I always enjoy keeping up with my blogging/writing pals, I know we don't always share those views on all issues, so if you followed me and political stuff isn't something you dig, please feel free to unfollow or mute me or whatever...I promise you won't hurt my feelings :) I do, at times, make mention of other things, like comics, movies, t.v., etc., so don't think it's all just boring stuff :) Though, I guess, it's mostly boring stuff.

--I'm still not all that active on Instagram, but I'm working on it and I could use some more cool people to follow. Also, big thanks to Magnificent Morgan Shamy, Tremendous Tyrean Martinson, Dynamic Dani Bertrand and the Truly Talented Tammy Theriault for allowing me and my phone camera to clutter up their streams :)

Now, filed under 'new business':

After sitting out most of last season, I've decided to go back and catch up on an old favorite of mine....Mad Men. I've always been a big fan of the show and I'm a sucker for 'period' pieces, but Hamm's Don Draper was so despicable that I just had to stop watching. It's a 'catch-22' for me in that the writing and acting is just that good, but I couldn't keep watching. I know that probably doesn't make much sense, but it does in the recesses of my mind, so there ya go. Anyway, with the final episodes coming up, I've caught up and am riding it out until the end. In all honesty, it's been a great run and I hope Hamm (as well as most of the rest of the cast) gets more acting/producing/directing, whatever they wants gigs.

I've been toying with the ideas of trying another 'blog schedule', but that's still up on the air. If it does stick, though, what I'd like to do on Fridays is something like a "Flash Fiction Friday", where I take suggestions, either through the comments or Twitter, for an idea or theme and post what I come up with on Fridays. The length being determined by how the chosen idea grabs me. So, to start things off, drop a few ideas in the comment section (or Twitter) and it'll give me a good excuse to get the ball rolling.

Now, speaking of excuses, I have to go check out Daredevil on Netflix. I've been looking forward to it, for a while now, and will let you know what I think in my next post.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Odds 'n Ends.

--For the past week I've had a blog post, sitting in draft limbo, where I talked (in agonizing detail) about our journey to home ownership. Not the most illuminating thing you'd read all weekend....not by a long shot.

Never fear, this is not that post. I deleted it after figuring out, after a few reads, just how utterly boring it was. Talking about the ins and outs of getting a VA loan doesn't make for very interesting reading. I got bored just rereading it.

Long story short:

Yes, we have found a house (pictured above). It's about a mile down the road from where we're renting and in a much better location, convenience-wise. We're in walking distance to Publix and the local mall. After about two months of jumping through hoops we're seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. With any luck, within the next couple of weeks, we'll have a closing date and will be moving into our first real, honest to goodness, home.

I'll do my best to keep you all updated as events unfold.

--The weekend was fun, but slow paced. We saw American Sniper, finally, this past Saturday. Great film and pretty intense. I'm very surprised it didn't take home more Oscars, but then most of the really good films seem to be passed over many times. It really drives home the point (at least to me) about the challenges and struggles our vets face when they come home. Something to really think about. Just to balance out the intensity with some lighter fare, later on that night we watched Big Hero 6. Cute flick and, as always, Disney/Pixar doesn't disappoint.

Today, (Sunday) we got up early today (like we do every other morning) to drive down to the beach and watch the sunrise. Unfortunately, a London-esque peasouper fog prevented that from happening, but we still had fun walking along the beach with some of the other early birds.

Oh well, maybe next weekend.

--Social media-wise, I'm giving Twitter and Instagram some more attention for no other reason than "just because". If you're on either one, and are so inclined, look me up



--I'm still waffling on The A to Z Challenge and should figure that out soon (hopefully). Either way, though, I'll still be doing my best to support those taking up the challenge this year.

I hope you all had a good weekend and that the upcoming week is, if nothing else, bearable :)

Until next time.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

IWSG: March, 2015

It's about 5:30pm on Wednesday and it suddenly hits is the first Wednesday of the month....and that means it's time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group post.

(runs around, arms flailing, before regaining composure)


Hosted by uber-blogger/writer, The Amazing Alex J. Cavanaugh, the IWSG is a forum for writers, of every ilk, to share their thoughts, their hopes, their dreams.......and their insecurities, of course. This month, Alex is being aided and abetted by Colorful Chemist Ken, Super Suzanne Sapseed, and the Warrior Muse herself, She-Hulk Shannon Lawrence ,so show them all some love for their efforts, o.k?

To me, one of the biggest fears about trying to be a writer is doubt.

Doubting that you have the drive.

Doubting that you have the desire.

Doubting that you have the talent.

When it comes to the writing thing, I've been having a lot of doubts. My lack of blog posts since the new year is a strong indicator of that. I guess I'm in the "Do I Want To Do This" phase of my writing journey. I know it's nothing new or unique, but that's where I find myself all the same.

Don't get me wrong, I love writing and I love telling stories. What I'm not loving is the hard work to get it done. Oh sure, I could blame lots of things as to why I'm not writing as much as I should. Job hunting, house hunting.....all sorts of things. The bottom line, though, is I'm just not feeling it.

And that doubt is pretty scary.

One of my main consolations is that I'm fairly certain it's just a phase I'm going through. I seem to visit Doubtsville once a year......then I get over it and things go on as they were. It's during these little trips that I like to go back and read some of my old projects. While I'm not one to blow my own horn, it's kind of cool to read something and think "Did I write that? Man, that's not bad." It helps spur me on and, frankly, a little spurring wouldn't hurt right about now.

As with everything, though, this too shall pass.

For the rest of you, I hope your writing is going swimmingly and the ideas are flowing along.

Talk to you soon!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Camping? Glamping? Cramping???

This past weekend, my wife and I did something we've been talking about doing for over two years.

We went camping.

For her it was an "adventure" and reminded her, a lot, of her days in the Army. For me, it was a good opportunity to test out some of the things we've had for an emergency (hurricane) and see how they do under practical conditions.

The week before, we started taking inventory of the things we already had that could be used for a camping trip (camp stove, lanterns, first aid kit, emergency radio, mini-generator) and making a list of things we needed to buy (tent, sleeping bags, mess kits).

With our gear all set, I picked my wife up from work on Friday and we headed about a half hour North to the campgrounds. To say the weather looked ominous would be a bit of an understatement. It was cloudy and windy. The forecast called for storms that night and into Saturday morning, but we were willing to give it a shot.

We had done a few "practice runs" at home, setting up the tent, so we had it pretty down pat. About a half hour was all it took for us to get the tent up and situated.

For food, we had brought some of our "hurricane chow" we got from Wise Foods. It's dehydrated and supposed to have a 25 year shelf life, so it's perfect for emergencies. For regular consumption, not so much. Anyway, I fired up the camp stove and started cooking (boiling water). The cheesy lasagna turned out just "o.k". I mean, it I could see it getting us through an emergency....but not something you really want to be eating unless you have to, if you know what I mean. 

As the sun went down, the wind picked up even more and it started raining. I think we hit the hay around 8:00pm, which was a good thing because at about 3:00 am, we both woke up to the howling wind and rain pelting our nylon abode. The wind was going pretty good and one side began to bow inwards, causing us enough concern that we stood and put our backs to it to make sure the poles didn't snap from the pressure. It was about that time that my wife decided that 'nature was calling (you might see where this is going). The restrooms were a couple hundred feet away, but she said she wasn't going out in that, so she decided to put a bucket we had brought to good use. I told her to just go outside, but she was having none of it. She did her business and put the lid on the bucket but, as you can make out from the picture above....we were on a slight slope. 

Guess where she put the bucket.

Guess what happened to the bucket and the lid when the wind gusted against that wall.

Guess who was madder than a hornet when he found himself standing in warm.....liquid.

'Nuff said.

Anyway, we cleaned up using some beach towels, put them in a garbage bag and decided to head for the car to ride out the storm. When we got in the car, the decision was made just to go home, get some sleep, wash the towels, and come back with some Clorox wipes.

When we returned, later that morning, I was expecting the worse. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised as the tent still stood and everything inside was safe and dry. After some cleanup I found that the bowing wall had slipped a stake, which is why it blew so badly in the wind. Unfortunately, our neighbors didn't fare near as well. Their tent had totally collapsed.

The rest of Saturday was beautiful, but still windy. We gave up on the emergency food and had lunch (and, later, dinner) at the little restaurant at the campground entrance. 
It was relaxing just sitting by the tent and basking in the sun. We had the radio on, then went into the tent to play cards. Even with a queen sized air mattress, we still had room to sit on camp chairs with a makeshift table between us. 

Later on we trekked over a small bridge to an area that I'm still not sure of its looked pretty cool, though, so some exploration was in order. 

Saturday night was much calmer.....but cold. After a great sunset, we got a fire going and hung out for a bit before turning in. 

I think it dipped into the upper 40s (cold for us Floridians) and some snuggling was in order (as if an excuse was needed :) ).

We packed things up on Sunday morning and headed home. Even though we had some trials it was, overall, a good time and we'll definitely be going back. The only thing is, though, we're not sure what we'll be calling it.....

Glamping? Glamorous Camping. No....not really, even though we weren't "roughing" it.

Cramping? Crappy Camping. Nah, it was still fun.

Gramping? Grumpy Camping. O.k. maybe a little bit, sure....

Maybe we'll just stick with plain, ole, camping.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Oh, The Humanity!

This morning, like just about every other morning, I was shopping at Sam's Club. I lend a hand at my wife and her sister's business, which entails....ironically enough....picking up supplies. It's ironic because I, pretty much, hate shopping. If I could, I'd order everything online and have it delivered. No muss, no fuss. It's almost to the point where I hate going out in public because people just seem to be either rude or oblivious to their surroundings.  Anyway, their business being as small as it is, there's not much (i.e. any) room to store things, which necessitates having to go to Sam's almost every morning.

Things usually aren't that bad because I get up early with my wife, take her to work, then hop on over to shop before the unwashed (i.e. rude) masses start arriving. This morning I had a few more errands to run and was later than usual (though still early for most folks), but figured I could grab the things I needed, hit the self check out, and be out before 10 am.

It was not meant to be, at least this morning. I grabbed my supplies and headed to the self check-out, only to be told that they were down.

All of them....and I knew what that meant.

Standing In Line (Ugh!)

I sighed a bit and headed over to one of the two cashiers on duty. Well, that is, behind the long line of people at one of the two cashiers on duty. Being a "business member" has it's privileges, but not so much when everyone else seems to be a "business member", as well. The place was pretty busy but, again, I was running late so it was my own fault.

As I stood in line, I started getting a bit frustrated. Couldn't they open more registers? Of course, having been a one time employee of Sam's Club (8133, Florence KY., thank you) I knew the answer...."More For Less" (at least when paying people to be there at certain times goes). I gave another, internal sigh and leaned against my cart, looking at the people in front of me. Over in the other line, I noticed a lady with a baby ( a HUGE baby...very fat and very cute) slung across her chest in a harness. She was pretty small, but her cart was loaded like she was feeding a huge family....which she might have been, who knows. Behind her was an elderly couple and I noticed he had one of those baseball caps that designated he was a Veteran of something, I couldn't quite make it out. What his cap said wasn't important...what was important, though, was what he did.

I guess he noticed her struggling, or something, and I could see him motion to her to let him help her. She smiled and stepped back, focusing on wrangling her baby while he stacked her entire cart up on the conveyor belt to be checked out....smiling all the while. It wasn't one of those "I'm Helping So You'll Get Out Of Line Quicker" type of moves either. More like "I'm Helping Because I Can See You Need It".

It was strange, but it felt like all the frustration I had at being held up in line just drained out of me. I got this goofy smile on my face as I watched and, maybe I'm just getting sentimental in my old age, but it made me feel good just to witness. I usually have a pretty cynical view of people, these days, but seeing things like this goes a long way in restoring my faith in humanity and my fellow man. It's almost like it was meant to happen.

Maybe it was.

Maybe I just needed to see this today.

Who knows, maybe I just need to keep a more optimistic eye on my surroundings. If it means seeing more acts of kindness like this, it just might be worth it.

Since I haven't posted any music in a while, I'll leave you with a fitting song by the great Glen Campbell..... Try A Little Kindness

Have a great week.

Monday, January 5, 2015

It Was 47 Years Ago, Today.....

Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play....

O.k, maybe not...

Anyway, on this day, 47 years ago, I came into this world a bouncing bundle of huge cranium, fat cheeks, and small feet. 

My feet and cheeks have proportioned themselves, though I still sport the big cranium.

Being only ten days after Christmas, my birthday has never been a big 'to-do' in my life. When I was a kid, I'd get a cake and a few presents, not much fanfare. I guess my parents started feeling a little guilty as I grew into a teen, because my mom (every year, without fail) would ask if I wanted a party. Which, for the record, I never did.

As I matured (somewhat) into adulthood, it became a time to gather with friends, eat, celebrate hanging in there another year, and stuff like that.

These days, it's about spending it with my wife. We've been together about six years and they've been six of the best in my life. Coming from a guy who, at 40 years old, was resigned to living a bachelor's life for the rest of his days, that's a pretty amazing statement. 

Not that I ever had anything against marriage, I just didn't think it was for me. I didn't think I was giving enough when, come to find out, I'm way more giving than I gave myself credit for. Now, before I blow my horn too loudly, I'll admit....I need some a bit of work. O.k, lots of work.

I'm getting there, though. 

The evening was spent having a relaxing dinner with some of my new, extended, family then back home for my only, official, birthday request. 

I wanted my wife to make me an out of the box Devil's Food cake. 

Which she did. And it was deeelicious!

Oh, those squiggly marks on the right side? I was told they were bats.


"She may not look like much, kid..."

My gifts from the wife were presented, thusly....

It's great to have found someone who doesn't mind indulging my whimsical side.

I thought this post was going to be more about reflecting on my past 47 years but, the more I think about it, the more I'm just going to wish for another 47 just like the past six.

Blows out the candles....

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