Saturday, December 30, 2017

Serial Beginner... bowling...we never do it enough to become consistently good, but we do go bowling 3 or 4 times per we're always beginners.

But that's's an enjoyable "fill in" activity, and it's one we did again yesterday on my birthday.

And that's a pretty good picture of's my best side, and it captures the moment just before all the bad stuff happens...

Here's a collage Karen put together of our afternoon / evening of bowling and then dinner to celebrate the 21st anniversary of my 40th birthday...
The meal was at On The Border, courtesy of a gift card from Sarah...very enjoyable.  Please note the big drink was Karen's margarita...mine was the little glass of whiskey...gotta get one of those whiskey glasses...pretty cool.

The neverending snow continues...

...which makes me wish for summer again... Karen posted on FB, looks like I'm standing in front of a small castle...and I do love our little castle...

Came across this spectacular art deco clock...
...encrusted with rubies and diamonds, it sports a 7 figure purchase price...made by sculptor Sandoz in the 1920's, I believe...wish someone would make a replica...I'd buy one in a heartbeat...very cool.

Hard to believe vacation is winding down, but vacation days fly by at twice the speed of work days, so here we, New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, and then it's back into the fray...the worst part is going to be getting up to my 4:30 am alarm clock...I've actually laid in bed until almost 8 am some mornings this past system is in for a shock come Tuesday...

later, mcm fans...

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Saturday, December 23, 2017

A Wonderful Gift... Christmas time...from my #1 son, Micah.

The book itself is very cool...handsomely bound, it's a pleasure to hold and handle while enjoying the timeless stories contained within.

But what makes this gift truly special is what it represents and how it illustrates a fundamental truth in life: you never know what will come back to you, or when it may reappear on your doorstep.

In this case it took about thirty years, but all those nights of reading to my sons at bedtime decades ago were given back to me in this one spectacular Christmas gift.

I admit there were times when my only real goal was to try and get them to calm down enough so they would go to sleep, but guess what?

Those tales from Aesop's Fables, those sea going pirate adventures in Treasure Island, those years of privation and innovation in Robinson Crusoe, those childhood morals of The Sugar Creek Gang and those Christmas Hauntings in A Christmas Carol were not falling on deaf ears after all.

Micah and I shared a few laughs remembering back to those days and I will prize this gift for years to come.

And speaking of Micah, he and one of his sons (Isaiah) drove to Washington, DC this weekend to see his oldest daughter Tionna...
Micah brought along some gifts and the little Christmas tree for a touch of seasonal decor.

Tionna just completed her 6 week Navy Ceremonial Guard training and will now be representing the Navy at many official ceremonies and events.
A great honor and a big responsibility to be the face of the Navy to the country at very proud of her!

Christmas is now just two days away, and our White Christmas which seemed a virtual lock a week or so ago is suddenly up for grabs.  A couple of days of 40 degrees and drizzling rain has turned our Winter Wonderland into patches of hard crusty snow scattered here and there around the countryside.

If we're going to have a white one this year it will take an 11th hour rescue by Santa and Old Man Winter.  C'mon boys, teamwork!  You can do it!

But hey, if you'd rather take the day off, I'm ok with 65 and sunny...see you boys on the links and don't forget your hickories...

Today and tomorrow will be final prep for the big day, but I'll be honest...for the most part I've arrived at that age where my Christmas shopping is reduced to writing some checks...boring I know...but Karen still does the shopping thing and also will be making lots of good things to eat for Christmas Eve...I'll do my best to a) stay out of her way and b) help out where I can.  Sometimes to accomplish b all I need to do is a...we'll see.

for now...

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

In the "so convenient you can't stand it" department, you can purchase my books here and on!

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Thank you!

Friday, December 8, 2017

It's A Christmas Miracle...

...Santa brought us a kitchen!

Five months to the (moving) day - from July 5th to same in December - we finally have our kitchen more or less done.
That's a panograph so the proportions aren't right, but since it's a round room I thought it would give you a sense of the flow...we have actual cabinets, a stove with range hood, back splash and wall coverings now...
...and that's standing in front of the sink looking at the other half of the the coffee station.

Karen won't be happy with a couple of these pics since they include some random junk laying around, but a few hours before these pics were taken it was still a construction zone.

Here it is after Karen decorated it this afternoon for Christmas...

We're getting there...finally...still have some floating shelves and some finish work to be done, but we're better than 95% of the way there now.  Insert excited "woo hoo!" here.

And Christmas has come to the rest of our home as well thanks to Karen's tireless efforts...
So it's merry ho-ho around the homestead now...

Of course, the 40 / 50 mph wind gusts we had this week wreaked havoc on our plastic army of Christmas icons in the front yard...and up on the roof top click click click...a couple of Santa's reindeer learned how to fly, while Frosty, Hark the Angel and the Holy Family all got blown over, along with the manger...

So we spent last night after the winds died down restoring order to the troops...all is well in Christmas Village again.

And this morning we're covered with our first snow... how the snow looks on our stone wall...
...and in our courtyard.

It's beautiful, but I can't swing my hickories on the golf course in it...dang...
...and never heard back from the course owners about my trespass onto their course for an illicit round of 9 holes...seems like a year ago now but it was just a week...from 60 degrees to snow in just a few days...welcome to Michigan.

'nuff for now...

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

In the "so convenient you can't stand it" department, you can purchase my books here and on!

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Thank you!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

A Day...

...that will live in infamy...December 7th, 1941...the official start of WWII for the United States of America.

More than 1,200 Americans died in this surprise attack and eventually, through the course of the war, more than 400,000 American lives were lost in this global conflict.

Today we remember and honor all those who perished, and all those who followed after them, rallying to the cause of freedom.

Never forget.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Christmas Decorating...

...part promised, we have the Sacred and the secular, pretty much like everyday life.

And inside... Karen noted, finally...our mid century modern aluminum Christmas tree is sitting inside a mid century modern home...pretty darn cool.
the view from our patio
Another view of the outside...
Have to admit, always been a fan of the Jolly Old Elf Himself...based on historical truth and still celebrated as SinterKlaas in the Netherlands on Dec 5th and 6th, he's the patron saint of children.

And while Clement C Moore and Thomas Nast gave us the modern American version...
...replete with sleigh and flying reindeer, you still gotta love a kindly old gent who delights in giving gifts to children.

The problem of course is when the gifts overshadow the Giver of All Good Gifts, the Lord God Almighty.

In any event, we've made a start on the decorating gig and not sure how much more we'll actually do  I pretty much take my marching orders from the boss so we'll see what develops over the next couple of weeks.

Black Friday has come and gone and work went just fine...another big test looming just ahead on Cyber Monday...all 9 fingers crossed on that one.

And though it's a bit early, might as well get it over forthwith, the annual insult to the aforementioned Mr. Moore with a knock off of his famous poem:

'Twas 4 Weeks Before Christmas...

...and every mouse,
had fled frozen fields
for the warmth of my house.

My wife found their droppings
and said “I'm not pleased,
to think that these varmints
are taking their ease

inside my warm dwelling;
this outrage won't stand!
What will you do?”
Then I raised my hand...

These mice, they are finished!
Kaput and kersplatz!
No way they'll survive,
for we have three cats!”

And then we beheld
our fat felines, all three:


and Zoey,

and the useless Smokey.

Disciples of Garfield,
were these pointless creatures,
with sleeping and eating
their dominant features.

No help would be coming
from those worthless saps,
so I scrounged all around
til I found an old trap.

And later that night,
before mice came a-creeping,
I set the cruel deadfall
then got busy sleeping.

So early next 'morn,
at dawn's early light,
I sprang from my bed
to find what I might.

But what did my wondering
eyes finally see,
but a clean, empty trap
and a note left for me:

"Thanks for the cheese,
but what would be better,
instead of old muenster,
could we have fresh cheddar?"

"And what's with this platter?"
my mousy pals asked.
"We might have been killed
if we hadn't been fast!"

'Twas then that I thought
of the great Robert Burns
and his famous lament
to a mouse that he turned

Out of warm hearth and home
as he plowed in his field.
Did I want to partake
in his life time of guilt?

The best laid plans,
it is easy to see,
Gang aft agley
and I think you'll agree

There was nothing to do
but give them their cheddar.
After all, it was Christmas,
and what could be better

Than showing the love
God has for His swarm,
by letting them stay
inside where it's warm?

So out went the trap
in the cold, winter, night;
we're quite overrun
but I guess it's alright.

So to quoth from St. Nick
on his annual flight,
Merry Christmas to all,
and to all a Good Night!

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

In the "so convenient you can't stand it" department, you can purchase my books here and on!

Get your paperback books here:

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Thank you!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving...

...Y'all...hope you enjoyed a good day with family and friends.

Those that know me are aware family hasn't always been my strong point, but today was a good celebration.

A couple of my sons stopped by and shared a meal with us, along with two of Karen's kids.

So six of us gathered around the table and gave thanks to God in heaven for the food before us, the family beside us and God's love between us.

Of course the Lions lost, but oh well...if you live in Michigan there are a few unpleasant constants, and one of them is the hopeless estate of our professional football team.  We may have the highest paid quarterback in the NFL, but that doesn't change their standing at the end of the season.

And this was a good week on the home renovation front...
...that my friends is a kitchen cupboard...there are two others affixed to our kitchen walls now, and hopefully by the end of next week they will be joined by backsplash and various other accoutrements that comprise a finished kitchen.  Be still my foolish heart.

On the writing front, I've published two more books on Amazon...
...Red Train Christmas, a Christmas story I'm proud of, and...
...When A Cardinal Appears, volume 2, a collection of short stories and poems which I'm also happy to make available to the (non-)buying public...available on  Enjoy...c'mon, you know you want to.

And since we've now raced past the Thanksgiving holiday and are hurtling headlong down the luge track toward Christmas, Karen insisted we start the decorating's modest as beginnings go, but here's our outdoor decor to date:
...two illuminated deer in front of our home...humble I know, but tune in next week...I've already been informed my job this weekend is to put up the manger scene, and new to the mix, our Santa and Reindeer display on our conveniently flat roof...part of the Sacro-Secular conflict so evident in our Christmas psyche here in the U.S.

Tomorrow is Black Friday, the official kickoff to our peak season at's hoping the chaos will be minimal and we'll handle the crush of orders in a competent manner.

Happy Holidays, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

In the "so convenient you can't stand it" department, you can purchase my books here and on!

Get your paperback books here:

Get your ebooks here:

Thank you!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

In Flanders Fields...

...the moving poem from World War I...written by Canadian surgeon John McCrae upon the death of his friend in battle.

World War I was "the Great War", "the war to end all wars" because of the massive slaughter of over 9 million soldiers with 21 million wounded.

It finally came to a merciful end four years after it began, at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month...thereafter known as Armistice Day.

Surely from this extended horror mankind would learn to find better, peaceful ways to end disagreements.


World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and so it goes.

History is dominated by the repetitive and aggressive use of force, often for ignoble ends.

We are meant to be free; it's our God given right, as so eloquently elucidated in the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident...that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

But if you want to remain free, you must fight for your liberty.

Dwight D Eisenhower said "History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the timid or the weak".

Thankfully we have soldiers willing to fight to protect our nation and our way of life.

We set aside this day - Veteran's Day - to honor and thank them.
mu son Benjamin in Afghanistan
So thank you veterans everywhere...for your willingness to defend and sacrifice for our country.

God Bless You!

later, mcm fans...