One Dollar Seventy Two Cents (Less)

gas proices

Gas has been so high for so long I almost don’t pay attention anymore. I just pull up to the pump and take my beating.

It was different yesterday. I was amazed at how much gas the family “truckster” got for how little money.

How long had it been?

As near as I can tell the last time gas was this low around here Tiger was winning US Opens, the Giants had won a Super Bowl and the Gators won a National Championship. Michael Phelps was breaking records, not laws. Bill Gates had stepped down for a tougher job, which was trying to give away all the money he made at Microsoft. We were introduced to the Jolie-Pitt twins. Queen Bey was singing to the single ladies. And there was an Indiana Jones movie.

Come to think of it, there’s not a bad batch of movies out right now… so with the extra jingle from the pump maybe we’ll go check out an Oscar contender.

Say what? It costs how much money to go the movies?

Ok… maybe not.

Birthdays and Big Brothers

birthdays and big brothers

We celebrated a milestone last night. The twins are teenagers! I think this image is totally appropriate. Here’s to hoping their big brother can keep his arms around them as they wade into the deeper waters of adulthood. I’m not sure they are ready, but the clock doesn’t stop ticking. So here we go, it will be everything this stage in life brings times two. They’ve got the best guide they could hope for. I pray their big brother keeps his arms around them and provides a little comfort and steering when needed. I also pray they will listen when he tries to provide some wisdom or advice. Basically, I just pray.

Daybreak on the farm

20141228_065802_resized 20141228_071406_resized 20141228_071335_resized 20141228_065554_resized

The donkeys and chickens get up early. So did we. Beautiful morning. Here’s what it sounded like.

You would think visiting a place like this would be a great time for the dogs to run free. Not so much. Our dogs acted like they want to get frisky with the donkeys, and they acted awfully brave as they pulled at the leash. When I gave them enough slack to get closer, they looked back at me like: “Have you lost your mind?”

We’ve got serious personality

bowl chairs cooking cuisine
Photo by Pixabay on

Last night my family started taking a personality test around the dinner table. The wife had found some website that would ask you about ten questions and then tell you exactly the type of person you were, if you would amount to anything in life, and whether you would spend any time in jail. She went first and then told us she was “I” “N” “F” “C”, or something like that. The rest of us all looked at each other. What the heck did that mean?

“Each letter stands for something about you,” my wife said, but did not elaborate.
I quickly came up with “Introvert”, “Nice”, “Funny” and “Crazy”. I could see the kids coming up with their words, too, but nobody wanted to say what they were thinking in case they were wrong.

Introvert was a no-brainer when it came to my wife, and that surprises some people because she can get sweeter than your grandmother’s tea in about five seconds. She teaches kindergarten and she’s good at it. She’s bubbly. And she dresses like she wants to audition for Welcome Back Kotter. (Of course those surprised people don’t see her crawl into the house at the end of the day.)

Maybe “N” was nurturing. Anyone could see that. As a little girl she had a toad farm and a gay college friend once called her a “Natural Born Breeder.”

Except it turned out “N” was for Intuitive.

Wilkins held up his hand. “Why wouldn’t that be an ‘I’?”

The rest of the kids nodded.

“Because ‘I’ already stands for introvert,” my wife said.

Wilkins rolled his eyes. “That’s just stupid.”

“F” stood for feeling.

“Like what?” Jacks asked.

“What?” my wife said.

“Feeling what?” Jacks said. “You don’t just feel. You gotta feel LIKE something!”

My wife took a deep breath.

“P” was her last letter and it stood for perceiving.

Wayne had been looking up her results on his phone. “This says that INFP’s are flexible and laid back.” Heads nodded. “They have deep caring and are genuinely interested in people. Their sincerity is sensed by others, making them a valued friend and confidant.”

“Nailed her,” Beth muttered.

I nodded at my daughter. People always dump their stuff on my wife. I’ve thought about carrying around a blow up couch and trying to turn a buck off of it.

Wayne went on. “Oh yeah, Dad, this says INFP’s can sometimes appear irrational and illogical in conflict situations, not really caring who is right and who is wrong.”

The rest of us exchanged looks.

“And when their value system is threatened, they become aggressive defenders.”

No one moved.

“Well, let’s see what you are,” my wife suddenly said. She began asking me a series of questions, each of which had four answers. A typical question would be “Are you this way because you learned it, or because that is just the way you are?” And I would have to say I agreed with that statement all of the time, some of the time, rarely, or never.
“I have a feeling if I take this Briggs and Stratton Test I’m gonna be “D” “U” “M” “B”, Wilkins said.

My daughter hung over my wife’s shoulder as she kept reading questions and feeding in my responses. About halfway through the test my daughter said, “That’s not what he said.”

My wife shushed her and read the next question.

I held up my hands. “You mean you are changing my answers?”

“Only when you respond incorrectly,” my wife said.

With my wife’s help I came out as an INTP. I never found out what that meant, except apparently the INTP’s get to clean the kitchen.


When I was seven I had surgery on my right arm for a bone marrow infection. The scar looked like the doctors were not as worried about the cut as they were with saving my arm. When I wondered what other people would think of that ugly gash, my dad draped his arm over me, smiled and said, “Tell ‘em you were playing pool down at the bar and got in knife fight.”
I also have a small circular scar on my chest. It looks like someone jabbed me with a lit cigar. I don’t recall ever being tortured. One doctor who looked at it said it might have come from some rare kind of spider.

I have scars on a hand that got jammed under a skateboard at a high rate of speed. I remember that one. It hurt. I was about 12 years old. After the wreck I ran to my house, yelling for my mother, convinced this one was pretty bad. She washed off the blood with a garden hose, took one look at my hand, and told me to “stop being a baby.”

Continue reading “Scars”