Saturday, September 22, 2018

What Fall Means to Me


Happy first day of the epicest season of the year, folks!!
The weather is FINALLY beginning to cool down, the garden is nearly finished (yes, for me, that's a good thing XD), and we're looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas.
But, of course, that's not all that Fall means to me.

Fall means... starting the fireplace.

Hoodies and jackets.

Hay rides.

Rustic decor in every nook and cranny.

Scented candles that fill the house with their fragrance.

Shorter days.

The guys coming in from work at 7 or 8 in the evening instead of 9 or 10.


Foliage turns every shade of red, orange and yellow.

Nearly freezing my toes off when going outside barefoot, not yet willing to give up the best part of summer.

Longer skirts on Sundays.

Full coat racks.

Cattle grazing on the winter wheat.

Leaves crunching in the park.

Amazingly cloudy days.

Guys going hunting.

Many birthdays.

NaNoWriMo (all you writers know what this is...)

Cool breezes.

And, last but not least, Five Fall Favorites.  FFF is a blog party I've seen around, and this year I will be participating in it!  It's going to be a weeklong party full of book recommendations, not to mention a giveaway and freebies, so stay tuned!


I could probably think of a whole lot more given a few more days, but this is what I came up with off the top of my head.  What does Fall mean to you?

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Silly Songs with Kaitlyn


The part of the show where Kaitlyn comes out and... well, pretty much does nothing but ramble about one of the best kids' shows of all time.
Because if you like to talk to tomatoes, if a squash can make you smile, if you like to waltz with potatoes up and down the produce aisle...
How can you beat VeggieTales?!  I know some don't exactly like it... but you're missing out!  VeggieTales is a classic, fun, and lesson-filled show.  It's even got puns and jokes with meanings only people teenaged and older will understand woven throughout the entire thing.
And of course we can't forget the interruption in the middle of the show—"And now it's time for Silly Songs with Larry, the part of the show where Larry comes out and sings a silly song."

One of my very favorite episodes is The Ballad of Little Joe.  Not only does it bring back amazing memories of watching it with my siblings during sleepovers at grandparents' houses, but it's downright funny!  Like dodge ball city.  The dodge ball avalanche still cracks me up.  And I still sing along to the birthday song—"Yippee-ki-yo-ki-yay, today is a special day!" and "Look, I made a frosting cow!"  Besides, it's a western.  You can't beat westerns.  Especially when this particular western makes references to Gunsmoke.
Along with the movie, the silly song in the middle is one of my very first VT memories.


"Belly button?" "Uh-uh!"
Yeah, I'm still fuzzy on the point of that song.  I mean... Mr. Lunt has no belly button?  Oh, the tragedy!


One silly song that nearly broke my heart when I was little, though, is Pizza Angel.  The poor dude waited for hours and hours, and then his hopes were dashed when the delivery boy shows up, having eaten Larry's entire pizza—and says, "you don't have to tip me or anything."  Made me mad, but it also devastated me, actually almost brought tears to the eyes of little me.  I guess back then the saddest things I knew were missing pizza.



One of my least favorite silly songs would have to be the one that of course happens to be Birdo's favorite.  And, since he's such a good impersonator, he naturally enjoys mimicking Mr. Lunt.  Drives me nuts.  But then again, driving little sisters nuts is what brothers do best, right?
And... it's about cheeseburgers.  They do say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, so I guess it's no wonder.


"Cause you're his cheeseburger, his lovely cheeseburger, he'll wait for you-ooooooo!"
That's another song that made me sad.  And mad.  He betrayed the cheeseburger!  For bacon & eggs!


Y'know, now that I think about it, there were several that made me sad.  Pizza Angel, His Cheeseburger... and The Hairbrush Song.  I mean, Larry can't find his beloved hairbrush!  And we come to find out that Bob actually betrayed Larry and gave his hairbrush to the peach—a FRUIT—without permission!
Not that it was wrong for Bob to share.  But to share poor Larry's hairbrush?  Shame on you, Bob.



Well, now that we're on the subject of sad songs, another one is Oh Santa.  Larry made Santa cookies and stayed up late just to meet Santa and give him the cookies he worked so hard on.  And then comes a bank robber, a viking, and that very same peach that took his hairbrush—and ate his cookies!



A song that really cracks me up is Hopperena.  Especially when Archie starts dancing.



I'll stop with the silly songs for now.  Though I could go on with The Water Buffalo Song, Barbara Manatee, The Song of the Cebu, among others.
Do you enjoy VeggieTales?  What's your favorite silly song?

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Flash Fiction & a Giveaway


When my critique partner suggested the idea of a flash fiction war, I loved the idea.  But I had one drawback—I'm terrible at flash fiction.
Every time I've tried, it turned into something much longer—either a whole book or an unfinished story buried in my docs.  Granted, flash fiction basically is an unfinished story, but I've never been satisfied with the way mine have ended.
Until now.  So, since I haven't shared any of my writing, other than a few snippets, since Katie's Christmas over a year and a half ago, I figured I'd give it a go.
I don't really have a title for it... maybe Dressed in Blue or something like that but not as cheesy... any suggestions?

On another note real quick, Inside Out Designs is hosting a giveaway!  A front book cover, plus book formatting.  Check it out!

So anyway, on to my adventure with flash fiction!  This was inspired by a pin on Pinterest:


I'm warning you now, this is almost completely unedited.  Continue reading at your own risk.

Even the clouds seemed to rejoice.  Scattered across the expanse of blue sky, they morphed into various shapes—namely, birthday cakes and candles.
At least, that’s what it seemed like to me.  But then again, I probably would’ve seen birthday candles on a child’s face that day, as focused as I was.  Birthday candles and my wife’s face.
It had been so long since I’d seen her.  Too long. I ached to hold her in my arms, to tell her over and over again how much I loved her.  A smile broke across my face. My wife. My wife of six wonderful years, and yet it seemed like just yesterday we’d said “I do”.
I toyed with the ring on my left hand absentmindedly, her image filling and consuming my mind.  She was so beautiful… so perfect.  I chuckled to think of the way my little brother would react if he knew what I was thinking.  He’d pretend to gag, then bat his eyelashes and say something about how perfectly wonderful and perfect everything about everything was.  Mock me.
Which was exactly why he didn’t know my thoughts.  Right now, he was concentrated on the road ahead, which was just fine by me.  The fact that he’d had to retake his driving test twice didn’t do anything for my comfort during the ride.
He pulled over.  “Okay, Alan, here’s where you get down.”
I unbuckled and tried to crouch down in the foot well of my seat—no easy task for a man of five feet, eleven inches.  Finally I gave up and climbed over the F-250’s console and laid out on the floorboard. “Just drive careful, Elliott, okay?”
Elliott rolled his eyes.  “Yeah, whatever.” He eased off the shoulder of the road and back onto the pavement.  That was one thing hard to get used to about this area of Washington. Even out in the middle of nowhere, pavement still reigned.  I still had yet to see a dirt, or even a gravel, road. Driveways didn’t count.
Finally, the truck rolled to a stop, and Elliott peeked over the back of his seat.  “Hang tight, I’ll be right back. She’s on the south side of the truck, a little to the west.  Give me two minutes to keep her occupied and moved to the edge of the water.”
My nerves were as frazzled as a fraying towrope, but I managed to contain my blood pressure until my wristwatch read exactly two minutes since Elliott left.  Finally, time to take action. I opened the north side door—thankfully at my feet, so I didn’t have to worry about climbing out on my arms—and crawled out, shutting the door quietly.
Crouching, I crept to the front of the truck and peeked out from behind the grill.  Then I saw her. Her back to me, she stood on the beach and watched Elliott trying some sort of nutty stunt involving a pool noodle and a kayak paddle.  The breeze caught her hair and played with it, and her shoulders shook with laughter. I simply watched her, mesmerized, until finally I shook myself and crept forward.  My boots made silent imprints in the sand behind me. Faster, faster.
Finally, I was crouched directly behind her.  I let out a “Hooyah!” and darted forward, grabbing her in my arms and rushing toward the water, ignoring the screaming in my ear.
She went sailing, arms and legs windmilling, hair flying, until finally she and the water made contact with a splash.
Sputtering, her head resurfaced.  “Alan Marshall Henderson!”
“Happy birthday, Mrs. Henderson!”  I laughed in reply.
Her face broke into a grin, and she slogged through the water to the shore.  “Why, thank you, Mr. Henderson.” Without warning, she threw her arms around me and kissed me like there was no tomorrow.  “This is the best birthday gift you could’ve ever given me,” she whispered in my ear. “Oh, Alan, my Alan… welcome home.”
She leaned against my chest and soaked the front of my shirt, but I didn’t care.  I don’t know how long we stood there, until finally her soft voice floated up to my ears.  “I prayed you’d come.”
I rubbed her back again.
“I told God that if He would just bring you home for my birthday, if I could take you from the Navy for even just a day, I wouldn’t ask for anything else.”  She sniffed, pulled back and smiled at me through her tears. “And here you are.”
“It’s good to be home again.”
She leaned into my embrace again.  “Y’know, I didn’t exactly expect a dunk in the ocean to be a part of my birthday gift.”
Chuckling, I shrugged.  “Thought you might like to take a trip down memory lane.”
She began to shake with silent laughter.  “How could I forget? I’m pretty sure you’re the only husband that dunks his wife in the lake on their honeymoon.”  She paused, then added, “You look good in blue.”


Saturday, August 11, 2018

It Is Well


My name is Horatio Spafford.  Back in my prime, I was a successful businessman with a love for the Lord, my wife Anna, and my children.
Life was well.  Until the fateful year of 1871.  Most of my real estate holdings burned to the ground in the famous Chicago fire.  
Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, my only son Horatio Jr. died of scarlet fever.
Two years later, my good friend Dwight L. Moody was scheduled to speak in Europe, and I decided it was time to take a family trip.  Due to business, however, I was delayed and sent Anna and our four daughters on ahead.
In the middle of the voyage... the vessel on which they took passage was hit by a large ship.
Anna alone survived.
It was two years until I rejoined my wife in England and, as the ship on which I traveled passed over the site of my daughters' deaths, I wrote these simple, yet so intricately meaningful, words:

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll; 
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control:
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul.

My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part, but the whole
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more.
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, oh my soul!

It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trumpet shall sound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul.


God, when all else fails, when I feel like my world is falling apart, when everything I hold dear is shaken...
Help me, Father, to say it is well, it is well, with my soul.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

My Sister's Lame Jokes {Feat. Squirt Herself}


 Hello, readers, today is gonna be a real... well, I don't know what it's going to be yet.
What I do know is that my sister has been begging and cajoling to do another post, and she finally talked me into it.
She even pulled an easy chair over to the table for me.  Bribery takes you everywhere, y'know.
Say hi, Squirt.

Low.

Ha ha, very funny.

I know right, thats me!!

Mmm... that remains to be seen.  What have you got for us today?

Stuff.......
What is black, white, and read all over?

Do I get to say the answer?

You tell me boss.

DOCUMENTED PROOF, SHE CALLED ME BOSS.
A newspaper, by the way.
That's the answer.

*Eyeroll*
Very good, very good.
Once someone told me to stop acting like a flamingo, but that's when I put my foot down.

Haha, not bad, not bad!

BTW I have to give credit for some of these jokes to..... Chow,  Kord, Siri, and many other things which I can not remember.

*Shakes head* you should come up with your own, Squirt.
But at least you're not taking credit.
Or is that because you don't want to be known for these? XD

Oh fine, oh fine, heres one with my own brand on it...
I like Kansas the best but Oklahoma's OK.

Haha, I'd say let's MOve it out to Missouri, but... it's really not that funny.

OH and Ohio.
WhY, Wyoming too.

No, let's take a CAr to California.

Or to that Maine one in the upper right corner.

I have no reply.

OR we could go to Oregon.
Aren't I just SOOOO funny!!!!! Okay don't answer that.

I plead the fifth.

What do you get when you drop a piano down a mine shaft? This one's my favorite!! ;p

Do I get to say the answer?

Again, you tell me boss.

Okay then, minion.
A flat minor.
Miner.
Which one would be the right one to use in the punchline?

AGAIN, you tell me boss.

Alas, if only our relationship was always like this.

Then people would think I was your servant or something... ;)

Servant?  No.  Merely a person willing to do anything I ask or tell.

That'll be the day.

You got that right, pilgrim.

 A mans got to do, what a mans got to do.

A man's got to have a code, a creed to live by.

Hurry it up, we're burning daylight.

You tangle with me, I'll have your hide.

Your short on ears, and long on mouth.

If you're looking for trouble, I'll be glad to accommodate you.  Otherwise, leave it alone.

Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.

Very nice.  Now let's wrap this post up, shall we?

I would prefer wrapping it down.

Very funny.  Thanks for coming, Squirt!

Yup, yup, YUP! My pleasure!!!! Toodles!!!!!!!!

Ta ta.
Okay, folks, moral of the story: never let your little sister talk you into having her as a guest on your blog.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Happy Birthday Moby!


You remember that one person in your life who would come visit your family from hours away, and they'd always pay special attention to each one of you and your siblings instead of just talking with the adults all the time?
For me, that's my Aunt Moby.
The energetic aunt that taught us the words and signs to the song Our God is an Awesome God, the aunt that spent countless hours picking mulberries with me and my cousins when we'd all be here in the summer, the aunt that let us climb up her legs and do flips when we were little, and the aunt that loves reading as much as I do.
Moby, do you remember all those times we played Battling Tops?  And Uno?  And all that time spent playing Simon Says?  Oh, and you & Kara playing Twister and ending up on the floor at the same time?
You love playing pranks.  Remember when you put that case of our pop in our oven, and that was the one day that we didn't check our oven before turning it on?
But we love tricking you too.  You've always been so easy to scare.  And remember when Sasquatch put Vaseline on your glasses?
So many memories.  Good times.
Happy birthday, Moby!  I love you! <3

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Cute Things


Am I the only one that loves baby animals?
Granted, I'm not exactly an animal person.  I'm more of a cuddle-them-when-I-feel-like-it kind of person.  But they're still adorable.
Some of Chowboy's goats had kids!  Lady & Liam, Daily & Vincent, and Savannah & Sidney.  The guy isn't too bad at naming goats.  Though he doesn't usually like my ideas, so he obviously needs a little help. 
Anyway, my sister-in-law Ashleigh now has kittens at her house!  Petey, the cat they thought was a boy, had a litter... yes, her husband renamed her.  No, it's not a girl name.  He actually called her Simon Peter. 
I'll stick with Petey.
Also, Kordell got a new bucket calf!  The dude's name is Jarvis, and he's quite the looker.

I have to admit, though, none of these pictures were taken by me, sadly.  However, Chow, Kara and Ash are both quite capable.


 I'm not exactly what you'd call a cat person... but I must admit that the kitties are adorable.

Yes, I told Ashleigh it looks like she's strangling the poor thing.  Pretty sure she's not, though.  I hope.
At first I said this one should be named Greg... and then was quickly reminded that this one is a girl.  Oops.

Lady
Liam
Daily is a handful.  He's not quite so fond of being held.
On the other hand, as the largest, Vincent is also super gentle.  I like to call him Vince.

Isn't Savannah the cutest?!

Sadie's a good mama.

Lastly, Jarvis.  He kinda stole my heart.